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Ed Denton

633 firmware improvements

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Here is a copy of an email I sent to Sound Devices regarding my experience with the 633 and firmware improvements that would be useful. Please feel free to add any more that I missed:

 

I recently bought a 633 and I just wanted to say congratulations on making a great device and also give some feedback as a user. I am a location sound mixer, I do primarily run-and-gun, one man operation where I am mixing and booming. I believe the 633 is an excellent machine for this style shooting but there are some improvements that could make the 633 better.

 

Firstly, while there are many visual metering options one that I find lacking is the ability to remove the Left/Right meters from the screen. Most of the productions I work on these days require minimum of a boom and two wireless, which they want on iso tracks. There is less and less want or need for a LR mix track, basically it is just unwanted data that goes straight in the trash. I rarely record it any more and if they do want a mix track at all it is usually just on camera for playback. I would love to be able to have a monitor screen that only shows the iso tracks, both 3-channel view and 6-channel view.

 

Secondly, everyone knows that typing with an encoder knob is annoying as hell. But there is a few things that would make the task easier (some of these taken from the Zoom F8 that, for all its flaws, has excellent keyboard navigation). One particular feature is to be able to scroll vertically by press-turning the headphone knob (turning the knob while it is depressed). Another would be to create a space by moving the mic/tone switch to the right. At the moment the mic/tone switch toggles Caps either way it is pushed. Personally I would love to quickly put in spaces when writing notes. I would also l would love to be able to move the cursor through the text without deleting the text. For example by holding the menu and moving the mic/tone switch. Sometimes in the heat of the moment on set I need to quickly write notes but make mistakes due to the difficulties of writing characters with a knob. It would be great to be able to quickly correct these mistakes without having to delete everything after the mistake.

 

Lastly, it would be great if the take counter was able to display characters after instead of only 1, 2, 3 etc. Sometimes pickup shoots are slated like “scene 1, shot 1, take 14PU”. At the moment there is no way to represent this other than to change the file name.

 

I hope this feedback leads to improved firmware in the future.

 

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+1 "I would also l would love to be able to move the cursor through the text without deleting the text." (don't always want to be using wingman to text entry)

 

I would like development of X1/2 routing.  At present the short cut on PFL overrides what you may have done in the 'routing' screen but can only be restored by going back to the routing screen - this is a bit annoying especially if you had assigned the mix to go to X1/2 and made a mistake when in 'PFL'.  I'm guessing the logic is a quick allocation of individual channels to the Aux bus would be more critical (and so takes precedence over) maintaining a mix on Aux that you probably have on Main Mix. 1 toggle of the PFL and another of the X1/2 option undoes and action which takes pressing MENU > I/P > AUX Routing and then scrolling and clicking the encoder. Further more you can't send MIX AND ISO to Aux1/2 - which is a shame because when I use the Dugan Automix I sometimes want to combine this with manually faded elements, using the Aux bus feels safer than doing this on Main bus. being able to invert phase of individual element going to Aux1/2 would also be advantageous for a mix-minus.

 

There is something of this logic replicated in the the editing of track names. You can save previously used track names and scroll through these if you are going via the Menu key but if you go through PFL you have to manually type them in - a drop down with the previous options (via the PFL) would be very nice.

 

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Also a question about the 633

 

The instruction book described entering phrases in the note list

It does not indicate how many can be stored - it it 10 like my 664

 

I ask this because I would love to have 15 to 20 possible phrases!

 

Cheers

 

mike

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13 hours ago, Ed Denton said:

Firstly, while there are many visual metering options one that I find lacking is the ability to remove the Left/Right meters from the screen. Most of the productions I work on these days require minimum of a boom and two wireless, which they want on iso tracks. There is less and less want or need for a LR mix track, basically it is just unwanted data that goes straight in the trash. I rarely record it any more and if they do want a mix track at all it is usually just on camera for playback. I would love to be able to have a monitor screen that only shows the iso tracks, both 3-channel view and 6-channel view.

 


I agree this would be nice for the 633 to have as well, as sometimes you need to keep an eye on L/R, but many other times you just want to minimize clutter on your small screen so I get rid of showing L/R at all on my recorder's screen.


 

13 hours ago, Ed Denton said:

Personally I would love to quickly put in spaces when writing notes. I would also l would love to be able to move the cursor through the text without deleting the text.

 

YIKES!!! Didn't know it wasn't possible to move the cursor without deleting text, that sounds like a massive drawback with the 633

 

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Guys, who cares about the "data".... send the mix track along with the rest of it and be done... maybe don't ask SD to make a special update to achieve this.. Give POST the mix track and if they don't want it.. then they don't have to use it. Pretty simple... 

 

I am still waiting for a way to mute the output of assignable aux mixs while in standby mode... then let the output pass while in record mode... Now THATS a request!!!  I am tired of spinning output feed pots every take.. and yes, I have requested this many times...

 

Most of my clients use the mix track... I am a sound mixer, not a track monkey...LOL

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15 hours ago, Ed Denton said:

 

Firstly, while there are many visual metering options one that I find lacking is the ability to remove the Left/Right meters from the screen. Most of the productions I work on these days require minimum of a boom and two wireless, which they want on iso tracks. There is less and less want or need for a LR mix track, basically it is just unwanted data that goes straight in the trash. I rarely record it any more and if they do want a mix track at all it is usually just on camera for playback. I would love to be able to have a monitor screen that only shows the iso tracks, both 3-channel view and 6-channel view.

 

Yes Ed but what do you monitor if you have ISO tracks ?

 

mike

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3 hours ago, mikewest said:

Yes Ed but what do you monitor if you have ISO tracks ?

 

 

4 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

send the mix track along with the rest of it and be done... maybe don't ask SD to make a special update to achieve this..

 

You still create a mix for your own monitoring in your headphones, but not everyone will regard it as top priority to be monitoring the L/R tracks vs your ISO tracks. And as we're usually dealing with very small amounts of screen real estate in our bags, why not clear out some clutter and maximize screen space for the most critically important things for us? Thus on my recorder (which isn't a 633 btw) I won't show L/R at all, unless I'd recording it (or perhaps if I'm passing L/R to my outputs, then I'll want to keep an eye on L/R). 

 

 

5 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

I am still waiting for a way to mute the output of assignable aux mixs while in standby mode... then let the output pass while in record mode... Now THATS a request!!!  I am tired of spinning output feed pots every take.. and yes, I have requested this many times...

 


This suggestion to mute particular outputs *unless* in recording mode, is a suggestion I like. Good idea.

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6 hours ago, Mungo said:

Inputs 4 to 6 Trim up to 22dB. That's possible on 688 and 664.

 

+1

even if it's only digital gain, it would make using G3 much easier

chris

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Guys, who cares about the "data".... send the mix track along with the rest of it and be done... maybe don't ask SD to make a special update to achieve this.. Give POST the mix track and if they don't want it.. then they don't have to use it. Pretty simple... 
 
I am still waiting for a way to mute the output of assignable aux mixs while in standby mode... then let the output pass while in record mode... Now THATS a request!!!  I am tired of spinning output feed pots every take.. and yes, I have requested this many times...
 
Most of my clients use the mix track... I am a sound mixer, not a track monkey...LOL

Yes muteable aux in standby,I've also requested but nothing in the last 2 firmware upgrades..... I've built a little switch box with a flashing LED
But the software version would be great


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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21 hours ago, afewmoreyears said:

Guys, who cares about the "data".... send the mix track along with the rest of it and be done... maybe don't ask SD to make a special update to achieve this.. Give POST the mix track and if they don't want it.. then they don't have to use it. Pretty simple... 

 

I am still waiting for a way to mute the output of assignable aux mixs while in standby mode... then let the output pass while in record mode... Now THATS a request!!!  I am tired of spinning output feed pots every take.. and yes, I have requested this many times...

 

Most of my clients use the mix track... I am a sound mixer, not a track monkey...LOL

So you never note: traffic/wind/ plane/overlap/talking in the data?

You must work in ideal studio situations???

 

mike

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13 minutes ago, mikewest said:

So you never note: traffic/wind/ plane/overlap/talking in the data?

You must work in ideal studio situations???

 

mike

 

Mike,

I don't get it...  I record a left mix track and ISOs...  some notes...   Not always ideal, but with our bag of tricks, we make it sound as good as we can given any situation...  what did I say about notes..?

 

  I have always thought it is our job to do our best to provide the nice folks in post with the best usable mix track we can pull off... if it's problematic, THEN they can run to the ISOs..

 

Normally, the !st AD gets things quiet and does the best they can, I help by reminding... Everyone is on IFBs...  if it's problematic to me, I will remind them... if they are accepting of the info, I will remind them again... if not, they hear it, let them note it..  There is usually a script supervisor.. Talking on set I remind once, sternly... after that, they can ruin their own tracks... I can't make 70 people act professionally and they are not paying me to do so... "It's not MY movie" as the saying goes..  I won't be the screamer...  

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The only time I’ve been asked to NOT record a mix track or tracks was on reality TV nonsense. Same kind of shows that request you keep everyone on the same tracks for 8 weeks straight and record dead tracks. Barf. 

 

 

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Needs depend on the situation, budget./staffing etc.

Sometimes getting raw isos alone is hard enough.

In that case, allow removal of extraneous metering...an easy update to an already switchable readout.

And yes..selectively muting outs between rolls seems nice as well...though not necessarily an easier task depending on the hardware.

 

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23 hours ago, Rich Reilly said:

And yes..selectively muting outs between rolls seems nice as well...though not necessarily an easier task depending on the hardware

This is an excellent idea, though yes, with the current interface I imagine this would be best utilised via Wingman rather than switches, knobs, and menus settings. 

 

Come me to think of it, a separate screen in Wingman for managing outputs and some other settings, especially AES would be outstanding!

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17 minutes ago, JWBaudio said:

This is an excellent idea, though yes, with the current interface I imagine this would be best utilised via Wingman rather than switches, knobs, and menus settings. 

 

Come me to think of it, a separate screen in Wingman for managing outputs and some other settings, especially AES would be outstanding!

 On My 633 this is not much of an issue, still would be nice though, but on my 688 it is. I would actually like it simply in the output section of the regular menu.  For me, I would choose Aux1 output- mute during stop. I probably would not change it...or if I did, it's easy to check the box for off.  Just like choosing auto mix or any other function..

  Being a cart guy much of the time, I always have to kill the feed to the 15 or more people monitoring on headsets... It's a huge pain in the ass... I know, only one pot to turn on the CL-12, but when you do it all day, it sucks, I would love to eliminate that extra step for rolling and cutting...

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