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Boom Recorder multi-file, multi-folder


takev
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Hello everyone,

I am planning on releasing Boom Recorder version 6 this weekend, after doing some test to see if everything works as expected and seem to be stable using my system. The new version will include a couple of new time sources, including time-of-day, which a lot of people seem to be waiting for (weird how such a request come from multiple customers at the same time). An other feature was created by cleaning up some of the ring buffer code, Boom Recorder will now keep the pre record buffer, even during playback. This cleanup also solves some issues with the recording indicator, which sometimes was flickering off and on during recording, which does not instill confidence in the operators of Boom Recorder. (The flickering is only cosmetic, the files are recorded correctly)

But this is not actually why I am writing this message. I want to mention that I have figured out a way to generically handle recording to multiple files. This will make it possible to: record a mirror copy on an other disk, create a stereo mix alongside the isolated mono tracks, or create any combination of polyphonic or mono files you can think of.

an extra window or tab in the main screen will be added:

- a "number of destinations" fields.

- a table: for each destination you can choose a folder.

- a "number of files" field.

- a table:

* from left to right are the channels.

* from top to bottom are the files.

* each cell in this matrix of channels and files will contain a checkbox.

* next to each file a destination selection field.

- buttons that are sort of wizards or presets that will create predefined combinations like:

* make a mono file for each channel and mirror them across all destinations.

* make polyphonic file with all channels and mirror them across all destinations.

* make a mono file for each channel on one destination and a stereo file for the last two channels on an other destination.

The following will be removed from the user interface:

- mono or polyphonic (all the files are polyphonic, some just happen to contain 1 channel)

- the arm buttons on the left of the meters will be replaced by the channel number.

- the folder selection button in the setup window

All of this will make Boom Recorder much more simpler internally as there are less corner cases, for example I now have separate code-paths for handling multi-mono or polyphonic files. I also will work on making the writing of the audio files more friendly for mutable metadata, as I am busy changing the file writing engine anyway, this change would create a fixed length header of 128 kByte which can be overwritten with new metadata without moving the audio data. This metadata friendly change would also make it possible to rescue BWF files after a crash of Boom Recorder or the system during recording, this probably would make the live-event registration people even more happy.

Finally this change will remove some of the 64 channel limits in Boom Recorder, everyone needs more than 64 channels ;-) although this limit is still there for memory usage reasons, Jeff was already complaining about the long start up time :-P

Some of you may think that if I am working on this, should I not work on mixing channels as well, and I reasoned: No. Mixing belongs in the channel layout, wouldn't it be great to mix using a MIDI control service? Ah, but then you would be complaining about the monitoring latency. But mixing would someday be added I think.

I love to hear some of your suggestions around this new multi-file, multi-folder idea, before I commit on working on it.

Cheers,

    Take Vos

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This is terrific news and I continue to be amazed at the blazing rate of speed of your developments for BoomRecorder. I know we all wish more developers would be this responsive and enthusiastically pursue implementing all these new features (and making the programs run more smoothly and behave better.

Thank you for all your hard work. I will spread the word.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler  (one of your biggest fans).

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Hi Jeff,

I will post it to r.a.m.p.s. myself, after I get some feedback from this group first.

Take

I appreciate the priority treatment. I also know that you are aware of how some people on r.a.m.p.s. get really nasty anytime someone announces anything...  there are a few who start whinning about "broken promises" and vaporware as soon as something is annoinced.

I think we are a little kinder and more reasonable here...  I sure hope so.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Hello Jeff,

I hope I wont make a broken promise with this. But I am confident that I will make this update as a lot of people have been asking for mirror recording and separate stereo mix recording.

But lets first get Boom Recorder 6 out for release.

Take

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Hello Jeff,

I hope I wont make a broken promise with this. But I am confident that I will make this update as a lot of people have been asking for mirror recording and separate stereo mix recording.

But lets first get Boom Recorder 6 out for release.

Take

Hey Take-- can I use the audio input of my Powerbook to input the TC for BR, so I don't have to use up an analog input on the Traveler? 

thanks

Philip Perkins

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Hello Philip,

Yes, but No. You could create a aggregate device containing both the Traveler and the build-in audio and let Boom Recorder record from the aggregate device, but I don't think it can synchronize the sample clock between the Traveler and Boom Recorder and thus you will hear ticks in the audio.

I have no plans yet to add a separate I/O cycle for doing timecode on.

But there is maybe a solution that will work for you. Boom Recorder is able to jam against timecode at the start of the session and will freewheel the timecode against the sample speed of the Traveler (the internal computer clock is not accurate enough, and, this was easier to program). So you can feed Boom Recorder a timecode at the beginning of the day and during shooting reuse the audio input for normal audio, you can also jam between takes if you are worrying about drift. A customer was talking about making a switch that switched between timecode and the normal audio signal.

I hope this helps,

    Take

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Large window displaying the timecode and current take time from any page

Last take total time

PPM with VU metering

Overload alert tone preference

Support programmable keypads

user controllable pre record time 0 to ??

offspeed playback in a range 0 to 225% in 0.1% increments

- I'll see what I can do about the large window, maybe a seperate window you can open up, with this information.

- Last take total time, is currently the time right under the transport buttons after the take (but includes pre-record time)

- PPM with VU metering, current meetering does peek-and-hold (like PPM) and RMS over a couple of tents of seconds. RMS is positioned in such a way that RMS equals peak when using a sinus signal. I think that basically makes them a PPM and VU meter

- Overload alert tone, how long and at wich frequency should this tone be? and where does that have to come out of, out of the monitoring output for that channel?

- Programmable keypads and MIDI controll surface will apear in the future.

- User controllable pre record time is currently in the preferences panel, but it has a maximum.

- Offspeed playback is very difficult using the current architecture which was designed to be used for recording only, playback is really just a hack, which was actually quite difficult to accomplisch.

I will also be adding generators which will include test-tones, timecode signal, click track and stereo playback (of a relativly short sound clip), I could handle offspeed playback in these generators. A generator would be a virtual input that you can assign to a channel, using monitoring you can assign to which outputs these have to be send. However the generator would have a very short time interval to do its work, so I am not certain that it would handle every generator I would think of, especially the timecode generator is quite difficult.

Cheers,

    Take

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The wish list is getting long and complex, but thank you Take for answering these requests from your perspective as the developer.

The request for "overload alert tone" I have never heard of this before. Is there any other gear out there that puts an audible TONE somewhere in the monitor to indicate overload? This I have not seen and for me, I would find this VERY disconcerting and would probably never use it.

I will offer up here my approach to overload issues even though I know I do not look at this in the same way most everyone else does. I will add that I have not yet had ANY instance, ever, of digital overload that rendered audio useless, and this goes back to the very early years of DAT (1987) through to my present use of the Deva IV. What I do, and I know this sounds crude and simplistic, is I LISTEN to the audio which is of course analog, and if it sounds clipped and distorted I know it will sound clipped and distorted when it is recorded. Period. If the overall level and gain structure of the recording channel is set up properly, taking into account all the variables that apply to every piece of gear in the chain, there really will not be overload problems. There is a discussion on RAMPS where Charlie Tamaras has been talking about level problems he and others have had to grapple with when working with many different varfied pieces of gear with level specs, headroom, distorsion specs andd so forth, that are almost totally out of our control. In these setups, where you are feeding a consumer video camera or a not-so-professional recording device, my methods of avoiding overload will probably NOT work.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Hello Philip,

Yes, but No. You could create a aggregate device containing both the Traveler and the build-in audio and let Boom Recorder record from the aggregate device, but I don't think it can synchronize the sample clock between the Traveler and Boom Recorder and thus you will hear ticks in the audio.

I have no plans yet to add a separate I/O cycle for doing timecode on.

But there is maybe a solution that will work for you. Boom Recorder is able to jam against timecode at the start of the session and will freewheel the timecode against the sample speed of the Traveler (the internal computer clock is not accurate enough, and, this was easier to program). So you can feed Boom Recorder a timecode at the beginning of the day and during shooting reuse the audio input for normal audio, you can also jam between takes if you are worrying about drift. A customer was talking about making a switch that switched between timecode and the normal audio signal.

I hope this helps,

    Take

Thanks.  I don't want to clock anything against the internal clock of the Traveler (if that's what you are suggesting)--it is way too inaccurate.  The Traveler can clock against TC input into an audio input, but I was trying to save that 8th input for audio. I understand the input switch idea but am sure I would forget to throw it 5 times out of 10, and in any case the Traveler would be drifting when the switch was in audio mode.  A bigger TC display (for people like me w/ "old eyes") would be cool. The rest of the new features are great--thanks.

Philip Perkins

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Hello Philip,

I didn't know that the clock of the Traveler is inaccurate. But I think it has a word clock input as well, if you have an accurate clock you could make the Traveler conform to it.

Hello Jeff,

Yes, the feature list is indeed getting complex, I will just have to do one at a time like I've been doing now. I've been thinking on how the user interface for the multiple file structure would be.

I am thinking of one huge window, which will show the channels (maybe I will call it the bus now) as lines. Lines for the inputs, outputs and files will intersect the lines of the bus. You will be able to click the intersection to make or break a link, shown as a thick dot. Basically this will look like a schematic like they have in those manuals of pro audio equipment.

Cheers,

    Take

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I am thinking of one huge window, which will show the channels (maybe I will call it the bus now) as lines. Lines for the inputs, outputs and files will intersect the lines of the bus. You will be able to click the intersection to make or break a link, shown as a thick dot. Basically this will look like a schematic like they have in those manuals of pro audio equipment.

Cheers,

    Take

If you are going to get that tricky (and it does seem that way) I personally do not think that a schematic, flow chart type model is a good idea. What you are talking about is very much in keeping with what is now handled by a MATRIX type display, like what is used on several large scale consoles and on the Deva routing displays (that are for the most part matrix routing screens). I am sure you know the sort of display I am talking about, a sort of X - Y grid with boxes that either have a check in them or not, selecting what inputs go to what outputs and so on.

Maybe I did not read the proposed features carefully enough, and maybe this is not what you are talking about implementing in BoomRecorder, so forgive me if I am not on track on this.

I will post a screenshot image of the sort of matrix screen I am talking aobut if I can find one.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Hello Jeff,

That is very useful information, I don't want to do anything that is counter intuitive against current ways of doing things.

I guess then this would still be a normal table with checkboxes, or a couple of tables next to each other. It probably going to be hell making a standard cocoa table do what I want.

Cheers,

    Take

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Hello everyone again,

So I've been thinking a lot about how to implement it. It's going to be a lot of work, because I have to design a new GUI element for this.

It will be a table that shows the channel number and names on the left side on the y-axis. The input numbers/names, output numbers/names and file numbers shown on the x-axis. Both of these headers are always visible and scrollable (the normal cocoa table only shows the top header). In the matrix are cells that you can turn on and off, to link a channel to an input, an output and a file.

I will first replace the current layout with this new GUI element before I will work on the multi-polyphonic file support. But as the new user interface suggest that it will be possible to assign more than one input per channel I will implement summing.

Take

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Hello everyone again,

So I've been thinking a lot about how to implement it. It's going to be a lot of work, because I have to design a new GUI element for this.

Take

I know you're on the right track (no pun intended) on the GUI and I wish I could give you more help on how it should actually look and function, but since you are the only one who knows exactly what functions, track assignments, routing and so forth, you will have to work this out. If you are concerned about the "look and feel" you could send me personally a screenshot or two for my reaction from a users perspective. As far as the behind the scenes work you have to do as far as development and implementation, that's obviously up to you completely --- we're not programers (I'm sure you've noticed). I can be reached at  jw@jwsound.net (or any other email you may have for me).

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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Hello everyone,

So I finally have a screenshot to show you; for the new layout window.

input and output assignment are already working, they have a circle shape because you can only assign one of them per channel.

Cheers,

    Take

post-128-130815072828_thumb.png

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Cool--this would allow a Metacorder style split of recorded files into  "telecine" and "split-track backup" folders

Philip Perkins

I used the dual polyphonic capability on one of the 1st movies that I used Metadorder on.  Now I just instruct telecine to only transfer tracks 1 and 2.

-Darren

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Hi,

Ok, I'll drop the "Nr".

And yes it would allow different files in different folder and use more than 2 folders as well. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to also be able to select at which bit-depth 16/24/32 you like to record per file? Or something else you would like to select per file?

Take

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Hi,

Ok, I'll drop the "Nr".

And yes it would allow different files in different folder and use more than 2 folders as well. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to also be able to select at which bit-depth 16/24/32 you like to record per file? Or something else you would like to select per file?

Take

Well, I could see that on a large project where the audio was going directly into an edit system that was running @ 16 bit, and where the intention was to conform the multitrack split tracks later in audio post that it might be useful to be able to record the dailies mix tracks @ 16 bit and the splits @ 24.  But this has never come up for me so far.  In concert recording @ 44.1 I often run a 16 bit recording of the demo mix (of the 24 bit master tracks) so the resulting file is ready for making audio CDs.....

Philip Perkins

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