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Zaxcom Nomad Auto-Mix


Jack Norflus
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Good idea to start an automix thread. I m doing a gig next week with 8 people talking in a non scripted manner and i d like to get as much info about other people s recipes. As noted here and on the zax forum. The automix enabled 6.01 software is still considered beta so keeping a formatted card with a 5.16 version is a safe best i anything goes wrong.

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Some automix settings from the other nomad thread:

These are jack's settings:

I am not sure what the default settings are but this is what I am currently using:

Mode: Post Fade

Mic On threshold -23dB

Attack 1ms

Decay 90ms

Noise reduction (will vary depending on the room) Anywhere between 0 and -5dB

Attenuation -30dB

These are nate's settings:

Post Fade

Mic on Thresh -30

Attack 2ms

Decay 80ms

Noise reduction -3dB

Attenuation -30

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Yes - you can activate any combination of all 10 of the analog inputs and 8 digital inputs for a total of upto 18 channels.

 

I haven't had a chance to update our demo Nomad, but how does that work? I thought the maximum was with input configuration 7, which is 6 analog and 8 AES, for a total of 14.

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Ryan

You are correct. I re-read my post and can see how it can be misunderstood. Auto-Mix gives you 18 input channels to choose from but you are limited to current input configurations with regard to which inputs can be use together.

Given that one of the items on Howy's plate is to add additional input configurations - if one of those will be all 18 inputs simultaneously I'm not sure yet. But if it is possible it will be added. 

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Here is the reposting of my post from the Nomad thread. 

 

 

OK used autoMix today. I was impressed. Certainly made my job much easier. 

 

It was one of those four people around the table with a host asking questions all in a conversational manner. 

 

It switched between mics almost seamlessly and the back grounds remained smooth. I like the way which mic is open is displayed. Not saying it is perfect, but it is a damn site better and quicker than I could possibly be on a non scripted situation. Look forward to using it again and adjusting some of the settings. Sometimes clothing rustle of a non speaking subject would be louder than the Mic open threshold and make it into the mix. Alas I had one subject with an all synthetic wardrobe who would constantly nervously played with her clothes. A combination of fading her out when not contributing and AutoMix really helped. I know at the end of a three hour interview I handed in something the editors will be happy with.

 

I had my setting at:

 

Post Fade

Mic on Thresh  -30

Attack                2ms

Decay              80ms

Noise reduction -3dB

Attenuation       -30

 

I have limited experience with auto mixers, but next time I use AutoMix on the Nomad I will change the Mic on threshold to -25db. Other settings I need to play around with.

 

Honestly, AutoMix wasn't that high on my priority list and I don't know how often I will use it, but it is a tool I sure am glad to have and look forward to refining.  

 

Ok must get ready for work now. Alas no call for Automix today.

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I love the fact that Zaxcom is providing user-adjustable settings for the automix settings! I'd sure like to see Sound Devices do this with the 788...

 

 

Here is the reposting of my post from the Nomad thread. 

 

OK used autoMix today. I was impressed. Certainly made my job much easier. It was one of those four people around the table with a host asking questions all in a conversational manner. It switched between mics almost seamlessly and the back grounds remained smooth. 

 

One thing I've done to "cheat" is to keep the host's mic up 100% of the time, and let Automix just switch the participants. I've used both the Shure 810 and the SD 788, and they usually keep up amazingly well, even if people step on their own words and so on. The trick is when you have people with lavs and you run into the danger of crosstalk from people sitting too close to each other, and that requires a lot of user intervention. 

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automix settings! I'd sure like to see Sound Devices do this with the 788...

Well, in my experience, the 788's automix default setting are pretty good. I do not wish to change them.

 

It is like the limiter's setting : I only use two of them one for low budget (hard knee) a one for better budget movies, with much time for post (soft knee). I do not need more than that.

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I had a few moments to try it out today while an interview was set and lit (quite slowly!)

Really nice feature so far!

One thing I am not sure I am doing right. When set to Post Fade, it behaves as I would suspect an auto mixer to work. Fading down the pot all the way mutes that channel. 12 O'clock brings it up to unity. These fader adjustments are taken into account when the auto mixer determines if a channel has crossed the threshold. All makes sense to me so far.

However, when I set it to Pre Fade, even with the faders down the auto mixed signal is still present. Fading up a particular pot puts the unaffected signal back into the mix, along with the automixed signal of that track. So if a channel is active, putting that fader at 12 oclock essentially just doubles the signal. I thought the pre and post fade option simply referred to where the auto mixer was receiving its signal. Sort of like a Inserting a physical box or plugin In the signal flow. Shouldn't the pot still have full control over the final output of the channel? I guess I am thinking of it like inserting a Dugan Automixer on a console. If it is inserted pre fader (meaning the fader has no effect on when a signal crosses a threshold) the fader still has the ability to fade that gated or ungated signal from 0 to max.

I double checked that nothing else was routed to Out 1 and that my monitor selection was only output 1 to be sure I wasn't listening to anything else.

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Yes it is.

Auto-mix is routed to output bus 1.

You can then assign output bus 1 to any one of the card tracks, tape out, IFB out, mono out, HP1 and Hp2 out.

Kind of wish it could go to either one or two.  I was looking to keep my host on out one, and automix the other three people to channel two.  We've had the host separate on channel one for four years so I don't think the editor would be happy if I switched it up now.

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Kind of wish it could go to either one or two.  I was looking to keep my host on out one, and automix the other three people to channel two.  We've had the host separate on channel one for four years so I don't think the editor would be happy if I switched it up now.

...could you just reverse the cabling?

Or just route output 1 to track 2 if recording internally...

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The noise reduction attenuates the background audio/noise when no speaker is talking.

So for example if you had an air conditioner on in the room when no one is talking the sound of that air conditioner is attenuated by the amount you selected in the noise reduction menu, if turned on.

I played around with this setting and even though the setting goes down to -10dB I generally found that -3 was often a good amount of attenuation. So far my thoughts regarding noise reduction is a little goes a long way.

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