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Tom Duffy

TASCAM HS-P82 concert recording

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Recorded earlier this month, popular Japanese singer Yamazaki Masayoshi recorded his live concert using TASCAM gear for the 2nd year running.   Last year used 24 channels of UH-7000 and DA-3000 at 192kHz, this year he used 24 channels of HS-P82s for a more compact system.

The high resolution mix is available for purchase online in Japan.

Further pictures and Japanese info here:

http://www.e-onkyo.com/news/302/

 

600x400_recroom4.jpg

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The X-48 certainly finds itself at home in multitrack recording, but I think we see more go out as playback machines.   Projects created in protools can be dropped into the X-48 for playback on-stage.      It's rare that a project needs 48 channels of simultaneous audio, but the project is often edited like that (vocal take 1 track, vocal take 2 track, etc, then the unwanted bits are muted out).

We have high profile X-48 playback users in theme parks and for live theater and concert backing (with the vocal channels muted but ready to be unmuted if the artist fumbles the mic, forgets the words or the radio goes out).

I'm pretty excited that the DA-6400 we previewed at NAB will be the next upgrade for those users.

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da3000.jpgHere's the setup from last year:

The UH-7000's were custom modified to be 100% Analog path mic pres. (normally they do AD+DA)

The HS-8s were running backup at 96kHz. (3*8 channels each).

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Not really.  The HS-P82s are all getting shared Timecode and Word-clock, so each unit is punched into Record individually.   For 2 units, we've had customers make a Y cable on the PS/2 keyboard that saves some trouble, but set-ups like this have been rare enough that the originally planned for cascade (using embedded data over AES-3id) has never been implemented.

The DA-3000s do have a sample locked cascade protocol so that you only have to press record on the master, but they don't have Timecode.

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Wowzers, that's a lot of HS-P82's!

Mine has been treating me well as per usual... think I'm going on three years using it on my cart?  Love how it fits exactly on top of my VR Field and in my 10u rack with my Black Magic Monitors.  Recent on set pic...

hsp82.jpg

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On 5/28/2015 at 11:45 AM, Tom Duffy said:

Not really.  The HS-P82s are all getting shared Timecode and Word-clock, so each unit is punched into Record individually.   For 2 units, we've had customers make a Y cable on the PS/2 keyboard that saves some trouble, but set-ups like this have been rare enough that the originally planned for cascade (using embedded data over AES-3id) has never been implemented.

The DA-3000s do have a sample locked cascade protocol so that you only have to press record on the master, but they don't have Timecode.

Sorry to reply to an old thread, but some parts of this raise questions for me.

First, why TC sync along with WC sync?  I understand WC isn't frame-accurate, but TC is.  So - again - why both?

Second, I'm considering getting a second one, but the lack of cascading irritates me.  Still, if I can Y together two of them to a single keyboard, that would go a very long way.  I'm assuming the 5V line from one of the decks needs to be left off, since all we're doing is powering the keyboard with it.  The keyboard generates the clock signal, so the decks just listen for that and command pulses.  Ought to work just fine, but are there any comments about this?

Third, I wonder if two decks connected this way would take all commands, not just Rec, Play and Stop.  You know - create a new song and name it on both decks simultaneously.  If both decks are simply "hearing" commands from the keyboard, I'd think this would work.  Naming the individual tracks might drive a dual setup crazy, though.

Comments/ideas/laughter/scorn?

Many thanks!

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Why TC along with WC?  Because a TC connection between the machines only allows them to label their start frames with TC from the same generator, it does nothing to keep the recordings the machines make in sync with each other.  Trust me, I learned this the hard way.  In order to have a set of files from multiple digital recorders that will perfectly sync up with each other over concert-length takes the sample clocks of the recorders must be in dead sync, and the way this is done is to share word clock between the recorders.  In a dialog show (theatre) it can be relatively simple to slip sync the audio files back into sync with each other by ear (after a cut).  In ensemble music, esp multitrack/multimic type recordings, this is nearly impossible and can result in comb filtering and other audio crap happening when the tracks are mixed.   We need TC to give a unique identifier to each file and to give an exact start point in time (relative to other files recorded with the same TC at the same time on other machines), but once the recorders roll it is Word Clock that governs the exact sample rate they use to make their recordings, which will affect the playback speed that recording will have which in turn affects how well it does or does not sync with other recordings made at the same time.

Maybe Tom Duffy can give you the PS2 Y cable spec so you can roll your own?

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Yeah, I posed the WC/TC question to a friend of mine who's synced up devices plenty of times.  I had it wrong - WC is sample-accurate sync, but isn't recorded anywhere (as I understood him to say).  It locks the machines together at the sample level so there's absolutely zero drift between decks.  TC is embedded in one (or maybe all) of the .wav files for the video guys but won't sync the machines.  (Again, as I understood him.)  My initial confusion was from using TC to sync two Studer A800s for 48 tracks (well, 46 after sacrificing one track per deck for TC).  Just fine for analog, not so much for digital, it appears.

I have the pinout chart for the PS2 connections and can easily make a splitter, leaving off the +5VDC from one machine.  Again, all that's doing is powering the keyboard which generates clock and data to the receivers on the recorders.  I'd still love to hear from Tom to get his take on this.

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I have the pinout chart for the PS2 connections and can easily make a splitter, leaving off the +5VDC from one machine.  Again, all that's doing is powering the keyboard which generates clock and data to the receivers on the recorders.  I'd still love to hear from Tom to get his take on this.

The keyboard generates the clock and data? What kind of clock? Sounds like a strange keyboard...

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14 hours ago, katiedawg said:

Yeah, I posed the WC/TC question to a friend of mine who's synced up devices plenty of times.  I had it wrong - WC is sample-accurate sync, but isn't recorded anywhere (as I understood him to say).  It locks the machines together at the sample level so there's absolutely zero drift between decks.  TC is embedded in one (or maybe all) of the .wav files for the video guys but won't sync the machines.  (Again, as I understood him.)  My initial confusion was from using TC to sync two Studer A800s for 48 tracks (well, 46 after sacrificing one track per deck for TC).  Just fine for analog, not so much for digital, it appears.

I have the pinout chart for the PS2 connections and can easily make a splitter, leaving off the +5VDC from one machine.  Again, all that's doing is powering the keyboard which generates clock and data to the receivers on the recorders.  I'd still love to hear from Tom to get his take on this.

A lot of us who come from the analog reel-to-reel world have had confusion over the diffs in the role of TC in syncing analog machines vs digital equipment.   (As I said above, learned the hard way in my case.)  Those Studers or Nagras or etc tape decks were synced via LTC written to an audio track and compared by a synchronizer (like Adams Smith, Shadow or Nagra's own etc) that controlled the motor currents of the decks.  In digital the only thing that matters re running speed is the sample clock--the TC is arbitrary and just a positional reference.  

I hope the 2 keyboard thing works for you, I had no luck with this with SD machines.  The statement "which generates...." wasn't clear to me...the clock and TC ports of recorders are not on the keyboard connectors, right?

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Yeah, the keyboard generates the serial communication clock to the host (not to be confused with WC), but the host is in control of the data transfer between the two devices, and the host can halt data from being sent from the keyboard by pulling the keyboard's clock line to a logic low.  When the host is letting the keyboard "talk," there are bursts of 11-bit frames that are sent from the keyboard with data that tells the host what key has been pressed.

I'm thinking one PS/2 keyboard split between two HS-P82s ought to work, since the decks are just "listening" on their serial port data lines - they're not sending anything back as I understand it.  Syncing the decks with WC for sample-accurate sync would be a separate issue from the serial clock generated by the keyboard for serial comm, if that makes sense.

What all of this would buy me (well, anyone who wants the desired but not-delivered cascade function) is the ability to use the Function keys on the keyboard to simultaneously run the transports on both decks with the keyboard being the transport control.

I have an Alesis HD24XR that Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades modded - the analog I/O board was basically completely rebuilt and the ADC/DAC chips were changed out to top of the line units.  It wasn't cheap, but the difference is night and day.  But there's no headphone amp on the Alesis, so I have to have a single rack unit mixer on the outputs for the phones.  I also have a pair of DAV Electronics BG-8 preamps which takes the rack count up to six units.  It's a fabulous sounding rig, but it's bulky and HEAVY.  I have a Sound Devices 722 for the two-channel gigs, but nothing in between, so I picked up a used HS-P82.  I'm stunned at the quality of the sound.  Even my Royer SF-12 stereo ribbon mic had *plenty* of dead-quiet gain.  The sound is smooth as silk.  (Schoeps/DPA/Neumann are the other mics I carry.)

So, I'm sold on replacing the big rig with a pair of Tascams if I can just get the transports tied together.  That's what this is all about.

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The clock + TC thing should work fine--I've done this with SD, JoeCo and various computer interfaces.  The main hassles are file naming and monitoring, which it sounds like you already have going.   I'll be interested to hear how the 1 keys for 2 decks thing works out.  BG-8s are on my wish list.  I have a 6 space rack rig for a JoeCo and various pres or mixers depending on the job, that is, yes, heavy, but not nearly the deal bring out our console is.  For the lighter weight stuff I've done a lot of work with an SD 664 w/ CL6 (12+2 mixes) plus 1 rack o' pres, perhaps with a 744 etc on the link i/o port for 16 channels in a pretty light fast setup.  Several live albums have been done with this rig now.  Will you use the fader surface Tascam makes for the HSP82?  I thought that seemed very well done.

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Yes, the fader board is very nice, but I can't justify the price.  That's money that can go toward the second deck.

My work is "studio on location" stuff - choral, orchestral, pipe organ and chamber groups in their own halls, so I set levels as they warm up and go through some pre-arranged fortissimo sections.  Once that's done, the gains don't get touched.  We run our takes, then the do-overs to drop in when we post and that's it.  The only regular actual live stuff I do is European tours with choirs as they take over for the resident choirs for a week.  That's church services, and the Brits are a quiet group by nature.  Very little coughing and other racket takes place in a British cathedral during the service!  The Sound Devices 722 running on batteries and a pair of the Schoeps mics is a stunning combo for this.

YES - get yourself a BG8.  That entire BG series is by far the most bang for the buck preamp you can buy - you won't regret spending the money.  FWIW, I also have a Buzz Audio A-Rack (s/n 1, too) that's the best thing I've ever heard.  Think Millennia clean, but somehow with just a bit of Neve thunder that doesn't get in the way of the ultra-clean.  It doesn't sound sterile while it stays clean.  But it's three rack units with all Class-A electronics, so it gets hot.  You need a four unit rack case with a vent spacer in the top slot to deal with the heat it makes.  Still, it's jaw-droppingly incredible sound.

http://www.buzzaudio.com/products/arack.htm

Now that thing is *really* a pain to pack around, which is why I stepped down to the BG8 strips.  I haven't dragged out the Buzz in a couple of years now.

I'd love to hear comments from Tom on any/all of this with regard to running two decks tied to a single keyboard to use as the transport control.  Of course, I'll WC them together.  I only need TC if I need to jam-sync to the video guys, which is almost never.

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Hehe, that stack of Tascams looks wild. I used a Joeco, Yamaha digi desk and 3 Audient preamps to do much the same thing when I needed 24 channels of concert recording. Took about the same space but I think much less things to go wrong, with not needing to start multiple recorders or name a bunch of files.

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When I do MT recording it's often a multicam video shoot as well, so I have to make a decent mix as we go.  That's when having the console is great.  I totally hate it (vs the rack or my 664) during prep, load in, set up and wrap and love it during the show.

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On 7/2/2016 at 7:57 AM, katiedawg said:

Second, I'm considering getting a second one, but the lack of cascading irritates me.  Still, if I can Y together two of them to a single keyboard, that would go a very long way.  I'm assuming the 5V line from one of the decks needs to be left off, since all we're doing is powering the keyboard with it.  The keyboard generates the clock signal, so the decks just listen for that and command pulses.  Ought to work just fine, but are there any comments about this?

Third, I wonder if two decks connected this way would take all commands, not just Rec, Play and Stop.  You know - create a new song and name it on both decks simultaneously.  If both decks are simply "hearing" commands from the keyboard, I'd think this would work.  Naming the individual tracks might drive a dual setup crazy, though.

I only have an anecdotal report that a Y cable works for controlling two units from one PS/2 keyboard, but for simple F-key usage, I would expect it to work fine. The PS/2 5V line is derived from a dedicated regulator, so tying 2 units together via that shouldn't be detrimental either, though separating them would be safer, so the keyboard is powered from only one.

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I believe I'll try it, but I'll clip one of the +5 pins just to be on the safe side.  Man, just controlling the transports as if they were internally ganged would be great.

Any comments about the article below?  I called Tascam support and they played dumb:

http://filmtvsound.com/index.php/112-news/413-hs-p82-still-being-supported

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We consulted with Fred Ginsburg a number of times to define a list of things to fix or add in the HS-P82, and it is on our roadmap, but that's all I can say right now.

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Considering what's already there, I'm very happy with it for my purposes.  Again, it filled a giant hole between the 2-channel Sound Devices and the 24-track big rig.  I'm really impressed with the quality of the audio without needing to use esoteric outboard gear, too.  Having enough clean, ultra-quiet gain to use my Royer stereo ribbon mic without the Cloudlifter preamp is something, indeed.  It's a perfect match on impedance - that mic sounds fabulous through the HS-P82.  I also have to engage the pads for the Schoeps and DPA mics or I'm way down at around 9:00 on the pots.

Quite a machine - I wish I'd discovered this earlier.  I can now fly to gigs with my fragile and expensive gear with me inside the plane instead of having to drive it in the SUV for hours.  The stands?  They're aluminum light stands - I just ship 'em ahead of time along with the cables.

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59 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

Post us a pic of your setup with 2 Tascams etc..

I'll need to buy the second one first!  Then I need to get the keyboard to run both transports, but I believe I can do it.

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You know, I was thinking about how neat it will be to have a pair of these running from the same PS/2 keyboard (as we've been kicking around above), then this thought struck me:

With all those decks from the original post in this thread being started and stopped at different times, how are they imported into a DAW and able to be in sync with tracks from another deck that was started a few seconds before/after?  Sure, if you manage to get them perfectly aligned in time, they'll be (and stay) in perfect sync thanks to the WC sync during the recording.  But - how is it that they are aligned "horizontally," if you will, in post - along the time axis in the DAW?  Were the recorders all started well before the concert, and then did a stage hand go out there and use the clapper on a TC slate to get a single audio point-of-reference for DAW time-alignment later, or is this somehow done more elegantly?  I've never ganged decks together, as I've always had everything in one system (DA78-HR way back when, then the Alesis HD24XR).  All the separate audio tracks were in perfect sync in the DAW because the recording was done on just one recorder.  They couldn't be out of sync with each other, unless I accidentally moved one in the DAW.

Hope that one made sense...

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