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Moving Fader Automation?
Old 27th January 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Moving Fader Automation?

Alright guys, maybe I feel like an ARSS after this, but I've been having this thought in my head and need someone to tell me why it won't work.

Stay with me on this and tell me if Im just stupid. I've been looking for hours on the net about this and I can find nothing really.

What to keep in mind.

1. Control Surface: With this you can control your DAW and have moving fader automation. When you move the fader, it moves on the screen and you can write this to memory. When you open the project, the faders and all other saved automation jumps up on your control surface. OOOOOOO... AHHHHH.... moving faders, it makes you get lost for some reason and its real kool... monkey like the stuff that move by itself...

2. Analog console: Sounds fantastic, real eq's.. all that jazz.. monkey like that sound, not like nothin move.

So here is the question, why can one not take a cheap control surface such as a Behringer BCF2000 and a few Penny & Giles mororized faders and wiring it up in my console so that when I turn down the fader on my analog console turning down the volume it also turns down the fader in my DAW at the same time via midi. Meaning that the output of my fader is changed at the same time the midi information is sent to my DAW. And when I recall in the DAW would it not move the fader to its last position on my mixer.

Can you guys see where I am goin with this. Adding moving fader automation to an Analog console with no automation mod.

Or even using a design such as this?

www.uCApps.de Click on Midibox lc.

Any reason why this couldn't work? Why anyone wouldn't want to do it? Is there already a mod like this. I can live without the pan automation and such but the fader automation would be way kickin for fade outs and well.. I guess I don't have to list the reasons why you would want this.

Thanks for any input.
Old 27th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
mobilemozart's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Really cool link - I am always surprised how big the DIY-community is out there!
And I agree, it would be really cool to use the faders of a real console to control the DAW-levels. Pretty much like in an SSL AWS900 or Duality, but hopefully for a fraction of the price. Would be a great thing for older SSL E-Series Consoles as well. Many people use these as a Protools Summing Mixer and it would certainly be cool to control the Protools Faders with the SSL.

More ideas, opinions? Who's a DIY-champion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kent ➑️
www.uCApps.de Click on Midibox lc.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
But you would not want the faders in ProTools to move simoultaneously as the faders on the console right? I mean, in that case you double the attenuation.

See this thread over at DIY/ Prodigy Pro:
DIY automation Ider
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
mobilemozart's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Ideally the faders would be switchable between controlliing the analogue console or the DAW. It's crazy that no company is doing something for that market.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilemozart ➑️
Ideally the faders would be switchable between controlliing the analogue console or the DAW. It's crazy that no company is doing something for that market.
Exactly my point!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Robert Randolph's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sounds like an SSL matrix gets pretty close to serving the function(s) you're after.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Tonelux Shadowmix

This has already been done by a few people but mainly Tonelux as far as I know. Check out shadowmix in google or just check out the tonelux site. You either use pre fader aux sends from your track in your DAW to output the audio or you can just make aux faders that only control the analog ones. The only thing that keeps this from being the greatest thing ever is the price. The faders in an analog console with moving fader automation have two sets of tracks. One for the audio and one for a positional reference for the motor's. At least that's the way I understand it, but I'm no tech by any means. You can't really use the faders that come in your control surface cause they only have one track and no audio path which is part of why they are so inexpensive. I don't know if it's possible to "upgrade" a control surface fader to one that also has an audio path so you basically end up needing to use the same type of faders used in the other moving fader automation systems. It's moving moving fader automation so it's still going to be a bit pricey. At least that's the conclusion I've come up with in my research on this subject. I think it's somewhere around 300-400 just for the fader, that starts to add up by the time you get to 24-32 tracks and then there's the whole bit of interfacing the motor on the fader with your DAW through HUI protocol or something like that. It'd be nice to be able to retrofit an analog console for not very much money but I think it ends up costing a bit in the end but if I had the cash to spare I'd get it done. Again, this is all just kind of what I've come up with on my search for DAW controlled analog moving fader automation, I could be wrong on more than one point. I've pondered this ever since the first time I saw a HUI and have been wishing for an inexpensive solution for years. I've had some crazy ideas for trying some sort of DIY system that I would hack together from an existing control surface but it all seems to point to being expensive. Paul at Tonelux has worked out a system so you get the highest resolution on the analog fader while keeping the volume reference the same in the analog and virtual fader until about -10 I think, below that the volume numbers will be different from each other to give the analog fader a better resolution. What would be pretty cool to see is something that had 8 faders automatable from your DAW with a transparent I/O path that you would patch into your existing setup like an insert after your outboard. It would also be cool if it were expandable. This seems to only make sense if it were less expensive, or if you wanted something you could take with you anywhere you worked.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
headwerkn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I've often thought about adding automated faders to a regular analog console (when I finally get one) using a modified MidiBoxLC system and something like Logic, sync'd up to the multitrack recorder to act as the "volume automation recorder and editor".

Main issue I can think of, other than the cost, is finding suitable "stereo" motorised faders - MidiBoxLC requires one resistive track in order to 'know' where it is, and the other is for the audio path - that ALSO is compatible with the MF module. At the current state of development, that excludes all P+G faders and ALPS faders with coreless motors. I'm also not sure if the Alps RSAON11M9 which is the basic 'affordable default' fader for LC projects comes in a dual-element unit (audio track and servo track). Certainly if it did you'd be in with a chance.

More info here...
MBHP MF Module

The only other thing I could think of would be to mount the motorfaders underneath/alongside the existing faders and connect them with some kind of bracket to drag the non-motor faders around. I'm guessing that's more force than the motorfaders would be expecting though.

Last edited by headwerkn; 11th March 2009 at 02:25 PM.. Reason: clarified things for the sake of, um, clarity.
Old 11th March 2009 | Show parent
  #9
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph ➑️
Sounds like an SSL matrix gets pretty close to serving the function(s) you're after.
Yup! With the DAW layer, as well as the Line Mixer layer, you can control volume automation on either side!! This thing is SICK!!!!
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
We have been making Flying Faders for decades, and we know how much time and work a development project like this takes. We use proprietary P&G faders and build all of our gear to last a long time, so a Flying Faders system costs a little bit more than other systems. We've always used dual-track faders and timecode for Flying Faders, making other types of data control possible with our existing hardware.

Yes, SSL, Neve, and Tonelux have already done this. Tonelux seems to be available as a retrofit for about $650/fader.

We are developing DAW control with the HUI protocol right now, and plan to have this available for Flying Faders II-upgraded consoles. There are many studios with Flying Faders-equipped consoles, and I don't think these consoles are going anywhere. Mixing engineers want to use the hybrid analog/DAW method.
Old 12th March 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
Sweep's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
why don't u just automate the digital audio ITB and when it plays out to the mixer the faders stay where you have them set?
Old 27th August 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Paul Wolff Designs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
DIY, Why? because...

There are several problems with the interface. I'll go through each one and tell you how I resolved them:

1 Moving the fader on the screen moves the fader in the DAW for level control.

This works well, but you have to come out of a PRE FADER output into the fader, as there will be double attenuation from moving both faders if you come out of the POST or DIRECT fader out. The only way out of Pro Tools is using a send and making it PRE, then snapping it to zero. You can also assign the first 32 faders as just faders and slide them off the screen.

2 Bank Shifting

Problem-This goes away, because once the audio is going though moving fader, you can't shift the faders, as the data from one fader will be controlling the audio of another...

Solution-You could have a bypass within the fader, or a trim pot that bypasses the audio so the fader was acting just like a controller, but then you would have to change the automation setups, so the static external trim fader would see the moving automaton level changes, then you would have to change it back when switching to the analog faders.


3 Tracking

Problem- Making sure the fader tracks the internal fader. Why is this important? because if you have a guitar coming out of a channel, and you use an internal send in post fade to send out to a delay, moving the outside fader will adjust the volume one way and the send to the effect will not track it. If you were using a summing setup, this would always be the problem.

Secondly, when trimming groups or drawing fader moves, or trimming a fader, the dB scale doesn't track, so when you move the fader down 10 dB on the screen, the actual level may be 6 or 15. If you don't care, then it will be fine, but any group moves will not always track and level errors within the group will occur.

Solution-You could use a lookup table in the controller's computer if you has access to the code, and alter the relationship so the fader analog track would jive with the internal fader levels of the DAW. BUT, I tried this and the main problem with it is that the HUI spec, which is the only one the outside world can use with Pro Tools, has only 512 steps from the top to the bottom of the fader. Depending on the fader's scale, you can as much as a 2 dB step between bits when the scale is stretched. I experienced this with the ALPs fader really bad and in several places, and not as much with the P&G, but enough to make it not worth it.

The only real solution is to have a custom fader made with a custom fader scale that matches the HUI scale. Tonelux did that with ShadowMix. We have a custom fader scale that tracks the HUI scale within .3 db. This solution works very well. Of course, having a custom taper made on a fader isn't cheap, either.

We are also selling them for about $625 per fader, which includes the midi controller, CPU and the faders/panels.
Old 25th November 2011
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
hi may someone helpme to configure the matrix to automate the analog faders with protools, if some one have step by step the way to doit

best regards!
Old 26th November 2011
  #14
Gear Guru
Back in the 1990's I designed outboard moving fader boxes for N.Y. Broadway shows. They would rent them out. They would interface between what ever and were used mostly in console inserts for automated scenes. They had balanced I/O's and came with a PC to program. It used Uptown systems and also had midi machine control as well.

The entire box was just about 2 1/2 feet long with 24 faders. Yes, it was expensive.
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