SSL DAW Control Setup0
RESTORING DAW 2 ON THE SSL
We’ve already explained how to change the SSL to the DAW 2 setting, allowing it to control Logic, Nuendo or Ableton Live. However, you might on occasion navigate to SSL>DAW and find that DAW 1 is the only option available. If the SSL’s MIDI control is set to connect via its MIDI ports, you will only be able to use its HUI capabilities with Pro Tools. If the SSL connects via the network, it can be used as a Pro Tools controller (DAW 1), and also control other software via the DAW 2 option. Here’s what you need to do to restore DAW 2 and access the SSL’s HUI capabilities for your chosen software.
The SSL screen has two rows of blocks at the bottom, which correspond to the two rows of grey buttons below the four pots. Select SSL>Misc>Setup.
Scroll through the Setup menu using the left-hand pot, until you get to MIDI connects via. To edit this setting, push down the left-hand pot, which will then let you scroll through the parameters.
Set MIDI connects via to Network and then push down on the pot to come back to the previous layer of the menu. The desk needs a reboot to complete the process.
Hold down the Restart button (second from the right, just below the row of pots) and a Confirm option will appear for the right hand button. Keep Restart held down and hit Confirm.
The desk will restart and bring you back to the main menu. If you navigate to SSL>DAW you will see a DAW 2 option.
DIRECTING DAW 2 TO YOUR CHOSEN SOFTWARE
Head back to the setup menu by selecting SSL>Misc>Setup. Now scroll down until you see DAW 1 and DAW 2. DAW 1 should be set to Pro Tools. Select DAW 2 as before by clicking the left hand pot to select it, and then navigate to the DAW you want to use. In this case, I’m using Logic.
Now when you navigate to SSL>DAW on the menu, you will see the DAW 2 option. The SSL will show up as a Mackie Control Surface within your DAW. Make sure you have this selected as your MIDI controller.
Please remember to reset the desk to DAW 1 after your session. Have fun!
Default AES Loom Configuration0
There’s a second AES loom patched into the digital patchbay now, which should make routing through the Myteks to the Lynx card a lot easier. Here’s the default configuration – please reset this at the end of your session!
- Loom 1: Mytek ‘A’ AES outs 1-8 patched to Lynx ‘A’ AES inputs 1-8 & Middle Blue Mytek ‘B’ AES outs 1-8 patched to Lynx ‘B’ AES inputs 1-8 [Mytek outputs to Lynx Inputs]
- Loom 2: Lynx ‘A’ AES outputs 1-8 patched to Mytek ‘A’ AES inputs 1-8 & Lynx ‘B’ AES outputs 1-8 patched to Mytek ‘B’ AES inputs 1-8 [Lynx outputs to Mytek Inputs]
Setting Up the Digital Patchbay for Recording0
This is a quick guide to setting up the Reid Studio digital patchbay for recording into your chosen DAW.
In this setup, the blue Myteks receive clock from the Lynx card. To do this, open up the Lynx settings on the desktop.
Ensure the clock source on the left hand side is set to ‘internal’ and choose your sample rate. Once you change a setting, the card will recalibrate. When it displays ‘locked’ highlighted green, it has been set.
The blue Myteks are normalled to the direct outputs of the SSL. We just need to ensure that they are patched into the Lynx, and that the Lynx can send clock back to the Myteks. Your digital patchbay should look like this –
– Top blue Mytek outputs 1-8 are patched to Lynx ‘A’ AES inputs 1-8
– Middle blue Mytek outputs 1-8 are patched to Lynx ‘B’ AES inputs 1-8
– Lynx ‘A’ AES output 1 is patched to the top blue Mytek input 1 (sending clock and audio output 1-2 from your DAW)
– Lynx ‘B’ AES output 1 is patched to the middle blue Mytek input 1 (sending clock)
Here’s the settings for the blue Myteks –
– Both should be set to EXT clock sources AES/EBU to receive clock from the Lynx card.
– ADC source to digital out should be set to Analog.
– DAC source to analog out should be set to AES.
Now we are routing our analog audio channels 1-16 from the SSL desk into the Myteks, and then from there into the Lynx card.
Within your chosen DAW (I’m using Logic in this case), set your audio device to AES16e-SRC, which is the Lynx card.
You should now have audio recording into your DAW without any problems. If not, troubleshoot using these steps again!
To listen back to your stereo recording, you just need to route the Mytek output 1-2 back into the SSL desk. Remember, the Lynx card is already sending these channels back to the top Mytek via its first AES output, which sends the audio as well as clock. There’s just one more routing step to be done, but this time on the analog patchbay.
Route DAW outputs 1-2 to a pair of desk line inputs. It’s useful to use channel 23-24 on the SSL to separate your audio inputs from your DAW playback. Remember to flip the SSL channel inputs to ‘line’ too.
And now you’re ready to go. Have fun!
Using the cranesong as an analogue limiter to avoid clipping the Mytek AD convertors0
When recording a mix, some of you may have been having problems with clipping when moving from the analogue into the digital domain, i.e. when mixing on the SSL or processing with the analogue outboard before going back into the computer via the Mytek AD convertors. Of course you could just drop the gain slider on the desk, amongst other things, but if you’re looking to do analogue mastering, you may want to use the Cranesong–which has extremely fast attack times–to peak limit and avoid clipping the convertors. In order to do this you’ll need to make sure the Cranesong is set up and calibrated properly. During a mastering session yesterday, Martin, Lauren, and I proceeded as follows
- Using the audiotester app (located on the Mac desktop at present but this may move to the app directory at some point), set up a one second noise burst. This needs to be attacks rather than a constant tone because we’re looking to limit peaks. We actually had to set this software’s output at +5db (not its default -20db), in order to get enough gain from the app to the DAC (i.e. to output just below digital full scale).
- On the patchbay, we routed through the Cranesong as a mix insert on the AWS900. This means that you can then enable and disable the Cransong via the main stereo busses on the bottom right of the mixer. You could also set up an external insert in your DAW if you prefer.
- We set the Cranesong so that we’re not using a preset and can therefore set the attack and threshold etc. manually. To do this, set the preset knob to the V at the bottom (see image below).
- Then set the attack and release to 10 and threshold to 0 so that the compressor isn’t working at all. This way we’re only using the Cranesong as a peak limiter, but of course you could use the compressor circuitry too.
- Make sure stereo link is enabled and adjust the gain. Bear in mind that even in stereo link mode the two gain pots work independently so that you can adjust the stereo image.
- Then it is a matter of setting the peak threshold to the right level so that it is not clipping the Mytek ADC (when you look at the ADC meters on the Mytek). On the Cransesong this is set to 19db. We’ve marked this on the Cranesong for reference.
- Set the meters to GR (Gain Reduction). You should be able to see the amount of gain reduction that you’re getting from the PEAK limiter. A rule of thumb is perhaps not to exceed 2db or so.
DVDs and Surround Sound in the Reid Studio0
A guide to watching DVDs and referencing in the Reid Studio, in 5.1 or stereo.
The Reid studio has a HDD Dvd player resident at the bottom of the analog patchbay. This can be used for playing DVDs. The audio feeds to the desk via the patchbay, and the video feed to the center monitor above the desk. The HDD sends out audio in I.T.U standard format, but the desk uses Film standard (L – C – R – LS – LR – LFE, as stated on the SSL AWS monitoring panel). We’ve changed this via the patchbay, so the audio from the DVD is normalled to the way the desk wants to work and monitor, so Left will be Left etc. This means that as soon as you pop a DVD in to the player, and have selected the correct input source on the desk, you should get audio to the right places by default. If you want to change this and work in I.T.U format or any other, is it easy to re-patch the audio via the patchbay to which ever output you like.
Insert your DVD:
Wait a while…
Switch the screen to S-Video (at the moment you need to do this by hand, on the underside of the monitor, using the INPUT control). You should get your DVD menu:
If you want to listen in 5.1, go to the desk and select EXT A, and then DVD:
If you want to listen in Stereo only, go to EXT B, and select DVD
Earlier I mentioned that the audio from the DVD is routed via the patchbay. This option is also interesting when you use patchcables to break the connections of certain channels. By doing this, you can cause a channel of the 5.1 audio to ‘drop out’. Try this whilst watching a film in 5.1 to see how much work the sub or center channel is doing; for instance you can suddenly see how much work the center channel does in handling dialogue, and suddenly the rest of the mix becomes clearer, enabling you to hear the hard work of the sound designers/mixers!
You can re-patch via the patchbay section labelled ‘6 Track Reply ‘A’ ‘ – patch from the top layer of connections (the outputs) back to the inputs (labelled red – External A 6track 1’).
But inserting a patchcable, this breaks the connection, effectively ‘muting’ channel 2 in the picture above.
DAW Control on the SSL Desk for Logic and Ableton Live1
SSL desk is designed to act as a control surface for Pro tools, as well as analog mixing desk. Clever beast.
However, you can also use it to act as a controller for Logic and Ableton Live, courtesy of the Mackie Control Protocol.
You can switch between which DAW the desk interacts with via the Center LCD Screen.
Choose the SSL dialog (using the top right button of the first long panel of grey buttons)
Select DAW (one left from the button you just pressed)
Select DAW 2
Switch from desk to DAW mode
You should now see DAW channel names in the desk, the faders will control channels in your DAW, you can use the start and stop buttons and much more!!!!
NB Please see the SSL Manual section 5.1 for a full account of DAW control, including details of how to use it with Pro Tools.
To use the desk ‘as a normal desk’ again, hit the DAW mode button (green) again.
NB Please switch the desk back to DAW 1 at the end of your session.
Mixing in 24 Channels in the Reid Studio0
This method of working uses the LynxTC Aggregate Device (which is a combination of two audio interfaces; the TC Konnekt 32 and the Lynx Interface). This is a 32 channel I/O device. Channels 1-16 are the TC, Channels 17-32 are the Lynx, but they function as one device.
This will not work in Pro Tools (for now), as of October 2012 Pro Tools 10 is not installed in the Reid and this setup will not work. It will work with other DAW’s, like Logic, Nuendo, and Ableton.
Follow these instructions and you will be able to get a full 24 channels from digital world into the SSL desk. Note that this does not restrict you to 24 tracks in your DAW. You can have as many tracks as you like here, then group them out of pairs of channels and send them out to the desk (e.g. 8 tracks of processed laptop sent out of 1\2, 4 tracks of guitars on 3\4 and 7 tracks of drums on 5\6).
1 – Turn on all the equipment in the digital bay (except the TC6000, which cannot be used in this setup)
2 – Load the TC Near Control Panel (from the dock)
3 – Ensure the TC Konnekt has 1-8 selected on its Firewire Matrix on the front of the device, and that the matrix is setup as follows:
4 – Patch via AES Top Blue Mytek Outputs 1\2 to TC Konnekt AES Inputs 1\2
5 – On the TC Near Control Panel, (the application on the Mac), select Sync Source as AES\SPIF\TOS 1+2, and set the sample rate to the sample rate on the Top Mytek, and ensure the device has an external lock. If it does, should look like this:
6 – The TC Konnekt should now be clocked to the Top Mytek (the studio’s master clock). Whenever you want to change the Sample Rate you are working at, change it first on the Top Mytek, then on the other two Myteks, and then check the TC Near Control Panel to ensure correct clocking to the LynxTC aggregate device. All the Myteks and the TC Konnekt should all be running at the same sample rate and be clocked.
7 – Patch TC Konnekt AES Outputs 1 – 8 to Top Blue Mytek Inputs 1 – 8 on the digital bay, using Green AES cables:
These will be your FIRST 8 Channels OUT from your DAW (Logic, Nuendo, Ableton)
8 – Patch Lynx ‘A’ AES Outputs 1 – 8 to Middle Blue Mytek Inputs 1 – 8 and Lynx ‘B’ Outputs 1 – 8 to Bottom Grey Mytek Inputs 1 – 8:
NB – PLEASE NOTE – These next 16 outputs will be outputs 17 – 32 from your DAW. This is because the LynxTC is a 32 Channel device, made of two 16 channel devices. However, channels 9 -16 cannot be used via AES, so you’ll need to skip these channels in your DAW, as you won’t be able to hear the output!!! Use 17 -32 instead of 9-16!
9 – Patch Grey Mytek Analog Outputs 1 – 8 on the Analog Patchbay (on the left of the desk) to Desk Line Inputs 17 -24.
Now everything should be connected.
10 – Load your DAW of choice (Logic, Nuendo or Ableton).
11 – Select LynxTC as your input/audio device
12 – Setup your DAW’s Outputs:
Set Channels 1 – 8 to output as normal, out of channels 1 – 8
Set Channels 9 – 16 to output from Channels 17 – 24 (this will come in on Channels 9 -16 on the desk)
Set Channels 17 – 24 to output from Channels 25 -32 (this will come in on Channels 17 – 24 on the desk)
Although you will need to do a bit of adventuring in setting up the outputs from the DAW, when you have done this your audio will come into the desk on channels 1 – 24, and should work fully and easily.
You are ready to go, have fun!!!!!
Sub on stereo and surround mixes0
Kev and I have just been doing a sanity check, testing the presence of the sub when mixing. When monitoring stereo via the rec or mix buss, or surround via EXTA, we can confrm that turning on bass management splits the signal at 80Hz and feeds the satellites with everything above, and the sub with everything below. When bass management is off, the full frequency range goes to the satellites and nothing goes to the sub, in both stereo and surround modes.
So, the only way to have the sub in your monitoring is to turn on bass management by selecting the MONITOR OPTIONS button followed by BASS then BMN.
Reid Stage Plan Scaled0
Links to PDFs of studio gear manuals:
AWS Master Section
Radial 8-channel mic splitter
TC System 6000
We have the MKI–couldn’t find that manual online–but there shouldn’t be too much discrepancy:
MKII operation manual
TC Konnekt 32
tc electronic Konnekt32
Manley Massive Passive EQ
Mytek AD/DA Convertors
Mytek 8×192 ADDA
Mytek Protools HD DIOCard