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Home | Products | MAX | RecordistMAX | Overview

Monitor And Align Multiple Audio Sources RecordistMAX
Recorder Monitor System
RecordistMAX 2u master and slave
Learn the benefits and features from the text version below or download a PDF identical to our glossy printed version with additional graphics and block diagram.
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Monitor And Align Multiple Audio Sources

Powerful Monitoring And Alignment Controls For The Machine Room
RecordistMAX is the elegant, off-the-shelf alternative to a costly in-house machine room monitoring controller. RecordistMAX is a versatile multi-input monitor matrix that provides programmable headphone, loudspeaker and VU meter monitoring of recorder inputs, sync outputs and repro outputs of multiple 8-channel audio sources. Controls up to 16 machines or 128 tracks.

RecordistMAX Description
RecordistMAX is a versatile multi-input monitor matrix that provides programmable headphone, loudspeaker and VU meter monitoring of recorder inputs, sync outputs and repro outputs of multiple 8-channel audio sources. The monitoring paths provide Left/Center/Right placement of each track, separate volume, mute and dim controls for headphone and speaker; and single track solo. The metering path consists of 8 meter buses with auxiliary balanced output drivers on each bus. This path permits metering of one recorder at a time or the summed outputs of several recorders/stems. A Tone Injection option provides a versatile programmable sine wave oscillator and pink noise source that can be routed to the recorder inputs via hard relay contacts.
RecordistMAX consists of a 2U primary control panel for 4 eight-track recorders with master functions for monitoring/metering, mode selection and tone injection. Up to 3 additional 2U expander panels can be used, each adding up to 4 additional recorders. All panels communicate via serial lines, permitting distributed placement and/or multiple paralleled panels for control from the studio, machine room and projection booth.
The serial control protocol also permits the use of a roving control panel in the machine room so that the technician can have complete oscillator and monitor control at his fingertips while he is tweaking recorder adjustments.
The versatility of the monitoring and metering paths permit a broad range of applications for the product including recordist's monitor panels, change-over switching, QC monitoring of multiple audio formats (DTS, SR*D, SDDS, etc.) master and distribution prints, and track combining for copies and transfers.

Functional Description
The following description of the operation of the system is explained below by starting with the display, then working backward through the system from outputs to inputs.
A 4-digit alphanumeric display provides status and level indications for several system parameters. The DISPLAY button to the upper right controls the current mode of the display. The selected mode is indicated by the LEDs above and to the right of the display. Pressing the DISPLAY button steps through these modes:
Oscillator Frequency
Oscillator Level (in dBu)
Speaker monitor level
Headphone monitor level
Oscillator frequency and level are for units equipped with the Tone Option. The OSC LED indicates that the display value is the oscillator level in dBu, if not lit the display shows the frequency of the tone. The lower right hand 'kHz' LED indicates that frequency displayed has more than 3 digits.

Monitoring Outputs:
The stereo pair can be driven by any combination of the 96 inputs feeding each switcher box. The selection software allows switching three exclusive banks (Direct/Sync/Play) of eight inputs for the four recorders. Selecting both Left and Right provides a phantom Center feed, but no level compensation for center channel buildup is provided.
This stereo pair is fed to three stereo outputs:
A Speaker output with level control, mute and dim driven by a line driver.
A Headphone output with level control, mute and dim driven by a headphone amplifier.
A test instrument port, tapped off prior to the level controls, for external test instruments.
The level controls on the Speaker and Headphone outputs are implemented using rotary pulse generators (RPGs) and MDAC volume controls. The display indicates the relative gain of the speaker and headphone monitoring channels. Turning either RPG causes the display to indicate the relative gain of that output over the range of -20 dB to +24 dB.
MUTE/DIM buttons on both the Speaker and Headphone outputs sequence through Normal, Mute and Dim. The MUTE mode is indicated by constant illumination of the Mute/Dim LED and the word "MUTE" on the display, indicating maximum attenuation.
Pressing the MUTE button again causes the Mute/Dim LED to blink, while the display shows the Dim level in dB and a downward pointed arrow. The Dim level can be preset by sequencing the desired MUTE/DIM button to the Dim mode and turning the associated level control to the desired Dim level. The Dim range is -20 dB to +24 dB.

Metering outputs:
Eight meter feeds for driving VU meters
Eight optional auxiliary balanced line outputs for driving external monitoring or recording buses in change-over or transfer/copy applications.
Each of the eight meter buses receives a summed signal from any combination of the like-numbered inputs from the recorders. Thus, Meter #1 can be fed by any combination of track #1 outputs from the recorders. (The system does not provide cross routing capability to send a signal from a track #N to any meter other than meter #N.)

The monitoring and metering routings for each track are assigned by a 32-button matrix. Each button has 2 LEDs to indicate the L/C/R placement of each track. An additional column of 4 mode buttons (STORE, RECALL, PLACE, SOLO) enable several different functions using the 32-button array.
When no mode buttons are depressed, the matrix shows which channels are selected. If a channel is OFF, no LEDs are lit; if the channel is ON, the LEDs will indicate routing to the Left, Right, or both monitoring channels.
Pressing the PLACE button (latching), the 32 buttons permit changes to the LCR routing, and the LEDs indicate LCR placement. Pressing the button of a given track will advance through the sequence of R/L/C. A second press of the PLACE button exits the assignment mode.
The 4 METER buttons normally toggle on/off when pressing the button momentarily. To display the meter matrix, press and hold any of the 4 METER buttons (the display will read 'Mtr'). While a button is held the 32 LEDs will display the meter matrix, and the meter on/off assignment can be changed by pressing the desired button. Thus, the meter matrix can be examined without changing the operating mode.

While the SOLO button is selected, the 32-button matrix will respond as a momentary SOLO actuation on the selected tracks, permitting any combination of tracks to be soloed. This permits rapid scanning of the 32-button matrix. If the SOLO button is pressed and released before a matrix button is depressed the SOLO function becomes latching, to facilitate extended troubleshooting of one or a few troublesome tracks. The first press of a matrix button will lock the respective track into SOLO; the next press will release the SOLO. The second press of the SOLO mode button will clear all SOLO states and return the monitor array to the previous state.

To store a snapshot of the monitor array, press the STORE button, then the desired snapshot using the 32-button matrix. A snapshot refers to the state of SOURCE, METER, SPKR (including L/C/R placement) and REV MUTE enable/disable. There are 32 available snapshots of the monitor array (which includes up to 3 expander panels, if used). In addition, the STORE button can be used to store oscillator frequencies and levels (discussed in the TONE option section). To recall snapshots, press the RECALL button, then the desired snapshot. Note that the snaphots will be saved even if power is lost.

The switches in the columns labeled SPKRS and METERS enable the monitoring of the individual 8-track recorders through the monitor and meter matrices, respectively. Any combination of (up to 16) recorders can be active.
The switches in the column labeled SOURCE are global, affecting the primary control panel and the expander panels. DIRECT, SYNC and PLAY select the DIRECT input signal to the recorder, the SYNC signal (from the sync head) or the PLAY signal (from the reproduce head). The REV MUTE switch enables muting during rollback.

The switches in the column labeled TONE enable the injection of test signals directly into the inputs of the respective recorders. The TONE switching uses relay contacts to disconnect the record buses and inject the test signals.
The test signals include:
An internal programmable sinewave oscillator
An internal pink noise source
Provisions for injecting an external balanced oscillator
The programmable sinewave oscillator has digitally controlled frequencies and levels. Three oscillator preset buttons, HIGH, MID and LOW, store and recall three operator-selected frequencies and levels. These three buttons and the PINK button are a latching interlocked group.

The sinewave frequencies include the ISO preferred frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, including 20, 25, 31.5, 40, 50, 63, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200 etc. The oscillator level range is from –20 to +24 dBu in 1dB steps, with .2 dB high resolution steps in the range from +2 dBu to +6 dBu. A separate tone buffer amplifier for each recorder provides a low-impedance source capable of driving 8 balanced inputs of 10 K per input (1200 total).

The PINK noise oscillator utilizes a digitally generated white noise source and an analog pinking filter. Note that due to the high crest factor of pink noise, the oscillator's output amplifier may clip some of the peaks at high output levels. Pressing any of these buttons (HIGH, MID, LOW, PINK) that is already ON will toggle the oscillator function to EXTERNAL. The display will read 'EXT'. The external oscillator is buffered and routed through the TONE level controls and buffer amplifiers.

The three tone frequencies and their levels, and also the level of the external oscillator and the pink noise are all retained while switching between them. This facilitates setting tone at +4 and pink noise at -10 dBu. To save these settings press STORE, then either HIGH, MID or LOW. To recall these settings press RECALL, then either HIGH, MID or LOW. Note that there is one snapshot for these; so that HIGH, MID and LOW may be considered to be one and the same button while using STORE or RECALL.

Note: the leftmost column of PANEL buttons provide for a future enhancement that will allow any panel to assume control of another bank of recorders. The buttons are currently inactive, with the MASTER LED illuminated on the Master panel, and the EXPANDER 1 LED illuminated on the Expansion panel.

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