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Thread: Using a VS4000, a TC800 AE2, and an external mixer - how we did it

  1. #1
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    Using a VS4000, a TC800 AE2, and an external mixer - how we did it

    Due to the nature of our productions here at the American Cancer Society, we couldn't use the TC to run the audio internally. There's just too many spinning plates in our shows, and we must have a dedicated audio operator running an offboard console. We tried using an Avid Artist Mix so the A1 had a dedicated console, but it didn't give us the speed and flexibility that a full offboard console did. The entire reason for this was the need to get mix-minuses to each Skype caller, and have the ability to put whatever we want to each caller at a moment's notice, as well as the ability to have multiple sub-mixes going to different destinations concurrently. For our productions and our workflow - using the TC to handle audio was a non-starter. Your mileage may vary.

    From the get-go, we don't have Dante on our mixing board. That would have made life loads easier - but it is what it is. Maybe next year that Dante card will be in the budget. But after buying the VS4000, and then plunking down another $1,200 on a new digital mixing console, my higher-ups were tired of spending money on my project. Note - I had an Aja HD10AMA laying around. Had I not had this, spending the $500 on the Dante card for the X32 would have been a must. Also, the VS4000 doesn't allow user-routing for outbound audio channels via SDI, so we are using the TC to do this. (If it does, I must have missed it...)

    For audio routing, if I say "Aux 2.1.1", the router matrix has a check in the box for aux 2, input 1, output 1. "Aux 2.2.3" would be a tickmark in the box for aux 2, input 2, output 3. Hope that's clear - if not, I can post screenshots of the routes.

    Tech specs:
    - TC8000 with AE2
    - VS4000
    - Behringer X32 digital console

    TC setup:
    Outputs are routed as follows:
    1. SDI Out 1: Program HD/SDI with embedded master audio
    2. SDI Out 2: Unassigned and used on an as-needed basis for press-feeds, external backup record, and whatnot
    3. SDI Out 3: Program video / aux 2 audio - TO Aja HD10AMA Embedder/De-embedder
    4. XLR outs 1a/1b = program feed to wallplates / backup analog program audio record
    5. XLR outs 2a/2b = TC aux 1.1.1 and 1.2.2. Anything we route here goes to one stripe on the Behringer console for mixdown into the show. Usually we route DDR's and music here.
    * All external sources go directly into the Behringer X32 console. Studio mics, instruments, satellite feeds, etc.. The mixer also supplies all of the feeds to external destinations.
    * Behringer master program out L/R XLR's go back to the TC's XLR input 1a/1b and show up on stripe 1 of the TC's internal mix. This is the mixdown of the show. Mics, music, Skype, satellite, etc

    - Using NDI, all 4 of the VS4000 feeds are put where I want them in the TC's interface. In my case, they come in on inputs 7-10.
    - On the audio interface of the TC:
    * Stripe 1 is my feed from the Behringer. That's the only thing in the TC that's routed to Master 1.1 (XLR input 1a - Behringer program L) and Master 2.2 (XLR input 1b - Behringer Prog RT)
    I've placed my VS inputs on stripes 3-6 (2 is left open for an as-needed input) and routed the outputs of each one as follows. Nothing else is checked. These stripes do NOT go to program. For each stripe of the TC mixer where you wish to have a VS4000 caller's audio appear, click the gear at the top of the stripe. First tab - input settings - connection: Find your VS4000's NDI outputs and select "VS4000 Ch.X" with "X" being the caller's channel. Then go to the third tab - output - and select the routes as specified below.
    * Stripe 3 (VS4k caller 1) aux 2.1.1
    * Stripe 4 (VS4k caller 2) aux 2.1.2
    * Stripe 5 (VS4k caller 3) aux 2.1.3
    * Stripe 6 (VS4k caller 4) aux 2.1.4

    After all that, the Tricaster is now pushing my program mixdown from the Behringer out TC-XLR's 1a/1b as well as SDI out-1
    Its pushing whatever I want out of SDI2
    Its pushing each VS4000 caller down its own channel of audio via SDI3 to the AJA HD10AMA. Video signal is irrelevant since I am only using this for audio.

    The routing and signal-paths internal to the Behringer X32 are something I'm not going to go into detail with here since each console is different in the way it routes, as well as each facility having their own needs. That being said, the minimum you'll need to do what we do is at least 6 outputs. A main L/R for program, and 4 sub-mixes containing your mix-minuses. We eat up another 4 outputs (for a total of 10) sending different sub-mixes to IFB, satellite/network intercom, a 16-line 800# Comrex Stac, and studio fold-back. Each one of those 10 outputs has different content.
    At the Behringer
    - Mics are stripes 1-4
    - the Aja SDI de-embedder outs are plugged in to mixer stripes 5-8
    * 5 is caller 1
    * 6 is caller 2
    * 7 is caller 3
    * 8 is caller 4
    - Remaining X32 inputs are used as-needed

    Outs:
    * Master L/R goes to TC XLR in 1a/1b - this is the show. All studio mics, all Skype callers, all DDR playbacks, everything. Its all here and shows up over in the TC on stripe 1 - which is routed to Master 1.1 and 2.2
    * XLR out 1 = aux 1 - mix-minus caller 1 (anything we want except caller 1)
    * XLR out 2 = aux 2 - mix-minus caller 2 (anything we want except caller 2)
    * XLR out 3 = aux 3 - mix-minus caller 3 (anything we want except caller 3)
    * XLR out 4 = aux 4 - mix-minus caller 4 (anything we want except caller 4)
    The above aux-outs 1-4 are plugged in to the Aja HD10's inputs, so they're now being embedded into one of the two SDI outputs on the Aja unit
    * Remaining outs on the X32 are used wherever we need for whatever we need

    The SDI output of the Aja HD10 is sent to the VS4000, and plugged in to input 1. Now the VS4000 has access to the 4 mix-minus channels from the console, where my A1 can put whatever I want to each caller, on a per-channel/caller basis. And do so instantly - without tying up my TC's interface to do it.

    On the VS4000:
    For EACH caller, click the gear to tweak input output settings. Go to "return to caller". Select the video source to be whatever you want. In our case, its camera 1 (my host camera) selected via NDI. Then select "In 1" as your audio source, with "SDI embedded" as the audio type. Now you've got all four mix minuses going to each caller. This isn't what you want.
    For caller 1: Mute channels 2-4. Now caller 1 only has their own mix-minus.
    Caller 2: Mute channels 1, 3, 4
    Caller 3: Mute channels 1, 2, 4
    Caller 4: Mute channels 1, 2, 3

    So, if you're still with me, now we have 4 discrete channels for each skype caller, all the mics, the DDR's, etc at the mixer for control via the A1, and 4 fully A1-configurable discrete mix-minuses at the Vs4k. We also have one SDI-out with program audio embedded, as well as an analog XLR out for press-box or TBA.

    Edit: There is a bit of delay in the audio doing it this way, but its something the end-user will not notice.
    Last edited by dhodlick; 02-20-2017 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #2
    This is brilliant. thank you for detailing your solution.
    We had tried to so the same thing with our 460, a VS4000 and an X32.
    The SDI de-embedder is the one component we didn't have and obviously needed.
    Your set up sounds a lot like ours with all the extra feeds. We also do real-time captioning, secondary encoders, etc.
    Never a dull moment!

    I am hoping there might be an updated VS in the works with 4 XLR outputs. I would be OK with 2 rack spaces if needed.

    Andrew
    Tricaster 460AE2 + LC-11
    Rack includes: Router, backup encoder, captioning devices, audio mixer
    Cameras: Sony FS700, Z150, NX5, A100 and PTZoptiocs 20x - all SDI (for now)
    http://reddogrecords.com

  3. #3
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog Records View Post
    I am hoping there might be an updated VS in the works with 4 XLR outputs. I would be OK with 2 rack spaces if needed.
    No, but you might be interested to know that we did recently add the ability to split out four mono analog outputs by taking advantage of the two channels the Phones output provides. It's a workaround, but in some situations it will be helpful. (I'm not 100% sure if this build has been released yet, but I think it may have been.)
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    Regards, Steve
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  4. #4
    Hi Steve!

    That sounds very promising!
    So we would lose the ability to monitor directly from the Talkshow (not a huge deal for us) and get 2 more outputs? SWEET!

    Andrew
    Tricaster 460AE2 + LC-11
    Rack includes: Router, backup encoder, captioning devices, audio mixer
    Cameras: Sony FS700, Z150, NX5, A100 and PTZoptiocs 20x - all SDI (for now)
    http://reddogrecords.com

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