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Todd Terry
Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:12:45 pm

Hey gang...

Please forgive the cross-post. I posted this as well over at the Adobe Audition/Soundbooth forum, but that forum gets almost no traffic so I thought I would ask here as well... if any of you audio pros use Soundbooth.

We are trying to use Soundbooth (CS4) in one of our suites to record narration from our audio booth. We are having a devil of a time monitoring the audio... and I'm thinking that surely I just have some setting clicked wrong.

The machine is a PC, a Matrox AXIO LE editing system. We are, however, taking audio in via a line/mic-in USB device, for various necessary reasons.

Soundbooth actually records the audio fine. And we can hear/monitor the audio fine, but only while we are actually recording (the "monitor audio" box is checked). The problem is that we cannot hear before recording... such as, asking the talent to give us a check for levels, or just talking to the talent or giving them directions... we can't hear him or her unless recording is actually rolling. So before we actually click the "record" button, we hear nothing... even though the Soundbooth input VU meters show that the signal is coming in. You'll see the VU meters bouncing up and down, just not hear anything until the actual recording starts.

This is driving us nuts. Any ideas, anyone?

Much thanks,

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Richard Crowley
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:28:52 pm

You mentioned how you are getting audio IN to the computer, but you didn't mention how your monitoring system is rigged? It sounds like you have only speakers connected to the audio output from the computer. That puts you at the mercy of whatever the software thinks you should have. A more conventional setup would use an audio mixer, even a very modest 1 or 2 mic input Behringer. That would provide you the flexibility for monitoring that you aren't getting now.

Of course, there may also be a software operational solution, but I use Adobe Audition (and Syntrillium CoolEdit before Adobe bought it), so I am not familiar enough with Soundroom to recommend anything. I was never impressed enough by Soundroom enough to buy it.

BRILLIANT UPDATE(!): There may be an operating-system solution. Depending on which OS you are using (not revealed) you may be able to go into the audio control windows and find a check-box to cause the input audio to be routed to your output at all times.

RANT: Back before Adobe bought out Syntrillium, they made a low-end version called "CoolEdit" for 2-track/stereo, and a high-end version called CoolEdit Pro for up to 64 tracks. The 2-track CoolEdit product was ~$50 and essentially as full-featured as Adobe Audition is today, except with the limit of 2 tracks. Unfortunately, money-grubbing Adobe completely abandoned the low-end market (which they apparently disdain) and kept only the high-priced version. Then they came out with "Soundbooth" apparently for the lower-end market, and I've never heard any users come along and say they like it.


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Todd Terry
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:45:30 pm

Hi Richard..

Thanks for the response.

Yes, there is an audio board... all inputs and outputs go through a Mackie 1202VLZ 12-channel mixer. That provides inputs to the suite for things like the Betacam decks, and outputs to the various decks, room monitors, etc.

The proper outputs from the board go to both XLR inputs on the Matrox AXIO rack box, as well as the audio inputs on the computer itself (the computer ingests audio via the Matrox box when video editing, and via the direct computer inputs for anything else). Our audio guy was unable to get sound into Soundbooth via the computer's direct sound card inputs (for whatever reason, no matter how hard he tried), so we tried this little Behringer USB audio interface for that, which works fine.

Everything about our audio engineering, all the various ins and outs and where they go and from where they come and all that voodoo... works perfectly. With the exception of being able to live monitor Soundbood when it is not rolling.

We have poked around within the OS's control panel audio settings as much as we can with no avail. As well as those in Soundbooth. As I said, Soundbooth records just fine... we just can't hear it unless it is actually recording (even though the VU meters show the audio is coming in). Surely it's got to be a Soundbooth settings issue, but it sure has us stymied.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Richard Crowley
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:57:57 pm

I have a nearly-identical setup at the office with a Mackie mixer. I simply connect the "Tape Out" to the line-level input of the computer, and the computer "Line Out" to the "Tape In" on the Mackie. i.e. I use the computer as the "tape recorder" as far as the Mackie is concerned. The mixer should give you the monitoring options you need if you are routing audio through it in the conventional manner.


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Todd Terry
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 7, 2011 at 4:01:54 pm

Haha... yeah, it SHOULD, but it doesn't.

I can do video with my eyes closed, but audio is a mystery to me. We have multiple identical Mackies in multiple almost-identical suites, yet I swear each of them works slightly differently in some minor ways.

Unfortunately our "audio engineer" isn't on staff, rather he's just a friend who drops in when he can... which sadly is rarely. He's just about the best in the biz, though, and when he's stuck on a problem we know we have real issues. I still can't believe this isn't just a settings issue somewhere.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Eric Toline
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 8, 2011 at 8:04:57 am

For talkback to the talent a small self powered speaker with a mic input would work fine. Look at the Behringer MS-16. For monitoring before recording get a Sound Devices Mix Pre, feed the studiomic into it and take the seperate outputs and feed one to your recording system and the other out put into another powered speaker in the control room.


Eric


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Todd Terry
Re: Soundbooth audio monitoring
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:34:56 pm

Thanks for the suggestions...

Yeah, I can do workarounds like that in a variety of ways. But what I was looking for was a way to make the software just work as it should (or, how I think it should). Actually the talent has no problem hearing the editor's talkback mic thorough his or her earphones. And we can monitor the mic through the board (soloing the channel or listening to it "live"). What we can't do is monitor the actual live signal that the mic/mixer is sending to Southbooth before recording actually starts.

That's important for a couple of reasons... obviously of course we want to hear the quality of the real signal that's about to be recorded. The other is ease and convenience. With our workaround, the editor has to reach over and push a couple of different mixer buttons and fiddle with a pot or two every time he starts a new take or wants to listen to a playback take. And since we sometimes do very very long scripts with lots and lots of takes in many individual little sections, that's really a pain in the rear and eats up a lot of time as well... and kills the "flow" for the actor. In each of our old systems we never had to touch the board once it was set, other than to push one button for talkback. The editor was free to record take after take, listen, and talk back, without having to jump through lots of hoops in between each one.

I have apparently learned something here though (and remember, I'm a video guy, not an audio guy). I was under the impression that Soundbooth was a bigger/better/faster and more advanced program than Audition. We previously had Audition in our suites because that's what Adobe bundled with their earlier versions of Premier Pro. With the more current versions that we are using now, CS3 and CS4 (not 5, yet), they bundle Soundbooth as the audio program. I had just assumed that was a step up, since it was newer... but apparently it's not. I haven't used it a lot, but on the surface Soundbooth just seemed like a better and more advanced program (it seemed to be able to do quite a few things that our versions of Audition could not), but apparently I was wrong about that.

We might try something else entirely...

Thanks,

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
What the heck???
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:41:19 pm

Gang... I am not cross-posting. I don't know why on earth is this thread showing up in the "Decks & VTRs" forum when I am posting only in the Sound Pros forum.

I realize this thread has nothing remotely to do with decks or VTRs, so please don't shoot me for mis-posting. I didn't post anything in the "Decks" forum, never have, and likely never will. It's just showing up for some reason. Sorry for wasting anyone's time.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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