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Mackie Audio Mixer Connections

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Thomas McNamara
Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on Apr 30, 2008 at 10:06:53 pm

Hey everyone. I have a couple of questions relating to the audio outputs of the Kona 3 and the Kona LHe, which we are using here at work now, and we'd like to incorporate mixers into the equation.

We purchased a Mackie CR-1604 VLZ 16ch analog mixer (I know it's been discontinued, we got a killer deal on one though), and we'd like to use this in tandem with the Kona.

Please, I'm coming to you all with the knowledge that I don't have this knowledge yet. So try to avoid flaming me here, telling me how simple and obvious these things are, and how stupid I am for not knowing already - I've done research but it's hard to see the whole picture as far as best practices for connectivity, rather than as individual components and how they work in an isolated environment.

True or false: Since the Kona cards don't have analog audio i/o, I would need a a/d d/a converter to convert the digital AES/EBU audio to analog to connect to the Mackie?

If I do need a a/d d/a converter, I'd like one with eight channels, to use up all the available i/o on the kona...any recommendations?

I know that I can control the audio output of our vtrs with the Mackie for ingest, as well as the audio levels for output to the deck for finishing, but is there a way to incorporate this particular Mackie mixer into realtime use with Final Cut Pro? (I know Mackie makes another unit qualified to work with FCP and ST pro, but does the analog mixer I have have this capability?)

How do I use the mixer while editing in FCP or in STPro (realtime mixing?) Can I do this? Possible to keyframe mix over time?

Could someone kindly give me an idea of the connection strategy used to make this all work together - ie, kona out to mixer in, mixer out to vtr in, or what the best practices are as far as the entire system of audio connectivity here... I'd need a xlr to 1/4 trs converter for each xlr aes/ebu from the kona to the mixer, right? Can't find much on these setups even here on the Cow. What do you all do in your setups?

I know that I likely have some major conceptual flaws here but I'm new to this, and am asking the much more experienced Kona/audio people out there for some advice. I've got the video aspects down pat, but audio is like another world to me. Please respond accordingly.

Thank you all so much for your help in advance, this is the best resource on the web for these sorts of things.

Mackie CR 1604 VLZ analog mixer 16ch
2 - Mac Pro 8 core 3.2 ghz
16gb ram
Kona 3 on one unit, Kona LHe on the other
hdcam-sr vtr, dvcprohd vtr, betacamsp vtr
Final Cut Studio 2
Mac OSX Leopard




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Bob Zelin
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 1:38:57 am

Tom -
most people no longer input analog audio into their systems. Modern digital VTR's use EMBEDDED AUDIO. The Kona LHe has analog audio inputs, which work beautifully with the Mackie 1604. The Kona 3 does not have analog audio inputs. A quick way to get a Beta VTR into a Kona 3 (for SDI work) is to purchase the AJA HD10AVA, which will convert the Y Pb Pr signal of the Beta into SDI, AND embed the analog audio into the SDI stream. You would even use the AJA HD10AVA if you had a smaller HDV VTR like the JVC BR-HD50, or the Sony HVRM-25.

Repeat after me Tom - EMBEDDED AUDIO. This is how everyone inputs today. You don't enter via AES. You can take the analog audio output of your Kona 3 (via the K3 box, which you better buy), the analog audio output of your Kona LHe (it comes with it for free), and the analog audio output of all of your VTR's, and stick them into the inputs of your Mackie 1604. You can now monitor everything. Need to make a Beta dub or VHS dub - take the analog outputs (like the Group 1,2,3,4 outputs) and send them into the ANALOG inputs of your VHS, Beta, etc (even your Kona LHe). BUT NOT THE KONA 3. If you have extensive analog sources for your Kona 3 sysetm, I urge you to consider purchasing an AJA I/O, or at least the AJA HD10AVA converter.

Bob Zelin
(remember - EMBEDDED AUDIO - even if you have Blackmagic, or AVID, or anyone else. This is 2008 Tom).





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Chris Borjis
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 5:16:45 pm

[Bob Zelin] "(remember - EMBEDDED AUDIO - even if you have Blackmagic, or AVID, or anyone else. This is 2008 Tom)"

Gotta love the simplicity of EMBEDDED AUDIO for sure.

before I had a fcp system, I had a Discreet smoke* which used AES and routing picture and audio from the various analog converters was always fun and really confusing for one of my editors.




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Thomas McNamara
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 6:26:28 pm

Bob,

Thank you...seriously. This is exactly what I was looking for...that basically answered all my questions. Seems a lot simpler now that it's all explained.

So if I have it right, input all my audio as embedded audio, which can be set in my kona control panel. If I need to digitize from beta, get the converter (I've since looked into this, seems perfect for my needs.) For monitoring using the mackie, use the k3 box's analog out into the mixer for kona 3, for lh just use its existing analog outs.

I think I answered my other question looking more into this, to have the software based control, i.e. stpro or pro tools, I should buy something like the Mackie control universal pro, which connects thru usb for software-based control. Do a lot of people use this particular product for this use (is this a good product or do you recommend something else for this?)

This would be fine for one of our lhe bays. In our other bays with the kona 3s, to monitor embedded audio thru sdi, or to use another mixer, we aren't by any means tied to another mackie 1604....any recommendations on a typical setup for digital vtr only embedded audio use? Common mixers, control surfaces, etc? What would be the simplest setup here - if analog is not at all an issue, using only digital equipment.

We basically want our upcoming clients to have whatever control they'll need as far as digitizing, monitoring and finishing from an audio standpoint, if theyre using the more common digital vtrs (this will be much more common than our beta sp users).

Thanks again for your help and patience, this is one of those things that when someone lays out the big picture, it all starts making sense.





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Thomas McNamara
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 6:37:43 pm

Quick addendum - it seems like for normal purposes a digital mixer is unnecessary, just use a simple analog mixer for monitoring and such - this would be great, but we are planning on making one of our suites very audio-centric, allowing a lot of control for sound design, mixing, etc, so maybe in this instance we'd want a digital mixer. I guess that's why I'm asking, is what we'd want to do in a case like this. Thanks


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 7:09:01 pm

Tom - your second post is correct. There are no "embedded audio" mixers. Almost everyone (including LA) use inexpensive Mackie or Behringer or Soundcraft Mixers to monitor the analog audio. The audio does NOT sound better when monitoring off the AES outputs via a digital Mixer (like a Yamaha).

Any answer I can give you for a digital audio mixer will be "old school" (and I would recommend the 01V96 from Yamaha). Today's audio guys use products like Pro Tools, Vegas, MOTU, etc. with CONTROL SURFACES (like the ICON, Mackie HUE, etc.). These products are NOT suited for video edit rooms. "But I want to build one room that does everything" you say. I am just telling you what is popular. Real audio guys doing audio post work are not using Tascam/Mackie/Yamaha audio mixers to do acutal mixes. And these audio guys are not monitoring the output of an AJA or Blackmagic (or AVID) product. They get Quicktime reference files from the video rooms, and mix to that.

If you are going to use Soundtrack (from Apple), you can just take the MAC audio out into your cheapo audio mixer to monitor the audio from that. I am sure that you dont' have a multi track live recording room tied to the same suite that you are doing video editing in.

bob Zelin




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Thomas McNamara
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on May 1, 2008 at 7:18:34 pm

Bob - that makes a lot of sense. I think we might just leave sound finishing and such to a professional sound place, and just do what we do best here, not spreading ourselves too thin. I just needed to know what's being done out there, so thanks a million for steering me in the right direction, I greatly appreciate it.


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Dan APPEL
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on Aug 11, 2008 at 2:58:29 pm

Hey Bob

So I find myself in a similar situation to Tom. I too need to monitor my audio, but only have the Kona 3 (running in an 8-core MacPro). Here's the major difference: pretty much all of my input will be via SDI or HD-SDI (therefore with embedded audio).

My question is: If my only real analog audio need is for monitoring (we do very basic in-FCP mixes), is there a difference between monitoring from the K3 breakout box analog output (which I don't have) OR INSTEAD just using a miniplug adapter and going from the Line Out audio in the back of the MacPro to the Line In on my Mackie 1202 VLZ...?

Any help much appreciated. Obviously a digital mixer is overkill in my situation.

Many thx.




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Bob Zelin
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:04:13 pm

the MAC mini plug audio output is NOT IN SYNC with the video signal that comes out of the Kona. You can either get the K3 box, or you can get an AES/EBU to analog converter. Either way, you are going to SPEND MONEY, or you are going to be monitoring audio OUT OF SYNC.

It is just beyond me that users that have all the money to have a SDI/HD-SDI installation with a Kona 3, HD monitors, HD and SDI source VTR's, etc. don't have $289 ($259 at B+H) for a breakout panel to hear the audio.

Bob Zelin




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Dan APPEL
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:20:06 pm

Thanks for your help, Bob. I appreciate it.
(But I could do without the insult. Money's tight these days.)




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Dan APPEL
Re: Mackie Audio Mixer Connections
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:57:50 pm

And I rent the monitors and decks on an as-needed basis.



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