Very Odd Help Needed !!

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Brett Saginar, Oct 9, 2012.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Brett Saginar

    Brett Saginar Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    I don't know where to start. Soooo many questions.

    My background is from the "old days" of analog recording. Left the business in 1994 just as ADATs were becoming popular. So computer recording is Greek to me. Plop me down behind a Neve V and a couple of old Studer 24's and I would feel right at home however, .. :)

    I desperately need help and advice on a rather strange product I am interested in creating. I suppose the best way to convey what I need is to give an example of the situation and and what I am wanting this "thing" to do. ( I know it is all possible. I know custom software and hardware will need to be created, but I am certain that it can already be done with existing software/hardware, it would just be rather clumsy and 90% of the features and abilities of the existing software/hardware would NEVER be utilized. ) I will try to make this as detailed and simple as possible. So what I am looking for is the "proof" that it can be done, and at a later date we can customize and scale back the features and abilities that aren't necessary.

    Scenario : 4 guys are sitting around a large table.

    - each has their own headphones on with a boom mic.
    - One of the guys (we will call him "engineer" for future reference.) has a laptop. The others are G1, G2, and G3.
    - Laptop is playing sound. (for this example lets say the sound is the sound of a rushing river in MP3 format.)
    - Laptop has a list of many MP3 sounds ready to click and "play".
    - Engineer and G1, G2, and G3 can all hear the rushing river.
    - Engineer wants to play another sound (call it a bird sound but could be anything), BUT only wants G1 to hear it.

    Questions: 1. Can a simple software be written or already exists, where the engineer could right click the MP3 icon titled "bird sound" and a drop down list appear with various choices of "where" to "send" the sound? Some of the choices being; L-R, G1, G2, G3, etc. (G1= 1st guy, G2=2nd guy, etc.)

    - Engineer actives (pushes the play button) on "bird sound" and that sound is then routed to JUST G1 while everyone still hears the rushing river. G1 hears the rushing river AND the bird sound, as does the engineer.

    Question: what would be required to do this and how would the routing work? Could this be done "inside" the computer or is an outboard hardware unit (mixer) required? Obviously some sort of headphone distribution is required. Or is it? does a usb cable have the ability to carry several "tracks/sounds" of audio that are delivered to a usb mixer? can this be done "internally" in the computer? If so is a usb cable even needed? or maybe the computer could use a usb cable to a usb hub where the headphones are plugged into the hub either by 1/4" phono or usb connection?

    My initial thoughts were to use the L-R main out of the computer to a console and the L-R main out of the console to a headphone distribution amp. Then set up 3 individual Aux mixes and route them to the individual Aux in for each headphone on the distribution amp. This would still require a separate output from the computer, one for L-R and one for the bird sound. The bird sound is routed to a mixer channel in and then the aux for G1 is turned up on that channel. There must be a better way to do this and I hope it can be done internally in the computer.

    Now to complicate matters further:

    - Engineer and G1, G2 and G3 all have mics. When Engineer "talks" G1, G2, and G3 hear a normal non FX voice from engineer. At the same time when G1, G2, and G3 "talk" they hear each other as though they were in a large concert hall (the effect doesn't matter, just an example), then, at the push of a button or a click of the mouse the engineer can make it so that G1, and G2 hear sound like they are still in the same large concert hall when they talk , but when they hear G3 talk he sounds like he is under water. G1 or G2 "talk" to G3, but G3 hears them as though he were under water. ( again the effect doesn't matter, just an example) Of course all of this is in conjuntion to the original goal of having the individuals hear individual sounds determined by the engineer.

    I hope I haven't thoroughly confused you by now. I don't know why anyone would want to respond to this but it is my hope that some intelligent computer audio guru might find the challenge of this scenario interesting enough to take a whack at it..

    ANY thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated!!!

    Thanks you!

  2. poni618

    poni618 Active Member

    Oct 3, 2012
    u lost me at '4 guys are sitting around a table'
  3. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    So what software are you going to use to create this device? What is the true purpose of this software? Basically building a program that plays multiple tracks out of a DAW program type thing... Then routed to a hardware device that outputs track specific data... Very vague. To trigger it in real time will take lots of programming and makes me even more curious what this program is really worth?

    As I read on down the thread it mentions all the different scenarios w/ use of effects and what not... That is gonna be really hard to do... My gut is telling me this is like a routing maze of sorts that might be best built by use of hardware all configured w/ tons of snakes running wild all throughout a studio. Then you trigger each stage of the signal through a button on a device rather than a "Mouse Click" which would include tons of code. I am sure this could be done if you worked at Avid.
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    It sounds like something done on a broadcast production console and cueing system.
    But that would be a pretty expensive off the shelf system and most of those have custom GUI and screens to select the routing and mix.
    In order to control your different routing schemes, multiple sources, mixes and multiple channels with just a laptop, about the only thing you could put together would be a software controlled digital mixer. Then maybe you could create preset "scenes" or "cues" that you could select on your laptop to activate the mixer. You would need to be able to create those presets
    Anything like "right clicking" say an MP3 source and selecting a specific headphone cue or routing patch all that would need to be custom created.
    I don't think there's anything out there that you can buy off the shelf that would do that.

    You might look at JamHub...that might be a simple system that might be close to what you want to do.

    Welcome to - The Silent Rehearsal Studio
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    It would require a little advance planning. But if you want to do something this twisted, I don't think there's any way around a little pre or post-production time.

    I think I could do this gig tomorrow, but first a few questions.

    When do we start? How much does it pay? Who is your target audience? What's your budget? How rapid-fire do these effects and cues need to take place? Are the sound cues and effects spontaneous, or pre-planned? Would there ever be more than two sound cues simultaneously?
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    aux's and buses are the same function itb or analog. sounds to me like ya gotta just make 'individual headphone mixes' for the fellas. no big deal. There's a product out called like,jam hub, or whatever, which sends 'stems' to the performers. the individual unit is just a basic mixer w/ a headphone out, and they aren't cheap. any mixer is the same thing, function-wise.

    Whats wrong w/ using auxes? you could even use a 4 aux board in mono, most software exceeds that number.

    Give the guys what they want, if the cpu keeps up. a few plug-insshouldn't overwhelm a cpu from the last 6 yrs. You could print the efx too. set it forget it.

    If you are using a click/tempo map, you could just set the bird noise to trigger, or edit it into place, before you guys jam.

    You'd need a multi out inter face if you did the stems/sub mixes digitally sent to analog.
  7. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    LOL....maybe it's a circular roundtable podcast....probably a gaming thing!
    "4 guys sitting in a bar around a table"....I think there's a joke in there...
  8. Flyndad123

    Flyndad123 Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    the south
    Give djmukilteo a cigar !! thumb Yes,. We have worked it out a little further and what we believe we need is an audio interface, firewire, that allows for a minimum of 5 mic inputs and 5 stereo headphone outputs plus a main L-R output. On the microphone side, the GUI will look like a standard mixer with a minimum of 4 to 5 aux mixes and a main mix. These mic "channels" can then be routed to their perspective effects as needed and the output of the effects can be routed to each aux (read "headphone") as required. HOWEVER all this switching and routing must be able to be "recorded" ( kinda like the old snapshot automation) and these snapshots can then be hotkeyd to the outboard hardware controller.

    On the Wav. or MP3 side of things, a right click drop down menu with the options mentioned previously, to route the mp3 sound/s to aux 1, aux 2, main, etc,. would be all that is needed to accomplish the first goal.

    DVDHAWK said: "if you want to do something this twisted, I don't think there's any way around a little pre or post-production time."

    Pre production isn't a problem and we realize that their will be a slight learning curve for the end user, however post production is NOT a possibility as these changes/FX etc., are in REAL time,. In audio lingo I suppose you could say they are "Live".

    As far as "when do we start" - we already have, but we are still at the initial stage of creating a "proof of concept" prototype. From there, we plan to create a working prototype.

    If anyone is serious about working on this project with us, we would love to have an "audio professional' intimately familiar with virtual mixing and routing of signal flow involved. I apologize for the "vagueness" but to offer up additional detail would require a non-disclosure agreement. I can say that it is for a "game" situation BUT NOT a "video" game, and we believe that if we are successful we could have a Major impact on out target market.

    In further opinions or suggestions are greatly welcomed, and if you are interested in learning more just drop me an email at

    Thanks guys and looking forward to hearing from you soon,.. :cool:
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I'm thinking that Ableton Live! would be the best software for this job. It's ideal for this kind of thing and allows you to trigger samples on the fly. Personally, I would use wav samples but that's just me.

  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    That's not a good video to use as an example. Download the trial and go through the tutorial. You'll see what I mean by triggering samples. With the right audio interface you can have each channel set to output to separate buses. Each channel having it's own playlist of sounds which you can trigger as needed.

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