Pyramix Stagebox

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gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Pyramix Stagebox

Postby gabriel » Sat Feb 19, 2005 15:54

Would you like a stagebox for remote recording using your PMX notebook? Imagine a box with high quality mic-preamps and A/D converters, remote controlled directly from Pyramix. Audio and control connected by a rugged, flexible, thin snake media (optical, cat-5, or wireless???) directly to Mykerinos. With return channels for monitoring or FOH. Sounds like heaven to your back and to your ears? And sounds very smart regarding build-up time.

There are a lot of boxes available, very similar, but none does exactly that job. Most of them are missing integrated remote control. Or they are based on firewire. Or they are very, very expensive.

OK, let's specify such a smart box:
- 3 RU frame including (linear or very high clock rate) PSU
- 8 slots for mic in, line in or line out cards
- optical or RJ-45 snake interface for >100 m transmission distance
- capability >= 32 channels of 96 kHz audio including control data

...and the mic-cards:
- 4 high quality mic ins including ADCs per cardslot
- min 96 kHz / 24 bit
- 100 Hz high pass filter remote switchable prior to mic amps
- 200 kHz soft roll-off low pass filter prior to mic amps
- local, manual phantom power
- local, manual coarse gain/pad per mic channel
- >4 steps of 3 dB fine gain remote controlled

... and the line out cards:
- 4 line outputs including DACs per cardslot
- <100 ohms
- +24 dBu balanced (+18 dBu unbalanced)
- local, manual coarse gain
- >4 steps of 3 dB fine gain remote controlled

... and the line in cards:
- 4 line inputs including ADCs per cardslot
- 10 kohms
- +24 dBu balanced (+18 dBu unbalanced)
- local, manual coarse gain
- >4 steps of 3 dB fine gain remote controlled

And what are your improvements, your price?

Best regards
Gabriel

benoit
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 23:51
Location: Bern, CH
Contact:

Postby benoit » Mon Feb 21, 2005 01:37

...studer is making some great boxes with he D19m-serie. very expensive.
i went another way for mobile: BCD-remote-preamps-rack (eurocard-based, 36 pre's in a 3 HE-rack, serial-to-fibre-to serial remote) linked to a sony SIU100 with 40/16 ADDAC's to madi, remote-controlled over rj45 from the browser of a laptop. plug the mics into the stagebox, the fibre-cable into mykerinos, power-on, here i go.


benoit
hochschule der künste bern
musik & medienkunst / studioleitung
www.hkb.bfh.ch

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Postby gabriel » Sun Feb 27, 2005 19:45

Hi Benoit

Just returned from one week skiing 8) Yes, I heard some rumors Studer is adding remote control to the D19M series. Your solution looks very interesting, but also expensive. And the Sony SIU100 seems to be dicontinued, isn't it?

Cheers Gabriel

benoit
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 23:51
Location: Bern, CH
Contact:

Postby benoit » Sun Feb 27, 2005 20:58

...expensive, but probably less than the studer-stuff.
and the guys at BCD would build you any kind of gear on request.

the SIU's are discontinued, that's true - but we have 5 of them here, so as long as they work... ;-)
sick, when i think that we had one of the first pre-production units in test no even 3 years ago. trust the big companies... :evil:

cheers,
benoit
hochschule der künste bern

musik & medienkunst / studioleitung

www.hkb.bfh.ch

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Postby gabriel » Mon Feb 28, 2005 22:11

yes, you're right. Back to my initial request, I think it should be possible to manufacture and sell such a stagebox equipped with 16 mic channels for around 5-6 k$. That's a price which is in adequate relation to Pyramix. Price and market potential (re-use for other applications or DAWs) depends very much on the snake interface...

Gabriel

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Postby gabriel » Tue May 31, 2005 00:37

GOOD NEWS FROM AES IN BARCELONA !!!

I was very surprised to find a box not only VERY close to my requirements posted previously, but also exceeding my expectations. The Germany based company DHD www.dhd-audio.com provides a MADI Stage Box 5100 with following key features:

- 3 RU height with 56 channels (modular, Mic/line in/outputs or AES in/outputs) including Dual Power Supply!
- 56 ins and 56 outs available in 6 RU
- optional, rugged Fiberfox EBC52 fiber optic lens connectors for harsh environments (mobile applications)
- remote control of gain (0...70 dB)!
- designed for 96 kHz
- AES inputs with SRCs
- Ethernet interface for remote control by other brands (DHD's own mixer uses User Data Channel for remote control)

If that last point could be integrated into Pyramix, it would perfectly match!
And last but not least: you will be surprised by the very competitive price! It's not a toy, completely serious stuff!

Best regards

Gabriel

Paul Isaacs
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 03:10

Postby Paul Isaacs » Thu Feb 16, 2006 05:40

Hi Gabriel,

Distributing Pyramix out here in New Zealand.
Couldnt see any info on the Mic stage box 5100 on the dhd-audio website. Can you point me in the right direction?
All I really need is a simple 64 analogue line level I/O to MADI box. Any ideas.

much appreciated

Paul Isaacs

Roland Clarke
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 23:57
Location: St Leonards on Sea, England

Postby Roland Clarke » Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:48

Have a word with Crispin Herrod taylor of Crookwood. I spoke to him about such a system about a year ago, and he was going to do this. You can contact him via his website http://www.crookwood.com/.

Regards


Roland

maikol
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 01:51
Location: Paris

Postby maikol » Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:07

hi all,

64 ch line level to Madi?

Harrison A/D: http://www.glw.com/2005/converters.html
euphonix AM713 and MA703 (only 26 channels) : www.euphonix.com
stagetec truematch : http://www.stagetec.com/stagetec/e_truematch.htm
ams neve does madi stuff too...

all this stuff might be very expensive...

regards

M.

maikol
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 01:51
Location: Paris

Postby maikol » Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:11

Funny you talk about Crispin, Roland... he is currently building a 24ch remote mic pre system for us!


looks like it's gonna be a killer system!

:P

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Postby gabriel » Fri Oct 06, 2006 22:02

Hi

Thanks for all suggestions. Here are some links:

Digital Snake Systems:
http://www.lightviper.com/
http://www.roland.com/products/en/Digit ... index.html

MADI Stage Boxes:
http://www.dhd-audio.com/ (the product is now called 52/MB and 52/CR, still fit best to my initial requirements)
http://www.studer.ch/ (D21m series)
watch out for ad of Studer D21m/Pyramix combination: http://www.attaudiocontrols.com/
and finally
http://www.merging.com/ (Sphinx2, only 8ch)

more competitors will add to this field of application, think of the growing boutique mic amp industry...

Best regards

Gabriel

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Re: Pyramix Stagebox

Postby gabriel » Thu Mar 18, 2010 03:33

Ok, that's what I ended up with after all: RME Micstasy M preamps with MADI connected to RME MADIface ExpressCard running on a Macbook Pro. It's remote controllable by MIDI thru MADI and with the switchable output capabilty of the Micstasy the system is very flexible: you can run your monitoring feeds on the return path MADI back to the Micstasys and output it on ADAT or AES. The stable clock allows smooth daisy chaining and spreading of Micstasys all over the stage or in the audience area, just where needed. Specs are really good and despite not yet lots of experience, I really love the transparent uncoloured sound of the Micamps. Price is not low, but better than all other MADI devices.

Aphex is also very interesting with its new lower priced 188 micamp and the Anaconda snake system. It doesn't use MADI but a proprietary format. More targeted to ADAT interfaces, needs more cabling and is IMO better suited to consoles with ADAT interfaces.

Best, Gabriel

Perfect Record
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Re: Pyramix Stagebox

Postby Perfect Record » Thu Mar 18, 2010 22:27

Don't know much about it, but don't forget the SSL Alpha Link boxes. Kind of a Swiss army knife unit. (English Army knife?) Madi matrix- AES-EBU breakout and 24 channel A-D/D-A box. Pretty cost effective. Around $2500 US.

You still need the remote controlled mic preamps. Would love to have something Millennia quality, but that many channels would be costly.

Two key ingredients on the A-D converter I'd like to see are solid local crystal clock. No clock PLL where it can be avoided. NO electronically controlled input gain on A-D converter. As clean and minimalist an input stage as possible.

I'm no expert on the SSL system. Any comments here would be welcome.

Mario
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 23:44

Re: Pyramix Stagebox

Postby Mario » Thu Mar 18, 2010 23:53

The Sphynx 2 can be configure to have 4 mic inputs, 4 line ins and 4 line outs with MADI plus control and you can daisy chain this boxes into one MADI stream up to fill the MADI capacity spec.

@ Gabriel
The anaconda uses control over the "MADI stream" but is this flavour of MADI not compatible with other MADI products? what do you know?
RME sends MIDI comands over the MADI stream but still the MADI portion is compatible with other stuff.
If the anaconda is really a propietary version of MADI, maybe this could explain why Aphex sells the pair of unit as one product.

Still, if you use the ADAT daughter card you can use the Anaconda.

About SSL, The Alpha is a cool option, if you plan to use it be aware that you have analog and digital I/O, as standard, they are configured as the first 24 I/O as the digital ones and the second 24 as the analogs. You can reverse the order to have the analog I/O as the first group and the second group the digital.

In digital I/O, if you have the ADAT version your I/O is halved to 12 ins and outs, in the AES/EBU version you will have the 24 ins and out, not to mention the SRC available in the first octet input.

When you work at 2Fs; you will have 32 channels (MADI limit), if you use the first 24 as the analog I/O, the MADI stream will transmit the 24 analog inputs + the first 8 digital inputs.

By the way, Lynx also have a MADI card for their Auroras converter

As someone points out, the problem is the remote mic preamps, you can couple the Alpha to whatever suites you:
From the Aphex 188, 8 channels per 1U
the Grace m802 and the Millennia HV-3R with via analog or digital connection 8 channels per 1U
Euphonix ML530 mic preamp remote up to 24 mic preamps channels in 2U (in 8 channels bank) (only analog)

regards

gabriel
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2002 01:24
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Re: Pyramix Stagebox

Postby gabriel » Mon Mar 22, 2010 02:01

As far as I know the anaconda system uses a proprietary format which transports 64 bidirectional audio channels plus additional ethernet connection of unknown speed (10 Mbps, 100 Mbps???). And that's probably the reason why it's not MADI: Ethernet takes too much bandwidth to fit into the MADI format, only MIDI obviously works. Initially I was confused, because anaconda provides MADI outputs (shown on the system diagram for a DAW). But that's the only MADI connector.

It not only needs more cabling for the remote control (a switch including power plus cabling of all remote controllable devices) but also for synchronization. Every Micamp with its ADAT outputs must be synced by the anaconda WCLK. And if you want to replace a desk with Pyramix running on a workstation notebook you will find out MADI is one of the most efficient ways to feed in/out a lot of audio signals to the mobile PC. And that's why ADAT connections of anacona need very often an additional MADI to ADAT interface to get back to anaconda from a notebook. Exceptions are if you're running a desktop and your requirement is not more than 16 or 32 in/outs and if you have more than one Mykerinos or if you have an RME RayDAT.

Sphynx is nice but expensive IMO.

SSL is interesting, but what remote controllable micamps with analogue outs do you use? And do you like all the analogue connections between micamps and ADCs? The only advantage is some flexibility to insert analogue effects. But I think that's also one thing we would like to avoid these days of powerful DAWs.

Two key ingredients on the A-D converter I'd like to see are solid local crystal clock. No clock PLL where it can be avoided. NO electronically controlled input gain on A-D converter. As clean and minimalist an input stage as possible.


Completely agreed. Using a crystal clock is always a very good idea to keep sampling jitter of the ADC as low as possible. Unfortunately it cannot always be avoided, especially if you want to combine several devices. Before buying I always suggest measurement of PLL sampling jitter. Not all suppliers are able to handle this discipline of combined analogue, digital and feedback control technique knowledge very well. The sampling jitter requirements for REAL high resolution conversion are incredible (< 50 ps!). That's only possible with very well filtered power supply of the VCXO, control voltage and very good layout of the PCB.

regards
Gabriel