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-   -   What's in your digital console survival kit? (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=232726)

Sheldon Radford 12-01-2008 08:03 PM

What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
Hi everyone,

One of the great things about digital consoles is their flexibility - configurable I/O, modular control surfaces, interchangeable racks, a multitude of plug-in effects, and so on. But this flexibility also poses a challenge to the traveling pro when faced with a new console or system configuration at each gig.

The purpose of this thread is to start a dialog on how you’ve adapted to this brave new world. Even though it’s a Digidesign forum there's no need to limit the discussion to our systems (although I’m sure we can all learn a lot from you VENUE veterans).

To kick things off, here are some tips to help prep for a VENUE gig…

Load up a 4 GB (or larger) USB key drive with the essentials
This key drive does double duty: it serves as the daily backup for the console show files and also contains all of the installer files for the plug-ins needed for the show. Even though all consoles ship with the VENUEPack and VENUEPack Pro plug-ins, the console providers may not have installed them all prior to the gig, and may not have the original installation CDs available – so best be prepared by downloading the latest VENUEPack and VENUEPack Pro plug-ins (as a single 117 MB download).

Before heading out, check the list of critical updates for VENUE plug-ins
and download the latest installer package.

Lastly on the plug-in prep list is to make sure to get the latest installers for any additional plug-ins not already covered by VENUEPack/Pro and critical update downloads. This may require going to each plug-in manufacturer’s website for the download.

At this point there are still a few GB left over of the USB key, so let’s fill it up. In fact, USB key drives are so cheap these days it makes sense to buy a second as spare.

Check the DUC for the latest console software update, and copy it to the USB key.

Lastly, download a copy of the ECx Ethernet Control software.

Mac users: make sure you read this post before extracting any archive files.

Carry Two iLoks
One iLok contains the authorizations for plug-ins I use that are not part of the basic console package - such as Cranesong Phoenix, McDSP, Serato Rane Series, Sonnox, URS, the Waves Live bundle, and many others. These are the plug-ins that I (or the artist/company I work for) have purchased.

T
he second iLok is a backup, to be used in case of emergency. For less than $100 it makes sense to protect thousands of dollars in plug-in assets (and your stellar sounding mix) by having a spare iLok and signing up for iLok’s Zero Downtime Coverage. iLoks can be purchased through iLok.com, the Digistore, or even at a local Guitar Center or other pro audio retailer.

Use the System Info Export feature to advance shows
Have you ever wondered what that mysterious INFO button on the Options > System page does? Insert a USB key drive into the console and click the button to find out…

Ok, it’s not really a secret. What happens is that a simple HTML (text) file is created on the USB key. This file contains ALL of the details about the console, including software versions, hardware configuration, I/O configuration, plug-in usage – even a full patch list! The file can be viewed by any Internet browser (Safari, Firefox, Explorer) and it’s simple to copy/paste data into an email, tech spec, Excel spreadsheet, Word doc, etc.
Avoid surprises and frustration on the day of the gig by sending a copy of the Info file to the console provider as part of the advance.

Consult these other resources
Need to create a show on your laptop on the way to the gig? Download the latest copy of VENUE D-Show Standalone software.
Need to find a console for an upcoming gig? The VENUE dealer locator has a list of places with consoles for rent or sale.
Need to consult the manual as a last resort? All user guides are available for download.
Need to know more about VENUE in general? Check the archived webinars and Tips & Tricks.
Still have questions? Check the VENUE Knowledgebase.

Alright, let’s hear your views. What are the essentials when heading out on a new tour, one-off, last minute gig, etc.? What can we, as a console manufacturer, do to help make this process easier for you?

Sheldon

dstagl 12-07-2008 08:26 PM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
I also like to keep a copy of the latest System Restore disc around. I've never had to use it, but I would hate to have to look for it if I actually needed it.

Another thing I like to do is build my own plugin installers for plugins that lack them. This way I can just stick in my drive and not have to exit to the desktop.

Dave

bruce reiter 01-02-2009 04:00 PM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
a simple thing like a loose tdm link cable can cause a large headache unless you are aware of the basic and simple troubleshooting ideas he tech support people were kind enough to share with me.

if you tour with a venue d-show system i think this trouble shooting knowledge is very valuable.

are there any other "little" show stoppers that people have simple fixes for?
other than this the only problem i have had is 2 sticky faders after the console came out of the truck in canada around -20f.

FbTobi 01-09-2009 08:54 AM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
Hi there!

We prefer also cloning the venue hd´s; mainly for our musical productions we take care of:

When the premiere is done, and the sound designer is satisfied with the setup, we first take a backup of the whole console on a usb-stick, then we clone the harddisk of the FoH-Rack, and put it in an extra caddy, so it´s always ready-to-use. (But luckily we did´t need it, so far...)

In case of really bad software trouble, or hd crash, this is the fastest help in our opinion, instead of re-installing to latest situation.
(And as we all know - such things only happen when you have absolutely no time for! ;) )

In my opinion, the backup on the usb-stick should be a daily procedure, anyway.
This ensures to keep also the latest changes (if any), and always re-cloning the hd´s for any changes can´t be quite good for the connections of the hd etc.

For touring productions, there might be better ways to quickly reset to the latest state, and the hot-melt glue on the data-cable connector of the hd doesn´t have to be removed.
But in musical situations, where the setup of desks & peripherials are exactly the same each day, I cannot imagine much aspects against this procedure.

What do you think?

:-) Greetings, Tobi

SteveGam 03-20-2009 07:18 AM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
I also keep a few rj-45 and coax connectors with crimp tools. Also a small assortment of coax and rj-45 FtoF cable stretchers. Progold and D5 spray and a big assortment of torx, security torx, hex drive, small srewdriver assortment and a MAGNIFIER glasses.

Rockpolice 05-15-2009 11:13 PM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FbTobi (Post 1332328)
Hi there!

We prefer also cloning the venue hd´s; mainly for our musical productions we take care of:

When the premiere is done, and the sound designer is satisfied with the setup, we first take a backup of the whole console on a usb-stick, then we clone the harddisk of the FoH-Rack, and put it in an extra caddy, so it´s always ready-to-use. (But luckily we did´t need it, so far...)

In case of really bad software trouble, or hd crash, this is the fastest help in our opinion, instead of re-installing to latest situation.
(And as we all know - such things only happen when you have absolutely no time for! ;) )

Hi,

I'd just like to know how to clone the harddisk and/or is there a better way to backup the console? Would it be better to just have an empty spare HD and install everything from scratch on location (we have all installers on cd's with the console) if the HD would break up? How do you all touring guys do it, if you do?:-)

Thanks, Ile

C Hawk 05-19-2009 06:31 AM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
I look after 6 Venue systems (2 SC48s on the way) and have never had a hard disc problem with mine OR systems we sub-hire.

I think like most things, if you maintain it properly you will be fine.
I know of other production companies that do a full system restore after every tour so to get rid of any nasties that may be in the system.
I dont do that as i have never found a software corruption in a Venue that caused fatal errors and i also feel that the more you erase/write onto a hard disc, the more damage you do and the shorter the lifespan of the HD.

The software is easy and quick to install from scratch (updates are easy to download also!) so IF one were to go down in the field, I would pull the dead HD out and run to the nearest Computer store. If i was lucky, i could do it in 15 mins.

Most things in this console are easy to fix with some basic knowlege.
Just keep in mind the conditions of your warranty.

samcole 05-15-2010 02:37 PM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
A Stereo 1/4" to dual Male XLR adapter to facilitate ear cue and wedge cue. As well as an extra USB stick with my show on it.

matrol 06-12-2010 02:25 PM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
Dear Sheldon,

As suggested to load up a USB stick with the latest VENUEPack and Venuepack Pro, do you have a current link where to find the download(s) ?
Cheers !

Sheldon Radford 06-17-2010 09:11 AM

Re: What's in your digital console survival kit?
 
Hi,

The links in the original post above have been updated to point to the new locations. Let us know if you still can't find what you're looking. Thanks for your patience while we transition to the new support tools!

Sheldon


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