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  #1  
Old 03-04-2000, 09:53 AM
hit productions hit productions is offline
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Location: Makati, MM , Philippines
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Default Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Hi. Any one on this forum with experience using the latest version of the Machine Control option on the new G3/G4s with PT 5?

I only have experience using the older (free) version of Machine Control which was bad, slow and clunky. Is the newer version any better, especially since Digi is charging $495 for it?

I want to remote mount my VCRs in a machine room and want to be able to do laybacks to video from PT.

Any comments will be appreciated!

Dennis Cham
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2000, 12:18 PM
Mark Wheaton Mark Wheaton is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

As far back as I can remember (years), Machine Control has been a pricey software option. Usually about $750! All Machine Control does is offer the ability via drivers to control Sony 9 pin Protocol Video Decks via serial cable (RS 422). since Sony 9 pin RS 422 is available on timeCode DATs and DA88s it is odd that it is virtually unsupported on Music Software products. The odd thing, and something no one can explain to me is this: The same feature is free on Premiere and has been offered for years via the Pipeline VTR product. Which is just a driver and a serial cable (RS422). For some reason this simple driver is $750 in ProTools and is virtually nonexistant in most other Music Software products. Opcode was going to have Sony 9 pin (RS422) capability in their 64XTC, but it turned out to be a cludgy JS Cooper MMC to Sony 9 pin converter box that I could never get to work. On video editing packages from Premiere up to Avid, Sony 9 pin is a common way to batch digitize clips into the computer, but for some reason it is either expensive or non existant on music products, go figure. If you buy the Post conform product you get Machine Control included because this is the only format that can batch digitize clips from Time Code sources.
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Old 03-04-2000, 03:09 PM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Yes, it is expensive but is much better than earlier versions because you get track arming and, if you have a USD, you have the option to sync to the timecode contained in the serial data. The data has always been there, and finally the latest version of machine control can read it and lock to it. You must have a USD to use this feature, and lockups are definitely faster than using just LTC from the video deck.

Is it worth the money? Depends. I've got a 9600, so there's no problem with a serial port. I have machine control, but for laybacks I prefer using a small 9-pin controller (which has a shuttle wheel) and locking PT to my video deck the usual way via LTC. Having normal buttons for play, stop, fwd, rwd, record just feels better to me. If, however, I was using one of the disk-based video machines, I would definitely want machine control so that the video would chase PT easily. The machine control option is cheaper than any useable 9pin controller that I've seen.
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Old 03-04-2000, 07:27 PM
hit productions hit productions is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Thanks guys for your comments, Mark I stand corrected, it is $749 for the option. I also think it is costly for the money. Imaginge just software and a cable. But if it works as advertised . . . it should be worth it.

I am using a G4 with a Stealth Port which connects to my USD. Maybe if I add a port splitter/expander. My machine is right beside me (Sony BVU 950), it is just noisy and I want to be able to access the other machines we have in the machine room (Beta SP and DigiBeta),

It seems my other choice is the 9 pin controller. Postman any ideas whereyou can find such?

Thanks a lot amigos!
Dennis
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Old 03-06-2000, 10:48 AM
Postman Postman is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

I haven't researched this for a couple of years, so I don't know about anything recent.

First, VueTech makes a number of models that are quite affordable, around $350 and up. I haven't used them so I can't comment on them much, but none of their models seem especially suited for audio laybacks. While they have the usual buttons and shuttle knob for motion control, they require you to set dip switches on the back to enable edit mode and which tracks to record on. I also don't know if they deal with mutichannel audio decks (DA38/88/98 and the like). The dip switches turned me off, and the units don't have much visual appeal.

I bought an R2P2 unit from motionworks. www.motionworks.co.uk/prwin.html . It is small and feature-packed, and is designed to be easily software upgradeable. It knows about a large number of decks, including DATs and other audio-only decks, as well as many, many video decks. I love it except for one thing: the shuttle wheel is awful and by far the worst I have ever seen, used, or heard about. Physically, the original metwl knob was so recessed it was hard to grasp. This has been greatly improved with a black plastic replacement knob (provided for free). But the shuttle knob's mechano-electrical design is quite poor, so that the R2P2 has a hard time distinguishing between clockwise and counter-clockwise knob movements. This makes frame accurate positioning far more difficult than it should be. It's a real shame, since the R2P2 is so well conceived and implemented. It's only other real flaw is that "assemble" mode recordings cannot be set from the R2P2. It only allows "crash" record or insert record.

I believe Sony still has a controller, but it is quite expensive. I paid about $1100 for the R2P2 two years ago, and have managed okay in spite of the shuttle knob. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Sorry 'bout that bad link, this is the correct one.

[This message has been edited by Postman (edited March 07, 2000).]
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Old 03-07-2000, 08:25 AM
spigots spigots is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Dennis,
We sometimes use a nice 9 pin controller called BUF, from Buf Technologies.
The last address we have on file is:
11835 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 1304
San Diego, CA 92128
(619)451-1350
It has a ton of functions.
I am using the machine control option and love it. To me the main advantage is if you do alot of inserting as you lay back. I do alot of sweetening for corporate stuff, in the 8 - 20 minute range and work unsupervised up until layback. With the machine control option I can print a pass, have the client review it and note (via TC numbers) where they want changes and quickly re-insert the audio. With any small 9-pin remote I've ever used, you have to mark your your ins and outs using the jog wheel, which can become very annoying with alot of frame accurate punches involved.

Frank
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Old 03-07-2000, 12:25 PM
hit productions hit productions is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Thanks for the info guys! I guess the best solution would be to get this option and try it out for myself on one system.

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  #8  
Old 03-28-2001, 02:17 AM
TheSergery TheSergery is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

It's absolutely worth it. Although pricey, I use it and it saves me HOURS of work!! A worthwhile investment!

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SL
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  #9  
Old 03-28-2001, 02:28 AM
Huby SEA Huby SEA is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

Have you ever heard of the Gallery-soft 009, included in the Post-tools??

Go to http://www.demon.co.uk/gallery/frameIDX.html
and tsjekitout!
Gallery post-tools is imho one of the better options.

Greetings,

Huby

PS: I'm not in annyway related toGallery-soft, I only use it on a daily basis .
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  #10  
Old 03-28-2001, 09:57 AM
Noiz2 Noiz2 is offline
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Default Re: Machine Control Option is it worth it?

JLCooper makes 9pin controlers from around 350, very solid, great tech suport, jog/suttle transport and track arming.
SK
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