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A quick overview. SoundMan-Server. SoundMan-Server. SoundMan-Server (or “SM-S”) is a high performance sound playback and routing audio engine application Primarily intended for theatrical and themed entertainment Up to 512 individual live input channels

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soundman server
SoundMan-Server
  • SoundMan-Server (or “SM-S”) is a high performance sound playback and routing audio engine application
    • Primarily intended for theatrical and themed entertainment
    • Up to 512 individual live input channels
    • Up to 999 individual playback channels
    • Up to 512 output channels
    • A typical application might have 192 playback channels, 96 inputs, and 96 outputs.
architecture
Architecture
  • SM-S is essentially two crosspoint matrixes
    • One matrix between live inputs and outputs
    • One matrix between playback and outputs
  • Every input, crosspoint, and output is an identical control node:
    • Gain, Mute, Solo, Inversion, Delay, Delay Enable
    • 7 Band parametric EQ
    • 31 Band Graphic EQ
    • Two octave pitch shifter
audio interfaces
Audio Interfaces
  • SM-S uses any sound card with an ASIO driver
    • Most professional cards have ASIO drivers
  • Typical recommended interfaces:
    • MOTU 424 or 424e card and interface units:
      • HD192, 2408 MK III, 24I/0
    • AudioScience ASI6416 Cobranet cards
    • RME MADI cards
    • AudioScience or RME AES cards
    • Digigram Ethersound cards (currently in qualification)
non recommended audio interfaces
Non-Recommended Audio Interfaces
  • Anything from SoundBlaster
  • Crystal 6-channel cards with minijacks
    • They work, but can be noisy and the jacks are unreliable; some drivers are 16-bit only
  • “Plug-n-Play” including Firewire/USB
    • The Windows OS can “forget” units
    • Connectors are not available in a locking style
    • Can be OK for special events or temporary shows
    • Work with the manufacturer for maximum reliability
playback file formats
Playback File Formats
  • File Formats: WAVE, AIFF, Raw PCM
  • Sample Formats: PCM: 16, 20, 24, 24/32, 32 bit, FLOAT: 32 bit Floating Point
  • Sample Rates: Any (different files can have different rates)
  • Automatic sample rate conversion to the interface sample rate
playback features
Playback Features
  • Start/Stop/Pause/Resume
  • Free running or locked to Timecode
  • Adjustable Start and Stop positions
  • Loop from any point to any point
    • (Or skip if loop-to is after loop-from)
  • Adjustable playback rate (speed/pitch)
  • Sample accurate playback on many channels if started together
playback
Playback
  • Each playback channel plays one track of one file
    • Use multiple playback channels to play multi-channel files
    • Play only the tracks you want
    • Play same track on multiple channels with different routing/gain/EQ
    • Play tracks with different offsets in the file at the same time
timecode
Timecode
  • 24 / 25 / 29.97 / 30 FPS capability
  • Two timecode readers
    • Readers are output channels, can route any source to them
      • Can follow a live input or a recorded TC track
  • Two timecode generators
    • Generators are input channels, can route to any destination
    • Generators can be slaved to TC readers
      • Useful to generate 30FPS from 24FPS input
signal generator
Signal Generator
  • A low-distortion signal generator is available on input channel 1000
  • Can generate Sine, Square, Triangle, White Noise, or Pink Noise
  • Pink noise slope ripple < 0.1 dB
  • Sine, Square and Triangle frequencies can be set from 1 Hz to Sample Rate / 2
  • Sine/Square/Triangle frequency can be swept over arbitrary frequency range with linear or log sweep
  • Sweep can be paused and resumed
control methods
Control Methods
  • SM-S is controlled by simple human-readable text commands
    • Current command set is always available at:

www.RichmondSoundDesign.com

  • Commands are given on Telnet port 20000
  • Up to 20 telnet ports may be open at once for control and monitoring
  • A typical command sequence:
    • SET CHANNEL P12-P14 GAINDB 0 FADETIME 4.2;
    • PLAY P12-P14;
control abilities
Control Abilities
  • Every parameter of every control node is individually controllable
    • Every Input, Crosspoint, or Output is a control node
  • Groups of control nodes may be adjusted simultaneously
    • SET CHAN P0-15 GAINDB -12;
  • Every “analog” parameter (eg: gain, delay, EQ frequency) can be faded over time
monitoring
Monitoring
  • Every parameter of every control node can be interrogated
  • Channels can be interrogated in groups
    • GET CHAN P0-3 TRACK POSITION;
  • Every response begins with a unique identifier and is in a simple text format on a single line:

Position P0=213022 P1=165902 P2=433662 P3=1024;

control ranges
Control Ranges
  • Gain: +20 to -144 dB
    • gain can be given in dB or absolute 0 to 10 range, where 1.0 is 0 dB
      • SET CHANNEL I0 GAIN 0; mute first input
  • Delay: 0 to 5 seconds
    • in microseconds or samples
  • EQ Gain: +12 to -144 dB
  • EQ Frequency: 1 Hz to Sample Rate/2
command syntax overview
Command Syntax Overview
  • Most commands start with SET or GET
    • Followed by the item to act on
        • Usually CHAN or CHANNEL followed by a list of channel types and numbers (channel identifiers) or channel names
      • Followed by one or more parameter keywords and (for SET) the values for the items, for example:
        • GAIN 0.3
        • DELAY 1.2
        • TRACK FILE “C:\Audio Tracks\File1.wav”

Commands are shown in uppercase, but except for strings in quotes, are case insensitive

channel types
Channel Types
  • Channel types are:

INPUT IN I

OUTPUT OUT O

PLAYBACK PB P

CROSSPOINT XPOINT X

PLAYBACKCROSSPOINT PBXPOINT PX

GROUP G

channel identifiers and names
Channel Identifiers and Names
  • A channel identifier is a channel type followed by a channel number (or number.number for crosspoints)

PLAYBACK 1 IN4 PX4.4

  • Channels may be named and the names used:

SET CHAN I0 NAME MC_MIC

SET CHAN MC_MIC GAINDB -4.3 FADETIME 2;

channel identifier groupings
Channel Identifier Groupings
  • Channel identifiers may be individual, in ranges, or lists:

PLAYBACK 1 PLAYBACK 0 TO 4

OUT 1-3 IN 0 1 2 3 5 PB 6 OUT7-12 I16

X0.0 1.1 2.2 X0-3.0-3

  • Channel ranges are two channel numbers that are in equal or ascending order separated by “TO” or a dash
channel parameters
Channel Parameters
  • All channels have the standard settings:
    • GAIN or GAINDB
    • MUTE, SOLO, PHASEREVERSE
    • DELAY TIME, DELAY ENABLE
    • Graphic EQ ENABLE, BAND GAINS
    • Parametric EQ BANDS, EQ ENABLE, BAND ENABLE
    • Each Parametric EQ Band has:
      • SHAPE, FREQUENCY, GAIN or GAINDB, BANDWIDTH
additional playback channel parameters
Additional Playback Channel Parameters
  • TRACK parameters:
    • PATH “path to files”
    • FILE “name” TRACK number
    • START, STOP, REPEAT and LOOP points
    • PITCH or SPEED
  • Example:

SET CHAN P0 TRACK FILE “C:\INTRO.WAV” START 20.1 STOP 40 PITCH .5 FADETIME 30;

fadable channel parameters
“Fadable” Channel Parameters
  • All “analog” channel parameters can fade over time:
    • GAIN, GAINDB, DELAY TIME, EQ FREQUENCY, EQ GAIN, EQ BANDWIDTH, PLAYBACK SPEED/PITCH
  • Fade can be specified in seconds or as a timecode
    • FADETIME <seconds and fractions>
    • FADETC <timecode value>
  • Examples
    • SET CHAN OUT1 GAINDB -144 FADETIME 5.2;
    • SET CHANI1 DELAY .025 FADETIME 1.22;
example
Example

1 CONFIG SET INTERFACE "MOTU FireWire Audio" MODE NORMAL INPUTS 0 OUTPUTS 18 PLAYBACKS 50;

2 SET MATRIX OFF;

3 SET CHAN P0 TRACK FILE "T:\AudioBox011.WAV" START TIME 13 STOP TC 0:30:27:0 REPEAT TIME 13;

4 SET CHAN P1 TRACK FILE "T:\AudioBox012.WAV" START TIME 13 STOP TC 0:30:27:0 REPEAT TIME 13;

5 SET CHAN P0-1 gaindb -3 chan O0-1 GAIN 1;

6 SET CHAN PX 0.0 1.1 GAIN 1;

7 PLAY P 0-1;

example notes
Example Notes

1 Initialize SM-S to use the ASIO device "MOTU FireWire Audio”. Disable the inputs and set 50 playback channels.

2 Set all input, playback, crosspoint, and output channels to 0 gain.

3 Set playback channel 0 to play the file “T:\AudioBox011.WAV” starting 13 seconds in and looping from 30 minutes 27 seconds back to 13 seconds. The full path to the file, including the filename suffix, must be specified.

4 Set playback channel 1 to play the file “T:\AudioBox012.WAV” using the same start/stop/repeat parameters as above. P0 and P1 are a stereo pair from two mono files.

5 Set both playback channel gains to -3dB and set output channels 0 and 1 to a gain of 1, which is 0dB.

6 Set playback crosspoints 0.0 and 1.1 to have gains of 0dB. This routes P0 to O0 and P1 to O1, giving stereo output.

7 Make playback channels P0 and P1 play. Since we played both channels in one channel list, they will be sample locked.