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Old December 8th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #1
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Audio Tones in Headphone

On the next firmware update, we are planning to add audio tones to headphone output. Per Dan's recommendations, we'll have a low to high tone for Record Start; a high to low tone for Record Stop and some other constant tone for error conditions.

The tones can be enabled or disabled via a menu selection. We want to keep this simple, but would like to solict any recommendations.

The tones are only present on the headphone output and do not effect the recorded audio.

Thanks-
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Old December 9th, 2009, 04:56 AM   #2
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Obviously this is good for cinema applications so the boom swinger/dp/ac knows when XDR is rolling. Combined with a headphone output adjustment, this would be very useful.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 06:08 AM   #3
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Mike because different headphones have different responses, IMO high > low > high tones depending on the frequencies could be different for various cans, therefore distracting ... dunno.

Better to have short beeps around 400cycles one says recording .. two says stopped etc.

Or a nice blonde (I saw yesterday) who says in a low voice "mmm baby guess what, you're rolling" That kinda thing :)

Cheers.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 06:48 AM   #4
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Dear Friends,

Our current thoughts are:

Start Recording: One short 200 Hertz tone immediately followed by a short 400 Hertz tone.
The short tones will be 1/4 second each.

Stop Recording: One Longer 200 Hertz tone (1 second in length)

Unexpected error condition: 800 Hertz tone for 1 second on, one second off, repeating.

The tones will be adjustable in volume level, off, low, medium, high.


We will program the tones, then listen to them, then adjust them so they are pleasant and effective.

We fully realize that only some will have headphones on.

For professional, major studio style shoots, the separate sound department will most likely not be monitoring the headphone output of the nanoFlash or Flash XDR, instead they will be monitoring their sound recorder.

Of course, we always recommend monitoring the primary sound recorder while rolling on set.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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I think the start/rolling and stop tones as well as error tones are a great idea!

More than once I have experienced failures to start and stop when using the remote. Got into the habit of always checking the nano and xdr screens to make sure the intended actions occured. Now one can go back to concentrating on the monitor, framing, action etc. and have the confidence of the tones.

Great ideas guys.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #6
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I understand CD resources are not unlimited. That being said...

I hope that not one second of effort is taken away from hot swapping to enable this potentially useful but basically unrequested feature (by comparison to hot swapping).

I also hope that other functions such as audio meters on playback, and better audio input level controls and frame rate recording between 1fps and 24fps take precedence as well.

Jeff
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Old December 9th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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Hi Jeff. Do you know the term "low hanging fruit"? Tones for start, stop and error are great examples of that. Hot swapping is an animal though, from an engineering standpoint.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Aaron,

I agree with your point, my point was mainly related to limited resources. I would rather however fix the ranges of analog audio preamp in, gain in, and gain out (clearly not properly implemented yet) and increasing the embedded number of channels (very important) first then, that seems pretty basic too.

Jeff
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Old December 9th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Dear Jeff,

We have someone working almost full time on adding more audio channels.

This is important to you and very important to us.

We are also working on another feature that I know you will be very happy to have. We were testing it yesterday, but I do not know the test results yet.

The nanoFlash has the Sony Module, a very sophisticated FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) and a microprocessor.

Most new features involve the FPGA and thus one part of our team; and other features, such as adding tones, only involve the microprocessor, which is another part of our team.

Sometimes, one team has to wait on another part of the team. This is when we can spend a little time working on these "nice to have" but not essential features.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Aaron,

I agree with your point, my point was mainly related to limited resources. I would rather however fix the ranges of analog audio preamp in, gain in, and gain out (clearly not properly implemented yet) and increasing the embedded number of channels (very important) first then, that seems pretty basic too.

Jeff
Hi Jeff-
We agree. We just purchased an evaluation board which should reduce our development time for these audio CODEC features. Adding the audio tones for start/stop is really very simple with this CODEC.

We are continuing to develop features such as Hot-Swap, 8-Channel Audio and Redundant Record. As we get deeper into the code, we sometimes find some rather tricky issues that cause us to back up and rewrite other sections of the code. It's often difficult to estimate the time to develop these features until you dive into the code.

I am happy to report that over/under crank may be much easier than first expected. We are hopeful that this feature will be part of next week's beta release. This beta releaae will aslo include Loop Record, 35 Mbps 1440x1080, IMX 30/40, and 720p30/25/24 support, assuming all goes well in development.

Best-
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:36 AM   #11
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At the risk of starting to sound like a cheer-leader,
maybe it is time we remind ourselves that when most of us bought our XDR's and Nano's, we did so with the expectations of a certain feature set capability along with the promise of some future feature additions.

I think many of us are getting spoiled by the fact that C-D has greatly exceeded most of the capabilities we bought and expected in a very short time. I can only imagine how they must feel when after announcing a useful (yes maybe minor feature like this headphone tone issue), they get hammered for not having achieved other features. Jeeze!

I think the majority around here would agree that this is one manufacturer that is not only about one of the most responsive to customer feature requests, but has a track record of listening AND DELIVERING on many of those requests and suprising us with other unexpected gems.

And in return, from the thoughts and reported experiences of the users here, their XDR and Nano recorders are growing to be some damn fine products.

I guess what I am saying is when they come across a useful feature that they can easily implement, would we rather they not do so until after other older and more important features are successfully deployed?

Example: would we rather not have this useful feature until after they achieve the important to many hot-swap?

Sorry for the cheer-leading but this one kinda bugged me. Too thin a skin I guess.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #12
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Hi,

At the risk of starting to sound like a cheer-leader

John, I agree with you totally. Well done!!.

Mike.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #13
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Hi John, Mike-
Thanks for all the encouragement. We also think the XDR/nano has come a long way since we first introduced the product about 18 months ago. We also know we need to continue refining and enhancing the product, especially in the area of reliability, which has also improved dramatically.

We do have lots of more features in the pipeline. We have already discussed hot-swap, redundant recording and 8-channel audio, for example. But we also plan to add user configuration files, which will allow you to predefine (on a PC/MAC) up to 8 profiles which can be loaded into the nanoFlash. The profiles will define all the various settings in the nanoFlash menu and allow for metadata entry. So with one selection you can setup a time-lapse shot or slo-mo (overcrank) or loop record.

Many of these enhancement ideas come from users, such as yourselves. So, please keep sending us new feature requests / suggestions, as well as any bugs or problems you uncover. We do our best to implement / correct as appropriate.

Best-
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