First use in anger

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of sonic sonic 6 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #42146
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    OK – I’ve read and inwardly digested vast tracts of manual, I’ve resampled old recordings and used QUDrive to give me a multitrack band to practice with (transport controls might be useful in here), but today was the first time I “went live”.

    Context: Church meeting at a local school.
    We meet as a single congregation every 3-6 months, the rest of the time we have 4 services on a Sunday (although there is some overlap from the three morning services to the evening service). A local school hall has the required space, so we rock up, set up, worship, strike, get out – a great case for anything that can make our lives easier!

    For safety I ran a multicore out, so the desk was at the “normal” mix position, but I rigged up a wireless network as well, so that the iPad could be used (as that’s my intended pattern with a local band I mix for). We also had the usual analogue desk on standby…

    Setup was fine – decided to run the radio receivers on stage (this was better than normal) so everything on the PA desk was QU related.
    The band grew from what we had been told, but we still had plenty of capacity on the QU-16 (the limit was actually on the multicore), and so by selecting only one of each stereo feed (Drums/Keys) I could use the custom layer and have a DCA for the band, and FX returns and Stereo feeds from the iPod and PC all at our fingertips.

    Soundcheck went fairly well – I had to use the Aux Out for Mix1&2 since the multicore is configured for the analogue desk (which has TRS jacks for foldback), and then remember the extra volume control on the surface for the aux outputs. (Boy was I glad I’d played with this before).
    Wandering onto the stage and going through the (many more than usual) foldback mixes with the musicians was really useful – got those all dialled in nicely, as well as the bass re-amp setup (post fade mix). Out front one of the other guys was dialling in eq for channels and looking after FOH setup, major time saver having two mix positions!

    Just before the service we decided to save the settings I’d done one save before the soundcheck, but had rearranged a couple of singers etc in the mean time) and somehow (without any confirmation prompts) we reverted to the pre soundcheck settings. disaster!

    I then did a “from memory” reset of all levels, labels etc. We lost the eq, and the balance – we’d have to do those in the first song.
    I grabbed the iPad and looked at foldback, one of the other guys grabbed the desk and started hitting FOH and eq.

    For some reason there was no keys foldback volume. I went through a number of things before remembering that they were using the Aux out, and that had reset as well – I had to grab the desk back to change that.

    Other than that ‘minor glitch’ the system was great. It sounded good, it worked well, the dual operation was nice (so long as I left FOH alone in general).

    The QU Drive was occupied by a Sandisk Extreme 64 GB key, and seemed to be happy about recording (I’m about to copy it onto the mac and have a play) I hit go just before the service, and left it running. We also ran our “normal” MP3 recorder from Mix 9&10 (post fade on these as well).

    ‘Very cool features’ post to follow:…

    #42148
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Very cool features:

    – Gate/Compressor history graphs (iPad function)
    These just make it really easy to see what’s going on with the gate/compressor. Is your threshold doing any good, is it excessive – the last few seconds of gain reduction being graphed is a master stroke of good UI

    – Physical controls
    Particularly the eq layout is just SO easy to use, with the pretty graph available to confirm what you are about to do. The faders themselves also got complements – just the tactile feel of them!

    – Master fader follows mix
    Not something we have enabled on our normal desk (an M300), and something which was generally considered excellent.

    – Custom layer only and surface lock
    Custom layer limiting was great, not because we wanted ourselves locked down, but because we arranged everything on the custom layer, and didn’t want to risk one of us hitting the wrong layer selection. The whole surface lock was great when my 3 y/old son came to play ๐Ÿ˜‰

    – iPad control
    Just fabulous, although I’ll probably put together another post on just the Qu-Pad app, there are a few things that I missed, but the ability to grab the iPad and walk around the venue, to go on stage and do foldback, to check the corners of the room.
    The ability to have two mix operations happening at the same time… All excellent. It didn’t drop out once (which it has occasionally at home)

    – RTA/meters pages
    The RTA is a really nice feature, need I say more? The meters page is well laid out, it’s really nice and easy to check that nothing is coming close to clipping.

    – Qu Drive
    Wow – just looking back on it, wow.
    This is something the M300 really lacks, particularly since the USB recorder on that (stereo only) can’t be used when the iPad remote dongle is in play.

    – Power
    Overall there is enough power in this desk to really configure each channel well. And it never skipped a beat in configuration, it’s response was always instant.

    #42149
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Qu-Pad
    Amazing bit of software. It “just works”(tm).
    Easy to adjust the wrong mix output, but that’s something I’ll learn.

    The “extra” historical information on the gain reduction stages is good – A couple of custom layers are easy enough. The various processing layers and the meters/rta pages are all excellent.

    What would I like to see?
    Scenes. Would be nice to be able to save/recall scenes from the iPad – I can’t quite put together scenes for different songs in a set yet
    FX. Would be nice to be able to adjust the FX, although I’d like that to be a tab in the top half (so I could carry on mixing as well)
    Meters. They’re so good – if the meters or RTA could be selected to the top half of the screen that would be a good blend on screen – Starting to ask for quite alot of tabs up there though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #42159
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    So what do you mean by ‘in anger’. You seem pleased.

    #42160
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Colloquial expression. To use something “in anger” is to use it for it’s intended purpose, live, in the real world.

    I’d had it sat in my back room, patched into the hifi (and I am really glad I took the time to do that) – but that doesn’t substitute for the real thing..

    Oh – and yes I’m pleased (apart from the loss of all changes – Ill try to work out how to repeat that “at leisure”.

    #42161
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    Never heard that expression before. Somewhat misleading. :). Glad you like the QU.

    #42162
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Given that I’ve bought it…. so am I ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Trying to find a decent way to get PFL out to the iPad (or another body pack)
    I can probably get away with a radio mic into a channel for talkback, but PFL would be nice.

    #42193
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    In mixed news…

    I’ve just spent 20-30 minutes trying to reproduce the glitch that nearly ruined Sunday. And I can’t.

    There is nothing on that screen (which was definitely in place) which doesn’t require a confirmation dialogue, and the “yes” button is nowhere near the controls (another good bit of UI design).
    I cannot work out what happened.

    This is good because:
    – It’s not likely to be triggered again, the design of the UI asks for confirmation before difficult decisions are made – and that confirmation requires a second touch screen interaction some way away from the dangerous buttons.

    This is bad because:
    – I have no idea when this might happen again. I have no idea what caused it, nor any way to provide A&H with enough detail to be useful, so the likelihood of this biting again isn’t diminished.

    What would I like to see?
    – Maybe a “scene loop” option, where I can designate a number of scenes (maybe 10) and allocate a soft key to “save to next”, so I can try things, save them – revert if I need to without having to think about switching between scenes.
    – Certainly scene controls on the Qu-Pad

    I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll likely never know what went on on Sunday – there is nothing in the UI that behaves remotely similarly to the situation on Sunday AFAICT.

    #42195
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    Bob, I taught myself something many years ago,… when a computer does something we don’t like or understand, it is almost always because it is doing exactly what we programmed it to do.

    So, my guess because “in haste” it is very easy to hit the green “Recall” tab instead of the yellow “Store”.

    Yes, you are correct, the mixer asks us to verify exactly what we want to do which is good, but the grey pop-up dialogue box looks identical except for the wording,,,, so I think by mistake, you hit the scene button on the right side of the touch screen and then either had the wrong scene highlighted in the list and hit recall/yes or,,,, you had the correct scene highlighted and accidentally hit “Recall” instead of “Store”. It is a very easy thing to do wrong in haste and on the job, or church, so make sure you read every word in the “Scene” window EVERY TIME and go really slow and repeat the words in your mind before hitting anything, especially “Yes”.

    These are just my thoughts which are intended to assure you that your nightmare will not happen again. I can only imagine the sadness you experienced when you realized that you had to start all over. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt ๐Ÿ™‚

    #42197
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    I agree – the dialogue boxes could be “more different”, and the store/recall buttons could be further apart.

    However – on Sunday I(‘m 99.9% certain that I) didn’t get a confirmation dialogue at all. That’s what really throws me.
    I certainly wasn’t in haste, I had two people watching me, double checking/learning the desk.

    It is a UI area for improvement though…

    #42207
    Profile photo of dpdan
    dpdan
    Participant

    well, let’s hope that never happens again, if it is any comfort, my Qu24 has been rock solid.

    Dan

    #42209
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Having looked at the soft keys they are a bit aggressive, but they weren’t configured (they were mute groups)

    #42239
    Profile photo of coffee_king
    coffee_king
    Participant

    Although I don’t feel your using the word “Use in anger” correctly in my mind, you are correct it can be used like this.
    I just don’t think its used in this scenario very much these days. (I think its originates from military stuff)

    Also, I really enjoyed your read.
    Please feel free to read my experiences here
    http://community.allen-heath.com/forums/topic/using-my-new-qu-16-live-for-the-first-time-ever-tonight

    and also I believe adding your name to this wouldnt hurt for your scene recall issue ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://community.allen-heath.com/forums/topic/back-button-as-in-history

    Cheers

    #42282
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    ’twas your post which inspired me to report my experience. These first impressions are useful IMHO.

    Although I donโ€™t feel your using the word โ€œUse in angerโ€ correctly in my mind, you are correct it can be used like this.
    I just donโ€™t think its used in this scenario very much these days. (I think its originates from military stuff)

    I use it quite frequently at work in relation to software and/or data – that’s the thing with colloquialisms, they’re often confined to specific communities – which may be large or small, geographically or technically linked. They can expire in some communities before others…

    I’m looking forward to it’s next outing anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

    #42290
    Profile photo of MarkPAman
    MarkPAman
    Participant

    For what it’s worth, (not a lot) I’ve known the phrase “Use in anger” for a long time, and sometimes use it myself for this exact meaning.

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