MADI I/O Card setup and routing ?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Riker Riker 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #114053
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Hello, Just installed the AH MADI I/O option card in my SQ-6. The MADI card is connected to a Pulse 16MX, which has analog hardware connected to it.

    Under Setup – Audio – I/O Port – MADI signal under LINK 1 is all green. 64 channels available, no errors, all looks good.

    However, I do not know how to route the MADI connected devices to use for tracking in my DAW (Studio One 6.2) or for mixing with the analog hardware after tracking.

    What do I need to do on the SQ-6 I/O page or other screens in order for my DAW to “see” my analog hardware devices ?

    Thank you very much,

    Stephane

    #114076
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    I will also add that I can confirm the Pulse 16MX is working properly. Everything at default values. Clock shows LOCKED to SQ, routing has MADI Inputs 1-8 mapped to MADI outputs 1-8 etc.. up to 64 channels in chunks of 8 channels. So, from the Pulse side everything looks like it should. Now it’s the SQ side I need to figure out in order to make this setup work for tracking and mixing with Studio One.

    #114081
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    All I/O cards are routed the same way. You need to use the console’s Routing/Patch tab. Select the OUTPUTS tab (because you are trying to send audio out of the console and into the Pulse 16MX). Then select the I/O card. Using the I/O matrix, you select which audio signals (inputs, groups, matrixes, etc) you want to send OUT.

    If the Pulse 16MX is sending any audio back, then you will also need to route the “INPUTS” audio correctly (perhaps for virtual soundcheck, or inserts on a particular channel, group, matrixes, etc). Choose INPUTS -> I/O Card -> use the matrix to send the incoming audio to the connect SQ destination. For virtual sound check, it might be a “1 to 1” matrix (sending the audio from the Pulse output 1 to SQ input 1), but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to use the incoming audio as an “insert” then you don’t route that particular input here – but rather on the actual “insert” for whatever channel, group, matrixes you are wanting to put that insert on.

    #114087
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Hi Brian, thank you for taking time to help me out, I appreciate it.

    I went into I/O page – OUTPUTS – IP Direct Outputs on vertical side and then selected I/O PORT MADI on the top horizontal row. As a test, I Patched my local input 4 (Bass guitar) to all 32 MADI channels across. When I play my bass, I get nothing on the Pulse. The Pulse says it’s Clock is LOCKED to SQ-6, the SETUP – I/O PORT screen shows LINK 1 all green.

    So, it looks like I patched the local input 4 to go OUT to any I/O MADI port, but somehow the signal is not getting to the Pulse. I checked and testing GAIN on the pulse, did not do anything.

    I can RemoteFish connect to the Pulse no problem, Routing in the Pulse is 1 to 1 MADI Input and Output. No signal indication in RemoteFish either. I tried swapping the Coax cable but then lost the LOCK, so I had (have) them connected properly.
    I’ve attached 2 pictures, one shows the I/O mapping screen and the other the SETUP screen with the I/O MADI configuration.

    At this point I just want to see if I can track / record a local SQ6 input (Bass on Ip4) through my Wes Audio Rhea compressor that is connected to the Pulse 16. I will try to figure out the DAW integration / mixing part later.
    Thanks again for your advice.
    Stephane

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    #114092
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Also, just to add a small update: When I went to the I/O Screen, under INPUT, Local Input and tried to patch my Local Ip 4 to the MADI card I/O thinking of the “return signal from the Pulse 16” and I got instant, and loud, feedback. Probably a “loop” or something. Freaked me out LOL !

    #114094
    Profile photo of Søren Steinmetz
    Søren Steinmetz
    Participant

    When you patched the insert output, did you remember to turn insert on in the channel ?

    #114097
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    yes, the insert was ON in the channel itself. But, what I am not sure about is should the signal be routed out of the local input, to the MADI output – Pulse – hardware gear, then back IN to the channel local input ?

    Or, should it be only used as an INSERT on whichever local input channel ?

    Probably an Insert to be used as and when required, for tracking / recording at least. But for that insert to route the audio out of the SQ, to the pulse + hardware gear and back into the SQ and to my local input “insert return”, I will assume that routing has to be done properly and working properly on the I/O tab before any of that would work.

    I tried what Brian mentioned above: I/O screen – Outputs – Local Outputs – Patched to MADI card but I’m obviously missing something because it did not work.

    #114102
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    Looking at that second image – it looks like you are in the correct place to route audio (I/O Screen -> Outputs -> I/O Card), but you have not selected any of the inputs (on left side of screen). You need to click on the box that is at the intersection of the input line and output column. If you want to route AXE-FX L to I/O Port 1, then you need to click on the intersection of those two things and select that box. See my attached picture as an example.

    As far as the immediate feedback, if you are using a DAW to record and playback sound, you want to make sure you “disarm” any recording feature before trying to play it back to the SQ. For example I use Reaper to record and then playback my inputs. In order to record, I need to arm each input in Reaper (by pressing the red record button on each input), but if I leave those tracks armed I will get high feedback when I try to play those tracks back through the console. The feedback goes away and I hear the expected tracks playing back through the console if I simply “disarm” (uncheck the recording button) each track in Reaper.

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    #114105
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Hi Brian,

    As my picture shows, as a test, I patched local input 4 – Bass – to ALL MADI PORTS. That way, when I played my bass guitar I should have seen some activity somewhere on the Pulse 16 inputs, but did not. So, I do understand what you are saying regarding patching my inputs to the MADI card, and that is what I did, except for only one input instead of all of them, just to test. Hope that makes sense.

    As for the feedback, the DAW was not running at that time, in fact my recording computer was turned off completely. This feedback was just with the SQ and Pulse turned on, nothing else.

    What I ready about MADI is that it’s “plug and play” with no “command control software” etc.. but I only get the PLUG part, not the PLAY part LOL !

    #114140
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    *** RESOLVED – Partly ***

    At least part of it is resolved. The Ferrofish support tech noticed that my Pulse 16MX routing was not setup properly. Now that the Pulse Analog Inputs and Analog Outputs are configured to send and receive from MADI, I get signal to the Pulse – external gear.

    Now I just need to properly patch the SQ I/O to get the processed signal from external hardware back to SQ, and then out of SQ via either Mains out, mixes out, and USB out so that I can record processed signal, and then later, mix recorded tracks through external gear.

    Thanks again Brian for your help, I’ll go over your post again and try to complete the patching, if you have any other thoughts, advice, please let me know.

    Cheers,
    Stephane

    #114141
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Allen and Heath Support Ticket System Observation

    Not to complain, but to offer constructive feedback on my experience with AH Support after opening a ticket.

    I provided a TON of details in my original ticket, pretty much every number I had ie: serial number, firmware, driver version, OS, and scree shots of I/O page, MADI card status etc..
    I tried to be as thorough as possible because as an IT professional who spent 30 years supporting a client base I understand it’s not easy to troubleshooting a problem when you are not physically in front of it.

    The first response by AH Support was: “update your firmware, let me know if problem is fixed”
    I was off by 0.0.X release (1.5.9 to 1.5.10), I updated and let the support tech know that it did not change anything.
    Next response was “make sure sample rate is the same on all device, let me know if problem is fixed”
    Yes, sample rate is all set to 48Khz, no, it did not fix the problem.

    My issue is, after reading the extremely detailed information I provided, why not have a response like “After reviewing your information, please try the following FIVE potential solutions and let us know” or 3 solutions, or ten.. my point is the “try ONE” get back to us, takes forever to resolve anything. Case in point, the main solution was provided by Synthax USA while I was going back and forth over days with AH support. And yes I get it that the problem was not with the SQ per say, but rather a routing configuration on the Pulse. But, perhaps that would have been a suggestion from AH support, given all the info I provided that showed “green across the board”.

    If checking firmware and checking sample rate was on the todo list, just tell me up front to check all of that in one go and save days wasted going back and forth.

    I understand, in this day and age, support is not what it used to be, can’t just “pick up the phone, get directly to a human who can help / solve problem in 30 min” those days are gone, I get it. But email tag over multiple days with “one offs” is not efficient or timely.

    This is not directed at the support agent in any way, I’m sure it’s “operational procedure / company policy” for troubleshooting, but it’s slightly frustrating none the less.
    Anyways, I appreciate the assistance here on this forum, and also from the AH support tech, even if it takes longer than I would like, just sharing to maybe improve the process.

    My 2 cents, for whatever it’s worth.

    #114142
    Profile photo of Tobi
    Tobi
    Participant

    +1

    I send a bug with a picture as proof and got at First the answer “there ist No bug”… Took some time to get it right. Did not feel appreciated.

    #114153
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Latest email of this morning said “patch your local input to the MADI output”.
    My reply was “as you can see from the picture I attached in my very fist email when I opened the ticket (5 days ago), I already patched local input to MADI output” .

    Like.. pay attention man…

    I closed the ticket.

    Final response was “great ! glad the ferrofish is working. I love the API on the drum bus too !!” ..

    Never mentioned anything about API, or drum bus.. I don’t even own any API devices.. like.. what ? ? what is the point of providing a ton of relevant information, with pictures, if it doesn’t even get read..

    Whatever, the problem was the routing on the FerroFish, that’s fixed, and with the help of folks here, I have figured out the patching on the SQ.. all good.. now.. LOL

    #114646
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    Hello again.
    Well, ran into another routing issue. The problem I have now is this: In my DAW, which is Studio One 6, there is a plugin called Pipeline XT which allows you to send the audio from an audio track out to External analog hardware for processing and back in the DAW. For example, I am trying to use my Wes Audio Mimas compressor on a vocal track. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the audio to come out of the DAW, through my SQ-6 – out of MADI – to Ferrofish Pulse 16 – to Wes Audio Mimas in slot 8 and back into the DAW.

    I did setup an Input and Output in Studio One for Pipeline just as the Youtube videos showed how to do that: I used Input 8 and Output 8. On the SQ-6 I went to I/O page, selected Local Input 8 and set it to MADI Input 8 (where my compressor is located) and then Outputs – IP Direct Output – MADI 8.

    At first, the meters PEGGED so I turned down the preamp gain to minimum -24db (it was at Zero by default). I also did notice that when it was pegged, the compressor was doing some gain reduction.. probably a gain staging thing.. but I then dialed down the Input on the compressor, and the IP 8 gain on SQ to minimum and the meter went down to minimum / no signal as well.

    So, I guess the connectivity is working if signal was actually flowing from the SQ to the compressor, I just don’t know how to properly route all that analog gear so that I can use it in Studio One to process my tracks, main bus etc..

    I have not come across any video on the internet, or article for that matter, where someone is using an SQ mixer with the MADI I/O card to connect external hardware. The youtube examples are using a “standard” audio interface with Line Input and Line Outputs for the external hardware and it seems so simple, but my setup is a bit more complicated ie: Ferrofish, MADI, SQ-6 etc.

    I would open a support ticket but… given the responses I got earlier when I first tried setting this up.. probably not going to be of much help.. I wish there was an actual telephone number I could call and have someone at A&H walk me through it.. probably take 5 minutes.. support ticket is days, and days of back and forth.

    If anyone here has any suggestions that would be greatly appreciated !!!

    Thank you !

    #114717
    Profile photo of Riker
    Riker
    Participant

    After more testing / troubleshooting, I got it to work.. but I’m not sure it’s the optimal way ?

    In Studio One, I/O Setup, I have available up to 32 inputs and 32 outputs. I assume that is because the SQ-6 is a 32in/32out USB audio interface. So I created a Mono input, let’s channel 21, and a corresponding output also on channel 21.

    On the SQ, I selected IP21 (could have been any input, I know) and chose the Source Select as USB 21. Then, using the INSERT on IP21 (USB 21) I chose I/O Channel 4 as the Send and Return. Channel 4 is where my compressor is connected to.

    Back in Studio One, I put the Pipeline XT plugin on my snare track (or vocals etc.) and select channel 21 as send and return. Pipeline will automatically adjust the phase based on the calculated latency, so that’s nice. Then I put a Tone Generator plugin before Pipeline and adjusted the input levels and output levels to be same (close enough), I had to use the Gain knob on the SQ-6 channel 21 to make sure it was not clipping, and also the gain on the compressor itself. So, once all gains / levels where set, I removed the tone generator and played my audio track ie: Snare, vocal etc. and low and behold, it was working !! I was able to compress the track with the hardware unit and it sounds great. I also put a stereo bus compressor on my main bus, and a pultec style EQ on another bus etc.. it all seems to work as long as I’m careful with the input and output levels.

    The only thing I’m not sure about is the fact that I have to use up a USB channel (input and output) of my available 32s, and a channel on the SQ-6 to use the INSERT point for the MADI I/O channel where the hardware is connected.

    Is that how it’s supposed to be done ? I mean, it does seem to work fine, but am I over complicating things ?

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