QU Pack as an audiorack?

Forums Forums Qu Forums Qu feature suggestions QU Pack as an audiorack?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of [XAP]Bob [XAP]Bob 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #45892
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    Apart from the fact it rhymes, wouldn’t it be great to be able to link a QU16/24/32 to a QU-Pac and use it as an audiorack like the AB and AR Series?
    Pretty please Nicola, this would be a great feature!
    The bits needed must be in there already, write some new code eh lol?

    This was touched on in the general forum so not totally my idea

    #45893
    Profile photo of mervaka
    mervaka
    Participant

    Because code is free..

    But we’ve already been told previously that the dSNAKE port on Qu is a fixed master due to clocks etc. That’s a hardware restriction.

    #45894
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    Hmmm. Shame about that.
    Maybe missed a beat by not making the QU-pac port master/slave considering it’s a brand new design and it’s a rack:/

    #45895
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Still think it’s a crying shame…

    Maybe the opposite could be developed – a remote control surface, full control. Protocol extensions would also improve QuPad, but a qu16 surface without any of the gubbins would make an attractive companion (kind of apes the ilive setup iirc)

    #45896
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Don’t think it’s a missed beat, it’s the same hardware, not a new device…

    #45897
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    Fair enough if it isn’t going to happen 🙁
    Excuse my limited knowledge but aren’t the ports bi-directional?
    Is the master/slave allocation totally dependent on hardware as opposed to firmware?
    Yes maybe it’s the same processing engine as a qu32, but considering it has 15 new buttons and no super strip, faders etc., it is different hardware wise.
    How much more of a change would have been needed to facilitate this in the grand scheme of creating the QU-Pac?
    It’s just a suggestion, I have an AR already but I think this would have been a cool and a great addition to system flexibility 🙂

    #45898
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    …. and I’m still getting one regardless 😉

    #45901
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    …trying to describe the problem from the system side. In a digital audio world any processing is performed on samples, some so called discrete representation of an otherwise continuous audio signal. On a Qu system there are about(!) 48.000 samples processed per second, other systems may use 44.100 or even 96.000 samples per second, just to name some numbers.
    This samplingrate is derived from some electrical oscillator somewhere in the MHz range, crystal oscillators are pretty common here, since they provide a somewhat precise reference frequency.
    Sadly any such oscillator has some more or less good precision measured in ppm, 20-50ppm is a common value (additionally depending on board layout, temperature, humidity etc.). 50ppm means, the resulting samplingrate is somewhere between 48.002 Hz (48.000 * 1.000050) and 49.997 Hz (48.000 * 0.999950).
    If two devices derive their samplingrate from separate oscillators and try to exchange samples digitally, you may get an excess (overflow) or shortage (underflow) of up to four samples per second.
    For this reason any component within a digitally interconnected system needs to be properly synchronized in terms of samples, that’s what a central wordclock is used in a digital studio. There is exactly one master providing a hopefully stable and jitter-less clock reference in such an installation.
    The Qu does not have a wordclock input and only serves as a clock master, the AR/AB stageboxes, in contrast, are slaves and synchronize to the Qu(/GLD) via the dSnake. These stageboxes do not necessarily need an internal stable clock reference for audio, since they’re not intended to run standalone.
    And so we finally come back to the Qu-Pac, wich essentially contains the Qu32 engine (more or less knobs does not matter regarding system design). To make the Qu-Pac a stagebox for a Qu16/24/32, it needs to be able to synchronize itself to the master console on the other end of the dSnake which requires some smart internal clock circuit (hardware) able to switch between a fixed crystal (for standalone mode) and some synchronizable VCO/PLL/VCXO or similar.
    This is no rocket science, A&H already have something like this in their stageboxes, but I really doubt this is part of the Qu design (it would have a word clock input if it could syncronize to other gear).

    #45902
    Profile photo of GCumbee
    GCumbee
    Participant

    I am having a hard time understand what the attraction is on this. Why have a box with only 16 inputs act as a stage box when you can do 24 for less? And then what do you do with all the other power it has? I just don’t get it. Am I stupid or what am I missing?

    #45905
    Profile photo of Andreas
    Andreas
    Moderator

    I’m with you, still wondering about the what for… My only serious idea is, that you own a Qu* and a QuPac but not an AR/AB to use the QuPac as a (sort of overpowered yet) small stagebox…

    What probably makes much more sense is using a Qu* as a remote surface for the QuPac. Something like a low-cost iLive+MixRack…

    …or some less serious arguments:
    – AR does neither have a touch LCD nor soft buttons
    – need a stagebox with connectors inside the case
    – don’t need the expansion port of the AR
    – can’t afford an iPad and want to make the monitor sound on stage
    – yellow blinking to indicate good connection still makes me nervous (with the QuPac its hidden inside the case)…
    – it just has to work, if it makes sense or not

    …sorry, couldn’t resist.. 😉

    #45908
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    Yes, the point is mere flexibility. Having two mixers allows you run two events, but potentially joining them for a situation where the stage of is needed.

    I think a “control surface” mode on the larger mixers is probably easier to implement…

    Although if they did a dedicated control surface (which would be significantly cheaper than a QU without the need for the DSP or AD/DA hardware) I’d be very tempted to sell the QU and get a QUPac and QU Surface instead..
    More so if they were Ethernet compatible (and therefore power line/wifi connectible)

    #45909
    Profile photo of robbocurry
    robbocurry
    Participant

    Thanks for the in depth explanations guys.
    The point is solely for flexibility you bunch of comedians;)
    The option to have a control surface for the QU Pac from an existing mixer (qu16/24/32) may be a useful option in certain circumstances. Don’t ya think?
    Scenarios: (maybe not for the big guys)
    Forgot to pack the AR2412?
    AR gets damaged somehow?
    Big stage, 2nd stagebox needed?
    Grab the QU-pac from the van, we’ll use it as a stagebox instead!

    #45911
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    The issue is that the control protocol is well short of complete control of the mixer (else QuPad would have more features). So these is actually a fair amount of software to update in order to implement full remote control.

    And of course that comms has to be achievable within the bandwidth of the network interface – alongside all the other data that it is already pumping…

    I don’t expect it on a 1.X release, it would be worthy of a 2.X designation.

    #52200
    Profile photo of DocDocDocDoc
    DocDocDocDoc
    Participant

    Guys, all of this is speculation, but I think it should be possible to use the QuPac as digital stage box. The thing is: the Qu-series already features sending out audio via dSnake, that is for the personal monitoring system. However, I guess another Qu cannot receive these data.

    The question always is: do you want some kind of trick or hack? Like using the monitoring system in a funny way? Or would you go for using the QuPac like the official audio rack, simply like “behave like a audio rack and broadcast all 22 channels”… or would you go for the big thing, like in the oldschool 01V96i series, and even implement chaining up two Qu16 mixers to one large thing? (You can connect one 01V96 to the other via ADAT and chain them up to a 2×40=80 channel-console)

    As for control surfaces, I agree. But hey guys… if I were A&H, I’d try to sell you an iLive system, if you want a separate mix rack and a control surface. 🙂

    #52201
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    The Qu’s can’t exchange audio as explained above.

    I’m not in the price range of an iLive, but the form factor is nice. I use a QU16 and an AR2412, but I’ve only recently acquired the AR2412 (for a specific hire).

    It’s a great combination, but a couple of extra layer buttons on the QU16, and remove all the audio processing (yes even the cores) and a beefier remote control protocol means a possible QU32 (slightly fewer inputs without a stagebox as well) in a smaller form factor – that’s attractive, it violates the fader per channel model of the QU series, but the QuPAC already does that…

    Don’t know if you can use any of the mix outputs as MTX or group outs but even so…

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