Q-SYS Level 1 Cinema Training: Cinema Sample Walkthrough Part TWO


Welcome back! Let’s continue on our walkthrough of the Cinema Sample Design. We’ve covered all of the inputs as well as the routing and the gain control in our Processing section, so let’s move on to the Equalization section. Here, all eight of our channels pass through a Gain component, a High-Pass Filter and High Shelf Equalizer, a Low-Shelf Equalizer, Parametric Equalizer, and a Standard Delay component, before being delivered to your amplifiers. You may wish to adjust these components either to tune for your room’s acoustics or for the loudspeakers that you’re using. If you’re an audio engineer then you should be familiar with each of these: the high-pass filter provides loudspeaker protection from subsonic frequencies typically around 15-20Hz; the high shelf provides treble control, which sometimes is useful for matching the tilt of the X-curve; the low shelf provides a classic bass boost or cut, the Parametric Equalizer is where the meat of the EQ happens, and the Delay is mostly for surround delay compensation. The delay component, of course, will be important to everyone, as you offset the audio playing from the speakers farther from the screen to align with the audio coming from the mains. You’ll notice on the left- and right-side surround channels that there are actually two outputs for the Delay blocks. This splits the same signal into two channels that are identical except for whatever difference you set in their delays. We’re not going to explain how to make all these adjustments in this video because if you don’t already know how to use these components, then these aren’t the videos you are looking for… These aren’t the videos you’re looking for. Move along. Move along. I do want to point out however that if you’re using QSC amplifiers and loudspeakers, which of course we recommend, then our custom voicing for our loudspeakers known as Intrinsic Correction will automatically be applied to protect the loudspeaker and provide you the best possible sonic performance. But if someone has, let’s say, captured your daughter and leveraged her safety to make you use non-QSC amplifiers and loudspeakers, then let’s hope you have a very particular set of skills. Skills that you’ve acquired over a very long career, to help you use these equalization components to voice your loudspeakers. Next, our signals get to the outputs. We’re using DPA4K8Qn amplifiers, which give us some really flexible options. These 8-channel amplifiers can combine their channels in many useful ways – in their properties you’ll see that channels A, B, C, D, G and H are configured as six independent channels, but channels EF have been combined in parallel. We’re using this parallel channel for a subwoofer, and this design has two subwoofers so that’s happening on both amplifiers. Meanwhile, our left, right, and center loudspeakers have been bi-amped, so we’re using two channels for each of these, and we’re also using two channels for each of our side surrounds since we have those extra channels with the additional delays on them. This setup, of course, is going to be different for every single installation. Some higher-end applications might require tri-amped or even quad-amped loudspeakers, which would of course also require additional amplifier channels, which means more amplifiers as well. So what I really want to point out is that each of these hardware devices has its “Status” control pin exposed, and is it over here … to our Status Combiner. This is a diagnostic control component that compiles data from multiple hardware devices in a single place, and reports back if any of them are in a Fault state. If the light is green then all the devices are good, but if it’s red then you know there’s a problem. In our particular case, we’re using one Status Combiner to monitor both our amplifiers, and one to monitor all our loudspeakers. So if you change these hardware components, be sure to wire your new amplifiers or loudspeakers to this Status Combiner too so you can monitor them as well. And while we’re talking about it, don’t forget that if you replace any of the loudspeakers with a different model of QSC loudspeaker, you’ll want to open that loudspeaker’s control panel and grab its “Listen” button if you want to update the “LOUDSPEAKER MONITOR” we talked about in the previous video. Also in the output section, are the DCIO Analog Output channels we talked about earlier. You’ll remember that the back of the DCIO has some analog output channels that deliver the Hearing-Impaired and Visually-Impaired audio tracks to your assistive listening systems, and there is also a generic Line Out as well as a Monitor output with a 10-Watt amplifier built in, for a local monitor in the projection booth. In our design, we’ve added the voicing for an AD-S32T loudspeaker to this monitor output. Let’s shuffle down to this section dedicated to Test and Measurement tools. You’ve already learned about the value of Signal Probes and Injectors for field-testing your equipment, but this design has gone the extra distance of using a snapshot bank to automatically route the Cinema Pink Noise channel to any of the main eight channels, or a combination of the center and subwoofers, the combined left surrounds, or the combined right surrounds. This makes it very easy for a technician to test each loudspeaker signal path individually with the touch of a single button. But if you need to manually patch some audio input to a new output, you can use the probe and the injector here as well. This leads us to one of our final topics: control! Here in the GPIO and Control section, first we’ll see the Snapshot controller we mentioned previously that changes our master Format routing. You’ll notice that every load button is sent through a Logic block that will then Mute the Pink Noise Generator when you’re in any of your standard preset modes. We also have the “BYPASS” Snapshot controller here, which is the feature we mentioned in the previous video that lets you reroute your left, right, or center channels in the event of an amplifier failure. There are also a couple of simple items here – the “Date/Time” control component provides the current time based on the Core’s clock, which we see displayed here as well as on our UCIs. We also have a custom toggle button we’ve labeled “AMPLIFIER POWER” which we’ve wired to the “Power On” control pins of our amplifiers. This is another button we’ll put on our UCI to turn on all the amplifiers simultaneously. Jumping over to our GPIO pins, we can combine physical controls in the real world with virtual controls here in Q-SYS. For instance, the front of the DCIO panel has a rotary control and a mute button, which are represented inside Q-SYS by these “Level Knob” and “Mute Button” control pins. We’ve wired these to the Master Fader’s Gain and Mute buttons inside Q-SYS, and then back again, letting these buttons control each other regardless of which one you’re pressing. We also have a GPIO signal coming in from our Core’s GPIO #1. This is a typical fire alarm application. When the fire alarm goes off, we need to mute all the auditorium’s audio – so here our incoming signal hits a custom toggle button we’re calling “FIRE 1”, to control our Master Mute button. This button also goes directly to our “System Mute” component, which you can also control from this button in the top toolbar. The System Mute will mute all output channels in the entire design, just in case you were also, I don’t know, using a signal injector or something like that which might not have been muted by the Master Fader.. Basically, you can never have enough Mute when you need it. Beetlegeuse, beetlegeuse, beetelgeu— Phew. Alright, finally we have four Relay Outputs leaving our DCIO, which can be used to send signals to external devices in your auditorium. These might typically be used for dimmer controls, or for the masking motors that crop the edges of the picture. All of our Relay buttons, format presets, power buttons, and gain controls are all gathered here in our Manual Control section, but that’s only useful if you have Designer software open. More likely, a user will be interacting with the system via a Q-SYS touch panel. This design comes with three UCIs that all have the same controls, designed for an iPad, a TSC7, or a TSC5.5 G2 device. Each of these have the master fader control on the right, the hardware status LEDs at the top, access to a METERS page that shows all all of the input and output levels, a MONITOR page that uses the Monitor snapshots or the Loudspeaker Monitor presets that we discussed earlier, as well as the monitor gain control. And, of course, the format selection options are at the bottom. Of course, we’re talking about these buttons as if you’re ever actually going to use them. Exactly… come on, who actually presses buttons anymore? What would be far more convenient is if it happened … all on its own! Q-SYS, Q-SYS, Q-SYS, Q-SYS… “What – do you get – when need some con-trol Q-SYS provides it while saving your bank-roll Tri-gger the chan-ges automatic-ly Au-tomat-ion is what – you – need … AND YOU GET IT ALL FOR FREE Okay, so automation’s not always a good thing. But it is in a cinema auditorium. Everything is automated these days— when it comes to changing formats between the trailer audio and the feature audio, there’s usually isn’t a projectionist sitting in the booth to do that. Instead, a media server sendd a TCP command on the network at the top of every one of its media segments. Q-SYS can of course receive those commands so that the cinema processor is actually the one recalling your snapshots. Earlier in your Q-SYS Training you learned how you could add a control to the Named Controls Bin to allow the Command Scheduler in the Administrator Tool access to your schematic, and schedule your commands at certain points of the day. Well the Named Controls Bin also exposes its controls to other devices on the network, so long as they know your IP address, what port to talk on, and what commands to send. We’ve already added all of the Format snapshot recall buttons to the Named Controls Bin – F51, F71, HDMI51, etc., along with some other common controls like GAIN, MUTE, etc. For an in-depth look at this External Control Protocol, you can check out our training videos on that subject. But for now, suffice it to say that the cinema processor can fire them using a command like: “csv F51 1”, which sends a “control set value” to the “F51” control with a value of “1”, which means on. This will activate format AES 5.1. Voila! Don’t worry, you don’t need to memorize those commands … we’ve provided them for you! Just click this “Automation Command List” for examples of the strings you need to enter to execute different commands. Just don’t forget that if you do end up copying this page to a second auditorium, the Named Controls for the next auditorium will be different, so adjust these commands too! And that’s it! That is the Cinema Sample Design walkthrough. With this design you have everything you need to have a fully functional auditorium. To finalize your certification in Q-SYS for Cinema, you now have to execute some design changes to this file based on specifications that we’ll provide you. So download that, good luck, and that’s all folks!

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