F104 Quickstart Guide: Operating and Recording

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This guide goes over how to use all of the equipment as well as record using the recording booth. To record, you’ll need to bring in your own microphone, mic clip, and at least one pair of headphones.

Startup

  1. Flip the Main Power switch downward to power on the rack. The JBL receiver, AVID MTRX interface and Cisco network switch will turn on automatically.
  2. Wait for the Cisco network switch to complete its diagnostic cycle: “DIAG” will light up solid red and “PWR” will flash green. This process takes about a minute; the playback system relies on network connections to function properly.

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3. Once the red “DIAG” indicator goes away and “PWR” is solid green, power on the Mac Pro by pressing the power button on the top of the computer.

4. Set the JBL AVR to the source you want to use. Cycle through the available sources using the + and buttons directly to the right of the unit’s display.

Don’t adjust volume using the large knob on the receiver, it should always be set to 81. Please do not attempt to change any other settings. Only use the DAD MOM monitor controller on the desk to control output volume. 

The JBL AVR is for setting which video source to view on the large NEC wall monitor. The DAD MOM (“Monitor Operating Module”) is for setting playback volume and switching between audio sources to hear out of the speakers.

Controlling Audio (DADman Control Software and DAD MOM Monitor Controller)

When you log into the Mac Pro, the monitor controller application DADman will auto-launch. Allow it a moment to load up the default settings. These include a DADman [F104].dms file and a DADman [F104].dmprof, as is shown at the top of the window. Once you can confirm these settings have loaded, you may hide or minimize the application window. Do not quit the DADman software until you are ready to log out.

The two main audio sources are enabled by default: Pro Tools and JBL AVR. Any audio from Pro Tools will play through the Pro Tools source; any audio played through the Mac Pro (via the Finder, Chrome, etc), or any other device selected via the JBL AVR (Blu-ray, Apple TV 4K, etc) will play through the JBL AVR source.

This is the DAD MOM (Monitor Operating Module), your monitor Controller. It is essentially a hardware controller for the DADman software. It controls the audio level via the large gold knob, as well as what audio sources are active (Src.), and which speakers they are active on (Spkr.). Any function accessible on the DAD MOM is also accessible through the DADman software. 

By default, the DADman software and thus the DAD MOM are set to a calibrated reference level of 78 dB SPL, or “0 – Ref” on the gold knob.

Spkr. is where you select which set of speakers you want to listen through: the mounted Genelecs (5.1, etc) or the KRKs on the desk (stereo).

Src. is where you select which audio source you want to listen to. Both options, Pro Tools and AVR (Mac) are enabled by default.

Pressing the Ref. button will lock the output level to the calibrated reference level of 78 dB SPL. While Ref. is enabled, the large knob does nothing. 

Press Dim to immediately turn down the sound output level by -20dB, and Cut to mute all sound output.

Recording Booth Setup

  1. To set up: screw your mic clip onto the mic stand, insert your mic, and connect it to the XLR cable hanging from the mic stand.
  1. This headphone amp attached to the mic stand lets the person in the booth control their own listening levels.
  2. Headphones plug into the bottom left.
  3. The Mic Level knob adjusts the mic level in the headphones (this doesn’t affect the actual recording level).
  4. The Monitor Level knob adjusts the level of any audio being sent from Pro Tools (see Pro Tools section for instructions on sends).

Face the corner of the booth, not the window, when speaking into the mic for the best sound.

When not in use, keep the booth’s door open, otherwise it gets smelly in there!

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Audio Interface/Preamp)

Adjust the microphone gain with the Gain 01 knob. The 48V button should be on if your mic needs phantom power (for example if it is a condenser mic).

Setting Up Pro Tools for Recording

  1. Use these settings when creating your Pro Tools session:
    • File Type: BWF (.WAV)
    • Bit Depth: 24 Bit (film standard)
    • Sample Rate: 48 kHz (film standard)
    • I/O Settings: FV [F104]
  1. Select Track > New [⌘+Shift+N] to create a new track with the default settings (Mono Audio Track).
  2. In the track’s I/O settings, set:
    • Input to Analog 1
    • Output to Surround Monitors.C
  1. To send a track’s audio to the booth’s headphones, create a Send to Headphone Amp (Stereo) on the track. 
    • fader will pop up for that individual send.
    • Activate the PRE button to allow the booth to control their monitoring level separately.
  1. Click the Record Enable and Input Monitoring buttons to hear the mic’s input.
  1. Adjust the mic gain using the knob on the MOTU. For a healthy record level, the peaks should fairly often jump into the amber area of the meter.
  1. To begin recording, press on the numpad.

If you are having problems with audio not coming through:
Check that the Playback Engine is set to F104 Pro Tools.[Setup > Playback Engine]
On the DAD MOM (monitor controller), set the input source to Pro Tools.

AVID Artist Mix

  1. To use the Avid mixer, you have to power it on before turning on computer.
  2. The EuControl will autolaunch upon login. It takes a bit to load up, but you can launch Pro Tools in the meantime.

Playing Blu-rays (Oppo)

  1. Turn on the Blu-ray player.
  2. Set the JBL AVR to Blu-ray.
  3. The Oppo has the ability to switch Blu-ray or DVD regions. Follow the instructions on the sticker. Be sure to return it to the default settings when finished
  4. On the DAD MOM, make sure the source AVR (Mac) is enabled.

The Blu-ray player supports Blu-rays, DVD’s, and CD’s.

Shutdown

  1. Shut down the Mac.
    1. DADman may crash during the logout process, in which case you need to force quit the application. Right-click on the application icon in the dock and choose Force Quit. The logout and shutdown process should continue normally afterwards.
  2. Flip off the Main Power switch once the Mac is completely shut down.
  3. Turn off the lights.
Previous Pro Tools FV Edit Templates to Download
Next Sound Devices MixPre Quickstart
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