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Wiring Scheme used at DP Productions:

Mackie 1202 and 1402 are very similar, as you probably know. 1402 has two more inputs and slider pots in place of the rotary style on the 1202.   Also I don't know if 1202 has the two aux buses. Note: I'm comparing the current VLZ models. Pre-VLZ 1202 was quite different. There was no pre VLZ 1402. (on 1402, inputs 1-6are mono, 7-14 are stereo, ie: 7/8 share a pot, 9/10 share one, etc.)

I have an arrangement that I really like. (A Knox 8x8 NTSC router w/unbalanced stereo breakaway audio is also integral to my setup):

Mackie inputs:

1-2) open for narration mics or whatever

3-4) Betacam UVW-1800 (I have the outputs padded down before the board but the Mackie's pads will do)

5-6) VX-1000

7/8) an output of the router

9/10) audio cassette deck

11/12) CD player (w/stand alone CD player, a client can listen to music while I keep editing)

13/14) DigiSuite output (unbalanced)

Mackie outputs:

monitor out - monitor amp and speakers (dah)

PGM out - Balanced: Betacam in

Unbal: stereo DA feeding DS input and router input

Tape out: another router input

ALT 3/4 out - router

The aux 1 & 2 busses feed L & R into an ART SGX Nitro digital multi processor whose outputs come back into the L/R aux returns. This can do about 6 digital functions at one time from the following type of stuff: eq, reverb, delay, chorus, flange, pitch shift, envelope filter, limiting, compression, environment simulation, etc. Various parameters for these are all mapable to midi controller pedals on a floor controller w/stomp pads to access the hundreds of preset memories, but that's another story...(I bought the ART unit originally for it's intended purpose as a guitar effects processor. However, it is based on ART's 24 bit studio multi fx processor only with the addition of the guitar preamp section. This preamp can be switched out, making it usable as a hum-dinger studio device for digital effects. Unlike many cheaper guitar processors, it's 24 bit, so it's very clean across the spectrum. You have to go in and out analog, but it's real time of course. It sits in an easy slide out bracket for when I need to take it somewhere to make my guitar sound cool. One of the few occassions I ever have to unplug anything.) This was originally set up for PVR and A4V. You will note that I'm using the unbalanced in and out of DigiSuite. I"m using a stereo DA to get two unbal outs to feed DS and router. I'm thinking of getting two balanced splitter boxes and 6 more XLR cables which will allow me to go balanced into the DS and Betacam. (I'll eliminate the DA as I'll only need one unbalanced pair into the router) Then I'll come back out of the DS balanced. That will require a pair of unusual XLR to 1/4" cables to go into the Mackie input 13/14 balanced 1/4" ins.

This leads to my own question: Using a balanced DA to split my balanced Mackie pgm master out into two pairs of feeds (for Beta deck and DS) would be very expensive. Using a pair of passive splitter boxes would be about $100. Would this kill my quality? Am I better off sticking with unbalanced? (Which is now going through a cheap Radio Shack stereo DA, which sounds remarkably good, but I know there is a compromise going on there) If you follow the above scheme, you will note the very possible situation of a direct feedback loop going through the Beta deck. With the 1800, I find that as long as there is a tape in the machine, I don't get a direct e to e loop. (1800 menu options must be set for "PB" (playback) instead of "EE" for stop, standby, etc.) But if you eject the tape with both the beta input pots open and the DS pot open, it's Katie, bar the door! To avoid this, I generally monitor the 1800 using the Alt 3/4 bus. This eliminates the loop. (UPDATE, 1/99: If you go into the menu of the UVW-1800 you can set the EtoE modes all to playback ("PB"). This way you'll never get a feedback loop through the 1800.)

A couple other things at no extra charge:

I find that the Alt 3/4 bus on the Mackie 1202 VLZ and 1402 VLZ are fabulously handy. (when you press a mute button on an input, it sends that input to the alt 3/4 outputs) It's like haveing an additional pair of master outs (but w/out eq, or master faders). The real beauty is that cross talk between master out 1/2 and this 3/4 bus is nil. You can truly have two different things routed through the board using these different buses and you get absolutely no crosstalk. Unlikeany other low-priced board I've ever had anything to do with. I've posted about this here before. It's really something.

Also, just in case you're interested, here's my scheme for using the 8x8 router:

inputs (video/unbalanced stereo audio)

1) VHS 1 (V/A)

2)VHS 2 "

3)VHS 3 "

4)DigiSuite/Mackie Pgm out

5)UVW-1800 clean compos/Mackie tape out

6)UVW-1800 super compos/Mackie Alt 3/4 out

7)Dub input (from a spot near the VHS machines)

8)VX-1000 compos/aux aud ins

outputs:

1)VHS1 (V/A)

2)VHS2 "

3)VHS3 "

4)DigiSuite compos in/Mackie 7/8 in

5)UVW-1800 compos in/Mackie tape in

6)dubs monitor (a 5" near the VHS stack) (V/left A only to mono in)

7)Edit monitor input 2 (V/A)

8)feed to the AV ins of VCR in my living room (this impresses all my guests)

Note the above router usage leaves room for expansion by adding a DA to feed the VHS decks and a simple 3x hard wire switch box to feed the outputs back into a single router in. This would free up two router ins and two outs. Meanwhile, the router doubles as a DA to feed the VHS decks, which partially justified it's purchase.

My main monitor has 3 inputs, no. 3 being switchable between S and composite. My main editing monitor input 3  is the S-video out from DigiSuite.  Input 1 of same monitor looks at composite out from the UVW-1800. Input 2 is an output of the router.  My main feed from VX-1000 into DS is the S-video into DS.  Main feed to and from the UVW-1800 is Y,R-Y,B-Y in and out of DigiSuite. The major advantage of the above setup: I NEVER have to get behind a machine to patch a cable. The only thing that ever changes is the router and that is graphically portrayed via it's front panel matrix of LED indicators. (It has front panel buttons and 8 presets built in. Can be controlled by RS-232. Comes w/a windows interface for remote control w/unlimited presets, but I've never found it necessary to even hook that up.) There is no patch bay other than the Mackie itself and the DigiSuite breakout boxes. This setup avoids the tons of time I used to spend repatching stuff in other suites I've worked in. Also, leaving things like rather lightweight RCA cables and connectors sit undisturbed means they will last a very long time without the maddening shorts that can wreak havoc in a system that must be reconfigured by constantly changing cables around. I welcome comments and criticisms (be gentle) about all of the above. Hope all this helps. (and that I'm not typing at 2:00 AM for nothing!)

Dan Philgreen
DP Productions Inc.
St Cloud, Florida
dan@dpproductions.com
www.dpproductions.com