My studio is equipped with a Euphonix System 5 console. I purchased it back in the summer of 2000 in order to do all of the post production audio for my high-resolution audio projects and so that film mixers could use my room as well. Back in those days, consoles like this were very rare…and expensive. No one was designing and building all digital consoles that would handle high-resolution sample rates and word lengths. But Euphonic did. And the console has been rock solid for over 14 years now. I did do a major upgrade to the digital mixing cores but that was about 7 years ago.
The System 5 console is not a hardware controller. This system actually ingests analog audio using an analog to MADI (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface) converted module and outputs digital audio back to the analog domain using a MADI to analog rack mountable unit. The rest of the connections are done entirely in the digital domain. I can mix, equalize, dynamically process, group, and do automated mixes using the system…and maintain a 96 kHz/24-bit digital path the entire time. There is no converting from analog to digital, to DXD, to DSD, and back to PCM. The Euphonix is a great piece of equipment for working in real HD-Audio.
But it’s come time to upgrade it. Generally, my personal philosophy is, “if it’s working don’t fix it.” I still run an older version of the iOS system on my iPhone 5 and I haven’t upgraded from Mac OS 10.6.8 to the latest OS. I’m just not completely comfortable with the process of upgrading…I’ve had some bad experiences in the past. However, I’m confronted with a situation that requires me to upgrade the console from eMix 5.0 to eMix 5.3.
I want to be able to control my Pro Tools rig from my console. The idea is to use the physical faders, switches, and knobs to move the virtual faders, switches, and knobs that are displayed on the computer monitors. Most music and film scores are done in the ubiquitous PT rigs. There is just no way around it, if you have outside clients using your studio. Whenever we’ve done film projects in the past, I dismantle part of my Euphonix System 5 and install a D Command control surface from the studio next door. The D Command is specifically built to communicate with Pro Tools. And it works like a charm. But it’s not perfect.
AVID, the owners of Pro Tools, purchased Euphonix not too long ago and opened up the communication protocols so that all of their devices could talk to each other. Their new protocol is known as EuCon and it’s part of eMix 5.3 not 5.0. So I have to upgrade.
I spent most of Saturday afternoon backing up all of my titles and mixes, removing the older eMix software and installing the new versions of everything. It tool several hours. And then the moment of truth came. I selected a MIXER MODEL and tried to reboot the console. It came up but when I tried to open the 96 kHz sessions that I had stored on the hard drive, I got an error message. This MIXER MODEL is not compatible with the currently active MIX MODEL. I couldn’t reach the tech support person so I was out of luck until today. It was operator error not a machine error. I simply had not scrolled down to find the MIXER MODELs that I needed. It wasn’t obvious but I admit I messed up.
As of right now, I haven’t yet accomplished the goal of moving the PT faders with my Euphonix desk but I’m getting closer.