Proper Cable Labeling
As audio and video techs I’m sure many of us have spent far too much of our time tracing cables!! Often that is the only way to truly verify whether cables are plugged in correctly when you are having a signal flow issue. One way we at Lambda AV have tried to eliminate or greatly reduce tracing cables is a relatively simple process… Labeling the cables! Labeling the cables and having accurate documentation on where every cable is actually going can save you lots of time in your troubleshooting and in any future redesign projects!
As you can see in these pictures, we use a combination of labels and color-coded heat shrink to identify each cable and what connection they have. Check through your list and make sure each is connected where it is supposed to be.
Labeling along with good documentation, as you can see here can help you trace a cable in seconds instead of minutes or hours!
Simple, Effective Cable Pull
AVL Networking Concept
When I (Ryan) was in high school, I took a series of courses from D20 as part of their tech pathway. These courses were all about becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. These classes offered basic understanding of how to setup, design, and configure computer networks. Fast forward to post college with a degree in Broadcast Video Production that I never thought I would use, but today basically all our Audio, Video, and Lighting systems use networks and use them in advanced ways.
When it comes to networking today, the simple “dumb” switches, or switches straight out of the box, simply aren’t enough for demanding, time critical, AVL (Audio, Video, Lighting) events and systems. So much data is moving around in these systems that it is absolutely critical to have switches configured correctly for the protocol or service being used. In this case, Dante audio requires large loads of audio specific timing and multicast settings to make sure audio is delivered on time and the clock is never dropped.
Adding Dynamic to Your Shots
Camera placement and creating dynamic shots in your studio, especially if it’s small, can be difficult. There are a few things to consider when looking into your camera setup.
For one of our recent corporate studio installs, we used the Dev Dolly from Gide Gear. It's a modular system that runs on 1-inch or 2-inch metal rails. One of the benefits of this is that you can easily swap rails to a shorter setup if you are working in a limited space or swap out to a much longer setup if required. Its sled/carriage rolls on a four quad wheel configuration providing silky-smooth, consistent movement. The stands used were Matthews rolling low boys, enabling the dolly to be easily moved and adjusted.
If you're looking for that little extra touch to elevate your production, a slider or dolly can knock that goal out of the park. Are you looking to move to the next level in your video production, but aren’t sure where you want to start? We’re always happy to answer any questions you have! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and you get a response from our qualified experts in whatever field you need information on!
Green screens can offer a lot of versatility and open new doors of opportunity to create more content in your studio or gain more experience with your production skills. So, let’s take a look at some of the challenges and benefits of working with a green screen in your space! We recently were able to install a green screen for a corporate studio. Their needs presented a unique set of challenges and benefits to having a green screen in their studio.
So, let’s set the stage: The corporation had set aside a space for a video studio and had the goal to create quality video content to present to the rest of their organization and their network. What they didn’t have was a very large space and being a corporation, they also knew they needed to be able to produce content quickly for more immediate use. Knowing this, using a green screen sounded like a desirable way to get what they needed out of their studio!
So, you are considering looking into more AV equipment. You don’t have any real plans, it’s just something you need to start thinking about. Maybe you’ve googled some gear here and there. Or maybe you’ve had your eye on something you really want to add to your setup.
Curious to know what we would suggest to make your system better? Schedule a Site Spec anytime by visiting the scheduling tab on our website! Or email for an appointment.
Time for a new computer?
Our take on the New M1 Mac
n my career in AV, I have seen several transitions with computers and though each one has been significant, this one might be my favorite. In an effort to test and experiment with new equipment, as we always try to do for our customers, I purchased an M1 iMac and gave up my barely one year old highly spec’d intel MacBook Pro… and I haven’t looked back. If you aren’t familiar with the M1 apple products, it’s a new chip designed by apple. This chip takes on an entirely new hardware design and in doing so really pours on the performance. The big adds are what is called ARM-based RISC computing, along with on-chip graphics processing, and on-chip memory. Basically, the computer is able to access more of its resources quicker. What does this mean for you and me? Here are a few great use cases I have seen on my own.
The last form of Keying we wanted to highlight is Linear or alpha keying. Linear or Alpha keying is the evolution of the Luminance key and Pattern keying (read HERE). Linear keying becomes a basis for where we can build almost all advanced keying. It typically requires special hardware and software but gets you great results.
Linear keying is made from two separate signals. The first signal is called the Cut Signal. The Cut Signal is a luma-based signal of white, black, and grayscale that tells the switcher what is opaque (black) and where to put a GFX signal (white). The second signal is the Fill Signal or the actual GFX or colors. (Pictured above) The switcher uses the Cut Signal as the pattern shape, which allows the benefits of a luma key while eliminating the con of not being able to have things like a black outline. This is because the switcher is using one signal to say where things are opaque and another for what the actual content will be.
Luminance and Pattern Keys
Keying is a powerful and essential feature on your video switchers. It's important to know the basics behind keying so you can really understand what is happening on your switcher when you use these features. We've talked about Chroma Keys, HERE, so now we want to highlight another similar switcher key: Luminance Keys.
If you, like many over this last year, are new to pro video switchers, their terminology, and features you may be wondering about ME’s. ME’s are where the magic happens in video switchers and are comprised of controls each with a row of buttons for Preview and Program. Program is the video source you are sending out and Preview refers to the video source you are intending to transition into next.
Let’s start by talking about what ME stands for. An ME stands for Mix Effects Bus. To understand what this is we will break down each word. First, we can start with M or Mix. Mixing is the combination of two or more elements. At its most basic function, a video switcher does just this by mixing different sources such as multiple cameras or a GFX source.
All of the Lambda Staff contribute to the Blog. If you have any questions about the info we provide, please don't hesitate to ask!
Check out our resources page for FREE checklists and tools we mention in articles! We are here to help you improve and maintain your Audio Visual Systems!