Latest post Sun, Dec 16 2018 12:15 PM by Adrian Redmond. 3 replies.
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  • Sat, Dec 15 2018 6:24 PM

    • Adrian Redmond
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, May 28 2014
    • Channel 6 Television Denmark
    • Posts 161
    • Points 2,245

    Assorted Artist issues

    I've posted several questions here in the past few weeks about Artist series panels, primarily Mix and Color (though I also have Transport). Some replies from other users have helped me forward, and Avid have also reacted and made a support case, which they say they will now investigate - I can only hope that this leads to a good solution.

    What I'd like to share - both with other users and with Avid - is the simple frustration of fighting malfunctioning hardware or software when trying to do a creative job - (and earn money too). As editors, we are always somewhere behind the developments in technology - we have to rely on manufacturers for most of that - and we have few resources ourselves for contributing to the development of new tools - not least because we also have to follow the creative trends in our industry and the genrer within which we work - which also takes time.

    For me this means, that despite having edited for 40 years, every time I invest in new technology (especially new digital technology, which is almost everything these days) I risk being reduced to the level of the curious amatuer who must experiment and understand a new tool. That's OK, it's what makes the work interesting - but we are ever dependent on the manufacturer delivering a tool that actually works as intended, along with documentation that clearly explains how we can use the tool in the real world situations that apply to us.

    Also we have to suffer the constant introduction of new technical terminology, much of which is often left unexplained when we read the manual. Avid is far from the worst offender in this example.

    When we are trying to master a tool that we don't yet understand, maybe a tool like Artist Color that gives us new creative possibilities that we haven't explored much before, it becomes even more complicated if the tool doesn't actually function properly, if the documentation is misleading, incorrect or out of date (or written with other applications, such as ProTools, in mind).

    It's easy to find and correct a fault or develop new understandings if you are working with a tool or machine in which you have the confidence of knowing that it actually works well, and that most shortcomings are due to your own inexperience. That at least is a predicatble learning curve where practice eventualloy makes perfect.

    The problem with the Artist series panels in my humble opinion is that they originated from another manufacturer (Euphonix) and when taken over by Avid and marketed for Media Composer, they were still lacking in functionality, stability and documentation.  They are hardly intuitive in how they work and how their button functions are defined, and their real world performance is far less smooth and responsive than Avids markeing would have one believe, just as their behaviour is often in direct contradiction to the documentation.

    It is a pity - because the Artist series are beautifully crafted hardware, they have a great look and feel, and they are designed to serve many very useful purposes - which means many editors may buy them. I do wonder how many editors, like me, are dissappointed by their investment in a hardware product that far from lives up to the quality and versatility of the software it is designed to support and serve.

    After four years of struggling, I am determined to get these panels to work properly and I hope that Avid will support that goal. I still have much to learn about the functionality of these panels, but I have learnt enough to now know that when I read the manual and do what it says, and the product fails to function as described, the fault may lie elsewhere than the operator or his set-up:)

    I have read many postings on this forum where other users report faults and shortcomings, yet I have yet to read a qualified reply from Avid that explains the problem and delivers a solution. Workarounds from other users in the community are valuable help, but no replacement for lasting solutions by a manufacturer that is able to communicate with the end user. Followingt eh froum on such issues can easily lead one to conclude, that user feedback rarely leads to a solution - at least for Artist series products.

    We live and work in hope :)

     

    Avid Media Composer v. 8.5.3. with Symphony Option on HP Z820 Dual Intel E5-2640 6-core HT 2.5GHz CPU 32GB RAM NVidia Quadro K4000 Graphics on Win7x64... [view my complete system specs]

    Adrian Redmond
    Owner / Producer / Editor
    Channel 6 Television Denmark

  • Sat, Dec 15 2018 9:07 PM In reply to

    • Tom Pearson
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 1 2007
    • Los Angeles CA / Minneapolis MN
    • Posts 2,156
    • Points 23,140

    Re: Assorted Artist issues

    Hi I have been using the artist series for about 5 years now (color,mix,control) and have not had any serious issues at all. What are you doing when it happens? and  can you re-create it ? also how is it all networked together static or dynamic? and have you checked your switch or it's power supply?

    Mac Pro 3.5 gig 6 core 64 gig ram D700 radons with ssd os drive with a 20 tb raid, Artist Mix and Artist color Artist control [view my complete system specs]

    Tom Pearson

    Director/Writer Big Picture Films

    Sound Designer/Sound Editor Hollywood Sounds

    WWLD

  • Sun, Dec 16 2018 10:20 AM In reply to

    • CinéMatica
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Jun 24 2014
    • Belgium | Europe
    • Posts 103
    • Points 1,160

    Re: Assorted Artist issues

    +1

    I feel your pain Adrian. I also have invested in the same 3 panels as you have, and find them not working as smooth as they have been showing in online videos years ago. For example, the Artist Transport is a worthless piece of crap in Media Composer. Try to jog frame by frame through your footage! If you have ever used a jog/shuttle dial on a professional VTR you'll get horns from the Artist Transport thing. It is not accurate at all.

    Adrian Redmond:

    Also we have to suffer the constant introduction of new technical terminology, much of which is often left unexplained when we read the manual.

    If there is already a maunual available these days. I have to admit that Avid has decent manuals for Media Composer and Pro Tools.

    Just like you I also hope that Avid get this sorted out once and for all.

    Avid Media Composer 2018.10.0.49715.0 | Avid Symphony Option | Avid ScriptSync 2.0 | Avid PhraseFind 2.0 | Avid Pro Tools 11.3.1.370 | Avid Application... [view my complete system specs]

    Yes, I have installed the latest DX driver.

  • Sun, Dec 16 2018 12:15 PM In reply to

    • Adrian Redmond
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, May 28 2014
    • Channel 6 Television Denmark
    • Posts 161
    • Points 2,245

    Re: Assorted Artist issues

    The following is just some of the most irritating issues I have with the Artist panels -

    Artist Mix
    ----------

    PAN soft knob on channel 1 doesn't work. Page the channels/faders so that MC A1 now lies on Mix Ch 2 and the pan is functional. Periodically this "fault" migrates to other channels.

    SEL & On buttons adjacent to each soft knob do not seem to have any function

    Pressing the SHIFT key - or periodically any Assign / SEL Y key adjacent to a  fader invokes the EUcontrol panel - close the EUControl, press one of these keys again, and the EU Control opens again. This fault can only be cured (until next time) by restarting all EUCON apps.

    Left hand MIX/PAN and Flip/CHAN buttons don't always work

    Soft knobs are not very sensitive, with some parameters they must be turned multiple times to get any reaction, often resetting to zero/centre without being asked to (no I'm not pressing them). (It is possible to adjust the sensitivity of the soft knobs?)

    Channel select / Solo / Mute switches do not always mirror the status of the respective tracks on the timeline when opening the Audio Mixer. So before mixing, each Artist Mix channel function must be toggled once or twice to ensure that the panel shows the same status as the timeline/MC mixer controls.

    The brochures indicate that the track description from the controlled app gets shown in the channel LCD beside/instead of the track number (A1 A2 etc) This might be the case for ProTools, it does not seem to be the case with MC. I give my tracks in MC names - such as M&E (MUSIC AND FX), VO, WILD ETC. - The names do not appear in the MIX display (Why not?)

    The above faults seem to indicate that all switches besides the nudge and back (which I rarely need to sue) have faults.

    Artist Color
    ------------

    The track wheel sensitivity is slightly low, whilst the trackball sensitivity is far too low - requiring multiple excercising of the tackball to give a response in MC (or Resolve). The ability to set the sensitivity, by pressing page left and right simultaneously, does not work, the sensitivity menu is not invoked by this command.

    (Samea s Mix) Soft knobs are not very sensitive, with some parameters they must be turned multiple times to get any reaction, often resetting to zero/centre without being asked to (no I'm not pressing them). (It is possible to adjust the sensitivity of the soft knobs?)

    Pressing the SHIFT key - or the NAV key invokes the EUcontrol panel - close the EUControl, press one of these keys again, and the EU Control opens again. This fault can only be cured (until next time) by restarting all EUCON apps.

    Whilst I can see the point of being able to control the timeline cursor/playback from Color when in MC Color Correction mode, I cannot see the point of having Artist Colour control transpart funtions when MC is in other (non-CC) modes, but I cannot find out how to disable this. I would rather configure and use Artist Transport for this purpose.

    (when working with Resolve v.15)

    Neither can I see the logic of the Color panel being able to invoke playback or scrub on Avid, when the application is minimised and I am working in Resolve. The panel should (IMHO) always track and control the active application.

    The response and functionality of Artist Color is clearly better when working with DaVinci Resolve than with MC, but the keys and trackballs are still somewhat erratic and I have been unable to adjust sensitivity due to the lack of a functioning Page L/R mode on Artist Color.

    General -

    The sad thing is that Artist Color, which should be a great enhancement in comparison to a mouse and menu approach, is actuallt far slower and less precise. Go figure?

    Mix and Transport seem to have difficulty sometimes in registering that a new pplication is in focus - for example a change from Media Composer to Resolve. In contrast opening small apps such as Calculator, Notepad or Firefox always change the panels focus to these, despite me not needing these panels to handle these apps - this is confusing. It would be sensible to allow the user to define, in EUcontrol, which applications are accessible for which Artist panels, and disable all others.

    Artist Transport
    -----------------

    My greatest complaint about Artist Transport is that it will not control a VTR when logging/catpuring. How this was omitted from the design spec I fail to understand, in that Artist panels seem to utilise the same keyboard shortcuts - so all that was required was to get Artist Transport to track and communicate with whichever viewer/controller is active. This is a BIG minus for me. (And yes, we still use videotape and log hundreds of reels from both archive and new productions - not everyone is file-based yet!).

    I first raised this issue in 2014 and it would seem to be a simple "bug" or ommission to correct, so it's hardly confidence inspiring that nothing has been done on this issue since.

    The setting up of Artist Transport in the Eucon menus is quirky and substantially undocumented - what the different color leds around the search dial mean and how they change has never been explained.

    Whe I first used Transport on MC v.7.x it performed quite well with the source and record viewers and timeline, but it's ability to jog and shuttle gently and discreetly has in my experience deteriorated with later versions (I'm currently running MC v. 8.5.3)

    Th same quirky behaviour with the SHIFT key invoking opening EUcontrol multiple times instead of executing desired commands.

    EUControl
    -----------

    The menu options are IMHO ambiguous and far from selective - why trouble me with a menu for settings for Artist panels (such as Control) which I do not have - these settings should only be visible when such hardware is connected).

    Mutilple crashes of EUControl - sometimes requiring a total restart of MC or even a reboot.

    The ability to save user settings seems somewhat theoretical, often I use time to save settings, but find later that they have been dropped, and the settings I have set are not even available to reload. I think this part of the application needs a rethink.

    Documentation
    -----------------

    Considering he price of Artist panels, I think Avid should produce application-specific documentation for MC separately from ProTools, to avoid confusing users who do not use one of thes apps. Instructions for configuration and operation as well as descriptions of the panels behaviour should be related to the specific application for which they are being used.

    It would be helpful if the commands listed in the documentation, and the behavior implied, would be replicated by the panels :)

    This list is not exhaustive, but it indicates a common thread, that Artist panels perform poorly.

     

     

    Avid Media Composer v. 8.5.3. with Symphony Option on HP Z820 Dual Intel E5-2640 6-core HT 2.5GHz CPU 32GB RAM NVidia Quadro K4000 Graphics on Win7x64... [view my complete system specs]

    Adrian Redmond
    Owner / Producer / Editor
    Channel 6 Television Denmark

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