Original X-Frame Processor Question

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ctclark1
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Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by ctclark1 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Since I've never been able to find any kind of real manual, only the "brochure" I'm going to pose this question here...

Fortunately I have some time here, but as I'm doing a preliminary new setup for our X-Frame, I'm running across a compilation error that the SoundEngine hardware has been exhausted, and showing the following DSP cycle usage: A: 93%, B: 78%, C: 82%.
Memory usage is: A: 3%, B: 2%, C: 25%

Attached is an image of the schematic I'm currently at - I've already removed a bunch of elements including parametric EQs, and eliminated 3 sets of I/O (stage monitors) trying to free up the processors... I'm wondering if anyone else has ideas regarding what I can remove to get this to work, as I seem to be down to my primary FoH and 2 lonely sets of "B" speakers located in a different area. You'll also notice at this point that I've removed all level controls, external BoB triggers that I had programmed, meters, and more as a further attempt at lowering cycle usage... Some of these items would be very handy to put back in, as there are some external triggers and level controls I'd like to use.
  • Inputs A and B are the mains from the mixer, feeding through to biamped speakers on the left/right (internal outputs: lows on out 1 and 3, highs on 2 and 4) as well as mono summing for a biamped center cluster (low on Bob out 1, high on Bob out 2).
  • Bob Inputs 1 and 2 are subgroup-fed subwoofers (cheaper mixer subgroups can only be assigned as a stereo group), mono summed, low passed, and sent to bob out 3.
  • Bob inputs 3 and 4 are subgroup-fed "B" speakers, mono summed and then split two ways to bob outputs 4 and 5 (for two different locations/speaker types, hence the separate eq/limiter)
The reason the primary Xovers are 3-ways was to try to use fewer devices while still accounting for the crossover with the subs, the low portion of those three ways would be set to coincide with the point of the low-pass for the subs. I figured it would be easier to do this than to add a high pass each of the mains (thus adding three new devices).

I know the original X-Frame is very old, outdated, and not really supported anymore, but if we had the budget to upgrade, believe me I would push for it and get a Digitool... So I'm working with what is available to me - an X-Frame and BoB which we are moving from a now-unused venue to an existing one for system improvement. (As it existed, even this old processor will be an improvement over the hodge-podged devices attempting to do what needed to be done)
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JoshM
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by JoshM » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:30 pm

Howdy, and thanks for posting! It isn't often that anyone has any questions about the old XFrame!

After looking at the picture of your configuration file, I'll recommend immediately that you just remove all of the 1/3 octave EQ's. These things chew up more DSP than you would believe! Essentially they are 31 parametric filters that are fixed in frequency and fixed in bandwidth. I know I'd much rather have about 8 fully parametric filters than a 1/3 octave graphic EQ. This will free up a LOT of DSP.

Also, by using the 3-way crossovers in place of a 2-way crossover with additional high pass filter, you are actually adding more devices to your configuration than you are using. The 3-way crossover is what we call a composite device that is made up of high pass and low pass filters. So, again I would recommend using the right crossover and just adding the high pass filter you want to implement the crossover from the LF end of your top boxes into the subs.

If you are interested in better DSP processing on the cheap, keep your eyes open for a used XFrame 88. This is the newer model of the XFrame (though it is also technically discontinued) that features more DSP and more I/O capacity. By adding up to two additional MM-8802 Break Out Boxes, you can increase the I/O count of that little DSP box to 24x24.

Likewise, come on over to the MediaMatrix user forum and post your questions there. MediaMatrix was originally a subset of Architectural Acoustics, but it grew up into its own division. Now, Architectural Acoustics, MediaMatrix, and Crest Audio are all under the pervue of Peavey Commercial Audio. Anyway the MediaMatrix User Forum can be found here:
http://peaveyoxford.com/forum/

Thanks!
Josh
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by jpg » Sat May 25, 2013 6:03 pm

Hey Josh,

I too have an X-Frame Question. I have an X-Frame 88 with two 8802 BOBs.

I stumbled upon this post while searching online for why I was getting "the SoundEngine hardware has been exhausted" message during compile.

I don't feel that my file is overly complicated, but I guess I could be wrong.

I took a screen shot of the main windows, but some stuff you have to dig in to look at. Do you think I could email you my file and you could have a look?

Please let me know when you have a chance.

Thanks,
Jason
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by jpg » Sat May 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Update:

I figured out the issue.

I was using a 16x16 mixer, where I only needed a 12x12 simple.
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by JoshM » Mon May 27, 2013 9:11 am

Hi Jason,

I expect that you were just running out of DSP capacity.

Those big matrix mixers use a LOT of DSP and I would suggest avoiding their use unless you've just got to use them. So cutting down the size of those things is the best thing you can do to ease up the DSP requirements of your project file.

It is also possible to change the sample rate of the system under File>Compile Options. Obviously, 48kHz sample rate will provide the best quality audio, but you can fit a LOT more DSP capacity in the system when you change it to 32kHz. You need to decide how important the audio quality is for your system... Does it actually have audio response above 16kHz? Some systems need it, while other systems do not.
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by jpg » Mon May 27, 2013 5:54 pm

Hi Josh,

That totally makes sense, running out of DSP.

I didn't add this info in my previous post, but I bought this unit off of eBay. The seller said "Configured as 20 input x28 output processor".

I just assumed that he meant that it was configured in this way via his file, but I have read that you can install different cards for this device.

Also, I am not sure on the audio response. Some input on this would be greatly appreciated.

I was using 44.1 as my sample rate.

Thanks Josh,
Jason

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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by JoshM » Tue May 28, 2013 10:08 am

jpg wrote:I didn't add this info in my previous post, but I bought this unit off of eBay. The seller said "Configured as 20 input x28 output processor".
Hi Jason,

That is a pile of baloney right there because an X-Frame 88 system can only be expanded up to 24x24 with the two MM-8802 BoB's. There is no way you can set the system up to support more than 24 outputs, the outputs are built onto the main board of the unit, while the inputs are configurable for line or mic level inputs. However, the mic input card can still accept up to +18dBu input signal with the sensitivity set to minimum (in contrast, the line input card can accept up to +30dBu, I believe).
jpg wrote:I just assumed that he meant that it was configured in this way via his file, but I have read that you can install different cards for this device.
The different cards are only for different input options. There are three options for input cards, Mic input, Line input, and AEC input (for Acoustic Echo Cancellation). The AEC cards are pretty rare and highly sought after. You could probably make good money selling those, if you had them and knew what they were.

The input cards are identified by the color of the connector sticking out the back of the chassis:
Black: Line Input
Green: Mic Input
Orange: AEC Input

Do not confuse this with the connector that attaches to the wire... you want to look at the little plastic bit that is sticking out of the chassis. The connectors for the wires could be any color.
jpg wrote:Also, I am not sure on the audio response. Some input on this would be greatly appreciated.
Well, these things were designed to run at 48kHz sample rate with 24-bit A/D and D/A conversion. In other words, these things have better than "CD-Quality" audio. ("CD-Quality" would be 44.1kHz sample rate and 16-bit conversion) Do you have a more specific question? These truly are great sounding units, I have a couple of my own at home doing processing in my personal sound systems because you can occasionally find really good deals on them from people who are getting rid of "old junk".
jpg wrote:I was using 44.1 as my sample rate.

Thanks Josh,
Jason
I would recommend trying it at 48kHz if you have some really good loudspeakers and amplifiers to listen with... I'm not sure you will hear a difference, but you may. I always run mine at 48kHz since I'm typically just doing some relatively simple loudspeaker processing.
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by jpg » Fri May 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Hi Josh,

After reading the manual, how they had the auction listed, with 28 outputs, didn't really make sense.

I did read about the input card types. I have attached a photo of the back of my unit.
20130531_172918_resized.jpg
20130531_172918_resized.jpg (76.08 KiB) Viewed 8274 times
The job I am currently at uses two mini frame, on of the two still runs Windows 3.1. The other had to have its motherboard replaces several years back and the OS was upgraded to Win 2000. Two dinosaurs.

I bought an mini frame off of eBay in the past, just to have as a backup. It is an inexpensive solution to keep things going.

The two mini frames are currently running 44.1KHz.

One of the mini frames is dedicated to the retail space and the other is dedicated to a small movie theater. The movie, 8 minutes, plays every 20 minutes, average 30 times a day.

I bought this X-Frame 88 to replace these previous two, in the event of a failure.

I put together this file, just to be ready to go when I need to connect it.

I originally posted here, because I had the message over "Exhausted". After I read your first response to this post, about changing Graphic to Parametric EQ's, I did that and also reduces a mixer from a 16x16 to 12x12, which helped me compile.

Now I am just concerned that maybe this X-Frame 88 isn't going to be the best bet to replace the two others.

Thanks for all your input, it is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jason

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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by JoshM » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:54 pm

Thanks for the background, Jason!

As long as you can do all the processing you need to do in the XFrame, this could be an ideal substitute for catastrophic failure of your MiniFrames.

Are your MiniFrames using the MM8802 BoBs or are they using the older 2RU BoBs? If they are using the 8802's, you could simply swap in the XFrame for the MiniFrame. Likewise, you now have spare BoBs in case one of yours were to develop an issue.

From your photo, it looks like the two BoBs each have two mic input cards and the XFrame 88 has one mic and one line input card. It was probably that line input card that threw the sellers for a loop... They just didn't know that it was line inputs instead of outputs, like all the rest of the black connections.

In short, I think you have a great plan in place to deal with a system failure.
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Re: Original X-Frame Processor Question

Post by jpg » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:15 pm

No problem Josh. Thanks for you time.

In my mind, the processing seems light. I just got nervous when I saw that "Exhausted" message. I thought I would be able to do a lot more processing than I had when I got that message.

There is currently 6 MM-8840's in place.

4 to one Miniframe, and 2 to the other Miniframe.

This place has been remodeled since the original install. Realistically, I could get away with 3 of them, and one miniframe, I think. Everything is neatly twist tied inside the rack and I figured I would just leave everything working like it is for now.

If the failure happens, I plan to redo the wiring. Just move what I need. I made space in the rack for the X-Frame, and it is very close to the Miniframes.

Will my 8802's, currently connected to my X-Frame, interface with the older 8840's? No big deal, I was planning out not using them.

Thanks, I appreciate the positive support.

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