Is there any option for newbies interested in Radio Imaging other then getting an ISDN or IP converter. They are pretty spendy. And it seems the industry is going to IP which requires a new set of hardware if you start with ISDN.

God bless,

Michael Blain-Rozgay

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Michael,

IP software is Source Connect, Audio TX, Audio Compass and a few others. It's Computer to Computer (IP) and requires software, no additional hardware. More comments to follow!
Thanks Rick,

That makes it a lot easier. Can't wait to hear the rest of your comments.

God bless,

Michael
Thanks Phillip,

I appreciate your suggestion. Let me set the background for my query. Although I'm a newbie to the home studio, I've been a a voice actor in Los Angeles for the last 4 years. The major focus for my acting career over the last 10 years, however, has been in front of the camera. I've been doing ok with V.O. but I realize I can do much better. Hence the home studio. But "ok", so far, hasn't been paying all the bills, hence the concern about cost. At this point it's pay the mortgage or buy the technology.

I've been urged by several friends in voice over here in Los Angeles over the last 6 months to pursure radio imaging, as I just finished a year long contract with WBOS. (I used my agents studios to do the voicing). But to really pursue it I'll need my home studio.

So it's not a question of being ready. It's the fact that finances, for a variety of reasons not germane to the conversation, are the problem.

I appreciate you're advice. Anything further is most welcome.

God bless,

Michael
Hey Michael,

First, welcome!

A few years ago I was told ISDN was on it's way out.. but come to find out..t'aint true. Studios have it. They've invested heavily and seasoned VO's have it.(generally speaking).

Conventional wisdom..at least that's come to my ears.says don't invest in ISDN unless you've got a steady clientele where you'll be using it. Studios at both ends need source connect to make it work...but to my understanding..source connect has a "bridge" that will make the ISDN connection work. Digifon is one resource you might try... Dave Immer is the man (I'm told). I'm sure there are others...George Whittam is right here on VU..and he's incredible. Just to name a few.

I recently told an agent that I didn't have ISDN and they said no prob...they'd find an ISDN studio for me locally. (Hope that means they pay! :) ) But when that's not the case and you do an outside ISDN session where you're responsible for the connection charge you'll want to factor that into your quote. Seeing where my local ISDN studios are actually on my "to do" list... couldn't hurt :)

I'll be reading the comments as they come in...

Best to you in this journey!
ilene
Hi Ilene,

Thanks so much for the input. I'll do some research on source connect. It's looking like I'll really need to invest in all the ISDN technology to do what I want, but it may have to wait for a bit. I'm looking to do radio imaging as I just finished a year long contract in that area and the pay was sweet to get. Finances are more then a bit tight right now. That's why I was looking for a short term solution, (see my reply to Phillip Banks input). I'll keep my eyes to this thread for any more advice. Thanks again.

God bless,

Michael
Hi- just wanted to stick my nose in the door on this discussion.
How much additional do you charge your clients for the ISDN service you provide?
Would you mind sharing that info? I am trying to weigh the charge of using a local ISDN studio against purchasing ISDN for my home studio.
Thanks.
Thanks Philip. I am pondering what kind of business growing investments I should make next year. It helps to gather info. Maybe I should start a new thread, eh?
Hi Phillip,

I was out of the loop for a few days and just saw your reply. Thanks for the clairification. I see what you're saying. That more then makes sense. I need to start building this thing one step at a time. It's amazing how many resoruces have come my attention in the short time since I started this discussion.

As always, your input is invaluable. My thanks.

God bless,

Michael
Not sure if it helps but I work with a studio that give excellent rates for it's students. Shoot me an email and I'll give you the details if you want.
Guys,

ISDN is not on it's way out. You will hear this only from people who are wishing it were so, because they don't want to invest the money in the hardware. Outside of the audio post production world, the telco ISDN network is rightly seen as a "mature" technology. It is a very early attempt to adapt low bandwidth copper wires to digital network. The infrastructure is old. So, for most general data applications, it is indeed seen as yesterday's network.

But for voice work, there are some real advantages over IP (internet) connections. Using a codec transceiver, like the Telos Zephyr, the ISDN network at the phone company gives you a rock solid, switched connection. Using IP, the variable is bandwidth on the internet backbone. There are problems with latency and drop outs. And, with some of the IP software, big bandwidth requirements.

In audio post production, there is a huge installed base of ISDN codecs. Once set up, they are easy to use (this comment obviously applies only to the Telos Zephyr; the CCS CDQ Prima is an engineering nightmare!) They are reliable. It has taken ten years to evolve, but no question about it, it is the standard connection protocol for post production studios.

Lots of you are excited about Source-Connect. This is actually much more suited to music production that for voice over. But you must understand that the bigger networks and even some of the large post houses will not allow any internet connection into their production network, period. Security issues. Especially studios that have Digidesign software, must be especially wary of internet connection anywhere near their systems.

Source-Connect requires way too much upstream bandwidth for most home studio users, and for most on-the-road applications. It is buggy and ticklish. Much like Digidesign hardware, if you have a team of engineers that you travel with who can manage it, well, fine. If you are a semi-technical type who has difficulty finding a file on your system that is not in the "My Documents" folder.....Source-Connect is surely not for you.

A much better alternative is AudioTX. It is PC only software.........but I use it on an Intel mac which I have set up as a dual boot system. That way, I have the best of both worlds.

AudioTX works two ways. When you add a small USB ISDN adapter, AudioTX is, itself a full blown ISDN codec.....fully compatible with Zephyr and other codecs. So, for about $ 1300.00, (compared to about 4k for Zephyr) you have ISDN. (Yes, of course that means you need the ISDN line from telco).

The second way it works, is over IP (internet). Which is to say; your client on the other end has AudioTX......you have it.......you connect over the internet. And it only requires about 128kbps of upstrem bandwidth........well under specs of most hotel and consumer broadband connections.

I usually bridge connect for ISDN sessions, using Out Of Hear, or Digifon. It works like this. Client dials the bridging companies ISDN line. I connect to the bridge company using AudioTX over the internet. Boom. We are connected.

I have been using AudioTX with a bridge for remote work for about six years. The software is just rock solid. Never fails.

So, consider this: If you want to be ISDN "ready".......but do not wish to install an ISDN line and purchase a Zephyr at this point, But AudioTX........and offer to pay the cost of a bridging session for any client that wants to do an ISDN session. Then, when the volume of your ISDN bookings justifies it, you can invest the additional dollars.

Dave Immer at Digifon is a rep for AudioTX, and will tech-support you through the installation.

But, no, boys and girls, ISDN is not on it's way out. It's just getting started.

There is another connection technology for whom I have been a beta tester, called SoundStreak. It actually has advantages over all the current systems. And ISDN connection using a codec like the Zephyr, is digital, but many folks don't understand that it is highly compressed. It is comparable to a 128kbps mp3 file. (Actually, Mpeg layer 2). So, it is much degraded from an uncompressed .wav or .aif file. SoundStreak is a browser based systyem, that has you install a simple helper app, but which will record uncompressed files on your system, and upload them to the client via ftp in the background , completely transparently to the talent. It will also allow you to read to picture in a browser window.

So, rather than trying to jam full bandwidth audio down the internet connection in real time, Sound-Streak records it on your local system (without any action required by you), then in between takes, it uploads it automatically to the producer in the background. So, if your internet connection is slow, it will take a little longer, but it will still get there.......and the producer has native, uncompressed audio files. And the technical knowledge required on the talent side is almost zero.

Sound-Streak is still in beta, and I am continuing tests......but it has the potential to be a real game changer.

I'll keep you posted.


Beau Weaver



Hey Beau,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and inform. Less naiive than before, but feeling somwhat like a ping pong ball when it comes to this subject, I have gone back to consider the source of some of my early information. Although one VO friend who has ISDN, I remember them being all fired up about source connect. Might be time for a follow up call..it's probably been a year since that conversation.

Well, alrighty then, appreciate you straightening us out here :) I get most of what you're saying and what I don't get...I'll figure out as I go. In the meantime.. this helps rule out a technology I'd considered.

Simpler, yeah, I like that!!! hehe.....

Yes, please do keep us posted. Thx.

ilene
Hi Beau

Echoing Phillip, many, many thanks indeed for the comprehensive explanation. I'll call Dave at Digifon and follow up. Can't wait to hear more on SoundStreak.

Again, my thanks.

God bless,

Michael

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