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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I'm in LA and there are plenty of studios offering reasonable costs on per use ISDN/Phone Patch sessions. You can always build that into your quote for a job or tell them they can book a local studio and get them the rates. I have a list of 4 I use and recommend. It's always nice to have an engineer present. Not sure if that helps or not and as for Radio Imaging perhaps you can collaborate with a local studio as well. Am I wrong or can't you upload via FTP? Are your sessions live for radio imaging? Wondering why ISDN is so important.
Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for you input. Can you supple the list of 4 studios you use. Perhaps a phone patch and upload to FTP is the way to go. My general concern about that, however, is one that is echoed in this thread, as well as by a few friends in VO here in Los Angeles. That would be: does not having ISDN make you look less professional in the eyes of would be clients? Love you thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

God bless,

Michael
Hi Michael,

Well, you're the one that has to make the decision. Beau and the guys are ALL correct. With the minor error by Mr. Beau. MP3 is actually MPEG-II Layer III audio spec. And we all know that MPEG stands for the Motion Picture Experts Group.

Now, I've used ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and a Telos Zephyr since a month after they were released. I can't remember, but it was around 1993 or 4. I've used it so much, my first one croaked and the factory gave me a new Standard Stereo Zephyr. I'm using that now. BUT. I'm going to put my money down on the Telos Zephyr/IP unit. This as you can tell does VOIP. But not just any VOIP. It's fully adaptive and has a monster buffer. And it give you solid performance with low propagation delay.
The phone companies (AT&T) don't feel that ISDN is a profit center for them any more. They'd rather lease you a DS-3 (45Mb/s) or big fat SONET (Synchronous Optical Network). Now, the nice thing about the new Telos is that you don't have to pay installation charges and a nasty $120/month standing still charge in addition to what? 50 cents per minute connect time in stereo.

So, you gotta ask yourself one question: "do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, Punk? (grin)
In other words, if you have a job, a need, Right NOW. Go ISDN and I hope you're in the big city. I know guys with a $3000 install fees (and that was Boca Raton). But, if you don't need it NOW. Hold off. It's my belief that the IP from Telos will gain ground in less than 18 months. Yes, I know there are a couple of cheapies out there, the Barix being one of them. But, if my reputation is on the line, going with Telos is a no brainer.

Good Luck and dial me up when you get it.

Best Regards
Pat
www.appleson
What a great thread - thanks for all this valuable info !

This cuts to the core of my studio situation: I can see downtown Boston from my home in the suburbs, but I can't get ISDN. Verizon won't install it here. Said it would cost $10,000 for the install, I said "OK!" they STILL won't install it, apparently they'd have to rip up roads. Instead, I've been renting space with the goal of building a studio where ISDN is available. But a funny thing has been happening, two years after leaving my ISDN equipped studio at Kiss108, I've only had ONE gig where ISDN was mandatory. Every other client who requested ISDN was OK with a phone patch, then downloading from the internet afterwards. I've been asking producers who have ISDN, they tell me they prefer an ordinary phone patch since they can conduct the session from anywhere - like when they're stuck in traffic. I know that network or TV affiliate work may demand an ISDN connection, but the cable networks I've worked with are indifferent, actually partial to NOT using ISDN.

I paid $2600 to have ISDN installed out on Cape Cod back in 2000, and pay $80 a month to keep it active, but I'm only there sporadically. I now use Source Connect to bridge that studio, and it's working like a charm. Frankly I'm blown away at how good Source Connect sounds, and wish it was in more widespread use. Two years ago it didn't work because my internet pipe wasn't fast enough, but now it is. So I'm saving the $500 monthly expense of rent + phone/ISDN/internet, leveraging my existing ISDN connection that I've had for years, and will probably never be able to get again if I ever cancel it. As far as I can tell, the phone company will no longer install ISDN where it's not already available.
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your input. Glad you're enjoying this thread as much as I am. Very interesting that you've only had one gig that demanded ISDN in two years. Yet, from all I've been reading in this thread you still pretty much need to have it to be regarded as a professional. Check Pat Appleson's remark from earlier in the thread:

"But, if you don't need it NOW. Hold off. It's my belief that the IP from Telos will gain ground in less than 18 months. Yes, I know there are a couple of cheapies out there, the Barix being one of them. But, if my reputation is on the line, going with Telos is a no brainer."
Hi Pat,

Thakns so much for your information. I'm kind of at the point where I'll wait until I absolutely need ISDN to get it. My niche focus going forward is radio imaging. Your thoughts as to whether I need ISDN for that, or not, are greatly appreciated. As Andrews Heyl said there are tons of studios in Los Angeles that have ISDN for rent. But, what does that say to prospective clients as the the level of you professionalism?

God bless,

Michael
Hi Pat,

Thakns so much for your information. I'm kind of at the point where I'll wait until I absolutely need ISDN to get it. My niche focus going forward is radio imaging. Your thoughts as to whether I need ISDN for that, or not, are greatly appreciated. As Andrews Heyl said there are tons of studios in Los Angeles that have ISDN for rent. But, what does that say to prospective clients as the the level of you professionalism?

God bless,

Michael
At the risk of this being a dumb question... What are the advantages of using an ISDN vs. MP3? I have done voice imaging for a radio station sending them MP3 files all day long with no apparent quality loss. I know there must be a valid reason why ISDN is expensive and a great marketing plus, I just don't know enough about it... Talk to me.
What a great thread! I put ISDN in towards the end of last year, mostly because my agent does lots of sessions using it and I was going off to studios all the time just for them to dial up over the ISDN to my agents' in Manchester. Using the intermediary studio was adding to the client's bill and I've been more marketable since I've had my own, as a result.

Vincent, the key thing with ISDN isn't the quality (vs MP3 or WAV) – it's that the client can hear you in quality at the other end and direct you as you go along. ISDN (rather than a phone patch) lets them hear the nuances that you can't get over an ordinary phone line, and they can also hear what your room sounds like and what your mic is doing.

If your clients are happy to let you record on your own and send them on after (I call this "record and forward") then you're doing fine, but not everyone will be happy with that arrangement.

Anything else, folks?
"..I would bet my next scale job that the phone company is not telling you the truth."

could be. I had both the Chief Engineer at Kiss 108, and Dave Immer from Digfon working on it. Both of these guys have set up ISDN at hundreds of locations.. both finally gave up in frustration saying it couldn't be done where i live in Melrose MA.

I agree with folks that say having ISDN makes you look "more professional". I now offer ISDN without mentioning that it's bridged via Source Connect. Sort of like getting a 212 number to make it look like you're in New York, even when you're really in Greenville North Carolina :). As long as you answer the phone, who's to know? But I'm still finding that very few of clients are interested in dialing up via ISDN - this includes long time clients who were always dialing up ISDN not 4 years ago, today they prefer phone patch and FTP download. The bottom line is I'll accommodate whatever delivery method a client prefers.

One problem with bridging is that Source Connect adds a half second delay, each way, when streaming 'high' quality. When I am on ISDN this way, I almost have to say "over" to conduct a two way conversation. But the Source Connect audio quality is outstanding, much better than grainy ISDN.
Jeff,

Yes don't say there isn't a stupid question because I know mine is...How does a phone patch work? Can you tell me what equipment is needed and what gets connected where? I should probably start my own thread on this but thought someone or you might answer it in simple terms so I can understand it.. (:

For instance, I have RodeNT1A, an Emu1616m, and a PC wiht Intel Core 2 dou processor. Where does the phone patch go?

And you know next I will ask you how to load up an FTP file... ha ha...
A phone patch is usually done using a phone hybrid. You plug your phone jack into the hybrid, it acts like a telephone, but transfers the incoming and outgoing audio so you can plug it into your rig. Gentner is the most well known high end hybrid manufacturer. Telos makes them too, in fact the Zephyr XStream is an excellent regular phone hybrid in addition to it's ISDN function (just call the ISDN line with a regular phone.) But if you don't want to drop 4 figures on a hybrid, visit JK Audio's website - they make solid, versatile, reliable boxes for short money. I have a JK Audio "THAT" that's 9 years old, still works like the day i got it. It's small and requires no power.

Not familiar with the Emu1616, but if you're not using a mixing board or switcher, you'll have to configure it to do a phone patch, feeding it with a dedicated output, and listening with a dedicated input - then setting it up so you can hear the phone while only recording your voice, not the phone. Some of the more expensive JK audio hybrids may have a headphone jack, so you could conduct the session and monitor your VO using that. I find using an auxiliary send on a mixing board is the easiest way to patch - also enables you to feed other audio sources over the phone.

Hope that helps ! For FTP, just download "Core FTP" for PC, or "Fetch" for the Mac (i use Transmit on my Mac). Log into your web server, and get busy :)


jb

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