You reading this might be the greatest voice artist in the state, but have absolutely no idea what I am posting/talking about, but if you can, kindly take a second to see if it affects you. (No question; it will eventually as the greedy, blind to beauty and artistically void Telcos take your ISDN away).
One reason I recently started to hook up on these pro sites is to mention/discuss the demise of ISDN in its true form, hoping some of you have some techy magic to offer.
I am severely suffering right now and in some super dooper conflict with my local provider who racked me down 6 months ago when they installed new network routers.They had no idea and still have no idea what we guys use ISDN for. They see no fault as they DO NOT understand our ISDN usage, thinking it is all the same like banks as they line multiplexing FX stuff or Internet ADSL.
We are unique and no doubt, in some towns across the world, you might be the ONLY ISDN user for a thousand miles.
Sooner rather than later, shared bandwidth ISDN (to keep it simple) is going to be forced on us all as has happened in some cases already and it simply does not work in our case. (For now, the Telcos that got caught were forced to revert for just us few). Examples: BT (UK) a while back and Etisalat (Dubai), Batelco Bahrain and many many more new installs or upgrades world wide. Yeah they started stealing bandwidth through IP based Networks such as the rather limited HUWAI and all other GSM big boys, (Nokia/Siemens now etc etc. - If you wanna get technical with me, I can explain).
A lot of ordinary VO folk did NOT notice anything wrong, just the odd frame out. CSI Manama here (me - ex communications grad. old soup cans and a string ) did the maths and started some solid badgering to get PURE ISDN back. So far it has worked in UK and Dubai, but they call us dinosaurs and want us to close it up.
How can I tell 90% of my voice overs links who never up-date their codecs, or know how to even, that they have to move to Source Connect or lobby their Telcos to guarantee synchronous, 64 K X 2 X B channels for our work. MP3 is ok, but what if I want to direct the voice real time? (ADSL is asynchronous)
Good old fashioned twisted pairs, straight ISDN works for us - we don't need or want fiber IP because 95% of the time you cannot lock, but I think we are heading for defeat.

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Comment by Geg Hopkins on October 21, 2009 at 6:44am
Amazingly (as they describe it) Audio TX works well now and tolerates the IP routing in the middle. ISDN connected that is. As my earlier post described the woes we had and could NOT get around until for the hell of it, we decided to try the built in Realtek sound card on the PC. Still with the cheap everyday ISDN modem on USB2. Good Lord, Audio TX locked and works fine. We never initially tried it as it was contrary to the bleatings of the Sales Manager (Mo Dutti) at Audio TX. in Birmingham UK, who I guess is trying to sell you his.
Agreed, There is some tie-up between Audio TX software and the sound card and ISDN modem to make it all tick together, but for example, we could not get any of the high-end Firewire external sound devices to synchronize with Audio TX ..Not at all! (See earlier)
So in normal exchange, we are trying to buy it now, but that is not proving quite so easy as such a simple thing should be. In fact this Mo Dutti chap (who I was beginning to like) has sort of intimated that he wants to 'leave it at that' so not deal with us, having exchanged a Guinness Book of records number of emails with him testing his flexibility. He or their system seems more rigid than double glazing.
Basically, providing you go along with ''their'' way of delivery and prices, it should be ok I guess, but some of us have our ways too like our own International Fedex account, so we don't use other couriers etc etc. Our Credit Cards are to PO boxes as is our delivery address (which is standard here). You know PO boxes and couriers don't go together. Regardless, I have to say this salesman seems to have read half the book but not all, so banters well with the technicals, Good talker and walks the talk but always a sales line in the middle of it all. 'CHEAP MODEMS wont work; this and that SOUNDS CARD wont either. you -should- use the ones we sell etc" , without actually denying all out that others won't work.. blah blah. He also slams Source Connect, which I guess would be expected. Well there is some truth in it, but not all, which we have proved.
We note that the Audio TX prices for the hardware add-ons are 20 or 30 Euros over and above the Manufacturers prices. But as a package all in one, then so what, if it is convenient to buy bundled. (Of course PCI cards are almost as dinosaur as ISDN now, so there needs to be some pick up of speed here too).
Unfortunately, we've all got warts and we can observe each others I guess. From my experience and observations having lived in the Middle East for an ion, there is a pattern that appears to be endemic within certain cultures, which in turn creates a certain behaviour when it comes to 'someone's' rules. It is often something not even generations of immigrants seem to be able to shake off. Inflexibility with incredible arrogance, plus small time penny extra touches with everything (he) handled. Other than that good software
And he reads blogs too!
Comment by Geg Hopkins on October 16, 2009 at 6:01pm
More rant - Well Source Connect is not really the issue here and I suspect many of us can safely agree with George on the assessment. It works! LA to LA, it probably storms along. Dubai to Bahrain. Ugh! Um!! Meantime, tell the world's voice overs to come out of Jurassic Park and get with it and ditch ISDN. That should be fun. It is going to take a good while for that to happen yet. But read on because after many days of terror, we have suddenly had some success and not as predicted. So many days and months have have been spent and wasted trying to get IP routed ISDN to work solidly.
I am actually a Mayah Centauri user by choice,; www.mayah.com and if my memory serves me, these boys left Prima years ago and set up, but don't quote me. I like Mayah a great deal and even know individuals within. Their knowledge and backup/service is superb, but it seems they cannot do much about this IP block in ISDN, unless their new Centauri II is more tolerant I don't know. If you rip the lid off say an older Centauri 3000, you'll find what looks like some sort of Pentium 3 inside with an ISDN and sound card fitted. A few mods for a flash card for software upgrades and that is it. But it is class stuff and audio classic too. Maybe the inside of new II features Core 2 and the last known ISDN card manufactured. Dunno! The reason I mention is the internal speed aspect of the processor might actually play a part. I never thought it critical, but it could mean the difference between 'see IP and freeze or not'
Since my initial 'rant'; at the Telco;s request and apparent desire to fix my problem, I have spent several days inside the very guts of the telco's switch, connecting direct twisted pairs to my boxes and calling everywhere. No deal, we could not get it to work with what we had although 'Audio TX' (www.audiotx.com) seems much more tolerant and did in fact hold for a few minutes at a time. The Huwai head honcho Chinese guys seconded here and present at the tests, looked totally bewildered and care just as much as their disinterested faces I think.
Using a TC Electronic Konnect 32 Firewire box as the sound card and a standard off-the-shelf nothing special USB2 ISDN modem, we loaded Audio TX on a Shuttle 3 gig PC and tried to connect back to back with the Centauri using another ISDN line all through the IP (Huwai) . Audio TX will connect, but lock up the Mayah controls. From the Mayah to Audio TX, we got nothing at all.
Audio TX's Mo Dutti advises me that his Software will tolerate this virtual asynchronous syndrome providing we also buy his ISDN PCI card and his recommended PCI sound card.
Connecting to my mate Pavel Douglas using Audio TX - PC - TC Konnect etc. We could hear him but one B channel was dropping. Suspecting the TC Konnect 32 Firewire device incompatibility and against advice and indeed audio quality concern we switched to the internal sound card on the Shuttle X box and connected in and out using optical. We then called Al Dupres (another old hand with us) and guess what? No problems at all - Cheap modem, cheap sound card built in, standard ISDN international connection again through the Huwai IP switch (NO CHOICE). We connected fine fine fine.. IT WORKS!!!!! Phew!!
BUT!!!!!!!!! Al is using Audio TX too. Watch this space. We will try and connect to Pav's CDQ Prima tomorrow now using the jury rigged set up.
Shame, it seems the TC Konnect 32 Fireware box doesn't like much this configuration as Media Player itself (not that we use it) doesn't like it either. Anybody else using it with any sucess?
Comment by George Whittam on October 16, 2009 at 3:04pm
NIce stream of conscious rant on ISDN. I had no idea that ISDN is getting mixed into shared bandwidth networks in other parts of the world. While Source Connect has a way to go, it's certainly gotten a stronghold and is becoming a new standard in many studios who are open to new technology and have an IT department that can be whipped into submission to allow the open ports.
Thanks for sharing your point of view from over the pond!
Comment by Geg Hopkins on October 12, 2009 at 9:18am
even a sweeter sniff
Comment by Geg Hopkins on October 12, 2009 at 9:18am
Have you tried mixing papaya and dark chocolate? Oooooooo.. Geggyboy discovered it. Garlic Bread - history as well mate. At least one end is a sweater sniff.
Comment by Geg Hopkins on October 12, 2009 at 12:47am
Future?? Ah optimism on this bright sunny morning. We've been using it a year or so, but it is nothing like ISDN and can never be global. Well not in my life time. But a great move forward. Connecting US to US must be a little luxury. Try connecting SC to somewhere outside of the US from say outside the US. Yeah it works, sort of, but then I have to find my regular pros who know about it or more to the point know how to use it. ISDN/MPEG 2 works!.
AAC was the future! But I have never found anyone using it through their current codecs which no doubt support it. Maybe its me, but most average VOs wants to just switch on, voice and get off! Tell them to set 'Local/remote/Speed Dial/G7XX or ADSL IP Mpeg charlie-marley or blue gooseberries and the very many things we could do and .... well you know the answer.
Comment by David Marc on October 11, 2009 at 11:36pm
Source Connect IS the future!

David Marc

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