UPDATE: This article appears in The Ultimate Guide to Creative Mixing on the Digico SD5.
These emergency Optocore procedures could save your ass.
How did I learn all of this?
I recently started working as an Audio Supervisor on Ringling Bros. Circus’ new Out Of This World tour. Right before the very first rehearsal, all of my outputs from the Digico SD5 stopped working and I had 100 people waiting on me while I tried to fix it. I made it through that and several other minor emergencies and now I know the entire Digico tech support department by name. Here are the fixes they taught me.
To be clear, the SD5 is an amazing console and the company provides excellent support. Most of these fixes can be done in a matter of seconds and I’m really happy about that.
If you lose output at FOH and are unable to regain control of the outputs (yes, this has happened to me):
- At FOH: Setup -> Audio IO -> Setup Optocore -> Optocore Details -> Clear all outputs
- At Mon: Setup -> Audio IO -> Setup Optocore -> Optocore Details -> Broadcast only my ID
- At FOH:
- Reassign outputs in Audio IO (in my case Nanorack ports).
- Reassign Group outputs like Master and monitros.
If you are getting Optocore errors due to Snd/Rcv Console issues:
- Check all output cards to confirm you have correct ✔ or X.
- Setup Optocore -> Optocore Details -> Broadcast all output IDs
Other Emergency Procedures
If your startup session gets corrupted (this is also a good thing to practice once a month):
- Quit to Windows.
- Right click on startup menu -> Explore
- D:\SD5 and delete startup.ses and startup.mrdb
- Relaunch SD5
If you get an error about the sd5.exe file being corrupted:
- Try to load the SD5.exe in the d:\SD5\backup folder.
- If that works, move the backup SD5 folder to where the old one was and move the old one to backup.
If you loaded your session, but none of the Waves plugins loaded (this happens to me at least once a month):
- Open Waves
- Click Session -> Import session
- Import the last known good *.mrdb file.
- Your plugins should load. Sometimes you’ll need to go through a few files until you find one that works.
If Waves will not load and therefore you cannot save or load a session:
- Load Waves session manually.
- If you cannot open waves:
- Quit to Windows.
- Right click on startup menu -> Explore.
- D:\SD5 and delete startup.mrdb and Preferences folder.
- Relaunch SD5.
Important SD5 Notes
Here is a selection of some of the most important notes I have collected. Some you can find in the manual, but some I had to figure out on my own.
- Power up (or restart if already running).
- Load last known good session.
- Save session to internal and external drives.
- Shutdown from File menu.
- Power down both power supplies.
- Even-numbered Optocore IDs are for mirrored desks only.
- System diagnostics on the SD5 to see errors.
- Only one console can be in charge of an output module.
- If you hear ticks and pops you may have a sync issue.
- On the D-Rack and Nano-rack display, the tiny triangle under the “o” means that it is receiving timecode.
- When one SD5 is loading a new session, the other will show a momentary Optocore error.
- Option-all breaks a gang.
- Option-all to turn everything up on a page. Hit channel LCD to exclude some.
- Digico button affects rotary resolution.
- If you keep all of your snapshots in a group, it can make updating all of them at once pretty easy:
- Make sure Relative Groups is enabled.
- Fire a snapshot that loads the setting that you want to change.
- Change that setting.
- Press Update Group.
- At this point, you may want to take all snapshots out of the group, because if you accidentally press Update Group in the future…you’re hosed.
- Input channel safe does not protect the input gain because that is a function of the rack.
- The Waves server wants to be networked to both the Waves port on the back of the SD5 and the network port. The Waves port is for audio processing. The network port handles the GUI. Careful with these CAT5 cables. They have a short life.
- If the Waves server is not appearing in the Waves inventory table: hard reset on the back of the unit.
- To recall safe a Waves rack: Right-click on the left of the rack and choose recall safe.
- To switch between Setup and Show modes, go to the Master view->System tab->Security and switch between Setup and Live.
Connect a computer
- Connect both devices to router.
- Wireless adapter settings: Make sure Wifi is first in the list. Also it seems to like it better when you set the IP manually. So try that if it doesn’t work.
- Under Network – select your computer.
- Send session.
- Mirror from console.
- Don’t send channels to an aux and also a group because they will be out of time.
- If your sessions are not saving with the correct time, you may have a mismatch between Windows and the SD5 software. To correct this: Reset the time zone and time in Windows to GMT, then set the time in the SD5 software to your local time.
Bonus Super Helpful Macro Instructions
In production meetings I sometimes get the note that a certain song “had the wrong mix.” I made a special button to fix that. 😉