We had a request from a client that wanted to be part of a VO session but didn’t want to travel to the session. He lives in New York, and we are in Studio City, so that makes sense.
How the heck do we send video and audio from a TV show, add two VO guys in a VO booth, and have the ability for all the producers to talk including the guy in New York?
I ran into a web based solution that I am happy to tell you about. ipDTL.com is the website that makes all this magic happen, and no, this article is not sponsored.
ipDTL is hard to get hold of. They like to use Twitter for support, but they will respond. Hopefully what I am providing below will save you the headaches I went through and you can just setup a successful session.
The gear we are using for the sending side of things (The audio bay and VO booth) is a Mac Pro with Pro Tools. A mixing board, an HDMI monitor and a VO booth. Standard stuff. What we need to do was to interface all this into a PC that would be running the Chrome Browser so we could us the ipDTL service. You will also want to make sure that the send and receive computers are on a wired connection. You can do wireless, but wired is better for quality.
My road/edit PC laptop is an MSI GS73VR running Windows 10.
The components we finally settled on are:
- Roland Quad Capture (For Audio)
- Razer Ripsaw (For Video)
The ipDTL software allows you to select your devices. We select the Ripsaw as the Video Input, and we select the Quad Capture as the Audio Input. We also took the headphone jack on the computer and wired that back into the console. That way the remote viewer can talk back to us and everyone can hear it.
- Board Audio Out > Roland Quad Capture
- HDMI Splitter Out > Razer Ripsaw
- Windows Laptop Headphone Out > Board Input
To get going all you do is purchase the day pass for $15. It is good for 24 hours. This gives you two connections, you as the sender, and the client as the receiver. All you do is send them a link to the day pass and they enter their name and they are good to go. They can mute the mic on their end if they like, and they should be on a headset for best audio and to avoid feedback.
I’m writing this because ipDTL didn’t have a lot of this information, and I spent a week testing solutions, but it works now and it is awesome.
The latency in our tests is well under a second, and I would say closer to 1/2 a second. Not bad for a cloud based solution running through a Chrome browser.
The interface is pretty easy to understand.
Send Audio is the audio coming from your board and into the Quad-Capture to be sent to the receiver.
Select the Quad-Caputre as the send device
Select Send Video
Select the Razer Ripsaw
Receive Audio is set to headphone and that is returned to the board. This is for the talk back function. (If you don’t do this, the audio comes out of the laptop. That may work for you.)
The client side, in our case a MacBook is very easy to setup.
Select the audio you wish to send and receive. He even has the option to send us his MacBook video if he would like us to see him.
In our test we used Built-in Microphone, and Built-in Output.
You will notice the microphone image at the bottom of this picture. That allows you to mute from the client side. This is great since they have control over whether they want to talk to the VO booth or not.
That’s it. Load the VO booth with talent, get your audio engineer and have a great VO session. The client will be able to give notes as the day goes on, and can talk to everyone that is in the room. Perfect!