Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

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jallen0

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Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 1:40 pm

There are numerous posts about this however I cannot seem to find a direct answer about which one works. I also submitted a ticket to Blackmagic asking this question a week ago and have yet to receive an answer.

Using the latest version of Resolve, on an OS X system, what professional-level external audio interface is guaranteed to work with Fairlight? Which one(s) is officially supported by Blackmagic?
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Jim Simon

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 1:46 pm

jallen0 wrote:what professional-level external audio interface is guaranteed to work with Fairlight?

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/produc ... e/consoles
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jallen0

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 1:58 pm

Not looking for a Controller interface, looking for the audio interface. Thanks for the link however I have read that, plus all the manuals, and there is no listing of recommended audio interfaces.
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Jim Simon

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 2:08 pm

Ah, sorry.

Don't know that.
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Bruceqld

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 2:12 pm

Resolve does not support asio drivers so will only use system audio drivers. This means that whatever professional interface you use will work but it will of course have woeful round trip latency. I use both an RME Fireface ufx and a Behringer X32 mixer. Your only option for better performance is the bespoke Fairlight systems in the above link.

Beyond ridiculous really, but I guess it sells a few pieces of hardware?
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Charles Bennett

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 2:25 pm

Justin, the Fairlight audio interface and Accelerator are listed at the bottom of that console page.
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 2:57 pm

Bruceqld wrote:Resolve does not support asio drivers so will only use system audio drivers. This means that whatever professional interface you use will work but it will of course have woeful round trip latency. I use both an RME Fireface ufx and a Behringer X32 mixer. Your only option for better performance is the bespoke Fairlight systems in the above link.

Beyond ridiculous really, but I guess it sells a few pieces of hardware?


I am on OS X so I don't have ASIO, just Core Audio. The problem is the US 4K mini I have also uses core audio and it's not working correctly in Fairlight.
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jallen0

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 3:01 pm

Charles Bennett wrote:Justin, the Fairlight audio interface and Accelerator are listed at the bottom of that console page.


Thanks Charles ( and Jim) I missed then initially. Over the last several days I have called multiple audio sellers and they all say, and show on their website, these items are sold out and on backorder. They have been around for awhile, have limited options on them, and honestly, I am not sure that Blackmagic is not going to replace them soon.

I also just cannot believe that Blackmagic is going to do to Fairlight whet they are doing with ProRes Raw....limit it ,or refuse to allow it, to only their device and allow no others.
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jallen0

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 3:09 pm

Additionally, based on this thread ( viewtopic.php?f=21&t=67821 ) OS X drivers and connectivity is not even supported yet. The only connection it has is a DVI-I connector. They haven't been used on a Mac since somewhere around 2006 I think.

I just don't see how the current device offering from Blackmagic is as up to date, or realistic, as it needs to be. I wonder if this is why I haven't heard anything form Blackmagic support about recommended audio interfaces for Fairlight yet.
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Reynaud Venter

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 3:14 pm

jallen0 wrote:Additionally, based on this thread ( viewtopic.php?f=21&t=67821 ) OS X drivers and connectivity is not even supported yet. The only connection it has is a DVI-I connector
The Fairlight Audio Accelerator is supported on macOS and provides the DVI port to connect a Fairlight Audio Interface and provides additional MADI IO on BNC to connect any third party MADI hardware for 64 channels of IO.

The optional MADI PCIe Expander provides an additional 3 streams for a total of 256 channels of MADI IO.
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jallen0

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 3:46 pm

Thanks Reynaud, I guess I should ask if, in your opinion, the only audio interface device Blackmagic is going to support will be their own interface?
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Reynaud Venter

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 4:22 pm

On macOS any Core Audio compliant device is supported by Resolve.

The Fairlight hardware provides the more complete and richer Fairlight experience due to the additional feature set.

It really depends on how deeply one is willing to commit to the Resolve/Fairlight platform.
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jallen0

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 4:30 pm

Reynaud Venter wrote:On macOS any Core Audio compliant device is supported by Resolve.


This is not true. I have the US 4K mini and while it supports core audio, and I can get sound out to if from the Fairlight page the JKL keys and audio scrubbing does not work. Per Blackmagic support this device is not supported.

This is what has led me down the rabbit hole over the last week or so trying to find a supported audio interface that will work in Fairlight. IF the only way to use Fairlight on a professional level is to use Blackmagic's Fairlight hardware, then Blackmagic needs to come out and say that so I, and others, quit wasting our time.
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Reynaud Venter

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 4:39 pm

Successfully use Blackmagic's DeckLink cards in Resolve and the Fairlight page with no issues with scrubbing and the JKL keybindings, along with a variety of third party Core Audio IO on various machines with macOS.
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 4:57 pm

And we are back to my original question. Trying to find specific audio interfaces that work using Fairlight. As an example, will the Universal Audio Apollo x16 Heritage Edition Rackmount 18x20 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing work with Fairlight? Or will the Focusrite Red 8Pre Audio Interface with Thunderbolt 2, Pro Tools & Dante Connectivity work?

Just looking for the supported list from Blackmagic as to what will work with 100% reliability so I don't have to keep buying and returning options. If Blackmagic comes out and says that their own interface is the only one that works 100%, then so be it. At least then I can make a decision and move on. But as I said earlier, my support ticket into Blackmagic asking this question remains unanswered.
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rNeil H

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 5:26 pm

BM does not fully support other color surfaces in Resolve, they allow only limited use of the panels. Such as my Elements.

And they never ever allow other panels to be mapped by the user. As I can do in Premiere, where I'm even mapping audio track mixer controls to my knobs.

You need to understand the profit model for BM: they provide software to sell hardware. I'm not being critical as we all need to make a profit. Just recognizing how BM works.

I do of course wish it otherwise. I've no space for both that Elements panel and a BM one. And using the Elements in Resolve is a bit frustrating. Half the controls are always unused. And figuring out the weird process to get to the various things that are available is bizarre.

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 5:35 pm

rNeil H wrote: You need to understand the profit model for BM: they provide software to sell hardware. I'm not being critical as we all need to make a profit. Just recognizing how BM works.


This is the point that makes me laugh (not at you). I am desperate to buy their new Blackmagic Design Fairlight Desktop Console USB Control Surface. I love what it can do and it modern in design and functionality. And if they had a modern audio interface I would buy that as well and not think twice about it.

However, because I will not buy their outdated Fairlight audio interface, and they will not tell me what audio interfaces they will support, if any, then I feel like I am being pushed to get an $8,000 - $12,000 Pro Tools system instead of what my first choice is. Which is Blackmagic.

In my case it is 100% Blackmagic's inability to have a discussion about this that is costing them business.
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rNeil H

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostSun Jun 20, 2021 6:24 pm

Many of my post friends are pro colorists, some of whom at NAB are wearing BM shirts and for instance spending hours a day officially demoing and talking on the Advanced panel at the table dedicated to that product.

Clearly, they are rather tightly wired into BM. And I assume under NDA for various things.

I've pushed them to comment on the issue of lack of user mappings for nom-BM panels. No comments of course, no more than BM staffers will do.

I've asked them and BM staffers about user settings for controls built by BM. Which also typically are not mappable by the users. No comments of course.

It is frustrating isn't it? The only option is to buy into their controls and systems as-is. Assume no changes.



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Peter Chamberlain

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostMon Jun 21, 2021 1:31 am

On my iMac, i use a Presonus and the Fairlight Audio Accelerator via TB expander with the MADI Upgrade and the Fairlight audio interface. We have also tested half a dozen other audio interfaces using Core Audio.

What audio I/O are you really looking for?
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostMon Jun 21, 2021 11:57 am

Peter Chamberlain wrote:On my iMac, i use a Presonus and the Fairlight Audio Accelerator via TB expander with the MADI Upgrade and the Fairlight audio interface. We have also tested half a dozen other audio interfaces using Core Audio.

What audio I/O are you really looking for?


Thank you Peter for asking. Right now I really am a bit open. I have it narrowed down to the following, in order:

1) Universal Audio Apollo x16 Heritage Edition Rackmount 18x20 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing
2) RME Fireface UFX+ USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt Audio Interface
3) Antelope Galaxy 32 Synergy Core Rackmount 32-Channel AD/DA Dante/HDX/Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface
4) Focusrite Red 8Pre Audio Interface with Thunderbolt 2, Pro Tools & Dante Connectivity
5) Focusrite Red 8Line Rackmount 58x64 Dante/HDX/Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface
6) ProTools Carbon (not really good outside ProTools)

My use will be for post production and I would like to stay within Fairlight, mostly because I like the new controller you just put out, and the ability to sync video to audio at frame accurate points when doing audio post.

However it it my impression after looking at the other offerings out there that the Fairlight Audio Interface, in terms of connectivity to the computer, and offerings is behind what's out there. While technology is always changing I would like my purchase to be viable for the next 3-5 years.

Finally there are multiple post lately on the inability of external audio systems not working with Fairlight. WHIle most of them are on the windows side there are also some on the Mac side. I myself have ben told, and have experience personally, that my core audio compliant US 4K Mini will not work with Fairlight. This is despite promotional materials from Blackmagic stating that it will work...and was one of the main reasons I went with Blackmagic. Never once did I think that Blackmagic produced hardware would not work with Blackmagic produced software.

This is why I initially posted this thread. I, and others, are looking for clarity as to what will work and what will not work regarding interconnectivity. Right now my choices are buying a $4,000 - $5,000 audio interface to use with Fairlight and hope it works...or go outside Fairlight with a completely new system.

And I know that Blackmagic doesn't do this, but having a roadmap would certainly help people.

Again, thank you Peter for asking.
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostTue Jun 22, 2021 4:40 am

Hi Justin,

just as another point of reference, I`m using a Metric Halo ULN-8 (actually several of them) over MHLink and it all works flawlessly in Fairlight (one caveat - I have not tried recording in through the interface into Fairlight as it`s not normally part of my workflow, if you`re doing loads of ADR you will want to check that first).

The units are affordable, future proof (still supporting and still upgrading original units designed 20 years ago) and sound as good or better as any high end converters out there. They will connect directly to the MADI port on the Fairlight Audio Accelerator.

I`ve had no problem using them with Fairlight, including key bindings and other issues you mention. I bought the dedicated hardware for added features and would not have bought it if the sound quality wasn`t excellent, and it is.

I`m not sure what you mean by your comment that their gear is outdated, the SX-36 (Fairlight Audio Interface) provides clock, sync, I/O and a number of other features aimed at broadcast & post production, but the real magic is in the PCIe card (Fairlight Audio Accelerator) imho. Compared to the gear you list, I would say the SX-36 compares very favorably.

Probably the best thing to do is drop by your dealer and get a loaner unit or two, try them out with Fairlight and buy the one you prefer. Most dealers should offer something like this, at least for the more prosumer-focused models you mention.

Have you checked your keyboard mappings to see that maybe they haven`t become corrupted somehow? I`ve had no problem with jkl or audio scrubbing on my (Mac) laptop or the Mac Pro. To be honest since I got the Desktop Editor I rarely touch the keyboard anymore, except on the laptop when traveling.

Hope this helps.

Thor
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostTue Jun 22, 2021 10:58 am

Thor, thanks for your comments!

I'll look at the Metric Halo ULN-8, as I have not heard of them before.

tlegvold wrote:I`m not sure what you mean by your comment that their gear is outdated, the SX-36 (Fairlight Audio Interface) provides clock, sync, I/O and a number of other features aimed at broadcast & post production, but the real magic is in the PCIe card (Fairlight Audio Accelerator) imho. Compared to the gear you list, I would say the SX-36 compares very favorably.


By modern interface I think I mean a more up-to-date interface and all items able to be rack mounted. While my editing machine is the latest Mac Pro I am not sure I want to spend another $15,000 on my audio machine just so I can have slots to put cards into. And yes, I do not have to get one so demanding, but I also cannot just get an Apple Mac Mini, or a newer Apple iMac.

tlegvold wrote:Probably the best thing to do is drop by your dealer and get a loaner unit or two, try them out with Fairlight and buy the one you prefer. Most dealers should offer something like this, at least for the more prosumer-focused models you mention.


That option does not exist in North Carolina for me. I live 2-3 hours away from a major city.

tlegvold wrote:Have you checked your keyboard mappings to see that maybe they haven`t become corrupted somehow? I`ve had no problem with jkl or audio scrubbing on my (Mac) laptop or the Mac Pro. To be honest since I got the Desktop Editor I rarely touch the keyboard anymore, except on the laptop when traveling.


This issue has been detailed in another post of mine. When using the US 4K Mini these issues exist and are reproducible. In talking with Blackmagic Support about the US 4K Mini they state: "At this time this is working as expected in that it is not compatible for Fairlight configuration." Even though when you look at the documentation and web pages for the US 4K Mini they state that it works with Fairlight.

Again, thank you for the thoughts. I am still determining what approach to take. I think I fit into that area where I am not a full audio studio, but want to build an audio post set-up that can grow over the next several years. For that I need equipment that can grow as well...and will be revelant and "modern" in 3-5 years.
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tlegvold

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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostThu Jun 24, 2021 6:45 pm

jallen0 wrote:Thor, thanks for your comments!

I'll look at the Metric Halo ULN-8, as I have not heard of them before.

tlegvold wrote:I`m not sure what you mean by your comment that their gear is outdated, the SX-36 (Fairlight Audio Interface) provides clock, sync, I/O and a number of other features aimed at broadcast & post production, but the real magic is in the PCIe card (Fairlight Audio Accelerator) imho. Compared to the gear you list, I would say the SX-36 compares very favorably.


By modern interface I think I mean a more up-to-date interface and all items able to be rack mounted. While my editing machine is the latest Mac Pro I am not sure I want to spend another $15,000 on my audio machine just so I can have slots to put cards into. And yes, I do not have to get one so demanding, but I also cannot just get an Apple Mac Mini, or a newer Apple iMac.


The SX-36 is rack mounted. At least mine is. The CC-2 (PCIe card) you can simply mount in an external PCI card cage, like Sonnet or similar firms offer. Last I checked a small one for a card like the CC-2 was around $250, not expensive at all.

tlegvold wrote:Probably the best thing to do is drop by your dealer and get a loaner unit or two, try them out with Fairlight and buy the one you prefer. Most dealers should offer something like this, at least for the more prosumer-focused models you mention.

jallen0 wrote:That option does not exist in North Carolina for me. I live 2-3 hours away from a major city.


Maybe ask a colleague or two if you can borrow whatever they use? If it's for a professional business, the 2-3 hour drive is a good investment to know you're getting a complete system the works correctly, imho. I have some colleagues in Winston-Salem and know there are a lot of creative industry people across the state.

tlegvold wrote:Have you checked your keyboard mappings to see that maybe they haven`t become corrupted somehow? I`ve had no problem with jkl or audio scrubbing on my (Mac) laptop or the Mac Pro. To be honest since I got the Desktop Editor I rarely touch the keyboard anymore, except on the laptop when traveling.

jallen0 wrote:This issue has been detailed in another post of mine. When using the US 4K Mini these issues exist and are reproducible. In talking with Blackmagic Support about the US 4K Mini they state: "At this time this is working as expected in that it is not compatible for Fairlight configuration." Even though when you look at the documentation and web pages for the US 4K Mini they state that it works with Fairlight.

Again, thank you for the thoughts. I am still determining what approach to take. I think I fit into that area where I am not a full audio studio, but want to build an audio post set-up that can grow over the next several years. For that I need equipment that can grow as well...and will be revelant and "modern" in 3-5 years.


Got it. Hope this helps, and good luck!

Thor
2019 Mac Pro 16 Core
AMD Radeon W5700X 16GB
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Fairlight Audio Accelerator CC-2
Fairlight Audio Interface SX-36
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostFri Jun 25, 2021 2:20 am

Another Point of Reference, I'm on Win10, and use a MOTU Ultralite MK3 via USB. It took me a good while to figure out how to get it set up (both in Win Settings and Resolve) to get it working for both Output and Input. I'm going through the Fairlight Training Guide now and have been able to successfully record via my mic through it and can do Stereo and 5.1 Output through it. I have Stereo, 5.1, and Phones Speaker Sets established that I can switch between. But, like I said, it took a LOT of trial-and-error in the various settings before I got it working, but it appears to work in full with Fairlight (so far). Getting Windows right was a lot of the frustration.

I agree, the absence of ASIO is a shame, and I think purposeful by BMD, as it has been requested for years by frustrated users and is standard on every other DAW in use.
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Re: Fairlight Professional External Audio Interface

PostFri Jun 25, 2021 2:28 am

Thanks Steve and Thor. I appreciate the insight.
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