TABLE OF CONTENTS


Q-SYS has released Automatic Camera Preset Recall (ACPR) version 3.1 This improves upon prior releases with the following features:

  • Native Support for Shure MXA920 Microphones
  • Upgraded tracking algorithm
  • Built-in automixers to simplify deployment


This update has changed the deployment process for these systems. All the basic configuration for this plugin is covered by the help file. You can access it by clicking on the plugin and pressing "F1".


We have created a sample file demonstrating the best practices. You can download it at the bottom of this page.


Transition from ACPR 3.0 BETA

There is a known issue for computers that installed the 3.x beta versions. You have to navigate to Documents\QSC\Q-Sys Designer\Assets\qsc-managed-plugins and delete the ACPR folder. You can then head back to asset manager and install 3.1.


Setup Overview

  1. Install the latest plugin from the Asset Manager within Q-Sys Designer.
  2. Click on an instance of the plugin within your design and configure the properties of the plugin. These are all covered within the help file.
  3. Wire the appropriate microphones to the input pins on the plugin. There is a gating automixer embedded within the plugin that detects the active microphone. The detection threshold is configurable within expert controls. Make sure to take the audio AFTER any echo cancellation.
  4. Wire the far end signal into the "Far End Audio" pin. -> Details <-
  5. Wire up your cameras to a mediacast router & configure them appropriately. -> Details <-
  6. Set up the zones. -> Details <-


Far End Audio Setup

In this version of the plugin, the far end audio is wired directly to the plugin. There is an internal gating automixer solely for the far end which calculates its noise floor. When that signal exceeds the "Far End Audio Detection Threshold" for "Far End Home Position Trigger Time" (both configurable in expert controls), the system reverts to the home preset.


Typically, the far end of a call (POTS, VoIP, Teams, Zoom, etc) will have a very low noise floor. The plugin is therefore very sensitive to incoming volume. For example...

  1. The plugin computes a noise floor of -90dBFS coming in off a teams call.
  2. The far end rustles some papers, causing a jump to -70dBFS.
  3. This will cause the plugin to believe that somebody is talking on the far end.


To work around this, inject pink noise into the far end signal. The best results are achieved with a generator set between -60dB and -50dB.



Mediacast Wiring

The ACPR plugin uses a Mediacast router to switch camera shots. The given router & all the cameras requires the "Script Access" and "Code Name" properties to be set. "Script Access" should be set to either "Script" or "All". "Code Name" should be set to something identifiable. 


Make sure that the ordering of the cameras on the "Setup" page of the plugin matches the ordering of the cameras wired into the router. Otherwise, the plugin will switch to the wrong camera.


The secondary cameras get wired to the same mediacast router, and they begin immediately after the configured quantity of primary cameras (configurable in properties from 8 to 16). Even if you have less primary cameras than the configured number, your secondaries have to start after it. For example, with 1 primary and 1 secondary, the router will be 9x1.

If you have 4 primary cameras and 4 secondary cameras, you will need a 12 input router wired like so:

If you have 16 primary cams and 8 secondary cams, you will need a 24 input router wired like so:


Zone Setup

Zones are the backbone of the ACPR system. Each one has a chosen camera, a primary position, and a secondary position. The ACPR supports 5 types of microphones, configurable in the plugin properties, as "Mode". The recall logic & zone setup changes is dependent upon this selection.

Discrete Mics & the NTM-1 use an automixer inside the plugin to determine which microphone/lobe is active - each has a zone associated with it, and when it gates on for the time defined in "PTZ Switch Delay", the zone switch is executed.


Angle Mics (MXA920, TCC2, & TCCM) report the angle of incidence for any detected audio in the form of a horizontal angle and a vertical angle. For the majority of applications, only the horizontal angle matters. The zones for these mics are represented by angle boundaries. If the mic reports angles within the zone & the volume is above the detection threshold for the time defined in "PTZ Switch Delay", the zone switch is executed. There are a number of considerations for building reliable zones.


  • The boundaries for the zone are input as text. Given a zone from 1 to 30, the following formats are acceptable.
    • 1 30
    • 1,30
    • 1-30 works but is not endorsed by Q-SYS.
  • Take care not to have any angle overlap across your zones. The plugin will not be able to tell which zone to recall.
  • Try to make your zones as big as possible. Having very small zones will make them sensitive to jitter in the data coming from the microphone. The minimum zone should be around 10°.


Free tip: It is helpful to enable the "Bypass Auto Recall" control while you are configuring your zones. Make sure to disable it when you are done!


FAQ

Q: What are the best practices for using the ACPR in a combinable room?

A: You can have multiple ACPR plugins in one design. Its best to say set up one ACPR for every possible combination state, and then bypass the unused ones by using the "Settings~Tracking Bypass" control pin. For two rooms that combine together, that is one ACPR for each seperated room, and then one for the combined room. 


It is best practice to use the "Settings~Tracking Bypass" control pin, rather than the "Disable" control pin. 


Q: Which cameras will work with this plugin?

A: All Q-Sys ecosystem cameras will work with this plugin, including both the old PTZ-IP and the new NC series. 3rd party cameras are not supported.


Q: I do not see any cameras when I select the dropdown menu.

A: Make sure that all of your cameras have the "Script Access" and "Code Name" properties set up.


Q: Can I have a single camera act as its own primary and a secondary for another camera?

A: No. This is explicitly not supported within these systems and it will cause strange issues.


Q: The plugin is taking an exceedingly long time to switch shots.

A: Troubleshoot this by watching the "Local Mic Signal" LED at the top of the page and the LED next to each zone. The Local Mic Signal must be on AND the the LED for the zone must be on for the amount of time configured under "PTZ Switch Delay" in order for a switch to happen. 

  • If the Mic Signal LED doesn't stay high for the entire time that somebody is speaking, make sure that your microphone has an appropriate signal-to-noise ratio. It should be a MINIMUM of 15dB; the higher the better
  • If the zone LED doesn't stay high, then the microphone coordinates are typically right on the edge of the zone. Bouncing back and forth between two zones will cause the plugin to do nothing.


Any questions or concerns? Email support@sfm.ca and we will be happy to help you.