Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Synology DSM Login and Connection Issue

TL;DR: if you cannot access DSM via the web or the apps, the date on your Synology might be wrong causing the services to either not start or not respond correctly.

 I had a strange error with my Synology DS416play the other day.  I had to power the system down to connect it to a new UPS.  Upon powering it back up, I could not access the DSM console via the web, nor would any of the Synology / DS apps connect.  No amount of restarts or kicking the box would fix the issue.

What was strange is SMB and SSH were working fine, meaning that the underlying OS and system were working fine.  I could copy files to and from using SMB/CIFS and I could ssh into the box itself.

I opened a support case with Synology and we started collecting logs and other information.  One of the things they asked for was to confirm that the drives in the system were on the compatibility list.  To do that, I had to shut the system down.  When I powered it back up, I noticed that the drive lights had shut off.  I confirmed that the system was running and that made me realize that the date could be wrong.  I have the lights set to go dark at night.

I logged into the server and checked the date and sure enough, it had reset to Jan 1, 2015 00:00:00.  I sudo'd to root and reset the date using the date command and suddenly DSM access was restored.  I assume that means the CMOS battery needs to be replaced, but that's something for tomorrow ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

First Publication

Wanted to let everyone know that I'm now a published academic author.  Last year, I presented a paper at the IEEE EDOC conference, or more specifically the VOTRE workshop.  Later last year, the paper was officially published and is now available through the IEEE.

The information in the paper will be the basis of my PhD thesis.  I'm now working on follow up papers that will attempt to add to and answer the questions from this paper.

Allen & Heath SQ vs Behringer Wing

For those of you who know me, you know that in addition to being a propeller head of the highest order, I am also a professional audio engineer.  It's not my day job, but something I tend to do on the side.  Given that, I've started haunting the r/livesound subreddit.  A few months ago, someone asked about the Wing vs other options.  I've been thinking about it for a while and decided that was a good time to put my thoughts on "paper".  As people found the answer useful, I thought I'd publish it here lightly edited.
Here's my take: those who love the Wing, really love it. I know some local engineers who have it and sing its praises. But I know others who don't. The split tends to be along the lines of X/M32 users love it and those who have used higher end consoles (DiGiCO, Yamaha, Studer, etc) don't like it as much.  Given that, as you're looking at a low/mid-level console, you need to ask the questions below.  And do note, this comparison focuses on the Allen & Heath SQ vs the Behringer Wing.
Like any question of this type: it depends on factors such as your budget, needs, and your choice of alternative.
Here's what I've started saying / recommending:
Are you an existing Behringer/Midas user (specifically into AES50)?
If so, then the Wing will likely be an upgrade, especially if you're hitting the top end of I/O in the X/M32 range. Below is my take on the pros/cons. Someone with more Wing experience might be able to add to the list.
  • Pros
    • More channels that can all be stereo (aside: is this a major upgrade as most vocal mics, instruments and other inputs are likely mono and won't benefit)
    • More effects (autotune clone anyone?)
    • Big touchscreen
    • It is newer so should be supported longer than a new X/M32 today
    • Fully remappable surface (you can make any fader on any layer be what you want it to be like the A&H SQ line and GLD before it as well as higher end consoles)
    • Generally more of everything
    • More flexible input/output mapping vs the X/M32 (yes firmware 4.x makes 1:1 patching possible but it's still more complicated than is necessary)
  • Cons
    • Bigger than a M32 Live / X32 Compact / X32 Producer (that might matter if you're having to move it constantly like a touring band where a smaller/rack mountable console might be better)
    • New patching system that is still different than the industry standard grid patching layout used by A&H, Yamaha, DiGiCo, etc.
    • (personal opinion here) Potentially a more cramped layout as they added DAW controls that are not necessary for live sound and (potentially) unnecessarily split the fade banks. The X/M32 (full) has 16 mix faders and 8 DCA/bus faders plus the mains fader. The Wing is 20 mix/DCA faders and 4 mains(ish faders). Yes, then can be remapped, but in my usage I found it to feel a bit cramped. Probably with time it might become more comfortable.
    • No real path upwards (Next step up is Midas Pro or Heritage series that may need new stage boxes to support 96kHz vs 48kHz for the Wing/X32 and the price difference is immense vs the path up in the A&H line)
    • You MUST have a stage rack as the Wing only has 8 inputs on the surface vs 16-32 on the X32/M32 mixers (the SQ series is similar)
    • No offline editor (as of Jan 2022) and iOS/Android apps still developing to meet feature parity.
Are you looking to start new with a Wing-level budget?
  • Consider the Wing of course as it's a fine console and will be broadly supported and see above for pros/cons vs X32/M32.
  • Consider the Allen & Heath SQ line as it has similar feature set:
    • Pros
      • 96kHz (there is discussion as to which is better, but it is a thing)
      • More options to upgrade (same stage racks work with the Avantis @ $10K and the dLive C/S-series $18k+)
      • Uses industry standard patching options (grid-based UI, same as DiGiCo, Yamaha, Avid, and A&H)
      • Three surface options giving same processing but flexibility for selecting the form factor / fader count needed (SQ5 16+Main, SQ6 24+Main, SQ7 32+Main)
      • Generally considered better sounding than the Behringer / Midas consoles, though of course opinions vary
      • True offline editor and feature complete iOS/Android apps
    • Cons
      • Stereo inputs consume multiple channels vs the Wing
      • Fewer FX and what they have are descendants of the 2004 iLive FX which are not always the best
      • Proprietary Slink port for audio connections vs AES50 which is a standards, though it has limited adoption outside the Behringer/Midas world.
      • More expensive components (surface, stage rack, add-in cards) than the Behringer side
For myself, I ended up skipping the Wing and SQ altogether and bought a Allen & Heath Avantis and love it. It has almost everything I could have wanted (short of a dLive, DiGiCo SD or Yamaha CL/QL) at a price that is probably better than anything else on the market at that range.