NEVE (neve) & HUI (human user interface)

Ok, so I had a rant about the lack of supporting documents from NEVE on the utilisation of the HUI protocol when communicating with ProTools software. Whilst NEVE have graciously "acknowledged the issues" with their User Manual they have since informed of an "update of documentation." This is welcome news for anyone looking to spend around $100k or more on one of their beautiful consoles. For the rest of us it is a timely reminder that even the high-end companies in our industry have the same issues as those further down the ladder when it comes to Customer Support. Today I sent a sincere email to NEVE in the UK with our setup details for their Genesys console, which we at RMIT have deduced after much frustration due to poor supporting documents in this area. The final result however should not be overlooked and I wish to acknowledge the quality of this console and it's functionality - yes, even when communicating with software via HUI. If a strict startup procedure is adhered to then the Genesys works exactly as promised, although this procedure is one significant omission from the manuals. Perseverance is required sometimes, even when information is not available. Once we finally got a clear picture of the exact way to setup the two devices we were elated to find - it was exactly what we had done! NEVE Genesys and ProTools together form an awesome studio centrepiece. This is, albeit belated, one very happy customer.

Huey, Dewey, Louie ...

Yep, sounds like the three sons of Donald Duck, or the same names given to the drones on the classic Sci-Fi film Silent Running. The one I want to discuss is HUI and you'll notice the spelling 'cos this one is an old communication protocol between digital devices (Human User Interface). Developed well over a decade ago HUI was the initial protocol adopted by Digidesign (now owned by AVID) for communication between software and hardware, namely control surfaces. HUI uses MIDI as a language base and as such suffers from all the restrictions of this 8bit binary. Now just why NEVE have adopted it for use on their $100k console the Genesys I do not know - it is slow, clumsy and unreliable. I am fighting with the NEVE getting it to consistently speak to Protools and can only wish that the makers of the Genesys are well on their way to adopting a superior protocol, such as that developed by Euphonix known as EUCON - and guess what? Now owned by AVID! I wonder if this has anything to do with it? If I can find out I'll happily let you know.


One of my best known pieces of advice to anyone learning a new program or device: "Read The F----ing Manual." Trouble begins when the device you're attempting to learn has a later version of operating software than the manual on the company's website; this happens to be the case with the AMS-Neve Genesys console. However I did realise the "Quick Guide" that came with the console had some clearer descriptions of setups and functions than the currently available User Manual. So, apologies to AMS-Neve for dissing their Manual but it is still essentially NOT the latest version. My new girlfriend "NEVE HARRISON" is now talking to Protools like She is supposed to, although the HUI protocol (the language the two of them use to communicate) is a pretty old codec and at times cumbersome and clunky. Unlike the newer "Eucon" protocol (which AVID acquired when they bought Euphonix) HUI does all of it's comm's across MIDI-via Ethernet and does not update faders with the same resolution that ethernet-based control-surfaces. I am frankly a little disappointed that AMS-Neve went with HUI and not the EUCON protocol as it does hobble the abilities of the interface between hardware and software. Maybe AVID is playing hard-ball in releasing the codec to 3rd party developers - I hope not.

Anyway, "She" is up and running, just in time for me to run off ... into the distance and across the horizon.