Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Sat Aug 28, 2021 5:39 pm

Good afternoon,
I apologize if this question has been answered but I wasn't able to specifically find a topic on this. My issue is that I am sending USB audio out from a Pioneer DJM-900NXS mixer into my PC, then passing that audio into Magic. When I'm doing a DJ mix there's alot of audio volume levels constantly changing from my individual mixer tracks on the mixer, to the master out volume on the mixer as well. Alot of the threshold's and gate's I used work off of the incoming audio frequencies, and changing the volume out of the mixer seems to affect how my visuals react. This causes some of my visuals to overreact or even underreact depending on the volumes being played. My question is, what is the best way to make sure my audio is affecting my modules/scenes consistently despite volume changes from my DJ mixer? I'm stumped as to the best way to remedy this. Is there some sort of limiter/compressor? Currently how i've been remedying this is by changing the gain in the input selector window, but this becomes tiresome and hard to keep track of when I am mixing live. There's likely a feature I'm overlooking but I was hoping I could get some assistance to be put on the right path. Thank you for your time and assistance!

Edit: My apologies, it looks like there's a few posts asking about this very issue, but there's no solution? Midi control on the gain was something that I wanted to look into, but this isn't possible. Is there another option?
vaizor
 
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Sun Aug 29, 2021 5:24 pm

vaizor wrote:[...]I am sending USB audio out from a Pioneer DJM-900NXS
...
Is there some sort of limiter/compressor?


Actually since you're using external hardware anyway I'd use a cheap external compressor/limiter, your Pioneer DJM-900NXS has Send/Return connections to plug that in.
Magic Video doesn't care about the audio quality, so I'd buy the cheapest hardware compressor/limiter available.

If you want to do this in Magic you could create a global variable, there are Peak, Hold, Average, Smooth, Clamp and whatnot parameters for the input values/levels available.

And of course expressions. A Simple
Code: Select all
if(x>0.9, 0.9, x)
(hard-) limits your levels to 90%. And of course you can implement (almost) any sophisticated compression alogrithm with expressions.
TKS
 
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Mon Aug 30, 2021 4:01 pm

I'm not really sure if you're asking a complicated theoretical issue or a simple practical one.

Even a volume or gain adjustment, MIDI controlled or not, won't result in individual frequencies behaving the same way from song to song. Frankly I don't know what you can do about this except either live with it or change the way you mix (probably not feasible). Different songs have different frequency balances and this is one of the things that makes songs different (in a good way).

A limiter/compressor might be a reasonable solution, but it would also change the dynamics and therefore still result in (slightly) inconsistent visuals.
Eric
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:46 pm

Eric wrote:I'm not really sure if you're asking a complicated theoretical issue or a simple practical one.

Even a volume or gain adjustment, MIDI controlled or not, won't result in individual frequencies behaving the same way from song to song. Frankly I don't know what you can do about this except either live with it or change the way you mix (probably not feasible). Different songs have different frequency balances and this is one of the things that makes songs different (in a good way).

A limiter/compressor might be a reasonable solution, but it would also change the dynamics and therefore still result in (slightly) inconsistent visuals.


There may be a better way to set up my visuals overall. Currently I'm using the frequency bands sometimes paired with a threshold or gate to get the visuals to react to kickdrums and snares. What you said is a good point I hadn't even considered. My visuals seem to wig out once the volume from my mixer starts to get louder as the frequency content gets even more intense, and even then I wasn't considering the fact that different songs have completely different frequency content. What would be a more practical solution to having visuals respond to kicks and snares instead of the frequency bands? I doubt volume would be the ideal solution either. But from what you said in your previous post it sounds like this is an issue that magic simply cannot solve.

I think my main issue is the visuals reacting TOO much, which this can be solved by a clamp. I might do some more tweaking with the gate and clamp as these can solve some of the issues i think.
vaizor
 
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:58 pm

Why not have your visuals react to MIDI instead of audio? This would give you more control and consistency. Or do you not use MIDI to create your drums?
Eric
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:17 pm

Eric wrote:Why not have your visuals react to MIDI instead of audio? This would give you more control and consistency. Or do you not use MIDI to create your drums?


Im doing livestreamed live DJ sets with magic reacting to the audio feed out of my mixer. So far though, using a clamp paired with a gate or threshhold (depending on use-case) seems to be doing the trick. I can absolutely redline the mixer and it will react but be unaffected by the increased volume/frequencies. I think what I was needing was the clamp to provide a ceiling for when the mixer gets louder/more frequency content. Im still running tests but this seems to be working fairly well. 125hz to 300/320hz also seems to work better for kicks and snares so the visuals aren't constantly jumping around due to sub frequencies
vaizor
 
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Re: Question about Live Audio input volume changes

Fri Sep 03, 2021 11:17 pm

vaizor wrote:125hz to 300/320hz also seems to work better for kicks and snares so the visuals aren't constantly jumping around due to sub frequencies

This part is going to be somewhat genre/material specific. For my needs I pocket sub 41-75hz, kicks get the dnb/nuskool treatment of slight pitchup of a 909 to put the 50-75hz fundamental closer to 100-110, kicks are engineered for 220-240 and so on. Toms on top of kicks, and bassline sits with the fundamental somewhere in between the kick and snare, and the first harmonic ducked by the snare (dyneq nowadays) and the harmonics on top of that in the traditional plucky / raspy regions. I still like dynamics even on my sub, but modern digital mastering has certainly brought us to the point where I can see many artists feed you almost a flat waveform in this region.

RME, MOTU and Focusrite have models that have onboard effects (as do others like UAD, Metric Halo etc). On a budget, even a used RME babyface is a great purchase. You can insert a compressor/limiter inline to 'even things out' for your purposes (longer release, relatively fast attack to still catch the drop after the break, ie, a compressor set to basically limit rather than 'pump' shouldn't mess up the visuals imho). AND have a level control for the input, and most better solutions will also open up how many types of connections you can make to the gear around you.

Most importantly, unless you're using the mixer's USB port to make the connection directly to the computer running Magic, using a proper soundcard will ensure that the connection to the DJ mixer has the proper impedance as well as audio levels. Onboard connections have improved over the years, but it's very easy to overdrive a realtek/azalia onboard input (even line-in) and once a waveform is clipping no amount of gain reduction or careful band splitting will 'fix' things.

For live-streaming in a dedicated workspace this should be even easier.
Valis
 
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