Author Topic: Mack... preset. Help needed.  (Read 6184 times)

Offline azslow3

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Mack... preset. Help needed.
« on: February 27, 2015, 01:36:21 PM »
In the Downloads you can find "Test" version with build in Mack.. preset. It suppose to work with any MC(U(P))/LC compatible devices.

The problem is that I do not have ANY such device. The original idea was to test it with TouchDAW on my phone. Unfortunately, TouchDAW rely on exact sequence of output from the original plug-in to show the information correctly. My plug-in does something not exactly the same way, and so "Label" on TouchDAW controls are wrong. I am ready to give up with that, but YOU can help in case you have real Mack.. device. Please compare display output from the original plug-in with AZC and let me know the difference.

Please note all that is just A PRESET for AZC. Nothing is hardcoded. The plug-in is absolutely the same as in the release area, so you can use it with any surface.

To active MC preset, select it in the "Tweak configuration" drop box on "Options" tab.

I am going to write a description what that preset does and why. I understand that dealing with such preset is not an easy task, but I think just use and compare with the original plug-in is possible without any background knowledge about AZC.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 01:38:02 PM by azslow3 »

Offline sdupayage

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 04:20:26 PM »
Hi,

This is interesting. I'm going to try your preset.

Best regards,
Stéphane

Offline sdupayage

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 03:59:47 PM »
Hi,

I haven't had that much time to spend on this but I wanted to give some feedback.

First, it appears that you are counting on the HELO messages to sync with the surface but not all surfaces follows the mackie protocol here. this is the case of the QCon meaning that if I don't force the surface in the plugin I can't really do much.

Once done the behaviour is quite strange as vpot and color faders are quite strange. I mean that vpots are not reporting the proper value and all non used tracks are actually lighted full which is disturbing. I haven't gone into details here so I will need to dig a little bit more.

One question I had to you analyze anything back from the console after the handshake or does this come from the pre setup you have done for TouchDAW (if I remember right this is what you are using)?

Best regards,
Stéphane

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 08:26:22 AM »
First, it appears that you are counting on the HELO messages to sync with the surface but not all surfaces follows the mackie protocol here. this is the case of the QCon meaning that if I don't force the surface in the plugin I can't really do much.
You can avoid handshaking. In the "Hello :: Timer" (the first feedback) add:
  • Set state 'Device':'Online', set engine state
  • Set state 'OffParTrM':'Pan', set engine state
  • Set state 'OffParBuM':'Pan', set engine state
  • Reset all monitors

Quote
Once done the behaviour is quite strange as vpot and color faders are quite strange. I mean that vpots are not reporting the proper value and all non used tracks are actually lighted full which is disturbing. I haven't gone into details here so I will need to dig a little bit more.
That means I have something to fix, thanks for reporting. EDIT: I have fixed "lighted full" in the latest test release (138m). But what you mean by "not reporting the proper value"? It can happened that QCon does not understand all MC VPot ring modes. We should find what is working then.
In the "Feedback" "VPot1 :: Parameter Value Monitor" select the first action (LC VPot) and try to change the "Dot" to something else. That does not have immediate effect, so turn the pot after any change to see either it works better.

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One question I had to you analyze anything back from the console after the handshake or does this come from the pre setup you have done for TouchDAW (if I remember right this is what you are using)?
I am interested in anything, TouchDAW is not giving the feedback "normal" MCU will. In particular, I am interested in what LCD display shows (either it does that more or less correctly).
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 11:35:43 AM by azslow3 »

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 03:40:00 PM »
I have got an idea what TouchDAW can expect. In fact it expects information comes in the order the original plug-in send it, for example "Assignment display" should be updated after LCD display. All that should make no sense for real devices, but I will try to reproduce the original order.

Offline humatic

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 09:31:41 AM »
A word from TouchDAW's author:
Don't use (and I mean: don't even try to use) TouchDAW's phone interface as a reference. If you absolutely need to, at least run it on a tablet. You can then -with some exceptions, mostly around timecode- expect to get pretty much the same behavior as with a real MCU, but generally spoken:  do not expect to get a reference implementation for 4 Euro. If you need one (and I think you do), then do yourself and your potential users a favour and go buy the real 1000 Euro hardware thing.

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2015, 10:51:26 AM »
Thank you for the comment.

But I disagree. From SONAR+MCU point of view TouchDAW phone is better test environment then the original device. It relies on specific sequence produces by the original CW plug-in, which I am "converting" to preset for my own. MCU itself obviously accept everything while TouchDAW is not "forgiving" mistakes  :)

I do not have any customers in common understanding since I am not selling anything. My personal needs are small and the phone version is ok. I just need 1-2 changed compared to the original behavior. That can be done with several mouse clicks when I use my plug-in and the source modification with the original one.

And since you are here... I hope you have nothing against me using "TouchDAW" label on my site (I mean inside this thread and coming 'MCU explained' post).

Offline sdupayage

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 02:56:20 PM »
Hi,

Quick test this morning...

So the "all in" is gone as you said.

I used your modified Hello::Timer to simulate a proper handshake and it is better with few exception: VPots are still in Volume mode, not PAN mode

I also checked that by default you have the VPots sending values as Dot + Center where it works good for volume but for PAN it is not quite good as it would be better to use something else like boost + center for example

Using different protocols gives different results (Cubase Emulation will look and react differently than Logic Pro emulation). I have seen for example that the Faders are not calibrated the same in Cubase mode compared to Logic mode. Meaning that when you move the volume fader to its maximum it goes bask to 0 on Logic for example (max value sent in this case being 14843)

When I was on PAN mode I had longer text than expected on the LCD which displayed on the track next to it...

I will try to do some other tests over the week end.

Thanks for your efforts anyway. It would be great if you could give a quick mapping of the main controller so that I can see which button does what.

Best regards,
Stéphane

Offline humatic

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 04:11:47 PM »
Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with you using TouchDAW to test your plugin. I just think that you are probably wasting your time trying to reverse-engineer (or just trying to understand) something that in itself is not exactly "the original". TouchDAW's phone interface simply does not have all the controls and LCD displays that are needed for a user to understand what's going on with a Mackie controller. So in order to be able to at least present a minimum of meaningful information to the user it constantly needs to fish the relevant bits and pieces out of the incoming stream of data. For Sonar that of course has been programmed against the original CW plugin and of course it heavily relies on the way that plugin works. Now I wrote that some four years ago. I do not consider it to be brillant in any way and I sure would not do it like this again. If I decide to dump and rewrite it at some point, all the time you have invested in trying to find out in which order you have to send things to get the desired results on some stupid app will just have been in vain. That's why I'm saying: use the original or use the app on a tablet, where it is at least pretty close to the original. That's just an advice. Do however you prefer, just be aware that you are coding against something that is about as far away from being a reference implementation as it can get.
And sorry for hijacking this thread BTW. That was not my intention and I'm out again now.

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 06:35:02 PM »
Don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with you using TouchDAW to test your plugin. I just think that you are probably wasting your time trying to reverse-engineer (or just trying to understand) something that in itself is not exactly "the original".
...
And sorry for hijacking this thread BTW. That was not my intention and I'm out again now.
You are not hijacking, you are welcome here! This thread exists because you have written TouchDAW. Many thanks for that!

May be I have not explained that correctly... I am not reverse-engineer anything, I use the source code of the original plug-in and try to implemented it as a preset. Just as an example that such complex preset is possible. The preset potentially able to work with all MCU controls, so it has no TouchDAW specific adaptation. But once I see that something is not working in TouchDAW as expected, I know I have configured something different way and I try to fix it (again, mostly to see either it is possible inside my plug-in). As the result, many features was added. They are not MCU/TouchDAW specific, all that can be used with any other preset/control surface.

In fact I do not see a reason to use real MCU, I am hobby piano player. But MC is a "standard", so "universal" plug-in should be able to support it. Without TouchDAW, I had to first write it myself. And you have saved me quite some time.

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2015, 06:54:30 PM »
I used your modified Hello::Timer to simulate a proper handshake and it is better with few exception: VPots are still in Volume mode, not PAN mode
That is because "Current Strip Parameter in Multi mode" is set to the first one, which is "Volume". I set it to "Pan" in the "Hello" actions, so you can copy these 2 lines too to the Hello::Timer (2 Set State Off... actions). But just for test, to not modify the timer every time you reload preset, you can just select "Hello" action (without selecting any action in it) and press "Play". That should effectively imitate "EHLO" response from MCU.

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I also checked that by default you have the VPots sending values as Dot + Center where it works good for volume but for PAN it is not quite good as it would be better to use something else like boost + center for example
That will need parameter dependent action... I think it is too complicated for the moment. But I can in general change to "Boost"+"Center" if you prefer that.

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Using different protocols gives different results (Cubase Emulation will look and react differently than Logic Pro emulation). I have seen for example that the Faders are not calibrated the same in Cubase mode compared to Logic mode. Meaning that when you move the volume fader to its maximum it goes bask to 0 on Logic for example (max value sent in this case being 14843)
Strange number, not aligned... I use complicated mapping for 7 up to 14 bits. I have to think how to adopt it.

Quote
When I was on PAN mode I had longer text than expected on the LCD which displayed on the track next to it...
Sorry, I have not understood what you mean by that.

Quote
Thanks for your efforts anyway. It would be great if you could give a quick mapping of the main controller so that I can see which button does what.
I will PM it to you.

Offline azslow3

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Re: Mack... preset. Help needed.
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 06:26:36 PM »
So, I have uploaded new test version. It has IQP preset which is a variation of Mack... Preset with the following changes:
  • It does not expect reply on Hello, assuming the device is "Online" right at the beginning
  • Faders maximum expected/sent value is 14843 (using new Range Action)
  • VPot rings indication is Boost/Cut+Center