Author Topic: Several named instances of AZ Controller  (Read 876 times)

Offline azslow3

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Several named instances of AZ Controller
« on: September 15, 2017, 05:25:50 PM »
v0.5.6 or later is required (current test version)

With current Cakewalk ACT philosophy, each Control Surface hardware should have its own Control Surface plug-in. In case you are using universal plug-ins, such as AZ Controller, ACT MIDI or Generic Surface, especially in case you have more then one device, use face some inconvenience, one bug and one problem:
  • Independent from your real device name, ACT Control Bar module and Utilities menu always show the plug-in name. So, instead of "MPK Mini - 1" you see "AZ Controller - 1". Once you have more then one controller and use the same plug-in, that can be annoying. You see "AZ Controller - 1", "AZ Controller - 2", etc. instead of "MPK Mini - 1", "MCU - 1", etc.
  • When using 2 or more instances of the same plug-in, preset part of the GUI is buggy. If you have both GUIs open at the same time, saving/loading preset will save incorrect preset. But even with one GUI, you always see the preset name from the first instance, even if other preset is really loaded into the second instance
  • Dynamic Plug-in Parameters Mapping is saved per plug-in, not per its instance. So if you want to use 2 controllers with different mapping, you can not do this using the same plug-in

To eliminate mentioned problems, AZ Controller can have more then one "named instance". While the plug-in is still the same, Sonar will think there are different. Each such instance has user defined name, own set of presets and GUIs are not clashing.

Instances management
  • Close Sonar (important!).
  • Using Windows File Manager, open AZ Controller directory in "Program Files (x86)/AZController" (on 32bit system in "Program Files/AZController")
  • Run AZCInstances.exe. You will be warned that it needs administrative rights, Sonar settings are saved in the registry.
  • Initially you will see 15 undefined slots. Click on any, type the name of the instance and press "Set" button. You can rename/forget instance when you want.
  • Exit AZ Controller Instances manager and start Sonar. You should see extra Control Surfaces in the "Add" list now, all them are pointing to AZ Controller
Note that uninstalling AZ Controller also delete all user defined instances (I like when programs do not leave anything in the registry when deleted). So in case you upgrade AZ Controller later, please do not uninstall previous version (that is handled correctly).

Moving presets between instances
Since Sonar "think" that each instance is a separate plug-in, it does not show "AZ Controller" presets in other instances. To avoid confusion, all published presets are still for "AZ Controller" and still in the Cakewalk format. But you have move presets by exporting/importing.
  • Add AZ Controller to surfaces (or the instance from which you want the preset)
  • Open its GUI, load required preset in the top left corner, in the "Options" Tab click "Export..." button. Enter the file name and press "Export"
  • Open the GUI of the instance where you want to use that preset, in the "Options" Tab click "Import..." button. Select the file and press "Import". For sanity, type name in the top left corner and save the preset inside Cakewalk schema

A big warning about Dynamic Plug-in Parameters Mapping for all Sonars prior 2017.1
There was a nasty bug. In case you ACT Learn (or the system somehow think it should do this) some mapping in more them one plug-in (in our case AZ Controller instances) without closing Sonar in between, the mapping file will be immediately, irreparable, corrupted! Intensively use AZ ACT Fix utility, at least you can recover previous backup then.
So, every time you want ACT Learn: exit Sonar, start Sonar, learn what you want in ONE INSTANCE ONLY, exit Sonar, run AZ ACT Fix to check the mapping is still ok and make a backup.