AZ Controller plug-in for Cakewalk SONAR > Tutorials

Using AZ Controller Internal Display


Starting from v0.2r5, AZ Controller has "Internal Display".

There are situations when you know what parameter is going to be changed once you use some  control on your Hardware Control Surface. For example, "Play" button normally should initiate "Play" in SONAR, "Master fader" should control the output volume.

But some controls can have many different function, especially when assigned to ACT parameters or the target is "modification keys" dependent (for example, "Shift"+R1 controls "Pan" while R1 controls "Volume"). In that case it can be handy to show somewhere "what is what". ACT MIDI plug-in does that inside its Property Page, some controllers have hardware display.

In this tutorial I will explain how to configure AZC internal display to show one parameter. The same strategy can be scaled up to any number of parameters, for example as an addition to my "ACT MIDI explained".

As the basis, I will take the preset from Quick Start. I also assume you know a bit more about AZ Controller, from the Manual or/and from "ACT MIDI explained". Load the "Quick start" preset (or recreated it) and save the preset as "Quick start + Display".

First we configure the display. Go to the "Options" Tab and in the "Display" section select:

* Rows 2, Columns 1. The first row should show the parameter name. The second row show the value.
* Set Group to "2". Just in case you add more parameters later
* Set characters to "30" "Norm". Some parameter names are long, but lets keep the size reasonable.
* Hit "Show/Hide" button to see the display. Move it to the place you like. The display stay on top of every other window.
Change to the Logic Tab. You should have the actions for Rotor 1 there ("Track Volume" and "Direct Linear", in case you have not changed that).

* Add "New" Action and move it to the end of the list (with the action selected, press "Move Down" 2 times)
* Change "Undefined" to "Monitor" and select "Monitor parameter name" and "Once"
* Add yet another "New" Action and move it to the end of the list (with the action selected, press "Move Down" 3 times)
* Change "Undefined" to "Monitor" and select "Monitor parameter value" and "Once""Once" is not the final speed for these monitors. We just do not want they are working till we finish the configuration.

Change to the Feedback Tab. Here we are going to define what to do once the "Parameter name"/"Parameter value" is changed.  Select "Rotor 1 : : Parameter Value Monitor". And:

* Add "New" Action. Change "Undefined" type to "Display" and set Row "2" Column "1" (we want value under the name, so on the second row)
* Add "New" Action (so it is the first). Change "Undefined" type to "Text" and set "Param. value" "Abbr. to 30" "Replace". "Abbr." is for abbreviate, in case the string is longer then specified number of characters.Change back to the Logic Tab. Select "Parameter Value Monitor" Action and change "Once" to "Ultra". You should see the Volume of your first track displayed.

Now change to the Feedback Tab again and select "Rotor 1 : : Parameter Name Monitor". Then:

* Add "New" Action. Change "Undefined" type to "Display" and set Row "1" Column "1"
* Add "New" Action (so it is the first). Change "Undefined" type to "Text" and set "Param. name" "Parameter" "Abbr. to 30" "Replace".Change back to the Logic Tab. Select "Parameter Name Monitor" Action and change "Once" to "Fast". You should see the "Volume" displayed (the name of the parameter).

Try change the volume inside SONAR or my turning your control, you should see the changes in the display.

But to get the idea what is going on, let us change the configuration a bit:

* In the Logic Tab, select "Track Volume". Change "<First>" to "<Current>".
* In the Feedback Tab, "Rotor 1 : : Parameter Name Monitor", select "Parameter name" and change "Parameter" to "Container"Now, select different track in sonar. You should see current track name and its Volume value in the Display.

How that works:
For each "Monitor" Action, the plug-in periodically ("Fast" means ~6 times per second, "Ultra" ~12) does the following:

* It execute the Action List of the Logical Control up to the Monitor Action in question in "dry run" mode. That means it does not really change the values or states, but it evaluates the conditions: which Track/Parameter is going to be changed, which states are going to be set, etc. That is why after we have changed "<First>" to "<Current>" in the Strip selection, we have started to "Monitor" different track (current instead of the first).
* For "Param. name" monitoring, the plug-in check either the parameter was changed. For the "Param. Value" it checks the value. That check significantly reduced the load, with many monitors and (slow) hardware displays the system could be overloaded otherwise. There is still a possibility to not check for change: Timer type of Monitors
* If there was a change, the Monitor "Feedback" Action List is executed. It this tutorial, it displays the name/value in question


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