To begin, you need to have the program (sound card) configured and to familiarize yourself with the program.
Press F3 key (or go to Audio Setting in Configuration menu). Here, in Select sound card section, either pick specific sound card or leave the default one selected. In Select record input pick the source of the music you want to have analyzed. That can be one of the following examples:
Line In – Select this in case you want to do analysis of an external source (e.g. mixing desk). For this you will most likely use cable with 3,5mm jack (notebook input) – cinch (mixing desk master output). You might need cinch adaptor as well.
Microphone – Music analysis will be done by microphone. It is a very basic option that does not involve any extra wiring, but the quality of the analysis may not be very high and the microphone will pick up ambient noise.
Stereo Mix – It is a PC output. This option is for running analysis on the same computer that is also the source of the music. There are options like Stereo Mix, Mono Mix and Wave. In this case, no wiring is needed.
There is a possibility that there will be no sound card inputs to choose from. There will be only one called Universal input. If that is the case, you need to select the input for recording in the drivers provided by the sound card manufacturer or in the Windows Mixer. This setting is shared by all programs. That means that if you set the recording correctly for any other program, Music Visualization will work as well.
In the main dialog of Music Visualization, there is a list called Modification of Music Attributes. It contains attributes that react to music. These attributes can be inserted into the list of active attributes repeatedly with different configuration of their parameters. Attributes can be assigned scenes or chases (i.e. a flow of scenes), which control connected devices. These scenes and chases can be created in Scene Setting dialog (F4 key). Completed scenes and chases are saved into separate files. Double clicking an attribute in the list of active attributes or clicking the Setup button brings up Attribute Setting dialog for configuring individual attributes, which will also show list of these files (scenes and chases) called Select Scene or Chase. After clicking OK or Apply, selected attribute will start controlling the chosen scene or a chase.
Important: Attribute inserted lower in the list of active attributes has a higher priority than attributes that are above it. If there are identical or similar scenes/chases controlled from this list (their DMX channels overlap), DMX channels of the lowest placed attribute will be used. Because of this, it is better to place lower in the list attributes like BMP III (activated in case rhythm is identified), Silence Detection (detects silence or a gap between songs), Strobo Enabler (detects sudden start of beats after a specific pause).
There are many LED type reflectors with wide variety of functions of DMX channels and premade macros. However they all have the same three consecutive channels that represent intensity of red, green and blue. These three channels are all we need for our project and it will be compatible with most LED reflectors. We assume that the reflector has starting address 1 and following functions:
Default control of the reflector can be set up by inserting these attributes:
Average Bass, DMX channel: 1
Average Mid, DMX channel: 2
Average High, DMX channel: 3 (Threshold set to 60%)
This will give us background, where the hue will be mixed according to the proportional representation of three frequency bands. Then we will create a scene with red light only like this:
Fig. 1: Creation of scene file LED-red.sc
We need the active scene to give us only red color. Setting value 1 for the green and blue will prevent these colors from acquiring values from attributes inserted higher in the list. This scene will be assigned to the Beat Detection II attribute, which will, when active, light up only the red color:
Beat Detection II LED-red.sc
Then we will create a chase consisting of a flow of different colors. When creating a hue, all the colors (red, green and blue) need to have non-zero value (at least 1) to prevent mixing of colors generated by attributes higher in the list. Fade Time is set to 0. This means that activating the attribute will switch the colors (see the manual, chapter 4. How an attribute affects a scene or a chase).
Fig. 2: Creation of chase file LED-colors1.ch
This chase will be assigned to the BPM III attribute. The configured colors will keep switching according to the identified rhythm:
BPM III LED-colors1.ch
Then we can create a scene or a chase, where the LED reflector will shine with low intensity or will slowly fade in different colors (Fade Time 2 or more seconds) and assign this to the Silence Detection attribute. This effect will be activated, when the music stops playing.
Fig. 3: Creation of chase file LED-silent.ch
If we create a chase consisting of different colors with zero fade time, each Silence Detection attribute activation will light up a different color out of the colors in our chase. Let’s insert Silent Detection attribute into our project and assign it the chase:
Silent Detection LED-silent.ch
Finally we can insert a popular Strobo Enabler attribute and assign to it for example full lighting up (white color), white stroboscopic flashes or flashes of a specific color. Let’s create for example blue stroboscopic effect in such a way that it will not affect the remaining two colors controlled by other attributes placed higher in the list. Stroboscopic effect can usually be turned on by simple DMX channels activation (depends on the type of light). However we will create a universal effect using a chase. It can be done with these four scenes:
Fig. 4: Creation of chase file LED-blueStrobo.ch
We will assign this chase to the Strobo Enable attribute:
Strobo Enabler LED-blueStrobo.ch (Threshold set to 35%)
Finished project will look something like this:
Fig. 5: Finished sample project for LED reflector
To enable colored icons in the Scene Setting dialog open Tool Tips (in Windows menu) and insert names of the colors into the first three channels. This will color the progress bars in DMX512 Output as well.
Fig. 6: Tool Tips setting and colored output in DMX512 Output dialog
Complete projects can be downloaded from www.soh.cz.
I wish you success using Music Visualization software
Ing. Jaroslav Nušl
SOH Sound & Lights
Let Lights Feel the Music