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Author Topic: Software Automixer for post production?  (Read 10766 times)

Corey Scogin

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2016, 05:28:22 pm »

I'm not sure an automixer, at least a Dugan style automixer will do what you think. A Dugan automixer, or one that works in a similar way, will not adjust the levels so the mics sound the same level. The automixer will only turn off those mics not being used while someone is using one of the mics. It will keep the system gain across all the mics at 1. This will reduce background noise, and increase gain before feedback, but it will not level out the people with bad mic technique.

You may want an leveler, or an AGC which will adjust the gain.

The real solution mixing by hand.

What you describe is exactly what I need. I need the unused mic to be cut when not used to eliminate room noise. Reading my original post, I guess I didn't mention that specifically. Sorry, it was in my head but didn't make it onto the screen. I did this with gates but I mentioned the varying levels of different speakers to point out how using gates can be tricky, not necessarily that the automixer plugin needed to fix that. 

Of course, overall volume for each person speaking could be handled by a different plugin after the automixer as you suggest.

Mixing by hand is of course workable but an automated solution would be great. An automixer should help out a lot.

I'm surprised that someone hasn't made a plugin or piece of software for this.  Maybe there isn't enough demand to warrant a custom piece of software and maybe the standard plugin structure (VST,RTAS,etc) isn't well suited for controlling the level of multiple inputs...but It should be possible inside a DAW that allows an arbitrary number of channels per track/bus (like Reaper). Maybe I finally have a reason to delve into scripting with Reaper.  If I do, I'll be sure to hit you up, JR, to get me started with the math.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 05:32:57 pm by Corey Scogin »
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 05:31:23 pm »

While an automatic mixer is not what the OP needs, I still don't understand why these aren't free inside digital mixers yet... (they will be eventually).

A few years ago I coded up an automatic mixer running on a cheap couple dollar microprocessor controlling digital pots for gain control.

Using multiplications inside the digital domain for gain control is even easier. Not heavy lifting.

JR


Sound like a business opportunity  ;)


Int he case of the Waves plugin, I suspect that it is largely a licensing fee for Waves in order to gain the marketing brand that Dan Dugan has built. Could they write their own? Sure, but the brand recognition of the Dugan name is what will matter to most users.


Plus, almost everything in DAW land is a paid add on. Hell, Protools Vanilla didn't even get VCAs until just a couple of months ago.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 05:34:42 pm »

@JR,

What method would you use to determine the "hot" mic?  Would you use an FFT and look for a integral across a certain frequency range?
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2016, 05:35:04 pm »

I'm surprised that someone hasn't made a plugin or piece of software for this.  Maybe there isn't enough demand to warrant a custom piece of software and maybe the standard plugin structure (VST,RTAS,etc) isn't well suited for controlling the level of multiple inputs...but It should be possible inside a DAW that allows an arbitrary number of channels per track/bus (like Reaper). Maybe I finally have a reason to delve into scripting with Reaper.  If I do, I'll be sure to hit you up, JR, to get me started with the math.


With the Dugan Automixer, it's all being done in real time for a live event.


For the DAW community, you already have the audio on disk and can go back and write and change your automation as many times as is necessary to get the levels to way you want them. There's not really a need for an automixer application in DAW work.


Even in your unique circumstance, it's a work around for having to spend a ton of extra time splitting the audio file, writing automation, and playing with compressor and gate levels, which is what most DAW guys get off on doing.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 05:38:16 pm »

I'm surprised that someone hasn't made a plugin or piece of software for this.  Maybe there isn't enough demand to warrant a custom piece of software and maybe the standard plugin structure (VST,RTAS,etc) isn't well suited for controlling the level of multiple inputs...but It should be possible inside a DAW that allows an arbitrary number of channels per track/bus (like Reaper). Maybe I finally have a reason to delve into scripting with Reaper.  If I do, I'll be sure to hit you up, JR, to get me started with the math.

But there is. The Waves Dugan has already been mentioned. How many do you need? There are also other post production noise reductions systems like CEDAR or the Waves W43 or WNS (maybe worth the price of Waves to get it), or NS1MORE

Mac
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Corey Scogin

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2016, 05:47:56 pm »

But there is. The Waves Dugan has already been mentioned. How many do you need? There are also other post production noise reductions systems like CEDAR or the Waves W43 or WNS (maybe worth the price of Waves to get it), or NS1MORE

But Waves Multirack is real-time only, is it not?  It may be asking too much for an "offline" solution.

I'm not talking about noise reduction. When I say room noise, I am referring to the unused mic(s) picking up the reflections of the room, not ambient noise.

For the DAW community, you already have the audio on disk and can go back and write and change your automation as many times as is necessary to get the levels to way you want them. There's not really a need for an automixer application in DAW work.

What I'm trying to avoid is spending 2 hours automating a 1 hour session. I want to spend 10-15 minutes. Time is money.

Even in your unique circumstance, it's a work around for having to spend a ton of extra time splitting the audio file, writing automation, and playing with compressor and gate levels, which is what most DAW guys get off on doing.

I know there's a workaround. I'm looking for a solution.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2016, 05:58:50 pm »

@JR,

What method would you use to determine the "hot" mic?  Would you use an FFT and look for a integral across a certain frequency range?
It's far simpler than that... the Dugan algorithm (public domain since last century) simply compares the level of each input to an unprocessed sum of all inputs. The gain applied to each input is simply the level difference between the given channel to this sum of all. If the hot channel is only down 1 dB from the sum of all it gets assigned a gain of -1dB... a quiet channel that down 20 dB from sum of all gets a gain of -20dB...

Simple and elegant... Dan deserves a royalty for life, but the patent is long expired. I hope Yamaha et al are treating him well, but like I said, these should be widely available and inexpensive.

JR   
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2016, 06:35:13 pm »

But Waves Multirack is real-time only, is it not?  It may be asking too much for an "offline" solution.

What I'm trying to avoid is spending 2 hours automating a 1 hour session. I want to spend 10-15 minutes. Time is money.

I know there's a workaround. I'm looking for a solution.

If you don't already have the Waves Multirack, you can get it free when you purchase the Waves Tracks Live premium service, currently $79.90 at Audiodeluxe.com (Multirack by itself is $600)

Waves has a free demo of their Dugan Pluigin. I think it's 14 days. Should be long enough to try out it out and see if it will work.

You will also need the Waves Studio Rack plugin for you DAW, which is free.

Truly, I don't know how it will work in a DAW session. You may end up needing 2 computers to make this work. One for the DAW and one to run Multirack and the Dugan.

I would love to hear a report if it works, or doesn't, for you.

ETA: I really don't know if you will be able to use the offline bounce function of your DAW. Certainly you won't be able to if you have to send the audio out of your DAW to a second computer running Multirack and the Dugan.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 06:43:08 pm by Justice C. Bigler »
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Dan Richardson

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2016, 03:11:02 pm »

For that price I'd rather get me an x-air mixer if I wanted an automixer...

Likewise. Not going to work offline, has to be real time, but Behringer's XR18 includes a Dugan-alike function that can automix 16 channels via USB. It works. Comes with a free mixer for about the price of the Waves plug-in.
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Riley Casey

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Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2016, 05:16:36 pm »

Do you or anyone else on the thread have experience with these x18s?  Are they a real solution for breakout room or general AV applications over the old standby Mackie mixers?

Likewise. Not going to work offline, has to be real time, but Behringer's XR18 includes a Dugan-alike function that can automix 16 channels via USB. It works. Comes with a free mixer for about the price of the Waves plug-in.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Software Automixer for post production?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2016, 05:16:36 pm »


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