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Level Meters

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Is it possible to build Level Meters onto a midibox LC? If i decide to build myself a midibox, i would really like to be able to monitor each channels output (from Sonar 4 Pro). Would they monitor midi data, or actual audio. Im not hugely experianced with midi, so im not too sure of what exactly it can and cant do, so im not sure if it's possible, though Axel has meters on his big LC, so i assume there's a way?

I noticed another picture in the gallery, cant remember who its by but it was a 3D design of a midibox layout, and on the back it had "VU Meter" outputs in what looked to be 3.5mm jacks.. i also know CV's are sent through 3.5mm jacks, so maybe its possible to use  those to send meter information?

Sorry i sound like a n00b...technically i am one, but whatever.

Thanks if you can help, Gaz

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woops should have seen that ::) i try to avoid opening pfd's on my computer, it doesnt like them much :-\

... MIDI data

cool, so would Sonar just transmit a midi message saying "this signal is loud" or whatever?

Also, i assume you can have more than just 8 meters?

Lol, while im at it, is there any way of making a seperate metering device (in a rack unit for example), as this would free up space on my control surface (would fit in my room better:p)

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Well, first you need to find out if sonar even has a thread of information about volume levels.  I would not expect them to convert such information to MIDI by default and this is really the only application that would use such a thing, and it will def.  chew up CPU time.  Unless I am way off base here you need to essentially sample each stream you want to display to get a number to represent volume level.  Now, you can prolly get away with a very low sampling rate (8k or less my even do it) but if you intend to do this to many channels it will add up.  Modern computers may be able to handle it no sweat, but I still wouldn't expect it to be a common feature.  Look into it tho, it'd be cool to have something like that.

now... i'll go read the .pdf...

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Well, first you need to find out if sonar even has a thread of information about volume levels.

That's the point. There is a thread about cubase using the meter feature:

http://www.midibox.org/forum/index.php?topic=3560.0

But I never heared of sonar using it here in the forum. So check first the sonar documentation if the Mackie Control meters are supported.

Also, i assume you can have more than just 8 meters?

Shure you can. Every 8-chanel LC supports 8 meters. Take another core for additional 8 meters and leave out motorfaders, buttons and encoders.

Raphael

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Lol, while im at it, is there any way of making a seperate metering device (in a rack unit for example), as this would free up space on my control surface (would fit in my room better:p)

... what for? In this case you can read the levels on your computer monitor. Level meters on the controller makes only sense, if they're in line with the channel strip.

O.k. they look cool (Las Vegas  ;D) but if I'm honest, since they're not precise (with 11 LEDs) you actually really don't need them. What I'll implemant for shure, is a "signal" indication LED and a "clip" LED on each channel.

Greets, Roger

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... what for? In this case you can read the levels on your computer monitor. Level meters on the controller makes only sense, if they're in line with the channel strip.

Heh because i could put them in a 2U rackmount box and have the box under my PC monitor, as it will be on a raised desk platform, so it would be easy to see the general picture of the mix. Yes, an option would be to get another monitor and have the mixer on one and  the tracks on the other, but then my monitor speakers probably wouldn't fit properly. Its just a matter of logistics really.

O.k. they look cool (Las Vegas  ) but if I'm honest, since they're not precise (with 11 LEDs) you actually really don't need them. What I'll implemant for shure, is a "signal" indication LED and a "clip" LED on each channel.

Yeah i guess.. is there any way of using more than 11? If not, then yeah i might consider just having a clip LED above each channel on the LC, would be useful i guess.

I like the metering on the Digidesign Control 24 (I had work experiance in a recording studio so got to play with it ;D :P), i was thinking of hopefully including a meterbridge (or external box) like that. Im sure it only has a few more LED's than midibox (around 15 i think).

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Heh because i could put them in a 2U rackmount box and have the box under my PC monitor, as it will be on a raised desk platform, so it would be easy to see the general picture of the mix. Yes, an option would be to get another monitor and have the mixer on one and  the tracks on the other, but then my monitor speakers probably wouldn't fit properly. Its just a matter of logistics really.

... well, that's a point. But can't you make the meters visible on the left side of each track in your software?

Yeah i guess.. is there any way of using more than 11? If not, then yeah i might consider just having a clip LED above each channel on the LC, would be useful i guess.

... not with the standard LC-Design (there is a total of max. 128 LEDs)...  But you could run with two cores per 8 cannels. You build a regular MIDIBox LC and from the MIDI Thru of this core you go to the second core and use this one just for metering LEDs... so you'd have 16 per channel.

I like the metering on the Digidesign Control 24 (I had work experiance in a recording studio so got to play with it  ), i was thinking of hopefully including a meterbridge (or external box) like that. Im sure it only has a few more LED's than midibox (around 15 i think).

... I don't like the control24 at all... too cheapy, noisy faders

Greets, Roger

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... well, that's a point. But can't you make the meters visible on the left side of each track in your software?

yes and no. you can, but you have to open each track window, which takes up way too much space (i only have a 15" tft), but then even on a 19" you wouldnt be able to fit 16 audio tracks onto the screen. I'll edit this post with a picture later, but basically it takes up too much screen space to be able to see all the level meters without having the mixer window ontop of the tracks, and having the mixer in the way was what im trying to avoid.

... not with the standard LC-Design (there is a total of max. 128 LEDs)...  But you could run with two cores per 8 cannels. You build a regular MIDIBox LC and from the MIDI Thru of this core you go to the second core and use this one just for metering LEDs... so you'd have 16 per channel.

hmm, this would probably be the best option, and probably quite easy to make too. I might do this.

... I don't like the control24 at all... too cheapy, noisy faders

Its a very nice design though, eeaasy to navigate and such. Yeah, the faders did seem a little cheap considering the total price, but the buttons were quite hard and firm, i didnt feel like i was going to break them. Anyway, its a nice design, especially for metering purposes.

The reason i want some form of external metering is so that i can get a good idea of where everything is in the mix without having to open any windows on screen, as i have too little screen space as it is :-\. i want to be able to just look down and if something looks too low i can just bring the relevant fader up.

[Edit]

Sonar.jpg

Thats what it looks like with just 3 tracks open :-\ Theres no way i can fit 16 on, hence wanting a meter bridge.

Just out of interest, could i make an independant meter bridge (ie, to be used without the midibox LC), might make one before the LC, just to get a feel for how it all works and such.

Thanks for all the help guys :D

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FWIW, I believe that starting with Sonar4, volumes are an option and code is included on the controller SDK.  Someone in the Sonar forum said that the default application in the SDK for the MotorMix controller shows how this is done.  I also think that the Frontier Tranzport driver uses this function to display track volume on its screen (hmmm..... a wireless MIDIBox).

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i see that this is only mono...

is it possible to display the stereo mode on the level meter?

regards,

ruff-g

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i try to avoid opening pfd's on my computer, it doesnt like them much

try foxit reader rather than adobe reader.  it's free.

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you can, but you have to open each track window, which takes up way too much space

I've actually bitched about the same thing to Steinberg. Nuendo channel strips from v.2 on are modular, but the bottom (fader) component is always visible. It supports multiple simultaneous mixer views, so a bank of meters for ref on a second display would be perfect, but you can't do it (not sure if that changed in v.4).

I like the 2 or 3U meter box idea too. I think an eight (or 16) channel box with an ADAT in and thru would be awesome, but I usually work at 44/48k rates. I suggested it to Uwe Beis (who does an awesome S/PDIF meter at www.beis.de/Elektronik/Electronics.html ), but I don't think he has any need for ADAT. :'(

George

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