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razor7music

Would Anyone Like to See a Speaker Config Option?

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Hello Group--

I use Wavelab for my mastering, and it has a feature called, 'Speaker Configuration'. Basically, I can setup which output I want to switch between, say headphones and my studio monitors. It's very handy to be able to quickly switch between speakers.

In Cakewalk, I have to switch my hardware outputs manually (yes, I can hold ctrl and do multiple at once). It would be very handy if CW had a speaker configuration feature so with the click of a button I can flip from one speaker setup (or headphone) to another.

I haven't had great responses from the Feedback Loop forum, so I thought I'd get your input here on whether this is a good feature request, or if there is a hack you figured out where this isn't necessary?

 

Thanks!

 

Stephen

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Posted (edited)

I use Sonarworks headphone edition for headphones, and ARC-2 for my monitor speakers.

If I'm likely to switch between the two a lot, what I do is the following:

1. On the Master bus, add two stereo sends to two new busses: "Speakers" and "Headphones"
2. Route the output on my Master bus to None
3. Route my Speakers bus to output 1&2 on my Scarlett 6i6, with ARC2 in the effects bin
4. Route my Headphones bus to output 3&4 on my Scarlett 6i6, with Sonarworks in the effects bin (and plug my headphones in to Headphone socket 2)

Before mixdown I just mute the two other busses and set my Master bus to output to 1&2 on my 6i6.

This has the added advantage of me not having to remember to disable ARC2 or Sonarworks before exporting!

Edited by msmcleod

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5 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

I use Sonarworks headphone edition for headphones, and ARC-2 for my monitor speakers.

If I'm likely to switch between the two a lot, what I do is the following:

1. On the Master bus, add two stereo sends to two new busses: "Speakers" and "Headphones"
2. Route the output on my Master bus to None
3. Route my Speakers bus to output 1&2 on my Scarlett 6i6, with ARC2 in the effects bin
4. Route my Headphones bus to output 3&4 on my Scarlett 6i6, with Sonarworks in the effects bin (and plug my headphones in to Headphone socket 2)

Before mixdown I just mute the two other busses and set my Master bus to output to 1&2 on my 6i6.

This has the added advantage of me not having to remember to disable ARC2 or Sonarworks before exporting!

Thanks. It sounds like you agree it would be a good feature to have, but you've found a workaround since CW presently doesn't have that feature.

My audio interface is an Echo Layla 3G and so my headphones are connected to the front panel of the interface where I record and playback on the interface's IO 1/2, and then my monitors are connected to the interface's outputs 5/6. I want all FX and routing, etc. within CW to be identical regardless of the HW output. How would I configure your workaround in my scenario?

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So the only reason I've created the two buses is because I need separate effects on the two outputs.

For your scenario, I'd just have your "Master" bus routed to outputs 5/6, and have a send to a headphones bus that outputs on whatever the headphones echo (I'm guessing 1 & 2 ?)

But if the headphones are just a repeat of outputs 1&2, why not just connect your monitors to outputs 1&2 ? That way they'll always be the same and you don't need to change anything in Cakewalk.

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2 hours ago, msmcleod said:

But if the headphones are just a repeat of outputs 1&2, why not just connect your monitors to outputs 1&2 ? That way they'll always be the same and you don't need to change anything in Cakewalk.

I had a reason when my studio was built, but it was about 8 years ago and I'd have to take some things apart and move them around to see the routing configuration to remember why. I have a very small (packed) studio, with very ambitious cable management--so it's a lot harder than it might seem!

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5 minutes ago, razor7music said:

I had a reason when my studio was built, but it was about 8 years ago and I'd have to take some things apart and move them around to see the routing configuration to remember why. I have a very small (packed) studio, with very ambitious cable management--so it's a lot harder than it might seem!

Believe me - I understand!

My cabling routing is ridiculously complex. Power, MIDI, Audio, ADAT, wordclock cables etc..  I tried to draw a diagram once and it was almost impossible to understand.

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What ?  People really do that ? Jeez..that sounds like a major PITA

 I just have a switchbox..back in the 90s all the speakers were passive so it was just a box from Tandy ( Radio Shack ) that connected 3 switchable pairs of speakers and then went to the amp.

Now everything is powered so I have combo big  volume controller with switchable speakers A/B/C..they are all level matched to keep it consistent, one is a mono Avantone but the switchbox has a dedicated mono feed so it's simple to use.

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I use a Mackie BigKnob in the studio, which serves my needs most of the time.

It's only when I'm constantly swapping between headphones & speakers that I'll create extra buses.

If I'm only checking headphones now and then, I'll stick both ARC2 & Sonarworks in the master bus and just toggle between them.

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In my OP I suggested a click of a button like in Wavelab to select a different listening option. Surely that would be easier than a hardware solution. Right?

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Good suggestions. I'd like to see to opportunity to add FX to the hardware output channel, e.g. the Sonarworks VST for monitor correction. Or, possibility to exclude an effect from exports. Or, specify plugins for monitoring that would be excluded from exports.

I now have "Monitors" as the last bus, with Sonarworks, preceded by "Master". Whenever I do an export, I export the "Master" bus, which works, but is a bit of work to set up on each export. Having the VST option on the hardware bus (or another one of the above) would be nice.

 

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I've had to read your post several times to try to figure out how you might be switching speakers now and how you would like it to work more easily and quickly.

With my setup, I have 4 sets of speakers, plus headphones also connected to the same output as 1+2.

My interface has 10 outputs, and these outputs drive amplifier/speaker combinations, so I switch outputs at a software level, which is what I assume you want to do.

What I usually do is go to the In/Out panel on my Master bus strip and switch to the appropriate output from there. That's two mouse clicks. Is that what you mean by "manually?" The change works on the fly, but there is sometimes a brief gap in playback. I adjust the levels in the Hardware Outs to compensate for any differences in the amplifier or speaker levels.

Can you be more specific about how you're switching outputs now, and why it's not working for you?

What you are trying to accomplish may already be doable with sends and/or buses like Mark suggests.

Let's see....I just set up my Master bus with its Output set to "none" and a Send to each hardware output. All I have to do to switch to any output I want is enable the appropriate Send.

Does that work for your use case?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I've had to read your post several times to try to figure out how you might be switching speakers now and how you would like it to work more easily and quickly.

With my setup, I have 4 sets of speakers, plus headphones also connected to the same output as 1+2.

My interface has 10 outputs, and these outputs drive amplifier/speaker combinations, so I switch outputs at a software level, which is what I assume you want to do.

What I usually do is go to the In/Out panel on my Master bus strip and switch to the appropriate output from there. That's two mouse clicks. Is that what you mean by "manually?" The change works on the fly, but there is sometimes a brief gap in playback. I adjust the levels in the Hardware Outs to compensate for any differences in the amplifier or speaker levels.

Can you be more specific about how you're switching outputs now, and why it's not working for you?

What you are trying to accomplish may already be doable with sends and/or buses like Mark suggests.

Let's see....I just set up my Master bus with its Output set to "none" and a Send to each hardware output. All I have to do to switch to any output I want is enable the appropriate Send.

Does that work for your use case?

I agree that there aren't a lot of details in the Wavelab link I posted. I think one of the things I like most, and I can't see how this would work in CW, is that in WL I can access my speaker selection setup regardless of the project I'm working on. It's not project specific.

Here's a use-case example. In CW console view, I may have some tracks route straight to the HW outs, as well as some busses routing to the same HW outs, and of course the master routing there too. With a large project, I might have 6+ sources routing to the HW out.

That means if I want to switch from a HW out that connects to my speakers (outs 5/6) I have to visually locate each source track and buss and master and switch the HW out to 5/6.

Now, I've made my mix tweaks and I want to switch back to my HW outs for headphones (outs 1/2) I have to find those 6 sources and switch them all to 1/2, etc.

The less time between a/b for me the better.

Just to be clear, this isn't a complaint about CW. I know WL is a different animal, which is why I have both. I just really like the speaker configuration in WL and wondered if anyone else would find it useful to have something similar in CW.

Thanks!

Edited by razor7music

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, razor7music said:

Just to be clear, this isn't a complaint about CW. I know WL is a different animal, which is why I have both. I just really like the speaker configuration in WL and wondered if anyone else would find it useful to have something similar in CW.

I get ya, and I know it chafes when I toss out a good feature request and get offered a lame kluge in response that only proves the need for the feature. So I'll try not to be lame.

Cakewalk is such a huge beast that as you no doubt know, "feature request" around here often turns into "it can actually already do that." So to answer your question, no, I would not find it useful. Here's why:

I do what you do every time I finalize a mix and can tell you how I set it up.

In addition to the Events and Alesae in my sig, I also have a pair of Boston A70's connected to the FP10 so I was psyched when I figured out that Cakewalk could do this. In Mixcraft, it's way clumsier.

7 hours ago, razor7music said:

I may have some tracks route straight to the HW outs, as well as some busses routing to the same HW outs, and of course the master routing there too. With a large project, I might have 6+ sources routing to the HW out.

Change things just a little and I think referencing will become much simpler.

1. Create a stereo bus called Output

2. Route everything you would normally route to the HW out to Output

3. As you mix and want to reference on different speakers, route Output to whichever HW out you wish to use at the moment

No more running around chasing down every track and bus that's routed to the HW output, everything will always be routed to Output (which you will rout to your HW out). It will be 2 mouse clicks away.

This is what I do and it works a treat. From what I can see, we're essentially doing the same thing that Wavelab is doing, putting another software layer in right before the output.

Again, if I have it wrong and this wouldn't work for you, let me know.

Edited by Starship Krupa

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16 hours ago, Jim Thomas, said:

This could be addressed part of a more general feature request for hardware profiles:

If you create an aggregate device (using separate audio interfaces), keep in mind that each is using a separate clock.

Over time, slight timing differences between the clocks will cause audio tracks to drift apart.

You want all audio interfaces sharing a common clock (via BNC, S/PDIF, or Lightpipe)... so there will be no drift.

 

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9 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I get ya, and I know it chafes when I toss out a good feature request and get offered a lame kluge in response that only proves the need for the feature. So I'll try not to be lame.

Cakewalk is such a huge beast that as you no doubt know, "feature request" around here often turns into "it can actually already do that." So to answer your question, no, I would not find it useful. Here's why:

I do what you do every time I finalize a mix and can tell you how I set it up.

In addition to the Events and Alesae in my sig, I also have a pair of Boston A70's connected to the FP10 so I was psyched when I figured out that Cakewalk could do this. In Mixcraft, it's way clumsier.

Change things just a little and I think referencing will become much simpler.

1. Create a stereo bus called Output

2. Route everything you would normally route to the HW out to Output

3. As you mix and want to reference on different speakers, route Output to whichever HW out you wish to use at the moment

No more running around chasing down every track and bus that's routed to the HW output, everything will always be routed to Output (which you will rout to your HW out). It will be 2 mouse clicks away.

This is what I do and it works a treat. From what I can see, we're essentially doing the same thing that Wavelab is doing, putting another software layer in right before the output.

Again, if I have it wrong and this wouldn't work for you, let me know.

This would actually work, theoretically. I only say theoretically, because I'm not in studio right now and can't set it up to test it out--but it makes perfect sense.

On the lame responses of how to contort you whole studio so someone can justify saying 'CW already does that" sounds like we've both been there. That is the sole reason I did not post this in the Feedback Loop forum. Nuff said 😉

Thanks for the response!

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@Starship Krupa's advice is excellent and it's how I control sends often.

You could also set it up so you can solo various buses to turn on and off sets of speakers.  This gives you a single click to turn on or off a speaker pair and can leave existing speakers on.

Additionally you can do it at the hardware level (for me that means from within my RME UCX). 

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2 hours ago, Gswitz said:

You could also set it up so you can solo various buses to turn on and off sets of speakers.  This gives you a single click to turn on or off a speaker pair and can leave existing speakers on.

Oh, right! I hadn't thought of that, I might try it myself.

So many ways to accomplish the same task. Cakewalk is a huge beast.

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On 6/24/2019 at 5:52 PM, razor7music said:

In my OP I suggested a click of a button like in Wavelab to select a different listening option. Surely that would be easier than a hardware solution. Right?

Easier than pressing a physical button ?  I don't think so but YMMV

What happens when you are 'outside' of Cakewalk ? i.e. playing a reference track via Youtube or media player..hardware solution is far more elegant IMHO 

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