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"Force output channels"?
Last post Fri, Mar 31 2017 by Dietz, 34 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 01:20
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

I'd never noticed the ""Force output channels" setting in MIR plugin until reading this thread:

https://www.vsl.co.at/community/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=42930&=#post258031

Has it always been an option, or was it added during an update? More importantly, where can I find documentation about this setting? I have searched the MIR Pro Plug-In manual, Rev 1.4, but all I find is something on page 10, which is either an error in the documentation, or I'm just not understanding what it means. Page 10 says, 

"As you see, the MIR Control UI contains just a subset of the Preferences from standard MIR Pro / VE Pro. Three

additional settings were added, though:"

"1 is for automatically focusing on the MIR Icon on stage when its corresponding plug-in GUI is opened in the host application."

"2 will shut down the Control UI / Main Window when there is no MIR Pro Plug-In in the active project/song/ session of your hosting DAW."

"3 determines the convolution latency of all MIR Pro Plug-Ins."

#3 doesn't seem to have anything to do with "Force output cannels", so is there another place in the documentation explaining "Force output channels"?

Posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 06:56
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

Seems that this has been never added to the manual. That's just a "technical" Preference for obscure situations where certain DAWs can't determine the channel width of a plug-in by themselves. If you haven't needed it up to now, you won't need it in the future either (most likely). :-)

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 07:16
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Seems that this has been never added to the manual. That's just a "technical" Preference for obscure situations where certain DAWs can't determine the channel width of a plug-in by themselves. If you haven't needed it up to now, you won't need it in the future either (most likely). :-)

Thanks. What do you mean by "channel width"?

I possibly have needed this, hence my asking about it. Two needs I have are (1) getting separate dry and wet output from MIR in my DAW, and (2) getting individual microphone-capsules to output to separate tracks in my DAW.

I don't have VE Pro.

For (1), I've not been able to do this with MIR Plug-In, but I have been able to do it by using MIR inside VE Regular.

For (2), I've found no solution. With the "Force output channels" setting, can I finally get individual microphone capsules onto separate tracks in my DAW (Reaper or Cubase)?

Posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 11:50
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

Originally Posted by: tek0010 Go to Quoted Post
[...]

Thanks. What do you mean by "channel width"? [...]

Good question. :-) I just found out that I've been using a wrong translation from a German audio engineering term (... a so-called "false friend", as it seems). Output format is the proper term, although it doesn't really cover what I'm trying to explain: I meant to indicate the number of individual channels within an audio stream, i.e. one for Mono, two for Stereo, four for Quadro or Ambisonics, six for 5.1-surround, and so on.

Sorry for any confusion caused by that error of mine, but English is not my first language.

Quote:

For (1), I've not been able to do this with MIR Plug-In, but I have been able to do it by using MIR inside VE Regular.

There is no straight-forward way to do this with MIR Pro's plug-in version, due to restrictions of the routing concepts of most (if not all) DAWs - sorry to say so. Activating the preference to force the number of Output Channels to a certain value won't help. Only VE  and VE Pro offer the necessary special solutions when hosting MIR Pro in its native version.

Kind regards,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Tue, Mar 28 2017 21:25
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Thanks for speaking English. If I had to do this in German, it would not go well.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
... the number of individual channels within an audio stream, i.e. one for Mono, two for Stereo, four for Quadro or Ambisonics, six for 5.1-surround, and so on.

With the "Force output channels" setting, can I get individual microphone capsules onto separate tracks in my DAW (Reaper or Cubase)?

Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 08:44
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

I'm not sure what you mean by "individual microphone capsules". Are we really talking about the Main and Secondary Microphones in MIR, or the so-called MIR Icon that's used to represent a signal source on a stage ...? :-/

MIR Pro's output will always depend on the chosen Output Format. This can be set up in the Output Format Editor window. It is the combined result of the (virtual) Main and Secondary Microphone capsules and the Matrix settings used to distribute them amongst the actual "physical" outputs. So as soon as you would assign _one_ capsule to _one_ output channel in the Matrix, you could make seperate tracks for them.

If you need a 5.1 (or 7.1 or Quadro) output format from MIR Pro, simply instantiate your first MIR Pro plug-in in that format. In some hosts like Cubase and Nuendo the respective track would have to be in that format already, in other hosts like ProTools and Logic you are free to change the number of the plug-in's output channel by selecting the desired plug-in format. I can't tell you which approach Reaper adheres to, sorry to say so.

In any case - the "force output channels" preference isn't a tool for daily work, but a purely technical option to circumvent restrictions imposed by certain DAWs.

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 10:06
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

I am (I think) talking about Output Format. The only Output Format I ever have been able to achieve is basic 2-channel -- Left and Right. I've spent some hours reading docs and trying to get a more complex Output Format, but without success, so I had assumed that feature is available only through VE Pro (which I don't have).

But now, after learning of "Force output channels", I'm hoping it is actually possible for me to get an Output Format more complex than stereo.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

I'm not sure what you mean by "individual microphone capsules".

I'm talking about the things I add with the "ADD CAPSULE" button, and which I delete with the "DELETE CAPSULE" button.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
Are we really talking about the Main and Secondary Microphones in MIR, or the so-called MIR Icon that's used to represent a signal source on a stage ...? :-/

Neither. We are talking about the things I add with the "ADD CAPSULE" button, and which I delete with the "DELETE CAPSULE" button.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
MIR Pro's output will always depend on the chosen Output Format. This can be set up in the Output Format Editor window.

On my system, the Output Format Editor window doesn't allow me to surpass a channel-width of 2.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
If you need a 5.1 (or 7.1 or Quadro) output format from MIR Pro,

I shouldn't need a 5.1 (or 7.1 or Quadro) output format from MIR Pro, since I'm producing for stereo, not surround; but now I see I have to trick MIR into thinking I'm producing for 5.1 (or 7.1 or Quadro) if I want more than 2 output channels from MIR.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
In any case - the "force output channels" preference isn't a tool for daily work, but a purely technical option to circumvent restrictions imposed by certain DAWs.

I don't want to use it for daily work. I just want to use it as a technical option to circumvent restrictions imposed by certain DAWs. I'll wait for it to be documented.

Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 12:35
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

I think I understand what you're after now. :-)

All you need is to take a closer look at the "Matrix" tab of the Output Fromat Editor. Here you can assign any capsule to any output with different levels and polarity. IOW: You can create five capsules and assign them to the two stereo outputs, for example.

... as a matter of fact, that's how you do it for all setups that use a Secondary Microphone. The same is true for all Main Mic-presets that use more than two capsules, e.g. the Triple-8-arrays.

HTH,

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 12:38
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

PS: The Matrix is shown on p. 24 of MIR Pro's Manual. Just be aware that you have to type-in values - you can't just click'n'drag like you would expect in case of other parameter entry fields of MIR Pro.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 21:55
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
All you need is to take a closer look at the "Matrix" tab of the Output Fromat Editor.

I have looked at it for several hours already before starting this thread.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
Here you can assign any capsule to any output with different levels and polarity. IOW: You can create five capsules and assign them to the two stereo outputs, for example.

But if I want to create five capsules and assign them to three outputs? If I want to create five capsules and assign them to five outputs?

Reaper is ready to receive any number of outputs MIR decides to send it. The hard part is getting MIR to send the number of outputs I want it to send. The "Matrix" tab doesn't allow me to set the number of outputs -- the Matrix tab tells me it's sending two outputs ("OutputL" and "OutputR") and that's the end of it.

Now I've resorted to experimenting with the undocumented "Force output channels" setting, and as a result, MIR no longer opens in my DAW. This is just going downhill, so I'll give up and use a different product for room-simulation.

Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 22:21
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

Wait a minute - in your previous message you wrote that you work in stereo only, but now you want to open three or five outputs ...? I can't follow your train of thoughts. 8-/

So let me give it another try, please.

If you want to use more than two virtual microphone capsules in a stereo setup, the Output Matrix will look similar to the screenshot of example 1.

If you want to use individual outputs for those capsules, you will need to use MIR Pro in a surround environment. The Output Matrix will have to look similar to the screenshot of example 2.

... does this help ...?

File Attachment(s):
Example1.jpg (714kb) downloaded 8 time(s).
Example2-surround.jpg (744kb) downloaded 9 time(s).

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/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Wed, Mar 29 2017 22:27
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

PS: I've just seen that you edited the bottom line of your message. Sorry that I bothered you with more information.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 03:00
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post
If you want to use individual outputs for those capsules, you will need to use MIR Pro in a surround environment. The Output Matrix will have to look similar to the screenshot of example 2.

... does this help ...?

The screenshot of example 2 shows what I have been trying to accomplish, but I'm unable to accomplish. No matter where I try moving my mouse and clicking the buttons, no matter what keys on my keyboard I press, my copy of MIR does not look like the jpg in your example 2.

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Wait a minute - in your previous message you wrote that you work in stereo only, but now you want to open three or five outputs ...? I can't follow your train of thoughts. 8-/

I didn't say I work only in stereo; I said I produce for stereo:

"I'm producing for stereo, not surround".

What comes out of my DAW is stereo. That is different from what comes into my DAW.

Imagine someone using a real mid/side microphone. The microphone outputs one mid-channel, and one side-channel. That enters the DAW as one mid-channel and one side-channel. But that is not what the final listeners hears, because it's not what eventually comes out of the DAW. In the DAW, you mix the mid/side channels with your faders, and then you transform the mid/side system into a Left/Right system, and then you render that Left/Right system to a WAV file, and when the person at the end listens to your music, he doesn't hear Mid coming out of one speaker and Side coming out of the other speaker. He hears Left/Right stereo, because you used your DAW correctly to process the information from the mid/side microphone.

This is but one of many examples how a DAW can output something different from what enters it.

Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 03:06
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Or imagine a person recording a real Decca tree. The center capsule comes into the DAW on one track, and L/R capsules come into the DAW on 1 or 2 different tracks. Maybe outriggers come in on 4th and 5th tracks. But you can use this to make a stereo CD, because in your DAW you can mix the inputs down to L/R stereo.

Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 03:13
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

And people have been mixing classical music like that since the 50's. It is a very normal thing, to bring lots of inputs input in a DAW or mixing console, then mix them down to stereo, and then output a final stereo product.

Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 04:34
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

You should download Example 1, too, to see exactly what you trying to teach me.

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 05:57
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

You should download Example 1, too, to see exactly what you trying to teach me.

I downloaded it, and but it's the opposite of what I'm talking about. It shows 2 channels going into the DAW, while I'm writing a long thread about more than 2 channels going into the DAW.

I guess you are having some fun here, telling me everything except how to get MIR to send more than 2 channels to my DAW. I'll leave you to that; goodbye.

Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 06:11
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

Actually it's showing 5 microphone capsules going into 2 channels, which is something you are trying to achieve, aren't you?

... but I won't bother you again with information, sorry. 

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 06:16
by Dietz
Joined on Tue, Aug 06 2002, Vienna / Europe, Posts 7761

Originally Posted by: tek0010 Go to Quoted Post
[...] I guess you are having some fun here, [...]

Errrrrr .... do you really believe that I sat down a quarter past midnight to create two screenshots especially for you - just to make _fun_ of you ...? 

/Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Thu, Mar 30 2017 06:30
by tek0010
Joined on Wed, Jun 17 2015, Posts 50

Originally Posted by: Dietz Go to Quoted Post

Actually it's showing 5 microphone capsules going into 2 channels, which is something you are trying to achieve, aren't you?

It's showing 5 microphone I cannot mix dynamically with automation in my DAW; so it's not what I'm trying to achieve. It's what I've known all along how to do.

If that's how I wanted to keep doing it, I wouldn't be asking about "Force output channels" now.

When I talk about mixing capsules in my DAW, I don't mean mixing capsules in MIR. MIR is not my DAW. MIR is one thing, and my DAW is a different thing. Not equivalent.

Right now, in my DAW, I have the center capsule on one fader, and I have the side capsules on another fader. This is not MIR though, it is something else; because someone else answered my question.

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