SurroundByUs.com

A Stereo-to-Surround Community
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:09 am
  • No posting regarding file sharing of copyrighted material is allowed
  • AudioMuxer is here
  • Spec and SpecWeb are here
 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Forum rules


The tools and techniques described and provided on this forum are intended for use on material owned by users and for their personal use as covered by "fair use" and other applicable copyright laws. The owners and moderators of this forum do not suggest or condone any violation of copyright or other applicable laws. Any use of these methods outside this forum in a manner which violates "fair use" or copyright is done so at the individual's own peril and is not the responsibility of surroundbyus.com. All Methods and Guides are Copyrighted © SurroundByUs.com. Overall forum rules can be read HERE.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:23 pm 
Offline
SBU Wiki Team
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:01 am
Posts: 212
SPEC 4.0 with AutoV2 Automation

Note this workflow has been superseded by "ZAG" http://www.surroundbyus.com/sbu/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=158

Attachment deleted.

This guide describes how to automate and greatly simplify the SPEC 4.0 workflow. As explained in the Toolkit - Gain Calculation Spreadsheet guide, the typical manual workflow involves the following steps:

  • Run each track separately for a first time (no recording)
  • At the end of each track, enter peak and RMS data into a spreadsheet
  • At the end of the album, calculate the required channel gains with the spreadsheet
  • For each track, manually enter the calculated gains in the layout
  • Run each track a second time to record the six monos

Two disadvantages of the manual process are:

  • Large amount of data to enter in the spreadsheet and the layout, with a significant risk of error
  • Inability to properly handle gapless transitions when tracks must flow into the next one

With the automated process described here, the following steps are required:

  • Run a quick preliminary process to calculate track lengths in samples and merge all tracks into one .wav file
  • Play the long uninterrupted .wav file (no recording) using an automated layout to collect peak and RMS data for each track
  • Run a quick process to transfer the peak and RMS data into the spreadsheet
  • Calculate the channel gains with the spreadsheet
  • Run a quick process to transfer the entire channel gain data into the automated layout
  • Use the automated layout to play the long .wav file, automatically apply the channel gains to each track and record only six monos for the entire album

The main advantages of the automated process are:

  • No errors in the data transcription steps
  • Long (full album) unattended steps
  • Perfectly gapless transitions between tracks

AutoV2 automation was developed by Zeerround and Fan51.

Important note: This automated layout requires a recent version of Plogue Bidule, 0.9687 or later.


Quicklinks:

  1. Installing the package
  2. Preparing for the conversion
  3. Performing the data collection run
  4. Extracting the peak and RMS data from the .mid files
  5. Calculating the gains in the spreadsheet
  6. Extracting the gains from the spreadsheet
  7. Performing the recording run



  1. Installing the package

    In this step, you will download the required programs and store them in appropriate locations on you PC.

    • Download the attached package and open it with a .rar extraction utility.


    • Extract SPEC-4.0_AutoV2.bidule to the C:\Program Files\PLOGUE\BIDULE\layouts folder.
    • Extract track-time5.exe, GetLevels4.exe and GainLists6.bat to your desktop.

    Important note: If you have never installed SPEC 4.0 (without the AutoV2 automation), you must also download and install the full SPEC 4.0 package from here.

  2. Preparing for the conversion

    • Use the Preparing the stereo source files for a conversion guide:

      • If you are ripping your own CD with Exact Audio Copy, select the "Test & Copy Image & Create CUE Sheet - Uncompressed..." option.
      • If you are starting with individual .flac, .ape or .wav tracks, use foobar2000 to create one long .wav file with a cue sheet.

    • Drag and drop the .cue file on the track-time5.exe icon.

      • Click Run if you see the "Open File - Security Warning".
      • A DOS window will now open.

        • Enter samples per second: Type the sample rate of the source files, normally 44100, and press Enter.
        • The program will immediately calculate and list the sample lengths of each track and write this data in two files for later use in the process:

          • C:\Program Files\Plogue\Bidule\presets\Lengths_Gains.bprs
          • Lengths.txt located in the same folder as the .cue file

          Note that the last value is a very large number which does not really correspond to the sample length of the last track. This is an example of the DOS output:

          Code:
          Enter samples per second: 44100
          3383940;
          11757648;
          7505231;
          16519272;
          9579695;
          195804000;
          Output path: C:\Program Files\Plogue\Bidule\presets\
          Lengths_Gains.bprs written to C:\Program Files\Plogue\Bidule\presets\Lengths_Gai
          ns.bprs
          hit enter to exit

        • Press Enter to close the DOS window.

      • Open the SPEC-4.0_AutoV2 layout in Plogue Bidule:



      • Load the long .wav source file into the Audio File Player.
      • Set the processing mode of the Meters&Triggers2 group to Bypass.
      • Use the SPEC 4.0 guide to setup all the SPEC 4.0 parameters. Ideally, you should use the Plogue Bidule - Monitoring Surround Output on your PC guide to make sure you are doing the best possible job at this critical point.
      • Set all Output Gain sliders to 0.0, including the LFE slider. At this point, this is what your layout could look like:



      • To free up space on the layout, close the SPEC 4.0 group controls window.
      • Set the processing mode of the Meters&Triggers2 group to Processing and double-click on this group to expose its controls.



      • In the Meters&Triggers2 group controls, click on the Triggerline UI checkbox to open the TriggerLine group controls.
      • In the TriggerLine group controls, click on the Presets button, select Load, navigate to the C:\Program Files\Plogue\Bidule\presets\ folder, select the Lengths_Gains.bprs file and Press Enter. The TriggerLine group controls should now look something like this:




        Note the following:

        • The Collect Peak+RMS data box is checked.
        • The Record multiple tracks box is unchecked.
        • The Track Lengths box contains the sample lengths calculated and saved previously by track-time4.exe.
        • The six channel gain lists contain a single "0;" value.

      • In the layout, double-click on Midi File Recorder to expose its controls. In these controls:

        • Click on the File ... icon and navigate to the folder where you want to save the .mid files in which the peak and RMS data will be automatically stored for each file; this would normally be the same folder where you saved the long .wav and .cue files. Enter a name for the .mid files. Note that the program will add a suffix to this name for each track. For example, you enter the name "A" and, during the data collection run, the program will save A_0001.mid, A_0002.mid, A_0003.mid and so on, actually one .mid file per track.
        • Check the Create new file for each record box.

        At this point, the Midi File Recorder controls should look something like this:



      • Make sure the Audio File Player is Stopped and turn Plogue Bidule processing On. At this point, the Meters&Triggers2 controls should look like this:



        Note the following:

        • The first column lists the channel names. LO and RO are the left and right channels of the stereo source.
        • The second column is a series of clip indicators. During the run, if a channel clips, the corresponding box will be checked and the run should be restarted with a lower pre-gain value.
        • The next two columns (first six lines only) display current Max Peak and Avg RMS data. This data that is saved in the .mid files, one file per track.
        • The last column (first six lines only) displays the Gain data which is automatically applied to each track. In the data collection run, this will all be 0.0 but it will vary for each track in the recording run.
        • On the seventh line, Track No. displays the current track number, Length is the sample length of the current track and Samples is the sample position of the player in the current track.
        • On the eight line, the Triggerline UI box opens and closes the TriggerLine group controls and Reset All unchecks the clip indicators (with Plogue Bidule in processing mode).

      • With the Audio File Player Stopped and Plogue Bidule processing On, check and uncheck the Reset All box in the Meters&Triggers2 controls to reset the clip indicators.
      • If you added an audio device to your layout to perform live monitoring, you should now delete it from the layout.
      • Set Plogue Bidule to Offline Processing in the Edit menu.

  3. Performing the data collection run

    You are now ready to start the data collection run. This sequence is important: Press the Start button in the player, and next, press the On/Off Plogue Bidule processing button. Note the following:

    • When you press the Start button in the player, the Current take number in the Midi File Recorder is immediately incremented to 0001.
    • When you press the On/Off button, the source file starts being played and the date in the Meters&Triggers2 controls starts to change.
    • At the start of each track, the Current take is incremented in the Midi File Recorder. In Meters&Triggers2, the Max Peak and Avg RMS meters are reset, the Track No. is incremented, the Length takes on the proper value for the new track and the Samples counter is reset.
    • You can now walk away from your PC, or you can keep using it on light tasks as you don't want to overload the processor and mess up the data collection process.
    • At the end of the source file, the Midi File Recorder is automatically stopped. The data in Meters&Triggers2 continues to change until Plogue Bildule processing is turned Off but this has no effect on the data saved in the .mid files. You should turn Plogue Bidule processing Off at this point.

    Tip: During the data collection run, if you see clips (checked boxes in the clip indicators), stop the process and adjust the pre-gain in SPEC 4.0. Before restarting the run and creating a new series of .mid files, enter a new file name in the Midi File Recorder. When you restart the process, the take numbers will start from 0001 again.

  4. Extracting the peak and RMS data from the .mid files

    In the designated folder, you should now have one .mid file for each track. Each file is named with the same prefix followed by a sequence number and a .mid extension. This step extracts the data from the .mid files and saves it in a format that can be used by the standard gain calculation spreadsheet.

    • Select ALL the mid files and drag and drop them TOGETHER on the GetLevels4.exe icon.

      • Click Run when you see the "Open File - Security Warning".
      • A DOS window will now open and very quickly list Max Peak and Avg RMS data for each channel (including the two source channels) of each track. This data is automatically saved in a file named GetLevels.csv located in the same folder as the .mid files. This would be a typical display for the first two files in a case where no LFE data was collected:

        Code:
        Output path: C:\AudioH\

        C:\AudioH\A_0001.mid
        Midi Ch: 0 Source
        ch. 1 peak:     0.00 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   11.65 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   11.89 db
        ch. 2 peak:     0.00 db
        Midi Ch: 1 Front
        ch. 1 peak:     8.98 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   20.63 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   20.87 db
        ch. 2 peak:     8.98 db
        Midi Ch: 2 C/LFE
        ch. 1 peak:     5.91 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   18.98 db
        Midi Ch: 3 Rear
        ch. 1 peak:     10.63 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   26.54 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   27.01 db
        ch. 2 peak:     11.10 db

        C:\AudioH\A_0002.mid
        Midi Ch: 0 Source
        ch. 1 peak:     0.00 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   10.94 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   11.42 db
        ch. 2 peak:     0.00 db
        Midi Ch: 1 Front
        ch. 1 peak:     8.98 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   19.92 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   20.39 db
        ch. 2 peak:     8.98 db
        Midi Ch: 2 C/LFE
        ch. 1 peak:     5.67 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   18.27 db
        Midi Ch: 3 Rear
        ch. 1 peak:     9.21 db
        ch.1 avg RMS:   25.12 db
        ch.2 avg RMS:   26.54 db
        ch. 2 peak:     6.38 db

      • Press Enter to close this DOS window.

  5. Calculating the gains in the spreadsheet

    This step uses the standard spreadsheet to calculate the gains according to the peak and RMS data that was just automatically collected.

    • In Explorer, double-click on the GetLevels.csv file to open it in MS Excel. This would be a typical file in Excel:



    • In Excel, also open the Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.xls spreadsheet found in the Toolkit - Gain Calculation Spreadsheet guide.
    • In Excel, on the GetLevels.csv sheet, select the area containing the data; this would be A1:H17 in the above example. Press Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard.
    • In Excel, on the Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.xls sheet, paste the clipboard at cell C8 and set the spreadsheet parameters as explained in the Toolkit - Gain Calculation Spreadsheet guide. This is what you would typically have in the spreadsheet now:




      Tip: It is a good idea to set the Safety Margin (at the top of the spreadsheet) to a value of 0.25. This is due to the accuracy of the midi calculations for the peak and RMS values.

    • Save the Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.xls sheet as a standard Excel workbook (*.xls) in the folder where you saved the .mid files. If you get a Privacy Warning, click OK.
    • Important: If your Windows region is not set to English (United States), change it before performing the next step as different regional settings use different field delimiters in .csv files and it is impossible to account for all variations in GainLists6A.bat. In Windows XP, this is done in the Control Panel, Regional and Language Options.
      Save the Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.xls sheet a second time as a Comma Delimited file (Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv) in the same folder. You will get a message warning you that some features will be lost. Click Yes to close it.
    • Close Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv (this is important).

  6. Extracting the gains from the spreadsheet

    This very quick step uses a batch file to extract the calculated gain data from the spreadsheet and write it in the Lengths_Gains.bprs file to be used by the automated process.

    • Double-click on GainLists6A.bat to start it.

      • Follow the dialog asking you to confirm that Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv has been saved and closed.
      • Enter the location of Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv. Press Enter. Processing is extremely fast.
      • Make sure you get the Preset "Lengths_Gains.bprs" was created successfully message at the end. This would be the typical dialog:

        Code:
        Confirm that Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.xls was saved in CSV (comma delimited
        ) format as Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv
        Press any key to continue . . .
        Confirm that Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv is not open at the moment
        Press any key to continue . . .
        Enter full folder path of Gain_Group_In_Bidule_Aid_v4.5.csv (ex.: c:\audio): C:\
        AudioH
        C:\AudioH
        *
        ******** Preset "Lengths_Gains.bprs" was created successfully
        *
        Press any key to continue . . .

      • Press any key to close this window.

  7. Performing the recording run

    This step automatically applies the gains calculated for each channel and each track and records the six monos with Plogue Bidule.

    • In Plogue Bidule, in the TriggerLine2 controls, click on Presets and load Lengths_Gains.bprs.
      Triggerline2 should now look something like this:




      Note the following:

      • The Collect Peak+RMS data box is unchecked.
      • The Record multiple tracks box is normally unchecked. However, should you want to record individual tracks (instead of one single long track), check this box.
      • The Track Lengths box contains the sample lengths saved previously in Lengths.txt.
      • The six channel gain lists contain a gain value for each track as calculated by the spreadsheet.

    • In the layout, close the Midi File Recorder.
    • Open the Audio File Recorder:

      • Set Bit depth to 24 bits
      • Click on the File ... button, navigate to the folder where you saved the .mid files, enter a name profix for the monos.
      • Leave the Create new files for each record box unchecked.
      • Check the Create multiple files box.
      • Set Channels per file to mono.

    • Press the Start button in the Audio File Player.
    • Press the On/Off Plogue Bidule processing button.

      Note the following:

      • As soon as you press the On/Off button, the Audio File Recorder starts recording.
      • The Meters&Triggers2 controls behave as in the data collection run, except that this time, the last column displays the channel gain values.
      • You can now walk away from your PC, or you can keep using it on light tasks as you don't want to overload the processor and mess up the data collection process.
      • At the end of the source file, the Audio File Recorder is automatically stopped. The data in Meters&Triggers2 continues to change until Plogue Bildule processing is turned Off but this has no effect on the recorded monos. You should turn Plogue Bidule processing Off at this point.


Click here for comments, feedback and discussion.

Change history

2009-09-17 Guide initially published (Fan51)
2009-10-28 GainLists6A.bat included in attachment to help with non-English US Windows installations (Fan51)
2009-10-28 Added a comment about first installing SPEC 4.0 by itself if required (Fan51)


This guide is copyrighted 2009 by SurroundByUs.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

Protected by Anti-Spam ACP POWERED_BY