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stevespaw  
#1 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 11:53:09 AM(UTC)
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I can't believe that I am just now realizing this.

The Solo function in vMix is not Pre-Fade.
I am programming a big show and the audio solo needs to be Pre fade to the headpnones to listen to the audio before it goes to air.
It is discussed here:
https://forums.vmix.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=6501

A toggle of "PFL" or "in Place" could be a check box in the audio option for the input.
Most of the time we need PFL for live video productions.

Thanks,
Steve
zenvideo  
#2 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 2:24:41 PM(UTC)
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stevespaw wrote:
The Solo function in vMix is not Pre-Fade.

I guess that's because , technically, Solo and PFL are different functions - bigger consoles have both. In smaller consoles the function is sometimes switchable (globally) between Solo & PFL. It's certainly useful to have access to either/both functions and, as Steve says, PFL is often the preferred option for live work.

If there's only a single button for this on each input (rather then both PFL & Solo), then a global setting for PFL/Solo is more straightforward than making it a per-input setting, and maybe a little less confusing than having to remember which inputs are in which mode, unless they're colour-coded in some way. If they were to be set on a per-input basis, then global "helper" buttons in the settings tab to "Set all to Solo" & "Set all to PFL" would be useful.
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stevespaw on 10/29/2017(UTC), BETech on 11/1/2017(UTC)
Peter B  
#3 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 7:54:28 PM(UTC)
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+1 for the global option
admin  
#4 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 9:04:52 PM(UTC)
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Could you clarify what you need a PFL for specifically in your workflow?
The Solo button turns on the audio only for headphones and won't be heard in the mix, but it does still follow
the volume level as set for that particular input.
(As that is usually more helpful to hear how loud it will be when switched live)

I'm guessing you need PFL to monitor the audio at a higher volume for some reason?

Regards,

Martin
vMix
stevespaw  
#5 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 9:51:45 PM(UTC)
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Hi Martin,
We need to hear the audio at input level. We need to hear the Audio in solo before it is faded up in to the mix. E.g. we need to listen to the nat audio mix in the A bus mix before we Fade it up to air. Or the announcers while they are not on air.

In live mixing the audio engineers pretty much live in PFL solo mode.

Thanks,
Steve
admin  
#6 Posted : Sunday, October 29, 2017 11:11:10 PM(UTC)
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Hi Steve,

Apologies but I am a bit confused as that is exactly what Solo is intended for.
You can hear audio inputs exactly as they will be heard in the live mix, without it actually being live and affecting the stream, recording or output.
When solo is on only the headphones will be able to hear it as long as it is remains muted at the time.
Regards,

Martin
vMix
zenvideo  
#7 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 7:23:13 AM(UTC)
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admin wrote:
When solo is on only the headphones will be able to hear it as long as it remains muted at the time.

I think that may be the key issue, in that I suspect Steve is looking for a way to hear an input when the volume fader is fully down (and PFL is engaged) rather than the current method of using the mute button in conjunction with Solo. Both would achieve the same thing, more or less, so a lot comes down to how you like to control audio - whether you're happy to leave the fader at an appropriate level and bring the input in/out using the mute button, or whether you prefer to move the fader up and down (eg. via MIDI), meaning it's typically right down when you want to use PFL.
BETech  
#8 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 9:16:56 AM(UTC)
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I feel your pain Steve. Many video software solutions for live/broadcast media get this wrong unfortunately. A couple of weblinks for a different point of view.
http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/mixer/pfl.html
https://churchtecharts.o...s-the-difference-afl-pfl

The SOLO function is generally found on audio mixers (software/hardware) used in the production of music, mostly in a studio environment.

The PFL function is commonly found in live stage or outdoor environments, where the operator needs to hear the audio channel/s prior to the channel fader being opened, to verify level and quality of sound. This is via the monitoring channel using either headphones or speakers. Any number of channels can be PFL’d simultaneously for comparisons in sound quality or level. As the name suggests, the PFL audio is ‘pre-fader’ for the nominated channels/s. There is no effect on the master, or sub-master outputs. The PFL function also allows control of the channel gain, channel attenuation (not in vMix, sadly), the equalization parameters, and effects return gains to that channel prior to opening the fader and going Live.

It would be of great benefit to have this feature on each Input where audio is mapped in vMix, as well as the Preview monitor ( a small button in close proximity to the Preview display). It’s very important to be able to pre-listen sound in preview during live events, confirming that the microphone, external audio source or vMix Input is correctly set and verified for levels and quality. The audio metering should also reflect the audio levels when the PFL mode is activated. The nice thing about PFL is that the operator can make fine adjustments with headphones/monitor speakers even while the channel is on air, only listening to that channel/s. Keep in mind there are two types or sound mixers: Live performance (PFL) and Studio recording (SOLO).
admin  
#9 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 9:23:17 AM(UTC)
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I guess I still need to be persuaded of the benefits of PFL vs Solo.

You mentioned being able to check the level prior to going live, well with PFL you can't adjust the fader level
to fine tune it as it would have no effect, it is always going to be at the input level.
The trouble with input levels with ASIO devices is there is they are always 100%, there is no concept of pre-gain other than physical knobs on the ASIO device itself.

Therefore Solo seems to make the most sense, as keeping it muted makes it possible to fine tune the actual volume level as it will be heard
live prior to switching it live.

Regards,

Martin
vMix
BETech  
#10 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 10:38:54 AM(UTC)
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Admin Quote “You mentioned being able to check the level prior to going live, well with PFL you can't adjust the fader level to fine tune it as it would have no effect, it is always going to be at the input level.”

With PFL you can adjust the channel gain/attenuation. The channel fader is generally the last control surface on the audio channel, and where the operator wishes to set the nominal position of that fader will be determined by the style of sound mix to be achieved. It is best practice not to have all the channel faders at maximum setting. Channel gain/attenuation on each channel is your friend. This is what is being referred too. Quote: “The PFL function also allows control of the channel gain, channel attenuation (not in vMix, sadly), the equalization parameters, and effects return gains to that channel PRIOR to opening the fader and going Live.”

Faders are designed to be used to fade in/out of audio channels, either rapidly or slowly, depending on the circumstances. Rarely does a professional audio operator simply switch the audio channel on/off. Generally faders are left down, unless those channels are being used. That’s a traditional workflow, and permits a visual indication of which channels are being sent to programme. An exception would be feeding sub-mixes A-B.

Admin Quote: “The trouble with input levels with ASIO devices is there is they are always 100%, there is no concept of pre-gain other than physical knobs on the ASIO device itself.” Correct, but also can be adjusted by a midi control surface. Though once in the vMix audio mixer environment channel ‘Gains’ only can be adjusted, there is no attenuation. As for other non-ASIO audio sources this would not be an issue.

It would be great to see a signal flow for all the sound modules in Vmix.

The problem with SOLO is that it is post-fader or AFL, and a dangerous way to operate. Which is one of the reasons why PFL/Cue exists on most Live sound mixers (Yamaha, Roland, Behringer ...) and not SOLO. Not being able to listen to the PFL sound with the video on the Preview Bus is also dangerous. Easy-As. One button ... Pre-Listen ... and cue the talent.

zenvideo  
#11 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 12:08:15 PM(UTC)
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BETech wrote:
Faders are designed to be used to fade in/out of audio channels, either rapidly or slowly, depending on the circumstances. Rarely does a professional audio operator simply switch the audio channel on/off. Generally faders are left down, unless those channels are being used. That’s a traditional workflow, and permits a visual indication of which channels are being sent to programme. An exception would be feeding sub-mixes A-B.

Admin Quote: “The trouble with input levels with ASIO devices is there is they are always 100%, there is no concept of pre-gain other than physical knobs on the ASIO device itself.” Correct, but also can be adjusted by a midi control surface. Though once in the vMix audio mixer environment channel ‘Gains’ only can be adjusted, there is no attenuation. As for other non-ASIO audio sources this would not be an issue.


I concur that when Faders are used in live TV mixing for fading in, and fading out, usually it's by moving the fader between minus infinity and the 0dB point on the fader (where the top of the fader usually has an extra +10dB of gain available). This should be the same for every channel - the last thing you want is having to remember to fade one channel up to 0dB, another to -4dB and another to +5dB, just to get the right output level from all of them. No, what you do is adjust the pre-fader gain (using PFL if needs be) so that when you push the fader up to zero it will give you the output level you want, all being well, which certainly should be the case if it's a pre-recorded file. A live mic may come up with the level a bit out if the participant speaks significantly louder or quieter than during rehearsal, but if it looks to be permanent rather than temporary you would re-adjust the gain control to try to keep the fader at the zero mark (rather than continually work with one fader needing to be in a different nominal position than the others. That doesn't mean you wouldn't "ride the faders" at all, just that the zero mark on the fader should always give you a decent ballpark setting.

There may be no concept of pre-gain with an ASIO source, but surely you can create the equivalent of a (pre-fader) gain/trim control once you have the audio in vMix's internal (floating point) format, simply by having a control that applies a multiplier when necessary.
stevespaw  
#12 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 1:58:40 PM(UTC)
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This thread is right on target.
When I mix music I always use solo in-place. The instrument is already "on-air" and I use solo to tweak it. But in Live Broadcast we flip almost all solos to PFL. There are not that many sources "on-air" at the same time, and tweaking can be heard and done in the mix mostly. We are most wanting to isolate what is coming up next to verify signal before air. To be honest I don't think I have ever used Solo in vMix in a show because of this and the shows we do. To be honest I could even use a global PFL setting/switch and that would be a start. Right now we have X-32's driving our shows, but we could do almost everything in vMix for smaller events if we had a PFL with the X-touch I am using now. :-)

This would also give us some of the "talkback" features we need for IFB.

This has given me an idea that I could use a script for a sort of AFL by launching the mute and solo at the same time. Might be a temporary work around????

HMMM

Thanks,
Steve
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gradateurFR on 12/25/2020(UTC)
admin  
#13 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 2:32:13 PM(UTC)
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Hi Steve,

I still think there might be some confusion by some as to how Solo in vMix operates, as it does what you are requesting already.
It can be used to hear a Muted source without it being heard live. This sounds like what you need? To verify audio before going live?

Regards,

Martin
vMix

EDIT: It sounds like people are using the fader itself to act as a sort of mute control, moving it up prior to going live.
I would suggest that assigning a MIDI button to Mute instead is a far better approach so you can fine tune the exact volume you need live
from Solo and keep it there when switching to live.

If I am correct, then we would need a much stronger case to look at adding PFL, as it seems vMix can already do what people need via other options.
BETech  
#14 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 8:23:07 PM(UTC)
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Quote Admin: “It sounds like people are using the fader itself to act as a sort of mute control, moving it up prior to going live.”

This is the workflow that has been in place for nearly 100 years. Radio, television and live sound production. PFL is not unlike ‘Preview’ for sound, just like the video preview monitor in vMix. The Solo implementation in vMix is more akin to to AFL (after fader listen). This is why the term, “open the fader on X” is echoed throughout the world. There have been many lively discussions on the Newtek and other forums regarding this misunderstanding by software developers on the subject of PFL, AFL and Solo. Again, have a look at, and understand the functioning of many popular live sound mixers from the major manufacturers. Look at the control surfaces, and you will see the ‘PFL’ or ‘Cue’ buttons on in close proximity to the channels faders.

There are many demonstration videos on ‘PFL sound” and “Gain Structure” on Youtube, have a look and you will better understand.
Download a user manual for for a live sound mixer, and review the sound signal path in the diagrams provided within. Respectfully, this is how the audio world works. A time and tested workflow adopted by most manufacturers, driven by the needs of the sound engineers and operators. That is the strongest of cases.
admin  
#15 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 9:50:23 PM(UTC)
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BETech, I don't think it is fair to say we misunderstood how Solo should work, instead I think AFL Solo best suits
the needs of most vMix users.

In a traditional audio mixer a sound engineer will commonly use the gain to set the audio level, keeping the fader at 0.
In vMix, the fader acts like both to keep things simple and cater for things like video clips that are too loud respective to the rest of the production.

That key difference explains why AFL Solo is crucial to being able to preview how loud an input will actually be prior to going live.

Most vMix users also don't have the benefit of physical faders and knobs like a physical audio mixer....






stevespaw  
#16 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 10:00:07 PM(UTC)
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admin wrote:


Most vMix users also don't have the benefit of physical faders and knobs like a physical audio mixer....



Actually that is how I wondered on to this issue. It is not possible to click on both mute and solo at the same time. That is what it would take to get close to the desired function.

Best,
Steve
BETech  
#17 Posted : Monday, October 30, 2017 11:14:29 PM(UTC)
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I understand you have put some thought into your reply, not being disrespectful or unkind, only clearing the way for an understanding of the terminologies, and what the words (language) imply. Good to see you refer to the function as AFL Solo, though it’s somewhat misleading. As Steve has suggested, and I agree, that the best course of action, keeping in mind your thoughts, would be to marry the SOLO function with the MUTE function. That is, call the function ‘AFL’, and when the operator presses the AFL button both the current SOLO and MUTE functions are actioned simultaneously. The sound is routed to the monitoring output while not being routed to the programme output. The fader control can then be left open and adjusted for the appropriate level. Other functions such as Gain, EQ, Compressor, Gate, Delay and the Channel Mixer can also be adjusted as required.

This facility should also be available on the Preview monitor, positioned near the scrollbar/restart/play/pause button. This will facilitate ease of operations, and allow the operator to preview sound and vision associated with the Preview input prior to going Live to Programme. And only with one button, one shortcut.

Example: (P = Preview audio after fader, AFL = Preview, After Fader Level)

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admin  
#18 Posted : Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:08:35 PM(UTC)
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I am still not quite sure why there is the need to mute the input when activating solo, but if you wish to do so, simply setup two shortcuts
for the same button, the first to mute the audio, the second to enable Solo. They will be activated in order.

To summarise:

Solo in vMix is essentially an in-place isolation audio monitoring tool, useful for confidence monitoring at the same levels and effects as live. This is also handy when live, for example if one of the speaker's mics is crackling and you don't know which one it is, Solo can be used
to do that quickly and easily. (As I have done myself on a few occasions)

For this purpose, and for the reasons previously discussed, post-fader makes the most sense and provides a lot of functionality
to the user without them needing to learn the more complex analog mixer workflow required by PFL.

If others still want to make the case for PFL, feel free to post your support, but consider the question "how will it make the average vMix user's life easier?"
This is the primary question we ask when considering new features and provide practical step by step examples where possible.
(This is also good advice for other feature requests!)

Regards,

Martin
vMix
stevespaw  
#19 Posted : Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:40:31 PM(UTC)
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Hello again,
The problem with SOLO keeps coming back to the fact that it is too late, it is already on the air. Fine in mixing bands. I want to fix that crackling mic before it is live. Or go to another source until I do.

An A1 mixing a live TV broadcast is actually rarely listening to program audio. Their focus is always "whats next". They are always clicking on PFL solos to listen to the audio quality of "whats next".

Examples:

vMix call coming up in a live show. The connection is made, everyone sees a picture with preview, but the audio person (and producer) wants to hear the audio and maybe "talkback" to the talent BEFORE they go "on-air". The talkback can happen with cell phone or many other ways. (I believe there is feature request for an integrated solution.) The point is, that the sound person MUST hear the audio from the caller before air. There are so many ways the sound could be bad.

Another example in Live sports.
Getting ready to go to a sideline reporter for timeout or halftime. The producer asks "good audio?" before going to them. How do they know?

This type of thing is the common practice of listening to the audio before air....


My 2 cents,
Steve

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admin  
#20 Posted : Wednesday, November 1, 2017 12:18:09 AM(UTC)
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Hi Steve,

You are right, but the Solo in vMix can do both! It can be used prior to going to air when the input is Muted, and also to check for the unexpected when live as well.
May I suggest that a small change to your workflow to rely on Mute rather than the Fader might solve the problem.

The fader in vMix acts as both a gain and a fader in the traditional mixer sense, so think of it as a gain pot but with the channel fader
always set to 0 or unity.

Regards,

Martin
vMix

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