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Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:28 pm
by chrysalis33rpm
I have a kind of obscure audio question which I wonder if anyone on here could help with:

I want to create a Split Cue buss using the outputs of my DJ controller.

My controller, like most DJ controllers, doesn't have Split Cue functionality. (Split Cue, found on higher end or older DJ mixers, sends the stereo output of the Master buss to one side of a pair of headphones, and the stereo output of the Cue buss to the other side at the push of a button).

I want to take the Master & Cue outputs of my DJ controller and plug them into another device which will ideally replicate Split Cue functionality. It seems like there must be some combination of gear out there to do that, but I can't quite find it!

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:40 pm
by Stromkraft
chrysalis33rpm wrote:
I want to take the Master & Cue outputs of my DJ controller
You know your "DJ controller", but currently we don't so it's somewhat hard to give advice without knowing the details, for the audio paths and even if this is a Live question or not. So more details?

In Live my first thought was to convert stereo to mono with Utility, pan this to opposite sides in two tracks and send both these to a pre-listen buss.

Personally I think Split cue is not how I want to listen, but everyone have their preferences.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:23 pm
by chrysalis33rpm
Well, it's not a Live question at all so let's clear that up.

The controller is a VCI-400 for what it's worth.

It's got a stereo master out (RCA) and a stereo cue out (1/4") like any of hundreds of mixers and controllers like it.

Thanks.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:36 am
by TomKern
Just to clarify?

Split cue allows you to switch between 1.) the regular stereo output and 2.) mono regular output on one side and mono cue output on the other side of your headphones?

That sounds like something that could be useful in a live mixing context in loud clubs. Especially to dial in a new sound at the right volume.

Unfortunately I don't see how you could achieve that since you always have to pair your outputs as either 1/2 stereo OR 1 (mono) & 2 (Mono) + (Cue) 3/4 stereo OR 3 (mono) & 4 (Mono)
But never 1 (Mono) + 3 (Mono).

But if the master minds of the forum come up with a workaround I would like to try that method as well 8)

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:15 pm
by Stromkraft
chrysalis33rpm wrote:Well, it's not a Live question at all so let's clear that up.

The controller is a VCI-400 for what it's worth.

It's got a stereo master out (RCA) and a stereo cue out (1/4") like any of hundreds of mixers and controllers like it.
OK. At any rate I think the steps I described are necessary also outside of Live:
  • convert both stereo channels, from Master Output and 1 raw Cue or 2 Cues, to mono
  • pan these to opposite sides
  • send both panned signals to the stereo cue out
Do you see any way you can get into the signal path to achieve this? I assume here with the first step that it's important not to have just one side of each channel.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:06 pm
by chrysalis33rpm
Stromkraft wrote:
chrysalis33rpm wrote:Well, it's not a Live question at all so let's clear that up.

The controller is a VCI-400 for what it's worth.

It's got a stereo master out (RCA) and a stereo cue out (1/4") like any of hundreds of mixers and controllers like it.
OK. At any rate I think the steps I described are necessary also outside of Live:
  • convert both stereo channels, from Master Output and 1 raw Cue or 2 Cues, to mono
  • pan these to opposite sides
  • send both panned signals to the stereo cue out
Do you see any way you can get into the signal path to achieve this? I assume here with the first step that it's important not to have just one side of each channel.
Yeah, you get it, and I can get the signal to do that in software. (traktor FWIW)

But the trick is - I need to be able to turn it on and off, ideally at the press of a button, but I would gladly take a couple knob twists as well. I don't want to listen to my Master mix in one ear all night - only while cueing the next track. The software won't do that.

If you're wondering why I want to do this, I need to be able to mix music accurately while not waking the neighbors.

If you're wondering why I am asking this here and not on the Native Instruments forum, well, I have found in the past that people who can answer questions like this hang out here.

Obviously this would be trivial in Live, which is one reason to love Live, but I don't use live to DJ.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:59 am
by TomKern
Here's how I would do it in Live: (even though OP doesn't seem to want it in Live, but since I wanted to try it myself I just experimented a bit and thought I'd share)

It's a mix of Stromkrafts suggestions and some add on ideas

Starting situation: several Audio/MIDI tracks that I would like to cue at different times in addition to the summed Master signal.

Since the cue signal can't be processed after it turned into a cue signal, all processing has to happen before on a bus. To route the signals to a bus means one can not use the "Cue" buttons on the tracks for that. So instead one can use a return track and the respective send volume dials on the tracks. (Assuming Return A for example:)

1: So put a Utility on Return A. Set the width to 0 and the panorama to 50L.
1a: Assign the Send A volumes on all tracks you want to cue to as many buttons on your controller

2: Make a new audio track and name it "Cue+Master".

3: Set the "Audio To" of Return A to "Cue+Master"

4: Make another audio track and name it "Master Bus Mono".

5: Put a Utility on this track. Set the width to 0 and the panorama to 50R

6: Set its "Audio From" to "Master" and its "Audio TO" to "Cue+Master"

7: Make another audio track and name it "Master Bus Stereo".
and set its "Audio From" to "Master" as well

8: Set the "Audio To" of "Cue+Master" and "Master Bus Stereo" to "Ext Out" and 1/2 (or whichever your cue is on your sound card)

9: Assign the Mute buttons on "Cue+Master" and "Master Bus Stereo" to the same button on your MIDI controller such that when one is muted the other is not.



Done 8)

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:12 pm
by Stromkraft
chrysalis33rpm wrote:
Yeah, you get it, and I can get the signal to do that in software. (traktor FWIW)
Yes, I use Traktor 2 myself. I don't see how you can do this in any other place than your audio interface mixer, if you have one. If you can find a way to do it inside Traktor then I think you'll be able to find a good way to trigger this with your DJ controller. I'm even using Push 1 as my main controller for Djing with Traktor.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:04 pm
by chrysalis33rpm
In Traktor you sum both Cue and Master busses to mono using the "Mono" checkbox in the prefs and assign the outputs of the Master to the one channel of your audio interface's headphone out, assign the the Cue bus to the other channel of the headphone. (One channel of Master and one channel of Cue buss goes unused, but since they are summed to mono, it makes no difference.) That gets you Split Cue, but to turn it on and off you have to open up the preferences (since preferences are of course not midi assignable). That doesn't work for DJing, of course.

Anyway thanks for the interest and the suggestions, I think I have a solution with a small outboard mixer, I will post back here once I buy it and test it.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:06 pm
by chrysalis33rpm
TomKern wrote:Here's how I would do it in Live: (even though OP doesn't seem to want it in Live, but since I wanted to try it myself I just experimented a bit and thought I'd share)

It's a mix of Stromkrafts suggestions and some add on ideas

Starting situation: several Audio/MIDI tracks that I would like to cue at different times in addition to the summed Master signal.

Since the cue signal can't be processed after it turned into a cue signal, all processing has to happen before on a bus. To route the signals to a bus means one can not use the "Cue" buttons on the tracks for that. So instead one can use a return track and the respective send volume dials on the tracks. (Assuming Return A for example:)

1: So put a Utility on Return A. Set the width to 0 and the panorama to 50L.
1a: Assign the Send A volumes on all tracks you want to cue to as many buttons on your controller

2: Make a new audio track and name it "Cue+Master".

3: Set the "Audio To" of Return A to "Cue+Master"

4: Make another audio track and name it "Master Bus Mono".

5: Put a Utility on this track. Set the width to 0 and the panorama to 50R

6: Set its "Audio From" to "Master" and its "Audio TO" to "Cue+Master"

7: Make another audio track and name it "Master Bus Stereo".
and set its "Audio From" to "Master" as well

8: Set the "Audio To" of "Cue+Master" and "Master Bus Stereo" to "Ext Out" and 1/2 (or whichever your cue is on your sound card)

9: Assign the Mute buttons on "Cue+Master" and "Master Bus Stereo" to the same button on your MIDI controller such that when one is muted the other is not.



Done 8)
Cool man, at some point I am sure I will want to do this in Live (in fact I have considered routing audio from Traktor into Live just for this, but that seems like overkill) and I will try your method.

Re: Adding Split Cue to a signal chain

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:46 pm
by TomKern
Just one more note: If one wants to use this to behave as a normal cue does. i.e. you can hear the signal of your track in the cue channel even if you haven't brought it in yet (so you don't hear it in the summed master yet), one would have to set the Return A to "pre" fader.