Old 04-25-2017, 12:16 AM   #1
Glacierise
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Default Smartphone live monitoring

Hi guys,

I'm building a live rig for my band based on Reaper in OS X - I got a 2015 MacBook pro at a bargain.
All is working great with the help of the great Reaper community - I've set up backing tracks, automated patch changes for our guitars, streaming lyrics to the vocalists' phones using the web interface, fantastic stuff.

Now what I really need is to send a synth line to the vocalists' in ear headphones, to help them in singing their stuff correctly. In ear monitoring gear is expensive and logistically heavy, so I was hoping for a solution similar to the Reaper web interface, but with audio streaming at reasonable latencies. Sounds like something that would be popular, but I'm not finding much on the topic. Myxyr sounds great - https://www.myxyr.com/en/ but its casting VST is not available on OS X. I will try the plugwire route to get it to work on OS X soon.

Any other ideas? Would be great to hear what people have tried, what works well and what doesn't - I'm new to this.

Thanks!

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Old 04-25-2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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I've set up backing tracks, automated patch changes
Great !

There is another thread in the "Tips and tricks" forum -> http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=190797 about both starting backing tracks and changing patches using LiveConfigs. I could not help regarding backing tracks, as I never did do something like this. Maybe you would be inclined to chime in there and report your findings.

Thanks a lot,
-Michael
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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Regarding the Monitoring I am rather doubtful about streaming audio via Wireless Lan. WLan is very easily disturbed and in that case will do lots of retransmissions before the information is completely received. That is why IMHO low latency transmission via WLan will not work.

-Michael
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:11 PM   #4
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Great !

There is another thread in the "Tips and tricks" forum -> http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=190797 about both starting backing tracks and changing patches using LiveConfigs. I could not help regarding backing tracks, as I never did do something like this. Maybe you would be inclined to chime in there and report your findings.

Thanks a lot,
-Michael
Well, my pre-production is in Reaper already, so it's quite natural to simply configure the project file for live use. The backing tracks stay put, the live performed ones get muted originals and armed for performance.All it takes is a few snapshots with different input routings and some custom actions to switch them on marker positions. Add some layout changes for a marker action at the end of the track which switches the display to a big tuner and mutes guitars. All songs in the set are loaded using the SWS project loader. The project selector from SWS is used to chose the next track, and a marker action at the start of the track switches to live layout and loads the right snapshot. I'll open up a new topic about all that, I've had a lot of fun with it! Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:19 PM   #5
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Regarding the Monitoring I am rather doubtful about streaming audio via Wireless Lan. WLan is very easily disturbed and in that case will do lots of retransmissions before the information is completely received. That is why IMHO low latency transmission via WLan will not work.

-Michael
That's great to know. I'll look at another route. I think I'll need about 7 outputs on my interface - two guitars, click for the drummer, stereo to PA and two for the singers. Not many interfaces with that many outputs though, I'm looking around. Does this sound like a good idea or I'm going the wrong direction? Alternatively, I could buy another Scarlet 2i4 to plug into the other USB port of my Macbook Pro, and I'll have 8 outputs?
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:47 PM   #6
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SWS project loader. The project selector from SWS is used to chose the next track, and a marker action at the start of the track switches to live layout and loads the right snapshot. I'll open up a new topic about all that, I've had a lot of fun with it! Thanks for the help!
I did not think that switching projects in whatever way would be compatible with using LiveConfigs and realtime-played VSTs. I expressed this opinion in the other thread, but maybe I was wrong.

Looking forward to your new topic on that !

If appropriate I will add this to the LiveConfigs documentation.

-Michael
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:52 PM   #7
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I could buy another Scarlet 2i4 to plug into the other USB port of my Macbook Pro, and I'll have 8 outputs?
In Windows/ASIO, some interfaces can be aggregated, some can't. It depends on the driver and on the hardware providing some means of clock-synchronizing. I can't comment regarding Mac, but I suppose the MAC OS does aggregating by re-sampling, out of the box.

-Michael
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:02 PM   #8
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In Windows/ASIO, some interfaces can be aggregated, some can't. It depends on the driver and on the hardware providing some means of clock-synchronizing. I can't comment regarding Mac, but I suppose the MAC OS does aggregating by re-sampling, out of the box.

-Michael
Ok, that's another thing I haven't considered due to inexperience, they'll need to sync. There's a cheap way to try that, I gave my old scarlett 2i2 to our other guitar player, I'll test it, thanks!
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:09 PM   #9
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That's great to know. I'll look at another route. I think I'll need about 7 outputs on my interface - two guitars, click for the drummer, stereo to PA and two for the singers. Not many interfaces with that many outputs though, I'm looking around. Does this sound like a good idea or I'm going the wrong direction? Alternatively, I could buy another Scarlet 2i4 to plug into the other USB port of my Macbook Pro, and I'll have 8 outputs?
Look at the behringer xr18 stage box...

16 combo inputs, 2 Aux in, 8 outputs (6 aux, 2 main), good preamps (Mid as), 18x18 USB daw interface (low latency), on board comps, eq, FX plus ethernet/WLAN which means you can use smartphones to control individual monitor mixes on stage.

All for £500 :-)

We've been using the xr18 in our seven piece band for a while now and it's been flawless. The only recommended addition is a 5ghz wireless router to give reliable/secure connectivity at crowded gigs and a long cat5 cable (ours is 40m) to run to a FOH laptop to run the main mix (also a backup for monitor mixes if the wifi screws up, which it never has for us, as yet anyway)
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:15 PM   #10
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I did not think that switching projects in whatever way would be compatible with using LiveConfigs and realtime-played VSTs. I expressed this opinion in the other thread, but maybe I was wrong.

Looking forward to your new topic on that !

If appropriate I will add this to the LiveConfigs documentation.

-Michael
My one gripe with liveConfigs would be that only one action is performed per event. Of course, building custom actions can envelop more stuff and it's nice, just not as visual as having an action list there in the liveConfigs menu. Other than that' it's cool. I'll do a writeup soon!
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:24 PM   #11
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Look at the behringer xr18 stage box...

16 combo inputs, 2 Aux in, 8 outputs (6 aux, 2 main), good preamps (Mid as), 18x18 USB daw interface (low latency), on board comps, eq, FX plus ethernet/WLAN which means you can use smartphones to control individual monitor mixes on stage.

All for £500 :-)

We've been using the xr18 in our seven piece band for a while now and it's been flawless. The only recommended addition is a 5ghz wireless router to give reliable/secure connectivity at crowded gigs and a long cat5 cable (ours is 40m) to run to a FOH laptop to run the main mix (also a backup for monitor mixes if the wifi screws up, which it never has for us, as yet anyway)
Thanks, I'll check it out!
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:15 AM   #12
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Look at the behringer xr18 stage box...
I also use that one very happily
-Michael
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:28 AM   #13
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The only recommended addition is a 5ghz wireless router to give reliable/secure connectivity at crowded gigs and a long cat5 cable (ours is 40m) to run to a FOH laptop to run the main mix (also a backup for monitor mixes if the wifi screws up, which it never has for us, as yet anyway)
I was under the impression that 2.4ghz was more robust with a larger range.
Is that no longer the case?

I picked up a 50' powered USB extender cable years ago for emergency use to connect the MIDI controllers directly if I ran into an interference problem. Still never used it.

I have run into interference issues a few times. Battling wi-fi with a POS system I suspect (that's Point Of Sale, not...). I've never had both systems go down at once (remote desktop on one wi-fi channel and USB MIDI controllers on a 2nd).
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:49 AM   #14
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I have run into interference issues a few times. Battling wi-fi with a POS system I suspect (that's Point Of Sale, not...).
Do you use a WiFi scanner that shows channels? If so, you can make sure your system's WiFi channel isn't overlapping with wherever you are so you can move your channel to a free range. That will solve lots of 'interference' issues.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:15 AM   #15
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Do you use a WiFi scanner that shows channels? If so, you can make sure your system's WiFi channel isn't overlapping with wherever you are so you can move your channel to a free range. That will solve lots of 'interference' issues.
I do and I'll switch channels.
My default is ch 1 for MIDI controllers and ch 11 for RDP (because ch 6 is the default in most home routers).
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:17 AM   #16
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2.4ghz or 5ghz for strongest signal with the most range and ability to go through obstacles?
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:38 AM   #17
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IIRC 5G is less cluttered/less interference with higher bandwidth at the expense of a shorter range.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:52 AM   #18
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I was under the impression that 2.4ghz was more robust with a larger range.
Is that no longer the case?

I picked up a 50' powered USB extender cable years ago for emergency use to connect the MIDI controllers directly if I ran into an interference problem. Still never used it.

I have run into interference issues a few times. Battling wi-fi with a POS system I suspect (that's Point Of Sale, not...). I've never had both systems go down at once (remote desktop on one wi-fi channel and USB MIDI controllers on a 2nd).
5Ghz router certainly has a shorter range - not sure about robustness - but that's perfect for my needs. With our band setup we have the XR18 *and* the 2/4/5GHz router onstage (it replaced our main & stage snakes) with a long ethernet cable running from the router to a FOH laptop. THe FOH runs the main mix. On stage, the 5GHz band wifi (which is more reliable - less crowded than the 2.4Ghz band because of limited range and lower device availability) lets us run 6 monitor mixes on tablets/smartphones. We have double redundancy since, if the wifi connection craps out, the whole main & mon mixes can be managed from the hardwired FOH laptop. Equally, if the laptop craps out, we can run the whole show from the stage.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:18 AM   #19
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Redundancy is the key. I run FOH with wi-fi MIDI connected controllers and a RDP connection for an iPad. I have had the occasional disconnect but never both systems at once. I think I'll stick with 2.4ghz for my 300' range.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:49 AM   #20
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In a case like this where you'd only be streaming a single, prerecorded track, you might be able to compensate for the streaming latency, but only if you could predict it. I don't know how consistent that might be, though.

I find myself wondering what y'all are doing over there at FOH? My band is mixed when we show up. I send a redundant dual mono signal to the FOH and all there is to do is adjust the SPLs. If there's somebody else "running sound" for the gig, I tell them "turn it up and blame me". That's if I don't just bring my own amps so I don't have to worry about them.

Oh! Drums. Yeah. It's always the fucking drummer! Drum triggers are the right answer, but nobody wants to try to tell the gorilla that.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:44 AM   #21
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I find myself wondering what y'all are doing over there at FOH?
Calibrating the system (FOH and monitor channels) for the room for consistent frequency balance and to avoid resonant feedback before you ever show up. Paying attention to what each of the musicians on stage is doing to make sure their sounds project into the room as intended.

Basically making sure everything is under control like that so that you guys aren't up on stage in a bubble and embarrassing the hell out of yourselves!

Sometimes you have smaller rooms and comfortable situations where you have control over everything well enough without extra help. Sometimes it's just a party and appalling embarrassing sound just doesn't matter to anyone there! (This might be most common actually.) But when it just doesn't run itself on autopilot, that's what we're doing.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:33 AM   #22
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I guess I have the special situation where all of my sources are essentially silent on stage. Nothing (aside from the vocal) makes any sound until I turn it up. So I look at it like a recording. If the mix is good, it should (does) translate reasonably well to whatever system it moves to. If that system needs to be corrected, it usually doesn't need to happen at my end.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:45 AM   #23
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But what do you do when you leave your anechoic chamber and go into random rooms with different resonances?
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:49 AM   #24
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But what do you do when you leave your anechoic chamber and go into random rooms with different resonances?
"If that system needs to be corrected, it doesn't usually need to happen at my end."

What do you do with your mixes when you take them out of the studio? If the house music before my set sounds good, I'll be fine.
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