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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Multimedia
mhWaveEdit needs numerically calibrated mixer
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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1074
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 07 Jul 2011, 12:25    Post subject:  mhWaveEdit needs numerically calibrated mixer  

Here's why Retrovol won't do as a mixer for mhWaveEdit. The yellow-on-white-background is very hard to see, especially the leading edge of the yellow. In practice, user can only get precise settings in one direction, by increasing the yellow line. Once the yellow edge has exceeded the desired setting, user must wipe the yellow edge back by dragging the mouse back, to start again at a lower setting. To observe the movement of the yellow line (end/edge), user must employ a magnifying glass to see increments occupied by yellow color. I have observed a 20% variation in maximum modulation levels in changing by just 1 increment on the scale. The tip of the mouse pointer is almost half an increment wide. This is too imprecise (and tedious) to be dragging a mouse to adjust levels. Numerical controls are needed, and, thus, another mixer.

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6448
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 04:06    Post subject:  

Quote:
The yellow-on-white-background is very hard to see

The colours in retrovol are configurable - have a look in the options.
But by default I think it is yellow on red-brown.

Quote:
In practice, user can only get precise settings in one direction

OK, this sounds very strange. For me retrovol behaves exactly the same going down as going up. It is as precise as it could be, but it does look strange because each increment is not necessarily the same - sometimes it goes up by 3% and other times by 4%. This is rounding error - sound cards typically have I think 31 different volume levels. You might like to try changing the volume in alsamixer to see Smile

Quote:
The tip of the mouse pointer is almost half an increment wide. This is too imprecise (and tedious) to be dragging a mouse to adjust levels.

The height of the slider is also configurable.
N.B. if you set it right you can even get the slider to move the same distance for each one of the volume increments.

Quote:
Numerical controls are needed

If you set the height right you can use the mouse scroll wheel with one notch on the wheel changing the volume by one increment.

Quote:
and, thus, another mixer.

You're welcome to use alsamixer, or install another mixer.

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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
Posts: 1074
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 12:52    Post subject:  

Oh ya, I changed the color from yellow to torquoise. Much better. I still hold the opinion that it is much easier to increase the color bar than to decrease it. In practice, to increase the color bar, user clicks blank space to cause an increment to be filled with color. Clicking space occupied by color will not clear color, to reduce the bar. Only dragging the color bar edge back will reduce its size. Since clicking is more precise than dragging, I maintain that increasing is easier and more accurate than decreasing. I guess I will have to make use of the Normalization feature to overcome this graphical imprecision. I am satisfied to get a peak max at 90% for the track, and then Normalize. I am curious whether normalization causes any losses. Also, is there a good way to arrange settings to minimize white noise, ambient static? I am getting way too much noise in the final outcome. In an effort to reduce noise, I switched I/O connection from Line In to Mic, because the Mic port is physically farther away from Spkr port on the media card (onboard).
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 18:48    Post subject:  

Quote:
Clicking space occupied by color will not clear color, to reduce the bar.

It does for me, although its possible we have different versions of retrovol, and your one has a bug.

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disciple

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 20:08    Post subject:  

What are you recording? You'd normally need to use the normalisation feature anyway.
Assuming mhWaveEdit does true normalization "uniformly increasing (or decreasing) the amplitude of an entire audio signal so that the resulting peak amplitude matches a desired target (the norm)." then it should be lossless.

Quote:
Also, is there a good way to arrange settings to minimize white noise, ambient static?

I've heard sometimes this will be caused by a bad sound card. Otherwise in my experience minimising noise is mostly about playing with the location and orientation of all your equipment and cables. Unplug anything else electrical nearby, especially if it has a transformer. Keep your sound cables away from power cables. Try different cables. Sometimes I've even found that having a machine running in another part of the house, that draws a lot of current, has created noise. I haven't quite got my head around how that works, but I guess it must be causing some sort of fluctuation in the mains power.

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disciple

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PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul 2011, 20:15    Post subject:  

Quote:
I switched I/O connection from Line In to Mic, because the Mic port is physically farther away from Spkr port on the media card (onboard).

Personally I would have thought that you should use a mic on the mic port, and a line in on a line in port Smile

You might find you can decrease the amount of noise by turning down the volume controls for anything you're not actually using, too. And I guess it is possible that removing add-on PCI cards etc could help.

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nubc


Joined: 23 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jul 2011, 09:53    Post subject:  

I turned down the volume on the external speakers while recording. There was some improvement in static, but it's still a problem. In Retrovol, you can click to decrease the color area by increment, but you do this by clicking the adjacent colored increment, to the left of the increment you wish to clear of color. Easier to see this with the new color scheme (torquoise on white).

I wonder if there is much difference in outcome between the Mic input and the Line input. Probably a matter of frequency response.

Last edited by nubc on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 08:05; edited 1 time in total
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disciple

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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jul 2011, 18:58    Post subject:  

nubc wrote:
In Retrovol, you can click to decrease the color area by increment, but you do this by clicking the increment before (to the left of) the increment you wish to clear of color.

Not on my machine... maybe you should play around with the slider width setting (I was talking about height before, but I didn't realise you were using horizontal sliders).

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