Hopes for Next dLive Feature Update

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of RuneS RuneS 3 days, 6 hours ago.

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  • #122005
    Profile photo of Jacob
    Jacob
    Participant

    Howdy folks! Debated on where to put this, but this seems like the right spot. Is anyone else dying to get news of the next dLive feature update? I feel like I’ve been anticipating it since the end of last year. There have been some discussions over on Reddit in r/livesound about what the next update might contain, which have been fun. For this thread, I was curious to see what people hope might make it into this next release. I’ll start:

    – EQ emulations! Specifically the Pultec EQP-1A equalizer. I’d be fine with this replacing the parametric EQ, but it would be nice to be able to assign it to one of the inserts too (maybe via the RackFX?).
    – An emulation of the Empirical Labs Distressor compressor. On the topic of compressors, it would be nice to be able to assign dPack compressors in the RackFX so that they could be assigned as inserts.
    – A dPack limiter would be nice for broadcast mixes.
    – More capable buss to buss routing. Specifically being able to send more than one group to another group, without having to burn a matrix and input channel.
    – Improved embedded scene recall management. Right now editing the list of embedded scenes to recall is pretty cumbersome. I’d love to have the scene names present in the list and I’d also like to be able to reorder that list on the fly via drag and drop.
    – This one is a real stretch, but writing out my wish list got me thinking… it would be awesome to get more flexible channel strip processing. I’m thinking along the lines of a rack in Waves SuperRack, where you can order your plugin chain however you like. Imagine if on each channel strip you had the ability to reorder any of the processing. Additionally, what if instead of the PEQ and Comp tabs you had two or more freely assignable “plugin” slots where you could assign any dPack unit, RackFX, or Insert. This would be super cool, but it’s probably super impractical without a ton of engineering effort.

    Your turn! What do you hope makes it into the next update? I love the dLive platform and want to continue to see meaningful updates to it. That said, everyone keep in mind, “Expectations are the thief of joy.” Happy mixing!

    #122024
    Profile photo of Raunoa
    Raunoa
    Participant

    I am very pleased with the dLive system and currently do not have any requests for additional plugins or FX, as I am able to achieve everything I need with my sound. However, there are several usability issues that could be greatly improved. Most of these involve UI/UX errors, which might not be difficult to fix but are crucial for simplifying the user experience.

    • DCA Signal Indicator – It would be helpful to see if any channel under a DCA have a sound.
    • Touchscreen Functionality (Mute & Selection) – Currently, I can scroll through channels at the bottom of the screen when they do not fit, but it would be beneficial to be able to select channels by tapping them. Ideally, this feature could be toggled on or off. I would find this extremely useful as it would allow me to select a channel directly on the screen instead of having to locate it among my fader list.
    • Timeline View of Embedded Scenes – For timed scenes using the embedded features, a timeline view showing when triggers occur and their duration would be advantageous.
    • Custom Layer (Softkey) – Currently, layers such as A, B, C, D, E, F exist, but it would be great to create additional layers under Softkeys, like G, H, I, J, etc. Using “scenes” to trigger more layers is a workaround, but it’s not an ideal solution for professional use.
    • Compact View in MixRack -> Config -> Input Stereos – I would like the ability to view all 128 channels in a single view to avoid scrolling.
    • User Settings in Show File – It is cumbersome to manage multiple show files with different user settings. I have to remember the exact names I’ve used and recreate them manually for users who log in through the CCApp.
    • 5.1 Panning View Under Groups – Currently, there is no 5.1 panning view available under Groups. Although I have managed to create 5.1 surround sound mixes, the process is overly complex. I would appreciate being able to use more groups, but this limitation makes it impractical. Additionally, the LFE channel cannot be assigned under Surface -> Control -> Surface Prefs.

    These enhancements would significantly improve the functionality and user experience of the dLive system.

    #122053
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    That plus all the other stuff 😁

    If you want my Top 10 list I’d have to think about it, but off the top of my head, momentary (un)mutes so that I can have an FX send turned on for words or phrases (maybe that should include momentary inserts for if I’m using a pitch shifter or something), and the ability to reorder channels and mixes so can keep the desk more organized. I’m running monitors from FoH and it can be challenging enough to keep all the recall filtering straight when stuff is conveniently grouped together — it becomes a bit of a nightmare if the filtering becomes a patchwork.

    #122065
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    #1 – In addition to having a global “pick point” for Direct Sends, we need to have a per channel option as well.
    #2 – A much more robust scene filter system. The current filter system works fine, but it doesn’t cover all the settings, or at least not on a “per channel” basis. It needs to allow for more granular control.
    #3 – Expanding the custom button setup to add some sort of macro system (the ability to do multiple functions) and expand the available options in general.
    #4 – Improve the processing options on the channel strip. For example, it would be great if we could add a de-esser without burning an FX slot. It would also be great if an additional “slot” or two was added so this type of processing could be added without having to replace something already in place (gate, eq, compressor, etc) or to be able to stack compressors, etc.

    #122069
    Profile photo of Jacob
    Jacob
    Participant

    In response to Raunoa’s post:

    Timeline View of Embedded Scenes – For timed scenes using the embedded features, a timeline view showing when triggers occur and their duration would be advantageous.

    I love this idea! If they could incorporate this into a rework of the embedded recall menu, that would be terrific.

    Custom Layer (Softkey) – Currently, layers such as A, B, C, D, E, F exist, but it would be great to create additional layers under Softkeys, like G, H, I, J, etc. Using “scenes” to trigger more layers is a workaround, but it’s not an ideal solution for professional use.

    Similar to this, I’ve adopted faux “pop groups”, which are really just DCAs, but I don’t have the DCA fader anywhere on my surface. Instead, I have a soft key configured with the mix key of the DCA, which activates the DCA spill functionality. Just another potential work around for you.

    Touchscreen Functionality (Mute & Selection) – Currently, I can scroll through channels at the bottom of the screen when they do not fit, but it would be beneficial to be able to select channels by tapping them. Ideally, this feature could be toggled on or off. I would find this extremely useful as it would allow me to select a channel directly on the screen instead of having to locate it among my fader list.

    Agreed. A way to select any given channel or bus, without needing to have it on the surface, would be nice. The fact that I have to add the channel or bus to the surface so that I can push the select key seems silly.

    #122070
    Profile photo of Raunoa
    Raunoa
    Participant

    Similar to this, I’ve adopted faux “pop groups”, which are really just DCAs, but I don’t have the DCA fader anywhere on my surface. Instead, I have a soft key configured with the mix key of the DCA, which activates the DCA spill functionality. Just another potential work around for you.

    Yes, I also use DCAs like Pop Groups extensively, but this introduces potential for errors. For example, during setup and testing, one might accidentally lower a fader. Or, perhaps a DCA used in the 1-12 or 13-24 group in the Recall Filter might be accidentally overwritten in one scene. There are many potential risks associated with grouping audio under one shortcut just to simplify control. That’s why adopting a solution like G, H, etc., would be a more professional way to group without introducing new issues. 🙂

    #122071
    Profile photo of Jacob
    Jacob
    Participant

    In response to Brian:

    #1 – In addition to having a global “pick point” for Direct Sends, we need to have a per channel option as well.

    Totally! In addition, I think we need more options for aux send tap points. Not sure why we don’t have options for “Post Filter”, “Post Gate”, “Post Ins B Ret”, or “Post Comp”. It would also be great to be able to select this on a per channel basis. This would be helpful when mixing FoH and monitors from the same desk. Take a vocalist in a typical band as an example. I may want to provide them with an uncompressed version of their vocal mic, but I may want to maintain the compression of everything else being sent to their mix. Right now you have to duplicate the vocal mic channel and send that to their mix. Sure, there’s a lot more processing you get as a result, but you may not have the channel count to support that. It also makes your configuration more complex.

    #4 – Improve the processing options on the channel strip. For example, it would be great if we could add a de-esser without burning an FX slot. It would also be great if an additional “slot” or two was added so this type of processing could be added without having to replace something already in place (gate, eq, compressor, etc) or to be able to stack compressors, etc.

    Yes! Having a de-esser available on every channel would be nice. You could use a Dyn8 engine to help reduce sibilance, but those aren’t available on every channel either.

    That said, the main improvement here would be having some sort of “wildcard” processing slot. To recap what’s currently available:
    – Preamp
    – Filter
    – Gate
    – Ins A
    – PEQ
    – Comp
    – Ins B
    – Delay

    Maybe we could get a new “dPack” processing block after “Comp” where you could assign any existing dPack plugin (like another compressor). Then they could “port” the existing de-esser to dPack. Better yet, convert the existing “Comp” block to another hypothetical “dPack” block for a little extra versatility. So you’d end up with something like this:
    – Preamp
    – Filter
    – Gate
    – Ins A
    – PEQ
    – dPack Slot A (dynamics, EQ, and saturation plugins)
    – dPack Slot B (dynamics, EQ, and saturation plugins)
    – Ins B
    – Delay

    #122099
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    Remember, the system is latency compensated and mixes to phase coherent signals on the outputs or busses.
    And the overall latency is around 0.7ms.
    Per channel definable direct out points will lead to out of sync signals at the destination.
    Additional plugins will stretch the latency if they need to get compensated.
    These two points are significant for the superior sound achievable with the dLive systems.
    Changing this, in the suggested manner, will change the sound quality to the worst.

    Not sure why we don’t have options for “Post Filter”, “Post Gate”, “Post Ins B Ret”, or “Post Comp”.

    Aux send points are similar for inputs, fx returns and groups.
    Groups have no gate and no insert B.

    – An emulation of the Empirical Labs Distressor compressor.

    The Distressor is an emulation of classic compressors. We have emulations of the origins already.

    Agreed. A way to select any given channel or bus, without needing to have it on the surface, would be nice. The fact that I have to add the channel or bus to the surface so that I can push the select key seems silly.

    DCA spill can help here as well. Just select the DCA and add the channel you need in the routing screen to your “POP” group.
    And it scrolls much better than the south area metering view.
    Or assign the select key of that channel to a soft key?

    #122118
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    Remember, the system is latency compensated and mixes to phase coherent signals on the outputs or busses.
    And the overall latency is around 0.7ms.

    Let’s be clear – while the system has latency compensation for the internal processing, it does not mean that audio from different sources is automatically time aligned and is phase coherent. Right now, individual audio paths will have different total latency times through the system depending on the source of that audio – ie local Surface I/O vs MixRack I/O vs DX I/O connected to the Mixrack vs Expansion Card Slot I/O, etc. No one complains about the possibility of phase issues due to this fact because in real life the chances of having problems is almost zero.

    Similarly, having per channel definable direct out pick points would have the same potential to cause phasing issues on these outputs but in real life it really shouldn’t be an issue. That’s because phasing is really only a concern when the exact same signal is sent to the same destination with different latency times. Different sources/channels can be sent to the same destination with slightly different latency times and not cause any problems. Likewise, duplicated channels can have different direct out pick points and go to different destinations and not cause any issues too. The only time it would be an issue is if someone took the same exact audio through two different routes/channels and picked different direct out pick points for them and sent them to the exact same destination. It’s possible, but unlikely this would happen. It’s also completely fixable if someone really needs to do this through the application of an appropriate delay on the faster signal.

    As far as adding more “processing slots”, you are correct that this would add a few microseconds (fractions of milliseconds) to the total potential internal processing latency and would need to be accounted for just like all the other processing is. This would be a simple thing to account for however and I doubt it would even push the total latency time past “0.7ms”.

    #122119
    Profile photo of Jacob
    Jacob
    Participant

    Regarding latency compensation, I hear you. It’s a feature that I appreciate on dLive. That said, I would accept a certain amount of additional latency if it resulted in more flexibility or additional DEEP plugins. Ideally it would be an optional workflow, with a disclaimer indicating the additional latency. It’s worth pointing out that Allen&Heath are already willing to compromise the latency compensation of the console with insert based processing, most notably the Dyn8 engines. Those add 4 samples of latency and it is not compensated for (see What-are-phase-coherent-mixes?). So dLive users already need to be aware that certain workflows break the 0.7ms latency figure and require manual compensation.

    #122124
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    More latency makes it a me too product.

    The very low latency sets it apart from many other systems.
    It’s a real bummer for high-end monitoring solutions.

    In the end, it all depends on the implementation.
    I would love to see a more flexible processing chain, but would not sacrifice the very low latency of the system.

    #122200
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    Latency compensation is fantastic for multiple mics on the same source (like drums mics or having A and B mics on a guitar), but I don’t really care if the drum mics are time-aligned with the guitar mics, and would gladly sacrifice that in exchange for more processing options on the affected channels.

    Not sure what the best user interface for a feature like that would look like, but there’s gotta be a way to make it intuitive (or at least “intuitive enough”, given that we’re talking about a fairly advanced subject).

    #122205
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    If a DAW would not have latency compensation the complaints would be endless.

    #122215
    Profile photo of RuneS
    RuneS
    Participant

    First, just a note on the 0.7ms latency. I actually think there is headroom to stay on that number while compensating for Dyn8. I think it is simply a complex task to do latency compensation on the inserts. dLive gets around latency compensation by beeing screaming fast. I can’t remember if its 0.5ms or 0.6ms end to end. The 0.7ms is a constant so it just needs to allign things within that envelope. A plugin in a DAW can have any amount of latency on any plugin on any channel. That is why delay compensation is essential. If it was only a couple of samples then people probably wouldn’t care as much.

    On a different note. While I know some cool stuff is coming up in 2.0 (and I personally love cool stuff) I just hope that we can get the simple stuff fixed also. Things like better show file handling (write protection, longer names, sorting etc.), correct handling og stereo processing when using ganging (both for compression and for Dyn8), DCA/Mute Group opt-out (so you are not screwed if you need to unmute a single channel in a DCA!), full single click copy/paste of channels including names, mix, and preamp gain (and perhaps the ability to move channels around, and not just the fader layout), faster show load-times, easier stereo ganging (and more than 16 gangs), making the FX auxes normal auxes (so that we don’t loose the bank overview when using normal busses for FX since these are obviously better) and the list goes on.

    #122236
    Profile photo of Jacob
    Jacob
    Participant

    Being able to copy/paste whole channels would be great!

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