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Patchmix DSP Demystified... 1985 News Articles Forum SOS TV Subscribe Shop Directory Readers' Adverts Basic MixerSearch Technique Features Information Blog DAW Tips from SOS Published in SOS November 2005 What's So Technique : Recording / Mixing 100s of great Printer-friendly version Different About articles! Patchmix DSP? Cubase We demystify the powerful internal routing and Problem-solving Digital Performer mixing engine within Emu's recent popular range of Tips Live computer audio interfaces. Sessions & Logic Sample Rates Pro Tools Martin Walker Recording Reaper Options The new range of Emu soundcards (1820M, 1820, 1212M, Reason On-line Help 0404, and by the time you read this the 1616M as well) has Sonar been selling like hot cakes, but many PC musicians find various DSP Effects aspects of their associated Patchmix DSP utility difficult to Routing comprehend. It's not that the mixer is difficult to use; more that it Patchmix DSP offers so many possible options that it can be difficult for the Tips newcomer to perform even basic tasks. More Complex Signal Paths The Patchmix DSP mixer design is based on a conventional analogue mixing console, with the
SOS Mix Rescue articles input channels on the left-hand side, main and monitor mix output channels on the right. These various input and output channels have inserts, aux sends, pan and level controls, mute and solo buttons, and so on, which generally makes perfect sense to most musicians who have been brought up with such mixers. However, there's a new breed of musicians who have only really experienced the virtual world of the software studio, and it's hardly surprising that they find this layout unfamiliar. So in this workshop I'll be covering the basic principles behind Patchmix and then explaining some of the more arcane operations. Basic Mixer Features Let's start by quickly recapping on the basic functions available. Emu have made the Patchmix DSP mixer totally configurable, so you can have as many input channels as you need, up to a maximum of sixteen in stereo — you can add extra channels at any time. I normally opt for the simplest arrangement for the task in hand in order to keep the mixer smaller on screen so that it doesn't get in the way of other windows. A label showing the channel type appears at the top of the strip, and you can drag and drop the input channels into any order in your mixer design. Some people get confused by the fact that every channel strip is labelled as Input, whether it's being used to listen to a physical signal source plugged into one of the Emu input sockets, or carrying a playback output signal from your audio application. However, in both cases you're sending these signals through the mixer either to monitor via one or more of the physical output sockets, or to route them elsewhere using sends. For each mixer channel you create using the New Strip function you must choose one of the available input options from a selection of Physical Sources comprising whatever input sockets your particular Emu card has on offer, such as the mono mic/line inputs, stereo line inputs, S/PDIF input, or ADAT inputs. Alternatively, you can select one of the Host Sources — either one of the sixteen stereo ASIO Output Sources (carrying stereo playback signals from your audio application), or the single stereo Windows Source for playback when you're using an application with Direct Sound or MME-WDM drivers and when playing back Windows sounds. Below each channel strip's label is a set of six Insert slots, into which you can insert a variety of different objects (more on these later on). Next are the pan controls, followed by two aux sends, which can be used to add variable amounts of Emu's DSP effects, such as reverb or chorus, to all the channels globally. The bottom section of the channel strip comprises a strip level fader with associated text box so that you can directly enter a suitable level in decibels. The Mute button removes the output of that channel from the mix, while Solo allows you to hear it in isolation. Finally, at the bottom there's a 'scribble strip' where you can enter a descriptive name for the channel.
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htm What's So Different About Patchmix DSP? Some audio interfaces simply hard-wire the various driver playback channels to the physical output sockets (for example. Those interfaces offering direct or 'zero latency' monitoring will also provide the option of routing physical input sockets direct to physical output sockets. If you're using the MME-WDM drivers with an application like Steinberg Wavelab. At this point. and then to choose a template from the thirty or so on offer. To help sort out Patchmix DSP routing problems. and a list of possible physical output sockets on the physical output right. you can still completely bypass and ignore the monitor mixer by choosing the direct routing options for both physical inputs and outputs. and so on). and so on) for recording. M Audio. many of the templates assume that you'll be using the Audiodock outputs 4L and 4R as Monitor outputs. so you can monitor the incoming signals during recording without any software delays.Emu's Patchmix DSP Demystified. The next step up in versatility is providing a dedicated hardware monitor mixer on the interface. so make sure these are what your amp/speakers are plugged into as well. while much of the mixer is indeed dedicated to creating a monitor mix that appears on both the Main and Monitor outputs. or output signals directly to physical output sockets. ASIO 1/2 playback comes out of Out 1/2. If this is all you want to do. while ASIO applications will probably default to ASIO Out 1/2. The secret is that. You'll probably already see the Main Mix output meter twitching in time with your signal (if not. using the Save As option that pops up to preserve any of your own existing settings for another time. for instance — or send it to a driver input so you can record lots of signals onto one stereo track of your sequencer. It may also be useful to activate the Mute buttons for these channels. Emu have taken rather a different graphical approach.com/sos/nov05/articles/emupatchmix. always put a Peak Meter in the topmost slot of each mixer channel by right-clicking on the slot and selecting 'Insert Peak Meter'. let me introduce you to the single most helpful hint of all. and either use this combined stereo signal to feed a physical output — a monitor mix on headphones for performers during the recording phase. This will show you where you have active signals. This is the approach used by manufacturers such as Edirol. read-outs of current sample rate and clock source. you've either pulled down the channel fader. as before. so that you can mix together various live input signals and playback signals from your sequencer. and hard-wire the various physical input sockets to the various driver inputs (In 1/2 to ASIO In 1/2. however. Pro lem!sol"ing #ips One of the first difficulties experienced by many users is simply getting a sound out of the mixer when attempting to play back WAV files or soft-synth sounds. Notice how Click on the Outputs button above the 'TV window'. the controls for which are on the right-hand side of the mixer window: master controls for the main and monitor outputs. and at first it appears that every signal must be routed through the entirety of the Patchmix DSP mixer. and then on the box the mixer output has marked Physical — this will display vertical strips of red and green been routed to the boxes on the left. and in many cases your sound will return immediately. The monitor output 2 de 6 31/05/2013 19:10 . or have some other Insert blocking the signal). so you remember that you're not listening to them through the monitor mixer but by directly routing them elsewhere. even if you can't hear them due to some routing problem. ASIO 3/4 from Out 3/4. activated its Mute button. In these cases. as well as the mixer's entire output section (see screenshot). plus a 'TV window' above that which displays extra context-sensitive controls. depending on the Emu card you're using.soundonsound. you can also use the Insert slots in each channel to route input signals directly to your sequencer. your output signal will be passing through the input channel strip marked Wave L/R. and Terratec. The easiest emergency advice is to load a New Session (configuration of input and output channels and routing).. To connect the Main or socket named Dock Monitor output to your choice of output socket just click on the red or Out 4 so that you green box adjacent to it — you can send either of these signals to as many simultaneous physical outputs as you wish. a useful mental trick is simply to ignore all the Patchmix DSP controls below the Insert slots.. The easiest output routing is through the monitor mixer. If you're using the 1820 or 1820M. This will reset everything to suitable defaults. Now all you need to do is make sure the output of the mixer is routed to the output socket that you're listening on. as with any other audio interface. though. To play back stereo sounds from ASIO and MME-WDM applications. this is all you need in the Patchmix DSP mixer. This is the way a lot of musicians want to work anyway. http://www.
and if you play a 22kHz system audio file. http://www. PCI Card S/PDIF L/R.1kHz or 48kHz sample rates. While ASIO drivers won't convert between sample rates behind the scenes. If you try to play back or record at a different rate from the one currently set in the hardware. it's impossible to let software applications switch sample rates for you automatically behind the scenes. and a special one for use with the Emulator X Studio sampler if you have that as well. while the sessions on the 96k and 192k pages are fixed at these sample rates. and select Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out). Sessions & Sample Rates You can save your own different configurations of the Patchmix DSP mixer (known as Sessions). or Dock Out 3L/3R). simultaneously). If you want a more direct signal path without all the extra options of the monitor mixer. There are also several restrictions on the digital ADAT and S/PDIF connections beyond 48kHz. PCI Card ADAT Out 3/4. your sequencer project may end up having its sample rate changed until the next boot.htm carries an identical signal. which is a handy when you're wanting to work on from both channels headphones. If you choose one of the supplied sessions on the 44k/48k page you can decide which of the two sample rates you want on the following page. there is one advantage in not supporting 22kHz. for use with different applications and in different scenarios. So. If at any time you want to refer back to this routing. Because of these various fundamental internal changes. ADAT transfer.com/sos/nov05/articles/emupatchmix. MME-WDM ones normally will. leaving your sequencer playback intact. just activate the Mute button of the channel in question. Emu also provide a set of about thirty default Sessions covering multitrack recording and playback. One important thing to remember is that the Patchmix DSP mixer offers DSP effects that only run at either 44. Then you have to route it to the audio application. but with separate volume. just click on the Insert in question. you'll either get an error message or just silence. balance. or HOST WAVE L/R if you're sending it to an application using MME-WDM drivers. With Emu's approach. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that 22kHz. guitar tuning. Although this may prove frustrating to some users. If your chosen line input pair (Dock In 1L/1R for instance) isn't already displayed in the Patchmix DSP mixer as a stereo channel strip you first need to use the Append New Strip option to add it to the mixer. each of the mono Dock Mic/Line inputs of the 1820/1820M models can only be routed to a stereo destination. and the connection you made will appear in the 'TV window'. and mute hear the signals controls. When the New Send Insert window appears. the 22kHz file will simply be ignored.soundonsound. let's say you want to record a stereo signal through a couple of the line input sockets and therefore want to route its signal to your audio application. for example HOST ASIO In 1/2 for any application using ASIO drivers (such as Cubase or Sonar).. For example. $ecording %ptions Next. To set your preferred sample rate directly from the Patchmix DSP utility by choosing one of the New Sessions on offer — when you click on the New Sessions button on the mixer toolbar a dialogue screen will be launched with three main tabbed pages. With the current Patchmix DSP version. and provide default sessions with no effects processing. This is because the Emu range doesn't currently support these sample rates at all. 88. So. and 176kHz haven't been mentioned. right-click on an empty Insert slot. although you could for instance route mono input Mic/Line A to the ASIO 1/2 inputs of your sequencer and pan it hard 3 de 6 31/05/2013 19:10 . This is the approach to use when (for instance) you want to send eight ASIO channels from Cubase SX to individual ADAT outputs — just create one stereo send for each of the four ASIO channel pairs.Emu's Patchmix DSP Demystified. the Emu range (along with various others including Edirol's UA and FA ranges) require you to set the appropriate sample rate manually. the interface automatically accommodating you by changing its current rate behind the scenes. Right-click on one of its Insert slots. and then choose where you want to send it to.2kHz. I've created some that incorporate the settings needed to transfer digitally to and from my portable DAT recorder. although with most audio interfaces you can load and play WAV files at almost any sample rate. choose the desired physical output from the drop-down list (for example. Depending on the interface model.. select the Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out) option.
and a few have simultaneously. and are therefore ideal for adding effects for monitoring purposes (such as reverb during vocal recordings) when you want the recordings themselves totally dry to retain more flexibility during mixdown. as well as dealing with integrating these products into all the major sequencers. suffered crackling and synchronisation problems with some host applications. and our two mono channel-strip signals will end up in the sequencer as a stereo pair. As with an analogue mixing desk. DSP Effects $outing The bundled effects are roughly equivalent in quality to a mid-range hardware unit. The most popular are the unofficial Emu forums at www. you still wouldn't be able to use ASIO 2 for a second mono input channel. could record creating the appropriate ASIO channel strips in the Emu mixer. 4 de 6 31/05/2013 19:10 .productionforums.asp.Emu's Patchmix DSP Demystified. routing each one to a different ASIO output. Thankfully version 1.com/sos/nov05/articles/emupatchmix. Once you're sure this routing is working. and select Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out).co. will convert two mono mic inputs Now mute the two channel strips (the pre-fader option we used earlier into a single stereo prevents the Aux 1 signals disappearing at this point). and then drag and drop the desired effect across to an empty Insert slot in the appropriate channel. Choose a stereo HOST ASIO destination. Some musicians have apparently experienced Emu Power FX tracks settings disappearing when reloading Cubase songs. but making sure that you tick the Aux Send Pre-fader option in the New Mixer Strip dialogue. and then routing the treated signals to physical clean and outputs or back into the sequencer application..com/emu /default. and the second hard right.uk/forum) is primarily a forum dedicated to Emu hardware samplers. This can be frustrating if you're wanting to record with stereo mic pairs. Set the master Aux 1 Send to 0dB. and move to the input in your Aux Effects section of the mixer. The final step is to right-click on the first master Aux 1 Insert .1kHz or 48kHz sample rates. then remember that there are also plenty of ways that you can use the DSP effects within the Patchmix DSP mixer.com/phpbb). there's a way round this limitation. but does host one for the Emulator X as well. and run internally at 32-bit resolution and 44. as do the Studio-central Community Forums (http://studio-central. On-line Help You'll find lots of posts about Emu soundcards and the Emulator X soft sampler in the SOS Web Forum. Emus On Acid (www. This is where the functions of the Patchmix DSP mixer start to outstrip most of the competition. pan the first strip hard left. adding the a guitar both effects as just described. and you can now access the various Emu DSP effects hardware directly from within your chosen sequencer application as ASIO plug-ins. First. If this turns out to be a problem for you. or if you'd like to use the two inputs as extra stereo line inputs. but sequencer. the master Aux 1 Return to its minimum -132dB setting. since you're not using any of your PC's native processing power to run the effects — you just left-click on the FX button to launch the Effects Palette window. and set each of the Aux 1 send controls to 0dB — this results in the two Here's a setup that mono signals being sent to the stereo Aux 1 bus.soundonsound. effects onto Just choose the plug-in marked Emu Power FX.. then drag and drop one of separate the available DSP effects into an Insert slot in the Emu Power FX plug-in sequencer window.htm left so it only appears on the ASIO 1 input as a mono source. create the two channel strips for Mic/Line A and Mic/Line B. allowing you to send the two channel strips into your sequencer as a single stereo input. Next. I've also discovered two more web sites with useful information. save the Session for later use.emusonacid. despite the fact that these forums are not run by Emu themselves. You'll also find that Emu staff regularly put in an appearance with 'official' answers. However. the two aux sends come after all the Inserts. which cover all of Emu's interfaces and software. With earlier versions of the Patchmix DSP mixer it was confusing trying to Using this add different DSP effects to multiple playback channels — the process channel strip involved creating a number of stereo output buses in your chosen setup you multitrack audio application. but there are other resources that cater more specifically for Emu-owning musicians. If your Emu soundcard is one of the ones bundled with Emu's Emulator X sampler.6 with external made life far easier. http://www. since the ASIO 1/2 pair is now greyed out as an option.
previously called Cool Edit Pro) will therefore be restricted to stereo-only operation. you've probably loaded a Session containing -10dBV instead of +4dBu output levels — you can change them by clicking the Session Settings button and selecting the I/O page. if you add an Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out) to one of the Host ASIO In options. This will save both time and frustration. just plug your guitar into the Line A or B inputs. if an input channel has (from top to bottom) peak meter. but also record it dry (in other words with no added effects) in case the sound needs to change later on.. This is because the high-gain RIAA-equalised turntable (phono) preamp shares these input channels. distortion. and again Emu have made this comparatively easy — you just route the stereo signal in question to an ASIO output in your multitrack sequencer application. send. and then choose the Insert Send/Return (Physical Output And Input) option in one of its Insert slots. However. including the configuration of the PCI card's optical input and output (ADAT or S/PDIF). if you choose the stereo MME-WDM E-DSP Wave output option in an application like Wavelab. If you create a useful mixer setup. don't forget to save it for posterity with a descriptive name so you can use it again later on. For example. but hear the EQ'd version when monitoring through the DSP mixer. and these do support full multitrack operation. you'll get a clean signal sent to your audio application.Emu's Patchmix DSP Demystified. Choose the physical output and input sockets to which you want to attach your external effects (including S/PDIF if your hardware effects box has digital I/O and you need a cleaner signal path that doesn't pass through A-D and D-A converters). Similarly. You can even send signals from one application to another through the mixer. Only those few multitrack applications that don't offer ASIO driver support (such as Adobe's Audition. plus the combined stereo mix from a set of hardware MIDI synths being triggered from MIDI tracks. add an Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out) near the top of the Insert chain to any available 'Host ASIO In' to send this dry signal to your 5 de 6 31/05/2013 19:10 . http://www. why not add compression. You may instead want to patch external hardware effects into some sequencer tracks. or a complete chain of effects. More &omplex Signal Paths If you want to record the mixed-down stereo output from your MIDI+Audio sequencer. Conversely. Emu's WDM drivers currently only support a single stereo input and output. click on their channel Mute buttons.com/sos/nov05/articles/emupatchmix. to a guitar input in real time? The channel Inserts operate on the signal from the top to the bottom slot. Another example of a complex setup that's easy to create is where a guitarist wants to record a guitar with Pod-style modelling effects. To do this on the 1820M. the vast majority of professional audio applications now support ASIO-format drivers.soundonsound. its signal will appear in the Patchmix DSP mixer on the Wave L/R stereo playback input strip.. distortion. and send Inserts will record the distorted signal as well as monitoring it. For instance. so bear this in mind when setting up more complex routing. Don't worry if you can see signal activity on a peak meter inserted in the 1820/M Dock In 3L/3R inputs when you have nothing plugged into these jack inputs (or hear lots of hiss coming from this stereo channel through the monitor mixer). make sure this ASIO output appears as a channel strip in the Patchmix DSP mixer. which some musicians find incredibly restricting. Then you can tune the instrument to the test tone. Just create your combined mix using the various input strips. This will ensure that background noise levels remain as low as possible on the main mix output. but hopefully this will change in the future. and EQ Inserts. just click on the channel's Mute button. this stereo signal can be recorded directly into Cubase/Nuendo or any other ASIO-compatible application. and remains active until you plug something into the Line 3 L/R jack sockets. Patchmix DSP Tips If you think your playback signals are quieter than normal. a guitar sent through an input channel with peak meter. Just temporarily insert the oscillator on any mixer channel not playing back the instrument in question and type in the desired frequency — such as 440Hz for a concert 'A'. it's easy using the Patchmix DSP functions. Just drag and drop the desired effects to Insert slots on the input channel you're using — remember that you can re-order them by dragging them around as well.htm For instance. The Insert Test-tone/Signal Generator includes a sine-wave oscillator that I've found really handy for tuning instruments. where you'll find all the current settings of both inputs and outputs. to minimise any contribution from the mic preamps when you're not using them. To remove this hiss from the monitor mixer output. Then. and then add an Insert Send (Output To ASIO/WAVE Or Physical Out) to one of the Main Inserts to return this combined mix to a stereo input pair on your sequencer.
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