Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

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Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Inanna » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:31 am

I've been trying out Mixxx 2.1 alpha, mostly to see the new Tango skin.

Also, I have comments about the new "Booth" output.

From experimenting with it, the Booth output seems to be an "extra" Master output with an option to exclude the microphones. Am I missing something?

While I was in university, I worked part time at a "public broadcasting" radio station, including performing sound engineer duties during live shows. Our broadcast studio (aka "booth"), at the time, had a control/mixing board with an output for studio monitor speakers. One feature of this "booth output" was that anytime a mic input was live, the studio monitors would be automatically muted. Another feature was that we could select what to send to the studio monitors (usually, we selected the "air monitor" so we could hear what our radio listeners would hear). (We could also select any of the inputs, the headphone output or, of course, the main output.)

From my (small) experience in radio broadcasting, the auto-mute future was the most useful, but the ability to select what was sent to the "booth out" was also very useful.
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Be. » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:01 am

Inanna wrote:From experimenting with it, the Booth output seems to be an "extra" Master output with an option to exclude the microphones. Am I missing something?


You are correct. It is intended for use with sound cards with at least 6 output channels like my MOTU Ultralite AVB so an external mixer is not needed to have independent volume controls for the main and booth speakers. Many DJ controllers have booth outputs but in that case the master mix is split in hardware; the software only sends one copy of the stereo master mix to the controller's sound card so the Booth output in Mixxx does not need to be configured.

Inanna wrote:While I was in university, I worked part time at a "public broadcasting" radio station, including performing sound engineer duties during live shows. Our broadcast studio (aka "booth"), at the time, had a control/mixing board with an output for studio monitor speakers. One feature of this "booth output" was that anytime a mic input was live, the studio monitors would be automatically muted.


Mixxx has an automatic ducking feature when the microphone inputs are in use, but it applies to both the Master and Booth outputs. This is to make it easier to hear talking over the music and avoid clipping if the music is at a high level when the mic is used.

Inanna wrote:Another feature was that we could select what to send to the studio monitors (usually, we selected the "air monitor" so we could hear what our radio listeners would hear). (We could also select any of the inputs, the headphone output or, of course, the main output.)

From my (small) experience in radio broadcasting, the auto-mute future was the most useful, but the ability to select what was sent to the "booth out" was also very useful.


Interesting. It would be easy to add an option to make the Booth output use the PFL (headphone) signal instead of the Master mix if that would be useful. Could you describe a hardware setup in which you might use this and what benefit it would have?
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Inanna » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:27 am

Thanks for your comments.

I'm familiar with the the "ducking" feature and use it in Mixxx. The physical control/mixing board had the same feature for it's master output, along with completely muting the booth output.

Adding this auto-mute capability to the booth output would increase its usefulness, particularly when the DJ is interviewing an in-studio/booth guest. The guest gets to listen to tracks as they are played without needing headphones, then the studio monitors are muted while the guest and/or DJ are "mic live".

As for adding the capability to choose what internal bus or source to monitor, when there are studio/booth guests (possibly for interviewing), the DJ can choose what the guests hear independently of both the master and headphone outputs.
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Be. » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:22 am

Could you clarify why it would be useful to lower or mute the booth monitors when the mic is active without affecting the master mix? Wouldn't you want to monitor the master mix to hear exactly what you're broadcasting?

I'm also not clear why you'd want to copy the PFL mix to the Booth output. Would you ever have both headphones and booth monitors hooked up and monitoring the same PFL signal? If not, you could just configure your sound card's booth monitor outputs for Mixxx's Headphones output.
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Inanna » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:01 am

A few actual scenarios I was involved in at the radio station:

More than once, I had a (music) journalist and guests in the studio with me. The journalists were interviewing the guests on live radio, between songs. Per station policy, I had the studio/booth output of the board set to "air signal" while I used headphones set for split (master on left and headphone signal on right). As the end of song before an interview segment approached, I warned the guests. At the end, I unmuted the guest mics, which had the side effect of muting the studio/booth output. During the segment, I verified the requested cue point of the next song with the headphones and waited for the guests. On their cue, I started the song and muted the mics, which also unmuted the studio/booth output. One time, the guest needed to comment on a song as it played, so I had him wear headphones, which were connected to a guest headphone output (same source as booth output, but not auto-muted) and selected the deck playing the song.

A few times, I sent my studio/booth output to the other studio, but the same procedure applied.

Another few times, I recorded a show in one studio while the other was on-air. (Both studios could broadcast or record.) For those, I set the studio/booth output to master.

Another scenario, I (and other DJs) would only wear the headphones to verify cue points and to time the start of the next song. The rest of the time, would be listening to the air signal on the studio monitors.

If you like, I can draw a diagram of the setup.
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Chris2000SP » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:13 am

I don't know if it helps, but with Jack audio is a live wiring change possible.
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Re: Mixxx 2.1 "Booth" output

Postby Inanna » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:39 am

Chris2000SP wrote:I don't know if it helps, but with Jack audio is a live wiring change possible.


Thanks. I do use Jack. Just that, since the Booth output is being introduced, I thought I would suggest how it could be enhanced to be more useful for users less technical than I am.
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