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american_audio_vms4

American Audio VMS4/4.1

vms4.1_angle.jpg

Manufacturer's Web site links:

The original VMS4 has problems with sound quality. The microphone input impedance is off and the output volume is low. The VMS4.1 is the same controller, except that those hardware issues have been fixed. The Traktor edition has different labels on some buttons & knobs, but it's otherwise the same hardware as the VMS4.1.

Setup

Important: Mixxx expects the VMS4 to be set to “Post EQ” mode for best sound quality. Do this by holding down the Headphone Cue button on Midilog 4 while powering on the unit. You only need to do this once. (Each time you do, it changes the mode back and forth.) Consult the user manual for more information. (To check the status of this in Linux, at a console, issue the command

lsusb -v|grep 'iSerial\|iProduct'

and look at the serial number under the VMS4 device per the instructions in the user manual. As of this writing, the leading digit should be 1.)

  1. Make sure the VMS4 is off
  2. Slide the switch on the front of the VMS4 to “8 OUT”
    • If you're using vinyl control or aux devices (or Mixxx 1.11 & below) set the switch to “4 OUT” for 2-deck output and 2-deck input
  3. Turn on the unit (and plug in the USB cable if you haven't yet)
  4. Start Mixxx
  5. Open Preferences
  6. Click Sound Hardware. In the right pane:
    1. Set the sample rate to 44100Hz
    2. Set the Master output to None
    3. Set the Headphone output to None
    4. Set the Deck 1 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 3-4 (may show as “USB Audio Device” on Windows)
    5. Set the Deck 2 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 5-6
    6. Set the Deck 3 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 1-2
    7. Set the Deck 4 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 7-8
      • If you're using 4 OUT mode, (for vinyl control/aux input or Mixxx 1.11 & below):
        1. Set the Deck 1 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 1-2
        2. Set the Deck 2 output to the VMS4 device and Channel 3-4
        3. For vinyl control, set the Vinyl Control 1 input to the VMS4 device and Channel 1-2, connect a turntable to Midilog 1, and set it to Analog.
        4. For vinyl control, set the Vinyl Control 2 input to the VMS4 device and Channel 3-4, connect a turntable to Midilog 4, and set it to Analog.
  7. Plug your headphones into the VMS4's jack on the front. You will use the VMS4's CUE buttons and knobs for headphone control.
  8. Still in the Preferences, expand “Controllers” on the left
  9. Select the “VMS4 MIDI” device (may show as “USB Audio Device” on Windows)
    • Do not choose the the HID one. That's for the little mouse pad and button area.
  10. Click the Enable checkbox in the right pane
  11. Click the drop-down and choose the “American Audio VMS4” preset
  12. Click OK and the controller should light up. (In 1.9.x, the controller will light up when you load a track to a deck.)
  13. Continue reading below to know how everything is mapped

Direct deck output implications

This setup uses direct deck outputs because mixing takes place in the VMS4 hardware. The down side to this is that you won't be able to use Mixxx features that play to Master or Cue buses like the Preview Deck or Samplers. Using these features with a hardware + MIDI mixer like the VMS4 is not really feasible unless you used a separate sound interface or controlled Mixxx's internal mixer another way.

Control

This guide explains how the VMS4 is mapped by default in Mixxx.

Image courtesy of American Audio. Click on it for a larger version.

Easy customization: We have provided the following customization variables at the top of the script you can set to your liking:

  1. RateRanges: Set the pitch slider range each time you toggle it with Shift+Sync.

Just open the midi/American-Audio-VMS4-scripts.js file in your favorite text editor (Wordpad works too) and you'll see these variables right near the top. Edit & save, then restart Mixxx and enjoy.

Deck controls

Note that there are a number of different face plates in the wild so these images and control descriptions may not exactly match yours. The locations of the controls are the key things to pay attention to.

The controls are the same on both sides of the controller. The left side controls Deck 1 and the right side controls Deck 2.

  • Sync/Range button - Changes the BPM of this deck to match that of the other. When shifted, toggles the pitch slider range. (See top of page to customize.)
  • Hot cue buttons - Press to set or recall a hot cue. The buttons light up red when one is set.
    • 1.10+: Hold Shift and press to access hot cues 5-8. (The buttons light up blue for these.) Hold Vinyl and press to delete the cue. (Note: there is a bug in some firmware versions that causes hot cues 5 and 6 to be deleted simultaneously.)
    • 1.9: You can only access hot cues 1-4. Hold shift and press to delete the cue.
  • Pitch Bend +/-
    • Momentarily speeds up or slows down the deck while the button is held down.
    • 2.0+: Hold Shift and press to adjust the key (pitch) of the song (independent of the tempo.)
  • Loop In - Set the in point of a loop
  • Loop Out - Set the out point of a loop
  • Reloop - Toggle a previously-set loop. Lights red when a loop is active.
  • Loop/Smart
    • 1.10+: Start a 4-beat loop. Hold Shift and press to toggle quantization (locking to the nearest beat.)
    • 1.9: Toggle track repeat mode
  • Vinyl/Keylock - (Does nothing on its own when un-shifted at the moment.) When shifted, toggles key lock.
  • « Search/ /2 - Fast-rewind
    • 1.10+: Hold Shift and press to halve the current loop length
  • Search »/ *2 - Fast-forward
    • 1.10+: Hold Shift and press to double the current loop length
  • Touch strip
    • 2.1.1+: Scroll through the respective Library panes. (Left for the folders/crates list, right for the track list.)
      • Hold Shift and touch:
        1. to affect the Dry/Wet knob on the respective effect unit while the deck is playing
        2. for Needle drop - search through the track while the deck is stopped
    • 2.1.0 and below: Needle drop - touch to search through the track (only when stopped in 2.1.0.)
  • Wheel
    • Move the wheel while touching the top to scratch the current track like a vinyl record
    • Move the wheel without touching the top (so on the sides) to perform a temporary pitch bend
  • CUE - Operates according to the Cue mode set in Mixxx's preferences
    • 2.1+ - Hold Shift and press to play immediately from the cue point (known as Cue+Play or CUP.)
  • Play - Press to toggle deck playback
    • 2.1+ - Hold Shift and press to set this deck as the master for syncing with another
  • Pause - Stops the deck playback

Effects section

2.1

Same as 2.0, except the Select knob affects only the first effect in the unit.

2.0

The left side controls effect unit 1 and the right side controls effect unit 2.

  • Select knob
    • Rotate to choose the effect chain preset
    • Press to toggle whether the effect unit is on or not
  • Control knob
    • Adjusts the wet/dry ratio
    • When Parameter is on, this becomes the Wonder Knob, adjusting all effect parameters at once
  • On/Off - Toggles the effect for the deck matching the effect unit number
  • Parameter - Toggles what the above Control knob adjusts

1.11 and below

  • Select knob - Adjusts the LFO period for the Flanger effect
  • Control knob - Adjusts the depth of the Flanger effect
  • On/Off - Toggles the Flanger effect on this deck
  • Parameter - Does nothing

Sample section

The left side of the controller controls Sampler 1, and the right, Sampler 2.

  • Select knob
    • Rotate to move the highlight in the library.
    • Press to load the currently highlighted track into the sampler.
    • Hold Shift and press to eject the current track from the sampler (when the sampler is not playing.)
  • Volume knob - Adjusts the volume of the sampler
  • Play
    • Press to play the sample from the beginning. Press while playing for a stutter-play effect (play again from the beginning.)
    • Hold Shift and press to stop playing.
  • Rec - Currently does nothing

Mixer controls

2.1

Same as 2.0 but the volume sliders no longer control the ones in Mixxx because direct Deck outputs are now affected by Mixxx's internal ones. (See this commit message for further explanation.)

2.0

  • Midilog 1 - This strip controls Deck 3/C
  • Midilog 2 - This strip controls Deck 1/A
  • Midilog 3 - This strip controls Deck 2/B
  • Midilog 4 - This strip controls Deck 4/D

1.11 and below

  • Midilog 1 - used only for analog source control, unused by Mixxx
  • Midilog 2 - This strip controls Deck 1
  • Midilog 3 - This strip controls Deck 2
  • Midilog 4 - used only for analog source control, unused by Mixxx
Translations of this page:
american_audio_vms4.txt · Last modified: 2018/05/21 12:15 by pegasus