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Author Topic: Soft vs Hard mutes  (Read 13246 times)

gdougherty

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Soft vs Hard mutes
« on: October 16, 2015, 01:51:47 PM »

Noticing AMP takes the approach of soft mutes rather than hard mutes.
It's one that initially bugged me on the X32 and I miss from a physical console.  If I manually mute a channel then use the mute groups to unmute channels, everything in the mute group unmutes. 

In most scenarios I prefer the old physical console method of the channel mute button always overriding any other mute.  Each dca/mute group should also override the mute state of a channel. The DCA mute does override other mute states, but the DCA itself it can also be toggled by a mute group if the DCA belongs to a mute group.  I'd also prefer it on the mixer view if the small mute light didn't illuminate when you press the channel mute.  In that scenario it makes more sense that the mute light is only on when the channel is muted via mute group.

That said, like the X32, I think the best option is for a hard/soft mute option in the configuration because not everyone prefers the old-school method.
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admin

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 01:25:54 AM »

Hey George,

It would definitely take more code to do the mute groups as you say, "old school".  I think it is very important to know that a channel is being muted by something - mute button, DCA, or mute group.  So now, that's 7 possibilities for mute status.  Definitely adds a little more complexity to both the gui and host.

Bob
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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 12:11:21 PM »

We hashed this over a lot in the past George and while I am in full agreement with you as Bob explained it would be quite a bit of work to change it.

Although I personally am not in the "the GUI must tell my dumb ass how this channel is muted" camp, I do get it and agree that if we show it like that for the DCAs it should follow suit with a Mute Group.

Of course to me, if I was walking up to AMP for the first time, I would find it's current Mute Group behavior to be unexpected and it could easily catch me off guard and screw something up.   All the consoles I've worked with operate as you've described.  Or as you call it a "hard mute?"  If the Behringer does it differently I'm not sure where they came up with that idea.  All the Yamaha stuff operates the proper way, which is the old school?  or Hard?  No idea where these odd ball concepts ever came from or frankly why anyone would ever want it where a mute group would unmute a channel that is locally muted.

I would point out that if you set up a few extra DCA masters, they can operate like a proper mute group button, which is what I have been doing recently.

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gdougherty

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 11:34:08 PM »

As Richard noted, Hard mutes are how most people expect mutes to behave.  It was very screwy for many people working on the X32 for the first time and to my knowledge it's the only console besides AMP that behaves that way.  The DCA's already behave properly, but that I guess is also somewhat in the nature of a DCA.  Turn down the master and the signal level should never come up, same with muting.

As for the GUI, the indicators that exist now are all that's needed IMO.  Mute button only indicates local mute.  DCA and mute button indicates DCA, Mute Group and mute button indicates a mute group.  On some consoles the channel mute button blinks to indicate a mute group has the channel muted but I don't think we need to go that obnoxious.  Otherwise, the only change would be the mute group light indicator on a channel shouldn't light if the local mute button is the only thing that's muting the channel.  I'd like to see that change even if the mute group behavior didn't change, but I also think with the current behavior the mute group light is kind of pointless since you can simply unmute the channel anyway.  DCA mute is definitely good to know since you can't override it locally.
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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 11:50:33 AM »

As Richard noted, Hard mutes are how most people expect mutes to behave.  It was very screwy for many people working on the X32 for the first time and to my knowledge it's the only console besides AMP that behaves that way.  The DCA's already behave properly, but that I guess is also somewhat in the nature of a DCA.  Turn down the master and the signal level should never come up, same with muting.


Actually we did have a discussion about how the DCA Mute should operate since it could function just as if you had reached over and pressed the channel mute of all the channels assigned to it.  But some older desks (I'm thinking analog days here) also function where pressing the Mute on the DCA was more akin to just pulling the fader all the way down.  So things that were pre-fader would still continue on their merry way.  In the end the group chose to have it operate as if you had reached over and pressed the actual mute button on the channel rather than just brought the fader down. 

Also in the end since AMP has so many tap points for the Aux Sends it's easy to set up audio feeds that never mute unless you stop the engine since there are tap points that ignore the status of the channel mute button, which very much come in handy to me.
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jlepore

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2015, 04:45:20 PM »

Not muting the auxes with the DCA muted means my aux fed subs and FF's keep going when I shut off the channels - not a good thing. I wouldn't want to have to pull the fader and mute, and in the cases of pre-fade auxes, even that wouldn't work.  I never want to have to kill the channels themselves or I wouldn't have had a DCA mute in the first place!


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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2015, 10:20:15 PM »

Not muting the auxes with the DCA muted means my aux fed subs and FF's keep going when I shut off the channels - not a good thing. I wouldn't want to have to pull the fader and mute, and in the cases of pre-fade auxes, even that wouldn't work.  I never want to have to kill the channels themselves or I wouldn't have had a DCA mute in the first place!

Well just to be clear I wasn't saying that a post fade aux wouldn't be muted only pre fade auxes.  I was saying that on some desks engaging a mute on DCA is akin to pulling the channel fader all the way down, rather than akin to pressing it's mute button.  It's just like you had brought the channel's fader down, if you did that a post fade aux would also be muted.  Yes things that are pre fade would not mute.  But that's what mute groups were for.  It was pretty typical that I would have a Mute All mute group which did pretty much that with a few exceptions for things like a VOG mic or something.

Having said that I am not trying to present an argument for a change to the way AMP currently works, I was simply stating that we've had this debate and ones like it in the past, just to give some history to those that have not been with us from the very start.   From my perspective that ship has sailed and probably doesn't need much revisitation, AMP works just fine the way it is with regards to it's DCAs and the DCA's mutes.

But to bring it back to the original post, I'm pretty sure you strongly agreed with the thought that when using Mute Groups and you engage a mute group and then disengage it if a channel that was assigned to that group was muted before the mute group was engaged it should remain locally muted after the mute group was disengaged.   :)
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brettbrandon

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 12:46:37 AM »

Is this leading to another Safe button labeled "Mute Safe"?
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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2015, 09:01:31 AM »

Is this leading to another Safe button labeled "Mute Safe"?

Why?  What would that button do?  Do you want a "safe" button so that when you engage a MUTE GROUP it ignores it?

That's not what we really talking about here.

What I could see it leading to is 3 little "lights" on the MUTE buttons rather than two, but in my opinion that shouldn't really be necessary. 

What it would mean is more "states" that a channel's Mute button could be in.
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admin

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 10:23:12 AM »

I think it *does* require another light on the mute button if we do stuff this way.  There's nothing worse than bringing up a fader on a channel someone is talking in, only to have it not work, and not know WHY it isn't working.  And if we add another light, that means there are now 7 possible states of mute, based on all the various combinations.
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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2015, 10:52:30 AM »

I think it *does* require another light on the mute button if we do stuff this way.  There's nothing worse than bringing up a fader on a channel someone is talking in, only to have it not work, and not know WHY it isn't working.  And if we add another light, that means there are now 7 possible states of mute, based on all the various combinations.

I guess I just don't think there needs to be a "light" to tell me when it's muted locally.  The button itself should be enough in my opinion.  But that's just a graphics thing really.  The underlying code for the GUI and host would all be pretty much the same.

To my mind it would be:

No lights when the channel is on obviously
The local mute would turn the button itself red or whatever color it uses
there would be a "light" that shows when it's muted by a DCA
there would be another "light" that shows when it's muted by a mute group

and obviously all the variations and combinations of those modes...

That's my opinion anyway....
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admin

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2015, 01:41:14 PM »

Richard: that's exactly what I was describing! :-)  That's 8 possible states of mute:

0 - no mute
1 - mute button
2 - DCA mute
3 - mute button + DCA mute
4 - Group Mute
5 - Group Mute + mute button
6 - Group Mute + DCA mute
7 - Group Mute + DCA mute + mute button

The user *always* needs to know why he can't unmute something.  That is the biggest issue I see with other mixers on the market.  The Midas is probably the worst.

Bob
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gdougherty

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2015, 10:36:04 PM »

I'm hesitant to suggest more blinking, but that's what they did on the X32 for hard mute states.  Local mute is steady, mute group is blinking.

In that case with AMP a solid mute button would always be a local engaged mute.  A blinking mute button would indicate no local mute but either a DCA or mute group override.  Then the DCA and Mute indicators would show what exactly has the channel mute overridden.  Solid with DCA/Mute shows local plus the addition, blinking shows no local but with the addition of whatever the DCA or Mute group indicators show.
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RBIngraham

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Re: Soft vs Hard mutes
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 09:02:56 AM »

I'm hesitant to suggest more blinking, but that's what they did on the X32 for hard mute states.  Local mute is steady, mute group is blinking.




I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it at all.  As I think it's the way that makes the most sense.  But alas from what I understand, flashing is hard to do with the current GUI development tools.  We have also hashed this topic out much in the past as well George.  Sorry you're late to the party.   ;)
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