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Updates on Multi-outs Audio In?

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Kendall W Cochran III
(@pbeprod)
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@getdunne

Any updates on the progress of Multi-Audio Outs?

Were there any thoughts on Audio Ins?


   
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(@getdunne)
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@pbeprod

Much thought, little progress. Updating Unify to support Apple's new ARM processors took up most of 2022 for me. Selling my home and moving (three times -- long story) killed the rest.


   
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Kendall W Cochran III
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@getdunne

Understandable, was curious!

Have a Great and productive New Year!

This post was modified 1 year ago by Kendall W Cochran III

   
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(@nonchai)
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@getdunne sorry to hear that 

hope things have settled for now 

Glad it’s on your mind 

For me it’s really the addition of multi outs that will give me a reason to begin using my Unify. I can see so many powerful use cases for me  once it happens 


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @nonchai

For me it’s really the addition of multi outs that will give me a reason to begin using my Unify.

Is it entirely useless to you without multiple outputs?

 


   
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(@uisbf)
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multiple outs would be nice .. I wondered if I can adjust the buffer size which is usually 16 at my pc and works for most cases and the sample rate somewhere .. it seems I have quite some latency with unify right now. But still great ideas .. like it


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @uisbf

I wondered if I can adjust the buffer size which is usually 16 at my pc

Unify will not work efficiently with such a small buffer size. I recommend 256.

 


   
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(@woodslanding)
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I'm anxious for audio ins.  I haven't had a desire for multiple outs.  If you're running in a daw, can't you just run different instances of Unify?  I guess not if you are running surround samples in surround.  Do they make surround samples?

But I'd love to get my FX vsts 'unified'.  Since I patch them dynamically in Hollyhock, I don't want them as part of my Unify presets.  And I also have external audio inputs that I route to my FX....

In regards the off-topic above, I run two instances of Unify in my live performance setup, along with 5 instances of kontakt, 4 instances of Reaktor and 4 vst effects channels comfortably under Hollyhock 5 at 64 samples latency on my Ryzen 5900 with no dropouts.  If you have a fast processor, it's not a problem.  Unify does not seem inefficient, I don't see measurable increases in processor over running the vsts by themselves.  16 samples is ambitious, but 64 has been very playable for me.  I was extremely happy to move down from 128 when I bought the Ryzen.  128 always felt sluggish, and it was hard to play fast tempos.  I haven't been at 256 since 2010.


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @woodslanding

I'm anxious for audio ins.... I'd love to get my FX vsts 'unified'.

For the moment, have a look at Kushview Element. It's free and the plug-in version allows for what you are trying to do.

 


   
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(@grambo1966)
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Hi Shane,

I know your a busy man, but is the addition of having multi audio outs still on the Unify roadmap?


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @grambo1966

is the addition of having multi audio outs still on the Unify roadmap?

Yes, absolutely, but so are many other urgent things, so scheduling is very difficult.

 


   
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(@grambo1966)
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I know your busy doing wonderful magic & thanks for the reply. 


   
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(@Anonymous 131226)
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@grambo1966 This may not help, but my desire to generate 8 audio outs from a single instance of Unify, led me to an alternative solution. Instead of driving separate audio outs, I present Unify with separate midi ins. As such I can play, control and record each Unify layer separately and not have to produce audio stems at all. Each layer records into a separate track in both session or arrangement view in Ableton. Any stems can obviously be rendered as audio when required. AFAIK, you can accomplish this much easier in other DAWs. Ableton just groups all inbound midi to channel 1, so this setup allows you to split back out again.


   
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Robert.P
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Posted by: @Anonymous

(...) Instead of driving separate audio outs, I present Unify with separate midi ins. As such I can play, control and record each Unify layer separately and not have to produce audio stems at all. Each layer records into a separate track in both session or arrangement view in Ableton. Any stems can obviously be rendered as audio when required. AFAIK, you can accomplish this much easier in other DAWs.

 

It's a pretty good solution.

 


   
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(@grambo1966)
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@robert-p Thanks for the tip.


   
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(@nonchai)
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Posted by: @getdunne

Posted by: @nonchai

For me it’s really the addition of multi outs that will give me a reason to begin using my Unify.

Is it entirely useless to you without multiple outputs?

 

For me yes really - as I see UNIFY as having  creative and inspirational benefits for orchestral plugin/uses ( like the UNIFIED pack for Spitfire BBC SO ) but in order to retain flexibility for each orchestra section its vital I can do eventual mixing, panning etc on separate channels in the DAW itself. 

Plus there are other complex unify presets I’d also not want to be hamstrung by not having the option to mix instruments ( or instrument sections ) separately in the DAW.. 

Its a workflow thing really

 

This post was modified 4 months ago 4 times by nonchai

   
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(@getdunne)
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@nonchai

Thank you for the clarification. Unify 2 is coming later in 2024 and will have what you're looking for.


   
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(@robert-hunter)
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So glad to hear about progress on Unify 2.0 for later this year ...excited to see what you all come up with.

It's a great, wonderfully creative tool and instrument as is, ...so no whining from me, but of course and because it already does so much, it inspires the dreams of what else it could be made to do ...and that's what the Unify team is working on.

Multi-outs ...if/when it happens ...this will massively impact the surround mixing project on I'm working on for our church; I look forward to this being a reality - as sound design, level and dynamics management, EQ/tone control, time, space, width, height and motion-sound settings that will be stably arrived at and then easily recalled ...from within a single instance of Unify. Pardon the pun, but that will be heavenly.

I did try running Unify in Mainstage to get access to a multi-out config AND using current Unify ...Mainstage choked instantly ... even with just the initial Unify patch loaded. I wonder if there is some timing/sync data running in the background that becomes a catastrophic feedback loop in Mainstage... not an issue for this forum.

I've also used Blue Cat Connector as per Shane's suggestion ...and it certainly works to enable assignment of multiple instances of individual Unify-layer-audio to (in my case) Studio One ....and then I can do my separate-out audio assignments there. Obviously, this is a lot more overhead / stuff to go wrong in a live setting ...but no question ...it functions as advertised.

Just looked at the Kushview Elements info ...looks cool and very flexible. Based on your recommending that we look at it Shane, is Elements stable in you experience? Is installing it and going through the learning curve 'still best and worth the effort' ...'at this time'. Or ...maybe we should just hold off a wee bit longer, because a killer paid upgrade is 'just around the corner'... 🙂 

thanks for all the efforts by the Unify team.


   
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(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @robert-hunter

Multi-outs ... will massively impact the surround mixing project on I'm working on for our church

Thanks for specifying your target usage. Any other details you could share would be very useful. I have two very specific questions:

  1. What speaker configuration are you planning to use?
  2. For most "surround" setups, you need to be able to use surround plug-ins, and output to a surround (e.g. 5.1, 7.1, etc) channel set. Do you have other software or hardware for surround mixing, or were you wanting to use Unify for this?

I only have multiple stereo output buses working so far in Unify, and I'm concerned that adding support for arbitrary bus configurations will delay the release too much.

I did try running Unify in Mainstage to get access to a multi-out config AND using current Unify ...Mainstage choked instantly

... not an issue for this forum.

This IS an issue for the forum. Unify should work in MainStage, but I confess I haven't tested it myself in a long time.

Regarding Kushview Element, I have it, but haven't used it enough to say it's stable. Other people have written that they had problems with it, so I can't give it a strong recommendation.

 

 


   
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(@robert-hunter)
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@getdunne Hi Shane - THANKS for your efforts on this. The surround formats I'm aiming for are 7.1.2 or 7.1.4

I've copied the following from this Wikipedia page so that I convey the info correctly.

7.1.2 and 7.1.4 immersive sound along with 5.1.2 and 5.1.4 format adds either 2 or 4 overhead [loud]speakers to enable sound objects and special effect sounds to be panned overhead for the listener. Introduced for theatrical film releases in 2012 by Dolby Laboratories under the trademark name Dolby Atmos

I think if 7.1.4 is possible, then any thing less than that ...like 5.1.2 or even 5.1 ...should be possible, but that's a guess on my part, as I don't have a clue how much work it is on your part to code each output config.

Let me be completely up front and say that the '.2' or '.4' aspect of these output configs is a 'hoped for' capability, but how useful these will be in the field is completely 'room-dependent' ...that is, the room size, room shape, how 'well-behaved' the room is acoustically, the seating layout ...all massively impact what loudspeaker configuration is practical to actually deploy.

For the live-sound configs I'm aspiring to, each will have numbers of real-world limitations to compete with that will possibly make surround-purists gag, but in church-world ...we often do the best we can with what we have ...because while the technical arts stuff is definitely important to us ...they are secondary (or third-iary or fourth-iary) to the total mission of being 'church' ...

This relates to my surround-inquiries in that I'll probably need to physically place LCR, Mid-sides, Rears ...most or all loudspeakers ...a little to a lot higher in the room than a 'real surround config' would want them to be ...for many reasons ...some practical, some stupid ...but all causing the loudspeakers to end up where we can fit them into the room.

LCR, Mid-sides, Rears would typically align with head/ears for the anticipated listening position ...but probably not so much in church 😑 ...but for real reasons that are good within those community spaces. Given how much higher in the room the LCR, Mid-sides, Rears are likely to be, the 'value' of the truly-overhead loudspeaker positions that the .2 or .4's would have 'could be' ...or even 'probably will be' lessened with respect to being able to move mix-elements around that total system. 'Lessened' but not 'Useless' ...so ...if the .2 or .4 configs are achievable - Yay

But ..gettin really real ...if Unify 2.0 could do 4 stereo pairs ...and we can pan within those 4 pairs, consider yourself hugged.

That gives me pair1= L to R, pair2 = Mid L to R, pair3 = Rear L to R, and then pair4 Left (for example) as Sub, and Right (for example) as Center channel  ...and which pair is for which loudspeaker set in the above example is all 'acceptable in any layout you can provide'. Seriously, that would be killer. Anything beyond that is total 'gramma's best gravy'.

Possibly relevant, maybe not ...I'm going to be using a StudioLive 64S mixer ...I have 32 mix-output busses plus L+C+R I think. Lots.

My point is that in Unify stand-alone (Mac M1), I'm hoping that the mixer is recognized within MacOS...within Unify, and so that the Unify outputs can just be routed to whatever audio IO interface ...(in my case the 64S) will allow ...enabling Unify patches to just 'save' the routing per patch. If this is to much complexity or causes problems, and you end up providing us with a choice for Unify initialization as being 'stereo', or 5.1, or 7.1 etc...and we have to predetermine how the stand-alone instance of Unify will run ...sold! ...we'll take it. Theoretically, we'd then build patches to run within the output config we've specified ...FOR THAT Unify instance. Also Theoretically, you would offer us the ability to build and save 'Run me in Stereo' and 'Run me in 5.1' etc Unify configs, so while we would be 'limited' to run as specified for that stand-alone config ...ppphhhhbbbb ...again ...the offer to hug still stands!

If 'set-n-locked' configs as described above offer performance and/or stability improvements ...that may be another strong consideration.

I'll stop here and blather on in the next response. Thanks Shane.


   
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(@getdunne)
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Hi @robert-hunter. Your post was held pending approval by our (wretched) forum software, due to the embedded links in the text you copied from Wikipedia. The links themselves actually got deleted, so I took the liberty of editing your post to restore both text and links in a usable format.

Posted by: @robert-hunter

The surround formats I'm aiming for are 7.1.2 or 7.1.4

...

But ..gettin really real ...if Unify 2.0 could do 4 stereo pairs ...and we can pan within those 4 pairs, consider yourself hugged.

That gives me pair1= L to R, pair2 = Mid L to R, pair3 = Rear L to R, and then pair4 Left (for example) as Sub, and Right (for example) as Center channel  ...and which pair is for which loudspeaker set in the above example is all 'acceptable in any layout you can provide'. Seriously, that would be killer. Anything beyond that is total 'gramma's best gravy'.

OK, so you are indeed targeting a surround setup, but you can at least get started with multiple stereo buses. The latter will definitely be available in Unify 2.x (which will be a paid upgrade). You will be able to pan each layer left/right within the selected bus, and mix multiple (panned) layers onto each bus. I think this will meet your basic needs.

I'm hoping that the [StudioLive 64S] mixer is recognized within MacOS...within Unify, and so that the Unify outputs can just be routed to whatever audio IO interface ...(in my case the 64S) will allow ...enabling Unify patches to just 'save' the routing per patch. If this is to much complexity or causes problems, and you end up providing us with a choice for Unify initialization as being 'stereo', or 5.1, or 7.1 etc...and we have to predetermine how the stand-alone instance of Unify will run ...sold! ...we'll take it. Theoretically, we'd then build patches to run within the output config we've specified ...FOR THAT Unify instance. Also Theoretically, you would offer us the ability to build and save 'Run me in Stereo' and 'Run me in 5.1' etc Unify configs, so while we would be 'limited' to run as specified for that stand-alone config ...ppphhhhbbbb ...again ...the offer to hug still stands!

The need to specify a given output configuration when loading each plug-in instance is a requirement imposed by Logic/Mainstage. Unify 2 will support at least "stereo" and "16x stereo". In the 16x stereo configuration, you will see a Main bus and 15 Aux buses within Unify. Assignment of these logical buses to physical outputs will be something you do in Logic/Mainstage. For each instance of Unify, how you choose to pan and route each layer to the logical outputs will be saved as part of the Logic/Mainstage project, so it should come up the same way each time you reload.

 


   
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(@robert-hunter)
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@getdunne Hi Shane,

Re "For most "surround" setups, you need to be able to use surround plug-ins, and output to a surround (e.g. 5.1, 7.1, etc) channel set. Do you have other software or hardware for surround mixing, or were you wanting to use Unify for this"

So yes, I have StudioOne (S1), which has recently added Dolby Atmos functionality ...super cool, and PreSonus has done some nice updates on their core processing that comes with S1, so surround capable reverbs ...probably more, and I'm absolutely looking forward to doinking with that more, but there is a real-world issue for me. While the studio-use aspects of mixing audio-surround, surround for film/TV etc ..wonderful! ...hope to dive in to that...but not what I'm trying to do. I also have dearVR Pro ...and other surround capable plugins ...all good, wonderful stuff ...I'm predominantly interested in surround 'for live'.

Using S1, running surround plugins, and running Unify, (and ALL other virtual instruments that will require routing within the surround config)  ...all possible right now. But this would require building a surround config in S1, defining the mix-environment for all these sources within S1, and then either:

1) running external audio sources (live vocals, guitars, keys, drums etc) into S1 ...to define their placement within the surround mix (probably making these sources hand's off for the person running the 64S) ...then getting S1's output...configured as surround-mix-stems routed to the audio mixer (in my case StudioLive 64S) ...then output to the sound system, or...

2) running external audio sources (live vocals, guitars, keys, drums etc) into the 64S ...to define their placement within the surround mix ...leaving the 64S operator with hand's on control of these ...(highly desirable) ...the mix-operator then defines where each live-input channel gets routed to ...they'd then blend in the S1 surround-mix-stems to the mixer's outputs as well

all possible right now. At least in my world ...Yuck! Again...in my world, this represents massive complexity that no one other than me would attempt to run. That's a problem, and it would be foolish for many reasons to build a system that needlessly fobs that much tech-knowledge-requirement onto volunteers who are not dummies.

If we had Unify's current processing capabilities, and within Unify 2.0 the processing is assignable within a Unify layer (like 1.X is)...which is itself assigned to a definable output pair, and I get the control of say a Unify Reverb or stereo delay (or whatever) ...in stereo ...routed out the defined output pair ...yay. If this Unify layer can still have Aux-layers assigned, and I can route the Aux-layers to whichever output pairs I want to define...the potential to 'move' between the instrument-layer's output, and via the aux-layer ...somewhere else ...home run. If instead of 'routing-by-layer' and you choose to give us 'defined-master-outputs' instead - maybe less-flexible, but...

The fact that Unify's current processing would 'only running in stereo' ...yup, that's a real limitation ...but also in the real-world ...I'd be getting an awful lot of beautiful, programmable, real-time modulate-able effects goin on, and if I want stuff to 'ping' starting here ...and then 'pong' from over there ...we can do it. And if this isn't as easy as just having a fully surround-compliant set of Unify processors right off the bat ...well, you do need to leave something for Unify 3.0🙂

Seriously though, I have no idea what the compatibility/implementation of native surround-processing plug-ins within an updated Unify looks like from your perspective. If it's no biggie ..obviously, that would be great. Calling up a surround-compliant drum kit plugin for example ...and it works ...wow.

The biggest part of the deal for me is that it's all happening in Unify. If I can set up something rich and thick and chocalatey ...and I then pass 7.1 (or whatever) to the 64S ...and I do all my own gain-staging, tone control, mix-location, mix-movement ...within a Unify patch ...shut the front door! First of all, I'M THE ONE that defines what my total sound from Unify will be (not the mix-operator) ...making it much more likely for my sounds to translate out into the space as intended. Second, this reduces the burden on the mix-operator and enables them to stay focused where they should be - which is on the live inputs coming from the stage.

My stuff from Unify is saved, recallable, and we can adjust gain in setup or rehearsal so that it sits like the unbelievably deep and inspiring bed I'm imagining for the live stuff to lay in. Obviously, Unify will go foreground as much as is desired ...(like almost nothing else actually) and sure ...it will when that fits. But for me ... the soundscapes I'm working towards...

..."I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ ...(the Apostle Paul, Ephesians 3)". Not sure what this sounds like ...but I'm sure filter sweeps, shimmering reverbs, dweebling arpegiators ...may be involved. We'll see.

Cheers


   
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(@robert-hunter)
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@getdunne Wow Shane - that sounds great - so looking forward to it.


   
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(@robert-hunter)
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Oh yes...Mainstage.

If tap tempo is supported in Unify 2.0, I probably wouldn't need to run Mainstage (or any other clock source outside of Unify), and could run Unify stand-alone - Better

Of course initial tempo can be set within Unify patch ...that doesn't mean the count-in will match ...live church musicians! Tapping function Soooo helpful to correct on the fly.


   
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(@torstenanders)
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>

Posted by: @getdunne

What speaker configuration are you planning to use?

Like others here, I would also love to use Unify in a multi-channel context. My target configurations are settings like 3rd order Ambisonics or 9.1.6 (or subsets of these).


   
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(@getdunne)
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@torstenanders

As I said earlier, multi-channel bus configurations other than multiple stereo buses will require more extensive changes to Unify's architecture, so most likely won't be available in Unify 2.

However, I appreciate the feedback. It makes clear that surround and Ambisonics bus configurations are desirable for at least a few customers.


   
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(@torstenanders)
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In case this helps: if within ComboBox there is perhaps a way to have a quasi multi-channel signal -- simply with multiple parallel mono patch chords ! --, and we could then separate that signal into multiple stereo outs, also still within ComboBox, so that the rest of Unify only sees pairs of stereo buses, that would already be brilliant!


   
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(@torstenanders)
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Just checked: seemingly I can already at least instantiate some 64 channel (!) plugins within ComboBox and connect them among each other. Possibly only the inputs and outputs are limited to stereo at this stage. Having multiple stereo pair ins and outs would open up a lot of possibilities.


   
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