Basic Host and GUI connections
- 1. The host must first be started.
- 2. The GUI must connect to the Host. The IP Address on the top will turn green when this occurs. The GUI will automatically detect any host on the network. Make sure you are physically connected to the same network as the Host.
- 3. Next to the IP address on the top line of the GUI is also the Engine Status. It should be a green “Engine On”. If it is Off, right-click on it to toggle it to On. You should notice that the DSP % utilization number on the top bar starts to update. (It is normal for it to bounce around.) There are two purposes for the Engine Status function:
- It is an emergency “Panic” way to disable all audio.
- It is a way to work off-line.
With the engine off, you can still use the GUI and configure things, but the engine will not be processing any audio. This can be helpful if you wish to use your system offline to prepare for a show. You can load the host and GUI on a laptop computer, and run in “offline” mode, which will not require the AMP key. Also note that if you start the host without the AMP key installed, the engine will not turn on.
Basic GUI Setup
The concept behind the AMP GUI is to provide a customizable interface by being able to load various types of “WDL” files. WDL stands for Windows Definition Language, and is very similar to a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) for HTML.
By default, the GUI will load two WDL files: a “Mixer” WDL called “Basic Short”, and a “Channel Strip” WDL called “Channel Strip Horizontal View”. You will want to peruse all of the various WDL files available. The easiest way is using the WDL File Picker, which is accessed by clicking File -> Open New Window.
You will see there are several Window Types. Click on a type, and the list of available files for that type will appear on the right side. If you single-click on one, you will see a preview of what it looks like on the right side. Either double-click, or click the Load button, and that WDL will load in a new window. Some window types (like mixers) will allow multiple windows of the same type to be loaded; others (like the channel strip) will only allow one. You may continue to load more window files. Be careful though, as there still remains a bug that memory is not properly released when a window is closed, so the GUI may crash if you load / close too many times. This is in our list of bugs to address, but it is not a show-stopper, as it only appears when “messing around” a bit.
You can adjust the size and placement of all files within the main GUI window. Once you have a layout you like, you can click on File -> Save GUI Settings, so that it will be recalled when you start the program the next time.
You can also store up to 12 window layouts by pressing SHIFT and F1 thru F12. To recall those layouts, simply press the F key you used for saving it (without the SHIFT key).
Basic GUI Operation
AMP works on the basic design of having a Mixer view that shows all available channels (input and output), and then having a separate Channel Strip view that shows the parameters of the channel that is highlighted in the Mixer window. There are a few exceptions, as some mixer windows have quite a bit of channel strip control present, and those may not require a channel strip. With AMP, you can choose how much or how little you want to see.
If you have a monitor that is capable of 1920×1080 resolution (or higher), you can choose the Horizontal Full 1920 Channel Strip, which shows almost all channel strip parameters all at once, or you can choose tabbed versions which break up the display into smaller sections. If you are running at 1024×768, then you may wish to use the Channel Strip Small.
The Mixer window will have the channel names, main faders, meters, Mute and Solo buttons – the basics that you would see on any digital mixer.
The Mouse Scrollwheel
You will want to use a mouse with a scrollwheel. It turns out, this device is an incredible Controller! The default settings in the AMP GUI are that when the mouse cursor is placed over an adjustable object (like a fader or knob), you can use the scrollwheel to adjust that parameter. When the mouse cursor is over something not adjustable, then it will change the active channel that is displayed in a Channel Strip window. You can also have it change the active channel when you adjust a parameter if you wish, although that is not enabled by default. All of the scrollwheel options can be edited by clicking on Configuration -> Preferences, then click on Miscellaneous on the left. Look for “Scrollwheel Options” on the right side.
You will find this is a great way to quickly change things like EQ settings, Aux Send levels, etc. Just hover over the parameter, and scroll.
Accessing Mixes / Aux Sends
AMP allows up to 32 Auxiliary Sends to be used. The GUI provides many ways of accessing these:
- Channel Strip – Most of the Channel Strip windows have “Aux Bars”, which provide a visual indication of the level of the various sends all in one place. You can hover over them with the mouse cursor to see their level, and use the scrollwheel to adjust.
- Sends On Faders – By using this mode, your main mixer window turns into the mixer of the desired Aux. There are a few ways of initiating this mode:
- Click on Mix, then the desired Aux.
- Use a Mix Select WDL window
- Use a Mixer Window that allows mix access via tabs
- Select the desired mix via buttons on a hardware controller
Many Mixer WDLs will show different colors around the main fader to indicate that you are not on the main mix, but on an Aux mix.
Customizing Your Mixer
By default, the Host will set you up with a mixer with as many input channels as it sees you have hardware inputs, 4 Aux sends, 4 Output busses, and 4 DCAs. You can customize AMP to be exactly what you want via the Mixer Design Wizard. The best way to do this is to click on File -> New Show. This will give you a warning that you are about to erase all current data. Click Yes. Now you will enter the Design Wizard. Enter the number of input channels you want to have, Mono Auxes, Stereo Auxes, Mono Busses, Stereo Busses, and DCAs that you desire. Suggestion: add a few more inputs and perhaps auxes than you think you might use, so that you do not have to re-do everything later when you need that extra input or aux! After a few seconds, the mixer will display your new configuration.
By default, all inputs are assigned sequentially. You may change this by using the Input Source on a channel strip window. You also can change the order of channels by holding the SHIFT button while clicking on a channel in a mixer window, and dragging it to your desired place.
If you wish to place empty “spacers” in the mixer view, go to an unused channel (which is why we recommend adding some extra channels!), right-click on it, and change its type to “Spacer”.
Using the Solo Function
Each connected GUI can have its own Solo buss. To set up a Solo function, click on Configuration -> Preferences, then click on Solo Settings on the left side. Here, you can adjust all settings for this function.
- 1. Change the Out Assign L and R to the desired hardware outputs you are using for your solo function for this GUI machine.
- 2. Set the Solo Delay to match the distance between your speakers and your location, for a better solo experience.
If your headphones or solo device needs corrective EQ, you may enable the two-band parametric EQ, and set accordingly.
You can also choose to make the Solo device listen to your main output (or anything, really) when you have nothing soloed. If using on an In-Ears mix, you can set it to still listen to your IEM Aux Mix at a reduced level behind soloed channels, if you wish.
If you check the box “Solo Default Follows Mix Masters“, the Solo output will automatically be tied to the outputs of the current mix. This is a great way to hear the various monitor mixes, simply by selecting that mix (with a mix select WDL or the other ways listed previously).
The “Solo Single Channel Only“, when checked, will only allow one channel to be soloed at any given time. The default setting is to allow multiple channels to be soloed simultaneously.
Please leave the “Enable Host Audio” unchecked for now – it is experimental, and not finished yet.
Using a Control Surface
The GUI Supports up to 8 MIDI controllers, each one capable of controlling a number of channels. To configure, click on Configuration -> Preferences, then click MIDI Controllers on the left side. There are tabs at the top for each of the controllers. Follow these steps:
- 1. Check the Enable for WDL checkbox.
- 2. To the right of this checkbox, select from the drop-down selection the desired WDL window that is your main mixer window.
- 3. Select the appropriate MIDI Input and Output devices, and the MIDI channel. (Most often, the channel will be 1.)
- 4. Click on the Browse button to select the appropriate Command Template. There are currently templates for the MotorMix/Mackie type controllers, and one for the Behringer BCF2000. There also is a Channel Strip template for the Behringer BCR2000. Both the BCR2000 and the BCF2000 templates require the appropriate .syx file to be sent to the unit (with a utility such as MidiOx, outside of AMP) for initial configuration.
There is a Slot Assignment section that lets you tie certain controller channels to certain GUI channels if you wish. Ones that do not have the Fixed box checked will be “bankable”.
Using The Effects Inserts
The ASIO Host allows for up to 32 “Effects” to be defined, which can be inserted into any channel. Each channel has two insert points: one at the very beginning of the channel, and one after the main fader. Both insert points of a single channel can be used simultaneously. To emulate a typical setup of using a reverb effect using an Aux Send, you can insert a reverb effect unit on the Aux Master channel, and then assign that aux master to the main output buss.
The way to implement an insert is:
- 1. Make sure you have a Channel Strip WDL open that contains the inserts. Currently, this is primarily the Channel Strips that have the name “Full” in them.
- 2. Make sure you have the Effects WDL open.
- 3. Highlight your desired channel (probably an Aux Master)
- 4. On the Channel Strip, Click set the Insert to #1 (it defaults to 0), and click the Enable button to the left (may be marked Pre-EQ). You will also want to assign the output of this channel to your main LR mix (or an appropriate output buss).
- 5. On the Effects WDL, under the first effect, click the drop-down for the effect type, and set it to your desired effect.
- 6. Click on the Active button to make it turn green, and your effect should now be patched!
Setting Up Users
AMP has the capability of defining 64 users, using 32 different access profiles. By default, an Admin account is created with a blank password. When the GUIs connect, they first try a blank password. If that succeeds, then it will use that account. If there are no accounts with blank passwords, then the GUI will prompt the user for a password (which can be saved).
To set up users with special restricted access, there are two steps: 1. Create the user, and 2. Create the Access Level.
Let’s start with the last one first: the Access Level. Click on Configuration -> Access Level Editor. From the drop-down at the top, pick the level you wish to edit. There are a few pre-set entries, but all of them can be modified. You can change the name by clicking inside the drop-down box, and entering your new text there.
You will now see quite a few checkboxes. This gives you the ability to define exactly what they can and cannot do. Once you are happy with your choices, click OK.
Now that we have created our desired permissions in an access level, we will now create our user. Click on Configuration -> User Management. First though, we need to set a password on the admin account, so that they will not simply log on as the Admin. Double-click on the Admin entry in the box, and enter your desired admin password in the Password box. Click OK. MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER THIS PASSWORD! Now click on the Add User button. There are several blanks and checkboxes here:
- User Name is simply a reference name for the user.
- Password is the password they will need to enter via the GUI.
- User is Active is a flag to indicate the user is active and can log in. You may temporarily inactivate users by clearing this checkbox.
- Access Level is the selection of the access level we edited just a bit ago.
- Default Mix is the initial Mix they will see when they log in. For personal monitor mixes, you will want to change this to their appropriate Aux mix.
- Lock to Mix will disallow the user from changing to a mix other than the Default Mix.
- Default View Group can set them up with a customized view by default.
- Lock to View Group will disallow the user from getting out of the customized view. This is a great way to hide channels from a user, and just present them with the ones they need.
- Mixer Engine is used when using the Host’s second engine capabilities, and will lock the user to the specified engine.
Click OK, then Close when you are done.