Audio Player Component

Site: QSC
Course: Q-SYS Level 1 Training
Book: Audio Player Component
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Thursday, 23 May 2024, 4:21 PM

Description

Video Transcript

00:07
The Audio Player is a simple component you’re bound to use all the time, but there are a few tricks to it to be aware of.
00:14
You’ll find the Audio Player in the “Audio Components” branch of the Schematic Elements library, under the folder “Audio Players.”
00:21
Let’s drag one into the Schematic, and look at its properties and controls.
00:25
An Audio Player does exactly what its name says: it plays audio files that are stored on your Core’s internal media drive.
00:32
We’ll show you how to upload that media in the next video.
00:35
This component has no input pins, because the audio originates from within the component, generated by the Core.
00:42
By default it has two output pins, which generally represent the left- and right-channels of a stereo audio file.
00:49
Note that if you play a mono audio file from this component, only the first output channel will actually contain audio, because there’s only one track of audio data in a mono file.
01:00
So if you know you’ll be playing mono files, head to the Audio Player’s properties and adjust its track count to 1.
01:07
However, if you play a stereo file from a single-track Audio Player, you’ll only get the left-channel coming out.
01:14
The Audio Player doesn’t sum the left- and right-channels of your stereo file to that single output.
01:19
The proper way to sum a stereo file to a mono channel would be to use a matrix mixer like the one shown here.
01:26
As you can see, knowing the type of media you intend on playing from your Audio Player is important to setting it up.
01:32
And if you happen to play a file with more than two tracks, like a multi-track recording studio session, or a 7.1 soundtrack to test a cinema system,
01:41
you should expand the Audio Player’s track count accordingly.
01:45
Just be careful, because by default the Core can only have sixteen audio tracks total across all Audio Players in its design.
01:53
If you need more than that, you can expand its capacity up to 128 channels, which we’ll talk about in the next video.
01:59
If you’re unsure how many Audio Tracks you’ve already used in your design,
02:03
you can use the “Check Design” tool or press Shift+F6 which shows you—among other things—how many Audio Player Channels are currently in the schematic.
02:12
In the Audio Player’s properties, you can also give it a custom name, or change the “Playlist Capable” field, which defaults to No.
02:20
In this default state, an Audio Player only has a single audio file in its queue.
02:26
But if you change “Playlist Capable” to Yes, you can select a Playlist of multiple files.
02:32
We’ll build a Playlist using Core Manager in the next video.
02:35
For now, I’m just going to Save my Design to the Core and Run, so we can see it in action.
02:40
Because the Audio Player needs to access the Core’s media drive, there’s not much you can do with it in Emulation Mode: you need to be running on a Core.
02:48
First thing to do is to select a File, as this field will remain obnoxiously red if you don’t choose something to play.
02:54
You might want to search in a different Root folder, or a sub directory if you’ve organized your files in the Core Manager.
03:00
Or if you’ve created a Playlist, you can select that instead.
03:04
The rest of the controls should be pretty instinctive: you can Play, Stop or Pause the Audio Player with these trigger buttons,
03:11
and change the volume by adjusting the Gain knob and Mute button.
03:15
While playing, you could fast-forward or rewind the current track.
03:19
The Loop button will restart the current file after it finishes indefinitely—which is different than the Repeat button which is alternatively available when you’re using a Playlist.
03:29
Repeat will tell your playlist to return to the first song in its list after it completes the final song in its list.
03:36
But neither the Loop nor Repeat buttons start the Audio Player, they just change its behavior.
03:42
You can also advance to different tracks in your playlist with the Playlist transport controls, or enable Shuffle, which will randomize the order of your Playlist.
03:51
Which brings me to “Auto Play,” which I see misused all the time.
03:58
Auto Play is simply an option that tells the Core to automatically start this Audio Player when the design first boots up.
04:05
If you’re using this Audio Player for background music, this will guarantee your music starts when the system first boots or recovers from a power outage.
04:14
But engaging this button doesn’t actually start the Audio Player, it’s just a choice you should make when commissioning the system.
04:22
So please don’t ever let me catch you placing this Auto Play button on a UCI … it’s just going to confuse the end user.
04:30
After all, if the UCI is already booted up, then the design is therefore already running, and the button will have no noticeable effect.
04:38
You may wonder why some settings, like “Playlist Capable” are considered a Property, while others like “Auto-Play” are inside the control panel.
04:47
Sometimes this may seem arbitrary. It brings me to a bit of trivia about components in general, that explains the difference between properties and controls.
04:55
Any changes to the properties of a component will change the processing resources required to run that component.
05:02
That’s why most properties change the number of channels a component has, the range or bandwidth of certain settings, or—in this case—the ability to handle more resources.
05:13
This makes the component slightly more processing-intensive. Usually not be a lot, but still it can’t be changed once the Core allocates its resources out when it compiles your design.
05:25
By contrast, anything inside a control panel simply changes the activity of the component, but not its fundamental structure.
05:33
That’s why some controls that may seem like properties—like AutoPlay--show up in the control panel,
05:39
even though it’s not the kind of control you would ever want to give to a user on a UCI.
05:45
Alright one last thing, which is a little advanced, but I see people mess this up all the time, too.
05:51
The Play, Stop, and Pause buttons are trigger buttons, which you may recall means they execute an action . . . but they don’t have an “on” or “off” state.
06:04
But when you interact with these buttons, they do light up, behaving very much like a toggle button, which does have an “on” and “off” state.
06:13
Let’s take a moment to return to design mode to investigate . . . because if you select the button and look at its properties, it confirms that this is a trigger, not a toggle.
06:23
So what’s going on here?
06:25
Well these three buttons are a very rare exception in Q-SYS in which two types of controls have been combined into one:
06:32
a trigger to perform the action, and an LED that displays the state of the Audio Player.
06:39
This is done because people expect to see some visual feedback when they press Play, even though the button is just a trigger.
06:46
In fact, if you look at the Audio Player’s control pins, you’ll see that each of these buttons have two different control pins:
06:52
the trigger itself, and the LED that represents its state.
06:57
The Playing LED is on when the Audio Player is currently playing a file, the Stopped LED is on when the Audio Player is stopped, etc.
07:07
If you want something else in your design to occur when the Audio Player is playing,
07:11
you very likely want to use the “Playing LED” control rather than the “Play trigger” control.
07:17
For a deeper understanding of what’s going on here, check out our Control 101 training course.
07:23
Okay, in the next section we’ll show you how to upload media files to your Core, make playlists, and manage your Core’s media capacity.
07:30
Let’s take a quick break, and move on whenever you’re ready.

Lesson Description

Learn how to use and configure the Audio Player component to play audio files in your design

Tips and Definitions

  • The default capacity of a Core is 16 simultaneous Audio Player Tracks.
  • Every Audio Player in a design counts its tracks against your total capacity, even if the track is not being used.
  • (Shift+F6) = Check Design to see how much of your track capacity is being used.
  • Change the Playlist Capable field to Yes in an Audio Player’s properties panel to enable playlist functionality.