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Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

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Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:17 pm

Hi,
Ive got Dorrough Meters (Waves) as the last plugin on the stereo bus, but the meters dont follow the fader level.
If I turn the fader down the meters dont change.

Someone recommended setting up a special 'metering bus' and sending stems to it via an Aux for metering but I use outboard processors via the IO plugin and those channels dont work work aux sends (they are always orange and inactive).

How do I meter with Dorrough? It always seems to just monitor the incoming signal and ignore fader level adjustments.

thanks, John.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby Kwackman » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:27 pm

Can you change the insert slot to be post fader?
It's been years since I used Logic but I'm pretty sure you could on other channels, maybe the final stereo output is different?
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby desmond » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:32 pm

jodaki wrote:Ive got Dorrough Meters (Waves) as the last plugin on the stereo bus, but the meters dont follow the fader level.
If I turn the fader down the meters dont change.

The plugins come before the fader on channel strips (hence, "inserts"), and are thus unaffected by the fader level.

jodaki wrote:How do I meter with Dorrough? It always seems to just monitor the incoming signal and ignore fader level adjustments.

How does the manual recommend setting it up?
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:24 pm

jodaki wrote:How do I meter with Dorrough? It always seems to just monitor the incoming signal and ignore fader level adjustments.

Create a subgroup. Put meter in subgroup. Route channels to be metered post-fader to tha subgroup.

H
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:43 pm

The manual just seems to say that you plug it in and away you go - it doesn't give any specifics on how you adjust your level based on the readings you get. I found I can adjust the Dorrough meter reading by the output of the plugin that precedes it but this is profoundly unuseful on a master bus.

In logic on the stereo output bus for example I can set the preceding plugins to give a good level on the Dorrough meter but then if I turn down the stereo bus fader and bounce the track I get a track which reflects the stereo out level, not the dorrough level - ie silent.

Given the floating point capabilities of DAWS and computers these days, then apart from the obvious uses on tracks, stems and busses, surely in most cases the reason most people want to pay for an accurate metering tool (better than your DAW meters) is to gauge the master bus output level?

Unless it has some hidden post fader metering option which I cant find the Dorrough meter doesn't seem to be of any use at all in that context as not only does the stereo output alter the level after the meter but so does the master bus fader as well. Using it seems to raise more questions than it actually answers - what IS my output level?

Im confused...
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:52 pm

Thanks Hugh, I'm glad there is a solution but still think Im being really dim, what is a subgroup in Logic? Is that an AUX send? I tried sending my stems to a 'metering AUX' but, because one of them uses an IO plugin for an outboard processor, the send on that Bus is orange and just doesnt seem to send. Ive tried bussing stems to a separate bus solely for metering but still no cigar...
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:10 pm

Sorry I realise that was unclear. Yes I tried creating a subgroup (AUX) with the meter on that AUX and sending tracks to it post fader but on tracks/busses with the IO plugin enabled, the send does not work.

Even if that were possible though the quandry still remains about accurate metering of the stereo output fader. Perfect levels prior to the output are nice to know but irrelevant (unless Im missing something basic which I probably am) if I dont know what my bounce level is.

I know its an emulation so perhaps not the point from their persepcetive but it would be really useful if Waves added a post-fader setting to the Dorrough meter, even if that option could only enabled on the stereo out.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:49 pm

jodaki wrote:In logic on the stereo output bus for example I can set the preceding plugins to give a good level on the Dorrough meter but then if I turn down the stereo bus fader and bounce the track I get a track which reflects the stereo out level, not the dorrough level - ie silent.

That's the way Logic works - the same would be true without the plugin inserted. Generally speaking you can ignore the stero master fader. Think of it as controlling the output level from the whole DAW. Just leave it at the unity 0dBFS position and adjust the mix such that you get the output level you desire.

jodaki wrote:what IS my output level?

If you leave the master stereo fader at unity then the output level is whatever the Durrough meter plugin on the master stereo mix says it is.

jodaki wrote:... it would be really useful if Waves added a post-fader setting to the Dorrough meter, even if that option could only enabled on the stereo out.

A plugin, especially an insert, does not have control over what input it is fed, only what it can do with that input. If placed as an insert onto the master stereo mix then it is the configuration of that plugin slot in the DAW that determines whether it is pre or post fader, and whichever it is the plugin doesn't get to choose.

Think of it in terms of hardware. If you have a chorus and a volume pedal between your sound source and the amplifier then you physically have to connect them up in the order you want. If the volume pedal is between the sound source and the chorus, then the chorus will only see the signal that the volume pedal passes through (ie: in this case it is post-fader).

Wiring up the volume pedal after the chorus means that the chorus will always see the full signal, the volume pedal now determining the level of that affected signal being sent to the amplifier (thus the chorus is pre-fader).

In neither case can you have a switch on the chorus to change from one behaviour to another... the best you can hope for is a wet/dry mix adjustment on the chorus to determine the ratio of affected to unaffected input signal present at its output.

The pedal does what it does, the chorus does what it does. It's the physical arrangement that determines the final result.

The same is true of plugins in a DAW, the obvious difference being that all the interconnections are virtual.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:15 am

jodaki wrote:Even if that were possible though the quandry still remains about accurate metering of the stereo output fader. Perfect levels prior to the output are nice to know but irrelevant (unless Im missing something basic which I probably am) if I dont know what my bounce level is.

All a metering plugin can do is show you the levels at the input to the plugin.

It can't show you level of things that happen *after* the plugin - ie, if there are other plugins added after the metering plugin, or, if you alter the channel fader (which is the *last* volume process on a channel).

So, if you want the meter to reflect changes you make to a channel fader (eg fading your mix), then you must place the plugin *after* the fader that's controlling your mix.

There are a number of ways to route in Logic's mixer, but let's keep this a simple example. Say you have a project with 20 tracks, and the output of those tracks are each set to "Output 1-2", which is your main stereo master bus.

Your basic routing looks like this:
Audio tracks --> Stereo Output 1-2

Instead, we'll set the output of those twenty tracks to an unused Aux channel, say, Aux 40 (and Aux 40 will have it's output sent to Output 1-2, the main stereo bus, as usual).

This means your mixer routing now works like this:
Audio tracks --> Aux 40 --> Stereo Output 1-2

This aux channel is now your "pseudo" master mix - you can put your master bus plugins, compressors, limiters etc on here, and control the mix level with the aux fader.

The meter plugin you put on the Output 1-2 channel as normal, and leave the fader in the 0dB position, *and don't touch it*.

When you want to perform a fade, you use the Aux 40 fader, and you'll see the meter levels change in your meter plugin accordingly.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:04 am

Who on Earth in the Logic offices thought that calling a subgroup an 'Aux' was a good Idea? :headbang:
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:06 am

Thanks everyone. Cracked it by using the 'pseudo master' trick Desmond suggested - but using a Bus rather than an Aux.

I realise other people might have been suggesting the same thing but I got confused because Logic has both busses and Auxs. I think an aux is a parallel channel send and a bus is a channel's main output routing.

The method of using Logic Auxs to send (even if sending post fader) does not work with IO outboard as I mentioned earlier but it does all work as per Desmond's plan if I route via busses.

Sidenote about channel insert data:
Of course I understand the concept of an Insert as it exists in the realm of hardware, and the impossibility of processing data from further down stream. But equally obviously software is not subject to the same restrictions.

Unless Logic's plugin API actually prohibits plugins from accessing the output data of the channel it is inserted on (which it may do) then I cant think of any reason that a plugin couldn't meter the output of its own channel. Any AU plugin designers out there might know the answer to that one...
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:11 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Who on Earth in the Logic offices thought that calling a subgroup an 'Aux' was a good Idea? :headbang:

:lol:

Well, Auxes are just a flexible channel type, used for a few different things. You can route sends to auxes (and thus put on reverbs/FX on that aux channel so it acts as an FX return), or you can set the output of channels to auxes and thus they behave as sub-groups.

So they are not *just* subgroups.

Also I think the terminology might confuse people with Logic's "group" system, where you can group faders (and other things) together, but not actually mix the signals together.

Auxes were added as an addition and refinement to Logic's existing "Bus" objects, which just confused the hell out of most people. Buss objects are still there, but aren't really used in practice. People didn't understand the difference between a Buss (a pathway to send signals) and Buss object channel (a channel where you could bring that buss signal into the mixer, add plugins to it, and therefore modify the signals on the buss that ended up being sent elsewhere. Replacing that system with Auxes meant the routing was more obvious and straightforward, and added some additional flexibility.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:19 am

jodaki wrote:Thanks everyone. Cracked it by using the 'pseudo master' trick Desmond suggested - but using a Bus rather than an Aux.

I realise other people might have been suggesting the same thing but I got confused because Logic has both busses and Auxs. I think an aux is a parallel channel send and a bus is a channel's main output routing.

You can think of a bus as a signal path you can route audio along. An aux channel is a mixer channel, which takes an input (which can be from one of those busses) and brings it back into the mixer.

If, as in my example, you set the tracks to output to an Aux, all you are doing is mixing all those tracks along an internal bus directly to an aux channel. So you are always using busses and auxes. A bus on it's own won't go anywhere, if it's not routed to anything. I'm not clear on whatever routing you're using, but good that it's working for you. :thumbup:

jodaki wrote:Of course I understand the concept of an Insert as it exists in the realm of hardware, and the impossibility of processing data from further down stream. But equally obviously software is not subject to the same restrictions.

Well, DAW mixers are usually based around the hardware mixer paradigm, so the concepts are similar. With a hardware mixer, you wouldn't generally put a meter on the master bus inserts (because the master fader would come after it, just as in Logic). You'd likely put it on the main output that feeds your master recorder - in the DAW world, that would be *after* the mixer, but before the final bounced file. It doesn't really have an equivalent in the DAW.

jodaki wrote:Unless Logic's plugin API actually prohibits plugins from accessing the output data of the channel it is inserted on (which it may do) then I cant think of any reason that a plugin couldn't meter the output of its own channel. Any AU plugin designers out there might know the answer to that one...

As I said, all a plugin can do is get a audio data fed into it from it's input, and do something with it, and then chuck data back out, which gets pased along to the next plugins etc, and ultaimtely down to the channel fader and output. There is no way a plugin can access anything else in the DAW that's outside of it's scope.
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Re: Dorrough Metering problem in Logic Pro

Postby jodaki » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:11 am

Thanks Desmond. I get the difference now between Aux and Busses, thanks for that. Again the way these terms are used in Logic is perhaps not the clearest :)

I've just been mooching at some of Apple's developer references for Audio Units and as I suspected, the AU plugin is a very different beast from the analog/hardware equivalents. And whist many AU plugins may indeed just chomp input and spit out output - like a hardware processor, they are certainly not limited to doing just that.

The AU specification mentions at least 2 mechanisms by which a plugin might access data from outside its audio stream input - in ways totally impractical or impossible for an analog processor.

The first is via the Audio Unit Connection Structure which gives Audio Units access to bus-level feedback data. The second is via Callback connections which allow the Unit to run methods which result in the host sending 'messages' (data) back to Audio Units, in theory this data could be anything. The Units can request data both directly from the host and from the host Notification Center.

I get that it doesn't make sense for many/most plugins to need or want to know anything about what goes on outside the scope of their Audio Stream Data, but for a metering plugin I think it would be useful to have modes for metering pre and post fader (if only for master bus duty). From what Ive read this morning, it looks like the Core Audio and AU specs could allow that.

https://developer.apple.com/library/arc ... oUnit.html

https://developer.apple.com/library/arc ... ntals.html
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