Cart Sets and Playback

Using DAC Cartwall is fairly straightforward - you drag and drop audio files onto the buttons, then load them into one of the playback decks and hit play.  You can also set the buttons to Instant which will start the audio in a special 4th player instantly.  This makes DAC ideal for playing longer items like news/talk beds and the clips/voice inserts via Instant Mode .

Each page of buttons is referred to as a Cart Set - this comprises of 10 pages, each having 56 buttons which may be labelled and coloured to suit.  The filename (or APE/ID3 tag) of the audio file is used where possible but you can alter the displayed button caption if you wish.  Colours are unique to each set, so you can have the same audio on another set and it doesn't have to be the same colour.

To define a custom title or background/text colour, right-click the button (or a long press if using a touchscreen) and select an option from the menu that appears.

Moving a DAC Configuration to another PC
If you wish to transfer DAC Cartwall to another computer, you will need to copy the Set files (with a .dac extension), the DACCartwall.ini settings file plus the Database file (usually AudioDB.mdb).  Remember to copy your audio if it's also stored on the old computer's C: drive! 
It's a good idea to keep a regular backup of your .dac "Set" files whether they are on a local computer or shared drive.


Creating and Deleting Cart Sets
The menu button below is where you can create new sets, delete old ones and also change the playback modes.

It makes DAC Cartwall even more touchscreen-friendly and easier to use!

Creating a New Cart Set
Open the menu, type the name of the new Cart Set and then click the  New Set button - you will then be presented with a fresh page of buttons to populate via drag 'n' drop.  Right-clicking a button allows you to define a custom title and/or colour.

Deleting a Cart Set
Select the set in the right-hand list and use the Delete Set button - you will be asked to confirm the deletion.  This will DELETE the Cart Set from your computer.

Normal Players vs Fade Players
When in Normal Players mode, each of the 3 playback decks can be started and stopped independently.  With Fade Players, any playing decks will fade upon starting of another deck.  This mode is useful for Bed+Tags and makes it sound smooter than manually stopping the bed yourself - It is also handy for song transitions but remember that DAC Cartwall is not designed to be a music player.

eg: Player 2 is playing and either Player 1 or 3 is started... Player 2 will fade out.  When using Fade Players, a fadeout ramp icon will be displayed in each player.

Consume Cuts
When in Instant Mode, you can enable the Consume Cuts button (next to the Fade/Eject Mode buttons on the pallette button) which will disable the cart buttons as they are played.  To restore a button, just click the Cart Set.

ReCue After Playback vs Eject When Played
This option determines what DAC Cartwall does when it finishes playing an item in one of the 3 playback decks.  It can either eject the player ready for another file or re-cue the file ready for playing again.  When the players are set to ReCue - an arrow icon will be displayed in each player.

Chaining Players
It is possible to sequence the Players when the audio ends which gives you a simple form of automated playout.  The sequence works using either the Database/Library or JMD Segue Point - or it can auto-cue based on a set threshold level.  This ensures near-perfect overlaps.

At this time, there is no Loop function in DAC Cartwall.

Clone Mode
A window will appear allowing you to set the Back+Text Colour of a button which then allows you to click your Cartwall Buttons to quickly set their colour properties.  Just set the Back/Text colour of this single button and then click the Cartwall Buttons that you wish to change - these changes are then saved to the Cart Set automatically.  This offers a considerable saving when setting items as the same colour.  Note that Instant/Collect functions are disabled while the Clone window is open!


Navigating Sets
A Cart Set can be selected by selecting it from the list on the right-hand side of the main DAC Cartwall window.  You can also use the Up/Down buttons to cycle through each page.  Any changes made to a button are instantly saved - there is no "Save Set" button.

If changes are made over a network - the automatic 10-second refresh will re-load the list for you.


Playback Decks
The 3 playback decks offer simple start/stop/re-cue/fade and seek functions - Buttons F1/F2/F3 start the players and during playback you can pause, re-cue or fade the player by touching one of the buttons.  To seek forward/backwards in the file, just click and drag the main text area of the player.  The left-hand (yellow/purple) counter displays the Intro time (if there is one) and then the elapsed time.  The right-hand (green) counter shows the time remaining.

Played items can be logged to a text file for simple reporting of played audio - The format of the CSV and TXT log file format is as follows:
31/08/12,19:27:01,MY JINGLE.mp3
2012-08-31 19:27:08 MY JINGLE.mp3


Loading a Playback Deck - Collect, Instant and Press 'n' Go Mode
There are 3 Modes that DAC runs in: Collect , Instant and Press 'n' Go.  The mode can be changed by pressing (or touching) the button underneath the Instant deck on the right-hand side.  The button label will be 1 of the 3 Modes and, when pressed, opens a small window allowing you to change mode.

When in Collect Mode, the playback decks are loaded by touching a button and then selecting a player by pressing the Load button or anywhere within the playback window - this makes it easy for touch-screen users to load audio.  When you have armed a button, it will flash indicating that it is ready to be loaded into a playback deck - to cancel this operation, just press it again.

Instant Mode (screen background changes to green) allows you to play any button instantly in the smaller 4th player.  You may find this useful for pre-fading a file.  When you are using the K8055 USB Interface, the Output1 is triggered when you use Instant Mode - this can be used to put a mixer channel into PFL mode.

Press 'n' Go Mode will automatically load and play a button into the lowest available Player.  So, if Player 2 is playing but Player 1 is empty, the audio will load+play from Player 1.  This mode will turn the screen purple.

Note: When starting DAC, it will remember the "modes" between sessions, so if you exit when in Instant Mode, it will start-up in that mode, too.

Ducking Mode
It's possible to lower the volume of Decks 1-3 while the Instant Deck is playing - This is useful when playing dry voice clips over a talk-bed and you only have a single audio device installed.  To engage the Ducking Mode, click the "Ducking Disabled" label inside the Instant Player window - it will change colour and text to signify the Ducking status. There are also 3 new Config options in the Audio tab to control the Ducking Level and Fade Down/Up times.


Folder vs Preset Mode
The main mode of DAC Cartwall is Preset Mode which shows the cart set list.  When you engage Folder Mode, the list then reverts to a Drive/Folder/File view which allows you to drag files onto the buttons or directly into the players.

Assigning Audio to a Button
Each button on a cart set holds 1 audio file - there are several ways to add audio to a button:

Changing Captions and Colours
Buttons on each Cart Set can be coloured to suit - You simply right-click the button and select to change either the Background or Text Colour.  You can also change the displayed caption - This does not rename the file, merely changes the caption on this Cart Set only.  Up to 255 characters can be displayed on each button.


RS232 and UDP Remote Control
These protocols allow DAC Cartwall to accept incoming RS232 strings and UDP commands (on port 6501) from networked computers.  Playout systems such as mAirList, PSquared's Myriad and Enco DAD/Presenter can send UDP commands but hardware like an Arduino or RaspberryPi will also work.

The available commands are:
PLAY1 , PLAY2 , PLAY3 , STOP1 , STOP2 , STOP3 , FADE1 , FADE2 , FADE3 , STOPINSTANTS , INSTANT_xx
Where xx is the number (1-56) of the button you wish to play in Instant Mode - eg: INSTANT_25 will play Button 25

PLAY actually toggles the Play/Pause button depending upon the player's state.  STOP recues the item to the start of the audio.

Here's an example of the Android app, UDPTester, being used to send a command to DAC:

You can manually alter the COM Port "baud" settings and default (incoming) UDP Port via the following config file entries:

[Network]
UDPPort=6501

[RS232]
Port=0 (0=disabled, else 1-20. Can be set via DAC Cartwall's Config screen)
Settings=9600,n,8,1


Sending UDP from a Cart Button
As of v4.33, DAC can also send UDP commands via a non-audio button - This allows you to start network splits and other events from any Cart Set.  Commands are stored in a similar way to audio files within each "Set" file.  You can create a text file in Notepad and enter the following which will then allow you to drag the text-file command onto any button - At this time, only a single UDP destination is supported.

[Cart]
Caption=CLICK FOR A COMMAND
FileName=START NETWORK BREAK
Colour=000255000
TextColour=000000000

Colours are RGB (red, green blue) values 000 to 255, so in the above example the background is Green and the text is Black.  This text-file format allows you to define a series of UDP command macros and have their colour automatically applied each time they are dragged from Windows Explorer onto a Set page.  3 sample commands are included, and can be found in the DAC program folder.

For integration with an AdSplits Master - add the following (using your own address/port+studio/source ID parameters) to the DACCartwall.ini settings file:

[AdSplits]
Master=localhost
Port=5593
StudioID=STUDIO1

Up to 24 characters are permitted for the StudioID.


Rotate Carts
The Rotate Cart feature allows up to 25 items to be placed on a single Cart Button - In Instant Mode, DAC will rotate through this list allowing you to play a different audio file each time the button is pressed.  You can edit this list, re-arrange and delete items by right-clicking the Cart Button and selecting "Edit Rotate List".


Copyright © Charlie Davy