Configuration

In order to use DAC Cartwall to it's fullest, some of these configuration options need to be reviewed and, perhaps, changed to suit your own system.

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.


Audio
This tab deals with the audio settings within DAC...

Player A Output Device : sets the sound device for the first playback deck
Player B Output Device : sets the sound device for the second playback deck
Player C Output Device : sets the sound device for the third playback deck

Instant Player / Database PFL Output Device : sets the sound device for the instant playback deck, database and PFL/Details players
Player Fadeout Time : The time (in milliseconds) that the players will take to fade out when using the Fade playback mode

Use Internal Recorder [otherwise run uRecord] : You may optionally launch an external audio editor program if this box is un-ticked.  There is a path setting to define your external editor - Typical examples would be Adobe Aution, Audacity, Cool Edit etc
Record Output Device : sets the output sound device for the production recorder
Record Input Device : sets the sound input device for the production recorder

Enable Multichannel (surround) Mode : This option allows you to use a 7.1 surround-sound card and make use of the 3 stereo outputs available for it.  Ideal for budget systems where you do not want (or need) an expensive pro audio card.  This should work on most 7.1-compatible cards - Ensure that you have set the speaker arrangement in Control Panel to "7.1 Speakers" or the outputs will remain on the front pair.

This can be useful with a mobile configuration (eg: a laptop) where you need extra outputs but can't afford a "pro" soundcard.

Normalize to : The % value that the internal Recorder/Editor will normalize audio to
Top/Tail Threshold : The value in negative dB that the internal Recorder/Editor will top/tail the audio to.

VU Meter Speed : The speed at which the VU meters react/fall to incoming audio levels

Production Recorder 320k MP3 Mode : Allows the internal recorder/editor to record at 320k MP3 rather than PCM WAV

Determine File Type - this dropdown box allows you to select the way DAC Cartwall handles files.  Either read the file as ARTIST - TITLE.ext , use APE/ID3 tags, FLAC tags, JMD (MyLibrary), mAirList v2 (or more recent v6) MMD files or the industry-standard WAV CartChunk format.  This allows DAC to show the Artist+Title and, optionally, other fields in the Players.  Depending upon the tag format, Genre info and/or Intro time can be displayed during playback. 

AutoCue Players : When using the NONE - Use Filenames option for tag data, DAC will attempt to AutoCue the file so that the audio is ready to play as soon as you press play (Players 1-3 only).  APE (StationPlaylist), CartChunk and JMD (JockMaster) have options for defining a CueIn point and thus will not be AutoCued.

Use Auto Segue : Removed - Use the CHAIN function as this allows for easier setting of A>B>C sequencing.

Duck Decks to : The value in % that the 3 Players will be ducked-to when the Instant Playing is playing - Default is 50%
Duck Down Time : The duration (in milliseconds) that the 3 Players will take to duck - Default is 250mS
Duck Restore Time : The duration (in milliseconds) that the 3 Players will take to restore to normal volume - Default is 250mS


Paths
This tab deals with the folder paths within DAC...

JMD Folder : The location containing your JockMaster/Meridian/MyLibrary data files
MMD Folder : The location containing your mAirList MMD meta-data files
Recording Folder : The location where the internal recorder/editor will load/save files

Log Played Files to this folder : Saves the playback time+filename to a text file for audit purposes
CSV Format : comma-separated file format (ideal for spreadsheets and automated returns)
TXT Format : simple tabbed text format (human-readable)

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

Cart Set Folder : The location where your Cart Sets (button pages) will be stored - If you are running a multi-studio setup, a networked folder can be used so that Cart Sets are visible (and refreshed automatically) over your network.

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).

Database / Library : This is the filename of the Database you wish to use - You may use a unique DAC database or interface to an existing Bravo, JockMaster, Meridian or SoundFusion database.  This allows DAC to work alongside your playout software and/or scheduler.  You do not need Access (or MS Office) installed, the Access MDB is completely stand-alone in operation.  If the path+filename are not correct, the textbox background will change to red.

Browser Preset Name / Path : Up to 4 locations can be used to quickly jump between favourite folders, eg: Adverts, Jingles, Jock IDs etc.


Database Styles
This tab deals with the Genres/Styles used within the DAC Database...

The Styles are simple Genres for each ItemType: Advert, Command, Jingle, Network, Package, Promo, Song, VoiceTrack.  These ItemTypes are internally set and a piece of audio must belong to 1 type.  It can then belong to multiple Styles within that type, eg: SONG>90S/XMAS if it's a Christmas song from the 90s.  The new Database browser allows you to filter by ItemType as well as offering a drop-down selector for Genres/Styles - it even has an on-screen keyboard which makes touchscreen search+play very slick indeed!

You MUST define some Genre/Styles in the Config, first.  These can be anything you like, but DANCE, POP, 70S, JAZZ etc are good examples.  If you do not define any styles, you will not be able to see your imported files!

To add a Style, enter it's name in the box and click Add.
To delete an existing Style, highlight it with the mouse and click Delete.

Item Type Colours are for results shown in the Database Library.


Misc Settings
This tab deals with the miscellaneous settings within DAC...

GUI Skin : Allows you to select from the available MSStyle themes.  These are freely available on many sites and DAC Cartwall comes with 2 sample styles.
Buttons Follow Theme : Many of the buttons will be themed to match the current MSStyle

Enable ROTATE Carts : Allows Carts to be "stacked" with multiple cuts which rotate when clicked.  Ideal for promos or random sound effects, liners, drops etc.

Warn me if I try to play a file that doesn't exist : displays an error message warning you that the file you're trying to play does not exist.  This can be useful if you have a networked drive or regularly play an audio file which is changed regularly.

Show durations on Cartwall buttons : adds the duration of each item onto the button caption, eg: WEATHER BED [0:45]
From v4.44, the audio file duration is only re-scanned if the file has been modified since the last time it was saved+scanned.  This dramatically speeds-up loading of Sets that feature long-form audio such as music, interviews etc.

Use Log In Screen : This option enables the log-in dialog which prevents all of the "write" actions of DAC Cartwall.  Using DAC in this way permits anybody to run the program and log in as a User with full playback access to the audio sets - but they are unable to make changes to the Buttons or Sets.  They may record audio in the Production Recorder and load it into a deck.  To get full access to DAC Cartwall, an admin password must be entered - this is stored outside of the main settings file so is not easily defeated.

Refresh Set Buttons every 10 seconds : This option will enable/disable the automatic Button refresh timer and is useful if you have other DAC workstations changing buttons which you need to see.  This re-loads the entire 10-page Set and can sometimes slow-down the response time so this option allows you to disable it.  It does NOT re-load the list of Sets - this must be done via the Refresh Sets button in the Pallete window.

Button Font / Size / Bold : Sets the Buttons font, size and bold type (button caption)
Cart Player Font / Size / Bold : Sets the font, size and bold type of the Player/Deck text (Artist/Title)

Remote Control
DAC can be controlled via external hardware, such as a joystick, Velleman K8055, RS232 or UDP.  These remotes allow DAC to respond even when the Cartwall may not be "in focus" within Windows - perhaps if you're reading an e-mail or using a web-browser - this makes controlling audio from your mixing desk (or button-box) really easy.

Enable GAME Port Control : enables the joystick port for remote control.  Buttons 1/2/3 start/stop Players 1+2+3 while Button 4 stops the Instant Player.

The default polling interval on the joystick timer is 25-milliseconds.  You can change this via a setting tweak by adding/editing the following in DACCartwall.ini :

[General]
JoystickPoll=nn

Where nn is the value, in milliseconds, to poll at.

Basic USB joystick modules are available via Aliexpress/eBay.  If you have an old-style 15-way port, you'll need the following circuit :

Enable Velleman K8055N Control : a USB interface board that allows remote-start.  Useful if you do not have a game port.
SK5 / SK6 : config option for the K8055
Check K8055 : checks the status of the K8055, the indicator will go green if the board is found
When you are using the K8055, the Output1 is triggered when you use Instant Mode - this is useful for putting a mixer channel into PFL mode. Output 2 goes "HIGH" when the Production Recorder is playing, ideal for engaging PFL on your mixer.

The default polling interval on the USB timer is 25-milliseconds.  You can change this via a setting tweak by adding/editing the following in DACCartwall.ini :

[USB]
USBPoll=nn

Where nn is the value, in milliseconds, to poll at.

COM Port : Select the serial port to use for remote control.  Incoming command strings must start with the text shown below - end of line (carriage-return etc) is not essential.

Enable UDP Remote Control on Port 6501 : This feature will enable DAC Cartwall to accept incoming UDP commands from networked computers and other devices.  Playout systems such as PSquared's Myriad, EncoDAD, RCS Zetta are supported.

The available commands for RS232+UDP control are:
PLAY1 , PLAY2 , PLAY3 , STOP1 , STOP2 , STOP3 , STOPINSTANTS , INSTANT_xx where xx is the number (1-56) of the button you wish to play in Instant Mode, eg: INSTANT25 will play Button25.

UDP Command Destination/Port : The location of AdSplits (if used) where non-audio command buttons will send their UDP macros, eg: START BREAK, SPLIT JINGLE etc.


Copyright © Charlie Davy