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Winamp

Winamp is a lean but powerful audioplayer program for Windows. One of its strengths is its extensibility through plugins. Integration with Avolites Titan has been around since the early days of Titan (I know for sure that you could use it with Titan v4, back in 2012 already).

Name: Winamp
Developer: Nullsoft; currently: Radionomy
Winamp has really a history - have a look at its Wikipedia site.
Website: http://www.winamp.com/
Titan Control: - only on same machine possible
- timecode-like source for cuelists
- can be patched as fixture

Installation

For many years now, Winamp is being installed with Titan on all hardware consoles. It is available in the Tools menu under Additional Programs.

However, for the PC Suite (Titan Simulator, Titan One, T1, T2, Titan Mobile), Winamp needs to be downloaded and installed separately (http://www.winamp.com/).

Plugin (or not)

For earlier Titan versions, a plugin was required for Winamp, in order to be controlled from Titan. This plugin was available at Avolites' Download page. After installing - or manually copying the gen_avolites.dll to Winamp's plugin folder - and restarting Winamp it was available in Winamp's preferences (hit Ctrl-P for preferences) as Avolites Virtual Fixture v2.0 under Plug-Ins/General Purpose.

Ctrl-P for preferences Avo-Plugin in Plug-Ins/General Purpose

With Configure selected plug-In the virtual fixture could then be set to a specific DMX address and universe.

From Titan v.10 or so the plugin is not needed any more, and has subsequently disappeared from Avolites' website. Now, the required interface is always included in Titan, and Winamp can be patched without universe or address.

Patching

You can patch Winamp (manufacturer: Nullsoft) as like as a usual movinglight from Titan's Patch menu or Patch window. In earlier versions - with the plugin - universe and address needed to be set accordingly to the settings of the plugin. There was a limitation so that the plugin could only handle addresses up to universe 8. However, nowadays Winamp doesn't require a valid address anymore - just patch the fixture as parked, to have the controls available (in fact it automatically patches as parked). Yet, see below for other current issues.

Winamp patched as fixture

Patching Winamp in Titan gives some basic controls: you can select the track, start/stop/pause, as well as set the volume and the equalizer. In order to select a track it is recommended to put all tracks you gonna use into one playlist.

Timecode

While patching Winamp lets you control Winamp from Titan, there is also the other way 'round: Winamp can send its timing information back into Titan, and hence can be set as Timecode source in the timecode menu, in order to run cuelists synced to music. This is available regardless if Winamp is patched or not - but see below why it is recommended to patch Winamp anyway!

Simply select Winamp as timecode source, and see the time changing as the track plays in Winamp.

Winamp as timecode source

There are two things which are special to this scenario: Winamp timecode splits each second into 100 frames while other timecode usually runs on other framerates, and: the hour nibble - the leftmost two digits of the timestamp - denote the track number in the playlist. In the screenshot above there was only one track in the list - hence, the current timecode reads 01:01:40.27: track 1, at 01:40 min:sec and 27 frames.

Transport Control

Not only is Winamp a valid timecode source, also some transport control is available from the timecode menu and timecode window if Winamp is selected as timecode source: play, pause, and reset work as you might expect. And reset always returns to the timestamp which is set as Start Time in the timecode menu. This is a great help while programming and rehearsing: punch in the track and time at which you want to repeat the take.

Winamp with Titan transport control

Known issues

There are some little issues to be aware of:

  • the different framerate - 100 fps - requires converting existing timestamps when changing the timecode source
  • there is a software issue which wraps frame numbers around when entering timestamps manually in the cuelist playback view as this assumes a framerate of only 25 fps. Hence, if you enter a timestamp with more than 24 frames then this gets wrapped, and a number of seconds being added. E.g. a timestamp of 00:00:01:70 is 'translated' to 00:00:03:20. The workaround is to select all timecode cells and set the framerate to 100 fps as this seems to get stored on a per-cue basis.
  • when patching Winamp in Titan make sure it is patched as first fixture, at universe 1 address 1, and silently make sure the required 19 channels are not used by other fixtures. Else, some features will not funcotion correctly (this is already being investigated)
  • if you do not patch it and only rely on the timecode transport controls expect the other channels behave strangely, as they expect some input but don't get it. E.g. the volume or balance can be awkward, or the equalizer has strange settings.
  • timecode is, by definition, designed for values from 00:00:00:00 up to 23:59:59:29 (for 30 fps) - nothing wrong here as there are only 24 hours per day, right? However this limits the transport control for Winamp: you cannot make playlists with more than 23 tracks (well you can - but you cannot start tracks above #23 with this method).
  • one other backdraw is the inherent thing that this works only if Winamp and Titan are on the same machine. On computers running the PC suite you are free to use better sound cards or USB interfaces. On hardware consoles this is not possible, and you are always restricted to the little headphone output - have a DI box and a good sound guy at the ready.
  • there is a glitch most likely within Winamp itself which manifests in conjunction with this virtual timecode: when playing mp3 files, sometimes the timcode timestamp seems to divert from the Winamp track time by a couple of seconds unless it is paused and restarted. This appears to be due to the encoding method: wav files are okay while mp3 is faulty. If you are encountering these issues then re-encode your files as wav (sampling rate seems to have no effect). See this facebook post.
external/winamp.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/17 07:20 by icke_siegen