Fiwe - wireless audio effects

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Fiwe
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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:25 am

Hello, thank you guys for testing!

@gimmeapill: I have put online a new version that accepts any jack sampling rate and block size, which should fix your issue. Xruns are shown as the Vu-meters flashing black, so if it happens you may want to increase the block size (-p64 for example).
Also, I'll see if I can quickly hack the left-to-right or right-to-left aspect to be configurable in a next version...
The reason why the I/O are stereo instead of mono are because this is the case in the hardware. I am generally trying to tailor the software to our hardware, not really to pc+sound-card settings ;)

@tramp: yes indeed, thank you for your code and pixmaps ;)
I have written the knobs myself indeed as I use Qt instead of gtk. They don't behave like Guitarix where the knob indicator will follow the mouse exactly. In Fiwe, you mouse the mouse vertically up and down to change the value, and an horizontal mouse move has no effect. I changed the behaviour following some feedback from users who were more used to this way. I guess it's very much up to personal taste?

The clicks in the sound when changing the knobs quickly is probably not due to the knobs themselves but to xruns. I have generally not put too much effort into avoiding xruns because I want to focus the efforts more on the hardware. The softwre is not really meant to be used on a PC, and if so, people are probably better off using Guitarix/Rakarrack/etc directly :)
However, I can try to make this a bit better. The issue is that Qt is built around an event loop, so that if a Focus event (i.e. a repaint event) takes too long, it prevents the next critical Jack event in the queue to be honored soon enough. I give priority to Jack events of course, but if a jack callback arrives while I am in the middle of processing a Focus event, I cannot do much and have to wait for the process event to finish before I can start honoring the Jack event... How is this done in Guitarix/Gtk ?
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

Fiwe
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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:00 pm

@gimmeapill: I have actually quickly implemented flipping the user interface. You may toggle it from the "Gear->Advanced" menu...
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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tramp
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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby tramp » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:10 pm

Fiwe wrote:@tramp: yes indeed, thank you for your code and pixmaps ;)


You are welcome. I'm a fan of developers who try to make a business by using open source.
Fiwe wrote:I have written the knobs myself indeed as I use Qt instead of gtk. They don't behave like Guitarix where the knob indicator will follow the mouse exactly. In Fiwe, you mouse the mouse vertically up and down to change the value, and an horizontal mouse move has no effect. I changed the behaviour following some feedback from users who were more used to this way. I guess it's very much up to personal taste?


I guess the problem is at first that the initial mouse click position influence the value. You need to subtract that (zeroise) so that only the movement influence the value. Horizontal or vertical movement could then be used both. Just check were the greater movement happen (x or y).
Fiwe wrote:The clicks in the sound when changing the knobs quickly is probably not due to the knobs themselves but to xruns. I have generally not put too much effort into avoiding xruns because I want to focus the efforts more on the hardware.


That's a good thing, I'm a software guy, hardware isn't my cup of coffee. But, to be honest without hardware, no software. :(

Fiwe wrote:The issue is that Qt is built around an event loop, so that if a Focus event (i.e. a repaint event) takes too long, it prevents the next critical Jack event in the queue to be honored soon enough. I give priority to Jack events of course, but if a jack callback arrives while I am in the middle of processing a Focus event, I cannot do much and have to wait for the process event to finish before I can start honoring the Jack event... How is this done in Guitarix/Gtk ?


Even GTK is build around a event loop.
You'll need to use a separated thread for the engine.
In guitarix, the GUI and the engine not only been separated threads, they been completely separated processes. They interact with each other on socket connection.

regards
hermann

gimmeapill
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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:33 pm

Fiwe wrote:@gimmeapill: I have put online a new version that accepts any jack sampling rate and block size, which should fix your issue. Xruns are shown as the Vu-meters flashing black, so if it happens you may want to increase the block size (-p64 for example).


Thanks, that works, no particular xrun issue at p64, but any GUI action is indeed disrupting for the audio.
Also some effects don't seem to work at all, like GxDistortion, but it looks like you've ported a ton of stuff already - nice!

Fiwe wrote:Also, I'll see if I can quickly hack the left-to-right or right-to-left aspect to be configurable in a next version...


Actually I re-checked the screenshots from the Mod and they seem to get away with a left->right workflow - so I guess most users are happy like that (or they never touched a real pedal with the input on the right side ;-))
I also tried the button you added, but it just creates a graphic mess on an existing chain. I'd say don't waste your time on this, there are more important issues, like getting the GUI rock solid...

Fiwe wrote:The reason why the I/O are stereo instead of mono are because this is the case in the hardware. I am generally trying to tailor the software to our hardware, not really to pc+sound-card settings ;)


Well, a guitar has typically a mono output, and most Guitarix effects are also mono. But for sure, if you are targetting other use cases, stereo input is needed - maybe just replace the guitar Icon for something more generic? Actually nevermind, this is also bike shedding...

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:43 pm

Out of curiosity, I also tried the android version, but it doesn't launch at all on my Android 8.0 phone (Xiaomi Mi A1 built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625). Did you actually port the whole thing to Android?

If so, I am sure more than one user here would be*very* interested to run Guitarix on their mobile phones, if only this was possible with decent latency...

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:07 pm

Hello !

@tramp: ok, the knobs are fixed ;)
Yes, having the UI connect via a (bluetooth or usb) socket to the engine is actually already the case with the engine running on our hardware. Separating engine and UI also for the usage of the local sound-card hardware (through udp socket) should therefore not be too much effort. I'll look into it as background task...

@gimmeapill: I'll look into GxDistortion and the (presumably) startup crash on Android. Yeah the whole code is fully functioning to Android but I must admit that I haven't tested on this platform for a few months. In particular I haven't tested latency yet, and the user interface might feel a bit odd with a touch screen. I'd be interested if you may know some potential testers that can spare a bit of time ;)
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:02 pm

@gimmeapill: I have put a new Android version online that works, at least on a Samsung Galaxy. The audio is not working though, I'll investigate tomorrow... :)
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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protozone
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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby protozone » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:43 am

You know, this type of project might benefit from trying to integrate into SHOES!!!!

Don't laugh, I'm serious.
I often am jealous of little kids wearing shoes that have LED's (light-emitting diodes) that light up when their feet touch the ground while they walk.

I've used guitar stomp boxes before even though I'm a keyboardist. For a while I wanted to try to get synth and wah sounds via synthwah boxes or synthbass boxes (for bassists and guitarists)--it worked, especially with Digitech boxes. Anyway, I digress...

Since string instrument users (and some keyboardists/organists) may want to use their feet, it's logical to perhaps skip the box for some configurations and use some type of spatial map for different "zones" of foot tapping. Perhaps one foot could be the reference point for the horizontal angular (and maybe vertical velocity) directionality of the foot tapping. And the other foot, the one actually tapping (stomping) would be the on|off switch. If the foot was tapping at an angle to the left, it would (de)activate one virtual stompbox, if tapping at an angle to the right it would (de)activate a different virtual stomp box. And if it was tapping "on-axis" (straight ahead) it would be for a different (3rd) virtual stompbox.

I'm quite serious about this. Theremin technology is similar and that old Roland(?) D-Wave(?) controller synth thingy... oh, I forget what it was called. "Air-" something maybe. Ask the guys at VintageSynth.org, they'd know.

Seriously, though. You could have a really wild and fun and great tool. Come to think of it, it's almost like a WII (wii) type of thing. It could definately be done. You would just need to check the patents to make sure you aren't hopefully "locked out" due to patent blocks (which are definately annoying and which discourage innovation, unfortunately!).

Good Luck.
P.S.-You have my permission to use my idea. I hearby waive any intellectual property claim to the idea I just explained. Peace be with ya.

If your project accelerates, I would very much be into it perhaps.
One of the best things a keyboardist can do is to free up their appendages. We only have 10 fingers, and usually the old-fashioned pitch and mod wheels are not very accommodating to alternative styles. And not all MIDI controllers even have sustain pedals and even fewer have expression pedals or aftertouch.

Many years ago I had a keyboard with aftertouch. And a few years later I had one with an expression pedal.
It made certain types of sounds (mapped to Vember Surge) MUCH EASIER to implement. I think that's what I used for my tune here: https://hearthis.at/protozone/neonplaythings/ (Neon Play Things)

The sound that modulates it's detune as well as it's stereo field as well as it's other characteristics was either Vember Surge or Image-Line's Toxic Biohazard. Both excell at that type of thing.

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:27 pm

Hello Protozone!
I'm not laughing at all: using shoes is indeed one of the use-cases of our beacons, to replace a wahwah or expression pedal: https://fiwe.studio/hardware-details/#beacon
We are currently using the pitch (vertical) angle from a single beacon, but your idea goes further: using the yaw (horizontal) angle difference between 2 beacons to simulate a press on a few virtual keyboard pedals. I like the idea and we'll try to implement it. Trouble is that calculating the yaw angle requires a magnetometer (to measure the orientation with respect to the north pole) and that any magnetic field will perturb the measure. Think of the huge magnets in speakers ;)
We'll try though, thank you for the idea !
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:36 pm

Fiwe wrote:@gimmeapill: I have put a new Android version online that works, at least on a Samsung Galaxy. The audio is not working though, I'll investigate tomorrow... :)


Confirmed: it installs and opens up here as well. No audio interface detected (I tried also with my focusrite 2i2, just in case).

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:35 am

Hello, just a quick post to mention that the GUI/engine separation is done. The audio clicks / xruns should be resolved now :)
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby gimmeapill » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:02 pm

Hi Fiwe,

I re-tried the desktop version last week, and it indeed it works pretty well now: a few more xruns than Guitarix, but it produces sound (tested with jack) and the GUI is usable already. So it looks like you've got the GUI separation sorted out - Good job :-)

Diving in, I liked how you picked up all the components from the Guitarix Amp that are not necessarily available as individual plugins (I really wouldn't be able to live without that presence control cranked to the max).
So I managed more or less to start rebuilding my Guitarix signal chain and save the scene.
It doesn't sounds 100% identical or as good (yet), but hey that's a great start.

A few observations / issues spotted:

- I don't find the QT GUI to be particularly pretty or fast to use with all the mouse zoom in / zoom out involved. I would rather fancy something where controls don't disappear when zooming out, or maybe making parameters show up in the right pane when you click on a particular effect.
Actually my preference would go to a GUI more minimal without any skinned effect and with generic controls that work in the clearest possible way (thinking about something like Audiomulch - another modular app in QT, Jeskola Buzz, Max or PD).
But I'm old fashioned, I know guitarists like their pedal boards as colorful and messy as possible ;-)
At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter much, since the final project will be best used in headless mode - those were just some initial impressions.

- The right to left workflow UI switch just messes everything on an existing effects chain. I don't think this one is ready for prime time (and after finding my way to the GUI, left to right is actually OK).

- The Baxandall filter (my favorite EQ in Guitarix) crashes the whole party.
The application then offered to sent a bug report. It is nice to be able to say yes or no, but it would also be nice to be able to visualize the content being sent, as per the current industry standards. Still, as long as you fix the Baxandall, I can send all the reports needed.

- Cab simulator with goofy names: I understand this might be needed in order to avoid trademark issues, but could the names be actually representative of what the emulated cabinet is, in order to make an informed choice without going through all of them?
I mean, there is not much legal risk in writing 4X12, or 1x15, right?

- The Android is still a no go on my phone (recently updated to Android 8.1), it freezes on startup.

Cheers,

LX

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:49 am

Hello Gimmeapill,
Thank you for testing and reporting bugs and potential enhancements :)

One reason why the sound you get from Fiwe sounds slightly different from what you'd get from Guitarix is that its Cabinet effect is not properly implemented in Fiwe yet. It uses a default cabinet impulse response instead of the specific 1x15, 4x12 etc. I'll get to it at some stage, or earlier if you insist ;)

On the GUI usability, I guess could make another UI toggle to simplify the effect boxes in a Max/PD way. But parameters do already show up in the right panel (F1) when clicking on an effect. Or is this not working on your machine? Another way to change a param is to right-click an effect and use the menu that pops-up.
Another UI enhancement I have in the TODO list is to allow users to create a custom control surface for a specific scene, with e.g. a slider for Param X of effect Y here, a button for param Z of effect T there etc. With these controls being draggable/resizeable.

On the right-to-left control, it should actually close existing scenes, so as not to get the mess you describe. Is this not the case on your machine?

The baxandall effect does not crash the interface for me, using the scene that you uploaded with the bug report. I guess it's one of these tricky non-systematic bugs, mmm... Or is this systematic for you?

Speaking of bug reports, you're right. I have made a modification for users to receive the email report if they enter their email address in the report itself :)
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby gimmeapill » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:42 pm

Fiwe wrote:One reason why the sound you get from Fiwe sounds slightly different from what you'd get from Guitarix is that its Cabinet effect is not properly implemented in Fiwe yet. It uses a default cabinet impulse response instead of the specific 1x15, 4x12 etc. I'll get to it at some stage, or earlier if you insist ;)


Ok, fair enough, I won't disturb your work then.
Maybe just a W.I.P. note on the things that are not supposed to be ready?
Then I will know what to skip on the next testing frenzy ;-)

Fiwe wrote:On the GUI usability, I guess could make another UI toggle to simplify the effect boxes in a Max/PD way. But parameters do already show up in the right panel (F1) when clicking on an effect. Or is this not working on your machine? Another way to change a param is to right-click an effect and use the menu that pops-up.


I wiped out the user settings under .local and it looks slightly better now. I think it is just a matter of tuning a bit.
But I'm not running a standard desktop (just an old school WM), and this could be part of the problem.
Here's what I see: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dRaOdvE9HdMyF19xAu8dhh8hwqKyGUvJ/view?usp=sharing
The issues:
- The fonts are uneven and hardly readable with the default zoom level on a sub-HD notebook screen. Which is annoying since this is the only way to know who does what in the effect chain without zooming in. Some anti-aliasing wouldn't hurt also - but this is maybe up to the Desktop Env.?
- The effect names sometimes overlap with the controls.
- The parameters show up on the right pane, but in order to edit, you need to go through another pop up window, which is quite a deterrent to using that interface full time. Otherwise, thumbs up for the descriptions and parameters on the right pane, this is really well thought.

Fiwe wrote:On the right-to-left control, it should actually close existing scenes, so as not to get the mess you describe. Is this not the case on your machine?


It works partially: most of the time with the presets it's ok (yet not always), but definitely not with my saved scene.
I'll start from scratch, not an issue, and report back if I see some weird stuff.

Fiwe wrote:The baxandall effect does not crash the interface for me, using the scene that you uploaded with the bug report. I guess it's one of these tricky non-systematic bugs, mmm... Or is this systematic for you?


build351 doesn't produce any sound here, so I cannot really confirm (input is working though, I can see the tuner responding).
I could insert the effect without any crash, but that's about it.
This brings another feature request: could we get some versioning in the binary name? This would make it easier to go back and forth with older versions for testing purposes.

Fiwe wrote:Speaking of bug reports, you're right. I have made a modification for users to receive the email report if they enter their email address in the report itself :)


Nice, will test this sooner than later ;-)

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Re: Fiwe - wireless audio effects

Postby Fiwe » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:01 pm

Hello, thanks for your testing endurance ;)

On the UI ergonomy, the following might help:
- You may double-click on the scene to automatically toggle between fully zoomed in/out mode. This may be quicker than the mousewheel...
- Leaving (hovering) your mouse over an effect will show a tooltip with that effect's name. This may help text readability in fully zoomed-out mode.

I've also been giving the UI a small rework today, with:
- Better aliasing on effects' names - you will want to remove the ".local/share/Fiwe/cache" folder...
- Boxes to enter the value directly with the keyboard when placing the mouse over a knob in the central window
- Plus/Minus buttons in the right panel, to avoid the popup when clicking on a parameter
- Fixed the flipUI mess with presets loaded from disk
- Fixed the effect name overlapping with the knobs

Apart from this, a quick test with the Baxandall effect seems to work. Could you send me an F10 bug report with the exact problematic scene?
Thank you ! :)
Wireless audio effects - https://fiwe.studio


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