The VU Wizard

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The Light-O-Rama Sequencer's VU Wizard can analyze the song associated with a musical sequence to try to find peaks in the audio - much like a VU meter - and can insert timings and lighting effects into the sequence based upon them.


The VU Wizard is available as an option when creating a new musical sequence, and can be accessed later by selecting Tools > VU Wizard from the main menu, by right-clicking on a beat channel name, or by right-clicking in the sequence grid and opening the Audio Wizards sub-menu.


The VU Wizard supports a wide range of media types, including video media.  However, not all types of media or media containers are supported.  If the VU Wizard cannot be used with the media file associated with your sequence, you will be presented with a message box alerting you to that fact.  Also, the VU Wizard may not be able to be used with very large media files.


Selecting a Time Range

Attack and Decay Settings

The Peak Threshold


What To Do with Peaks


The VU Wizard

The VU Wizard



Selecting a Time Range


You can choose to let the VU Wizard look for audio peaks throughout the entire song, or limit it to a specific portion of the song.  If you choose to use only a portion of the song, be sure to hit the "Update" button after setting the "From" and "To" times.


Whenever the sequence is opened, this option will be set to "Play the entire song". If you change this to "Play part of the song", that option will be used as long as the sequence is open, or until you change it back to "Play the entire song".


The time range will be set as follows:

If there is a freeform playback range defined, that range will be used, otherwise

If there is a selection on the sequence grid, its time range will be used, otherwise

The currently visible time range will be used



Attack and Decay Settings


These two values determine how quickly the VU Wizard will react to changes in the audio volume.  "Attack" is how quickly it reacts to increased volume, and "Decay" is how quickly it reacts to decreased volume.  The higher the number, the more slowly it reacts to changes.


You can enter specific numbers (make sure to hit "Update" if you do), or you can use one of the "Preset" buttons to simulate common types of audio meters:


"VU Meter" simulates a standard VU meter, as often found on home stereo systems.

A "Peak Program Meter" reacts very quickly to increased volume, but very slowly to decreased volume.  This causes peaks to last longer.

A "Peak Meter" reacts instantaneously to changes in volume.



Peak Threshold


Using the Peak Threshold section, you can tell the VU Wizard to look for audio peaks on either the left stereo channel or the right stereo channel, or on the sum of the two.


The track bar (slider) represents the threshold for what will be considered a peak.  Above the slider's handle is a peak; below the handle is not.  The handle can be slid left and right to increase and decrease the threshold.


The "Time On" percentage displayed in this section shows the percentage of the selected time range that is above the specified peak.  Updating any of the settings such as the peak threshold, the attack and decay, or the time range will cause the "Time On" percentage to be automatically updated as well, taking the new settings into account.


When you play the song (using the "Preview" section), the rows will pulse along with the audio volume, showing blue starting at the left and continuing rightwards based upon how loud the audio is at any given point in time.  When the selected stereo channel (or channels) is above the threshold, it will turn red instead of blue.


Note that this is strongly affected by the attack and decay settings - lower values will cause the pulsing to react more slowly to the music, and higher values more quickly.  Try playing with the various "Preset" buttons to see this.





Clicking the Start button in the VU Wizard's Preview section plays the song, and pulses the rows in the Peak Threshold section along with the audio.  It also flashes the box in the Preview section whenever the pulse is above the selected threshold.


You can change both threshold settings and the attack and decay settings during preview, and the VU Wizard will react instantly to such changes.  However, only the final settings will be used when you apply the peaks to the sequence (using the "What To Do with Peaks" section).



What To Do with Peaks


Once you are satisfied with the peaks found using your chosen attack and decay settings and peak threshold settings, you can apply the peaks to the sequence using the "What To Do with Peaks" section of the VU Wizard.  You can insert a timing every time the threshold is crossed (no matter whether from below or from above), or turn a selected channel on whenever above the threshold, and off whenever below, or both.


You can reuse the VU Wizard for multiple channels (and multiple settings) without closing it by clicking "Apply" rather than "Apply and Exit".