Setting up your Hardware
 
 

After setting up VirtualDek 2.0 on your computer, you will probably need to setup hardware such as a Soundcard, USB Headphones, a Microphone and an external Amplifier or PA system. Here we will attempt to explain how to connect such devices so that they will work with VirtualDek 2.0.

Setting up your internal Sound Device/s and Soundcard/s

VirtualDek 2.0 requires an internal Sound Device such as a Sound Card to be able to work and output the sound to your Speakers, Amplifier or PA System.

It may be necessary before using VirtualDek 2.0 correctly, to setup any Internal Sound Devices or Soundcards present in your computer. To select a Sound Device to work with VirtualDek 2.0, you need to go to the VirtualDek 2.0 Menu and Select MENU->OPTIONS->SETTINGS and open the Settings Control Panel. You will see a section called 'Audio Harware Settings'. You can select your Sound Device from the 'Master Out Device' Drop-Down List.

When testing VirtualDek 2.0, we used a Soundcard called the Creative Soundblaster Audigy and found it to be very reliable. When selecting the device from the Drop-Down List, you should be able to tell what your Sound Card is as it will usually have the Manufacturer's ID in the name. For example, the Creative Soundblaster Audigy Sound Card that we used was listed as 'SB Audigy Audio' in the Drop Down List and it is assumed that SB stands for Sound-Blaster.

Once you have done this, click 'OK' to apply the changes you made. Your chosen internal Sound Device or Sound Card should now be ready to use with VirtualDek 2.0.

You may need to adjust the Volume level of the Sound Device / Sound Card using the Mixer console application that came with your Hardware or simply use the standard Windows Mixer. We recommend the standard Windows Mixer.

To open the Windows Mixer, in VirtualDek 2.0 select MENU->OPTIONS->WINDOWS MIXER. This will start and display it. Firstly you will need to make sure that the mixer controls are controlling the correct device. To acheive this, in the Windows Mixer select MENU->OPTIONS->PROPERTIES. A new Window will appear. Where it says 'Mixer Device', select the Sound Device / Sound Card that you are using in VirtualDek 2.0. In the section called 'Adjust Volume For', select Playback as we want to adjust the Playback Volume level of the Sound Device / Sound Card. Click 'OK'.

Now you can adjust the various levels that control the Output of sound going to your Sound Device / Sound Card. The slider control named 'WAVE' will be the one that you should adjust to change the Volume.

Setting up USB Headphones

When mixing tracks together (especially in time), it is almost always necessary to use a set of headphones to 'Monitor' or 'Cue' the other deck ready for cross-fading. VirtualDek 2.0 supports the use of a USB Headset.

When developing VirtualDek 2.0, we used a USB Headset purchased from the UK high street store Argos as Monitor Headphones with great success. The item number is 676/8470, you can view/order these from the Argos website at www.argos.co.uk

Once you have your hands on a USB Headset, plug them into a free USB slot on your computer and install any device drivers (if necessary) that came with them (they may be on a 3.5' floppy or a CD ROM disc)

Now that you have installed your USB headset onto your computer, Run VirtualDek and goto MENU->OPTIONS->SETTINGS to open up the Settings Control Panel. You will see a section called 'Audio Harware Settings'. You can select your USB Headset from the 'Monitor Device' Drop-Down List. If you use the Mikomi USB Headset from Argos that we used, you should see a device listed called 'C-Media USB Headphone Set', select this and then click 'OK' to apply the changes that you have made. Your USB Headset should now be ready to use with VirtualDek 2.0.

Note: You may need to Syncronize the USB Headset with the Speakers to ensure precise timing on your mixes in which case use the MENU->OPTIONS->SYNC USB HEADSET option. Alternitavely you can adjust the Headset Sync by pressing the PLUS (+) or MINUS (-) keys on your keyboard's number pad. You want to adjust it so that the sound from your Headset is in perfect time with the sound coming from your amplifier/speakers or PA system. There should be no echo or delay.

You may need to adjust the Volume level of the USB Headset using the Mixer console application that came with your Hardware or simply use the standard Windows Mixer. We recommend the standard Windows Mixer.

To open the Windows Mixer, in VirtualDek 2.0 select MENU->OPTIONS->WINDOWS MIXER. This will start and display it. Firstly you will need to make sure that the mixer controls are controlling the correct device. To acheive this, in the Windows Mixer select MENU->OPTIONS->PROPERTIES. A new Window will appear. Where it says 'Mixer Device', select your USB Headset. In the section called 'Adjust Volume For', select Playback as we want to adjust the Playback Volume level of the USB Headset. Click 'OK'.

Now you can adjust the various levels that control the Output of sound going to your USB Headset. The slider control named 'WAVE' will be the one that you should adjust to change the Volume.

Setting up a Microphone

If you plan to dub your voice into your mix production, you will need a good quality Microphone handy. A 'Shure Prologue' type Microphone is recommended if you really want good quality, however, any Microphone will do. If using a Microphone like the 'Shure Prologue', you may need an Audio Adapter that converts the 6mm Jack plug or XLR into a standard 3.5mm Mono Jack Plug so that it will plug into your Internal Sound Device or Sound Card's 'MIC IN' socket.

Cheap Microphones are not really recommened as they distort. The Microphone that is built onto the USB Headsets is probably not recommended unless the USB Headset is extremely good quality, therefore, try to use a decent Microphone as mentioned above.

Assuming you have connected your Microphone to your Sound Card's 'MIC IN' socket. Now you will need to make sure it is routed correctly so that you can hear it through VirtualDek 2.0.

To acheive this, you may need to configure the Audio Mixer console (application) that came with your Sound Device or Sound Card. It is easy to use the standard Windows Mixer to acheive this so we will take you through this example using that.

To open the Windows Mixer, in VirtualDek 2.0 select MENU->OPTIONS->WINDOWS MIXER. This will start and display it. Firstly you will need to make sure that the mixer controls are controlling the correct device. To acheive this, in the Windows Mixer select MENU->OPTIONS->PROPERTIES. A new Window will appear. Where it says 'Mixer Device', select your Sound Device / Sound Card. In the section called 'Adjust Volume For', select Recording as we want to adjust the Recording levels of the Microphone. Click 'OK'.

Now in the Mixer, you should adjust the slider named 'MIC' or 'MICROPHONE'. There will be a small 'CheckBox' underneath the slider, so make sure that you check it. This will make sure that the Microphone will be routed to VirtualDek 2.0 so that you can hear it.

You may wish to hear the Microphones raw signal through VirtualDek 'only' instead of directly through the speakers as well. To achieve this, we need to MUTE the MIC channel from the Windows Mixer, so that the sound from the Microphone is only heard through VirtualDek 2.0.

Ok, now open the Windows Mixer again and select MENU->OPTIONS->PROPERTIES. A new Window will appear. Where it says 'Mixer Device', select your Sound Device / Sound Card. In the section called 'Adjust Volume For', select Playback as we want to adjust the Playback levels of the Microphone. Click 'OK'.

Now in the Mixer there will be a Mute CheckBox underneath the slider named 'MIC' or 'MICROPHONE'. Check or Tick this so that the sound only comes from within VirtualDek 2.0.

Finally you will need to configure VirtualDek 2.0 to select the correct Sound Device or Sound Card as an audio input. To achieve this, Run VirtualDek and goto MENU->OPTIONS->SETTINGS to open up the Settings Control Panel. You will see a section called 'Audio Harware Settings'. You can select the Sound Device or Sound Card that you wish to use for Microphone input from the 'Aux-In Device' Drop-Down List. After this, click 'OK' to apply the changes that you have made.

One last thing is that you must make sure the AUX lamp is on in the VirtualDek main panel and that the AUX-IN level in the VirtualDek main panel is turned up to some degree.

Your Microphone should now be ready to use with VirtualDek 2.0.

Setting up External Speakers, an Amplifier or PA System

You may want to hook your computer up to some loudspeakers, an Amplifier or a PA System.

To do this, you need to connect your Speakers, Amplifier or PA System to your computers Sound Device or Sound Card using an audio lead. The audio lead must be terminated at one end with a Stereo 3.5mm Jack Plug which is inserted into the Line-Out socket of your Sound Device or Sound Card. The type of connector at other end of the audio lead will depend on the type of equipment used. Some Amplifiers will have a Phono type socket called AUX in which case the lead will be a single 3.5mm Stereo Jack plug (from Sound Card) to two Male Phono plugs (Left and Right) to the Amplifier. This also applies exactly the same for PA Equipment.

If you wish to use your Computer's Satellite speakers, then there is no need to do the above.

Summary

With all of the hardware setup and ready to go, you can now get some music onto the decks and start mixing away!

 
 
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