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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feature request: more sophisticated xfade

    Hi - any chance of you doing some work on the crossfade to make it a little more sophisticated?

    Most tracks start suddenly then end in a slow fade - in those cases a good crossfade doesn't play with the faders much at all - the first track is rapidly faded at (say) 8 seconds from the end whilst the second track is introduced at full tilt with pretty much no attenuation (just enough to allow for the small contribution from the first track).

    In the relatively rare case of a track ending suddenly and the next starting suddenly then the cross fader does a pretty rapid cross fade that's the same as the current squeezebox crossfade.

    If you want an example of what I'm talking about try throwing a bunch of tracks at Winamp with cross-fading switched on and you'll see what I mean. It's the only thing I miss, moving from Winamp for my new squeezebox 3.

    So if you tell Winamp to do an 8 second cross-fade, it takes that as a hint to start thinking about it 8 seconds from the end of the first track, but the fade sometimes happens much later, and in most cases the second track isn't faded in at all (at least, not noticeably).

    Cheers,

    Mark

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2005
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    Canterbury, Kent, UK
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    I should say - in case you're wondering what I'm talking about - listen to the squeezebox crossfading between two typical tracks (i.e. slow fading end of track crossfading to typical start of pop/rock song) and at the moment it sounds pretty much like a fade-out followed by a fade-in. Really, the first track needs no help in fading, and the second is better off starting immediately - before too much of a gap emerges.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  3. #3

    More sophisticated xfade - "Overlap"

    I was actually going to post on this topic today... the only thing I miss from my pre-SlimServer days is my crossfading. I've used a crossfade plugin for Winamp for several years that basically allows me to do more of an 'overlap' than any actual fading. I listen almost exclusively to random mixes, and prefer there to be little to no silence, with ideally some overlap at the end of one song. My basic desired requirement is the ability to have the next song start immediately once the previous song has dropped below a configurable dB level for the last time. This generally is pretty great for parties and the like, and generally isn't too bad for continuous albums,too, since the immediate fall-off of one track usually results in an essentially seamless transition.

    This does require a fair amount of buffering and analysis - I'm not familiar with the buffering setup between SlimServer and the Squeezebox, so someone will have to fill me in on how possible this might be. I can imagine it either being done on the server side (sending a continuous stream, but therefore all at the same bitrate), or done better on the squeezebox itself.

    Thoughts/suggestions/"you're-crazy"s?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Member
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
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    38
    I really like that idea vacaboca, it seems this would add a very dynamic quality to the crossfade. Almost as if a person were behind when the next track started.

  5. #5
    That's actually why I like it - it feels a bit more like a radio or party DJ - it's always interesting to me to hear what's going to come next, and how the transition sounds... but maybe that's just me. Like I said, it's really the only thing I miss in my switch from WinAmp proper to SlimServer... I use the SlimServer straight into WinAmp when I'm at work, and with the Squeezebox3 at home, and every song change gives me a little twinge of sorrow... but everything else definitely makes it a net positive

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7
    I'd be interested to see what kind of fade the Squeezebox is doing. There are few different kinds - linear, log, exponetial, cosine. An initial enhancement could let you determine the type of fade in and fade out curve to use. A further enhancement would be to let you shape the curve - but I think that might be overkill.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jonheal's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Springfield, VA
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    659

    Fading Out and Starting At Full

    Quote Originally Posted by mcw
    Hi - any chance of you doing some work on the crossfade to make it a little more sophisticated?

    Most tracks start suddenly then end in a slow fade - in those cases a good crossfade doesn't play with the faders much at all - the first track is rapidly faded at (say) 8 seconds from the end whilst the second track is introduced at full tilt with pretty much no attenuation (just enough to allow for the small contribution from the first track).

    In the relatively rare case of a track ending suddenly and the next starting suddenly then the cross fader does a pretty rapid cross fade that's the same as the current squeezebox crossfade.

    If you want an example of what I'm talking about try throwing a bunch of tracks at Winamp with cross-fading switched on and you'll see what I mean. It's the only thing I miss, moving from Winamp for my new squeezebox 3.

    So if you tell Winamp to do an 8 second cross-fade, it takes that as a hint to start thinking about it 8 seconds from the end of the first track, but the fade sometimes happens much later, and in most cases the second track isn't faded in at all (at least, not noticeably).

    Cheers,

    Mark
    MCW,

    I agree with you that in most cases, the fading scenario you have proposed works best. You lose something from the great majority of selections by fading them in. The only instances I can think of where fading tracks in would be preferable is when the tracks are from a live album, or possibly certain classical pieces where movements flow into each other.

    But, I don't think simply overlapping is desirable -- you effectively raise the overall volume of your output during the transition, which to me, sounds rather jarring and unnatural.
    Jon Heal says:
    Have a nice day!
    http://www.theheals.org/
    ~~~
    SB3 (wired - 6.3.1) | DELL OptiPlex PC running XP Pro | DENON DRA-397 | PSB Stratus Bronze (2) | Outlaw Audio LFM-2 (1) | DIY Speaker Cables | Dayton Audio Interconnects

  8. #8
    Jon, with respect to the effective raising of the output during transition, in practice I've never actually experienced it like that... I have things set so that when the first song drops below a certain level *for the last time* (my current configuration on winamp is -10db, but I've often used -24db), you start the next song at full volume, and fade out the first song over the rest of the buffer... usually this results in what sounds like a pretty quick transition. For a song with a long fade out, the overlap can sometimes be weird, purely due to the source songs being overlapped.

    I'm definitely not suggesting this is something that everyone would like - but I've been DJ'ing parties (and listening to it this way myself) using this exact setup for several years, and have had a lot of positive comments from happy listeners about how good things cut together.

    My main point is really along the overall lines of having more crossfade options - if you have things setup with any sort of mixing buffer, something other than the current crossfade really would be nice. I think I'd actually be happy with the current crossfade as is, if I only had the option to not fade in the next song, but just fade out the old one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jonheal's Avatar
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    Springfield, VA
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    659

    Revisiting Crossfade

    Some time ago, vocaboca suggested a more pleasing crossfade would be one that would start the next track at full volume at some point during the previous track's fade out.

    I agree 100% that this is the way to go. Myself, I turned crossfading off because I can't stand the effect of songs fading in. The one instance, however, when fading in would be appropriate is with live albums and the like where the music continues across tracks.

    I racked my brain with this one, trying to come up with a way that these exceptions could be handled intelligently by SlimServer without having to resort to some sort of additional track tagging.

    Then it occurred to me that tracks on albums like I described above are probably gapless. Perhaps SlimServer could check for a gap preseeding the track about to be played. If a gap is found, start song at full volume. If no gap is found, fade in.
    Jon Heal says:
    Have a nice day!
    http://www.theheals.org/
    ~~~
    SB3 (wired - 6.3.1) | DELL OptiPlex PC running XP Pro | DENON DRA-397 | PSB Stratus Bronze (2) | Outlaw Audio LFM-2 (1) | DIY Speaker Cables | Dayton Audio Interconnects

  10. #10
    Senior Member radish's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Red Bank, NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonheal
    Some time ago, vocaboca suggested a more pleasing crossfade would be one that would start the next track at full volume at some point during the previous track's fade out.

    I agree 100% that this is the way to go. Myself, I turned crossfading off because I can't stand the effect of songs fading in. The one instance, however, when fading in would be appropriate is with live albums and the like where the music continues across tracks.

    I racked my brain with this one, trying to come up with a way that these exceptions could be handled intelligently by SlimServer without having to resort to some sort of additional track tagging.

    Then it occurred to me that tracks on albums like I described above are probably gapless. Perhaps SlimServer could check for a gap preseeding the track about to be played. If a gap is found, start song at full volume. If no gap is found, fade in.
    Couple of points:

    (a) The gap doesn't precede the next track, it's at the end of the current one.
    (b) If you have gapless tracks you shouldn't be crossfading at all, you should be playing them straight through. Crossfading is simply a hack to try and make non-gapless tracks sound gapless.

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