How to play time tone pips and fade the currently playing audio

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Q: I'd like to be able to play a set of pips at the top of the hour. However I'd like the play the pips over the currently playing track, the track continuing to play until it reaches its natural end. If it's possible to dip the audio level of the track whilst the pips play, even better. Is it possible to do this?

A: Yes, I made a pips tone audio file using Audacity. Using Generate>Tone from the Audacity menu, I made a 800Hz, 3 seconds long audio file. I then used the envelope tool to make 4 pips by pulling the audio level to nothing. The first three pips are 150ms long starting on the 0 seconds, 1 second and 2 second marks. The fourth started at 2600ms and continued to the end of the 3 seconds.

Go into RDLibrary and create a macro cart. Call it something like "Pips fade down and up". Then add the following three lines:

MD 1 -9 500!
SP 3000!
MD 1 0 1!

Then go into RDCatch and schedule this macro cart each hour at ??:59:57

Then again in RDCatch schedule a playback of your pips audio cart each hour at ??:59:57

You need to have a playback output setup in RDAdmin>Manage Hosts> select your host >Edit>RDCatch>Play Deck Setup a Play Deck to the same Card: and Port: numbers as one of the Main Log outputs in RDAdmin>Manage Hosts> select your host >Edit>RDAirplay Make sure to select this Play Deck when setting up the pips audio carts playback event.

What is not real obvious is that you can setup more than one playback deck for RDCatch. Just select another Play Deck number from the drop down then set the Card: and Port: numbers to some thing other that None.

Explanation of the RML commands


MD 1 -9 500! => Deck fade Main Log(1) to -9dbFs in 500ms

SP 3000! => Sleep for 3 seconds (3000ms)

MD 1 0 1! => Deck fade Main Log(1) to 0dbFs in 1ms

One other tip, as you may be dreading making all those 48 events in RDCatch there is a way to "copy" events. Make your original event, save it, then open it again to edit it. Next make the need changes for the new event, in this case change the hour on the start time, then click the "Save as New" button.

Note: You can download a nice 5 second pips file from www.charliedavy.co.uk that is similar to the one used by the BBC. It consists of five 100 millisecond 1 Kilohertz pips followed by a single 500 millisecond pip. You would need to adjust the macro lines above to the following and schedule your events in RDCatch at ??:59:55 if you use this file.

MD 1 -9 500!
SP 5000!
MD 1 0 1!
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