Overview

Karmix© is an Audio mixer designed for Karaoke systems run on Computer. Karmix is powered by USB and controlled by Software, with Hands on volume faders for Vocal Mix, Reverb Effect, Music, and Main Volume. Karmix was designed By Paul B Karaoke (professional KJ) to meet the specific needs of portable laptop based Karaoke.

Conventional mixers lack the control features of Karmix, and are much larger in size than necessary for the Karaoke application. Karaoke today is mostly hosted from Computer. Karmix brings the mixing up to date taking advantage of the power of the laptop. Audio processing is achieved by dedicated Digital signal processors (DSP) inside the Karmix (24bit 48k). The Laptop connection is used to monitor audio levels and change settings (not a “software” mixer, not dependent on laptop for processing). Karmix is designed to be installed as part of a complete Karaoke system. Mic inputs and Main outputs are Balanced 3 wire (pro audio). 3.5mm style connections are used to reduce the bulk of XLR or ¼” connectors making your system very compact. It is recommended that Karmix be connected directly to Powered Speakers, for a compact simple setup.

Karmix has 4 mic inputs and 2 Stereo inputs (Laptop and Aux music). Karmix has faders for  vocal mix, reverb , music and Main mix, for hands on mix. Volume mixing is best done with real faders. Individual settings, and level meters for each channel are displayed in software. levels and volume controls are always displayed. The Software control panel in center shows details for selected channel (color coded). Settings can be saved for each singer and recalled automatically when the singer performs. (Auto-set requires PaulBKaraoke Quickfind, and Specially configured Winamp© Player [both included with Karmix] for a complete hosting solution). Singers may add profanity even if it is “F #$&” in the song, The CENSOR feature provides a smooth mute and restore of all mics with a press of any key. Bypass button routes the aux input directly to the outputs (full hardware bypass), for standby music if the computer needs to be reset.


 

Features

Ultra Compact size for a 4 mic, 2 stereo mixer. Mounting ears built-in. USB powered eliminates need for another AC adapter in Karaoke System. Bulky XLR and ¼” connectors are replaced with 3.5mm connectors.  Makes for a small foot print in a portable system (recommended

Levels for all inputs can be seen at once, all channel volumes and mutes are always shown. Level displays show input levels with peak indicators. Mic channels also show a Post fader output. Individual controls for selected channel show in center window.

10 Band EQ for stereo section for the music (not for mics, doesn’t interfere with fine tuning the vocals) Bass enhancer, and Full Stereo mode selection [Stereo, LL Mono, RR Mono, LR Mono, Stereo Reverse] handles all schemes of multiplex vocal. Since the Music is coming from The Laptop, features on Karmix stereo section are kept simple (Let the PC do the fancy stuff). A single click cross fader  smooth’s transition between PC and Aux music

Tunable Low Mid and High tone controls on mic channels. Low and High cut or boost by 15 db (decibel) MID cuts 0 to 20 db “sculpt” tone for each singer. Selecting the MID frequency to cut is a very powerful tool for vocal mixing. These tone controls are displayed numerical, and in a simple graphic form and easily sent with a single click (no menus or knob style controls).

Input sensitivity Trim can be set while viewing the input level to get perfect gain and avoid distortion. Makes up for varying mic techniques. Once saved for each singer, makes it easier to mix the show. A 20db boost is available for wired mics (wireless mics recommended) Auto trim can be selected when a singer is not consistent, keeps mic volume even at -12db. With control over the trim (input sensitivity) Channel volumes and mains require a lot less adjusting

Compressor / Limiter for each mic. Several presets are available for each mic. Can bring a timid singer to the forefront, tame a hard rocker, and make a smooth professional vocal sound.

Reverb Effects with individual send levels for each mic. Hall, Hall Bright, Plate Classic, Plate Bright, Plate Short, Room Warm, Room Hardwood, Room Ambient, Echo and Short Delay. A separate Chorus effect is included with nine presets. Karmix has a fader for the reverb level for precise quick adjust by hand, along with channel individual reverb send levels and main reverb (return).

Censor Button provides a simple way to blank out profanity. When armed, any key-press mutes all mics, and restore when the key is lifted.

Automatic Scene Selection (when used with Quickfind© and Winamp©). When a Karaoke song is played, auto channel sets up the saved scene for the singer assigned to that song. HOST mode sets at end of Karaoke track for KJ announcing scene. HOST mode can be configured to set a mic for the host, mute reverb and mute other mics. Handy when mics are being returned, announcements can be made without effects. With Host mode you can have a good speaking setup without reaching for the controls.  Host mode can also be set manual (blank end of karaoke track, or long outro delays auto trigger)

Hardware Full Bypass Switch if laptop needs to be restarted (stuff happens…). When switched. Aux input is routed directly to the outputs so you can play standby music during down time.

Software included With Karmix

Paul B Karaoke Quickfind was developed back in 2003 when converting from CD’s to laptops for Karaoke hosting. Browsing to find the track was slower than finding the CD, Windows search was even slower. The other problem was with USB in those days, the search activity on the USB hard drive would cause the music to stutter at times. So “QuickFind” was created. Quickfind builds a database of tracks from reading the hard drive and saving the list of tracks. The stored list is loaded into RAM when QuickFind starts.  Eliminating hard drive access for searches made for a very quick search. QuickFind extracts the mp3+G.zip files into a temporary location on the local hard drive. Playing from the local HD improves performance. (Back then USB was slower and Karaoke programs did not play the zips.) QuickFind was not designed to have its own player, but to allow songs to be Drag-Dropped into the player of choice. The Idea was to keep it very simple as a way to move from CD karaoke to Laptop. Later, A “DJ” section was added with a basic Media player function included for “in-between” songs. Then to phase out karaoke slips, a rotation manager was added. The rotation manager has become much more powerful now that KMQuickfind (Karmix Version) uses the singer database to auto-set the Karmix. Now singers can have their mic sound settings memorized and recalled automatically when their song plays. This feature requires Winamp 5.12. Winamp is a great player that is easily customized. Winamp is currently changing ownership. Their website is not back on-line yet. I am providing a configured version for install convenience. The basic player and plug-ins are (were) free downloads. [PaulBKaraoke is not claiming ownership of Winamp player or plug-ins. It is up to the end user to register those applications as necessary.]

Forms can be freely positioned on Desktop, here is the suggested layout. There are two lyric displays. A full screen Lyric viewer is positioned on the “TV” using extended desktop.

KMQuickFind Features

Quickly finds karaoke tracks using saved scan of HD (hard drive). Zip files are extracted and played from temporary folder on local hard drive.

DJ tracks are handled in the same way, by clicking the “DJ” search button. DJ Songs can then be dragged and dropped into Winamp, or the built-in Media player.

Two layer Search makes it easy to find songs with so many alternate file naming conventions these days. In this example shown, “Want You Back” is really “U”. Typing fragments in to boxes gets results when you are not sure of parts of the spelling, or file naming protocols. Also, Typing “Elvis Presley” won’t do.  The expected naming format is “Presley, Elvis”. Newer artists like to differentiate themselves by using novelty spellings for their names and titles. The search goes through the entire library. When the First search box finds a match, it then looks for a match of the second search box (optional). If second box is also matched or blank, the song is placed in the search results (results stop at user defined limits 255 default, in case of typing “The” for example). Any part of the file name can be used in each of the search boxes. For example you can refine search to SUNFLY brand by typing “SF” in the second box. It can become a fun game to try for the smallest fragments to find the song

 

File location of selected item in search results is indicated above the search results. DBlClk the file location box to display that entire folder that holds that item into the search results display. This is a handy way to combine browsing and searching. This function is quite helpful for selecting DJ music of similar types.

Simple DJ player is included with a volume control and dropdown list. Player fades out when stopped to allow a smooth transition to the next performer. You may notice that DJ songs kick in a lot louder than Karaoke tracks. Setting the player volume fixes that issue. Using the player can keep Winamp or other playlist reserved for just karaoke tracks. The list can hold your favorite “go to” selections. Lists can be saved and recalled by name. Songs can be removed from active list when played to avoid replay if desired. The Player display output can be “visualization” or a music video. Can be positioned, and set to full screen. Player is designed to be simple one song at a time player (few features, less complex) to use while running Karaoke (basic version of windows media player is used)

Karaoke Rotation Manager holds a list of the current rotation (singer’s turns in order). Once entered, names are saved and selected from a dropdown list. Song selections are saved for each singer as they are cued up. Songs can be retrieved from singer’s history or new search, and then added. A note can be added after singer’s name such as a reminder of their request. When a singer is added the time of entry to the rotation is noted. A wait timer is cleared and restarted when their Cued song plays (in Winamp). This wait time, and entry time info can be helpful when the rotation is mixed between new and returning singers, or to show impatient singers that you are being fair. Indicators for “New entry” and “On Hold” are cleared when the cued song is played (in Winamp). New singers are added to end of list and can be drag-dropped into position. QuickFind saves the current rotation so the list is not lost in case of a restart.

Singer’s Song List is accessed with a right click on the name in the rotation. Songs can be retrieved without re-typing the search. Singers can also be reminded of their songs.

Karaoke Set list can be saved and retrieved. Karaoke zip tracks must be extracted before play. The playlist can’t be saved in the player because the extracted files are temporary.  The set list feature saves karaoke track lists and extracts the files when recalled. This feature helps when using the Karaoke as backing tracks for a solo performer.

Select the prepared list, click to prepare (extract) songs. Drag the ready icon to Winamp (or other player)

 

 

 

Rename, Mark as bad, or Delete selected files. If a bad file is encountered it can be renamed as bad with a single click. Then later you can search for “Bad File” and fix or replace. If you see a “typo” you can rename the file on the spot. (Must be careful with your typing). And Files can be deleted on the spot (caution permanent).  File list must be rebuilt to include changes made.