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OtsAV 1.90 / 'Esperance' Complementary Documentation

OtsAV 1.90.000 / "Esperance" was released on July 31, 2012

As the official product documentation has not yet caught up, this document serves to bridge the gap. Written in a more conversational style, both existing 1.85 users and new customers should read this document, and where appropriate, also the existing docs (the majority of existing documentation still holds true for 1.90).

Introduction

Although OtsAV 1.90 represents a major change to the OtsAV product line in both user interface design and under-the-hood, the series has been designed to be simple for existing users to pick up. Existing core concepts and all major functionality from earlier versions is still present and relevant in 1.90. Additionally, new functionality has been introduced and some new paradigms and recommended ways of doing things. This document focuses mainly on what is new and/or what has changed. Minor changes or features which are inherently intuitive are generally not discussed.

User Interface

As the user interface has changed, we recommend all customers take a moment to look at all menu items and all buttons/controls on the main application window. OtsAV 1.90 has been enhanced to contain tooltips for virtually every single button or control (even seemingly mundane things like scroll bars and scroll bar up/down buttons). In many cases, right-clicking (and occasionally, holding the shift key while left-clicking) will result in a different operation.

OtsAV 1.90 attempts to provide excellent feedback about what can be clicked on and in which manner. To this end, you'll notice the much more reflective and context-aware mouse cursors, including the addition of small left and right mouse button symbols within the mouse cursor when a right-click operation is a possibility. We HIGHLY recommend you slowly move across all buttons and controls and read the tooltips which pop-up. You can learn a great deal from this alone. If a right-click on a given control will perform an alternate operation, this is almost always reflected in the tooltip. They save you time. READ THEM!

As an example, although almost everyone intuitively understands the operation of a scroll bar, in OtsAV 1.90 you can perform an entirely different function by right-clicking on the scroll bar in the lists. Right-clicking the list scroll bars in OtsAV 1.90 causes the scroll bar to move to the position which shows the top of the current selection (if any). If the top of the selection is already visible, the bottom of the selection will be shown (if different) - ie. these two states (top/bottom of current selection) toggle with each additional right-click. Under the scenario where you have a list with thousands of items and say, just 100 highlighted/selected, it is MUCH faster to find the selection (should you lose it) by right-clicking the scroll bar rather than manually scrolling around or using the page up / page down keys which equates more to searching for a needle in a haystack.

The main program menu is accessed by clicking the Ots Labs logo button at the very top-left of the main application window, or pressing ALT+M or ALT+F on your keyboard. There are options for customizing various facets of the user interface. Most of these are within the View submenu of the main program menu. More customization options are arriving in future 1.90 series updates, including further colour options, placement options, etc, therefore be sure to re-visit this area after every release to see what has changed.

Tabbed Lists Area

For most screen sizes, a large portion of the main application window is occupied by the lists area. OtsAV 1.90 introduces a new concept of a tabbed lists interface, rather than the two lists that could be displayed at most under earlier OtsAV versions. Not only does the tabbed interface allow the display of up to four simultaneous tabs/lists, but also makes switching between them much easier and solves keyboard focus issues that were present in earlier versions. Using the tabs should be intuitive enough for most. Simply click on a non-active tab to make it active. You can close tabs by clicking the little 'x' button to the far-right, or add a new tab by clicking the '+' button. In OtsAV, each list type (Playlist, History, etc) always exists internally in memory, therefore opening, closing or repositioning a tab does not actually create, destroy nor lose anything. It is simply a case of how you wish to have your interface configured and which information you (currently) need access to. If you have a particularly small screen size, you will probably only want to display up to two tabs at a time (perhaps ocassionally three). Users with high-res monitors can comfortably make use of four simultaneous tabs.

At all times, one OtsAV tab has the keyboard focus. You can visually see which tab has the focus by looking at the tab identifier itself (eg. "Playlist") - if it has the focus it is graphically emphasized. Clicking on a tab button or anywhere within a tab/list area will generally cause that tab to become the focused one. Focus is important for any keyboard operations. If you press, for example, the up/down arrows on the keyboard, the selection and insert mark will change for the list which currently has focus (if it contains items). You can also change which tab currently has focus with the keyboard by pressing CTRL+TAB (cycle) or CTRL+SHIFT+TAB (reverse cycle).

Drag and drop (of course) works just as it has in previous OtsAV versions, so if you like to use the mouse to move items around, you can continue to do that. However users doing a lot of searching and list building will probably find the keyboard a much more efficient method for performing those operations. OtsAV 1.90 has been completely re-thought when it comes to keyboard support and focus consistency and predictability. Much of this is covered in the Media Library section below. Be sure to read the keyboard shortcut reference at the bottom of this document and start using them where appropriate. You'll achieve more in less time and with less wrist movements or keyboard-mouse switches.

In OtsAV 1.90, all lists now contain a time column (as opposed to just the Playlist in earlier versions). Depending on the list, one of two styles of time column format is employed. The Media Library and History lists make use of a time column which displays the "time from current" since the item was last played. This is displayed in units of minutes ('min'), hours ('hr'), days ('D'), months ('M') or years ('Y') and is dynamically updated, making it very easy to identify when an item was last played. If an item was played within the last 12 hours the field will also be drawn in an alternate colour, again making it very obvious and easy to avoid playing the same item twice at the same gig. Note, even in the other time column format (employed in lists other than the Media Library and History list, and explained next) the field is still displayed in the alternate colour if it was played within the previous 12 hours. All other lists employ the conventional time column format which indicates when a given item will play, taking into account the style in which OtsAV mixes. This time is either referenced from the current clock time (for Playlist, when Clock/Counter is in Clock mode), or from '00:00:00' (hours:minutes:seconds) for all other lists. This means, for example, you can easily build a series of items in the Preparation Work Area (as one example, for burning to CD) and immediately identify the full list runtime in order to keep it within your requirements (for standard audio CD burning this would be 74 minutes).

Please note that the 'Karaoke' list that is present in Karaoke-enabled editions of OtsAV is not currently a fully functioning singers queue, however it will become so in a later update. At present, you can use it as a preparation work area, much the same as any other list.

Decks

The decks in OtsAV have been enlarged compared to earlier versions. The actual control sizes are identical or larger than in the previous decks (except for a couple of rarely-used or unneeded buttons such as 'Eject') and the decks themselves contain a lot more controls. There are now 4 sliders present for manipulating playback; pitch, tempo, the new key control (available in Karaoke-enabled editions), and direction - rather than the 2 in previous versions (and direction which had to be toggled with pitch). This is a much more powerful set up giving direct access to all transformations, and of course, as always in OtsAV, all controls may be used simultaneously and will work together in harmony. Additionally, with OtsAV 1.90 it is now possible to use the mouse wheel to adjust sliders - simply position the mouse cursor over the slider control and scroll the wheel.

Hovering over an album cover image will temporarily bring up a version 9 times larger. Similarly, hovering over a title/artist/copyright that is too long to fully display within the deck's screen area will bring up a full-width version. Additionally, if you have a comment defined for an item within the Media Library, you'll see a little arrow just under the copyright field to the left. This arrow alerts to the presence of the comment and hovering over the title/artist/copyright area will, as above, bring up a full width version - which includes the full comment text.

Unlike in previous versions where you would right-click on a deck to bring up a menu which contained a single item "Show Info...", in OtsAV 1.90 you simply double-click on the deck (in any area not containing a control/button) and the Album/Item Info dialog will pop up. This is far more consistent with the behaviour of lists which have always used the double-click action to bring up this dialog.

As stated, all buttons and controls are either equal or larger (Cue, Play/Pause, Cut/Fade) than the equivalent in previous versions, with the exception of a couple of rarely used or unnecessary buttons, or the looping buttons which are only intended for trialling the functionality (serious looping should be performed from a hardware controller - though we will also probably add some keyboard shortcuts for these in a later update).

Turntables

OtsAV 1.90 contains dual turntable decks. These will display if you have not disabled the Menu -> View -> Turntables -> Show (If Possible) option AND the main application window's width is at least 1280 pixels. The turntables provide a visual representation of a virtual record, just like the single record that appeared in earlier OtsAV versions, and can be used for scratching and otherwise manipulating the current position (eg. cueing). The turntables feature a realistic tonearm (providing another visual cue for current position within item) as well as a strobe light, which also is modelled upon and functions exactly as a real physical turntable with strobe would. Try pitch or tempo bending, or adjusting the speed of playback in some other way and observe the strobe.

Media Library

OtsAV 1.90 heralds a whole new paradigm when it comes to searching your library and making additions to your (play)lists. OtsAV has always had brilliant searching abilities with instant-response characteristics as each key is typed, however the fragmentation of core user interface areas after the Media Library system and OMQL were introduced in 2002 has meant that a typical user ends up spending the majority of their searching time split among two distinct areas: the old search dialog and the Media Library area. Not only could you not combine results between these two areas (without elaborate and cumbersome copy, paste, and "add to category" operations, and even then many things simply weren't possible), but it took effort (mouse clicks) to switch between the two areas which were logically and visually separate windows with different focus indentities. OMQL is indeed very powerful. And the old search dialog (which originates from the very first version of OtsJuke DJ ever released in 1999) is certainly very fast for hunting down an item based on partial text matches. Now in OtsAV 1.90 we have the best of all worlds. But actually, it's even much better than that.

The old search dialog has been subsumed into the Media Library area, which manifests itself as one of the available tabs/lists within the new interface and has been completely redesigned from the old Media Library area found in earlier versions. The new search is faster - much faster in many cases - and handles extremely large libraries far more gracefully than earlier versions (we don't recommend you run with unnecessarily large libraries, however). You also have more powerful searching, filtering, sorting and display options plus the full power of OMQL as an additional filter all at your simultaneous disposal. Additionally, the results obtained with the new system are complete - always. Gone is the concept of displaying the first 100 items only that used to be the default option in the old search dialog - and if you disabled this, the system would bog down on weaker machines, and take quite a long time even on fast machines. Plus, these "first 100 items" never were truly the first 100 items as far as your current search criteria was concerned. They were merely the first 100 items that matched the current search text, then sorted by your criteria. (There is a big difference if you think about it - and sometimes that difference matters).

In OtsAV 1.90 you obtain ALL results (even if tens of thousands or more), always perfectly sorted exactly as per your current search criteria (with 5 levels of sorting at your disposal), filtered by OMQL and your current search text, respecting all current display options, and dumped almost instantaneously on your screen - and of course dynamically updated with each successive key press (including both to search text and OMQL). Powerful display options allow you to show a combination of just items or albums or both using different criteria. Previously it was impossible to search albums using OMQL (internally only items can have OMQL executed against them), however in OtsAV 1.90 this is now possible due to the architecture of the system (see "loose album matching" later in this section).

As impressive and powerful as the new system is, what really matters is accessibility and usability, and this is where the new Media Library tab really shines. Much thought and design has been put into the human interface factors, particularly keyboard usage since inherently, if you're going to be typing search text, then you're definitely using the keyboard - so you shouldn't have to continually revert back and forth between using the mouse and keyboard in order to complete all commonly required operations related to the search process, such as placing found items in the playlist, commencing a new search, changing the OMQL filter, etc. There's still more we have to improve in this area (currently you do still have to use the mouse to change less commonly modified things, such as sort criteria) but as it is today, it represents a massive efficiency improvement over earlier OtsAV versions for the oft-repeated common task of searching and placing-in-list.

In OtsAV 1.90, the Media Library search/OMQL fields *always* own the keyboard focus (when the main application window has focus, that is). What this means is you can *always* begin typing and your keystrokes will be directed to the search or OMQL field (whichever is active among them - normally and by default it will be the search text field). Even if the Media Library tab itself is completely closed (ie. you can't see the Media Library on the screen), as soon as you type a regular key on your keyboard the Media Library tab will automatically open and instantly begin responding to your search criteria, character-by-character as you type.

In addition to regular keys (alpha-numerics, space, etc), there are some special keys which control the Media Library area in defined ways. The most important of these is the Delete key. You will use this key the most when using OtsAV 1.90! It basically means "new search". What it does is clear the current field (search or OMQL depending on which is active), display and set focus to the Media Library (if not already) and be ready for you to start typing some characters for your search criteria. You don't *have* to start a new search by pressing Delete. You can of course just start typing new characters which will then build on top of whatever text already exists in the field, or you can use Backspace to remove characters one-by-one. But in most cases you'll be wanting to start with a clean slate, hence Delete is your friend.

If you want to clear *both* fields (OMQL and search) simultaneously, you use the Shift+Delete shortcut. Commit this one to memory too. Much of the time, however, you may have some OMQL entered such as a category name or something far more complicated, and you simply want to search for multiple text matches (partial artist or title names) against this same OMQL - so you'll find yourself using Delete a lot to begin each new text search.

There are also keys for changing between the OMQL and search fields (Tab or Shift+Tab), for going direct to one of these fields no matter which is currently active, and for moving back and forth between the search history buffer that is maintained as you do all of this searching. We HIGHLY recommend - in fact it's essential - that you read, practice and commit to memory the keyboard shortcuts that are referenced at the end of this document. They will save you so much time and wrist pain! And hey, even if you think you're more of a mouse kind of person - just remember this: you're already using the keyboard if you're entering search text (you can't type 'beatles' using the mouse) so you may as well do the final operation of selecting the correct song and copying it to the playlist (or wherever) using the keyboard also. It many cases it's just one more keypress - Enter! In other cases you may use the down arrow a few times first to skip some items, or use Page Down to scroll quickly through a long list, looking for inspiration. But no matter what you're doing, you can probably do it with the keyboard faster, more efficiently and with less impact on your arm/wrist. The main reason people instinctively grab for the mouse is habit. Force yourself for a few gigs (even go as far as placing the mouse out of easy reach) and once your brain re-trains you'll never look back. Remember, this is all new with OtsAV 1.90. With 1.85 you *had* to use the mouse - as well as the keyboard for entering search text - so had little choice but to do this uncomfortable shuffle all night long. Now you have a set of far better options - but only *you* can force yourself to adapt to the new paradigm.

As an example, let's outline the steps required to launch OtsAV and get a specific album playing, comparing version 1.85 to 1.90. For this example, suppose we wish to play the Fatboy Slim album "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" :-

OtsAV 1.85 steps required to play Fatboy Slim album You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Launch OtsAV 1.85:
1. (Mouse) Click "Search Media Library" toolbar button to open search dialog
2. (Mouse) Click "Albums" radio button to search albums instead of items
3. (Keyboard) Enter search text "come a lo" (sufficient with the tested Media Library to uniquely resolve album)
4. (Mouse) Drag album displayed in results list from the search dialog to the Playlist
5. (Mouse) Click "Play" in the toolbar to start album playing
6. (Mouse) Close search dialog or drag out of the way so you can properly view your lists

OtsAV 1.90 steps required to play Fatboy Slim album You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Launch OtsAV 1.90:
1. (Keyboard) Type "come a lo"
2. (Keyboard) Press ENTER
3. (Keyboard) Press CTRL+P to start play

Not only is there a significant reduction in steps with OtsAV 1.90, but that common cycle of taking a request (or searching for something to play) and adding it to the playlist is able to be performed purely with the keyboard alone which is dramatically faster and easier on your arms/wrist.

If you now wish to locate another album or item and add it to the end of the playlist you'll simply press Delete, type a few characters (try "leave b" and if you use Ots Album Files you may just end up with U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" - yes, guys, seriously it's time to leave 1.85 behind!) then press Enter. That's it. Done! Two steps! Now you can continue listening to "You've Come A Long Way, Baby" - while thinking about OtsAV, of course!

(The above steps assume a default installation and settings. If you have modified the OtsAV 1.90 Target option - for example - you can always get defaults back simply by right-clicking on the drop-down button. All of the drop-down buttons in the Media Library can be restored to their default state in this manner.)

Another powerful feature addition concerning search in OtsAV 1.90 is the inclusion of the caret (^) character functionality. In earlier OtsAV releases this character is treated just like any other character - it is matched against the title and artist fields of each item when entered as search criteria. In OtsAV 1.90 the caret takes on a special meaning: it allows you to search by two fields simultaneously, and both must match for any given item in your library to be considered a match. For example you could type "beatles^love" and you're most likely going to see a list of Beatles songs with the word 'love' in them, that is, unless you didn't like Paul McCartney's performance at the London Games Opening Ceremony and decided to banish all Beatles songs from your library :/

The caret search is not an artist and title search as such like some people intuitively think, but a two-field search. You could enter "maroon^aguilera" and end up with "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, just as you could enter "summer^69" and bring up Bryan Adams' party classic without fear of whether the person who prepared your titles (it could be you!) used a "'" (apostrophe) character before the 69 or not. This is an extemely powerful additional search tool which opens a lot of further options, and of course, can be used in conjunction with OMQL, sorting, and everything else that the OtsAV Media Library system offers.

Incidentally, what if you really want to search for a caret character? That's no worries. Only the first caret is processed in the above way. Therefore if you enter "^^" you will be matching against "^". If you enter "^this^is^cool" you will be matching against "this^is^cool". And if you enter "what^is^love" you will be matching against the two fields "what" and "is^love". Just remember that only the first encountered caret splits the search field into two. And it's perfectly valid for either field to be empty, which is effectively what occurs when you begin your search text with a caret (you are splitting into two fields, but the first is an empty string since there were no actual characters before the caret). Of course if all of this is confusing to you, don't fret. Just ignore the technicalities and think of it as "artist^title" if that works better for you and you'll be fine. Normal people don't search for carets anyway - but realise we have all types using OtsAV (that's meant in a good way of course :)

It's not necessary in this document to go through all of the various options included in the Media Library drop-down menus as most are fairly self-explanatory and you should experiment and of course read tooltips. One menu that does definitely deserve further explanation is the "Show" drop-down. By default this is set to "All" - "Show Everything - Loose Album Matching". While most of the options are intuitive, let's delve into the meaning of Loose vs Strict Album Matching.

Basically, when you enter search text, both items and albums are matched against (though note that your current Show mode may be precluding one or the other from appearing in the results). For example, if you specifically want to play the Billy Joel album "The Stranger" then you will probably just enter (at least some characters from) "The Stranger" and under 1.90 the album, as well as the song, will be matched and displayed. However, say you had entered a sufficient part of the string "Just The Way You Are" (no jokes about 1.85, please!), then under earlier OtsAV versions you would have only gotten matches for the song itself, even if you were in album mode. Under OtsAV 1.90, the parent (containing) album of any matching item will also be added to the results - that is, if you are in loose album matching mode. Under strict matching, the album title/artist text itself must match with your entered text, not just one of its child items.

This is a really handy feature because a) it means you can search for regular items (just as you would under earlier OtsAV versions) yet also be prompted/reminded about the album they are from and decide to grab that instead or scan it for further items, and b) sometimes you're thinking of a specific album you wish to play but experience a "mental blank" and can't think of its name (you should never drink while you're working), but can clearly remember at least one of the songs on the album. Under loose matching, it's easily found and without changing modes, opening additional dialogs, using the mouse, etc. Finally, you may find it interesting to enter an artist such as "Katy Perry" and see the spread of albums (including Various Artists compilations - without Katy Perry in the artist field) within which her songs appear on throughout your library (you may wish to change the Show mode to "Show Only Albums - Loose Matching" to do this without regular items distracting the view).

The final option we'll briefly cover as part of the Media Library is the "Set to Former Active Tab/List" option within the Target/Position drop-down. If you ALWAYS only add items to the Playlist, then you should probably disable this and set the Playlist as the target. However, with this option enabled, adding item(s) to any given list at any desired location is REALLY simple and fast. Simply click (within any list - even History if it takes your fancy) at the position where you wish to insert an item, press Delete, type some characters to perform your search and then press Enter (arrow down first to the item you want if it's not the first one displayed). Your selection (which may of course include multiple items) will instantly be placed at the point within the list where you clicked before performing the search. Easy. Fast!

Please consult the keyboard shortcuts at the bottom of this document or within OtsAV 1.90 itself (in the Help menu) and learn and memorize these. You should be familiar with multiple selection using the Shift key and other concepts like these.

We won't touch on OMQL here because it's already well and truly covered in earlier product documentation, suffice to say that you will greatly benefit by learning the basic concepts and knowing how to string a simple query together. It's not difficult and you don't have to be a computer programmer as some may assume. Click the drop-down button to the left of the OMQL field to see some basic OMQL example queries. This is also the menu you use to display all items in a given category and replaces the drop-down combo control that used to perform this in OtsAV earlier versions. In a future update this area will be greatly expanded and you'll be able to store your own commonly-used queries and have easier access to the things you need, when you need them.

We hope we've already clearly demonstrated that one of the core drivers of change in OtsAV 1.90 is surrounding the area of productivity and efficiency of YOU - the user. We consider that YOUR time is valuable and would like to free you up for tasks better utilizing your skillset. Of course, as with any change in life, it will take a little time for you to adapt if you're a user who's been using earlier OtsAV versions for any length of time - but it won't take long and will well and truly be worth it.

In summary, OtsAV 1.90 is infinitely more powerful than earlier OtsAV versions and will definitely boost your abilities, productivity and overall efficiency in search/list building if you take the time to learn and hopefully master some of the bundled power (and even if you don't invest much time, you're going to find things flow much better and just seem to appear in front of your eyes, providing further inspiration). Once you've used OtsAV 1.90 for a month - you will never EVER want to be without it. That's a promise. Our research proves it.

Looping

OtsAV 1.90 features our new powerful looping engine and preliminary looping functionality. The feature is somewhat restricted in this initial release until we incorporate our new Media Library file format which will allow for storage of loops, cue points, etc. Still, in OtsAV 1.90.000 you can loop and the functionality has been mapped in the OHML files included for the Denon HC4500 and HD2500 hardware controllers. Although you can use the deck buttons to perform looping, this is intended more for trialling of the functionality. We consider that any serious use would be performed via a hardware controller. This is one reason the looping buttons on the decks are not particularly large.

We won't explain the basic concepts of looping in this section, but restrict it to explaining those aspects of our implementation which may not be immediately obvious. You should look at the tooltips above the deck looping buttons to learn the functions, including the right-click and/or shift modified operations. On a controller such as the HC4500, the functions map pretty closely to the deck buttons.

The OtsAV 1.90 looping engine for each item in a deck operates in one of two modes, fully beat/BPM aware or not. You can tell when the engine is running in beat/BPM-aware mode because you will see beat markers on the waveform display for the deck/item in question. When an item is first placed in a deck, the engine will generally not be in beat/BPM-aware mode (though it may be when certain Ots files are used - more about this later).

You can use the looping engine perfectly well without being in beat/BPM-aware mode and it will perform just like earlier looping implementations on CD players, etc. You mark a loop start, mark the end, the loop begins and continues to run just as you defined it. You can see defined loops (up to two active loops per deck) in the mixview display just underneath the waveform display. Simple! The "problem" is that if you were slightly off with your clicks/presses, just as with any raw looping implementation this will be obvious when the loop is played. This is what beat/BPM-aware mode attempts to improve upon.

If you press the 'Tap' button 4 times on the beat while a song is playing - do it as accurately as you can and make sure your first press really is on the 1-beat of a bar - the auto-detection feature kicks in and spends a couple of seconds analysing the audio, guided by your 4 taps. The auto-detection engine is a sophisticated full BPM detection algorithm (similar, but also quite different, to that which is used in Ots Studio for BPM detection), however because it is guided by your taps, problems such as a double or halving of the detected BPM are completely avoided. Additionally, the engine can unambiguously resolve which beat is the 1-beat (first beat of a bar) providing you have tapped appropriately. Once the detection algorithm has run, you will see beat markers in the waveform display for that deck/item. If you don't, that means the algorithm concluded it could not reliably detect the beat. The detection algorithm, and indeed the entire premise of the beat/BPM-aware mode of the looping functionality, is based on the assumption of a clean 4/4 timing-based item, with non-wavering timing (ie. dance, techno, etc). Rock music, much of pop, and other forms of music without a *perfectly* stable time-base will often not detect very well or at all. Indeed, not even all dance is necessarily appropriate. If the algorithm succeeds, you can visually observe the beat markers and see if they apparently line up with the beats as a way to gauge confidence in the detection. It is possible to repeat the taps, if you feel you were off with your guidance. You can also revert to being in non-beat/BPM-aware mode by using the appropriate menu option from the deck's menu (accessible using the bottom-right button in the bank of small buttons on the deck).

When in beat/BPM-aware mode, and assuming the detection was accurate, looping is dead easy to use and almost guaranteed to provide great-sounding results. Your loop "starts" (when you begin marking a new loop) will automatically snap to the nearest beat, as will your "ends". This means you'll end up with a perfect loop, generally of 1, 2 or 4, 8, 16, etc beats, though there's nothing stopping you from looping over, say 3 beats (whether that sounds good or not is another matter). In the current implementation you can not alter a loop's length after it has been defined, though our engine of course handles all of these types of transformations - so look out for future changes here, including the ability to store loops in the Media Library.

Although the tapping process is easy, fast and painless, the looping engine attempts to save you from this procedure if it deems the necessary information is already available. Because Ots Media files optionally contain a "Beat Info" chunk, and this chunk unambiguously defines an intro and an outro, including the BPMs and actual beats themselves, the looping engine attempts to mesh this information together in order to extrapolate a beat grid for the whole song. If you load an item and the beat markers are already there on the waveform display, then you know this process succeeded. If you don't see beat markers, yet you know the item in question definitely had an active and enabled ABM intro and outro, then that means the assumption of a continuous beat grid throughout the entire song was not able to be made based on the defined intro and outro. For example, it may be that the BPM, or even just the timing, of the song changes mid-way and the outro is therefore inconsistent with the intro. In such a case it is not possible to define a single beat-grid (which is essentially what the beat/BPM-aware mode requires) from such data. Most conventional dance music has a consistent BPM and no timing breaks, therefore most will work well in this scenario. If you find some items not working where you expected them to, consult your intro and outro definitions in Ots Studio. Although they may be close enough to sound reasonable during an ABM beat mix, if they are sufficiently "off" then this is probably the reason why the looping engine can't stitch them together with any degree of confidence (and hence ignores them).

Finally, even if you haven't explicitly enabled ABM intros and outros, just the presence of beat info chunks (where the automated BPM detection algorithm has run in Ots Studio) will in some scenarios guide the looping engine - but only for BPM, not beat. What this means is that although you won't see beat markers on the waveform display (because the deemed position of each beat is unknown) and therefore when you start marking a loop no snapping will occur - when you end a loop, snapping (to the nearest beat based on deemed BPM) may still occur at that point for the actual loop length. In truth, this is the single most important component for getting great sounding loops - the loop length must be a multiple or integer division of the duration of one beat period. Beginning the actual loop at the precise start of an actual beat is of secondary importance and certainly no where near as critical (in the general case). Therefore, don't assume that just because you can't see beat markers, that you can't loop or loop well. And remember, all looping used to be a very manual process in earlier hardware.

Looping is yet another creative tool at the disposal of the DJ and we look forward to rolling out additions to our current implementation making it even more powerful and increasing the scope for creativity.

Keyboard Shortcut Reference

Please note that you can also view keyboard shortcuts for any OtsAV 1.90 version you are running by going to Menu -> Help -> Keyboard Shortcuts (similarly you can view Command Line Options from the relevant menu).

Tabs/Lists shortcuts

Note: These work whenever the OtsAV main window has focus.
Note #2: 'ML' is short for Media Library and refers to the Media Library tab/list area.

"REGULAR"; A-Z, 0-9, etc: character is added to current field within ML and a search query occurs (ML is activated if wasn't already)

BACKSPACE: last character in current field within ML is deleted and a search query occurs (ML is activated if wasn't already)

CTRL+BACKSPACE (+w/SHIFT): move back to previous query in query history buffer (ML must be active) - SHIFT moves forward

SHIFT+BACKSPACE: clear active ML field without explicitly registering previous contents in history buffer (ML must be active)

ENTER (+w/SHIFT): offer to move selected items in active list to top of playlist (if ML active, observe target settings and don't prompt) - SHIFT suppresses prompting

CTRL+ENTER: toggle selection of item at insert mark of active list

DEL (+w/SHIFT): "New Query" - clear active ML field and register existing contents in history buffer (and activate ML) - SHIFT clears both fields

CTRL+DEL: offer to delete selected items in active list

LEFT/RIGHT: move cursor within active ML field (ML must be active)

CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT: move cursor to extremes within active ML field (ML must be active)

SHIFT+LEFT/RIGHT: change which ML field is active (and activate ML) - LEFT = OMQL, RIGHT = Search

UP/DOWN: change focused item and selection within active list

CTRL+UP/DOWN: change focused item within active list (selection is not altered)

SHIFT+UP/DOWN: change focused item and extend selection within active list

PAGE_UP/PAGE_DOWN: change focused item and selection to top/bottom of page or move up/down a page in active list

CTRL+PAGE_UP/PAGE_DOWN: change focused item to top/bottom of page or move up/down a page in active list (selection is not altered)

SHIFT+PAGE_UP/PAGE_DOWN: change focused item to top/bottom of page or move up/down a page and extend selection within active list

HOME/END: change focused item and selection to top/bottom item of active list

CTRL+HOME/END: change focused item to top/bottom item of active list (selection is not altered)

SHIFT+HOME/END: change focused item and extend selection to top/bottom item of active list

TAB (+w/SHIFT): cycle active ML field (if ML not active, activates it and sets Search field as active)

CTRL+TAB (+w/SHIFT): cycle through tabs - SHIFT cycles in reverse

SHIFT+ESC: clear selection and focus mark for all lists

CTRL+A: select all/none items in active list (also clears focus mark if clearing selection)

CTRL+X (+w/SHIFT): prompt to cut selected items in active list to clipboard - SHIFT suppresses prompting

CTRL+C: copy selected items in active list to clipboard

CTRL+V: paste clipboard contents to focused item position in active list (if no focus mark, paste to top)

CTRL+F: Launch "Find in List" dialog

CTRL and/or SHIFT: influences (boosts) the speed of list scrolling when using either the mouse wheel or clicking the scrollbar arrows

Control/Other shortcuts

Note: These work even when a modeless - but not modal - dialog has focus. (A modal dialog is a dialog window which must be responded to before you can continue working with areas of the application that launched the dialog.)

CTRL+P: Global Play*

CTRL+SHIFT+P: Global Pause* (toggle)

CTRL+SHIFT+S: Global Stop* (stop all decks)

CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT: Global Previous Item*

CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT: Global Next Item*

CTRL+N: Load next playlist item into empty or idle deck (if any)

F1/F5: Deck A/B Stop (jump to cue point if already stopped)

F2/F6: Deck A/B Play

F3/F7: Deck A/B Tempo/Pitch Down

F4/F8: Deck A/B Tempo/Pitch Up

SHIFT+F1/F5: Deck A/B Fade/Cut

CTRL+F1/F5: Deck A/B Seek Start (jump to beginning)

CTRL+F2/F6: Deck A/B Set Cue Point

CTRL+F3/F7 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Seek Back 1 frame - SHIFT: 10 frames

CTRL+F4/F8 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Seek Forward 1 frame - SHIFT: 10 frames

CTRL+SHIFT+F1/F5: Deck A/B Eject

CTRL+SHIFT+F2/F6: Deck A/B Load Next (loads next playlist item into deck)

ALT+F1/F5 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Pitch Down 0.5% - SHIFT: 0.1%

ALT+F2/F6 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Pitch Up 0.5% - SHIFT: 0.1%

ALT+F3/F7 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Tempo Down 0.5% - SHIFT: 0.1%

ALT+F4/F8 (+w/SHIFT): Deck A/B Tempo Up 0.5% - SHIFT: 0.1%

NUMPAD_0: step crossfader in the left direction**

NUMPAD_DEL: step crossfader in the right direction**

NUMPAD_1: fade crossfader slowly to Deck A**

NUMPAD_2: fade crossfader slowly to center position**

NUMPAD_3: fade crossfader slowly to Deck B**

NUMPAD_4: fade crossfader quickly to Deck A**

NUMPAD_5: fade crossfader quickly to center position**

NUMPAD_6: fade crossfader quickly to Deck B**

NUMPAD_7: fade crossfader instantly to Deck A**

NUMPAD_8: fade crossfader instantly to center position**

NUMPAD_9: fade crossfader instantly to Deck B**

CTRL+D: toggle Auto DJ on/off

CTRL+B: toggle Automated Beat Mixing (ABM) on/off

CTRL+M: toggle Live Input (microphone or line input) on/off

CTRL+SPACE: Trigger (used with directives, eg. Stop & Re-cue)

CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+V: enable/disable video overlay (this is a system-wide hotkey and will work no matter which application is currently active, providing hotkey registration succeeded)

CTRL+SHIFT+G: capture still image grab of video output

ALT+F or ALT+M: display OtsAV main menu

CTRL (while held): mute backspins when scratching

SHIFT (while held): mute forward-spins when scratching

* Global Transport shortcuts work even when the video overlay is displayed over the primary monitor and has focus.
** Crossfader numeric keypad shortcuts work only when the 'X-Fader Keypad Keys' option is enabled.

Note: Additional shortcuts not mentioned above may be available under certain circumstances.