The last form of Keying we wanted to highlight is Linear or alpha keying. Linear or Alpha keying is the evolution of the Luminance key and Pattern keying (read HERE). Linear keying becomes a basis for where we can build almost all advanced keying. It typically requires special hardware and software but gets you great results.
Linear keying is made from two separate signals. The first signal is called the Cut Signal. The Cut Signal is a luma-based signal of white, black, and grayscale that tells the switcher what is opaque (black) and where to put a GFX signal (white). The second signal is the Fill Signal or the actual GFX or colors. (Pictured above) The switcher uses the Cut Signal as the pattern shape, which allows the benefits of a luma key while eliminating the con of not being able to have things like a black outline. This is because the switcher is using one signal to say where things are opaque and another for what the actual content will be.
Luminance and Pattern Keys
Keying is a powerful and essential feature on your video switchers. It's important to know the basics behind keying so you can really understand what is happening on your switcher when you use these features. We've talked about Chroma Keys, HERE, so now we want to highlight another similar switcher key: Luminance Keys.
If you, like many over this last year, are new to pro video switchers, their terminology, and features you may be wondering about ME’s. ME’s are where the magic happens in video switchers and are comprised of controls each with a row of buttons for Preview and Program. Program is the video source you are sending out and Preview refers to the video source you are intending to transition into next.
Let’s start by talking about what ME stands for. An ME stands for Mix Effects Bus. To understand what this is we will break down each word. First, we can start with M or Mix. Mixing is the combination of two or more elements. At its most basic function, a video switcher does just this by mixing different sources such as multiple cameras or a GFX source.
What is it? How and When Do You Use it?
Welcome to Trevor’s Audio Master class. I will be your guide to the wonderful world of Compression. The definition of a compressor is, “An audio signal processing operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds or amplifies quiet sounds, thus reducing or compressing an audio signal's dynamic range.” I’m sure that cleared up any confusion on compressors. Any questions??
Ok, but seriously. These are questions that we often get when we are doing sound training. What is a compressor? How do you use it? When should you use it?
Easter is just around the corner and it’s a good time to talk about making AV Goals. Audio Visual systems are an investment for your business, but sometimes it can be hard to make the final decision on when or how to invest in new equipment. How do you know which areas to invest in your AV system and what things can wait? This is where a little careful planning can take you a long way.
In the middle of the pandemic, we all suddenly learned how good our video systems were or, in a lot of cases, were not. For New Life Church, a large multi-site church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the video demands of a pandemic were high. A church of five separate locations citywide, with a moderate streaming presence, suddenly became a church with one location broadcasting five services. Along with the five services and all their other events turned virtual, they were broadcasting almost around the clock.
We’ve been looking at a series of cable and equipment testers recently. These tools help give us ideas when troubleshooting systems and how to proceed. If you know a cable is bad it is much easier to replace it than your other pieces of equipment. So, here’s another cable tester we use and love!
You simply plug each end of your cable into the appropriate connections and turn the knob to check each pin connection. LED's confirm each conductor continuity and connection status of each wire. This is such a useful tool for us! It allows us to check every connection we terminate before we install that cable on any job site. If we are having an issue with a cable this is a quick and simple way to check and make sure that the cable is not the problem.
It can be really helpful to have cable testers as part of your toolbox. They can save you so much time and sometimes turn a seemingly big problem into a simple fix.
You know the rule about sequels…They’re never as good as the original. But we are hoping this can be closer to “The Dark Night” and less of “Jaws 2”.
We love getting new tools in our pelicans, so we wanted to share what’s new in our toolbox.
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Check out our resources page for FREE checklists and tools we mention in articles! We are here to help you improve and maintain your Audio Visual Systems!