Introduction to the Halogen Software
The Halogen software application is your home for designing, configuring, and controlling your HAL audio system. Halogen's easy-to-use graphical user interface simplifies the design and configuration process so much that your only concern will be deciding how to use the extra time you suddenly have!
While this topic introduces Halogen's basic layout, explaining the details of its functionality and how to use the application is the primary purpose of this entire help system.
The Halogen software is divided into three main sections: the Application Framework, the Hardware Workspace, and the Processing Workspace.
Following is an explanation of the purpose of each section:
- Application Framework: Manage global tasks such as discovering, connecting to, and applying configurations to HAL devices. Manage and configure the software application itself.
- Hardware Workspace: Specify, configure, and troubleshoot the physical hardware components of your audio system.
- Processing Workspace: Wire together the audio processing components of your system, adding and configuring processing blocks such as equalizers, matrix mixers, compressors, limiters, and so on. Manage and configure presets, control links, paging, events, and room combine layouts.
Notice that Halogen separates the hardware view from the processing view of your audio system. A key benefit of this separation is the flexibility it provides when configuring the system's various inputs and outputs. For example, suppose you have a RAD2 in your audio system. You drag the RAD2 device into the Hardware Workspace but then go to the Processing Workspace to configure the RAD2's line input and mic input. This separation of hardware from processing allows you to work with each input and output individually instead of having to work with the hardware device as a single entity. It also allows you to focus on hardware in one place and audio flow and processing in another place—simplifying your job as a result. Brilliant!
Another benefit of separate hardware and software workspaces is that the necessary hardware for an installation can be rapidly specified in the hardware workspace without concern for audio flow and control in the processing workspace. This starting configuration file can then be loaded into the HAL device before shipping the rack to the job site. This enables installers to have the massive infrastructure troubleshooting assistance of HAL. If the installers work faster and more accurately, punch lists are much shorter, jobs go faster and you can finish more jobs per unit time. For insight into what the heck this is trying to tell you, read the blog entry about Halogen’s Get on the Plane indicator. This can save you days of system troubleshooting - and associated cash.
As you may have noticed in the images above, the Hardware Workspace and the Processing Workspace have similar layouts. On the right is the actual workspace itself in which you create your system. Associated with each workspace is a palette of objects on the left and a toolbar specific to the workspace. To add an entity to your audio system, you drag one or more objects from the palette to the workspace.
- The Hardware Workspace is associated with one palette that contains (care to guess?) hardware devices that include RADs, DRs, and EXPs. To add one of these devices to your design, you drag it into the Hardware Map and drop it on the appropriate HAL port (appropriate ports are highlighted based on the device you are adding). When you add hardware to the Hardware Map, the controls, inputs, and outputs associated with that hardware are automatically added to the Processing Workspace I/O and Control palettes.
- The Processing Workspace is associated with three different palettes:
- Open the I/O palette when you are ready to wire together all your inputs and outputs. Available in the palette are the inputs and outputs associated with the hardware you selected in the Hardware Workspace. You drag the inputs and outputs you want into the Processing Map and then wire them appropriately.
- Open the DSP palette when you are ready to configure your signal processing. This palette contains all the different processing blocks available within the HAL DSP engine.
- Open the Control palette when you are ready to configure and manage the linking of controls on DRs to parameters in your audio system. This palette contains the control devices you selected in the Hardware Workspace.
tip: A simple way to think of the Halogen workspaces is that you use the Hardware Workspace to create and connect all of your physical hardware, while you use the Processing Workspace to select, configure, and connect the processing blocks and controls.
You have several options for learning the specifics of the Halogen user interface:
- Use the context-sensitive help built into the application. Simply point your cursor to an area in the software, right-click, and then click Help in the menu that appears. The Help system opens, displaying a topic specific to that area of the user interface.
- For a more thorough understanding of the user interface, review the detailed user interface reference topics. You can also access details on a specific dialog box by clicking the question mark located in its upper right corner.