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  Customizing G-Force  
 

      You can customize G-Force by editing its preferences file or by writing scripts. The preferences file and script files are plain-text files and end with ".txt". If you edit one of these files, you must resave them as plain-text. Otherwise, G-Force will not be able to process them. For example, OS X’s TextEdit saves files as Rich Text Format (.rtf) by default, so you must designate your file as plain-text (in the Format menu), and save it as a .txt file. In Windows, Notepad and WordPad are both effective text editors (but note that non-DOS style text files won’t appear properly in Notepad—try opening and then resaving them in WordPad). Alternatively, there are also many excellent shareware text editors publicly available that are also suitable. Whatever text editor you do use, it’s recommended that you disable line wrapping for readability. Disabling line wrapping also prevents you mistaking wrapped lines for new lines.


The Preferences File

      The G-Force preferences file is a plain-text file containing a list of values (in no particular order). The purpose of the preferences file is to allow various user variables (ex, window position, full screen resolution, visual reactivity settings) to persist from each time G-Force is run to the next. Since G-Force only writes/updates its preferences file when it exits, you must run and exit G-Force at least once before you’ll be able find it. On Windows, preference files are located in C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\SoundSpectrum\G-Force" and on Mac OS X, they are located in "~/Library/Preferences/SoundSpectrum/G-Force".

      If you modify the preferences file while G-Force is running, then your changes will be overwritten when G-Force exits (so you should modify it when G-Force is not running). An example of when you would edit the preferences file would be if your media player didn’t support keystrokes or the pref that you want to edit is not accessible via key commands. If you have the option to edit either the preferences file or the boot file in order to change something, it’s better to edit the preferences file rather than the boot file. A mistake in the preferences file can always be corrected by deleting the preferences file, but a mistake in the boot file can only be corrected by replacing it with the original boot file (ie. reinstallation). Finally, if G-Force behaves strangely after you edit its preferences file, it’s likely that you inadvertently caused a problem. If this is the case, simply delete the preferences file. When you delete it (when G-Force isn’t running), a new "factory" preferences file will be created the next time G-Force starts up. The following is a list of all the parameters found in the G-Force preferences file:

'Preferences ([PlayerName]).txt'
Audio.InputSource This specifies the name of the audio input source to be visualized. If the name is blank or cannot be found in the list of available audio sources, the best audio input source is used. This pref is only used when G-Force isn't running inside a media player.
Audio.FFT.Params These params specify the behavior the FFT auto-normalization subsystem.
Audio.AutoDetect.Enabled
Audio.AutoDetect.SilenceThreshold
Audio.AutoDetect.Wait
When enabled and applicable, if the time period specified by AutoDetect.Wait elapses with no audio activity below the level specified in AutoDetect.SilenceThreshold, G-Force will automatically scan other audio input sources for signs of audio activity. If it finds another active audio input source, it will use that source until the primary source breaks the silence threshold. This, for example, is useful in screen saver mode since any number of audio sources may be of interest to use for audio input.
Audio.FFT.Smooth As this value increases, the smoothing of fft(0..1) increases proportionally (ie, peaks and valleys will be less jagged). Doubling/Halving this number will double/half the amount of smoothing.
Audio.FFT.NumBins This defines how many values/elements are in fft(0..1). As Audio.FFT.NumBins increases, the frequency spectrum will be divided up into more "bins" (a "bin" is defined as the average value of a small sub-section of a frequency spectrum, like how a bucket or pail collects a footprint of rain and not a point). In a config file, you can access Audio.FFT.NumBins by using NUM_FFT_BINS. See the documentation in the example configs, especially the documentation of the Stps parameter in "Rotating Corridor".
Audio.PCM.Smooth As this value increases, the more mag(0..1) is smoothed (ie, peaks and valleys will be less jagged). Approximately doubling/halving this number will double/half the amount of smoothing.
Audio.PCM.NumBins Similar to Audio.FFT.NumBins, this parameter specifies how many elements are in each sound sample (that is, how many elements make up mag(0..1)). PCM stands for "pulse code modulation" which just means a sequence of amplitude values that correspond to the position of a recording membrane. A "sample" is slang for a sequence of amplitude values that form a short clip of audio—in other words a "sample" is slang for a recorded audio segment. Audio.PCM.NumBins defines how many steps is in mag(0..1). In a config file, you can access Audio.PCM.NumBins with the global variable NUM_SAMPLE_BINS.
Audio.Response.Scale Specifies the scale of the fft and pcm audio data that's visualized.
Fullscreen.Device This specifies the display device that G-Force will attempt to use for full screen mode. The value is such that the main/primary device is 0, the next is 1, the next is 2, and so on. If this value is -1 (ie, SS_HOST_DISPLAY_DEVICE), then the display device that G-Force will attempt to use for full screen mode will be whatever the display device currently hosting the G-Force window. Note: this is not available for all media players (because most media players don’t allow a plugin to request a specific display device for full screen mode).
Graphics.TargetFrameRate G-Force will attempt to maintain a frame rate that matches the value specified in this pref. If G-Force has a frame rate below what you specify, it’s because (a) your system isn’t fast enough to achieve the desired frame rate for the current frame dimensions, or (b) the host media player is electing not to have G-Force draw as often as possible. At this point, only decreasing the frame size, exiting other applications, or switching media players can increase frame rate.

Note that some media players only call a visual plugin a maximum number of times per second (and nothing can be done to change that other than abandon that media player). Also note that it takes a couple seconds for G-Force to stabilize on the target frame rate when a step-change in load occurs (e.g. when a much less intensive config starts).
Graphics.PreventDisplaySleep If set, G-Force will ask the OS to prevent display device sleep when G-Force is in fullscreen mode.
WaveShape.LineWidth.Offset
WaveShape.LineWidth.Scale
The value of these parameters affect the line thickness of all drawn lines. All line thicknesses are multiplied by LineWidth.Scale and then LineWidth.Offset is added. On G-Force, note that excessively increasing line thickness can cause color saturation (depending on the current FlowField), causing the entire screen to be flooded with an excess of foreground color. See also WaveShape.AutoLineScale.
WaveShape.AutoLineScale When this value is non-zero, following a frame resize, WaveShape.LineWidth.Scale is set to a value proportional to the new frame size. In effect, the ratio of pixels from line drawing to total pixels becomes roughly constant.
TrackText.Auto If this value is non-zero, track text (and album cover art, if available) will be automatically displayed when the currently playing track/song changes. If this value is zero, track text and album cover art will never appear automatically.
TrackText.Duration The number of seconds track text (and album cover art, if available) will remain visible after it appears. By default, track text (and album cover art) will appear when a new track begins or when ’T’ is pressed.
TrackText.Animation The name of the TrackAnimation config to be run when a new track starts in the host audio player. Look in Packages/Common.TrackAnimation.package to make your own or modify existing animations.
TrackText.Font Specifies the font family used for track text animations.
TrackText.Size Specifies the font size used for track text animations.
Prefs.Version Stores the version of the prefs file and is how G-Force can identify an out-of-date prefs file (if this value is below the "compatible" version number, G-Force will use internally stored "factory" pref values). You will never normally need to edit this value (and using an invalid or out-of-date prefs file with the "current" G-Force version number could cause G-Force to crash or operate improperly).
UI.ActivateOnChars Specifies the set of characters that toggle/activate the UI.
UI.ActivateOnClick If set, the UI will activate on a user click in the G-Force window.
UI.Font Specifies the font name used in the on-screen UI.
UI.MinSize Specifies the minimum height and width of the UI. If the frame size is less than this size, the UI will scale itself to retain the minimum size virtually.
UI.Timeout Specifies the number of seconds the UI should remain visible once the user is idle.
Window.top
Window.left
Window.bottom
Window.right
Stores the position of the G-Force window in global screen coordinates. Note that when G-Force runs under certain media players, these parameters aren’t used because the host media player manages the rectangle size and position, not G-Force.
[ConfigType].
ConfigPrepTime
Specifies the number of seconds a config should be given to perform any background calculations or prep.
[ConfigType].
Slideshow.EnableOnStartup
If non-zero, the given config set's slideshow mode is enabled when G-Force starts up.
[ConfigType].
Slideshow.Interval.Duration
The number of seconds between when a config slideshow change completes to when the next config change commences.
[ConfigType].
Slideshow.Interval.Duration.Deviation
Specifies the standard deviation of the slideshow interval duration specified by Interval.Duration.Deviation. A value of .1 if Slideshow.Interval.Duration is set to 15 seconds means that there's a random standard deviation of 1.5 seconds for each successive slideshow interval that is calculated.
[ConfigType].
Transition.Duration
Specifies the number of seconds that G-Force will spend transitioning from one config to the next when the slideshow mode is enabled for the given config type and the config slideshow interval elapses.
[ConfigType].
Transition.Duration.Quick
Specifies the number of seconds that G-Force will spend transitioning from one config to the next when the user manually initiates a config change (typically a via keyboard).
[ConfigType].
Transition.Duration.Deviation
Specifies the standard deviation of the slideshow transpiration duration specified by Transition.Duration.Deviation.
[ConfigType].
Transition.Function
Specifies the mapping of a uniformly changing scalar (t, that starts at 0.0 when a config transition starts and 1.0 when it ends) to a weight that specifies how much of the oncoming config to use. This expression must always evaluate to 0 when t = 0 and evaluate to 1 when t = 1. If a transition is 10 seconds long, t will be .2 after 2 seconds. Typical transition weight functions start with linear change but finish with a decreasing rate of change, offering the visual aesthetic of gliding into 1.0. Try graphing the function y=1-(1-x)^1.5 to see an example
ColorMap.MapFunction
A ColorMap is a method for expressing a RGB color for any input value from 0 to 1 (ie, for 0<=i<=1, ColorMap(i) -> (R,G,B)). Before a frame is colorized, each pixel (an intensity value from 0 to 1) is transformed using the expression specified in this pref and then plugged into the ColorMap. The input variable is ’i’ and variables like ’t’ are available (allowing time dependence). In other words, this pref permits the ColorMap domain to be arbitrary, allowing ColorMaps to be arbitrarily "bent". Examples:

     "i" — linear/uniform distribution
     "i^2.5" — background/"lower" colors dominate
     ".5 * i" — only use lower half of ColorMap
     "wrap( i + .1 * t )" — "rotating" ColorMap
     "sin( PI * i )" — two passes through ColorMap
     "(1-i)^.7" — "reverse" ColorMap
G-Force.AutoOpenToolbar If non-zero, when the visualizer starts up, it will launch the associated toolbar (if the toolbar is present).
G-Force.ForceCPUColorization If set, G-Force will colorize frames on the CPU rather than using a fragment shader on the GPU to colorize frames (when available). This can be useful to set if troubleshooting systems with older graphics hardware.

 
'Global Preferences.txt'
Graphics.Direct3D.Disabled (Windows only) If non-zero, the visual engine will attempt to render using OpenGL instead of Direct3D. If the engine is unable to run without using Direct3D (e.g. due to limited OpenGL drivers), setting this pref could result in blank output from G-Force.
Graphics.Quality This is accessed by python-based configs to help make choices about richer graphical effects that come at the cost of frame rate performance.
Network.Mode Specifies the class of permitted network connections, allowing G-Force to be controlled. The value 'LocalOnly' specifies that only connections originating from the same machine as the running instance of G-Force will be allowed to connect and is the default value for security reasons. Connections not originating locally are refused. If the value is 'LocalOrRemote', then connections originating from any IP address will be accepted.


 
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