GEISS 2, v1.0 (6/17/03) a Winamp audio-visualization plug-in by Ryan Geiss copyright (c) 2003 Nullsoft, Inc. Geiss 2 Homepage: http://www.nullsoft.com/free/geiss2/ Geiss 2 Support: http://forums.winamp.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=151 Table of Contents ----------------------- 1. what is Geiss 2? 2. requirements 3. installation 4. tweaking 5. usage 6. known issues 7. using line-in (for live shows, etc.) 8. other tips; misc. info 9. version history What is Geiss 2? ----------------------- Geiss 2 is a Winamp audio-visualization plug-in that lets you fly through the sound waves of the music you're listening to. 2. Requirements ----------------------- Required: * Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP. (Windows 95 is not supported.) * One of the following: * Winamp 2.72 or later * Winamp 3 with the Classic Visualization Component * A processor that supports the MMX instruction set. Recommended: * An 800+ MHz processor 3. Installation ----------------------- Geiss 2 can be installed to Winamp 2 or 3 (or both, but you'd have to run the installer twice). To install to Winamp 3, just run the installer as usual. Then launch Winamp 3 and hit CTRL+P to load the Preferences screen. Then, on the left, scroll down to 'ClassicVis' and select it. (If you don't see it, you probably need to download the Classic Visualization Component). Now you should see a list of visualization plugins on the right; select Geiss 2, and click 'start' to run it. To install to Winamp 2, run the installer as usual, but note that if you also have Winamp 3 installed, you'll have to manually choose the Winamp 2 directory, since it installs to Winamp 3 by default. Once the installation is complete, launch Winamp 2 and hit CTRL+P to load the Preferences screen. Select 'visualization' under 'plug-ins' on the left. Now you should see a list of visualization plugins on the right; select Geiss 2, and click 'start' to run it. In the future, you can use the shortcut key CTRL+SHIFT+K to run Geiss 2, and ALT+K to configure it. 4. Tweaking ----------------------- a) GETTING A GOOD FRAMERATE To get Geiss 2 to look its best, you want to maximize the size of the internal rendering, while still maintaining a framerate of 30 frames per second. To do this in windowed mode, simply expand the window until you see the framerate (F5) drop. In desktop mode, you'll need to adjust the [desktop-mode or fake- fullscreen-mode] downsampling value on the second tab of the config screen. If you're getting 30 fps consistently, try increasing this number further toward 1. If you're dropping below 30 fps, try decreasing this number. You can also try switching Windows to 16- bit color, or dropping Windows to a lower resolution. For [true] fullscreen mode, the most important factor is the display mode that you select on the first tab of the config panel. The higher the resolution you select here, the more pixels Geiss 2 has to compute every frame, and thus, the slower it will be. So, again, if you're getting 30 fps consistently, try increasing the resolution here. If you're not, decrease it. In fullscreen mode, you can also adjust the 'Vertical Screen Size' to add a widescreen look to the plugin. The lower the % here, the less processing the plugin has to do, and the more likely you are to get 30 fps. Finally, you can also adjust the downsampling for fullscreen mode, but the visual quality will be less than if you just changed the fullscreen display mode and/or adjusted the 'vertical screen size'. b) REFRESH RATES AND MAXIMUM FRAMERATE SYMBIOSIS For the smoothest animation, you need to configure Geiss 2 so that there is no frame skipping. To do this, the monitor's refresh rate must be an integer multiple of the 'max framerate' that you allow Geiss 2 to run at. For example, if your monitor is running at 75 Hz (meaning that it refreshes the image 75 times per second), then you would want to select one of the following values for the 'max framerate' option: 1, 3, 5, 15, 25, 75 These values are optimal because they evenly divide into the refresh rate of the monitor, and that means that each image (frame) that is sent to the video card will be displayed for a consistent number of refresh cycles on the monitor. Otherwise, one frame might get shown for 4 refreshes, then the next one for just 3, and so on, making for jerky animation. Your monitor's refresh rate is configurable, and whatever you have it normally set to in Windows is what it will be when you go to run Geiss 2 in Windowed or Fake Fullscreen modes. To view or change it, go to Start->Settings->Control Panel->Display->Settings tab->Advanced->Monitor tab. When you run Geiss 2 in Fullscreen mode, though, the refresh rate changes (along with the display mode) to whatever you selected in the Geiss 2 config panel, in the 'Display Mode' box (in the 'Fullscreen' section). Here are the optimal maximum framerates for some other common monitor refresh rates: REFRESH OPTIMAL FRAMERATES ------- ------------------ 60 Hz 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60 66 Hz 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 22, 33, 66 70 Hz 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 14, 35, 70 72 Hz 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 72 75 Hz 1, 3, 5, 15, 25, 75 85 Hz 1, 5, 17, 85 100 Hz 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100 120 Hz 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 24, 40, 60, 120 LCD'S AND LAPTOPS ----------------- Note that many LCD flatpanel displays (including laptops) run natively at one refresh rate ONLY - usually 60 Hz - even though the display driver might provide other options besides this. So, if you have an LCD, it's best to keep it running in 60 Hz at ALL times (or whatever its native refresh rate is). Finally, another tip for getting smooth animation: minimize (or close) any other windows/programs. Even simple ones that don't seem like they'd be interfering can sometimes do very naughty things... 5. Usage ----------------------- Hit 'F1' while Geiss 2 is running to display a list of accelerator keys. These will let you display the current framerate, change tracks, browse the playlist, control the animation, and so on. ESC: exit plugin F1: display help F2/F3: display song title, length F4: display misc. info F5: display fps ALT-ENTER or double click: toggle fullscreen L: lock/unlock current map ##: go to certain map (##=digits) SPACE: randomize map (+shift/ctrl=?) p: randomize color palette P: lock/unlock color palette w/W: cycle through waves o: toggle waveform on/off j/J: adjust wave size k/K: adjust wave smoothing Q-E-A-S-D-F-G: various effects i: toggle autoshift I: manual shift now h/H: diff now (2 versions) t: embed song title y: toggle dither m: toggle munge PGUP/PGDN: adjust decay HOME: decay off DEL: decay now END: toggle beat-driven decay INSERT: toggle mouse zooming PLAYBACK: Z/X/C/V/B: prev/play/pause/stop/next N: navigate playlist U: toggle shuffle R: toggle repeat up/down arrows: adjust volume left/right arrows: seek left/right arrows + SHIFT: fast seek 6. Known Issues --------------- 1. When running any card in a 'dualhead' setup that creates a double-width (2048x768) or double-height (1024x1536) virtual desktop spanning two monitors, if the width or height of the window goes beyond 2048, then the you just see black in the part beyond 2048; i.e., the plugin does not fill the whole window. 7. Using Line-In ----------------------- If you want to use your sound card's Line-In or CD Audio inputs for sound data (instead of mp3 files), you can do this; in fact, this will work for any viz plugin, not just this one! Do the following: 1) CONNECT WIRES Connect your audio source (a stereo, a live feed, whatever) into the line-in (or microphone) 1/8" (headphone-size) jack on your sound card. You might want to test & verify that your cable is good before doing this. 2) SELECT SOUND INPUT CHANNEL & ADJUST VOLUME In Windows, double-click the speaker icon in your systray (where the clock is). Then, on the menu, go to Options -> Properties and select the "Recording" option. Then make sure the Line In (or Microphone) input channel (whichever is appropriate for your case) is SELECTED (with a check mark) and that the volume is close to, or at, the maximum. Hit OK. 3) TELL WINAMP TO USE LINE-IN Open Winamp, and hit CTRL+L (the "Open Location" hotkey). Now type in "linein://" as the location you want to open. (Leave out the quotes and make sure you use FORWARD slashes.) Hit PLAY ('x' key for the lazy), and the little built-in oscilloscope (or spectrum analyzer) in Winamp should start showing your signal. If the signal looks flattish, you might want to double-check the volume from Windows' Volume Control, or adjust the sound level at the (physical) source. 4) RUN IT Run Geiss 2 as usual. If the waves are too small or large, either adjust the volume from Windows' Volume Control, or adjust the sound level at the source. 8. Other Tips; Misc. Info ----------------------- 1. A fast CPU, fast memory, and a fast frontside bus are the most important components for getting Geiss 2 to run at a high framerate at high resolutions. A fast AGP graphics card helps, too (thanks to the increased bandwidth to video memory) but keep in mind that Geiss 2 doesn't use any hardware (3D) video features. Finally, Geiss 2 usually runs the fastest (in windowed/desktop/fake fullscreen modes) when Windows is in 16-bit color. 2. Don't set the maximum framerate beyond 30 frames per second; Geiss 2 was designed with that cap in mind, and it will look bad if you go beyond it. 3. For the best graphics performance, try to close as many other applications as you can, before running the plugin, especially those that tend to work in the background, such as anti-virus software, file-swapping software, e-mail programs, messageing programs, and so on. If you must leave other applications open, try to minimize them (i.e. shrink the window down to the taskbar) so that they stay out of the painting loop. 4. In general, it's a very good idea to use only Microsoft-certified WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) drivers for your video card. Often people want to get the newest, fastest beta drivers, but these drivers are almost ALWAYS riddled with new bugs. 5. Multiple Monitors: It is recommended that whenever you modify your Windows multimon setup (i.e. turn an adapter on/off, change its color depth, etc.), you reboot Windows before running this plugin. 6. Please remember to look away every 15 minutes. 7. 'Geiss' rhymes with 'frozen water'. 8. Geiss 2 is the sequel to Geiss, which debuted in 1998. Geiss 2 is better because: * it's stable (heh) * it can go beyond 800x600 (up to 2048x2048) * it can blend between maps * it has DESKTOP MODE * it is multimon-friendly * it lets you steer with the mouse (hit INSERT) * it now lets you accurately limit the framerate * you can now select your refresh rate for fullscreen modes. (in the original Geiss, you had no control over this, and sometimes the screen got squished.) * it manually constructs its own main loop out of various chunks of assembly code. For each chunk, it tests many options to find the one that is fastest on *your* particular machine, and then uses that. After running for about 30 seconds, it should know exactly which code chunks work best on your machine, and be manually stitching them together (no calls or jumps!) and running the dynamically-generated code. * it has a bunch of new maps, color palettes, and effects * no animals were eaten by the author during the development of this plugin. 9. Version History ----------------------- 1.0 - 17 June 2003 -Initial release.