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Advanced Remote Control

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This page describes some of the more esoteric control methods and equipment supported by mAirList.


Joysticks, Gameport, and Fader Start Interfaces

You can define any number of 'buttons' on devices attached to your joystick or USB gameport sockets to control mAirList, and you can define whether the assigned Command is executed when the 'button' is pressed or when it is released. Although you would never use a real joystick or gamepad, this method is particularly useful if your mixing desk has a 'fader start' function, typically connected via D-connectors or similar on the desk.

There are two common ways to connect the desk fader start contacts to the PC for this purpose:

The authors of this page cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to PCs, PC peripheral devices, mixing desks, control surfaces etc. by attempting to implement the following suggestions. The following suggestions are provided solely to assist suitably-qualified technical personnel who intend to use fader start with mAirList.

  1. Connect the contacts on the desk directly to the button connectors on a 10-button USB gamepad's internal circuit board and then plug the gamepad's USB connector in to your PC. One way to make this interface is to remove the gamepad board from its case, house it securely somewhere inside your PC case, and cable from the gamepad board button connectors to a proper 'external' connector such as a D-connector on an expansion slot blanking plate. Many motherboards have 'internal' USB connectors which you can use for the gamepad board's USB cable. Ideally, you should use optocouplers in your design to prevent potential damage to either PC or mixing desk. Please consult a properly-qualified electronics engineer if you are in any doubt about any part of this.
  2. Connect the contacts on the desk directly to the 4 'button' pins of your joystick port or gameport, and connect two 100kOhm resistors across the 'x and y axis' pins of the port (without these resistors, Windows Control Panel and Gaming Options will not sense your circuit as a 'joystick'). Again, ideally you should use optocouplers in your design to prevent potential damage to either PC or mixing desk. Please consult a properly-qualified electronics engineer if you are in any doubt about any part of this.


You can define any number of MIDI messages (a 'message' being a status, data1 and data2 package sent by your MIDI-compliant hardware) to control mAirList using any MIDI hardware, such as a keyboard or a MIDI 'controller.'

For data2, you can specify whether the received value should be less than, greater than, or equal to your specified data2 value. This is useful for use with MIDI keyboards with touch response, which send different data2 values depending on how fast you press a key.

Network (SOAP/RPC)

You can enable a network remote interface (implemented using the RemObjects SDK) to control mAirList remotely, using external applications running on other network PCs. As well as the (proprietary) RemObjects BIN protocol, mAirList also supports applications which use the standard SOAP protocol.

At the moment, only one interface is exposed to the network: ICommandInterface. You can download a small Windows client application, mAirListCommand.exe, from the mAirList download page.

Using RPC commands, you can (for example) start/stop split advert breaks across your station's LAN; either by pressing a hotkey, or (in Automation mode) a Command in a Playlist. In the same way, the remote networked PC can send a command back to the main playout PC to resume its automation after the adverts, promos, etc.

This command starts automated playout of Playlist 1 on a remote PC:


Note that the remote PC's Playlist must already be in AUTO mode! Further more, you can only send ONE Command at a time when using network commands, so you cannot use a semi-colon to daisy-chain multiple actions. You will need to create a separate Command entry for each action. So, in order to start your AM and FM advert breaks on 2 remote machines - You'll need 2 Command entries in your playlist:


You can use the remote PC's Network name instead of its IP address: the name is usually easier to remember (like fmadverts or studio1). For example:

RPC http://studio2:8300/BIN AUTOMATION 1 PLAY

You can also load remote studio's CartWalls if they are taking your feed as part of a networked broadcast.

RPC http://studio2:8300/BIN CARTWALL LOADSET C:\mAirList\Cartwalls\Split Jingles.mlc

If you wish for this action to be automatic, you can insert it into an M3U playlist (either manually or via a scheduler). The entry would look like this:

#mAirList COMMAND [LOAD SPLIT CARTWALL] RPC http://studio2:8300/BIN CARTWALL LOADSET C:\mAirList\Cartwalls\Split Jingles.mlc

As you can see from the above example, when scheduling Commands in M3U playlists, you can specify a Title which allows a DJ-friendly way of telling you what the Command will do.


IO-Warrior is a multi-purpose, USB-based I/O controller manufactured by Code Mercenaries GmbH which is available in 16, 23, or 50 I/O pin models. You can define the input pins as (for example) triggers for fader start commands, and you can use mAirListScript to control the output pins from within mAirList.

Serial Port

You can enable and configure a generic serial port interface, to allow Commands to be literally 'typed in' from any serial device which can generate ASCII text characters (for example, an old-fashioned 'glass teletype' ASCII terminal).

To send a Command, type (or send) it as plain text and end it with a CR character (the Enter key on most serial device keyboards). For example:


would switch Playlist 1 into ASSIST mode.

Note that you must type the Commands in UPPER case. The only exception is that you can type file names (in Commands which use them) in lower or mixed case. For example:

CARTWALL LOAD SET c:\Data\mairlist\Year shouts 1970-1989.mlc


See REST Remote Interface.

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