Acoustica User Guide
Acoustica Standard Edition 5
User Guide
Acon Digital Media GmbH
Acoustica User Guide
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
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indirectly by this document.
Table of Contents
I
Table of Contents
Part I Introduction
4
1 What is new in Acoustica
...................................................................................................................................
Standard Edition 5.0
4
2 Requirements
................................................................................................................................... 5
Part II Basic Audio Editing
5
1 The Acoustica Workspace
................................................................................................................................... 5
2 Loading Audio Files
................................................................................................................................... 7
3 Saving Audio Files
................................................................................................................................... 7
4 Playing a Recording
................................................................................................................................... 7
5 Selecting Regions................................................................................................................................... 8
6 Selecting Channels
................................................................................................................................... 8
7 Zooming and Scrolling
................................................................................................................................... 8
8 Drag and Drop Editing
................................................................................................................................... 9
9 Editing using the...................................................................................................................................
Clipboard
10
10 Audio Scrubbing................................................................................................................................... 11
11 Labels and Regions
................................................................................................................................... 11
12 Adding Loops for
...................................................................................................................................
MIDI Samplers
13
13 Using Analyzers................................................................................................................................... 14
Level Meter
.........................................................................................................................................................
FFT Analyzer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Phase Correlation Meter
.........................................................................................................................................................
Big Time Display .........................................................................................................................................................
Part III Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
14
15
15
16
16
1 Connecting a Tape
...................................................................................................................................
Deck (Cassette Tape)
16
2 Connecting a Record
...................................................................................................................................
Player (LP)
18
Connecting a Record.........................................................................................................................................................
Player through an Amplifier
19
Connecting a Record.........................................................................................................................................................
Player Directly
20
Part IV Recording
23
1 Concepts of Digital
...................................................................................................................................
Audio
23
Sampling
......................................................................................................................................................... 24
Quantization
......................................................................................................................................................... 24
The Decibel Unit (dB)
......................................................................................................................................................... 25
2 Recording through
...................................................................................................................................
the Sound Card
25
Timer Record
......................................................................................................................................................... 27
Advanced Recording.........................................................................................................................................................
Options
28
Part V Audio Processing
28
1 Manipulating Volume
................................................................................................................................... 30
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Adjusting the Volume
.........................................................................................................................................................
Normalize
.........................................................................................................................................................
Applying a Volume Curve
.........................................................................................................................................................
Fading In or Out
.........................................................................................................................................................
The Channel Mixer .........................................................................................................................................................
2 Audio Effects
30
30
31
32
32
................................................................................................................................... 33
Dynamic Processor .........................................................................................................................................................
Limiter
.........................................................................................................................................................
Echo
.........................................................................................................................................................
Reverb
.........................................................................................................................................................
Convolution Reverb .........................................................................................................................................................
Flanger
.........................................................................................................................................................
Chorus
.........................................................................................................................................................
Distortion
.........................................................................................................................................................
Harmonizer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Transpose
.........................................................................................................................................................
Time Stretching
.........................................................................................................................................................
Reverse
.........................................................................................................................................................
33
35
36
37
37
38
39
40
41
42
44
45
3 Using Audio Plug-Ins
................................................................................................................................... 45
Refreshing the Plug-in
.........................................................................................................................................................
List
45
Specifying VST Directories
......................................................................................................................................................... 45
4 Noise Reduction................................................................................................................................... 46
Automatic Noise Reduction
.........................................................................................................................................................
Removing Noise with
.........................................................................................................................................................
a Measured Profile
Removing Noise with
.........................................................................................................................................................
a User Drawn Profile
Automated Click Removal
.........................................................................................................................................................
Manual Click Removal
.........................................................................................................................................................
46
47
48
49
50
5 Enhancement Tools
................................................................................................................................... 50
Declipper
.........................................................................................................................................................
Equalizer
.........................................................................................................................................................
High Frequency Rebirth
.........................................................................................................................................................
Stereo Enhancer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Remove DC Offset .........................................................................................................................................................
Phono Filter
.........................................................................................................................................................
50
51
53
54
54
54
6 Converting the Sample
...................................................................................................................................
Format
55
7 Effect Chains
................................................................................................................................... 56
57
Part VI Working with Audio CDs
1 Creating Audio CDs
................................................................................................................................... 57
Adding an Existing Audio
.........................................................................................................................................................
File
58
Adding the Content .........................................................................................................................................................
of an Editing Window
58
Burning the CD
......................................................................................................................................................... 58
2 Importing Audio...................................................................................................................................
Tracks from CDs
59
61
Part VII Using the Cleaning Wizard
1 The Import Page................................................................................................................................... 61
Record Audio
Import Files
......................................................................................................................................................... 62
......................................................................................................................................................... 63
2 The Restoration ...................................................................................................................................
Page
64
Track Splitting
......................................................................................................................................................... 64
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Table of Contents
III
Restoration
......................................................................................................................................................... 65
Further Editing and Processing
......................................................................................................................................................... 66
3 The Export Page................................................................................................................................... 67
Burn a CD
......................................................................................................................................................... 67
Export to Audio Files......................................................................................................................................................... 68
Part VIII Using the Batch Processing Wizard
68
1 Adding Source Files
................................................................................................................................... 69
Importing Folders ......................................................................................................................................................... 69
Creating Folders
......................................................................................................................................................... 70
Removing an Item ......................................................................................................................................................... 70
2 The Target Files ...................................................................................................................................
Page
71
Adding Processing Tools
......................................................................................................................................................... 71
Defining File and Sample
.........................................................................................................................................................
Format
72
Specifying the Target.........................................................................................................................................................
Folder
73
Part IX Audio Analysis
1 Time Domain
73
................................................................................................................................... 73
2 Frequency Domain
................................................................................................................................... 73
3 Combining Time...................................................................................................................................
and Frequency
74
Part X Preferences and Device Settings
75
1 Device Settings ................................................................................................................................... 75
2 Changing the Preferences
................................................................................................................................... 75
The Directories Page......................................................................................................................................................... 76
Index
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Acoustica User Guide
1
Introduction
Acoustica is a comprehensive solution for professional audio recording, editing and
mastering. The intuitive user interface was designed with speed, accuracy and
ease-of-use in mind and gives access to a large set of powerful tools to make your
recordings sound the best. The consistent workflow simplifies your production work all
the way from recording, editing, batch processing, sound design and audio restoration
to Red Book compatible CD burning.
1.1
What is new in Acoustica Standard Edition 5.0
Acoustica Standard Edition 5 contains several exciting new features. The highlights are:
Graphical user interface
· New audio plug-in design
· Tabbed MDI interface
· Dockable file browser pane
New file formats
· FLAC
· AAC
CD Cover Editor
Makes the creation of CD covers from your CD projects a breeze
CD Projects
· Save and open CD projects
· Erase CD-RWs
K-System metering
The new K-System level meters help you to produce consistent sounding music while
preserving appropriate dynamic range.
Enhanced spectrum analysis
The updated offline analysis tools allow you to select frequency and amplitude ranges.
The spectrum analysis now allows logarithmic frequency scales and can show the
average spectrum over a large time selection.
Convolution reverb
Simulate the reverberation of physical or virtual spaces based on pre-recorded impulse
responses.
Test signal generator
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Introduction
· White, pink and brownian noise
· Sine tones
· Chirps
1.2
Requirements
Before you install Acoustica Standard Edition, please make sure your computer fulfills
the following requirements:
·
·
·
·
·
2
A computer running Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP
Pentium IV or higher
Minimum 256 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
Minimum 16 bit color depth
Windows compatible sound card
Basic Audio Editing
This chapter describes the basic audio editing capabilities of Acoustica such as loading
and saving files and editing using the clipboard or drag and drop.
2.1
The Acoustica Workspace
The Acoustica workspace can contain several audio editing windows, CD projects or
Cleaning Wizard projects.
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The Acoustica workspace
The figure above shows the Acoustica workspace with an audio editing window and a
CD project. The elements indicated with the red arrows are explained below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The main toolbar with short cut icons for commonly used commands.
The navigation toolbar for recording, playback and cursor positioning.
An audio editing window containing the audio file "Matecha.wav". The audio is
visualized with a curve corresponding to the recorded audio (see Time Domain).
A selected region indicated with white curve on a blue background (colors depend
on your system settings). The current cursor position is indicated by a blinking line.
The output level meters show the current output level during audio playback.
The status bar indicating the selected region, the viewed region and the cursor
position. During processing, the progress is displayed in the status bar.
A "CD project" window containing a list of tracks and a toolbar for commands
relevant to CD recording.
The list of CD tracks that are about to be recorded to an audio CD.
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Basic Audio Editing
2.2
Loading Audio Files
To open existing audio file,
1.
2.
3.
2.3
Select from the File menu the command Open...
Choose the folder in which your file is located from the Look in drop-down list.
Click the audio file you wish to open and click the button labelled Ok.
Saving Audio Files
To save an edited audio file with its original name:
1.
Select from the File menu the command Save or press Ctrl+S.
If you wish to save the content of an audio editing window with a different name, in a
different folder or with different settings:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
2.4
Select from the File menu the command Save as...
Choose the folder in which you wish to save the file from the Look in drop-down list.
Enter a name for your audio file.
Choose the file format of your audio file from the File type drop-down list.
Most export filters offer different settings such as encoding bit rate or number
format. To change the settings, click the button labelled Options... .
Playing a Recording
To play the selected region of a recording:
1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play or press the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
You can also play the complete recording:
1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play all or hold the shift key while
pressing the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
To play the selected region as a loop:
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1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play looped or hold the control key while
pressing the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
Alternatively, you can use the navigation toolbar for convenient playback:
The navigation toolbar with the logic similar to consumer audio equipment such as CD players or
tape decks.
2.5
Selecting Regions
Acoustica does all processing on the selected region and the selected channels only. The
selected region is highlighted. To change the selected region:
1.
2.
3.
4.
2.6
Click the beginning of the region you wish to select and keep the mouse button
down.
Move the mouse cursor to the end of the region you wish to select while keeping the
mouse button down.
Release the mouse button.
The newly selected region should now by highlighted.
Selecting Channels
Acoustica does all processing only on the selected region and the selected channels. To
change the selected channel or channels (only possible with stereo recordings):
1. Click the channel selection button in the main toolbar (see The Acoustica Workspace
2.
3.
2.7
):
A drop-down list with the channels appears.
Click the channel you wish to activate or deactivate.
Zooming and Scrolling
You can zoom in to get a more detailed view in an editing window. You can zoom either
horizontally to view a smaller part of the recording or vertically to show a smaller
amplitude range.
Horizantal zoom
To zoom in horizontally:
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
Basic Audio Editing
· Press the arrow up key
- or · Move the mouse wheel upwards
To zoom out for a better overview:
· Press the arrow down key
- or · Move the mouse wheel downwards
Note
You can zoom out to view the whole recording by selecting View | View all
or by pressing Shift + A.
Scrolling
In those cases where only a part of the recording is shown, a scroll bar is visible below
the visualisation of the wave form. You can use the scroll bar to view other parts of the
recording.
Vertical zoom
To zoom in vertically:
· Press and hold the control key while pressing the arrow up key
To zoom out vertically:
· Press and hold the control key while pressing the arrow down key
You can also enter the zoom factor in the toolbar and press the enter key:
The vertical zoom bar
2.8
Drag and Drop Editing
You can move or copy regions using so-called drag and drop editing. To move a region
to a another location in the same editing window or to another editing window:
1.
Select the region you wish to move (see Selecting Regions).
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2.
3.
Click the somewhere within the highlighted region and keep the mouse button
down.
Press the Shift key while moving the mouse cursor to the new start position and
release the mouse button.
To insert a copy of a region using drag and drop:
1.
2.
3.
Select the region you wish to copy (see Selecting Regions).
Click the somewhere within the highlighted region and keep the mouse button
down.
Press the Ctrl key while moving the mouse cursor to the insert position and release
the mouse button.
To mix two regions using drag and drop:
1.
2.
3.
Select the first of the regions you wish to mix (see Selecting Regions).
Click the somewhere within the highlighted region and keep the mouse button
down.
Press the Alt key while moving the mouse cursor to the start position and release the
mouse button.
Note
2.9
If you press neither the Ctrl key nor the Shift key during drag and drop,
Acoustica will perform the default action which is a move operation if the
drop destination is the same editing window and a copy operation if the
drop destination is another editing window.
Editing using the Clipboard
The clipboard concept provides a common way of editing documents for all Windows
applications. You can edit your recordings by copying the selected region to the
Acoustica clipboard using the command Edit | Copy and paste the region into another
location using the command Edit | Paste Insert. The Paste Insert command is equivalent to
the normal paste command common in most Window applications. Acoustica has offers
two additional ways of pasting:
· Paste Overwrite, which substitutes a selected region with the content of the
clipboard.
· Paste Mix, which mixes the selected region with the content of the clipboard.
The command Edit | Cut copies the selected region to the clipboard before deleting it
from the source recording. For the purpose of deleting parts of the recording, use one of
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Basic Audio Editing
11
the following two commands:
· Delete, which deletes the selected region
· Crop, which deletes everything but the selected region.
2.10
Audio Scrubbing
Sometimes it is hard to find a specific part of a recording using the visualization only.
The audio scrub mode simplifies the search by giving aural feedback while you can
move the playback position using the mouse. To use the audio scrubbing:
1.
Enable the audio scrubbing mode clicking the audio scrubbing symbol in the toolbar
2.
3.
(
) or by pressing A.
Click the left mouse button and keep it down while moving the mouse cursor
Release the mouse button when you have found the part you were searching for.
4.
2.11
Enable the selection mode by clicking the selection mode symbol in the toolbar (
or by pressing S.
Labels and Regions
You can simplify the editing process by inserting anchors such as labels and regions to
your recording.
Adding Labels
To add a label to the recording:
1. Move the cursor position to where you want the to insert a label
2. Click the right mouse button and select "Add Label..." or press L.
3. A label appears at the cursor position
Note
You can press Ctrl + L to add a new label and directly open a dialog box to
give it a name.
Adding Region Markers
To add a region marker to the recording:
1. Select the part of the recording where you want a region marker
2. Click the right mouse button and select "Add Region..." or press R.
3. A region is appears at the selection
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Acoustica User Guide
Note
You can press Ctrl + R to add a new label and directly open a dialog box to
give it a name.
Renaming, Moving and Deleting Anchors
You can easily rename anchors:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Double click the anchor text
A properties dialog box appears.
Enter the new name of the anchor.
Click the button labelled OK.
You can also move the anchors:
1. Click the left mouse button at the upper part of red line visualizing the anchor.
2. Keep the mouse button down while moving the anchor to its new position
3. Release the mouse button.
To delete an anchor:
1. Click the right mouse button at the anchor text
2. A context menu appears.
3. Select "Delete"
The Label and Region List Windows
You can edit and keep track of your anchors by showing the region list and label list
windows. To show the label list window, select "Label List" from the View menu. The
menu item "Region List" from the same menu shows the region list.
The Region and Label List windows make it easy to edit and keep track of the anchors.
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Basic Audio Editing
2.12
13
Adding Loops for MIDI Samplers
Audio files in the WAVE format can contain specialized loop information for MIDI
Samplers and software samplers. Acoustica supports this standard and you can add
loops and define the base note and fine tuning of the recorded sample. To add a sample
loop, selected Edit | Add Sampler Loop... or press "O". The Add Sampler Loop dialog box
appears:
The Add Sampler Loop dialog box.
You can specify an infinite loop that is repeated until the MIDI note is released or a
specific loop count. Acoustica also allows you to crossfade the ending and the beginning
of the loop to avoid click sounds at the loop edge. Add a check mark to the Enable
Crossfading check box to enable the cross fading. You can specify the percantage of the
loop duration that is used for cross fading.
The information in Global MIDI Sample Settings is not stored for each loop, but are global
settings for the complete recording. You can edit these settings when adding loop,
because loop and note with fine tuning information is usually required when creating
loops for MIDI samplers. However, you can also change these parameters in the Tempo
and Key tab of the recording properties (File | Edit Properties...).
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2.13
Using Analyzers
The integrated analyzers allow you to analyze the output audio signal in real time
during playback. You can hide or show the analyzers by choosing View | Analyzers and
selecting one of the analyzers from the sub menu.
2.13.1
Level Meter
The level meter lets you analyze the output level in terms of peak, peak hold and RMS
values. The peak value is the maximum sample within a short analysis interval and is
the value defining the height of the level meter bars. The peak hold value is the
maximum sample level over a longer period of time. It is indicated as a white line above
or at the top of the level meter bar. RMS stands for root-mean-square and is calculated
by the root of the sum of the squared sample values during the analysis interval.
The level meter analyzer showing the peak hold value (1), peak value (2) and RMS value (3).
You can configure the level meter to use different scales or change ballistics by clicking
the left mouse button somewhere in the level meter. The following dialog box appears:
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15
The settings dialog for the level meters.
Acoustica supports the K-System metering standard proposed by the audio engineer
Bob Katz. The K-System an attempt to standardize leveling practices throughout the
audio industry. Three standards are available, K-20, K-14, and K-12 which are intended
for different listening environments. You can choose to use one of the K-System meters
or use the digital full scale meter as in earlier version of Acoustica.
2.13.2
FFT Analyzer
The FFT Analyzer shows the frequency content of short analysis time frames. FFT stands
for Fast Fourier Transform. FFT is an efficient way of calculating the frequency domain
of a signal. For more information about the frequency domain, please see Frequency
Domain.
The FFT Analyzer shows the frequency content of the output audio signal.
2.13.3
Phase Correlation Meter
The phase correlation meter shows the phase relationship between the left and the right
audio channel in a stereo recording and is an important tool when mastering stereo
recordings. If both channels contain exactly the same signal, the phase correlation meter
will show a vertical line. If one channel is exactly the opposite of the other channel, the
phase correlation meter shows a horizontal line. Normal stereo recordings will show a
cloud of dots spread out vertically and horizontally (see the picture below). In a
properly mastered recording, the cloud of dots should not be wider than it is tall.
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The phase correlation meter shows the relationship between the left and the right channel in a
stereo recording.
2.13.4
Big Time Display
The big time display shows the current playback position in a resizable and dockable
window.
3
Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
This chapter describes how to connect your tape deck (cassette tape player) or your
record player to your computer.
3.1
Connecting a Tape Deck (Cassette Tape)
If you have an external tape deck or a compact stereo system, it will probably have so
called "RCA connectors" on the backside labelled Line Out, Tape Out or Tape Rec, as
depicted below:
RCA connectors on a tape deck unit. Connect the sound card to the Line Out connector (1).
The Line Out of the tape deck or stereo system will now need to be connected to the
computer. Integrated sound cards are usually equipped with "mini jack" connectors (also
called 3,5 mm jack).
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Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
17
The back pane of a computer with an integrated sound card and a line in mini jack connector (1).
Connecting to a Sound Card with Mini Jack Connector
If you computer has mini jack connectors, a connection cable with a mini jack connector
on one end and RCA connectors on the other end is required to connect your tape deck
or stereo system to your computer.
A connection cable with RCA connectors on one end and a mini jack connector on the other.
If you didn't receive such a cable with your sound card or computer, you can purchase
one in normal audio or electronics stores.
To connect your tape deck or stereo system, connect the end with the RCA connectors to
the Line Out, Tape Out or Tape Rec connectors on your tape deck or stereo system.
Connect the other end to the Line In connector of your computer. The Line In connector is
either labelled as such or indicated with the following symbol:
.
Connecting to a Sound Card or USB Audio Device with RCA connectors
External USB devices for audio input and output are growing in popularity and many of
these have normal Line In RCA connectors. In rare cases, internal sound cards might
also have RCA connectors. In these cases, a connection cable with RCA connectors on
both ends is required.
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Acoustica User Guide
A connection cable with RCA connectors on both ends.
You can purchase RCA connection cables in normal audio or electronics stores if you
don't have one already. In this case, all you have to do is connect the cable to the Line
Out, Tape Out or Tape Rec connectors on your tape deck or stereo system and the Line In
connectors of the sound card.
3.2
Connecting a Record Player (LP)
If you have a stereo system with an amplifier already set-up, the easiest way to connect a
record player to your computer is to connect the computer to the amplifier's Line Out
connectors (sometimes also labelled Tape Out, Tape Rec or Rec Out).
RCA connectors on an amplifier. Make sure the record player is properly connected to the phono
input (1) and connect the sound card to the Rec Out connector (2).
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Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
3.2.1
19
Connecting a Record Player through an Amplifier
Before you proceed, please make sure your record player is properly connected to your
amplifier and that you can listen to records on your stereo system.
The Line Out of the amplifier or stereo system will now need to be connected to the
computer. Integrated sound cards are usually equipped with "mini jack" connectors (also
called 3,5 mm jack).
The back pane of a computer with an integrated sound card and a line in mini jack connector (1).
Connecting to a Sound Card with Mini Jack Connector
If you computer has mini jack connectors, a connection cable with a mini jack connector
on one end and RCA connectors on the other end is required to connect your amplifier
or stereo system to your computer.
A connection cable with RCA connectors on one end and a mini jack connector on the other.
If you didn't receive such a cable with your sound card or computer, you can purchase
one in normal audio or electronics stores.
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Acoustica User Guide
To connect your amplifier or stereo system, connect the end with the RCA connectors to
the Line Out, Tape Out or Tape Rec connectors on your amplifier. Connect the other end to
the Line In connector of your computer. The Line In connector is either labelled as such
or indicated with the following symbol:
.
Connecting to a Sound Card or USB Audio Device with RCA connectors
External USB devices for audio input and output are growing in popularity and many of
these have normal Line In RCA connectors. In rare cases, internal sound cards might
also have RCA connectors. In these cases, a connection cable with RCA connectors on
both ends is required.
A connection cable with RCA connectors on both ends.
You can purchase RCA connection cables in normal audio or electronics stores if you
don't have one already. An In this case, all you have to do is connect the cable to the Line
Out, Tape Out or Tape Rec connectors on your amplifier or stereo system and the Line In
connectors of the USB audio device.
3.2.2
Connecting a Record Player Directly
It is usually not possible to connect a record player directly to the computer, because the
audio on LP records is modified for technical reasons so that low frequencies (bass) are
too soft and high frequencies (treble) too loud. Amplifiers with a phono input modify
the signal using an exactly tuned equalizer so that the original signal is restored. It is
also possible to purchase hardware units solely for this purpose. These are usually called
phono preamplifiers.
The good news is that you with Acoustica 4 probably don't need any additional
hardware. Acoustica 4 emulates the equalizer in phono preamplifiers and thus restores
the original audio. You can connect the record player directly to the Line In on your
sound card and enable the Emulate phono preamplifier option in the recording page (see
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Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
21
Record Audio for more information).
In most cases, the record player will have "RCA connectors" on the backside labelled
Phono, as depicted below:
RCA connectors on a record player.
Some record players come with a fixed cable with male RCA connectors:
Cable with male RCA connectors.
The output from your record player will now need to be connected to the computer.
Integrated sound cards are usually equipped with "mini jack" connectors (also called 3,5
mm jack).
The back pane of a computer with an integrated sound card and a line in mini jack connector (1).
Connecting to a Sound Card with Mini Jack Connector
If you computer has mini jack connectors and your record player female RCA
connectors, a connection cable with a mini jack connector on one end and RCA
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Acoustica User Guide
connectors on the other end is required to connect your record player to your computer.
A connection cable with RCA connectors on one end and a mini jack connector on the other.
If you didn't receive such a cable with your sound card or computer, you can purchase
one in normal audio or electronics stores.
To connect your record player, connect the end with the RCA connectors to the Phono
Out connectors on your record player. Connect the other end to the Line In connector of
your computer. The Line In connector is either labelled as such or indicated with the
following symbol:
.
If you record player has an integrated cable with male RCA connectors you will need an
RCA to mini jack adapter (available in audio or electronic stores), as depicted below:
An RCA to mini jack adapter.
The mini jack end of the adapter can be connected to the Line In connector of the sound
card as already described.
Connecting to a Sound Card or USB Audio Device with RCA connectors
External USB devices for audio input and output are growing in popularity and many of
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these have normal Line In RCA connectors. In rare cases, internal sound cards might
also have RCA connectors. In these cases, a connection cable with RCA connectors on
both ends is required if the record player doesn't have a cable with male RCA
connectors attached.
A connection cable with RCA connectors on both ends.
You can purchase RCA connection cables in normal audio or electronics stores if you
don't have one already. An In this case, all you have to do is connect the cable to the
Phono connectors on your record player and the Line In connectors of the USB audio
device.
4
Recording
Recording audio in Acoustica is easy, but there are some terms you should know before
starting you first recording project. The chapter Concepts of Digital Audio theoretically
describes some important issues regarding digital audio. If you are familiar with digital
audio, please proceed to Recording through the Sound Card.
4.1
Concepts of Digital Audio
Before audio can be edited on computers it must be digitized. The output from most
audio equipment such as tape recorders, microphones or record players is analog.
Analog means that the audio signal is represented by an alternating electrical voltage.
The voltage is analog to the air pressure changes in the air during the performance,
hence the term analog signals. The sound card in your computer is needed to convert
the constantly changing electrical voltage to a stream of numbers at fixed rate intervals.
This process is done in two steps called sampling and quantization.
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4.1.1
Sampling
The conversion from a continuously changing measure to a series of measured values at
discrete time instances is called sampling. The rate (or number of measurements per
second) of which the sampling is done, is along with the quantization depth the most
important quality factor of digital recording equipment. If it is set too low, disturbing
artifacts occur. A CD quality recording is recorded with a sampling rate of 44 100
samples per second. We say that the sampling frequency is 44 100 Hertz (or short Hz).
In fact, all frequencies above half the sampling frequency, which is known as the
Nyquist frequency, are substituted by frequencies below the Nyquist frequency. This
effect is called aliasing. To avoid aliasing a sampling system contains of a low pass filter
which ideally filters out all frequencies above the Nyquist frequency and leaves all
frequencies below unaffected. In the case of the audio CD, the highest frequency that
can theoretically be recorded is 22 050 Hz.
4.1.2
Quantization
After measuring an analog input signal at fixed time intervals we have a stream of
samples. The samples exist in terms of a voltage measured at a certain point in time. The
voltage can usually be one of an infinite number of possible voltages within the legal
voltage range. Computers cannot accurately describe every single one of the infinite
number of possibilities, so it is necessary to divide the voltage range of interest into fixed
sized regions. All voltages within one region are given a certain number during the
quantization process. If we have a large number of regions which implies a larger
number of discrete voltage levels, we can describe a voltage more accurately than with
fewer voltage levels. The audio CD is quantized with 65536 voltage levels, which is the
maximum number of levels possible to archive with a binary number with 16 bits. Thus
we say that the Audio CD has 16 bit resolution. Modern recording studios are frequently
using 24 bit resolution or even higher during the mastering process.
The digital representation of a sine wave.
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The Decibel Unit (dB)
When the volume of the recorded sound is changed, the degree of change is usually
expressed in terms of decibels or short dB. This is a common unit in connection with
audio. In Acoustica, decibel is used to express the extent of change relative to the
original level.
Special for the decibel unit is that it is based on a logarithmic scale. Zero dB represents
no change, whereas an increase of six dB represents a doubling of the signal amplitude.
Reducing by six dB results in half the signal amplitude.
The decibel dB versus intensity change in percent
The decibel scale is chosen to suit the sensitivity curve of the human ear which have the
same logarithmic property.
4.2
Recording through the Sound Card
Please follow the steps below to record audio from audio equipment such as record
players, tape decks or microphones through your sound card:
1. Make sure the audio source is properly connected to the audio input of your
computer. See Connecting Your Stereo Equipment for more information about how
to connect your audio equipment.
2. Create a new an empty recording window by selecting File | New... or position the
cursor where you want to insert recorded audio in an existing recording.
3. Select Sound | Record... or press Ctrl+R.
4. If you are recording to an empty editing window Acoustica needs to know what
sample format you wish to use (see Concepts of Digital Audio for more information).
The following dialog box appears:
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The sample format dialog box in Acoustica
Please choose the desired recording format and click the button labelled Ok.
5. The Recording dialog box now opens:
The Recording dialog box
Now make sure that the correct input line is selected in the line in combo box (1).
You can monitor the input level using the level meters (2) and, if needed, adjust the
input level using the input level slider (3). The level meter should never be in the red
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area in order to avoid clipping distortions.
6. Click the button labelled Record (4) to start the recording.
7. When you are done recording, click the button labelled Keep (5) to accept the
recording.
4.2.1
Timer Record
The timer record feature allows you to start and stop recording after a certain period of
time or depending on the presence of an input signal. To start timer record, click the
button labelled Timer Record in the recording dialog. The following dialog box appears:
The Timer Record settings.
You can choose to start the recording immediately (after clicking the Start Timer Record
button), at a certain time and date or when an input signal is present. The threshold
value for the input signal detection can be defined using the Silence Threshold field at the
bottom of the dialog.
The recording can also be stopped automatically, either after a certain period of silence
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or after a certain period of time.
4.2.2
Advanced Recording Options
The recording dialog in Acoustica also offers some advanced settings:
The advanced recording options in the recording dialog
· Remove DC Offset
A DC offset (Direct Current offset) is present in the input signal when the audio
signal isn't centered around the zero voltage line as it should be. The problem is
quite common on low-end sound cards. DC offset are unwanted and harmful to the
stereo equipment and it can lead to problems when processing the recording further.
You can automatically remove the DC offset by enabling the option Remove DC Offset
. Extremely low and inaudible frequency components (including the DC offset) are
then filtered out of the signal.
· Emulate phono preamplifier
This option should only be enabled when recording from a record player that is
connected directly to the input of the sound card without a phono preamplifier.
· Listen to input (digital monitoring)
You can listen to the signal being recorded (after DC offset and phono preamplifier
processing, if enabled) by enabling this option. It is not recommended to leave this
option on during the complete recording session, because it makes recording glitches
more probable.
5
Audio Processing
In Acoustica, all the processing tools have some properties in common. The processing is
performed on the selected region and the selected channels only. Furthermore, most
tools offer a preset manager that allows you to save often used parameter settings for
later use.
The Preset Manager found in most of the processing tools in Acoustica
To add a preset:
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· Click the button labelled More...
· A drop down menu appears. Select Add Preset... from the menu.
· In the pop-up dialog, enter the name of the preset and click the button labelled OK.
Loading a preset is equally simple. Just select the preset from the drop-down list and the
preset settings are loaded. User presets can be removed by clicking the button labelled
More..., selecting Remove Preset... and selecting the preset you wish to remove.
You can bypass the effect processing by checking the check box labelled Bypass transform
for a convenient A / B comparison.
The processing tools introduce some custom controls that you should get familiar with.
The level slider is similar to the Windows track bar, but with some enhancements. The
value range and the current value is always displayed. You can manually edit the value
by pressing the space bar when the control is active or by clicking the value text below
the level slider. An edit box pops up containing the current value. To change the value,
enter a new value and press return. By pressing the Esc key the changes are discarded.
Examples of knobs (1) and level sliders (2).
The knob control is similar to the level slider, but it is round and is often used to save
space in complex layouts. As with the level sliders, you can change the value by pressing
the space bar or by clicking the value text below the knob.
A more complex custom control is the curve control which is used when a curve input is
needed. The curve control allows the user to add, move or remove points. Straight lines
between the points build the curve. You can add points by clicking the location where
you want a new point to appear in the curve control. You can remove points by clicking
the right mouse button over an existing point.
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Examples of a curve edit control.
5.1
Manipulating Volume
The Volume menu contains several commands for manipulation the volume of a
recording.
·
·
·
·
·
5.1.1
Adjusting the Volume
Normalize
Applying a Volume Curve
Fading In or Out
The Channel Mixer
Adjusting the Volume
The most basic volume manipulation command is the Adjust Volume... command in the
Volume menu. The only parameter is the volume change in decibel. For more
information on the decibel unit, see The Decibel Unit (dB).
The Adjust Volume settings
5.1.2
Normalize
The Normalize... command in the Volume menu can be used to ensure a constants signal
level in all your audio recordings. You can choose to normalize either the peak or the
RMS level. After selecting your desired maximum peak or RMS output level in decibel,
Acoustica analyses the selected region for the loudest peak or the overall RMS level. The
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volume of the region is changed according to the selected level. If you set the normalize
level to 0 dB and use peak level normalization, the loudest part will be the maximum
level reproducible without signal distortion. For more information on the decibel unit,
see The Decibel Unit (dB).
The Normalize dialog box
5.1.3
Applying a Volume Curve
You can apply a user drawn volume curve on the selected region by selecting Draw
Freehand Volume Curve... from the Volume menu.
The Volume Curve settings
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5.1.4
Fading In or Out
If you wish to create fade ins or fade outs, select Fades... from the Volume menu. You can
select a fade curve from one of four mathematical functions from the Fade function
drop-down list:
·
·
·
·
Linear
Logarithmic
Exponential
Sinusoidal
Select the direction of the fade using the Fade in or Fade out radio buttons. The resulting
fade curve is visualized in the curve control.
The Volume Fade settings
5.1.5
The Channel Mixer
The channel mixer is a tool that works only on stereo recordings. The channel mixer
mixes the content of the left and the right channels with a user defined weighting. The
weightings are individually adjustable for each channel.
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The Channel Mixer settings
5.2
Audio Effects
5.2.1
Dynamic Processor
A dynamic processor is used to alter the dynamic properties of the recording. To
understand how a dynamic processor works, imagine a sound engineer trying to
maintain an as steady volume level as possible while doing a recording. When the input
level increases he pulls down the volume slider, and he pulls it up when the input level
decreases. A dynamic processor does the same thing automatically, only with a much
faster reaction time.
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The Dynamic Processor settings
Settings
· An editable curve containing the output level as a function of the input level. By
altering this curve you can change the dynamic characteristics of the recording to fit
your needs.
· Attack time
The reaction time when the input level of the source material increases.
· Release time
The reaction time when the input level of the source material decreases.
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35
Limiter
Limiters belong to the dynamic processing tools and ensure that the signal level doesn't
exceed a user selectable boundary while minimizing any possible distortions. To achieve
this, limiters introduce a certain latency, called look-ahead. The look-ahead ensures that
the limiter can respond in time when the signal level suddenly rises. Many CD
producers also use limiters to push the perceived volume to a maximum without
introducing audible distortions.
The Limiter settings
Settings
· Threshold
All signals above the threshold level will be attenuated so that the threshold level is
not exceeded.
· Output Gain
The output gain of the limiter which corresponds to the highest possible output
signal level.
· Release time knob
You can use the release time knob to adjust the response time when the input level of
the source material decreases. Longer release times will result in a smoother sound.
· Look ahead knob
You can adjust the number of milliseconds the limiter uses to determine its internal
gain settings with the look-ahead knob. The limiter will have a latency equal to the
look ahead time.
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5.2.3
Echo
The echo effect adds delays or echoes to the selected region.
The Echo settings
Settings
· Echo time
· Feedback
The feedback percentage specifies the volume attenuation since the last delay
interval.
· Dry Level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Delay Level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
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37
Reverb
The reverb simulates the reverberation effect of some natural surroundings.
The Reverb settings
Settings
· Reverb program
Select the reverberation program from the drop-down list that fit you needs. You can
choose between Small room, Medium room, Large room, Concert Hall 1, Concert Hall 2,
Cathedral, Stadium or Plate reverb. Only the Plate reverb needs further explanation.
The plate reverb program simulates the sound of analog plate reverbs used
frequently before digital reverbs were available.
· Reverberation time
The time before the reverb tail drops below 1 / 1000 of its original amplitude.
· Reverb level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
· Dry out level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
5.2.5
Convolution Reverb
The convolution reverb can be used to apply recorded impulse responses from real
acoustic spaces. The impulse response file can be of any format supported by Acoustica.
Click the button Load impulse response to load an impulse response file. After loading an
impulse response file, the signal level in dB over time is displayed in the curve edit
control.
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The settings page of the Convolution reverb
Settings
· Dry level slider
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Reverb level slider
The amount of dense reverberation in the output mix.
· Volume curve
You can modify the fade out characteristics of the reverb using the curve edit
control.
5.2.6
Flanger
Flanger is an artificial effect. Flanger will occur when two sources playing the exactly
same recording with a short time delay are mixed together. The result is that some
frequencies are canceled, while others are amplified. Changing the time delay between
the two sources will result in other frequencies being canceled or amplified.
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The Flanger settings
Settings
· Modulation depth
Amplitude of the modulating function.
· Modulation frequency
Frequency of the modulation function. A higher modulation frequency will result in
faster changes in the tone quality.
· Feedback
The feedback percentage specifies attenuation in the internal delayed feedback loop.
· Stereo Flanger
Toggles stereo or mono processing mode.
· Dry Level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Flanger Level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
5.2.7
Chorus
Chorus adds warmth to recordings by dividing the audio source into several voices with
a random vibrato. These artificially created voices are then mixed together.
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The Chorus settings
Settings
· Modulation depth
Amplitude of the modulating functions.
· Modulation frequency
Frequency of the modulation functions. A higher modulation frequency will result in
faster changes in the tone quality.
· Feedback
The feedback percentage specifies attenuation in the internal feedback loop.
· Stereo Chorus
Toggles stereo or mono processing mode.
· Dry Level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Chorus Level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
5.2.8
Distortion
The Distortion effect distorts the recording using a simulation of an electric guitar
amplifier.
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The Distortion settings
Settings
· Drive
You can adjust the input gain of the distortion unit using the drive parameter.
· Fuzz
The fuzz parameter lets you adjust the fuzz level from 0 to 100%.
· Output Level
The output level lets you adjust the output gain from the distortion unit.
· Lowpass cut-off
The output of the distortion unit is processed with a low pass filter. You can adjust
the cut-off frequency of the output filter.
5.2.9
Harmonizer
The harmonizer mixes several pitch shifted voices to create interesting harmonies. You
can mix up to four pitch shifted voices. The often experienced "chipmunk" effect which
occurs when transposing the human voice or musical instruments can be reduced using
the Maintain timbre option. When Maintain timbre is checked, Acoustica creates a smooth
spectral envelope estimation of the signal and whitens the signal before pitch shifting.
The original smooth spectral envelope is applied after transposing and the original
timbre is preserved.
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The Harmonizer settings.
Settings
· Activate
Check this to activate the current voice.
· Interval
The musical interval to transpose. Use the radio buttons to set the transpose
direction to up or down.
· Fine tune
With this slider you can fine tune the pitch shift factor in cents which are 1/100 of a
semitone.
· Volume
Volume of the current voice in dB.
· Pan
Left / right panning of the current voice in percent.
5.2.10
Transpose
The transpose command allows you to transpose the content of the selected region with
or without changing its length. When transposing without change of length, the
Acoustica time stretching algorithm is used to compensate for the change of length
normally occurring during pitch shifting.
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The Transpose settings
Settings
· Interval
The musical interval to transpose. Use the radio buttons to set the transpose
direction to up or down.
· Fine tune
With this slider you can fine tune the pitch shift factor in cents which are 1/100 of a
semitone.
· Maintain Duration
Check this check box if you want the length of the section to be the same after pitch
shifting.
· Optimize for
The inner settings of the time stretching algorithm are affected by choosing an
optimization from one of the following: Speech, Music I or Music II, monophonic
signals or percussive instruments only.
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5.2.11
Time Stretching
The time stretch algorithm allows you to change the length of the recording without
changing the perceived pitch. It is not physically possible to do this without some sort of
distortion and the quality of these time correction algorithms lies in their ability to
reduce the audible distortions. Acoustica uses a method that works well on monophonic
signals like speech and single musical instruments as well as on polyphonic music.
However, some artifacts occur on high expansion or compression rates like in all other
time stretching software.
The Time Stretch settings
Settings
· Percentage
The time stretching factor in percent.
· Optimize for
The inner settings of the time stretching algorithm are affected by choosing an
optimization from one of the following: Speech, Music I or Music II, monophonic signals
or percussive instruments only.
· Duration change
Here you can enter the new length after time stretching.
· Tempo change
Here you can enter the original tempo in BPM and the target tempo after time
stretching
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45
Reverse
The reverse effect processes the selected region in such a manner that it will be played
backwards.
5.3
Using Audio Plug-Ins
Acoustica 4 supports DirectX as well as VST plug-ins. Both formats have become widely
used standards for audio processing plug-ins on the Windows platform. The menu
Plug-Ins contains a list of the plug-ins currently installed on your computer. If you have
installed a plug-in that does not appear in the list, please refresh the plug in list (see
Refreshing the Plug-in List). Using DirectX or VST plug-ins is as easy as using the
internal audio processing tools. You will see that previewing works exactly the same
way as with the internal audio processing tools.
5.3.1
Refreshing the Plug-in List
If you have installed new DirectX or VST plug-ins on your computer that do not appear
in the Plug-Ins menu you should refresh the menu by selecting Plug-Ins | Refresh Plug-In
List. Acoustica then rescans the plug-ins on your computer and updates the menu.
5.3.2
Specifying VST Directories
VST plug-ins are not registered on your computer like DirectX plug-in, hence Acoustica
needs to know where to find them. You can specify one or more directories to scan
through.
The VST Directories dialog lets you specify one or more VST directories to scan through.
To add a new entry, click the add directory button [
]. You can edit a directory entry
by double clicking with the left mouse button. Delete an entry by clicking the delete
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button [
5.4
].
Noise Reduction
Acoustica provides tools for removal of both stationary noise such as hiss and impulsive
noise like clicks and pops. The frequency spectrum of stationary signals remain pretty
constant over time. In other words, tape hiss, humming or other constant disturbances
are removable using the Acoustica noise reduction system. The noise reduction is based
on the spectral subtraction technique. This means that a spectrum of the noise present in
the recording is needed. Acoustica can automatically estimate the noise profile or the
spectrum of the noise can be obtained through analysis of a region containing noise
only. Alternativly, the user can define the noise profile manually.
· Automatic Noise Reduction
· Removing Noise with a Measured Profile
· Removing Noise with a User Drawn Profile
Impulsive noise on the other hand consists of short unpredictable noise burst. It has
become usual to define clicks as single noise bursts, whereas crackle is defined as a
series of very short clicks with low amplitude. Acoustica is able to remove impulse noise
due to the short duration of the noise bursts. Acoustica substitutes the recorded signal in
the short period of time during the click with a signal estimated using the undistorted
audio surrounding each clip.
You can remove clicks either automatically or manually:
· Automated Click Removal
· Manual Click Removal
5.4.1
Automatic Noise Reduction
The easiest way of removing stationary noise is to use the automatic noise reduction.
Select Enhancement | Automatic Noise Reduction... Acoustica then performs a statistical
analysis of recording in order to estimate the noise profile. This process might take a
little while, depending on the length of your recording. After the analysis phase, the
noise reduction window appear:
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The Noise Reduction settings. The noise profile graph contains the result of the noise analysis.
There are two parameters you can adjust:
· Reduction factor scales the noise profile obtained in the analysis phase and allows
you to remove more (positiv values) or less (negative values) noise than the analysis
algorithm detected.
· Max. attenuation allows you to adjust a maximum attenuation factor for each
frequency component. This parameter is also referred to as noise floor. By leaving a
certain noise floor, you can mask annoying artifacts from the noise reduction
algorithm.
Initially, you cannot edit the noise profile graph after the noise analysis. If you want to
edit the result:
· Click the button labelled Edit Curve
· The number of points in the curve is reduced and you can add, move or remove the
curve points.
5.4.2
Removing Noise with a Measured Profile
If your recording contains pauses with pure noise without any other signal, the pause
can be used to create a noise profile automatically. Select Enhancement | Noise Analysis...
after selecting the region containing noise only. After the analysis phase, select
Enhancement | Noise Reduction... The result of the analysis is automatically loaded in
the profile graph.
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The Noise Reduction settings. The noise profile graph contains the result of the noise analysis.
Apart from the analysis method, the noise reduction algorithm is exactly the same as
with the automatic noise reduction. Hence, the parameter settings have the same
meaning.
5.4.3
Removing Noise with a User Drawn Profile
If no pauses are available for noise analysis you can draw a noise profile by hand. Select
Enhancement | Noise Reduction. A curve editor shows up where you can manually enter a
noise profile.
Note
If you performed noise analysis in a previous editing step, you will need to
reset the curve by selecting Reset from the preset list.
For tape hiss this method works quite well. The tape noise is more or less evenly
distributed in the spectrum, thus a flat line should to the job. Finding the right threshold
can be tricky, but after a bit of try and fail, good sounding settings should be possible to
find.
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The Noise Reduction settings with a manually drawn noise profile.
5.4.4
Automated Click Removal
The declicker is a specialized tool for removing impulsive noise such as clicks and
crackle. It is based on two algorithms, one that targets rare but loud clicks, and one that
targets very short and frequent clicks referred to as crackle.
The Declicker settings
Settings
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· Click Reduction
Sets the sensitivity of the click filter. Higher reduction levels result in more click
reduction.
· Click length
The maximal length of the clicks that are to be removed.
· Crackle Reduction
Sets the sensitivity of the crackle filter. Higher reduction levels result in more crackle
reduction.
Optionally, clicks may be removed manually by selecting one single click and using the
Interpolate command in the Enhancement menu.
5.4.5
Manual Click Removal
You can remove clicks manually be selecting the smallest region which fully includes
the complete click and then select Interpolate from the Enhancement menu or press Ctrl+I.
Acoustica substitutes the region with an estimate of the signal without the click.
Note
Interpolation is only possible on short regions. If the selected region is too
long, the Interpolate command is grayed out.
5.5
Enhancement Tools
5.5.1
Declipper
The declipper restores audio recordings distorted by clipping. Clipping occurs during
recording when the recording level is too high and the highest peaks cannot be correctly
recorded. The declipper substitutes such distorted peaks by an estimation of the signal
curve using almost the same mathematical methods as the declicker when eliminating
clicks.
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The Declipper settings
The most important parameter of the declipper is the threshold level. The declipper will
substitute all recorded peaks louder than the threshold value. Furthermore, the input
gain of the declipper can be adjusted. That is helpful if the signal level is so high that the
restored clips get louder the maximum signal level range.
Settings
· Threshold
All sample values louder than the threshold are substituted by a signal estimation.
· Input gain
The input gain is useful for adjusting the signal level before declipping.
5.5.2
Equalizer
Acoustica features a powerful six band parametric equalizer. Unlike a graphic equalizer,
a parametric equalizer allows the user to select the center frequency of the bands. The
equalizer in Acoustica also has variable bandwidths on each band.
The center frequency is specified in Hertz. Sound characters of the different frequencies
are best discovered through experimentation. The bandwidth may be specified in octave
bands. One octave band equals the frequency range of one octave on the piano
keyboard. The bandwidth is the same parameter as the Q-factor found in some analog
equipment. A higher Q-factor represents a narrower bandwidth.
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Equalizer terminology
The lower part of the equalizer dialog box is used to display the filter response curve
(gain versus frequency). The filter response curve is calculated mathematically and is
updated as the parameters are altered.
The Equalizer settings
Settings
· Frequency response
The frequency response of the current equalizer settings is visualized. Each band is
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visualized with a small circle with the number of the band. The currently active band
is highlighted. You can activate band by clicking the circles representing each band.
If you keep the mouse button down while moving the mouse cursor, you can change
the gain and the center frequency of each band directly in the frequency response.
· Frequency
· Gain
· Bandwidth
5.5.3
High Frequency Rebirth
Dull and lifeless recordings may be a result of lost high frequency content. By using the
High Frequency Rebirth tool (select Enhancement | High Frequency Rebirth...), you can add
artificially created harmonics to brighten up the recording. Note that these are merely
synthetic harmonics based on the low frequent content of the recording and this feature
can only be used give the listener the impression of stronger harmonics.
The High Frequency Rebirth settings
Settings
· Generate above
Specifies the lower limit of the frequency band where harmonics should be
synthesized.
· Add content / Replace content
If add content is selected, the original content in the synthesis frequency band is
mixed with the synthesized harmonics. If you choose replace, Acoustica removes the
original content before adding the synthesized harmonics.
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· Dry level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· High frequency level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
5.5.4
Stereo Enhancer
The Stereo Enhancer enhances the stereo image by filtering the left and the right
differently. The filters are designed to maintain mono compatibility.
The Stereo Enhancer settings
Settings
· Stereo Depth
Sets the amount of stereo enhancement from 0 (no enhancement) to 100% (maximum
enhancement).
5.5.5
Remove DC Offset
Wrongly calibrated recording equipment may result in a signal that is not centered
around zero as it should be. The Remove DC Offset tool (select Enhancement | Remove DC
Offset) calculates the DC offset of the selected region and subtracts the offset if necessary.
5.5.6
Phono Filter
The phono filter emulates the effect of a phono preamplifier (deemphasis filter) or the
opposite process applied when creating a master record (emphasis filter). In some cases,
you can achieve better results from the declicker if you record an LP without the
emulation of a phono preamplifier, apply the declicker and then apply the phono filter.
You can post process any recording originating from an LP this way by first applying
the emphasis filter, perform declicking and apply the deemphasis filter.
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The Phono Filter settings
Settings
· Emphasis or deemphasis mode
Choose deemphasis mode if you have a recorded an LP record without phono
preamplifier.
5.6
Converting the Sample Format
You can change the sample format of an audio recording by selecting Sound | Convert
Sample Format... If you are not familiar with the terms sample rate or resolution, please
read Concepts of Digital Audio before proceeding.
To convert the sample format of a recording, select Sound | Convert Sample Format... A
dialog box appears where you can define the sample rate, resolution and the number of
channels in the new sample format. Click the button labelled Ok when you are done.
The Convert Sample Format dialog box
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5.7
Effect Chains
The effect chain editor allows you to link effects, processing tools, VST and DirectX
plug-ins. The chains can be saved including the settings of the effects for later use.
Furthermore, each element can easily be bypassed and the order of the elements
changed using drag and drop.
The effect chain editor in Acoustica.
Adding Effects to the Chain
To add a new effect to the chain, click the add effect button [ ]. A browser window
appears where you can select the effect, plug-in or processing tool you want to add to
the chain.
Removing Effects from the Chain
To remove an effect, select the effect you wish to remove and click the remove button [
].
Editing the Effect Settings of an Element in the Chain
To open the effect settings window of an element in the chain, double click its entry in
the list.
Playing the Audio Processed by the Effect Chain
You can play audio processed by the effect chain if you have an open editing window.
Select the region you want to play in the editing window and click the play button [
].
The selection will be played looped. You can stop the playback by clicking the stop
button [
].
Bypassing an Element
You can bypass an element by clicking the checkmark left to the effect entry in the list.
Saving and Loading Effect Chains
You can store a complete effect chain including all parameter settings for later use. To
store the effect chain, click the save button [
]. A standard file save dialog box appears
where you can enter the file name. To open an effect, click the load chain button [
]
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and select the file in the file browser.
6
Working with Audio CDs
You can create Audio CDs (see Creating Audio CDs) that you can play in normal CD
players directly within Acoustica if you have a supported CD burner. Furthermore,
Acoustica allows you to import audio tracks from existing CDs digitally and without
quality loss for further editing or archiving on the computer (see Importing Audio
Tracks from CDs).
6.1
Creating Audio CDs
Acoustica allows you to create audio CDs containing your edited recordings. The first
step towards your own CD is to create a CD-Project by selecting File | New | CD
Project… or by clicking the new button and select CD Project… from the drop-down list.
The CD Project contains a list of the audio tracks to be written on the CD and an
additional toolbar for commands related to the CD Project.
An empty CD Project window
The CD Project window contains a list of the audio tracks to be written to the audio CD.
You can add either
· existing audio files - or -
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· the content of an editing window
as a separate tracks in the track list of the CD project.
6.1.1
Adding an Existing Audio File
You can add an existing audio file to the CD project by clicking the import audio file
button (
) or using drag and drop from the Windows Explorer. If you click the import
button, a standard file open dialog box appears (see Loading Audio Files) where you can
selected the audio file or files you wish to add to the CD project.
6.1.2
Adding the Content of an Editing Window
The content (or parts of the content) of an editing window can be added as a track in the
CD project without first creating an audio file:
1.
2.
3.
4.
6.1.3
Select the region in the editing window you wish to add as an audio track on the
CD.
Click the left mouse button anywhere on the highlighted area and keep the mouse
button down.
Move the mouse cursor to the track list in the CD project window.
Release the mouse button.
Burning the CD
When you are finished assembling your CD project, click the button labelled Burn CD
from the toolbar of the CD Project window. The CD Burner dialog appears:
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The CD burner dialog allows you to select a CD recording device, recording speed and the
number of copies.
Insert a blank CD into the CD recording device. If you have several CD recording
devices installed on your computer, make sure you choose the correct one from the CD
Recording Device list. You can choose among different recording speeds and set the
number of copies to burn. It is recommended to keep the Enable buffer protection option
enabled, if supported (if not, the check box appears inactive). Click the button labelled
Burn to start burning.
6.2
Importing Audio Tracks from CDs
It is possible to digitally import audio data from audio CDs with most CD-ROM readers.
Acoustica will import title and artist information if available as CD-TEXT. If no
CD-TEXT is available, you can perform an internet look-up in the FreeDB data base.
To import one or more audio tracks:
1. Select Import Tracks from Audio CD... from the File menu. If the CD doesn't contain
any CD-TEXT information, you will be asked if you want Acoustica to look for artist
and title information in the FreeDB data base on the Internet. If you choose no, the
CD Track Extraction dialog box appears immediately. If you choose yes, there might
be several entries matching your CD. Please choose the correct album from the list
and choose OK.
2. If you have several CD-ROM devices installed, please make sure that the device that
contains your source audio CD is selected in the CD-ROM Device drop-down list.
3. Select the track or the tracks you wish to import from the track list.
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4. Click the button labelled Extract.
The CD Track Extraction dialog box
The imported audio tracks appear as separate editing windows in the Acoustica
workspace.
Adding Track Titles and Album Information Manually
If there is no FreeDB entry available for your CD you want to modify the information,
you can do this manually in the CD Track Extraction dialog. To rename a track title,
double click the track entry in the list or press F2. A dialog box appears where you can
enter the new track name.
The album information can be changed directly with the edit boxes in the Album
Information group box.
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Note
7
61
You can listen to the content of a track by clicking the button labelled Preview
Using the Cleaning Wizard
If you are new to digital audio recording, the Cleaning Wizard simplifies LP or cassette
to CD transfers by guiding you through all the steps from recordings, track splitting,
restoration and CD burning. To open the Cleaning Wizard, select File | Cleaning Wizard...
and the following window appears:
The Cleaning Wizard window
Note
7.1
The Cleaning Wizard leads you step by step through the process of
transferring your analog audio to CD. However, if you can choose to go back
to an earlier step or skip one or more steps at any time by clicking at the
Import, Restoration or Export tabs at the top of the wizard.
The Import Page
The import page is the first step in the Cleaning Wizard. From here you can choose to
record an LP, record a cassette, import an audio file or get help about connecting your
audio equipment. Click on one of the options to proceed.
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7.1.1
Record Audio
If you choose to record from either LP or cassette the Cleaning Wizard will proceed to
the recording page:
The recording page in Acoustica 4.
The input level meter (2) shows the current input level. If you have connected your
audio equipment and started playback, the meter should show a constantly changing
input level. If the level is low and not changing, there is probably something wrong with
the connection or the wrong input line is selected. You can usually choose between
several different input lines, like microphone or line in. The Cleaning Wizard tries to set
Line In as input line automatically, however, you should check the input line setting (1)
before proceeding. If you are uncertain, please try through the options and see if there is
any response on the input level meter (2).
Recording Step by Step
1. Make sure your audio equipment is properly connected to your computer
2. Check that the input line (1) is correctly set. In most cases, the line input should be
set to Line In
3. Check that the input level is in the correct range. You can use easily check the input
level using input level meter (2). You can adjust the input level using the input level
slider (3). The meter should never go up to 0 dB, otherwise digital clipping will be
introduced. Check with the loudest part of the record or cassette tape you are
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recording that the input level meter doesn't go higher than about -6 dB.
4. Click the button labelled Record (4) to start the recording.
5. Press play on your tape deck or record player.
6. Press the Next button in the lower right part of the Cleaning Wizard when you have
recorded the whole record or cassette tape.
Note
7.1.2
The recording page has several advanced features not mentioned here.
Please see the chapter Recording through the Sound Card for more details
about the advanced features such as timer record, digital monitoring and DC
offset correction.
Import Files
If you choose to import an existing audio file, a file browser window appears where you
can select the audio file you want to open.
The File Import page in the Cleaning Wizard.
To import an audio file, please do the following:
1. Choose the folder in which your file is located from the Look in drop-down list.
2. Click the audio file you wish to open and click the button labelled Next.
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7.2
The Restoration Page
The Restoration Page allows you to adjust the settings of the audio restoration tools and
split the recording into several tracks.
The Restoration Page contains a waveform view of the recording and list of the tracks, as well as
audio restoration and processing options.
1. The waveform view shows you a graphical representation of the recording. Tracks
are indicated with a different color.
2. The transport bar allows you to control playback.
3. The track list shows you the tracks defined. The Cleaning Wizard automatically
suggests tracks, however, you can easily add, move or remove track markers.
4. The audio restoration tools, declicker, decrackler, declipper and denoiser. You can
adjust the amount of restoration using the sliders and activate or deactivate a tool
using the on / off buttons.
5. You can add further effects and processing tools, like equalizing or reverb. You can
choose among all the internal tools and effects as well as VST and DirectX plug-ins.
7.2.1
Track Splitting
The Cleaning Wizard automatically searches for pauses and suggests tracks when
recording or importing audio files. However, if the recording is very noise or tracks are
blended seamlessly into each other, the tracks suggested by the Cleaning Wizard might
not be identical to the original tracks on the source record or cassette.
Changing the Region of an Existing Track
1. Move the mouse cursor to the beginning or the ending of a track. The mouse cursor
turns into a left-right arrow.
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2. Keep the left mouse button pressed while moving the mouse cursor to the new
position.
3. Release the mouse button.
Adding a track
1. Move the mouse cursor the beginning of the track you want to add in the waveform
view.
2. Keep the left mouse button pressed while moving the mouse cursor to the end of the
track.
3. Release the mouse button.
4. Click the button labelled Add Track.
Removing a Track
1. Click the track you want to remove in the track list.
2. Press the Delete key on your keyboard.
Renaming a Track
1. Click the track you want to rename in the track list.
2. Wait more than two seconds without moving the mouse cursor or press the F2 key
on your keyboard.
3. The entry in the track list turns into an edit box. Enter the new name of the track.
7.2.2
Restoration
There are four restoration tools integrated into the Cleaning Wizard:
· Declicker
Removes loud clicks and pops.
· Decrackler
Removes short but frequent clicks, referred to as crackle.
· Declipper
Restores recordings that suffer from analog or digital clipping.
· Denoiser
Removes static noise like tape hiss.
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The restoration tools in the Cleaning Wizard
You can adjust the effect of each tool by moving the sliders in the range from 0% (no
effect) to 100% (full effect). Furthermore, each tool can be activated or deactivated by
clicking the on / off button left to the slider.
Playing Restored Tracks
The restoration tools in the Cleaning Wizard are processed in real time during playback
so that you can listen to the effect of different restoration settings during playback. You
can control the playback from the transport buttons in the Restoration Page:
The transport button bar in the Restoration Page gives you full control over the audio playback.
Start the playback by clicking the play button (1). The playback will start from the
current cursor position in the waveform. You can also use the play all button (2) to play
the complete recording. Stop the playback by clicking the stop button (3).
7.2.3
Further Editing and Processing
The Restoration Page in the Cleaning Wizard also lets you add further effects (or
processing tools) to the recording. You can choose among all the internal effects as well
as VST or DirectX effects. When you play the recording in the Restoration Page, the
effects are processed in real time so that you can check the results immediately.
Adding Further Effects
1. Click the button labelled Add Effect below the additional effects list.
2. Select the effect you want to add to the effects list.
Editing the Effect Parameters
1. Double click the effect in the additional effects list.
2. The effect settings page is shown.
3. Make your changes and close the window when done.
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Using the Cleaning Wizard
Removing an Effect from the List
1. Click the effect you want to remove.
2. Press the Delete button.
7.3
The Export Page
You can export your cleaned up tracks to audio files or burn them directly on a CD.
Please choose one of the two.
7.3.1
Burn a CD
If you choose to burn a CD, the CD Burner dialog appears:
The CD burner dialog allows you to select a CD recording device, recording speed and the
number of copies.
Insert a blank CD into the CD recording device. If you have several CD recording
devices installed on your computer, make sure you choose the correct one from the CD
Recording Device list. You can choose among different recording speeds and set the
number of copies to burn. It is recommended to keep the Enable buffer protection option
enabled, if supported (if not, the check box appears inactive). Click the button labelled
Burn to start burning.
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7.3.2
Export to Audio Files
If you choose to export your tracks to audio files, the File Export Page appears:
The File Export Page in the Cleaning Wizard
You can choose a destination directory for your tracks (1), an album name (2) and the file
format of the exported tracks (3). During the export, an directory will be created with the
album name and the tracks are written to audio files with the name of the tracks within
the album directory.
8
Using the Batch Processing Wizard
The Batch Processing Wizard in Acoustica 4 allows you to convert and processed a large
number of files without user interaction. Even complete directory stuctures can be
processed at once. To start the Batch Processing Wizard, select File | Batch Processing
Wizard..., and a the Batch Processing Wizard appears on your screen as depicted below.
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
Using the Batch Processing Wizard
The Batch Processing Wizard window.
8.1
Adding Source Files
The first step of the Batch Processing Wizard is to add the source files. The most straigt
forward way to add files is to click the button labelled "Add files". A standard file open
dialog opens where you can browse and choose one or more files to open. You can
repeat this procedure if you wish to add files from several folders.
The source files can be arranged in folders or you can choose to import complete folder
structures.
Note
8.1.1
You can listen to the imported files by clicking the preview button below the
file list. Click the stop button to stop previewing.
Importing Folders
To import the complete content of a folder, click the button labelled "Add folder". The
following dialog box appears:
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The import folder dialog box allows you to import complete folder structures.
Use the folder browser to select the folder you wish to import. You can choose to import
only the content of the selected folder or the whole folder structure by clicking the check
box "Include subdirectories".
The "Import files of type" drop down list lets you reduce the files to all known file
formats or a specific file format only.
8.1.2
Creating Folders
You can also create target folder structures manually by clicking the "Create folder"
button. A dialog box appears where you can enter the name of the new folder.
8.1.3
Removing an Item
You can remove an item (file or folder) by selecting the item and clicking the button
labelled "Remove item".
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8.2
71
The Target Files Page
When you have added all the files you wish to convert or process you can proceed to the
"Target Files" page by clicking the "Next" button or the "Target Files" tab. The following
page appaers:
The Target Files page of the Batch Processing Wizard.
Note
8.2.1
You can choose to start processing from the Target Files page any time by
clicking the button labelled "Start" below the Target Files page.
Adding Processing Tools
The Batch Processing Wizard lets you process the files with internal tools and effects as
well as VST and DirectX plug-ins. The "Processing Tools & Effects" section of the Target
Files page contains a list of the processing tools that are to be used when processing the
files.
To add a processing tool, click the button labelled "Add". The "Processing Tools
Browser" appears from which you can select the effect, processing tool or plug-in you
wish to add to the list.
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The Processing Tools Browser lets you select an internal processing tool or a plug-in.
When you have selected the processing tool, click the button labelled "Add".
You can change the parameter settings of a processing tool by clicking the "Edit" button
or by double clicking an item in the Processing Tools & Effects list.
To remove a processing tool from the list, click the processing tool to highlight it and
click the "Remove" button.
Loading Effect Chain Files
The Batch Processing Wizard is able to import complete effect chains created by the
effect chainer in Acoustica or the Acon Digital Media EffectChainer. To load an effect
chain file, click the "Load chain" button. A standard file open dialog box appears where
you can select the effect chain file you wish to load.
8.2.2
Defining File and Sample Format
The "File & Sample Format" section of the Target Files page lets you select an output file
format. To set the output file format you can simply choose the output format from the
file type drop-down list. If the file format offers custom parameters settings, like
encoding bitrate for mp3 files, you can edit theese settings by clicking the button
labelled "Options" next to the file type drop-down list.
Furthermore, you can define the sample rate, number of channels and resolution of the
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Using the Batch Processing Wizard
target files. If you convert high resolution audio files to a lower resolution, you can
optionally apply dithering and noise shaping.
8.2.3
Specifying the Target Folder
The last section of the Target Files page lets you select an output folder. You can either
enter a folder path in the edit box or click the button labelled "Browse" to select a folder
from the folder structure of your computer.
9
Audio Analysis
Acoustica features a range of tools that allows you to study your recorded material in
the time domain (see Time Domain), frequency domain (see Frequency Domain) or a
combination of these (see Combining Time and Frequency).
9.1
Time Domain
The normal wave plot shown when making a recording in Acoustica is a time domain
representation of the signal. When recording, Acoustica has taken samples of the signal
at certain intervals, quantized them, and stored them as series of digitized values. The
wave plot is the result of drawing these samples on the screen with the time evolving
along the horizontal axis.
A plot of a signal represented in the time domain
9.2
Frequency Domain
All natural sounds can be described as an infinite sum of sine functions. The frequency
of a sine function is related to what we sense as pitch. Our ears are not able to hear
frequencies above 20kHz (a sine function with 20 thousand completed wavelengths
within one second), so the mentioned infinite sum turns into a finite sum which is
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possible to handle on a computer. The signal in the frequency domain is represented
through the weight of each sine function needed to recreate the signal, rather than the
sampled values from the time series. These weights are visualized in Acoustica by
selecting Analysis | Spectrum Analyzer.
A plot of a signal represented in the frequency domain.
9.3
Combining Time and Frequency
We have a tool for examining the frequency content (the spectrum) of our recording and
we have the normal wave plots for examining how our recording evolves over time. Is
there a possibility to combine these features, in order to study how the frequency
content evolves over a period of time? Actually, Acoustica features two ways of
displaying so called time-frequency plots. The spectrogram and the wavelet transform
(based on the Morlet class of wavelets for the advanced reader). They differ mainly in
the frequency scale. The spectrogram has a linear frequency scale whereas the wavelet
transform has a logarithmic frequency scale.
A spectrogram generated by Acoustica. The vertical axis represents the frequency, the horizontal
represents time.
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You can adjust the resolution and the color representation in both the spectrogram and
the wavelet transform in the Preferences dialog box (see Changing the Preferences).
10
Preferences and Device Settings
10.1
Device Settings
Window's multimedia system allows several different audio cards being installed at the
same time. You can select which sound card to use by selecting Device Settings... from
the Options menu. Choose input and output devices from the drop-down lists in the
device settings dialog to change the current configuration and click the button labelled
Ok.
10.2
Changing the Preferences
You can set your personal preferences with the command Preferences... in the Options
menu.
The Preferences dialog box
The preferences are organized in different pages. Only one page is shown at a time and
you can show another page by clicking the tabs in the upper part of the dialog box. The
following pages are available:
· Directories
· Spectrogram
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· Wavelet Transform
10.2.1
The Directories Page
The Directories page contains only one setting, the directory for all temporary files
created by Acoustica. You should set this directory path to a directory on a fast hard disk
with sufficient free space. Acoustica works extensively with temporary files and the
speed of the programs depends to a large degree on the speed of the hard disk where
the temporary files are situated.
The directories preferences page
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
Index
Index
-AAdding Audio Files as CD Tracks
Adding Processing Tools to the Batch
Processing Wizard
Adding source files to the Batch
Processing Wizard
Adding the Content of an Editing
Window to a CD Project
Audio Analysis
combining time and frequency
frequency domain
time domain
Audio CDs
58
71
69
55
55
37
10
70
DC Offset
7
7
28
57
59
57
5
-B68
71
69
70
72
69
70
69
71
73
-CCD project
Chains of Effects
Channel Mixer
Channels
5
56
32
selecting
Chorus
8
39
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sample format
Converting the Sample Format
Convolution Reverb
Copy
Creating folders in the Batch
Processing Wizard
Cut
73
74
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73
loading
saving
Audio Processing
adding processing tools
adding source files
creating folders
file and sample format
importing folders
removing items
Source Files page
Target Files page
target folder
10
-D-
58
58
Batch Processing Wizard
Clipboard
Converting
58
adding files as tracks
adding the content of an editing
window
creating
importing audio tracks from
working with
Audio editing window
Audio files
77
removing
Decibel (dB)
Declicker
Delay
Device Settings
Digital Audio
decibel (dB)
quantisation
sampling
DirectX
10
54
25
49
36
75
23
25
24
24
refreshing the plug-in list
using plug-ins
Distortion
Drag and drop
45
45
40
copying
moving
Dynamic Processor
9
9
33
-EEditing
basic
using drag and drop
using the clipboard
Effect Chains
Effects
chorus
convolution reverb
delay
distortion
dynamic processor
flanger
harmonizer
reverb
reverse
Time Stretching
5
9
10
56
39
37
36
40
33
38
41
37
45
44
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Effects
Transpose
Enhancement
42
Equalizer
high frequency rebirth
removing the DC offset
Equalizer
51
53
54
51
32
38
73
Requirements
What is new in Acoustica 4.1
adding loops for MIDI samplers
adding loops
clicks and pops
manual click removal
using a measured noise profile
with user defined profile
Normalize
24
playing
playing in a loop
selecting
Removing items in the Batch
Processing Wizard
Removing the DC offset
Requirements
Reverb
Reverse
7
7
8
70
37
4
5
4
7
7
13
50
13
46
49
50
47
48
30
-PPaste
Quantisation
69
-NNoise Reduction
-Q-
23
25
45
-MManual Click Removal
MIDI samplers
71
Recording
Recording Audio
Refreshing the DirectX plug-in list
Region
-LLoading an audio file
Looped playback
Loops
75
76
41
53
-IImporting folders to the Batch
Processing Wizard
Impulse response
Introduction
changing
directories
Processing tools
-R-
-HHarmonizer
High Frequency Rebirth
7
7
45
adding to the Batch Processing
Wizard
-FFades
Flanger
Frequency Domain
Playing
Playing a region in a loop
Plug-Ins
Preferences
10
54
5
37
45
-SSample format
converting
Samplers
55
adding loops for MIDI samplers
Sampling
Saving an audio file
Scrollbar
Scrolling
Selecting a region
Selecting the active channels
Source Files in the Batch Processing
Wizard
Spectrogram
13
24
7
8
8
8
8
69
74
-TTime Domain
Time Stretching
73
44
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Index
Transpose
42
-VVolume
adjusting
applying a volume curve
channel mixer
fade ins and fade outs
normalize
Volume manipulation
30
31
32
32
30
30
-WWaveform visualisation
Wavelet
Workspace
5
74
5
-ZZooming in or out
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