Acoustica Premium Edition User Guide

Acoustica Premium Edition User Guide
Acoustica Premium Edition 5
User Guide
Acon Digital Media GmbH
Acoustica Premium Edition User Guide
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
All rights reserved. No parts of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic, or
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owners. The publisher and the author make no claim to these trademarks.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, the publisher and the author assume no
responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of information contained in this document
or from the use of programs and source code that may accompany it. In no event shall the publisher and the author be
liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage caused or alleged to have been caused directly or
indirectly by this document.
Table of Contents
I
Table of Contents
Part I Introduction
4
1 What is new in Acoustica
...................................................................................................................................
Premium 5
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 (StudioDynamics)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Limiter (StudioLimiter)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Multiband Compressor
.........................................................................................................................................................
(StudioCompressor)
Echo (StudioDelay) .........................................................................................................................................................
Reverb (StudioVerb).........................................................................................................................................................
Convolution Reverb .........................................................................................................................................................
Flanger
.........................................................................................................................................................
Chorus
.........................................................................................................................................................
Distortion
.........................................................................................................................................................
Modulator (StudioModulator)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Harmonizer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Transpose (StudioPitch)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Time Stretching (StudioTime)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Reverse
.........................................................................................................................................................
33
37
38
41
44
46
47
48
49
50
52
53
54
55
3 Using Audio Plug-Ins
................................................................................................................................... 55
Refreshing the Plug-in
.........................................................................................................................................................
List
56
Specifying VST Directories
......................................................................................................................................................... 56
4 Noise Reduction................................................................................................................................... 56
Automatic Noise Reduction
.........................................................................................................................................................
Removing Noise with
.........................................................................................................................................................
a Measured Profile
Automated Click Removal
.........................................................................................................................................................
(StudioDeclicker)
Manual Click Removal
.........................................................................................................................................................
57
58
59
61
5 Enhancement Tools
................................................................................................................................... 61
Declipper (StudioDeclipper)
.........................................................................................................................................................
Equalizer (StudioEQ).........................................................................................................................................................
High Frequency Rebirth
.........................................................................................................................................................
(StudioRebirth)
Stereo Enhancer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Remove DC Offset .........................................................................................................................................................
Phono Filter
.........................................................................................................................................................
61
63
65
67
67
67
6 Converting the Sample
...................................................................................................................................
Format
68
7 Effect Chains
................................................................................................................................... 69
70
Part VI Working with Audio CDs
1 Creating Audio CDs
................................................................................................................................... 70
Adding an Existing Audio
.........................................................................................................................................................
File
Adding the Content .........................................................................................................................................................
of an Editing Window
Editing the Track Properties
.........................................................................................................................................................
Editing the CD Properties
.........................................................................................................................................................
Burning the CD
.........................................................................................................................................................
71
71
71
72
73
2 Importing Audio...................................................................................................................................
Tracks from CDs
74
76
Part VII Using the Cleaning Wizard
1 The Import Page................................................................................................................................... 76
Record Audio
......................................................................................................................................................... 77
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Table of Contents
Import Files
III
......................................................................................................................................................... 78
2 The Restoration ...................................................................................................................................
Page
79
Track Splitting
......................................................................................................................................................... 79
Restoration
......................................................................................................................................................... 80
Further Editing and Processing
......................................................................................................................................................... 81
3 The Export Page................................................................................................................................... 82
Burn a CD
......................................................................................................................................................... 82
Export to Audio Files......................................................................................................................................................... 83
Part VIII Using the Batch Processing Wizard
83
1 Adding Source Files
................................................................................................................................... 84
Importing Folders ......................................................................................................................................................... 84
Creating Folders
......................................................................................................................................................... 85
Removing an Item ......................................................................................................................................................... 85
2 The Target Files ...................................................................................................................................
Page
86
Adding Processing Tools
......................................................................................................................................................... 86
Defining File and Sample
.........................................................................................................................................................
Format
87
Specifying the Target.........................................................................................................................................................
Folder
88
Part IX Audio Analysis
1 Time Domain
88
................................................................................................................................... 88
2 Frequency Domain
................................................................................................................................... 88
3 Combining Time...................................................................................................................................
and Frequency
90
Part X Preferences and Device Settings
91
1 Device Settings ................................................................................................................................... 91
2 Changing the Preferences
................................................................................................................................... 92
The Directories Page......................................................................................................................................................... 93
Index
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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 Premium 5
Acoustica Premium 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
· WAVE64 - support for files bigger than 4 GB.
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.
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Introduction
Enhanced denoiser with adaptive mode
The new adaptive mode constantly updates the noise profile to match changes in the
signal noise.
Test signal generator
· White, pink and brownian noise
· Sine tones
· Chirps
1.2
Requirements
Before you install Acoustica Premium 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.
The toolbar section with short cut icons for commonly used commands.
An audio editing window containing an audio file. The audio is visualized with a
curve corresponding to the recorded audio (see Time Domain).
The output level meters show the current output level during audio playback. Other
real-time output analyzers are available. A phase correlation meter and an FFT
analyzer are also shown in this screenshot.
A "CD project" window containing a list of tracks and a toolbar for commands
relevant to CD recording.
A file browser lets you browse and open audio files.
The tabs indicate other dialog panes, such as the region and label lists as well as the
effect chain editor.
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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:
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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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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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Basic Audio Editing
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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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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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 probably don't need any additional hardware.
Acoustica 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 Record Audio for
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Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
21
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 Premium Edition 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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23
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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4.1.3
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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 and multichannel recordings. Each
output channel is represented by a tab in a tab control and you can assign one or mix
several input channels to each output channel. The input channel levels are adjusted
using the sliders. The input signal from each source channel can also be inverted (180°
phase rotation) using the check boxes labelled "Invert".
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The Channel Mixer settings
5.2
Audio Effects
5.2.1
Dynamic Processor (StudioDynamics)
About Dynamic Processing
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 as steady a volume level as possible while doing a recording. When the input
level increases he pulls down the volume fader, and he pushes it up when the input
level decreases. A dynamic processor does the same thing automatically according to its
settings, only with a much faster reaction time.
Modern dynamic processors allow an arbitrary mapping of the input levels to the
corresponding output levels. The mapping is visualized as a curve where the horizontal
axis represents the input level and the vertical axis represents the output level. A
straight line as shown below represents a one-to-one mapping:
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With such a setting, no change is made to the level as it is processed. Changes are made
to the dynamics by adding more points to the curve. In the mapping curve below, all
signal levels above -20 dB are attenuated so that the output level doesn't exceed -20 dB.
This setting would be comparable to a piece of hardware known as a limiter. You can
see from the graph below that once the input level reaches –20 dB, the output level isn't
going any higher than -20 dB no matter how much higher the input level becomes.
If the dynamic processor changes the level too fast, low frequency signal components
will be distorted. How quickly the dynamic processor adapts to changes in the input
level is called response time. The response time is divided into the amount of time when
the input level rises (the attack time) and when it falls (the release time).
When applying mapping curves that leads to extreme changes in the dynamics, audible
artifacts become noticeable (often referred to as "pumping and breathing"). Smoother
mapping curves will generally reduce the artifacts of a dynamic processor. Soft kneeing
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automatically softens the curve to reduce such artifacts. A high level of soft kneeing was
used in the mapping curve below.
This type of curve would appear as below in the user interface:
User Interface
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Parameter Settings
· Level-mapping curve
You can add new points to the level-mapping curve by clicking the left mouse button
where you want the new point to appear. To move a point, click an existing point
and keep the mouse button down while moving the mouse pointer to the new
location. You can remove an existing point by clicking the right mouse button on that
point.
· Attack time knob
You can use the attack time knob to adjust the response time when the input level of
the source material increases. A longer attack time would prevent StudioDynamics
from reacting as quickly to increased levels. It can also provide a more natural sound
for the output. Clicking the mouse on them can control the knobs by dragging in the
direction you want them to turn.
Like most elements of the interface, the knobs can also be controlled using the arrow
keys on your keyboard for greater precision. The Page Up and Page Down keys are
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also effective for larger adjustments, and if you hold any key down it repeats for a
continuous adjustment as long as it's held. If you prefer total keyboard control, the
Tab key on the keyboard can be used to move from one control to the next, and the
space bar is available to "click" on buttons in the interface.
· Release time knob
You can use the release time knob to adjust the response time when the input level of
the source material decreases. A longer release time can permit audible background
noise if all other settings remain the same and the input level drop
· Soft knee knob
Each point in the level-mapping curve has adjustable soft kneeing. To adjust the soft
kneeing of a point, highlight it by clicking on that point in the display before
adjusting the soft knee knob.
· Input and output edit boxes
You can define the input level and output level of an existing point numerically by
highlighting the point in the level mapping curve and then entering the input and
output levels in dB using the input and output text boxes at the bottom right of the
interface.
5.2.2
Limiter (StudioLimiter)
The Purpose of a Limiter
Limiters belong to the dynamic processing tools and ensures 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.
User Interface
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Parameter 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.
5.2.3
Multiband Compressor (StudioCompressor)
The StudioCompressor tool in Acoustica Premium allows dynamic processing on
separate frequency sub-bands as opposed to StudioDynamics (dynamic processor)
which works on the complete frequency band. By processing sub-bands separately, you
can add “presence” and “energy” to complete mixes or achieve further increase of the
perceived volume than what would be possible with a full-band processing.
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The StudioCompressor allows independent processing of four frequency bands; “low”,
“mid 1”, “mid 2” and the “high” frequency band. Each band can be processed with a
compression defined by a threshold value and a compression ratio. All signal levels
measured in decibel (dB) higher than the threshold level are reduced by an amount
given by the ratio setting. The resulting level mapping is visualized below:
The ratio r is given by
You can also change the response times independently for each band by adjust the
attack and release time parameters. Finally you can change the gain (or signal level) for
each sub-band. Usually you would increase the gain to make up for the loss of gain
during compression.
User Interface
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Global Settings
· Low cross-over frequency
The low band cross-over frequency sets the upper limit of the low frequency band
and as a consequence the lowest frequency of the mid 1 band.
· Mid cross-over frequency
The mid band cross-over frequency sets the upper limit of the mid 1 frequency band
and the lowest frequency of the mid 2 band.
· High cross-over frequency
The high band cross-over frequency sets the upper limit of the mid 2 frequency
band and the lowest frequency of the high band.
Band Dependent Settings
· Threshold
All signal levels above the threshold level is reduced according to the setting of the
ratio parameter.
· Ratio
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The ratio specifies the amount of compression to use for input signal levels above
the threshold level.
· Gain
The gain setting allows you to adjust the signal level for each sub-band. You can use
the gain parameter to compensate for the gain loss during compression.
· Attack time
You can use the attack time knob to adjust the response time when the input level of
the band filtered signal increases. A longer attack time would prevent
StudioCompressor from reacting as quickly to increased levels.
· Release time
You can use the release time knob to adjust the response time when the input level
of the band filtered signal decreases.
5.2.4
Echo (StudioDelay)
StudioDelay is a multi-tap delay effect. Multi-tap means that you can add several delays
(up to eight of them in StudioDelay) with arbitrary delay times and gains. StudioDelay
offers two different timing modes, the BPM (Beats per minute) mode or the milliseconds
mode. In the BPM mode, the time delay of each tap is specified in beats.
User Interface
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Parameter Settings
· Echogram
This depicts the gain versus time for the configured taps. You can add new delay
taps by clicking the left mouse button where you want the new delay tap to appear.
To move a delay tap, click an existing point and keep the mouse button down while
moving the mouse pointer to the new location. You can remove an existing delay tap
by clicking the right mouse button on that point.
· Range
This represents the amount of time shown in the echogram.
· Delay
This lets you specify the amount of time audio is delayed before it is sent to the
output. In the echogram, it affects the horizontal position of the tap.
· Gain
The individual tap is present by this amount in the output. In the echogram, it
affects the vertical position of the tap.
· Feedback
The feedback percentage specifies the amount of attenuation since the last delay
interval.
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· Low pass
There is a low pass filter in the feedback loop for each tap. You can change the
cut-off frequency of the low pass filter using the low pass knob. The low pass can be
enabled or disabled by clicking the low pass check box above the low pass knob.
· Channel bouncing
This provides for a bouncing stereo delay. If the input audio has too small a stereo
image (the acoustic "width" and "depth" of the output) you can add more sensation
of space to the recording through channel bouncing. This also adds an indicator to
the echogram:
The blue mark shown above depicts the delay time for the left channel output,
whereas the red mark depicts the delay time for the right channel output.
· Dry Level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Effect Level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
· Time Mode
Select either beats per minute for the BPM mode or milliseconds.
· Tempo
Here you can specify the tempo by entering the number of beats per minute.
· Snap
To make it easier to adjust the delay of each tap without loosing the alignment to the
tempo, you can optionally turn on the snap mode. You can snap to quarters, eights,
sixteens or their triplet counterparts by clicking the arrow down and clicking the
desired mode from the drop-down list.
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5.2.5
Reverb (StudioVerb)
About Reverberation
Reverberation occurs when sound is produced in an enclosed acoustical environment.
Even outdoors, there is likely to be some level of reverberation, however subtle. The
sound propagates through the air before it arrives at the listener, but the sound is also
reflected when it hits the walls. Due to the propagation time, these reflections arrive at
the listener later than the sound from the direct path. There are usually so many
reflections that no distinct echoes are distinguishable, but rather a smoothly decaying
sound.
The first reflections, usually called early reflections, are important cues for our
perception of an acoustical environment. For that reason, most digital reverberation
units differentiate between early reflections and the dense reverberation. The early
reflections are simulated by a small number of non-repeating echoes, whereas a complex
network of delays simulates the dense reverberation, with feedback coefficients
carefully calculated to match the reverberation time (acoustic size) of a room.
An important tool when analyzing the reverberation of real rooms is the echogram, also
known as impulse response. Playing a short impulsive sound and recording the
resulting reverberation creates an echogram. Below is an example of an echogram with
early reflections and dense reverberation.
User Interface
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Parameter Settings
· Reverberation time slider
You can use the reverberation time slider to adjust the reverberation time of the
dense reverberator. The reverberation time is specified by the number of seconds
before the reverb tail (fall-off) drops below 1/1000 (or 0.001) of its initial amplitude.
· Pre-delay slider
The pre-delay slider allows you to adjust the time before the dense reverberation
begins.
· Input filter graph
You can use the input filter graph to apply filtering on the input signal of the early
reflections simulator and the reverberation module. The frequency response of the
input filter is visualized by the blue curve. The filter consists of a low and a high
shelving filter. To adjust the filter cutoffs and gains, click the circle labeled "1" for the
high pass filter or "2" for the low pass filter and keep the mouse button down while
moving the mouse cursor.
· High frequency damping knob
High frequencies decay faster than low frequencies when sound propagates through
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air. You can adjust the level of high frequency damping using the high frequency
damping knob.
· Room size knob
Use the room size knob to adjust the size of the simulated acoustic environment. It is
important that the room size matches the reverberation time. In open air, small
rooms have shorter reverberation times than large rooms. If the two parameters are
mismatched, the reverberation will not sound natural. However, this unnatural
sound may be an effect that's desirable for your particular program content.
· Dry level slider
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Early reflections slider
The amount of early reflections in the output mix.
· Reverb level slider
The amount of dense reverberation in the output mix.
5.2.6
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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Audio Processing
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.
5.2.7
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.
5.2.8
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.
5.2.9
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.
5.2.10
Modulator (StudioModulator)
The StudioModulator plug-in consists of three different effects:
· 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. The
result is a digital approximation of a literal chorus of people or instruments.
· Flanger
The flanging effect occurs when two sources playing the exactly same recording with
a short time delay are mixed together. The result is that some frequencies are
cancelled, while others are amplified. Changing the time delay between the two
sources will result in other frequencies being cancelled or amplified. (The name
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comes from years ago when studio engineers using open-reel tape would manually
turn or hold one reel or "flange" to create this effect, distorting the tape speed past
the playback heads.)
· Phaser
The phaser effect uses several notch filters with a time-varying center frequency to
create a sweeping or electronic "whooshing" effect.
User Interface
Parameter Settings
· Mode selection
You can select the modulator mode by clicking Chorus, Flanger or Phaser from the
list.
· Modulation selection
The delay (in the chorus and the flanger mode) or the notch center frequency (in
phaser mode) can be modulated by one of four different modulation sources. To
change the modulation source, select sinusoidal, triangular, square, or random from
the list.
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· Modulation depth slider
Use the modulation depth slider to set the depth or amount of the modulation.
· Modulation frequency slider
The modulation frequency slider allows you to set the frequency or the speed of the
modulation function. A higher modulation frequency will result in faster changes in
the tone quality.
· Feedback slider
The feedback slider controls the attenuation in the internal delayed feedback loop.
· Delay slider
You can add an additional fixed delay to the chorus or the flanger effect by adjusting
the delay slider.
· Dry Level slider
Use the dry level slider to adjust the amount of unprocessed signal in the output
mix.
· Effect Level slider
Use the effect level slider to adjust the amount of processed signal in the output mix.
5.2.11
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.
5.2.12
Transpose (StudioPitch)
StudioPitch allows you to change the pitch of a recording (transpose), with or without
changing the tempo. In many cases, large pitch changes lead to unnatural sounding
results. The effect is especially pronounced when changing the pitch of the human voice,
where higher pitched voices sound more like Disney's chipmunks than a human voice.
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StudioPitch has an optional "maintain timbre" option that reduces this artifact.
User Interface
You can define the pitch change by selecting the desired interval and choosing the
direction using the "up" and "down" radio buttons. The output pitch can be fine tuned by
moving the "fine tune" slider with the mouse. The fine tuning is specified in Cents,
where 100 Cents equal one semitone.
The pitch can be changed by playing the recording faster or by using the time scale
modification engine so that the original tempo is preserved. You can activate the time
scale modification engine by checking "Maintain duration".
To activate the timbre preservation, check "Maintain timbre".
5.2.13
Time Stretching (StudioTime)
StudioTime allows you to change the length of the recording without changing the
perceived pitch.
User Interface
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The desired duration can be specified as a percentage of the original duration, by
specifying the original and the target duration or by specifying the original and the
target tempo in beats per minute (BPM).
Specifiying the Duration Change in Percent
You can change the duration change in percent by moving the percentage slider with the
mouse. If the percentage is set to 100%, there will be no change, whereas values higher
than 100% slow down and values below 100% speed up the recording.
You can define the percentage numerically (using the keyboard) by clicking the number
right to the percentage slider.
Specifiying Original and Target Duration
If you want the recording to match a given amout of time, you can enter the original and
the target duration. StudioTime will then calculate the correct time scaling. Both the
original and the target duration must be entered in the following format:
Hours : Minutes : Seconds : Milliseconds
Thus, a duration of 3 minutes, 45 seconds and 10 milliseconds should, for example, be
entered as 00:03:45:010.
Specifiying Original and Target Tempo
If you want the recording to match a tempo specified in beats per minute (BPM), you can
enter the original and the target tempo. StudioTime will the calculate the correct time
scaling.
5.2.14
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 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.
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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
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
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· Removing Noise with a Measured 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:
The Noise Reduction settings. The noise profile graph contains the result of the noise analysis.
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Settings
· Learn Mode
Selects the working mode of the denoiser. Choose adaptive to let the denoiser
change the noise profile to adapt to changes in the source material.
· Maximum attenuation
Maximum attenuation allows you to adjust a maximum attenuation factor for each
frequency band. This parameter is also referred to as noise floor. By leaving a certain
noise floor, you can mask artifacts from the noise reduction algorithm.
· Reduction factor
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.
· Attack time
The attack time is the response time of the noise suppresion when the signal level in
a frequency band increases. Longer response times gives better noise reduction, but
can in some cases lead to artifacts.
· Release time
The release time is the response time of the noise suppresion when the signal level
in a frequency band increases. Longer response times gives better noise reduction,
but can in some cases lead to artifacts.
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
Automated Click Removal (StudioDeclicker)
StudioDeclicker is a tool specialized on removing impulsive noise such as clicks and
crackle. These distortions are very frequently encountered on LP and 78 RPM records.
StudioDeclicker contains two different algorithms to deal with clicks and crackle. The
actual declicker algorithm eliminates large clicks and pops in the recording, while the
decrackler algorithms eliminates the frequent, but short clicks that the human ear
percieves as crackle. StudioDeclicker removes clicks by substituting the recorded signal
in the short period of time during the click with a signal estimated using the undistorted
audio surrounding each click.
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The StudioDeclicker user interface.
The StudioDeclicker user interface contains a click and a crackle reduction meter that
give visual feedback of the restoration process. Both meters show a history of the
reduction activity during the past ten seconds. The click reduction meter shows the
number of clicks removed per second, whereas the crackle reduction meter shows the
percentage of input samples regarded as crackle distorted.
Settings
· Click reduction
Sets the sensitivity of the declicker algorithm. Higher reduction levels result in more
click reduction.
· Click length
The length of the clicks that are to be removed.
· Crackle reduction
Sets the level of crackle noise to be removed by the decrackler algorithm. Higher
crackle reduction levels result in more crackle reduction.
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· Crackle sensitivity
Sets the sensitivity of the decrackler algorithm. Higher crackle sensitivities result in
more crackle reduction.
5.4.4
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 (StudioDeclipper)
StudioDeclipper 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. StudioDeclipper substitutes such distorted peaks by an estimation of the
signal curve using almost the same mathematical methods as the StudioDeclicker when
eliminating clicks.
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The StudioDeclipper user interface.
StudioDeclipper contains an oscilloscope view to visualize restoration. The oscilloscope
shows the last ten milliseconds of the recovered audio signal. The most important
parameters of the declipper are the upper and lower threshold levels. The declipper will
substitute all recorded peaks above the upper and below the lower threshold value. The
threshold values can be adjusted using their corresponding knob controls or directly
from the oscilloscope view.
Settings
· Upper threshold
All samples values above the upper threshold are substituted by a signal estimation.
· Lower threshold
All samples values below the lower threshold are substituted by a signal estimation.
· Input gain
The input gain is useful for adjusting the signal level before declipping.
· Link upper and lower threshold
Usually, the clipping introduced during recording will be symmetrical, which
means that the upper and lower thresholds will have the same absolute value. By
activating the upper and lower threshold link, the adjustment of the declipper is
simplified in the case of symmetrical clipping.
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63
Equalizer (StudioEQ)
About Equalizers
Equalizers are devices that allow frequency dependent volume changes. In home stereo
gear they would be comparable to bass and treble controls, except that equalizers are
more highly specialized for adjusting and fine-tuning the frequency spectrum amplitude
in audio material. A parametric equalizer consists of filters with variable center
frequencies and adjustable bandwidths, as opposed to graphic equalizers where the
center frequencies and bandwidths are fixed.
User Interface
Parameter Settings
In StudioEQ each band can be set to one of the following filter types:
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· Peak filter
The peak filter increases or decreases the level of the frequency band surrounding
the center frequency.
· Low shelving filter
The low shelving filter increases or decreases the level of the frequencies below the
cutoff frequency.
· High shelving filter
The high shelving filter increases or decreases the level of the frequencies above the
cutoff frequency.
· High pass filter
The high pass filter removes frequencies below the cutoff frequency.
· Notch filter
The notch filter removes frequencies surrounding the center frequency.
· Low pass filter
The low pass filter removes frequencies above the cutoff frequency.
Each band has a gain and a bandwidth parameter in addition to the center frequency
and the filter type. The gain specifies the volume or level of the frequency band. If the
gain is set to 0 dB, there will be no change in level compared to the original input. By
selecting a positive gain, the frequency band is boosted. A negative gain leads to an
attenuation of the frequency band. The bandwidth parameter is of use only when the
filter type is set to peak filter. The bandwidth is specified in octaves, whereas one octave
band equals the frequency range of one octave on the piano keyboard.
· Frequency response graph
The frequency response graph visualizes the frequency response of current equalizer
settings. The visualization is calculated mathematically and updated as the
parameters are changed.
Each of six equalizer bands is visualized with a small circle containing the number of
the band. You can select a band by clicking its corresponding circle. By keeping the
mouse button down while moving the mouse cursor, you can change the gain and
the center frequency of the bands. The numbered circle affected by any changes to
the settings is highlighted as shown above. In the example, band three is the one
affected by any changes made.
· Gain slider
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You can also use the gain slider to adjust the gain of the currently selected band. The
gain can be set to a value between -15 and +15 dB.
· Frequency knob
The frequency knob lets you set the center frequency (for peak filters) or cutoff
frequency (for shelving filters) of the selected band. To enter the frequency
numerically, click the frequency knob and tap the space bar.
· Bandwidth knob
The bandwidth knob lets you set the bandwidth of the selected band. The bandwidth
determines the width of the frequency band surrounding the center frequency in a
peak filter. The bandwidth has no effect on shelving filters.
· Filter type (Low shelving, peak, high shelving, high pass, notch and low pass)
You can set the desired filter type for the selected band with these radio buttons. As
with other standard radio buttons, selecting one deselects any others.
· Master gain
The master gain is the master volume for the audio being equalized and is frequency
independent. You can adjust the volume using the master gain slider if the overall
output level is too high or too low. This lets you compensate for the changes in level
that can result from large changes made in the frequency response curve using the
equalizer, particularly in the lower frequencies.
5.5.3
High Frequency Rebirth (StudioRebirth)
StudioRebirth gives life to dull recordings by adding synthesized high frequency
content. Dull and lifeless recordings may be a result of lost high frequency content. By
using the StudioRebirth plug-in, you can add artificially created harmonics based on the
low frequent content to brighten up the recording.
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The StudioRebirth user interface.
The frequency profile allows exact control over the frequency distribution of the
synthesized harmonics. In addition, the current frequency spectrum before (blue) and
after (green) processing is displayed during playback for visual monitoring of the
restoration process.
Settings
· Frequency profile
The frequency distribution curve of the generated harmonics. Add points to the
curve by clicking the left mouse button. Points are removed by clicking the right
mouse button.
· Generate harmonics above
Specifies the lower limit of the frequency band where harmonics should be
synthesized.
· Add high frequency content / Overwrite high frequency content
If add content is selected, the original content in the synthesis frequency band is
mixed with the synthesized harmonics. If you choose overwrite, StudioRebirth
removes the original content before adding the synthesized harmonics.
· Dry level
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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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69
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.
Editing the Track Properties
In Acoustica Premium you can edit different properties of each CD track such as the
pause length before the track and CD-TEXT information. CD-TEXT is a standard that
allows additional textual information such as titles and artist names to be written on
CD.
To edit the properties of a specific track, double click the track in the CD project or select
the track and press F2. The following dialog appears:
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The properties of a CD track.
You can define the length of the pause before the track by entering duration in seconds.
You can freely add text to all the CD-TEXT fields except for the UPC/ISRC field. These
are tracking codes and only of interest for commercial CDs. In other cases you can leave
this field blank.
6.1.4
Editing the CD Properties
As with the track properties, you can also edit the global properties of your CD project
by clicking the "Disc Properties" button in the CD Project. The following dialog appears:
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The global properties of a CD project.
In addition to the CD-TEXT field available in the track properties, you can add a disc ID
and choose a genre for your album. The MCN and disc ID can be left blank just as the
UPC/ISRC code if you don't have them. These are of interest only for commercial
productions.
6.1.5
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
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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77
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.
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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79
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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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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83
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 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.
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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
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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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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89
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 using the
spectrum analysis tool.
To show a spectrum analysis, please choose the section in the audio editing window you
wish to analyse. Then choose Spectrum Analysis from the Analysis menu. First, a dialog
box with different settings appear:
The Spectrum Analysis settings dialog.
The FFT size determines the number of samples to use to compute to use for the
spectrum analysis and hence control the frequency resolution of the spectrum. You can
choose the amplitude and frequency ranges to display. Furthermore, it is possible to
choose either a logarithmic or linear frequency scale. Click OK to show the actual
spectrum.
A plot of a signal represented in the frequency domain.
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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.
Spectrogram
To show a spectrogram, please choose the section in the audio editing window you wish
to analyse. Then choose Spectrogram from the Analysis menu. First, a dialog box with
different settings appear:
The Spectrogram settings dialog.
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You can choose the horizontal resolution and the FFT size, which affects the vertical
resolution (higher FFT sizes give a better vertical resolution). You can choose the
amplitude and frequency ranges to display. Furthermore, it is possible to choose
different color sets. Click OK to show the spectrogram.
Wavelet Analysis
To show a wavelet analysis, please choose the section in the audio editing window you
wish to analyse. Then choose Wavelet Analysis from the Analysis menu. First, a dialog box
with different settings appear:
The Wavlet Analysis settings dialog.
You can choose the horizontal resolution and vertical resolution, as well as the
amplitude and frequency ranges to display. The coherence value must be between 0 and
100% and controls the time versus frequency resolution. A higher coherence value gives
a better frequency resolution, but reduces the time resolution. Furthermore, it is possible
to choose different color sets. Click OK to show the wavelet analysis.
10
Preferences and Device Settings
10.1
Device Settings
Acoustica Premium support both the Windows MME and ASIO driver systems. You can
select which driver to use or which sound card (if you have more than one) to use for
recording and playback by selecting Device Settings... from the Options menu.
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The drivers listed begins with either "[ASIO]" for ASIO drivers or "[MME]" for MME
drivers. Choose input and output devices from the drop-down lists to change the
current configuration. Click the button labelled OK when you are done.
ASIO Channel Map
If you use ASIO drivers, you can assign input or output channels to the internal channels
in Acoustica Premium using the ASIO Channel Map. Open the ASIO Channel Map by
clicking the "Settings..." button next to the device drop-down lists.
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
· Wavelet Transform
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93
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
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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
71
86
84
Clipboard
Converting
10
sample format
Converting the Sample Format
Convolution Reverb
Copy
Creating folders in the Batch
Processing Wizard
Cut
68
68
46
10
85
71
-D-
88
90
88
88
DC Offset
10
67
25
59
61
41
91
23
25
24
24
removing
Decibel (dB)
Declicker
Declipper
Delay
Device Settings
Digital Audio
adding files as tracks
adding the content of an editing
window
creating
importing audio tracks from
working with
Audio editing window
Audio files
71
71
70
74
70
5
decibel (dB)
quantisation
sampling
DirectX
loading
saving
Audio Processing
7
7
28
refreshing the plug-in list
using plug-ins
Distortion
Drag and drop
56
55
49
copying
moving
Dynamic Processor
9
9
33
-BBatch Processing Wizard
adding processing tools
adding source files
creating folders
file and sample format
importing folders
removing items
Source Files page
Target Files page
target folder
83
86
84
85
87
84
85
84
86
88
-CCD project
Chains of Effects
Channel Mixer
Channels
5
69
32
selecting
Chorus
8
48
-EEditing
basic
using drag and drop
using the clipboard
Effecst
5
9
10
chorus
Effect Chains
Effects
48
69
convolution reverb
delay
distortion
dynamic processor
flanger
harmonizer
limiter
46
41
49
33
47
52
37
Copyright © 2003-2010 Acon Digital Media GmbH
Index
Effects
multiband compressor
reverb
reverse
StudioModulator
Time Stretching
Transpose
Enhancement
38
44
55
50
54
53
Declipper
Equalizer
high frequency rebirth
removing the DC offset
Equalizer
61
63
65
67
63
-FFades
Flanger
Frequency Domain
32
47
88
-HHarmonizer
High Frequency Rebirth
52
65
-IImporting folders to the Batch
Processing Wizard
Impulse response
Introduction
Requirements
What is new in Acoustica 4.1
adding loops for MIDI samplers
46
4
5
4
37
7
7
13
-M-
Noise Reduction
clicks and pops
manual click removal
using a measured noise profile
Normalize
56
59
61
58
30
-PPaste
Playing
Playing a region in a loop
Plug-Ins
Preferences
10
7
7
55
changing
directories
Processing tools
92
93
adding to the Batch Processing
Wizard
86
-QQuantisation
24
Recording
Recording Audio
Refreshing the DirectX plug-in list
Region
23
25
56
playing
playing in a loop
selecting
Removing items in the Batch
Processing Wizard
Removing the DC offset
Requirements
Reverb
Reverse
7
7
8
85
67
5
44, 46
55
-S-
Manual Click Removal
MIDI samplers
61
adding loops
Modulator
Multiband compressor
13
50
38
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-N-
-R84
-LLimiter
Loading an audio file
Looped playback
Loops
95
Sample format
converting
Samplers
68
adding loops for MIDI samplers
Sampling
Saving an audio file
Scrollbar
13
24
7
8
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Scrolling
Selecting a region
Selecting the active channels
Source Files in the Batch Processing
Wizard
Spectrogram
StudioCompressor
StudioDeclicker
StudioDeclipper
StudioDelay
StudioDynamics
StudioEQ
StudioLimiter
StudioModulator
StudioPitch
StudioRebirth
StudioTime
StudioVerb
8
8
8
84
90
38
59
61
41
33
63
37
50
53
65
54
44
-TTime Domain
Time Stretching
Transpose
88
54
53
-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
90
5
-ZZooming in or out
8
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