Acoustica User Guide

Acoustica User Guide
Acoustica Basic Edition 5
User Guide
Acon Digital
Acoustica User Guide
Copyright © 2012 Acon AS
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indirectly by this document.
Table of Contents
I
Table of Contents
Part I Introduction
1 Requirements
3
................................................................................................................................... 3
Part II Basic Audio Editing
3
1 The Acoustica Workspace
................................................................................................................................... 3
2 Loading Audio Files
................................................................................................................................... 5
3 Saving Audio Files
................................................................................................................................... 5
4 Playing a Recording
................................................................................................................................... 5
5 Selecting Regions................................................................................................................................... 6
6 Selecting Channels
................................................................................................................................... 6
7 Zooming and Scrolling
................................................................................................................................... 6
8 Drag and Drop Editing
................................................................................................................................... 7
9 Editing using the ...................................................................................................................................
Clipboard
8
10 Audio Scrubbing................................................................................................................................... 9
11 Labels and Regions
................................................................................................................................... 9
12 Adding Loops for
...................................................................................................................................
MIDI Samplers
11
13 Using Analyzers................................................................................................................................... 12
Level Meter
.........................................................................................................................................................
FFT Analyzer
.........................................................................................................................................................
Phase Correlation Meter
.........................................................................................................................................................
Big Time Display .........................................................................................................................................................
Part III Connecting Your Stereo Equipment
12
13
13
14
14
1 Connecting a Tape
...................................................................................................................................
Deck (Cassette Tape)
14
2 Connecting a Record
...................................................................................................................................
Player (LP)
16
Connecting a Record.........................................................................................................................................................
Player through an Amplifier
17
Connecting a Record.........................................................................................................................................................
Player Directly
18
Part IV Recording
21
1 Concepts of Digital
...................................................................................................................................
Audio
21
Sampling
......................................................................................................................................................... 21
Quantization
......................................................................................................................................................... 22
The Decibel Unit (dB)
......................................................................................................................................................... 22
2 Recording through
...................................................................................................................................
the Sound Card
23
Timer Record
......................................................................................................................................................... 24
Advanced Recording.........................................................................................................................................................
Options
25
Part V Audio Processing
26
1 Manipulating Volume
................................................................................................................................... 28
Adjusting the Volume
......................................................................................................................................................... 28
Normalize
......................................................................................................................................................... 28
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Applying a Volume Curve
......................................................................................................................................................... 29
Fading In or Out
......................................................................................................................................................... 29
2 Audio Effects
................................................................................................................................... 30
Echo
......................................................................................................................................................... 30
Convolution Reverb ......................................................................................................................................................... 31
Reverse
......................................................................................................................................................... 32
3 Using Audio Plug-Ins
................................................................................................................................... 32
Refreshing the Plug-in
.........................................................................................................................................................
List
32
Specifying VST Directories
......................................................................................................................................................... 32
4 Converting the Sample
...................................................................................................................................
Format
33
5 Effect Chains
................................................................................................................................... 34
35
Part VI Preferences and Device Settings
1 Device Settings ................................................................................................................................... 35
2 Changing the Preferences
................................................................................................................................... 35
The Directories Page......................................................................................................................................................... 36
37
Index
Copyright © 2012 Acon AS
Introduction
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.
1.1
Requirements
Before you install Acoustica Basic Edition, please make sure your computer fulfills the
following requirements:
·
·
·
·
·
2
A computer running Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP
Pentium IV or higher
Minimum 256 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
Minimum 16 bit color depth
Windows compatible sound card
Basic Audio Editing
This chapter describes the basic audio editing capabilities of Acoustica such as loading
and saving files and editing using the clipboard or drag and drop.
2.1
The Acoustica Workspace
The Acoustica workspace can contain several audio editing windows, CD projects or
Cleaning Wizard projects.
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The Acoustica workspace
The figure above shows the Acoustica workspace with an audio editing window and a
CD project. The elements indicated with the red arrows are explained below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The main toolbar with short cut icons for commonly used commands.
The navigation toolbar for recording, playback and cursor positioning.
An audio editing window containing the audio file "Matecha.wav". The audio is
visualized with a curve corresponding to the recorded audio.
A selected region indicated with white curve on a blue background (colors depend
on your system settings). The current cursor position is indicated by a blinking line.
The output level meters show the current output level during audio playback.
The status bar indicating the selected region, the viewed region and the cursor
position. During processing, the progress is displayed in the status bar.
A "CD project" window containing a list of tracks and a toolbar for commands
relevant to CD recording.
The list of CD tracks that are about to be recorded to an audio CD.
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Basic Audio Editing
2.2
Loading Audio Files
To open existing audio file,
1.
2.
3.
2.3
Select from the File menu the command Open...
Choose the folder in which your file is located from the Look in drop-down list.
Click the audio file you wish to open and click the button labelled Ok.
Saving Audio Files
To save an edited audio file with its original name:
1.
Select from the File menu the command Save or press Ctrl+S.
If you wish to save the content of an audio editing window with a different name, in a
different folder or with different settings:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
2.4
Select from the File menu the command Save as...
Choose the folder in which you wish to save the file from the Look in drop-down list.
Enter a name for your audio file.
Choose the file format of your audio file from the File type drop-down list.
Most export filters offer different settings such as encoding bit rate or number
format. To change the settings, click the button labelled Options... .
Playing a Recording
To play the selected region of a recording:
1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play or press the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
You can also play the complete recording:
1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play all or hold the shift key while
pressing the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
To play the selected region as a loop:
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1.
2.
Select from the Sound menu the command Play looped or hold the control key while
pressing the space bar.
You can stop the playback by selecting from the Sound menu the command Stop or
by pressing the space bar.
Alternatively, you can use the navigation toolbar for convenient playback:
The navigation toolbar with the logic similar to consumer audio equipment such as CD players or
tape decks.
2.5
Selecting Regions
Acoustica does all processing on the selected region and the selected channels only. The
selected region is highlighted. To change the selected region:
1.
2.
3.
4.
2.6
Click the beginning of the region you wish to select and keep the mouse button
down.
Move the mouse cursor to the end of the region you wish to select while keeping the
mouse button down.
Release the mouse button.
The newly selected region should now by highlighted.
Selecting Channels
Acoustica does all processing only on the selected region and the selected channels. To
change the selected channel or channels (only possible with stereo recordings):
1. Click the channel selection button in the main toolbar (see The Acoustica Workspace
2.
3.
2.7
):
A drop-down list with the channels appears.
Click the channel you wish to activate or deactivate.
Zooming and Scrolling
You can zoom in to get a more detailed view in an editing window. You can zoom either
horizontally to view a smaller part of the recording or vertically to show a smaller
amplitude range.
Horizantal zoom
To zoom in horizontally:
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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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9
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
11
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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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.
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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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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3.2.1
17
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 4 probably don't need any additional
hardware. Acoustica 4 emulates the equalizer in phono preamplifiers and thus restores
the original audio. You can connect the record player directly to the Line In on your
sound card and enable the Emulate phono preamplifier option in the recording page.
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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
connectors on the other end is required to connect your record player to your computer.
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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
these have normal Line In RCA connectors. In rare cases, internal sound cards might
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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.
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
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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.
4.1.3
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.
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23
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:
The sample format dialog box in Acoustica
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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
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:
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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
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
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Acoustica User Guide
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:
· 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
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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.
Examples of a curve edit control.
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Acoustica User Guide
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
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
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).
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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
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
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Acoustica User Guide
· 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
5.2
Audio Effects
5.2.1
Echo
The echo effect adds delays or echoes to the selected region.
The Echo settings
Settings
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· Echo time
· Feedback
The feedback percentage specifies the volume attenuation since the last delay
interval.
· Dry Level
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Delay Level
The amount of processed signal in the output mix.
5.2.2
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.
The settings page of the Convolution reverb
Settings
· Dry level slider
The amount of unprocessed signal in the output mix.
· Reverb level slider
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Acoustica User Guide
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.
5.2.3
Reverse
The reverse effect processes the selected region in such a manner that it will be played
backwards.
5.3
Using Audio Plug-Ins
Acoustica 4 supports DirectX as well as VST plug-ins. Both formats have become widely
used standards for audio processing plug-ins on the Windows platform. The menu
Plug-Ins contains a list of the plug-ins currently installed on your computer. If you have
installed a plug-in that does not appear in the list, please refresh the plug in list (see
Refreshing the Plug-in List). Using DirectX or VST plug-ins is as easy as using the
internal audio processing tools. You will see that previewing works exactly the same
way as with the internal audio processing tools.
5.3.1
Refreshing the Plug-in List
If you have installed new DirectX or VST plug-ins on your computer that do not appear
in the Plug-Ins menu you should refresh the menu by selecting Plug-Ins | Refresh Plug-In
List. Acoustica then rescans the plug-ins on your computer and updates the menu.
5.3.2
Specifying VST Directories
VST plug-ins are not registered on your computer like DirectX plug-in, hence Acoustica
needs to know where to find them. You can specify one or more directories to scan
through.
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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
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.
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The Convert Sample Format dialog box
5.5
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
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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 [
]
and select the file in the file browser.
6
Preferences and Device Settings
6.1
Device Settings
Window's multimedia system allows several different audio cards being installed at the
same time. You can select which sound card to use by selecting Device Settings... from
the Options menu. Choose input and output devices from the drop-down lists in the
device settings dialog to change the current configuration and click the button labelled
Ok.
6.2
Changing the Preferences
You can set your personal preferences with the command Preferences... in the Options
menu.
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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
6.2.1
The Directories Page
The Directories page contains only one setting, the directory for all temporary files
created by Acoustica. You should set this directory path to a directory on a fast hard disk
with sufficient free space. Acoustica works extensively with temporary files and the
speed of the programs depends to a large degree on the speed of the hard disk where
the temporary files are situated.
The directories preferences page
Copyright © 2012 Acon AS
Index
delay
reverse
Index
loading
saving
Audio Processing
3
5
5
26
-CCD project
Chains of Effects
Channels
selecting
Clipboard
Converting
sample format
Converting the Sample Format
Convolution Reverb
Copy
Cut
3
34
6
8
33
33
31
8
8
-DDecibel (dB)
Delay
Device Settings
Digital Audio
decibel (dB)
quantisation
sampling
DirectX
refreshing the plug-in list
using plug-ins
Drag and drop
copying
moving
22
30
35
21
22
22
21
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Impulse response
Introduction
Requirements
Loading an audio file
Looped playback
Loops
adding loops for MIDI samplers
5
5
11
-MMIDI samplers
adding loops
11
-NNormalize
28
-PPaste
Playing
Playing a region in a loop
Plug-Ins
Preferences
changing
directories
-R-
31
31
3
3
-L-
7
7
3
7
8
34
29
-I-
-Q-
Editing
convolution reverb
Fades
32
32
-Ebasic
using drag and drop
using the clipboard
Effect Chains
Effects
30
32
-F-
-AAudio editing window
Audio files
37
Quantisation
8
5
5
32
35
36
22
Recording
Recording Audio
Refreshing the DirectX plug-in list
Region
21
23
32
playing
playing in a loop
selecting
Requirements
Reverb
5
5
6
3
31
38
Acoustica User Guide
Reverse
32
-SSample format
converting
Samplers
33
adding loops for MIDI samplers
Sampling
Saving an audio file
Scrollbar
Scrolling
Selecting a region
Selecting the active channels
11
21
5
6
6
6
6
-VVolume
adjusting
applying a volume curve
fade ins and fade outs
normalize
Volume manipulation
28
29
29
28
28
-WWaveform visualisation
Workspace
3
3
-ZZooming in or out
6
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