BeatCleaver Manual

BeatCleaver Manual
1 Loading a Sample
2 Waveform Navigation and Zoom
3 Slicing
4 Slicing Better
5 Looping
6 Editing
7 Saving
8 Advanced Slicing
9 Time Stretching and Pitch Adjustment
10 System Requirements
11 Audio File Format Compatibility
Part I
BeatCleaver is a software tool for editing and splitting audio files and
samples. It can be used for extracting individual drum samples from a
complex beat, to speed up or slow down audio, or to simply further segment an existing sample for use in a sampler or digital audio workstation.
BeatCleaver is available for Windows and Mac OS X.
Example Uses BeatCleaver can be used in a variety of ways, as part
of a music production workflow:
• Sampling melodies and beats from existing recordings and music.
• Trimming existing recordings.
• Splitting drum loops up into individual drum hits and rearranging
• Slicing multi-track renders of songs into 4 bar segments, to help form
part of a live performance.
• Slicing loops for sequencing or mapping to the pads on a hardware
sampler, like an MPC.
BeatCleaver is unique because of the speed with which you can create
slices and adjust them. From the fluid zoom to the streaming loading,
many small features add up to make it a convenient and easy tool to
use frequently.
Feedback This product was created based on ideas and feedback
from many musicians like yourself. If you have ideas for new features
you’d like to see in BeatCleaver, please share your thoughts with us at
[email protected] . We’d love to hear from you.
Part II
Loading a Sample
To begin slicing an audio file, you must first load one into BeatCleaver.
Click the F ILE menu and select O PEN AUDIO to load a file into BeatCleaver. Alternatively, simply drag an audio file from a folder on your
computer and drop it directly onto the BeatCleaver window to load a
file. A list of different audio filetypes that can be sliced with BeatCleaver
is shown in Table 1.
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7, 8, and Newer
Mac OS X
Table 1: Audio file formats that can be opened with BeatCleaver.
Waveform Navigation and Zoom
The waveform display in BeatCleaver provides a visualization of the audio in a file at various detail levels.
Zoom Zooming in and out can be accomplished by using the scroll
wheel on your mouse, or by using two or three finger scrolling on a MacBook. Alternatively, the zoombar with mini-waveform at the bottom can
be grabbed with your left mouse button and dragged up and down to
control the zoom. Dragging the zoombar left and right will scroll through
time on the waveform. (See Figure 1 on page 5).
Figure 1: Overview of Zoom Bar and Loop/Transport Bars.
Technical Note The BeatCleaver waveform visualizes stereo audio in
an interleaved fashion, drawing audio samples from the left and right
channels alternating in sequence. The advantage of this approach for
slicing is that it is easier to see zero crossings that occur close together
in both audio channels. Slicing near zero crossings is recommended to
reduce the chance of a pop or click in the audio when playing back
an exported slice.
Manual Slicing To insert a slice point in BeatCleaver, right-click on the
waveform and select S LICE H ERE. Slice points can be adjustment by clicking and dragging them left or right.
Quick Slicing Buttons The toolbar at the top of the BeatCleaver interface provides several quick slicing buttons. When no loop is set, these
slice buttons will chop the current file into 4, 8, or 16 slices, placing slice
points that can be manually adjusted later. If a loop is set, the slice buttons will chop the current loop into the chosen number of slices. Similarly,
the C LEAR S LICING button will clear slice points in the current loop, or in
the whole file if no loop is set. To eliminate audio clicks when slicing, a
small amount of manual adjustment may be needed (see Section 4).
Chopping on-the-Fly Placing slice points during playback, at the playback cursor position, is also possible. During playback, click the S LICE AT
C URSOR button on the toolbar, or use the keyboard shortcut key “S” to
insert a slice point.
Slicing Better
Eliminating Pops and Clicks When previewing a slice, sometimes a pop
or click can be heard at the start or end of it. This occurs when there is
an instantaneous “jump” in the audio signal. If audio is sliced when the
amplitude of the signal is far from zero, then this will cause a pop when
played back through speakers. To eliminate popping, manually adjust
the start and end of the slice so that they align with zero crossings. A
zero crossing is a place where the audio signal crosses over the time
axis, which can be seen in BeatCleaver as a grey horizontal line across
the middle of the waveform when zoomed in. The positions where the
green waveform crosses or lingers around that horizontal line are the
best places to slice, and will eliminate popping most of the time.
Sample Accuracy and Real-Time Time Stretching By default, slicing in
BeatCleaver is sample accurate, meaning that the exported slices will
be chopped exactly as they appear in BeatCleaver. However, when
the tempo or pitch is changed, the time stretching engine inside BeatCleaver is activated, and this fundamentally changes the waveform of
the audio. Because time stretching essentially resynthesizes the audio,
the waveform being sliced will no longer exactly correspond with the
audio being heard. However, most of the time slices will still be close
enough for there to not be an audible difference.
When sample accuracy and time-stretching are both required, this
can be still be achieved by first performing offline timestretching (open
the T IME S TRETCHING window, adjust the tempo, and then save it to disk)
before slicing. Though this method requires an extra step, BeatCleaver
allows you to make the choice of convenience vs. accuracy whenever
either is more desirable.
To disable the timestretching engine (and restore sample accurate
slicing), click the R ESET button in the toolbar on the main window.
Toggling a Loop To help you find good samples and loops to cut, any
slice can be played in a loop by left-clicking the loop bar above a slice.
(See Figure 1 on page 5.)
Adjusting a Loop Loops automatically adjust to match the length of
the current slice they are placed on. Dragging the slice points at either
end of the loop will automatically adjust the loop length as well. A loop
can be moved by left-clicking and dragging it in the loop bar. Additionally, a loop can be expanded to span several slices by holding the S HIFT
key while left-clicking the loop bar above another slice.
Figure 2: When E DIT is toggled, effects and edits may be applied to the
waveform such as the Reverse and Gain edits seen here. Highlight a
region and right-click to apply an effect or edit.
BeatCleaver offers basic audio editing functionality by toggling by the
E DIT button in the main toolbar. When Edit Mode is active, portions of the
waveform can be selectioned and edited. Additionally, slice points will
act as a grid to which selections can be snapped. This makes it easier
to edit individual slices.
Applying Edits or Effects To edit a region of audio, begin by left-clicking
on the waveform and dragging the cursor across it until the desired region is highlighted. If needed, this selection can be resized by clicking
and dragging either edge of it. Next, choose the edit or effect you wish
to apply by right-clicking on the selected region. A menu will appear,
displaying a list of possible effects and edits that can be made. Select
any effect from the menu to apply it instantly. (Alternatively, the list of
edits is accessible from the E DIT menu at the top of the screen, under
Available Edits and Effects As of BeatCleaver 1.4, the following types of
edits and effects can be applied to any region of audio:
• Fade In (Linear)
• Fade Out (Linear)
• Reverse
• Duplicate
• Gain (Amplify)
• Normalize (-3 dB)
• Mute
• Trim to Selection
Editing with the RapidEditTM Engine A unique feature of BeatCleaver is
that after applying an edit like “Fade In” to an audio file, each edit can
be adjusted and moved around on-the-fly. There is no need to undo the
edit if you wish to adjust it, and other edits can be additionally layered
on top of it. This innovative approach to audio editing keeps the workflow moving forward, and provides more flexibility than found in other
Layering Edits and Effects Edits and effects can be layered by dragging
them around such that they overlap. The order that they are applied in
is determined by the order in which they were added, however, an edit
can be lowered or raised by using the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys on
the keyboard or by selecting RAISE or LOWER from the EDIT menu.
An example of where this matters is when creating a Duplicate edit
that overlaps with a Gain edit. If the Gain is below the Duplicate, the
duplicated audio will not have its volume affected by the gain, and this
will be reflected in the waveform. If the Gain is moved above the Duplicate, then the waveform will show instantly that the duplicated audio is
now having the gain applied to it.
Hiding Edits and Effects During heavy editing, the waveform may get
filled with many edits, or edits that apply to very large sections of the
waveform. (For example, it is common to apply Normalization to an
entire audio file.) In this situation, it is advantageous to hide some edits
in order to make further editing easier. To hide an edit, right-click on it,
and select H IDE. Edits may be unhidden later by selecting U NHIDE LAST or
Saving Slices Slices can be saved individually by right-clicking them
and selecting S AVE S LICE. All slices can be saved at once in a folder by
selecting S AVE S LICES from the F ILE menu.
Save as MIDI Slice points can be saved as a MIDI file (a feature which is
sometimes called “Slice to MIDI”), which can be useful for reconstructing
a drum break or rhythm in a DAW or with a sampler. For each slice, a new
note will be placed in the resulting MIDI file, with each note increasingly
chromatically. When combined with the S AVE S LICES item in the menu
(which saves each slice as a WAVE), the slices can be loaded into a
third party sampler bank and triggered with the MIDI file to reproduce
the original break.
S AVE AS MIDI can also be used for “groove extraction”. If you have
an song or beat which contains a funky rhythm or groove that you would
like to reconstruct, simply load it into BeatCleaver, place slice points on
the beats, and save it as a MIDI file. If you import the resulting MIDI
file into your favorite DAW, and you can then use it to trigger different
samples, synths, or drum sounds while maintaining the groove of the
original song or beat.
Quick Export The Q UICK E XPORT button immediately saves any slices directly to your hard disk. All slices are exported a 44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo
WAVE files, and can be found in the same folder as the original file. Exported slices will have a number prefixed to their filename. (eg. song_1.wav,
Figure 3: Drag Export mode allows any slice to be dragged out of BeatCleaver and into a folder, the desktop, or a DAW.
Drag Export Toggling the D RAG E XPORT button enables the dragging of
slices directly out of BeatCleaver. Slices can be dragged and dropped
into a folder, your desktop, or most DAWs. Dragged slices will be rendered and saved immediately in the user’s My Documents/BeatCleaver
folder (Windows) or Documents/BeatCleaver (Mac).
To drag all slices out of BeatCleaver at the same time, first click the
A LL radio button in the bottom-right corner of the BeatCleaver window,
after D RAG E XPORT is enabled. Then, left-clicking and dragging on the
main waveform will grab all the slices at once. This is particularly useful
when dragging slices to an external sampler.
Advanced Slicing
Additional slicing options are available by selecting A DVANCED S LICING
from the S LICING menu. The Advanced Slicing window allows you to enter a tempo (BPM) and interval (in beats or bars), and slice a recording
based on that. For example, BeatCleaver can slice a recording every 4
bars for you, if you know the tempo.
Figure 4: The Advanced Slicing window.
Slicing Multi-Track Renders The Advanced Slicing window is particularly useful in the following scenario. If you have produced a song in a
digital audio workstation (DAW) and you wish to perform parts of it live
or remix it on-the-fly, sometimes it is desirable to have the song exported
into separate tracks for sequencing with a hardware sampler or looper.
With BeatCleaver’s Advanced Slicing feature, you can split up multitrack renders by bars, giving you clean segments that can be played
live as loops, forming a basis for the performance of the song.
Time Stretching and Pitch Adjustment
Figure 5: The Pitch Adjust and Time Stretch window allows the pitch and
tempo of a sample to be changed independently.
Overview Time stretching is a technique that allows you to change the
tempo of a sample without changing the pitch, or the vice versa. It is a
common technique often used in hip hop sampling, where a sample is
taken from a vinyl record and its tempo adjusted to fit into a new composition. In BeatCleaver, time stretching works by stretching a sample
from some original tempo (BPM) to a new tempo, so the original tempo
of the sample is a prerequisite. However, BeatCleaver can also calculate the original tempo of a sample if a loop is sliced to a given number
of beats in length.
Easy Method The tempo and pitch of any loaded song can be adjusted directly from the toolbar on the main window, just above the main
waveform. The tempo is in units of beats per minute (BPM), and the pitch
is in semitones (ST).
Offline Time Stretching (Highest Quality) To time stretch a sample in
1. Begin by clicking T IME S TRETCH on the main toolbar. The Time Stretching dialog will be shown.
2. (Optional) If the original tempo of the sample is unknown, go back
to the main BeatCleaver window, and slice a segment that is exactly 8 beats long. Enable looping over this slice by clicking the
transport bar above it. Lastly, go back to the Time Stretching window, select the BPM CALCULATOR tab, and click the CALCULATE
BPM FROM L OOP button. BeatCleaver will calculate the tempo of
the sample based on the length of the loop that was selected.
3. Now, under T EMPO AND P ITCH, adjust the T EMPO to the desired tempo.
A sample can optionally be transposed independently of the tempo
4. Preview changes to the BPM in real-time by clicking the P REVIEW
button or by toggling playback in the main BeatCleaver window.
Keep in mind that final renders generally sound better than the
5. Experiment with the provided Q UALITY P RESETS and see which one
sounds best with the given sample.
6. Click the R ENDER button to finalize your changes and render a full,
high-quality time stretched version of the sample.
7. Back in the main BeatCleaver interface now, make sure you save
the time stretched sample by right-clicking on the main waveform
and selecting, SAVE SLICE .
Advanced Quality Options The advanced time stretching engine in
BeatCleaver provides a number of options for power users. A brief description of each option is provided below, but the best advice is to
experiment and go with your ears. Different settings might sound better
or worse depending on the sample being time stretched, and so experimentation is encouraged to achieve the best quality.
• Transient Control - Adjust the mechanism by which certain aspects
of the time stretching engine are reset around transient points, to
help add clarity to transient events like percussive hits.
• Transient Detector - Controls the type of transient detector used.
C OMPOUND produces good results for most samples.
• Analysis Window Size - Set the heuristic preference for the FFT processing window. S TANDARD generally provides the best results but
S HORTER can be better for audio with characteristics that change
quickly like drums. L ONGER usually results in a smoother, less crisp
sound. This could sound better with smoother sounds like strings.
• Preserve Spectral Envelope - Controls whether or not the spectral
envelope (formant shape) of a signal is preserved when pitch shifting.
• Stereo Processing - Controls how stereo channels are processed
when time stretching. With S TANDARD, each channel is processed
separately but this can lead to an increase in the stereo width of
the audio. E NHANCED tries to preserve the original stereo width of
a sample at the expense of quality.
Figure 6: Advanced time stretching quality options may be adjusted to
better suit the source material. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and use
your ears!
Part III
For registration problems, lost registrations, or questions about BeatCleaver
itself, please see the support information available at
System Requirements
Operating System BeatCleaver 1.4 is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and newer Windows operating systems. BeatCleaver 1.3 is also compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel) and
Hardware System Requirements BeatCleaver requires an Intel Core processor or greater, at least 1 GB of RAM, and 60 MB of free disk space.
Audio File Format Compatibility
Audio Input File Formats Some file formats may not be supported with
certain operating systems. Please see Table 1 on page 4 for a list of
supported audio file formats.
Audio Output File Formats By default, BeatCleaver saves all exported
audio as stereo WAVE or AIFF files at the samplerate of the original file
for the highest compatibility. These files are compatible with MPCs, Maschine, and all major digital audio workstations.
Samplerates In the preferences, BeatCleaver can be configured to export at a range of samplerates including 22500 Hz, 44100 Hz, 48000 Hz,
96000 Hz, and 192000 Hz, or to match the samplerate of the original audio file when exporting.
Bit Depths WAVE and AIFF files can be saved in BeatCleaver with a
bit depth of 8, 16, 24, or 32 bits, and is configurable in the Preferences
Compatibility with Akai MPC Samplers Most Akai MPC samplers (including the MPC500, MPC2000, MPC2000XL, and MPC2500) do not support 24-bit or 32-bit WAVE samples. When saving slices for use on an
MPC, please ensure the WAVE EXPORT BIT DEPTH is set to 16-bit in the BeatCleaver preferences. This is the default setting.
Part IV
BeatCleaver is Copyright © Oscillicious 2011 - 2013.
Time Stretching Engine BeatCleaver uses the Rubber Band Library by
Breakfast Quay for time stretching.
Audio Editing Engine BeatCleaver uses the proprietary RapidEditTM engine
by Oscillicious for audio editing.
BeatCleaver End User License Agreement IMPORTANT
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