Authentic Sound Studio 1.0

Quickstart -Basic User's Manual

Basic Principles

Recording and Playing Tracks

Editing

Mixing

Description of Effects

Main Control Panel

Basic Principles

The basic file structure used by Authentic Sound Studio is called a "session". A session file holds all of the information needed to keep track of your recordings and mixes.

  • Usually you begin using the program by either creating a new session or opening a previously saved session: In the File menu choose either "New Session" or "Open Session".
  • With a session open the main control panel will be visible on the screen.

Session files are not actively saved by the user. Whenever changes are made, such as the addition of tracks, an automatic save occurs updating the session file.

All sound files that Studio deals with must be part of a session. If you have previously recorded files (they must be in uncompressed AIFF format), you must add them to the session (see the Session menu:"Add Track"). As you record new files they are then added to the session. Our terminology for sound files is "track". Mixes are created by combining tracks together into a single sound file. Both mixes and tracks are identical in structure in that they are both files in AIFF format. In fact a mix could later be added to a session as a track. The idea is that a track holds some component(s) of a mix, such as a single instrument or voice (or several instruments/voices) and a mix is the whole song with all the instruments and voices mixed together. But they are all AIFF files.

As you add or record tracks their names will be added to a list on the left side of the control panel.

 

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Recording and Playing Tracks

  • You record a new tracks by choosing "New Track" from the Session Menu.
  • To record over or play an existing track, select the track name in the track list and either double click or click on the "Open Track" button.
  • The Record, Playback, Stop, Pause and Resume icons in the the "Track Area" in the upper left corner of the screen control playback and recording of the "Current Track".
  • Click on the Recording Settings icon to set recording preferences. It is here that you chose your input device etc..

Not to worry "record over" doesn't mean you will overwrite your data in an unconscious manner. All recording occurs into temporary files. You have to actively save the track to replace the older version.

  • You can record while previously recorded tracks are playing or play multiple tracks simultaneously. Add tracks to the playback list near the center of the of the control panel. Click on "Playback while recording" or "From list"

Note that the program is multitrack one track at a time. In order to do any recording or playback there must be a "Current Track".

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Editing

  • You can edit either tracks or mixes. However, the demo version cannot edit mixes.
  • When you open a track (new or existing) you open it in "Track Mode". To edit the track you must switch to "Edit Mode". This can be accomplished through the Session Menu, or by clicking on the mode button in the upper left of the control panel.

Note: When editing a new track you must save it first. The drag and drop icon allows you to drag and drop a track from the track list to the edit bar and open the track in edit mode.

  • Editing is performed by selecting a segment of the track either by using the slider controls or by using the clock controls and then applying some edit or effects operation to the selection.
  • You can gain more precision in the selection process by magnifying the selection so that it fills the entire edit bar. When You deMagnify the region so as to invert the magnification. (The two icons look like an eye chart).
  • Playback of edit files is controlled using the icons just above the edit bar. You can play the whole file or just the selection.

In Edit Mode all operations are applied to a copy of the track or mix not to the file itself. When you save the edits the track data is overwritten. You can't do that with the demo.

  • There is one level of undo and the so only the last edit can be undone.
  • A number of edit operations are applied directly to to the data. These operations will generally take a few seconds to perform. Other operations (filters.reverb and noise reduction) are applied to the frequency spectrum of the data. These operations will generally require at least several minutes and are applied through a batch processing mechanism. Reverb is an especially time consuming operation.
  • Cut,copy and paste operations use an internal cliboard, not the system clipboard. We may add a feature (during the beta phase) where this data can be transferred to the clipboard as tab delineated text.

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Mixing

Once you've recorded and saved several tracks you may want to mix them together. Note that the use of the word mix here is different than say "My Party Mix" where a number of songs are grouped together on a CD. Our use of "mix", in terms of music, would be a single song or piece of music where separate instrument/voice tracks are combined together.

  • There are several ways to create a mix: You can select a track in the track list and then click on the "add to mix" icon just to the right of the track list, or you can select "New Mix" from the Session menu, or you can drag and drop a track onto the mix list. Note the mix list is in the mix area in the lower right corner of the control panel.
  • Subsequent tracks are added either by using the "add to mix" iocn or through drag and drop.
  • Once you have added tracks you are ready to work with levels and/or sequencing.
  • Levels are set using the Mix Window which will open when you click on the "Mix" icon.
  • Sequencing (when tracks enter and leave) is set with the Mix Sequencer Window which is opened when you click on the "Mix Sequencing" icon. The default sequencing is that every track enters at time zero and plays until it stops.
  • With the Mix Window open you can also conduct a live mix where all the tracks play according to the current sequencing arrangement and while they are playing you can adjust levels. Use the Play,Stop, Pause and Resume icons on this window to control the live mix.

Note that no actual mixing occurs during a live mix. The tracks have not been permannently combined.

  • When you get the settings right and want to create a single mix file click on "Mix" on the Mix Window.
  • Once mixing is complete you can listen to the results and control playback through the Play,Stop,Pause and Resume icons in the mixing area. Note you are now playing a single file which if saved could be burned to a CD.

You cannot save your mixes with the demo version.

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Description of Effects

  • Replace with Silence. The selected data is replaced by zeros. Useful for removing background noise during intervals where the sound source is quiet.
  • Change Amplitude. Increase or decrease the amplitude by a percentage factor. Note that this can lead to distortion.
  • Echo. Add echo to a seqment of data. You set the echo time in miliseconds and the amplitude of the echo as a percent of the echoed amplitude. Echo describes sound from the past that mixes with sound in the future. Studio lets each sample echo just once.
  • Fade In/Out. The amplitude is gradually decreased or increased over the selected interval. Useful at the end of a song.
  • Low Pass Filter: Filters out (attenuates) frequencies above a certain threshold. Use this to remove high frequency signal or noise.
  • High Pass Filter: Filters out (attenuates) frequencies below a certain threshold. Use this to remove low frequency signal or noise.
  • Band Pass Filter: Filters out (attenuates) frequencies outside a certain range. You can also create a notch filter that attenuates frequencies within a range (to filter out 60Hz noise for example).
  • Noise Filter. A filter is constructed based on a noise sample you capture. Useful if you can collect an accurate sample of the background noise in a room.
  • Reverb. Reverb (reverberation) is essentially a continuous form of echo where signal from the past mixes, at a continually decreasing strength, with signal in the future. If you generate a response Studio will construct a stock response function that will add a fairly artificial (e.g. surf guitar) form of reverb. If you capture a response function the reverberation will conform to that pattern. You will usually want to capture an impulse sound produced by say clapping your hands or snapping your fingers.

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