2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2011 12:31 PM by GaryATR

    My thoughts so far (long)


      As Charles VW razzed me recently about nagging for this Mac version, I have been looking at it, and trying to get a handle on it (as someone who has never used any version of Cool Edit or Audition). So I do have some comments now.


      I tried to scan the forum for issues already covered and I'm sure I missed things, so bear with me. I know some of this stuff is already discussed. I'm sure I also just haven't discovered things that are there. I also probably work in ways that are….different than the modern norm. It's mono & stereo archives and live concert recordings, and only a little multitrack work.


      First, there's a lot of good stuff. It's been totally stable on my 2 test systems on OS10.5.8 (a MacPro dual Xeon and a MacBookPro dual core). I like the total workspace customization (once I figured it out). It's scrollball/Magic Mouse aware. It worked great for a 4 channel to stereo project with some volume automation and AU effects. I will trust that the SRC is as good as PC Audition 3, as tested by Alexey's suite. The dither options look fine, without endless options like  some other programs. Zoom view range is great.


      It's a little cumbersome to use as a simple, stereo recorder/editor, which is my bread & butter. During record mode, I can't seem to monitor the input sound in waveform mode, unlike the buttons in multitrack/mixer mode. The recording waveform display is distracting, as it updates in chunks instead of smoothly. I'm not sure yet if I can enter markers and comments and move them, or adjust zooms during recording.


      I figure out how to do something new every time I use it, like the global peak LED reset – then I had to add my own keyboard equivalent. Maybe this stuff is old news to long-time CEP and other program users.



      There are some UI issues that I can't figure out.


      As someone else noted, the application quits as the last file is closed, which I find weird. Likewise, the "added blank time in multitrack" bug is noted.


      When I start a new multitrack file, there seems to be no choice but a 6 track session with a master. Maybe it should ask how many tracks you want, with a default set in the preferences?


      Knobs, like mixer volume & pan, rotate backwards for me with a Magic/Mighty Mouse scrollball. Scroll to the left and the knob rotates to the right. Except the HUD volume knob, which doesn't seem to work at all with a scrollball.


      I can't figure out how to change the color scheme of the waveforms in the Multitrack mode, like I do in the Preferences for Waveform mode.


      Zooms in multitrack seem awkward. Time zoom requires cmd+scroll, but in waveform mode it's just scroll. Amplitude zoom require moving to the left controls area to widen all the tracks, then moving to the tracks to scroll to the right one, which I find awkward.


      In multitrack volume/pan envelopes (automation?), I must click on a previously set level line to see what level it's set at, which is partially obscured by the cursor (I often set up a larger cursor) and leaves a new keyframe spot, which I usually don't want.


      When I open a 4 channel WAV file, it opens in the waveform editor. If I want to work on it in multitrack mode, I try to use the insert to multitrack/new multitrack session command, and it puts the 4 tracks into one stereo multitrack track. The only thing I could figure was to export the 4 channel WAV into 4 mono tracks, then import those into the 4 multitracks I want.



      I also have some feature requests, which may already be there and I just can't figure it out:


      Global mixer Rec Arm & Input listen toggle? Perhaps a keyboard shortcut, so if I start a 16 track session, I don't have to click little buttons 32 times just to start.


      Without a CD burn feature, I'd like an "export regions by markers" like Sound Studio. After a stereo master edit is all done, markers are placed exactly where I want CD tracks to appear. The tracks are exported, numbered in sequence, 16b/44.1k, ready to drop into Toast for CD burning.


      A tool to find the level margin in a region or file (how close to zero dB the file gets). I know this can be troublesome.


      A tool to find and show you where the file hits zero dB. I know this is fraught with trouble.


      A keyboard shortcut to toggle whether the CTI returns to zero or continues after stopping. Sometimes I want one or the other, and digging into prefs is a hassle.


      A pencil tool for arbitrary waveform drawing.


      A way to make the fonts a little bigger. Old guys with bad eyes work on audio, too! The TIME display is pretty good, though.


      Waveform view zooming – I can zoom amplitude on the keyboard, or holding the cursor in the axis label and mouse scrolling. But I'd really like to use the mouse scrolling anywhere, maybe with a keyboard shortcut? Is there a vertical axis reset-to-zero? Could the amplitude axis label have an option to go on the left of the waveform? Time axis scrolling and zoom is nice, though. Even though all zooming is different in multitrack mode.


      I would like to toggle the waveform grid lines on/off or adjust the contrast. With some waveform color combos, the grid lines are pretty annoying to me.


      Lastly is my biggie. I loved Sound Designer II's paradigm for playlist editing for stereo classical music. It needed improvements, but it was supremely efficient. I know other old timers miss it, too. Apparently the nearest equivalents today are all Windows programs (Sequoia, Pyramix). In short, you loaded all your takes in the machine, you would mark/label the approximate in/out point of every take you wanted to try by making a region, and put them all in sequence in a playlist. From the play list, you could audition every splice between regions or a group of splices, adjusting the time of the in and out points and the crossfade length and style at every splice until it sounded perfect. Some people call it 4-point editing. Today's paradigm seems to be cut and paste, with preset crossfades, smoothing, zerocrossing moves or healing of the splices. I'm not convinced this is as good or as fast under my circumstances. What do you guys think?


      Gary L. in Seattle

        • 1. Re: My thoughts so far (long)
          _durin_ Adobe Employee

          Hi Gary,


          Thanks for taking the time for this review and response.  I'll try to address as many of your questions and concerns as I can.


          You can add and edit Markers while recording.  Add by pressing 'M' to drop one at the current location of the playhead, or use the buttons in the Markers panel.  Here you may also rename, adjust, specify duration of range markers, etc.  You may also adjust zoom levels and move around the waveform while recording continues.  If you have created range markers (markers with a duration) you may select them and click the rightmost button at the top of this panel to export each range to a separate file.


            Waveform drawing in chunks may need to be investigated a bit further.  Depending on the buffer size you're using to record, the data may not be passed to the application quickly enough to draw smoothly, and a smaller buffer size might improve this performance.  Additionally, we've since made other improvements to the waveform drawing and scrolling performance that were not present in the public beta.  However, if it's noticeably bad and you are running with a lower audio buffer size, there may be some other problem occurring here that we should investigate.


          You mentioned the application closes when you close the last file, but this shouldn't be happening and it's not something I've been able to reproduce with our latest internal builds, nor the public beta build.  By what method are you using to close the files?  Does the application actually close completely, or does the interface simply disappear but the program remains active in the OS X dock?


          You can adjust multitrack clip colors, and other clip preferences, either by option/right-clicking upon the clip and choosing the appropriate item, or by opening the Properties panel which will display information and options for most selected items.


          For zoom and navigation behavior, different regions of the interface respond differently to the mouse scroll wheel.  Horizontal zooming can be performed while the cursor is in the timeline ruler and within the navigation bar above the editor and multitrack frames.  SHIFT+scroll will lock the current zoom size and just pan across the project or file.  Scrolling in Multitrack either adjusts track height (if done within the track panel controls) or pans vertically (if performed within the tracks themselves)  Individual track heights can be adjusted by clicking and dragging in the space between track panel controls.  In addition, we've added additional zoom button controls to allow for vertical zooming without dealing with scroll wheels.


          To adjust what the CTI does on playback stop, option/right-click on the Play button and you can find the toggle preference, as well as a toggle to only play Spectral Selections.  Additionally, the FF/RW buttons have preferences to change playback speed.


          Much of the Analysis information can be found in Window > Amplitude Statistics.  From here you can skip around to clipped samples, although it is unlikely to help you locate those specific samples that approach 0dB.


          For playlist functionality, please take a look at Window > Playlist and let us know if this is along the lines of what you're looking for.  This is similar to the Playlist functionality in Audition 3 and is often used in conjunction with playback systems like SpotOn! and radio scheduling systems.  If there are other features you feel would be important here, please let us know.


          Thanks again.  This was a great review and if I didn't address a concern, it's either because it's a known issue, something we're working on, or I just plain missed it.



          • 2. Re: My thoughts so far (long)
            GaryATR Level 1

            Thanks for the response, I'll need some time to digest it!