Studio Recorder TM

User's Manual
APH logo Studio Recorder logo
Copyright 2000 - 2013
American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.


2013/5/30

Chapter 1: Introduction

Studio Recorder is a powerful digital recording and editing software package geared to making recordings of the spoken word. It includes features not found in audio recording and editing programs primarily designed for music production. Such features include:

Studio Recorder was originally written for internal use at American Printing House for the Blind to serve as a tool for creating direct to digital audio recordings for the National Library Service (NLS). It contains many features that ease the task of recording, editing, and proofreading audio books. It also includes features that simplify the production of analog cassette tapes from the digital master, and it aids in the production of Digital Talking Books.

Audience

Photo of APH narrator reading a book While Studio Recorder was originally written for use by the professional narrator and narration monitor, its simple operation makes it ideal for nearly anyone interested in recording, editing, and producing spoken word audio documents in an efficient manner.

In addition to all of the benefits of digital recording and playback technology common to digital recording software, Studio Recorder provides unique capabilities geared to both spoken word content and, more specifically, recordings intended for distribution on audio cassette or via the World Wide Web. The software supports projects ranging from the quick and simple home recording to the most demanding and professional task.

Photo of APH recording studio

Features such as the intercom mode let recording professionals, who often collaborate from separate booths, communicate through the PC's speakers and sound card. Other features, such as the ability to mark and label points in the recording, make it easy for narrators working on large works to preserve notes about pronunciation and characterization, allowing quick reference to information from past recording sessions. The phrase detection capabilities streamline the process of sifting through cumbersome audio files. Instead of using time as the criterion for navigation, these features let the narrator use content for maneuvering through the audio file in a manner similar to that of moving through text in a word processing program. Studio Recorder also provides advanced capabilities such as punch in/out recording, fade, instantaneous editing, and time-specific alarm tones that assist the user in sizing a document to a cassette tape.

Requirements

About this Manual

This document contains the entire documentation to Studio Recorder. It is current and accurate as of the date of this writing, but there may be updates to this documentation and software at the APH Web site. See www.aph.org/tech.

Organization

This manual is designed to get you started quickly. It begins with a look at opening and navigating through an existing file. Next, it takes you step-by-step through the process of creating and recording a new document. This section discusses basic recording, playback, and navigation functions. Then, the manual familiarizes you with the program's representation of the documents you create and play, and it shows you how to interpret and adjust the display characteristics. Then the discussion graduates to more advanced topics such as the various ways to use the record function and all its permutations, making selections, and cutting, pasting, and copying selected areas of the document. Next, it describes advanced transport functions and functions related to the transport and selections. Finally, the manual explains the special processing capabilities and advanced features of the program.

Contents and Reference

The table of contents is arranged to double as a quick reference to hot keys that perform specific functions in Studio Recorder. While there are often many ways to execute a particular command, the one shown in the contents is the global hot key that is most commonly used. Studio Recorder's hot keys are all compatible with the standard Windows hot keys that work with most Windows programs.

Key Commands

This document uses the "+" to indicate a series of keys that should be pressed together. The notation Alt+F, for example, means to hold down the Alt key, then while that key is still down, press the F key. Once the F is down, release both keys. You should not type the +; it is merely used to show that two or more keys should be pressed together.

Email List

In addition to this documentation for information about Studio Recorder's operation, you may wish to subscribe to the Studio Recorder email list. This list lets you speak to other users and directly to the developers of the product and provides you an opportunity to make suggestions and observations that can help the product improve.

To join the Studio Recorder email list, send an email to studiorecorder-request@freelists.org and put the word subscribe in the subject line of the email.

Audio Product Demonstration

To listen to an audio product demonstration of Studio Recorder, point your media software to www.aph.org/tech/sr_demo.mp3.

How to Install this Software

To install this program, insert the CD into your CD-ROM drive. Within a few seconds, the disc should start spinning and the Setup program should start. If your CD-ROM drive does not automatically start the Setup program, press Ctrl+Esc (or press the Windows key), then press the letter "R" to open the Run dialog. At the Run dialog, type d:\setup and press Enter. You may need to replace the "d:" with the actual letter of your CD-ROM drive. If you don't know the letter of your CD-ROM drive, open the My Computer icon on your desktop, open the CD-ROM drive that contains your program CD, then open the named program Setup.

Once Setup starts, follow the instructions displayed on screen. Before you can proceed with Setup, you must agree to the End User License Agreement. Once the software is installed, you will not need the CD to use the program.

To start the software, find its icon on the desktop, or go to the Start menu and open the Programs folder. Use the arrow keys to find the program's name and press Enter.

Getting Started

Studio Recorder makes it easy to begin recording and editing audio. The program is a standard Windows Multi-Document Interface (MDI) application. This means you may open as many documents as you wish and quickly move from document to document while maintaining your current position in each document.

Image of Studio Recorder Wave View

The program's display is designed to provide all of the critical information you need at a glance. If using the wave view, you see a graphical representation of the sound wave that you may adjust to show as much or as little of the entire file as desired. In the time view, the large time elapsed clock is centered on the screen and provides information about the current position in the current document.

The status bar contains several pieces of information including:

The sections that follow explain how to adjust and set the parameters that relate to these items.

Displayed along with the large Time or Wave display and the status bar is the peak meter. This meter provides information about the strength of your signal. You may read more about its features and characteristics in the Peak Meter section of this manual.

The display is also complemented by the Standard toolbar which contains file and editing commands and the Transport toolbar which provides instant access to transport functions.

Chapter 2: Playing an Existing Document

Once you familiarize yourself with the program's screen layout and status information, you are ready to begin working with existing sounds.

Open File

Image of Studio Recorder File Menu

Before you can work with a document, you must open it.

To open a file, select Open from the File menu (Ctrl+O). When you do, Studio Recorder shows the Open File dialog. This dialog looks like the Open dialog in other Windows programs, but it contains some special features related to sound files.

Auto Preview

Normally, Studio Recorder previews the files in the list as you highlight them. If you prefer not to preview files, uncheck the Auto Preview box in the Open dialog.

Preview: Alt+P

Press the Preview button to preview the file before you open it to hear what the file contains. If you have Auto Preview checked, Studio Recorder automatically previews the file. If you do not have this option checked, you may use the Preview command to listen to a portion of the file on demand before you open it.

Stop Preview: Esc

Press Escape to cancel file preview while a file plays in the preview mode.

Recent Folders

Studio Recorder remembers the locations of recently used files and provides a control to easily reopen their folders. The Recent Folders control lists the last 20 folders you used. To open one of those recently used folders, highlight the folder name, then press Enter.


Basic Transport Functions

Once you open a document, you are ready to work with that document. If you have selected the Remember Place in Files option in the Settings dialog, Studio Recorder returns the caret to where it was when you closed the file. If you select the Auto Play on Open option in the Options menu, Studio Recorder begins playing the document automatically. If neither option is selected, the program makes the beginning of the document the current position, and the transport is in the stop mode. Press Play to begin playing the document.

Image of Studio Recorder Transport Menu

Transport functions such as Play, Record, Stop, and Rewind, function the same as they do on a cassette or CD player. Studio Recorder also supports several transport functions that you will not find on normal consumer playback equipment. These transport functions make editing and playback tasks simple and convenient. You may access all these transport functions from the Transport menu, the Transport toolbar, or by using the shortcut keys.

Play: F5

The Play command (Space or F5) plays the document. The command begins playback at the current position. Playback continues until the end of the document or until you use some other transport function.

Play Looped: Ctrl+Space

The Play Looped command (Ctrl+Space) continuously plays the document. This may be used for projects in which you edit a sound effect or short musical piece designed to be played over and over. The Play Looped command lets you see how your looped effect or short musical piece sounds.

The Play Looped command continues playing the entire document until you stop it with the Stop command or until you use one of the other transport functions.

Stop: F4

The Stop command (Esc or F4) pauses the playback or recording of audio. Press Play to resume playback, or press Record to continue recording at the current position.

Stop at Start: Enter

The Stop at Start command (Enter) stops at your last starting position. This is helpful if you want to return to the place where you last started without having to use the Rewind function to find your place.

Stop All: Shift+Escape

The Stop All command (Shift+Esc) stops all transport functions regardless of the document in use. This is useful in situations where you are playing one document and recording in another. You cannot play more than one document at a time.

Rewind and Forward

As with any audio tool, Studio Recorder provides standard rewind and forward functions. These functions work in one of three ways:

  1. If the transport is stopped when you use the rewind or fast forward commands, Studio Recorder moves the position in the appropriate direction, and the transport remains stopped.
  2. If the transport is playing when you use the rewind or fast forward commands, the program adjusts the position in the appropriate direction, and playback continues at the new position.
  3. If the transport is recording and you use the rewind or fast forward commands, Studio Recorder stops recording, moves the position in the appropriate direction, and begins playing at the new position.

For each of the rewind and forward commands, you may adjust the amount of time the transport moves. See the discussion about Rewind/Forward Time in the Settings dialog of the Options menu.

Rewind and Forward: Left Arrow and Right Arrow

The Rewind command (Left Arrow) moves backward within the document. The default setting is for one second. This setting may be changed.

The Forward command (Right Arrow) moves forward in the document. The default setting is for one second. This setting may be changed.

Alternate Rewind and Forward: Alt+Left Arrow and Alt+Right Arrow

The Alternate Rewind command (Alt+Left Arrow) moves backward more quickly in the document. The default setting is for one minute. This setting may be changed.

The Alternate Forward command (Alt+Right Arrow) moves forward more quickly in the document. The default setting is for one minute. This setting may be changed.

Beginning and End: Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End

The Beginning command (Ctrl+Home) moves you to the beginning of the document.

The End command (Ctrl+End) moves you to the end of the document.

Go To Time

The Go To Time function moves directly to any place in a document.

Select Go to Time from the Transport menu (G) and enter the time to move to a specific time in the document (absolute). You may also enter a specific amount of time proceeded by a +/- in order to go forward or backward the desired measure of time within the document (relative).

In addition to moving to absolute and relative times, Studio Recorder permits moving to a percentage. To move to a percentage, type the number (between 0 and 100) followed by the "%" character.

Note that Studio Recorder provides a shortcut method of entering relative values. The shortcut is to use the - and = keys directly from the document (without first opening the Go To dialog.) When you press - or =, the program opens the Go To dialog, enters a - or a +, and puts your cursor in position to enter the relative value. Notice that you do not use the +, but instead use the = to make entering these values faster.

Entering Time Values

When you enter a time value, you may use several formats. You may either enter the time in seconds, minutes and seconds, or as a combination of hours, minutes, and seconds.

Studio Recorder assumes you mean seconds if you enter a number with no ":", so if you entered 20, the program moves you to the position in the document 20 seconds from the beginning. If there is one ":" in the number, the program assumes minute:second. If the number contains two ":" characters, the program assumes hour:minute:second. Note that for convenience, you can substitute either a space or a ";" for the ":".

In addition to entering time values with the ":" character, you may use the "." character to indicate fractional seconds. This fine resolution may be useful in areas like setting the scrub parameters.

Basic Navigation Functions

Image of Studio Recorder Navigate Menu

The Navigation functions available in Studio Recorder are unique to this program. These functions are specifically designed for high quality spoken word documents, and they operate by detecting phrases. The functions let you navigate between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of the recorded text.

Navigation Settings

The phrase detection works by examining the length of silence between phrases within your recording. In Studio Recorder, pauses of specific lengths are classified under three categories: sentence, paragraph, and section. The program lets you customize each category to represent pauses of different lengths. The Navigation tab in the Settings dialog (on the Options menu) holds the values for these minimum pause times and for the period of time the program searches before determining that no existing pause meets your criteria.

When you use one of the navigation commands, Studio Recorder plays the document at the new phrase boundary if the transport is in play mode, and simply continues to the new phrase without going into play mode if the transport is stopped.

Previous and Next Sentence: Up Arrow and Down Arrow

The Previous Sentence command (Up Arrow) moves you to the previous sentence, and the Next Sentence command (Down Arrow) moves you to the next sentence.

By default, Studio Recorder categorizes a sentence as audio that is preceded with a pause of at least .5 seconds and which does not exceed one minute.

Previous and Next Paragraph: Ctrl+Up Arrow and Ctrl+Down Arrow

The Previous Paragraph command (Ctrl+Up Arrow) moves you to the previous paragraph. The Next Paragraph command (Ctrl+Down Arrow) moves you to the next paragraph.

Studio Recorder categorizes, by default, a paragraph as audio that is preceded with a pause of at least 1 second and which does not exceed 2 minutes.

Previous and Next Section: Alt+Up Arrow and Alt+Down Arrow

The Previous Section (Alt+Up arrow) and Next Section (Alt+Down Arrow) commands move you to a pause in the document that is at least, by default, 1.9 seconds in the indicated direction. If Studio Recorder does not find such a pause for 10 minutes, it moves 10 minutes in the indicated direction.

Close File: Ctrl+F4

Select Close from the File menu or exit the program to close the current document. If you modified the document, Studio Recorder prompts you to save the document before closing the file or exiting the program. Choose No to close the file without saving, or you may choose Cancel to return to the document without saving it. Select Yes to save the file.

If Studio Recorder is working on your document in the background, and you attempt to close the document, it displays the Background Processing dialog. This dialog explains that you cannot close the document while the background processing continues. The dialog gives you two choices about what to do. You may continue to wait until the processing completes, or you may cancel the background processing.

Chapter 3: Making a New Document

Open a New Document

When you start Studio Recorder, it automatically creates a new document. The default name for the new document is Document 1. You may begin recording in this new document, or you may open additional documents from the File menu. To open existing documents, use the Open command (Ctrl+O), or to open new documents, use the New command (Ctrl+N.)

You may switch from document to document with the commands available in the Windows menu or, as with any MDI application, you may use the short cut keys Ctrl+F6 or Ctrl+Tab to move between documents.

View Menu Options

Image of View Menu

The View menu provides options about how you want your documents to appear. You may select toolbars, a time view, or a wave view of your document's data. The View menu also provides options for zooming or magnifying data in the wave view.

Toolbars

Image of Studio Recorder ToolBar

Studio Recorder provides toolbars to help you find and use commands quickly.

Select Standard Toolbar from the View menu to show or hide the Standard toolbar. This toolbar provides quick access to options on the File menu such as New, Open, and Save.

Select Transport Toolbar from the View menu to show or hide the Transport toolbar. The Transport toolbar provides quick access to options found on the Transport menu. Such items include Record, Stop, Rewind, and Forward.

Select Status Bar from the View menu to show or hide the status bar.

Note about toolbars: You can drag floating toolbars anywhere on the screen or dock them to any side of the program window. Double-clicking on any toolbar's free space switches it from being floating or being docked. To keep a toolbar from docking, hold down the Ctrl key while dragging it.

Wave View

Image of Studio Recorder Wave View

Checking the Wave View option on the View menu makes Studio Recorder provide a visual representation of the data in your document. You may find this an exceptionally easy method of editing and manipulating your documents, especially for fine changes. This is the default view.

Once you select the Wave View option, Studio Recorder continues to use the wave view on any new documents you open until you revert to the time view.

If you have the Wave View option selected, Studio Recorder automatically goes into the time view when you begin recording; then it switches back to the wave view when you stop recording.

If your document is stereo, Studio Recorder displays two sound waves that are separated by a horizontal line. One sound wave represents the left channel (on top), and one sound wave represents the right channel (on the bottom). If your document is mono, only one sound wave is displayed, but it will appear twice as tall as each of the two stereo view representations of the sound wave.

More Attributes of the Wave View

In addition to the data itself, the wave view provides several other visual tools to help with editing tasks.

The wave ruler appears at the top of the document window. The ruler shows you the position in the document, expressed as a time value, of the currently displayed data. As the wave scrolls, the ruler also scrolls to show increasing time values. The ruler automatically adjusts itself to show larger or smaller time intervals depending on the zoom settings.

Image of Studio Recorder Wave View with ruler

Below the wave ruler appears the mark bar. This bar displays indicators for different types of marks in the document.

You may control the presence of these attributes with the Wave View page of the Settings dialog.

Customizing Colors in the Wave View

Studio Recorder lets you customize the colors used to display the sound wave. You may change the color of the wave itself, the color of the background, the color of the selection, the color of the selection background, the color of the center line, and the color of the mark line. You may change these settings by choosing the Wave View tab of the Settings dialog.

The Caret

Similar to its function in a word processing document, the caret in Studio Recorder represents the point in your document where any editing changes occur. The caret is represented in the wave view by a blinking line that runs the full height of the document window.

Caret View

There are several ways to move the caret. All of the transport movement commands affect the caret's position and, with one exception, these commands all work exactly the same in either the wave view or the time view. The one exception to this rule is that when the transport is stopped (you are not in play mode), the Right Arrow and Left Arrow keys move by pixel, and the program plays the pixel. (This is called Pixel Scrubbing.) The amount of actual movement through your file depends on how far in or out you select to zoom the view. (See Zoom for more details.) If the transport is in play mode, the extent of movement allowed by the Right Arrow and Left Arrow keys is governed by the amount of time you specify in the General page of the Settings dialog. This is true even if you are using the wave view.

Moving to Another Place in Your Document

In addition to all the methods for moving to another place in your document by using the functions within the Transport menu, the wave view provides two additional ways of getting quickly from one place to another. One way is to simply move the mouse pointer to a position on the sound wave and click. You may also use the scroll bar at the bottom of the wave view to scroll through the entire document.

Other Notes About Movement in the Wave View

While most key commands perform identically within either the time view or wave view, there are a few exceptions. In addition to the fact that the Rewind and Forward commands work differently in the wave view when the transport is stopped, as previously discussed in the Caret section of this manual, the Page Up and Page Down keys act differently in the wave view. These commands move through the document by an amount equal to 10% of what is represented in the document window. The actual amount of the movement depends, of course, on the zoom setting.

Center Caret

It is often desirable to move the caret to the center of the screen so you may see the data immediately before and after the caret. There are several instances when Studio Recorder scrolls the data so the caret is at the center of the document window. Such instances occur when you use the phrase detection commands to navigate your document, when the size of the document window changes, and when you use many of the navigation commands such as the Go To command. You may also use the Center Caret command at any time to scroll the data so the caret is positioned at the center of the document window.

The Center Caret command is unavailable when using the time view.

Selecting with the Mouse

The wave view provides a visual means of selecting a portion of your document. To select a part of the document, move the mouse pointer to the beginning or end of your desired selection, then hold down the left mouse button. To select, drag the mouse in the desired direction. As the caret approaches the edge of the screen, the sound wave begins to scroll to provide a convenient means of making a selection without having to move your hand from the mouse. If the transport is in the play mode, Studio Recorder provides audio feedback about the selection by playing portions of the file as you increase or decrease the selection range.

Clear a Selection

To clear a selection, just double click within the selection.

Select All

To select the entire document, double click outside any existing selection.

Change the Selection

To change an existing selection, move the mouse pointer to either end of the selection. When the pointer changes to the horizontal arrow, left click, and drag the end of the selection to the desired location.

In addition to changing the selection, you may extend it by shift clicking at the desired location. If you shift click and there is no selection, the program selects the portion of the document between the caret and the mouse pointer.

Selecting to the Beginning or End

To select to the beginning or end of the document, follow these steps:

This selects the portion of the document from the mouse pointer to either the beginning or end depending on which direction you moved the mouse.

Dragging the Selection to a New Document

You may drag the selection to an empty part of the Studio Recorder work space. When you do, the program creates a new document containing the selection.

Zoom

Zoom Menu

When using the wave view, the Zoom sub menu becomes available. Its purpose is to let you zoom in to provide either a more detailed picture of your document data or to zoom out for a broader overview of how the sound wave looks. Each time you zoom in, Studio Recorder shows twice the detail but less of the total document. Likewise, each time you zoom out, the program displays half the detail but shows a longer section of the document.

You may use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out in the document. Note this feature works only on systems running Windows 98 or later.

Magnify Up and Down: Shift+F9 and Shift+F10

The magnify commands let you see more detail in lower level signals. The commands make looking at noise, ticks, pops, etc. possible by increasing the amplitude of the displayed peaks.

The Magnify Up command increases the signal by 3 dB each time you use the command.

The Magnify Down command decreases the signal by 3 dB each time you use the command.

Time View

Image of Studio Recorder Time View

The time view is an alternative to the wave view. When you select this option, Studio Recorder replaces the wave view with a large time display centered on the document window. The time display indicates your position in the document.

You may customize the time display's appearance by opening the View menu. The default view displays minutes and seconds. You may also view the hours or fractional seconds by selecting one or both of those options from the View menu while using the time view.

Hours

Select Hours from the View menu to include hours in the time display. If you do not show hours, they will be included in the minutes display.

Fractional Seconds

Select Fractional Seconds from the View menu to include fractional seconds as decimals in the time display.

Peak Meter

Image of Studio Recorder Peak Meter Selecting the Peak Meter option on the View menu makes Studio Recorder display a meter that is helpful for recording and playback tasks.

You may move or resize the peak meter by using the "click and drag" feature of your mouse.

The peak meter can either float or be docked.

The peak meter retains its position from session to session.

The peak meter lets you monitor the levels of incoming and outgoing signals. The incoming signal is represented as the peak amplitude in decibels. The meter helps you maximize dynamic range and avoid distortion.

When recording, the louder parts of the incoming signal should generally stay in the yellow area of the meter. The yellow area covers the range from -10 dB to -4 dB. If the word "clip" appears in either of the peak hold fields, you have exceeded the maximum signal level, and you should record the clipped section again. Note that the word "clip" never appears when playing a document because there is no way to know if the recording is actually clipped or if it is simply at full scale.

The peak meter maintains the largest peak for each channel at the top of the window. This value ranges from -inf. dB (negative infinity) to 0 dB (full scale.)

Reset Peak: R

You may reset the peak hold values on the meter manually by selecting Reset from the View menu or by pressing R. Studio Recorder resets the peak holds when you start the play or record modes.

You may turn off the peak meter by deselecting Peak Meter from the View menu.

Announce Peak Hold: A

You may use the Announce Peak Hold command to make Studio Recorder speak the values of the peak holds with either your JAWS, Window-eyes, NVDA, or System Access screen reader.

Announce Status Bar: S

Pressing the Announce Status command makes Studio Recorder announce each of the paynes in the status bar. Recall that you may configure the information that appears in the status bar.

Basic Transport Functions

Record: F6 or \

The Record command starts recording. The recording overwrites any existing audio at the current position.

If the Pre-Roll Record box in the Advanced dialog is checked, Studio Recorder plays a small portion of the material immediately preceding the caret before recording begins if the transport is in the Stopped mode. If the transport is in Play mode and you press Record, the transport immediately drops into Record mode.

If the Indicate Record State with Sound option in the Advanced tab of the Settings dialog is checked, Studio Recorder plays a short beep when recording starts and another sound when recording stops. This option is turned off by default, because most recording experts do not want the beep sound recorded along with their recorded material. It may, however provide additional confirmation that recording has actually started. Most recording engineers wear a headphone to prevent recording the beep sound, or they may choose to edit out the sound later.

If you are using the wave view, Studio Recorder switches to the time view while the transport is in the record mode. When you stop recording, the program then switches back to the wave view.

Recording with a Selection

If there is a selection in the document, the record command only records over the selection. When you reach the end of the selection, the transport stops. This facilitates making corrections that must fit the exact length of the original material.

Pre/Post-Roll Corrections

The Pre/Post-Roll Corrections command works in combination with the Record command and a selection in the document to make edited material sound as much like the original recording as possible.

If the Pre/Post-Roll Corrections button is activated and you have a selection in the document, Studio Recorder, prior to recording, plays a small portion of the material preceding the selection. This is called a pre-roll, and it is very helpful to gauge timing, inflection, and attributes of the existing recording. The amount of audio you hear depends on how you set the Pre-Roll Time option in the Settings dialog. When you arrive at the beginning of the selection (after the pre roll), recording begins. When you reach the end of the selection, Studio Recorder drops out of recording and plays a portion of the audio following the selection. This is called a post-roll. The amount of time selected for playing the post-roll is set in the Post-Roll Time option in the Settings dialog.

If you do not want to hear a pre-roll and post-roll when you record with a selection, deactivate Pre/Post-Roll Corrections with the Advanced tab of the Settings dialog.

Note About Editing MP3 Files

By default, Studio Recorder opens mp3 files for playback only. If you wish to edit or modify an mp3 file, you must first use the Save As command to create a wave version of that file.

Record Insert: Shift+F6

The Record Insert command (Shift+\ or Shift+F6) begins recording while simultaneously inserting your recording into the document at the current position. This action does not overwrite existing sound.

Record Insert with a Selection

If there is a selection in the document when you use the Record Insert command, Studio Recorder deletes the material in that selection before inserting the new material. This is the most convenient means of replacing a section of the recording where the time is not a critical factor.

Note that Studio Recorder automatically extends or reduces the selection when the new material is inserted. This feature makes it convenient to continue to use the Record Insert command until you are satisfied with the audio quality and location of the new material.

Save File

The Save and Save As commands let you preserve the work you have done. When you are satisfied with the new recording or the editing you have completed on an existing file, use one of these commands to preserve your work.

The first time you use the Save command with a new document, Studio Recorder displays the Save As dialog and prompts you to give the document a file name. This name is how you refer to the document in the future. Once a document is named, you may use the Save command to preserve your work without further prompting. If you want to give your document a different name, use the Save As command, and Studio Recorder will prompt you for a new name.

Saving may involve a large amount of information and may take a significant amount of time. When Studio Recorder completes the save operation, it plays a short tone to alert you that the operation is complete. The tone the program plays is Audio Cue 0.

Save Selection: Ctrl+Shift+S

The Save Selection command saves the part of your document that is selected. This is a convenient means of saving a part of a file without having to create a new document, paste the selection into that document, then save than new document.

If the document is stereo, both channels must be selected for this command to be available.

Save All

The Save All command acts like the Save command. It commits your work to disc--but it automatically saves all the documents you have modified since the last save.

If you have not named a document when you use the Save All command, the Save As dialog appears and prompts you for the file name to use for that document.

Chapter 4: Modifying an Existing Document

Once you know how to create new documents and open existing documents, you'll use the commands and techniques in this section to edit those documents.

Edit Functions

The Edit menu contains most of the functions you need to edit your document.

Image of Studio Recorder Edit Menu

Selection

Selecting data is the first step in most editing processes. You select data by indicating a beginning and end position. The selection is the range of material between the beginning and end point.

After you select data, you may cut, copy, paste, and more.

Start Selection: [

The Start Selection command ([) marks the beginning of the selection. If you already have a selection, this command changes the start of the selection. If you set the start to a point after the end of the selection, Studio Recorder beeps and resets the selection to begin at the current position and continue through the end of the document just as if you had no selection at all when you issued the command.

When you press the Start Selection command, Studio Recorder automatically selects from your current point to the end selection point or to the end of the document if you have not already set an end selection point. To set the end of the selection, use the End Selection command.

End Selection: ]

The End Selection command (]) marks the end of the selection. If you already have a selection, this command changes the end of the selection. If you set the end to a point before the beginning of the selection, Studio Recorder beeps and resets the selection to end at the current position and start at the beginning of the document just as if you had no selection at all when you issued the command.

Set Selection: Ctrl+E

The Set Selection command (Ctrl+E) lets you specify times for the start, end, and/or length of the selection. Studio Recorder provides the current time as defaults for both start and end times and 0 for the length if there is not already a selection. If there is already a selection, Studio Recorder shows the current values for that selection as defaults for each of the fields.

Channel Selections

The channel selection commands let you select either the left or right channel or both channels. These commands work with a stereo document that already has a selection set. Once the selection is set, you may use these commands to work with the left, right, or both channels.

Once you use one of the channel selection commands, the Start Selection and End Selection commands work only with the selected channel. Use the Both Channels command to return to working with both channels of a stereo document.

Select All: Ctrl+A

The Select All command (Ctrl+A) selects the entire document.

Clear Selection: C

The Clear Selection command (C) clears the selection.

Recall Selection: Shift+C

The Recall Selection command (Shift+C) recovers a cleared selection and sets the current position to the beginning of the selection.

Selecting with Navigation Commands

In addition to using the mouse and the Start Selection and End Selection commands, you may hold down the shift key while using navigation commands to select material as you move through it much like you would in a word processing program.

Existing Selections

If you use the shift+navigation key method of selecting data and you have an existing selection, that selection gets extended or reduced if you move from within your original selection. If, on the other hand, you make the new selection completely outside the old selection, the old selection gets thrown away, and your new selection becomes the entire selection.

Clipboard

The clipboard is an area in the program used to hold temporary data. When you use the Copy, Cut, and Paste commands, Studio Recorder places data on or copies data from its clipboard. Note that Studio Recorder's clipboard is independent of the Windows clipboard.

Cut: Ctrl+X

The Cut command (Ctrl+X) cuts the selection and puts it on the clipboard. Cutting sound data replaces the previous contents of the clipboard.

Copy: Ctrl+C

The Copy command (Ctrl+C) copies the selection to the clipboard. Copying sound data replaces the previous contents of the clipboard.

Paste: Ctrl+V

The Paste command (Ctrl+V) inserts the clipboard contents into the document at the current position. If there is a selection made, the Paste command deletes the selected data before inserting (paste over).

Insert File: Ctrl+I

The Insert File command (on the File menu) inserts a file from disc into the current document at the current position.

Paste to New Document: Ctrl+D

The Paste to New Document command (Ctrl+D) pastes the clipboard contents into a new document.

Delete: Del

The Delete command (Del) deletes the selection without copying it to the clipboard.

Cross Fade Delete: Shift+Del

The Cross Fade Delete command

The Cross Fade Delete command works like the delete command with an additional twist. When the command finishes deleting the material, it cross fades the edges of the remaining material. You may specify the type of fade and the times the command uses on each edge of the remaining data in the Fade section of the Settings dialog.

This command is useful to eliminate pops and other abrupt sound changes between where the deletion started and where it ends. This is usually not necessary in a very quiet studio environment, but it will not hurt either.

Note that this command actually deletes a little more material than what is selected because of the cross fade process. For example, if you have the Cross Fade Delete Time set to 10 MS, and you selected 1 second of material, the net deletion will be 1.01 seconds long.

Delete to Beginning

The Delete to Beginning command deletes all material between the current location and the beginning of the document.

Delete to End

The Delete to End command deletes all material between the current location and the end of the document.

Trim Silence

The Trim Edges command

The Trim Silence command trims silence from both edges of the document. You may specify the threshold where deletion should stop and an optional fade time to apply to the remaining material.

Trim

The Trim command deletes all data from the document that is outside the selection.

Clear Clipboard

The Clear Clipboard command clears all data from the clipboard. You might want to do this if you are running low on disk space.

Undo: Ctrl+Z

The Undo command (Ctrl+Z) reverses the last action performed. This command may be used if you are not satisfied with the results of an action or if you make a mistake. For example, if you deleted a section of data by accident, simply choose the Undo command from the Edit menu to restore the data.

Studio Recorder remembers the command you last used and displays the name of that command as part of the Undo command's name in the menu.

Redo

The Redo command restores the current document to the state in which it was before you last used the Undo command. In other words, this command undoes the last Undo. This is useful if you accidentally use the Undo command.

Undo All

The Undo All command reverses all of the changes made to the document since it was opened. Undo All returns your file to its original state even after you use the Save command.

Redo All

Redo All redoes all actions that were undone since the last editing action.

Advanced Transport Functions

Scrubbing

Scrubbing refers to a feature that makes it easy to perform detailed editing jobs. Here is how it works:

When you use the scrub commands, Scrub Back (Ctrl+Left Arrow) to scrub backward or Scrub Forward (Ctrl+Right Arrow) to scrub forward, Studio Recorder moves you a very small distance in the direction of the scrub. The program then plays a small portion of the document at the new position. By default, the program also loops the playback as long as you hold down the Control key. The amount of movement and the amount of time that the program plays back from the new position are both adjustable. To adjust these settings, specify the Scrub Move Time and the Scrub Play Time options in the General tab of the Settings dialog in the Options menu. The Loop Scrubs option in the Advanced tab controls whether or not scrub segments are looped.

Pixel Scrubbing

In addition to the normal scrubbing functions, Studio Recorder supports Pixel Scrubbing. Pixel scrubbing works in the Wave view when the transport is stopped. When you use the Left and Right arrow keys, the program plays the sound represented by the pixel under the caret. The distance moved and the amount played is controlled by the Zoom In and Zoom Out commands, so the further you zoom out, the more you move and the more you hear.

There is a menu item in the Options menu which controls whether the playing of pixels is looped. If this item is checked, pixels are looped until another transport function (such as stop) is used.

The looping feature is automatically disabled if you zoom in far enough that the sound that would be played would be short enough or at a high enough frequency to be meaningless. This is done in an attempt to avoid very high frequency signals from being generated while looping. High frequency signals could damage hearing or equipment.

Selection Transport Functions

Image of Studio Recorder Selection Transport Functions

The Selection sub menu on the Transport menu provides functions for working with a selection.

Play Selection: Shift+Space

The Play Selection command (Shift+Space) plays the selection.

Loop Selection: Ctrl+Shift+Space

The Loop Selection command (Ctrl+Shift+Space) plays the selection repeatedly.

Beginning and End of Selection: Ctrl+[ and Ctrl+]

The Beginning of Selection command (Ctrl+[) moves to the beginning of the selection.

The End of Selection command (Ctrl+]) moves to the end of the selection.

Pre/Post Roll Transport Functions

Image of Studio Recorder Pre/Post-Roll sub menu

The Pre/Post-Roll sub menu on the Transport menu lets you play a small portion of your document just before or after the current position. This does not change your position in the document. The exact amount of time the function plays depends on the settings you specify in the Pre-Roll Time and Post-Roll Time options of the Settings dialog's General tab.

Pre-Roll: ,

The Pre-roll command plays a short segment before the current position.

Post-Roll: .

The Post-roll command plays a short segment after the current position.

Pre/Post-Roll: /

The Pre/Post-roll command (/) plays a short segment before and after the current position.

Special Menu Functions

Image of Studio Recorder Special Menu

The Special menu provides functions for various tasks related to tones and marks.

Tones

Index tones are used to help the listener of an audio cassette tape quickly move to relevant sections of the tape. They work in cassette players that provide chatter feedback when the rewind and forward functions are used by leaving the playback head partially engaged.

The index tone is a seven second 50 Hz sine wave with peak amplitude of -26 dB.

When playing the tape, the index tone is largely unnoticeable, but when played back at the speeds of the rewind and forward functions, the sound is perceived as a short beep.

Studio Recorder features several commands and functions that make creating, editing, and removing index tones simple and convenient.

The first thing to note about using Studio Recorder to create index tones is that you should use the Place Tone command at the point in the material where you actually want the tone to end, because Studio Recorder automatically backs up the seven seconds and establishes the beginning of the tone at that point. This may be a difficult concept for those narrators who use analog equipment and must guess at where to start the seven-second tone so that it ends in the proper place. Moreover, index tones can only be used in documents that contain 16-bit PCM data.

Place Tone: T

The Place Tone command (T) places an index tone in the document ending at the current position. The Place Tone command can be used while in the play, record, or stop mode.

You cannot place an index tone within 10 seconds of another index tone, nor can you place an index tone within the first seven seconds of the beginning of a document.

Remove Tone: Shift+T

The Remove Tone command (Shift+T) removes the index tone at the current position. The tone is removed cleanly, unless clipping occurred when the tone was originally placed.

The Remove Tone command works from anywhere inside the seven-second tone, and can be used from the stop or play modes.

Remove All Tones

The Remove All Tones command removes all tones in the document.

Move to Next Tone and Previous Tone: Alt+Page Down and Alt+Page Up

The Next Tone command (Alt+Page Down) moves you to the next tone in the document, and the Previous Tone command (Alt+Page Up) moves you to the previous tone in the document. The position corresponds exactly with where the tone was placed (at the end of the seven seconds.) These two commands are located on the Navigate menu instead of the Special menu because they are used to navigate to these special places in the document.

If the transport is playing when you use the command, Studio Recorder resumes play at the new position. If the transport is stopped, the program moves your current position to the next or previous tone and the transport remains stopped.

Tone Sounds

Normally, Studio Recorder provides audible feedback when you add or remove tones or when an error occurs while adding or removing a tone. The General tab of the Settings dialog provides a setting that lets you change this response so you receive an error message instead of the audible feedback.

Marks

You use marks to place a reference to a point in the document that you may refer to later. The reasons for referring to a marked position vary depending on your task or the kind of material you record. These reasons include tasks to help the narrator and tasks to aid in the production of DAISY Digital Talking Books. Narration mark aids include:

The marks that aid in the production of DAISY Digital Talking Books include:

Studio Recorder provides commands that establish marks, clear marks, move to marks, and name marks in your document.

Kinds of Marks

Studio Recorder helps make marks as flexible as possible by providing several kinds of marks. The program uses standard audio marks that you may find in any audio editing program and it supports custom marks that you may use in the process of creating Daisy Digital Talking Books with the aid of Book Wizard Producer, another program from American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. Custom marks are regular audio marks that contain special meaning to Studio Recorder. Book Wizard uses these marks for navigation and Studio Recorder uses them for helping narrators keep notes about the material.

Marks maintain their position in your document, even when you insert or delete material around them. However, if you delete a section of material that contains one or more marks, those marks get deleted as well. Recording over existing marks also erases those marks.

Marks may be used only in documents containing PCM data.

Mark Representation

While using the wave view, Studio Recorder indicates the presents of a mark in two ways. First, it draws a dashed vertical line in the wave view at the location of the mark. (You may change the color of this line in the Wave View tab of the settings dialog.) Secondly, Studio Recorder places an indicator representing the mark in the mark bar.

The Mark Bar

The mark bar runs horizontally along the top of the wave view and displays indicators for all of the mark types used by Studio Recorder. The mark bar also enables basic manipulation of marks. The indicators used by the mark bar are as follows:

Image of Studio Recorder Marks
X generic mark
1custom 1
2custom 2
3custom 3
4custom 4
5custom 5
6custom 6
7custom 7
8custom 8
9custom 9
0custom 10
Ccorrection
Nnote
Rnote reference


Moving Marks

To move a mark, left-click its indicator in the mark bar, and drag the mark to the desired location.

Contextual Mark Commands

In addition to moving marks, you may also perform operations on a mark by right-clicking its indicator and selecting a command from the shortcut menu that appears.

The mark bar shortcut menu contains the following commands:

Mark Precedents

Because two marks of different types may share the same location, or many marks may be placed close together, the mark bar uses a simple rule of precedents to determine the actual indicator that gets displayed. Custom mark 1 has the highest precedents, followed by the rest of the custom mark types (2 through 10.) Finally, the generic mark has the lowest precedents.

Set Mark: M

The Set Mark command (M) places a generic mark at the current position.

Studio Recorder allows only one mark of the same type at a particular position. If you attempt to set another generic mark at a position where a generic mark already exists, the program does not create an additional mark and makes a noise to indicate the failure to create a mark. You may, however, set a custom mark where a generic mark already exists, or you may set a generic mark where any of the 10 custom marks already exist.

Set Custom Mark: 1-0

Pressing a number key places a custom mark at the current position in your document. You may use custom marks categorized by number. Use the numbers at the top of the keyboard to place any of 10 categories of custom marks. You may use F7, I, or O to place marks for corrections, notes, and noterefs.

Clear Mark: Shift+M

The Clear Generic Mark command (Shift+M) clears the generic mark at the current position.

Clear Custom Mark

The Clear Custom Mark command clears the custom mark at the current position. You may also use Shift plus the custom mark number to clear a mark at the current position.

Name Mark: N

The Name Mark command (N) names the mark at the current position. When you use the Name Mark command, Studio Recorder presents a dialog that lets you type the name you wish. This name appears on the status bar when you stop on that mark. This name also appears when you choose the Show Marks dialog from the Special menu.

Clear All Marks

The Clear All Marks command opens a sub menu that lets you decide what kinds of marks to clear. You may clear generic marks, custom marks, or all marks from this sub menu.

Show Marks: H

The Show Marks command (H) shows all marks in a lis t. This dialog lets you name the marks, edit the names, and move directly to any mark in the list. The status bar at the bottom of the dialog tells you the number of the mark you are on and how many marks of the selected type exist in the document.

Each mark in the Show Marks dialog has either a real or temporary name. If the name is temporary, the program shows that name enclosed in brackets and labels it with a name like "Generic X," where X is the sequential number of all unnamed marks of the current type in the document.

To change the name of a mark in the list, select the mark and type the new name in the edit field below the list of marks.

Tighten Mark: Ctrl+K

The Tighten Mark and Tighten Marks commands help put marks as close to phrases as possible. Experimentation at American Printing House for the Blind (APH) shows that it is very difficult for a human to get marks within the 100 ms time slice as required by the National Library Service (NLS) for the production of Digital Talking Books as outlined in the specifications for the NISO z3986 Digital Talking Book.

When you use the Tighten Mark command, Studio Recorder checks to see how close the mark is to the start of the next phrase. If there is room between the mark and the next phrase, the program moves the mark up to the start of the phrase. Conversely, if the mark is found to be just inside the start of a phrase, Studio Recorder moves the mark back to the beginning of the phrase. While this command can be very helpful, it is important to be sure it is doing what you intend. For this command to work properly, the phrase parameters should be set appropriately for the current document. You may want to issue the Calibrate Phrase Parameters command before attempting to tighten marks, or be sure that the default noise threshold is set properly for the kind of recordings you normally produce.

Tighten Marks

The Tighten Marks command works like the Tighten Mark command with the addition of a dialog that lets you select which kinds of marks to tighten. The program remembers which kinds of marks you last tightened and leaves those marks selected for the next time you use the command.

In addition to selecting the kinds of marks to tighten, the dialog offers an "All" button that makes the software tighten all marks of any type. This command searches through either the entire document or the current selection for the selected marks. When the program finds a mark, it uses the techniques outlined in the previous section to tighten that mark.

Previous and Next Mark: Ctrl+Page Up and Ctrl+Page Down

The Previous Mark and Next Mark commands are located on the Navigate menu instead of the Special menu because they are used to navigate to specific places in the document.

The Previous Mark command (Ctrl+Page Up) moves you to the previous mark.

The Next Mark command (Ctrl+Page Down) moves you to the next mark.

You may set what kinds of marks these commands use to determine the next and previous mark with the Mark Navigation Filter dialog.

Mark Navigation Filter

The Mark Navigation Filter command on the Options menu shows a dialog that lets you control how the Next Mark and Previous Mark commands work. When you select this command, Studio Recorder shows the Select Mark Types dialog.

The Select Mark Types dialog contains a check box for each mark type and an All button to select all mark types. Use the check boxes to check each kind of mark you wish to use for navigation purposes.

Previous and Next Custom Mark: Shift+Ctrl+1-0 and Ctrl+1-0

You may move directly to the previous or next custom mark by pressing the mark's number along with the shift and control keys (to move back) or the control key (to move forward) to the next mark of that type. So, to move back to the previous custom mark 1, press shift+ctrl+1, and to move forward to the next one, press Ctrl+1.

Bleep: B

The bleep option in the Special menu replaces the selection with a bleep sound. This is often used for such jobs as obliterating objectional utterances for the target audience.

The level of the tone used for the bleep is determined by the level of the selected material.

Process Menu Functions

Image of Process Menu

The Process menu offers a range of tools used to process existing sound.

Insert Silence

The Insert Silence command inserts the length of silence you specify into the document .

Normalize

The Normalize command

The Normalize command changes the volume level of the document so that its largest peak is equal to the normalize value. The Normalize command respects tones, so if your document contains one or more tones, the value of those tones remains constant while the rest of the document gets normalized.

When you use the Normalize command, Studio Recorder displays the Normalize To dialog where you may specify the normalize value. The default normalize value is 0 dB, and this is the value you usually want to use. This means that the value of the largest sample in the document will be at full scale once the command is issued.

Normalize To

You may use the dialog's slider control to set the value, or you may type the value in the edit box. Normalizing to the value 0 dB makes the file as loud as possible without clipping.

You may use values greater than 0 as long as you realize that some peaks will clip if you do not check the Use Compression button when you use the Normalize command with such a value. Studio Recorder displays a dialog that shows you how many samples actually clipped for any particular normalize value. If the number of clipped samples is too great, you may wish to use the Undo command to revert back to a version of the document before you used the Normalize command.

Use Dynamic Compression if Signal Clips

If you check this box, Studio Recorder prevents signals from clipping. This lets you raise the level of the low parts of the document without causing the higher values to go beyond their range.

Ramp Time (in MS)

The Ramp Time parameter lets you decide how long Studio Recorder should take to smooth off sudden changes in the signal level. So, if you specify 10 MS as the ramp time, the program uses 10 MS as the time to look ahead. If it sees the signal will clip in that time, it begins dropping the Normalize To value over that amount of time. Conversely, this time is used to raise the Normalize To value after the peak passes.

Normalize Reference

When you normalize a document, there must be a reference. That reference may be either peak level or RMS level.

Use Last Determined Scale

After you use the Normalize command once during a session, this check box becomes available. When checked, this control instructs the Normalize function to use the previous scale as its scaling factor. This becomes important when you want to normalize several documents by the same scaling factor.

Notes

Change Volume

The Change Volume command

The Change Volume command increases or decreases the volume of the document by a specified dB level. The change respects tones, so as you increase or decrease the volume of the document, the level of the tones remains constant.

When you use the Change Volume command, Studio Recorder shows the Change Volume dialog where you may either use the slider to select a value or type the desired value of the volume change into the dialog's edit box. You may also elect to use dynamic compression to prevent any clipped samples, and you may specify the amount of time to ramp the volume down and back up to avoid clipping samples (the compression ramp time.)

If you increase the volume to a point that clipping occurs and you do not have the Dynamic Compression option enabled, the program shows a dialog with the number of clipped samples.

Fade-in and Fade-out

The Fade In and Fade Out commands gradually modulate the volume of a selection. If the selection contains one or more index tones, Studio Recorder removes those tones.

The Fade Out command fades out the selection from 0 dB to -Inf. dB.

The Fade In command fades in the selection from -Inf. dB to 0 dB.

Dip/Rise: D

The Dip Rise command

The Dip Rise command lets you create a simple volume curve on the selection using two points. These points indicate where to raise or lower the volume.

The points are specified as a percentage, and the levels are specified in dB. You may also select the fade type.

This command controls the fade time and amount of volume change by changing the volume from 0 dB at the beginning of the selection to the specified level at the first point, changing the volume to the level specified at the second point, then changing the volume back to 0 dB by the time the sound reaches the end of the selection.

Imagine you had a selection that has a sound 10 dB too high at 25% of the file and the extreme sound lasts for about 50% of the file. To lower the volume for that extreme sound, use 25% as the value of the first point and -10 dB as the level to achieve. Now, use 75% as the value of the second point and -10 dB again as the level to achieve. This would make Studio Recorder start fading down the volume from 0 dB to -10 dB over the course of the first 25% of the selection, remain at -10 dB until 75% of the selection, then gradually rise back to 0 dB by the end of the selection.

Note: the first point cannot exceed the second point, and points must range between 0 and 100%, and they may be fractional.

Cross Fade: F

The Cross Fade command fades and/or mixes the material on either side of the cursor. When you use this command, Studio Recorder displays a dialog that asks for the amount of time for the mix and lets you optionally fade material on either side of the cursor.

Time of Cross Fade/Mix

The Time of Cross Fade/Mix control specifies the amount of time on either side of the caret that gets mixed. This is also the net amount of time that gets deleted from the document, because the parts are combined and mixed.

Fade Out Data Left of Cursor

Checking this control instructs Studio Recorder to fade the data left of the cursor. The fade out that the program uses is a fade type you specify in the Fade tab of the Settings dialog.

Fade in Data Right of Cursor

Checking this control specifies that you wish to fade in the data right of the cursor. The fade in that the program uses is a fade of the type specified in the Fade tab of the Settings dialog.

Mute: U

The Mute command mutes the selection. When a selection is muted, Studio Recorder replaces the recorded material with silence.

Reverse

The Reverse command changes your data so that it plays backwards.

Swap Channels

The Swap Channels command swaps the channels of a stereo document so the left channel becomes the right channel and the right channel becomes the left channel. This command may be useful if you record a file with the channels reversed.

Compress Time

The Compress Time command

The Compress Time command lets you change the time of a file without changing the pitch. This command is similar to the Increase Rate command in the Playback menu. The difference is that when you use the Compress Time command, changes are actually made to the document rather than just the playback of the document.

When you use this command, Studio Recorder displays a dialog to get information about how much you wish to compress time.

New Length

The New Length field lets you specify the preferred length of the document once the compression has taken place. This value may range from 1/3 of the current document length to just under the current length of the document.

Percent of Original

The Percent of Original is an alternate way of expressing how you wish the time to be compressed. It ranges from 33 to 99 percent.

When you change one of the values in this dialog, the other value also changes to reflect your input.

Compress Pauses

Studio Recorder's Compress Pauses command lets you trim space from a recording without affecting the intelligibility of that recording. The command works by removing silence from the recording.

When you use the Compress Pauses command, the software displays a dialog to gather information about how much you wish to compress.

Compress Pauses by (1-100%)

The Compress Pauses by field lets you specify how much of the original pause you wish to eliminate. Enter a percentage value to remove that much silence from each pause.

Ignore Pauses Less Than:

The Ignore Pauses Less Than field lets you inform Studio Recorder about the minimum length of pause to compress. The default value is 250 MS. If the software sees a pause with a shorter duration than 250 MS, that pause gets left alone.

Threshold

Studio Recorder uses the Threshold to descriminate between content and silence.

Adjust this parameter to finetune the program's ability to identify pauses given your specific recording

If this parameter is set too high, the program cuts content, especially words that begin softly such as words that start with the letter F. If it is set too low, the program does nothing.

Fade Edges at Deletion Points

When this box is checked, Studio Recorder fades the edges of the remaining material. This procedure helps make a more natural sounding deletion from the recording.

Length of Fade

By default, Studio Recorder uses 50 MS as the value of the length of the fade. This means that the software tries to match the two edges, and it uses 50 MS duration in which to accomplish this task.

Resample

The resample command changes the wave data to play properly at a different sample rate. This command is useful when you require a specific sample rate for a specific application. Creating a audio CD is an example of a task that requires a specific sample rate. Audio CD data, for example, should always be prepared at 44,100 Hz, 16-bit, stereo.

Note that Studio Recorder automatically resamples when inserting or pasting. The program always resamples the source material to match the document's sample rate. This may take some time, and if you notice a delay, look at the program's status line to determine if the software has to perform this resampling.

Change Pitch

The change pitch command modifies the pitch of the document or a selection. This command can be used, for example, to restore recorded material to its original pitch, assuming the original pitch can be determined.

Note that this command removes all index tones in its path.

The Change Pitch dialog contains two edit boxes where you specify the pitch change relative to the current pitch. The first box contains the number of semitones to deflect the current pitch, and the second box contains the number of cents. A semitone is one note of the twelve-tone musical scale, and a cent is 1 / 100 of a semitone. This gives you very fine control of the pitch change. Use posative values to increase the pitch, and negative values to decrease the pitch.

Note that changing the pitch also changes the time of the modified material.

There is one more control in the dialog, the quality box. Using a higher quality setting takes longer, but uses a better resampling process for the pitch change. These quality settings are the same as the ones found in the Resample dialog.

The Tools Menu

Measurements: Ctrl+U

The Measurements command is used to determine level information for the entire document or a selection. This command scans all data in question, and displays information about what it finds. Information includes the negative and positive peak level, the average level, and the RMS (root mean square) level.

Negative Peak Level

The negative peak level is the value of the sample with the largest negative amplitude. When using 16-bit PCM data, the largest negative amplitude possible is -32,768, which is 0 dB.

Positive Peak Level

The positive peak level is the value of the sample with the largest positive amplitude. When using 16-bit PCM data, the largest possible sample value is 32,767, which is also 0 dB.

Average Level

The average level is the average of all samples measured. This level should normally be close to 0, since wave forms oscillate between positive and negative values. If this level is consistently large with your own recordings, your sound card is probably biasing data toward positive or negative values. Such a bias is called a DC offset.

RMS Level

The RMS level offers an idea of how loud a document or selection sounds. For example, you may have a recording containing samples which reach the minimum and maximum peak values, but it may sound low when played back, because the peaks are extreme. Typical RMS levels of a recording of the spoken word, without using any equipment which alters the level of the signal, are generally around -20 dB or lower. RMS levels of most popular music, however, are typically -12 DB or higher, because lots of dynamic compression is used to make the music sound loud.

Notes About Measurements

Sum All Windows

This command adds the total times of all open document windows and displays the result. This command is useful in a multi-file project when total running time is a concern.

Calibrate Phrase Parameters: P

The Calibrate Phrase Parameters command helps you determine appropriate values for phrase detection by examining the current position in your document. The command looks for pauses in the narration and divides them into the three phrase categories--section, paragraph, and sentence. It takes the longest pauses it finds and assigns the length of those pauses to the section category. Likewise, it takes the middle length pauses and calls them paragraphs. Finally, it takes the shortest pauses and calls them sentences. This helps you Taylor the phrase detection parameters to a specific narrator. For the most accurate results, the narrator should use consistent pause times for each kind of phrase.

In addition to grouping pauses into three categories, the command sets the noise threshold parameter. The noise threshold parameter value is the point at which the program distinguishes between silence and non-silence. This is important when the background noise level is relatively high. This may be particularly useful when recording from tape or when the narrator uses a less than optimum microphone or when there is fan noise in the room.

This command examines ten minutes of data, or if there is a selection, it uses the selection as the amount of data to examine. It is important to keep in mind that the narrator's presentation may change in different parts of the document, so you may wish to use this command several times in the document, especially if you work with material that may contain a wide variety of narration styles or content changes.

The parameters this command uses are temporary and cannot be saved. If you close the current document then reopen it, the phrase detection parameters revert back to the defaults.

Default Phrase Parameters: Shift+P

The Default Phrase Parameters command resets the phrase detection parameters for the current document back to the values set in the Navigation tab of the Settings dialog.

Find Previous and Next Highest Peak: < and >

These commands find the highest peak in the specified direction between the current position and the beginning or end of the document or selection. If you use one of these commands outside the selection, the command respects the beginning or end of the selection if you indicate that direction. If, however, you are before the beginning of the selection and use the Find Previous Highest Peak command, the command has no effect. Similarly, if the current position is past the end of the selection, you may not use the Find Next Highest Peak command.

Generate Click Track

The Generate Click Track command

The Generate Click Track command inserts a metronome-like rhythm into the document at the current position. A click track is used to keep time when recording music.

When you select this command, a dialog opens which asks for parameters necessary for generating the click track. The dialog contains the following items:

Beats Per Minute

This field controls the number of clicks which occur in one minute. The default is 120, or 2 beats per second. If you are not sure of the beats per minute you require, you can tap out a rhythm with the shift key. Press the shift key at least 5 times when tapping out a rhythm to get a accurate reading.

Number of Measures

This field specifies the number of measures in the track. You may want to leave this value relatively short if you plan to audition the click track before deciding on your final settings.

Beats Per Measure

This field specifies the number of beats per measure.

Downbeat Frequency

This field specifies the frequency of the first beat in every measure. The default is 900 Hz, but you may prefer a different frequency, depending on the material you are recording.

Other Beat Frequency

This field specifies the frequency of the beats in the measure which are not the downbeat. The default is 600 Hz.

Level

The level field lets you specify the peak level, in decibels, of the click track. If you plan to mix the click track into your project while working, you might try a level between -10 dB and -15dB.

Brightness

The brightness slider controls the timbre of the click track. Move the slider to the right to make the track brighter. Brighter instruments, like drums and cymbals, generally require a brighter click track.

Restore Defaults

Press this button to return all values to their defaults.

Batch Encoder

Studio Recorder's Batch Encoder compresses all open files into mp3. It is a quick and convenient way to encode a group of files all at once.

To use the batch encoder, open all the files you wish to encode and select Batch Encoder from the Tools menu. Studio Recorder responds with a dialog that lets you specify the folder where you wish to store the newly encoded files, set encoding parameters, and select weather or not to overwrite existing files.

Once you set these options and select OK, Studio Recorder begins processing all open files in the background, so you may continue to work with the open files normally. It reports the progress of the batch encoding in the Background Progress portion of the status bar.

The batch encoder may skip files for the following reasons:

If Studio Recorder skips any files during the background processing, it displays a dialog indicating the number of files skipped.

Chapter 5: Additional Options and Settings

The Options Menu

Image of Studio Recorder Options Menu

Playback Functions

Studio Recorder lets you adjust the volume, rate, and pitch as you listen to a document. The options are as follows:

Increase and Decrease Volume: F2 and Shift+F2

The Increase Volume command increases the playback volume.

The Decrease Volume command decreases the playback volume.

Restore Volume: Ctrl+F2

The Restore Volume command resets the volume to unmodified (100 percent.) Note that increasing the volume above 100 percent can cause distortion in playback.

Increase and Decrease Rate: F3 and Shift+F3

The Increase Rate command increases the playback rate without changing the pitch.

The Decrease Rate command decreases the playback rate without changing the pitch.

Restore Rate: Ctrl+F3

The Restore Rate command restores the rate to that at which the audio was originally recorded.

Increase and Decrease Pitch: F8 and Shift+F8

The Increase Pitch command increases the playback pitch similar to speeding up a tape recorder.

The Decrease Pitch command decreases the playback pitch similar to slowing down a tape recorder.

Restore Pitch: Ctrl+F8

The Restore Pitch command restores the pitch to that at which it was originally recorded.

Toggle Pitch: F8

The Toggle Pitch command lets you switch between the last pitch setting and no pitch change. It makes it easy to set a pitch value then quickly switch between using and not using that value.

Limitations

Note that the volume commands only work with uncompressed PCM files or MP3 files.

Toggles

The Toggles command enables transport toggles. When transport toggles are enabled, the Play, Record, and Stop at Start functions perform differently. The Play command toggles between Play and Stop, the Record command toggles between Record and Play, and the Stop at Start function toggles between Play and Stop. If this option is not selected, the Record command only initiates recording, and the Play command only initiates playing. Thus, you must use the Stop or Stop at Start command to stop either function if the Toggles setting is unselected.

Auto Rewind

The Auto Rewind command resets the position of the caret to the beginning of the document when playback reaches the end of the document. This is helpful when editing very small files, such as sound effects.

Auto Play on Open

The Auto Play On Open command makes Studio Recorder enter play mode automatically when you open a document.

Auto Play on Navigation

The Auto Play On Navigation command makes Studio Recorder begin playing automatically after you use one of the following commands:

Auto Play on Window Change

The Auto Play on Window Change command makes Studio Recorder begin playing when you switch between open documents or when you open a new document.

Loop Pixels: Shift+X

When this item is checked, the program repeats the segment of the file under the caret when you use the left and right arrow keys in the wave view. See Pixel Scrubbing for more details.

Default Wave Format

The Default Wave Format command lets you select the parameters used when creating a new document. You may also set a new document's format with the Select Format command on the File menu.

Default MP3 Encoder Parameters

This command lets you select the default parameters when encoding mp3 files.

Select Wave Devices

The Select Wave Devices command selects which sound cards (or channel groups on sound cards with more than two channels) the program uses for playing and recording. If you select Microsoft Sound Mapper, Windows selects the sound card used based on the settings you choose in the Control Panel under Multimedia. You must select the Microsoft Sound Mapper option as the play device to play a .wav file that uses a compressed format other than MP3. You may also need to select this option when using the Increase Pitch and Decrease Pitch commands in the Playback menu.

General Settings

Image of Studio Recorder Settings,General Dialog

The General tab of the Settings dialog controls the following settings:

Rewind/Forward Time

Rewind/Forward Time controls the length in seconds of one press of the rewind or forward command. The default is 1 second.

Alternate Rewind/Forward

Alternate Rewind/Forward Time controls the length in seconds of one press of the alternate rewind or alternate forward command. The default is 1 minute.

Scrub Move Time

Scrub Move Time controls the distance moved by the Scrub Forward and Scrub Back commands. The default is 0.03 seconds.

Scrub Play Time

Scrub Play Time controls the duration of audio played when using the Scrub commands. The default is 0.06 seconds.

Pre-Roll Time

Pre-roll Time controls how much of the document is played when using the pre-roll command. The default is 3 seconds.

Post-Roll Time

Post-roll Time controls how much of the document is played when using the post-roll command. The default is 3 seconds.

Slider Mode

Slider mode offers three radio buttons that control how the transport responds when you use the position slider at the bottom of the time view.

The first setting, Transport, ensures that the slider responds to the stop/ play state of the transport. If you use the position slider while the transport is playing, the position changes, and playing continues at the new position. If, on the other hand, the transport is stopped when you move the slider control, the position moves to where you slide the control, and the transport remains stopped.

Transport is the default setting for the slider mode.

The Play On Drag setting produces performance similar to the Transport setting, except the Play on Drag setting makes the transport play any time you drag the thumb.

The Always Play setting makes the transport begin playing any time you use the slider.

Use Tone/Mark Sounds

When the Use Tone/Mark Sounds setting is selected, the Place Tone and Remove Tone commands play a sound to indicate their success or failure, and the Set Mark and Clear Mark commands generate tones to confirm your actions. When you successfully place a tone, the program plays two short ascending tones. When you successfully remove a tone, the program plays two short descending tones. If a tone-related error occurs, Studio Recorder sounds a short buzz. When you turn this setting off, the program plays no sounds for tone errors and shows you an error dialog instead.

The default for this setting is to use tone sounds.

Remember Place in Files

When you open a file and you have the Remember Place in Files setting selected, Studio Recorder returns you to the last place you were when you closed the file.

Navigation Settings

Image of Studio Recorder Navigation Dialog

Sentence Detection

The setting values for Sentence Detection are used by the Next Sentence and Previous Sentence commands.

The Minimum Pause specifies, in seconds, the time that must exist between phrases for the program to detect a sentence break. The default is 0.5 seconds. If you change this setting, you should use a value very close to the default, perhaps 0.4 or 0.55 seconds. If you choose a value that is too small, the program stops on non-sentence pauses, such as commas. If you use a value too large, the program misses some sentences entirely.

The Time-out value specifies the maximum time in the document to search for the next or previous sentence. The default is 1 minute.

Paragraph Detection

The setting values for Paragraph Detection are used by the Next Paragraph and Previous paragraph commands.

The default minimum pause for paragraph detection is 1 second. The Time-out default is 2 minutes. See the discussion of the Sentence Detection settings for more details.

Section Detection

The setting values for Section Detection are used by the Next Section and Previous Section commands.

The default minimum pause for section detection is 1.9 seconds. The Time-out default is 10 minutes. See the discussion of the Sentence Detection settings for more details.

Detection Threshold

The Detection Threshold setting controls the threshold at which the program discriminates between silence and non-silence when detecting phrases. The default is -30 dB, and you can use values from -60 dB to -1 dB. This setting can be very useful when attempting to detect sentences, paragraphs, or sections in poor-quality files containing extensive background noise. If you have such a file, try a setting of -25 dB or so.

Wave View Settings

Image of Studio Recorder Color Dialog The Wave View tab of the Settings dialog customizes the appearance and attributes of the sound wave representation when using the wave view.

You may change the following characteristics of the wave:

You may use the Default All Colors button to return the wave view's appearance to the default colors.

Path Settings

The Paths tab of the Settings dialog controls the following settings:

Image of Studio Recorder Path Dialog

Temporary Files

The Path for Temporary Files field specifies the storage location of temporary files generated by the program. Temporary files are used to facilitate editing functions. If you leave this field blank, Studio Recorder uses the default temporary folder on your system. If you happen to have two hard drives, it makes performance much faster if the temporary folder is not on the drive where the files you are working with are stored.

Audio Cue Root Path

The Audio Cue Root Path field specifies the path where the audio cue group folders are stored. This should normally be left blank, indicating that you want to use the audio cues that come with Studio Recorder.

External Marks

The Path for External Marks setting lets you specify the location of externally stored marks.

Fade

The Fade tab of the Settings dialog

The Fade tab of the Settings dialog controls how you wish to treat the different fade processes in Studio Recorder.

Record Ramp Times

Record Ramp Times settings include the Source-up and Destination-down fields, which are used to control short fades when entering record mode. The Record Ramp settings are used to minimize noise generated by controls when entering record mode. If you set both the Source-up and Destination-down fields to the same value, a linear cross-fade is performed between existing material and new material. Usually, however, you will want the Source-up value to be larger than the Destination-down value.

The Source-up field contains the time, in milliseconds, of a linear fade-in, which can be applied to incoming data when recording starts. The value defaults to 0, and it can range from 0 to 500 milliseconds. If, for example, a narrator presses F6 to enter record mode, the keyboard will most likely generate a click that can be heard in the recording. In this situation, the Source-up setting could be used to minimize the keyboard noise or to mask it entirely.

The Destination-down field contains the time, in milliseconds, of a linear fade-out which can be applied to existing material when recording starts. The value defaults to 0, and it can range from 0 to 500 milliseconds. The Destination-down setting is used to minimize abrupt changes in the recording. Consider the situation in which a tight edit must be performed on material that contains a breath. If you enter record mode during an existing breath, the breath will be unnaturally cut off. The Destination-down setting can be used to compensate for this problem.

Fade Types

Studio Recorder supports four types of fades. These are linear, linear squared, sign curve, and exponential. The type of fade you select depends on the source material and the time of the fade.

Linear

Linear fade sounds loud for most of the fade then abruptly gets quiet very close to the end. The signal is at -6 dB at the midpoint.

Linear Squared

The Linear squared fade sounds more natural than a normal linear fade. You might equate this fade to the sound you get when turning down a volume control. The signal is at -12 dB at the midpoint.

Sign Curve

The Sign Curve fade starts slow, gets fairly linear, then fades out aggressively at the end. The signal is at -6 dB at the midpoint.

Exponential Fade

The Exponential fade is very aggressive. It fades out very quickly. This fade drops by 48 dB by the midpoint.

Fade In/Out

The Fade In/Out control lets you assign a fade type to fades you use from the Fade In and Fade Out commands on the Process menu.

Cross Fade Type

The Cross Fade Type control lets you set the type of fade used when you use Studio Recorder's Cross Fade command.

Cross Fade Type

The Cross Fade Delete option lets you select the type of fade to use with the Cross Fade Delete command.

Cross Fade Delete Time

This control specifies the number of milliseconds that Studio Recorder cross fades after the deletion when the Cross Fade Delete command is used.

Status Bar

The Status Bar tab of the Settings dialog lets you change the appearance of the program's status bar. You may include or exclude any items of information, and you may arrange each pane of the status bar to appear wherever you wish.

Available Panes

The Available Panes list shows each item of information you may include as part of the status bar. You may toggle the status from on to off or off to on by pressing the space bar while the item of interest is highlighted. When the item's status is set to On, Studio Recorder includes the pane in the status bar. You may also click the item with the mouse to toggle.

Move Up and Move Down

The Move Up and Move Down buttons let you arrange the items in the status bar. The items at the top of the list appear on the status bar's left side.

Time Format

The Time Format control lets you customize the format of times used in the status bar. You may include or exclude hours and fractional seconds.

Larger Font

It is sometimes difficult to see the status bar text. Studio Recorder increases the size of the font in the status bar by 50% when this box is checked.

Advanced Settings

The Advanced tab of the Settings dialog controls the following settings:

Image of Studio Recorder Advanced Dialog

Pitch Step

The Pitch Step setting controls the amount of pitch change that occurs when using the Increase Pitch and Decrease Pitch commands. The default is 100 cents. A cent is 1/100 of a semitone in the musical scale. Therefore, with a pitch step of 100 cents, it would take twelve uses of the Increase Pitch command to double the pitch.

Use Same Folder for File Functions

Normally, Studio Recorder keeps track of each folder you use for various file related functions and offers that individual folder for the default the next time you use that command. When this box is checked, the program no longer distinguishes among these different file related commands for the default folder. In other words, the default folder will be the last folder used for any file related command.

Studio Recorder may keep individual folder location information for these commands:

Loop Scrubs

The Loop Scrubs setting is selected by default and causes scrub segments to be looped while the Ctrl key is held down. Deselect this option to hear scrub segments only once when scrubbing.

Pre/Post-Roll Corrections

The Pre/Post-Roll Corrections setting is selected by default. If this option is selected, and you use the Record command in a document with a selection, the program pre-rolls up to the start of the selection, enters record mode, and finally post-rolls at the end of the selection. This lets you record over a selection with pre-roll and post-roll prompting. If this option is not selected, you may still record over a selection, but there will be no pre/post-roll.

Set the amount of time Studio Recorder uses for the pre-roll and post-roll in the General tab of the Settings dialog.

Pre-Roll Record

The Pre-Roll Record button instructs Studio Recorder to provide a pre-roll when you press the Record command while the transport is in the stop mode.

Background Processing

The Background Processing check box makes Studio Recorder perform mp3 encoding in the background, so you may continue to work while encoding one or more mp3 files.

This box is checked by default.

Allow Edit in MP3 Files

Checking this box lets you edit and see a wave view with MP3 files. Normally, you would always want such a feature, but there is a slight penalty. The drawback is that when this option is checked, the program must decode the entire MP3 file, slowing down the opening process.

Even if you don't have this option selected, you may still edit the contents of mp3 files. To edit an mp3 file when this option is not checked, use the Save As command to save the mp3 file as a wav file, then edit the resulting file.

Enable Milestones

This control makes the program drop marks in strategic places in the document upon the execution of certain key commands. When one of these commands is used, the program drops a mark at the beginning and end of the command's result so it is easy to get to the start or end of the new data.

The commands that are affected are: Record, Record Insert, Insert File, Paste, and Mix.

Save External Marks

When this box is check, Studio Recorder saves marks in external mark (.mrk) files when exporting MP3 files and when modifying marks in existing MP3 files.

Overwrite Marks While Recording

When this box is checked, Studio Recorder clears marks which you record over. Uncheck this box if you which to preserve marks when recording over them.

Remote Control

Studio Recorder supports the use of remote control devices. These external controllers let you control the software without having to use the computer's keyboard. Such a configuration may prove advantageous in a number of situations including:

Studio Recorder supports the following remote control devices:

Frontier Design TranzPort

This controller has 19 buttons, a 2 line 20 character/line display, 7 indicator lights, and a data wheel. Studio Recorder uses the data wheel as a jog wheel and only uses the record light. This is the only supported controller which is wireless, and is also the smallest controller supported.

Tascam US-224 (MIDI controller)

This controller is a control surface, a MIDI hub, and a sound card all in one. Studio Recorder only supports the transport controls on this device.

Plextalk RE-11

This is a discontinued controller which has 15 buttons plus a Shift key, a jog wheel, and a shuttle wheel. It also has a 4 line 20 character/line display. It has no lights. It was discontinued at the end of 2004.

JLCooper MCS3 (RS-232 version only)

This is a controller with 18 buttons, a jog wheel, a shuttle wheel, and a joystick. Its only indicator is a record light. It appears to be built well, being of heavy metal construction.

Name List

The Remote Control Name list lets you select the remote control device you have connected to your PC. Studio Recorder shows only items in the list that you have either installed the driver software for (as supplied by the device manufacturer) or devices that are connected that do not require separate drivers. The program always lists serial controllers and lists other types of controllers only when they are connected.

The port combo box selects the serial port used for a remote control if such a port is required by the selected remote control.

Once you have installed any required drivers and specified which remote control to use, you may use Studio Recorder's Remote Control Key Describer to identify the keys and their associated functions.

Clip Indicator Settings

The Clip Indicator Settings button adjusts several characteristics of the clip indicator.

Audible Clip Indicator

When the Audible Clip Indicator control is checked, Studio Recorder helps the narrator identify clipping during the recording process by playing two short alert tones when the level of the incoming signal is too strong. This audible alert helps the narrator monitor the recording level without having to keep his eyes on the peak meter.

The Audible Clip Indicator is enabled by default.

Clip Threshold (dB)

Normally, clipping occurs when the signal reaches 0 dB. Unfortunately, some cheaper sound cards actually clip at lower values. You may use this control to make the clip indicator activate at one of those lower values.

Indicator Level

This setting controls the volume of the clip indicator sound. The default is -15 dB.

Brightness

This control adjusts the timbre of the clip indicator sound.

Prevent CardDeluxe Hang

A bug in the driver for this sound card causes Windows to hang in certain situations. Checking this box gets around the bug in the driver. The correction does cause a small data loss in the recording, but this is preferable to a hang.

Window Menu Options

Image of Studio Recorder Window Menu Options

The Window menu options let you change the way information appears on your screen.

Cascade

Select Cascade to arrange windows so they overlap with the title bar of each window remaining visible.

Tile

Select Tile to arrange windows as non-overlapping tiles.

Arrange Icons

Select Arrange Icons to arrange the minimized document window icons at the bottom of the window.

Last Window: Tab

The Last Window command switches to the last window you used. It is used to quickly and easily switch between the last two open documents.

Close All

The Close All command closes all document windows and prompts you to save any modifications.

The Help Menu

The Help menu gives you access to the Studio Recorder documentation, information about the version of the program, and the ability to check for software updates.

Help Menu

Help Topics: F1

The Help Topics option opens this documentation.

Remote Control Key Describer

The Remote Control Key Describer option opens a dialog that displays the key name and function each key on a remote control performs in Studio Recorder. This helps you learn which keys on the controller perform each function in Studio Recorder. Note that the remote control cannot perform every function in Studio Recorder. Only the most common recording, navigation, and editing functions are supported.

Check for Update

The Check for Update option checks the APH servers to see if there is an update to the software. If there is an update, the program shows you which version you are using, which is the most recent version, and asks if you would like to update the software. If you decide to update the software, Studio Recorder contacts the server, downloads the latest version, and installs the new software.

Note that this command requires that you be connected to the Internet. If you are not connected, the program informs you to make the connection. Once you are connected, try the command again.

About Studio Recorder

The About Studio Recorder option shows the version of the program in use. This may be important if you call for technical assistance.

Chapter 6: Advanced Topics

Studio Recorder supports several features that aid in the production of high-quality audio content.

Arm for Synchronized Play: Shift+A

Arm for Synchronized Play command

The Arm for Synchronized Play command arms a document for synchronous playback when Recording is started. This is useful when recording several tracks that will be mixed together.

When you arm a document for playback then start recording in either the armed or another document, playback of the armed document begins when you press Record. This process lets you listen to a track while recording another and keeps the tracks synchronized.

There are several ways to use this feature.

Sound on Sound

To use the Sound on Sound method of mixing, use the following steps:

As long as no clipping occurs, you may do the above steps as many times as you like without degrading each track, but you cannot change the levels of any track once it is recorded.

Track Mix Recording

Track Mix Recording command

In Track Mix Recording, you record in one document while playing a second and mix the two documents after recording to produce a final result. This lets you control source and destination levels and minimizes clipping.

To mix with this technique:

You may repeat the above steps to mix multiple tracks. You may also wish to save tracks as you go for possible future negation or remixing.

Mix: X

This command mixes sound on the clipboard with the data at the current position. When you select this command, the program shows a dialog with two sliders that control the levels of the mix, an edit field to control Dip/Rise times, and a check box that negates the mix.

Levels

The source slider controls the level of the clipboard data. The second level control affects the destination (the current document). You would normally set the destination to 0 and use the source slider to adjust the level of the mix. It may be necessary, however, to use both level controls if clipping occurs.

Destination Dip/Rise Time (For Voiceovers)

This edit control lets you specify the time in seconds before the mix that the destination level dips down to match the destination mix level. This time is also used at the end of the mix to raise up the level to the original value.

To properly use this feature, set the destination level to a value less than zero and place a non-zero value in this edit field. If you do not wish to Dip or Rise the destination, use 0 as the value for this field.

Negate Mix

The Negate check box negates the effect of a previous mix. You must still have the source data on the clipboard. This feature can be useful when you mix many documents together and realize you need to remove one of the tracks in the chain. You may only negate a mix if the data did not clip on the original mix, and you negate at the same position as the original mix and at the same level as the original mix. You must always set the destination level to 0 dB.

Record Bell

One of Studio Recorder's special functions that facilitates production of audio cassettes is the Record Bell.

The Record Bell is a tone that sounds at a pre-determined time to prompt the narrator to prepare for the completion of, for instance, one side of an audio cassette. Such preparation could include the searching of an appropriate breaking place, the announcement of cassette side information, or the finalizing of several other tasks.

The Record Bell setting is controlled either with Ctrl+B or with the Record Bell option in the Options menu.

When you give the Record Bell command, Studio Recorder responds with a dialog showing three options.

The first option is a check box that tells Studio Recorder to notify you with a bell tone at a specific time. If this option is selected, two more options become available--the time to sound the bell, and the time to repeat the bell after the initial notification.

Audio Cues: Alt+1-Alt+0

Studio Recorder lets you insert up to ten different audio cues into your recording. While the program comes supplied with default sounds you may insert, it is easy to add custom sounds.

To add an audio cue, use the keys Alt+1-Alt+0. You may audition these sounds by pressing the appropriate command key while the transport is in the stop mode.

The Audio Cues work by inserting a sound file into your recording. These files are grouped by folder according to the sample rate. Each folder contains ten files named 1.wav, 2.wav, etc. Studio Recorder inserts These files into your document while in record mode or plays them while the transport is in stop mode.

The Audio Cue Root Path

By default, the root of the Audio Cues is the folder called "Bins" in your Studio Recorder program folder. The Paths tab of the Settings dialog controls this root folder. Such control is useful for sharing a set of audio cues among several users in a network setting.

Selecting the Audio Cue Group

By default, the folders in the Audio Cue root folder correspond to sample rates. It is important to ensure that the type of file you try to insert into your document is compatible with your document. Maintaining separate folders for files of specific sample rates is an efficient way to keep the files organized.

To select the group to use, press Ctrl+G or select Audio Cue Groups from the Options menu. When you do, Studio Recorder displays a list of the folders located in your Audio Cue root path. Select the folder you want to use for your special audio cues.

Adding Additional Groups

To add additional groups, make a new folder in the Audio Cue root folder and give it a meaningful name. Next, add files named 1.wav, 2.wav, etc., for each custom sound you wish to add into the folder you just created.

Export to MP3

Studio Recorder lets you export your document as a MP3 file. MP3 is an industry standard way of providing a reasonable rendition of an audio file in much less space than is required for an uncompressed, high quality audio file. MP3s are excellent for transmission via the Internet or to store much more audio material on a CD.

Image of Studio Recorder Export Dialog

Unfortunately, you do not want to use MP3 as your master file for editing or making changes. Each time you export a native wave file to MP3, you loose quality.

When you select Export to MP3 from the File menu, Studio Recorder displays a dialog box that lets you name the new file. By default, the program gives you the original name with an .MP3 extension.

Once you name the file, Studio Recorder displays another dialog box that lets you select options about the quality and type of file you want converted to MP3. In general, most files should use the default values for these options. If you have specific requirements, you may wish to adjust one or more of the items in this dialog.

The variable bit rate encoding option can potentially render smaller file sizes that maintain a better sound.

Bit Rate is the level of compression applied to the file. The higher the number in this field, the better the sound quality will be, though the file will be larger.

Resample Rate is the sample rate at which the output file will be written.

The mode tells the MP3 encoder if you want mono, stereo, or joint stereo.

The Quality setting gives you a choice between sound quality and encoding speed.

MP3 and Marks

Studio Recorder takes special care to save your marks along with your MP3 file. Since the MP3 format has no formal means of preserving marks, Studio Recorder uses its own scheme. This scheme works by saving a file with the same base name as your MP3 file, but with an "mrk" extension. The program reads these .mrk files when you load an MP3 file as well.

If you are reading an MP3 file from a read-only media, such as CD, Studio Recorder cannot save the .mrk files to that media. It is in such cases that you want to use the External Mark Folder option in the Paths tab of the Settings dialog to tell Studio Recorder where to place these mark files.

Export All Correction Marks

The Export All Correction Marks function saves all the correction marks and associated text from all open files to a text file that you may view or print.

Decode

Studio Recorder opens mp3 files instantly. If, however, you wish to edit such a file, the program must decode it first. Normally, Studio Recorder decodes on demand except in the case where you wish to record into an mp3 file. If you attempt to record to an mp3 file that has not already been decoded, the program warns you that you must decode first. This warning must exist, because decoding takes time, and the recording would not start instantly if you didn't decode.

The other slight drawback to just-in-time decoding on common editing functions is that decoding the mp3 file to permit editing takes time. The program only has to decode once, and it does it automatically when you change an mp3 file, but you may use the Decode command to perform this decoding when you wish.

Once Studio Recorder decodes an mp3 file, it stores the file internally as a wav file. You may save the wav file if you think you will need to edit again. (This is recommended because if you edit mp3 files multiple times, the quality of the resulting file degrades with each decode/reencode cycle.)

Cancel Background Processing: Shift+Ctrl+F4

The Cancel Background Processing option is available if you have enabled background processing capabilities in the Advanced section of the Settings dialog and if you had already started encoding an mp3 file in the background. When you use this command, Studio Recorder cancels the encoding process and deletes any partial file that may have been created.

Command Line Switches

Studio Recorder recognizes several command line switches the help automate recording tasks.

File Names on the Command Line

Studio Recorder opens any file names you pass on the command line. The program creates a new window for each file.

/Record

The /record command line switch starts Studio Recorder with a new document and begins recording. You may also specify the amount of time to record with the /record switch. The following command starts the program and begins recording until 30 minutes elapse. sr.exe /record 30:00

/Play

The /play switch makes the program begin playing a file. You may specify a file name with the /play switch. If you do not specify a file name, the switch begins playing the current document if the program is already running.

/Stop

The /stop switch makes the program stop playing or recording the current document.

/Stopall

The /stopall switch makes Studio Recorder stop all playing and recording, no matter which document is active.

/Nofocus

The /nofocus switch tells Studio Recorder not to take the focus when the program starts. This switch is used to prevent the program from taking focus when it is called from the scheduler.

CD Block Commands

The Next and Previous CD Block commands are found on the Navigate menu, and can be useful when preparing tracks for an audio CD. Blocks of data on an audio CD contain 588 stereo samples each. Therefore, audio CD tracks always contain a multiple of 588 audio samples.

If a .wav file you are burning onto a CD does not contain a multiple of 588 samples, your CD writing software will probably pad out to the next CD block with zeros, resulting in silence. If your CD tracks are not meant to run together, you can simply let your CD writing software pad your files with silence as it creates the CD. If, however, you are preparing live material, such as a lecture or a concert, you should use the Next and Previous CD Block commands to be sure you split your CD tracks on a 588 sample boundary. This will prevent the chance of a very small gap of silence being added between tracks. Note that these commands only work with documents containing the following format: 44,100 samples per second, 16 bit samples, two channels (stereo.)

Raw Audio Files

Unfortunately, there are times when you will find audio files that are not complete. The file may have part of its header information missing, or it might have mangled information in the header. Studio Recorder provides a means to load these raw audio files so you may correct, edit, and save them as regular .wav files with proper headers.

One occasion to use the ability to load raw audio data is the very rare instance where Studio Recorder crashes. The program stores its files in your temp folder with the name that starts with spr. You may load these temporary files and piece them together to recover any data you may have lost.

To open a raw audio file, use the normal open dialog, but use Raw as the file type.

When you use raw files as the file type, the program shows you all files weather they are audio or not. Of course, loading a non-audio file into the program results in audio that you would never want to use or save.

Once you identify the file name, Studio Recorder asks some information about the file. In addition to the information in the Select Format dialog, the Import Raw Data dialog asks for the number of bytes to ignore at the beginning and at the end of the file. Usually, the header is stored at the beginning or end of the file. If you don't know the number of bytes to skip, it is usually best to select 0 then cut out the audio noise that results from playing non-audio data as audio.

If your channels are reversed or if the file plays incorrectly when you load raw audio data, you should increase the number of bytes to skip at the beginning of the file until you get a number that yields correct results.

Chapter 7: Sound Cards

One of the most important aspects of making a good recording is choosing the proper equipment to be used. At the heart of this equipment is the sound card.

Basic Sound Cards

Unfortunately, the sound card that came with your computer is probably not the one you want to use for professional recordings, though you may need it in conjunction with another sound card if you want to use intercom mode. The main differences between any two sound cards are performance and options. A basic multimedia sound card, such as one that might be sold already installed in a computer, generally has three 1/8" jacks. These are a microphone input, a line input, and a line output. If you want to make anything better than a casual recording, avoid using the microphone input on this type of sound card. These inputs are generally noisy, and work with inexpensive condenser microphones, which are unsuitable for professional work.

If you have a microphone pre amp and a suitable microphone, you may be able to connect your pre amp to the line input of an inexpensive sound card. Results with this kind of configuration can vary from fair to good. Mid-range sound cards offer improved support for games. While some of these cards will sound better than the most inexpensive ones, they will not perform as well as a professional sound card, and their microphone inputs should never be used for serious recordings. Moreover, beware of sound cards, such as the Sound Blaster Live!, which perform real-time sample rate conversion. Using a sample rate other than the optimal one on these cards can degrade recording quality.

Professional Sound Cards

As with basic sound cards, higher quality or professional sound cards offer various levels of performance and options. Most often, they will offer only line-level inputs and outputs, and will support balanced connections. You should use balanced connections between recording sources and your sound card when possible because balanced connections are generally much quieter than unbalanced ones. A balanced connection is one that uses three conductors instead of two. This allows the positive and negative sides of the signal to use one conductor each and a ground to use a third conductor. The ideal configuration would include, at minimum, a high-quality microphone pre amp with an output level control and a professional quality sound card. If your professional sound card offers a microphone pre amp, you should be able to use it instead of an external pre amp.

Chapter 8: Intercom Mode

Image of Studio Recorder Intercom Dialog

Intercom mode lets you use your sound card as an intercom. This might be useful, for example, when recording a narrator who is working with a narration monitor.

Because of limitations related to how intercom mode is implemented, only monaural programs can be recorded with intercom mode.

Intercom mode works a little differently with different brands of sound cards, so a little experimentation may be necessary. For this discussion, we will be using a Sound Blaster-compatible sound card. Note that intercom mode does not work with most professional quality sound cards. Intercom mode requires a sound card that supports the Windows Multimedia mixer services. If you want to use intercom mode with a sound card that does not support the Windows multimedia mixer services, you will have to add another sound card to your system.

Required Hardware

To use intercom mode, you need two microphones with corresponding pre amps, two pairs of headphones, a mixer, and proper connecting cables. Of course, you may be able to find one component to meet all of the mixing and amplification requirements. Note that if your sound card has a microphone input, you cannot use it for intercom mode. These types of inputs are generally monaural, and are of a lesser quality than a line level input.

How it Works

Studio Recorder uses the Windows multimedia mixer driver provided with your sound card to control the flow of the line input on your sound card to the line output. When the transport is stopped, both the left and right channel of the line input pass through to the line output. This allows the narrator and narration monitor to speak with each other. When the transport is playing, both channels of the line input are muted at the line output, preventing either channel from being heard. This allows the narrator and the narration monitor to hear only the recorded information without distractions from either microphone. When the transport is recording, only one of the channels is allowed to pass from the line input to the line output. This is called the narrator channel, and it can be either the left or the right channel based on your preference. The narrator channel is also the only channel that is recorded when intercom mode is active.

Connections

To use intercom mode with a basic Sound Blaster-compatible sound card, follow these steps:

Connect the output of the narrator's mike pre amp to the left channel of the line input on the sound card.

Connect the monitor's mike pre amp to the right channel of the line input on the sound card.

Connect both the left and right output of the sound card to a device, such as a mixer, which allows both outputs to be mixed. Connecting the outputs to each other directly may work, but it is not recommended.

Connect both pairs of headphones to the mixer. Make sure that both channels of the sound card output are present in both sides of the headphones.

Configuring Intercom Mode with a Sound Blaster Compatible Card

When you select Intercom Mode for the first time, or if you choose Intercom Settings from the Options menu, the Select Intercom Settings dialog box opens. This dialog box lets you specify the four pieces of information that intercom mode needs to operate. These are the Mixer, the Destination Line, the Source Line, and the Narrator Channel. When first configuring intercom mode, check the radio button labeled "Show all mixers." This ensures that all multimedia software mixers on your system are displayed. From the mixer box, choose the mixer that is associated with the sound card you intend to use for recording. It should have a name similar to the name of your sound card.

From the destination box, choose the destination line that intercom mode will use. This can be confusing, especially since the terminology itself lacks clarity. In short, the destination line is an output line that is the result of mixing several source or input lines. For this example, choose the line that has a name like "Play Control." This is the line that goes to the output of the sound card. From the source line box, choose the line that has a name like "Line In." This should be the line input on your sound card to which the microphone pre amps are connected. From the Narrator Channel box, you may choose either Left or Right. For this example, choose Left.

Below the configuration boxes, there is a check box labeled "Automatically enable line for recording." If selected, Studio Recorder attempts to choose the line used for intercom mode for recording as well. In most cases, you will want to select this box, but if you are using a different line or sound card for recording than you are for intercom mode, or if you get an error message after closing this dialog box, try deselecting this box. If you deselect this box, you will have to use some other mixer control, such as the Windows Volume Control, to ensure that the line is enabled for recording.

Using Intercom Mode with Two Sound Cards

As mentioned earlier, intercom mode does not work with most professional quality sound cards. You can use intercom mode, however, by using a professional quality sound card along with any other sound card that supports the Windows multimedia mixer services. To make this work, simply configure intercom mode as described above for the intercom sound card. Then, choose the Select Wave Devices command from the Options menu. In the Play Device box, select the sound card you plan to use for intercom mode. Then in the Record Device box, select the professional quality sound card. Finally, connect the output of the narrators mike pre amp to the input of both the intercom sound card and the professional quality sound card.

Appendix A: END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT

IMPORTANT - READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement (the "Agreement") is a legal contract between you (either an individual or a single entity) and American Printing House for the Blind ("APH") relating to the software product with which this End-User Agreement has been provided (the "Software"). As used in this Agreement, Software shall include computer software and, as applicable, associated media, printed materials, and electronic documentation.

BY CLICKING THE "ACCEPT" BUTTON BELOW OR PRESSING [ALT+A], OR BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT INSTALL OR USE THE SOFTWARE.

You are entitled to receive a full refund of amounts paid for the Software within 30 days of your purchase of the Software by requesting a refund in writing, returning the Software (and all related materials) to APH in resalable condition and providing to APH proof of purchase of the Software.

LICENSE TERMS

Following acceptance of this Agreement, APH grants you the nonexclusive right to install and use one copy of the Software in accordance with the terms of this Agreement.

Use on a PC

You may install the single copy on one hard disk or other storage device for one computer, and you may access and use the Software at that location so long as only one copy of the Software is in operation. If you are an entity rather than an individual, you may authorize employees, students or others served by your organization to use the Software, but only one person at a time may use the Software on one computer at a time. The primary user of the computer on which the Software is installed may make a second copy for backup/emergency recovery purposes for his or her exclusive use on a backup or portable computer, so long as each copy of the Software is used on only one computer at a time.

Use on a Network

You may store, install and access this version of the Software through an internal network, if you obtain and pay for a license for the number of users that will access the Software through the network at the same time. In a lab setting, you must purchase a license for the number of computers on which the Software is installed.

OTHER LIMITATIONS

You may not rent, lease, sublease, sublicense or lend the Software. You may not copy the CD-ROM media. If an update to the Software becomes available and you obtain it for no additional charge, you may not also use prior version(s) of the Software.

You agree to not modify, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software or create derivative works from the Software. APH may provide you with support services related to the Software ("Support Services"). Use of Support Services is governed by APH policies and programs, which may change from time to time. Any supplemental software code provided to you as part of the Support Services will be considered part of the Software and subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. With respect to technical information you provide to APH [as part of the registration of your license to the Software or] in connection with the Support Services, APH may use such information for its business purposes, including for product support and development.

You may permanently transfer all of your rights (including all updates) under this Agreement, provided that you retain no copies, you transfer all of the Software (including all component parts, the media and printed materials, any upgrades,, you notify APH of the transfer and the name and address of the recipient, and the recipient agrees to the terms of this Agreement.

Without prejudice to any other rights, APH may terminate this Agreement if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. In such event, you must, at the option of APH, either return to APH or destroy all copies of the Software and all of its component parts.

GOVERNING LAW

This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

PROPRIETARY RIGHTS

Copyright

All title and copyrights in and to the Software (including, without limitation, any images, photographs, animations, video, audio, music or text incorporated into the Software), the accompanying media and printed materials, and any copies of the Software are owned by APH or its licensors. The Software is protected by copyright laws and international treaty provisions. Therefore, you must treat the Software like any other copyrighted material, except that you may copy the software portion of the product onto a computer hard disk for installation purposes provided that it is used as specified, and is subject to, the provisions of this Agreement. All copyright notices must appear on any copy of the Software and may not be altered. You may not replicate any materials that accompany the Software.

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Should you decide to transmit to APH by any means or by any media any materials or other information (including, without limitation, ideas, concepts or techniques for new or improved services and products), whether as information, feedback, data, questions, comments, suggestions or the like, you agree such submissions are unrestricted and will be deemed non- confidential and you automatically grant APH and its assigns a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, transmit, distribute, create derivative works of, display and perform the same.

LIMITED WARRANTY AND DISCLAIMER

APH warrants, for the benefit of the original end user alone, for a period of 90 days from the date of shipment by APH (referred to as the "Warranty Period") that the media on which the Software is contained is free from defects in material and workmanship. APH further warrants, for your benefit alone, that during the Warranty Period the Software will perform substantially in accordance with the functional specifications of the Software as set forth in the documentation provided with the Software. If, during the Warranty Period, a defect covered by the foregoing warranty appears, you may return the Software, accompanied by the APH invoice provided with the Software, for either replacement, or if elected by APH, refund of amounts paid under this Agreement. You agree that the foregoing constitutes your sole and exclusive remedy for breach by APH of any of the warranties or other agreements made under this Agreement.

EXCEPT FOR THE WARRANTIES SET FORTH ABOVE, THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND APH DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

ANY LIABILITY OF APH FOR A DEFECTIVE COPY OF THE SOFTWARE WILL BE LIMITED EXCLUSIVELY TO REPLACEMENT OF YOUR COPY OF THE SOFTWARE WITH ANOTHER COPY OR REFUND OF THE INITIAL LICENSE FEE APH RECEIVED FROM YOU FOR THE DEFECTIVE COPY OF THE PRODUCT. IN NO EVENT WILL APH (OR ITS SUPPLIERS) BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY LOST PROFITS OR LOST TIME, EVEN IF APH HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, OR FOR ANY CLAIM BY ANY THIRD PARTY.

Some states or jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or special damages, or the exclusion of implied warranties or limitations on how long a given warranty may last, so the above limitations may not apply to you.

If you have any questions concerning the Software or this Agreement, you may write:

American Printing House for the Blind
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P. O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206
USA

Attn: Customer Relations

Appendix B: MP3 Creation License and Restrictions

Supply of this product does not convey a license nor imply any right to distribute content created with this product in revenue-generating broadcast systems (terrestrial, satellite, cable and/or other distribution channels), streaming applications (via Internet, intranets and/or other networks), other content distribution systems (pay-audio or audio-on-demand applications and the like) or on physical media (compact discs, digital versatile discs, semiconductor chips, hard drives, memory cards and the like). An independent license for such use is required. For details, please visit http://mp3licensing.com.