Wav editor

Why use one?

I’ve read some postings about using a wav editor. What would you use one for?

Kernix

Things that n-Track doesn’t do, or things that the wave editor happens to do better.
These are changes involving processing on a single file, rather than adjustments like EQ and mixing.

Examples (things N doesn’t do)

- smoothing a splice
- de-noising, based on a sample of the noise

Things a wave editor might do better:

- sample rate conversions
- pitch shifting or time stretching

I’m sure there are more, but I just don’t remember them off hand.

Tweaking and tidying up wave files, sometimes mastering. Topping and tailing so the song starts and ends cleanly; fading in and out; normalising; mastering (equalising, compressing, sweetening, converting from 96kHz/24bit to 44.1kHz/16bit for burning a CD) and so on. Some of this can be done within n-Track but many peeps find it easier in a separate dedicated editor, which is why n includes a link you can set up to the editor of your choice. Audacity is a good free one that works with plug-ins, so you can play with delay, reverb, compression etc.

For example, I sometimes export a track from a song I’m working on, say a bass guitar, into Sound Forge. I can: correct any timing errors by cutting out or adding silence; cut out any really bad notes and paste in copies of good ones, even copy and paste whole phrases; remove noise from silent passages; equalise and compress, so n doesn’t have to work so hard using plugins in realtime (keep copies of untreated files in case you want to chage things later).

With Audacity for wave editing and dBPoweramp for file conversion you can do most manipulation and transforming (e.g. wave to MP3) and all for free!
Happy tracking, cheers
TusterBuster

Tweaking and tidying up wave files, sometimes mastering. Topping and tailing so the song starts and ends cleanly; fading in and out; normalising; mastering (equalising, compressing, sweetening, ... correct any timing errors by cutting out or adding silence; cut out any really bad notes and paste in copies of good ones, even copy and paste whole phrases; remove noise from silent passages; equalise and compress ...
I do all these things in n-Track, since it's easy and it does a great job. Furthermore, using the hammer-on-wave toolbar button ("destructively apply ..."), you can "print" any effects so n-Track doesn't have to work hard.

I think it's just a matter of folks use the tools they're used to and like. TB isn't the only one that goes outside N to do these things, but even though I use a wave editor fairly frequently, I never bother jumping out of N for these things.

However, there are things N just can't do, like dragging individual sample values around and FFT-based noise reduction. Regardless of how well you know & use N, you'd need a wave editor for those tasks.

Note that I didn't include sample rate conversions. n-Track does that but isn't the best tool for the job. R8Brain is reputedly better, but I haven't scoped it out yet. Audacity is a great program but not the best at off-line pitch shifting & rate conversions.

Another thing of course, is dithering. And dithering down to 16 bit should always be the very last process you do to your 24bit/32bit music file, (except of course, throwing away all those least signifcant zeros, and after that you can bugger about with it all you want. :D)

I use Ozone, and both Wavelab and Soundforge allow the Ozone plug-in to be the very last thing in the signal chain.

I may be wrong (and probably am :D), but I seem to recall that n-track has at least an attenuator after any plug-in?

Ali

I do all these things in n-Track, since it's easy and it does a great job. Furthermore, using the hammer-on-wave toolbar button ("destructively apply ..."), you can "print" any effects so n-Track doesn't have to work hard.

Know how you can drag the end/start of a track back/forwards? Will the apply effect button trim the wav file to start/finish you might create?

The master fader is usually last, but IIRC, you can control where inserts go. In any case, you can leave the master fader at zero and use a dither plugin on the master channel.

n-Track dither works fine for me. Note that only when you’re doing noise shaping is there much difference from one dithering tool to another. As long as the random number generator is decent and creates nice white noise (which is easy to check, though I haven’t.) But yeah, that’s another thing some folks do outside n-Track.

Wow! Information overload. I am really new to the whole process. That’s for the responses, but I should probably work with n until I get familiar with all it’s capabilities and limitations.

Plus a lot of the terms used above are foreign to me. Is there a reference book that would be good for beginners of home recording? I’ve downloaded most of the pages from Audiominds, but haven’t read much yet.

Thanks again!

Kernix

PS - how do you import\upload a pic to use as an avatar? Just have a file on my pc? Thought I tried that, but it didn’t work.

I have many of the same basic questions and am a little confused - if, for example, I just want to silence a bad spot in a track (maybe I belched :) ) Do I need a wave editor to do that or can I select the section and mute it somehow? And I think I can copy and move around a part of a track within n - or is a wave editor needed for that also?

Lane,

You do both of those tasks easily inside n-Track.

Silencing a “belch” :) Highlight the belch by click-drag to highlight the area then click the RED “X” on the tool bar. This effectively places the volume for the highlighted area to “-inf”. (minimum) Keep in mind this DOES NOT alter the .wav file itself. When track is played back and the belch comes up, n just turns the volume down. If you hold CRTL and click the red X, the .wav IS modified destructively! So beware.

Copying and moving “parts” or “snippets” is as easy as highlight what you want to copy and doing CRTL+C pasting with CRTL-V. There are many ways to place the pasted material where you want it. I usually have to fiddle with it until I figure out exactly how/where I want to do it. Thank goodness for “UNDO” :D

HTH,

TG

PS As already mentioned, there some things an editor does much better but a LOT of stuff can be accomplished easily inside n-Track. Just play around with it and make notes. These days, I hardly ever fire up Wavelab anymore.

Ahh… thanks, TG

I knew there was a simple answer, but just couldnt find it…

One more - if I want to copy a passage and use it elsewhere in the song- do I place it on a brand new track and then bring them together in the mixdown, or can I replace a bad segment with a copied version of the good one in the same, or original, track?

I use Sound Forge & I love it.

Either method will work. I don’t do a lot of comping together tracks. I am pretty much a one man band at the moment and I’d rather just record another take than try to piece together something. I have taken some snips of bass and drums and comped then into a rythym track though. It’s a lot of work to make it sound right IMO. Anyway, just try both methods you mentioned to see what works best for you. I remember reading an article with David Gilmour where he said he would comp his guitar solos by recording several versions and manually riding the faders for the tracks to mixdown the parts he liked. This is the same approach just a lot easier. You can comp with cut n paste or volume automation. The possiblities are mind boggling.

TG

PS Of course it don’t take MUCH to boggle my mind. :p

Quote (gtr4him @ April 08 2005,11:57)
You can comp with cut n paste or volume automation.



TG

PS Of course it don't take MUCH to boggle my mind. :p

OK.. you said you can cut/paste with volume automation? how does volume automation work?

Heres' sort of what I'm trying to do - I have a good guit track, but theres one place I missed a note, but I hit it fine elsewhere - I'd like to copy that piece from later in the track and stick it where the miss is... is getting it placed just right a total nightmare? If I paste it over the original, bad note, does it replace it, play both or ?

Obvioulsy my mind boogles well too...

I must say that I have got quite fanatical about using a wave editor - I use wavelab lite. As my ears have got better I notice the smallest little tick or click in a recording. I’ve found that using a wave editor I can often find the little spike - it really surprises me how small a glitch you can hear - and then I copy and paste an adjacent wave. I’ve found that selecting a little 3ms clip which crosses at zero and then pasting across the adjacent 3ms clip enclosing the blip works perfectly.

You can comp with cut and paste OR volume automation or any combination. In your bad guitar note case, it may be easier to cut the good note and paste it OVER the bad note.

There is a button on the toolbar that looks like a ramp. Clicking it will show green lines on your tracks. This green line represents the volume level. You can click on it to add “nodes” (or breakpoints, whatever you wanna call 'em) dragging these nodes up increases the volume level, dragging down decreases. Experiment with it. You can do the same for PAN, Aux sends, VST effect automation etc… When you playback the track, the envelope you have drawn is followed to change the volume, pan etc…

If you have not done it already, grab the manual HERE. The automation stuff is covered pretty well as is cut and paste.

TG

First, delete the bad note. With the grid off, drag to select it (zoom in as necessary, but don’t worry about getting it perfect because you’ll adjust later). Use “Edit -> Nondestructive -> Splice”. Click on the snippet, and “Edit->Cut” to make it disappear. Note that you can adjust the “end handles” of the wave parts before and after the hole you made. You’ll do more of this later.

Now, drag to select the good note. Edit->Copy. Drag to select where you want the good note to go, and Edit->Paste. Now alt-drag the part you pasted in to line it up timewise, and drag all the end handles around to avoid a click at the splice points. Do this by putting them all in a silent part if you can. If not, try to line up the two parts so that the two waves come together at the same height with about the same slope. You want to avoid any sharp corners in the waveform.

That sounds tricky, but it gets easy once you’ve done a few hundred. (I make lots of mistakes, so I’m an expert! :P)

If you’re going to be doing much cut/copy/paste/drag, you really want to learn how to set the BPM, make a click track, and record to the click track. (Search this forum for “click track”.) Then you can use the grid to make it very easy to copy whole measures and keep them time-aligned. Plus, you can copy a measure and paste it into place, and then turn off the grid to adjust the splice points, to include the note that started just before the measure, etc.

You can right-click on the toolbar to customize it. I put the “splice” and “splice at beginning of selection” on the toolbar, because they’re so handy.