acoustic labs multitrack plus
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The information covered in this section gives a general overview of the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus. The topics covered include a how to record new audio, import audio from sound files, playback audio projects, create new audio loops, inserting loops into the Track View Interface and saving and opening audio projects.

Topics
  • Recording New Audio
  • Importing Audio Files
  • Audio Playback
  • Editing Track View Audio Snippets
  • Creating Audio Loops
  • Inserting Audio Loops into the Track View
  • Saving and Opening Audio Projects




  • Recording New Audio

    To record new audio to a track first select the "Arm" button of the track you wish to record to (visual aid item #8). Then click the "Rec" button (visual aid item #31). This will immediately bring up the recording dialog box and start the recording process. You'll notice that the recording dialog box keeps track of the amount of audio that has been recorded in both tempo format and standard time format. Also, if the metronome is turned on you will hear the click or beat sound keeping time to the project's current tempo. To turn off the metronome see Section 11: Project and Application Settings. You can record up to four stereo tracks simultaneously. You can choose which audio input device you wish to record from by selecting the "Props" button for the corresponding track (visual aid item #11). This will bring up the track properties where you will be able to select the desired audio input device, please see Section 5: The Track View Interface in Detail for more information concerning this topic.



    Importing Audio Files

    External audio files can be imported into your Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus project by selecting the "Import Audio File to Track" option from the "File" pulldown menu (visual aid item #1). The Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus is capable of importing both wave audio files and MP3 audio files. The audio file will always be imported into the currently selected track at the position that the tracking bar is set at. To select a new track simply click on the track label (visual aid item #4). A golden outline surrounds the track label of the currently selected track. To set the position of the tracking bar simply click any blank area of the waveform area of the Track View (visual aid item #12) or use the Project Position Slider (visual aid item #32).



    Audio Playback

    To playback the current project simply press the play button (visual aid item #27). Playback will begin at whatever position the current project position (visual aid item #26) is set to. Playback of the project will mix all tracks together in real-time resulting in the audio you will hear from your PC speakers or headphones connected to your PC. As playback occurs you'll notice the project time value shows the current position of the project that is playing back. Also, you can monitor playback of audio levels for the main output or individual tracks by opening the Audio Level Control, see Section 3: General Overview.



    Editing Track View Audio Snippets

    Multitrack Plus Snippets After recording or importing a new audio snippet into one of the audio tracks in the Track View Interface (screenshot), you may want to edit this audio using the Audio Editor Interface (screenshot). For a full explanation of the term "audio snippet" please see General Audio Recording Terms. By clicking the right mouse button while the mouse arrow is over an audio snippet in the Track View Interface you will notice a popup menu as shown in the image to the right. Select the "Edit Snippet" option as shown highlighted. After selecting this option the audio snippet will be automatically loaded into the Audio Editor Interface where you can immediately begin editing the waveform. For more information on the Audio Editor Interface please see Section 6: The Audio Editor Interface.



    Creating Audio Loops

    An audio loop, also known as a "loop", is a snippet of audio that can be used repeatedly within an audio project. A full definition of the term can be found in General Audio Recording Terms. The Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus is fully capable of loop based sequencing. Before placing any audio loops into your project the loop must first be imported into the Loop Bank. An audio loop can be imported from an audio file into the Loop Bank by selecting the "Import Audio File to Loop Bank" option from the "File" pulldown menu (visual aid item #1). After selecting this option the "Open File" dialog box will appear. Simply select the audio file you wish to import.

    Note that audio loops cannot exceed 30 seconds in length. If you wish to import audio into your project that is longer than 30 seconds please see the above topic labeled Importing Audio Files. After you've selected the file for the audio loop you wish to import you will see that it has been added to the Loop Bank. If any editing needs to be performed on the audio loop before adding it to the project select the "Edit" button (visual aid item #7) for the corresponding loop. This will load the audio loop into the Audio Editor Interface.

    An alternative method of creating a new audio loop is to load audio into the Audio Editor Interface or record new audio using the Audio Editor Interface (both of which are explained in detail in Section 6: The Audio Editor Interface in Detail) and then select the "Create Audio Loop" option from the "Edit" pulldown menu (visual aid item #1). Selecting this option will automatically load the audio contained in the Audio Editor into the Loop Bank. The newly created loop will be labeled with the description "Via Audio Editor".



    Inserting Audio Loops into the Track View

    Any audio loop that currently exists in the Loop Bank Interface can be inserted into the project by selecting the "Insert Loop" option from the "Edit" pulldown menu (visual aid item #1) in the Track View Interface. Selecting this option will show a list of all audio loops that exist in the Loop Bank. Simply select whichever loop you wish to insert. The audio loop will always be inserted into the currently selected track at the current project position. Remember that the currently selected track will always be highlighted with a golden outline around the track label. The current project position time will always be indicated in the edit box labeled "Position" on the lower toolbar (visual aid item #26).

    For more information on creating new audio please see Section 4: Creating Loops. Also, note that audio loops cannot be inserted into audio tracks that contain Extended Audio Snippets. There are two types of audio tracks: Extended Audio Tracks and Loop Based Audio Tracks. Extended Audio Tracks can only contain Extended Audio Snippets and Loop Based Audio Tracks can only contain Loop Based Audio Snippets. If you attempt to insert an Audio Loop into an Extended Audio Track you will receive an error message informing you of this issue.



    Saving and Opening Audio Projects

    Audio projects can be saved by accessing the "Save" feature located in the "File" pulldown menu option (visual aid item #1) while in any three of the interfaces. This will save your current audio project as an MTP (Multitrack Plus) file. Saving your project as an MTP file preserves the project as it currently exists - no tracks are mixed down, all applied effects and levels are saved and all audio loops contained in the Loop Bank will be kept intact. At anytime you can re-open this file to access the project and continue work on it by selecting the "Open" feature located under the "File" pulldown menu option.

    To save the project as an audio file select the "Export Project as Audio File" option from the "File" pulldown menu or select the "Mixdown to Wave File" or "Mixdown to MP3 File" options located under the "Mixdown" menu option. All of these menu options are available from the Track View Interface. Selecting any one of these options will allow you to save your project as either a Wave or MP3 file. Saving your project in this manner will create a single audio file that sounds exactly the same as the playback of your audio project from the Track View Interface.

    In addition to opening MTP files, which is the native file format for the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus, MIX files created by the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus v3.0 and greater can also be opened by the Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus. Select the "Open" option from the "File" pulldown menu system (visual aid item #1) then select the MIX file you wish to open. The audio tracks, descriptions and additional information associated with the project will be imported into a new Acoustic Labs Multitrack Plus project.