Author Topic: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.  (Read 1174 times)

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Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Hi Everyone,
     I have an existing long audio track.  I wish to manipulate the audio volume and EQ during specific segments of the sound file.  I would like to set specific portions to for example, -2db, -10db, +5db.  And I would like to edit, fine tune the beginning and ending of each manual volume section after the fact.

     Now, I know this sounds like the 'Sound Envelope' in audacity.  But, that damn thing wont let me set a specific +/- decibel value.  I also cannot move/edit the beginning and ending without messing up the high and low point while it tries to make a smooth ramp and I can never keep the volume the same across a 1-2 minute span since it is a lousy graphical input which cannot tell me the decibel setting.

     Is there another public domain audio editor which will allow me to add and reposition simple audio effects like volume control.  The old audio editor which came in Window's Nero CD burning software did this, but I don't have a license and you could not save the sound file without loosing the source non-destructive edit version.

     Any good suggestion would be well appreciated.
     BTW, I'm using windows only.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2023, 01:15:00 am »
Yeah, Audacity is still lacking in terms of usability and features. I have tried other open-source editors, but none that were significantly better. Maybe someone else has.

What I can suggest though - I've been using it - is to try Reaper. It's more than an audio editor, it's a full DAW, but you can use it as an audio editor and it has a lot of editing features, envelopes, automation, etc. and a very comprehensive manual.
It's not open-source, but it's cross-platform, works fine on Windows, macOS and Linux, and is free for personal use AFAIR (I have a small business license myself, which is quite cheap, but without license, I think you'll just get a nagging screen for a couple seconds when you start it.)

https://www.reaper.fm/
 
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Offline Someone

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2023, 01:17:26 am »
As above
Reaper
or even
Davinci Resolve

neither open source, but hey can't be too picky if you just want to use something
 
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Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2023, 01:53:43 am »
I do not need open source.  I just need it to be at least free in the beginning for testing, and it needs to work on an old Win7 laptop with 4gb of ram.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2023, 01:59:42 am »
 :palm: I just tested Wavepad by NHC software and OceanAudio.

My god, they are so god damn close.  They both have a 'define region' which I can name, reposition, adjust beginning and ending.  But for the love of god, I cannot set a specific volume or any effect for each region.  If I select a region and set a volume, ok, that region's volume changes.  Then if I move the region, the volume edit does not move with it, it stays where it was before as the volume effect was hard written into the audio instead of it being a non-destructive position adjustable effect tied to the region.

 

Offline YurkshireLad

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2023, 02:11:09 am »
If it doesn’t work in Reaper, try posting a feature request

https://forum.cockos.com/forumdisplay.php?s=c48535116e501c3a29a3beb207596ac5&f=23
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2023, 02:32:47 am »
Reaper seems to do it, not with regions, but with 'items'.  (Which might not stack properly, I'm still trying it out)
It is difficult to wrap my head around this strange user interface, weird snap position timing.  Nothing like a normal editor.  I'll try a few more editors before I settle for the 60 day free trial of reaper.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2023, 03:30:28 am »
Arrrrg, I kid you not.  I believe I got Reaper working once.  I had on one loaded track, selected an area, and made it an item where I could change volume.  After dinner, I tried to start a new project and do the same.  But, what do you know, I can select all I want, but not make it into a new 'item' where I can set the volume properties...
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2023, 03:57:17 am »
Regarding 'Reaper'...
Ok, figured it out.  I need to set the cursor point and then select 'Split Items at cursor'.

However, I am faced with a weird problem.  When I preview play, I get a weird 0.5 second pause around every 30 seconds of playback.  Is my laptop too slow?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2023, 04:27:31 am by BrianHG »
 

Online jonpaul

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Jean-Paul  the Internet Dinosaur
 

Offline John B

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2023, 07:15:56 am »
Long time REAPER user here, and adobe audition user in the long past.

In REAPER you could do it by automating the controls of an EQ plugin, the default ones are fine, like ReaEQ. Once you click or modify any of the settings in the plugin window, look for the "Param" icon in the top right. The drop down heading should say "Last touched: XXXX" and underneath that you have options, you'll want "Show track envelope".

In you timeline you can then manipulate the envelope to be in discrete blocks, or smoothly transitioning between points. For the default plugins at least, REAPER will list points in their respective units, ie dB in this case. Other plugins may only have numerical values, like 0-1 etc.
 

Offline antenna

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2023, 07:39:50 am »
I've always liked Goldwave for stuff like that. Here is directly changing a section of audio in dB and another option that allows you to shape the volume over time.  And there is an option to show the envelope to make adjusting easier.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2023, 07:51:33 am by antenna »
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2023, 10:24:39 am »
Adobe Audition

https://www.adobe.com/products/audition/audio-mixing-mastering.html
xxx$ / month.   WTF is this BS.  No thank you.
I'll stick with the original, even though limited due to age CoolEditPro 2000.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2023, 10:45:32 am »
I've always liked Goldwave for stuff like that. Here is directly changing a section of audio in dB and another option that allows you to shape the volume over time.  And there is an option to show the envelope to make adjusting easier.
Arrrgggg, instead of making some sort of project file, Saving in Goldwave corrupted my source file, destroying it.  Once save, there was no 'undo'.

Unfortunately, Goldwave has only destructive editing.

It looks like Reaper is the winner by necessary feature.  Not the best intuitive interface, but, it doesn't touch my source files and creates a 9kb project file which contains all my manipulations / edits / setup which I can modify / undo across the save as well as save as a new project.  Then when ready, I just render the final audio output file.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2023, 10:57:03 am by BrianHG »
 

Offline GLouie

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2023, 03:23:59 pm »
Reaper should be able to do it, but there is a learning curve. What I do is open a volume envelope display under the waveform timeline. I'll enter a point wherever I want a change and make enough points to make the envelope I want. The cursor hover will show exactly what the level is.

Reaper is not free, but the evaluation time is unlimited and unrestricted, except for a nag delay. However, it's good enough and so fairly priced (a license covers 2 major revisions, typically several years, but you can just keep using your old version) that I recommend paying the $60USD.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2023, 07:18:27 pm »
Reaper has a pretty decent manual. Don't hesitate to read it.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2023, 09:26:26 pm »
I still use Cool Edit and Cool Edit Pro with Win XP Pro SP3 and they have that feature. You can adjust amplitude by percentage, by dB, fade in or out, etc.

I have no idea if they would run on newer versions of Windows. I run XP either directly or with VMWare.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2023, 09:32:38 pm »
Reaper does have a flaw.  When you use 'split track' to create a transition point in volume, the transition from A to B fades completely out then back in by the media item properties' fade time settings instead of performing a morph transition from A to B by the fade in/out time settings so long as there is '0' time between the 2 adjacent tracks, or, there is some overlay.  For my use, I am ok with those fade parameters set to a time of 0 and thankfully I can make the time of 0 default as I have a lot of splits in a single track.
 

Offline John B

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2023, 09:57:14 pm »
Just clarifying you said you had a single audio file? All the steps I mentioned would take place on a single track, with one or multiple media items in the track. No need to even split items.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2023, 10:26:17 pm »
Just clarifying you said you had a single audio file? All the steps I mentioned would take place on a single track, with one or multiple media items in the track. No need to even split items.
Yes I know about using the envelope.  But if you look at my first post, you will see that the multiple points where I need to edit the envelope for the 2 audio level steps, A-B-A, tuning their positions after the fact is too cumbersome.  Think of it like manually editing the volume of specific or all bass drum strikes uniformity throughout a finished music piece.  Time tuning is needed to capture the bass reverb making a pleasant sound to the ear while not audibly changing the surrounding mixed in vocals and other  instruments.  Having a vertical slider which is generated with each 'split tracks' speeds up this type of editing work galore.  For envelope processing, I'm stuck with the begin and end grab points to move at the beginning, then at the end, and then making sure each of those points hit the same decibel steps, 50 to 100 times in an example song.
 

Offline Infraviolet

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2023, 10:48:07 pm »
For non-destructive editing what would be wrong with making a copy of the file, just copying it as a file in your folder explorer, and editing the copy?

I know you mention Audacity wouldn't do as it didn't give you proper decibel settings, but might there be a plugin for it to do that? I understand there are plugins developed for it independently of its main development efort, things which might need some searching on github or other open-source project websites to find.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2023, 10:56:30 pm »
For non-destructive editing what would be wrong with making a copy of the file, just copying it as a file in your folder explorer, and editing the copy?
Ok, after I have done my work and listened  2 days later, what if I need to go back a slightly align edits #5, #10, #20 through 25 and leave the other 50 edits the same.  How do I do that if the editor doesn't employ a non-destructive indexed save file with my edits containing a project which uses the original source files + all the edits displayed onscreen which any one can be modified & a new rendered music file can be generated.

Reaper handles this very well.  Audacity and Audition do handle this for a multitrack setup with envelopes, but not for many of the effects and the speed at which I need to do my edits.  Reaper leaves me with 1 tiny project file plus my original samples leaving it at the top.  I'm getting used to the user interface and will most likely pay the 60$ for it as it does support my work.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2023, 10:58:40 pm by BrianHG »
 

Offline Infraviolet

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2023, 11:25:21 pm »
I get your reasoning there, wanting to save the editing process because it can be quite complex for your use case. Somehow I'd thought this was a situation where you were applying the same procedure to a bunch of files, the way one might run an automatic gain changing program on a folder full of files, except that you wanted to do it only for certain timestamped regions, so I'd wrongly guessed the editing method wouldn't need saving as it would always be the same.

Good you got a solution to work in the end.
 

Offline John B

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2023, 12:16:56 am »
Sounds like you might be looking for the "Split item at cursor" function, by pressing "S". Volume can easily be set in the item properties, but I also got the impression you wanted to morph EQ over time, hence the use of envelopes. If you're doing simple things like volume, there's many ways to achieve that, but as things get more complex, you want to plan the signal flow and work flow.
 

Online BrianHGTopic starter

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Re: Need a music editor with a special non-destructive edit feature.
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2023, 02:34:06 am »
 :( Awww, all the new music editor's spectrum/graphic EQ auto limit level/duck when I over kill the +db, especially on the low frequencies.  Still need to go to older Audacity 2.1 or Cooledit 2K Pro to get that sweet heavy hitting of the sample limits.  I wish they had a switch to disable the feature and use a soft rounded clipping mechanism like that in old analog EQs instead.

 :phew:  Kept a copy of the older Audacity as the new version's EQ also auto-level pukes over the audio levels with every bass drum strike.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2023, 02:38:24 am by BrianHG »
 


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