Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
Recording SoftWare for Blind people. Can anybody Please help?

Akai DR8 Hard Disk Recorder (part 4)

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Editing

The DR8 is so quick and efficient as a multitrack
recorder, I would still like it even if it didn't
offer any editing capabilities, but it does and
they are good. In multitrack recording it is common
to want to use the same section of audio in several
places in a song. Usually it is done using a sampler,
but it's much quicker using the DR8. Simply mark
the in and out points, then use the Copy function
to repeat the audio as many times as you like.
Of course, copying identical audio data doesn't
take up any extra disk space. Finding the in and
out points is done with the jog/shuttle wheel.
You can scrub the audio in the same way as you
would on an analogue reel to reel tape recorder,
or a top of the range megabuck hard disk recorder
like a SoundStation or AudioFile. Unfortunately,
Akai haven't quite got it right in the scrub department
yet since duplicating reel to reel style scrubbing
in a software environment is a far from trivial
task. The scrub function does work, but I found
that each time I rocked the jog wheel back and
forth, its position would change with respect
to the audio. This is precisely what you don't
want to happen, and I found that I was never quite
sure that I was hitting the right spot. Perhaps
I've been spoilt by my experience with the top
systems. Despite this, it is very easy to audition
and adjust the in and out points so I don't want
to seem too critical. It's a lot better than some
equipment I have tried, and there is almost certainly
some scope for Akai to improve it in a software
update. Checking that your in and out points are
in the correct place is straightforward. Once
you think you have your mark, press the To key
to listen to the few seconds of audio leading
up to the mark, or the From key to hear from the
mark. You can scrub and audition any combination
of tracks by the way. Once you have marked out
a section, press the In to Out key to hear it
in isolation.

When you have the section you want precisely
located between between the In and Out points,
there are several things you might want to do.
It could be a vocal for instance, and there are
some breaths or other noises you want to silence.
Select the Erase function and it's done, leaving
everything else in place as it was before. Suppose
you wanted to get rid of some audio and close
up the gap, then choose Delete. You may want to
copy the backing vocal of the first chorus to
all subsequent choruses, but it is spread over
four tracks. No problem, choose the Copy function
and select the tracks you want to operate on.
You can Move audio in a similar way, and there
are other useful options. The full list is as
follows:

  • Copy the specified section to any track. Material
    at the destination is overwritten

  • Copy and Insert the section to any track.
    Subsequent material is moved back

  • Move the section to any track. Material at
    the destination is overwritten

  • Move and Insert the section to any track.
    Subsequent material is moved back

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  • Insert a blank section of a specified length
    and move the subsequent material backward

  • Erase the specified section
  • Delete the specified section and move subsequent
    material forward

  • Slip the material forward or backward to the
    edit point.

Slip would be used, for example, if the guitarist
played ahead of the beat for a few bars. You could
simply slip the offending section back in time.

David Mellor

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David Mellor