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

Digidesign Session Multitrack Recording Software (part 6)

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Mixing

Once the audio is split up and the segments rearranged to perfection then the
next step, assuming that you didn’t need to bounce tracks (which is perfectly
possible in the digital domain) is mixing. Of course, the interest here is mainly
in the automation and Figure 3 shows the relevant display. Automation can be
performed by moving the faders and pan controls manually (fader grouping is
possible – a very important feature) or by drawing an automation ‘curve’
directly onto the screen. Either way it works perfectly well, although I did
notice a bit of audible jerkiness if I tried to move the mouse too quickly.
Automation data can be edited and copied from one track to another so matching
up a stereo pair isn’t a problem. However, I’m not sure that this
is the utmost Digidesign (and others) can manage. The problem with creating
an automation curve this way is what happens if you need to move the audio in
time? The automation does not follow and you will have to take some trouble
to move all the break points accurately to match the audio once more, even if
you can adjust several break points at the same time. Segment and scene based
automation are both incredibly useful techniques that should be incorporated
in future versions of Session. Aside from this, the only real quibble I have
about the automation is that if something has been recorded at too low a level,
there is nothing you can do about it. A normalise function would have been the
bare minimum, and it would take the provision of gain change of individual segments
to make me totally happy.

The provision of a two band EQ on each Session track is a technological marvel
(Fig 4). Don’t forget that everything you ask the computer to do in real
time involves extra processing power. According to the range of numbers the
software shows on the screen, the scope of the EQ is excellent and either of
the two bands can be high or low pass filters, high or low shelf or parametric
with gain, frequency and bandwidth controls. Having said that, looks can be
deceiving. I tried Digital Performer v1.6 with an Audiomedia card and the same
Digidesign Digital Audio Engine software, and although the EQ doesn’t look
much different on the screen in terms of Hertz and decibels, it certainly sounds
a good deal more powerful. In know that in this configuration only one EQ is
possible per card, but I have to say that it is Digidesign’s figures that
don’t seem to be corresponding to what I hear.

David Mellor

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David Mellor