Soundbooth CS4 Time-savers: MP3 Preview and Beat Detection
In previous posts we’ve covered the time saving features for correcting volume level problems. I wanted to mention a couple of additional time-savers in Soundbooth CS4 that will also boost your audio editing productivity.
So what’s the right compression setting to use when saving an MP3 file? While there is much debate about this on audio forums, the real answer is “ it depends. “ In general it’s a trade-off between the compression settings (throwing away extra bits) vs. the file-size. However, because there really is no right answer to what sounds best it’s often a matter of trial and error to find the compression settings that work for the specific type of audio you are saving to MP3.
In Soundbooth CS4 we’ve added an MP3 preview option to make it easy to try different compression settings before actually saving the file. This eliminates the need to save multiple MP3s and listen to each of them individually to see what works best for a particular piece of audio.
When you select MP3 as the file type at “Save” time you will be presented with a dialog that allows you to select different compression settings from 16Kbps to 320Kbps. You will also see an estimated file-size displayed at the bottom of the dialog. You can then press the play button on the right to “preview” what your audio will sound like using the selected compression settings. Once you find the one that sounds right you can press “Save” to create the .mp3 file.
One of Soundbooth’s tasks available in the task panel is “Create Loop.” This is a simple workflow that allows you to specify in and out points in a particular audio file and then save that section as loop for use in different projects (e.g., adding a series of music loops to a video or Flash project).
But how to do you know where the beats are located by looking at the waveform? The answer is “you don’t.” That’s why we’ve added the option to “View>Beats.” With this enabled you will see an orange line that indicates where each beat is located in the waveform. This makes it easy to find the beats when you are creating a loop. You can also use the “View>Snapping>Snap to Beats” option to line-up your in/out selections on the timeline exactly to the beat.