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Subject:Couple of desperate questions..
Posted by: buckaroo
Date:7/4/2007 8:35:27 AM

I have been using Acid in its many forms for many years and am very happy with it, but would just like to know a couple of questions from other users and professionals alike...

1. Can Acid 6 cut audio loops without going into Sforge? If i record some audio into the timeline on Acid and i stop recording, i then have a "take" with "dead air/silence" at the beginning and end.

I then trim these off with placing the zoomed in cursor at either end and deleting the unwanted bits. BUT if i then get my newly recorded and trimmed loop, how do i turn into a "loop"? when i go to roll it out i get the air/silence back again!? - is there anyway around this by staying totally in Acid Pro 6?

2 : Is Acid good enough to master a track within the program? I use Logic alot and compose etc in Logic and render to a 24 bit file. I then always import that 24bit file into Acid to play around with it more but I sometimes feel its not the same quality as when it was in Logic?

Is this just me? Also whats the best way to render a half finished file db wise? ie: I compose a track in logic and export the 2 track mixed master out & import into logic. In Acid i want to add pitched fx etc over the 2 track master - is there a rule to say what db i should render to in logic knowing that i am adding things "over" in acid? i heard that -12db is the norm but that could be wrong...?

Which leads me onto my final q :

3. Is it best to Normalize each individual loop/one-shot in sounforge before bringing into Acid? or will this be too loud for the mixdown? so if i had a normalised kick, snare, hh, loop - this could all push the master to 0 before i add any music!

I always prefered recording loops into Soundforge and normalising them before dragging them into Acid but now i think maybe i should do the recording in Acid itself and leave the files alone so there is more headroom??

How do you lot work?

Sorry if i have opened a can of worms here - but these 3 questions iv'e always had and would love some opinions...

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: ATP
Date:7/4/2007 8:52:54 AM

1 - one way to do this is to do what you already do, but then mix it down to a new file. so you record the take and cut off the unwanted bits, which leaves you with an event that contains one instance of the loop. now, mute all other channels and then press Ctrl+M. this will give you the ability to save the current audible audio to a new file. since you have only the newly created loop unmuted, it will save this sound to a new (acidized) file, which you can then use in your project as a regular loop.

2 - a friend of mine tells me this also. he says Acid sounds too muddy compared to for example Cubase. i agree, tho i couldn't really say why. but personally it doesn't bother me. i like Acid's somewhat dusty sound. and with the right plugins you can still make your music sound phat.

3 - 'too loud for mixdown' shouldn't be an issue, normalized or not. if your samples are so loud that they easily make the project clip, then it's a simple matter of lowering the volume of those samples in the project (and concurrently, every other sample you add later).

i do not usually normalize a sample after i've recorded it, unless maybe it's really low on volume. but the risk is that white noise, statik and low/mid garbage is also raised in volume, which could make it sound much worse than before. also, i find that volume differences between the samples in the same project add to the creative process in some ways. but i guess it's a matter of preference.

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: DKeenum
Date:7/4/2007 6:01:12 PM

1. The short answer is yes, but, at least to me, it is a lot easier to use both programs.

2. To get a pro opinion, you'll have to let the programmers chime in, but my two cents are that I disagree with the opinion that one program sounds better than another. There are a lot of factors that go into what we perceive that we are hearing. For example, if the volume is increased by as little as a couple of db, we perceive that the louder version is better. But if you like logic better, then mix and master in logic. Seems simple to me.

As far as mastering in your multi-track program, I think it is obviously best to have a program designed for that task. But, that said, people master in their multi-track programs.

3. I usually clean up and normalize my tracks in sound forge before I use them in acid. That is where I would remove any noise or rumble. I may even apply a little bit of compression. Remember that normalization does not mean you have to raise the peaks to 0 db. You could raise them to any level (i.e. -4db). In fact normalizing to 0db is usually not recommended.

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: jumbuk
Date:7/4/2007 7:32:35 PM

Re whether one program "sounds better" or not - I think the issue with Acid is that you are mixing several loops that have been timestretched. Acid's timestretch algorithms are pretty good, but you are going to get a cumulative effect of layering together all the artifacts generated by timestretching. Of course, the same goes for Cubase and Logic if you do the same thing. Can't speak for Logic, since I don't use it, but in Cubase the native way of working with loops is akin to REX files, so you are chopping the loop into individual hits and altering the triggering speed rather than timestretching. For this reason, I think you can produce a better sounding mix in Cubase than Acid - but Cubase is not as fast or as intuitive.

Re mastering: I don't think you can do proper mastering in your multitrack environment. This is simply because you need to have the context of other tracks that will appear on the album to get the overall levels, loudness, sound quality etc right for the album. Also, I think you need to separate the two processes (mixing and mastering) so that you can concentrate on mastering when you get to it, and not be going back and rethinking the mix or the arrangement. Having said all that, I recognise that these days producers may not always work in the context of an album - a single track might stand alone for release as a single, and iTiunes is gradually destroying the concept of a unified body of work anyway.

Feel free to disagree :)

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: buckaroo
Date:7/5/2007 12:47:42 AM

Thanks for your input..

When i say inport a file into acid , its played a s a one shot so no looping or betamapping to degrade the sound.

I import into Acid so that i can do "acids pitch and stretch thing" to other samples and add them to my mix which is running as a one shot then re-render everything as a new track (with the added acid samples)

I just think that Acid sounds a bit different to when my mix was in logic? Is it best to do as a 24-bit file?

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: jumbuk
Date:7/5/2007 9:35:26 PM

I normally render as 24-bit and don't dither until the end of the final mastering chain. I think it makes sense to do this, unless you don't do any mastering after you leave ACid.

I normally do my final mastering in CDA so I can listen to the album as a whole while I fine-tune track order and overall sound balance.

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: alltheseworlds
Date:7/7/2007 3:18:26 AM

As regards mastering, it's a very human skill. It's not the tools so much as the human experience which counts imo.

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: Illogical
Date:7/9/2007 10:37:33 AM

I use Acid to master...I just open up a new project with the stereo render and add plug-ins til it sounds good. But I'm not mastering a whole album, just singles. And I'm not good at mastering.

Subject:RE: Couple of desperate questions..
Reply by: Iacobus
Date:7/9/2007 12:47:26 PM

1. Of course you can use ACID to make loops. Like ATP said, you'd solo the track in question, place the Loop Region over the area you'd like to turn into a Loop and use Ctrl + M using the "render loop region only" option. Voila. Instant ACIDized loop.

(Remember that loops created this way have the project's overall tempo and key automatically applied, so be careful with material that doesn't have a definite pitch like percussion. Set the project's key to "none" before rendering percussion material.)

I'd still suggest Sound Forge at some point during the process as there may be something you'd like to tweak. (Zero-crossings, for example.)

And I'd also suggest using ACID Pro's stretch marker ability as a last step as it can make a loop sound that much better in other tempos.

2. Not sure how Logic would "sound better" than ACID. The only thing I can think of is what others mentioned: Timestretching is going on, which can adversely affect the quality of the audio. One way to remedy this is to make sure the samples you import are One-shots (the only form of ACIDized digital audio that is not stretched by ACID in any way). But I'd bet my bottom dollar that a high-quality unstretched sample would sound exactly the same in ACID as it does in Logic on the same system.

3. Logically speaking, you'd mix to make everything sound balanced and the way you want it to sound. If something is too loud and sticking out, you simply reduce it.

I record first and worry later. I generally record loud (at around -6.0 dBFS). Typically, since I layer tracks for a "wall of sound" effect, I end up reducing thier overall volume anyhoo. Sounds good to me. As long as I hear what I envisioned, I'm a happy camper. :)

Sometimes I record in Sound Forge; mostly in ACID Pro. I still use Sound Forge in the end game to gussy up the audio.


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