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Understanding destructive processing options (NEW)

From: iPad Music Production: Auria

Video: Understanding destructive processing options (NEW)

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of edits you can make to regions in Aria are non-destructive, meaning the changes you make can be undone at any time. And pretty much everything I've done so far in this chapter has been non-destructive. Essentially, when you make an edit to region by doing something like trimming it or writing a fade, what you're doing is giving Aria information on how to present the audio it's playing, and which parts of the audio to play. Nothing happens to the audio recording itself. But Aria also has a collection of tools which will change the actual audio content. This can be referred to as destructive processing, which sounds kind of scary, but these tools can be pretty useful at certain times.

Understanding destructive processing options (NEW)

As I mentioned earlier, the majority of edits you can make to regions in Aria are non-destructive, meaning the changes you make can be undone at any time. And pretty much everything I've done so far in this chapter has been non-destructive. Essentially, when you make an edit to region by doing something like trimming it or writing a fade, what you're doing is giving Aria information on how to present the audio it's playing, and which parts of the audio to play. Nothing happens to the audio recording itself. But Aria also has a collection of tools which will change the actual audio content. This can be referred to as destructive processing, which sounds kind of scary, but these tools can be pretty useful at certain times.

Now you can always undo destructive changes just by hitting the undo button. But if you get too far down the line from your change, you might find yourself having to do a whole lot of work to get back to that original state. Now, I'll show you some ways around this in a moment, but first, let's take a look at the tools that are available. They're off out here under the Process menu. So, let's run down the list. Now, they're currently grayed-out because they don't have a region selected. The first item is Gain, which allows you to change the Gain, or volume level, of the selected region. You might want to use this, for example, if a region is reported louder or quieter than the other regions around it. And you want to match their level a little more closely. For example, I noticed that the auto punch region of the bass track is actually a little louder than the rest of the bass track. I'll just play a little bit of that.

I'll solo that. (MUSIC) So if you adjust the gain of that punch, I'm going to select it, and choose process gain. And that just gives me a single dial I can use to either increase or reduce the gain of the selected region. Now there's no way to preview your change here, so a little guesstimation is involved. Just place your finger on the dial and move it up or down. Now if you do want to be precise, maybe in this case I'm trying to get it to be 2 DBM having trouble there. You can tap in the field, to bring up your keyboard and I can just type in minus 2.

Done and that gives me minus 2 DB. Now if we move that out of the way. Oops. You can see it went up to 10 there by accident so let's do that again. 2-2, done. Now when I tap Ok, you should see the wave form shrink a little bit, and there it is. Now this process change the actual recording. Let's listen again. (MUSIC) (MUSIC) So that sounds a little more even to me. Now if I didn't adjust it to my satisfaction I'd have to tap the undo button to revert it back and then try again.

You don't want to apply multiple destructive processing over a region if you can help it, but I'm pretty happy with that change so I'll leave it as is. The next process is normalize, which is most often used for increasing the level of audio to a specific level. For example, if you have a recording that's a little too quiet, instead of guessing how much to increase its gain, you can normalize to bring the loudest points of the recording to the loudest level without resulting in distortion. Under that, we have DC Offset. Now DC Offset is a problem that occurs when you're recording hardware adds a DC current to your audio, which results in the wave form not being centered vertically in the region. This means that even if you normalize the region, it won't be at its loudest possible.

Now you'll very rarely need this processor, but if it ever looks like the waveform in the region has shifted up, instead of being centered, try running the DC Offset Process. This is a case where its good that the process is destructive, in that it will permanently fix the recording. Next is the reverse process, which flips the selected audio so it plays backwards. This can be a fun effect to apply to certain instruments or even vocals. Just select the region or make a selection within the region, maybe I'll just find a bit of the dobro here, select that, and I'll choose Process Reverse, as you see that flips the wave form and we'll see what that sounds like.

(MUSIC) So that's pretty trippy stuff. I'm just going to undo that for now. Make sure we undo it until we undo the reverse. And the next two items aren't really destructive processes. The first one is Crossfade which we saw in action in the previous movie, and you can always undo your Crossfades. And Reset Fades is a command to just remove any phase you've added to a selected region. So for example. I'll just select any region where I've previously added a fade. Maybe on the (UNKNOWN) track, here. And I can choose Process > Reset Fades. And you can see that takes the fade off that track. Again, I'll just undo that.

Now the last item here is Condense Regions. And this is definitely a destructive process. We've seen how you can trim a region by dragging its trim handles in, like so, and you can always revert back to the original length just by dragging it out again. Depending on your project, you might end up with a lot of trimmed regions where you've gotten rid of stuff you'll never use anyway, like talking before a take or some pops or background noise. If you're sure that you don't need the trim portions of your regions, you can tap to select it, and then choose Condense Regions to permanently delete those parts. Which could end up saving you storage space on your iPad.

Just be aware that this is permanent. It can't be undone. So you want to make sure that you only select the regions you want to condense. Personally, though, I don't think there's a need to use this command unless you're really running out of space. Or if you're really only using a small portion of a much larger recording. So those are the items you'll find under the Process Menu. Now again, because most of these are destructive, the Undo Button is your friend. If you want to experiment with these processes, be sure to hit the Undo Button after each application so you can start fresh each time. Another option you'll have would be to copy your region to a separate track. That way you'll have the original region sitting safely on it's original track and you can mess around with the copy until you get it right.

And then apply those settings to the original. And then you can delete the copy. That's probably the safest way to work with the structured processes with the exception of the condense regions command which can't be undone. So again, be very careful with that one. But there you have the items found under the process menu in Aria/g.

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iPad Music Production: Auria

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