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In Soundbooth CS5 Essential Training, author Jeff Sengstack demonstrates how to record, edit, optimize, and enhance audio using the professional tools in Adobe Soundbooth CS5. This course covers basic audio edits, such as trimming, fading, and panning clips, removing unwanted noise, enhancing audio with special effects, and creating stereo blends from multiple tracks. An overview of recording hardware and a detailed explanation of core audio concepts are included as well. Exercise files accompany the course.
To build a multitrack Session inside Soundbooth, you first have to create a new multitrack file, and there are basically three ways to do that. Let me show you them one at a time. The standard way is to go File > New > Multitrack File. When you click that, it opens up this Multitrack File with three empty tracks waiting for you to load clips into those tracks. I'm going to delete that and take a different route. You can start with a file, for instances this a cabasa, and let me just play cabasa for you so you know what a cabasa is. It's sort of a cylinder thing that you can roll on your hand, like it has beads on it, like that.
(Cabasa playing.) That's a cabasa. So you just select a particular file, whichever one you want, then you go to File > New > Multitrack File from Waveform, and what this does is it puts whatever file you have there in the first track of the Multitrack File, and it lines it up right with the beginning, right where it belongs. That's one way to get started as well. I'm going to leave that one in because that's the one we are going to work with. And finally, if you want to edit different channels in a Stereo File, you can't do them individually inside Soundbooth.
You have to create a Multitrack File from that Stereo File and have those channels split off if you want to do the editing there. So, I'll show that, but that really isn't the focus of this particular tutorial, but I do want to show you how to do that. So, you select that Stereo File, open it up. And then go File > New > Multitrack File from Channels, and what it does, it creates a Multitrack File with two clips in it, the left channel and right channel as separate clips, and that allows you to edit them separately in terms of volume levels and applying affects to them individually, as if they're individual clips. But I'm just going to delete that one.
We're not going to work on that one at all. So we go back to this one we've just made, the cabasa. When you want to add more clips to a Multitrack Session, which, of course, you want to do, you just drag the clips usually one at a time, but I want to show you a shortcut as well. But we'll do one here. If you want the clip to be at the beginning, you don't drag it out here where you sort of logically think you'd want to place it because if you do it here, it just kind of places it randomly some distance from the beginning. So, I'm going to delete that by selecting and pressing Delete. I want it to line up right with the beginning.
To do that, you drag it actually inside the header here, and that will put it right to the beginning, which is convenient, and I want to do a shortcut to add the remaining three percussion clips here. And to do that, I want to actually delete a track before I do it because I want you to see how the shortcut works. So, I'm going to click on this one, then I'll right-click and say Delete Track. That's how you delete a track. So, now we have two tracks with nothing down here. I want to add three more clips. So, here is a little shortcut to do that. I'm going to click on the symbol, Ctrl or Command+click on the kick - if you're Command+Click on the Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and Control or Command+click on shaker.
So, now I've selected three files. I'm going to drag that over to this empty space down here. Notice it has multiple file icons, as I drag it down, a little plus down there. If I let go in this empty space down here, left or right - doesn't many any difference - it'll add three more tracks, and we'll put those clips right at to the beginning of the tracks, which is a nice thing. Now we've got five clips in this Multitrack session. Now a couple of things you might want to do once you get to your Multitrack session loaded up like that is to do a little bit of housework. Here it says Audio1, Audio 2, Audio 3.
You can see the name of the clip here. It's not a bad idea to change the name of the track just to kind of keep track of things. So, I can click on this to highlight it, and just type in cabasa. And I can do that for all the tracks. I won't, but in this case, I'll just get started and you see how that works. All right. So, just click on highlight. It turns blue with white lettering, and you can just type in the name of that particular track. It does not have to be exactly named what the actual file is, but it's a good idea to have some kind of correlation between the track name and the file that's in it.
It makes easier for you to track things down later and finally, you might want to trim away things like you notice the beginning here is a lot of silence. And you might want to trim away that silence, and you can do that en masse. It's best not to do at one track at a time because these guys were all recorded such that they're the same length, and then the music starts at the same place. So, I don't want to trim the beginning of one and not trim of the beginning of the other. So, you can select all the clips in all the tracks and edit them all at once. So, I want to show you how to trim things away by clicking on this first one and then Ctrl+clicking or Command+clicking on the next, next, next and next.
Now I've selected all five. I can trim all five at once. And to trim it accurately, I want to zoom in on the Multitrack session. I can zoom in the same way I would zoom in on, let's say, a file inside of the Editor view by pressing the Plus key on the keyboard, either the numeric keypad or at the top of the keyboard. So, I am going to press plus a few times, and it always zooms in on the current time indicator. Now we can see that the beginning is right here for all the tracks. If I hover my cursor overon the left here, it turns into little Trim tool.
Let me get the current time indicator out of the way so it'll show up better. And right now, it doesn't show the Trim tool because we're not realling looking at the head of the track. As we zoomed in, the head of the track went away. So, we are not really at the very beginning of that clip. So, I need to press Home, and now we're at the beginning of the clip. Let me get the current time indicator out the way, and now the Trim tool should show up, he says. There it is. See that? It depends on where you hover the cursor as to what the context will be at that particular moment. But the context right there is for the Trim tool to show up.
When I click on that with all these guys selected, now I drag over to the beginning, not right to the beginning, but give it a little bit of space. Now all those tracks will be trimmed at once, and now I want to slide them over. So what I've got to is grab on one here, in this little green area. The green area is where you can grab the clip inside the track, click that and drag them all over and now we've set up the beginning. If I want to take a look at the end, and see if the end needs any trimming, I will press the Backslash key, which works just like working with a file.
That then shows you the entire length of the Multitrack session. I'll go to the end here and zoom in on the end and ask myself, "Do I really want to trim this guy down?" And I do want to trim it a little bit. So, I'll hover at the end until the context-sensitive cursor shows Trim tool. Notice now it's facing to the left, and now you can trim from the right to the left that I can drag that over a little bit. Say OK. Now we've trimmed the beginning and the end of the this Multitrack session. Now we have get all these guys here. Do the Backslash key again, and press the Home key to get the current time indicator to the beginning and we will just see how all these guys play together.
(Percussion playing.) What you're seeing is that we've put down 5 percussion tracks, which is usually how you start a Multitrack session. You usually start by working with the percussion, but we do want to fine-tune this. We want to adjust some of the volume levels, maybe some of these percussion instruments are a little too loud, a little to soft. We also want to pan them left and right, and I do that in a different movie.
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