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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.
Recording is fairly straightforward, but before we get started, I want to clear up perhaps one misconception. Some higher level audio software that goes way beyond what Soundbooth can do allows you to record on a track by track basis. Now I have not talked about multitrack recording or multitrack editing in Soundbooth up to this point, I devote an entire chapter to it later, but I'm showing you a multitrack session here, because some people might believe that you can record, let's say, narration to this track and a keyboard to this track and a bass to this track. Well, Soundbooth does not let you do that.
In Soundbooth, you can record only in Mono or Stereo, and you do that within an interface, not including this particular interface. Even if this is open, you'll not be recording to these individual tracks. You will be recoding simply to a WAV file. So, let me show you the process to recording either from here or from some other view. You can click on this little red button, which we will be on the bottom of your Editor panel - this is the Editor panel here and the button will be down there - or you can simply go File>Record. In either case, it opens up the Record dialog box. Right off the bat, you can see my voice is kind of making this guy jump up and down there.
That's the view meter for the left channel, in this case. First thing you need to do is select your device. Well, if you've set up your preferences, you don't need to worry about this. This is already ready to go. So, don't mess with this if you're happy with your preferences. Your next choice is your Sample Rate. The Sample Rate, the way I think about when I record, I like to choose a Sample Rate that's double my final output, and so if I am going to record something for a CD, the CD Sample Rate has to be 44.1 kHz or 44,100 Hz.
So, I typically record then at 88.2, so that when I down sample it's a straight cutting it in half. It's a much cleaner way to down sample. So, I usually record 88.2 when I am recording for a CD. When I am recording for a DVD, I record at 96,000 Hz, 96 kHz knowing that the DVD will be 48,000, but you can also have Blu-ray, which is 96. So, if you're recording for Blu-ray, do record at 96,000. So, I am going to choose 88.2, because let's say, we're just assuming we're going to create something for a CD.
Then you decide whether you're going to record in Stereo or Mono. Right now, we're going to record in Stereo, but here is what happens if you click Mono. I just have one channel bouncing here. I'll go back to Stereo. You can choose your Port. Most times, this is a default setting. It is, in our case, we have no choice. Just pick that default. Now here is where you can run into some issues, this little monitor input during recording. Now this is to enable you to hear yourself as you record, and that's a good thing, right? But frequently, what happens is that latency becomes a problem.
When you start speaking and then recording, you hear yourself coming back after you say something, and that little delay can really throw you off. So, you need to check your hardware to see what the latency is. If you are getting that kind of delay, you can reduce the latency time to just a few milliseconds, but if you do that, you may discover that your audio quality diminishes as a result. So, there is a sort of dance that you have to do sometimes in your hardware to find the right latency setting, so you can monitor yourself and still have good quality audio. The other side to this thing is if you're going to monitor yourself during recording and the latency is working, you need to make sure you turn off your speakers, because you'll get feedback, that horrible screeching sound that you can have with your speakers on and the microphone near the speakers.
So, typically, you can turn them off simply by plugging in a headset. That automatically turns off your speakers, but just be aware of that. For us, we're going to keep this little thing unchecked, because it can get really busy getting a feedback through our headsets. So, we are going to keep that thing turned off for our purposes. Now you need to set a file name. And the file name is something you can change later, but this is kind of a convenience for now, so I would say something like booth recording. Then I want to increment that. I might record several times, take one, take two. So, you can increment it based on a number, or on the date.
Choose what you want. It will be month, day, year or a day, month, year and then the time. We're just going to take a number. So, it will be - if I record once and stop, and then record again and stop again, it will be booth recording 1, booth recording 2, something like that. You can set the Location right here as to where you want to store it. I am just going to have my files get loaded up on the desktop, and you can see that I've already done that, but if you want to pick a place, you just click Browse and track down what folder you want to store your files in. Then we're just about ready to record, but I want to tell you about one more thing. There is a little button over here called the Marker, as you recording, the button will become active, and you can click a Marker to kind of just give you an indication that, well, this is where I started the second take or this is where I started playing an instrument or something, just a little marker that you can later go back and name.
So let me just show you how this works. I'll have to say a few things, play on the keyboard for couple of seconds, and you get a sense for how that works. We've got the mic here and the keyboard and stereo, so let's see how that works. See I am recording. You can see my voice in the left channel there bouncing along. You can see the Record Duration running down here, and you can see this little Marker is now active as is this Stop Recording button. I'll click the Marker here to say, okay, we're going to change from a narration to the keyboard, just as a reminder. There you go. Here is the keyboard. My producer says I should play Yankee Doodle Dandy. (Music playing.) How about that folks? Now, we'll stop it.
Once we've stopped it, the audio waveform appears immediately here inside the Editor panel and there is our little file name, same booth recording 01.wav * with the little asterisk saying you want to save this probably some place, just kind of a reminder to save it. Let me record one more thing, so you can see the incremental thing, how that works. Here is take 2 of that thing, and we'll play Chopsticks I guess. Click the little Marker saying, time to put in some music. (Piano playing.) Brilliant, right? Let me hit Stop here. There we go.
And now the second one shows up here in the Editor panel, and there is number 2 showing up right there. We'll click Close to close this little panel. I do want to show you one little thing done now that we've done this. There is Marker 00 for this one. If I double-click, here is Marker 00 for that one. If you click on Marker and open up the Markers panel, you can change the Marker to something like Piano start and then that will show up here in the Marker. If you want to save this, you can save this as and something else. I talk about how to save files in the completely different chapter, but if you do want to save it, you can save this thing as something other than booth recording.
It could be test recording or whatever you want. You can save it as a WAV or any other kind of file type that is supported by Soundbooth. So, that's how you make a recording.
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