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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.
Soundbooth lets you see audio. You can view a file's waveform or something called a Spectral Frequency Display, which is a really cool feature in Soundbooth. Both views, especially the Spectral Frequency Display, come in real handy when you edit audio. Let's just start by looking at a monaural track. This is a monaural clip of a voice. You can see it's only one waveform. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge) If I look at a stereo waveform, like this one, by double-clicking on it, you can see that's two tracks and the standard way to look at stereo waveforms inside any kind of audio editing program is that the upper channel is the left channel and the lower one is the right channel.
(Music playing.) You'll notice that when you go to Stereo, you go from one audio level Sound Level Display up here. (Woman singing: a sky of yellow -) You go here, two show up. (Music playing.) It'll show you left on the top or right on the bottom for the various Decibel levels or Amplitude, as it's called. Now if you go to 5.1, which is 6 channels, you can see it's marked Left (L), Right (R), left surround, right surround, center, which you'll usually reserve for dialog, spoken word or the vocalists, and then low-frequency effects here, which is usually the subwoofer for the bass. And that can be located anywhere, but usually it's located kind of towards the center from the room when you are listening to 5.1 surround.
And notice that when you change the 5.1 surround, you've got 6 level indicators here. (Music playing.) Let's go back to stereo here. Let me show you the Spectral Frequency Display. There are two ways to view that and I'll start by looking at the monaural view first here. Here's mono looking at the waveform display and I want to go to the Spectral Frequency Display. I can click on this button and that will pop it open or close it, or I can simply drag up here in the bottom, right down here below and just drag that guy up. There we are.
You're wondering what the heck this all means. I want to zoom in on that a little bit and I've used the Zoom tool before. I'll use that again and I'm going to zoom in a little bit. And you can see how this works. The Spectral Frequency Display shows you a couple of things. The bright yellow colors indicate a louder volume level at that frequency. Here are the frequencies along the side. So we are looking at a frequency here of about 200 cycles per second, which is relatively low for a woman's voice, but here she is singing a little bit higher.
This is almost like 440 again, almost A above middle C. You can see how her frequency changes and it shows the volume level. The bright yellow is a louder sound at these varying frequencies. And you can see that she has a little vibrato. Let me just play that so you can kind of get a sense. (Woman singing: When the sun sets on the water's edge, a sky of yellow, blue and) So notice when she said, "blue," her voice went up in pitch and so does this little indication here in the Spectral Frequency Display, and that she sang a little louder there, it's a little bit brighter yellow. And the darker colors here indicate overtones and lower volume levels, but different frequencies, so you can see the frequencies are approaching the limits of human hearing as they go above 10,000 cycles per second here.
This is called a Logarithmic Display because when you go up an octave, you double the frequency each time. So, if you go from 200 to 400, that's one octave, and then 400 to 800 is one octave, and 800 to 1600, well, if you weren't looking at it logarithmically, you would compress all the bass frequencies into a every small area, and then you'd expand all the high-frequencies into a wide area and it really would be kind of an unrealistic view of sound. But we can actually look at it that way by going over to this Remove a Sound button, and I'll talk about removing a sound in other movies.
I'll click that and I want to change the Vertical Scale from 95 to 0%. That makes it arithmetic and compresses all the bass frequencies here from 4000, which is basically as high as any human being can sing, more or less, down to the lowest level any human being can sing, and that's the entire human voice range there, just about. All the rest of this stuff is above it, more or less, in terms of hitting an exact note instead of overtones. So, it really isn't a very realistic way to look at something, but if you do want to look at just the high frequencies, that's the way to do it, but I'm going to go back and set this guy back to 95% and have it be logarithmic again.
Let's look at a stereo signal and see how that's different. That puts each channel here in its own spectral display. Now I'll zoom in on that again so you can get a better picture of how that looks, and you can see the various keyboards. This is a keyboard piece. I'll click here and you can see the notes change. (Music playing.) It's keyboard mixed with bass there. If you go to the 5.1 display, it just gets insane now. All the various channels show up inside the Spectral Frequency Display. Now I showed you how to zoom in on an area using the Zoom tool.
I am going to show you a couple of other ways to do that. I am going to go back to the keyboard and bass, so it's little simpler looking. Now before, we've used the Zoom tool here with this little Plus sign and clicking on this little magnifying glass and zoomed in here inside the clip itself to zoom in on something. I am going to press the press Backslash key to zoom all the way out. I am going to zoom in, instead, using the Time Display, so I'm going to go back to my Time Selection tool, the T shortcut. I'm going to right-click here inside this Time Display, right-click and drag, and that's another way to zoom in, just by right-clicking and dragging.
Notice there is little magnifying glass with a double arrow there. You can zoom into a very specific time, in terms of samples here, or I can right-click and change to Hours, Minutes and Seconds (HMS), same routine, right-click and drag. That zooms into a very tight view. That's one way to zoom in. You can also zoom into the frequency, which comes in really handy if you are going to edit a particular frequency. So, I'm going to press the Backslash key to zoom out again. If I want to zoom in on the frequency, I'll go to the Mono View, just so can see that little more clearly. If I want to zoom in, let's say, on this frequency right here, I can right-click inside the Frequency Display, and drag.
That'll show me just the region around 200 cycles per second. I have a very narrow view of that particular frequency from basically all about 110 to 270 or so hertz, or cycles per second. If I want to go zoom all the way back out again, I right-click again and select Zoom Out Full. So, you can zoom in on the frequency or zoom in on the time using either the Zoom tool here for the time, or you can right-click inside the Time Ruler here and zoom in that way and then zooming in on the frequency, you can do that by right-clicking inside the Frequency Ruler.
So, that's basically how you can view sound in Soundbooth.
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