Digital audio tracks let you store audio
data as digital sound values rather than as musical symbols.
A digital audio track works like a recording tape that
you can include
in a musical document and on which you can record whatever you want for
The number of digital audio tracks in a document is
you can use both regular staves (playing on digital or MIDI output) and
digital audio tracks in the same document.
Digital effect processors can also be applied to digital audio tracks.
Digital audio tracks enable you, for example:
In this chapter we will see how to configure your computer and the
of editing digital audio tracks.
- To add your own voice, or an instrumental part played
by you, to your
- To record a song from an audio CD, erase the singer's
it with your own.
- To import samples in different formats (AIFF, WAV,
MP3, SND) for
in your tunes.
- To export the end product in any of the most common
and create your own audio CDs.
Setting up memory
Setting up digital input
Acquiring and importing digital data
Hints and tips
Setting up memory
Digital audio tracks are stored by Melody/Harmony in 44
mono (CD quality) format.
A stereo recording will be split into two digital audio tracks, one
for the left channel, the other for the right channel.
This means that for one second of stereo recording,
176400 bytes (172
Kb) will have to be stored.
A five-minute tune in stereo will thus use about 50 Mb of memory.
This huge quantity of data will be managed as temporary
files on your
hard disk or, if you wish and have sufficient memory, in RAM.
The way the program manages digital audio tracks can be set in "Configuration>Global
It is important to adjust these parameters to suit your
in order to gain the fastest possible access to digital audio data.When
replaying, Melody/Harmony must be able to read the digital data at 172
The first value to adjust is the transfer buffer size.
is used for sound output and for copy operations when editing. The
the value, the faster load, save, conversion and cut/paste operations
be. This memory is a part of your application's private memory
An optimal value is from 512 to 1024 Kb.
You can select the temporary files location.
are used to store tracks, as well as for "undo" operations while
editing. Available disk space of at least 100 Mb is recommended, even
more if you are
working on large files with a large number of undo levels (see global
If you have several hard disks or several
partitions, select the fastest or the emptiest. It is recommended
you defragment this disk frequently to optimize transfer speed. (See
Use Temporary memory: if this option is selected,
will store as much data as possible in temporary memory (RAM) before
the hard disk. If you have a large amount of memory (more than 64 Mb),
can drastically improve processing speed.
To help you to optimise the settings of these parameters
for your computer's particular specifications, the "Check my computer"
starts a test procedure and displays the result.
Setting up digital input
Recording sources can be, for example, an audio CD in
the CD-ROM drive,
or a microphone plugged into your computer.
The recording source (microphone, CD player,
Aux, etc...) is not selected in Melody-Harmony, but by using the
system tools (Audio mixer on the PC, "Sound" control panel on the
The "Configuration>Digital input configuration" menu defines
how Melody/Harmony acquires data from the selected audio source.
If a digital input is selected and receives data, the
green gauge (on
the left of the window) should move.
Input can be made in mono or in stereo. When
is selected, two digital audio tracks will be created, one below the
The first one is the left channel, the second one the right. If you are
recording from a microphone, there
is no point in selecting "stereo".
The gain (only available on some computers) can
this is the amplifying factor, automatic or manual, applied to the
The input delay allows you to compensate for your
processing time, because there can be a delay between the time that an
audio signal is provided to the computer and the time that the
digital data are made available by the analog-digital converter.
Melody/Harmony automatically sets a base delay that is dependent on
the digital output parameters you define (see the digital
setup window). The input delay is then added to or subtracted from this
For example, if you record your voice on a digital audio track while
music is playing, a delay of a few milliseconds between the recorded
and music can occur when the item is replayed.
Here is a simple method to get the right value for the
Your digital input is now set up.
- Make an empty document of about twelve bars.
- Enable the metronome in the "Play tools" palette.
- Start recording and directly record, with a
microphone, the metronome
emitted by your computer loudspeakers for two or three seconds.
- Add the result to your document.
- If your input delay is correctly set, the metronome
clicks will occur
at the beginning of each bar.
- If clicks fall a little bit early (on the left of the
the input delay and retry.
- If clicks fall a little bit late (on the right of the
the input delay and retry.
If you change the digital output parameters,
it may be necessary to perform this setup again.
Acquiring and importing digital
There are several ways to include a digital audio track in a musical
To record a digital audio track, display the
"Recording tools" palette ("Windows" menu). Then select the input
type(s): digital and/or Midi. Please note
two kinds of input can be selected at the same time, enabling you to
what you are playing on an electronic keyboard while singing into a
||Note to Windows users:
Before starting a digital recording, you must
select a digital input device in "Configuration>Hardware
Importing an existing digital sound
From the File menu, select "File>Import>"
then a file format from: Wave, Aiff, MP3 or Macintosh sound resource.
Next select an existing file on your hard disk and click OK. A new
will be created, with as many digital tracks as there are channels in
file (one for a monaural file, two for a stereophonic file).
Adding a track to an existing document
Adding data to a digital audio track
- Adding the content of a digital sound file to
Select "Edit>Digital audio track>Import". The selected audio file
Wave, Aiff, Mp3... format will be read and added to the existing
as one or two digital audio tracks.
- Acquiring sound data from a digital input:
Click on the record icon in the "Record tools" palette or select
audio track>Start-stop recording".
The tune starts playing and recording begins. The sound source can
be a microphone (sing or play an acoustic instrument) or an audio CD
CD play from your operating system control panel). To stop recording,
click on the icon again.
Data will be added as one or two tracks to the existing document. If
no document is open, a new one will be created.
- Acquiring from the Karaoke window:
Start Karaoke, then click on the record icon
and sing into the microphone. Your voice is added to the current
as a digital track.
Create a new staff (Staves>Add staff) and change its type to
audio track" (Staves>Change type). Then perform the following:
Converting a regular staff into a digital audio
Change the type of an existing staff to "Digital audio track". The
musical notes belonging to this staff will be converted to their
- Adding data to an existing digital audio track
from an existing digital
Click where you want the sound to be inserted in the digital audio
track. Then select "Edit>Digital audio track>Import". Data read
file in Wave, AIFF, MP3 ... format will be added at the cursor position.
- Adding data to an existing digital audio track
from a digital recording:
Click where you want the sound to be recorded in the digital audio
track. Select "Play selection range" mode in the "Play tools" palette.
Click the record icon. Click this icon again to stop recording.
||Note to Harmony users: You can
convert a digital track to notes using the script "Digital
sound>Digital to notes"
After each digital data recording or import, a window
opens. This displays
the digital data and timing. This window can also be used during score
editing: select an area on one or two digital tracks and select
audio track>Edit selection".
Several editing modes are provided and can be selected
by the icons
below the digital sound graph:
The “Actions” pop-up menu provides commands to be applied to
selection range: cut, paste, erase, add ...
- Change mode (pencil): when active, you can
change sound samples
by clicking on their graphic display.
- Zoom mode (magnifying glass):
(mouse click) or
decreases (Shift + mouse click) display zoom for the sound graph. The
bar sets the beginning of the viewing area.
- Select mode (lasso): clicking on the sound
graph will set the selection
range. The selection range is also displayed in numerical form on the
as data sample numbers together with locations in minutes, seconds and
hundredths of a second.
The working area is defined by a starting and
an ending location.
All data within the working area will be applied to the
track when validating. Data outside the working area will be
When the editing window opens:
If you imported a digital sound file, the working area is maximal:
it includes all the data you may edit, i.e. all of the loaded
If you edited a part of an existing digital audio track, the working
area is maximal: it includes all the data you may edit, i.e. the
of the selected range of the document.
If you recorded a sound, the working area starting point is set at
the first piece of data recorded when the music started playing. In
cases, you can expand the working area to show data recorded just
the music started (see below).
The commands "Crop" and "Show all" in the
change working area boundaries. “Crop” sets the working area to the
selection range, “Show all” sets the working area to the whole sample.
If several digital audio tracks are included
in the document:
You can select which existing track data will
be applied to,
or create a new track. If the data is in stereo, it will be applied to
the selected track as well as the next one.
If you recorded data from a microphone or an audio CD:
When the window opens, the recorded data are
there can be a delay between the start of recording and the start of
playing, data can exist before the first displayed location. By default
this is not shown. To view it, select "Actions>Show all".
If you have stereo data (audio CD, file import...):
If you add data to an existing digital audio track:
- keep the left and right channels. Each channel will
be applied to a
track. Left track panning will be set to left, right track panning to
- mix the left and right channels to get a single
- mix the left and right channels to remove the
singer's voice. This is
in order to replace the singer's voice with your own.
You can select whether the data will be
inserted at the current
location, added to (mixed with) the existing data, or used to
If a locking point is set on the target track:
You can select whether the application of data
locking point or not. (See the "Editing" section below for an
of locking points.)
All the usual editing operations like cut, paste, erase... can be used
on digital audio tracks.
There are however some peculiarities. For instance,
operation mixes the clipboard content with the current selection range.
Specific operations dedicated to digital audio tracks:
mirror... can be selected from "Staves>Digital audio track". These
apply to the current selection range. They are detailed below.
The "Staves>Digital audio track" menu can be displayed by
on a digital audio track (Alt+Click on Macintosh).
Locking points are specific to digital audio tracks.
They are designed
to protect an area of data from being moved or altered while performing
insert or delete operations: no operation performed before a locking
can affect data located after it.
A locking point is shown by a red vertical
line. You can add a locking point anywhere on a digital audio track by
"Edit>Digital audio track>Add locking point". When applying data
to a track, a locking point is automatically added
to the start of the modified area. To delete a locking point, use the
delete tool (lightning bolt).
These actions perform logical operations or modify data within the
Seek zero crossing: The
starting and ending points of the selection range will be set to the
zero crossings of data. This facilitates the isolation of a sound in a
set of data, and avoids "clicks" when the selection range is pasted
in the track (provided the insertion point is also a zero-crossing).
Horizontal mirror: The selected
data is inverted top to bottom (i.e. positive amplitude becomes
Vertical mirror: The selected data
is reversed left to right (i.e. is played backwards in time).
Amplify: The selected data is amplified
by the specified percentage. A ratio below 100% will decrease volume.
The "Normalize" option sets the highest sample amplitude value
in the selection range to the specified percentage of the maximum
Normalize to 100% amplifies the sound to the
maximum value that is possible without the onset of data loss due to
Fade: Sound fade in or fade out.
The fade can be linear or logarithmic.
Center zero: The average value
of data in the selection range is set to zero.
If you wish to edit part of a
digital audio track
(or a complete one) more precisely, select the area you are interested
audio track>Edit selection". If you select more than one track,
will be performed in stereo.
Hints and tips
Karaoke and re-recording:
It is possible to start a microphone recording from
the karaoke play
window.This lets you record a digital audio track containing
just your voice. After having validated this track, you can replay the
tune to hear
your voice added to the music. At this point you can record your voice
and add it to the existing track. And so on ...
If, when playing, an alert tells you that the music cannot be played
properly, ensure that the hard disk on which temporary files are stored
is not full or fragmented. Free up some space or start a defragment
Singer's voice removal problems:
In some cases, the singer's voice cannot be be removed properly. This
is particularly likely to occur when importing an MP3 file, and is due
to the information loss inherent in the MP3 format.
It can also occur in pieces where the
singer's voice is not stereophonically centered.