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Sound Tab

Click the Sound tab at the bottom left of the screen to edit and set parameters for audio, MIDI, and video clips with greater precision. The sound tab will display different parameters and graphics depending on what type of clip is currently selected.

Sound Tab Navigation Bar

The Sound Tab Navigation Bar allows clip previewing, vertical and horizontal zoom in/out, and lets you hide or show the Sound Tab Parameter Editor. Its appearance and operation are the same whether editing audio or MIDI notes.

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Preview

The preview play button at the top of the Sound Tab Navigation Bar plays back the currently selected clip.

Zoom Controls

The up/down magnifying glass and left/right arrow icons adjust the current vertical and horizontal zoom view of the current audio clip. The zoom controls have no effect on the sound.

Hide Sound Tab

The dual left arrows hide the sound tab parameters for increased viewing size.

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SOUND TAB (WITH AUDIO CLIP SELECTED)

Pitch, key, loop points, and time stretching can be set and edited in the Sound tab.

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Name Field

The name of the currently selected clip appears here. (“Crash” is the name of the clip in the above screenshot.) To edit a clip name, click on the name text and type a new name. Changing the name of audio clips from the Mixcraft library will not affect the filename in Windows Explorer, only within the current project.

Lock/Unlock

Clicking the Lock icon will prevent changes to the clip’s Loop Start, Loop End, and

Snap Point. Lock also prevent clips from being moved in the grid.

Mute /Unmute

This is the circle-with-a-cross-through-it next to the Lock icon that mutes or unmutes the clip. When muted, all instances of the clip will turn gray. The Mute Sound button in the Sound tab is interchangeable with the Mute Sound button on clip itself – you can mute or unmute with either button.

Time Signature

This lets you set the time signature of an audio loop with individually settable numerator (beats per bar) and denominator (note value constituting a beat). Keep in mind that the time signature setting has no effect on the sound; it only changes the placement of beats on the ruler above the waveform to simplify setting in/out points and looping.

Use Project Tempo/Time Stretch

Mixcraft plays audio clips in one of two time-domain modes:

Use Project Tempo Time Stretch

Use Project Tempo

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Time Stretch

In this mode, Mixcraft adjusts sounds based on the difference between the project’s tempo and the sound’s detected tempo. For example, if the project tempo was 120 BPM and the sound’s detected tempo was 60 BPM, it would time-stretch the sound to be half as long, because it would be playing the sound back two times as fast.

However, a project’s tempo many not remain constant throughout. For example, in a transition between two songs, you could slowly ramp the tempo up with multiple tempo changes. In Use Project Tempo mode, Mixcraft dynamically adjusts

the playback rate of audio to maintain perfect synchronization based on the current tempo. This offers lots of latitude to mix and match loops of various tempos.

(Yeah, we know, we’re pretty cool.)

To set the loop speed by tempo, click Use Project Tempo. The numeric display will show the loop’s original tempo. Enter a tempo by clicking in the number field to the right, or use the up/down arrows.

Time Stretch

In this mode, the sound is simply time stretched by a fixed amount. The sound will not adjust to the project tempo. You’ll most likely use Use Project Tempo mode most of the time, but there are situations when automatic tempo change isn’t desirable. For example, if you had a long drone with no inherent tempo, and you didn’t want its length affected. Fortunately, Mixcraft’s audio playback is mode is settable on a per-sound basis, so you can mix and match modes as you please.

To set the loop speed by percentage, click the Time Stretch and enter a percentage value by clicking in the field, or by using the up/down arrows.

Double/Half-Speed

If the current clip is set to Use Project Tempo mode, clicking on the 2x button will play loops at double speed. Clicking once will play the loop at half-speed, a second click will play the loop at double-speed, and clicking a third time will return the loop to standard playback speed.

Note: Loops can be slowed down or sped up by up to four times their normal speed (i.e. 25% - 400% of normal playback speed). If values set are above or below this, Mixcraft “maxes out” at 25% - 400% normal playback speed.

Key/Pitch Adjustments

Mixcraft plays audio clips in one of three key/pitch modes:

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Use Project Key

Transpose

No Pitch Adjustments

Use Project Key

Mixcraft adjusts the pitch of the sound based on the difference between the project’s key and the sound’s key. (The project key can easily be seen and adjusted in the transport bar display.) For example, if the project key was F# and the sound’s key was F, it would adjust the pitch of the sound up by one semitone so that it was in tune with F# instead of F.

However, you can have more than one key change in a project. A sound in Use Project Key mode will adjust in real-time to the correct number of half steps in order to play in the correct key based on the most recent key change. To continue the example, if the sound was in F and there were two key changes to A and then G, it would correspond to shifting the pitch of your sound by four semitones up to A and then by two semitones up to G.

Changing The Key Of A Sound, aka Songs In The Key of Right

Assuming that the key of the sound is correct, you can change the key of a sound by adding markers with key changes and/or by changing the project’s key. You do not need to change the key of the sound on the Sound tab. It’s recommended to change the project key or add key change markers. In short, if you want to change the key of a sound, change the project key. (Changing the key of

a sound should only be done if the detected key is wrong!) If the sound’s key is wrong, you can adjust it with the Original Clip Key control.

Mixcraft adjusts the pitch by the shortest distance between two keys. For example, if the project key was G and the sound’s key was F, it will adjust it by +2 semitones, instead of -10 semitones.

Transpose

This gives manual control over the playback key of audio. It’s useful if you don’t want audio to follow Mixcraft’s project key setting or obey key changes on the timeline.

You can type in a partial amount such as 1.26 semitones or use the up/down to adjust pitch in semitones up to 24 semitones in either direction. You might use this option to fix a slightly off key vocal performance or transpose a sound into a key you are more familiar with.

No Pitch Adjustments

If Use Project Key and Transpose are both deselected, No Pitch Adjustments appears beneath the buttons and audio will play “as is” with no pitch transposition.

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SOUND TAB – TIME SUB TAB

These controls let you fine tune a clip’s location in the Main Clip Grid as well its length and looping parameters. If the project is set to Beats mode in the top toolbar (next to the handsome Mixcraft 7 logo) the edit boxes display in measures, beats, and partial beats. If the project is set to Time mode, the edit boxes display positions in minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. Helpful hint: you can use the mouse scroll wheel to quickly set values by clicking in the number fields and spinning.

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Offset

The offset setting defines a clip’s location in the Main Clip Grid.

Length

The length setting defines the size of the clip. If the length value setting is longer than the entire audio clip, the clip will repeat until it reaches the set length value. The clip will show “indentations” in the bottom where it repeats.

Loop Start/End

Defines a clip’s playback start and end points. Example: say you like the second half of a four-bar loop, but don’t like the first half. Changing the Loop Start setting from 1:1:0 to 3:1:0 will skip playback of the first half. Loop start and end points can be set either by clicking in the number fields in the Sound>Time tab, or by moving

the Loop Start and Loop End markers in the audio waveform display. You can also set a clip’s start and end points by grabbing and moving its start and end points in the Main Clip Grid. Regardless of how a clip’s start and end points are set, all displays will update.

# Loops

The number of times a loop will repeat. (This setting can potentially overlap with the Length setting – changing one automatically updates the other.)

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SOUND TAB – AUDIO SUB TAB

Here you’ll find some useful extra parameters.

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Channels

If the audio clip is stereo, the pop-up menu selects regular stereo playback or left or right channel only. If left or right channel is selected, playback becomes mono and the channel pan slider will control panning. (If a clip is playing in stereo, the pan slider acts as a balance control.)

Phase

Normal plays in standard stereo; Invert Left, Invert Right, and Invert Both flips the waveform phase 180 degrees of each respectively.

Noise Reduction

Mixcraft features built-in noise reduction feature for audio clips. Noise may be background hum, clicks and pops, or any other unwanted sound (not including your band’s drummer). However, Mixcraft’s noise reduction works best on

steady-state noise such as fans, air conditioners, or anything constant throughout the recording.

To use Mixcraft’s noise reduction, highlight the audio clip you’d like to remove the noise from, then click the Sound tab on the bottom. Now click the Noise Reduction button next to the slider, and select a value up to 100%. Once an amount is selected, Mixcraft will attempt to locate good noise sample. Mixcraft shows the noise section by two controls called Noise Start and Noise End.

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The above image shows an example of a good noise sample. The noise is determined by the audio section between the Noise Start and Noise End controls. You can edit the noise sample by clicking and dragging the Noise Start or Noise End controls. To automatically locate the next best noise print, click the Find Next Noise Sample button next to the Noise Reduction slider. (It’s the button with the green downward arrow on a wee waveform.) This instructs Mixcraft to look for the next best noise sample based on what it thinks could be noise. Only you know what noise is, though, so you may need to adjust it manually.

Finding A Noise Sample

The best candidate for noise reduction is a sound that has a snippet of the noise by itself. For example, if you had an air conditioner in the background and started recording, there would likely be one second of the air conditioner by itself – this would make an ideal noise sample. If you don’t have a good sample of the noise, you could potentially record the noise by itself and then merge the clips together. If you find a section with a good sample of the noise you’d like to get rid of, highlight it in the audio tab, then right-click and select Set Noise Reduction

From Selection.

Normalize

Checking the Normalize check box automatically increases the peak level of an audio waveform to full 100% scale while proportionally increasing the level of the entire waveform. In this way, audio files will play back as loudly as possible before clipping. Unlike a compressor or limiter, the dynamic range of a sound is not altered; normalization simply makes the entire waveform proportionately louder. Like most Mixcraft audio processes, normalization is non-destructive,

so unchecking the Normalize checkbox will return the waveform to its original gain state.

Formant Preservation

The Formant Preservation checkbox allows Mixcraft to maintain the harmonic “imprint” of a sound when transposing pitch up or down. This is most useful

for avoiding the so-called “chipmunk” effect when transposing vocals upward, and conversely, the

“old-born-under-a-bad-sign blues singer” effect when transposing downward.

File Path

Not really a parameter per se, but the actual file name as displayed in Windows Explorer is shown in yellow text for reference. Clicking the yellow folder icon to the left of the filename opens the enclosing Windows

Explorer folder. This can be time saver if you’re trying to determine where the original file is located on your

drive.

Format

Again, not an adjustable parameter, this displays the current audio clip’s format (e.g., WAV, Ogg, etc.), as well its sample rate, bit depth, mono or stereo, etc.

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SHOW/HIDE CONTROLS BUTTON

Click the [<<] Show/Hide Controls button to see more sound data, instead of the controls. This toggles between showing and hiding the controls. To show the controls again, click the [>>] button.

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ADJUSTING THE SNAP POINT, AUDIBLE CLIP REGION, AND LOOPING

The looping and audible region of a sound has a white background. The unused parts of the sound are shown in green. If the clip is “closed down” smaller in the Main Clip Grid than the entire looped region, the unused section

of the loop will have a gray background. The adjustable points in the waveform display are as follows:

Why Does Mixcraft Ask If I Want To Change My Project’s Tempo?

If you’ve tried dragging loops from the library onto the playback grid, you’ve probably seen this window. You may have clicked Yes, not knowing exactly what it meant. Understanding the relationship between project tempo and the timing of clips used in a project is important, so read on!

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When a new, empty Mixcraft project is opened, the project tempo setting is displayed in the transport in beats per minute. (If you want to get a feel for the tempo, click the Metronome icon, then click the Play button.)

Most of Mixcraft’s included loops are beats or musical phrases, and are precisely edited to be an even length to ensure that they’ll loop smoothly. They contain embedded information that “tells” Mixcraft their original key and tempo. (You can see the original key and tempo when browsing clips in the Library tab.)

For example, a new Mixcraft project and its tempo was set to 100 BPM. If a 90 BPM loop is placed at at bar one, it won’t play in time with the project tempo. It also won’t line up to bars and beats very well. If we drop in a second loop with a native tempo of 163 BPM at bar one and play back, it’ll be a timing train wreck. This is where the Use Best Sounding Project Tempo window comes

in. Clicking Yes when this window pops up automatically changes the project’s tempo to match the first loop’s native tempo. Additional clips dragged into a project are automatically adjusted to match the project tempo. Now everything plays in sync. Mixcraft works a similar kind of magic with key signatures by transposing imported clips to match the project key signature (which is displayed and adjustable in the Transport Bar).

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Snap Point Marker

A red vertical line defining the position a clip snaps to in the Main Clip Grid. Set the Snap Point Marker by clicking and sliding at the marker’s top or bottom (the cursor will turn into left/right arrows), or by right-clicking and selecting Set As Start Time. Right-clicking and selecting Reset Start Time will return the Snap Point Marker to its original position.

Loop Start

Defines the point where sound playback begins. To position Loop Start, click and drag at the top of the marker (the cursor will turn into left/right arrows). You can also set it by right-clicking in the waveform and selecting Set Loop Start.

Loop End

Defines the point where sound playback ends, because all good loops must come

to an end. To position Loop End, click and drag at the top of the marker (the cursor will turn into left/right arrows). You also set it by right-clicking in the waveform and selecting Set Loop End.

Loop points can be returned to their original positions by right-clicking and selecting Reset Loop Points.

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SOUND TAB TOOLBAR (WITH AUDIO CLIP SELECTED)

Snap To Grid

This determines the snap value when selecting a waveform region, as well as moving the play insert and loop start/end markers. When set to Grid, items will snap to the ruler markings in the timeline, directly above the waveform.The ruler markings vary in size depending upon horizontal zoom level. Grid (Triplets) is best suited for music with a three feel, i.e. 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures.

Copy Selection To

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The Copy Selection To command exports the currently highlighted audio wave region to one of the following:

Copy Selection To> Performance Panel

Places the selected region in the highlighted cell of the Performance Panel.

If no cell is currently selected, the sample will be placed at the first open location.

Copy Selection To> Alpha Sampler

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A new instrument track with an Alpha Sampler is created, and the selected region will be loaded into Alpha Sampler.

Copy Selection To> Omni Sampler

If there are no instances of Omni Sampler in the current project, selecting Copy Selection To> Omni Sampler>New opens a new instrument track with an Omni Sampler, and the sample is placed on the C4 sample pad. If Mixcraft detects an existing Omni Sampler, this is displayed when Copy Selection To>

Omni Sampler is displayed. At this point you can export the audio region to an existing Omni Sampler, or select New to create a new Omni Sampler instance on a new track. Samples exported to an existing Omni Sampler instance will be loaded into the first open cell above C4.

Copy Selection To> Track

The selected region is imported to a track in the Main Clip Grid. The region is placed at the current playhead location on the current audio track.

If the currently selected track isn't an audio track, the region is placed on the first audio track. (Be careful, the region can potentially land beneath existing audio - you won’t see it unless you slide the existing audio up or down.)

Slice To…

The Slice To… button cuts up audio regions and exports the “slices” to the Performance Panel, Omni Sampler, or directly to a Mixcraft audio track. Though the audio slices can be any length, you’d typically use this for cutting up a section of loop or a song into smaller chunks allowing you to create new

beats or loops (using small slices), rearrange sections of a song (with larger slices), or anything in between. Clicking the Slice To… button opens this window:

Slice By defines how the audio will be sliced.

Beats slices by the note value defined in the pop-up menu to the right. This works well for slicing beats and loops into small “chunks.”

Measures works the same as Beats, but is defined in number of measures in the pop-up menu to the right, making it more appropriate for larger chunks of music.

Transients slices according to audio transients detected by Mixcraft.

The sensitivity level is defined by the slider to the right according to the amplitude level in percentage; the lower the slider setting, the more sensitive, thus creating more slices.

Warp Markers slices according to the location of warp markers; you must have warp markers already created in the audio region (see "Warp", pg. 78)

Limit To Selection

If a region of audio is currently selected, checking this box ensures that only audio within the selected region is exported as slices.

No Slices Before Measure 1

This prevents the export of slices before the first measure of a loop. (Desirable if you’ve manually relocated a loop’s start point.)

Confine To Loop Area

Checking this box ensures that slices are only exported from audio between the Loop Start and Loop End markers of the current clip.

Send To

Selects the destination for exported slices.

Performance Panel exports slices to the Performance Panel. The first slice appears in the currently highlighted grid location, and each additional slice lands in the next grid location to the right. If you’d like slices to land in on a particular track, it’s a good idea to highlight the desired grid location prior to exporting slices.

Omni Sampler exports slices to individual Omni Sampler cells. If the pop-up menu to the right is set to New, Mixcraft creates a new track with a blank Omni Sampler loaded. If there are existing instances of Omni Sampler, these can be selected in the pop-up menu. To begin exporting, click OK. Exported slices begin loading at the cell number selected in the Start At selector. If a cells already contain samples, Mixcraft will skip them and continue loading at the next open cell location.

Track exports slices to the currently selected audio track, beginning at the current playhead location in the Main Clip Grid.

Warp

Warping audio lets you adjust the timing of audio by detecting the locations of transients or “hits,” then effectively time-stretching and -expanding small regions between transients within an audio file. This offers powerful creative and corrective options. Used on a smaller piece of audio, such as a drum loop, warping lets you correct the timing of poor playing, or requantize audio for different rhythmic feels. When applied to an entire song, warping makes it easy to lock up the tempos and feels of songs, allowing easy mixing and creation of song “mash-ups.”

Mixcraft’s warping tools are easy to use; not only can Mixcraft interpret tempo, time signature, and beat locations to assist in the placement of warp markers,

Mixcraft includes an Autowarp function that automatically locates warp information and places warp markers.

How To Use Warp

1. When Warp is clicked in the Sound Tab Toolbar, Mixcraft scans the currently looped audio region and makes educated guesses as to tempo, time signature, and beat locations. The blue lines shown display the predicted beat locations, and black lines show transient hits. The blue and black lines have no effect on sound, but the predicted beat locations are very helpful when placing warp markers described below.

2. Once the predicted beat locations and transient hits are displayed, set the Audio Tab’s snap setting to Snap To Grid. (This makes the Caret snap to predicted beat and transient locations.) Now click on beats and transients to place the Caret, and add red Warp Markers by clicking the Add Warp Marker button in the toolbar (or right-click and select Add Warp Marker). If you don’t want neighboring hits or audio areas to be affected, place “safety” Warp Markers

on hits before and after the hits or areas to be manipulated.

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3. Once Warp Markers are in place, they can be freely moved left and right to

squeeze and stretch audio in time. It’s easiest to hear the effects of warping by pressing the green Sound tab play button and moving the Warp Markers in real-time during playback. Feel free to experiment - like all Mixcraft audio processes, warping is non-destructive, and its operation is easier to wrap your head around when you’re actually using it!

4. To remove a Warp Marker, right-click it and select Clear. To remove all Warp Markers from a loop, click the Clear button in the Sound Tab Toolbar.

Autowarp

Autowarp analyzes audio material and automatically places Warp Markers at relevant points. It’s particularly useful for “mashup” mixes where two unrelated songs are to be mixed together. There are four strength settings ranging from sloppy to tight. Tighter settings add more Warp Markers and affect timing more strongly, whereas looser settings add fewer Warp Markers and have less effect on the timing of audio content. By all means, experiment, as different source material responds better to different settings.

Quantize

Warp Quantize allows audio material to be quantized much like MIDI notes by intelligently squashing and stretching rhythmic hits in source material.

Note Type

This is the quantize value; transients will be moved to the closest note value.

Sensitivity

The amplitude a transient must reach before Mixcraft considers it a “hit” to quantize to.

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Strength

Regulates how close hits will be moved in time toward the quantize values. 0% won’t move transients at all, whereas 100% would move transients all the way to the quantize point.

Swing

As stated on-screen, Swing value delays the start time of every other note. Your ears will recognize this as the sound as the rhythmic feel of old blues music, “Take The A Train,” or any Bobby Brown hit. The percentage sets how much every other note is delayed.

All/Selection

A setting of All applies Warp Quantization to the entire audio clip. Selection

quantizes only the highlighted region.

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SOUND TAB WITH MIDI CLIP SELECTED

The Sound tab lets you edit a MIDI clip’s speed, pitch, key, grid placement, and looping parameters.

Name Field

The name of the currently selected clip appears here. To edit the name, click on the name text and type a new name. Click outside of the name field when done.

Lock/Unlock

Clicking the Lock icon prevents a clip from being moved in the grid. It also disables cropping and resizing.

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Mute /Unmute

This silences the clip. All instances of the clip will turn gray. The Mute Sound button in the Sound tab is interchangeable with the Mute Sound button on clip itself – you can mute or unmute using either button.

Time Signature

This lets you set the time signature of a MIDI clip with individually settable numerator (beats per bar) and denominator (note value constituting a beat). Keep in mind that the time signature setting has no effect on the sound; it simply changes the placement of beats on the ruler in the selected MIDI editor to the right of the Sound tab.

Setting MIDI Clip Playback Rate

Mixcraft plays MIDI clips in one of two time-domain modes:

Use Project Tempo

Time Stretch

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Use Project Tempo

MIDI clips will lock to the current project tempo. Original Clip Tempo is displayed and can be altered by clicking the number field and entering a new temp, or by using the up/down arrows.

Time Stretch

To set the playback rate by percentage, select Time Stretch and enter a number value by clicking in the field, or by using the up/down arrows.

Key/Pitch Adjustments

Mixcraft plays MIDI clips in one of two key/pitch modes:

Use Project Key

Transpose

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Use Project Key

Mixcraft adjusts the pitch of the sound based on the difference between the project’s key and the sound’s key. (The project key can easily be seen and adjusted in the transport bar display.) For example, if the project key was F# and the sound’s key was F, it would adjust the pitch of the sound up by one semitone so that it was in tune with F# instead of F.

However, you can have more than one key change in a project. A sound in Use Project Key mode will adjust in real-time to the correct number of half steps in order to play in the correct key based on the most recent key change. To continue the example, if the sound was in F and there were two key changes to A and then G, it would correspond to shifting the pitch of your sound by four semitones up to A and then by two semitones up to G.

Mixcraft adjusts the pitch by the shortest distance between two keys. For example, if the project key was G and the sound’s key was F, it will adjust it by +2 semitones, instead of -10 semitones.

The MAJ/MIN popup selector conforms notes to the correct major or minor scale notes for the selected key signature. (The major and minor popup is mainly to ensure that the correct key signature is displayed when using Score mode.)

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SOUND TAB> TIME SUB TAB

These controls let you fine tune a clip’s location in the Main Clip Grid as well its length and looping parameters. If the project is set to ` mode in the top toolbar (next to the handsome Mixcraft 7 logo) the edit boxes display in measures, beats, and partial beats. If the project is set to Time mode in the top toolbar, the edit boxes display positions in minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. Helpful hint: you can use the mouse scroll wheel to quickly set values by clicking in the number fields and spinning.

Offset

The offset setting defines a clip’s location in the Main Clip Grid.

Length

The length setting defines the size of the clip. If the length value setting is longer than the entire audio clip, the clip will repeat until it reaches the set length value. The clip will show “indentations” in the bottom where it repeats. If the sound is made long enough, this will also cause it to loop.

Loop Start/End

Defines a clip’s playback start and end points. Loop start and end points can be set either by clicking in the number fields in the Sound>Time tab, or by moving the Loop Start and Loop End markers in the Piano, Step, or Score editors. You can also set a clip’s start and end points by grabbing and moving its start and end

points in the Main Clip Grid. Regardless of how a clip’s start and end points are set, all displays will update.

# Loops

The number of times a loop will repeat. (This setting can potentially overlap with the Length setting – changing one automatically updates the other.)

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