Mixcraft Reference

A visual guide to the individual sections of the Mixcraft 7 user interface.

image

MAIN WINDOW

image

This is where you’ll spend most of your time in Mixcraft. We’ll explain each of its sections below.

image

MENUS

image

Basic menus for accessing many Mixcraft functions.

image

MAIN WINDOW TOOLBAR

image

Contains button shortcuts for frequent Mixcraft functions and parameters.

image

TRACK HEADER

image

Button shortcuts atop the Track List allowing creation of new tracks, enabling the master track, and enabling the Performance Panel.

image

TIMELINE

image

The Timeline acts as a song roadmap. The “ruler” can be set to display bar numbers and divisions or elapsed time. The gray area above the ruler is where recording punch in/out points, tempo, time signature, key, and song markers are displayed.

image

TRACK

image

The Track displays important info and parameters for individual audio, MIDI, and video tracks.

image

TRACK LIST

image

The entire list of all audio, MIDI, and video tracks.

image

MAIN CLIP GRID

image

This is the playback and recording area where audio, MIDI, and video clips can be created and moved.

image

PLAYHEAD

image

When playback is stopped, this vertical line shows where exactly where playback will start. During playback or recording, the playhead moves across the screen showing the current playback position.

image

AUDIO AND MIDI CLIPS

image

Clips can contain either MIDI data or audio. Clip automation can edited as well.

Tip: Zoom in and out by spinning your mouse wheel. (The mouse wheel’s behavior can be changed in File>Preferences>Mouse Wheel.)

image

TRANSPORT BAR

image

Standard tape deck-style controls for playback, recording, loop mode, and punch in/ out. The large middle display shows song tempo, time signature, song key, and the current position of the playhead. To the right are the master level meter, volume slider, and master effects bypass button.

image

TABS

image

These show additional project information and parameters. Tabs pop up and occupy the bottom half of the screen when clicked.

If the Sound Tab is selected, the following editors are available:

Audio Clips Loop Editor

Virtual Instruments Clips (MIDI)

Piano Roll

Step Edit

Score Edit

image

STATUS BAR

This lonely area at the bottom of the window displays current CPU usage and whether

image

Mixcraft is saving, loading, or freezing something.

image

ADDING/MOVING/SIZING/DELETING

image

Drag, right-click, or use key shortcuts to add, delete, move, and duplicate tracks.

image

MOVING TRACKS

Tracks can be moved by clicking and dragging them vertically within the Track List.

image

RESIZING TRACKS

Tracks can be resized vertically. Track height can be increased for easier editing, or decreased to fit more tracks on the screen simultaneously. To resize a track vertically, move the mouse to the bottom of a track and drag up or down. When the mouse is in the correct location for resizing, the cursor will become an up/down cursor.

image

image

Alternatively, you can click Track>Properties>Track Height and choose a size of small, normal, or large.

image

RESIZING ALL TRACKS

You can resize all tracks at once by clicking on the View>All Tracks Height and choosing a new size.

To resize all tracks to a specific size, hold down the SHIFT key, click on the bottom of a track and drag up or down. All tracks will resize upon mouse release.

image

DELETING TRACKS

Click on a track to select it. Then click Track>Delete Track, or right-click on the track and choose Delete Track. All sounds on the track will also be deleted.

image

FREEZE TRACK

If your computer is slow or you’re hearing gapping or stuttering as a result of many effects or time stretching, tracks can be frozen to reduce the necessary amount of processing. After freezing a track, a temporary WAV file, containing the track’s effects and audio, is used for playback. Effects or sounds will not be editable until the track is “unfrozen.” (Dragging a new sound onto a track will unfreeze it.)

To freeze, right-click on a track you’d like to freeze and choose Freeze Track

(key shortcut Ctrl+F), or choose Track>Freeze Track in the top drop-down menu.

image

CUSTOMIZING TRACK APPEARANCE

image

Change the color, icon, name or size of tracks.

NAME

image

The default name for newly created tracks will be “Audio Track,” for audio tracks, or “Instrument Track,” for MIDI tracks. Tracks can be renamed by left-clicking the current name and typing. Hit the Enter key or click on another area of the window to finish.

IMAGE

image

Each track can have its own image for distinction, personalization, and organization. Choose from twenty stock images or import your own!

To change the track image, double-click an existing track image or hover over the track image and click the pop-up button. You can also select Track>Properties>Choose Image… in the main window drop-down menus, or right-click on a track and select Properties>Choose Image...

The Choose A Track Image window will open:

image

1. Select a new image and click OK.

2. Add Your Own Image Or Photo

3. Custom images can be added as well. The following image formats are supported: JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF

To add a custom image, click Add My Own Image File…, navigate to the image to be added, select the desired image, and click Open. The image will replace the existing track image and be added to the list of thumbnail images. Note that added images will be available for future Mixcraft projects, not just the current one.

COLOR

image

Track colors can be individually set by selecting Track>Properties>Track Color in the main window drop-down menus or by right-clicking a track and choosing Properties>Color. This affects a track’s highlight color and all clips on the track.

image

image

TRACK CONTROLS

image

Adjusts a track’s volume and pan levels.

VOLUME

image

Track volume is adjusted by the horizontal slider with built-in level meter. Click down on the slider and move it left or right to decrease or increase volume.

The volume can be set from 0% to 200% (-Inf dB to +6 dB).

To set an exact track volume, choose Track>Properties>Set Volume>Set Exact Value… from the main window drop-down menu and enter the desired volume. This can also be accessed by right-clicking on the track.

Tip: Hold down ALT, SHIFT, or CTRL and click-drag the slider for finer and more accurate adjustment.

NOTE ON ARMED TRACKS

image

When using Core Audio/Wave RT or Wave audio drivers, if an audio track is armed for recording (Arm button will be red), the volume slider turns into a red slider and allows you to adjust the recording input level. The volume slider will return to its original position and color when record arming is disabled.

When using the ASIO audio driver, if an audio track is armed for recording (Arm button will be red), the volume slider disappears. The volume slider becomes visible again when record arming is disabled.

image

Pan. The track’s pan control is the small horizontal slider to the left of the track volume control. Adjust the pan control by clicking and dragging it to the left or right. Pan is adjustable from 100% left to 100% right. The pan controls default to center position – this means that the sound is equally balanced between the left and right channels. Track panning can also be set in the main window drop-down menu Track>Properties>Set Pan>Set Exact Value … This menu is also accessible by

right-clicking a track.

Tip: For finer and more accurate adjustment, hold down ALT, SHIFT, or CTRL while dragging the pan slider.

image

Mute. Tracks can be temporarily silenced by clicking the track Mute button. Once muted, the solo button will turn green.

The currently selected track can also be muted using the shortcut CTRL+M, or by right-clicking the track and selecting Properties>Mute.

image

Solo. To hear a single track’s audio, click the Solo button. Multiple tracks may be soloed. For example, to hear how the bass and guitar sound together without drums, solo the bass and guitar tracks. Once soloed, the track’s solo button turns green.

The currently selected track can also be soloed using the shortcut CTRL+L, or by right-clicking the track and selecting Properties>Solo.

image

CARET

The Caret is a line and two triangles indicating the precise point on the Main Clip Grid where edits happen, and where playback or recording begins. The tiny triangles indicate which track the Caret is on. The Caret location is set by clicking in the Main Clip Grid. The Caret will obey the current Snap Setting.

New sounds and recordings are added at the Caret position. After adding a new sound, the Caret will move to the end of the sound. The Caret is also the point at which selected sounds will be split. The Caret can be moved by clicking the mouse or by using the keyboard direction arrows. The Caret is not susceptible to being eaten by wacky wabbits.

image

TRACK TYPES

Mixcraft supports many different track types.

Track Type

Notes

Audio

Record audio or remix loops.

Virtual Instrument/MIDI

Edit or record MIDI data.

Video

Add and edit video files or still images

Master

Shape the master volume and effects - this is where effects are inserted into the main output bus.

Send

Share effects between multiple tracks

SubMix

Organize tracks in a submix so effects and volumes may be adjusted in all the tracks in the submix in one place

Output

Additional output busses besides the Master Track.

Rewire

Controls a third-party Rewire application.

Instrument Mix

Mix additional audio channels from virtual instruments with multiple output busses; this is automatically created when a virtual instrument with multiple output channel is added.

image

AUDIO TRACKS

image

Audio tracks contain audio clips. Audio clips can be recorded by the user or loaded from pre-existing libraries.

image

LOADING AUDIO FILES

To load an audio file, double-click in the Main Clip Grid. (Make sure the cursor is to the right of an audio track.) Then, navigate to the sound to be loaded and click the Open button at the bottom of the window. You can also click the Add Sound button on the toolbar, third from the right. The Add Sound icon looks like this:

image

The sound will appear at the current location of the Caret.

image

MONITORING/HEARING YOURSELF

“I need more me!,” said some musician, to every sound engineer who ever lived.

Some sound devices let you listen to the input recording in real-time, or very close to it, during recording. This is known as “software monitoring.” To enable software monitoring for a track, click the arm button, then click the speaker icon. The speaker icon will turn green to indicate that software monitoring is enabled

for the track.

image

We recommend using headphones in order to avoid feedback when recording with a microphone. (Closed-ear headphones also help to prevent the click from bleeding into mics during recording.)

One caveat when using software monitoring is that audio hardware must be set to a low latency, otherwise the monitored audio will have an audible delay. (For the lowest latency and best audio performance, use the ASIO audio driver if available. Check

in File>Preferences>Sound Device to see if ASIO is available; it may be necessary to download and install drivers from the manufacturer of your audio hardware.) The downside to reducing buffer size is, depending on your sound card and computer speed, you may hear gaps or clicks in the audio. Learn more about setting up your sound device in "Important Sound Setup Information" (see pg. 6).

image

HEARING EFFECTS DURING RECORDING

If effects are added, they’ll be audible when software monitoring is on. This is often desirable, e.g., adding reverb when tracking a vocalist, or when tracking electric guitar with Mixcraft’s Shred Amp Simulator. Though you’ll hear the effects during recording, effects are not recorded into the track. In other words, Mixcraft always records dry. In this way, effect settings can be changed or removed later without altering the original recording.

image

GUITAR TUNER

Each audio track features a built-in tuner. Though we refer to it as a “guitar tuner,” it will work with any monophonic instrument signal (i.e. one-note-at-a-time). Those of you using drifty, old analog synthesizers should find it quite handy!

image

To toggle the tuner on or off, simply click the track’s Arm button, then click the tuning fork icon. The tuning fork icon will turn green, and the track’s volume slider/level meter turns into a display for the tuner. When the tuner detects an audio signal, it displays the closest note. When the signal is in tune the “tuning cursor” will appear in the middle and highlight in white.

The tuner can also be turned on or off by right-clicking on the track and selecting

Guitar Tuner or clicking the main window menu Track>Guitar Tuner.

image

USING MIDI VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

Virtual instruments are like having a keyboard instrument within Mixcraft. They can be played and recorded using a USB or MIDI keyboard controller and edited with Mixcraft’s powerful editors. (You can even forgo the keyboard controller altogether and program notes using Mixcraft’s editors.) Mixcraft includes numerous virtual instruments.

A virtual instrument track contains MIDI clips. MIDI clips can be recorded or loaded. Below is a virtual instrument track with a MIDI clip.

image

Virtual instrument tracks have a small keyboard icon to the left of the mute button. Below is the instrument button; click it to add or edit virtual instruments.

image

Virtual instruments can be played with an external USB or MIDI controller keyboard, or directly from the computer keyboard using the Musical Typing Keyboard.

image

MUSICAL TYPING KEYBOARD

The Musical Typing Keyboard can be enabled by clicking View>Musical Typing in the main screen drop-down menus, or with the keyboard shortcut CTRL+ALT+K. Musical typing uses the computer’s QWERTY keyboard to play musical notes.

When activated, the layout shows the “mini music keyboard,” octave, transpose, velocity, and other relevant parameters.

image

image

ARMING A MIDI TRACK FOR RECORDING

Arming a track prepares the software to record on that track. To arm a track, click the track’s arm button. The arm button will turn red. You can also arm the current track with the key shortcut CTRL+B.

image

CHOOSING THE MIDI RECORD INPUT

By default, Mixcraft will listen to all MIDI channels (any channel) for each track, letting you record multiple tracks of virtual instruments at the same time.

Clicking the down arrow on the Arm button lets you select the MIDI input and MIDI channel the track listens to. For example, if you have two keyboards and want to record each keyboard on a different track:

1. Set keyboard one to send on MIDI channel 1 and set keyboard two to send on MIDI channel 2.

2. Click the Arm button on track 1 and select All Input Devices to Receive From MIDI channel 1.

3. Click the Arm button on track 2 and select All Input Devices to Receive From MIDI channel 2. You are ready for recording.

Alternatively, you could split one MIDI keyboard into two sections, sending the first section or range of notes to MIDI channel 1 and the second range of notes to MIDI channel 2. This would allow one keyboard to behave like two separate ones. (You may need to check the keyboard’s owner’s manual to see if it’s capable of sending separately channelized MIDI zones.)

image

RECORDING MULTIPLE TRACKS SIMULTANEOUSLY

Multiple virtual instrument MIDI tracks can be recorded simultaneously. Simply click the arm button for each track to be recorded. To record from multiple sources or MIDI channels, click the down arrow on the Arm button, then choose the MIDI input device and/or the MIDI channel you’d like the track to record from.

image

INSTRUMENT MIX OUTPUT CHANNELS

Some virtual instruments have multiple output channels (most commonly virtual “drum set” instruments), allowing separate routing and processing of individual sounds. When a multiple-output instrument is loaded, a + sign appears next to the small keyboard icon.

image

If a track has multiple outputs, Mixcraft creates a child track for each output. This enables independent control of volume, pan, and EQ settings, as well as using applying independent insert and send effects for each of the instrument’s outputs. This is nice when you’d like a massive reverb on a snare drum, but want to keep the kick drum dry, for example.

To set up multiple outputs, click the channel’s keyboard instrument icon next to the

Mute button, then click the instrument’s Outputs>Config… button

image

Use the checkboxes to enable individual outputs, or click the All or None button to quickly enable or disable all outputs (or if you’re an all-or-none kind of guy/gal).

More About Multiple-Out Virtual Instruments

In addition to configuring Mixcraft to recognize multiple- output virtual instruments, you’ll likely need to set

up the instrument itself. Drum-based multiple-output virtual instruments typically feature a built-in mixer page with output destination settings.

This is where you’ll instruct the instrument to send individual sounds to Mixcraft’s separate outputs.

Sampler-type virtual instruments may not have a page resembling a traditional audio mixer, but may feature keymaps or groups with output destination settings. If you’re unable to figure it out, consult the virtual instrument’s owner’s manual. We’re big fans of poking around ‘til

it works, but don’t tell anyone, ok?

image

Checking the Automatically add all instrument output tracks for Virtual Instruments box at the bottom will always enable all available individual outs when new multiple- out instruments are opened (you can also enable the Automatically add all instrument output tracks for Virtual Instruments in the File>Preferences>Plug-Ins menu in the main window).

If you do not need all the mix output channels, unused outputs can be shut off by unchecking outputs. Click the OK button when the outputs are configured as desired.

image

The + sign in a Multiple-Out Virtual Instrument track will hide or display the view of child tracks. This won’t affect the audio configuration in any way, but it’s convenient if you don’t want to fill the screen with tracks from one virtual instrument.

image

VIDEO

A video track holds video clips, images, and text. A project can only have one video track. To create a video track, click the +Track button and select Insert Video Track. You can also insert a video track by right-clicking and selecting Insert Track, or accessing Insert Track from the Track menu at the top of the main page.

image

image

To toggle viewing of the video playback window, click the Show/Hide Video Window button. A video preview window will open, and the Show/Hide Video Window button will turn green.

A video track has an automation lane, as well as an optional child text track for titles, lyrics, credits, etc. Learn more about video in "Video Editing" (see pg. 140).

image

VIDEO TEXT TRACK

image

The text track contains text clips and is a child of the video track. It can be viewed by clicking the + sign at the bottom-left corner of the video track.

There are two types of text clips:

Normal

Scrolling Text

Text tracks can contain multiple lanes and can be used for titles, lyrics, credits, transitions, and more. Mixcraft’s Scrolling Text track style has been used

image

MASTER TRACK

image

image

A project has one Master Track. Think of this as the stereo master output the entire mix gets routed through. Volume, panning, and effects can be added and automated for the entire project.

To toggle the Master Track view, click the Master button at the top of the Track List. The button will turn green and the Master Track will display at the very bottom of the Track List. (The idea is that the Master Track is the final processing stage.) You can also click Track>Show Master Track in the main page drop-down menus.

image

SEND TRACK

image

Send Tracks are tracks containing an effect, or a chain of effects, and track automation.

Unlike inserting an effect into a standard audio channel, multiple audio channels can be sent to a send track effect using the red channel send knobs in the Mixer tab.

image

WHEN TO USE SEND TRACKS

image

Audio tracks and Virtual Instrument tracks can send their audio output to a send track. A Send Track is also known as an Aux Bus.

Use a Send Track to:

Use effects on a specific portion or section of a track.

Share effects over multiple tracks.

Have a great degree of control over dry vs. effect level.

Fading Out Again To end a project with an automated fadeout, display the Master Track and

select Master Volume in the automation drop-down. Scroll to the end of the project and add volume automation points

to lower the volume for the whole project. Learn more in the Automation section (see page 43).

image

ROUTING AUDIO TO A SEND TRACK

Add a Send Track to the project by clicking the +Track button and selecting Add Send Track. You can also click Track>Add Track>Send Track in the main window menus.

In this example, we’ve renamed the Send Track, “Reverb (SEND).”

image

Click on the track you’d like to add reverb to. Display its track automation by clicking the Automation button.

image

image

Click the Automation Type drop-down menu (by default it will say Track Volume), then click beneath Sends to select the Send Track effect. In this example, the number 11 is the track number of the Send Track, and Reverb (SEND) is the Send Track’s name.

To Insert or To Send Effects, That Is The Question

There are two ways to use effects in a mix environment: insert effects, and send (or bus) effects. Both methods can be used somewhat interchangeably, but each has its own advantages largely dependent upon the type of effect, its intended use, and, in the virtual DAW environment, use of computer resources.

Insert Effects

When an eåffect is added to a track by clicking the fx button, you’re using it as a channel insert. You can think of an insert effect as being a part of an individual channel strip. It also means that the dry-to-wet signal balance is adjusted using the controls in the effect itself. Although you can insert any type of effect, inserting is best suited to gain and dynamics effects such as compressors, limiters,

EQs, distortion, etc., because their mix is typically set “fully wet.” In other words, you don’t usually use a partial amount of a compressed or distorted signal, although

some crafty engineers have been known to break this rule. Conversely, time-domain effects such as chorus, delay, and reverb are almost always mixed with the dry signal.

Send Track Effects

One good way to think of a send effect is as one or more channels being mixed together and then being sent to a standalone effects unit. The dry mix remains unaffected, and the effect gets added to final mix. Because of this, the wet/dry mix control of a send effect should always be set to 100% wet. (Otherwise you’d end up with the dry signal from the main mix plus some dry signal from the effect itself, making it it difficult to mix.) Perhaps the

biggest benefit of send effects is conservation of computer processing resources; if you’re using a reverb plug-in that demands a great deal of computer overhead, send tracks allow you to send many mix channels to just one instance.

And if you’re using an effect to process many channels of one “instrument” (e.g., a drum kit, several vocal tracks, etc.), a send effect lets you add different amounts of the

effect for each channel by simply adjusting the amount of each track’s send knob. Send tracks also offer tremendous flexibility with regard to stereoization; for example, a dry track could be panned to one side of the stereo image, with the effected side panned to the other.

Once the Send Track is selected, a knob appears. This sets the amount of signal sent to the Send Track.

image

The send level can be set by clicking and dragging the knob up and down. (The mouse cursor turns into up and down arrows.) You can also set a channels Send Track level by clicking the Mixer tab at the bottom of the screen and rotating the channel’s Send knob, but we’ll tell you all about the mixer later on. Keep in mind that numerous tracks can be sent to the same Send Track. (Check out the To Insert or To Send Effects, That Is The Question sidebar for more information.)

The amount of the track’s audio sent to the Send Track can also be adjusted via track automation. (For more information, see "Automation", pg. 42.)

image

SEND VOLUME TYPE

This determines if audio is sent to the Send Track before or after the track’s volume fader.

Pre Volume Adjustment (PRE-Fader Send)

The track’s audio is sent to the Send Track before its own volume adjustments.

Post Volume Adjustment (POST-Fader Send)

The track’s audio is sent to the Send Track after applying its own volume adjustments.

To change the Send Volume Type, right-click on the channel’s Send knob in the Mixer or on the Send knob displayed when track automation is visible, and select Send Volume Type>Pre Volume Adjustment or Send Volume Type>Post Volume Adjustment.

Mixcraft Send Tracks default to Post Volume Adjustment. This is a sensible choice for most mix situations, because it means reducing the volume of a track fader proportionally reduces the volume of the Send Track. There are situations where this behavior isn’t optimal. For example, if you’d like a dry instrument to be very quiet, but you’d like the reverbed signal very loud, Pre Volume Adjustment would be a better choice.

image

AUDIO SIGNAL FLOW

To reiterate, the send volume type determines whether audio from the track is routed to the Send Track before or after the track fader and volume automation. Here’s a diagram of the audio signal flow in Mixcraft:

image

1. Clips (with clip-level automation)

2. Track Insert Effects

3. PRE-Fader Send*

4. Track volume and pan

5. POST-Fader Send*

Send Track Effects

When adding an effect to a Send Track, we recommend using a preset designed for a Send Track. (They’ll have the word Send in the title.) These presets will already have the wet/dry mix set to 100% wet in order to avoid the problem of having the dry signal’s volume controlled by the channel fader and the effect’s dry signal balance. If the clean volume appears to behave strangely (“Why can’t I turn

this darn channel down!%^&?”), click fx in the Send Track, then the Edit button next to the effect. Now adjust the dry mix down to 0% and

the wet mix up to 100%.

* Depending on the send volume type, the audio from a track will be sent at one of the starred * points in the audio signal flow.

image

SUBMIX TRACK

A SubMix track routes audio to an intermediate track before the Main Mix master volume. This is very useful as a master volume control for a group of related tracks such as a drum kit, or multiple tracks of backing vocals. SubMix tracks are also useful if you’d like to send a group of tracks to one channel-insert-type effect. One common use would be to send multi-tracked layered backing vocals through a single compressor to “glue” them together.

image

To create a SubMix Track, click the +Track button and select Add Send Track. You can also click Track>Add Track>SubMix Track in the main window menu or right-click in the Track List area and use the Insert Track menu.

To add tracks to a SubMix Track, drag and drop the tracks onto the SubMix track. (Make sure to grab tracks in the track list, not clips in the grid; when you move a track, its clips move with it.) Once tracks are the child of a SubMix track, they can be freely moved up and down in track list. Besides being directly beneath the SubMix track, child tracks will indent slightly with a small black region on the left side for easy visible identification. If the SubMix Track is moved in the the track list, all child tracks move with it. Child tracks may be shown or hidden by clicking the +/- sign at the far left side of the SubMix Track.

image

Volume, panning, solo, mute, insert effects, and automation remain independently adjustable for SubMix child tracks. Tracks may also be dragged and dropped out of the SubMix track – drag the track up or down to a location out of the SubMix track and the track becomes a standard track again.

image

OUTPUT BUS TRACK

An Output Bus Track allows routing to alternate devices and/or outputs. It allows routing to physical audio outputs when using audio hardware with multiple outputs.

To create a SubMix Track, click the +Track button and select Add Output Bus Track. You can also click Track>Add Track>Output Bus Track in the main window menu or right-click in the Track List area and use the Insert Track menu.

If you’re using an audio device with multiple outputs, click on the Output drop-down menu directly beneath the level meter. Here, you’ll be able to select from your audio hardware’s available physical outputs. The routing of tracks to physical outputs can also be configured in the Mixer tab; see the "Audio Mixer" section (pg. 137).

There are many ways to use Output Bus Tracks to enhance a mix, or to take advantage of multiple outputs on an audio device. Here are some examples:

CREATE OUTPUT BUS TRACKS FOR SIMPLIFIED MIXING

In the image below, there are five Output BusTracks created for combining all drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, and vocals. All of the drum tracks are routed to the Drums Output Bus Track, all vocal tracks are routed to the Vocals Output Bus Track and so on.

image

This example doesn’t require audio hardware with multiple physical outs, as all of the audio outputs are set to the the default stereo output pair, but submixing all tracks of a song across five faders makes mixing the song very easy. Remember that each Output Bus Track can have its own EQ, effects, and automation applied as well.

CREATE HEADPHONE CUE OR MONITOR MIXES

When recording or performing live, each musician will likely need their own custom monitor mix. The keyboard player may want to hear the drums, keyboards, and some vocals, but maybe they don’t want to hear the guitarist. Meanwhile, the drummer only wants to hear bass and vocals. And the vocalist will, of course, only want to hear themself, at eardrum-searing volume.

If your audio hardware is equipped with multiple outputs, you can create a custom headphone mixes for individual band members. In the image below, a Send Track has been added for the keyboard player’s headphone mix. The Send Track’s output is routed to the Headphone Mix 1 output track, which is routed to a specific output on

the audio device. The level of the Send knobs on each track are used to create a custom monitor mix for the keyboard player.

image

The audio hardware’s individual outs can be sent to monitor speakers or headphones. With enough hardware outputs, each person in a band can have their own custom monitor mix.

USE VINTAGE HARDWARE EFFECTS IN A MIX

Sometimes classic hardware effects are the only way to achieve a specific sound. In the example below, a Send Track has been created to make use of a vintage tape delay hardware effect. The Send Track has been routed to an Output Track, which has been routed to a specific output on the audio interface. This allows an external hardware effect to behave the same as a Send Track with an onboard plug-in effect.

The vocal track’s send knob is routed to the Send Track, which is then sent to the Output track. The selected output of the audio interface is physically plugged into the tape delay. To return the affected sound to Mixcraft’s mixer, create a new Audio Track, select a physical input on the audio interface using the track Arm button, and plug the output of the tape into this. The tape echo’s output can then be recorded. If software monitoring is activated on the audio track (by clicking the speaker icon with the track armed), the tape delay’s output will be heard alongside all other mix elements.

image

image

REWIRE

ReWire is an audio and MIDI protocol developed by Propellerhead Software allowing Mixcraft to access sounds, virtual instruments, and features of external music programs.

Mixcraft acts as a host, also known as a ReWire Mixer, with other applications working as “clients,” or ReWire Devices. External applications will synchronize their tempo, loop points, and start and stop times with Mixcraft. MIDI data from Mixcraft can also be routed to control virtual instruments inside other applications. Audio from these other applications is routed to Mixcraft, where it can be mixed and affected.

There are two ways to add a ReWire track with Mixcraft:

Click the Mix>Add ReWire Application from the main screen menus and select the desired Rewire application. This adds a ReWire track in Mixcraft and displays the third-party program’s interface as a child window inside Mixcraft.

Click the keyboard icon on an Instrument Track and select <ReWire Devices> in the category menu. Choose a ReWire application from the Instrument Preset menu.

A new ReWire track will be created for the application, if one doesn’t currently exist.

image

Once a ReWire track has been created, all transport controls, including play, rewind, and stop, as well as tempo changes and loop points, will be sent to the Rewire application, letting you use the application in conjunction with Mixcraft. Instrument Tracks can also send live or recorded MIDI data to instrument tracks available in the ReWire application.

All audio generated by the ReWire application will play through to Mixcraft on the ReWire track. As with other Mixcraft tracks, volume, pan, solo, and mute parameters apply. Effects and automation can also be applied to ReWire tracks.

image

AUTOMATION

Mixcraft’s lane-based track automation allows simple automation of volume, pan, and send tracks, as well as all parameters of a track’s plug-ins and virtual instruments. You can view or hide as many parameters as you like simultaneously, with each parameter occupying its

own “lane,” until you run out of screen space. It’s also compatible with the Mackie Control, TranzPort, and other hardware control surfaces.

Keep in mind that lane-based track automation is separate from the clip-based automation. To better understand each automation type, check out the sidebar Understanding Lane- Vs. Clip-Based Automation.

Understanding Clip VS. Lane Automation

Mixcraft contains two separate types of automation, clip- and lane-based automation. Clip automation is displayed by the horizontal line that appears when hovering over the bottom section of audio or MIDI clips. It allows automation of volume, pan, low pass filter cutoff frequency and resonance, or high pass filter cutoff frequency and resonance on a per clip basis. In other words, automation of these parameters is set independently for each clip. The parameter currently shown is selected with the drop-down menu at the top of the screen in the main menu tool bar. (Click the

one that says Volume to view all the clip automation parameters.) The drop-down menu parameter selection is global – in other words, if you choose the Pan parameter, all clips in a project will now display the Pan parameter.

Lane-based automation differs in a number of ways. Most significantly, lane automation functions independently of clips – try to imagine it as “laid over” the the clips making up a project. Because it functions independently of clips, for example, you could create a slow volume fade that spanned numerous clips. And instead of being superimposed on clips, lane-based automation is displayed on its own “lanes,” separate from, but parallel to, the clips it affects.

The other important difference is that clip-based automation does not affect the control positions in the Mixer tab – it simply adds or subtracts parameters “on top” of the current control positions. Conversely,

if an automation lane’s Lock button is engaged,

TRACK AUTOMATION

automation behaves like a “third hand,” causing mixer

image

controls to move. This makes it more suitable for use with hardware control surfaces with moving faders, as the controls move together on

a one-to-one basis.

TRACK LIST AUTOMATION CONTROLS

image

Toggle Automation

This displays and hides automation lanes for individual tracks. If a track has no prior automation, a single automation lane opens displaying volume automation. If a track has existing automation, you’ll see all automation lanes with views currently enabled (using the + and x buttons described below). If the the track contains lane automation the Toggle Automation button appears green; if it doesn’t, the button will be gray regardless of whether the view is toggled on or off. This makes it easy to distinguish

if a track contains automation or not.

Keep in mind that the Toggle Automation button only hides and displays the automation lanes, but has no affect on automation playback. In other words, lane automation still happens even if the lanes are hidden with Toggle Automation button.

You can view as many automation lanes for a single track, or tracks, as you like. This makes it easy to edit numerous parameter simultaneously. To open additional automation lanes for a track, click the + sign, then click the Automation Parameter drop-down menu to select the desired parameter for editing. To hide an automation

lane, click the X sign. When an automation lane is hidden, the automation still remains active – it’s simply hidden from view.

To simplify remembering which track parameters contain automation data, the text for parameters containing automation data is displayed in blue in the Automation Parameter drop-down submenu.

(+) Button

Adds a new automation lane to the track.

image

(-) Button

Hides the automation lane.

Arm

This is the automation Arm button to the left of the lock icon in the automation track header, not the record Arm button above it. Clicking this allows recording of automation data for a lane either via the onscreen control associated with the lane’s automation parameter, or by using a hardware controller assigned to a parameter. (See Recording Automation Using Hardware Controllers, pg 50.)

Lock Button

This synchronizes the movements of lane automation with onscreen displays

of channel volume and pan, as well as submix, send, output bus, and master track volumes. As these parameters are being controlled by lane automation in lock mode, the onscreen controls for these parameters will be disabled when in lock mode – you’ll see them shrink slightly and “go dark.” Automation parameter lock is especially useful when using hardware control surfaces with motorized faders, as it keeps onscreen and hardware controls locked together at all times.

If an automation lane’s Lock button is not engaged, mixer controls will not move, and their control positions act as “master” controls in addition to automation data. In other words, if lane automation contains a volume curve, moving a channel fader will cause the entire volume curve to become louder or quieter, but the automated volume will still occur.

Automation Parameter

This drop-down menu is where you’ll choose which parameter the automation lane will control. These can be Mixcraft mixer parameters such as channel’s volume, pan, or send levels, or the may be individual parameters of a plugin or virtual instrument; clicking the name of a plugin or virtual instrument will display a drop-down submenu with all automatable parameters.

image

SELECTING PARAMETERS FOR AUTOMATION

To select a parameter for automation, click a track’s Automation Parameter drop- down lane in the track list – by default it will say Track Volume. You can click it or the downward facing arrow next to it.

image

A drop-down menu appears showing the track volume, pan, and send parameters, as well as a list of currently inserted virtual instruments and/or plug-in effects. Hovering the mouse over a virtual instrument or plug-in effect name will display all currently automatable parameters for that instrument or effect. Clicking a parameter name will display current automation for that parameter in the automation lane.

image

ADDING AND EDITING AUTOMATION

To add automation points, simply click on an automation lane’s automation line and drag the point up and down. The position of newly created automation points will conform to the the current snap setting. The global snap value applies when adding and editing automation points. If you experience problems moving an envelope point to a specific location, change the Snap setting to Snap Off.

image

To move a horizontal section of the automation line, hold down the SHIFT key while dragging. The cursor will turn into an up/down arrow.

Dragging an automation point over other automation points will cause them to be “overrun” and deleted upon mouse release.

image

FINE TUNING AND DELETING AUTOMATION POINTS

Edit Exact Value

To precisely set automation point values, right-click it and choose Edit Exact Value. The dialog box below opens and allows exact settings for automation points.

image

Delete Point

To delete an automation point, right-click on and choose Delete Point.

image

image

CUTTING, COPYING, AND PASTING AUTOMATION DATA

Automation data can easily be cut, copied, and pasted.

Cut

To Cut a section of automation, highlight the section of automation to be cut by clicking and dragging over the area to be cut. Now select CONTROL+X either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking the mouse to copy.You can paste the cut automation data to a new location by positioning the Caret marker in the desired new location, then selecting CONTROL+V either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right- clicking.

Copy

To Copy, highlight the section of automation you’d like copied by clicking and dragging over the area to be copied. Now select CONTROL+C either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking the mouse to copy. Position the Caret marker in the desired copy location, and paste by selecting CONTROL+V either in Mixcraft’s file menu, or by right-clicking.

Automation data may be freely copied between tracks, and even to different parameter lanes. You can also copy multiple automation lanes or automation lanes and clips simultaneously. The only limitation is that Mixcraft will only copy automation data

to visible lanes, e.g., if volume and pan lanes are copied to track with only a volume lane visible, only the volume controller data will be copied. This is done to prevent automation data from copying to an “invisible” location and potentially causing confusion.

image

ADDITIONAL AUTOMATION PARAMETERS

Right-click in the track automation header to display additional parameters.

image

Clear

Deletes automation data in the currently selected lane.

Invert

Reverses the positions of automation data in the currently selected lane.

Boost

Raises automation data value in the selected lane by 5%, 10%, 25%, or 50%.

Reduce

Lowers the value of automation data in the currently selected lane by 5%, 10%, 25%, or 50%.

Clear All Automation

Deletes all automation in all lanes for the current track. Be careful with this one!

Hide Automation Lane

Hides the current automation lane - the same as clicking the X in the lane’s header.

image

RECORDING REAL-TIME AUTOMATION

“Real-time” automation is a fancy way of saying that Mixcraft will record parameter changes such as moving a knob or slider, or pressing a button. You can record parameter changes using onscreen controls or using knobs, sliders, and buttons on a hardware USB controller.

RECORDING AUTOMATION OF ONSCREEN CONTROLS

The easiest way to automate parameters is by recording the movements of onscreen controls. Here’s how:

1. Click on the track you’d like to automate a parameter on in the track list.

2. Click the track’s automation button. The automation button will turn green, and an automation lane will open beneath it. The default automation parameter will be

Track Volume; to choose a different parameter for automation, click the down arrow next to the default automation parameter. (When virtual instruments and plug-ins in the list are clicked, you’ll see submenus displaying its automatable parameters.)

3. Once the appropriate parameter has been chosen, click the Arm button beneath and to the left of the automation parameter display; this tells Mixcraft to record controller data for selected parameter. (The track’s Record Arm button does not need to be armed; it can be, but keep in mind that you’ll now be recording automation data as well as audio or MIDI note data depending on the track type.)

4. Position the playhead where you’d like automation recording to begin by clicking in the ruler at top of the project.

5. Press Record. If you’re recording volume, pan, send level, or other parameters with a parameter control on the main screen or in the Mixer tab, you can simply move these onscreen controls, and Mixcraft records their movements. If you’re recording automation for virtual instrument or plug-in parameters, make sure to open up their interface prior to recording (right-click on the keyboard icon or the fx icon) for access to controls. Either way, newly recorded automation will appear as it’s recording. Remember that you can add as many automation lanes and parameters as you like.

Remember to hit the Stop button when you’re done, and be careful not to enable Loop Mode, otherwise the movements you record may be instantly overwritten when Mixcraft “comes back ‘round.”

image

RECORDING AUTOMATION USING HARDWARE CONTROLLERS

This works almost exactly as described above, but instead of moving or clicking the mouse on virtual on-screen controllers, you’ll be able to record the movements of the knobs, sliders, or buttons on a hardware controller. Before you can record automation data from a hardware controller, you’ll need to assign controls to parameters using MIDI controller information in Mixcraft. Don’t worry, Mixcraft makes it really easy!

image

AUTOMATING EFFECTS ON NON-CLIP TRACKS

A non-clip track is any track that doesn’t have audio or MIDI clips associated with it. The primary track does not have an X, because these tracks only display automation in the main clip grip. However, if you choose to display additional parameters for a non- clip track (by clicking the + button), these will have an X allowing the extra parameters to be displayed or hidden. The following track types are non-clip tracks:

SubMix

Send

Output

Master

Instrument Mix Output

Rewire

image

AUTOMATING WITH A MIDI CONTROLLER

Any USB MIDI controller or keyboard can be set up to control any effect parameter

image

or virtual instrument parameter. The basic idea is that you’ll map buttons, knobs, or sliders to specific parameters. This allows a whole new level of expressiveness with virtual instruments, effects, and synthesizers.

image

MAPPING A HARDWARE CONTROL TO A PLUG-IN EFFECT PARAMETER

In this example we’ll assume that an effect has already been inserted into the channel.

1. Click the FX button in the channel header, then click the Edit button to the right of the effect name.

image

2. Click the gear in the upper left corner of the plug-in interface window to open the

MIDI Mapping window.

image

image Alternatively, the MIDI Mapping window can be accessed by displaying a channel’s lane automation (press the automation button).

… then clicking the automation parameter (in this case, Track Volume). When the drop-down menu opens, choose MIDI Map.

3. Under the Parameter heading, click <Add New> to view the automatable parameters for the current effect or Virtual Instrument. Choose a parameter and click to select it.

image

4. Click the MIDI Learn button. If a knob or fader is being assigned, move it back and forth. If a button is being assigned, press it. You’ll be able to tell that the controller

image

has successfully been assigned, because the MIDI controller number associated with it will display beneath the CC heading. Once the parameter has been assigned, click Stop Learning.

5. Click the Close button.

Assigning hardware controls to Virtual Instruments works exactly the same; the only difference will be the location of the instrument Edit button used to display the Virtual

Instrument user interface. You can see the Edit button in the screenshot below, to the right of the instrument name.

Super Helpful Tip: If a Virtual Instrument or plug-in effect is already loaded into a channel, its user interface can be accessed directly by right-clicking on the keyboard

image

instrument icon or FX button. This is a super-useful shortcut, and in this case, it will immediately get you to the “gear” icon for MIDI mapping.

image

ADDITIONAL MIDI MAPPING WINDOW PARAMETERS

Reverse

This reverses the effect of continuous controllers and buttons.

Reset All

This button clears the current mapping

Delete Current Mapping

Clicking the red X will delete the currently selected controller mapping.

image

LOADING AND SAVING EFFECT MAPPINGS

To save current mapping assignments, click the Save or Save As buttons. (You may want to create a directory for these.) MIDI Mapping window assignments will

automatically be saved with the current project, but the ability to save mappings lets you reuse settings in new projects.

Effects

Effects can be added to any track type (excluding video and text tracks). To add effects to a track, click the FX button in a track header.

image

image Mixcraft features a large array of effects including echo, delay, chorus, EQ, distortion, and more. (Plus our favorite feature: “And more!”)

Learn more in the "Effects" section (see pg. 191).

Lanes

Lanes allow multiple tracks of audio or MIDI to exist in the same time location without piling on top of one another or playing simultaneously. This is useful when recording multiple takes (either for recording and editing takes together the best performance, or stacking takes together for a full sound).

image

image

ADDING AND DELETING LANES

Lanes are created automatically if a new audio or MIDI recording overlaps a previous one. Most often, this occurs when Mixcraft is set to Loop Mode. Lanes can be manually added by right-clicking in the Main Clip Grid and selecting Lanes>Add (or with the shortcut ALT+L). Conversely, a track’s bottom-most lane can be deleted by right- clicking and selecting Lanes>Delete. To delete unused lanes, right-click and select Lanes>Delete Empty Lanes (or with the shortcut ALT+K).

image

MUTING LANES

All clips on any lane can be muted or unmuted by right-clicking on an empty part of a lane and clicking Lanes>Mute All or Lanes>Unmute All.

image

LANE MIDI CHANNEL ASSIGNMENT

Separate MIDI channels can be assigned to individual lanes when using Virtual Instruments. This is particularly useful with multi-timbral instruments. To assign MIDI channels, right-click an empty part of a lane, select Lanes>MIDI Channel, then the desired MIDI channel for the lane.

image

AUDIO/MIDI/VIDEO CLIPS

image

Clips are the “building blocks” of projects. Depending on the clip type, they may contain audio, MIDI, video, or text. Following are operations that are common to all clip types.

image

MUTING CLIPS

image

Clips can be muted. Most commonly, you might want to mute a clip in order to modify the arrangement of a song without permanently deleting a clip.

Muted clips appear gray. The easiest way to mute or unmute a clip is to click the small circle-with-a-cross-through-it button in the clip title bar. You can also mute clips by highlighting them and selecting Sound>Properties>Mute in the Main Screen Menu.

image

MOVING/DELETING/LINKING/LOCKING CLIPS

Moving Clips

Clips can be freely moved in the Main Clip Grid. To move a clip, click its title bar and drag vertically or horizontally while holding down the mouse button. (The title bar is the top area of the clip where the name is displayed.)

image

You can also move a clip by using the keyboard. Highlight the clip or clips to be moved, and press the arrow keys. The clip(s) will move based on the current snap setting.

Deleting Clips

Select a clip or group of clips and then select Edit>Delete from the Main Window, or press your computer's DELETE key.

Deleting Parts Of Clips

If only a part of a clip is selected, only the selected part gets deleted selected. For example, if you’ve recorded a singer and there is an extra audible breath, select the unwanted area and delete it.

image

LINKING CLIPS

Related clips can be linked together causing them to move as a single unit. This is useful when moving video clips with associated audio, multiple-mic drum recordings, or layered background vocals.

image

To link clips together, select the clips and click Edit>Link Selected Clips in the Main Window menus or by right-clicking one of the selected clips. To unlink clips, simply click the two rings/X button on the clip, or choose the Edit>Unlink Selected Clips.

If there are multiple clips linked together, you can unlink just one by choosing

Edit>Unlink This Clip.

image

LOCKING CLIPS

Clips can be locked to prevent them from being moved or resized. To lock a clip(s), select it then click Sound>Properties>Lock from the Main Window menus (or by right- clicking the clip). Clips can be unlocked the same way; simply click in the same menus to uncheck locking. Clips can also be locked and unlocked using the Sound tab.

Looping/Cropping/Trimming Clips

Loops can be cropped and trimmed by resizing. Sounds can also be looped by resizing from the left or right.

Cropping and Trimming Clips

You can trim the start and end of any clip. Moving the mouse to the right or left edge of a clip will change the cursor into a left/right resize arrow. Hold the mouse down

image

and drag to resize or trim. For more precise adjustment, zoom the view in closer.

The left or right edge of will trim based on the current Snap setting. If a clip won’t trim to a specific length, check the Snap setting; you may need to set the value to Off.

Crop From A Selection

A specific region can be cropped by making a selection over a clip, or a group of clips, and selecting Edit>Crop from the Main Window menus or by right-clicking and selecting Crop.

Looping Clips

To create additional loops of a clips, move the mouse onto the left or right edge of the clip. The cursor will turn into a left/right arrow. Click and drag the right edge of the clip; when the length of the clip exceeds the length of the Loop Start and Loop End points (defined in the Sound tab), a new loop begins.

image

The indentations in the bottom of a clip indicate the loop start and end points. You can also make additional loop copies by clicking the +1 Loop button next to the immediate left of the clip’s name.

image

Remove Space Between Clips

This eliminates silent gaps by moving clips together. It does not combine clips into one big sound – it just scoots clips closer together. Select Edit>Remove Space Between Clips from the Main Window Edit menu.

Cutting/Copying/Pasting Clips

To cut and paste a clip, select a clip, or a portion of one, by dragging over it. Select Cut from the Main Window Edit menu, then click in the Main Clip Grid to position the Caret in the desired destination. Select Paste from the Edit menu to paste to the Caret location.

Copying clips work exactly as above, just select Copy instead of Cut and the original clip will remain. You can also Cut, Copy, or Paste by right-clicking the mouse.

Alt-Drag Copying

To quickly copy selected clips, hold down the ALT key and click-drag a clip to quickly make a duplicate.

image

MERGE

To merge two or more audio or virtual instrument clips on the same track, select the clips and then click Sound>Merge To New Clip in the Main Window menus.

Before a merge:

image

After the merge:

image

Reasons To Merge Clips

Multiple virtual instrument clips are on one track and you’d like to print out sheet music for the entire track, but the notation view only displays one clip at a time. Merging the clips together allows the notes to appear correctly in the notation view.

You have multiple audio clips one track recorded with the same noisy air conditioner in the background and you want to remove the noise in one command. Merging the clips together allows you to remove the noise one time.

The current project has hundreds of clips and your workspace is getting confusing and slow. Merging the clips to one sound will cut down on resources, speed up your mix by cutting down on CPU, and unclutter the interface, as well.

image

SELECTING CLIPS

A selection is an area that you’d like to edit or work on.

image

Drawing A Selection

Click and drag the cursor over a region to create a selection. The selection is displayed as a transparent purple rectangle. Selections obey the snap setting. (“Transparent Purple Rectangle” would be a fabulous name for a psychedelic band.) The selection drag may be started on the timeline, a clip, or a track body.

Selecting An Individual Clip or Multiple Clips

To select an individual clip, click on its title bar. The clip will have a white outline when selected.

image

To select multiple clips, hold down the CTRL key and click on the title bars of the clips to be selected.

Selecting A Region of a Clip

To select part of a clip, click and drag in the bottom section of a clip (beneath the Title Bar). The cursor will change to an I-beam to simplify selection.

Selection Shortcuts

Action

Shortcut

Description

Selecting All Clips On A Lane

CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+A

Choose Track> Lanes

>Select All

Selecting All Clips On A Track

CTRL+SHIFT+A

Choose Track>Select All Clips On This Track.

Alternatively, double-click a track header.

Selecting All Clips In Project

CTRL+A

Choose Edit>Select All

Unselect Clips

Esc

Deselect any selected clips.

Select Next Clip

Tab

A quick way to select the next clip.

Select Previous Clip

SHIFT+Tab

A quick way to select the previous clip.

Other Things You Can Do With Selections

Once regions are selected, they may be cut, copied, and pasted the current selection. Here are some less obvious operations that can be done with selected regions:

Boosting or reducing audio levels Normalizing clips

Creating fades Removing space between clips

Cropping clips Setting Loop to Crop

Linking clips Trimming silence

Merging clips

image

CLIP-BASED AUTOMATION

image

Each audio clip has its own independent automation line for the following parameters:

Volume Low Pass Resonance

Pan High Pass Cutoff

Low Pass Cutoff High Pass Resonance

These are all simultaneously available for any clip. To select the currently displayed automation line, highlight a clip, or clips, and select the parameter in the Main Window Toolbar at the top of the screen.

Note: Clip Automation, where automation is applied to clips individually, is separate from Lane Automation, where automation affects an entire track in a continuous line.

Both types of automation work simultaneously, so be aware of this if you’re using both types on the same content.

image

Here we’ll adjust clip volume.The clip automation display selector (that’s a mouthful) switches the parameter displayed globally for all clips in a project.

Adjusting Clip Automation

image

To create and adjust clip automation points, hover the mouse cursor over the lower section of a clip. The clip’s automation line will appear, and the cursor will turn into crosshairs. Click to create new points, and drag to position them.

Keyboard Modifiers

Add Points: Hold the CTRL key down and click to add points anywhere on the sound.

Move Line: Hold the SHIFT key down and click down on an automation line to move the line up or down.

Delete Points: Hold the ALT key down and click points to remove or delete them.

Setting Exact Value

Precise values can be set by right-clicking on the point and choosing Edit Exact Value... This opens a dialog box where exact number values can be entered.

Fades, Boosts, and Reductions

Though these sound like procedures rich ladies get done, these are actually shortcuts that add multiple envelope points at a time. Select an area of a sound and choose one of the following predefined options from the Sound menu in the Main Window:

Sound>Envelopes>Fade Out

Sound>Envelopes>Fade In

Sound>Envelopes>Reduce

Sound>Envelopes>Boost

Clip Volume

Volume can be set to values from 0% to 200% (-Inf dB to +6 dB).

Clip Pan

Pan is the volume balance between the left and right channel (i.e. left and right speaker). By automating pan settings, sounds can move from left to right or vice-versa. Pan can be set to values from 100% left to 100% right.

image

LOW AND HIGH PASS FILTERS

In addition to changing the volume and pan of a sound over time, Mixcraft’s low pass and high pass filters allow filtering to change over time.

What Is A Low Pass Filter?

A low pass filter is an audio filter that literally allows low frequencies to “pass” while removing (or “filtering out”) high frequencies. A low pass filter has a cutoff value, such that every frequency below the cutoff can be heard, and every frequency above the cutoff is reduced or removed entirely from the audio. For example, if you use a low pass filter with a cutoff frequency of 2000 Hz, every frequency below 2000 Hz will be heard in full, but every frequency above 2000 Hz will be reduced or removed entirely.

The low pass filter in Mixcraft is a resonant filter. This means that in addition to the cutoff value, there is also a value for the amount of resonance. Simply put, resonance involves emphasizing frequencies at the filter’s cutoff point. So, if we imagine a filter with a cutoff frequency of 2000 Hz and a high resonance value, what will be heard is a sound where frequencies above 2000 Hz have been removed, frequencies below

2000 Hz remain the same, and frequencies at and directly around 2000 Hz are louder. Resonance is a simple concept, but it can be a dramatic effect, especially if resonance is high and the filter’s cutoff frequency is changing. This effect is what’s known as a “filter sweep”.

Every sound in Mixcraft has its own resonant low pass filter. These filters can be used in many ways. You can use them as an EQ effect, reducing certain high frequencies, such as acoustic guitar finger squeaks. You can also use them to create filter sweeps, by adding resonance while the cutoff frequency moves up or down. The cutoff frequency and resonance amount are each controlled via an envelope, and these values can change over time, in the same way a volume or pan envelope can be used to change to volume and pan amount over time.

Editing A Low Pass Filter

To edit a sound’s low pass filter cutoff, go to the toolbar and make sure that “Low Pass Cutoff” is selected. By default, all points on this envelope are at 100%, meaning that all sounds below the cutoff (i.e. everything) can be heard. Adding points lower than 100% will cause high frequencies to be increasingly removed from the audio.

To edit a sound’s low pass filter resonance, go to the toolbar and make sure that “Low Pass Resonance” is selected. By default, all points on this envelope are at 0%, meaning that there is no resonance/emphasis at the cutoff point. Adding points higher than 0% will cause emphasis at the cutoff frequency, if any frequencies exist at and around that frequency.

What Is A High Pass Filter?

A high pass filter is the exact opposite of a low pass filter, meaning that high frequencies above the cutoff point are allowed to pass, while frequencies below the cutoff point are reduced or removed. Mixcraft’s high pass filter is also a resonant filter.

Editing A High Pass Filter

To edit a sound’s high pass filter cutoff, go to the toolbar and make sure that “High Pass Cutoff” is selected. By default, all points on this envelope are at 0%, meaning that all sounds above the cutoff (i.e. everything) can be heard. Adding points above 0% will cause low frequencies to be increasingly removed from the audio.

To edit a sound’s high pass filter resonance, go to the toolbar and make sure that “High Pass Resonance” is selected. By default, all points on this envelope are at 0%, meaning that there is no resonance/emphasis at the cutoff point. Adding points higher than 0% will cause emphasis at the cutoff frequency, if any frequencies exist at and around that frequency.

image

AUDIO CLIPS

An audio clip is a clip containing an audio recording. Audio clips always display a waveform in their lower section.

image

Existing audio can be added to Mixcraft, or new audio clips can be created by recording audio into Mixcraft.

MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV or AIF format audio files can be loaded into Mixcraft. New recordings will be saved as WAV or OGG files and stored in the current project folder.

image

ADDING AND LOADING AUDIO CLIPS

There are several ways to add audio clips to a project.

Sound Menu

Click Sound>Add Sound File… from the Main Window menus. Navigate to a folder, select the sound and click Open. The sound will be placed at the current location of the Caret. Alternatively, use CTRL+H or click the Add Sound button on the Main Window Toolbar. The Add Sound button has musical notes on a folder.

image

Double-Click a Track

Double-clicking an audio track body sets the Caret and simultaneously opens a window letting you choose a sound. The sound will be placed at the location of Caret.

Add a Sound From the Mixcraft’s Loop Library

Click the Library tab on the bottom of the Mixcraft window. Select a sound from the library, position the Caret where you’d like the sound to go, then click the + button next to the sound. Alternatively, you can drag the sound directly into the Main Clip Grid.

Drag In a Sound From Windows File Explorer

Open a Window’s File Explorer window and navigate to the sound or sounds to be added. Select the sound(s) in Windows File Explorer and drag them into the Main Clip Grid.

Sound Analysis During Loading

As a sound loads, Mixcraft parses it for peaks in order to display the waveform.

If Auto Beat Matching is on, the software also parses for tempo, beats, and key for sounds over 30 seconds. If the software detects a tempo or key, it may adjust the snap point to the first beat and alter the sound based on the project key and tempo.

These operations make it easier for Mixcraft to automatically match up timing and key signature in a project… in other words, they’ll make making music easier!

image

AUDIO CLIP PROPERTIES

These settings govern how Mixcraft displays and plays back individual audio clips.

Channel

image

If a clip contains a mono audio file, the clip will display one waveform:

image

If a clip contains a stereo audio fi the clip displays two waveforms atop one another:

If the a track’s height is reduced to a small size, stereo clips will display

only one waveform. (Track height can be restored to normal size by selecting

Track>Properties>Track Height>Normal in the Main Window menus.)

To play back only the left or right channel of a stereo sound, highlight the audio clip and select Sound>Properties>Channels>Left Channel or Right Channel. (Or Chanel No5 if smelling nice is your thing.) To restore stereo playback, select select Sound>Properties>Channels>Stereo.

image

If a stereo clip is set to play one channel only, Mixcraft addends [Left Channel]

or [Right Channel] to the clip name as a reminder.

Phase

The Phase setting allows inversion of either or both channels in a stereo file. This is useful if you’re experiencing frequency cancellation as a result of poorly placed

mics, and can also be used to eliminate monophonic audio content, such as drums, bass, and lead vocals, in complete mixes.

Sound menu>Properties>Phase>Normal

Sound menu>Properties>Phase>Invert Left Channel Only

Sound menu>Properties>Phase>Invert Right Channel Only

Sound menu>Properties>Phase>Invert Both Channels

Normalize

Normalizing a sound locates its loudest peak, raises it up to “full scale” (i.e. loudest level before clipping), and proportionately raises the volume of the rest of the clip.

To normalize a clip, highlight and select Sound>Properties>Normalize. Like

all Mixcraft, normalization is not “destructive,” so it doesn’t permanently alter the sound stored on your hard drive. To disable normalization, simply go back to Sound>Properties and uncheck Normalize.

Note: Normalizing essentially makes clips as loud as possible without clipping, but does not alter dynamic balance like a compressor or limiter.

image

EXTERNAL WAVE EDITOR

Mixcraft will work in conjunction with external sound editing software to apply permanent changes or edits to the sound. For example, if you want to reverse a sound or edit out clicks and pop, you may want to use an external Wave editing software.

Configuring an External Wave Editor

To configure an external Wave editor, select File>Preferences>General. Under External Wave Editor, click the Browse… button, navigate to the Wave editing software and click to select it.

Editing a Sound in an External Wave Editor

image

Right-click on a sound and choose Edit In External Editor... or choose

Sound>Edit In External Editor... from the menus in the Main Window.

You’ll have the option of editing the original sound or a copy of it. If the original sound is edited, any changes made to it will be permanent. This is known as "destructive editing".

image

CROSSFADING BETWEEN CLIPS

Crossfading with Mixcraft is so easy that, for all intents and purposes, it’s automatic.

image

Simply drag one sound over another and a crossfade is instantly and visibly created. The length of the crossfade corresponds to the size of the overlap of neighboring clips.

image

REVERSING CLIP PLAYBACK

Audio clip playback can be reversed by highlighting a clip and selecting Sound>Reverse in the Main Window menus. (Or “unreversed” by reselecting Sound>Reverse.) If clip automation has been applied, remember that envelope points won’t move – they stay

image

in their original location. Reverse sound playback works especially well with long, decaying sounds such as cymbal crashes or long piano chords.

image

image

FLEXAUDIO™ TIME STRETCHING

image

FlexAudio™ allows easy time compression and expansion by visually dragging the left or right edge of a clip. While holding the CTRL key down, click on the left or right edge and drag left or right. The cursor turns into two hands when in FlexAudio™ mode FlexAudio™ works on audio and MIDI clips. For finer control of clip lengths, set the Snap value to Off.

Fast Talkin’ With FlexAudio™

Ever made a 30- or 60-second that ran a couple seconds long?

Try time-stretching it with FlexAudio™. Ever heard a lightning-fast legal disclaimer at the end of a commercial? Create the by time- stretching by about 75%. Turn off snapping and FlexAudio™ it to the desired length.

Mixcraft 7 Online Manual