Return to the CDP Main Index.
|Basic Operation:||Launch||Getting Sources||Processing Files||Ending The Session|
|Choosing Sources:||Finding Sources||Grabbing Sources||Other Source options|
|File Management:||General Features||Storing New Files||Unmarking Files||Clearing Old Files|
|Using the Workspace:||Operations on All Workspace Files||Operations on Selected Files||Creating New
|Choosing Files to Process:||Clearing||Reordering||Data on Chosen-Files||Special Choices|
|General Features:||System State||Help Facilities||Notebook &
|Table Editor &
On launching the Sound Loom you will find yourself on the Workspace Page. This consists of three panels, the Chosen Files panel, the Workspace panel, and the Source Directory panel.The outline mode of operation of this page is as follows..
- Select directories from which you wish to source files and list their files on the Source Directory panel.
- Load the files you want to use in the session from the Source Directory onto the Workspace.
- Work by selecting individual files (or sets of files) from the Workspace and placing them on the Chosen Files list, ready to process.
- Press the Process button, to launch a CDP process of your choice.
- When the process is complete, the resulting file(s) will appear at the top of the Workspace.
- Repeat this processing operation, selecting new files to process, or new processes to apply to the Chosen Files.
- On completing your session, store any newly created files you want to keep by copying them into a directory of your choice.The central panel, the Workspace, is a listing of files the Sound Loom knows about and will work with. It will list the files you intend to work with for the session, and (once you start to work) the files that you generate with CDP processes. Files not listed in the Workspace are not known about by the Sound Loom and this prevents you using or overwriting files you did not intend to.On first running the Sound Loom, the Workspace will be empty. You will load file onto the workspace, and create new files as you work.At the end of your session there will (usually) be files listed in the Workspace, and, when you end the session, the Workspace listing is remembered so that next time you start the Sound Loom, those listed files will be automatically loaded onto the workspace.To get files onto the workspace (either on your first run, or at any subsequent time), you will need to load them from wherever they are stored on your computer. How to do this is explained below, in the, Choosing Sources section.Having chosen your file(s), you can proceed to process them, using the CDP instruments. There are 4 buttons, at the top left of the page, which take you to the sound processing stage.
ProcessThe simplest way to proceed is to press Process. You will then find yourself on the Sound Loom Process Page from where you can choose the process you want to apply to the chosen file(s).
You can also apply the same process to many files. To do this press the Bulk Process button. Bulk processing will only work if all the files on the Chosen Files list are of the same type. You will then find yourself on the Sound Loom Process Page from where you can choose the process you want to apply to each of the chosen files.
When you run a process on a number of files (i.e., a 'bulk process'), some of the processes may fail for one reason or another, such as by editing a file beyond its end, trying to normalise a file which is already too loud, etc. Any single process that fails during a bulk run will return a message such as "cannot find channel ..." When this happens, click on the 'OK' in each box with this type of message until all such message alerts have gone. Then the Sound Loom page should tell you which of the many processes in the bulk run succeeded and which ones failed.
Create InstrumentWhen you know the system well, you can combine a sequence of processes to make a single Instrument. An Instrument is a sequence of processes with all of their parameters, which runs as if it were a single simple process. (This is a graphic implementation of the 'batch file' concept). See the section on Creating Instruments.
You can also recall a Process (or an Instrument) that you ran earlier in your session, or in a previous session, together with the actual parameters you used. To find out how to recall an 'action' in this way, see the section on History.When you have completed your work, you can close down the Sound Loom by clicking on the End Session button in the top right hand corner of the window. This distintively coloured button can be found on most of the principal windows in the Sound Loom, so you can close down the session at any point in your work.On closing down the session, the current state of your work will be remembered by the Sound Loom. The listing of files on the workspace, and on the chosen files list, the source directory name you were using, any Instruments or Patches you created, or Favorites you chose, are stored.On next launching the Sound Loom, you will find the system restored to the state it was in when you finished your last session. (You will need to press LIST on the Source Directory panel to restore the listing of your chosen source directory).If you exit your session in a hurry, you may be asked if you want to store the current state of the Workspace. If you say "No", the workspace you loaded at the start of the session will be remembered, and hence restored when you start the next session.
To get files onto the workspace (either on your first run, or at any subsequent time), you will need to load them from wherever they are stored on your computer. How to do this is explained below.The Sound Loom will only grab files which are CDP-compatible. If you try to (perhaps accidentally) transfer files which are not CDP compatible (e.g. 'Word' documents) the Sound Loom will ignore them. The Sound Loom will also prevent you from accessing any of the CDP system directories, so you cannot damage the Sound Loom or destroy any information about your current working environment.As the sounds are transferred to the workspace list, the Sound Loom examines them and makes a note of their properties, for future reference.Files appear on the workspace listing with their full directory path. These are referred to as Old Files (i.e. pre-existing files). Newly created files (and also files copied onto the Workspace), appear with no directory path. You can thus quickly differentiate the new files you are creating as you work.
Specifying a Directory, & Loading Files to Workspace : the Source Directory Panel
- Above the Source Directory panel, there is an entry box for a directory name. Click on the Find Directory button above this. A list of directories (and drives) will appear.
Select the directory from which you wish to load files. It will appear in the entry box. (Alternatively, you can just type the name of the directory into the entry box).
- Now press LIST and choose List Specified Directory. A listing of the files in that directory will appear in the Source Directory Panel.
- Select the files you want to use (soundfiles, analysis files, text files etc.), with the mouse.
- Then press GRAB and choose Use Selected Files on Workspace. The files will then be listed in the workspace.
Alternative ways to list and grab files for the workspace
- Grab All Files in the directory. You can grab all the (valid) files in the directory. Press LIST and choose Use All Files on Workspace.
- Grab Files from a Subdirectory. There may be subdirectories inside the directory you have listed in the Source Directory panel. If so, their names will appear in that listing. You can list the contents of such a subdirectory by selecting its name with the mouse, pressing LIST, and choosing List Subdirectory.
To return to the original directory listing, press LIST and choose Ascend Directory Tree. (in fact you can ascend the directory tree at any stage, until you reach the root directory of the drive your are examining).
- Copy Files. The Grab process does not usually copy files. The files are simply listed on the workspace as files the workspace knows about and will work with. If you really want to copy a file from your chosen directory into the workspace directory, press LIST and choose Copy selected files and Use Copies.
(A file which is actually in the Workspace directory will be listed with just its name. Other files are listed with their directory path, so you can see which directory they are in).
- Get Files with similar names.You can grab or copy files which have similar names. Press LIST and choose Choose Files with Generic Name or Copy Files with Generic Name.
A dialogue box will appear where you can enter details of the name, and various other information about the choice of files.
- Limiting the Sample Rate of acceptable source files. If you have decided to do all your work at a particular sampling rate, you can select (or change) that sampling rate using the SRATE button. For example, if you select 48000, then the Grab and Copy buttons will only grab soundfiles etc. with sample rate 48000 (or, in the case of analysis files etc., files derived from soundfiles of sampling rate 48000).
Soundfiles at other sampling rates will be ignored.
Textfiles are not affected by choice of sampling rate.
- Refreshing the Source Directory display. You can refresh the Source Directory display by pressing Refresh. This is useful if you are changing the contents of the directory outside the CDP.
- Deleting an entire source directory. At the end of a project, you may wish to clear out a working directory. Or you may create temporary directories, for sound experimentation, during the course of your work, and then wish to get rid of the files they contain.
The DESTROY ALL button allows you to do this, but use with care! (If you press this button you will receive a message asking you to confirm that you really do want to destroy the files. This is to prevent your destroying the contents of a directory by accident).
On the workspace you can perform various file management tasks:
Workspace Counters. The workspace is headed by two counters. The one on the left counts all the files on the workspace, while the one on the right counts any newly created files. If the workspace has a very large number of files on it, these counters change colour to warn you. (It is better to tidy up the workspace from time to time, as intermediate files, or sounds you made but decided not to use further, tend to accumulate as work progresses).
Storing and Retrieving a Workspace Listing. Sometimes you may decide to work on an entirely new batch of source files, while intending to return to the current sources at a later date. You can Store the current workspace listing, and Recall it (or some other stored listing) at a later date, using the checkbuttons at the top of the Workspace. (Do not be tempted to click the store button many times at one go - the listing is stored on each click, and you will only generate many copies of the list). Listings are stored with their date of storage as a name.
Putting newly created files into named directories: Once a file has been created and listed on the workspace it can be placed in a named directories. This can be an existing directory (perhaps having the name of your composition, or the name of a section of a piece), or a new directory you wish to create. Simply select one or more files with the mouse, type a directory name into the entry box, and press STORE NEW FILES.
(You can move files from one directory to another using Move the Selected Files on the PROCESS SELECTED FILES menu).
- Why back-up to Directories? It is advisable to move files into directories as a way of documenting your compositional process. Once hundreds of files have been generated it becomes difficult to keep track of which files came from what process of musical exploration, and, more mundanely, one runs out of new names for sounds.
- Refreshing Mixfiles When you move a file into a directory, the Sound Loom can deal with any associated mixfiles it can find. A mixfile is a set of instructions for mixing soundfiles. It contains the names of those soundfiles (together with other mixing data). When you put a file into a directory you are renaming it, so any mixfile that uses that sound, (or a sound with the new name) needs to be changed or checked. (This is true when you simply give a new name to a file on the workspace. See Operations on Selected Files).
The Sound Loom can check through the Workspace looking for any mixfiles which might contain the named file and either rename the files inside the mixfiles, or ask for your advice on what to do with the mixfiles it finds.
Select the Refresh Mixfiles checkbutton to launch this option.
Mixfile checking does not happen automatically. If you abandon a session in which mixfiles have been used or altered without launching this option, you will receive a warning, enabling you to launch the option before concluding the session.When you select Workspace files with the mouse, they are highlighted. You can choose as many files as you want. If you have selected several Workspace files with the mouse, but then change your mind, pressing Unmark Files will remove the highlighting from these files.If you decide to start with a fresh set of source files, the CLEAR OLD FILES button will clear the Workspace listing of all files which show a directory path. It does not delete the files from your disk. Files which do not have a directory path are in the workspace directory itself. These are files you have created with CDP processes (and not subsequently backed-up into directories), or files you have Copied (rather than Grabbed) onto the Workspace. This prevents you losing sight of files you have created. If you want to clear the workspace completely, you should put the remaining files into a named directory as described in Store New Files above (or delete them from the disk).
Sort WorkspaceSort Workspace can sort the workspace listing in various ways alphabetically, in creation-date order, by type of file, and so on.
View/Read/Edit FilesView Soundfiles will present you with a list of all the files (soundfiles and analysis files) which can be graphically viewed, and allow you to view them. Read and Edit will allow you to read or edit any textfiles on the Workspace. Breakpoint files on the workspace can also be edited graphically.
Make a Text Listing of FilesThis option will create a texfile which lists the names of files on the workspace. You can specify which types of workspace files you want to include in the listing.
Update WorkspaceIf you create (or destroy) soundfiles in the Workspace directory using some other (non-CDP) program, you may wish to relist the soundfiles now in the Workspace directory. Updating the workspace does this.
Delete All Analysis Files on WorkspaceAfter transforming sounds using the Phase Vocoder, you may wish to get rid of all the intermediate analysis files (files describing the spectrum of a sound). This option allows you to do this with one button click. Do not use this option if you have one or more analysis files you wish to retain for further work.
Rename Selected FilesRename Selected File will allow you to rename files on the Workspace which you have selected with the mouse.
Show Properties of Selected FilesShow Properties of Selected Files will display the properties of the selected files, calculate (where appropriate or necessary) their maximum amplitude, or list their precursors.
Sort the Selected FilesSort the Selected Files allows you to move selected files to the top or bottom of the workspace listing, and (if you specify this) sort them in the process.
Move The Selected Files to a new DirectoryYou can move Workspace files from one directory to another, using this option.
Remove Selected Files from the WorkspaceThis option will remove the mouse-selected files from the Workspace (they are not deleted from the disk).
Update Workspace File DataThis option tells the Workspace to check the data it holds on the files you have selected. Use this if the Sound Loom seems not to recognise the type of the file you have selected e.g. if you attempt to process a file, which you think is a soundfile, but the Workspace offers no soundfile-processing programs for you to use, either it is not a soundfile (the most usual possibility!), or the Workspace has 'forgotten' that it is a soundfile (which may happen on rare occasions).This option will delete the mouse-selected files from the hard disk. You will be asked to confirm that you really want to do this.The Sound Loom itself takes care of deleting files you generate with CDP processes but decide not to keep. These are deleted behind the scenes, and will not appear on the Workspace. Any temporary files left behind when the system closes down in a hurry (e.g. a power-failure) are automatically deleted on restarting the Sound Loom.Text data files are used extensively in the CDP to provide special data for particular processes, and especially, to describe how a parameter varies through time (a breakpoint file).
This menu will allow you to create new text data files, either directly, by typing text, or (for breakpoint files) graphically.
(Some particular kinds of text data can be generated by CDP processes on the Process Page. Text data can also be edited in many and sophisticated ways using the Table Editor. New sound [analysis, pitch, formant..] files are created on the Process Page).Play Soundfiles will present you with a list of all the playable soundfiles listed on the Workspace (if there are any) and allow you to play them.
To use the CDP processes in the Sound Loom you first put a file (or files) on the Chosen Files list, then Process it (them), by pressing the Process button, which takes you to the Process Page.
To Choose Files to Process
- Press Enter Chosen Files Mode. The Workspace now changes to Choose Files mode, the Chosen Files list is highlighted, and the workspace ceases to be highlighted. The workspace menus are no longer operational.
- When you now select a file on the workspace with the mouse, it will appear in the 'CHOSEN FILES' list to the left.
- You can 'un-choose' a file listed in the chosen-files list simply by clicking on it in the chosen files list, (or in the workspace list).
- You can return to Workspace Mode at any time, by pressing Return to Workspace Mode. the Workspace is now highlighted, and the Chosen Files list ceases to be highlighted. You can now use all the workspace menus again. The 'Chosen Files' menus are now not operational.The Chosen Files listing has a file counter at the top. You can also Store the current listing, and then Recall it at a later time. (You can recall the immediately previous listing from the SPECIAL CHOICE button, see below).The Chosen Files listing has some buttons associated with it.This option will clear the Chosen Files list.The Reorder button will allow you to reverse or rotate the order of files in the Chosen Files list. (The order of files submitted to some processes is significant: e.g. with 2 pitch files creating a transposition file, or an analysis file used to clean another analysis file).File Data will allow you to list the properties of all the files in the Chosen Files list, to play any soundfiles in the list, and to refresh the data that the Sound Loom holds about those files. Use this if the Sound Loom seems not to recognise the type of the file you have selected e.g. if you attempt to process a file, which you think is a soundfile, but the Workspace offers no soundfile-processing programs for you to use, either it is not a soundfile (the most usual possibility!), or the Workspace has 'forgotten' that it is a soundfile (which may happen on rare occasions).The Special Choice menu allows you to put files onto the Chosen File list by other means. You will often want to replace the existing choice by the Last Outfile created (in ordfer to continue processing it). You may also want to return to the Previous Files that were listed (e.g. you change your mind, or you make a mistake in file selection). You can also select files which share a similar name by choosing Choose by Generic Name.
Facilities Only found on the Workspace PageSystem State
This menu gives you access to various features of the Sound Loom environment. You can see the System Settings (e.g. what type of soundfile extensions, or sampling rates you are using) or find how much Disk Space is still available.
You can alter features of the enviroment, like the Screen Size for your Sound Loom display, the process you want to use to Play soundfiles, or the typical Sample Size of the soundfiles you are using (used in some Music Calculator calculations).
You can edit, or destroy Log Files containing information about previous sessions, Sort Stored Listings of the Workspace or the Chosen Files list, delete all the current Reference Values, or Edit the list of Table Editor macros.
Finally, you can convert to a multi-user system, or, if you are the principal user of a multi-user system, convert to a single-user system.
Facilities Accesible from Various Pages
- Help: This button will provide information on every feature of a Sound Loom page. When you click on it, the page is disabled, and when you select any item on the page with the mouse, a help message about that item is displayed at the top of the page. If you press the Set Active button, the page will be reactivated, but the Help messages will continue to be shown. You can get rid of the help messages by pressing Quiet.
- New User Help: When first using the Sound Loom a special help facility for new users can be accessed through this button. This is a more comprehensive introduction to the Sound Loom than the information available from the Help buttons on each major page.
- Tips: This button provides useful miscellaneous information about operations on the particular page.
- Notebook: gives you access to a pad where you can keep notes on your session's work. Entries are automatically dated.
- Reference: gives you access to Reference Values which you have created elsewhere and may wish to re-use (e.g. as Parameter values, or in the Table Editor or Music Calculator). Reference Values can be generated or calculated in the Music Calculator.
- Table Editor gives you access to a powerful facility for creating, modifying or combining tables of data (e.g. breakpoint files).
Individual Columns or Rows in a table can be extracted and manipulated using mathematical, musical, sorting, randomising, editing and many other processes. Columns (rows) can then be reinserted in the table from which they came (or in another table), replacing the original column, or being placed among the existing columns.
Files of columns can also be combined e.g. two 2-column tables can be combined to make a 4-column table, or a (longer) 2-column table.
Table Editor macros, combining several Table Editor operations in sequence, can be defined, stored, and recalled. These are remembered from one session to the next.
For further information, consult the Help button, and the individual Menus, on the Table Editor page.
- Calculator: gives you access to a powerful music-oriented Calculator. Values (or note-names, or interval-names) can be transformed into corresponding values e.g. Frequency Values to MIDI values (or note names), sample counts to time, millisecond delays to resulting pitch, bar+beat count and selected tempo and metre information to time, and so on.
Values created in the Calculator can be recycled for further calculations. They can also be stored as Reference Values, and subsequently used as Parameter Values on the Parameters Page or in Table Editor calculations.
|Other Features:||Changing Your Mind||Info about Process Menus||Info about individual Processes||Which Process to use?||Use Process Again|
|Favourites:||Add Last Process to Favourites||Use Favourite||See All Favourites|
When you click on the Process button on the Workspace. The Process Page is displayed. The main feature of the Process Page is a set of large buttons which give you access to different types of CDP processes, such as Filtering, or Grain Manipulation. The Sound Loom interface knows which of these processes are pertinent to the file(s) you have chosen from the workspace. Thus, if you have selected an analysis file, only the processes that work on analysis files will be highlighted (and active) on the Process Page.
When you press one of these highlighted buttons, a menu of possible processes will be posted on the Current Menu window, to the left of the screen, and you can select a process to run. You can continue to access the processes on this menu from the Current Menu window until you want to select another group of processes (when you press one of the other large buttons).
On any menu, only those processes relevant to your chosen file(s) are active. If you are puzzled by this in a particular situation, check the Properties of your selected file, on the Chosen Files list on the Workspace. (If you are still puzzled,you can try pressing FILE DATA above the Chosen Files listing, and choosing Refresh File Data).
Run a given process by selecting its button on the menu listing of processes.
Should you change your mind about which file you want to use (or if you've chosen the wrong file) you can go back and get a different file by pressing To Wkspace: New Files. You will then return to the Workspace, where you can select different files.If you would like to know more about what all these processes might do, press Info. The large buttons will change colour, and when you press on any one of them, a brief description of each process on the associated menu will appear on the screen. You exit from this information mode by pressing Action.If you want more information about what an individual process does, select the small Process button at the top of the display (you must be in Action rather than Information mode to do this), and press Info. You can now proceed as if you were running a process: select one of the large buttons, and then select an item from the posted menu. A description of that process will now appear on the screen. Again, you can exit from information mode by pressing Action.Finding a suitable process: If you are unable to decide which process to use, press Which?. In the box that appears, give a brief description of what you want to do, e.g., type in 'time stretch', or 'pitch shift'. Then choose either the Relevant or All option.
- Choosing Relevant will display any CDP processes of the type you describe which are relevant to the file(s) you have chosen from the Workspace.
- Choosing All will display all processes of the type you describe, regardless of whether you can use them with the current file(s).If you have already run a process and want to run it again ( e.g. with different input files), you do not need to select the process again. Just press Use Process Again. The Last Process you used is shown at the top of the display. (This button will not be active the first time you arrive at the Process Page, as there is no previous process to run).
Saving and running a favourite processes: If you use a process frequently, you may want to save it as a Favourite. The Last Process you used is listed at the top of the display. To save it, press Add Last Process above the Favourites listing. The process will then be added to the list of favourites. This will be remembered and listed not only for the remainder of the session but also when you start the Sound Loom again, for subsequent sessions.You can run a favourite process simply by selecting it on the Favourites listing and pressing Use.The Favourites listing displays (and allow you to use) only those processes relevant to the file(s) you have currently chosen from the Workspace. If you choose a different type of file, favourite processes (if any) relevant to that type of file will be listed. You can see the list of all your favourite processes by pressing See All.
Instruments are sequences of processes (and your chosen parameters for those processes) which you have recorded as an Instrument. How to create an Instrument is described later. If you have already created an Instrument, it will be listed on the Instruments list. You can run it by selecting it with the mouse. You can see a display of the Instrument by pressing See. If you want to get rid of an Instrument (forever), select it then press Delete.
See the Instruments Page for full details on creating and using Instruments.
|Other Features:||Info||New Process||Patches||Play Source||Edit Source|
When you select a particular process from a menu, the Parameters Page will appear. Some processes have no parameters and you need only press Goto Run. However, more typically, a process has a number of parameters which you can set before you run the process. These parameters are listed on the Parameters Page. For each parameter you will see its name e.g. 'CYCLE-GROUP CNT' and an entry display mechanism, or 'gadget'.
There are various kinds of parameter gadgets, from a single checkbox (determining whether a parameter is set or not), to an array of radio-buttons (e.g. for setting sampling rate) where you must choose one of the proffered values, to parameters with a full range of values.
These latter parameter gadgets have some or all of these features...
Get File and Make File are geared into the properties of the sound (or other) file(s) you chose from the Workspace and the process you are running, i.e. they know how long your input file is, and what the range of the selected parameter is when working with your chosen file(s). They automatically tie the range and duration of the breakpoint file you are creating (or editing) to these values. (You can also override these constraints if you want).
- Range Display On the left you will find a display of the available range. Some parameters allow you to change this range. Press the Range button, and the available Range will toggle between a standard range, and a larger, complete range. Whichever range you choose, the slider bar, and the breakpoint editor (more below) will operate over that range.
- Value Entry Box You may type in the value of the parameter you want (or the name of a breakpoint file you wish to use). The Sound Loom will check the validity of your entry (e.g. is the numerical value within range, are breakpoint files valid at all for this parameter, is the name you've entered the name of a file, is the file a breakpoint file of the appropriate range for this process and the soundfile you are working on etc.).
- Slider Bar You can also enter a value by sliding the slider bar. Due to the limitations of screen resolution you may not be able to get exactly the value you want with the slider bar. In that case, you can fix it definitively in the entry box.
- Exact pitch values of frequency Where frequency values are being entered, you may see an additional box indicating the pitch corresponding to the entered frequency. Where the frequency is not close to a pitch value, the pitch value will be greyed out. If you want to force the frequency value to correspond exactly to the displayed pitch, press the exact button.
- Getting an existing breakpoint file You can often use a time-varying value (instead of a fixed value) for a parameter. Pressing Get File will offer you a list of appropriate breakpoint files to use (i.e. files whose values lie within the range set for this parameter with the sound (or other) file(s) you have currently chosen). You can also get access to any other breakpoint file on the workspace by pressing the See All button on this listing. From the list you can select a file with the mouse and press Use (it if is a relevant file) or press Edit to go into the textfile or breakfile editor (see below).
- Making a new breakpoint file You can also create a breakpoint file from scratch. Press Make File and follow the instructions. Full details are in the Breakpoint Tables section.
Sometimes a Standard Features button will appear when you are creating a textfile. Click on this to see what type of values are required as data. (Don't forget to delete the standard features information before saving the file).
Each parameter has 3 small buttons attached to it.
At the head of the display you will also find three buttons which have the same function but applied to all the parameters. These are Reset All Values, Set All Defaults, and Penultimate Run Vals.
- Reset This button resets the value of the parameter to where it was when you last started work on this Parameters Page. For example, if you have a number of parameters, and intend to alter just one of them, but change the wrong one by mistake, Reset will return it to its outset value.
- Default This button will return the parameter to the CDP default value for that parameter.
- LastRun If you have run this process (immediately) before, this button will return the parameter to the value it had on the previous run of the process.
Information You can obtain information about the current process, and the function of the parameters by pressing Information.Changing your mind, or proceeding after the process has been completed. If you decide you want to use a different process, press Get New Process. You will return to the Process Page. If you decide you want to use different files, press To Wkspace : New Files and you will return to the workspace, where you can choose different files.Saving and Using favourite parameter settings: Patches. You can save, as a patch, the particular parameter values you have set for the process, and hence use them again at a later time (it will also be remembered when you close down the session, so you can use it in a subsequent session). Simply press the Save button above the PATCHES listing, and give your patch a name. When you run this process again, your patch will be listed (only patches relevant to the current process appear in the patches listing display). To use the patch, simply select it with the mouse and press Load. The parameters will be loaded with the patch values. You can also Delete a patch here. (Sometimes a previously stored patch may turn out not to work with the current file you are using. For example if the patch sets an editing point at 3 seconds, and your current file is only 2 seconds long, it will not work. The Sound Loom will inform you of such anomalies.)Playing the source file e.g. to compare it with the output file. The Play Source button allows you to do this. If there is more than one source soundfile you will be offered a Playlist, and you can select which file to play ... if there are no playable input files, the Play Source button will not respond.With some processes (e.g. those using mixfiles or envelopes) a further button, Edit Src, is displayed. You can use this to go to a window where you can edit the mix or envelope data, if you are dissatisfied with the output of the process.
The other buttons on the Parameters Page will not become active until you run the process (see below).
When you press Goto Run on the Parameters Page, the Run Page will appear. To Run your process, press Run.
The Progress Bar at the foot of the display will advance (unless the process happens very quickly). If you are running an Instrument, rather than a single process, the progress-bar display will also count through the processes it is using as part of the Instrument, and the progress bar will advance from left to right through each separate process.
Don't be alarmed if the Progress Bar does not move. Some processes, on short files, happen so quickly that the Progress Bar has no time to update. (The Sound Loom works as efficiently as possible, so it does not wait for the graphics to update when running CDP processes).When the process is complete it may display a message in the window. If a message is displayed in the window, press OK to return to the Parameters Page. If there is no message it will return automatically to the Parameters Page.You can abort the process at any time by pressing Stop.
Once the process has run, you will return to the Parameters Page. If the process has run successfully you will find that one or more of the buttons Save As, Read, View and Play have become active.
You can now proceed to run the process again, with different parameters, or you can get a new process or new files, by pressing the appropriate buttons. You can do this whether or not you decide to keep the output of the previous process run.
- Play This button will give you a list of (output) soundfiles from your process, which you can select and play. If there are no soundfiles output from the process, this button will not be active.
- View This button will give you a list of (output) sound or analysis files from your process, which you can select and view graphically. If no files of these types are output by the process, these buttons will not be active.
- Read: This button will give you a list of (output) text files from your process, which you can select and view. If they are breakpoint files, they will be displayed graphically together with a list of the numeric values in the file. They can be edited (if desired) from the Workspace Page. If they are not breakpoint files, they will be displayed as text, and can be edited here.
- Save As You can now decide whether or not to keep the output file(s). To keep the output, press Save As and you will be asked for an output name. If there are several output files you have the choice of giving a generic name (e.g. pozzo becomes pozzo0, pozzo1, pozzo2 etc.) or naming each file individually. The Sound Loom checks to see if you will be overwriting any existing files and gives you the choice to do so or to choose a different name. The saved files will be posted on the Workspace, and are in the Workspace directory.
|Save or Use:||Save/Use||Quit|
You can edit or create time-varying values to use as parameters to the CDP processes. This is set in motion by pressing the Get File or Make File button on the appropriate parameter gadget on the Parameters Page.
The range of values for the breakpoint table will be determined by the range of the parameter itself (remember that in some cases you can toggle between two different ranges for the parameter .. do this on the parameter gadget before creating the breakpoint table). Usually the duration of the breakpoint table is also determined by the duration of the soundfile (or other type of file) to which the process is to be applied. However in some cases you will be asked to enter a duration for the breakpoint table (in seconds). (You can often override this duration later).If you want to use an existing breakpoint table, you will be presented with a list of breakpoint table files. The display shows only those files which are appropriate (have the appropriate range) to apply to the parameter you are working on. If you just want to use one of these files, select it with the mouse, and press Use.
You can even select a table which is not wholly appropriate to the current parameter (or to the current file chosen from the workspace). Press See All and you will see a listing of all the breakpoint table files currently on the workspace.If you want to edit the table before you use it, select it with the mouse, and press Edit. You may select any table and press Edit. You may now be asked if you want to modify the upper or lower range of the existing table in order to display it inside the range appropriate to the current parameter. If you choose to do this, the table will be appropriately modified before being displayed.
The Graphic Display: You will now be given a window in which the value of the parameter is ranged from bottom to top, and the time dimension from left to right. If you are making a table, two points, connected by a line will already have been drawn on the screen. If you are editing an existing table, that table will be displayed in the window. You can edit this display with the mouse (for more information press the button Mouse Options). Note that you can alter the end-points of the graph by clicking the mouse outside the display area.
If you are editing an existing table, that table may be longer than the sound (or other) file to which you are going to apply it. In this case the graphic display will extend only part way across the screen, and the remainder of the screen will be masked (it will appear in a different colour). You can remove this mask (and subsequently restore it) with options on the Options menu.
If the table is too long for the soundfile, the part of the breaktable which does not affect the soundfile will be masked off. Again you can remove or restore this mask from the Options menu.Usually, the duration of a breakpoint table will be determined by the duration of the sound (or other) file to which it is to be applied. However, you can override this restriction with the Remove Time Constraints option on the Options menu. (You can subsequently restore the time constraints in the same way).
There are some global operations you can perform on the table, found in the Options menu.
- Fill Value Range You can force the graphic display to use the whole vertical dimension of the screen by selecting Fill Value Range on the Options menu.
- Extend Value Range You can extend the value range of the display (but not beyond the range set for the parameter) by selecting Extend Value Range on the Options menu. This is useful if you use Fill Value Range (using up the whole screen for the existing range of values) and then decide to extend the range of the table.
- Previous Value Range, Original Value Range You can backtrack to the previous range of values, or to the original range of values by selecting these options on the Options menu.
- Log Display/Linear Display The breaktable will initially be displayed either linearly or logarithmically, according to which parameter is being displayed. You can toggle between a linear and a logarithmic display using this option on the Options menu.
- Lengthen, Shorten table You can lengthen the table (adding an extra point beyond the current end point, or cutting the table at a specified time) with the Lengthen Table and Shorten Table options on the Options menu.
- Timestretch, Timeshrink table You can expand or contract the whole table to a given duration (e.g. to 2 seconds total duration), or by a given factor (e.g. multiply the current duration by two). Here the whole table is expanded or contracted. The points stay in the same relation to one another but are laid out over a longer (or shorter) duration. The table will look exactly the same, but you will notice that the end time coordinate (at the bottom right of the window) has changed.
- Restore the Original Timings You can restore the original timings using the Original Timings options on the Options menu. For a table you are Making this will be just the start (0.0) and end (duration) times of the original table specification. When editing an existing table, it will be the original time-points of the table. If you have changed the number of points in the table, this may lead to some unusual transformations of the table.
You can Undo the immediately previous action (either a global action, or a mouse action) by pressing the Undo button.You can also return to the start state of the table, by pressing Start Again.You may want to get more precise values than can be created in the screen resolution available. You can see the actual table values in the numeric display to the right of the window. If you want to edit these values, select Fine Tune at the top of the display. When you come to Save or Use the table, you will be given a text window display of the table in which you can edit it. The display is intelligent. It will not let you put breakpoints in the wrong time order, or outside the range specified for the parameter.
The computer screen display can only resolve the value of points down to the nearest pixel. If you have a fairly (time) dense display of points, and you lengthen the table, it's possible for these points to be crammed so closely together (in time) that they can no longer be differentiated on the screen display. Similarly, a table you choose to edit may also not be (time) resolvable on the screen.
In these cases, the Sound Loom offers you the option to edit (or continue editing) the table in text format.
Once you have created or edited the table you can save it by pressing the Save button or the Use button. You will be asked to name the table, and the table will be placed on the Workspace.
- If you have pressed the Use button, the table will also become the value of the parameter on the Parameters Page where you started, and you will return to the Parameters Page.
- If you press the Save button, the table will be saved, and you will remain in the breakpoint editor where you can create other breakpoint tables.If you press Quit, you will leave the breakpoint editor and return to the Parameters Page, without creating (another) breakpoint table, and without entering the table name as the parameter value.
|What is an 'Instrument'?:|
|Create an Instrument:|
|Make Instrument:||Abandon Instrument||Establish Instrument Parameters||Reject a Process||Keep a Process||Conclude Instrument|
|Running an Instrument:||Run||Choosing
|See the Instrument structure||Set Parameter Values||Using Patches|
You can record a sequence of processes (and the parameter settings used for them) as a single Instrument, which you can then run as if it were a single process. This recording, a form of 'batch file', is an 'Instrument'.
To do this, select Create Instrument on the Workspace Page. The Instrument Creation Page will appear.
On the left of the Instrument Creation Page is a listing of your chosen files (just as on the Workspace). When you begin making the Instrument, the files chosen on the Workspace will appear on this list. However, as you add processes to your Instrument, you may (most probably) want to apply them to different input files (or to the output files of previous processes). So this chosen files list is cleared before each new process is added.You can select new files to put in this list by pressing Choose Files (just as on the Workspace Page). You will be presented with a list of files which you can select with the mouse.Files are de-selected by clicking on them in the Chosen Files list.You can clear the listing of chosen files with the Clear Choice button.
At any stage in building an Instrument you can decide to abandon it completely. Press Abort and the details of the Instrument, and all the associated intermediate files will be destroyed.
Once you have selected your files, press Make Instrument. You will then find yourself on the Process Page and you can proceed exactly as if you were running a simple process, with the following additions:On each page you will now find an Abandon Instrument button. This is equivalent to the Abort button on the Instrument Creation Page, and will terminate the creation of the Instrument.On the Parameters Page, many parameters will have an extra small checkbutton box on the right, labelled Variable. If you tick this box, that parameter will become a parameter of the Instrument, i.e. when you eventually run the Instrument, you will be able to enter a value for that parameter for the Instrument. Any parameter which is not set as variable becomes a fixed parameter of the Instrument, and you will not be able to vary it when you run the Instrument. As an example, if you create an Instrument using the Phase Vocoder (PVOC) to analyse an input soundfile followed by Time Stretching of the analysis file produced, you might want to make the value of Time-Stretch a variable in the Instrument, but keep the number of analysis channels fixed, so that it is not accessible to the user of the Instrument.If you decide you do not like the result of the process, you can run the process again with different parameters to try to get a better result, or go get a different process, as in the normal case. You can also press To Wkspace : New Files which will return you to the Instrument Creation Page, where you can select new files. You can do this backtracking at any stage in the creation of the Instrument without upsetting the part of the Instrument you have already created.If you decide you like the result of the process, press the Keep Process button. This will return you to the Instrument Creation Page. You will now see a tree diagram of the process, and the input and output files you used, drawn on the window, and colour-coded as per the key at the head of the page. As you add more processes to your Instrument, this tree diagram will grow.
Selecting files for subsequent processes in your Instrument: You can now select files for a further process in the usual way. But you can also select files from the tree, by clicking on the tree icons. In particular you can select the output of one process and use it as the input to another process. In this way you can continue to grow an Instrument and its tree diagram on the Instrument Creation Page.Once your Instrument is complete, press Conclude. You will first be presented with a list of all the files (including the intermediate files) produced by the Instrument you have created. (You can tell which file is which by reference to the tree diagram). You may save any or all of these files, and will be asked to give names to them. If you save none of the files the Instrument will be aborted. This is because the choice of which files to keep and which to delete is part of the description of the Instrument. An Instrument which keeps no files is not a very useful Instrument!
- Naming the Instrument Finally you will be asked to name the Instrument. The Sound Loom with then return to normal working mode, and the Instrument's name will appear in the Instruments listing on the Process Page. You can then run the Instrument (provided you supply it with appropriate files) by selecting it with the mouse and running it as if it were an ordinary process (see below).
- Instrument predictability Instruments are not quite so robust as simple processes. This is because, when you run a process, you give it a specific file or files, and from the properties of these files it can determine what range its parameters should have, and prevent you from entering inappropriate values.
The first process of an Instrument works in just the same way, but subsequent processes may use the outputs of earlier processes as their inputs. The Instrument must then predict the properties of those intermediate files in order to determine what the ranges of the parameters for the later processes are.
This prediction is not always possible. Hence some processes, and some kinds of parameters cannot be used in Instruments (the Sound Loom will inform you of this if you try to use them). A valid Instrument may also refuse to run with the files you have chosen, even when they are of the correct type, if it has a fixed parameter value lying outside the range set by the new input files you are using. Or it may ask you for an appropriate parameter range where you will be entering a parameter value for the Instrument, but the range of that parameter cannot be predicted. Occasionally an Instrument may even turn out to be non-viable in most cases!
Instruments are listed in the right hand window on the Process Page. You can run an Instrument by selecting it with the mouse and pressing Run.
In general, running an Instrument is exactly the same as running a process. There are just one or two factors to bear in mind.To run an Instrument you must have chosen appropriate files from the Workspace, just as when running a simple process. The Instrument will check to see if you have chosen the correct number of input files, of the correct type (and in the correct order, if there is more than one type).If you cannot remember what number, type or order of files to use, select the Instrument from the Listing and press See. The tree diagram (see above) of the Instrument will be displayed.
- The input files to the Instrument are the files appearing in the top row of the display.
- The type of each file can be read from the Key at the top of the display.
- The order of the input files to choose is read from left to right.If you set any of the parameters as variable (see above) when the Instrument was created, you will get a Parameters Page (just as with a simple process) on which you can enter values for the Instrument parameters.
The parameter names will now indicate which process (within the instrument) they are connected with. (The process number occurs alongside the parameter name, and corresponds to the process number shown on the tree diagram).When you create an Instrument, the values you use for its parameter are taken to be the default settings for the Instrument. If the parameter is set as variable, the value you first see on the Instrument's Parameters Page is this default value.
- Sometimes the Instrument default value (for fixed or variable parameters) will be inappropriate for the new input file(s) you are using. The Sound Loom will inform you of this and revert to the CDP default value.
- Each parameter gadget now also has an extra small button, labelled Original. If you press the Default button for an Instrument parameter, you will reset the parameter to the Instrument default value. If the instrument default value is outside the range appropriate for the current chosen file, the Default button reverts to setting the CDP default. If you press the Original button, you will get the CDP default value.
- Correspondingly, at the top of the display, the Set All Defaults button is now replaced by two buttons, Instrument Defaults (which sets all the parameters, to the default settings for the Instrument), and Original Defaults (which sets all the parameters to their CDP default settings).
- Sometimes you will be asked to specify limits to the range of the parameters for an Instrument (see above, Instrument Predictability). Occasionally, no values at all will turn out to be appropriate or the instrument will declare itself to be 'non-predictable' and refuse to run.You can also save a set of Instrument parameters as a Patch (just as with a simple process). On running an Instrument for which patches exist, the patches for that Instrument will be displayed on the Parameters Page, and can be used in the normal way.
The Sound Loom automatically records, in a log file, everything you do in a session. The log file for each session is created automatically behind the scenes, using the date and the time at which you commenced work to produce a unique filename.
Each line of the log records some (successful) process that you ran in the session. Each action is displayed on a single line: programs are referred to by name while parameters and outputs (output files) are clearly labelled.
The current log can be viewed, at any time, by pressing the Recall Action button on the Workspace. If a current log exists (i.e. if you have already run some process or Instrument, and kept the output) the end of the current log appears on the screen.
- A block of lines is a set of histories that completely fill the screen. The current log (only) is larger than the screen.
- You can step through the log, block by block, or go to the start or the end, using the appropriate buttons under the heading Where in Log? To step through the log, click on Later Block or Earlier Block. The number of blocks to move by will appear in the small window.
- Now press Move by Blocks to progress through the log.
- The other small window (to the right) indicates the block number (counting from zero). This window displays End if you are in the final block of the log.Previous logs can be viewed in the same way.
- First you must select a log to view, using the buttons under the heading Which Log? Before you press any of these, the Current Log will be displayed (if a current log exists).
- If you now press Get Log you will be offered a list of the existing log files (if there are any). Select one of these with the mouse and it will appear on the original display, replacing the Current Log.
- You can now use the Where in Log? buttons to step through this log. To redisplay the Current Log, simply press Restore Current Log.
Individual lines within any displayed log can be selected and rerun, using the Recall Action button. Each line represents a single process, or an Instrument.
- Non-existent source soundfiles If any of the original source-soundfiles no longer exist you will be given the option of replacing them with files of your choice. (You could, for example, attempt to remake the source file in some way, then Recall the history and substitute the new file into the history at this stage).
- Data checks Your rerun data will be checked to ensure that the parameters are still OK. For example, if you have changed the first input file, because the original was lost, this may affect the acceptable range of the parameters for the process, (e.g., the duration of the new input file may be different to the original file, and the ranges of some parameters, such as edit times, are limited by the duration of the input file). Similarly some breakpoint file you used in the original run may no longer exist.
- Original outfile names The original output filenames, given at the Save As stage of the original run, will be displayed for your information, if you choose to save the outputs of the rerun process.
- Too many logs Once 'too many' log files accumulate you are given the option to (look at and) delete any log files you don't want to keep. This happens on quitting the session. If you don't want to delete any logs, the system doubles the value of 'too many' so you are not constantly asked about log deletion.
Alternatively, you can delete all existing logs (except the log of the current session) at any time from the System State menu on the Workspace Page.
- Editing log files Log files can be edited from the System State menu on the Workspace Page.
- Favourites features of your work can also be retained by using the Favourite Processes, Patches and Instruments options inside the working environment.
The Run Batchfile button on the Workspace will take you to the Batch File Processing Window.
This has been created primarily to allow you to run any batchfiles you previously created with the commandline version of the CDP software.
Batch File processing is not as robust as the rest of the Sound Loom.
You are therefore advised, whenever possible, to use the Bulk Process or Instrument facilities instead.
Bulk Process will allow you to run the same process on a large number of files, all at one go.
Instruments can be created to run a sequence of CDP processes on a set of input files, all in one go. Instruments can either have fixed (pre-specified) parameters, or allow access to some (or all) of the parameters of their constituent processes (see the section on Instruments).
However, in certain circumstances, only a batchfile will do the job.
Batchfile processing is always preceded by a Workspace Update (checking all
workspace files and their properties). This helps ensure that your batchfile-process
will not overwrite existing Workspace files
If you have a large number of files on the workspace, this may take a little time.
When the batchfile is run, batchfile messages may not be displayed immediately. (With a long batchfile you may have to wait some time before you see anything).
If your batchfile runs successfuly you will find the outputfiles listed on the Workspace, except for files created by indirection (using '>' or '>>' to pipe the output of a process into a file). In the latter case, you will need to run Update Workspace Filedata from the Process All Files menu on the Workspace, to see the outputfile.
The syntax of your batchfile is not checked.With a long batchfile, where the same (set of) process(es) is repeated many times, it is wise to test your batchfile's syntax by creating, and trying to run, a short version which uses just one (set of) process(es), to test the syntax.
If you make a syntax error, you will usually receive an error message in the Sound Loom Run window. However, Tcl error messages may occur. These will appear in separate Warning Windows, and you must acknowledge these, by clicking 'OK' in (all) the Warning dialog(s), to proceed.
Syntax errors in the midst of long batchfiles, or too many successive syntax errors may stall the Sound Loom. In case of a stall, kill the process in the usual way for your system, (Control-Alt-Delete in Windows) and restart the Sound Loom. (You may then find some files from the aborted batchfile are now on the Workspace).
You cannot terminate a batchfile process before it has completed
...except by killing the process, and hence closing the Sound Loom. Even if the first process in the batch fails, the batchfile will continue to (try to) run all the other processes you have listed before allowing you to return to the Batchfile Window for editing. This is another reason to ensure that your syntax is correct before launching a batchfile.
To find a directory where you have stored batchfiles, click on the Find Directory button, and search for the directory. The Select button will return the directory name to the Batchfile Window.
Clicking on the List Batchfiles button will list all files in the specified directory which have the usual batchfile extension. Clicking on the name of a file will place the name in the Filename box in the Batchfile window.
Clicking on the Load File button will list the batchfile on the panel at the foot of the window, where you can also Edit it.
You can then run the batchfile.
The Syntax button will take you to the Batch File Syntax window.
The buttons on the right correspond to the menus on the Sound Loom Process
Page. Clicking on one of these buttons will list the correct commandline syntax
for the CDP processes associated with that menu.
Full details of commandline syntax can be found in the CDP manuals.
You cannot run a Batchfile until you have listed it in the Lower Panel of the Batchfile Window.
Clicking on the RUN button will bring up the Sound Loom Run Window, and
allow you to run the Batchfile.
Messages from the process will appear in this Run Window.
Note however, that messages may not be displayed immediately. (With a long batchfile you may have to wait some time before you see anything).
If you make a syntax error, you will usually receive an error message in
the Sound Loom Run window.
However, Tcl error messages may also occur. These will appear in separate Warning Windows, and you must acknowledge these, by clicking 'OK' in (all) the Warning dialog(s), to proceed.
Syntax errors in the midst of very long batchfiles, or too many successive syntax errors may stall the Sound Loom. In case of a stall, kill the process in the usual way for your system, (Control-Alt-Delete in Windows) and restart the Sound Loom. (You may then find some files from the aborted batchfile are now on the Workspace).
You cannot terminate a batchfile process before it has completed
If the batch process terminates correctly, the Run button will change to OK.
Click on OK to return to the Batchfile Window.
In some cases, neither Bulk Processing or Instruments may be adequate to your needs.
For example, if you want to run the same process, or sequence of processes, on a very large number of files, but with different parameters for each file, and you do not want to manually enter each parameter-set in turn, then a batchfile is the only way to proceed.
Hence, you may run newly created batchfiles, using the syntax of the commandline version of the CDP.
You can type batchfile data directly into the lower panel of the Batchfile Window.
You can also edit pre-existing batchfiles.
'rem' 'echo' 'del' 'rmsf' and comment lines beginning with
'#' or '@' can be handled,
but other non-CDP processes may cause problems.
Indirection (using '>' or '>>' to pipe the output of a process into a named
datafile) can be used.
It will generate an error message, but the data will be found in the datafile you specified (if the process runs correctly).
However, this datafile will not be listed on the workspace. (You must Update Workspace Filedata from the Process All Files menu on the Workspace, to see the outputfile on the workspace).