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Editing an Audio File

AudioNodes is a real time, non-linear editor — that is, changes and effects won’t affect the original file. You can also add, change, replace, and remove effects or other changes on the fly, without limits.

For example, you can swap out a volume change for a low pass effect at any time, keeping any previous automation you configured.

Doing edits to your audio files will mostly consist of these 3 things:

  • Applying effect modules on the Patcher, either constantly, or automated over time (e.g. by using envelopes)
  • Trimming, cutting & otherwise rearranging pieces on the Timeline
  • Rendering your changes to an output audio file

Adding Your Content

First, switch to the Patcher if you are not already there (top left corner).

Begin by drag-and-dropping your file into AudioNodes. Or, you can also create an Audio File Node by hand (found under Audio Sources), and open your file from its menu or settings.

Finally, add an Audio Destination Node (under Outputs), and connect the 2 Nodes together, so that the Audio File Node can be played to your system output. You can now play your project using SPACE or by clicking the play button in the header. This will play your file to your system output at full volume (insert a Gain Node into that connection to adjust the volume).

On a PC or notebook:

  1. While on the Patcher, right click on empty area — this opens the node browser
  2. Either start typing to search for a Node, or browse through the list of categories (tip: the Audio File Node is under the Audio Sources category, the Audio Destination Node is under the Outputs category)
  3. Click on the Node you want to create — this will create the Node on the Patcher

On touch screens:

  1. While on the Patcher, touch and hold on empty area until the circle indicator completes — this opens the node browser
  2. Browse through the list of categories to find the Node you want to create (tip: the Audio File Node is under the Audio Sources category, the Audio Destination Node is under the Outputs category)
  3. Tap on the Node you want to create — this will create the Node on the Patcher

To connect 2 Nodes, first click on an output of one Node (small dot on its right), then click on an input of another Node (small dot on its left).

You can also drag an output to an input (unless you are on a touch device).

On desktop PC or notebook:

  1. Right click on the Audio File Node to open the Node menu
  2. Choose “Open File” — alternatively, you can also choose Properties in the same menu, and open a file from the settings panel that appeared

On touch screens:

  1. Tap on the Audio File Node to select it — this will reveal the Node menu in the header
  2. Tap on the gear button in the header
  3. Open a file from the settings panel that appeared

Once done, you should end up with something like this on the Patcher:

And something like this on the Timeline:

The next sections will show you various ways you can edit an audio file in AudioNodes.

Trimming & Rearranging

You can skip this section if you don’t want to trim or rearrange anything.

Clips on the Timeline in AudioNodes can be cut and moved around freely.

  • Drag the left or right edges of your Clip to trim them from the beginning or end
  • Drag the center of your Clip to move them around
  • Right click the Clip to open its menu for more options, such as splitting, cloning, and deleting (on touch: tap the clip to reveal its menu in the top header)

You will need an Envelope Node and a Gain Node to change volume over time. See Changing Volume (Gain) Over Time below.

Removing something from the middle is just as easy, you just need to slice your Clip. Doing so will give you 2 directly adjacent Clips, which you can then trim and move independently each.

On PC:

  1. Right click* the Clip where you want to chop it in half
  2. Select Slice here from the menu

On touch devices:

  1. Tap the Clip — this will reveal its menu in the header
  2. Tap the button with a “vertical split” icon on it — tap and hold buttons to show their tooltip without actually pressing them
  3. Tap the Clip where you want to slice it

In AudioNodes, a single Node can have unlimited Clips on the Timeline, even scattered across multiple tracks.

The Node’s output will include all its Clips added together, although some Nodes have unique behavior with multiple Clips.

If you want to apply different effect chains to different clips, the Node itself must be cloned and connected accordingly. This can be done from its menu with a single click. Doing so will also clone all of its Clips on the Timeline.

Protips:

  • If a Clip is selected, other Clips belonging to the same Node are visualized with a faint, dashed border

Changing Volume (Gain) Over Time

You can skip this section if you don’t want to apply a volume change.

Applying effects is where AudioNodes starts to tease its real power. Effects in AudioNodes are applied in real time, and can be chained and combined infinitely. A simple gain change will look like this:

Here, an Envelope Node is controlling a Gain Node. Of course, you can swap that out for a Lowpass Filter Node, a Highpass Filter Node, a Crossfader Node to fade between 2 distinct effect chains, and so on. The possibilities are infinite.

To apply your own gain change:

  1. Switch to the Patcher if not already there
  2. Create a Gain Node
  3. Connect your Audio File Node to your Gain Node, and then your Gain Node to your Audio Destination Node
  4. Open the settings of your Gain Node
  5. Click “Automate Gain from input” at the top right of the horizontal Gain slider — this will add a new input to your Gain Node with an orange color
  6. Create an Envelope Node (found under Control Lines), and connect it to the new orange input on your Gain Node
  7. Switch back to the Timeline, and edit the new Envelope Node Clip that appeared:
    • Right click the Envelope Node Clip and choose Edit (for touch: double tap) to enter edit mode
    • Click on the Clip to place Envelope Control Points
    • Drag Control Points to move them
    • Right click on Control Points for more options (for touch: tap the control point, then tap the edit button that appears above)

On a PC:

  • Right click on the Node, then select Properties, or
  • Double click on the Node

On a touch screen:

  1. Tap on the Node — this will reveal its menu in the header
  2. Tap on the gear button

The Gain-control input on the Gain Node is a control input.

It expects a control signal that controls the gain change (or volume change), as a multiplier. That is, a signal of 1.0 will not result in a gain change, a signal of 0.5 reduces the signal amplitude to 50% (half volume), while a signal of 2.0 will amplify the signal to 200% (double volume). Negative values also invert the signal, although this will not result in audible changes in most cases.

The Envelope Node you created above outputs a control signal that changes over time as per the envelope’s definition, from 0 to 1. The Envelope Node’s settings allow changing this output range.

Finishing & Rendering

Because AudioNodes processes all changes in real time, changes you’ve made are not yet actually performed. They merely affect how your audio file is played back when you hit play.

To finalize your changes, your final step is rendering your project, producing a final output audio file:

  1. Click on the main menu, it’s a triple dot button in the top-left corner
  2. Select Project
  3. Select Export — this will open the Export dialog
  4. Change your settings if the defaults are not what you need
  5. Hit Start on the bottom-right corner of the dialog

This will begin the render process. Depending on what you’ve created, this process may take anywhere from a few seconds to several hours. A few effects applied to a few audio files are usually rendered in seconds though.

Well, those are the basics. Obviously the routine would not change much from here on if you were to add multiple files into one project.

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