The Timeline in AudioNodes is a flexible multi-track editor, with unlimited tracks and clips. It appears on the bottom part of the screen as soon as you have Clips (except on very small screens, where you can switch between the Timeline and the Patcher at the top left corner). Clips appear automatically when you create Nodes on the Patcher.
You can use the Timeline to arrange audio, envelope, and melody Clips. Move Clips around by simply dragging them, and resize them by dragging their left or right edges.
On the Timeline, time elapses from left to right. Clips further to the left will start earlier (depending on what this means for a specific Node). Clips further to the right will start later.
The Timeline works closely together with the Patcher. When you place specific Nodes on the Patcher, Clips are automatically created for them on the Timeline. Notable Nodes which appear on the Timeline:
- Audio File Node – automatically creates a single Clip when an audio file is loaded into the Node, spanning the audio file’s duration (and automatically extending the project duration if the audio file is longer)
- Piano Roll Node – automatically creates a single Clip, spanning the entire project duration, when the Node is created
- Right click the Clip, then choose Edit to place & edit notes in the Piano Roll Node (on touch screens: tap the Clip, then tap the edit button that appears over the Clip)
- Envelope Node & Velocity Envelope Node – automatically creates a single Clip, spanning the entire project duration, when the Node is created
- Right click the Clip, then choose Edit to edit the Envelope directly on the timeline (on touch screens: tap the Clip, then tap the edit button that appears over the Clip)
- Envelope Pattern Node – a timeline Clip can be created from the settings panel of the Node, which will place a single Clip spanning the entire project Duration (the Clip is not placed by default, see the Node docs for more information)
Additionally, you can drag-and-drop audio files and MIDI files on the Timeline. This will create automatically create Audio File Nodes or Piano Roll Nodes on the Patcher.
Navigating the Screen
Navigating on the Timeline is similar to the Patcher (except the screen is not unlimited in all directions, and has scrollbars):
- Drag empty area to move the screen around
- Use the wheel to zoom with a mouse
- Pinch zoom on touch screens
- Drag the scrollbars to move the screen (especially useful if the Timeline is loaded with Clips)
You can move every Clip on the Timeline (horizontally in time, and vertically between tracks), and resize, duplicate, or delete them (one at a time, or in batch):
- Simply drag a Clip around to move it
- Drag the left or right edge of a Clip to resize it
- Ctrl-click a Clip to add it to an existing selection (i.e. select multiple Clips)
- On touch screens, tap the Clip, then tap the double checkmark button in the header to enter multi-select mode
- Right click the Clip to access more tools, such as cloning, deleting, viewing the associated Node, or accessing Node-specific features
- On touch screens, tap the Clip to reveal the Clip menu in the header instead
- On desktop, the right-click menu will also show hotkeys on the right
Understanding Nodes & Clips
Here’s what you need to understand: in AudioNodes, Clips on the Timeline are just a visual tool to set scheduling-related options for a Node. For example, when you are moving an Audio File Node Clip, in fact you are really just setting an internal “start time” and “end time” setting for the Node.
2 Clips, 1 Node
The above methodology goes for multiple Clips as well. In this case, you are just telling the Node to schedule its playback multiple times, at the specified start times and end times (with or without overlap).
The behavior of having multiple Clips for a single Node depends on the Node, but it’s usually an analogy of adding the Clips together. With an Audio File Node for example, overlapping Clips will simultaneously play both Clips during the overlap. In case of the Envelope Node, the momentary output value is the sum of all Clips at any given time (or 0 when there are no Clips).
Because Clips are just a tool to adjust a Node’s scheduling, simply deleting Clips will not delete the Node (even if all Clips are deleted for a Node). You can configure this behavior in settings. Deleting all Clips for a Node just simply says: don’t schedule this Node on the Timeline at all. This, for most Nodes, means no output.
For every Node that can appear on the Timeline, if all Clips are deleted, the Node can be re-added to the Timeline from its settings panel. This will usually create a single Clip for the Node, so that it can be edited again.
Guides & Tutorials
The following docs cover practical uses of the Timeline: