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Sony Acid -
Tempo and Pitch,
|The loops themselves are small pieces
of music - drum sequences, guitar chords, piano/keyboard chords, and
other pieces. You can have any loop play once, or any number of times.
Although their basic structure is fixed, their timing and pitch can be
changed, they can be reversed, and you can edit their character using
another sound editing program. Although the Acid loops are in ordinary WAV
format, they are not ordinary WAVs! They have been "Acidized,"
to make them work in the Acid environment. You can bring WAV files
produced elsewhere into the Acid environment, but there are limits to what
you can induce them to do.
With the bottom window set on "Explorer View,"
find your loops. Clicking on one automatically previews it. Once you've
selected a loop, simply drag it onto the tracks area. Only one loop per
track! This process produces no sound at all...there's another step!
cause a track to make sound on the timeline, simply drag across the area
of the timeline adjacent to that track, and a colored area appears.
Wherever a track shows color, it will play at that time. You can drag
colored areas from one place to another on the track, widen or shorten it,
or even delete it. You can also force them to start or stop at exact
moments in your tempo by setting the "Snap to" settings (right-click
You'll want instruments to do different things at
different points in your song. This is accomplished by simply dragging the
various "different things" as separate tracks onto the timeline,
and causing them to occur at different moments. It's a good idea to group
tracks by instrument (have all your bass tracks, for instance, together).
You can rearrange your tracks by simply dragging and dropping tracks in
mentioned before, not all tracks on the timeline are "Acidized"
loops. In "Properties View," you can change what Acid does with
- Loops have already been described - they can
repeat, and their pitch and tempo can be changed.
- One Shots do not repeat, and their pitch and
time length are fixed. When placed on the timeline, you only determine
the moment it starts - the rest is up to the file. A sound effect, or
a cymbal crash, are examples of One Shots.
- Disk-based are like One-Shots, only they are
streamed directly from the hard drive. This category is for large
files like vocals.
tempo is set at the beginning (see Intro), but it can be changed at any
time by right-clicking below the tracks area and selecting "Add Tempo
Change." If you select this, you can type your new tempo in the box
that appears. Your song will play at the beginning tempo and change when
it reaches this marker on the timeline. It will then play at the new tempo
until it encounters another tempo change.
Note that you can also change key - this will adjust the
pitch level of all loops to match your new key, which will, again, stay in
effect until another key change marker is encountered. Also note that only
loops are affected by key and tempo changes (see above)
Key and Pitch
mentioned before, key is set at the beginning, and can be changed at any
time on the timeline. All loops which have pitch (including keyboards,
guitars, and horns, but not drums or other rhythm instruments) must be set
to that pitch in the "Properties View" under "Root note for
tramposing," or the transposition will work differently for that
is also possible to set a track individually to a different key than the
root key. Right-click on the track, and set under "pitch
changes of pitch are also possible on the timeline. Click on and highlight
a specific instance of a loop, right-click, and select "Pitch
Shift/Up" or down. One semi-tone change for each click, "Reset
removes all pitch shifts. This makes it possible, for instance, to use one
loop to produce several different "licks" using pitch variation.
Saving your project
A simple "Save" will save your project. Make
sure that all loop files remain in their relative file positions to your
project file, or the project won't be able to find them when you open it
Of course, project files will only play back in Acid. To
produce a file which someone else can play back, "Save as..."
and select a file format (see Sound File Formats)
- usually WAV or MP3. Acid will not burn music CDs for you - you will need
another program to do that.