Does not apply Cool Edit Pro is a digital audio editing software. It provides a state-of-the-art audio processing environment that includes all the facilities required in music composition. Cool Edit Pro allows you to record, play, convert, and edit files more than 25 formats, and its audio effects include reverb, multitap delay, 3D echo, equalizers, chorus, flanger, distortion, and more.
Cool Edit Pro
From its beginnings as shareware, Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro has acquired an impressive professional user base. The new version offers more features, more power, and an updated user interface. Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro editor has become a firm favourite of amateur sound recording enthusiasts and professional audio users alike, the world over.
The program’s widespread popularity is partly due to its remarkable ease of use, partly because of its comprehensive facilities, but especially because of its surprising affordability. The latest incarnation is version 2. The update incorporates much more than cosmetic tweaking and bug-fixing, but the basic structure remains unaltered in concept, with a stereo editing window and a multitrack window for compiling complex material.
There has been extensive rebuilding of the workings, but pretty much all of the desirable characteristics of the original remain in place; the impression is of a more mature, wide-ranging and very capable product, yet without the typically steep learning curve associated with audio editing software of this kind.
Like its predecessors, CEP 2. If you like the look and feel of CEP 2. For those who like to collect colourful packaging, a full boxed version with CD and manual is also available albeit at a higher cost , as are upgrades for registered users of the previous versions of CEP 1. Perhaps I should say at this point that Mac users should skip the rest of this article before becoming too disappointed and upset!
It uses standard Windows MME drivers and seems to run happily on pretty much any Windows-compatible stereo or multi-channel soundcard.
The Headlines The Waveform Statistics feature conveys a wealth of information about the content of your audio. The new edition of CEP boasts a lot of new and substantially improved features compared with the original, and the graphical interface has been ‘prettified’ too.
Microsoft’s new ‘Corona’ technology for multi-channel audio coding WMA Pro will also be supported shortly. Audio can be recorded into CEP 2.
CEP runs using the computer’s native processing power, and the rapid increase over the last few years of CPU power and hard disk data transfer rates has allowed Syntrillium to increase its real-time processing facilities enormously.
For example, the maximum number of tracks in a session has been increased from 64 to , with full track bussing subgrouping functions and, for the first time, a wide range of real-time effects, processing and equalisation on each track. A rather welcome side-effect of all this new real-time processing is that the user no longer has to wait for Undo files to be created and saved, which increases the speed and immediacy of the program considerably.
The track EQ facilities in the multitrack window offer ‘A’ and ‘B’ settings, allowing comparison of two different equalisation curves, or perhaps the creation of a ‘reference’ and ‘modified’ setting. Each of the three bands of the fully parametric EQ can range across the entire audio spectrum, and the top and bottom bands are configurable as traditional shelf equalisers or bell curves.
Needless to say, the advent of real-time equalisation makes life far simpler compared with CEP 1. Some familiar and unusual real-time effects, processes and manipulation tools are also included in CEP 2. Some of the more practical include a stereo field rotate function essentially an automated panning function , built-in reverb, dynamic EQ, dynamic delay which changes the amount of delay over the duration of the audio clip , a fantastic Doppler shift simulation function, a frequency band splitter to enable multi-band compression and other complex frequency-dependent processing to be created , and support for DirectX plug-ins.
There is also a ‘graphic phase shifter’, which is not a phaser in the familiar sense at all, but a tool allowing the phase of a clip to be manipulated. A new ‘phase analyser’ display is also provided to generate a Lissajous figure or vectorscope display much like that provided by the familiar DK Audio hardware meter and its peers.
There are sufficient effects, processors and tools to get virtually any job done, grouped into categories such as amplitude, delay, filters and noise reduction. The noise reduction facilities cater for reasonably sophisticated click and pop removal, signature-based noise reduction, peak-clipping restoration, spectral analysis, and many more. These processes may not quite reach the ultimate quality of CEDAR’s state-of-the-art algorithms, but they are certainly effective if used carefully.
Even with all this sophisticated real-time processing, CEP 2. However, the faster your computer’s processor and greater the system memory, the more effects and EQs that can be employed at the same time.
If you do run out of processing power, CEP provides the ability to pre-process selected ‘locked’ tracks such that the original raw audio tracks are replaced with processed versions stored temporarily in memory, thereby freeing up real-time processor power for use elsewhere.
With the new track grouping bussing feature, it is also possible to combine several tracks through a virtual mix buss or stereo busses and apply an overall effect or process. This approach reduces processor overheads even further: A function missing from the original version but always high on Syntrillium’s wish list was the ability to ‘rip’ material from audio CDs and to burn CD-Rs with accurately placed PQ flag track markers.
CEP 2. The CD-burning function is implemented as a plug-in currently still in beta form and available from the web site which appears as a button in the Edit window when installed. This allows individual tracks to be selected and dumped into a file in much the same way as most bundled CD-writing software such as Nero and Easy CD Creator. This seems a crude approach to me, and I would have preferred markers to be placed in reference to the session timeline ideally in the multitrack window , which is the way high-end platforms such as SADiE do it.
The Waveform Window can be set up to show spectral displays Inevitably, the functionality and restructuring have resulted in some significant changes to the user interface, which may well confuse those used to the previous version. One of the first that I spotted was the appearance of a large drop-down menu list when right-clicking in the Edit window.
Previously, a right-click would extend a selected area all the way up to the current mouse location, a very handy facility which made ‘fast and dirty’ editing wonderfully quick and easy.
However, I later discovered that the right-click extension facility is still available if the Ctrl key is held at the same time as right-clicking. Even better, Syntrillium have provided a user option under the Preferences menu to revert to the original right-click mode, after which the menu list can be made to appear with Ctrl-right-click instead!
There are far too many operational changes to list each one, but another function I discovered by accident is a new right-click menu in the multitrack window.
Compared with previous versions, the new-look CEP 2. Windows can be moved as ‘floating’ windows or docked to other windows, so the screen layout can be tailored to suit individual preferences. The last used window arrangement is recalled when the program is started, but there is a facility to reset everything to the factory default if required. When the first computer audio editors appeared, including early versions of SADiE, Sonic Solutions and Pro Tools to name but three, I was one of many who queried the usefulness of on-screen mixers that could only be controlled by the single ‘finger’ of a mouse.
Most products quickly acquired ‘automation’ facilities so that a complex mix could be built up one channel at a time, but this was a tedious workaround in most situations. A better solution was to implement interfaces and design special hardware control surfaces to enable physical multi-fader mixing — a far more intuitive and rewarding solution, although often rather expensive.
Syntrillium have adopted a similar approach in CEP 2. In addition to the automation envelopes already available, CEP now adheres to Microsoft’s ‘Human Interface Device’ protocol, allowing communication with a growing number of external hardware controllers.
This is a relatively simple but efficient transport and monitor control unit that hooks up via USB see ‘ Red Rover ‘ box. Cool Edit Pro v2’s multitrack window now offers extensive sample creation and looping facilities. Free Loop Library The sample looping facility of CEP is an exciting and creative new function which has uses far beyond the immediately obvious. The comprehensive loop creation and management tools included in the multitrack window come complete with some clever functionality to match tempos and keys between samples and loops.
The loops used carry the CEL suffix, but are actually stored in MP3 Pro format, a new and very efficient but high-fidelity data reduction codec.
A few samples are shipped with the product, but not enough to really get your teeth into. However, a quick surf over to a dedicated web site, loopology. Whatever your preferred style, there is probably something here to suit, played by real musicians on real instruments! Loops can also be searched by instrument piano, synth, guitar, drums, and so forth and thanks to the After ‘unpacking’ they can then be dropped straight into a song.
The Loopology loops are all free for use in either commercial or non-commercial projects, and the method of manipulation — as well as the loops themselves — is so good that knocking up a decent backing track, creating a music bed or sting, or just experimenting with song structure is remarkably fast and easy.
The looping facilities see box above are very impressive and remarkably easy to use, with an extensive and completely free loop library available via the Internet. Should you be interested in writing music for picture or adding a soundtrack to your home movies, CEP will also accommodate AVI video files and run them locked to the multitrack timeline, with the picture being displayed in yet another floating window.
Oh, and the annoying bug that prevented CEP from responding to code beyond a certain time has also been fixed! Various other relatively minor yet useful upgrades and additions have been incorporated in CEP 2. For example there is a level normalising facility which operates on a selected group of audio clips in the multitrack window, and new real-time envelope manipulation facilities allow programme-related dynamic effects to be created, either from presets or manually.
Conclusion Many professional and semi-pro engineers dismissed the early versions of Cool Edit Pro out of hand. However, CEP proved itself in action to be a remarkably capable, reliable and intuitive tool, which was extremely cost-effective — so much so that numerous branches of BBC Radio have come to rely on it completely in recent years. Nevertheless, version 1.
Indeed, pretty much every aspect of the original has been improved or extended, and not just in terms of the user interface: Cool Edit Pro 2. It compares well with any of the upmarket alternatives, particularly given the price, and will appeal to novices and technophiles alike, providing simplicity of operation or sophistication of signal analysis and processing as required. It even has facilities to convolve signals, for heaven’s sake!
Considering the prevalence of Macs and Mac-only software in the audio industry, it’s at times like this when I enjoy being a PC user. To Mac users we can now say: Red Rover The Red Rover interface turns an audio editing and manipulation platform into a really practical hard disk recorder for musical applications.
This little controller measures just 6. The Rover is powered from the USB port, but passes relatively little data back and forth so it shouldn’t slow down other USB peripherals. A quarter-inch socket on the rear panel accepts a foot switch input to toggle between Record and Stop, enabling hands-free drop-ins and drop-outs.
The top surface carries a familiar set of transport controls on big clicky buttons with status LEDs. Pressing the Stop and Record buttons together provides a record-ready mode allowing input levels to be set up, while pressing the Record button by itself does just what you’d expect. Three smaller push buttons, all with associated LEDs, provide mute, solo and record arming for the currently selected track see below , and two more add a cue marker at the current time position and toggle CEP’s metronome function on and off.
Three rotary encoders select the active track ie. An eight-LED bar-graph meter shows the input level when recording and the overall level when playing back. A two-line LCD at the top of the panel, with backlight and contrast controls tucked away on the right side panel, shows all the crucial information when working remotely. The top line displays the current transport status, the cursor or playback time, and the selected physical inputs and record mode left, right or stereo.
Below this working back from right to left are shown the selected physical output, the currently selected active track, and the master and track relative volumes.
Although it’s intended primarily for controlling CEP’s multitrack window, many of the Red Rover’s functions will also work in the Edit window view, including the transport functions, the Add Cue button, the level meter and time display. Plugging the Red Rover into a USB port for the first time cues the usual Windows message about searching for a Human Interface driver, followed by a brief and completely painless installation. There seems to be a small delay in processing the volume commands, but otherwise the box does exactly what is expected of it, without fuss or frustration.
Cool Edit Pro is a digital audio recorder, editor, and mixer.
From its beginnings as shareware, Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro has acquired an impressive professional user base. The new version offers more features, more power, and an updated user interface. Syntrillium’s Cool Edit Pro editor has become a firm favourite of amateur sound recording enthusiasts and professional audio users alike, the world over. The program’s widespread popularity is partly due to its remarkable ease of use, partly because of its comprehensive facilities, but especially because of its surprising affordability. The latest incarnation is version 2.
VIDEO: Cool Edit Pro 2.1
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