System Considerations

To achieve the most effective results, you should consider the following issues when setting up your system:

Processor Speed and RAM

Digital audio files require intensive processing by your computer. If you plan to work on longer or more complex projects, or use multiple effects plug-ins in your projects, a computer with a faster processor can facilitate your productivity.

Soundtrack Pro is optimized for use with computers that have a multiprocessor architecture. Working with Soundtrack Pro projects on a multiprocessor-equipped computer can make your workflow more efficient, especially when creating longer or more complex projects.

If you plan to work on large projects, it’s useful to have extra random-access memory, or RAM, installed in your computer. Additional RAM allows you to play back more files simultaneously, use a greater number of effects plug-ins, and keep several multimedia applications open at the same time.

Hard Disks

In addition to having a computer with a fast processor and a lot of extra RAM, it’s also a good idea to have a large hard disk with plenty of available space to store the media (audio and video) files you use with Soundtrack Pro. As you work with the application, you’ll likely want to acquire a large collection of sounds to use in your Soundtrack Pro projects. Hard disk performance is a critical aspect of your editing system: the storage capacity and data rate of your disks must match or exceed the requirements of the audio (and video) formats you are using.

If you store media files on an external hard disk, make sure the disk has a fast enough seek time and a high enough sustained data transfer rate for use with video and audio files. Consult the manufacturer’s specifications.

Important: Every minute of stereo digital audio (recorded using a 44.1 kHz sample rate and 16-bit depth) requires roughly 10 MB of hard disk space. If you plan to record large amounts of audio in Soundtrack Pro, you may want to record to a hard disk dedicated to storage for your Soundtrack Pro projects.

Setting the Audio Input and Output

You can set the default input and output devices for Soundtrack Pro with the Audio MIDI Setup utility.

To select a default output device
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click Audio MIDI Setup in the Utilities folder, then choose the device from the Default Output pop-up menu.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Output. Select the audio interface in the list that appears.

To select a default input device
Do one of the following:
  • Double-click Audio MIDI Setup in the Utilities folder, then choose the device from the Default Input pop-up menu.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Input. Select the audio interface in the list that appears.

Audio MIDI Setup

The Audio MIDI Setup utility is a program that comes with Mac OS X for adjusting a computer’s audio input and output settings and managing MIDI devices. You can select audio channel input and output devices, configure output speakers, set clock rates, and control levels. You may also be able to open a configuration utility provided by your audio device.

For more information, go to http://developer.apple.com/audio/overview.html.

Adding Audio Units Plug-ins to Your Computer

Soundtrack Pro includes an extensive set of professional-quality effects plug-ins. Soundtrack Pro uses effects in the Audio Units plug-in format, the native plug-in format of Mac OS X.

Audio Units plug-ins are also available from third-party manufacturers. When adding third-party effects to your computer, be sure to read the documentation, including any Read Me and installation files, that came with the plug-in. Supported Audio Units effects plug-ins appear in the Effects window under the manufacturer’s name.

Soundtrack Pro does not support VST, ASIO, MAS, or RTAS effects plug-ins.