Locating and Adding Audio Files

You can locate audio files to use in a project using the media tabs, or drag files from the Finder. There are three media tabs for locating audio files: the Browser, Favorites, and Search tabs. You can also store media files for a project in the Bin for easy access in a project. The Bin also features a search function to help you locate an item in any open project.

Using the Browser to Locate Files

The Browser tab shows the hard disks and other storage media connected to your computer and lets you browse through the file hierarchy to find audio files located on disk.

To locate audio files using the Browser
  • Double-click a volume or folder in the Browser to view its contents.

    Figure. Browser tab.

You can move back through the previous locations in the Browser using the Forward and Back buttons or through the levels of the file hierarchy using the Path pop-up menu.

Using Favorites to Locate Files

Favorites let you store frequently used file locations, so that you can access them directly. You can add and remove Favorites from the Media pop-up menu at the lower-right corner of the Favorites tab.

To locate audio files in Favorites
  • Double-click the disk or folder you want to open.

    Figure. Favorites tab.

You can move back through the previous locations in the Favorites tab using the Forward and Back buttons or through the levels of the file hierarchy using the Path pop-up menu.

Search Views

Using Search, you can search for media files to add to your project. Search has two views—Column view and Button view. You choose which view to display by clicking the Columns View or Button View button in the upper-left area of the window. In both views, the files matching your search criteria appear in the Search Results area, along with columns displaying additional information for tagged files. You can sort these columns by clicking the heading on top of each column. You can also perform text searches in both views, and refine your searches.

If you use Apple Loops or other tagged audio files in a project, you can search based on a variety of criteria, including musical instrument, genre, time signature, mood descriptor, and scale type. You can also search using specific keywords.

To search for items
  • Click the Search tab.

The Search tab becomes active.

Searching for Files in Column View

In Column view, the upper area of the Search tab displays two columns: Keywords shows the categories of files that meet the search criteria, and Matches shows the total number of matching files and any subcategories containing matching files, with the number of matching files in each.

Clicking a keyword displays the files matching that keyword in the Search Results area. You can refine your search results by narrowing the criteria using the subcategories in the Matches column.

To search for files in Column view
  1. Choose the type of keywords to display in the Keywords list from the Keywords pop-up menu.

    You can use the Time Signature and Scale Type pop-up menus to restrict matches by those categories.

  2. Select a keyword in the Keywords list to display matching files in the Search Results area.

    Figure. Column view of Search tab showing Search Text field.

    The hints, tempo, key, and number of beats for each matching file are also displayed.

You can also perform text searches, which can be especially helpful for non-tagged files. When you type text in the Search Text field, any files with the text in their file path or filename appear in the Search Results list. The number of files appears in the Matches column under “No Category.”

To search using the Search Text field
  • Enter text in the Search Text field.

    As you type, files matching the characters you type appear in the Search Results field.

Refining a Search in Column View

There are several ways you can refine your searches in Column view. You can select items in the Matches column to add the matching files for each category to the search results, and you can enter text in the Search Text field to narrow your search to files that include the text in their file path. Selecting multiple keywords in the Keywords list narrows the search results to files matching all the selected keywords.

To refine your search using the Matches column
  • Click to select a match category, or Command-click to select multiple match categories.

    Figure. Search tab showing selected categories and search results.
To refine your search by selecting multiple keywords
  • Shift-click to select adjacent keywords, or Command-click to select nonadjacent keywords.

Searching for Files in Button View

In Button view, the upper area of the Search tab displays a grid of buttons, each of which is labeled with a keyword. The keywords displayed are determined by the Keywords pop-up menu; the choices are Music Beds, Instruments, Genre, Descriptors, and Custom. The keywords for each choice are fixed and appear whether or not matching files for the keyword exist. Keywords for which no matching files exist are dimmed.

To search for files in Button view
  1. Choose the type of keywords to display on the keyword buttons from the Keywords pop-up menu.

  2. You can optionally use the File Type, Time Signature, and Scale Type pop-up menus to restrict matches by those categories.

  3. Click a keyword button to display matching files in the Search Results area.

    Figure. Button view of Search tab showing selected keywords and search results.

You can also perform text searches, which can be especially helpful for non-tagged files. When you type text in the Search Text field, any files with the text in their file path or filename appear in the Search Results list.

To search by file path or filename
  • Enter text in the Search Text field.

    As you type, files matching the characters you type appear in the Search Results field.

Refining a Search in Button View

There are several ways you can refine your searches in Button view. You can select multiple keyword buttons to narrow your search results to files matching all the selected keywords, and you can enter text in the Search Text field to narrow your search to files that include the text in their file path.

To refine your search using multiple keywords
  • Click multiple keyword buttons.

    Figure. Button view of Search tab showing multiple keyword selection and search results.

Adding Custom Keywords

You can add custom keywords, which appear in the Keywords list in Column view and on the keyword buttons in Button view. Custom keywords can be added only in Button view.

To add a custom keyword
  1. Choose Custom from the Keyword Type pop-up menu.

  2. Control-click one of the buttons in the grid, then choose a custom keyword from the shortcut menu.

    Figure. Search tab showing Keyword Type pop-up menu.

Adding a Directory to the Search Database

Search looks through all indexed directories (volumes and folders) for files that match your search criteria. Before a file can appear in Search, you must add the directory containing the file to the Search database and index the directory.

Note: The Search database does not update automatically. If you add files to an indexed directory, you must index the directory again before the files will appear in the Search tab.

To add a directory to the Search database
  1. Click the Setup button at the top of the Search tab.

    Figure. Search tab showing Setup button.
  2. In the Setup dialog, click the Add Directory button.

    Figure. Setup dialog, showing Add Directory button and Index Now button.
  3. In the file dialog, navigate to the directory you want to add, then click Open.

    The directory appears in the list in the Setup dialog. You can resize the Search dialog if you need to see more items in the list.

  4. Select the directory in the list, then click the Index Now button.

    Note: Indexing a large collection of files may take several minutes. The bottom of the Add Directory dialog displays the progress of the directory being indexed. If you need to interrupt the indexing process, click the Stop Indexing button. You can re-index the directory later. You can deselect items you do not wish to re-index.

  5. When Soundtrack Pro is finished indexing the directory, click Done to return to the Search tab.

Removing a Directory from the Search Database

If you move or change your collection of audio files, you can remove a folder from the Search database. Removing unneeded folders from the database can shorten search times and eliminate extraneous results.

To remove a folder from the Search database
  1. Click the Setup button at the top of the Search tab.

  2. In the Setup dialog, select the directory you want to remove, then click the Remove Directory button.

    Figure. Setup dialog showing Remove Directory button.
  3. Click Done to return to the Search tab.

    Once you have added the folders containing your audio files to the Search database and indexed them, you can use Search to find the files. In both Column view and Button view, the audio files that match the search criteria appear in the Search Results area in alphabetical order. You can preview files in the File list and drag them to the Timeline. You can also add a folder to your Favorites from the Search tab.