Using the File Editor Project View

You can open the File Editor so that it appears in the top-center pane of the Soundtrack Pro window (in place of the Timeline). The File Editor project view has several unique properties that allow you to:

Opening the File Editor Project View

You start working in the File Editor project view by creating an audio file project, opening an existing audio file project, or opening an audio file in the File Editor.

To create a new, blank audio file project
  • Choose File > New > Audio File.

You can create an audio file project from a clip and open it in the File Editor. Audio file (.stap) projects let you edit nondestructively.

To open an audio file project in the File Editor project view
Do one of the following:
  • Choose File > Open (or press Command-O), locate and select the project or file, then click Open.

  • Drag the project or file over the Soundtrack Pro icon in the Dock.

  • In the Timeline, double-click the audio clip.

  • In Final Cut Pro, select a clip, then choose File > Send To > Soundtrack Pro Audio File Project.

  • In Motion, select an audio track, then choose Edit > Send Audio to Soundtrack Pro.

You can also open the original file in its native format in the File Editor. Editing the original audio file means that when you save your changes, you overwrite (replace) the original file with the edited one.

To open an audio file in its native format in the File Editor project view
Do one of the following:
  • Select the clip, then choose Clip > Open in Editor.

  • In the Timeline or in one of the media tabs, Control-click a project or file, then choose Open in Editor from the shortcut menu.

  • In Final Cut Pro or Motion, Control-click an audio clip, then choose Open in Editor from the shortcut menu.

When you open a clip from the multitrack window, if the clip is part of a larger audio file, the File Editor zooms in to the length of the clip. A marker is added to mark the start and end points of the clip.

When you open a stereo audio file in the File Editor, the left channel appears in the upper part of the waveform display, and the right channel appears in the lower part.

You can have multiple audio file projects open in Soundtrack Pro and cut and paste between them, but only one project can play back at a time.

Setting the Time Ruler Units in the File Editor Project View

You can set the Time Ruler units in the File Editor project view to any format in the Time Ruler Units submenu.

To set the Time Ruler units in the File Editor project view
  • Choose View > Time Ruler Units, then choose a format from the submenu.

For more information, see Setting the Project Ruler Units.

Closing Audio File Projects

You can close the project when you no longer want to work on it, or close the Soundtrack Pro window and close all open projects (both multitrack and audio file projects).

To close a project
  • Choose File > Close Tab (or press Command-W).

To close all open projects and close the Soundtrack Pro window
  • Click the close button in the upper-left corner of the window.

Applying Realtime Effects in the File Editor Project View

Using the File Editor project view, you can apply realtime effects to an individual audio file project and automate those effects. You can also render realtime effects to actions.

To add a realtime effect to an audio file project in the File Editor project view
  1. Open an audio file or audio file project in the File Editor project view.

  2. In the Effects tab, select a category in the Category list to display the effects for that category in the Effect list.

  3. In the Effect list, do one of the following:

    • Double-click the effect you want to add to the track.

    • Select the effect name, then click the Add Effect button.

    • Drag the effect to the Effect Parameters area.

The effect’s advanced settings window appears, and the effect name appears in the Effect Parameters area with its checkbox selected.

For more information on applying realtime effects, see Working with Realtime Effects.

Automating Realtime Effects in the File Editor Project View

Once you have applied realtime effects to an individual audio file project, you can automate those effects in the File Editor project view.

To automate a realtime effect parameter
  1. In the Effects tab, select the Auto checkbox next to the parameter’s control.

  2. In the File Editor project view, click the Master Envelope button (in the lower-left corner of the project pane) to show the envelopes for the audio file project.

    Figure. Master Envelope button showing its tooltip.
  3. Add and adjust envelope points in the effect’s envelope.

    Figure. File Editor showing audio envelopes.

    For information on adding and adjusting envelope points, see Working with Automation.

Rendering Realtime Effects to Actions

Choosing this command renders any realtime effects applied to the audio file project and the project’s envelopes to an action in the Actions list, letting you turn these effects and envelopes on or off, reorder them in the list, and save them with the audio file project.

To render realtime effects and envelopes to an action
  • Choose Process > Render to Action.

Once you render realtime effects and envelopes to an action, the realtime effects are deleted from the project, and the envelopes are reset to their default values.

Some effects, including reverb and delay, add audio that extends past the end of the file. This is called an effect tail. When you render realtime effects to an action, if any of the effects creates an effect tail that extends past the end of the audio file, the file lengthens to include the effect tail.

How Files Are Saved in the File Editor Project View

When you edit an audio file in the File Editor project view, the source audio file is handled as follows:

  • If the clip’s audio file format is a native Soundtrack Pro audio file project: Any changes you make are saved to the audio file project, allowing you to make nondestructive changes to the media.
  • If the clip refers to a standard-format audio file (such as AIFF or WAVE): Soundtrack Pro automatically creates a Soundtrack Pro audio file project for the flat file. When you attempt to save the changes to the audio file project, the default File Type is Audio File Project, which retains the nondestructive changes in the form of an Actions list. If you change the File Type in the Save dialog to a flat file format (such as AIFF or WAVE), you lose the nondestructive characteristics of a Soundtrack Pro audio file project.

Saving Audio File Projects from the File Editor Project View

You can save a project as an audio file project or as a standard audio file and can choose other options when you first save the file. Audio file projects are saved with the extension .stap. Saving a project as an audio file project lets you make changes to actions and other edits when you reopen the project in the File Editor.

To save a project as an audio file project
  1. Choose File > Save.

  2. In the Save dialog, type a name for the file and browse to the location where you want to save it.

  3. Choose the file type for the project from the File Type pop-up menu.

    The available choices in the Save dialog change depending on whether you choose Audio File Project or an audio file format as the file type.

  4. Click Save.

    Figure. Save dialog.

Saving Audio File Projects Containing Video

For audio file projects containing video, the video file is saved as a reference movie. If the video file is moved or deleted, or if you copy the project to another computer, the video may be missing when you open the project. To add the video to the project again, drag the video file into the Video tab or the video track of the Timeline.

When you open a QuickTime movie in the File Editor as an audio file project, or send an audio clip from Final Cut Pro to an audio file project, by default the source audio is referenced. When you save the project by choosing File > Save As, you can include the source audio in the project. If the source audio is moved or deleted, or if you copy the project to another computer, the audio might not play correctly.

The first time you save an audio file project with referenced audio, a dialog appears asking if you want to include or reference the source audio. Your choice becomes the default behavior for new audio file projects and can be changed in the General preferences pane.

About Saving QuickTime Movies and File Size

When you lengthen or shorten the duration of a QuickTime movie in the File Editor by adding or deleting audio, the file size of the movie might be larger than expected when you save the movie. For example, if you shorten the duration of the movie by deleting audio, the file size of the movie does not decrease.

When you change the sample rate, bit depth, or number of channels in a QuickTime movie, the file size of the saved movie might be larger than expected. Also, when saving to a QuickTime movie that uses a compressed audio format, the audio is saved uncompressed and the file size might be larger than expected.

In all of the above cases, saving the movie to a different location results in the file being saved at the correct file size.

Saving Audio Files from the File Editor Project View

You can also save a project as a standard audio file from the File Editor project view. In this case, the edits you have made are rendered into the audio file and cannot be changed or undone the next time you open the audio file in the File Editor.

To save a project as an audio file
  1. Choose File > Save As.

  2. In the Save dialog, type a name for the file and browse to the location where you want to save it.

  3. Choose the file type for the project from the File Type pop-up menu.

    You can save a project to any of the following standard audio file formats:

    • AIFF

    • WAVE

    • NeXT

    • Sound Designer II

    • Core Audio File

    • QuickTime Movie

  4. Choose the bit depth for the project from the Bit Depth pop-up menu.

  5. Choose the sample rate for the project from the Sample Rate pop-up menu.

  6. Optionally, select any of the following checkboxes:

    • Dither: Select to dither the file. Dithering is useful when saving a project at a lower bit depth or sample rate. In general, you should dither a project only when saving it as a standard audio file, and only when you have finished all bit depth or sample rate conversions. Dithering is not appropriate for 32-bit files.
    • Include Source Audio: Select to include the source audio in the project. If you don’t select this checkbox, the project refers to the external source audio file. Referenced files must be present to open the project correctly.
    • Save Flattened Copy: Select to additionally update the linked flat file. Saving a flattened copy enables integration with applications that do not support .stap files.
  7. Click Save.

    Figure. Save dialog.

    Note: When you save an audio file with the same name, location, and extension as the original audio file, you overwrite the existing audio file.

Using the Timeline Controls in the File Editor Project View

You can use the Timeline controls, located at the lower-left corner of the project pane, while working in the File Editor project view.

Some of these controls have slightly different functions in the File Editor than they do in the Timeline.

  • Master Envelopes button: You can show or hide the envelopes for the audio file.
  • Snapping button: You can turn snapping on or off in the File Editor.
  • Snap To button: You can choose the Snap To value that the playhead and other items snap to. In the File Editor, the choices for snap are Ruler Ticks and Zero Crossings.
  • Track Height control: This sets the height of the envelope rows when you show envelopes in the File Editor.

Scripting Actions in the File Editor Project View

You can save a series of actions in the File Editor project view as an AppleScript droplet and use the droplet to modify other audio files. You can apply the actions in a saved droplet while you are working in Final Cut Pro using the Send To shortcut menu. You can also drag files or folders onto a droplet, making it easy to batch process files.

You can edit the droplet in the AppleScript Script Editor to adjust action settings. This is especially helpful when you want to apply the same series of actions to multiple files, or when you want to apply actions repeatedly, changing one or several settings each time. You can apply a droplet to another audio file, or group of files, by dragging files or folders containing a group of files onto the droplet.

To save a series of actions as a droplet
  1. Open an audio file in the File Editor.

  2. Apply the actions to the audio file.

  3. Choose File > Save as AppleScript.

  4. In the Save dialog, type a name for the droplet.

    By default, droplets are saved to the location /Users/username/Library/Scripts/Soundtrack Pro Scripts/. Do not change the location or Soundtrack Pro and Final Cut Pro may not be able to find and use your saved droplets.

You can apply a series of actions saved as a droplet to a clip in Final Cut Pro.

To apply a saved droplet to a clip in Final Cut Pro
  • In the Final Cut Pro Timeline or Bin, Control-click the clip, choose Send To > Soundtrack Pro Script from the shortcut menu, then choose the droplet you want to apply from the submenu.

Soundtrack Pro opens with the clip visible in the File Editor. The actions are applied to the clip, the clip is saved with the changes, and the File Editor moves to the background, behind the Final Cut Pro windows.

Using the Global Waveform View

The File Editor includes a Global Waveform view, located directly above the main waveform display. The Global Waveform view displays a miniature view of the entire audio file and shows the current playhead position. The part of the audio file visible in the waveform display appears inside a blue rectangle. You can quickly move to different parts of the audio file by dragging the visible area rectangle.

To move to a different part of the audio file using the Global Waveform view
  • Drag the blue visible area rectangle to a new position.

    Figure. Global Waveform view showing the position rectangle.

Using Markers in the File Editor Project View

You can insert markers in an audio file project in the same way as in a multitrack project. Markers can be useful for indicating where a specific sound, cue, or event begins or ends in the audio file. They can also be useful for indicating an area of an audio file you want to time stretch.

When an audio file project has two or more markers, you can select the area between two markers by double-clicking in the waveform display. For more information, see Selecting All or Parts of an Audio File.

For information about inserting, naming, moving, and deleting markers, see Working with Markers.