Blog

Updates for 6th January 2020

Monday 6th January 2020
By Nick Jillings

Happy New Year! Here are some treats for all of you!

Welcome to the New Year! We hope you all had a fantastic night of celebrations. 2019 marked the end of a decade which, for all of us, included many personal highs. Not least of which was launching Faders by Semantic Audio Labs. From all of us, we wish all you a happy, fun, exciting, thrilling new decade! Bring on the roaring 20’s.

But whilst there has been some time off (many mince-pies consumed) we have still been hard at work on improving Faders, and my oh my is this a big update, so let’s dive into the mix of updates.

Our First IMP

Last time out we launched our first IMP function, the Automatic Instrument Labelling tool. This function takes the audio on a given channel, analyses it and sets the appropriate instrument label for you. This simple function will help organise your mix, providing visual cues throughout the DAW.

A new session with audio freshly deposited in the session.
Once labelling is completed, we can see the results in the instrument icons. These are then reflected throughout the DAW.

It is triggered automatically when you upload a new audio asset on a blank track, for instance when dragging an audio file into the DAW. Otherwise you can manually trigger it by using the IMP logo on the top-right of each instrument selection box.

Following on from this, the results are now stored inside the instrument selection panel, allowing you to see other choices the algorithm selected. Of course, you’re choice is law in our eyes, so if you decide to select something else then don’t worry about us overwriting your choice. We would never do that!

We’ve also improved how the function gets called, giving you more visual feedback on its state, removing redundant or repeated calls and allowing it to resume the next time.

This is our first version of this tool, so please do give us loads of feedback!

Plugin Delay Compensation

Another big one from the feedback is plugin delay compensation. All of our plugins are designed to have as minimal latency as possible, and most of them can achieve this easily. However there are two which cannot meet this because of the way they are implemented: the convolution reverb and DP-SAR-1. Now, thanks to changes we made to the open JSAP plugin standard, plugins can report their delay correctly. With this knowledge in hand, the DAW will correctly apply delay compensation, ensuring the sound is always in-sync when it reaches the master.

There is a simple limitation with this however, specifically when you have bus-loops. This is when a bus feeds back into itself (this can be through a very long chain). In this scenario, the buses that form this chain will not have source delay compensation applied.

Automation

There have been several issues with automation over the past month or so, mostly with Chrome. These have now been ironed out (we hope) so you should no longer get automation points which fold back on themselves or become unresponsive. The performance has also been improved significantly as our old method did not scale well.

Over the coming weeks we hope to add more automatable parameters, so stay tuned to get full automation.

Audio Editor

The Audio Editor has been overhauled over the last month to now show something that is useful and usable. Whilst sample editing is still not finalised there are several tools here to help you.

Double click on an audio region to open the editor. This is a high-detail waveform which you can manipulate. The modification parameters are on the left, allowing you to make real changes. Launch the automated functions from the wand at the top. Several things are currently disabled, but we've exposed them to show you where we are heading.

Automatic Trimming

The editor can automatically trim the start and end times of regions for you. This is useful for regions with silence at the start and end. These are caused during recording or when using exported stems. This function will look for the first transient point and trim. As always it is completely non-destructive.

If you want some finer control, you can always use the region trim guides to further edit your trims.

To activate, click the ‘wand’ icon at the top bar, next to the playback icon.

Region Gain

Some regions are not recorded equally, this is a simple gain control you can use to normalise your asset loudness, freeing up the automation or plugin you would have to have used previously. It will also show a warning flag when the gain selected would push the audio above 0dB, indicating it could clip.

Invert

Similar to the region gain, you can now flip the phase of the audio region. Simple enough.

Playback Speed

This one we are letting out of the box early, a new years treat from us! You can now modify the playback speed of your clips, however it will not impact your timing choices. This is not exactly good, we know that, but we to know how you use this and what you would like it to do. Plus, it’s always cool to super slow something!

Reverse Playback

Currently a work-in-progress, we had hoped to roll this out this time, but currently there are still some issues to overcome.

Firefox has friends

We are confident now that our DAW is truly cross-browser, so we’ve removed the “This works on Firefox” banner you would have gotten. A small change, actually just two lines of code, but marks a big step forward in our development. So please do use on Chrome, Safari or Edge, or any other Web Audio enabled browser.

A little more action please

Here are some of the other improvements that didn’t get their own paragraph, but we still love them.

  • Undo chain: You should now be able to safely undo and redo nearly everything in the main DAW. This is persistent across reloads as well. The MIDI editor is not part of this yet and will get its own undo/redo system.

  • Plugin pop-outs: Plugins previously would not pop out properly, now they do

  • Plugin UI playback: During playback the UI on plugins would jump around. Whilst we like their enthusiasm, we’ve calmed them down!

  • Sends creation: An issue came in with creating new sends which would cause problems, this has now been fixed.

  • Quick-Add tracks: MIDI tracks could not be quick added properly, fixed.

  • Could previously add a bus to a group through the context menu

  • Context menu with mixture of bus and non-bus would have weird options, now doesn't

  • Backspace will delete selected tracks with prompt.

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