Chapter 5 - Sample editor

 

Overview

The sample editor is where you load, record, and edit the sound samples which will be used to compose your song.

 

About memory...

On PalmOS devices, the memory is traditionally divided into two zones: the storage heap, where your data and applications are stored; and the dynamic heap, where the application currently running processes its own data. The storage heap is good for storage and is large, the dynamic is good for processing and is smaller.

Bhajis Loops used to store the samples in the dynamic heap. The version 1.5 introduced a new feature allowing you to load the samples in the storage heap as well. Even if it slows down the processing and editing of samples - and if it may not be compatible with some devices, it is a good solution if your device has a small dynamic heap ; or if you want to load very large samples.

You can enable the use of the storage heap for samples in the General tab of the Preferences dialog. Moreover, you can individually move samples from one heap to the other, for example if you want to edit a very large sample.

 

User interface

Ther center of the screen shows the waveform of the currently selected sample. The play button in the toolbar will play the selection (or the whole sample if nothing is selected).

The Edit popup lists the samples loaded in memory. Its last item, Add new..., allows the creation of a new empty sample. You can also use the up and down hard keys to move thru the list of loaded samples.

The Name field lets you chose a name for this sample. A tap on the "..." at the right of the field displays the following dialog box:

This dialog provides a convenient way of quickly choosing predefined sample/instrument names and could make you save a few Graffiti strokes! Note that this does not affect at all the way the sample will sound.

The Loop checkbox enables or disables the looping. When looping is enabled, two vertical bars appear in the Waveform Display, showing the beginning and the end of the loop:

Different action are possible in the Waveform Display:

 

Instant access menus

The most interesting stuff is contained in the row of buttons at the bottom of the screen!

The first menu provides different commands to quickly adjust the waveform view:

 

The second menu allows you to select the whole or a part of the sample: either the section currently displayed in the waveform view, or the segment being looped.

 

The third menu contains several editing functions:

Note: Depending on the edit operation you are performing, the loop markers might be lost, modified or preserved. For example, if you cut a segment of sound which contains a loop marker, looping will be disabled.

 

Finally, the last menu provides different effects you can apply to the selection or to the whole sample:

 

Menus

Open opens the following dialog box:

Samples can be loaded from 3 sources, selected by the selector at the top of the screen:

Whenever you select a sample by tapping on an item in the list, the selected sample automatically replaces the current one. However, in case of mistake, you can use the menu command Revert to original (yes, modal dialogs have menus, too!) to get back to the original sample.

 

The loop points and pitch data contained in the smpl section of .wav files generated by most of the sample editors are read, as well as the sample data itself. When a stereo .wav file is opened, the following dialog pops up to let you choose if you want to import the left channel, the right channel, a mix of both channels (left and right combined in a single mono channel), or both channels (true stereo):

If you don't want to see this dialog box each time you load a stereo sample, you can define a default action in the preferences.

 

Add several samples repeatedly displays the previous dialog box so that you can add several samples with a single command. Once you are done, simply tap on Done in the dialog box without selecting anything.

Export modified sample exports the edited sample as a .wav file.

Record opens the following dialog box:

Select a sample rate, a bit depth, a recording duration, a trigger threshold and press Record. If the threshold is set to zero, the recording starts immediately (or just after the precount), otherwise, it starts as soon as the input level is above the selected threshold. The vu-meter at the bottom of the screen can help you in adjusting the threshold. You can tap on Replay to listen to what you have just recorded. When you have finished, tap 'Done'. Note that as soon as you have recorded something, the previous contents of the sample is lost without any possibility of undo.

Sample information displays information such as bit resolution and sample rate for the current sample.

Delete deletes the sample currently edited. It is however not possible to delete a sample which is referenced by an instrument.

Delete unused samples deletes all the samples which are not referenced by any instrument.

Move to dynamic heap moves the sample currently edited to the dynamic heap

Move to storage heap moves the sample currently edited to the storage heap.

The other menu items are common to the other editors and will be detailed later.

 

All contents and code © Olivier Gillet 2003-2006 - ol dot gillet at gmail dot com

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