Audiowerks News Issue 1

tripleDAT Welcome to the Audiowerks Newsletter pages. These articles address the operation and functionalily of the tripleDAT audio recording system. Advise for computer optimization and support as it appies to the PC and the Windows Operating system

Hello everyone and welcome. This is Volume 1 Issue 1 of the newsletter. We endeavor to reach out to all our users with new information as it is released. Enjoy!

What you should know before you begin
Before you call technical support
Getting Started
Tip for tripleDATto the Audiowerks Library

What you should know before you begin

Fill in and return your Warranty Card and register. This is the information that we use to keep track of you. If you change your address (home or e-mail) or any other information, please inform us. Help your product manufacturer keep your information current.

Every user should be comfortable with the essential operation their computer and Windows 95. This includes how to locate files in directories/sub directories (folders), identify their type, and simple management. Copying, moving and/or deleting files is part of normal everyday computer use. Copying, moving or deleting files can have serious impact in your programs or operating system. Maintaining your hard drives on a regular basis will ensure their optimal performance. If you are not familiar with Windows, please consult you manual or other publications for reference. There are many good computer magazines to reference from the shelf and on-line such as Undocumented PC Secrets from the April 98 issue of PC Computing. This issue has a number of undocumented ways to get better performance from your Windows 95 installation. Many of the procedures are the same as those described in our Your computer and audio workshop.

It is always a good idea to "write things down on a notepad" (yes, using an actual pen/pencil and paper) until such time that you are comfortable with both Windows and tripleDAT's file navigation system. Try to form good working habits early into your software experience. Name "all" your files and organize them in a way that makes sense to you. Not finding a file you need can be very frustrating, especially when you are wading through a "sea of takes".

*If you are backing up to CD, try to keep your maximum folder size from exceeding 645mb. This will accommodate easier back up of large projects that easily exceed the 650meg limit of common CDs.

This initial understanding of how your files are organized, their size and how to manipulate them safely will save you hours of frustration later.

tripleDAT files and their extensions:

The Arranger file - [Project1].arg This is the "main" file that keeps all your settings, tracks, cutters, DSP, views, mix etc in order.

The Backup file - [Project1].bak A backup copy of the arranger file.

The Audio file - [song1].tds (stereo) [song1].tdm (mono) This file is the actual raw audio Data.

The Cutter file - [song1].cut This file is a text file that contains information about the "Audio File" This is the file you do all your editing and can copy many multiples of. This is the file that is represented by the blocks in the arranger.

The Backup file - [song1].bak This is a backup file of the cutter file created for each audio sample.

The Display file - [song1].dss (stereo) [song1].dsm (mono) This file contains the waveform display data only.

TripleDAT is a safe editing environment. The audio file is never modified; "ever". Any time you make a duplicate or edits of any kind, you are editing the "cutter" file. You could have several cutter files that reference the same audio. If you need to move them, you must keep the folder and these files together. If you attempt to use a cutter file, which has no corrosponding audio file, you will be informed that the sample is "corrupt".

*If you plan on using this audio in another arrangement, make duplicate cutter files and use the duplicates in the other arrangement. Name the duplicate so it is distinguishable from the original. You could also Merge the file into a new file to the folder you want to hold it. This will keep it totally separate from the original.

The cutter file is a textual description and instruction set of how the audio should be played back. It also contains information about where the "tds/m" file is physically located. The "display" file contains the waveform display data to more quickly display the file. If you have "generated display data" this file will be created. If not, it will take longer to read the audio file and display the waveform.

*** Remember to explore the use of your right mouse button. This is a very powerful implementation of commands that will minimize the need to move to the top of the Window to pull down a menu or activate a tool.

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Before you call technical support

Provide your product serial number and loaded software and driver version. Know the IRQ and Port of your hardware. List your computer type, make and model of all installed components, installed (new and most recent) software, and driver versions. Most manufacturers provide a form you can fill in and keep handy for tech support calls. Try to remember the events that lead up to the problem. This will help to resolve your difficulty more quickly and also save you on toll charges.

Be prepared to answer some vital questions about your computer, hardware, software, and installed components. Because of the diverse computer configurations assembled today, there is a myriad of reasons why something happens. First and foremost "calm down". This will allow you to think more clearly. Many seemingly devastating problems are solved after hours of checking everything but....... the kitchen sink. The most obvious things can be so obvious that they are often overlooked or dismissed as unlikely to be problematic.

If you can handle any kind of system malfunction with poise and assertiveness, your clients will definitely be more comfortable and confident in your skill, which will in turn, make you even more calm. If the answers cannot be found within the help, readme files, on-line, and other documentation you have, you will want to consult with technical support. The cause could be a missing or damaged file, (installing some older software can and may replace newer files in your operating system causing an error when the applications that need them uses them) or it could be a second program running in the background. It is very important that you provide technical support with all the details you can. Make a list of all your system components and how you have things connected in your studio. This will give you a better idea of your signal flow and connections. Put your serial# and keys on this list as well.


Prevent system failures and optimize your computer for "real time" audio. Check the tutorial "Your computer and audio" on the CreamWare WEB site. These optimizations will ensure that your tripleDAT system is running very well and reduce the potential for failure and embarrassment. A machine that is responding and optimized well is more enjoyable to "learn to drive".

Don't undertake a critical project until you have mastered the interface and taken the tangles out of the system. When things that always worked are suddenly, and without warning, not working as you expect them to, it is time to re-install your application software with the most recent version, and/or refresh bad or missing files in Windows. Sometimes a fix is easy and sometimes it’s a better use of time backing up your data, and then reformatting the drive and re-install your OS and applications; essentially starting over.

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Getting Started with tripleDAT

Before you even start tripleDAT, make a new folder to hold all the information you are about to assemble. I suggest that you name the folder after the client, song, or project. If you have 2 drives, you should allocate one drive as you audio storage drive. Refrain from recording directly into the root directory, as there are limitations with the number of entries. Once you have created a folder, you can store all the data for that project in that folder.

Start tripleDAT. If you are starting up for the first time, tripleDAT will default to the same folder that holds the tripleDAT application. Change to the newly created folder for your audio. Whenever you access that arrangement, it will default to the same folder.

Next, you should verify that your audio connections are correctly operating. Open the record dialog. If you are using the digital I/O, check the drive, and check the digital buttons. Next check the settings dialog. Your default input is optical. If you have you digitally connected Coaxially and you try to record, you will be presented with an attention dialog indicating that it cannot detect any frequency. In the setting dialog, select the coax you are using for input and try again. You determine your default setting for recording pre-roll. When you press the record button, you will see the transport rolling, the counter counting, and if you are sending any audio to the selected input, you will see meter activity. The display will say "waiting for pressing the record button". You press record again when you want recording to commence. This engages the recording process and the record timers starts rolling. You can defeat the "waiting to press the record button" by checking the "threshold -80dB" in the record settings dialog. You can have recording commence when the threshold is met. You could also set an "A" marker and check "record from A". Place the locator "before" the "A" marker and press the record button. The transport will roll and recording will commence at the "A" marker.

 If you are using the "analog" I/O the process is the same with the exception that there will be no "frequency messages". You will either have input or not. If not, you should verify your signal path. All else from the proceeding paragraph is the same. The I/O section allows you some control over the input and output signals. Stereo digital/analog switches are toggles between mono and stereo recording from the inputs. Monitor digital/analog toggle on or off the monitoring of "tracks already recorded" that you want to playback while recording. Select digital and the arranger output will be routed to the digital outputs; the same goes for analog. If you select neither, your "incoming signal will be routed out the output. If you have this improperly connected to your mixer, you will create a feedback loop.

 Remember that you have full access to the arranger timeline while the record dialog is up. Place the locator to the pre roll point before engaging the record sequence. There is a real-time ScreenCam of the recorder dialog in tripleDAT. Run the attached record.exe file for a 1024x768 real-time screen view of the initial record dialog. When this link is fixed, click here to down load the Recording Screen Cam zipped file (538k). Unzip this file and run the resulting executable at 1024x768.

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tripleDAT Tips for the Month of April

Right mouse click on the title bar of the Cutter can give you access to the "sample setup" dialog. The same right click on either of the Arranger's scroll bars, will open the Arranger setup.

Clear the selected block in the cutter or the "A" and "B" marker in the arranger with a single keystroke, "C".

In the cutter, type the letter "O". This will begin a "peak search" and an immediate ABS (absolute volume) change that brings the found peak up to 0dB. This will raise the overall volume of the sample relative to the peak. If you wish to return to the "originally recorded sample volume", open the "sample setup" and highlight the REL volume data and replace the value with 0.00.

The Standard time format for RED Book Disk At Once is mm:ss:fm at the rate of 75 fps. You cannot match time to the millisecond; only to the nearest frame in the panel display. Don't let these two counters confuse you. When using DAO mode, refer to the DAO counter.

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Written by Anton Bernhardt April 15, 1998
© Anton Bernhardt Audiowerks All rights reserved. 1998

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