scrubbing or digital skimming

Using Aud. 2.0.2 on MacBookPro, OS 10.6.8, 8 GB RAM, 300 GB HD. Older location recorder on Revox and Ampex reel decks Neumann microphones. Trying to get my old analog brain into digital. Professional symphony musician with good ears.
I need to bring up scrubbing (“skimming” in iMovie and Final Cut Pro) since there seems to be no progress made on including this feature to this GREAT program. It might be a lack of understanding of just how important it is to precision audio editing. Audio Scrubbing is 100% ear oriented - very dependent on understanding exact differences between sound and silence (in the old days - noise floor.) This analogy might help. Imaging a barcode of microscopic bars, imprinted on about 3000 feet of half inch paper tape, passing on a fixed barcode reader at a constantly controlled speed. When the stop button is pressed the tape is still in contact with the barcode reader, It must be moved (“rocked”,) either forward or backwards (in time) at very small increments to determine which bar (sound) or edit point needs to be cut or replaced with another piece of tape, from a better “take.” In designing the software the human interface must be considered. You must use headphones, or have your studio monitors really cranked-up (headphones are better) and develop your flesh and bone analog ears to recognize the sound you are searching for. Your are lucky if the sound is percussive, like a pop or cough. Most of the time you are looking for something much harder to isolate, like the start of a breath a sax player or singer makes, before the program sound starts. I designing an interface I’d use two examples. One would be the back and forward pair of keys on a keyboard, (one key per “reel”) to rock back and forth with two other controls, one controlling playback volume, another controling the time/density of the digital information. It could also could be controlled all on a mouse with thumbwheel for rocking forward and back, with a time/density setting (scale), made variable with a slider or series of mouse clicks. Hope this helps. It’s something that is absolutely needed. Audio editing is an analog process, even if it uses digital controls. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I agree. It’s easy to do in a video editor because the sound comes automatically in one television frame chunks. If you stick in one place, the program just repeats that one frame – ZIPZIPZIPZIP DODODODODOD TETETETETE --until you let go or go somewhere else. The program never has to make up a new show and the sound isn’t really going slow or fast. It’s just playing the frames as needed.

Very different in audio editing. No frames, no points of reference. If you stop dead on a reel-to-reel, the sound stops dead, too. If you go slowly backward on a reel to reel, the sound appears to ooze like syrup. If Audacity did that, the program would have to make up a whole new show that goes backwards slowly and play that. There’s no easy way to just play the bits out of order.

There’s a significant value to the idea that Audacity should work in television frames for the purpose of scanning and revert to the regular tools during critical editing. Whose frames should it use? We just recently abandoned 23.976 television framerate (US) in favor of 24.000 for Hi Def video. Broadcast TV is still using the old one. Europe uses 25.000.



Have you used the playback speed control in the newer Audacity? It’s awkward, when what you really want to do is grab the cursor and go, but it does work. Koz