Sound / Silence Marker

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waxcylinder
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:40 am

Gale Andrews wrote:
steve wrote:The "simple Silence Finder" is not at all simple if the user wants region labels.
Hardly any users want region labels in Silence Finder. There are no votes for region labels in Silence Finder on Feature Requests and I don't seem to have any stored that are waiting to be added. If there are votes uncounted (apart from yours) please show me where they are so they can be added.
Well I certainly do - please add a +1 vote for me.

Use Case: I regularly record internet radio streams for later listening. Often these have dropout interruptions of up to several seconds. I would like to mark thos e with region labels.

Peter.
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by Gale Andrews » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:51 am

waxcylinder wrote:So what we should be exploring here is how to make the GUI for this proposed unified analyser understandable, approachable and effective.

I, for one, certainly don't want to end up with two separate analyzers for this: one for novices and t'other for power users that would be a nonsense imo. Maybe though we could explore a default dialog which was simplified and an "Advanced Usage" (or whatever) button to reveal a more complex dialog interaction - plus a preference setting to always get the advanced dialog.
Can that be done in Nyquist? I don't believe so, unless we have some separate control file?

Perhaps if we added a help screen, I would be (a little) more persuaded.

Please say why a separate "simple" and "complex" effect is a nonsense. I've already pointed out effects where we take this approach, and I think there is also reasonable support for a "simpler" EQ to be added to the current one.

I'm unclear why a grandmother who has never used a computer or audio software before should intuitively understand what a "threshold" might be.



Gale
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by Gale Andrews » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:57 am

waxcylinder wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:
steve wrote:The "simple Silence Finder" is not at all simple if the user wants region labels.
Hardly any users want region labels in Silence Finder. There are no votes for region labels in Silence Finder on Feature Requests and I don't seem to have any stored that are waiting to be added. If there are votes uncounted (apart from yours) please show me where they are so they can be added.
Well I certainly do - please add a +1 vote for me.

Use Case: I regularly record internet radio streams for later listening. Often these have dropout interruptions of up to several seconds. I would like to mark thos e with region labels.
So you would run Sound/Silence Finder twice - once to region label the dropouts then again to point label the songs?


Gale
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waxcylinder
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:57 am

Gale Andrews wrote:Please say why a separate "simple" and "complex" effect is a nonsense. I've already pointed out effects where we take this approach, and I think there is also reasonable support for a "simpler" EQ to be added to the current one.
Because basically you are having two Anlyzers to do basically the same thing - apart from any other consideration it clutters the menus. I could be persuaded to two analyzers though if an "Adavanced Usage" button and dialog can't be implemented in the available technology.
Gale Andrews wrote:I'm unclear why a grandmother who has never used a computer or audio software before should intuitively understand what a "threshold" might be.
If grandma has never used a computer before she will have many steep learning curves before she ever gets to Audacity :) Encountering the term "threshold" if previously unknown to one is surely a cue to go off and RTFM 8-)

Peter.
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:03 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:
waxcylinder wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:
steve wrote:The "simple Silence Finder" is not at all simple if the user wants region labels.
Hardly any users want region labels in Silence Finder. There are no votes for region labels in Silence Finder on Feature Requests and I don't seem to have any stored that are waiting to be added. If there are votes uncounted (apart from yours) please show me where they are so they can be added.
Well I certainly do - please add a +1 vote for me.

Use Case: I regularly record internet radio streams for later listening. Often these have dropout interruptions of up to several seconds. I would like to mark thos e with region labels.
So you would run Sound/Silence Finder twice - once to region label the dropouts then again to point label the songs?
I would and indeed do:
1) label the silences - currently I do this by eye and by hand
2) Decide if they are in songs I am interested in in which case ignore - else manually manage a clean click-less removal
3) Manually label the songs I am interested in - using Ctrl+M and/or Ctrl+Bto mark beginning-ish and end-ish
4) Remove the unmarked stuff
5) process the marked stuff

Peter
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by Gale Andrews » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:06 pm

waxcylinder wrote: Encountering the term "threshold" if previously unknown to one is surely a cue to go off and RTFM
Or worse, to write to [email protected] or me (amounts to the same thing) berating the software and demanding an immediate refund...

Gale
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:12 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:
waxcylinder wrote: Encountering the term "threshold" if previously unknown to one is surely a cue to go off and RTFM
Or worse, to write to [email protected] or me (amounts to the same thing) berating the software and demanding an immediate refund...
ROFLMAO :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by Gale Andrews » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:26 pm

waxcylinder wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:
waxcylinder wrote: Encountering the term "threshold" if previously unknown to one is surely a cue to go off and RTFM
Or worse, to write to [email protected] or me (amounts to the same thing) berating the software and demanding an immediate refund...
ROFLMAO :lol: :lol: :lol:
Except I don't see the funny side of it so much when It happens ;)


Gale
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by steve » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:48 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:and demanding an immediate refund...
I'd just give them a full refund of $0.0 ;)

Gale Andrews wrote:I'm unclear why a grandmother who has never used a computer or audio software before should intuitively understand what a "threshold" might be.
To quote my mother (who the grandmother of my nephews):
"Oh for heavens sake Stephen, why do you have to squeeze the toothpaste from the middle? You push me to the threshold of my patience."

waxcylinder wrote:Maybe though we could explore a default dialog which was simplified and an "Advanced Usage" (or whatever) button to reveal a more complex dialog interaction - plus a preference setting to always get the advanced dialog.
As Gale wrote, that is not currently possible in Nyquist effects, but I am very keen to see "type 4" Nyquist plug-ins that have less restrictive GUI possibilities. This is on my agenda as my C++ skills improve, but there currently appears to be zero support from any of the developers for anything to do with Nyquist (other than RBD who has not been actively engaged with Audacity for some time).

Gale Andrews wrote:Perhaps if we added a help screen, I would be (a little) more persuaded.
A "Help Button" for Nyquist effects is something else that I've been looking at. It appears to be a prerequisite for a "Nyquist Generate Prompt" (or at least, that was about the only objection to having a "Nyquist Generate Prompt" other than the wall of silence).

Gale Andrews wrote:Why do we dumb down Bass and Treble for technically challenged consumers, but increase the complexity of Silence Finder which I think is often used by equally challenged people, if not more so?
In the case of Bass and Treble:
1) The effect replaced "Bass Boost" which was critically flawed (clipped at 0 dB), not consistent in its UI with other effects, and limited to one task out of 4 common tasks (boost/cut/bass/treble).
2) There is a fully functional and comprehensive "Equalization" tool, which is one of the most complex effects to be shipped with Audacity, having a total of 37 sliders, two "modes", 8 buttons, 2 radio buttons and a check box. Even for advanced users this effect is way over the top for common simple tasks such as "just reducing the bass a bit".

In the case of Silence Finder, the effect does not do a "good job" except in a few specific cases where there are relatively constant blocks of sound separated by blocks of click free low level "silence". This limitation is probably the major reason why most experienced users shun this tool and why many novice users are frustrated by this tool. With the simplicity of only 3 controls I see no way to make significant improvement to this effect - it needs at least one more control to more closely define what is sound and what is silence. There are a variety of ways that "an extra control" could improve the accuracy - it could be a second "threshold" control, or a second "duration" control, or a "tolerance" control.... but unless we make big (and probably unfounded) assumptions about how the effect is used there needs to be at least one more control imo.

Gale Andrews wrote:> Give it an advanced mode, perhaps ?
I'd like to do that, but currently not possible given the limitations of the Audacity/Nyquist GUI.
This is a "chicken and egg" situation - we don't need a more advanced interface for Nyquist plug-ins because they are just simple one-off effects, but we continually see the limitations of implementing more sophisticated effects in Nyquist due to the limitations of the interface. More sophisticated Nyquist plug-ins make the case for a more sophisticated Audacity/Nyquist GUI, but without a more sophisticated Audacity/Nyquist GUI more sophisticated effects are dismissed out of hand as "too complicated" for novice users. :?

waxcylinder wrote:I would and indeed do:
1) label the silences - currently I do this by eye and by hand
(rhetorical) Why don't you use the Silence Finder for that?

Gale Andrews wrote:Silence Finder is already a "difficult" effect for many users.
And I think that one of the main difficulties is that they are thinking "how do I label my tracks (songs)?"
Their "tracks" (songs) are not silences. In most cases they want to mark "the start of the song" (which is what "Silence Finder" does in those cases where it works), but "finding silences" would appear to be the exact opposite of what they want to do.

Gale Andrews wrote:Hardly any users want region labels in Silence Finder.
I don't agree that "not asking" is the same as "not wanting". People only ask for things that they think should exist but appear to be missing. Our documentation for exporting multiple songs gives precedence to using point labels (presumably to tie in with using "Silence Finder", but I'd expect that in most cases users would want a consistent "space" at the start and end of each song, which is better achieved by labelling the songs with region labels.

I agree that there are probably not many uses for "region labels in Silence Finder", because most uses of Silence Finder are for labelling "sounds" (ie the start of the song). In this context using a region label for "silences" is not useful, but for labelling songs (sounds) it is highly relevant. It seems bananas to me that the main tool for marking songs (sounds) is "Silence" finder.

Gale Andrews wrote:
steve wrote:I would also argue that the "simple Silence Finder" is conceptually confusing because it is actually detecting "sounds", and then deducing that "silences" are the regions between the detected sounds, then placing a point label toward the end of the previous sound so that it is before the start of the deduced silence. The subtle difference between what the effect says and what the effect does will be lost on most users.
Precisely. So it is not really an issue for users. It is something you see by looking at the code.
It's not only "something in the code", it has real impact on using the effect.
Here I have two tracks with about 7 seconds of silence between them. Why has Silence Finder (with default settings) put one label in the middle of the silence and one at the end?
tracks000.png
tracks000.png (13.97 KiB) Viewed 2005 times
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waxcylinder
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Re: Sound / Silence Marker

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:30 pm

steve wrote:
waxcylinder wrote:I would and indeed do:
1) label the silences - currently I do this by eye and by hand
(rhetorical) Why don't you use the Silence Finder for that?
Because I want to avoid false-positives. [rhetorical] Good reason? 8-)
steve wrote: Our documentation for exporting multiple songs gives precedence to using point labels (presumably to tie in with using "Silence Finder")
Actually I suspect it's down to the fact that we only had point labels in 1.2.x and most of us documenters got that method embedded in our workflows and mind-sets from that early usage :geek:

Peter.
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