Some suggestions, enhancements for Acoustica

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Logga
KVRist
Topic Starter
61 posts since 19 Jun, 2019

Post Mon Aug 30, 2021 4:17 am

I have a few ideas for Acoustica. Since they're mostly minor/niche, I'll just post them all here.


1. Signal Generator: make the highest frequency audio format dependent
Currently the highest tone you can generate is always 24kHz, no matter if, for example, the audio format is 96kHz or 32kHz. It would make more sense to change the limit based on the sample rate of the audio format that you choose in the first step (so 48kHz and 16kHz in my example).

2. Decode MP3 (and other lossy formats) as 32bit float
Currently Acoustica loads MP3s as 16bit files and truncates the lower bits. This shouldn't be audible or relevant for most material (most MP3s are probably from 16bit sources anyway), but I don't see a significant downside to decoding them as 32bit float, just in case there's some useful content there, or for people doing tests.

3. Define the format for a new recording
Currently, a new recording comes with "Format not defined". This can be a problem if, for example, you want to paste individual channels into an empty multi-channel recording. I had to do this recently for a 5.1 track, but it applies to stereo and other formats too.
To get an empty usable 5.1 channel recording right now you need to do something like this:
1. Insert Silence
2. Select the Audio Format
3. Cancel the dialog for silence duration
4. Paste something in the new (5.1) recording
5. Undo what you pasted
So, it's a bit cumbersome and most people probably wouldn't know how to do it. Unless there's an easier way that I missed, of course.
It would be nice if you could just define the format on a new recording instead. Maybe the "Convert Sample Format..." option could be enabled for non-defined recordings (and renamed to "Set/Convert Sample Format...").

4. Time Stretch with pitch change
Currently, Time Stretch doesn't let you change the pitch. But changing the pitch would be very useful in some cases. For example, it's standard or at least very common to increase the pitch when converting DVD movies from NTSC to PAL (~24 to 25 fps). So to get it back to the original state, you need to both stretch it and lower the pitch. The "Transpose..." option in Acoustica does let you change pitch, but it doesn't have the same fine percentage settings and movies presets as the "Time Stretch..." option.

5. Delete session files (after closing Acoustica)
I noticed that there are old Acoustica session files in the Users Documents folder, which I didn't expect since I didn't save them. I don't know if this is intended or a bug, but it would be nice to have at least the option for having those files deleted automatically.

6. Display more than one time format (Time Display enhancement)
I was doing some sample based editing and I wanted to see the time both in m/s/ms and in samples, but you can currently only show one time format at a time.
Now, you could put them both on the main window (below the waveform), but it might end up looking too messy.
But maybe it could be done in the Time Display analyzer. Currently, at least the way I have it set up, it's one big display that only shows those single giant numbers. Perhaps you could make this analyzer customizable (just like some other analyzers) and let users add other time formats to it (with a bigger font for the first/main one).

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:31 pm

Thank you very much for all of these! Sounds very sensible and I'll add it all to our task tracking system. Regarding 3), I assume that we could simply use the "Convert Sample Format". It's currently disabled for empty recordings, but there's actually no good reason for that.

Best,
Stian

ilmai
KVRist
472 posts since 25 Aug, 2016 from Helsinki, Finland

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:42 am

I'll use the thread to make a small request: please add keyboard navigation for the menus! On Windows pressing Alt should open the menu bar, and pressing Alt+Letter should open the corresponding menu. I'm so used to doing this in all software but Acoustica doesn't let me.

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:59 pm

ilmai wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:42 am I'll use the thread to make a small request: please add keyboard navigation for the menus! On Windows pressing Alt should open the menu bar, and pressing Alt+Letter should open the corresponding menu. I'm so used to doing this in all software but Acoustica doesn't let me.
Thanks! Good suggestion, but I think it might require us to rewrite the main menu bar code in the JUCE framework that we use as it doesn't seem to support this Windows specific functionality. I've added the feature request to out task tracking system, though, and we'll see if there's an easier way.

Best,
Stian

Logga
KVRist
Topic Starter
61 posts since 19 Jun, 2019

Post Mon Sep 06, 2021 2:24 am

Let me add one more:

Transpose (effect) - add semitones and better resampling
Currently there are only musical intervals to choose from and you can't select semitones directly, with a number. So you need to know that 8 semitones = Minor sixth, for example. But not all of us are well-versed in music theory and I think all DAWs let you select semitones when transposing.
A simple way would be to add a Manual/Semitone entry in the Intervals list and a Semitones slider below that goes from -24 to +24 or something (rather more than less, IMO). To make this compatible with the current UI, using the Semitone entry or the Semitones slider would disable or blank the up/down arrow buttons. And when selecting one of the existing intervals, the Semitones slider would jump to the respective value and vice versa when selecting with the slider.
Also, I noticed that transposing can produce a lot of aliasing. Maybe a better algorithm could be used, like the one for converting the sample format?

Gades
KVRer
6 posts since 19 Oct, 2020

Post Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:11 am

My very little requests :)

Can Acoustica (in a separate thread) measure Integrated LUFS for the selection and show result in main LUFS meter field (as "Integrated for selection")? Now only way to check LUFS is open statistics or (of course) listen whole file ;) I mean I select some area (or whole file, why not) and after a couple of seconds I got measurement.

The second request is: much faster scanning of VST - I know this is not a simple process, but Reaper, WaveLab, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig are faster than Acoustica. After adding two plugins (DeVerberate 3 and SPIFF) checking this change took 1-3 seconds in other software (during start), but "Scan for changes" in Acoustica took 4 minutes!

EDIT: oh, one more request ;) It would be very nice feature to import RodeCaster Pro session file as multitrack session, (it's a multitrack wav) :)

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:31 am

Logga wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 2:24 am Let me add one more:

Transpose (effect) - add semitones and better resampling
Currently there are only musical intervals to choose from and you can't select semitones directly, with a number. So you need to know that 8 semitones = Minor sixth, for example. But not all of us are well-versed in music theory and I think all DAWs let you select semitones when transposing.
A simple way would be to add a Manual/Semitone entry in the Intervals list and a Semitones slider below that goes from -24 to +24 or something (rather more than less, IMO). To make this compatible with the current UI, using the Semitone entry or the Semitones slider would disable or blank the up/down arrow buttons. And when selecting one of the existing intervals, the Semitones slider would jump to the respective value and vice versa when selecting with the slider.
Also, I noticed that transposing can produce a lot of aliasing. Maybe a better algorithm could be used, like the one for converting the sample format?
Thanks and sorry for not commenting earlier. I've added the request to our task tracking system. Transpose uses the same sample rate conversion algorithm as elsewhere, but with settings optimized for real-time. We'll check and increase the quality settings if aliasing is a problem.

Best,
Stian

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:25 am

Hi!
Gades wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:11 am Can Acoustica (in a separate thread) measure Integrated LUFS for the selection and show result in main LUFS meter field (as "Integrated for selection")? Now only way to check LUFS is open statistics or (of course) listen whole file ;) I mean I select some area (or whole file, why not) and after a couple of seconds I got measurement.
Thanks, good point! We've had a similar request for RMS and I think it would make sense to combine the selection RMS and loudness in LUFS in an optional "Quick Statistics" section below the clip editor.
Gades wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:11 am The second request is: much faster scanning of VST - I know this is not a simple process, but Reaper, WaveLab, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig are faster than Acoustica. After adding two plugins (DeVerberate 3 and SPIFF) checking this change took 1-3 seconds in other software (during start), but "Scan for changes" in Acoustica took 4 minutes!
This is actually already in progress. :) We have refactored the scanning and it now uses all processor cores. I'm not sure why the difference was that big in your case, though. Acoustica only checks for plug-ins that are new when clicking the "Scan for changes" button. If you recently scanned in the other DAWs and it was a long time since last scan in Acoustica, I guess the comparison isn't quite fair, though... Anyway, it should be much faster in the next update.
Gades wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:11 am EDIT: oh, one more request ;) It would be very nice feature to import RodeCaster Pro session file as multitrack session, (it's a multitrack wav) :)
Yes, that sounds interesting. Would it be possible to send a very short test file per weTransfer or similar? You can use info at acondigital.com for that. In general, multitrack wave files should be opened as such in the clip editor, but if there's information about how channels are bundled in tracks in the wave file, we could open it as a multitrack session.

Best,
Stian

Himalama
KVRer
7 posts since 23 Apr, 2017

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:34 pm

stian wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:25 am
Gades wrote: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:11 am The second request is: much faster scanning of VST - I know this is not a simple process, but Reaper, WaveLab, Studio One, Cubase, Bitwig are faster than Acoustica. After adding two plugins (DeVerberate 3 and SPIFF) checking this change took 1-3 seconds in other software (during start), but "Scan for changes" in Acoustica took 4 minutes!
This is actually already in progress. :) We have refactored the scanning and it now uses all processor cores. I'm not sure why the difference was that big in your case, though. Acoustica only checks for plug-ins that are new when clicking the "Scan for changes" button. If you recently scanned in the other DAWs and it was a long time since last scan in Acoustica, I guess the comparison isn't quite fair, though... Anyway, it should be much faster in the next update.
My thoughts about the slow scanning is you should focus on how the scanning process handles the VST instruments inside the folders.

During the "Scan for changes" process it's always an .dll / .vst3 file from an instrument i see on the bottom left side of the Plug-in Manager window that's slowing things down and (almost) never an effect plug-in. If you only have a couple of instruments installed you probably won't notice the slow scanning, but with 40-50 instruments installed you certainly do.

The champion of slowing down the process on my machine is Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 that takes about 30-40 seconds to scan. I needed to change the preference setting "Maximum plug-in validation time" to be able to even scan Omnisphere 2 without getting errors.

Once the scanning process is completed it looks like the Acoustica Plug-in manager doesn't store any of the information it gathered during the scanning process of the instruments. So when you press "Scan for changes" again, the process of scanning the instruments takes the same amount of time again. It looks like a very inefficient way of scanning for changes compared to what i see at other VST hosts. I think it needs to handle the instrument plug-ins the same way it handles the effect plug-ins.

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Tue Nov 09, 2021 7:36 am

Himalama wrote: Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:34 pm My thoughts about the slow scanning is you should focus on how the scanning process handles the VST instruments inside the folders.

During the "Scan for changes" process it's always an .dll / .vst3 file from an instrument i see on the bottom left side of the Plug-in Manager window that's slowing things down and (almost) never an effect plug-in. If you only have a couple of instruments installed you probably won't notice the slow scanning, but with 40-50 instruments installed you certainly do.

The champion of slowing down the process on my machine is Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2 that takes about 30-40 seconds to scan. I needed to change the preference setting "Maximum plug-in validation time" to be able to even scan Omnisphere 2 without getting errors.

Once the scanning process is completed it looks like the Acoustica Plug-in manager doesn't store any of the information it gathered during the scanning process of the instruments. So when you press "Scan for changes" again, the process of scanning the instruments takes the same amount of time again. It looks like a very inefficient way of scanning for changes compared to what i see at other VST hosts. I think it needs to handle the instrument plug-ins the same way it handles the effect plug-ins.
Thanks! We're aware of this problem and we'll release an update very soon...

Best,
Stian

gomac
KVRer
1 posts since 13 Nov, 2021

Post Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:00 pm

Hi,

What I miss most from Audition is the ability to select a section of audio and adjust the volume of the section with a mouse click, and see the waveform go up and down.

I do some recordings and like to have about the same amount of volume in different sections without using a compressor, so I select zones and push them up or down,but in Acoustica it's a pain, need to go in the menu, vhoose the Volume effect, select the amount in dB, apply, ah damn that's to much, undo, apply a litte less , ah damn too little etc...

So it makes the process much longer than it should...

Apart from that thanks for this awesome software, nice upgrade from my 2000 CoolEdit license !

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stian
KVRian
1301 posts since 1 Jan, 2005 from Norway

Post Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:23 am

gomac wrote: Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:00 pm What I miss most from Audition is the ability to select a section of audio and adjust the volume of the section with a mouse click, and see the waveform go up and down.

I do some recordings and like to have about the same amount of volume in different sections without using a compressor, so I select zones and push them up or down,but in Acoustica it's a pain, need to go in the menu, vhoose the Volume effect, select the amount in dB, apply, ah damn that's to much, undo, apply a litte less , ah damn too little etc...

So it makes the process much longer than it should...
Thanks for the input! Yes, we have this on our to-do list.
gomac wrote: Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:00 pm Apart from that thanks for this awesome software, nice upgrade from my 2000 CoolEdit license !
Thanks, glad to hear that!

Best,
Stian

Gades
KVRer
6 posts since 19 Oct, 2020

Post Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:25 am

I sent an example multitrack file from RodeCaster Pro to "info at" e-mail. I think the best solution for support this kind of file would be import as multisession, as separate tracks :)

cmstrike
KVRer
5 posts since 23 Mar, 2018

Post Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:07 pm

I'll piggyback on this thread as well. I just got the Post Production Suite and I'm absolutely loving these tools so far!

One thing I'd love to be able to do in Acoustica is view the waveplot and spectrogram at the same time, either vertically stacked in separate windows on top of one another (like in Adobe Audition), or with the waveplot layered over the spectrogram (like in iZotope RX).

I'd also love to be able to highlight a selection and quickly process a volume change, for example. It's helpful to be able to assign that to a shortcut and just highlight and lower/raise a section without having to open a tool window and click "Process".

Can't wait to see how these tools continue to develop!

Logga
KVRist
Topic Starter
61 posts since 19 Jun, 2019

Post Tue Nov 30, 2021 2:50 pm

One more: support for less common bit depths for FLAC, WAV and AIFF

Currently you can't save these formats at 20 bit, for example, even though they support it.
Why would it be useful? Well, there could be several reasons... 20 bit kinda makes sense for many recordings. A common use for 20 bit is/was DVD-Audio. And there are debates about "hi-res" music and how 16 bit doesn't quite satisfy the audiophiles, while 24 bit is overkill and a waste of space. Maybe 20 bit could become a happy medium in the future. There aren't many programs that can encode to 20 bit, so Acoustica would have an advantage. :)
FLAC also supports 12 bit and 32 bit (integer), which are also currently unavailable.

And there some problems with opening 20 bit files in Acoustica.
Here's a 20 bit FLAC sample: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7usa8tob7cem3 ... .flac?dl=1
If you open it in Acoustica there's missing bit depth info.
If you open a 20 bit WAV in Acoustica it says it's 24 bit. (Reaper and foobar2000 both say it's 20 bit, so I don't think it's an encoding problem.)
And opening a 20 bit AIFF fails and makes Acoustica hang.

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