INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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Kirya

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Is anybody aware of a software tool or computer based approach to to do the following:

Playback an audio track say MP3 where one can play 10 seconds - and insert a pause 10 seconds then play another 10 seconds and pause etc...

This would allow a user to use an MP3 recording as a teaching tool. I guess it is possible in higher end audio editing software if you manufacture a completely new track with the pauses built in, but perhaps there is a little known player out there that has this "insert pause" functionality built into it.

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Kirya
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HeavyCosmicKinetic

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Reply with quote  #2 
My go to program for all of that kind of thing is Amadeus Pro, low cost and can do a lot.

http://www.hairersoft.com/pro.html
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mahadev

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Reply with quote  #3 
Have you tried Audacity ?

http://audacityteam.org/

There is a 'insert silence ' function. Audacity is free and tried and tested technology.
For mp3's you have to download a separate library. No big deal, the site tells you how to do that.

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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for the suggestions -- I am on a Windows or Android platform so I don't ever really play with Mac software.

I know Audacity which I used to use to change pitch on recordings and I also use Adobe Audition which both allow one to insert silence but I was hoping for something that would just let me take a bit while playing and quickly modify the playback without going through the whole editing process.

But in my search I just came upon something called BestPractice which allows you to take any MP3 or CD track and isolate a snippet instantly -- all you do is select start and stop -- that is put into a loop so you can really focus on it. Other handy capabilities include instantly being able to change the pitch to your tuning and also speeding up and slowing down the segment and mostly maintains the same pitch if you really want to get it all in real-time playback mode --- also free. Just got it but I tried it instantly and it is great. I wish I had had these tools in the olden days when I was playing 6+ hours a day

http://bestpractice.en.softonic.com/

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Kirya
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Kirya

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Reply with quote  #5 
A friend who plays Sarod quite seriously swears by this product which looks like a much more sophisticated version of BestPractice. It is used by many professionals especially guitar players and allows you to really zero in on a snippet of music and analyze it and transcribe it.

Quote:
But after two sessions with BestPractice I am a very happy camper -- it has allowed me to focus on different sections of a gat -- play it repeatedly till I get it and then move on to the next line. I was able to slow down some very fast runs so I could figure out the notes more easily and work on speeding it up. There are only 3 controls

What do you want to loop -- choose start and end of segment v-- very very easy
Pitch adjustment
Speed adjustment
and play or pause

Very easy and no more functions

BTW this can all be done on Audacity with some skill and expertise too, but this program is really light and simple and additionally also allows you to save these snippets for future practice or reference.
The Transcribe! application is an assistant for people who want to work out a piece of music from a recording, in order to write it out, or play it themselves, or both. It doesn't do the transcribing for you, but it is essentially a specialised player program which is optimised for the purpose of transcription. It has many transcription-specific features not found on conventional music players.

It is also used by many people for play-along practice. It can change pitch and speed instantly, and you can store and recall any number of named loops. There is some advice about this in Transcribe!'s help, under the heading "Various Topics".

Conventional music players (whether hardware such as a CD player or an iPod, or software such as Windows Media Player or iTunes) are really designed for people who want to listen to whole tracks. They are very inconvenient for transcribing music as they are not designed for this purpose. If you copy the recording to your computer's hard disk as a sound file then you can use Transcribe! instead. Transcribe! offers many features aimed at making the transcription job smoother and easier, including the ability to slow down music without changing its pitch, to analyse chords and show you what notes are present, and the capability of adding markers and textual annotations so you can easily navigate around the track. Transcribe! also has a piano keyboard displayed on screen which you can click to play reference notes.

Pretty good investment for $39

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Kirya
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desh

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Reply with quote  #6 
I cannot recommend Transcribe highly enough!! I've been using for a few years now; it's very intuitive to use. As long as you have QuickTime installed you can also load video files and slow them down and loop them.

Admittedly, it does take some patience to learn difficult taans by listening to them piece by piece, over and over, but I've been able to learn some difficult taans using Transcribe. It is also a little awkward learning with a sitar as you have place your laptop or computer screen/keyboard/mouse on the ground if you sit traditionally.

The program is very stable – at least on Windows Xp - and I cannot recall an instance of the program freezing or crashing my computer.
For $39 you can’t go wrong. There is even a 30 day free-trial period with all features activated.
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Kirya

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A friend just sent me this with a really strong endorsement for Transcribe

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I use the software Transcribe! (Transcribe! - software to help transcribe recorded music) to analyse recorded music in parts while learning to play them on guitar or transcribing them.

My workflow is basically this (all the mentions to specific features are implemented in Transcribe!):
1.         Map out the whole song (or a good part of it), creating markers for at least sections and measures (bars). This is easy: I just hit play and use the keyboard shortcuts: S for section marker, M for measure marker, B for beat marker. I mostly use the section and measure markers, and only mark it down to the beat on solos when there are many notes.
2.         Narrow the analysis down to a short, local piece. This usually means a whole coherent musical phrase (1-2 bars) if the note density is lowish, maybe half a bar if the passage is specially fast or intricate.
3.         Set a loop (just click and drag in the waveform) for the part you narrowed down. The markers you set earlier should make this trivial.
4.         Listen to the loop many times in full speed to get a "feel" for the part.
5.         If you can't reproduce the part yet, use one of the many "helper" features, and repeat until you can (or decide to move on).
The "helpers" are basically:
•         Slowing down the playback speed. Transcribe! does this well, changing the speed without changing the pitch. A word of warning, though: I find it easy to get lost in very small details that make me forget the overall feel of the part, so I reference it in full speed from time to time.
•         Using mixing side effects to reveal different views of the song. Most songs are in stereo, so you can use this to your advantage: for example, muting one of the channels (left or right) may bring forward an instrument that was buried back in the mix.

Also, there's the "karaoke" feature (which inverts the phase of one of the channels and plays both together, so that what is the same on each channel cancels out - leaving only what is different). Most music has lead vocals mixed in the center - this means that when you turn on "karaoke" (inverted phase), you get mostly an instrumental version.

Last but not least is EQ. I find myself using this to hear only the bass 90% of the time. It makes it easy to listen to the bass line, to serve as a starting point for figuring out the harmony (chords and chord progressions).
•         Using spectrum visualization tools to help figuring out notes. One of the most powerful features of Transcribe! is the spectrum view. This basically means that you select a part of the song (by creating a loop), and the spectrum view will show a spectral signature of the part. This is basically a graph whose peaks are roughly the notes being played there. This way you can try to "see" the notes instead of just hearing them.

Be aware though that trying to perfectly deduce the notes played from the spectral signature is generally an unsolved problem, even for state-of-the-art science.

Use this as a heuristic to guide you only.

Even if you become very good at using the spectrum view to deduce notes, try not to get addicted to it. I was addicted for many years before trying to use my ears more, and I wish I had done this earlier.

Hope this helps!

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Kirya
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