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DAR Sabre Plus Hard Disk Workstation (part 3)

With a number of audio segments available in the segment lists, it is possible to audition - and edit if necessary - the segments directly in the list, and then place them into the Playback Sequence for simple sequential assembly, or spotted to timecode...


With a number of audio segments available in the segment lists, it is possible to audition - and edit if necessary - the segments directly in the list, and then place them into the Playback Sequence for simple sequential assembly, or spotted to timecode. To make a comparison with SoundStation, most of this work can be done quickly with the two button mouse whereas with SoundStation you need to press the soft keys on the touch screen. To maintain compatibility between the two systems, you can use soft keys (via the mouse) on Sabre too if you wish. When you have a segment or segments in the Playback Sequence, then there are a few simple editing operations you are likely to want to carry out:

  • cut a segment into two or more segments
  • insert a marker into a segment as a sync point
  • change the start time ('Slip') so that the whole segment is shifted in time
  • trim the start or end point, concealing or revealing material from the original clip but without moving the segment in time
  • change the gain or EQ of a segment
  • compress or expand a segment in time
  • repeat a segment
  • slide the splice point between two adjacent segments without moving either in time
  • fade a segment in or out, or crossfade two segments

As you might expect, Sabre Plus can do all of these. Cutting is a simple matter of going into 'Rock' mode and scrubbing through the audio using the Locator wheel. When you have the right point, press Cut. With the ASP (Advanced Signal Processing) option you can rock all eight channels simultaneously if you wish. Following the same procedure but pressing Mark inserts a sync point into the segment which may assist in spotting to picture. When the segment is Slipped in time, Sabre Plus assumes that the new position is important and locks it to this point automatically. An anchor symbol will appear to indicate this. You can always unlock it if you need to. When Trimming the start or end point of a segment, I was disappointed that you couldn't hear audio while trimming. You have to make a guess at the correct amount of trim, but it's not at all difficult just to trim out so that you have excess material and then go through the locating and cutting process again. Gain and EQ (EQ comes with the ASP option) can be set on a segment by segment basis. If you want to automate a gain or EQ change, then this can be done by re-recording the segment. The EQ is pretty powerful stuff by the way: four band with up to 32dB lift or cut in each band with a Q up to 30! The type of EQ can be set for each band so that, for instance, if you wanted to filter out mains buzz, you could set each band to notch out a different harmonic. Two groups of EQ settings can be stored for each segment, and it is very convenient to copy EQs from one segment to another. This is useful for making up favourite EQ templates. Pressing the XFADE key brings up the crossfade menu where you can select the duration of the fades at the start of a segment and the end of the prevous segment. Fairly obviously, crossfades need extra material beyond the start and end of the segments to work so a warning message will appear if there is insufficient audio on the disk. When doing a simple fade in or out to silence, then the fade starts or ends exactly on the start or end point of the segment as edited so no extra material is necessary. Linear, log and half sine laws are available. In the original Sabre, crossfades had to be short, up to around 100ms, or they had to be written to disk but in Sabre Plus this limitation is very much reduced. Mixing is also possible so that work can be bounced down to a smaller number of channels entirely within Sabre Plus. The mixer is automated on a Segment by Segment basis and there are two auxiliary sends, also allocated on an individual Segment basis, for adding external effects. Timewarp is of course available and DAR's remarkable Wordfit system comes as an option.

By David Mellor Wednesday July 11, 2012
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