Using the Leg Picker in Soundminer

A request we had for many years(especially from dialog editors), was a way to extract one channel from a multichannel source file. Let’s say you are sourcing alternate takes and need to just pick up ‘Steve’s Lav’, but the source recording is 8 channels. You would need to transfer those channels, refind the source channel, listen to it… hope that its what you need, remove all the others from your session. There had to be a better way!

With the v4 Products(Pro and Standard), you can quickly and instantly iso through the channels(SHIFT KEY 1-9), and Soundminer will focus in on that waveform for you, as though none of the other’s exist. With v4Pro you can multiselect channels(listen to two or more at the same time, use command/shift click), and then transfer just that channel(and just a selection if you want.) New in v4 Standard is the ability to transfer as well!(It used to be audition only)

This is a bit of code i’m quite proud of, it does considerable work to maintain ChannelNames in ProTools, and original timestamps. So if the recording started at 01:00:00:00 and you make a selection exactly 5 seconds later, the new clip(assuming that you are copy/converting every time) will have a new timestamp of 01:00:05:00. It does all the adjustments necessary to support handles as well!

Reference Original Limits

There are some caveats to all this which are beyond our control. If you like to use ‘reference original’, ProTools' API hasn’t been updated since the late 1990’s, (way before interleaved audio was a twinkle in Digi’s/Avid eye). So if you are using interleaved (polyphonic) source files, there’s no way for us to tell protools that it should just use channel 2. So soundminer will send the entire sound file in.

However, if your source files are all pre-split(multi-mono), something like A1,A2,A3,A4, etc… Soundminer will group them as one entry, display all the channels, allow you to iso whatever you like, and in this case, everything works as expected. This is because we can send ProTools the individual channels to use. (In this case you may want to toggle on the ProTools uses mono tracks option in the preferences). To be fair, a lot of DAW’s that implement a Spot To Timeline API don’t have a way to specify a bitmask of channels to use.

With the limits of audio cd’s as a delivery mechanism long gone, more sound effect providers are distributing multichannel sound. With this powerful feature you can grab the Ls/Rs of a surround ambience if you like. Here’s some providers…Avosound, SurLib, Sphéric

The labels are pulled from the ixmlTrackLayout field, so make sure your database has that field(when you create a database you can choose to include those fields, Dialog template databases always include it.). Failing that it uses Soundminer’s ChannelLayout field. (Which is also used to feed inputs to plugins and name split file extensions, so please don’t type character name’s in there! Use the ixmlTrackLayout field for that.)

If you are using pre-split multi mono files, you’ll see that the ixmlTrackLayout only shows the first items Channelname. To fix this, select the files and using the Hammer & Wrench menu, select Scan for Split iXML Track Info. For now this two step process is needed for legacy reasons…


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