LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Using SmartSound in Liquid

Using SmartSound in Liquid
A Creative COW Avid Liquid Tutorial

Using SmartSound in Liquid

Fred Ginsburg Fred Ginsburg
Mission Hills, California

©Copyright 2008 Fred Ginsburg and All Rights Reserved
Article Focus:
In this article, contributing editor Fred Ginsburg gives Avid Liquid editors some tips on how to use SmartSound within their editing system. This article was written in response to questions that came up from members of the San Fernando Valley Liquid Users Group.

Configuring SmartSound in your editing system

The first thing that we recommend is to use Windows Explorer to create a new copy destination file for all of your SmartSound sound sound files, except those that installed with Liquid.  By default, SmartSound creates its copy destination file on the C drive. This could slow down the application by being on the same drive as Windows and Liquid.

More critical than that, though, is that should you ever have to re-install your System Drive C software (and you will) – you want as much of your data as possible safely parked on a different drive to prevent it from being erased when you restore all of your system drive software from the RED DISK (or your emergency restore disk).

For instance, let's create a file named "SmartSound data" on our RAID (or Media or other) drive.

Now, go ahead and start the Liquid program. Open up a Project, and right click in the Clips bin. Select Create > SmartSound Clip.

If you are using Liquid in the non-classic mode, you could open File > New > SmartSound Clip. Personally, I find the right click in the bin method faster, but that's just me.


create sound clip


This will open up the SmartSound editor.

Opening SmartSound editor

Clicking on the SmartSound logo/button , located to the left of the big question mark,  will open up the SmartSound Options window (the label bar says Quicktracks).




By the way, should you ever encounter problems with SmartSound having difficulty linking to its library, just run the Rebuild utility shown on this screen.

Author's note: After I (experimentally) manually deleted and then restored my Libraries and Sound Files folders from the main SmartSound folder on the C drive, I had to use this Rebuild utility to bring everything back. Worked perfectly!

For now, just go ahead and open the Folders tab.


Quicktrack folders


You will see the default location for your SmartSound files. We need to change that location for any newly added materials to the new folder that you created on the RAID drive (or the Media drive).

Easy to do… Just click on Add Folder and browse to the recently created "SmartSound data" folder. After confirming it and returning to the menu, highlight it and click on Set Copy Destination.  Now, all of your future SmartSound sound files will be stored in the new location.

The next step is to consolidate your older edition SmartSound files to the new location. This would include older music from previous versions of SmartSound. To do this, just open the Migration tab. The older Sound Files will be MOVED to your new Copy Destination folder. Note that the Libraries index folders will still be located on drive C, which we will eventually copy for safekeeping.


Migration tab


If you know exactly where all of your SmartSound files are located, you can use the Select Folder button. Personally, I just use the Search Hard Drives button and let SmartSound search for its own family. That way, I know that I did not miss anything!

After SmartSound has rounded up all of its music, it will move them to your new destination folder. Go to the Libraries tab and you will see the results.


Quicktrack Libraries



How to add new SmartSound CD's to your program

From the SmartSound editor, Options Window (Quicktracks menu), or the Libraries tab --just load your CD into your computer. You will be prompted to Add the CD to your library. You will also be asked if you want to COPY your CD onto your hard drive… of course you do! The new music will be added to your collection and stored in the new destination folder that you created.


Backing up your Library

You can never have too many backups, but you can easily have one too few! I like to back up my SmartSound collection because I prefer not to have to reload my extensive anthology one disk at a time.

Make a copy of your new Copy Destinations folder and store it for safe keeping.

You also need to make copies of the SmartSound  data folders that are on Drive C.
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SmartSound Software Inc.

Just save the whole flock of them by clicking on the main SmartSound folder. They are not very big, since the bulk of the sound files are residing in your Copy Destination folder.

To restore, just paste your saved files back over the SmartSound Software "tree" on Drive C. If needed, copy your Copy Destination folder back to your system in the same place you had it originally. Use the Migration tab, and the Rebuild utility. It's fairly simple.


Using SmartSound in your timeline

Step one is to mark in and out points to determine the duration of the music.

Then right click in the Clip bin to bring up Create > SmartSound clip.
If you are using Liquid in the non-classic mode, you could open File > New > SmartSound Clip.


Create sound clip


This will open up the SmartSound editor.


Music Generator

Browse through the music choices, and preview your selections until you find what you like. You can stop a preview just by toggling the button again.

Clicking on Add to Rack will put the audio sample in the bin. Then you can just drag it to the timeline.

Not happy with the selection? Right click the audio clip in the timeline and open the SmartSound Editor. Choose another selection and it will replace the old music.

Drag the trim handles of the music to lengthen or shorten the piece. SmartSound will automatically re-compose for the new duration.

Another way to edit with SmartSound is to grab the "blank" SmartSound clip from the Library tab in your rack and place it on the timeline. Drag the handles to lengthen or shorten the clip. Right click the blank audio clip in the timeline and open the SmartSound Editor. Choose another selection and it will replace the blank selection.

After the music has been placed, use the Liquid audio editing tools to adjust clip volume, create fades, ride gain using keyframes, and so on.


About the author: Fred Ginsburg C.A.S. Ph.D. MBKS is the boss of, a division of Equipment Emporium Inc. (Fred's other company) and distributes the VES/Delta series video editing system, designed to run Avid Liquid and Avid Media Composer. is proud to be a reseller of SmartSound products.

Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Production Designer Hannah Beachler on the Go Creative Show

Production Designer Hannah Beachler on the Go Creative Show

Film and broadcast production designer Hannah Beachler talks with Go Creative Show host Ben Consoli about her work on Creed, Moonlight, and the upcoming Black Panther. Hannah Beachler is a prolific production designer with an affinity for realistic design that emphasizes emotional drama. Over the past few years, Hannah’s designed some of the hottest films like, Miles Ahead, Creed, Moonlight, Beyonce’s Lemonade, and the much anticipated upcoming film Black Panther. Hannah and I discuss the role of a production designer, how she collaborates with the camera department, working with director Ryan Coogler and how she finds inspiration for each of her films.

Feature, People / Interview
Ben Consoli
The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement

The Other Side of GoPro's November 30, 2016 Announcement

When GoPro announced on November 30, 2016 that they would be cutting 200 full-time jobs, closing the entertainment division, and that their president would be leaving the company, the internet came alive with those who were predicting the company's demise. But there really is another side to the story and as is often the case, the loudest voices are not always the ones with the real story. In this article, Creative COW's co-founder, Ronald Lindeboom, looks at GoPro's announcement and gives his thoughts from his point of view. As Lindeboom concludes at the end of the story, "That GoPro stumbled is not surprising to me, what is surprising is that they had such a remarkable unbroken string of success until 2016."

Editorial, Feature, Business
Ronald Lindeboom
NVIDIA GPUs Speed Nickelodeon’s Animation Workflow on Albert

NVIDIA GPUs Speed Nickelodeon’s Animation Workflow on Albert

Premieres Friday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) -- Albert is Nickelodeon’s first original animated TV movie, telling the story of a tiny Douglas fir tree named Albert who loves Christmas and dreams of being the Empire City Christmas tree.

Feature, Project
Gail Laguna
Letters to the COW Team
Creative COW's Brand New News Dept. Features and Functions

Creative COW's Brand New News Dept. Features and Functions

Creative COW's co-founders have been quietly at work cleaning up and rebuilding the Creative COW News section. While they've been at work, they've been adding new features and functions that will make the news department much more useful in the days ahead. If it's been a while since you've visited the news section, visit it soon but read this short introduction to what it is and how things are working. We hope these new changes make your research and keeping on top of industry news much more productive.

Editorial, Feature, Business
Ronald Lindeboom
Business & Marketing
12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish I'd Known at 25

12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish I'd Known at 25

12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish Id Known at 25 appeared in Creative COW Magazine and was one of our most popular articles. It is a true timeless classic in which COW leader, contributing editor, and Senior Business Adviser to Creative COW, Nick Griffin shares wisdom he's learned the hard way in over 30 years in business. His experience will help you to avoid mistakes, manage clients, and prepare yourself to achieve your greatest success.

Editorial, Feature, Business
Nick Griffin
RED Camera
Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED

Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED

Don Burgess, ASC trusts Light Iron. His last seven films can attest, so Burgess chose Light Iron to support him again with digital dailies and post finishing services on Allied. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the World War II-set film sees an intelligence officer's romance with a French Resistance fighter tested when high command thinks a double agent might be in play.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview, Business, Project
COW News
Autodesk Maya
ZERO VFX: The Magic You Won't See In The Magnificent Seven

ZERO VFX: The Magic You Won't See In The Magnificent Seven

ZERO VFX takes Creative COW readers inside the invisible effects used to create the powerful vistas and settings used in The Magnificent Seven. But the real magic is in what you don't see.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview, Project
Art of the Edit
More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

We talk a lot about things like “accessible tools” and the “democratization of video production” -- what has this meant for the emerging talent whose creative development has taken place largely, or even entirely, within this democratized landscape? Mae Manning is one such editor, who taught herself to edit music videos, and caught the eye of a local production company. Several years later and now their Senior Editor, she cuts corporate and industrial training videos, promotional videos, sketch comedy, short films, and everything else that gets thrown her way. Mae’s story is an inspiration for anyone that thinks there is only one path to success in the industry.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

Greg Ondera produces, directs, and edits medical video programs specializing in surgical procedures. From his wide ranging experience in the medical sciences and broadcast arts, Greg shows you how to create better surgical broadcasts.

Editorial, Tutorial, Feature, Business
Greg Ondera

Join Go Creative Show host, Ben Consoli and his special guest, David Klein, ASC, cinematographer of Homeland and True Blood. David is here to talk all about it all. His love of realism has defined a generation of filmmaking and he continues to execute it flawlessly with his work on Homeland. David talks with us about all his gear and lighting choices, shooting hand-held effectively and how the best film education is to simply shoot something.

Feature, People / Interview
Ben Consoli
© 2017 All Rights Reserved