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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
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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.

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