Volume fading

I feel like I must be missing something, but is there no way to do a basic fade in or fade out of a selection in SL?

As far as I’m aware there is no simple fade function right now.
A workaround I use is to adjust the Time Fade setting of the Time Range Selection tool (or Rectangular/ Elliptical Selection tool) as needed, then create a selection over the part to be faded and hit Edit > Delete.

For some reason, I don’t get any effect at all when I change the Time Fade setting. But, I do get something useful when I use the Modify Selection/Fade function (although, why is this denoted in pixels instead of time or percentage? This isn’t a drawing program. Also, why aren’t the last settings persistent? I seem to need to change this for every selection.). But, it fades at both the beginning and the end of the selection. There’s no way to just do simple fade out.

SL is such a powerful editing tool, but it operates differently from every other audio editor I’ve ever used and the manual is a sort of cursory reference, so there’s no detailed explanations about how or why you’d use one thing over another. The support videos are great, but they generally cover one thing and again, there’s no overview about how you would do detailed work that involves lots of processes. Coming from RX and other audio editors, I may be expecting SL to do things that it wasn’t designed to do, but it’s a drag if I have to go back and forth between different editors just to do something as simple as a fade out.

Thanks for your reply, Laturec!

The Time Fade setting (and also the Frequency Fade setting) will work, but you have to set them before you make the selection.
And yes, with the workaround I use, you basically have to move the selection so far outside of the layer, that only one side of the faded selection covers it. You also have to make sure to create a selection of at least twice the fade lenght, otherwise you will not get a fade from 100% to 0% (as the fade time is not scaled, when there is not enough space).

My guess is, that the underlying system uses a calculated image. After all - and as far as I understand - the spectral view is just a convenient visual representation of the different intensities of frequencies the audio signal is made of - with its look depending on the different FFT settings you can adjust in the Display panel. And considering the tools you can use on this visual, it feels very much like an image editor. For that reason it makes sense why you actually can set pixels as display unit for the Time and Frequency axis (even if it seems not very useful for audio work).
But I agree, it is indeed weird and not very intuitive that some tools and functions are solely adjustable in pixels, that don’t even seem to rely on the underlying image, but on your actual monitor screen size (although I’m pretty fine with how the various brush-tools work right now). There is room for improvements for more consistency und useability.

We will see what Robin brings us with the next version of SpectraLayers.
It doesn’t have to become a full workstation for mixing, as it is meant to be a spectral editor, but some basic features would be nice indeen. I’m pretty sure several people asked for a proper fade function already.

All I can say is that the upcoming version will be much more flexible in that regard :slight_smile:

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You are the best developer.
Kilohearts and cableguys and you have kindly incorporated user feedback

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If that’s in the manual, I missed it. If it isn’t in the manual, it should be. Thanks for that info. Of course, I was changing the value after the selection was already made. I just tried this out and it works great. This will really be useful.

I agree with you regarding the image editor comparison. I’m not sure I think it’s the best way to describe an audio selection, since we usually think of things in terms of time and frequency, but I understand. And, to be fair, I can see some efforts to give alternatives, for instance in the Clone Stamp, we can choose screen units or spectral units to make our selection area. (One small quibble here is that I can set key commands for the screen units, but not for the spectral units. I’d just like the screen unit key commands to automatically work on the same fields in the spectral units, since I’m really only interested in being able to change the size and shape of the selection from the keyboard). I think your comment regarding consistency is the main thing. It’s weird to be using one kind of unit for one aspect of selection fading (time/frequency) and another unit (pixels) in the Modify Selection dialog, but I’m also sure I’ll get used to these things as I get more experience with SL. These sorts of workflow issues are always the tough part of learning new software.

Again, completely agree. It doesn’t have to be RX, but it would be nice if we could do some of the more common wave editing jobs in SL without having to go elsewhere. That would make the decision to edit files in SL much more attractive. I spent some more time with it last night and there really are some unique tools here. I can imagine using SL quite a bit as I get more used to it. And, I’m really encouraged by Robin’s reply regarding SL 11.

Thanks again, Laturec! This is great info. Also, thanks to Robin for chiming in. I’ve got a lot to learn on this version, but I can’t wait to see what you have planned for the next version.