To learn to use the basic functions of VocALign Project 3 only takes a few minutes, but for quickly getting the best understanding we strongly recommend that you first follow the brief tutorial in Section 6, which uses prepared audio examples. The following, however, is a Quick Start guide for those that want to jump straight in without following the tutorial. It assumes your computer is already configured to replay sound outputs through appropriate monitors, and that you have some sound files that are suitable to be aligned.
1. Double click the VocALign application icon. The application window will open as shown in Figure 5-1. Size the window according to your needs by dragging on its bottom right-hand corner.
Fig. 5-1 Vocalign window before audio capture
2. Drag and drop a ‘Guide’ audio file onto the track labelled GUIDE in the VocALign window. (This is the correctly timed audio material to which the ‘Dub’ audio will be aligned.) Audio files can be AIFF or WAVE format.
3. Drag and drop a ‘Dub’ audio file onto the track labelled DUB in the VocALign window. (This is the incorrectly timed audio material that will be processed.) This file must have the same sampling frequency and resolution (number of bits per sample) as the Guide file.
4. Provided the Guide audio content is sufficiently similar to the Dub, starts in roughly the same place and has a small amount of lead-in containing a bit of background noise, press Align and the Dub audio will be aligned to the Guide audio as well as possible. The ALIGNED track at the bottom of the window now contains processed (aligned) audio that can be auditioned, as shown in green in Figure 5-2. The GUIDE and DUB tracks also show an energy plot of the two extracts and on the Guide track the yellow trace shows how the energy of the Dub is matched to that of the Guide.
Fig. 5-2 VocALign window after Dub has been aligned to Guide, showing aligned output track in green at bottom
5. Mute the DUB track by clicking on the loudspeaker symbol above the track name (so as not to hear the unprocessed version) or press ‘e’ on your keyboard. The Dub loudspeaker symbol will turn red. Press the space bar on your computer keyboard and you will hear the aligned Dub material along with the original Guide material. Press the space bar again to stop playback.
6. Save the aligned audio file by pressing Save in the VocALign window. By default the saved output file will be named with the characters ‘VA_’ before the original name of the Dub file, but you can name it whatever you like.