Quick Start Guide

The Song Surgeon user interface (UI) is divided into four separate areas or sections . They are:

Song Surgeon Image

This Quick Start Guide will walk you thru each of these windows or sections and briefly describe each of the buttons and their functions.

Current Window

The main use of this window is for the playback control. In addition, this window provides a quick summary of the overall settings for the current file that is loaded in Song Surgeon. The information displayed in this window is as follows:

Song Surgeon Playback

  1. This is the name of the file that is in use
  2. This shows the length of the currently open file in minutes and seconds and the elapsed time
  3. These small controls show the position of the loop points
  4. This is the current position indicator
  5. This is a combo Start/Pause button.
  6. This is the Stop button.
  7. This is the Help button that opens this Quick Start Guide.

Playback Options Window

  1. The first slider for Pitch control changes pitch in 1 cent increments. There are 100 cents in a semi-tone of half step. For example if you want to change a song currently in the key of C to a B you would change the pitch by -100 cents. The pitch range is 24 semitones or 2 octaves in each direction.

There are three ways to change this pitch: a) you can grab the slider, b) you can click on the pitch line on which the slider is located, or c) you can click the arrow up/arrow down buttons. The circular arrow button to the right of the up and down arrows is a reset button that resets the pitch to the default position of zero.

Song Surgeon Playback Options

  1. The Tempo slider works EXACTLY the same as the pitch slider in #7 above. The range of tempo change is from 5% to 400%. Stated another way, the speed of the audio file can be increased 4X or decreased to 1/20 of the original speed.
  2. The Volume slider works the same as above. In addition to this volume control, your MAC also has separate system volume controls which you can use to change the overall volume.
  3. Vocal Reduction is a feature that enables the vocals on some songs or audio files to be reduced or minimized. This feature works quite well on some files and not very well on others. The ability of this feature to reduce or dampen the vocals is dependant upon HOW a song was mixed/mastered in the studio when recorded.

When using this feature, it is suggested that you grab the slider and that you move it to approximately 120, near the center. From that point you can then further test its effectiveness by moving it to the left and right to find the location that optimizes it for the particular song you have loaded.

It is common that as you use this feature that the overall volume will be diminished so you may need to increase the volume as you use Vocal Reduction. Vocal Reduction can and should be used in combination with the Equalizer to help maximize both the sound quality and the reduction of the vocals.

  1. This button toggles the "Playback Options" window open or closed.
  2. This button toggles the "Loop Editors" window open or closed.
  3. This button toggles the "Equalizer " window open or closed.

Loop Editor

The Loop Editor is used primarily to help you accurately define and set the beginning and ending loop points for a song or audio file. This screen shows you the wave form of the file, the current playback position, beginning and ending loop points, and the zoom-scroll.

Song Surgeon Loop Editor 2

  1. This black line is the current playback position.
  2. The green line is the position of the beginning loop point.
  3. The red line marks the ending loop point.
  4. This scroll bar at the bottom of the wave form window controls the magnify function.
  5. This button moves the current position of the playback to the beginning loop point.
  6. This button resets or erases the any loop points currently set in the wave form editor.

The zoom feature can be controlled by either left clicking + Alt. in the wave form window to zoom in and right clicking + Alt. to zoom out - or by grabbing the Zoom-Scroll button (#18) and dragging either end of it toward the other end. You can also click onto the scroll bar and drag the bar left or right which will reposition the wave form window. The zoom feature is used to enable the user to accurately set the position of the loop points.

The loop points are set by the clicking of mouse buttons. A left click will set the beginning (green) loop point and a right click will set the ending (red) loop point. Once the loop points are set and the current position marker (black line) is between these two points, the file will loop continuously between these two points until it is stopped or paused.

NOTE: When loop points are set, and you save a file (Save or Save As command), Song Surgeon saves ONLY that portion of the song defined by the loop points.

Equalizer Window

This window contains a 9 position EQ function that ranges from a bottom frequency of 80 Hz to a top position of 16 KHz. The EQ for each frequency can be amplified or diminished by simply grabbing the knob for the frequency and sliding it up or down.

Song Surgeon Equalizer Image

  1. There are a number of preset EQ options available. EQ options can be edited or new ones made by using the drop down menu at the top of the EQ window.

The EQ functions can be used in conjunction with the Vocal Reduction slider to further diminish vocals or enhance the sound of a particular instrument.

Drop Down Menus

All functions for Song Surgeon can be accessed through the Song Surgeon drop down menus which appear at the top of the window when Song Surgeon is open.

Save / Save As / Rip

The Save and Save As function can both be found in the FILE drop down menu. Please note that any time you save a file, whether you use SAVE or SAVE AS, Song Surgeon will save all of the settings you have applied to the file.

For example if you open song, "sample.mp4" - and you slow the song down to 50%, change the pitch by step, change the EQ to enhance the guitar, and then set loop points for a 20 second segment - saving this file will modify the original file to now contain ALL of these changes.

This means that the new file when played will have a default playback speed that is of what you had before. It will also have a changed pitch, changed EQ, etc. Moreover, since you had defined loop points Song Surgeon will SAVE only this 20 second segment of the song you designated (though it will now be 40 seconds because you have slowed it down by 50%).

When loop points are set, and you save a file, Song Surgeon saves ONLY that portion of the song defined by the loop points. This means that if you want to save the entire song or file, you should NOT set any loop points, or you erase them before you use the Save or Save As function

Exporting to Your iPod

Song Surgeon's ability to modify an existing audio file means that once you have saved these changes you can open the file OUTSIDE of Song Surgeon, in your iPod or mp3 player and it will play the file with all of the modification you made to it in Song Surgeon.

Please review our training videos for the MAC version of Song Surgeon.
Please visit our Help Desk to review FAQ's or submit a Support Ticket.