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 Post subject: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:02 pm 
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I didn't know what to call this thread. There's a beautiful whistle piece played by Michael McGoldrick called The Stream on a CD called Celtic Melt. You can find it on iTunes I think. Anyway, I would like to work out the whistle tune but it is very subdued within the music and hard to distinguish the individual notes at least to begin with. Is there any way using software I can bring the whistle part out to hear it better? I have the original CD.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:20 pm 
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You can try using "karaoke" software. There are dedicated programs, audio editors, or some players have this capability built-in. This works by using left/right channel phase inversion to suppress a virtual center channel. So it only really works if the parts you don't want are mostly centered in the mix, and the parts you want are mostly not.

With an audio editor like Audacity you can also construct a bandpass filter (low cut and high cut) to match the frequency range of the instrument. Of course, any other sounds in the bandpass range will also pass through. Careful equalization (including parametric EQ) may also help.

Honestly, there's no substitute for ear training, and the ability to pick out parts from an audio mix are a part of that skill.

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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Well, there is a way. Actually a couple of ways.

First thing you can do is to pump up the frequency range of the whistle part and to reduce the frequency range of the rest of the mix using an equalizer. This can be accomplished with either software or hardware. Do you have Audacity by any chance? There are a few EQ plug-ins that you can use with Audacity that should do the trick. EQ is covered in the Audacity manual if I recall correctly. Just look up the high and low frequencies of the whistle he is using (was that one low D?) and use those figures to set your floor and ceiling thresholds. You can play with the levels to see if you can isolate his playing. Problem is that if their is any other material in the same frequency range it will be brought out equally.

The second way I can think of involves a piece of software that is designed to isolate parts in a recording for sampling. There is likely some freeware out there for this. I just don't keep up with such things. These things work like Karaoke filters in reverse to filter everything but the lead voice or instrument out of the sample. That usually involves analyzing the stereo image and using wave cancelling to filter the parts. Roland makes a piece of software called R-Mix That will do what you need. It's a $200 package but also comes as an add-on to Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer, maybe others. It is darned amazing. It can isolate just about any part of a recording. Take a look at this YouTube overview.

Once you isolate the part you save it as a a recording clip. Then you try to either analyze the melody by ear or use the usual pitch analysis tools (like Transcribe)to identify the notes. You could also play it through a pitch to midi filter to identify the notes. That's probably more than you'd want to get into.
Might be easier if one of us here gives it a go by ear.

Feadoggie

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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:15 am 
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Quote:
There are a few EQ plug-ins that you can use with Audacity that should do the trick. EQ is covered in the Audacity manual if I recall correctly. Just look up the high and low frequencies of the whistle he is using (was that one low D?) and use those figures to set your floor and ceiling thresholds.


Thanks guys for the useful information. I do have Audacity though I haven't learned to use it properly yet. So far I've just clipped MP3 files with it. Two specific questions related to what you've said, Feadoggie. The EQ plug-ins. Are they mentioned in the Audacity manual? And when you say look up the high and low frequencies of the Low D, are these figures available in Audacity or somewhere else?

I'll have a go though it would be good if someone with a better ear than mine tried. It is far from being the easiest piece to transcribe, a real challenge even for the best of ears. It's just very cool!


Last edited by Mikethebook on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:33 am 
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Mikethebook wrote:
when you say look up the high and low frequencies of the Low D, are these figures available in Audacity or somewhere else?

Low D whistle ranges from D4 to D6, and you can look up the frequencies in a chart like this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific ... requencies

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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:35 am 
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Mikethebook wrote:
when you say look up the high and low frequencies of the Low D, are these figures available in Audacity or somewhere else?

Low D whistle ranges from D4 to D6, and you can look up the frequencies in a table like this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific ... requencies

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Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:03 am 
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The question reminded me of this discussion http://thesession.org/discussions/29882 but I don't know if it's relevant.

Demo referred to is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrcqhemICdI

(sorry if this has already been mention - just passing through and in a hurry !)


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:32 am 
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Thanks MTGuru. I'll check those out and try and tinker with Audacity. I probably need to read the manual first. But david-h's suggestion is interesting too. I'll try that demo out but the track I'm looking at will be a real challenge to any software. Worth a try though. Thanks David.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:46 am 
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OK, Audacity can be paired with a package of software plug-ins that provide a lot of effects and other processing. When you download Audacity you also have an opportunity to download the shareware LADSPA plug-in bundle. I'm kind of running blind here since I rarely use Audacity. But I've walked through the manual enough helping out friends to know the stuff that is available. So there are two tutorials that might be useful in the manula. There is a Karaoke write-up. Don't know how it actually works but, as MTGuru a=has indicated, that might be useful to you. Another part of the manual discusses EQ and how to go about limiting the high and low frequencies. Again, I don't recall which EQ plug-in they use to teach that but it is likely part of the LADSPA bundle. You can also go out to YouTube which has a number of Audacity tutorials. I think there is one on EQ out there, probably for a specific plug-in. They mostly work alike and you should be able to set up low and high frequency band filters.

The example david-h gave is worth looking into. There are a host of other similar software packages. We had another thread recently, maybe a year ago, where I brought up R-Mix and it was discussing another sample/mix tool. Look down the page and take a look at that one.

I do know that R-Mix will do what you want. I have yet to purchase my Sonar X2 upgrade so I do not have R-Mix in the studio yet.

As for "The Stream", I have still only heard the samples on Amazon and the like. I tried to find it on Pandora but no luck. Anyway, what I can hear revolves around repeated rolls and cuts on F# and E in the first octave. I am sure the melody goes somewhere beyond that but I have yet to hear it. Hope that is a little help.

Feadoggie

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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 am 
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Thanks Feadoggie! I want to persevere since its such a cool meditative track. In fact the whole CD is good with some unusual stuff by Michael McGoldrick. If you want to hear the whole track its at http://open.spotify.com/track/1trlKfrwV5hKV7GiADSSa8.

Thanks for the stuff into Audacity. I'll check into that. Quite complex though. I've tried Riffstation and its not bad though I've not got any decent results with The Stream yet. The software allows you to isolate an instrument in the mix and remove it for karaoke purposes. It also tells you what chords to play at every moment through a tune. I'll look into R-Mix too and check out the thread you mention.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:59 am 
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I've not had any luck finding a thread with R-Mix in it. And unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to download and test the software. I would like to know what other software was suggested in your thread though.

Found the thread. It refers to Riffstation.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Feadoggie wrote:
As for "The Stream", I have still only heard the samples on Amazon and the like. I tried to find it on Pandora but no luck. Anyway, what I can hear revolves around repeated rolls and cuts on F# and E in the first octave. I am sure the melody goes somewhere beyond that but I have yet to hear it. Hope that is a little help.

I just listened to those samples, too. Honestly, based on those, the whistle part couldn't be clearer, and it's the solo instrument. Software enhancement is really completely unnecessary.

F2FE ~F3F|~F3G FEED|z2ED ~E3D|~E3F EDDz|
DEED ~E3D|~E3F EDDz|DEED ~E3D|~E3F ABBA| etc.

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Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:16 pm 
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Thanks for doing that. Much appreciated. But I wonder how early one you were able to hear the whistle part. It does grow clearer as the tune moves on but I looking to get it from the beginning. Maybe you did that. Anyway, thanks. You undoubtedly have better ears than I do . . . maybe better speakers than the $5 ones I have too!


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:15 am 
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Mikethebook wrote:
But I wonder how early one you were able to hear the whistle part. It does grow clearer as the tune moves on but I looking to get it from the beginning.

Well, the Amazon sample clip starts somewhere in the middle. So yes, the beginning may be harder to hear.

Mikethebook wrote:
You undoubtedly have better ears than I do . . . maybe better speakers than the $5 ones I have too!

My computer speakers are pretty cheap, too - an old Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 set that I got for free and re-wired to bring them back from the dead. :-) But years of ear training does make a difference.

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Joel Barish: Is there any risk of brain damage?
Dr. Mierzwiak: Well, technically speaking, the procedure is brain damage.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitting a track
PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Cheap as chips to the extreme :D


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