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Timing

In the previous article, we learned how to open audio files. They all played once, and at the same time. We’ll now make them loop and start at different times to make things more interesting.

Let’s go ahead of things and open the Timeline. This can be done by clicking on the Timeline button near the top left corner, it’s the third button from the left. We’ll see something like this:

This is the Timeline. It’s showing every Node that has timing information associated with it. The Audio File Node is one of these, and we already have some.

What we see on the Timeline are Segments. Segments are the timeline representation of Nodes, and are automatically created. They can be dragged, cropped, cloned, and sliced as you wish. When all Segments for a Node are deleted, the Node is also automatically deleted.

As mentioned in the Introduction section, you can navigate the Timeline by dragging the screen, or the scrollbars. Zooming is done using the mouse wheel (or pinch zoom on touch screens).

Setting Start Position

To define when a Segment starts playing, we can drag it horizontally. Let’s drag one of your Segments a bit to the right to make it start a bit later:

If we play your project now, we’ll immediately hear the difference: one of your files starts later in time. What we are doing now is called multi-track audio mixing, which is the process of arranging audio elements in time.

Looping, Extending and Cropping Segments

In the next step, we’ll make your sounds play a little longer, and in a loop. Besides dragging Segments to move them in time, we can also crop/extend them by dragging their start points or end points. When using a mouse, the mouse cursor will change to a horizontal resize cursor when cropping/extending will occur.

Let’s grab some of your Segments and extend them towards the right (we can zoom out if we need more screen space):

Depending on which files you opened, you may notice that your Segments are already looping. This is because AudioNodes will search for metadata in audio files, and automatically enable the Loop setting in the Audio File Node when this is defined in the opened file. If this is not the case, looping can be enabled manually, from the Audio File Node properties.

We can also slice a Segment by right clicking (or touch and holding) then selecting Slice, or by holding down Shift + LeftMouseButton to slice with the mouse cursor. Take a moment to experiment with different arrangements, then continue to the next article when ready, which will show you how to save your created project.

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