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Chapter 10.  Browsing and Processing Options  >  Audio Processing Options

Audio Processing Options

Audio processing, as with audio fades, can be applied to audio in two different ways: You can apply effects that are processed in realtime, or you can apply processing while Cubase is not playing the project. In the former case, to automate the effects, you can change the parameters or change the effects altogether. In the latter case effects are not applied while the file is being played, but calculated beforehand, and then playing the rendered processed file (or portion of the file) each time you play the project. Processing audio in non-realtime offers a CPU-intensive friendly method of processing audio since the CPU doesn’t have to process the audio every time you press play. When adding a realtime effect or process, the audio passes through an insert, send, or master effect that is processed by your computer. The effect itself is not saved to an audio file, although the effect’s parameters are saved as part of your project. Every time you play the project, the computer starts processing once again. This is why you can change parameters easily. On the other hand, it can add a serious load on your computer that can slow it down to a grind when your realtime processing needs exceed the computer’s capabilities.

Processing files offline, changing the portion of the audio and saving this processing with the file, allows you to create the effects without changing the original file’s content and does not require any processing time during playback because the files are simply read from the hard disk. The disadvantage is that you cannot automate this processing by using automation in real time. There are many instances, however, where automation is not needed. When you want to optimize a file or add an effect to a portion of an audio clip, event, region, or slice, processing this portion and writing the effect to a file might be more effective than using realtime effects, not to mention reducing the load imposed on your computer. Pitch shifting and time stretching operations are notoriously known to be heavy computer resource consumers, so using them in offline processes is highly recommended.


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