Import Window - Audio Design Desk
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Import Window

The Importer:

The ADD Tags Import window is where you import your sounds and apply metadata to make the sounds searchable and to give Audio Design Desk the ability to use them in different ways. The process is fairly automated, so we recommend letting the program get you started and then tweaking from there. You can also use this tool to convert files to the format or sample rate you’d like, or you can compress your files as addAudio files to sell them or give them away in the ADD Sound Pack Marketplace. When importing audio from an external drive, the audio files will be copied and saved within your library. 

To begin importing audio:

  1. Go to “File > Import” or press (⌘I).
  2. Click on “Add Files…” or drag files from a drive into this window. 
  3. Select your files and click on “Open”.
  4. All the selected files will be displayed.

To remove undesired files from the importer, select  the files and press (Delete).

To close the importer window, press (⌘W), (⌘I), or click the close button in the top left corner. It will ask if you wish to save your changes upon closing.

Importer Menus:

File: Here you can: open files, folders, and sound packs, save your project and metadata, revert changes, index a sound pack, export a sound pack or elements, and even convert files.

Save Project: Saves the metadata edits and additions to a project file but does not save that metadata to the audio files themselves. 

Save Project As: Saves the current state of the project as another title. 

Close Project: Closes the current project. 

Save Selected Metadata Edits: Save changed metadata information that you have added to your audio files. 

Import to your ADD Library (Shift-Cmd-I): Imports the selected audio files directly into your ADD library folder.

Export Sound Pack (Cmd-B): Once you have added all of your metadata you can either use the files from your library, or, you can export your files as a sound pack. This will allow you to easily import the pack into Audio Design Desk as well as sell or give your sound pack away in the Audio Design Desk Sound Pack Marketplace. 

Export Elements (Opt-Cmd-B): If you simply wish to convert stems into elements, once you have added your element markers, which is described below, you can export elements to your desired location. More information on this below.

Convert Files: If you wish to convert your files, your options are:

  • File format: .WAV, .AIF, .M4A, .addAudio
  • Sampling Rate: From 22,050 up to 192,000
  • Bit Depth: 16, 24, and 32

Once you have set the parameters of the conversion, select the location you would like the files to save to and click “Convert”.


Edit: This menu gives you selected control over the audio files in the Import Window. 

Cut (Cmd-X): Remove an audio file from the Import Window.

Paste Attributes (Opt-V): If you wish to copy the metadata from one file and paste it onto another, simply copy the file that has the metadata you’d like to paste and “Paste Attributes” to selected files by using this command. The below dialogue will appear where you can select which metadata you would like to paste. Once you’ve made your selection, press “OK” and the selected metadata will be pasted to your selected files.

Show Spelling and Grammar (Cmd-:): Since searching and replacing is reliant on clean metadata, it is recommended that you search your audio files for any spelling errors in the metadata.


Metadata: Here you have batch processing controls for metadata on your audio files. 

Guess All Metadata (Shift-Cmd-G): The Importer can guess the metadata for all files in the importer window. It is important to note that the importer looks at any existing metadata in your file as well as file name and folder structure. If your files have no metadata, taking a moment to organize the files on your drive can really help the importer with its ability to accurately guess your metadata. We recommend that users create folders with our categories, as a first step. You can do so by clicking the folder with a plus sign in the top left or by selecting sounds, right clicking, and selecting New Folder with Selection. Our categories are Ambience, Footsteps, Foley, Sound Design, Sound Effects and Music. 

Guess Sync Markers (Opt-Shift-Cmd-G): The importer can guess the Sync Marker for all files in the Import Window. In our tests, the importer guesses this correctly around 80% of the time so it’s important to check this and correct it where you see inaccuracies. More information can be found below.

Replace Metadata Field (Opt-Cmd-R): Here, you can select  a specific field of Metadata and replace one field with another. 

Find and Replace Keyword (Opt-Cmd-F): Here you can replace any instance of a keyword with another.

Remove All Keywords (Opt-Cmd-Delete): Removes all keywords from the selected audio files in the Import Window

Remove All Markers (Opt-Shift-Cmd-Delete): Removes all Sync and Element Markers from all selected files in the Import Window. If no files are selected, it will remove these markers from all files. 


Assigning Metadata:

Once sounds are placed in the Importer Window, you can tag the sounds in the Metadata Window. While it is not mandatory to have this information in your files, the more metadata you have on each sound, the better ADD will be able to find the sounds using “Search” criteria and the better Audio Design Desk will be able to create replacement compositions for you. Sounds can be edited individually, or you can highlight multiple sounds in the pool, and when you make changes in the Metadata Window, the changes will be applied to all highlighted audio files. 


To add Metadata to your sound(s)

The Importer can guess the metadata of your sound(s) by selecting “Guess All Metadata” from the Metadata Drop-Down menu or by pressing (Shift-Cmd-G) or by pressing the magnifying glass under the “Guess” section at the bottom of the metadata window. While this is a great start, it isn’t 100% accurate, so we recommend checking the metadata once it’s guessed. 

“Guessing” uses any existing metadata within the files as well as file name and folder structure to achieve its results. It will work best if you start with a folder structure based on ADD’s categories. These are Ambience, Footsteps, Foley, Sound Design, Sound Effects and Music. Having category names in your folder structure will give The Importer a lot more information to work with if your files don’t already have metadata embedded in them. 

If your files already have metadata on them already, The Importer will see this metadata and bring it into the Import Window. This information will be used to inform the guessing of additional metadata. 

When checking The Importer’s guess work or when adding your own metadata:

  • Choose a Category for your sound(s).
  • Next choose a Sub Category.
  • Then choose a Type.
  • And a Sub Type.
  • Now move to the Intensity Slider— How powerful your sound(s) is.
  • The Complexity Slider— How many layers are present in your sound(s).

If you’re working with music files, you may assign Tonic, Modality, and set BPM. This information will be important if you are trying to align or pitch shift several music regions in future projects.

If you are uncertain of what to select for your sound(s), don’t worry. Select what you know and ADD will adapt.

The Importer has suggested types and subtypes, or you can create your own types and subtypes. If you’d like suggested keywords, use the “add” pulldown to add suggested keywords to your sound(s) or, if you would like to create custom keywords, type them in the box just below. 


Assigning Markers:

The Audio Tab is where you can add and edit markers on individual regions. You can do so by going to the Markers dropdown menu.

Add Sync Marker ( M ): Place your cursor at the desired transient and click “Add Sync Marker” or press ( M ). The Sync marker will appear as a colored marker up top.

Guess Sync Marker ( G ): The software will guess where to add a sync marker to your audio file.

Create Element Markers From Selection ( U ): Make a selection in the area where you wish to create a subdivision, then press ( U ). Colored brackets will appear above your selected section and will turn into dashed lines within your audio file when imported. These lines are the elements of an audio file and allow you to separate a region using (Command – D) when brought into the timeline. 

Element Detector (Opt-U): The Element Detector scans your audio file and guesses elements based on the transients of the audio. You can adjust the threshold and gate of the detector to fine tune the element detection. You can then select the checkbox to “Add Sync Markers” and “Add Element Markers”. This will go ahead and place those markers based on what was detected. 

Export Elements: Once you have created Element Markers in your audio file, you can choose to export these sections as short, individual, audio elements. In the example above, the audio file is a long stem of footsteps. Elements would be each individual footstep which you can apply to a trigger to place the footsteps while watching video. 

Remove All Markers: This will clear all markers added to the audio clip.


The Snap Drop-Down: Adjusts how the playhead snaps to the beat or subdivision of your selected audio file. This is especially helpful when applying markers to music. 


Export Elements as Clips:

Once you have your Sync and Element Markers set, you may also export the audio file as Clips. Go to the File dropdown menu in the Sound Editor and select “Save Elements as Clips”. ADD will create a new playlist of those Element Clips.

**This is beneficial in large projects as clips require a fraction of the space an individual audio region requires**


Import to Library:

If you choose to “Import to Library” The imported audio will be saved within “Your Library” in a folder indicated by the title you gave it. This is recommended if you’re importing a few unrelated sounds.


Export as Sound Pack:

Now that you have added metadata and markers to all of your sounds, you may choose to Import directly into your Library, create a custom sound pack, or to create a sound pack to give away or sell within the ADD marketplace of sounds. More information on uploading a sound pack to the marketplace can be found in “Sound Pack Manager > Upload Sound Packs”

If you choose to “Export Sound Pack”, ADD will ask you what you would like to name it. Give it a name and your newly created sound pack will appear under sound packs in the Library Window. This is recommended if you’re importing a personal sound pack of several related sounds.

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