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AudioTools AWEAWE Family

AudioTools FAQ

AWE Family

AudioTools AWE

AudioTools AWE Server

AudioTools AWE Master Bundle

SurCode for Dolby® Digital plug–in for AudioTools AWE

AudioTools AWE AudioCare

View or Download Tutorial Movies:

  1. AWE Overview
  2. Input
  3. Processing
  4. Encoders
  5. Output
  6. Job Queue
 

1. What’s new in AudioTools™ AWE?

2. Why AudioTools AWE?

3. What is an AudioTools AWE Job?

4. What is the Job Queue?

5. What types of plug-ins does AudioToolsAWE support?

6. What hardware does audiotools AWE support?

7. What is a "Channel File Group"?

8. Can I use SurCode Encoders and Decoders with AudioTools AWE?

9. What is Dolby AC-3?

10. What is Dolby Digital?

11. What is Dolby Pro Logic II?

12. What is DTS?

13. What is the maximum siaze of files I can process with AudioTools AWE?

14. What processors come with AudioTools AWE?

15. Which VST plug-ins are supported in AudioTools AWE?

16. How many processors can I chain together?

17. How many Jobs can I add to the Queue?

18. What is the hierarchy of files and folders in AudioTools AWE?

19. How do I prioritize a Job that I submit to the Job Queue?

20. Can I save Processor settings for future use?

21. Can I change the order for Processors within the Chain?

22. Can I audition the results of processing before submitting a Job?

23. Will AudioTools AWE overwrite my input files?

24. What does AudioTools AWE dowith different file types?

25. How do I change the sample rate?

26. What do the different Sample Rate Conversion settings mean?

27. Does AudioTools AWE compensate for the latency introduced with external processing through the Device IO Processor?

28. What if I sue and external reverb and need my files to be two seconds longer than before?

29. Will there be a Windows version?

30. Will AudioTools AWE convert WAVE, AIFF, BWF to MP3?

31. Can I communicate with AudioTools AWE via AppleScript or COM?

32. Can I output multiple file types from 1 input source?

33. What about AudioTools and Dolby E?


1. What's new in AudioTools AWE?

1. Nested-Folders
AudioTools AWE supports nested folders, maintaining the folder structure of the input files on output if so desired.  Any level of nesting is supported.

AudioTools AWE Master Bundle AudioTools
AWE Master Bundle for includes the following plug-ins:

  • Minnetonka Audio Time Stretch (powered by iZotope Radius)
  • Minnetonka Audio Pitch Shift (powered by iZotope Radius)
  • iZotope Mastering EQ
  • iZotope Mastering Limiter
  • iZotope Mastering Reverb
  • iZotope Multi-Band Compressor

Dolby Digital Encoder for AWE
The Dolby Digital Encoder for AudioTools AWE encodes 5.1 Surround Sound or Stereo streams into Dolby Digital AC3 files and supports all Dolby encoding options.  Use discreet mono files or multi-channel interleaved files for input.

Interleave/Uninterleave
Output Options now include:

  • Interleave:  Any mono files that are configured into Channel File Groups will be interleaved to produce a single multi-channel file.  This multi-channel file will have the name of the Channel File Group followed by the appropriate extension.
  • Uninterleave:  Any multi-channel files in the job will be uninterleaved to produce discreet mono files.  The discreet mono files will have the name of the multi-channel file as the base filename, followed by the number of the corresponding channel (e.g. “1”, “2”, etc).

Hot Folder
An AudioTools AWE Job can now be configured to process audio files as they appear in a Hot Folder rather than the user adding existing input files to the Job.

To run a Hot Folder Job, configure the AudioTools AWE processing chain and any output options.  On the “Input” tab, select the “Hot Folder” button in the right-hand corner.  This button specifies that the Job is a Hot Folder Job.  Click on the button titled “…” to select the Folder AudioTools Awes to use as the Hot Folder.

Once the Job is submitted, AudioTools AWE will process any file that appears in the Hot Folder.  If no new files exist, AudioTools AWE will wait until one shows up.

Adding Job Files directly to the Job Queue
You can submit Job files saved on disk directly to the Job Queue by selecting “Submit Saved Jobs to Job Queue” from the File menu.  This is useful, for instance, if you update input files outside of AudioTools AWE and want to process them.  You can select as many Jobs as you want to submit at one time.  This allows you to easily execute many AudioTools AWE Jobs with one action.

Open a Job File from the Job Queue
On the Job Queue tab, select any Job in the Queue and hit “Open Job”.  This opens the selected Job for editing in AudioTools AWE.  This allows easy access to fix Job errors or tweak plug-in parameters without searching for the Job on disk.

Job Queue Persistence
The Job Queue is now persisted on disk, including all of the Jobs in the Queue as well as Job progress.  For example, if your system shuts down in the middle of a Job, you can reopen AudioTools AWE and resume the Job Queue in the state before shut-down.  The Job Queue will resume after the file last completed in the running Job and continue to execute all remaining unprocessed Jobs.

Custom Sample Rate Conversion
In addition to standard sample rates such as 44.1, 48, 88.2, etc., AudioTools AWE supports custom, arbitrary sample rates between 8K and 192K.

Set Sample Rate Only
AudioTools AWE allows you to specify a new sample rate to written to output files without actually re-sampling the audio.  This is useful for files that contain the incorrect sample rate in the header, as well as pitch/time shifting as in a vari-speed function.

Pre-Render Mode for Job Configuration
Some AudioTools AWE processing chains take longer than real-time to process audio.  The Pre-Render mode (available in the Transport pane in the bottom-right corner) allows you to tell AudioTools AWE when to process audio for preview and how many seconds of audio to preview.  The preview begins at the time specified with the Transport Slider.

When playing back audio through the processing chain and not using Pre-Render mode, AudioTools AWE processes audio in real-time as your output audio device requests it.  This allows parameter changes to be heard in near real-time.  If the processing chain is too slow, playback will not work because the CPU cannot keep up with the audio device.  With Pre-Render, you can tell AudioTools AWE to process a certain amount of audio “offline”.  That processed data is what will playback.  If you change plug-in parameters, hit “Render Now” to apply those changes to the buffered audio.

UI State Persistence
AudioTools AWE saves the layout of plug-in windows with the Job file.  Opening a Job will reset plug-in windows to the position they were saved.

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2. Why AudioTools AWE?

2. If you ever perform similar operations on more than one audio file, AudioTools AWE can automate that task.  AudioTools AWE allows you to configure audio processing jobs that apply the same editing, encoding, dynamics and effects, sample rate and bit depth conversion among other things, to as many files as you want and run the job without intervention.  Moreover, you can cue up as many jobs as you want, and they run automatically.

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3. What is an AudioTools AWE Job?

3. A Job is set of source files (input files); a chain of processors, or plug-ins, along with the parameter settings of each processor; and output options.  A Job can be saved, modified, opened, and submitted to the Job Queue..

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4. What is the Job Queue?

4. The Job Queue is a sequential list of Job files currently executing.  A Job in the Job Queue can be pending, running, or completed.  The Job Queue lets you line up multiple jobs for execution, without having to wait for each job to complete before configuring and running the next job.

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5. What types of plug-ins does AudioTools AWE support?

5. AudioTools AWE supports VST plug-ins and AudioTools AWE’s own proprietary plug-in format.  (For information on becoming a AudioTools AWE Certified plug-in developer, please contact Minnetonka Audio).

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6. What audio hardware does AudioTools AWE support?

6. Any audio device that provides a “Core Audio” driver under OSX.

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7. What is a "Channel File Group"?

7. A Channel File Group is a set of input files that you want AudioTools AWE to treat as a single stream of audio channels, as in six mono files representing a 5.1 surround mix or two mono files representing a stereo mix.  AudioTools AWE will feed these discreet files through the processing chain as a single audio stream.  This is necessary when encoding mono files into a compressed stream, or applying mastering dynamics to multiple dependent mono streams.

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8. Can I use SurCode Encoders and Decoders with AudioTools AWE?

8. Yes.  SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II is currently supported as a VST plug-in as well as Dolby Digital. Dolby E and DTS codecs will be available shortly as optional plug-ins.  An upgrade path will be provided for current registered users of SurCode

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9. What is Dolby AC-3?

9. Dolby Digital, or AC-3, is a version of surround encoding containing up to six discrete channels of sound, with five channels for normal-range speakers (20 Hz – 20,000 Hz) (Right front, Center, Left Front, Right Rear and Left Rear) and one channel (20 Hz – 120 Hz) for the subwoofer driven effects and music. The Dolby Digital format supports mono and stereo usages as well.

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10. What is Dolby Digital?

10. See Above (#10)

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11. What is Dolby PLII?

11. In 2000, Dolby introduced Dolby Pro Logic II (DPL II), an improved implementation of Dolby Pro Logic. DPL II processes any high quality stereo signal source into "5.1"—five separate full frequency channels (left, center, right, left surround and right surround) plus one low-frequency-effects (deep bass) channel. Dolby Pro Logic II also decodes 5.1 channels from stereo signals encoded in traditional four-channel Dolby Surround. DPL II implements greatly enhanced steering compared to DPL, and as a result, offers an exceptionally stable sound field that simulates 5.1 channel surround sound to a much more accurate degree than the original Pro Logic. It is delivered as a two channel stream often referred to as LT/RT (left total/right total) Because of the limited nature of the original DPL, many consumer electronics manufactures introduced their own processing circuitry, such as the "Jazz", "Hall", and "Stadium" modes found on most common home audio receivers. DPL II forgoes this type of processing and replaces it with simple servo (negative feedback) circuits used to derive five channels. In addition to five full range playback channels, Pro Logic II introduced a Music mode which would not add any processing to the left and right channels, but will still extract a centre channel and two surround channels, providing a net effect of a wider center channel. The Pro Logic II system also features a mode designed specifically for video game audio, and it is frequently used in game titles for Sony's Play Station2, Microsoft's Xbox, Xbox360, Nintendo's Game Cube and recently the Wii as an alternative to technologies like Dolby Digital.

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12. What is DTS?

12. DTS can transport audio up to 8 audio channels at up to a 192kHzsampling rate. It can be transported over S/PDIF, or can be encapsulated in wave files, DVDs and stored on CDs. The format offers variable compression ratios, targeting a wide variety of bit rates, although the most often used compression ratio for DVD and cinema audio is about 1:4, resulting in a fairly high bitrate.

The DTS base specification allows for 5.1 channels of audio with a 48kHz-sampling rate. Further specification extensions allow for an additional 2 channels and/or additional high frequency data to be transmitted. It encodes audio by splitting it into 32 subbands, each with a bandwidth of 750 Hz, which are then encoded as PCM streams.

Due to less calculations involved in higher bitrates, real-time DTS encoding is also inherently low-latency, making it suitable for real tine applications, such as games. There is a real-time DTS decoder in PlayStation 2. DTS is used in cinema, where it competes with the Dolby Digital (AC-3) and SDDS standards. It is used less often than Dolby Digital. Dolby Digital and SDDS tracks are printed onto the physical film medium, as their bit-rates allow them to fit in limited space. A DTS track however has a higher bitrate and therefore cannot be printed onto the film. Instead a timecode is printed onto the film and the DTS soundtrack shipped to the cinema as a pair of CDs in addition to the film reels. When the film is projected, the timecode is read from the film and the equivalent sound comes from the DTS CD-decoding equipment.

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13. What is the maximum size of files I can process with AudioTools AWE?

13. AudioTools AWE currently has the same file size limitation of any 32-bit application, four gigabytes (4 gb).  Future versions of AudioTools AWE may allow access to larger files.

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14. What processors come with AudioTools AWE?

14. AudioTools AWE includes editing, volume, normalization, fades, sample rate conversion, and bit-depth conversion.  Also included is an interface to external analog and digital gear through Core Audio, as well as access to VST plug-ins.

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15. Which VST plug-ins are supported in AudioTools AWE?

15. AudioTools AWE supports VST 2.3 and above.  Due to variations in the VST standard by different plug-in developers, your performance may vary.  AudioTools AWE has been tested with iZotope; Waves 4.x, 5.0.3 and 5.2; PSP; T.C. Electronics Powercore; WaveArts; and Antares Tube, Filter, and Mic Modeler.  Known issues exist with Waves 5.0.2, and Antares Auto-Tune and AVox series

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16. How many processors can I chain together?

16. You can chain any number of processors together.  The ability to preview in real-time and process audio through external gear is limited by the horsepower of your specific computer and DSP requirements of the selected processors.

Even if a job is too complex to preview in real-time because of performance, AudioTools AWE will process the job correctly.  The exception here is with external device processing through the Device I/O processor, which relies on real-time performance for processing.

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17. How many Jobs can I add to the Job Queue?

17. You can add any number of Jobs to the Job Queue and they will run as long as AudioTools AWE remains launched.  Currently, closing AudioTools AWE stops the Job Queue and deletes any files in the current Job.  Output files from completed Jobs remain available

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18. What is the hierarchy of files and folders in AudioTools AWE?

18. AudioTools AWE calls the hierarchy of groups and files the Job Structure.  This allows you add files to a Job independent of where they reside on your hard drive, creating a Job Structure different than your local file hierarchy.  In AudioTools AWE, groups equate to folders that will be created under the output destination folder that you specify on the Output Tab.  File within a group will be placed in those output folders.

It has come to our attention that replicating deep folder structures is not easily available in the current version of AudioTools AWE.  We are addressing this issue and will make this functionality available in a free upgrade shortly.

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19. How do I prioritize Job that I submit to the Job Queue?

19.When you Submit a Job to the Job Queue, you can use the Priority button next to the Submit button to specify the Job’s Priority Level – Low, Medium, or High.  High Priority Jobs will run before Medium or Low Priority Jobs.  Jobs with the same priority will run based on the time of submission.

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20. Can I save Processor settings for future use?

20. Yes.  Save and Load buttons are provided for all processors, including VST plug-ins.  Saving allows you to name a file that will contain the parameter settings for the selected processor.  Load allows you to set a processor to the stored parameter settings.

Note that the next version of AudioTools AWE will allow you to Save and Load entire Processor Chains, instead of just individual Processors.

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21. Can I change the order of Processors within the Chain?

21. Yes.  You can drag a Processor from one position to another by clicking on the processor and dragging to the left or right while holding down the mouse.

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22. Can I audition the results of processing before submitting a Job?

22. Yes.  AudioTools AWE’s transport lets you play, stop, rewind, fast forward, and set loop points for the currently selected preview file.

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23. Will AudioTools AWE overwrite my input files?

23. By default, AudioTools AWE generates fresh output files, in a separate folder than your input files.  You can tell AudioTools AWE to overwrite your input files by selecting the appropriate option on the Output Tab.s.

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24. What does AudioTools AWE do with different file types?

24. AudioTools AWE will always preserve your file types, and also sample rates and bit-depth, unless you tell it to do otherwise.  WAVE files will remain WAVE files, and AIFFs will remain AIFFs.  Any additional data chunks will be preserved including BWF data.  Alternatively, you can control the file and audio types of the output through the Output Options button on the lower right side of the Chain window.

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25. How do I change the sample rate?

25. On some jobs, you simply want to produce output files at a specified sample rate after you’ve done all of your other processing.  For this, use the Output Options button on the lower right hand side of the Processing Chain window.  This lets you specify the audio format of all output files including file type, sample rate, and bit-depth.

In other cases, you might want to change sample rate before doing other processing.  For instance, you may want to up-sample before applying some DSP, or encode data using an algorithm that has a sample rate requirement – Dolby Digital requires 44.1 or 48K input files.  In this case, drop the Sample Rate Converter Processor in the chain before subsequent processors.

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26. What do the different Sample Rate Conversion settings mean?

26. There are three options for Sample Rate Conversion: 

  • Good (Fast) – it sounds pretty good and it’s very fast.  You should be able to play back any file through this setting and hear the results in real-time.

  • Better – recommended setting for non-critical processing. 

  • Best (Slow) – it sounds really good.  This setting is too CPU-intensive for real-time preview on most machines.  If you require pristine, audiophile Sample Rate Conversion, this is your setting.

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27. Does AudioTools AWE compensate for the latency introduced with external processing through the Device IO processor?

27. The Device IO window provides a place to enter the number of samples of “Delay Compensation” for latency introduced by streaming audio to an external processor.  The correct value depends on your specific audio hardware and driver latency settings.

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28. What if I use an external reverb and need my files to be two seconds longer than before?

28. For every Processor capable of producing a “tail” including VST and Device IO, clicking the “Tail” button in the processor window’s header allows you to specify a tail length in milliseconds.  Once a source file has been completely processed, AudioTools AWE will send silence through the Processor for the amount of time specified here, ensuring any tail data is included with your output files.

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29. Will there be a Windows version?

29. Yes, though official time frame has been issued.

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30. Will AudioTools AWE convert WAVE, AIFF, and BWF to MP3?

30. Yes, a complete and full implemention of MP3 is free of charge and built into AudioTools AWE.

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31. Can I communicate with AudioTools AWE via AppleScript or COM?

31. AudioTools AWE does not currently support AppleScript or COM interfaces.  If you would like to interface with AudioTools AWE programmatically, please contact Minnetonka Audio Software.

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32. Can I output multiple file types from 1 input source?

32. A soon to be released version will include this feature.

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33. What about AudioTools and Dolby E?

33. A soon to be certified and released version of SurCodey for Dolby E Encoder and Decoder will be available as plug-ins for AudioTools AWE.

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