Leading up to the BeatCleaver 1.2 release, we’ve talked about what’s coming next and gone into more detail on the new fluid zoom we’ve implemented. The next feature we’re going to talk about came as a suggestion from bleo.
Bleo’s problem was that he had written a song on his guitar and recorded it, but now he wanted to use parts of it for live sequencing in littlegptracker. He wanted to be able to open up his recording, specify a tempo, and have the recording sliced up into 4 bar segments. He could then trigger and remix those segments in littlegptracker, Renoise, or Ableton Live.
I’ve run into a similar dilemma myself. I’ve written many songs in energyXT2, and I wanted to export soloed segments from each track so I could reconstruct the song and resequence it live using littlegptracker. This turned out to be incredibly labour intensive. I had to set loop points in XT2 around each segment I wanted, then solo the track or try to do a multitrack export from that point. It started to get frustratingly difficult, and I eventually gave up.
With BeatCleaver 1.2, we now have a solution to both problems. Via the new “Advanced Slicing” menu, you can have BeatCleaver slice your song by some beat or bar interval, given the tempo. For Bleo, he can load his guitar recording, specify the tempo and slicing he wants, and then instantly export the slices for sequencing. For me, I can now do a multi-track export from any DAW and slice up each track with ease. I can then resequence or remix my own tracks live using hardware samplers or even throw them into the sampler decks in Mixxx.
We’re now very close to a BeatCleaver 1.2 release, so you should be able to try out this new feature for yourself in the next few days. Stay tuned!
To continue showcasing what’s new in the next version BeatCleaver, here’s a peek our next big feature: Zoom!
Zoom, seriously? Why is that exciting? Why didn’t BeatCleaver have this before?
Zoom in BeatCleaver 1.2 is exciting because it’s slick, intuitive, and incredibly easy to use. We spent a lot of time carefully considering how to implement zoom because we think it’s the first place where the design of other wave editors starts to go wrong. To continue to make BeatCleaver easy to use, we wanted to take a different approach.
BeatCleaver’s waveform zoom is better because it’s completely fluid, “tool-less”, and frustration-free.
See for yourself:
There’s no juggling between tools, holding modifier keys, or jarring “snapping” of the zoom. To zoom in BeatCleaver, just:
scroll your mousewheel,
do two-finger scrolling on Mac trackpads,
or grab the zoom bar at the bottom and drag up.
(The two-finger scrolling works both horizontally to scroll and vertically to zoom in/out - it feels fantastic!)
So why didn’t BeatCleaver have zoom before?
Initially, our primary use case was slicing short WAV drum loops, for which zoom wasn’t essential. We also thought that MP3/M4A support was a more useful feature, and that zoom would make the most sense after BeatCleaver could handle bigger files. So for the next release of BeatCleaver, we’ve added all of that!
In the video above, you might also notice our revamped our file loading code, which renders files as we load them, so you never have to wait. Need to load a 20 minute long song to slice from? No problem. Want to slice up some cool sounds from your last epic jam session? Piece of cake.
As we touched on before, there’s now an overview waveform at the bottom which can be grabbed and dragged to control scrolling and zoom. We spent a lot of time tweaking the exact feel of this “zoombar”, and we think it beats the pants off everything else out there. When our new release is out, give it a shot and let us know what you think!
We’re now starting closed beta testing for this new version of BeatCleaver, and if that goes well, we should be nearing a release. But before that, we’ve got one more little feature to reveal here on the blog before we launch, so stay tuned!
The design of the current BeatCleaver (1.1) release was deliberately kept simple. It loads WAV files like drum loops and allows you to place slice points along the loop, then export them in a snap. Moving slice points is a breeze - you just drag them around.
The simplicity of the tool makes the workflow very fast.
But what if we wanted to take BeatCleaver to the next level? How can we add new features but keep the workflow fast and simple?
This has been one of my tasks for the last few months, and I’m excited to start sharing what we’ve come up with for BeatCleaver 1.2. In essence, we’ve improved the core functionality across the board, but there’s a story behind each new feature, so I’ll explain the new features across several blog posts.
Without further ado, the first new feature in the upcoming BeatCleaver 1.2 release is:
We want to be able to not just slice WAVs, but also be able to open up full songs and sample directly from there. So to sharpen our beat slicing skills, we’ve teamed up with the Mixxx Developers and created libaudiodecoder, a piece of code that will allow us to harness the native MP3/M4A decoding capabilities built into Windows and Mac OS X. BeatCleaver’s upcoming support for these formats is based on libaudiodecoder, which we’re developing concurrently.
So what else did we add then? What would be useful if we suddenly made BeatCleaver able to open up larger files?
We’ll give you a few days to ponder…. and then we’ll be back with the answer. ;)