Q: Will the preamp in my interface spoil the great sound of my mic pre?
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Q: Should I upgrade my Shure SM58 and use technical solutions for noise and ambience?
Still, short segments arent too much of a problem, and once you have copied or split off a line of the vocal from the rest you will find that you can name it and see it in the Audio Regions bin on the right of the track display. A lovely feature is that each region you create remembers its original start time, so whatever you do to it, you can always get back to where you started, and you can set a user start time too. Taking this a stage further, each region can have a sync point. Suppose for instance you had a sound which you wanted to repeat in time with an existing rhythm. If the sound has an obvious impulse at the start then you can sync it with no problem. But if there is an upbeat before the main impulse you will be fiddling around trying to match every occurrence to the rhythm. Not with Session though - you just match it using the sync point. You can set a grid in time values or in bars and beats which means that you can quantise audio almost like a sequencer quantises MIDI notes.
Going back to the hypothetical problem vocal. Undoubtedly, you will find that when you have created a segment then it will need adjustment, and this is possible with the grabber tool simply by sliding the end points backwards or forwards. You will inevitably also want to fade segments in and out, since a sharp cut off is often noticeable. Im afraid this needs some work, Digidesign. I would like simply to highlight the portion of the region I want to fade and hit Command-F, and have a default fade profile applied. I want it to fade all the way down to zero even if the portion I have highlighted doesnt exactly correspond to the end of the region. I would also like fades to be calculated a little faster because I know its possible (Deck 2.2). Being able to batch fades rather than calculate them individually would be good too.
Moving segments around in time is easy, as it should be, as is moving them from one track to another. When moving segments vertically it is important to have the option to maintain their exact position in time, which is straightforward here. I think it is a pity though that two tracks cant be grouped together into a stereo pair so whatever edits you do to one are automatically done to the other. It wouldnt be hard to implement, but I dont think it is widely recognised as a priority at this level yet. One more thing I would have liked a way to butt two segments accurately together easily without having to zoom in and make very careful adjustments.
One last point on the creation and manipulation of audio regions. I may only have a humble Quadra 650 computer but I dont think its unreasonable criticism to say that the interaction between the mouse and the display is not as smooth as it could be. The way the grabber hand flashes on and off while you are moving a segment is irritating and Ive seen better.