Sound Forge gives you access to a wide variety of tools with which you can shape your audio project to your exacting requirements. As such, the user interface is replete with controls which are rendered accessible by these scripts. Many of these controls are sliders which allow you to use the arrow keys, or page up and down keys to change the value of a given parameter. Without the aid of scripts, the value of these sliders can not be read. These scripts cause the value of the slider to speak as you change it, and allow you to read the present value with the SayWord command.
But, beyond just making the intended user interface accessible, these scripts ad extra features that go beyond what is available to the sighted user. This includes such things as the
If you have not yet purchased a copy, but want to take the scripts for a test drive, you can
download a demo authorization file here.
Make sure you choose the correct one for your version of jaws.
temporary Authorization File for JAWS 5.0 or later temporary Authorization File for JAWS 4.5
Unzip the snow_forge60.jsb file from this archive, and Place it in your user-specific settings\enu folder.
To make sure the scripts are installed correctly and are operating, while in sound forge 9.0, Press insert+q. Jaws should report Scripts version 9.1i, for Sound forge 9.0e.
Also, check out the hot key help using insert+h. Use your up and down arrow keys to browse the list of hot keys. Press escape to close the list and return to Sound forge.
If you are running the demo version of these scripts, you will have approximately ten minutes to play with the scripts before the scripts will cease to function. You can get another ten minutes by closing and restarting jaws. To obtain an authorized copy, write to Snowman@SnowManRadio.com.
In addition to allowing access to all the controls and sliders in the Sound Forge user interface, these scripts allow you to use your arrow keys to skim through the audio, much like you do when skimming with your CD player. So, locating specific sound passages strictly by listening to the audio is a snap. This means that, when you operate the NumPad arrow keys, the sound file should start playing from the cursor. Specifically, when you press a right arrow, for example, the sound cursor will move forward in the file, by an amount controlled by the zoom ratio, and playback will begin from that point. Likewise, when you press a left arrow, the cursor will move backward in the file, and playback will start from the new position.
The Zoom Ratio is controlled by the up and down arrows. Higher zoom ratios mean that the sound cursor will move further in response to an arrow key. Typical use is to use higher zoom ratios to move quickly through the file to find a general location, then to decrease to zoom ratio to make finer and finer adjustments to the cursor position.
You can also use page up and page down or control+pageUp and control+pageDown to make larger jumps through the file. The control arrow keys will jump to the previous or next marker, if one exists. You can drop markers by pressing the m key at any point in the file. When positioned at a marker, press shift+alt+m to delete that marker.
Or, you can use the standard windows keys, using shift in combination with the arrow keys, including the page up and down. We'll discuss selection in more detail later. But, for now, let's discuss the scanning feature assuming that no data is selected.
There are a few modes which you can set which control exactly how this scanning feature operates. Each mode has it's intended purpose, as we shall see below. Use the Windows+shift modifiers, inconjunction with f9, f10 f11 and f12 to choose between scanning off, relative, absolute and blip modes.
Blip Mode, is similar to absolute mode and, again, is useful in detailed editing, but when you do not have any data selected. In Blip Mode, when you strike an arrow key, the scripts move the cursor by an amount controlled by the zoom ratio, and select the small region between the previous anchor point, and the new anchor point. The selected region is then played. So, you will hear just a short burst of audio each time you press an arrow key. In our example using the left arrow key, the cursor is actually at the left end of the small selection. If you press left arrow again, the small region is dragged to the left by an amount controlled by the zoom ratio, the new selection is played, and the cursor is again at the left side of the new selection. If you press a right arrow, the selection will not be moved, but the cursor will jump to the right end of the selection, and the same selection will be played. A second right arrow drags the selection to the right by the same amount, and the new selection is played. the cursor is now positioned at the right end of the selection.The purpose of blip mode is to provide a less distracting way to do detailed editing since the playback does not run away from the area of interest. The disadvantage is that, if you decrease the zoom ratio to a very small value using the up arrow key, the amount of movement becomes very small. As a result, the burst of audio becomes very short, and may or may not be useful depending on your skill level and what you are doing. It is not presently possible to maintain the duration of the audio blip independent of the zoom ratio.
You can control the zoom ratio using the up and down arrows. This will cause sound forge to move in larger steps with higher zoom ratios, and smaller steps with smaller ratios. The duration of the blip played is also a function of the zoom ratio. Typically, you lower the zoom ratio using the UpArrow key when you want to make finer adjustments to the cursor position. You increase the zoom ratio with the DownArrow key when you want to make larger movements with each press of the left or right arrow keys.
Tip: you can turn on loop playback with the Q key while in blip mode, and sound forge will repeatedly play the small selection. This can sometimes give a better view of the adjustments you are making.
If you have data selected, and attempt to use blip mode while pressing the shift arrow keys, the scripts will revert to absolute mode. This is because blip mode makes use of a temporary selection which can not be established without redefining your selection.
When you exit blip mode, if you press the space bar, you will usually find that data is still selected due to the way blip mode is implemented. This selection will be cleared when you operate the arrow keys, or you can press the s key to undo the selection.
Or, for a more precise method, you can use the standard windows conventions, using the shift key in conjunction with the arrow keys, the home and end keys, or the page up and page down keys. When you use the shift key, the anchor point is moved, and audio from the old anchor point to the new anchor point is selected, in addition to any audio that was already selected. So, you are extending or shrinking the selection.
Release the shift key, then use the home and end keys to indicate which end point you want to adjust. Home chooses the left end, earlier in time. The end key chooses the right most end point, later in time. Once you choose which end point to adjust, hold down the shift key, then use the left and right arros to move that end point by an amount indicated by the zoom ratio. Use up and down arrow to adjust the zoom ratio.
When data is selected, Each time you press shift+an arrow key, playback will start from one of two points, depending on which mode you choose. Use control+windows modifiers, in conjunction with f9, f10, and f11 to choose the mode as described below
Play Selection mode will start playback from the beginning of the selection. This is good when you are adjusting the starting end point.
Pre-role to cursor mode will play the last couple of secondsof the selection. Go to options\preferences to adjust the amount of time actually played. This mode is good for adjusting the rightMost end point. Playback will stop when the cursor reaches the rightmost end of the selection. So, you can extend the selection right up to, but not touching that powerful kick drum.
Audition cut mode is a way to hear what it would be like if you deleted the current selection. Each time you press a shift+arrow key, sound forge plays a couple of seconds prior to the cut, and a couple of seconds after the cut. This is a great way to achieve that perfect, seamless cut.
When data is selected, pressing the space bar will honor the rules established by the mode you have selected, i.e. play selection, or play from cursor. Also, you can use alt+control+t to hear the start and end times of the selection, or shift+alt+t to hear the length of the selection.
If you have a braille display, the length of the selection is displayed. If your display doesn't appear to be formatted correctly, press the pc cursor key to cause a refresh.
Let's suppose that we just established a marker at the left end of our intended huge selection, and dropped a marker there. Now. page down to find the point for the right end of the selection. The page down key just discarded the temporary selection, and now, nothing is selected at all.
Again, when you get near the intended right end of the selection, you can use absolute mode, and Play Selection mode to precisely locate the point where the selection should end. Once the cursor is there, press shift+control+LeftArrow. This will select from the cursor location, clear back to the marker we established earlier. Now, you can use the home and end keys to jump back and forth between the left and right ends of the selection. And you can press shift+alt+t to hear the duration of the selection to assure yourself that the operation was successful. Don't use any of the arrow keys by themselves, or you will discard that selection. But, if you want to make a fine adjustment to the right end, for example, press the end key. This will move the cursor to the right end of the selection, but leave the selection in effect. Now, use control+windows+f10 to choose Prerole to cursor mode. Now, when you press the space bar, you will not hear the selection, but will start playback from just left of the right end of the selection. To shorten the selection, press shift+LeftArrow. To lengthen it, press shift+rightArrow. In either case, you will change the length of the selection by an amount controlled by the zoom ratio, and will hear playback from the new selection end point.
To Drop a marker, press the m key. To move to a marker, press control plus the arrow key in the direction of the marker. Sound Forge will move all the way to the marker with a single key press.
If you think you are at a marker, press Alt+control+m. Jaws will tell you if you are at the marker or not. If you are at the marker, you can press shift+control+m to delete the marker.
However, if you want to automatically monitor the level indications. double click the f12 hot key while recording, or while in the record dialog. Jaws will say "Clip Monitoring Active". As long as the record dialog is still open, the scripts will check the level indicators once per second for clipping in either channel. Because this is a peak level indicator, once clipping occurs, the clip status will remain until you clear it. Jaws will say "clip" once for each channel which has reached 0.0 db, and will repeat this once per second to make sure you are aware of it. To clear this status, press shift+f11 or shift+f12 depending on which channel you want to reset. While clip monitoring is active, you can still press the f11 and f12 keys to read the status of the corresponding channel. In this way, you can determine which channel clipped.
Clip monitoring will cease when the record dialog is closed. It will not automatically activate next time you record. You need to intentionally activate this feature for each session in which you want to use it.
A clue for how they are grouped can be observed by taking the invisible cursor to the top of the sound forge window, and arrowing down until you find the two meter readings. The single digit numbers above the meter readings are channel numbers. The channel numbers above a given meter reading, appear to all be combined into that reading.
for example, examine the follwoing set of values, character by character. This is a 4-channel file:
This example indicates that channels 1 and 2, are combined into the -2.1 reading, while channels 3 and 4 are combined into the -5.7 reading.
If you take the jaws cursor there, the meter readings sometimes seem to disappear. Who know swhy. But, ifyou click on a chanel number, you get a context menu that allows you to choose which channel of your audio hardware will receive this channel from the file. The current selection is the item that is checked. This is easire than navigating the matrix in the playback tab of the audio options dialog.
However, in choosing where a channel gets it's input, a similar matrix in the record tab of audio options needs to be navigated. WE investigating simpler ways to do this. But, for now, this matrix is a table. Down the left saide, your sound card channels are listed. Across the top, channel numbers from the audio file are listed. To make things even more confusing, if your file has more channels that will fit in the display, you have to click the scroll right symbol to see the rest of the channels. When you do that, the sound card name, and the general enable checckbox mentioned below, remain in place, and the bullets on the right are updated to the new channel numbers.
In each line there is a sound card channel name, a general purpose enable checkbox, and one check box for each audio file channel. If it says, bullet, it is not selected. Each column of those bullets appears to be a set of vertical radio buttons, meaning that you can not associate a single audio channel to all inputs .
To assign a hot key to a file, make sure you are focused in the data window, and control+tab to the file you want to mark. Then, press shift plus the hot key you want to use. valid keys are 0 through 9 on the numbers row. Jaws will speak the name of that file, and record the assignment.
You can now move to other files, open new files, or perform any other actions you want. When you want to return to the marked file, while focused in the data window, press the numeric key you assigned. Jaws will speak the name of the file, and focus will be placed on that file. Of course, if you have closed the file, you are notified that the file is not currently open,and no action takes place.
Because sound forge remembers what files you had open when it is closed, the scripts remember your hot key assignments as well. So, when you reopen sound forge, those same assignments will be present. No need to worry about deleting unused assignments. Just reassign them when you need them.
If you have data selected, the time becomes the selection length, and is enclosed in less than and greater than signs, such as <00:01:23.456>. These signs make it very obvious whether or not data is selected.
Also, while focused in the data window, you can press a routing key to jump playback through the file. The scripts will calculate a new start time based on the routing key you pressed, the total number of routing keys on your display, and the total length of the file. It will then jump sound forge to that location and begin playback. this is very handy for quickly jumping around the file.
The amount of time between two adjacent routing keys depends on the length of the file, and how many keys are on your display. The way to calculate this, if you care, is the total time divided by the number of keys. For example, on a 32 character display, with a 5 minute file, the time jump from one key to the next is calculated as 300 seconds divided by 32 keys, or about 10 seconds per key.
Of course, the routing keys work as normal if you are not focused in the sound forge data window.
The Audio Plug In Chainer lets you string multiple plug ins together in series to perform very complex processing on a sound file. It contains no menus, but does show a set of graphical buttons to control it's operation. This feature was very difficult to use without the aid of scripts. But, now it's a breeze. To open the Audio Plug In Chainer, press alt+9 on the numbers row. Once there, you can obtain a list of graphics which can be clicked by pressing f9. If no graphics are found, jaws will inform you that you need to run the AutoGraphics Labeler while focused in the Plug In Chainer in order to get this list of buttons. In Sound Forge 8, rather than the autoGraphics labeler, you should use the shift+alt+control+t key stroke while focused in the pluggin chainer, and answer yes to the question about retraining.
If a list appears, use your arrow keys to explore the list, or just type the first letter of your favorite item, then press enter to click the button.
Press insert+h while in the pluggin manager to see what hot keys apply to your version of Sound Forge. The sound Forge 8 pluggin chainer is slightly different.
In Soundforge 7, Some commonly used items have direct hot keys. for example, alt+p to preview the sound. Press alt+A to add a plug in to the chain. A dialog will open which allows you to select a plug in to add. You must click the Add button, by tabbing to it and pressing the space bar. In this way, you can add several plug ins consecutively. When you are done adding plug ins, press Ok. You are then placed in a multi-page dialog, with one page for each plug in in your chain. As you press the tab key, you move through the various parameters which can be changed for the currently selected plug in. To move to the next plug in in the chain, pres control+tab. Or, press shift+control+tab to move to the previous plug in. This navigation does wrap around, but the scripts always tell you which position the current plug in occupies in the chain.
You can modify the order in which plug ins appear in the chain. To do this, the scripts enter a special mode, as described in the help. Press insert+f1 while focused in the Audio Plug In Chainer for more details. But, suffice it to say that you have complete control over the order of the plug ins, and that you can selectively enable or disable any plug in.
To maximize the application, press the alt key, then left arrow to the system menu and press x.
To maximize the child window, press alt+hyphen, then x. This should make the times visible again, and restore the relative responsiveness of the spaceBar.
If your NumPad arrow keys do not cause playback, yet you have a single audio file loaded, and have the scanning mode set to absolute or relative, here are a couple of things to check. Use the alt+control+numpad 5 toggle key to change between original and standard stop methods. This has to do with how the scripts operate the transport controls. The standard method uses graphical buttons to control playback. The original method uses the menus to control playback. The standard method is much more responsive and is preferred. If the arrow keys cause playback in the original stop method, but not when using the standard stop method, then the scripts are probably clicking the incorrect location for the PlayNormal graphic. In some cases, this can cause the Plug In chainer window to pop open. Before you proceed, you must close that Plug In Chainer window. press alt+9 on the numbers row to focus on the Plug In chainer. then, press control+f4 to close that window. Now, do not use the left and rightr arrow keys until the remedies below have been attempted, because the Plug In Chainer window will most likely pop open again.
when playback does not occur when you operate the numPad arrow keys, then the first step is to retrain the location of the graphical controls. To retrain these locations, press alt+control+shift+t. Then, use your up and down arrow keys to choose yes and press enter. The retraining process takes only a second or two. Once complete, the resulting information is stored in the forge90.ini file in your settings\enu folder. This should allow the standard stop method to work correctly. If not, please report the problem.
Sound forge is a very versatile program, allowing the user to rearrange the screen in all kinds of ways, some of which can make things essentially unusable for blind folks. As a last resort, if your scripts used to work, but things somehow got changed, you can force sound forge back to it's installation defaults. Close Sound forge. then, move to the icon on your desktop which would start sound forge, and hold down the shift key and press enter. Continue to hold down the shift key until the program opens fully. This will probably override other preferences you have set up yourself. but, it should make the screen format revert to a usable state. Among other things, You will have to reset your sound card choices in the Options\preferences|wave page.
In this dialog, when you press the tab key, jaws speaks the center frequency of the band of the slider gaining focus. Use the up and down arrow keys, or page up page down to change the gain of that slider. Or press numPad 5 to read the present value. Values are reported in Decibels.
We have heard of cases where JAWS no longer recognizes the slider controls as sliders. We know this means that window class names changed on an individual's system, but do not know the root cause. the solution is to tab to a slider, then press JAWSKey+7 on the numbers row to activate the Window Reclassification dialog. PYou will be focused on an edit box showing the true class name. Usually, it has the word Fader somewhere in that name. press the tab key to go to the list of classeswhich JAWS can assign to this window. Press the S key and choose Slider. Then, tab to the add button and press enter. This tells jaws to think of that weird window class as a slider. Then close the window reclass dialog.
Naturally, we would love to hear from you. Send e-mail to:Snowman@SnowManRadio.com.
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