There are two different (but related) kinds of objects that you work with in KRISTAL Waver Arrangements:
1. 'audio parts'
2. folders, or 'folder parts'
Audio parts are the fundamental objects in an Arrangement.
An audio part appears as a box, containing a 'waveform' (or a pair of waveforms, in the case of stereo parts).
A waveform can be thought of as a kind of 'graph' of a sound, with 'amplitude' or volume on the vertical axis, and time on the horizontal axis.
An audio part is effectively a block of sound, which you can move, resize, split and work with in various other ways.
By carefully editing and arranging your audio parts, you can have complete control over the structure of your project.
There is a close relationship between audio files and audio parts - but they are not identical.
An audio part is really just a 'pointer' to an audio file on your hard drive. It doesn't actually contain any audio data; instead it contains information about which section(s) of the audio file KRISTAL should play, and when.
This means that if you create several duplicates of an audio part, KRISTAL will not create copies of the audio file it points to:
Instead, it will play the same audio file once for each time it encounters a part pointing to that file.
Similarly, if you split an audio part into three smaller parts and then rearrange them, KRISTAL will not split the audio file:
Instead, it will play the sections of the audio file pointed to by the smaller parts, in the order that those parts occur.
This is known as non-destructive audio editing (since no permanent changes are made to the files).
A folder part is very similar to a normal audio part, except that it is created by joining one or more audio parts together, using the Glue tool.
The Glue tool joins two separate parts together to create one new one. First select the Glue tool, then click on the first of the two parts you want to join together, then click on the second. A folder part is automatically created, containing the two chosen parts, and any empty space between them required to maintain their relative positions.
Once a folder part has been created, it can be treated more or less as if it was an ordinary part; it can be split, moved, duplicated, re-sized and so on. Note, however, that Volume settings and Fades cannot be applied to folder parts. An audio part requiring Volume changes or Fades should have them applied before being added to a folder part.
You can remove an audio part from a folder part by clicking on it again with the Glue tool.
To move a part within an Arrangement, choose the Select tool, click on the part you want to move, and drag it to the desired location.
Parts can be moved left and right (backwards and forwards in time), and up and down (from one track to another).
When moving a part, make sure you click in either the top or bottom half of the part box. Avoid clicking on the line running through the middle, or any of the square or triangular 'handles'. These have special functions, as we'll see...
The small square icons that appear in the bottom left and bottom right-hand corners of a selected part are 'handles', which can be used to re-size the part.
Click on the handle in the bottom left of a part, and drag it to the right. You'll see that the left-hand edge of the part moves as you drag, but that the waveform remains static. This is because you are only re-sizing the part, not the audio file it points to.
Now when KRISTAL plays the part, you'll only hear the section of the audio file represented by the visible portion of the waveform in the part box - any sound before the beginning of the part will not be played.
Clicking and dragging on the handle in the bottom right of a part box works in much the same way, except that it allows you to adjust the end of the part, rather than the beginning. As before, the waveform remains static.
Resizing parts like this can be an easy way to remove unwanted noise from the beginning or end of a take, retaining just the musically useful section. If you need to remove a section from the middle of a part, use the Cut tool.
The main edit tools (Select, Cut and Glue) are explained in more detail in The Waver Toolbar.
There are some special modifier keys you can use in conjunction with the Select tool to make your work with Arrangements easier:
The Cut, Copy, Paste and Delete commands can be accessed either by right-clicking on a part and choosing the desired command from the context menu that appears, or by selecting one or more parts and using the appropriate keyboard command:
If you click (with the Select tool) in a desired destination track before pasting, the part will be inserted there. This also works with multiple selections - in which case the top-most part(s) in the selected group will be inserted into the chosen track, with the rest appearing in the tracks below (assuming sufficient empty tracks are available).
When a part is selected you'll see a line running across the centre of it, with a small square 'handle' in the middle and small trianglular 'handles' at either end.
The line represents the Volume of the part; the handles can be used to apply changes.
Click on the square handle in the middle of a part and drag upwards. You'll see the waveform 'grow', and the 'Volume' value in the Info Line will increase.
Changes in volume are performed non-destructively; no permanent change is made to the file.
Now when KRISTAL plays the part, its playback volume will be scaled-up by the amount shown (in decibels) in the Info Line.
Just as dragging the volume handle upwards increases a part's playback volume, dragging it downwards decreases it.
KRISTAL doesn't only allow you to make 'static' changes to a part's volume; you can also apply 'dynamic' fades to a part.
Click on the triangular handle at the far left of the part, and drag it to the right. You'll see a sloping line extend diagonally across the part, and the waveform will be 'scaled' according to this slope.
Fades, like static volume changes, are also applied non-destructively.
Now when KRISTAL plays the part, its playback volume will dynamically 'fade in', over a period of time corresponding with the length of the diagnoal line displayed.
Just as dragging the handle at the far left of a part creates a fade in, dragging the handle at the far right of a part creates a fade out.