How to trim individual sound clips without making each an event?

Here’s an example of what I’m trying to do:

  • Imported a 30-sec. recording with sounds of glitches and clicks and cuts into FMOD Studio. It’s now in the Audio Bin proper.
  • I want to drag this into a Scatterer Instrument (or Multi) multiple times, and for each of them, edit the start/end points so it’s playing a small micro-slice of it.

What’s the most efficient way to do this in FMOD Studio?

It’s common functionality in drum samplers and other sample editors, a “quick trim” where there’s a highlighted area that shows what part of the whole sample is going to be triggered. Usually it’s easy to use like just dragging the cursor over an area to be played. Example: Gun Sound Design With Weaponiser by @Krotos Audio - YouTube

I was previously making new events, then splitting each up and dragging them into the Scatterer, but that felt much more inefficient and tedious when dealing with 100s of micro-slices.

I’m not looking for destructive editing, just want to change the start/stop points WITHIN a Sound panel, where it shows Play button/Loop/Compress etc. Right now I can click within the waveform to start preview playback at that point, but am I missing something obvious?

Start Offset sorta solves one half of this but isn’t as hands-on, and also, changing the offset doesn’t actively show the current start marker in the waveform. So I’d also need an End Offset.

Related from some years ago: Trim Audio in Fmod Studio?

Do you want random slices or do you want to manually edit those trims? Also, do you want those slices to all be the same lentgh?

Manually edit the trims for now, so they’d be different lengths.

I’d like to start with that, and add additional randomization modulation after.

Fine-tune it by hand then spice it up.

What would you recommend?

I would recommend you to familiarize with Reaper (if that’s not already the case), which has tons of possibilities to fast edit bunches of samples! I don’t think Fmod Studio is the right place to do that.

Yes, I’m using external sample editors including REAPER. Dynamic Split is a delight as I’m sure you know. :slight_smile:

But… the reason I want to do this internally is because I want to change trimming on-the-fly as-needed from a longer sound, while I iterate — if I “chop” a piece too short, then I can non-destructively select a larger portion. An external tool won’t solve that simple flexibility for me.

Curious if there’s a simpler way to already do it in FMOD Studio that I’m missing, since some of the parts are already here for audio files.

As mentioned, I’m aware I can do it with trimming the length in multiple events and then dragging in each event, but that works for a few at a time… it’s overkill and gets clunky fast, doesn’t scale well to 100s.

Maybe try a start offset on the instrument in the timeline, with an action sheet on the same event, containing a silence instrument (which you can set to what you want) and a command instrument that stops the event after the delay (which is a workaround for the “stop offset”). However it will stop all instances of the event. Not sure this is very convenient, though!
I don’t really understand why do you need to set that on the fly, and can’t just trim properly in Reaper.

Thanks for helping me think through this — I appreciate what you suggested but it, too, seems more awkward than a straightforward “select part of a sound”.

“Trim properly in Reaper” isn’t a good solution for this particular scenario because of the sheer duplication and redundancy involved, both from a memory usage and filesize perspective.

Say I take this 30-sec file of continual noise and tones (not just transient drum hits separated by silence) and want to make 100+ slices out of it, where a lot of them actually contain parts that overlap. That’s different than each slice being unique and different, which may be what you have in mind. As a result, it ends up being comparatively inefficient.

To elaborate on what I mentioned earlier: Start Offset is helpful, but it’s specified in % rather than time or samples. That makes it harder to be exact. BUT by “earballing”, it does work.

AND if we had an End Offset, that would be the other major part.

EVEN BETTER STILL: set Start Offset and End Offset by dragging inside of the Sound panel!

For workflow, I’d prefer to keep the file whole in FMOD Studio, and derive parts out of it as-needed.

The video example I linked shows how in that particular tool (and various others), you can drag in any wave file and then drag-select a part out of it to play. That non-destructive functionality is precisely what I want, with the difference that the sound contains not just “one shot” but a lot more stuff.

I hope that helps explain it better.

I wanted to followup in case anyone knows anything more: are there any tidy workarounds for an “End Offset” feature in the meantime, or does this need to be added proper?

FMOD Studio does have the ability to non-destructively trim the start and end points of sounds in synchronous single instruments, but not other instrument types.

Does that suit your requirements?

@joseph How do I rapidly trim start/end points of the many single instruments already in a multi or scatterer instrument?

I think that’s what I’m missing.

I’m trying to find a way to directly trim start/end at the “Sound” level (let me know if I’m mixing up terminology), but I only see a Start Offset, no End Offset. It seems like if Start exists, End should too as a “perfectly balanced opposite”. :slight_smile:

I have previously done the workaround of setting up multiple separate events — each containing a single instrument w/timeline which I trim — and then dragging those events into a multi/scatterer, but it takes a lot more overhead to set up many events for all these micro-slices. It’s overkill if I have 100 slices I want to quickly adjust Start/End points for… AKA being able to non-destructively “sample chop” right inside of a Sound window.

That’s my intended workflow, being able to scroll up and down the Playlist and change the Start AND End Offsets… but again, I’m just seeing Start but no End.

Here’s a crude mockup at the Sound level:

  • Start Offset is shifted forward and there’s a visual vertical indicator line to show where the overall start is (not just a %)
  • There’s also an End Offset with its own counterpart indicator.

Screen Shot 2022-11-17 at 3.01.55 AM

This way, we can bring in a longer audio file and make a lot more little variants out of it, without having to destructively cut it all up beforehand.

I’m being exhaustive in trying to find if there’s any other way. Are there any known barriers to adding an End Offset? Has this come up before in your feature request tracker?

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It’d require some redesign of how instruments in playlists are handled both under-the-hood and in FMOD Studio’s UI. It would also likely result in changes to behavior and bank format. Neither of those would actually prevent us from implementing this feature, but they do mean we would only do it in a major version, not a patch release.

No. I don’t recall anyone else ever asking for this feature, and I can’t find any requests for it in our tracker.

I’ll add it now.

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I remember someone asking for a visual indicator of the “start offset”, some time ago. But @torley-gallium suggestion is more complete.

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