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Is there a tool that allows the smoothing of a digital audio signal? For example, if I have hundreds of very different short audio clips one after another and I want the transitions to be smooth so that one clip would "flow" into the next. I tried crossfading between them, which helps, but I thought perhaps there's a more sophisticated method in which you can manipulate the frequency spectrum instead of the amplitude in the transitions.

Thanks! omer

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This is largely an arrangement question vs a composition question as you already have the material recorded. You need to put on your arranger hat. Besides the cross fade solution I suggest you 'sandbox' the following techniques and then decide which ones work best with each clip and then proceed to the mixing stage.

Assuming your audio editor will allow you to stack tracks (multiple clips at once), here are some techniques to sandbox.

Vertical editing, stacking clips in a musical way.

For instance, choosing material that has continuous long sounds in counterpoint to clips that are highly punctuated, analogous to percussion over bowed strings.

Try numerous clips on top of each other, apply various filters to each to make a compound. Such filters may include a resonant filter, high pass, or low pass, or band pass such as found in a graphic equalizer. Keep an eye on the levels as you stack so the total mix does not go into clipping. Do not be afraid to place these in different areas of the stereo field using the pan feature.

Tight horizontal editing: try to make new sounds by taking several clips, cutting these at their peak amplitude and join to the next clip with its peak. You might take 10 clips and string them together to create an 'event' that lasts only 1 to 3 seconds. You might like to make several of these.

Check out this example by Karlheinz Stockhausen: "Telemusik" (1966)

\

...and Stockhausen KONTAKTE, 1 of 4

Vertical and horizontal editing can allow you to create all sorts of forms including a fugue.

Consider processes such as reverb, delay, tap delays, and reverse image as well as tremolo, vibrato, chorus, phasers, wha wha effects that most editors have built in.

If you only transition from one clip to another with a cross fade, you will certainly be missing out on a lot of musical potential. Consider the power of cutting at the precise moment to something else suddenly even if that does not sound smooth on paper it may offer you a new think-out-of-the-box solution.

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Thanks for a great answer! What I was aiming for is to reconstruct a song into 100 ms short segments and reassemble it. I ended up crossfading AND overlapping the transitions (200 samples) between each two segments. This sounds much better than before but I'll also try some of the stuff that you suggested, e.g. various effects etc :) –  Omer Eilam Jul 10 '13 at 10:54
    
Hi Omer, thank you for the clarification on the source material. What you have done so far will be a significant base line or spring board to try other things. It may also be what satisfies you best, any effort at sandboxing will not be wasted as you will be exploring new territory that may serve you well in the future. –  filzilla Jul 10 '13 at 17:41
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It depends on the audio, there are tools that will do pitch and tempo correction so that you can match musical sounds together, but there are some artifacts introduced by their use. Both are actually the same thing since they are simply extending or contracting a waveform while keeping the frequencies the same.

Normally, when you speed up or slow down audio, it stretches the waveform. In the case of slowing down for example, the waveform elongates and thus the frequency is reduced. A pitch corrector will produce a new waveform from the old that maintains the frequencies but makes the wave take longer. Conversely, the new wave played at the original rate results in shifting the pitch up while maintaining the time.

In general, you still end up cross fading as the most effective means of blending them, just making them sound closer together makes the transition less jarring.

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