Monday, 11 June 2007

Partners and Creating Audio on your Computer.

The more we go forward with the Thunder project, the more we realise the need to work with other people and not try to do it all ourselves. Over recent weeks, someone has given hours of time to upgrade the Thunder Help files to professional Windows standard and the WebbIE text browser has always been a fantastic voluntary effort.

We want Thunder to be multi-lingual and are looking at eSpeak as the appropriate free synthesiser to take us into Africa and Central Asia et, but this is a long-term business. ES[peak is not of the same quality as the Microsoft voices but it might be the only way forward in some countries. If you would like to try eSpeak, please do and let us have your feedback. The download is

Many of us enjoy audio in all sorts of ways and we have been looking for a suitable free or low cost application.

We researched several audio editing applications and agreed on WavePad as being excellent and easy to use with Thunder. There is a free starter version as well as a Masters version and various add-ons which you pay for.

The download URL is

Once you have opened WavePad, you can press control+n to open a file. You
are usually presented with a dialogue which allows you to choose the sample
rate, radio buttons for selecting mono or stereo and a combo box to select
the recording source. Having opened a file by activating the ok button at
the end of this dialogue, pressing f5 will start the recording and escape
will stop it.

A dialogue box is open while your recording is in progress with a number of check
boxes and buttons which are identified by Thunder, including such things as
stereo, panning etc.

Once you have stopped the recording, f9 will play it, f8 will skim forward
and f7 will rewind. These work whether the recording is being played or
not. Escape will stop the replay of a recording and leave the insertion
point at the place where the playback was stopped.

F1 will give you help on the various features of the application and below are some of the shortcut keys:

Shortcut keys for WavePad

File Operations

Create new file Ctrl+N
Open file Ctrl+O
Save file Ctrl+S

Save File As (various formats) alt+f then a.

Play Operations

Record F5
Play F9
Play Slow Speed F11
Play Normal Speed F10
Play Fast Speed F12
Play Repeat Shift+F9
Stop Esc
Go to Start Home
Rewind F7
Fast Forward F8
Go to End

Edit Operations

Undo Ctrl+Z
Cut Ctrl+X
Copy Ctrl+C
Paste Ctrl+P
Clear Del
Select All Ctrl+A
Trim Ctrl+T
Trim Start Ctrl+R
Trim End Ctrl+E
Select from current position to start Shift+Home
Select from current position to end Shift+End
Select from current position to left Shift+Left
Select from current position to right Shift+Right

Zoom Operations

Select from current position to right Shift+Right
Zoom In Ctrl+Plus
Zoom Out Ctrl+Minus
Zoom Full Ctrl+Shift+F
Zoom To Selection Ctrl+Shift+S
Vertical Zoom Ctrl+Shift+V

Bookmarks and Regions

Add Bookmark Ctrl+B
Open Bookmark List Ctrl+Shift+B
Add Region Ctrl+R
Open Region List Ctrl+Shift+R

I hope this gets you off to a good start. If you discover other goodies and want to share your knowledge, please respond.