Having selected a block of audio, a full range of editing functions is available on the dedicated keys. The block, made up of a selected set of tracks from between the marked points, can be cut or copied on to a clipboard, which can itself be played for checking. The block can then be inserted elsewhere, used to replace existing audio, thrown away, or looped. Crossfades are fully adjustable and tracks can be slipped in time, forwards as well as backwards. All these actions can be carried out very quickly, and all can be undone.
The system can handle up to 99 projects, each with 99 locate points that can be marked up as easily as the edit in and out points, and named using the keyboard. A project can be copied in its entirety, duplicating all the edit points and audio information, but not the actual audio tracks themselves. Since nothing is destructive, several completely different versions of the same piece can be created without ever losing any of the others and without having to copy any audio. There are already stories of people buying a RADAR system, hanging on to an existing audio editor on the assumption they will be needing to fly stuff out to it for edits and fly it back in as with conventional tape, and then finding their audio editors have become redundant since RADAR can do it all with less fuss.
A good example of the kind of thing it can do is the idea of doing your mutes on the source tracks instead of on the console. Chunks of audio can be accurately identified and then ‘erased’ very quickly, without actually permanently removing anything; doing this on a copy of the project, coupled with the undo capability, makes it fast, flexible and safe, and possibly more accurate than most console automation.
This kind of work is definitely made easier by the use of an external VGA monitor. Panels around its edge show various bits of status information, such as sample rates, remaining space and so on, with the meter bridge represented at the top. While most these items can be viewed on the Session Controller’s display, it’s useful to have them all visible at once. But the screen is mostly taken up with the tracks display, a powerful aid to managing the audio and editing functions. Audio on the 24 tracks is shown as strips with the graphical waveform inside, which scroll across the screen. The current position is the Now Line in the center of the screen, and contrasting shades show the area defined by the In and Out points, making scrubbing and locating intuitive.
You can zoom in and out vertically so that only one track takes the entire screen, or so you can see all 24 at once. Similarly you can zoom on the horizontal axis to make it easier to find precise edit points. And while the horizontal zoom doesn’t let you get to the sample level as does ProTools or Sound Forge, it is adequate for most purposes in conjunction with the scrub wheel and your own ears.
You can share audio between different projects, and even the process of copying a section from one and pasting it into another is quick and straightforward. The project management tools are smart enough to flag the fact that you have done this, so that when the original project is deleted, the audio needed for the later one is retained.
The fact that RADAR 24 is 24-bit is an important reminder that this is not a system with appeal based solely on operational convenience. The audio quality of RADAR has always been a source of some pride to the folks at iZ. RADAR 24 builds on this reputation by incorporating 24-bit converters, although 16-bit operation is still available.