Editing on the SoundLink also occurs in the AUDIO mode. This is done on Page 2 of the four AUDIO screens. There are three editing choices: Erase INtoOUT, Move INtoOUTDST, and Copy INtoOUTDST. All three editing functions require setting an IN point and an OUT point. To move or copy a section of audio, a third "destination" point must be set. The Erase INtoOUT function erases audio between two points but doesn't bring the two points together like you would if you were splicing a few words out of a voice track. So, the Erase INtoOUT function is most useful for removing noise on a track. To perform the kind of splice we're more familiar with, the Move INtoOUTDST function is used. Let's say you have a voice track counting from 1 to 10 -- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. You want to edit out the 4,5,6,7 so it reads 1,2,3,8,9,10. Your IN point is at the beginning of 8, your OUT point is at the end of 10, and your destination point is after 3. When those points are set, one press of the "H" soft button performs the edit, basically writing over the 4,5,6,7 part of the track. The Move function is used for many other editing functions as well. For example, you can move a piece of audio from a point on track 5 to a different or the same point on track 6. If you wanted to move the entire sound to another track or somewhere else on the same track, a Capture function speeds up the process by setting the IN and OUT points with one press of the "CAPture" soft function button. The Copy INtoOUTDST function operates similarly but obviously does not remove the audio from the source track, nor does it use up additional space on the hard drive to make the copy.
What if you make a mistake after executing an edit? The SoundLink's UNDO button is in the top right corner and remembers one step back. Pressing UNDO restores the tracks to their previous state, but not to their state two or more edits back.
One final note about setting IN and OUT points for editing. Most often, this is done using the scrub function of the SoundLink. On the right side of the console is a large data wheel used for scrubbing the actual waveform of a single selected track. The "feel" of the scrub is not identical to that of rocking a couple of analog reels, but it's close enough to do the job. A Zoom In/Out function lets you get a close-up shot of an area you're scrubbing which helps a lot when doing things like removing pops or other very short noises. The data wheel is also used to enter values into various fields as well as locate the "cursor" or vertical line on the display to a point in a session.
The third page of the AUDIO mode is devoted to dealing with "segments." Segments are nothing more than file pointers that tell the SoundLink where a "sound" begins and ends. So, when you record a voice track, it gets written to the hard disk as a sound. What you deal with when editing these sounds are referred to as segments. When you erase, move, and edit on the SoundLink, you are merely altering file pointers or segments. The actual sound, in its entirety, remains on the hard disk, thus making the editing functions non-destructive. Page 3 of the AUDIO mode lets you Erase, Move, Copy, and Trim segments. Remember, when you erase a segment, it will disappear from the track it was assigned to, but the sound itself still remains on the hard disk and is retrievable at any time until you actually choose to delete the sound in the DISK mode.
The final page of the AUDIO mode is the Edit Sound page. Here, sounds on the disk can be renamed, retrieved from the disk, placed onto a track, and more. An Expansion/Compression function performs time squeeze and expansion on sounds. There are three "quality" modes for the process; the higher the quality, the longer the SoundLink takes to perform the function. We used the middle quality mode to shrink a one-minute and eight second voice track down to a sixty and were quite impressed with the nearly perfect result. Another function in the Edit Sound page is the ability to convert a sound's sampling frequency from 44.1 to 48kHz and vice versa. The SoundLink records and plays back only at these two rates.
The next mode of the SoundLink is the MIXER mode. It isn't necessary to use the SoundLink's mixer. Remember, there are eight balanced INs and OUTs on the back of the Main Unit that can be sent directly to a console. On the other hand, there are a lot of features in the SoundLink's mixer, and you might prefer to send only the SoundLink's stereo master L/R mix to your console and do all your mixing within the SoundLink. There are seven screens which access the fully automated, digital mixer. Page 1 displays all ten faders and provides functions for enabling and disabling automated control of the faders and mute buttons. Page 2 accesses the unit's EQ. "Snapshots" of settings of this digital, 3-band, combination shelving and parametric EQ can be saved for later retrieval. EQ can be adjusted from -12 to +12 dB, 40Hz to 16kHz. Page 3 accesses the mixer's pan pots, reverb mix, and send levels for two auxiliary sends. Page 4 offers, among other things, the mixer's noise gates and phase switches. Additional pages present other features of the mixer too numerous to detail.
For the most part, it is the ability to automate and perfect a mix that is most attractive for radio production. How many times have you had all eight tracks loaded with sounds, voices, effects, and music, to the point that when it comes down to the mix, you need five extra hands to make all those fader adjustments halfway through track 1 and right after the doorbell on track 3, and so on? With the SoundLink's automated mixer, you can, one track at a time if you wish, precisely record those fader movements. And the SoundLink provides an "Update" function much like "punching in" should you want to revise a fader movement.