Free metadata app Soundly continues to impress with their latest release, Soundly 2.1.
Not long ago the folks at Soundly offered version 2.0 with a revamped design, online store, workflow, Pro Tools spotting, and shortcuts. It also added cloud support for library sharing, and more sounds for its in-app library.
That was in October, 2017. What has changed with Soundly in the last six months?
New Features in Soundly 2.1
There are considerable additions to Soundly 2.1:
- New metadata fields added. Soundly builds upon its metadata writing abilities with new BWAV-spec fields: Originator, Reference, Note, Project, Tape, Scene, Take, Category, and Date.
- New sample rate converter. The revision bakes the SoX Resampler library directly into Soundly, ensuring transfers, pitch shifting, and so on are fast, accurate, and smooth. (The SoX converter was mentioned in an earlier roundup of batch sound file converters.) In an email exchange, Soundly co-creator Peder Jorgensen kindly elaborated on this addition:
In Soundly we use sample rate conversion when spotting to Pro Tools, exporting audio at different sample rates and for the pitch/speed change. Luckily for us, the problem of sample rate converting has been tackled for decades and there are now many great libraries we can choose from. We needed something that delivered on both quality and speed, and that could alter the speed of an audio stream in real time. After trying many different algorithms, we ended on one made by Sox, with the sexy name “SoX Resampler library.” Which is considered to be one of the best.
- New thesaurus added to search engine. It’s now possible for search results to return files with names similar to your search keywords. Not sure if a library uses “swish” or “swipe” or “whoosh?” No problem, type one term, the others will be displayed as well.
- More powerful searching. The search engine has been tweaked to include new features:
- Search results now incorporate folder and library names.
- Exact matches are possible by wrapping terms in quotes.
- A quick click can display clips from a single library out of a list of search results.
- Ambisonic support. The amount of Ambisonic microphones are growing, and the amount of field recordings captured with this new technique are increasing, too. Soundly now supports .amb files out of the box. Jorgenson explained the new feature:
We think all the new ambisonic libraries coming out now are fantastic! And VR sound is where a lot of the cool stuff is going on right now. We’ve researched the format and gathered as many ambisonics files that we could, we spoke to sound designers about how they wanted us to support it and found that they would like to use Soundly to preview the encoded stream, and then export it to their DAW or game engine for processing. So you can now browse and preview ambisonic files in Soundly, and export it to where you’d like for processing.
How does it work? Soundly auditions the first two channels of the .amb file in stereo as an approximate representation of the recording. Then, Soundly shuttles the original .amb files to the user’s editing app for decoding and finer control.
There are also some shortcut improvements, workflow refinements, and of course bug fixes.
My thanks to Peder Jorgensen for his time explaining the new features.