UW-Fox Valley Logo

Advanced CD Burning

INTRODUCTION

Each workstation is equipped with a DVD burner (which can also burn CD's), and Vegas software. While Vegas is typically known as a video editor, it also doubles as an intuitive and powerful CD burning program.

ASSEMBLING YOUR TRACKS

If you have not already assembled the tracks you want to use on the Media Drive (D:), please go back into the "Extracting Audio" tutorials.

NOTE: This tutorial assumes that you have files (.WAV,.MP3, etc.) ready and you know where they are saved on the Media Drive. It is also very helpful to have browsed through the "Introduction To Vegas" tutorial, to get accustomed to the interface.

  1. Open Vegas.
  2. Click on the Explorer tab in the docking windows area (lower left). You should be able to navigate to your folder on the Media (D:) drive. When you get there, your files will be shown in the explorer window.
  3. Click and drag your file to the timeline.
    For the first track, place the edge of the file against the left edge of the timeline (under the 00:00:00 time marker as shown in the picture below). If you don't drag it to the 00:00:00 edge, any time between the edge and the first track will be silence during Track 1.
  4. Click on the "Go To End" button to advance the timeline to the end.
  5. Repeat the steps above to add all your tracks to the timeline. You can use multiple tracks, but it's easiest to add all your files to a single track.

CROSSFADING TRACKS

With Vegas, you can easily crossfade tracks. This allows you to create smooth transitions between tracks like those heard on radio shows. You can branch your whole CD together without the normal silent pauses between songs.

Just drag one track horizontally into another. There will be a box with a twisted-looking X inside that indicates how much overlap the two tracks have. Dragging tracks further into each other creates even longer, and possibly smoother, transitions.

You can also experiment with different types of crossfades. Vegas has a library of 25 preset crossfade patterns. Put your mouse cursor inside the crossfaded tracks, right-click and highlight Fade Type. Here you will see the visual representations of the different crossfades you can choose from. Try out different types! You can always listen to them by clicking on the timeline just before the transition, then hitting the Spacebar or Play button.

"NORMALIZING" TRACKS

Normalization adjusts each track's audio levels to maximize them without distorting (or "clipping") them. Most commercial audio CD's are normalized. In the example at right, the red track is an example of an untreated song file. Left untreated and burned on CD, this track will sound significantly softer than other tracks. Normalizing will bring the levels as high as possible without clipping

.

Normalizing is easy to do in Vegas:

  1. Place your mouse cursor anywhere over the track.
  2. Right click.
  3. Select Switches > Normalize from the menu (if it is not checked already).

MANUALLY ADJUSTING VOLUME ON TRACKS

Sometimes, normalization doesn't fix a whole track. This is usually the case if a track is loud on one part but soft for the rest. You can manually tweak audio levels.

  1. Click on your track. The background of the track should turn from white to colored.
  2. From the menu, select Insert > Audio Envelopes > Volume.
  3. A purple line will appear, centered horizontally through your track.
  4. Double clicking anywhere on that line will insert a "point" -- a little square dot.
  5. Double clicking again a little further down the line will insert another point (Fig. A), and that point can be dragged vertically (to adjust sound level higher or lower) or horizontally (to adjust the length of transition from the first volume point and the second) (Fig. B).
  6. The waveform (ie. the squiggly line representing the track's default levels) should not change to indicate manual increase or decrease of volume, however you can listen and watch the mixer display for levels. You want to keep them from going into the red.
  7. Any volume after a changed point will stay at that same level, so you will want to put a couple points after the section you want to adjust to bring it back down to center (Fig. C).

ADDING TRACK MARKERS

The last step before burning is adding track markers. The best part about assembling CD's using Vegas is that adding track markers wherever you want is as easy as hitting a button.

To place the first track marker:

  1. Have your CD project laid out the way you want it and ready to burn.
  2. Get the timeline cursor to 00:00:00:00, by clicking the Go To Start key.
  3. Hit the N key on the keyboard.
  4. A red flag with "Track 1" will insert at the cursor.

To number the remainder of the tracks:

  1. Place your timeline cursor where you want a new track number to be.
  2. Hit the N key on the keyboard. A new track flag will be placed.
  3. Repeat.

BURNING THE CD

Now you are ready to burn your CD.

  1. Place a blank CD-R in the DVD drive.
  2. From the Vegas menu, select Tools > Burn CD > Disc-at-Once Audio CD.
  3. The Burn Audio CD window appears.
  4. Select burn mode. "Burn CDs" will work in most cases. If you experience problems burning, select "Test first, then burn CDs".
  5. In the "Speed" box below, "Max" will be sufficient for the majority of jobs.
    If you experience problems burning, check your CD-R disc or case for a maximum speed rating (ie. 4x, 8x, etc.), and select that speed or lower.
  6. Click OK. Vegas will begin burning your CD.