I propose in this tutorial to introduce the SmartSounds plugin for Pinnacle Studio. We will see its installation, its use and its operation.
Up Pinnacle Studio 12, the software installed on your PC to manage SmartSounds files was Quicktracks. For Pinnacle Studio 15 and upper versions, it's SonicFire Pro 5.
For Studio 15 and below, just run the SmartSound_SonicfirePro_560_Studio_70673.exe you have downloaded from Avid (Corel) with an activation key purchased from Avid (Corel).
For Studio 16 and above, just run the SonicFirePro5.xFull.exe you have downloaded from SmartSound website (with our 20% discount).
I will not accurately describe the installation procedure which is very simple and can be summarized basically by clicking Next several times. I will only detail the double-activation key system. Indeed, you should have received a key 9 alphanumeric characters) to use SonicFire Pro and a key (17 alphanumeric characters) to activate the plugin in Pinnacle Studio. The first key is to be added after the .exe installation. The following window opens :
Click Enter Serial Number, and fill in all the fields in this window :
That's it for now. You have to activate SonicFire Pro as a plugin for Pinnacle Studio. For that, start SonicFire Pro from the Help menu and click on Avid/Pinnacle Studio Plugin Activation :
It's time to enter the second code you have received and then click Activate. That's what you should get :
For those who already had on their PC the Quicktracks software to manage SmartSounds with compatible versions of Studio before Studio 15, all SmartSound music files they had will be immediately identified and available in SonicFire Pro. For all other cases I will detail at the end of tutorial how to use SmartSounds you already own.
Using in Pinnacle Studio (V15 and above):
In Pinnacle Studio 15 using SmartSound:
Open the Audio toolbox :
Click Create background music automatically :
Select SmartSound instead of Scorefitter :
Open the plugin with Go to SmartSound :
In Pinnacle Studio 16 and above, one single thing to do:
Click the S-shaped above the timeline :
Who said that in new Studio versions everything was more complicated than in Pinnacle Studio 1-15 ?
Operation of the plugin :
Once you have launched the plugin from Pinnacle Studio, actually two overlapping windows will open. The one below is called SonicFire Pro and the top one SmartSound Express Track. SonicFire Pro is the engine of SmartSounds. The version that is installed with the plugin here is a constrained version and you will almost never have anything to do there.
Express Track is the window that you will use primarily. Once your work done, click Send at bottom left :
And the SmartSound music file is imported back into Pinnacle Studio to appear on the timeline.
WARNING: once you import a first smartsound, and you want to import a second one, you need to click on the SmartSound button plugin in Pinnacle Studio (even if the SonicFirePro or SmartSound express software is always displayed). This is to reconnect the SmartSound plugin to Pinnacle Studio. If you see the "EXPORT" button, it means that you did not click on Pinnacle Studio plugin button...
You can directly adjust its length by stretching it with the mouse and SonicFire Pro which was remained open will automatically recalculate it:
Express Track is divided into four zones :
- A zone for searching titles with multiple criteria. You can select only the albums you own or any album from SmartSound Store. In this case an audio preview of the album is uploaded and you can immediately buy it. You can select single or multitrack music titles. You can select sound effects.
- There, the titles list is displayed with the name of their album, the musical intensity and tempo.
In front of each title is an icon. If it is blue is that you own the title and that Express Track has found it on your PC. If it is gray is that the title was not found by Express Track on your PC and is part of an album that you own at least one of the tracks on your PC. In fact it has found the library attached to the title but not the music file. If there is a line in the icon is that you are dealing with a simple track title and if there are several lines with a multitracks title.
- Once a title is selected this zone gives you different informations about this title: name, album, author, its overall tempo in beats per minute (BPM), its description, the instruments used + license information.
- This is the main area for controls. You can set the duration of the musical piece but it's not really important because it is in Studio that you will do later with the mouse. With Variation you change the musical arrangement. For multitracks titles with Mood you specify which tracks you want to hear and with Mix you can mix all these tracks independently. Finally, a Tempo button allows you to change the music tempo. With the Play button you listen to the results of your changes. A level slider changes the overall volume of the song that will be delivered to Studio.
If you already owned SmartSounds :
As stated at the outset if they were already on your PC, they must be recognized automatically by SonicFire Pro.
If they are on another PC, you can now get on the old PC the contents of C:\ProgramData\SmartSound Software Inc (for Vista or Seven users) or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SmartSound Software Inc (for XP) and put it on the new PC exactly at the same place.
If you start from scratch, you will have to insert the Smartsound albums installation CD that should install automatically. In some cases the automatic installation is not done. Open SonicFire Pro and in the Tools menu select Options :
There, in the Album tab, click Add and SonicFire Pro should automatically install titles from the CD :
If none of this works, a single and final solution : copy/paste the content of the Library Enablers directory from the CD to C:\...\SmartSound Software Inc\Libraries on your PC and the content of Sound Files directory from the CD to C:\...\SmartSound Software Inc\Sound Files on your PC.
To backup your music, or to restore it:
If you would like to backup the files in case of a hard drive crash, you can copy the entire "SmartSound Software Inc" folder to an external drive. To find the "SmartSound Software Inc" folder, click the Tools menu in Sonicfire Pro, then choose Options. Now the Folders tab of the options menu and click the link that says "Click here to browse this folder". This will open up a window in the "SmartSound Software Inc" folder. Copy this entire folder to a backup drive. If you ever need to restore it, you can simply reinstall Sonicfire Pro, then replace the same "SmartSound Software Inc" folder from your backup back onto the hard drive and it should restore everything."
Excepted if you add some music through another path, in such case do not forget to backup this path as well !!
Mirco Winde video : How to use Pinnacle plugin with Sonic Fire Pro:
Thanks to Gert, we discovered this video, which might help you as well, in addition to Saby tutorial.