Batch processing can often be the bane of the producer’s existence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been an hour into trying to pull off a massive group edit of a large bunch of audio files and I’ve thought to myself, “I wish I just opened these one at a time and didn’t even try to do this batch edit”.
I’d like to think this isn’t all my fault. While there are a few options for batch audio file editing, they all seem to have at least one little quirk here or there about them that puts the brakes on my workflow and makes me look longingly at the horizon for something better. I’ve had a lot of friends recommend Sample Manager, and it seemed fortuitous that I run into the developers at NAMM and they let me in on the newest incarnation of Sample Manager—now called Myriad.
Myriad’s interface is wonderfully simple. Drag and drop a bunch of files into the file list on the left-hand side, and you’ll instantly see everything you ever (or never) wanted to know about them on the right. The right-hand area is broken up into three tabs: Details, Process, and Activity. Basically you get to choose between seeing ‘what’s up with these files’, ‘what would you like to do to these files’, and ‘what am I currently doing to these files’.
The details window is designed with a very intuitive aesthetic. There’s just enough variation in color of the text to make it really easy to spot values and metadata tag names. Some may scoff at honing in on this detail, but I think it’s important. After all, this tool is designed to save me time, and if I have to hunt around through a huge paragraph of data just to find what the peak dB value of a sample is, then the process becomes a bit counterintuitive. Myriad was designed to help you find out what you need to know quickly.
The number of processes available to you in Myriad made me realize why the software is aptly named. The possibilities range from altering the samples themselves to tagging them and even uploading them to various services. Just about anything you need to do to large groups of audio files is included—and there is even AU support for anything they didn’t think of. That last little bit makes Myriad somewhat limitless. Think ‘Automator for Audio’.
My initial impression of Myriad was that it would be an incredible time saver for me. I’ll be honest, and this may sound trite; but the number one thing I have to do on a daily basis and the task that seems to suck away at my very soul is converting split stereo files to interleaved stereo files and vice versa. I work primarily in Logic, but have a lot of clients that I collaborate with that are Pro Tools users. It seems to me I get split stereo files about 5 times a day, and the fact that there is no quick way inside of Logic to join these files is extremely irritating. The first thing I did after getting Myriad was quickly join a bunch of .L and .R files I had sitting on my hard drive that I was procrastinating getting to and it joined them in seconds. For me, that was worth the price of entry.
Those of you that work with samples for either keyboard production or drum programming are going to love this app. You can get from a collection of raw samples to a finely polished group of coherent audio files in minutes, and the app is incredibly stable and fast. If you work with large groups of samples this app is a no-brainer. Honestly, even working on a single file and saving ‘recipes’ for typical things you do to a file is a pleasure in Myriad. I’ve got a few workflow presets I’ve saved that instantly remove noise, normalize, and add a touch of ambiance to live video dialogue that I can’t live without! Two thumbs up from AskAudio for Myriad, for sure!
Pros: Simple interface, sleek design, incredibly fast and responsive, numerous processing options, AU support
Cons: Mac OS X only. Really, none. I love this app to pieces.