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lars 03-08-2011 09:40 AM

Howto edit and mix some music as interval workout timer
I remembered one blogpost I made some time ago and translated it from german into english. I hope my english is not too bad and it will be of some interest. :)

Interval training is nice but how to measure the intervals in a comfortable way? That's been my problem after I decided to pickup heavybag training after a while. I was looking for a nice way to keep track of my round and break times without having to look a watch all the time. I tried to use an interval timer on my iPhone. Nice, but not what I really wanted. After thinking a while about it I had an idea: Why not mix and edit some music so that active work times and break times would be clearly distuingishable? And I wanted a bell. :)
So I needed three things:
* An audio editing software
* a bell sound
* music
The third thing was easy, just a short look in my iTunes library and some hours later I had some songs picked:

I created two playlists:
Sports break
The first list consists of songs with a duration of at least 3:00mins, as I wanted to do 3:00mins rounds on the bag. And they had to be uptempo songs so I chose some metal and hard rock. The second list consists of slower songs for my breaks.
Now I needed a bell like the ones used in the boxing ring. Via Google I found freesound :: home page and signed on. A fitting sample was quick to be found here: freesound :: view sample :: Boxing Bell.wav

Now let's get mixing. :)
I used Audacity (Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder) for editing under Mac OS X, but Audacity will run under Windows or Linux as well. Starting it up you will encounter the folling screen:

To begin editing I opened my prepared playlist in iTunes, selected my first song and right clicked it --> Show in Finder

Now I could drag and drop the file into Audacity where it would be imported. Yeah, my first editable track. To trim the volume to my likings I used the Peak Limiter which can be found in the menu "Effects - Apple: AUPeakLimiter". With the slider I could now limit the volume:

Now I marked the first five seconds of the track with the mouse cursor. Or one can use the text boxes below the track area and just type which time frames are to be selected. I wanted the song to be faded in and via "Effects: FadeIn" this was accomplished. The timeframes 2:55 to 3:00 were faded out in the same way.

Now the most important part: My bell! :) The wave file from Freesound was dropped into Audacity:

I didn't quite like the sound of it, so I decided to pitch it down a little bit with the "Effects: Tone Pitch". I only went down four semitones:

I was nearly down with the first song now. But Audacity projects won't play on any device so I had to export the song via the file menu. First I had to setup the basics, e.g. filename, destination and sound quality. Afterwards I had to put in the metadata:

I filled the genre field with the entry "Intervall Training" to make handling the songs in iTunes more comfortable. After the Audacity export was complete I imported the file into my iTunes library and created a new, smart playlist (not sure whether they are called smart or intelligent playlists in english) with the following criteria:
(genre is containing Intervall Training)

The first song was finished now. In the same way I edited the next piece of music I wanted to use for my breaks. The only difference was that I chose 30 seconds as break duration. :) The playlist looked like this:

Now I could plug in my iPod, sync the playlist and hit the bag. Ok, I did more than two songs. ;)

(Original post by me can be found here: Howto: Ein Mix „Tape“ erstellen als Timer für’s Intervall-Training

Keep on pumping! :biglifter:

BendtheBar 03-08-2011 09:35 PM

Nice post.

Ever here of Acoustica? I use that as well for minor editing and layering of MP3 tracks.

lars 03-09-2011 12:02 AM

Thanks. Acoustica? Hmm never heard about it. I'll look at it later on. Is it also multi platform?

BendtheBar 03-09-2011 07:32 AM


Originally Posted by lars (Post 121918)
Thanks. Acoustica? Hmm never heard about it. I'll look at it later on. Is it also multi platform?

It's a pretty simple tool. I use it for editing when I have a ton of files to layer. It allows infinite layers and is fast and easy.

Beyond that it's not much use. Perfect for podcasts or mixes where you need over-lapping sounds or to add sound effects.

It was free when I got it.

Acoustica MP3 Audio Mixer - Mix music, sound effects, and even your own voice!

lars 03-09-2011 02:54 PM

Looks nice. Thanks for the link BTB. :)

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