Mark Manager / Mark Docker

In Vixen 3.5 and up much of the Mark Manager functionality has been shifted to different locations or deprecated and removed.

Mark Collections

Mark collections are now entirely managed in the Mark Collection docker. You can add/remove them, adjust their color, set their appearance and their type from the Mark Collection docker. You can import them from various different formats including Papagayo and xTiming which are both new in 3.5. They also can be exported in Vixen format.

Mark Collection Appearance

Each Mark collection can have some attributes set to distinguish it from the others. This can be customized by the user in the Mark Collection docker by right clicking on the Mark Collection name. Here the color, line type and weight can be set. The Solid Line, Bold, and Color all influence how the lines through the timeline look as well as the color of the mark in the Mark Bar. The Weight determines how strong the mark influences the snap to mark feature when aligning effects.

Mark Collection Types

There are four types of mark collections.

  1. Generic: This the basic all purpose type and is used for basic timing marks.
  2. Phrase: This collection is used to denote marks used as the Phrases for Lip Sync purposes. Each mark should contain the text of a vocal phrase.
  3. Word: This collection should be used for the broken down words of a Phrase type collection. When using the breakdown function in the Mark Bar on a Phrase type mark, it will break out the words and place them in a Word collection.
  4. Phoneme: This collection is used as the broke down Phonemes for a word.

Mark Collection Linking

The three collection types that pertain to Lip Sync can be linked to each other to make the association. A word collection should be linked to a parent Phrase collection. A Phoneme collection should be linked to a parent Word collection. This guides the breakdown feature in the Marks Bar on where to put the associated breakdown. Under normal workflows this linking would be done automatically. If you create a Phrase collection first and then break that down into words, it will create an appropriate word collection and link it automatically. The user can edit the linking if necessary on each collection. A collection can only be linked to one parent.

Mark Tapping

Tapping can be accomplished by having a Mark Collection defined in the Mark Collection docker. Then with the collection you want to used marked as active, you can hold the Shift key and then hit space where you want marks to be places while the sequence is playing. Once the marks are added, you can later adjust their positioning within the timeline.

Beat / Bar Detection

Marks for audio beats and bars can be automatically detected on an audio track that has been added to the the sequence in the editor. Under Tools -> Audio -> Beat/Bar detection.  This will bring up a dialog to select the type of marks you want to generate. This uses the VAMP plugins that are commonly used in Audacity to detect beats and bars. The defaults on this dialog are generally adequate. You can choose the name of the mark collection prefix you would like to use. It defaults to Beats. You can choose the colors of the marks by double clicking on the color boxes for each option. You can change them later if you need to. In the Clef you can choose the timing of the music. A lot of music is 4/4 so the default may work for most songs. Otherwise you can change it to what the music is. It does not generally do well with tracks that change signatures. Once you click Generate, it will create mark collections for all the options that were selected in the editor. See above for editing the generated collections.

Mark Import

Mark collections can be imported from various other sources. The Import menu on the Mark Collections Docker allows you to choose the source for that import. It can be tracks from Audacity, xTiming from XLights, or from the Singing Faces Project.

Lights Singing Faces Project Import

There is a browser under the import menu on the Marks collection docker to browse the available Singing Face tracks available in the project. In many cases that includes information about the audio track that was used to make them.

Pre Vixen 3.5

Audacity Import 

This section is still functional, however most of the functionality can be achieved more effectively with the new beat and bar detection features new to version 3.2.

Watch the above video for a short tutorial on how to create beat marks in Audacity and import them into Vixen 3.

As of the release of Vixen 3.1, the Mark Manger now has the ability to Export beat mark collections, in Audacity or Vixen 3 format. These exported collections can be imported into your other versions of a sequence, or shared with other Vixen 3 users.

Audacity can create a label track that includes the beats (and other things) in a song. Vixen has the capability to import these labels.

Audacity can use various plugins to analyze music and has basic beat detection built in. If you want more advanced beat detection, you can download other plugins for use with Audacity. I used the Vamp Plugins with some success (see video above). You can download them here: .

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