Most main menu items are either self-eplanatory (eg. "Preferences") or they show an info popup (on mouse hold) that describes the function, sometimes with a link to these docs.
Below are main menu items that need extra info:
Import Audio File
Imports an audio file into the current composition.
You get several options for how the audio file is imported:
Audio Stream: The part is played straight from disk as is. The big advantage of this type is that audio files can be very long for they're not fully loaded in RAM.
Audio Sequence: The audio file is loaded as a sample and the part plays a sequence of sliced sample events.
Pitched Sample: The audio file is loaded as a sample and a new MuSampla track and rack are added.
Sliced Multi-Sample: The audio file is sliced per transients and a corresponding multi-sample is created, and a new MultiSampla track and rack are added. For all details on sliced sample parts, click here.
Note Audio Streams can only work with AIFF and WAVE files so if you're importing an MP3 file the Audio Stream option won't be there.
The new part is put on the focused track, unless the target module for that track has no audio input, in which case the new part is put on a new track.
Export Composition As Audio File
Renders all audio in the current composition into an audio file.
Only the selected parts are rendered. If no parts are selected, then if you have set a Composition loop, only the loop region is rendered. Else everything is rendered.
Note that to include any effect tail in the mix, you must add an extra (empty) part at the end.
Also note that external MIDI gear cannot be included in the mix, unless you have recorded their audio output!
The "Create new part" option will create an audio part playing the rendered audio file.
Note that MuLab exports in the same samplerate as your audio setup. So if your audio setup is using 48 kHz the audio export will also be in 48 kHz.
Export Tracks As Audio Files
Very similar as "Export Composition As Audio File" (explained above) but this function will render each main track separately. This may be handy when you want to transfer the tracks/stems to another system, or when you want to do final mastering using audio tracks only.
Note that if you have any automation tracks for a track then these automation tracks should be used as a sub-track of the relevant main track, otherwise it won't work as Export Tracks internally solos each main track and then renders it.
Export Consolidated Project
This function is for the case a user wants to send a project to another user on a different system.
This is how it works:
- User chooses destination folder.
- Current project is saved to temp file so it can be reloaded in its original state after this export.
- All unused sequences, multi-samples, samples, audio streams are deleted from the project (RAM).
- Unused audio files in project's audio folder are deleted.
- Used sample files are copied in dest folder/audio.
- Used audio files are copied in dest folder/audio.
- Project is saved in dest folder (using relative links to those used sample/audio files).
- If the project uses VST plug-ins then a textfile that lists the used VST plugins is saved into dest folder ("Used VST Plug-Ins.txt").
- Original project is reloaded from temp file.
Export MIDI File
Exports the current composition as a MIDI file using the WYHIWYG principle, thus muted parts are not exported.
If the current Composition has any selected parts, then only these parts are exported. Otherwise all parts are exported.
Note that audio parts cannot be exported to MIDI.
Render Parts As New Audio Part & Render Parts As New Sample
Renders all audio of the selected parts as a new audio part or as a new sample in RAM.
- To include any effect tail in the mix, you must add an extra (empty) part at the end.
- External MIDI gear cannot be included in the mix, unless you have recorded their audio output.
- Enabling the "Create New Part" option will create a sequence part that plays a MuSampla playing the rendered sample.
Manage Audio/Sample Files
This function lets you move/copy the used audio/sample files into the Audio sub-folder of your project.
This is handy for a neat organization and for when you want to move your project to another system, as MuLab will use relative file links when the audio/sample files are in a sub-folder of the project file.
Update To Modified Audio Files
This function will update the audio streams to any changes applied to the source audio file.
This function is only visible if the "Auto Check For Modified Audio Files" preference is off, because then this function works automatic.
But when assigning a shortcut to it, it is always available, in case you need it.
Toggle Automatic/Manual MIDI Input Focus
MuLab uses 2 different types of focus:
The GUI Focus defines which GUI component will process the keys you press on your computer keyboard. More info here.
The MIDI Input Focus defines which plug-in will receive MIDI input.
By default MuLab uses "Use Automatic MIDI Input Focus" which means that MuLab will sync these two focuses i.e. the MIDI focus will auto shift to the most relevant module you're working with on screen.
But there are situations where it is better to not have them synced:
Imagine you're making music with someone and you are editing on the computer and the other person is playing a MIDI keyboard.
Now whenever you click on a plug-in on the screen the MIDI input focus is shifted to that plug-in and so the sound on the person's keyboard will change.
That's not comfortable in that situation.
So that's why you can tell MuLab to "Use Manual MIDI Input Focus", then the MIDI Input Focus is preserved regardless of what you're doing on screen.
Then whenever you do want to change the MIDI input focus manually, drag-drop the rack/module you want to play onto the Focused Module Panel.
Edit MIDI Input Channel Targets
Using this dialog panel you can define for each incoming MIDI channel which target module is to be played.
This allows you to make flexible MIDI setups using 2 or more MIDI keyboards and/or controllers.
This feature is only handy in very specific situations.
When target module is set to 'Focused Module', then that MIDI input channel will play the module that is currently focused.
When target channel is set to 'Focused Channel', then that MIDI input channel will play on the focused MIDI channel of the target module for that MIDI input channel.
Each module also has a focused MIDI channel which is the MIDI channel you last played on.
Imagine you have 4 tracks routed to a single instance of module X, track 1 to channel 1, track 2 to channel 2 etc.
When you select track 1, so module X is focused, on channel 1 (now this is the focused channel for module X).
When you select track 3, so module X still is focused, but now on channel 3 (now this is the focused channel for module X).
So if you map external MIDI input channel 1 to module X but to its focused channel, then you'll always get module X but on its last focused channel.