Home > audience-is-vendors, Interpreting, service-is-applying-learning-tools, service-is-testing-troubleshooting-debugging > No usable dual track audio from Sanako Study 1200 version 7 when saving as MP3?

No usable dual track audio from Sanako Study 1200 version 7 when saving as MP3?

  1. We have not been using the dual track recording capabilities of the Sanako much here yet, or have relied on the diachronic separation of channels that the Sanako voice-insert mode provides. Now, however, we want to apply the Sanako to consecutive interpreting in our MA program where there is more of a need for the reviewing student/grading teacher to switch between source and target language on the recorded dual-track audio.
  2. As far as I remember, dual track recording, one of the core features of the digital audio lab, used to work out of the box in Sanako (up to version 5 on XP?), but to my surprise, no more when I saved a student exercise, the left and right channel were identical (and the source and interpreter voices very hard to separate, the entire interpretation impossible to follow).
    1. I had noticed before that with version 7 (at least, we skipped 6) all recording was dual channel, but simply duplicated the left and right audio channel (isn’t this a waste of bandwidth and storage resources?).
  3. I tested our 7.1 installation (on Windows 7 64-bit), by changing the advanced collection settings, for an interpreting audio file, clapping from the teacher station:
  4. First I changed the tracks to be saved:
  5. Test1: image.This mixes student and program down onto each channel: image
  6. Test 2: clip_image004, Program track only, as expected (no clapping)clip_image005
  7. Test 3: clip_image006 Student track, as expected (only clapping – pretty much)clip_image007
  8. Workaround: After trying whether I can save manually from the student station, it occurred to me to change the file format also
    1. WMA:
      1. dual track
        1. works with “Save AS” from the student.exe (where the mp# options is conspicuously absent, or am I missing something): image
        2. won’t work with “collect” from the tutor.exe: both tracks (saving both is – fortunately – only an option for “save as“ WMA from the  student exe. You can also save only the student track as WMA) get mixed down to one (and the student is far too soft) , as you can witness here: image
      2. WMA is a technically nice, efficient (small file size)  and widely supported format, but does require an add-on installation on the MacOS X, not to mention mobile devices.
      3. WMA on Windows plays in Windows Media Player, but from version 12, Windows Media Player has no easy way to adjust the balance anymore, you have to dig relatively deeply into the OS (mmsys.cpl) itself.
    2. MFF:
      1. dual track works also (saving single track is actually not an option in this format)both using
        1. the student recorder “Save as” (which can also mix both tracks, see above)
        2. “collect” from the tutor.exe: you can fade in the left and right channel with the balance tool that you find in the student recorder to the left of the timeline.
      2. Unfortunately,
          1. the file size quickly gets out of hand: image
          2. and for no obvious reason, the biggest here is 12 times the size, but not longer than the smallest, and also only a 5-minute recording (I know that mff stores also the user’s bookmark information, but  this can hardly be the culprit): image
          3. compare this with how WMA compresses: image
        1. MFF is a proprietary format, which only the Sanako recorder can play. This may be a nice way to get more adoption of the free Sanako student recorder which is great for language learning. However, I had not originally planned on forcing my users to use it who are most comfortable with mp3.
    3. In addition, I now have a the problem with how to switch the Sanako default collection to MFF for interpreting teachers without confusing regular users.
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