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Sound Mill X3 - User's Guide
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Automator - Automation Manager

Automator main window

The Automator is composed of a list of Scripts (left hand column), a run progress bar, a set of over-sized Run controls buttons and a panel that shows a summary description of the current selected Script.

The Run status information is displayed just above the progress bar.

Run status information
Figure 1.  Automator window
Figure 1. Automator window

The Edit Script Menu has the following functions. Some edit funtions use an Automator 'clipboard' similiar to the Windows clipboard, but they do not affect the contents in the Windows clipboard. The list is renumbered when actions add, delete or move items in the list.

Move Script tool bar button behavior

Edit Script tool bar

Edit Script tool bar

Edit Script tool bar buttons (Figure 2, from left to right): Save Sound List, Edit Script, Delete , Cut, Copy, Paste, New, Move Up, and Move Down .

Figure 2. Edit Script tool bar
Figure 2. Edit Script tool bar

These menu items provide a productivity aid for you to quickly create different types of Announcement and Music Scripts from your Sound Items. You can create the Script Using All Sound Items or select a subset of Sound Items by clicking the Using Selected Sound Items menu item. You could use the Script Editor to create any of these Scripts but these menu items offer a quick method to ensure all the necessary settings are set. When the Script is marked as any type of Announcements, all Play Steps in the Script are treated as Preemptive. You can also set a master Pre-Delay and Post-Delay for all Announcements in the Options dialog Automation tab.

Note on Progress Bar Mode

This works well when you are only running one Script. However, when you have multiple Scripts running concurrently and they are sharing this single progress bar, it may interfere with accurate progress depiction.

* Step Advance functions will not execute a Offet Timed Step. Current playing audio Step(s) will be stopped (with NO Fade-Out). If you advance to a Timed Offet Step, that step will be ignored and the next sequential step will execute. If a Script contains Timed Offet Steps, it is best to put them at the beginning of the Script (although not required). This allows optimal operation of Step Advance functions.

Run Script tool bar

Run Script tool bar

Run Script tool bar buttons (Figure 3, from left to right): Run Script, Stop, Pause, Resume, Play Step, Previous Step, Next Step, Jump to Step, Refresh, Stop All .

Figure 3.  Run Script tool bar
Figure 3. Run Script tool bar

Cross-Fade Mode

Cross-Fade Mode will overlap music track Play Steps for a smooth transition. As the current track ends and fades-out, the next track fades-in (Figure 4).

To enable Cross-Fade Mode, go to Behavior > Cross-Fade Mode. When the menu item is checked, it is enabled . There is also a toggle button on the Tools tool bar. (Figure 5)

The Cross-Fade Time Duration uses the Auto-Fade Duration from the Sound List Editor > Auto-Fade tool bar.



FYI: For Cross-Fade Mode to work properly the following settings are set for you automatically when you click Behavior > Cross-Fade Mode.

Figure 4.  Cross-Fade - Play Steps Overlap
Figure 4. Cross-Fade - Play Steps Overlap

Automator Log

The Automator Log lists start and completion times of Scripts and each Step that is executed with a time stamp. The log will also include error messages. It will automatically reset every time Soundmill is restarted and after 10,000 messages accumulate to avoid excessive memory use. Reset erases all messages currently in the log.

Play Steps are tagged to indicate type of execution: Sequential step (no-tag), Announcement (Ancmt) or Offest Timed(Timed). Step messages also indicate which Script executed the step ([S1], [S2], etc) or if the step was executed by the Scheduler ([Sch]).

Tools tool bar

Tools tool bar

Tools tool bar buttons (Figure 5, from left to right): Generate Report, View Automator Log, Reset Automator Log, Validate All Scripts, View Running Scripts, Cross-Fade Mode .

Figure 5.  Tools tool bar
Figure 5. Tools tool bar

Discussed on the Scheduler Help page.