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Sound Mill X3 - Product Abstract

Windows 8 Downloads Editors Pick Award Sound Mill logo

Sound Mill X3 and Video Mill Integration provides a powerful multi-media performance tool suite. Instantly kick off video projection that coordinates with your audio design. This is done by sending automation commands to start scripts on the receiving program. Send timed commands from automation scripts or manually for on-demand actions. The programs can reside on the same computer or separate computers connected on a wired or wireless network.

Intended Uses - Sound Mill is an audio player, list organizer and automation manager that can transform your wildest ideas into sound design that works. There is no special hardware required, just a computer with any connected speakers. Sound Designers for Performing Arts Theater will appreciate the ability to organize the sound cues for each act of a production. The Automation Manager allows you, with one button click, to play multiple audio files in sequence or even overlapping to create precision sound scapes. Solo performers, such as magicians, comedians, and public speakers can remotely control sound cues with a pocket remote controller at distances up to 100+ feet from the computer.

Venues with multiple audio zones or rooms, can pipe different playlists to each zone simultaneously from one computer. These include venues such as museums, haunted mansions or simply a spooky Halloween walk-thru at your school or home . Large to small retail businesses, can create playlists of music programming and schedule it to start or stop at any time of day. You can also automate promotional announcements to interrupt the music programming, then resume once the announcement finishes. And since the audio files reside on your own hard-drive, there are NO monthly music subscriptions to purchase. Whether you are a professional sound designer or an aspiring amateur, Sound Mill offers the simplicity and flexibility you need.

How It Works - Sound Mill allows you to play one sound cue or multiple audio files simultaneously with one button click. It supports most popular audio formats and more formats can be added by installing a codec package such as the free K-Lite codec. Just drag and drop audio files from Windows Explorer into the Sound List Editor. Then set Play Modifiers attributes for each file that control playback such as: number of times to repeat, positions within the file to start and stop playback, fade-in, fade-out, volume, left/right pan position and time delays.

With the Automation Manager, you can quickly create scripts that group several sounds for sequential play or timed to play relative to the start of the automation script. Quickly create playlists of music. You can manually run your automation or schedule them to start at a time of day. There is an Easy Player that provides a large button interface to your cues and can be operated with a standard remote controller device. The Easy Player is also well suited as a touch screen tablet interface. It can be configured as an Audio Kiosk. There is a lot more function to explore listed in the Key Features section below.

For Performing Arts Theater

Quality Sound for Theater
Quality Sound for Theater
Performing Arts Theater at all levels, city, community, or dinner theater, as well as schools, clubs or place of worship, can enhance performances with smart sound design. Organize a complete sound plot for a show to execute sound cues. For pre-show and intermission, pipe music playlists and announcements to one or more different venue zones -- a lobby PA, stage speakers, and 3D speaker systems. Automatically generate detailed sound design reports, organized by Act and Scene, to view on screen or to print and review at production planning meetings.

The Automation manager allows you to create reusable sound modules. Just create the automation sequence once and import the module into any new project. Automation allows you to play multiple sound cues concurrently and fire them at timed offsets with precision in the milliseconds. For example, start a track with the sound of rain, then at 10 seconds fire a thunder clap cue, then a scream cue -- all timed down to the millisecond. You can time one of your own external programs to start at an exact moment during a music track to control lighting or other physical devices tied to the performance. You can pass parameters to the program or use a keystroke macro control program to operate the program's menus and make it do a specific operation.

For Stand-up Performers by Remote Control

It's Like Magic
It's Like Magic
Mark Angelo, Comedy/Juggler
Mark Angelo, Comedy/Juggler
Solo working artists and performers, such as magicians, comedians, mimes, jugglers, storytellers, public speakers and others, want the freedom to move around the stage or walk into the audience seating area. The Sound Mill Easy Player with a Remote Control Device can offer a good option for remotely controlling sound Cues with a pocket remote (at distances up to 130 feet). Place your laptop on a table where you can see the display (on stage or off). Use the built in laptop speakers or connect powered computer speakers for a pro-sound with punch. The Easy Player allows you to configure to virtually any remote device (RF, WiFi, Bluetooth, Infrared, etc). Even use a cell phone or a wireless number keypad.
Gold Star See how Mark Angelo, owner of Comedy In High Definition™, uses Sound Mill with a concealed remote control for his Comedy/Juggling act.

Use Large Text Cues
Use Large Text Cues
Accompany your act or presentation with a music track and surprise sound effects at precisely timed moments. Hide your remote in your pocket, out of sight for stealth operation. Hey, it's magic. Display large font text or use images to indicate your position within the sound cues list. Try 3 cues visible at once: The current playing cue (highlighted in reverse video) plus the previous and next cues. Volume Fades, bump volume up/down and mute via remote. Forward and back buttons allow you to quickly scroll through the cues. Tie ad-hoc sounds (ex an applause sound) to one or two buttons for on demand play.

Lots more function is available -- for more detail see the Operating with a Remote Control Device section of the Sound Mill User's Guide.

For Haunted Mansion Walk-through and Amusement Attractions

Haunted Mansion Sound Tracks
Haunted Mansion Sound Tracks
Gold Star See how Sound Mill is used by the HauntedWeb of Horrors in Memphis Tennessee , the premier haunted house attraction in Memphis Tennessee.
Whether you are a sound designer for an amusement park attraction or museum display, or you just want to create a spooky walk-thru for Halloween at your home or school, Sound Mill automation has the flexibility needed for complex sound scenarios. Play a constant background sound in a continuous loop (ex. wind howling and rain) and time other sounds to repeat at regular intervals (ex. ghost calls, wolf howls, foot steps, etc.) . The possible scenarios are limited only by your imagination. Create sound automation that changes over time. Large venues can control multiple audio zones simultaneously with one computer, each zone having its own audio programming.

For In-Store, Business and Public Venue - Music with Announcements

For Business and Public Venue
For Business and Public Venue
As the sales mantra goes, "Always be selling!". There is no better time to bring your sales promotions to the attention of your customers then while they are actually in your store or venue. Sound Mill makes it a snap to combine music and announcements. Insert announcements automatically after every music track -- or after every second, third, or Nth (you pick the number). Schedule an announcement by time of day and/or date. Or time announcements to repeat at timed intervals (ex. every 3 minutes). A timed announcements will suspend the music track until it finishes. And there are no expensive music subscriptions to buy -- use the music ripped from your own CDs. (the program Help has easy rip instructions).

Announcement examples: Announce sales promotions, public service messages, upcoming event dates, news items, your business Web site address and business hours or 'store closing soon' warnings. Or simply sound a bell or chime at specific times to mark time periods (ex. employee break periods, classroom period begin and end). Record your own messages as an MP3 file with your computer and microphone or use pre-recorded, professionally produced announcements.

Large venues with multiple rooms can control multiple audio zones simultaneously with one computer, each zone having its own audio programming.
Gold Star See how Capital City Civic Center uses Sound Mill to centrally control music playlists to multiple meeting/dining rooms.

For Time Scheduled Sounds like Ringing Period Bells in Schools

If you have a requirement to automate playing sounds at specific times of day and to be able to pipe the sound to various zones (rooms), Sound Mill has the knowledge to ring that bell. Just acquire an audio file of the sound(s) (MP3, WAV, etc) and use the Sound Mill scheduler to time the playing of the audio. Your setup can auto-start all the automation when the computer is booted up -- no operator intervention required. Usage examples: school period bells; employee lunch time and break periods; or really any situation where people need to be informed of a time period begin or expiration.

The computer can be multi-purposed for other office work if desired while Sound Mill runs quietly in the background. And ad-hoc, recorded announcements can be played manually at any time with Sound Mill without disturbing the period bells automation.

Gold Star See how a 16 classroom school uses Sound Mill to automate ringing period bells throughout the school day.

For Audio Kiosks

Kiosk Stand
Kiosk Stand
Click for Larger View
Click for Larger View
The Sound Mill Easy Player can be operated as a Kiosk program to allow customers or visitors to play audio directly from any kiosk device, touch screen or laptop. Show Mode will disable all Player Edit functions except ones used for Playback by Kiosk users. Create a professional grade, graphical interface with images (of all popular formats including digital camera photos). You control all the colors, fonts and use your own Marquee image to promote your brand. Apply transparency to Play buttons to create stunning effects.

Examples of possible uses might include: A museum kiosk for audio related to a showcase; A theater kiosk with audio messages from key actors or information about the company and future productions; A retail store kiosk to convey product key features and benefits; A restaurant audio menu of 'Today's specials' to describe each dish; a science fair kiosk to describe your project. The list is limited only by your imagination.

For more detail, see the Kiosk Operation section of the Sound Mill User's Guide.

No special hardware required

Your setup can be as simple and mobile as a laptop computer with computer speakers connected to the headphone jack. Or as sophisticated as a desktop powerhouse or server with multiple soundcards. Professional sound multiple I/O channels. If the I/O channels are listed in the Windows Sound Playback devices list, they should be recognized by Sound Mill . (see Windows Control Panel > Sound > Playback tab)

Audio file formats supported

    Sound Mill will play virtually any standard format audio file. Record your own, download thousands from the Web ( Google "sound effects download"), or visit your local library and ask about sound effects CD collections.

  • Standard Supported Formats (Standard Supported Formats) - Sound Mill supports these formats out-of-the-box: WAV, MP3, WMA, MIDI (MID), AU, AIFF (AIF), MPEG (MPG), and WMV -- Virtually any size file. For video formats, only the audio portion will play, video is ignored. Generally, if Windows Media Player can play the format, it should work with Sound Mill .
  • Add More Formats with a Codec (Add More Formats with a Codec) - By installing the excellent and Free KLite Codec package , you can extend the number of formats supported dramatically including popular formats like FLAC, OGG, AAC and more. Or use your own favorite audio codec.

Key Features

Tip - View the online demos to get a preliminary technology overview. Nothing to install. Just click and view.

  • Touch Screen Enabled (Touch Screen Enabled) - The performance interface can be transformed to a Touch Enabled interface in 60 seconds. (see screen shot )
  • High performance (High performance) - Takes advantage of multi-threading on multi-core CPU systems. Runs in 64-bit Mode on 64-bit Operating Systems.
  • Use with other audio programs (Use with other audio programs) - Use Sound Mill and other audio software (ex. WMP) simultaneously.
  • Automation Manager (Automation Manager) - Build automation Scripts to play sequences of sounds sequentially or at timed intervals.
  • Integration with Video Mill (Integration with Video Mill) - Send and receive automation commands between Sound Mill and Video Mill for a complete audio/visual tool suite. Provides split second timed automation of audio and video programming. The programs can reside on the same computer or separate computers on a wired or wireless network. (IPC feature)[1]
  • Scheduler (Scheduler) - Schedule automation Scripts to start at a given time of day for pre-show and intermission music and announcements.
  • Flexible date scheduling (Flexible date scheduling) - Create schedules to run by date: daily, weekly by day of week, monthly by date, and limited to a date range and more.
  • Remote Control (Remote Control) - Control sound Cues or music with a pocket remote device at distances up to 130 feet. Most standard presentation remotes are supported, costing a little as $20. (see Easy Player feature)
  • Audio Kiosk (Audio Kiosk) - Let customers or venue visitors interact with your sound design via a Kiosk. Visual design capabilities for creating the Kiosk are highly flexible. (see Easy Player feature)
  • Select Output Devices (Select Output Devices) - Simultaneously play different audio and music programs on Multi-Zone Outputs Systems (ex. lobby PA, stage tower speakers, courtyard). (WAV, MP3, WMA, AIFF supported for the Outputs feature)
  • Run External Programs (Run External Programs) - Run External Programs (ex. .bat, .exe, etc) and pass variables. Useful to coordinate/operate other show devices (ex. lighting systems, etc).
  • Sorting/Merging (Sorting/Merging) - Sort your sounds by Name, Category or Act/Scene. Merge lists together with one click.
  • Drag and drop (Drag and drop) - Use Windows Explorer or other file manger to drag and drop audio files into your Sound List . Also, drop folders of files or M3U Playlist files.
  • Manual play mode (Manual play mode) - Oversized buttons for play, stop, pause and resume. Adjust volume, pan left/right.
  • Start and Stop Play Markers (Start and Stop Play Markers) - Markers allow you to start and/or end play at any position in the audio file.
  • Auto-Fade In and Out on Play/Stop/Pause/Resume (Auto-Fade In and Out on Play/Stop/Pause/Resume) - With one click you can turn on/off volume fading for play actions. Just set the desired fade length (in seconds) and fades are performed automatically. No more jarring volume spikes or drops on high volume systems.
  • Fade In and Fade-Out Marker (Fade In and Fade-Out Marker) - Fade markers allow you to fade the volume in or out at any position in the audio file. You can set the fade speed (faster or slower fade) and the target volume level to which it will fade to.
  • Quick Markers (Quick Markers) - This is a Mass Update feature to perform edit operations on a selected set of Sound Items with one click. Includes: Add Fade-In and Fade-Out Markers; Snap-to Marker Position to the Left or Right Guide position; and Delete All Fade markers.
  • Auto Volume and Pan (Auto Volume and Pan) - Fade or gain volume at a set speed. Pan left or right at a set speed. Loop back in the other direction automatically.
  • Preemptive play mode (Preemptive play mode) - Play causes all playing sounds to suspend while a preemptive sound plays. (useful for injecting timed announcements into a music program).
  • Loop play (Loop play) - Play one sound in a continuous loop. For example, put a short clip of rain falling into a loop, then play thunder claps randomly.
  • Delay (Delay) - Set a time to delay before and/or after playing a sound (Pre/Post Delay). Useful for separating sounds in automation Scripts .
  • Multi-Play (Multi-Play) - Set the number of times to repeat a sound.
  • Copy and Paste Editing  (Copy and Paste Editing ) - You can copy a sound with all of its configurations and paste as a new sound. Move sounds up or down in sequence with one click.
  • Mass Updates (Mass Updates) - You can make the same attribute change to many sound cues at once -- A huge time saver with a large list of sound cues.
  • Find (Find) - Advanced searching on various sound cue attributes (name, description, audio filename).
  • Default Values (Default Values) - Save default values used when creating new Sound Items .
  • View/print reports (View/print reports) - View a report (a.k.a. sound plot) showing the list of sounds and configurations applied to each sound. You can save as a file and print the report. Set the level of information and detail to include.
  • Custom Skins (Custom Skins) - Prevent eye strain in a darkened theater or venue by using a dark program skin. Create your own with your preferred colors.
  • List Sorting (List Sorting) - Sort your list by sound name or by act/scene. Auto number the list.
  • Repair (Repair) - It is common to move audio files to new folders. The repair feature can reset audio file paths when files get moved.
  • Password Protection (Password Protection) - Password protect your work from tampering or unauthorized use.
  • More... (More...) - This is the short list of features. Browse the help files for a complete tour.

[1] Integration of Sound Mill and Video Mill using the IPC feature requires you have these version/releases installed:
Sound Mill 3.2 or later ; Video Mill 1.15 or later

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Operating Systems

Windows logo Our products run on:
Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP SP3
64bit, 32bit, and "N" editions
(See a few exceptions and see note on XP support.)

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5 stars

"I've tried a lot of other products. Sound Mill is the quickest and easiest I've found for designing sound. And now, the automation scripts make it a snap to setup intricate timings. Highly recommended." Alan N, Boston Ma

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