There is a small utility application that I can’t live without. It’s from Ambrosia Software and it’s called WireTap Studio. It sits direct center in my dock next to my Ableton Live icon.
It’s purpose? To record any sound my Mac makes. It can record audio coming from the entire Mac or any specific application. After you record some audio it has a nice looking edit window to fine tune your selection. While editing your recorded audio WireTap Studio gives you some nice fade curve options. All your edits are non-destructive so you can go back later if you decide you want something different.
It saves anything you record in a iTunes style playlist. The playlist is a new in this version of WireTap and its a great idea. Throughout your day any audio you come across that you want just go and grab it. Later when your song writing open WireTap Studio and check your playlist for some audio solutions!
WireTap Studio has a nice way to export your audio clips. On the bottom of the playlist window are icons for your hard drive, iDisk, eMail, etc… You simply drag your audio onto them to send said clip to your destination. The cool thing is you can add your own shortcut like your DAW for example. Wiretap also exports in to many audio formats. In the past I would grab audio from online sources but they would be in obscure formats like FLAC, Vorbis, or WMA. Using WireTap Studio avoids dealing with converting issues.
Finally, here is a real world example. It’s lunch time and I grab my sandwich. I click over to Missingtoof.com to see what insane NuRave, Electrohouse from LA I can discover. I come across a song that sucks but there is a wicked short tom fill that blows me away. Quickly I click WireTap Studio and record the fill. Later that day I’m in Ableton Live figuring out a cool way to bring back a verse. Ah yes! I remember that fill from lunch. Pull it into Abeton 7, right click the file and select slice drum,. Live cuts it up and puts it in a Drum Rack. After re-arranging the pattern and adding some effects I’m happy.