The excellent and inexpensive Soundboard cart emulator from Ambrosia Software.
How times have changed. Picture large industrial, proprietary tape players with equally clunky and huge START buttons, tapes and huge blade-connection Molex plugs for cabling. That’s a cart machine. They needed to be cleaned, aligned and were notorious for wearing the rubber pinch rollers quicker than a set of retreads on an old Camaro.
Today – when we need to play small bits of sound effects, intros/outros or even a full show of music files, the options are much easier, but still not plentiful. Until someone pointed me to the Ambrosia (well known for their hugely popular WireTap program) site, I had no idea about Soundboard.
Soundboard is an amazingly clean, easy and well thought out cart emulator that lets you drag and drop sound files at will. Play them back with a mouse click. There are only a handful of PC options and fewer yet for the Mac. At a current price of $29, Soundboard (at least in my opinion) doesn’t have any competition.
Soundboard not only allows the standard drag and drop options (including custom colors for quick ID’ing of bits), but non-destructive editing of your sound files, including the addition of plug-ins and special effects. Just watch the Soundboard videos to get an idea of what this program will do. As well, the simple (and elegant) tabs allow you to switch out ‘themes’ of virtual carts with a single click. Every element of Soundboard has been implemented with a quick and easy workflow in mind.
The down side? I can’t run it on my PC; Mac only.
A Good cart emulator remains a valuable tool for the creation of true ‘radio’ work flows. This software alone could justify adding another Mac to your studio. That will sound extreme – unless you’ve ever had to service a real triple decker (or the 3D as we called them) cart machine!
A great tool for broadcasting at a bargain price. Check out Soundboard.
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