This page is designed to get you going quickly and easily with the evaluation.  Click on a screenshot region to read about Riffster's various controls and functions.  Note, these descriptions are in typical workflow order: open a file, play it, set up some loops, adjust stuff and so forth   At first, when you're trying to navigate around Riffster, don't forget to read the mouse-over hints that appear towards the bottom of the application window.  Short cut keys can speed things up for you: you'll find their assignments summarized at the end of this page. More detailed info and examples are available on our web site - click here for our Frequently Asked Questions page.  But please, go ahead, just play around with the Riffster.


The Open Button

To start with you’ll need some music to play with.  Open a WAV, MP3, WMA, file, or a CD track with this button (or use ALT-O from the keyboard).  For multi-session or dual-mode CDs we have a special dialog with extra CD options.  Using this dialog you can also type in a name for the song rather than using the default. Use Ctrl+W to open this dialog.

Some audio files have Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection, Riffster can’t decode and play these files – Microsoft and the music industry jealously guard them.  Sometimes you can burn a “normal CD” with these files and RIP that legitimately with Riffster for personal use, but such is the complexity of this issue that sometimes you can’t.  Please though, always respect copyright and fair use law – including NovaDSP’s copyright!

The Play Button

The play button or space bar on the keyboard will start and stop the audio playback.  You’ll see the play cursor move and the output meters dance up and down.

The Wave Display

The biggest chunk of the Riffster interface shows the audio waveform and this is used to select portions for looping. Click and drag with the mouse over wave display and you'll define a selection or loop. Note that you can pick up the start, mid, and end points of the selection (click and drag arrow on the highlighted section) and when you move them around, you'll hear a snip of the music to help reposition the loop. Double clicking will clear the loop (select the whole song). If you make a mistake Ctrl+Z will undo loop changes, Ctrl+Y to redo an undo.

Now, say you've defined a four-bar loop, drag this region around to select a different portion of the song, or copy and paste this four-bar selection into a new loop and move it around there. Change the pitch in that new loop and so on.

The Tempo Slider

Slow down the song by clicking on and moving the tempo slider.  Use tempo changing to help pick out individual notes in fast riffs, or just practice things more slowly.

You can adjust slider positions from the keyboard by using tab to set the focus (highlight the one you want to change) and then using up/down arrows for fine and page up/down for course control.

The Pitch Slider

Use the pitch slider to do two things: change the tuning of a song to bring it in line with your instrument, and change the key of a song.  Click and drag to notch pitch by 1/10th of a tone or use the arrow keys.   PgUp/PgDn will change pitch by a semitone. Double click on the slider and it returns to normal pitch.  Bring up a bass line a few tones can help distinguish the notes, or if you're a jazz student use this to practice up and down the keys.

The Volume Slider

Click and drag this slider to change the output level.  Double click and it will go to its mid-way default.

The Loops Button

Nine distinct loops can be defined each with their own loop timing, pitch, volume and tempo.  Use this menu to select between them or use Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+9. Use this menu too to lock/unlock or reset a loop. Locking a loop stops accidental change once you've set the precise loop points you want.

Note you can cut and paste loop settings from one loop to another: great if you want the same section of music but have each loop play it in a different key for instance.  Use the edit option from the more menu or the Ctrl+C, select a new loop, Ctrl+V sequence from the keyboard.

The Loop Start

This indicates the exact start of a loop in minute:second:frame format. If you want to manually change the value, click on, tab to select or use Ctrl+S and type in the number.  Press the enter key to finish. If audio is running , the loop will restart playing from the new start.

The Loop End

This complements the start of a loop and again is in minute:second:frame format.  If you want to manually change the value, click on, tab to select or use Ctrl+E and type in the number.  Press the enter key to finish. If audio is running , the loop will roll around at the new end.

The Play point

This value is the time code for the current play position in minute:second:frame format.

The More Button

This is a catchall of submenus items and dialogs that you don't need all the time: file, edit, settings, help and so on.  The settings normally don't have to be changed since Riffster is smart enough to pick good defaults.  However, you may want to go in and reduce buffering in the audio chain to get better responsivity or choose a particular audio output device if there are several available on your system.   In the settings menu you can also change Riffster's working directory - take a look on our website for more detailed help on these more advanced topics.

The Help zone

This is designed to offer what we hope are useful and succinct tips on what do with Riffster's controls. Help zone text varies with the position of the mouse cursor, and will sometimes change depending on the state of a window, in particular the Wave display.

I need Help. How do I get it ?

Please submit a problem report. This will let us know about it along with the exact combination of hardware and software you are using, the current Riffster setup, and we can go from there. The installer will have placed a NovaDSP Diagnostics (PD) item on the Riffster menu. Simply run the PD utility while connected to the internet and make a report directly to our web server. This will give us a much better idea of how to resolve your issue. Please note that without this information we are flying in the dark...

Important! Make sure you supply your email address so we can get back to you with news of any configuration changes or program updates. Please note that without this information you will flying in the dark...

We take all such reports very seriously and will be on the case as soon as humanly possible.


Keyboard Shortcuts:

F1 : Help

Space : toggle between play and stop

The following need Ctrl+key  (e.g. Ctrl+4 to choose loop 4):

1-9 loop selection: pick the loop number fast.

S edit loop start: type in the exact time.

E edit loop end: type in the exact time.

Z Undo: undo changes to loop timings.

Y Redo: redo undo’s.

O Open audio files or Riffster (.KS3 extension) settings files.

W Open special CD browser for dual-mode, or to name a ripped file yourself

D Define loop: bang in the start and stop points and clear the loop too.

K Lock the currently active loop so you don’t mess it up.

R Reset loop (effectively select the whole song)

C Copy the current loop settings to the clipboard

V Paste loop setting from the clipboard

The following need Alt+key  (e.g. Alt+X to quit):

X Exit: quit the program

1 thru 5 MRU: most recently used file list – get to that fave session fast.

S Settings: get to the setup menu.

P Play/Stop – same as space bar

L Loop menu

M More menu

Use the arrow keys to fine-adjust slider settings, or use the other cursor keys for quicker adjustment Double-click any slider will restore the default setting. Slider settings as well as loop points are memorized with each loop number