2007 project idea

What do you think?

One thing I thought I’d try to do better in 2007 is to contribute more to the internet communities that I really enjoy, the n-Track community being one of them. So I had an idea and wanted to get some feedback from you.

The Idea
Create a soup-to-nuts style tutorial on how to build a song up from scratch in N. This would be sort of a noob to intermediate level guide that would walk you through recording, mixing, and mastering a pre-written song, including using effects, MIDI, VSTis, etc. IE - you listen to the song, and then you lay it down yourself, step-by-step, as a guided tour. The focus would be on creating the music - not so much on equipment selection, set up, configuration, troubleshooting.

I don’t think something like this exists today, and I know I would have found it useful (maybe still would :) ). The assumption would be that the reader would have pretty minimal a) knowledge of music theory, b) talent with a particular instrument, c) gear - so the song would be a pretty simple one to play. Requirements would be something this: N-Track, a microphone/preamp, headphones, a MIDI keyboard controller, and some plug-ins that are either free or have usable trial versions.

So, what I’d like to know is:

Would this be of value?

Would any of you experienced guys/gals on the board be interested in contributing (e.g. edit, make suggestions on better/alternative ways of doing things than what I come up with)?

Let me know what you think. I’m looking for some "Yeah, I’d love to have something like that!"s and "Sure, I’d love to contribute my digital recording knowledge so you don’t screw people up :laugh: ."s so that I know this is worth the investment of time it would take. Or if this has already been done (please point me to it) or sounds like a waste of time let me know that too.

I dunno, not being one who frequents it, but I was under the impression that’s how audiominds started.

I run through the process quickly here: n-Track 5.0 review at BostonGeek
I don’t go into any deep details like how compression works, how to EQ voice versus instruments etc. But I do talk about things like the grid, click tracks and multiple takes.

Years ago, in a previous incarnation of this forum, I did a long primer/tutorial on compression. So yeah, count me in as a contributor.

This might be appropriate for the Wiki. Speaking of the Wiki for n-Track, am I missing something? There’s not much there - I don’t see a general explanation or anything like that. Just a few user questions. Am I doing something wrong?

I would be willing to review and contribute. I’ve done about 25 projects with n-Track over the last three years but my depth of experience with the program is limited to recording, mixing, and mastering live tracks (no midi).

Hey, Cap’n, that is a great little tutorial you put together. Thanks for the link - I didn’t know that existed.


I dunno, not being one who frequents it, but I was under the impression that’s how audiominds started.

I’m not sure how that site got started. I know I’ve learned a TON from reading it and I’m glad it’s there! I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for/looking to create there, though. I was thinking something more like what Captain Damage did for Boston Geek (very cool Cap D!), but with a song rather than an aural logo, and, of course, expanding a lot on the steps to get there.

Thanks for the offers to contribute. I’m probably close to you in experience 8th_note - maybe have done 25 or 30 songs in N over the last few years. I have used some MIDI, VSTis, etc in addition to real instuments to simulate musicians/instruments that weren’t available to me. I’m certainly not an expert, which is why I would want others to contribute. I’m certain I would learn from others in the process of doing this, and wouldn’t be terribly surprised if I found out I’m doing something ineffectively.

Something does seem to be whacky with the Wiki. Not sure who owns that… Flavio?


Something does seem to be whacky with the Wiki. Not sure who owns that… Flavio?

Yeah. Someone trashed the main page with a support question. I’ve reverted it back to the previous page.


GREAT IDEA - but can forum support STICKYS (posts that are pinned to the top of the page and never move ? ) - without this facility info pages would soon drop off the bottom -

Dr J

Good point. I think IB does support that but I don’t think we have access in this forum. I had envisioned the finished tutorial being some kind of document rather than a forum post. Assuming it turns out well, I’m sure it could find a home - Wiki or somewhere.

For working on it maybe that can be taken offline somewhere. There are a lot of places (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) that will let you create a small discussion site w/ file area.

we would still need a STICKY to tell them where look for newbe info -

something called

“all newcomers read this first to avoid a tyrade or anger and wrath from the senoir professionals who frequent this hallowed board” -

Dr J

Hey cap…thanks for the link. Very interesting. I have been using Ntrack for a couple years now and still have a million questions about the different ‘areas’ of a project…(like how you split those reason drums into segments on the same track…?..using the grid, etc…)

I don’t mean to hijack this thread. In fact, I guess I am further proof that a project like HotDog suggests would be very useful…even to someone who has been using N for quite a while.


Stickys for some things would be good, but for the most part what makes a good sticky would be a better wiki.


I’m probably close to you in experience 8th_note - maybe have done 25 or 30 songs in N over the last few years.

By projects I meant entire CD’s so I’ve probably done about 200 to 250 songs on n-Track but like most users, I’m still learning.

I think the Wiki route is best but I do wish that this forum had stickies.

I’ve been lurking on the Reaper forum for the last few weeks. One thing about that forum that I like is the use of stickies for important topics. The sticky for the Reaper manual serves to guide everyone to the most current version and also serves as a place for suggested clarifications and additions to be collected. Also provides links to pipelineaudio, where there are some very good audio-visual tutorials for more complicated Reaper functions. The community spirit of the Ntrack forum gets my vote, but the software supporting the Reaper forum provides a better structure for information. Maybe another option is a port of the Ntrack forum to a different software host that provides for stickies and better search functions.

I know that some time back BubbaGump put together a very nice tutorial on using midi in Ntrack. It’s in the Ntrack forum archive somewhere, but the people who would gain from it won’t be able to find it. There are probably other tutorials out there that are useful and have already been done. Wiki or sticky - at a minimum it seems that we ought to be able to find some way to pull existing stuff together.

Also a Wiki/sticky listing plugins that are currently known to be compatible or incompatible with Ntrack would save a lot of hassles. This probably shouldn’t be in the manual because of appearance of new stuff, constant version change, and the resulting need for constant updating, but it is something that should exist.


From the replies I’m seeing, I think there’s good interest in a project like this - both that it would be useful, and there are some people willing to contribute (thank you!)

So I guess at this point I’m kicking it off. I’ve created an off-location work site for this so that this thread isn’t always at the top of this forum and doesn’t grow to be 2,000,000 pages long. I chose Google groups mainly because it seems to have the most free storage (100Mb) and as we all know even compressed audio files are large. And it also has a discussion forum w/ email capabilities if you prefer email notification to logging on and checking. I don’t intend for this to be permanent home; more of staging area.

n-Track Tutorial Project

I may come back to this thread to beg for help if I’m not getting enough :laugh:

Please register on the group above and contribute! I’ve laid out a vision statement and some ground rules on the site. At this point, those are negotiable - let me know what you think. I see my role in this being a documenter and someone to keep the project moving. I’ll add content where I feel I know something well or no one else gives me anything. However, from listening to the songs and reading the posts in the forums here, I know there are people with a lot more musical talent and subject matter expertise than me, so I’m more than willing to “shut up and write” where others are willing to provide content (smile).

P.S. - on stickies, I’d personally rather see good threads get added to or referenced by the Wiki. Most of the forums I’ve viewed that have stickies have too many, and it can be quite annoying to scroll down through a huge list to get to new/updated posts. Just my 2 cents, though maybe I’ve never been on a forum that uses stickies well.