A Few Questions Before I purchase

Answers Not In FAQ

Hello All,
I recently downloaded the N-Track 4.2 trial version. It seems to be a great product and it seems to be able to do everything I need it to do. I just need to be sure about a few things that aren’t mentioned in the FAQ before I purchase it. The main thing I need this software for at this point, is for arranging drum patterns/songs with Drumkit From #### 2.

1) In using the trial version I do see that it does support VST instruments and I was able to add DKH 2 as an “instrument channel” and it does pull up the DFH 2 interface when I do so. But, I can’t figure out how to actually hear the DFH 2 sounds or arrange patterns with its voices. The FAQ says, to hear what you’re playing on the midi keyboard when using VST instruments, “1) Select the VST instrument to use in the Track/MIDI/Add VST instrument menu.”. Well, there isn’t an option there to Add VST Instrument. Is this just a limitation in the trial version or am I missing something?

2) Additionally, I am unable to get any of the included drumsets or Drumkit From #### 2 to show up on the Piano Roll keyboard or create patterns with them. Is this a trial version limitation?

3) Does N-Track allow you to have tempo changes in the same song (tempo mapping/flags, etc)?

4) Is there a way to seperate individual drums in patterns/songs to seperate tracks for mixing and adding effects, etc?

5) Does the 16 bit registration include all of the effects that are shown in the 4.2 trial version?

6) Any future plans for making N-Track integratable with Pro Tools?

Thank you in advance for your help!

- Aedryan

1) Look in the toolbar for “Add Channel”. Also, (you might know this- can’t tell for sure) you need to insert an audio track, and assign it’s input to the virtual instrument you’re using. Then assign that audio track’s output to "Master Channel, etc.

2) Not sure, but check the output on your MIDI channel- make sure it’s assigned properly.

Just trying to keep you encouraged while someone who really knows gets over here! My answers are not as confident as they should be, as I have little experience in this.

1) In using the trial version I do see that it does support VST instruments and I was able to add DKH 2 as an “instrument channel” and it does pull up the DFH 2 interface when I do so. But, I can’t figure out how to actually hear the DFH 2 sounds or arrange patterns with its voices.

****As a first step… just create a simple MIDI track. Then, put a bunch of just garbage notes on the piano roll of that track. Right click the track and choose properties and make sure it is set to output to DKFH. Assuming you have MIDI notes triggering notes mapped to soething in DKFH, you should hear something. Then the next step, you want to play the VSTi “live”, follow this FAQ

2) Additionally, I am unable to get any of the included drumsets or Drumkit From #### 2 to show up on the Piano Roll keyboard or create patterns with them. Is this a trial version limitation?

***I am not sure I follow you here. Are you saying you want the piano roll to not have a piano at the left and the names of the drum sounds instead? In that case, right click on the paino and choose properties. Then change to General MIDi drums. Those may not map directly to DKFH as I don’t know if it is GM compliant. if DKFH is not GM compiant, you will need to make up your own definition of the mappings.

3) Does N-Track allow you to have tempo changes in the same song (tempo mapping/flags, etc)?

****Yes.


5) Does the 16 bit registration include all of the effects that are shown in the 4.2 trial version?

Yes.

6) Any future plans for making N-Track integratable with Pro Tools?

Not likely. There are two groups out there it seems… ProTools and everyone else. The actual audio data can transfer between PT and Ntrack… but the never the sng files as ProTools used TDM and RTAS plugs where as Everything else on the planet uses VST and DirectX. It just isn’t a reasonable thing to do really. The way the two programs work are just so completely different.

Quote (Aedryan Methyus @ April 11 2006,20:45)
4) Is there a way to seperate individual drums in patterns/songs to seperate tracks for mixing and adding effects, etc?

I would pay big beer for any n-track assistance with this. When I’m done programming drum tracks, I render at least six separate tracks for mixing in the audio domain. Right now that means:
1. make a backup of the .sng file (because I’m sure to clobber the original in step 5 or 8)
2. set n to record audio from the appropriate (internal) source to a new track
3. open piano roll on the midi drums track
4. delete all notes except kick notes
5. try to avoid the automatic urge to save the file
6. solo the drums track
7. hit record
8. close the .sng file without saving
9. repeat step 1 if I accidentally saved the .sng file with deleted drums track notes
10. reopen the original .sng file with all the drums track notes intact
11. repeat steps 2-10 for snare, hats, ride, toms, cymbals, percussion, etc.
12. when done, reopen the original .sng file one more time and import all the .wav files

Man, I’m bored and frustrated just typing this.

Isn’t there a utility out there that does this? I think Pasher was using something like this way back when.

That and the above method is the severe hard way. Just clone your MIDI tracks and delete the notes from the piano roll you don’t want as he described. There is no need to open and save and rerecord 100 times.

Why don’t you just solo the drum you want from the VSTi in an separate track? And then solo the next one etc.

You also don’t have to record it. It’s faster to do mixdowns.

Quote (Bubbagump @ April 12 2006,10:55)
Isn’t there a utility out there that does this? I think Pasher was using something like this way back when.
I would love to hear about it, if anyone remembers the utility.

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That and the above method is the severe hard way. Just clone your MIDI tracks and delete the notes from the piano roll you don’t want as he described. There is no need to open and save and rerecord 100 times.
Having a separate midi track for each note avoids the reopening only. You still have to delete note groups N times and if you want audio tracks for each, you still have to render N times.

I’ve also had trouble soloing midi tracks when there are multiple midi tracks going to the same channel on the same device. I either get all such tracks sounding or all muting. Maybe this has changed.

Quote (KBub @ April 12 2006,12:26)
You still have to delete note groups N times and if you want audio tracks for each, you still have to render N times.

Maybe we are meaning different things. If you are using VSTis, you don’t have to render necessarily. If it has multiple channels you can bus out for example or you could load multiple instances of the VSTi or output each to a different MIDI channel which in some VSTis allow you to have differnt volumes on. If you are using an external sound module, yeah, you are spending the rest of your life rendering. I just want to be sure he is using the tools he has available to him.

In any event, I don’t know of any MIDI sequencer that will do the drum separation thing easilty. They all require some major dorking around.

The only drum track splitter I know of, and I think it’s the one Pasher used, is mididrum. It’s a command line util so you’ll need to export the midi track from n-track, split it, and re-import the resultant tracks. PITA!

I’m sure it would be simpler to do several renders and re-import the wav files. The n-track drum VSTi allows individual drums to be muted… can you use the DKFH samples in n-track drums?


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****As a first step… just create a simple MIDI track. Then, put a bunch of just garbage notes on the piano roll of that track. Right click the track and choose properties and make sure it is set to output to DKFH. Assuming you have MIDI notes triggering notes mapped to soething in DKFH, you should hear something. Then the next step, you want to play the VSTi “live”, follow this FAQ


Just one point… you will need to set the MIDI track’s channel to “10” for the drums to work - and you’ll get the drum names in the piano roll.


Mark

Quote (Bubbagump @ April 12 2006,12:36)
Maybe we are meaning different things. If you are using VSTis, you don’t have to render necessarily… If you are using an external sound module, yeah, you are spending the rest of your life rendering.
Ah, good eye! I’m using both external midi devices and a standalone soft-sampler running concurrently with n-track. I wasn’t thinking VSTi. I’m glad you caught this.

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In any event, I don’t know of any MIDI sequencer that will do the drum separation thing easilty.
Ya, me neither. But it sure would be nice to get some support for what I would imagine is a pretty common task. Maybe even just the ability to stick a midi filter plugin on a midi track where you could specify which events get played back. It would save the whole deleting notes part.

Wow, thanks for all of the replies, folks! It seems like I will be in the company of plenty of helpful and knowledgable people here once I really get into this program! I just now sold the last piece of my recording studio and i’m in the process of converting over to a pc based studio (Pro Tools MBox 2 with LE and lots of other goodies). This way of doing things is all new to me, so it’s taking a lot of absorbing… LOL

Thanks again, guys and i’ll be working on your suggestions!

- Aedryan

Ok, when I open up piano roll on a track I right click on the keyboard and select drumset 1 (for examplle) and all of the keys disappear from the keyboard and it goes gray. The names of each of the drumset’s voices are grouped at various locations, where the keys were, but when I click on them it’s still piano sounds.

Any idea what i’m doing wrong?

- Aedryan

Sweet! I figured this out to some extent! All I did was place the DKFHVST.dll file in N-Track’s Vstplugins directory and then I was able to pull up DKFH drum sounds on the piano roll and arrange patterns. Now i’m getting somewhere!.. LOL

- Aedryan