Back after MONTHS! What'd I miss?  Mixdown Setup ?

Multi ‘Identical’ Mixdown Setups??

Hi Everyone,

I finally got to do some live recording here in Africa: an IRISH Group! My older N-Track ran great for both tracking and mixing, and now I’m upgrading to 4.2

Question: In live recording, I usually do a separate .sng file for each “Set”, sometimes more, if there’s another break. So I have multiple recording .sng’s, typically of 10 to 16 tracks, that are identical in layout.

I NEED/WANT to set up a mixdown session (as saved in the .sng file) with the channels names (Guitar, Bass, Vocal1 , etc), and EQ’s and other per-channel affects. So I set that all up and save the .sng file. And I mix that set. So Far So Cool.

NOW, I need to use EXACTLY the same setup on 2 or more additional sets that were recorded the same way. They are defined in a different .sng file, probably IrishTake2.sng or like that.

How can I reuse my carefully-created mixdown setup from ONE .sng file in a different .sng file?? This could not be done (easily) 2 years ago, with N-track, but I hope there’s New News!

Thanks for listening!!

I just asked the same question a few days ago. This seems like a ‘must have’ if doing any mid to large scale production. Although there are no features to do this, there were some ingeneous methods provided by other users. I’ve emailed Flavio about this…hopefully this is an ‘easy to implement’ solution.

Check out the other thread here:
http://www.ntrack.com/cgi-bin…&t=4860

Katau, I agree it’s an important feature. I’ve even had multiple sessions with a group where every session has the same instruments on the same track, and the Mixdown setup could (And SHOULD, to avoid errors) be the same.

A .sng file obviously contains data about the track filenames on disk, and per-track setups for recording, and then playback/mixing setups both global and per-track.

Looking at some .sng files (each 223K) they are obviously a bunch of application-specific binary data. You can read the track filenames in clear ASCII, but the rest are binary data areas that N-track reads and writes and only “it” knows the format.

I’ll add my request to support on this one.

Meanwhile, the “copy each track in to an existing .sng setup” works, but is laborious and error-prone for 12 to 16 tracks (I can tell Ya!).

Renaming all the tracks might be easier.

With a little help from Flavio, someone could write code in (C, Python, whatever) to make a utility to either copy the mixdown setup from one .sng to another, or copy the track filenames from one .sng to another.

Well. Let’s try to figure this out…

I feel your pain. I am currently working on a session where we recorded 70(!) different tunes over a 3-day period with basically the same set-up. Live-in-the-studio stuff, only a few retakes. We didn’t even get to play all the songs we wanted to. There were about 80 starts and stops of the recorder but not all were full takes (although some had two songs). 25 good songs so far and I haven’t even listened to all of them yet.

I am still on version 3.3 and have been unwilling to upgrade until I see the changes slow-down and bug issues trail off so I am probably at the same rev as you are.

I have found that by naming and saving my EQ and compressor settings I can save a lot of time reconstructing the mix. If I had one long file I would be tempted to create a base mix and then do some "Save As"s to create copies of the .sng file for each song. Then I would trim each .sng to contain just one song and start focusing on that individual mix. The biggest problem comes from not being able to process destructively (which I never do deliberately anyway) and not being able to move individual songs without the other .sng losing track of the .wav locations. You can still move them all together using Windows Explorer.

Anyway, since most of my takes for this session are already separate I need to go through all the songs individually. Since I have don’t use much other than reverb and compression the biggest amount of work is renaming the .wav files (with meaningful names) and naming the channels. I can set the sends and returns pretty quickly and it is not too difficult to insert the compressors and reverb but the typing is a pain. I would like to see a user preset for the mixer similar to those used in the EQ and compressor. One drop-down and you would have a basic mixer configuration.

I will probably need to upgrade soon. I am also working on a current project with another band and have talked them into getting N-tracks so they can overdub at home (a 5-hour drive). They still track over here because they don’t have enough inputs or mics to record the whole band at once. We use a USB2.0 hard drive that they just bring with them which is really convenient. Unfortunately their version of N-track is newer than mine and while they can read my .sng files, I can’t read their’s so we cannot overdub or modify anything they have worked on at home. Once we hit the “sweet spot” with rev 4 I will upgrade. I am depending on the forum (and a co-worker with the latest versions) to figure out when that time comes.

Good Luck,
Jim

Hey JimBob,

I know you’ve been an active user for a long time, and your real experience means you understand about this! You said:

[[ I would like to see a user preset for the mixer similar to those used in the EQ and compressor. One drop-down and you would have a basic mixer configuration.]]

I LIKE that! Why didn’t I think of that one? USER PRESET FOR THE MIXER.

If we had that, it solves the whole problem of “I have many “Takes” on .sng files with the same track layout.” And if we have a slightly different setup, we can start with one that’s close, tweak and save.

Now, for nirvana (Small ‘n’, not © ) the MIXER PRESET would bring in all the related PRESETS for effects and plugins used on the channels and master, right?? A sort of Meta-Preset??

Flavio, please think about this, and tell us where we’re reasonable, unreasonable, or just plain dumb…

This will be better if we all think it through…

I’m catching this thread, and have a simpleton-type question: This Preset idea; is it not the same as what one might call a ‘Template’?

Hi TerryKing:
I was wondering if you’d ever get back posting here…

How is your stay going over on Africa’s North Coast?.. Describe the weather and all… compared to where you called home…

How is the music scene there?

I think I could find use for Mix/Strip/Group/Rendering templates… IT might also help to be able to design up a number of these Templates as sloom calls them…

I’d also like to see Flavio “CODE” “Rendering-of Groups” in the “Mixdown” area of the track area of that section… Then you can audition several “Group renders on the same time-line” by sole’ing and mute’ing “Group Renders”, “IN-PLACE”… without disturbing the Mix Session Timeline…

I may not have the correct terminoledgy, but weed through the chaff. mabey, the rest of you might help in wording this right…

The “VU Meter’ing” in v4.2.0 is comming right along… at least, it’s working quite well for how I am useing IT…

And… Everything regarding v4.2.0 is working in both '98SE and XP… with some of the Hardware I have here… This Lexicon CORE 32 Hardware is holding me to '98SE, as a DESK…

It’s good to see you posting here, again… :O :;):

Bill…

I am not sure how a “template” would be impemented but it could achieve the same goal. I would prefer to avoid a solution which required that it be invoked before tracking. You never really know what the base mix will be until you’ve mixed at least one song and for live or live-in-the-studio recording you don’t want to stop the session to mix (you may do a quick listen to make sure it is all there but you want to keep going).

A mixer “user preset” has the advantage that it uses the same paradigm that is already used elsewhere in N-track which should help keep the user interface consistent.

Jim

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I am not sure how a “template” would be impemented but it could achieve the same goal.


I guess a “Save song as template” function would just save the song file, with the tracks, effects, etc, but without the actual links to the wav files. Would that do it for you guys?

Not sure what you would do about tracks made up of separate parts…


Mark

Hi Guys on this topic:
Mabey, it’s not a template that I imagine IT to be…

I then think as what I mean is something like this…

For example:
A live recorded set would mean that there would have been the same-or similar instruments on the tracking session… Then for continunity there would have been the same tracks… So, each track would have the same kit of drums, bass, guitars,vocals .etc…

Then, the template I envision would have the same-or-simular tracks in each song… There-fore … the BOX the the Bass would be imported to would have the same plugs … the guitars would have the same-or simular set of FXs for those tracks and vocals… and so-on…

It then would be a matter of deciding to import these tracks into the corrisponding template…

A number of “standard” templates could be drawn/designed/made up… and named…For each group or instrument/track… The mixer/arrainger would then decide what tracks to import into each template… Each template would have per-set FXs and plugs to compliment whatever you want to call “That Box”…

I think, that’s what and how I envision the Template/Boxes…

Is that what and how you mean IT/Templates to be?? sloom… ??

Just checking… :O ???

Bill…

Well, pretty much I was thinking that a template would simply be a mixer (track…) set-up used in a particular context- like the techno-band you’re recording that’s in the middle of a several week-long project… and you could save track layouts, track FX and routing schemes- sends, groups, et al. Not all that complex as an idea, but evidently there’s some level of sophistication involved with doing this.

It’s a template because you save it as a blank slate for a particular kind of session… but it seems that you can save the .sng file as a name with no .wav files, and there’s your template. Anyway, that’s all I really had in mind. Sorry.

Now, there’s evidently an advantage to the “Presets” idea: When you’re coming in to a new project, and finding out what it’s going to become, it’d be very hip to have a ‘one-step’ solution to keeping your settings, etc. that pertain to your session as they “currently exist” for the next time- after you’ve found out what you need! This sounds more like what many of us would really make use of: To save all features/attributes of your session, except for the .wav files, as a Preset to recall for the next similar session… in one move.

Because the time spent geeking around your PC and software app could be better used on the material you’re dealing with. Too much time staring into the monitor for no “realized result”…

There would be good reasons to have a template which could be applied before the beginning of the session if it also set your preferences (audio devices, input to channel assignments for the initial tracking, tracknames, effects EQ and the like) for studio situations. My weekly band practices would be simplified by such a feature.

Live recording is more ad-hoc because there is rarely time to set-up properly and you usually don’t know quite how things are going to be until they have already “been”.

Live recording is closer to live sound, partially controlled chaos where you have to repatch and adjust things in a big hurry. Even “Live-in-the-studio” tends to be that way although it is usually somewhat better. If you haven’t worked with the performers extensively you don’t know what to expect and can’t predict things very well. At the same time you want the performers to think as much as possible about the music and as little as possible about the recording. In such a scenario I frequently will just enable all the tracks with an input and watch the meters (sometimes I’m playing too). If the guitarist picks up the other guitar you’re ready and don’t have to ask them to wait while you enable the other track (they usually don’t wait anyway and start playing before you are ready). If I get enough of a pause I will stop the recording and restart a new one in about 15 seconds so I can make sure that a crash doesn’t lose the whole thing.

Sorting this out after the fact is one place where user presets for the mixer might have an advantage. I don’t actually see any conflict with having both options available.

Jim

No, both is a good idea- I just didn’t want to freak out poor Flavio!

Hey:
Ii Kk Nn Oo Ww… :O :p We get Flavio thinking at our SpEeD… commin up with new ideas… Then we send him off in some other direction, looking for a needle-in-a-haystack, and hope he comes back with the sharpest one he can find…

Geeeezeeee… What a Bunch… ??? :p :laugh:

Sloom… Your wording of this template is pretty close to what I imagine… I’d hate to see this implimented and find IT might not have any productivity connected to it…

I don’t want to imply negivity to this idea…

I think this is good… We all know what bass track we want to hear…

For example… After tweeking a bass Track … we could then file that “Pidgon Hole” into our systems for recall into the next project… Or… We could “Mail” IT off to another n-Tracker for his project…

This is a reciepty << lol… for a bass track Minus the (the Bass notes and timing) To-Be-Applied… for the current song/project…

That’s what I invision could be the meaning of a “Template”… Is that in your meaning… sloom ? Of what a template could be…

Bill…

Hey Bill and JimBob,

Thanks for asking about the year… I’m having an interesting time here in Africa (Read that as “good”). It’s weird being the Foreigner who looks a little funny, and don’t SpeakaDaLanguage too good. But I sure appreciate people I meet in that same situation when I’m back in the US/Vermont, and try to help them out. I’m disappointed that I haven’t connected to local music stuff very much. Live music’s not very active, but there is also a cultural thing of an Arab country where I don’t connect to large parts of it. Mary Alice and I decided to stay for a 3rd (school) year, and I’m determined to try to reach out some more and learn some Arabic as well as French.

But back at Recording/Mixing… you guys have the ideas right…

Sloom said:
-----------------(copy)------------------------------
It’s a template because you save it as a blank slate for a particular kind of session… but it seems that you can save the .sng file as a name with no .wav files, and there’s your template. Anyway, that’s all I really had in mind. Sorry.

Now, there’s evidently an advantage to the “Presets” idea: When you’re coming in to a new project, and finding out what it’s going to become, it’d be very hip to have a ‘one-step’ solution to keeping your settings, etc. that pertain to your session as they “currently exist” for the next time- after you’ve found out what you need! This sounds more like what many of us would really make use of: To save all features/attributes of your session, except for the .wav files, as a Preset to recall for the next similar session… in one move.
-----------------( end copy )-------------------

That pretty much helps understand what the difference might be between a “Template” and a “Preset”. I’m thinking the difference is:

Template: is created ahead of time, to try to organize a setup according to the way you typically work. Maybe you have one for typical tracking, one for typical mixing, one for mastering.

Preset: Grabs what you have right Now. That implies you’ve worked something out as you went along, and got to where you like it. This is like the Presets for all the effects and stuff, right??

I guess I’m happier with the Preset idea. Even if I had a good Template capability, I’m sure I’d we wanting to go back and ‘fix’ the template after learning stuff.

There’s a possible middle ground: Example: I’m laying out a book for publishing, using Adobe In-Design. After I get a type of page laid out, maybe a group of photos with captions, I have a choice to “Save Page AS Template”. …Just an idea.

Flavio already has to deal with a lot of “preset” complexity when he saves a .sng file with preset values from his own parts of Ntrack PLUS the presets on plugins. What we’re talking about is similar to the “Save a preset” capability in most plugins. A saved .sng file is already a “Preset of Presets” plus all the track information, right?

Looking closely at .sng files, they have an embedded release level, like “sng filespec v1.3”. So Flavio knows how to handle new (And old) types of .sng files. MAYBE a new type .sng file that is really a “Preset” that can be loaded “On Top Of” an already loaded recording’s .sng file, and overwrite only selected values, like all the presets, and leave the tracks alone… might work. But only Flavio knows the details and the problems presented!

This is all better and becoming clearer because of everyone’s discussion here… Thanks!

Hi TerryKing:
To have the oppertunity to go and Surf the world through one’s occupation must be fastenating. And then to extend your time there… Well, you might not want to come back to Vermont… You’ll get setteled in there and who knows what? You’ll be tellin’ that crowd over there how to speak perfect American, or something… Anyway, you are to be envied…

Bill…