You could start recording on your PC using N-track as your multitrack recorder. The demo version is functional and you can get all the help you need or want by visiting this forum. It is the best this side of OZ.

But you might be able to squeeze better sound out of the equipment you have. First by trying to get the best signal to noise ratio. Basically, this means, getting the loudest recording input of whatever you are trying to record without getting distortion. I assume you have level meters…Also, experiment with mic placement. It may mean the difference of ok to great sound.

I suggest you try N-track. After tweaking your pc setup try recording and see what you think. When you have questions, visit here and ask away. There are always, always people here to offer good solid advice.


All right thanks! Level meters? I think I know what you mean, and if I’m right, no, there aren’t any on my karaoke machine. But I will try the signal to noise ratio idea first, and then n track, thanks again!

You’ll have a hard time improving things just working with a karaoke machine with no meters – how are you going to know what your levels are and whether your S/N ratio is improving? Well, by listening, but that’s not easy and pretty tedious too.

Hook up to n-Track and watch the record level meters. Note the level when you’re singing/playing the loudest. Adjust record level so that’s near the top of the meter (zero dB). Now be quiet and see where the meters sit. Remove the minus sign, and that’s your S/N ratio right there, in dB. (Well, not exactly, because they’re peak meters not RMS but let’s not quibble. Close enough.)

What you do next depends on what you see in the meters. But in general, if the noise floor is too high, start adjusting things in the analog signal chain and get it as low as possible while keeping the loudest signals you’re about to record right up near the top.

You can measure different kinds of noise too – most likely, the noise in the room is the loudest bit. Unplug the mike (or better yet, make a “short plug” and plug that in instead) and see what noise is being created by the mike preamp & whatever other gear you have in the analog signal chain (everything up to and including your soundcard).

Like I said: tell us what kind of gear you have and we can help you better. Do you have an audio mixer? If not, does the karaoke machine have line outputs? If you don’t understand any of the words I’m using, no shame in that just ask.

Well, I understand some of the words, but a lot of them I don’t. I don’t have an audio mixer, and the karaoke machine has Aux out and in. Can I record separate tracks, and then mix them together? Or do I playback what’s already recorded and record at the same time like I’ve been doing with the karaoke machine? How will quality be going in through a mic? Thanks a lot!

OK, plug the mike into the karaoke machine. Plug the machine’s aux output (which is a “line level” output) into your soundcard’s input. You’ll need a cable that converts from RCA (the connectors on the machine) to 1/8" mini jack (the line input on your soundcard). You can get a cable like this from Radio Shack.

Find the line input on your soundcard. Most computers have 'em but some don’t. The usual label is a circle with an arrow pointing into it. It’s a stereo input, meaning you can record two channels at once if you want – although your karaoke machine might not allow you to keep two channels separate.

You’ll want to use headphones to listen to recorded tracks from the computer while recording new tracks. You record one or two tracks at a time, sort of like you did with the karaoke machine, only the tracks stay separate inside your computer and so the noise doesn’t build up. After recording each track, adjust the track fader and pan to do a “quick mix” so it sounds how you want it to sound when recording the next tracks. When you’ve recorded all the tracks, you adjust anything you want, add any effects you want, and “mixdown”, and bingo it’s ready to burn to CD to annoy your friends and family with! (That’s what I do with mine.)

Lol, all right, that sounds pretty simple, but first I have a problem. I had my dad download the software at his work since he has fast internet there, and he burned it on a cd.

“Microsoft .NET Framework Setup needs to update the Microsoft Windows Installer components before setup can continue. Proceed with installation?” I click yes.

Setup cannot access Installer Components. Setup cannot continue.

A little help please? Thanks!

He may have only copied the “application” whereas, he needs to copy the whole enchilada…better yet, download it yourself. It doesn’t take that much time with dialup.

FYI, you will encounter some issues, I won’t say difficulties because most audio software requires some preparation of the PC and of the software before you actually beging to record. As you hit each of these “area” and can’t wade thru them, come here for the answers.

That much time? That file is 30mb!!! On my dial-up that’ll take about 15 hours!!! I don’t know if he just copied the application or not. I’ll have him retry it tomorrow. In the meantime, I can already tell I’m going to have a future question. I plugged my karaoke machine into my computer like LeerJeff said, and I can get pretty good quality and plenty of volume while playing it live, (I tried it with Sound Recorder.) The problem is, my drum set is outside, and I won’t really be able to bring my computer out there to record them. So I figured I could just record them onto a tape on the karaoke machine, and then just play it back from the playback deck. I tried playing back just a normal tape on there, and the volume is so low when it comes through my PC that I have to put my ear on the speaker to hear it. I have a few ideas about what I might do, but what would you suggest first?

Might have to record the drums onto the kareoke machine in the other room, and then take the machine to the computer and play the drum track back and record with ntrack.

Yeah, that’s what I wanted to do, but unfortunately when playing back using the karaoke machine’s tape deck, an immense amount of volume is lost going into the pc. So, I think I’ll record it on the karaoke machine, then play that tape back on a sterio, and in through a mic in through the karaoke machine to the pc.

Another thing, my Dad said that the .exe file was the only thing that had downloaded, so I went to the microsoft website and am downloading the .net framework which is 23.1 mb. My computer is ripping along and has already downloaded 17.5 mb in a little over two hours. Usually I get about 4mb in two hours when downloading programs, but hey, awesome!

Well, I finished downloading the .net framework, and when I tried to install it, I get the same error message. So apparently I need upgrade my “Microsoft windows installation components.” I already donwloaded one installer package, but it was the one I already had, so that doesn’t help. Does anybody know anything about this? Thanks.

What you downloaded is probably the .net framework that later versions on N-track need. IIRC, the .net installer is probably a *.msi file. As the message suggests you need to install the Microsoft MSI installer to install it…

I’m pretty sure it comes with XP, so assuming you’re using an earlier o/s, you’ll find what you need here:

MSI Installer


Yeah I downloaded that already, but when I tried to install it, it said that I already had it.

Hey everybody!!
I fixed the problem and have been recording away, but as expected, I managed to stumble on another. I can play back the song in Ntrack and it sounds great, so I mix it down. Whenever I play back the mixdown, there are three noises that it will make every so often, one right after the other, that go high low high (in pitch.) It almost sounds like a guitar, or some kind of tone, does anybody have any idea what this is? Thanks.


I fixed the problem and have been recording away, but as expected, I managed to stumble on another. I can play back the song in Ntrack and it sounds great, so I mix it down. Whenever I play back the mixdown, there are three noises that it will make every so often, one right after the other, that go high low high (in pitch.) It almost sounds like a guitar, or some kind of tone, does anybody have any idea what this is? Thanks.

Good, glad you got it going but don’t tease us - what was the problem?

The beeps you are hearing are probably because you are running an unregistered copy of N-track.

From the download page:

In the evaluation version:

a registration reminder dialog box appears every few times the playback or recording is started
when mixdown to a single wave file a three note organ sound is added every approximately 30 seconds
the evaluation version has no limitations in the number or lenght of the tracks.


Lol. Ok, I’m not even really sure what the problem was. I just ran a search on my computer for “msi.” And deleted the files that seemed to be related to installation. It then let me reinstall the Installation component package, and then Ntrack installed fine. Oh man!! Why does it have to make beeping noises? Lol. Is there any way to get around that besides playing the song still in track form into something else to record digitally?

Hey guys, disregard my last post. Just take a cord and go volume out on sound card to mic in, and then playback and record at the same time, I can’t really notice any loss in quality, plus there’s no organ tones!

Actually, there is a loss in sound quality when doing that, so be sure you only do it as the last step when creating a mixdown. That is, don’t “bounce”.

Also, ditch the record-to-tape idea. You’ll get mondo synchronization problems that way, due to tape wow and flutter. Another option is to get long mike cables and leave plenty of lead-in time so you can start recording and get to the throne in time. I realize that stinks, but the other way just won’t work very well.

The cassette method will work for drums only if your first track is the drum track. But it’s far better for your first track to be a click track. Search this forum for discussions of click tracks. Click tracks are a big help in the long run, for projects involving a lot of overdubbing. They’re a nuisance at first, because it adds technical stuff you gotta do before getting to the fun part. Also, you need to learn to play to a metronome. If you haven’t already, it’s a skill that takes some effort to acquire. But if you need to learn the skill, then you’ll have trouble doing tight overdubbing anyway so might as well learn to do it the right way. Feel free to skip the click track for your first tune or two, and you’ll learn why you need 'em while still having fun and producing stuff you can enjoy listening to. With a cringe or two, maybe!

A bit of advice for first timers: don’t start with your magnum opus or a tune you’re really excited to record. Start with EASY tunes, ones that should be quick to record and you have the playing down pat, and that you don’t care too much about. You’ll spend a lot of time learning from your mistakes, and you’ll get a LOT better in your first few tunes. So, start with tunes you won’t be afraid to throw away later. (Probably best to do a simple cover tune.) If you start with a special one or that magnum opus, you’ll be burned out on it by the time you’ve learned to do it well.


Why does it have to make beeping noises? Is there any way to get around that besides playing the song still in track form into something else to record digitally?

Ermm, pay for the software?