General opinions about N

where does N need the most work

I thought I’d represent the marketing guy again (not really, I’m an engineer student) and ask you ppl what do you think N lacks most at the moment. I ended up on this general level but maybe it’s a good idea to ask again later more specifically. Happy voting! :)

I voted for improved stability. n-Track is running fine for me but I do get the occasional “WTF!” crash. n is pretty feature rich compared to other softies in (and above) it’s price range. Get it rock solid and as efficient as possible.

D – my $.02

I agree; this thing is feature-rich. The only negativity toward it is due to the occasional crash. It only takes one bad crash to loose something and have someone completely turn on it and bad-mouth it.

In general, I’ve had pretty good luck with learning the “do’s and don’ts”, so it doesn’t bother me much. But there are others that I speak with on other forums that had the 1 experience of loosing a great track…they will now avoid it like the plague.

Personally, I am an evangelist of nTrack everywhere I go; simply due to the features and price…especially for the 24-bit version. It takes great talent and know-how to craft a software package like this. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But on the same token, if you’re going to do something, be the best.

I voted for stability as well. I had some good results on my old win98 system but unfortunately my laptop, usb2 sound card and ntrack don’t seem to like each other. If it were more stable I would definitely use it again.

Midi is nightmare for me. I would think I could Import a midi file and play it, but I can’t and recording midi - forget it.
The other side of this would be to just forget all the midi features and make the audio more stable.

keep this on page 1

I belive the quality of the plugs are as good as anything else. (waves … and others. WaveArts is also really nice.)

1.) But the look may not be as good.
2.) The documentation is indeed very bad.
3.) There are too few presets.

Look at WaveArts ( plugins and compare 1.) to 3.)

I think when people compare sound less than 1% is just that sound.
99% is other things influencing. (As when believing 24 is better than 16 :D)

/Goran Sweden

Quote (goran @ Mar. 09 2006,06:39)
2.) The documentation is indeed very bad.

I like the look (but I can understand if it looks a little dated or cluttered for other people)

I agree 100% about the documentation. Too many things have changed / been added since the manual was created.

Stabillity has been surprisingly good for me (I've recorded 8 tracks in at one time while playing back about 10 without any issues on a celeron 950 with 256MB's of RAM on a VIA chipset from the era when VIA chipsets was still heavily fround upon. Granted I had the buffers so high that from hitting record to it actually starting was about 15 seconds, and finishing drawing all the waves would take up to 30seconds, but never once did I have a crash or a single dropout)

I'm in the process of moving the 1010lt to the new server, so I'll be able to comment more on the stabillity later.

Midi has never worked for me either - the timing was always off - never mind what I tried. You would put a single midi clicktrack in, hit play and hear it lose timing, burp, get behind and then speed up to make up again. But that I think was my slow PC. I'll know better about that as well after tests on the new system.

More midi functions would be cool, but again, not at the price of other quirks...


321 views and 21 votes, how’s that for democracy. Mind you with over 85% votes for stability I think the message is loud and clear. I hope Flavio is watching.

Stability is the most important issue. Everything else is fine for me, like the look and ease of use. But get an occasional “hey what wuz dat” crash. Not gonna list my hardware since it’s older than dirt. But so am I, so we get along ok.

I voted for stability. I may be a part-time musician, but in my real job I’m a Software Architect so I feel able to speak about this confidently:

n-track is a great, low-cost app. It is hugely feature-rich, but is not good in terms of stability. In my opinion it it would be hugely more popular and succesful if is was imporoved in this area - and I would happiliy pay more for it!

This is a complicated piece of software and supporting alll the various sound-card drivers must be a nightmare for the SW engineer. However, it is not impossible for these things to be rock solid - it just takes more time and since we keep requesting feature after feature we only really have ourselves to blame:-)

One thing that can be said about the stability is that it crashes in a ‘nice’ way. I know that sounds daft but when it crashes, I know for a fact that my files since the last save will be intact.

Therefore you need a good back up policy, you may need to back up more often then some other programs, but hey - its a fraction of the price of those other programs.

Flavio probably can;t win with this - if he spend 6-months improving stability, then by definition, the next release will have no new features and we’ll all be whinging about supporting the latest synth.

My 2pence worth - all in my own opinion


I do not think the features are an issue, it has all one needs to work with, but when i use it it studders, and stammers badly if i try to do anything while playback is going. I can’t even open the mixer view without it trying to breakup. That is why i switched over to Multitrack Studios almost entirely, it never does that and i never have to fuss with it. Having said that part of me still loves N-T it has a charm to it.

I’m in the same boat as Robomusic, the instability got too much. There are more features in there than most people know how to use anyway, so if Flavio spent more time on stability he’d be doing us and himself a favour. If it were stable I would use it again to be sure.

Ok, the message seems clear but I hope everybody’s using the latest version. I was using N version dating from almost a year back, and now downloaded the brand new one. What an improvement, also on stability. No chrash on VST-scan or any other function so far after 2 days of use, but the old version would crash about once every two hours. Also usability has improved notably. I guess all we can do is send more and better bug reports.

Good point: The survey means only that at some point people were having trouble with Ntrack and stability.
I have Not been using the newest download because of negative comments about stability.
Are they justified?

I find it interesting that for some the newest build is more stable than an older build or vice versa. For me I cannot run any build using . net crash free. 4.0.4 runs perfect on my setup. I think alot of peoples problems (mine) have more to do with the combination of other software that they have on their PC , rather than N-track. I would love to buy a top line laptop for n-track but that is not going to happen any time soon.

Lately, I biggest issue I have is, to get the tracks I generate converted from A - D “Streamed” onto a hard drive… When I get them into a .wav file and they are acceptable to me, the biggest issue is behind me…

I don’t think it’s n-Track’s “doings” if there are problems with your DAW in, converting “Blocks of Data” and Buffering that information to a hard drive… Mabey, I’m missing some KEY understanding of how n-Track, is involved with that process… Mabey, I need some enlightnment, in that regard…

After I have the “Tracks” stored on a drive, an begin an Editing Session the process of streaming the data back to analogue is in the hands of n-Track… If I edit a track useing plugins and removing parts-and-pieces, and all, does that process fall onto the quality and amount of Ram to produce that process, while Streaming the rest of the Tracks?


I tried a number of multitrack audio recorders back in the day, including Multitrack Studio.

Multitrack Studio had a “cleaner” looking user interface, however it required ASIO for recording more than 2 channels simultaneously. Being the hardware hacker that I am, I didn’t want to go spending big $$$ on pro sound cards with ASIO drivers when I had piles of old sound cards just lying around gathering dust. At the time when I built the audio workstation, n-Track studio was the only recorder which could initialize several WDM and MME sound card drivers in parallel and keep the synchronization tight. (Even when they were from different models and manufacturers!)

Lately the reliability and stability has been a big problem though. I needed a new version for a project which required mixing to a 5.1 surround configuration. (While it is possible to just use several sets of stereo pans set carefully to position the audio in the surround sound field, the surround panner makes the task much easier.) But I found the newer version was crashing when using the ASIO drivers, or it was recording zero-length parts, or it would crash as soon as I tried playing back through the surround main.

To cut a long story short, after several bug reports and some brief correspondence with Flavio Antonioli, the critical problems were finally fixed. But it was frustrating, and there’s still some “non-critical” bugs remaining which are a bit of a nuisance to work around.

As a small-time software developer myself, I question why we really need the .NET framework for a niche product such as a multitrack audio recorder. Generally the more applications rely on Microsoft operating system components, the less reliable they are. And for me, reliability is absolutely paramount when it comes to software. There’s really no excuse for unreliability, because that only comes from human error. I figure if you’re paying money for software, you should get working software. If the software has bugs, then the company is selling defective products and it’s pretty much fraud.

Unfortunately the issue is more complicated than that… Even if an application has no bugs in it’s code whatsoever, it may still crash because Windows is the most unreliable operating system ever released to the public. So it’s difficult to point the blame. Was the application programmer at fault for not testing and debugging the code enough? Or are there too many undocumented quirks with the operating system’s APIs? Is that still the application programmer’s fault for not making work-arounds? Or is it the operating system programmer’s fault for not making a good OS? Should the application programmer just throw their hands up in the air and say “it’s not my problem, go talk to Microsoft”, or should they spend more of their time trying to come up with a work-around to a problem created by someone else who doesn’t care to fix it anyways?

Rant aside, I’m pretty disgusted with the whole computer industry these days and been seriously considering formatting my DAW’s hard drive and going Linux. If I do that I’ll have to say goodbye to n-Track and start over with SLab or some of the other similar Linux apps. Call me a pessimist, but I really don’t think there’s any solution to the reliability problems in the world of Windows anymore.

Finally, in response to the user interface comment, n-Track does look a little cluttered, but when you compare it to some of the other feature-packed software out there, it clearly makes the most sense and really is the easiest to use.

Here’s a tip: hide the toolbars, close the navigator window, hide the channel strip (which will also hide the EQ and compressor), but MAKE SURE YOU TURN ON THE POP-UP MIXER BUTTON (so you can quickly bring up the channel strip from any track), and close the timeline’s mixer strip selection buttons too. If you’re a real power user, customize the toolbars for just the icons you want and frequently use, and you can make n-Track look as simple or as complicated as you want.

There are lots of features. I went this way instead of Sonar HS4, and part of the reason was the ‘grass-roots’ attitude of the program. But stability is a feature of Sonar… n-Track would be great with fewer, but perhaps more generally useable, features and better stability.

For instance, a “Save Selection As…” (to a new .wav file) button would be an obvious idea, for my thinking. Maybe instead of that Navigator window, which I’m surmising almost no one uses.

Meanwhile, if my friend down the road doesn’t want my Sonar, I may load it, just in case…