home recording with n-track

ive been reading your forums for quite a while and the sequencer tips…eq’ing…compressions etc have been INVALUABLE.

i wanted to share with you some home recordings made with n-track…im still learning but the toughest to get was getting the vocals to sit right and i think im almost there.

i wanted to at least share with you what i learned from you people so far.


please feel free to drop a comment or two. i just started learning recently how to use that site.


I had a listen to a couple of your tunes. They are very good. IMO you should do some research on compression settings and EQ’ing. You could turn your tunes into real gems.

Quote (Guest @ Mar. 05 2006,23:06)

I had a listen to a couple of your tunes. They are very good. IMO you should do some more research on compression settings and EQ'ing. You could turn your tunes into real gems.

Not sure what song it is (singing with finger picked aucoustic) Kinda jazz chord progressions. I like that one but I find that there is too much middle in the guitar sound and it takes away from the the emotion of the palm slaps between your chord progressions. There's some high end hiss in the voice aswell.

thanks stu
they’re only home demos…im in the process of having them professionally recorded but i wanted a shot at learning how to make DECENT recordings on my own and i figured demos are a best opportunity to learn.
the song you’re referring to is the last one…“one more day”…its actually a strat clean direct as i dont have a steel acoustic…i cut too low and boosted the mids a little much on the vocals which is the hissing. i had to apply a gate on the vocals because of the floor noise…then applied some compression.
the guitar i didnt eq much mainly because i wanted some presence of it.

thank you for the compliment regarding the songs and the tips…im still learning but you guys’ expertise has been a learning ground for me.

Last night I was surfing and found some great articles on ballpark compression and EQ settings. There was one paragraph on eliminating “ssssss”. I’m at work and will give you the link later. Best tips I’ve found to date.


I have to say that your work is prety impressive. I would say that even some of the imperfections in the three recordings work for you. The piano in “One More Day” is distinctly lo-fi and very cool in a retro kind of way. In the same way, the vocals sound very bare and have a lot of presence.

Given what you’ve done here already, it sounds like you would benefit from adding in some more percussion and getting some more “natural” sounds on the guitar. The direct strat sound would sound a lot more natural if you put a small amount of reverb with a very short decay time, just to simulate the effect of mic-ing up an acoustic instrument.

Otherwise, I think you’ve done a pretty good job on the levels, EQ, and compression as it is. The next step as far as mixing goes may be getting a good set of monitors. That was the thing that affected my ability to mix the most.

Anyway, good recordings. I’d like to hear the pro versions when you’re finished.


stu and ben…thank you so much for the compliment. it really means a lot.
im not really geared towards as an engineer but i have to say that even for the amount of work just to make these demos sounding decent, i can only imagine the sweat and tears from real engineers who make a living doing it which im working with in a studio to have hi-fi sound.
i wasnt so much concerned with the techy stuff as well what i really wanted to learn or at least understand was the “intuition” sound engineers have and translate that on tape with the tools i got. i developed an appreciation for it.
i love my producer…he’s not only a good engineer but a really talented musician…but he’s the real “recording artist” taking the songs to another level.
i agree about the percussions but i really suck at making drum loops lol lord knows i tried over and over. i think there was “john” here who made great drum tracks sound live. would lvoe to get some tips from him. learjeff and marcel if i spelled that right gave me great directions about piano fonts and eq’ing/compressing to make them sound right. and the guitar gods here pointed me to some excellent free amp sim plugins.
if you like the demos…thank yourselves honestly…they’re all the tips you guys posted here.

btw…the piano ballad is “porch lights” and the strat folk is "one more day"

thanks again…keep it up!


listened to all 3 songs a couple of times and they are really good songs!

I think the fact they aren’t over produced suits them because the instrumentation is stripped back anyway.
Some really nice use of instruments and sounds to vary the dynamics inthe songs as well.

Think some of the levels could be tweaked (eg the drums in Maybe could be louder for my liking).

Your vocals seem to sit well though.

Great music and lyrics


thank you rich. i agree. because im mixing with cheap headphones i didnt want to go overboard with bass or percussion because they’re right now impossible to get a good reference. plus im learning how to make effective drum loops.
is there a utility out there that can convert my ordinarly drum loops that i made with tom hicks samples into groove clips?
it’s supposed to analyze the transients of the loops and impact them somehow to make them more "lively"

thank you

i added another song in my first attempt to try to make a fuller sound with n-track.

still learning…yes i know the bass timing is a bit off :slight_smile:

I’m lucky enough to be listening on good gear, and the guitar on ‘Maybe’ is waaay bass-heavy. Which detracts from a pretty nice performance. I set the eq to match the sound of smaller speakers, and the problem was much lessened, but still hearable at medium volume. I like your singing, but it could be pulled down just the tiniest bit and I think it would balance with the backing tracks better.

But this wouldn’t chase me out of the coffee shop!, Another cup, please?:D

'til next time;
tony w


You know what Tony?
That actually IS a compliment :D Thanks
I play at coffee shops sometimes and I havent made anyone hurl yet…so I must be doing something right. LOL

Thanks for the feedback. I posted that song on another site and they had too a similar critique as you did but it was more that they thought it was overly distorted which could also mean the bassy end.

i updated “maybe” with a live setting sound

im really having struggles with noise floors but i thought i drop a note about some updates.

“pennies” was my attempt of a more production gloss. i dont know i guess im experimenting to find my sound.

thank you to all the dedicated vst developers who give them away. and flavio for a great product.

Love your songs, and your singing is excellent. Your voice has a very appealing quality. I like the way that you’ve recorded your vocals - the crisp high end and presence lets the breathy quality of your voice stand out in a very musical way. I don’t hear any reverb, and I like it that way.

I’m a fan of simple arrangements on songs, and personally I like the way that yours are arranged. I wouldn’t add a lot. IMO syrupy sweet orchestration or strings would tend to distract from the honesty of your vocals. The only thing you need to do is what you already know… Perfect the instrumentation, and get levels and EQ perfected. I’d really love to hear these songs when you get the instrumentation perfected. I think that these songs are going to be really good when you get that worked out.

I think that you have major talent as both a singer and songwriter and I look forward to hearing more of your music.


Went back to your website and listened again when I got home and had access to some good monitors. Still sounded great, but I do have a couple of concrete suggestions. On Maybe, all of the instrumentation except for the bass are at volumes that are way too low. I think that is what one of the other commenters meant when they said the song was bass heavy.

On one more day, in the last couple of measures the level of the guitar gets a bit out of control (leading to a little distortion on the crescendo notes), and I think that you may have squeezed the guitar chords a little bit as the guitar goes slightly out of tune (maybe a difficult fingering?). The strat works fairly well on this song, but I sure would like to hear what it would sound like on a nice acoustic guitar. That would really fit the feel of the song.

Still, great stuff.


Thank you for the compliments.
i used to have an older version of Maybe where it was just me playing against some loops…but all of these demos were such “dirty mixes”.

i dont have an acoustic guitar yet…(i know i know) :slight_smile:
but thanks for the tips…eq’ing is a pretty tough challenge for me…i have very poor monitors and the mic was a dynamic mic simply because i have bad room acoustics…the proximity effect was all i got and i started shaving the low end to get the tone i needed.


I’m usually busy recording my own music. This week, I’m traveling on business, so I had an opprtunity to listen to some of the music of other N-Track users.

I greatly enjoyed your songs. Nice arrangements and pleasing vocals.

I live nearby in Joliet and would would love to hear a live performance. Any shows scheduled?

Regards - TJ

Loved maybe, on my headphones it has a nice Tracy Chapman feel to it, nice arrangement, nice singing. It has a good balance between lyrics and backing as far as feeling is concerned. On One more day I would change the strat for an acoustic like Tim suggested, that would give it more dynamics without getting in the way of the vocals. Alltogether a nice performance, you are on the right track, I’d like to hear the studio productions when they’re ready.