how do you managed with n-track and...

a little questione about punch-in

I would like to ask just few suggestions about recording…
1- I try to explain, I want to record song with MIDI file so e.g.
I have on track1 the midi song with drums, keyboard and so on
on the track2 I play the acoustic guitar with a simple 4/4 pattern, I’ve done this and then, as the rythm of the guitar is always the same, I’ve copied it and the paste it with SHIFT at the end of the mesure of the same track… it works but after one or two copy the guitar come with delay and it’s not lined up so…what do you suggest? which is the best way? To play all the guitar during the song and then if something it’s wrong to record only one part (with punch in) or there’s an easy way to copy and paste the portion of the wave that I need?
I hope you’ve understood.
2-I’ve tried the punch-in function and all works good…I need just to insert what I’ve recorded in the same track, but when I use punch-in a new track it’s create…how it works?
thank all

First, it’s generally a better practice to play the whole part rather than record a few measures and repeat that. With a whole part, there will be more natural small changes from place to place and this is usually good. (It depends on the music style, though – for some kinds of music, a mechanical sound is wanted.)

But, you should be able to do what you want. It takes careful use of the grid.

Is the MIDI part lined up with n-Track’s grid? That is, do the notes line up with the measures and beats properly? Sometimes I record a MIDI part and forget to use a click track and set BPM, etc., and then the notes don’t line up with the MIDI timing (beats & measures). Then I bop myself on the forehead and do it over.

If the MIDI part lines up well, then you can do what you want. However, the next question makes a difference about how easy it’ll be.

Is there a “pickup” to the guitar part? That is, does the guitar part start right on beat 1 in the first measure, or is there a little bit played before the beginning of beat 1 (a “pickup”)?

If there’s a pickup, it’s harder. Let’s assume there is no pickup, and here’s how to repeat your part.

Turn on the grid. On the guitar track, select the measures you want to repeat by dragging. Now, drag to select where you want to paste it and paste. If you want to paste multiple copies, hold the shift key when pasting.

Now, if that’s what you’re already doing and it still gets out of sync, you just have a technical problem to solve. First step: in “Preferences -> Options”, make sure both “Use system timer for” boxes are UNchecked. In “Preferences -> MIDI settings -> Timer to use”, select Wave timer. Try recording again. Hopefully your soundcard will work with these options.

I love this forum…all the answers are fast and exhaustive :slight_smile:
To be honest I’ve had success with copy and paste of wav files lined up with MIDI song… I needed only a lot of patience.
I am interested about the grid’s matter and I will try it in the next days.
remains only the question:
"I’ve tried the punch-in function and all works good…I need just to insert what I’ve recorded in the same track, but when I use punch-in a new track it’s create…how it works?"
can you give me a little help


I don’t know about version 4, but in 3.3 (the version I use) that is how punch-in works for me.
I don’t know if many people actually use punch-in, it’s really something from the old days of using tape when you only had a limited number of tracks you could use. With digital recording you can, in theory have an unlimited number of tracks, so punch-in is irrelevant.
Just make sure your new (punch-in) track is properly aligned and then select the part on the original track you wanted to record over. Then go to:
Edit >Silence selection >put volume to 0
That will silence the part, but leave your punch-in part active.


Most of us don’t bother with punch-in, we just silence the part we’re replacing and record on a new track. BTW, the best way to silence the existing track, if it has silence between phrases, is to select the part to silence and Cut (^X). This doesn’t change the wave file and you can always get the cut part back. But it leaves a black, quiet spot where it was selected. Then record the new part – I usually do it a number of times in a row.

Later, I pick the best of the retakes, and delete the junk. Then, just to simplify the display, I drag the end handles of the new part in tight (eliminating room noise before my playing starts and after it ends), and shift-drag the wave part up into the empty spot in the track above. Then it’s all on one track, though it isn’t just one wave file. To create a single wave file, which you’d want to do if you were sending it to someone else for their project, just solo the track, turn off effects, and off-line mixdown. This creates a wave file for that track for the whole song. Then you import the mixdown file (yellow folder toolbar button with green wave on it).

you’re fantastic!!
step by step track by track I’m realizing the song…
I’ve played the acoustic guitar and I’ve applyed a reverbere plug-in effect… Now I would like to play the electric guitar, I’ve a zoom multieffect… what is now the best thing to do? I’ve to take the LINE out of the zoom and record the guitar with the zoom effect on PC or to connect the electric guitar directly on the pc and the then to apply a plug-in effect (with pc or with zoom?!?)
Other thing: I have this ROLAND MPU401 for MIDI file inserted over an old ads1815 sound card, I listen the midi file with this and record in another soundblaster card. What do you use to listen and record MIDI file, do you know roland mpu401 (10 years old) and what do you think about?
I would like to have a good MIDI file card to listen and record songs and to play the guitar over
thank you all
sorry for the bad english

With electric guitar, there are many different ways and all are valid, just depends on what you want.

For the very best tone, you usually have to mike an amp. This isn’t easy, but it can be fun. You also have to prepare the room properly. There are at least 50 things to try, I won’t go into that here. Also, it isn’t quiet – can’t do this while the baby is sleeping! Also, for some styles it’s not at all necessary.

I don’t know which zoom you have. If it’s just effects, with no “amp / cabinet modeling”, you’ll need amp and cabinet modeling (either software or hardware).

If the zoom has amp/cab modeling, you can get very good results feeding your guitar into the zoom and the zoom’s line outputs (both if it’s stereo!) into your soundcard. This will be the least hassle and a great way to get started, and experiment later with other techniques.

A good general rule to remember is “Don’t commit today to something you might want to change tomorrow.” Musicians tend to apply this rule better to their love lives than to recording, but that’s another story. What I mean is, any FX you put on your guitar while recording can’t be removed later. Ideally, every effect should be adjusted while listening to the whole mix, because that’s the ONLY sound that counts. What this means is, you get more flexibility in the final mix if you use software FX later rather than hardware effects earlier.

However, if you know what sound you’re going for, do it.

I use a compromise between the two extremes. I use a Genesis3 guitar amp/cab modeler, and apply a little stereo reverb when recording because I like how it sounds and it usually works well in the mix for me. But if I was doing a hard rock / heavy metal tune, where the guitar tone is pretty critical, I might prefer to record “clean” while only MONITORING through the Genesis unit, and later using software like Native Instruments Guitar Rig to dial up the perfect tone after all the other parts are in the mix. (That’s if I could afford Guitar Rig.)

Now, about soundfonts.

Download ‘sfz’, which is a VSTi (software plugin) soundfont player. That’s the easy part! Next, search the internet for good free soundfont banks that you like, and load them into sfz. This way, it doesn’t matter what soundcard you’re using – the soundfont work is entirely in software. The time consuming part is wading through all the mediocre soundfonts until you find the ones you like.

One place to start is It’s a confusing and poorly organized site, but seems to be the only soundfont collection site that’s still really in operation.

A good hardware alternative is the “SoundBlaster Live!” card from Creative. It’s very inexpensive and plays soundfonts very well. Plus the soundfonts are downloadable so you can change them. It’s also good for 16-bit, 48kHz recording and playback. Only use this card at the 48kHz rate, you’ll get timing problems if you use it in 44.1KHz mode.

thanks for all the explanations that you have given me
you’re very kind
now I have to study many things :slight_smile:
talk to you soon

You’re welcome. There’s no end of things to study! I still have a long list of things I know I need to experiment with myself. The good news is you don’t have to master everything to get started.

you’re right I’m already satisfied with your suggestion and my first song ist almost finished, I think it will be easy to mixdown the tracks and to create the final song. :slight_smile: