Jamstix advice?

will it work with my system?

Hey all!

BillTheCat recommended I look into Jamstix on my other thread, so I’d like to solicit feedback from those who use it.

I’ve been to the site and signed up for their Forum, but I have to wait to get home to validate the account and post a similar question there :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s my system:

Dell Inspiron 600m laptop
XP Home
P4 2.1ghz
768mb RAM
external USB2 250GB HDD
(run nTrack.exe off my internal HDD, but all .SNG and .WAV files off the USB drive)
end-user factory soundcard (don’t even know what it is, but it sucks with nTrack)
nTrack 4.1.6 build 2062

I use the Zoom PS-04 to record tracks, then convert to WAV and import into nTrack - so I currently do NO realtime recording directly into nTrack, just using it to mix, master and burn.

I have no audio input interface like Delta, Terratec, or E-MU makes - a bit spendy for me right now!

So I would be recording all my bass, guitars, keys, vocals in the PS-04, dumping the WAV’s into nTrack, and then programming the drums with Jamstix.

My questions:
1. Since I have no MIDI input, would I be able to “play” the drums and record them any other way?
2. How good is Jamstix at sync’ing to audio tracks REALLY, and what is the best way to do this?
3. I assume Jamstix allows looping of 2- or 4- bar patterns within nTrack?

I’ll probably think of more, but that’s all I can come up with for now. Thanks for the help!

Rich is our resident Jamstix and N-track guru. I think he’s got a Getting Started guide too. Try searching the forum; there’s been several good discussions on the subject here.



Jamstix works fine for me (and others) with N.

The only way to really see if it will work with your system is to download the demo and have a play with it.

This will let your know:
a) whether it plays nice with your system; and
b) whether it is the drums olution you are looking for and you like the workflow

The only real difference between the demo and the full version is limited sounds and patterns and muted output evey so often. So if the demo works the full version should function the same.

It can be fairly resource intensive depending on how “busy” the drums are - needs to process the playing of the drums and then stream the different samples.

You machine seems plenty grunty enough though.
I’m not sure what the streaming from your USB drive is like, but I’d probably install Jamstix on that drive so your samples are on the same drive as the rest of your audio data.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Since I have no MIDI input, would I be able to “play” the drums and record them any other way?

You don’t really “play” the drums with JS… its not a drum synth like RMF or similar where you play notes on the keyboard and it play the drum sounds back (it can be, but that is not it’s main purpose). Jamstix is the one that plays the drums. At a basic level you just input a velocity signal (either audio or automation parameter) and then JS will either create its own patterns or play the patterns you put in the arranger.
Play with the demo - this will hopefully make more sense then… it is hard to explain as there is no other plugin or application that does what JS does, so I can’t say that it does xyz like [insert product]…

2. How good is Jamstix at sync’ing to audio tracks REALLY, and what is the best way to do this?

The tempo that JS plays back at is set by your host (n-Track).
If jamming with audio, the audio signal only dictates how loud, soft, aggressive, busy, subdued etc. JS plays.
Again, play with the demo and it will make sense.
I use audio jamming for just jamming and mucking around.
If I’m putting drums to a song then I use manual jam and use the automation parameters to control velocity, powerplay, probability of different drums etc. throughout the song.

3. I assume Jamstix allows looping of 2- or 4- bar patterns within nTrack?

if you mean repeat instead of loop then yes that is as simple as copy and pasting a number of bars in the arranger window in JS.
Looping in respect of looping a numberof bars withing n-Track - well JS will also do this and follow whatever bar n_track is currently at, but n-Track does not do looping very well… I always find that if I loop a number of bars when n-Track jumps to the beginning of the looped section it doesn’t do so smoothly - there is an audible gap.
Looping works a lot better for me with Tracktion and Acid.
JS works great in Tracktion for me and loops fine. I’ve actually started using Tracktion a lot in the last few weeks as it seems to be able to handle more plugins and is super stable.
I’ve never used JS in Acid though (have only played with Acid, not done any full songs or anything).

Download the demo and have a play. That is the only way to know if JS is right for you or not…


Rich -
thanks for all the great input, I really appreciate that.
I will download the demo soon (first I have to rid my machine of this stupid spyware it acquired last night :angry: )

I understand what you’re talking about, actually.
So what I would need to do, since I don’t use nTrack’s internal click at all (in fact, I’ve never adjusted the tempo in nTrack) since all my WAV’s are already sync’d to each other…

I would need to specifically jot down the exact MM I use on the PS-04 and then set nTrack’s metronome to that same number and hope they line up, then let JS do its thing. Sound correct?

Yes. Even if you weren’t using JS but some other solution that allowed you to p[rogram the drums in N’s midi roll or it’s own similar interface you would need to set the tmepo in N for it to sync to.

Also setting your tempo grid up in N is incredibly helpful for editing/mixing.
If you have to copy a chorus from one part of the song to another it is SOOOO much easier if you have recorded witha click track and you can cut and paster whole bars and then just tweak the ends to make a nice edit.

You might find that setting the tempo in N to be the same as the one you used in the PS-04 may not line up exactly when you import your wavs and you may need to manually shift the wav files along a certain amount if the PS-04 adds some silence at the begging of the traks it exports or something…