Jamstix questions

I’m pretty sure these are mostly N-Track specific questions…

How do you turn on Jamstix? I see references to it creating 4 tracks or something, I can’t get it to do that. Also if I save a project that uses Jamstix, next time I open the project there is a hidden instance of Jamstix running. How do I turn the gui back on so I can see/configure it?

How do you save rythms you have tweaked? I really don’t get how I can set up a drum part in Jamstix, and reopen it later.

How do you mix down? Since Jamstix is just kind of floating there in space, I just don’t get how to get wavs out of it. I can hear it and get a good drum parts going and record tracks to the drum part, and can also record a midi track of Jamstix’s output, but I can’t figure out how to just record an audio track (or four, even better) right from Jamstix once the drum part is set up the way I want.

When I try to mixdown with the midi tracks N-Track offers to convert them to wav but gets an error, and I’m not following at all what is supposed to be happening here. It says something about my soundcard recording its own midi output… I have a hunch I am missing something as I should just be able to record the actual audio that Jamsix is producing (without running wires from my soundcard’s outputs back into other inputs or whatever).

My soundcard in this case is Line6 Podxt, which is basically a plain vanilla Asio 2-channel USB sound system as far as Windows and N-Track are concerned. I also have a generic sound card in the computer, and an 8 track Alesis USB mixer that also functions as a plain vanilla 2 channel sound card… It’s only 16 bit though and pretty noisy so I try to stick with the Pod’s Asio drivers for most things.

There seems to be a lot of overlap of the different forums, should I post these same questions on the Jamstix and Audiominds forums?

Just hang around for Richlum. He’s our resident guru and will get you going.

OK… I’ll see if I can answer most of your questions…

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How do you turn on Jamstix? I see references to it creating 4 tracks or something, I can’t get it to do that. Also if I save a project that uses Jamstix, next time I open the project there is a hidden instance of Jamstix running. How do I turn the gui back on so I can see/configure it?

It sounds like you have succesfully added JS to your song but just need to bring the GUI back up when it is not visable…
You need to have the track mixer up and then you should see a JS channel (with 3 other synth channels after it). JS will be listed as an effect in the first of the 4 channels.
Double click on JS and it will open up the GUI.

As for creating 4 tracks… JS has 4 outputs as default (which is why there are 4 channels in the n-Track mixer when you add JS).
You tell JS which of the 4 outputs to route each drum to in the Output tab of JS. By default all drums are routed to channel 1 and the other 3 channels are not used - you will see that only the first channel’s VU meters move in the n-Track mixer and the others don’t do anything.
So to create 4 separate tracks you need to send different drums to each of the 4 JS outputs to get the VU meters in all 4 JS channels inthe n-Track mixer moving.
As an example I send kick to ch2, all snare sounds to ch3 and ambience (which is like the overhead mics) to ch4. I leave everything else on ch1.

To convert these 4 separate channels to 4 wav files you need to have a sound card that has 8 outputs (you are mixing down 4 stereo channels), route each of the 4 JS channels to a separate output on your soundcard and do a mixdown with all other tracks muted and just the 4 JS channels playing.
When it asks if youwant to mixdown all channels of your soundcard click “Yes”
(If you only have a stereo out soundcard you can still get seaprate wavs but you will need to mute all JS channels except 1 and repeat 4 times to do each channel separately - NOTE THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF YOU ARE USING MANUAL JAM AND HAVE ALL BARS LOCKED. If you are using Free Jam or Keyword Jam, or don’t have all bars locked then each time you play the song back JS will play things like accents and improvisations differently and your 4 drums tracks might sound a bit whack

OK hope that has covered all of the mixdown aspects… I don’t use the midi export functions of JS… the internal sounds are plenty good enough for me. Also the midi mixdown wizard in N isn’t the best way to convert midi tracks to wav… beter just to do a normal mixdown and solo the midi tracks you want.


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How do you save rythms you have tweaked? I really don’t get how I can set up a drum part in Jamstix, and reopen it later.

In the Rhythm tab in JS there is a save button. Click it and oyu can save the rhythm to the JS library. If you don’t want to overwrite the existing rhtyhm then you need to type a new name in the name field before you click save - it asks if you wnat to overwrite if there is already a rhtyhm with that name I think… (at work so can’t check…)

If you are wanting to do a drum part for a song and then re-open it later you should use the Arranger tab in JS and make set JS to Manual Jam.
Also it helps to lock any bars you like so that JS will play that bar exactly the same way each time. If you leave th bar unlocked then the accents, improvisations etc. will be different each time you play through the song.

I hope that answers everything. I’m not familiar with your soundcard (I thought the pod was an amp sim/fx unit) but it sounds like you only have 2 outputs available for audio so will have to mix all drums down to 1 stereo track or lock everything in the arranger and solo each JS channel 1 at a time if you want 4 stereo wavs…

HTH,
Rich

See, told ya! :p

Thanks Rich…

Oh, and go on Rich, put some of this in our wiki… pretty please!


Mark

I’m not sure how to put it on the wiki…

I have been meaning to put a Jamstix and n-Track tutorial together (just covering getting started, free jamming and using JS to put drums to a song) but haven’t had time lately…

I was planning on doing something in MS Word with screen shots and then if someone wants to convert to wiki or web or pdf then I’m more than happy for that to happen.

If I don’t get a chance this weekend should have some more free time between Xmas and New Year as I’m not working and currently have no plans… except lazing in the sun and drinking beer :)

Rich

Thanks! I will hopefully be trying out your suggestions tonight, but I might not because my beloved wife got me a KILLER garbage picking score!!!

I’ll just share my joy here as part of my thanks for this wonderful forum. I will post more in this thread - I really want to get this stuff hashed out. I have spent an embarrassing amount of hours trying to get this stuff working… I have tried a ton of different software and have two buddies that are Pro Tools evengelicals (in other words they are useless for figuring anything else out). I’m pretty committed to N-Track and Jamstix, I will make this work!!!

Here’s a pic of the stuff I just acquired off the curb! The beige coffee-table thing is a freakin tube amp with 2 x 6V6 tubes! They test as new so they fall under the Almost New Used Stock category! :cool: If you can’t afford NOS, there’s a lot of great ANUS tubes out there! :D

http://www.pbase.com/fhludlow/image/53563439

Where is the WIKI located :(

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I was planning on doing something in MS Word with screen shots and then if someone wants to convert to wiki or web or pdf then I’m more than happy for that to happen.


Yeah, I’m happy to do that when you’re ready.

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Where is the WIKI located


It’s here are the moment: Wiki

It’s really an experiment, but I guess we can say it’s working. I need to get some of the sonfig sorted out and then check that Flavio is happy with it. Then I guess we can get it linked from here…

Ok thanks!! So far so good.

But here’s where I’m getting lost. How can I have a channel without a track?

How do I route a channel to an output of my soundcard? I can hear Jamstix obviously, so it’s playing out my soundcard, but… uh… hmm… uh… I can’t record it to a wav… I’m expecting it to have a track I guess. Shoot I’m not even sure what to ask.

I’m trying to mix down my 2 guitar tracks and the drums to a single wav.

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How can I have a channel without a track?

Well JS is creating the channel. It is the 4 channels in the mixer that are added when you add JS as a VSTi.

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How do I route a channel to an output of my soundcard?

If you right click or double click (can’t remember which) the channel in the mixer you will have a field where you can select which output to route that channel to.
If your soundcard has only 1 stereo out the you will only have 1 option…

It is isn’t a “track” as such as there is no wav or midi data… the sound is being createdon the fly by JS and then outputed to the JS channels in n-Track (which you can see in the mixer). You can then route those channels where you want.

When you do a mixdown the JS output will be included in the mixdown.
If you only want drums, mute everything else. If you want the guitar tracks included in the mixdown leave them unmuted.

Rich

YES!

Thank you all. Richlum you actually answered my “how do you turn it on” question a few months ago and I don’t know if anyone noticed but the menu structure was rearranged at some point and it’s different now. I totally did not know what to do when that change was made, but I did figure it out.

Not really understanding the basic concepts of a recording studio makes this stuff very NOT intuitive.

I’m not sure what to say. I just successfully emailed some buddies of mine a nice mp3 of me playing 2 gutiar parts to a drum track. I’m utterly speechless. I have been trying to do this for so long, and now success! I am very happy.

I am definitely frusterated by the lack of adherence to standard gui conventions in both of these products. Right-clicking or keyboard shortcuts or whatever just never do what I expect in N-Track (can I get some drag mouse to select, ctrl-X to cut, ctrl-V to paste for instance?). Jamstix has things like hold down the right mouse button while sliding sideways to change the color of a checkbox to match a little menu. That is not exactly obvious.

Coming at this software without actually knowing how a recording studio works… I dont’ know what to say it has been very frusterating and time consuming.

When I’m presented with a mixdown dialogue box, and it has tracks to select, and jamstix is no where to be seen… This was very baffling to me.

Thanks again I am now on my way to actually recording my musical ideas after of hours of frusteration.

Glad to hear yo have got it all up and running.

There is a lot about both N and JS that I have only found out when someone on the forums have described how they do something and I’ve been like “wow! I didn’t know you could do that!”. Or by trial and error :)