latency

aligning tracks

hey n-tracks experts:

I’m the musician/song writer who wants to use n-tracks to lay some basics down for my band and stuff for the church w-team. Done it before with some freebie software, but that package wasn’t supported anymore…so here I am with n-tracks, and I’m not used to it - and i’m not a pure tech dude who fiddles with this and that and grasps it as quickly.

so…How to align the tracks/rid myself of the latency between multiple takes? Sounds basic, but as said - I’m not used to the program. In my other program, you just sort of “stretched” the recorded signal or cut out a section…a cheesy way I know, but effective for what I did to align them

I usually lay down an acoustic guitar track, and then the vocals over that. My setup is very basic (and perhaps part of the inherent problem?) in that I hplay straight into the sound card then sing over top of that track on a new track, as it was played back. I have no special equip, plug ins, scrubbers, etc -the computer is a dell 512 RAM, P4, 3.0MH - sound card is basic Sound Blaster Live 24bit that comes with it.

Any help you who know the program can be to a newbie like me is very much appreciated…

db
:D

Quote (dinkyboy @ Oct. 31 2006,21:42)
How to align the tracks/rid myself of the latency between multiple takes? Sounds basic, but as said - I’m not used to the program. In my other program, you just sort of “stretched” the recorded signal or cut out a section…a cheesy way I know, but effective for what I did to align them

In ideal world the track you record should be in time with the ones you’ ve recorded before. I suppose there’s some minor tricks ypu do to get rid of your problem with soundblaster, but I’m not expert on that aspect.

If the damage is already done and the tracks are not in tha same place in time space, there’s a button in the upper part of the window (near left to the arrow symbol) that looks like a cross with arrow points you should click. Then you may drag the wavs around to align them. With the magnifying glass tools you may look closer to get them exactly right.

But like I said, there’s some tricks to do to get them right at the first place.

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But like I said, there’s some tricks to do to get them right at the first place.


Yep, what varakeef said. It’s better to sort the cause, not the end results, and there is no need for there to be any sync. problems.

A few ideas…

Try unticking “Use System timer” in Preferences

Try different drivers (ASIO, MME, WDM)

Try bigger buffers

Try recording at 48kHz. I don’t know if it applies to your card but early soundblasters often had sync. problems unless run at 48kHz.

There are other ideas, I just can’t think of them right now…

X
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If the damage is already done and the tracks are not in tha same place in time space, there’s a button in the upper part of the window (near left to the arrow symbol) that looks like a cross with arrow points you should click. Then you may drag the wavs around to align them. With the magnifying glass tools you may look closer to get them exactly right.


This still works in V5 as does CNTRL-drag, but also in V5 there is a small icon/handle on the bottom left of each wav that can be grabbed and dragged around.

Be sure to zoom in as far as you can and to turn on the grid and set the tempo (if you’ve recorded to a click or drum machine). Look for transients in the tracks that fall on the first beat and then align those to the grid.

X
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Quote (XonXoff @ Nov. 01 2006,03:30)
But like I said, there's some tricks to do to get them right at the first place.


Yep, what varakeef said. It's better to sort the cause, not the end results, and there is no need for there to be any sync. problems.

A few ideas..

Try unticking "Use System timer" in Preferences

Try different drivers (ASIO, MME, WDM)

Try bigger buffers

Try recording at 48kHz. I don't know if it applies to your card but early soundblasters often had sync. problems unless run at 48kHz.

There are other ideas, I just can't think of them right now...

X
.
.
Just echoing what have been said -

About the 'use system timer' and the 48kHz thing - I'll try these 1st.

The 48kHz recording setting is the best bet to getting your system to sync up the tracks on going in. It is indeed still a problem for the later live's.

One more note: I have encountred a phenomenom when using very high buffers that seems to cause a track aligning late. When you’ve played back the song, have a little patience before pushing the record for the next track (5 -10 secs maybe). If you’re too hasty there may appear a strange aligning promblem.

Same thing may appear if you push play-button in transportbar and try to kick in the recording on when you arrive to the point where recording starts. (Like punching in in cassette porta studios).

I have encountered this kind of behaviour with laptop inbuild microphones sometimes (mostly with old versions).

thanks all!!!

I’m glad I asked - and am equally grateful for your quick and timely responses.

I will try those “tricks”, and see what happens. I’m going to run some stuff tonight and I’ll see if I can; (a)change some settings to make it better to begin with, and (b) try to ‘align’ afterwards if needed by dragging as you stated.

again -thanks for being on top of things and helping a fellow musician out!! I’m glad to be part of the forum…

db :D :D

This trick might help also to determine how much latency you have.

Record a TICK on one track (pop, hit or something)

Then play that back and record it on a second track.

Do as many times as you want and now you have an obvious sync point visually and audibly.

Line that up paying attention to how much you have to move it.

Dave T2

Right, SB and Audigy cards want to run at 48k, and you’ll have no end of trouble trying to run them at 44.1k.

Once set up properly, the latency you get for recording should be due to the distance between the musician’s cue speaker (monitors, whatever) and ears, about 1 millisecond per foot. (OK, 890 microseconds per foot, to be more precise.) This is usually not very important, but in odd cases can add up. Eliminate it using headphones. Avoid “build up” by having all the tracking use the same original track for the rhythm/syncronization/beat. Usually, though, folks can ignore this.

To measuer the latency as Dave T2 says, a nifty little trick is to right click on one of the time bars (where the time numbers show above and below the waveform view), select “custom”, and enter “1000” in the “frames per second” box. Then times will be shown in mm:ss.xx format, where xx is the number of milliseconds. Just be aware that 1:1.20 is 20 msec past 1:1, and 1:1.200 is 200 msec past 1:1. (So, what looks like a decimal point is not!)

Hi,
Dave t2’s tip for checking latency is a good one. But even in a well behaved system the second track will be about 1.5msec ( if I remember correctly) behind the first one due to inherant delays in going through D/A then A/D conversion.So don’t worry about that.

Nick

using ASIO, the SMALLER the buffer size when recording the lower the latency, however if you go to low, you will get breakup - on playback the the HIGHER you set the buffers the less chance you have of windows cutting in and causing audio dropouts - however you cannot have low record and high playback at the same time so you have to set up a compromise between the two -

HUMAN RESPONSE TIME - f you find that a band member is slow to react to audio cues (playback) then, if you can, record them with another musician, not on their own - some people just cannot hack it solo and will speed up when playing with another musician -

As you are a church type person, this may not apply, but starting a NO BOOZE NO DRUGS policy will make any recording engineers life much easier -

Dr J

Quote (DR Jackrabbit @ Nov. 03 2006,17:00)
As you are a church type person, this may not apply, but starting a NO BOOZE NO DRUGS policy will make any recording engineers life much easier -

:D :D

Do they use that stuff in the “Church” inviroment? ??? :O

As you are a church type person, this may not apply -
which part of this do you not understand ?

you guys and your “church type person”…very funny…i enjoyed the humor.

Instrumental music is an inert medium (devoid of good/evil). Add words/lyrics and it takes it to even higher levels of thoughts passing from me to you, and its also something we experience collectively - hopefully in good ways for both. Whether that’s in a church setting, a bar, or a stadium full of rabid fans - its purpose remains similar

As far as recording music - n-tracks doesn’t know if I’m praising Jesus, or drunk. So - the recording processes and helpful hints remain the same regardless of where the electrons are flowing from. Again - in all your varied ways and means, and opinions- thanks very much for the thoughts and help.

:D :D

Quote (dinkyboy @ Nov. 04 2006,20:07)
As far as recording music - n-tracks doesn't know if I'm praising Jesus, or drunk.

I bet the PC keyboard and mouse will notice ...

:D :D

guuuuuddddd pooyynnttt…

:p :p

i usually can record a couple tracks before latency kicks in. This works for me: I just close down n-track, then restart it, after which i then can record a few more tracks. After 5 tracks, this trick doesnt work anymore.