Maximum length of recording?

Can I record 3 hours straight?

I want to record a 3 hour internet radio program - will ntracks record that long? If so, will it be to huge a file to do anything with, like burn to a CD?


Lane, it will depend on the format (mono/stereo, sampling frequency, and bit depth) and the space available on your hard drive. n-Track does not - to my knowledge - have any inherent limitations regarding recording time.

A tip: Check the box in Settings saying “Put wave files in same folder as project” and make a new, empty project and save that in the folder of your choice (preferably make an empty one). Then you will have absolute control over where n-Track puts the very long wave file. 3 hours in stereo, 16 bit, 44.1 kHz will take up a little under 2 GB on a hard drive - n-Track should be capable of handling files that long. Use the Marker facility after recording to produce palatable sections for burning onto CD.

regards, Nils

If so, will it be to huge a file to do anything with, like burn to a CD?

If you mean will it fit on an audio cd, the answer is no. CDs can have 74 minutes (or sometimes 80) at a maximum. You could, of course, record three cds.

If you mean, can I put it on a data cd to keep safe or move to another pc, the answer is "maybe"......

Stereo, 44.1kHz, 16bit audio is roughly 10Mb per min, so recorded at that bit depth/sample rate, your file would be 1.8Gb if I did the maths right. Also too big for a data cd (about 650Mb max). You could lower the bit depth and sample rate (and lower the quality), and record in mono - that would make the file smaller, then you might just squeeze it on to a cd.

Did that answer the question?


Need to check your operating system too. Does it support that long files ?

Thanks… big help. I dont know what to check in my OS? Turns out the program I want to record is 80 minutes, not 3 hours so that will help. I can record it mono, I think and mabye get the settings as described to make it fit on one cd - I assume that would have to be converted to mp3 -correct?

Tell us what your OS is and someone will answer the question as to if it supports large enough files.

With regard to MP3 and CDs… to record a “normal” cd that works in most people’s cd players, you will need a 16bit 44.1kHz stereo wav file (not MP3). You would burn it to cd using Nero or similar as an “audio cd”.

You could burn a “data cd”, in which case you could put an MP3 on the disk - but it would only play in cd players that were MP3 “enabled”… which is not many at the moment.

80 mins is looking more hopeful to get on a cd - especially if there’s a few bits you can edit out/shorten.


FAT32 harddrives can handle files up to 4gigs in size each. The limitation isn’t there on an NTFS harddrive. PCM waves, what n-Tracks records to, also have a 4gigs of wave data limitation, regardless of wave samplerate or channels. n-Tracks is suppose to be able to split recording into multiple files when the PCM limit is hit, but I don’t know if that really true, and have never got close enough to hit it with a PCM file. I have hit it when ripping a full concert video of my band from a master DVD.

Stereo 16bit 44.1k is in the ballpark of 10 megs a minute.

This last Christmas, I recorded our church musical with n-Track, a Tascam US-122 and a Dell 9100 laptop. Two channels fed from the FOH mixer. I recorded at 24/44.1. The program ran 55 minutes long and the two wav files are 424,526 KB long.

n-Track worked like a champ! I’d bet you will have no problems capturing 80 minutes of audio. Just try a test. Hook up a CD player line out to the line in on your soundcard and set the player to loop the CD. Create a song in n-Track and click record. Come back 80-90 minutes later and see if it’s still chuggung away. Toss the .wav and .npk files when you are done to free up the disk space.

Jus’ an idea…


Wow… good info - thanks. You guys are almost over my head tho… my OS is XP, I think my hard drive is FAT32. I will probably record this in mono - since its an internet stream its probably not stereo anyway, right? I’m also not terribly worried about quality, just want something acceptable -so should I record at less than 16/44.1 or would I gain anything. All I"m after is to get a reasonble recording onto a CD - wav would be good but MP3 would be good enough if I cant fit a wav on there

I record seminars, usually over 90 minutes in length, directly to the hard drive of a laptop using Audacity. Then edit to fit on a CD. I don’t see any reason n-track wouldn’t work just as well.

If your OS is XP and your filesystem probably wouldn’t be FAT32 unless you specificially set it up that way.

I recorded 8 tracks of 44.1/24-bit audio for other an hour with no problem. Of course, my system is fast & efficient and my disks are fast & optimized for audio (large clusters, defragged frequently, etc).

Mr Soul

I’m looking for “Put wave files in same folder as project” in Settings, as suggested by an earlier poster and I dont see it. I’m running 3.3 - is that perhaps why?

"Put wave files in same folder as project" in Settings
Menu - File/Settings/Preferences
Tab - Paths

Working Directory
The browse path is probably blank
Check Temporary files (new wave files go to the current song directory)

For this to take effect, Save the new song file to where you want the project to be before ever starting to record anything. If you record, then save, the waves will go into whatever directory n-Tracks thinks is the current song, and that usually defaults to the same directory n-Tracks is installed in.