monitoring with ntrack

I’m using asio drivers, and what I would like to do is be able to mute the input monitoring on my soundcard, so that when I plug in a guitar/mic what I am hearing is the signal going through n-track back into the soundcard and out to my headphones.

I tried turning on LIVE input processing, but it doesn’t do anything. Basically, when I plug a mic into the soundcard, I am hearing the signal input into the soundcard right back out to my phones, no effects. Even if I have reverb on the track, it’ll record the reverb, but I can’t hear it until I playback the track. I want to monitor my signal after it goes through ntrack so I can hear it with ntracks effects.

Thats what the LIVE button is for, right? Mine doesn’t do anything. Hmmmmm…


Thats what the LIVE button is for, right? Mine doesn't do anything. Hmmmmm.......

Yep, that's what it's for. Unfortunately, what you are hearing is the input source (ie mic) routed in the soundcard back to the headphones (possibly in addition to the Live sound). It's a soundcard setting not N-track. I'm not familiar with the settings for your soundcard (but someone here will chip in I'm sure). You need to turn off monitoring your input source. In the Windows mixer you would do this by clicking the Mute for the relevant input. It may be different for your setup.

Then, of course, you wouldn't be able to hear what you are playing. So in N-track, add a track, Arm it, add effects, and click Live and if you're lucky you will never have to learn the meaning of "latency"!

Glad you got it going so far.



Don’t take this the wrong way Stully… but you REALLY need to spend some time in the EMU manual to understand PatchMix. It is a very powerful piece of software and coupled with the EMU cards provides TONS of routing options for your signals. You can record dry while monitoring with reverb for example. (Or vice-versa) Getting my mind around PatchMix with my 1820M setup took me a while but it is worth every second spent. Whatever you are attempting to do, dig in the manual and try to find which routing set up works for you.

Again, I hope I don’t sound condescending or anything like that. It’s just that you have a powerful audio tool there and to fully utilize it, you gotta understand PatchMix AND n-Track. Trust me. It’ll be worth it!!


Someone should put up some screen shots with suggested settings. That may get the problem on the right track. Sometimes that first step is a real killer.

Guys, I’ve been using the EMU for quite awhile, and understand it perfectly. The problem is ntrack.

Mark, I know how to mute the monitor on the soundcard, the problem is that ntrack live monitoring doesn’t do anything, so I can’t hear my signal at all until it’s playing back. Thats because of the program, not my soundcard.

I would figure that with live input on in ntrack, the vu-meter on the track mixer strip would be getting a signal, right? Mine isn’t. The recording vu-meter still gets signal, but thats the only one.

I’m not worried about latency, I have a great soundcard and a fast computer.

In case that you guys think I’m a rookie to all this, I’ve used my same soundcard with cakewalk and cubase and never had any problems, and yes I’ve spent lots of time with the patchmix application.

Thanks for the advice, but let’s just assume that I need to change some settings in ntrack rather than on my soundcard.


This is odd, but I got it to work. I went to the preferences, audio devices, and changed them to where nothing was selected. Then changed them back to asio, now it works.

Even having to do this everytime, this thing still works better than cubase! Thanks for the help everybody, now I can buy the full version! 24 bit, woo-hoo!

Before I go blow a couple hundred bucks on plugins, anyone got any good suggestions?

Thanks again,

Before you blow a wad of cash…check HERE first. You can find a buttload of REALLY nice sounding stuff out there for FREE! Some of my favorites are from Kjaerhaus Audio. (Sp?) Aw heck! Try 'em HERE.


PS Glad you got the monitoring situation sorted. Forgive me if I ticked you off a little. There is a lot to this game and sometimes the easy stuff gets overlooked. A common reply to a question when someone does not know anothers level of experience is “Read the manual.” Did not mean to offend. :)

Glad you got it working, Stully. I don’t know EMU, so i stayed out of the conversation.

As for plugins, here’s a thumbs-up for Kjaerhus’ Classic Plugs. They’re free and quite good. Another very good, free plug is SIR Reverb.

I use the FaSoft EQ exclusively and like it very much. It used to be sold seperately, but Flavio included it for free with V4. For compression, i use TripleComp from Sinus. Very clean and easy to use.

Hope this helps some.


What does EMU stand for and what is it anyway?


Ah, I found out. I read his other post

Dyers, if you are ever in the market for a new soundcard, I highly suggest the EMU products. I’ve never used their audiodock, but I REALLY want one. As of now, I have a 1212m (2 pci cards) and love them. Absolutely love them.

Gtr4him, no offense was taken at all, I always appreciate any help I can get. I think it is wonderful that n-track has a forum with members like you guys, who help others just to help, and ask nothing in return. With any large problem you have with steinberg or cakewalk, eventually your gonna have to call them and probably pay to talk to someone who knows less than you about the software/problems. Good for Flavio, and good for all of us who support him!

Lastly, so this post isn’t a complete waste of time, I’d like to recommend the synths created by UGO, I’d like to suggest to everyone again the Kjaerhus plugs, I myself am planning on buying some of the gold line, and I want to end with a question:

How the heck do you use SIR Reverb?

Thanks for readin,

Same question here on SIR - I couldn’t figure out how to run it…

Hey guys,

There is a great tutorial HERE for setting up using SIR reverb in an Aux channel which will give an idea of how to use in ANY effect slot as well. The thing to remember about using it in an AUX channel is you must turn up the AUX SENDS for each mixer strip you want to effect AND you have to turn up the AUX Master. Oh, and set the “WET” control to MAX in SIR when using in AUX. You control the WET/DRY ratio with the SEND and AUX MASTER levels.


The other thing to remember when using aux channels is that the result from the aux channel adds to the track’s output in the main mix.

That is, they’re fine for use whenever you want a lot of dry as well as some wet. But for effects where you want 100% wet (e.g., octave pitch shift down to play a bass part on a guitar), you need to use the track’s plugin and not an aux channel.

I think of this as the difference between “additive” effects and “mutative” effects. It’s more a matter of how you use them than what they are, because almost any effect can be added to dry for some purpose, and almost any effect can be used 100% wet for some purpose. But in general, echoes and reverbs are additive; compressors and EQ are mutative. Chorus, pitch-shift, flanging, and phasing can be either depending on the intended result. Tube overdrive is usually used in the mutative mode (we don’t add the distorted sound back to the clean one.)

Just to confuse things! :;):

Let’s not forget PowerFX with your EMU. You have a lot of options built into the card already and being hardware accelerated, they use little to no CPU. If you haven’t gotten PowerFX yet, hop over to the EMU site and download it.

Hmmm… so, when deciding where to put EQ and Compression - are you saying that the effect is the same if I put it on an aux, thus compressing or EQing several tracks, as it would be if I put the same plug on each track alone? In other words, no need to compress each track, just do it on the aux and its the same thing?

I’ve never used compression or EQ on an AUX channel. I don’t think that would work out very well. If you want to say…compress a drum kit where the drums/cymbals are on separate tracks, I’d GROUP those and use a compressor on the GROUP channel. Maybe the same with backing vocals using reverb or something. I guess what I’m saying there may a few hard and fast rules to this game but not many. Try anything out and if it sounds good to you… there ya’ go!


Hmmm.... so, when deciding where to put EQ and Compression - are you saying that the effect is the same if I put it on an aux, thus compressing or EQing several tracks, as it would be if I put the same plug on each track alone? In other words, no need to compress each track, just do it on the aux and its the same thing?
I'm saying the exact opposite. These I call "mutative" effects -- you generally want to use them to completely replace the original signal, not add to them. Thus, you usually want to put them on a track, or if you want to apply them to a number of tracks with the same settings, on a group.

The "Additive" effects are the ones you can put on an aux and they work just the same as on multiple tracks, adjusted the same way (except for the wet/dry thing mentioned before my post).

Feeding two tracks into one compressor gets a different result than feeding two tracks into separate compressors.

Also, for compression, I advise against using the same settings on multiple tracks (unless they're all tracks of the same thing, like multiple takes for vocals, and you only have one track actuall playing at a time -- in this case use a Group). In general, you want to do compression in two ways: first, on each track that needs it (e.g., vocals, bass, and usually acoustic guitar). Last, on the whole mix, but only during the MASTERING stage and let's NOT go into that now. (For a beginners' intros, see my articles Mastering 101 and Compressor Basics.)

I would avoid using a group to compress dissimilar drum instruments. For example, I'd feed the toms into one compressor (using a Group), but I wouldn't feed toms and cymbals together into one (if I could avoid it). But, sometimes we make a compromise like this for simplicity, or to reduce CPU usage, or because it just happens to sound good.

Some folks use compression on an aux track to good effect, BTW. This basically "waters down" the effects of the compressor, so maybe it sounds a bit smoother, and the controls aren't quite as hot -- they don't make as big a change. However, if one goal of compression is to avoid peaks, this method doesn't work the best. Also, as I said before, you generally don't want to feed multiple tracks to the same compressor until you're in the mastering stage. So, you'd need an aux track for each track. Some folks do what I'm advising against and are happy with it, though. I think it confuses things, but heck, it's the result that counts and if this works for you, fine! There's certainly no harm in it.

Here's why I don't feed two unrelated tracks into the same compressor. The compressor will back off the volume when the sound gets loud. Let's say we have two instruments, and one jumps up in volume while the other remains the same at some point. If we compress them both together, what we'll end up with is the one instrument getting a bit louder, and the other getting a quieter at the same time. If that's what you want, then you compress 'em together. Normally it's not what I want.

On a related note… say I want to apply an effect to to the drums, in this case, lets say its 4 tracks (kick, snare, 2 overheads). I feed all four drum tracks out to its own group. Now what I want to do is create another track that is just the “wet” drum reverb. What is the easiest way to do it?

So far I’ve been able to do it with my old four-track tapes that I’ve been messing around with, but the drums were all on one track, so I just put a reverb in the insert (not aux loop), on the plug-in I turned the dry all the way down and wet up, cloned the track, froze the verb track, removed verb from original…

Now with multiple tracks, is there a way to do this with the aux loop? I’ve seen guys do it in the studio with Pro Tools, but I dunno the details of their mixer routing… Or if its even possible in N Track.

I guess this is basically ping-ponging tracks, right? Should be pretty simple?

In that case, if you’re only using this reverb for the drums, just plug it into the group.

If you’re going to share the reverb with other instruments, which is fine, put it on an Aux channel (see these in the Mixer view), set the Aux channel’s return fader to 0dB (or whatever), and adjust the group’s Aux Send to taste (along with any other tracks or groups you’re going to use this same reverb on.)

You have two aux channels by default but you can have any number, within reason. It’s adjusted in Preferences -> Options.