n-Track v. Multi-Track

Hey everyone. I am new here, and new to recording. I am working on putting together a home studio, but I don’t know which way will suit my needs best. I want to be able to make as high quality recordings as I can, but I know I’m going to get what I pay for.

Can y’all give me so of your opinions and advice on which way I should go? Pros and Cons for each, (n-Track and Multi-Track) would be greatly appreciated too.

Thanks for the help.

Welcome RockerBug17. You’ve asked a tricky question, because the answer depends on a) what you want to achieve; b) what recording experience - if any- you already have; c) whether you use real instruments and vocals or virtual instruments, romplers and so on; d) whether you already have a PC or not; e) how important midi will be for your work; and so on and so on…

If you already have a PC, IMHO n-Track excels as an affordable audio recorder. It has more than enough flexibility and capability, and compares favourably with much more expensive software. Remember I am talking about audio recording here! It is cool with most plug-ins, effects and instruments. n-Track is not so strong with midi. It has basic midi tools but lacks some sophistication in this department. Therefore many n-Track enthusiasts use other tools for creating drum tracks and other midi sequences.

n is often appreciated by those who started with tape-based recording. The user interface is quickly and easily mastered by anyone with four-track portastudio type experience.

My solution is to have both the PC with n and a simple multi-track. I use n-Track for more serious recording, when the song is written and arranged and I want to make a good version. I also have a little Zoom four-track which is quick to use but not so good sound quality, that I use a a sketch pad, or to develop ideas. Sometimes you just want to switch on and play, not start a PC and load software first.

That’s my thorts. I hope n works for you. The support from this forum is a major, major advantage.
Cheers
TusterBuster

I have tried the Lite version. It was not comfortable to me but I have heard good things about it from others who have used ntrack as well.

However, I am an extremely satisfied N-track user. The product is excellent, the owner/developer, Flavio, is very responsive to customer input and I am a fan of the portastudio look.

As TB mentioned, the forum is worth the price.

HTH

dave


I have recommended it msny times and will continue to do so without hesitation.

As tusterbuster said, you really have to define what you want, what you have, and where you’re going. :D

Ali

Well, you asked for opinions…here’s mine. If audio recording is top priority for you, man it is tough to beat n-Track. Easy interface, sounds great, less filling! (Hey where’d THAT come from?) and just a flat-out BARGAIN! To get a lot of the features standard in n-Track 24 bit, you have to buy the “ProPlus” version of Multi-Track Studio for $119 smackers versus $75 for n. IF you wanna do TRUE multi-tracking with a multiple input soundcard, MTS REQUIRES an ASIO driver and can only multi-track with the ProPlus version.

I’m sticking with n-Track. It’s a STEAL…

TG

a) what you want to achieve

I want to be able to record songs I have written, and basically make demos for clubs. If I ever gained enough skill I could see myself working for other bands/artists for profit. And I know I wouldn’t be doing just rock bands. I’d like to be able to make media of live performances, marching bands, drumlines, jazz bands etc.

b) what recording experience

Well, I know it’s going to cost some money to get good quality, but sense I am new to this, I don’t want to spend TONS of money, until I get a good grasp of things. I have looked at spending as much as $1000 for a multi-track recorder alone.

c) whether you use real instruments and vocals or virtual instruments, romplers and so on.

I don’t know what romplers are, but I do know I would definately use real instruments. I have most of what I need at my dispoesal. Same goes for vocals.

d) whether you already have a PC or not

Well, I have the PC I am using right now, but it’s not built for speed, which I assume would be a big plus, if not nessacary to
make high quality media/files. I’ve got to get a new computer for college, and I’ll have to build it to be able to handle a lot.

e) how important midi will be for your work; and so on and so on…

Sense I don’t need virtual instruments, I don’t think it is very important to me, but I could be worng. For the most part though, I see myself using real instruments.

That pretty much sums up everything.

Welcome.

I went through a similar debate when I decided to go the DAW route 3 - 4 years ago. For me, the computer is more versatile and I use it for alot of other things: mastering, graphics, burning, going to this forum, etc.

Dedicated units can be nice & easy to use but they soon get old & out-dated. It’s true the same thing happens with a computer, but software never gets old. You just re-load on your new machine & go.

If I were doing mobile work, I’d probably want a stand-alone unit but I rarely do, and when I have, I’ve just taken my computer with a FireWire Audio interface & recorded.

Hope this helps.

Mr Soul

Appart from what TG said about the price, the only other thing that kept me back was the fact that MTS does not have an offline mixdown

Hi again RockerBug17. After your clarification, it seems to me that n-Track could be ideal for you. It really is easy and intuitive to do basic multitrack recording, and the more advanced audio features are there as you grow into them. Why not try the free demo and see if you are comfortable with the look and feel of it?

You’ll probably also need a reasonable separate wave editor, “Audacity” is free and popular.

You need to take care with your choice of sound card. The standard sound cards fitted to motherboards are not normally useful for serious recording. First big question - is two channel input and output enough for you? It is for me but some folks like to record drums or multiple instruments/vocalists simultaneously. You can find soundcards with 10 or more inputs, but 2 usually does most solo home recordists. I believe that high resolution is useful, high sampling rate less so. If you work in 24 bit then you will keep more of your subtlety, even though you master at 16 bit for CD. I can’t hear any difference between sampling at 44.1 or 96kHz but some say they can. You can search this forum and find lots of advice and opinions on sound cards. If you will use a normal home/office PC then there is a wide choice of soundcards, easy to fit yourself. For a laptop you’ll need an external soundcard. Some say that you should avoid USB and use firewire but I never had any trouble with my USB M-Audio Audiophile. You can find advice here on optimal PC set-up for n-Track. I find that n-Track co-exists quite happilly with my work and leisure stuff on my modest laptop, I just use a separate partition for the music files.

Good luck!
Cheers
TusterBuster :)

Yeah (all of) that.

Mr Buster gave you some sound (no pun intended) advice and all the right stuff to chew on…