New to N-track / Drum machine?

N - track noobie / drum machine?


Was wondering if you could help me im new to N-track and looking to purchase the full track - our band want to use N-track to lay down and produce tracks to put on a CD / MP3 but basically were wondering does N-track have / or have access to a drum machine whereby you can create your own drum arrangements for songs? Is this available as a plug in?

P.S. do any guitarist out there use fx pedals - multi fx’s directly into recording instead of the software fx? E.g. Boss / Korg AX1500G toneworks / Zoom 505 or 707 etc?

Do you need a special sort of soundcard to plug in the guitar… its just a guitar cable direct into a sound card right? Sorry if for asking these question but am new to this despite playing guitar for 7 years and being in bands its just recording on a PC is new - used to multi track tascams



Welcome Rick.
You certainly have opened a can of worms witht these questions, I don’t know where to begin.
Let’s start with the things I do know about and someone else can fill in the blanks.
There are several schools of thought on you question about how to send the guitar signal to your computer.
Some people prefer the direct route using a external mixing board and sending the raw signal into the soundcard. Later adding the desired efx to it. Tube amp FX, distortion ect.
Others prefer playing through an amp and micing the guitar with all the sustain and efx. already on the guitar. Using a descent mic or two to send the signal to a mixer and then to the soundcard Via standard RCA jacks adapted down to a phono size plug for your soundcard.
If you have a higer grade sound card with 1/4 inch inputs IE M-audio ect. You can run a line directly of your guitar or amp forgoing the need for a external mixer.
If you still have that tascam handy it would make a good mixer instead of having to buy one.
Far as I know you can produce drum tracks inside Ntrack but I never have tried.
Anyway there’s better programs out there for drum trackin’ like fruity loops if your interested. You can always bring the drum tracks into Ntrack and add your other parts.
One thing to keep in mind. Which you may be aware of since you have done recording in the past.
If you use the metronone inside ntrack to lay down guitar parts, you can always add the beats later if the original rythm is in perfect timing…

There’s alos places on the web like:

Artist Collaboration .com
Where you can post your songs with the synth beats and someone (like myself) can play a real drum track for you to mix into your original guitar parts later.
Hope some of this helped…
keep shinin’

Dare I say it? You could look at


Hi Rick,

Welcome! I’m primarily a guitar hack myself. n-Track is super easy to use, sounds great and is just a flat out bargain IMO. You can use your average PC soundcard and get good results. Obviously, better results can be obtained with better equipment. Do you need to track the whole band at once? Or do you want to use your average PC soundcard with only 2 inputs and just lay down an instrument one or two at a time?

As far as guitar FX goes…personally, I use a Korg Pandora, Korg AX1500G, Digitech RP100 direct to the line-in of my soundcard. Many sounds/FX/tone options to be had with any of those units. I will also mic my amp with a good ol’ Shure SM57 on occasion. For home recording without bugging the neighbors/wife/kids direct is best.

Drum machines: I have a ZOOM RT234 I play around with but recently starting exploring programming drums via software and “virtual” instruments. The VSTi route yields the most options. Don’t like the snare sound? Click. Load a different sample. Lots of guys use Fruityloops, Acid, LeafDrums etc… There are buttloads of VST instruments with good drum sounds.

Like Tom said, Audiominds is a great place start.

Good luck and pop back in if you have more questions!


oooh, you’re gonna’ be broke soon… :)

drum tracks with N? yes it’s possible with Midi, and you can also use an external drum sequencing program (much preferred)

One I highly recommend is Drumsite.

This program lets you make drum tracks from scratch, and only takes a little practice to make the beats pretty easily. Once you set up the drumset in the program, it will automatically add variation to your hits so you don’t have to. You can export the drums individually so you’ll have individual tracks in N-track to play with.

as far as getting sound into the computer…

Decent recording soundcards are preferred over the onboard soundcard, but an onboard card CAN be used.
There are multitudes of cards available, some with only 2 inputs, some with up to 16.

If you’re gonna’ program drums I assume you will only need 2 inputs or so. so look for a soundcard with 2 inputs on 1/4" TRS jacks. Try and get 96khz/24bit converters in the card. Then go buy a mic preamp-or even a mixer with 2 mic inputs.

You’ll want a couple of mics. SM57’s are great to start with as they make good guitar mics, but you may want to get a large condenser mic for vocals. There are tons of these that are inexpensive as well.

For the guitar, have you ever looked at Line6? you can buy a Pod XT for like $300 and it’ll simulate an amp with effects into a guitar cab and mic’d with your choice of mic. Pretty awesome for beginners. The older Pod series is even cheaper. you could pick up the Pod PRO for the same price on Ebay.

or you can use an sm57 to mic a cab. Your amp DOESN’T have to be a big amp. MANY great guitar tracks were layed down with little combo amps.

give us some more details for more specific advice :)

Hi Rick,

You might want to check out They do a couple of drum machines and have free demos.

As, if you want regular acoustic drumkit wave samples to use in a soft drum machine try It’s free and they have up to 16 layers per pad and are excellent recordings.

Mike F

Welcome Rick

I’ve been a noobie to N for about three years now!

Some really good advice so far.

I tend to lay down a drum beat using VSTi plug-ns and then bounce these to a wave file. I then use this to play along to. The only reason is because I ran into problems with latency or timing problems caused by, frankly, a not so good soundcard. This is my next big investment.

However, I have been doing well up to now with a fairly basic Creative Labs card

I also use V-Amp2 which has an output of the appropriate values to put straight ino a Behringer 8-channel mixer. Or even straight into the sound card if I want. I tend to record clean though and then use the send channels to incorporate the V-Amp later to get that “right” sound. All too often I find that I record the effect but find it later doesnt sound very good inthe mix.

Audiominds is a good starter, as is

Best of luck