recording 3 houres of 16 track

from adat

tomorrow i want to record 16 track from 2 adat via rme hammerfall card. 48 khz. 3!!houres long.
can ntrack do this at once?
i have an AMD athlon xp 2000+ and udma 100 hd.
any experiences?

I’d say yes, if your Hammerfall card is up to it, and you have about 16 Gigabytes(!) HD space to spare… - If the system can sustain recording 16 tracks at once for about 5 minutes or so without lag or other problems it should probably be able to handle this for 3 hours, too.

Make a short test recording and see how it turns out before digging into the real thing. Let’s hear how it turns out.

regards, Nils

Uh, make a LONG test recording and see how it goes … :wink:

Make sure you have enough free disk space (8.3 GB/Hr for 16 tracks at 16/48k format). Defragment before the gig.

Windows has a limit on Wave file size. I don’t remember quite what it is, but n-Track will automatically start new wave files and record seamlessly. At least, that’s the theory, but it might have trouble keeping up with recording 16 tracks while starting 16 new wave files and writing the headers for the old 16 files, all in a few milliseconds. You might want to configure for more buffering rather than low latency.

One limit is 4GB total file length due to the RIFF header. If that’s the only limit, then 4GB is 2G 16-bit samples, or 12 hours at 16/48k mono – and that doesn’t seem right, so I’m forgetting something! Seems like it’s 2 hours, but I don’t remember whether that’s for a mono file or stereo.

Oh, I forgot: you might want to stop n-Track & start a new song during any breaks.

Any wave-file-based application has to write the wave file header after recording is done. If you stop n-Track at the breaks, it can do it then, and if you lose power or your computer crashes, you only lose the last set rather than the whole night.

BTW, if it ever happens to anyone that they lose precious data because of a crash while recording, don’t panic. The wave file header can be built by hand with the necessary information (recording format). If this happens to you, send me a PM and I can probably post a program to do the job or something.

The 4 gig limit is correct for PCM files. That’s the wave data limit that can be stored in PCM because the size is stored as a DWORD - Unsigned 32 bit integer. The only way around it is to us WAVEFORMATEXTENSIBLE, except that almost no software will open them up. Most PCM waves are WAVEFORMATEX.

The other limit is that FAT32 can handle files above the same 4 gig limit, for the same reason. NTFS doesn’t have this limit. That’s sort of irrelevant unfortunately because of the wave file limit.

You aren’t missing anything Jeff. That’s right, in all of your thinking I believe. I calculated 2.25 hours mono. Though, maybe my math is off, too. But, n-Tracks is supposed to break up the files when they get that large, so it shouldn’t be worry…shouldn’t…if it works.

The longest I’ve eve done in one take was just under an hour. That was when recording four tracks at once from a tape deck. Zero problems there.

My calculation for 1 track 48 KHz / 16 bits (2bytes) mono = 96.000 bytes / sec
Max File Size = 4 GB = 4294967296 bytes
Max Time = Max File Size / bps = 44739 sec. = 12.4 hours.

Right, makako. That’s what I come up with and why I’m confused because I’d heard the ~2 hr limit before – someone even posted about verifying that n-Track continues seamlessly. (BTW, use B for bytes and b for bits: “bps” means bits per second.)


so finally i did this recording 2 days ago.
but in three stems of one houre.
and i have to say ntrack can do it, but not very good.
ntrack did not work with the asio driver of the rme card. wich is known as a very good one. so mme here.
you can not save a “recording setup” so ntrack always sets each channel to: record to new track. and ntrack does not report dropouts during recording, so you always have to hope the best.
for mixing/editing ntrack works fine. but the display of the waveform is not correct. you see some peaks only if you zoom in…
so far my experience…

You can set up a song and save it before recording, and then reload that each time.

Did you try WDM?

Right, n-Track doesn’t report drop outs. This should be high on the new feature list. I don’t know how doable it is (don’t know much about the driver interface).

I agree that the waveform should accurately show the peaks. I’ve made a suggestion about this before. Maybe I should again, since it wasn’t taken care of in the upgrade to V4.

o.k. but if i remember correctly ntrack does not save the recording settings/routing. customizeable presets would be a good feature, like protools has it. for example a recording retup and a mix setup…

wdm didn`t work either!

samplitude reports dropouts with asio. so should be doable.

waveform: i think i will report all of this.

Check this thread out re the dropout thing…

Neat huh ?


n-Track does save the recording settings & routing with the song.
If you’ve created the tracks, next time you open up, everything should be just the same.
Note that if you’ve changed soundcards (like I sometimes do, because I’ll open a song at
work without my MOTU 828 connected), it loses the routing of input channels to tracks – just as you’d expect since the input channels are GONE.

The CPU indicator isn’t much good for me. I get dropouts even at low CPU usage now (but currently, my setup is rather hosed and has been for some time – probably not n-Track’s fault.)

A true droupout indicator, if it’s possible and especially if it’s reliable, would be great.