Recording From Soundcard

Hi Guys,

I was wondering if its possible to play a karaoke file and sing via a microphone and record this using n-track.

Ive been playing around for a couple of hours and I cant seem to get it to record from the sound card source.

If this is possible could someone give me a few pointers on how to set it up ???

Cheers Viss

Hi,You will probably find your windows sound mixer has two halfs to it. A playback mixer and a record mixer.
If you find the record mixer (options/properties/record?) you will be able to choose various sources like mic,line,etc if you choose the one called something like “wave out mix” or “what you hear” you should be able to record in n-track what you are hearing out of your PC speakers.

Nick

Hey Viss, I’ve done this just import your karaoke wave file into N-track, if not wave convert it to wave, and your set to record your voice.

Don

Its probably easyer if I record on my laptop straight from the mixer and would give better results to I guess.

Don the karaoke files I use are mp3 not wav’s or midi.

It’s better to do as Don says and import the mp3 files and convert them to WAV format using a program like dBPowerAmp Music Converter.

It’s easier, too, once you’ve done one or two. You don’t have to set recording levels and play the whole song through – just right-click on the mp3 file and pick “Convert”.

But if you want to record from the mixer, go right ahead. You’ll learn stuff about recording which is good. The results won’t have as high fidelity as they could, but they should still be OK.

Here’s another vote for converting as suggested above. By recording as you describe Viss, you expose your signal to hardware which usually adds noise to it even if it is minimal. By coverting, the signal remains fairly pure if not completely so.

It is much easier to convert, especially if you have never “rerouted” a signal before.

Robert

My main concearn is the clarity of the vocals, I want to be able to record a couple of songs for a demo disk, so I should convert my midi’s or mp3’s to wav then play them via n-track and record via my mixer is that what you are saying ?

Cheers viss

Yes, I if you mean what I think.

Convert the MP3 to wave and import the resulting wave file into n-Track.

For MIDI, if you have a program that converts MIDI to wave and you like the results, you can use that and import the wave file(s) into n-Track. If you do this, it’s best to have one wave file per instrument, even though you can save time by converting the whole MIDI into wave in one shot.

Alternatively, for MIDI, you can import the MIDI into n-Track and use n-Track to convert the MIDI to wave. This gives you a lot of control over each instrument and how it sounds, but there’s a bit of a learning curve and assembling your kit of softsynths and soundfonts or hardware MIDI soundcards (e.g., SoundBlaster Live).

Once you have the backing tracks in n-Track and with a quick mix good enough for you to sing to, you record your vocals on a separate track in n-Track. You can use a mixer but attaching a mixer to a DAW can be tricky. Soundcraft makes excellent mixers for this purpose, the Compact 4 and others in that series, that were REALLY designed with the computer-based home audio recording setup in mind. If you want more on that subject, start a new thread about using your mixer with n-Track, and tell us exactly which mixer you have.

For the simplest setup, though: do this.

If you have a quality after-market soundcard with XLR mike inputs, plug your mike directly into it. If you’re using a built-in or consumer soundcard (i.e., where all the parts fit inside the computer, with no XLR inputs, like a SoundBlaster), plug your mike into your mixer, and the appropriate output from that mixer into a line input on your soundcard.

In either case, monitor using the headphone outputs from your computer (while recording). Use headphones while recording with a mike, of course – don’t send the backing tracks to speakers. To hear your voice in the monitor, use n-Track’s “View -> Soundcard’s mixer -> playback controls” panel and adjust Line In level.

This way, the backing tracks are kept out of the vocal track, allowing you the most flexibility in mixing later. Give it a try and post some results and we’ll be happy to let you know if you should adjust something. Of course, if anything we say isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask. Sometimes I forget that all the terms aren’t obvious to someone new to all this.

I’m assuming you have a low-Z mike with an XLR connector, and the mike cable has an XLR connector at the far end. If not, tell us what kind of mike it is and we’ll go from there. If it’s a low-cost consumer-grade karaoke machine mike, you can still do the job but if you’re serious you may want to invest ($100 or less) in a pro quality mike.

Another thing you might want to consider is internet collaboration, where you can record a vocal track for someone else’s song, and they take care of all the backing tracks and mixing. Most songs are originals. Some of the good things about internet collab are

- you get step-by-step help from the folks in the forum
- you get free web space to use for swapping files
- it can be fun and inspiring.

The quality level of the musicianship is very wide, as is the range of musical styles. If you’re interested, I suggest you start out at ArtistCollaboration.com. Two other options are Echo Project Studio for more acoustic styles, or fjam.zapto.org for rock & pop and a different flavor interface.

Cheers
Jeff

Sheesh thanks for the reply I think im going to go with recording from the mixer direct to PC .

I have a Phonic 1860 12 channel mixer with inputs for audio and a recording output.

Do you think it would be better to use a floppy player through the mixer and record onto pc or put the track into n-track and record at the same time as it plays ?

I would go with your idea…convert your midis or mp3s to wav bring them into Ntrack, then record your vocals. It would be a simple solution. Then by having your vocal tracks on separate tracks, you would have ultimate flexibility to edit at your hearts content.