Render MIDI to WAV

Still missing a very helpful feature

I’m a registered user since v. 1.3 and from then I’m waiting for an offline rendering midi to wav files. I think this is a standard option for DAWs nowadays and I’m sure it’s a better way than realtime recording (“Convert MIDI tracks to a wave” menu command).

Why? Because of quality:
1) The beginning of recording isn’t accurate - there is an offset which you have to remove - for me this means experiments in a wave editor.
2) Laptop users suffer from machine’s noise - usually they can’t record midi output, but only stereo mix.
3) If you have external interface (for me Behringer BCA2000) your problem with noise is fixed but then you have to physically connect line-out to line-in: on slower machines this causes clicks .
4) You spend more time before (setting up) and after (again point 1) recording.

n-Track offers sample accurate midi track for vsti/dxi, but it is useless without offline rendering.

Don’t you think?

Oops, my mistake…

n-Track supported MIDI since ver. 2, but I really miss MIDI rendering for a long time ;-).

Marcun,

I don’t understand. Have you answered your own question?

n-Track does support MIDI rendering offline with Vsti and Dxi.

I’m not sure how it would possible to do MIDI rendering offline with an outboard sound module. MIDI commands contain no timing information - events are processed by the module as they are received, so they must always be sent in realtime. Therefore offline MIDI rendering to and outboard device is never going to be possible. Even if it was, the module’s outputs would still have to be recorded somehow back into n-track.

Or have I just misunderstood?


Mark

Mark’s right. I do this all the time. I agree that n-Track’s midi-render wizard is less than ideal. It only covers one of three or four cases, and some of the defaults are insane (e.g., deleting the MIDI tracks when done).

Just solo the track, do an offline mixdown, and import the resulting track.

With V4, you can just freeze the MIDI track for the same effect, if I understand it correctly. But I’m still running V3.

BTW, if your DAW is set up and working properly, there is no offset to remove after doing an audio recording.

And no, it’s not possible to do offline MIDI rendering with an outboard sound module. But since dxi/vsti, I assume that’s what you’re talking about.

I recently bought Band In a Box from PG Music. The Roland Virtual Sound Canvas is included in both DXi and stand-alone versions. Rendering a MIDI track or an entire MIDI song is a point and click affair with that thing. It SOUNDS pretty darn good too. I have been creating/composing songs in BIAB then rendering the MIDI with the Roland and importing the .wavs into n-Track for adding audio tracks. (guitar, voice etc…) The companion product to BIAB, Power Tracks Pro Audio does a respectable job of audio recording but I have become so use to n-Track that I just prefer doing the final stuff in the n-Track environment.

Check out the Roland VSC. It costs a few bucks but for MIDI stuff, it’s a cool tool to have in the tool box.

D

Ditto to diogenes here…I do exactly the smae thing with biab and it works great. just mute all instruments in BIAB except the one you want and convert with VSC. then repeat for each instrument and voila’ bas drums keys etc. are done.

Cheers
Cruiser :blues:

To cruiser and Diogenes
Yes, you’re right. I did it the same way with ComputerMuzys but I just want things to be more simple…

To Mark A and learjeff
I’m ashamed. The answer was so close and simple. Long time ago I realized that MIDI files can’t be rendered offline and should be converted to audio first. Just now I realized that this doesn’t refer to instrument channels! And I don’t need to use this annoying command “Convert MIDI tracks…” anymore.


Ok, let’s take it easy. Everything is right with standard setup (16/44.1), but when I tried to render 24/48 the result was 16/48 and at 32f/48 n-track simply crushed down. Maybe it will be better with external 24bit card? But it should do better without hardware change.

The rendered bit depth is dependent on the VSTi/DXi you are using to render. For example, no matter the project bit depth I have set in n-Track, Roland VSC DXi ALWAYS renders a 16 bit file. You can mix and match bit depth with no problems. You cannot mix sampling rates though.

D

Something isn’t quite right about what you’re saying, Diogenes.

In n-Track, I believe all plugins are run in 32-bit float mode. N’s internal bus is 32-bit float.

For off-line mixdown, N runs normally (except with variable time base, handling each sample as fast as possible) and converts the result of its internal mix bus to whatever resulting format you selected on mixdown. The plugin doesn’t write the file, n-Track does. Therefore, I would expect the resulting file to be whatever mode you select, regardless of what plugin (barring bugs that cause it to crash, of course).

Marcun, I render to 24/44 all the time. Don’t work in 48k much, but I could give it a try and see.

What plugin are you using?

Hey Jeff,

You may be right. I will try to test this theory further when I get a chance. Unless I’m remembering wrong (a distinct possibilty!) the last time I toyed around with the Roland VSC DXi and n-Track, I MAY have rendered the MIDI tracks offline with the VSC3 module BEFORE importing into n-Track. Does that make sense? I KNOW that resulted in a 16 bit .wav file. In other words, VSC did the conversion directly… not running as a plugin inside n-Track.

I’ll try to test this further…

D

OK. It IS just Roland VSC stand alone thang. A project in n-Track set to 24/44.1 yielded a frozen track of 24/44.1. Of course, my freeze file settings are 24 bit. So Learjeff is correct!

D

This begs the question though… why? Is the rendered track in n-Track merely 16 bit samples padded with zeros? I went ALL over the VSC settings and found NO WAY to change the bit depth. The sample rate can be changed from 44.1 > 22.05 > 11.025 but nowhere is bit depth adjustable? Any ideas?

D

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Is the rendered track in n-Track merely 16 bit samples padded with zeros?


It depends. As usual, in software, there are few simple answers.

First: The VSTi and DXi both allow different formats, but in general, 32-bit float came first and is the default (if I understand what I was told on kvr-audio implementors’ forum, where the guy really did seem to know what he was talking about).

It might be that the plugin only works in 16 bits and n-Track handles that and honors it.

It might be that the plugin works in 32-bit float like almost all others, and only in standalone mode does it truncate to 16 bits.

It might be that the plugin uses the 32-bit float format but only yields 16 bits of data (with other bits truncated to zero). In this case, if you lower the fader on the instrument channel, you’re still getting all the fidelity the plug offers (unless you mixdown to 16 bits, in which case you’re truncating meaningful low-order bits).

Sorry - realised the original answer I typed was not relevant and now can’t find a way to delete it!!!

Here’s something else in this vein: With BIAB you can save as a midi file “0” then open it with Power tracks pro or other software of choice…tweak or change patches at will for better sounding tracks then render to wav for use in Ntrack…all one track or individual tracks…great way to mix and match styles and instruments.

Cheers

Cruiser :blues: