Several problems with N-Track


If I add a track for some reason the program randomly decides to not sync the tracks up and I have to “save” then restart the program to fix it. (By random I mean it’s not ALL the time, just every 2 or 3 times) This is VERY annoying. VERY VERY annoying. I’ve tried adjusting the buffering and it has no effect whatsoever. It just plays everything skipped and out of sync…


Everything is clipping BADLY. To the point of this program being useless to me. I create drum tracks and the second I add a guitar track or bass track… the levels clip incredibly… I’m recording the tracks at a decent level and the tracks themselves arent clipping, just when they’re played together… my finished products have to be 1/4 of the volume of a “normal” song or they’ll sound like crap. I’ve tried #### near everything to fix this and I’m out of ideas… I’d like to think I didn’t waste my money on this…

Second problem is easily fixed. In preferences there is a box to check that will automatically lower volumes as you add tracks. I used to use this, however, I have found over time that by setting levels properly and using limiters and compressors that I no longer use this feature. I’m sure more experienced users than I can explore on this topic better than I can.

First problem used to occur for me also. I also found that after I added a track I would save ,close, and restart to avoid this from happening. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what I did to fix this. Again, hopefully someone here will jump in.

I must say though. that minimizing having other startup programs running can greatly improve ntrack’s performance. This program will strain most systems. My computer is used by my family and it had so much junk installed that I did a fresh reinstall and solved all of the quirks I was having running the program. You may want to share what your platform (XP. W98, memory, P4, etc.) is and how long you’ve been running that operating system and what other uses for the PC you have.

Put this in your “Master Channel” effects list:

I use it on every project.

Ditto on the limiter, however, be careful and use it judiciously as it can overcompress if set too high.

Endorphin is also useful on the master channel for this purpose.

Thanks for the quick responses… I’ll definatley try the limiter idea…

About the “lower volume when adding new tracks” that is actually what I DON’T want. I want to keep an average volume without the clipping.

I’ll keep you posted and when I’m done, I’ll let you hear it… Hope you all liek it too! Considering you all helped mix it!


I’ll also suggest using the Limiter in the master channel. I use this for every project while I’m recording tracks and it keeps things nice and consistant without any clipping. A very useful tool.

Okay, after playing around with it I’ve come to this explination:

It starts slow and “quietish” Comes around to achorus ant it’s supposed to “slam” in with the “hard and heavy bit” However…

When it “slams” in… It clips horribly… Therefore causing me to voulume pan the “heavy bits” down. This takes the “balls” out of it if you get my meaning… if it helps it’s a percussive slap bass thing in C# to A, so it’s kind of a lower register… Thick, but I can’t get the clipping out even with the limiter… the moment it crashes in… CLIPPING MANIA… If I get it to a decent register (lowering the volume to reduce the clipping)… and compare it to a “normal” song… it’s easily 1/4 of the volume which as you all know is not "doable"

It’s so close to being done!!! I just can’t get past this one part!

You may want to edit the wave file and reduce the volume in just that area of the song that has the huge increase in volume (if I’m understanding your problem). Goldwave is good for this. Free to download, and you can access it directly from within n-track if you go into preferences, path tab, and point to the installed Goldwave program.

Find it here:


Experiment with it, but first make a copy of the file, so you don’t screw up the original.

BTW, hard to believe the limiter is not preventing the clipping. Sure you got it on? If so, turn it up.

Do the meters show that the output is clipping? If so then it’s not n-Tracks fault. Keep the volume down until that doesn’t happen or you’re sure to be clipping no matter what the volume sounds like.

If the meters don’t show clipping but the mixdown wave sounds clipped then there is something else wrong and we need to know your signal chain.

As for playback volume, you are comparing what you record to what? If it’s a CD or wave of a commercially mastered recording then you are competing with a wave that has been squished to heck and back to maximize playback volume. There’s an art to getting that kind of playback volume and not everyone thinks it’s trend in the right direction. Many commercial CDs are filled with clipping, just for the sake of being louder than the last CD. Don’t get caught up in that.

Mixdown so there is no clipping – there is no other way.

Use Endorphin and the Classic Mastering Limiter to squish the mix if that is the sound you are going for. Check your overall EQ. An unbalanced EQ can kill overall volume, especially if the mix is too bass heavy, or has almost any subharmonics. Low off the deep lows that can’t be heard at a normal listening level – these won’t be audible on most speakers. Use an application like Har-Bal to see what the overall EQ is like – Har-Bal can be a real eye-opener.

Here it is… Tell me what you think… Editingwise… When it ramps up it seems to loos the “balls” but maybe it’s just me.


The quiet parts are already close to hitting the limiter as loud as it can get, so when it needs to get louder there isn’t anywhere to go, except to hit the limiter harder and stay at the same volume. I don’t hear any clipping though.

But the guitars are very thin to the point that almost all the pitch is lost and only the upper end distortion cuts through and sounds like hiss or white noise, especially in the fast spots. There’s no body to them anywhere to give them pitch. That’s nice effect in the slow parts of the song but then it speeds up the guitars need a lot more body to give it balls. That may be what you are missing most in those parts. Overall I’d say the guitars are scooped WAY too much. Too scooped guitars may sound good by themselves, but don’t generally cut through a mix except as noise. Of course the noisy nature of the tone reminds me of Hawkwind from long ago. They used a lot of way heavy fuzz and phaseshifter, to the point the notes didn’t matter, as sound color washes.

Or, is that noise in the quite parts? The tone is different than the fuzz guitars in the fast parts. Anyway, it sounds very industrial so I think is works very well musically regardless of the origin of the sounds. Keep the industrial noise stuff the way it is but work on unscoopng the fuzz guitars.

There are also a lot of really deep lows in there, but they aren’t overpowering at a lower listening volume. They don’t sound bad on my monitors, but on a system with boosted lows that can reproduce them fully they may add mud and start to stick out and on systems that can’t handle deep lows thay will cause other sorts of problems. On my speakers they sound fine close to the speakers but are a bit much at a distance where they are more audible - that’s a sign they are way down there in frequency and may be too much a little. Something like that is very difficult to gauge. That could very well be where some of your overall volume is going since I can hear pumping when the kicks hit the limiters.

That said the overall volume is fine for the most part, but there are no dynamics between the slow and fast parts. I guess that’s what you are trying to fix.

Quote (Modulus @ Aug. 24 2005,00:10)
Here it is… Tell me what you think… Editingwise… When it ramps up it seems to loos the “balls” but maybe it’s just me.

To my ears, the problem seems to be that the dynamic range already maxes out during the “quiet part”, so there’s nowhere to go when the song is supposed to get “louder”. This is, of course, the case with a lot of music these days. Still, to me, that’s no excuse. :cool:

What format are you mixing to? CD ready 44.1/16 bit wav?

You might try to mix to a 32 bit file to retain as much dynamic range as possible at this stage, and then do the mastering tweaks with your wave editor. Drop the overall volume a bit, add a little compression and limiting. Not necessarily that much.

Yeah, I was looking at a Carpenters album the other day. Tremendous dynnamic range (but a quiet cd compared to many nowadays).

In this case you probably need to use psycho acoustics to fake the big lift. This might mean compromising oomph of the part before, and then working with the sounds of the instruments (EQ etc) on the lift. Work with the EQ as Phoo has suggested. Don’t forget that playing with some frequencies can give the impression of “loudness” and “distance”.

You may need to work with a compressor a little more to acheive this. IMO it’s better to work with a compressor and to understand what’s going on than to slap a limiter over the whole mix and hope it does a good job.

Unfortunately in the digital realm you can’t have everything at max loud and then go louder!

the problem is that if I lower the overall volume so the heavier parts come in better then the song is FAR too quiet… the intro compare to normal volume is near 1/4 the volume it should be. I can’t get more volume out of it without clipping…

yeah, that’s going to have to happen to a degree. you’ll have to work at the dynamics of the song during mixing and leave the overall volume of the track until your mastering stage.

i think some people like to throw a mastering compressor on the master fx channel so that the final level of the track is handled during mixing or mixdown in n-track… personally, i think it can be confusing… if you’re doing that, make sure you bypass that effect while mixing and only turn it on when you are ready to work on the final level.


the problem is that if I lower the overall volume so the heavier parts come in better then the song is FAR too quiet… the intro compare to normal volume is near 1/4 the volume it should be. I can’t get more volume out of it without clipping

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this one. When all the bits are ‘1’ there is no where else (louder) to go; no amount of limiting, compression, etc will help. So either the earlier parts must be quieter, or you must use techniques to ‘fake it’ when it comes to the loud part.