Two questions

MIDI rendering? & PT or ntrack?

I will try not to bother you guys so much anymore but I have a couple more questions.
1) What difference or advantage is there between
a) “rendering” MIDI to wav’ or,
b) soloing the MIDI track and “recording what you
Except for losing the MIDI track when converting, are these basically the same thing and the end product is a wav of the original MIDI?


2) Someone is willing to give me their Pro Tools. I have been using NTrack for about a year and I am very satisfied with it but I would also like to be able to intelligently discuss the differences between the two. And I don’t want to mess up my system. I have searched but cannot find a thread which discusses the pros and cons of each or their compatability. Does anyone know of one?



Except for losing the MIDI track when converting, are these basically the same thing and the end product is a wav of the original MIDI?

The end product is a .wav of the original MIDI track in both cases, but case “a)” will give you better quality.
Recording “what you hear” from the soundcard mixer (that is what you mean, isn’t it?) will usually first send the audio out through the digital to analog converter and then back in through the analog to digital converter. This will add noise to your audio and should be avoided if possible.
If you have to use the soundcard’s onboard synthesizer, you probably won’t have a choice though…

1:Yeah about using an ‘on-soundcard’ synth and having no choice.

If you are using a VSTi the redndering will be better, as that is sample accurate. If you record ‘what you hear’ it puts more strain on your system, you might run into timing issues and clicks and pops. Plus the quality degradation that Hansje spoke about. (If you render is stays digital, if you record ‘what you hear’ it goes digital, analogue and back to digital).

2: Protools should be able to coexist on your PC without stuffing up N-Track (afaik). maybe better to wait on better advice about that tho…

3: Ask away as much as you like !


Are you guys sure that “record what you hear” goes analog? I doubt it, because this would require an extra pair of converters in your soundcard, versus a purely software solution.

Or is it the case that when you select “record what you hear”, your soundcard’s input converters no longer operate? Only if this is so would I beleive that it’s a digital->analog->digital signal path.

I don’t have that option so I can’t comment. Is it an n-track option or a Windows mixer option?

Also, is “render MIDI to wave” a new V4 menu item? With V3, it’s a task that involves a couple steps, and one has to make sure to turn off master channel fader & FX when doing the mixdown – making it the same as “record what you hear” (unless I’m mistaken above). If it’s a new menu item, it’s probably pretty much the same thing but without having to worry about these extra manual steps.


Thanks…I had a feeling there was a quality issue regarding “rendering” vs. “recording what you hear”.
Incidently, I dont use the onboard MS Wavetable or whatever its called.


Quote (learjeff @ Dec. 05 2005,09:00)
Are you guys sure that "record what you hear" goes analog? I doubt it, because this would require an extra pair of converters in your soundcard, versus a purely software solution.

Actually Jeff, I'm not sure at all.

Maybe it is just an internal routhing function of the soundcard ?

It would make sense to tap it back to the 'input' at that point before it goes analogue.

I still think the other issues are valid (timing and otherwise) - esp with the MS wavetable.

Having said that, I'm still on v3 - so I can't comment with authority.



Are you guys sure that “record what you hear” goes analog?

“What you hear” (or “Stereo Mix”) is an option in the recording controls of the Windows mixer.
It’s simply the sum of the signals that you have selected in the playback section of the same mixer (e.g. Wave-out, CD, Synth, Line-in, Mic-in etc.).
I can’t speak for each and every soundcard ofcourse, but all soundcards I know, that use the windows mixer (typically SB-type or onboard audio), use it to control the analog signals on the card.
So yes, I’m pretty sure the signal goes analog in this case.

v4 has a “wizard” to help rendering. I never used it, but do just as you describe for v3.
But again: this is not the same as recording “what you hear” in the sense I described above.
Of course, if you set n-Track to mixdown while playing, that is also recording “what you hear” in a way. But I would call that “rendering to wav” here, to prevent confusion.

My W2k Windows mixer doesn’t have “What you hear”. It does have “Wave Out Mix”, and I believe that’s digital. This might be something that varies depending on the soundcard.

It’s an easily testable hypothesis, playing silence with the “record what you hear” channel fader pushed up all the way. If the resulting wave file has noise in it, then you have analog in the loop. If not, then most likely you don’t.

I may try this when I get a chance.


I suppose the exact label with the fader is set by your soundcard’s driver.
But that would be an interesting test indeed.

-…wait a minute…-

OK. I’ve tried this for the Realtek AC97 onboard sound of my laptop:
Muted all channels but “wave out” on the playback mixer.
Selected “Stereo mix” as recording source and pushed the fader all the way up.
Pressed “Record” in n-Track.
Result: I’ve recorded a bit of noise (at ~-72dB; not bad at all!) and a distinct DC-offset.

So, my story holds for my laptop onboard soundcard.
I’d be interested to hear what yours does (what type is it anyway?)

mine is a realtek onboard with the same “stereo mix” recording slider.

I am using 4.0.5 build 1841. I have a MIDI track and when I press play the sound is generated correctly. However when I mixdown the song, with or without this track solo’d, this track adds nothing to the mixdown. How DO you render a MIDI file to a WAV file? Thanks,

What instrument are you using to play the MIDI through?

-Record “What you hear” is an option in the windows mixer if you have a SOUNDBLASTER CARD.

-When this option is selected, all the inputs that you can hear (that are not muted) are mixed to a stereo pair. And recorded.

-If you have muted all, except MIDI, then, all keeps inside digital domain (or if you has not muted WAVE AND MIDI, too). But if you have not muted the cd-analog input, or line in, beyond you want record the midi signal, you will record all the noise of the analog sources.

-A tip: If you are using your soundblaster card, and want to record the internal midi synth, you can choose like source “midi”, instead of “What you hear”. But, when you select midi, you lost the FX that affects midi, so you record a “dry” midi. That can be good if you will add, by example, later the reverb with your prefered VST. But if you like the FX that comes with the card, that are nice, you need to select the “What you hear” option.

Thanks for the replies.

My sound card is a Wami-Rack 192X. My synth is an Emu E-Synth. Midi Out from the Wami goes to Midi In on the E-Synth and vice versa. Also, main outputs from the Emu go into inputs #3 and #4 in my Wami. When I hit play, the viewmeter lights up fine in Inputs #3 and #4 (the Midi in n-track is correctly telling the Esynth what to play, and I hear it during playback). Wami has a software way of “wiring” Inputs and Outputs so I “wired” Inputs #3 and #4 to Outputs #1 and #2. I tried this with and without an un-muted audio track; also with allowing playback during the mixdown and just processing the tracks. I even directly wired the Enu output into Inputs #1 and #2… no luck on any of this. Any other ideas? Thanks


Oh, and I am uing the Asio drivers on the Wami and Output pairs #1/2 and #3/#4 are both armed. And I can choose to mixdown to a single WAV file or a WAV file per output and either way the MIDI is not processed. Thanks.

I cant catch your question… You can hear your keyboard, but you can record midi tracks, or you cant render the recorded midi tracks to a wav file?

Correct, and I just tried the Track–>Midi–>Convert MIDI tracks to WAV file option… that didn’t work either. I may try it again because when the Properties dialog box for my sound card first popped up it was only selecting Outputs #1 and #2 for recording. I selected the Multichannel 10 (Wami’s ASIO outputs as far as I can tell) but I may have done so too late to get it to accept this change. Have to try it later tonight…

I figured out a way to do it… DOH!! I just inserted two blanks tracks, and told the first one of those to record from Input #3 and the second one from Input #4. Then I hit Record and let the song play al the way through… voila, two WAV files. Thanks for your help!

Right: that’s called “rendering”. There are three very different ways, depending on whether it’s a soft-synth, a soundcard synth, or an external synth – yours is working like an external synth.

Unfortunately, the wizard only covers one case, and the default of deleting the MIDI tracks at the end is most unfortunate. Not my favorite wizard! :wink:

Glad you got it sorted out.

BTW, you probably usually want to render each MIDI track to wave independently, rather than having a single stereo mix for a number of MIDI tracks. This makes it a lot easier to make small adjustments in the mix or add FX, and also allows you to program more MIDI tracks than your synth can play at once.

Also, you probably want to set channels to record 3 & 4 as a stereo track (using the hammer under the record meters). This is just for convenience, and so that you can plug in FX on a rendered instrument easily (rather than having to plug in two copies and configure them the same).