Willing to pay to get up to speed!!
I am an Chief Technology Officer by day and a songwriter, singer, guitarist by night. I have been using n-track for awhile but I know I am only using 3% of it’s capabilities, and the capabilities of my entire system. I’ve always believed, and had the people I work with use, the philosophy of not re-inventing the wheel. Many of you out there know N-track and recording a LOT better than I do and I want to climb the ladder ASAP.
My goals are to get more familiar with all of n-track and integrating n-track with MIDI instruments and packages such as Fruity Loops.
I have the following equipment and can get whatever else is needed.
1. Emu-Esynth midi keyboard and synth.
2. Roland XV-5080.
3. Rhode NTK mic.
4. AKG K240 Studio headphones.
5. Event 20/20 BAS monitors.
6. Esi Pro Wami Rack 192X.
7. Acoustic guitar.
8. Electric guitar.
9. CD/RW drive
10. DVD Read drive.
11. Ntrack 3.3 but will upgrade to 4.0 immediately if that is what you are using and are comfortable with.
12. System is running Win XP SP1, 3.2Ghx P4, 1 Gb RAM, 200Gb HDD. Can install other HDD’s as needed, D865PERL motherboard. Complete protection from worms, viruses, trojans (well, as good as you can get).
13. High speed internet connection (which you will need as well).
I am willing to pay someone on an hourly basis to tutor me over the Internet. I am serious about this. I will set up my computer with a package called Radmin (see radmin.com) and will allow you to either control my computer and/or see my computer in view-only mode. You will have to install the same software. We will also talk at the same time over the phone (I will call you if need be to reduce your costs). If necessary I will install a web cam visible to you via the internet.
You will have to be accomplished and recognized by your peers on this forum as an n-track and recording expert with numerous postings (answers to other peoples questions). We’ll then either email back and forth or talk over the phone to see if we are compatible. Also, I want to learn how to “fish”, not be given “fish to eat”… or in other words, you talk, I do; you show, I replicate.
Please respond to this post with your “resume” if you are interested. If you want to nominate someone that’s fine with me too.
A free method would be to post any specific queries you have right here in the forum.
There’s quite a bit of knowledge on the subject of recording and computer based DAW’s held by many of the members of this forum, whom would gladly offer insight by simply asking.
I like your “cut to the chase” style. As crankz mentioned, everything you need is already here. I’m sure you’ll find a taker.
I too feel you would be best helped by simply asking some questions. I think you’ll find it a bit too serious if you plan on linking the computers together via software.
We can start with what your goals as a musician are.
I see from your list that your sound card has 4 mic/line inputs so I assume your are working more on solo projects where recording multiple inputs at one time are not as important.
192khz is a very high sample rate. This sample rate also eats up a TON of harddrive space. I see your harddrive is 200 GB. That is good, but does this harddrive have that much room? s this computer used for only recording or is it a computer used for everything you do? Depending on the harddrive’s statistics (rpm, seek time, ata rating, etc…) you may or may not want to invest in a large, fast harddrive specifically for the audio you will be working with.
Soundcards will have typically have the smallest latency (time between input, processing, and output) with ASIO drivers but I’m not sure if yours has those or not. you may need to just use it’s E-WDM drivers or whatever those are.
Your computer processor is very fast, it should be able to handle many effects plugins and midi sounds at one time without too much strain. You mention switching to v4? while normally that’s a good idea, v4 is still suffering from a few glitches, one in particular is trouble with P4 processor Hyperthreading. You’re better off with v3 for now.
Your gig or Ram should definitely help any load you get from effects and midi as well.
As far as your music goes-what style is it? is it guitar driven? I assume not since you don’t seem to have any guitar equipment listed. If it IS guitar driven, you may want to invest in a modeling device, either plugin or like Line6. The PodXT series is quite good, and inexpensive these days.
On to N-track.
To do basic recording, you need to configure N-track with your computer.
Go to File-Settings-Preferences-
Under sampling, choose the sampling rate you wish to use. while your card allows 192 khz, most people don’t use that high of a rate yet, but have at it.
click on Audio devices-
down at the bottom click advanced
show whatever drivers you wish to show. I usually just show my asio drivers, doesn’t hurt anything to list them all though.
just leave compensation at 0 for now. you probably won’t need it-it’s for cards that can’t hold a steady clock between recording/playback
select how many channels you wish to display. your options will be either 4 or 6 inputs(since your digital inputs steal your analog) and 8 outpus I believe.
keep audio device open should be UNCHECKED if you wish to use other audio programs with N-track (though your drivers seem to be able to work around this problem anyway)
now select all the inputs and all the outputs for one driver type. Use Ctrl right click to select multiple listings.
Now under buffering-you’ll find many settings. choose a low buffering-you’re computer should be able to handle pretty low buffering unless the high sample rate counteracts your speed. With ASIO your buffering setting here do NOTHING. with your E-WDM drivers, I would imagine this will work.
click high priority
leave dsp priority at 3
you may want to generate peak files-it’ll allow the playback to use a temp wav file that’s faster than standard waves.
you’ll want to allow automated pans…
in the mixing stage, you’ll want to read the muted tracks. for recording you don’t really want to.
restart a last position is up to you-if unchecked, each time you hit play it will jump to the beginning.
ask for names-personal preference
ask for ready-I like this-allows you to hit enter and record-gives you time to get ready.
check ask to delete wav files-if you don’t, and accidentally hit delete, you may lose a file permanently.
playback anticipates output-not that useful-maybe for mixing with material with heavy transients
stop playback at end of song-if you’re using midi, I don’t suggest this-is will stop it immediately at the end of your last note or wav-and cut off any reverb or effects that trail beyond the end-you can check it but turn it back off on when you mixdown.
I’d suggest you use your soundcard for playback/recording timer-not your computer.
aux busses-choose a couple-you can always add more if you need them.
I don’t multithread directx plugins-I’ve never noticed a difference- except in v4 directx plugins crash n with it on.
Yes to compensate plugin latency(if during playback a plugin takes a long time to process, n will delay all the other tracks until they are all in sync)
I don’t reload last song
snap to zero settings (this is for editing wavs-if you turn on snap to zero- each time you select a wav-it’ll snap to a zero crossing-so if you cut it and paste it next to another wav, you WON’T get a pop or snap from the two different wav forms) I’d recommend a negative or positive slope for now but not “any”. if you are cutting and pasting a lot- you can set it for only positive or negative slope-so if you cut the end of one wav on a negative slope you’d want the wav after it to be a negative slope too so the wav form is a smooth downward slope, not a “v” shape (negative then positive)
in the mixing section-you can check the automatically decrease volume or not- if it’s on, each new track will cause all the tracks to lower in volume a little bit-otherwise the track volume builds up into clipping.(two clips with identical volume played together will have around 3 db MORE volume than each individual clip) you can compensate for the decreased volume prior to mixdown by raising the master volume knob in the mixer panel. or you can leave it uncheck and any time you start to clip-either lower each track, or the master volume.
Use Dither-If you’re using 24 bit playback, you probably don’t need to check this- if you wanted to listen to it at 16 bits, or output it at 16 bits to something, you might want to use it.
Under appearance-the first 3 options are just personal preference-I’ve yet to notice what flat scroll bars or 3d time axis actually do though-shaded vu meters are just pretty. if you find your system starting to bog down, you can turn off some of the “pretty” stuff to save processing.
keep the vu meter passive-it’ll save processing
fast time window refresh-not sure what it does
check the save backup feature- for when you’re in the throws of passion and forget to do it yourself(it’s a good habit to hit save very frequently though- just keep your fingers on ctrl+s and push them every couple of things you do._
I like to use different colors for each track-it helps me identify which tracks are what visually.
choose your date/time format-this will effect how your time box and timeline is displayed-for example-under fps-it’s frames per second-so 1 minute 20 seconds and 17 frames could be a time.
split the mixer- if you have a wide monitor, you may not have to-but otherwise I’d split it-you may want to invest in a dual monitor setup-you can then see the timeline in one monitor, and the mixer in the other
keep the undo setting reasonably high-too high will take up memory.
volume ranges are referencing the wave form drawing on the screen-the highest point would be (on mine) +10 db, the middle is +/- 0 db, and the bottom is -30 db of the ORIGINAL recorded volume. so the middle is how loud it actually is-this is used for volume envelope drawing-you can use envelopes to raise or lower the volume of parts of a track-it’s like recording the mixer fader movements.
next to midi
I’m not too useful in midi so maybe someone else can chime in on proper midi settings.
these are self explanatory really-locate your programs/effects folder/temp folder and click ok
ok. now that that monster is done…
now you should see a recording vu meter, and a playback vu meter on your screen. if you do not-click on the icons above the BPM /meter inputs-they’ll look like vu meters placed horizontally with a triangle and a red circle on them
if you cannot see the whole recording or playback meters, move your mouse to the edge between the timeline and the meter-it should change to a double bar with arrows. click and drag.
you’ll now see three icons on the end of the recording meters and two on the playback. click the hammer on the playback. here you can choose which bit depth to use, which inputs/outputs to show, and if you’re using ASIO, this is also where you’ll set your buffering. In select input output channels-check each stereo pair you with to use for now. if you’re only recording one thing at time, you can just select one, and I usually only select on output pair (unless you wish to make a monitor mix for a band or something) From what I read, your soundcard supports you being able to for example-send midi to a sequencing program-and send that programs output to one of your soundcards inputs-here would be an example of when you may wish to record multiple inputs- like singing and recording the sequenced sound all at once.
on the recording vu meters, you should now see 2 meters for each stereo pair you enabled. at the end of the meter is three icons. the first arms the meter for monitoring (you can see the meters move when a signal is present)-this is the same as the first icon on the playback meters as well. The second icon is for turning on the individual input of the stereo pair. click on the red button-you’ll see right/left/disable/enable. here you can send the input on the right/left channel to any track listed on it-if there are tracks already present in your timeline, they’ll appear here too, if there are no tracks, you’ll see record to a new track or don’t record. the disable/enable turns on/off the stereo pair.
the hammer button-here you can make the to be recorded track a stereo wav, or two mono wavs, you can force 16 bit recording (the waveforms will look clipped but they’ll sound fine unless you use live input processing) you can access your soundcard settings in asio, you can enable live input processing(for hearing effects on your signal (your voice for example) in real time-like an effecs processor), you can select your input/output channel again, and with ASIO drivers, you’ll see two fader’s. these can be used to listen to the input of your soundcard like you usually can with the soundcard’s mixer. they’re not used very often since most cards can already do this. click ok
on the vu meters themselves you should see numbers-if you have them wide enough-right click and you’ll have some options-you can reset the meters (if they clip a red square will appear at the top and stay there) you can adjust the range of signal shown on the meter. from -15 db to -90 db. You can have N-track hold the meter a bit on the peaks or the valleys or both. you can also turn on smooth decay (it slows the peaks decay so it’s not jumpy) this is usefull for being able to see transients a little easier. you can turn the number display on/off. you can change the orientation (upright/sideways). you can turn on show description-shows which input pair is connected to the vu meter. title bar displays the “recording vu meter.” the dynamics adjusts the vu meters speed at reacting to the signal. the last option-turn on/off is connected to the first little circle at the end-off is gray-on is green.
so now you’ve got most everything setup. let’s close the program and reopen it-the reason being if for some reason you crash n-track after adjusting your settings, you’ll have to reopen it and do it again. closing the program and reopening it save the configuration so it’ll stay that way until you change something again.
Might I suggest a trip over to AudioMinds?
Hey g69… there’s one for the FAQ if ever I saw one.
click on the recording vu meter’s red circle-choose the appropriate option-in this case-record to new track.
N-track is now armed. if you press record, any track that is armed will record a wave file. whether or not there is signal present. For example-if “enable live input processing” is turned on for a stereo pair-and you use the LIVE button-I believe in v3-you will get two waveforms even if those tracks weren’t armed-because the live input was turned on, they were considered armed. v4 seems to have fixed this.
so to record only two tracks from your four. you’ll need to:
unselect the second stereo pair in the “select input/ouput channels” or
disarm the unwanted input with the red circle,
or if you’re using LIVE input processing
turn off Live input processing on the second pair and disarm the tracks with the red circle.
Alternatively, you can right click on the timeline and you’ll see-add blank audio/midi track.
you can add a blank track, then use either the recording vu meter to arm it, or on the left side of the track you’ll see a grey/red circle as well, click on this and choose an input-it’s now armed. (the first icon is a speaker-mute/unmute, the second is the solo button (click it and only tracks with that button pressed will be audible), and the last is the recording button. the track vu meters have the same options as the other vu meters.
so now you have some tracks armed, and you’re ready to record-just click the record button on the transport bar (stop,play,record…) and press the stop button when you’re finished. Under Action at the very top-you’ll see some shortcuts to play stop record etc without using your mouse.
so let’s say we’ve recorded a track and we want to add two effects-reverb and chorus. we can do this a couple of ways. first, you can right click on the new track and you’ll see “effects” it’ll bring up a list or window and you can add some there. OR
open your mixer- (little mixer icon next to the vu meters icons near the top of the screen)you’ll now see your mixer-master vu meters at the top left-master volume knob, two little grey circles next to it(these turn the output from stereo to mono and back) the black box is the effects list.-the view button has some options for the mixer display-and p and r are for playing and recording fader movements(for example, if I want to fade out a track, I press the r, and it records me pulling the fader down.-that track will now fade each time I play it)you can do this with volume envelopes as well-which I recommend) next to these are some sliders with knobs under them. the sliders are Auxillary returns, and the knobs are pans pots. next to those are the auxillary effects lists.
Under all this is your track/tracks. the button at the top of the track opens some option-you can name the track, you can add some comments, you can expand to stereo (for mono tracks that you wish to use a stereo plugin on) you can ouput to any stereo pair, or a group (a group is sort of like a bus on a mixer-you can send say all the drums to group1, and if you need to lower the drum volume, simply lower group1 volume instead of each drum-effects can be applied in this manner too-want the same delay applied to all the guitars-setup a group channel and put a delay in it. that way you don’t have 4 delay effects going when you only need one.) You can again select the recording input channel, you can change the track color, you can change the file name-and start point of the wav, you can open up the track effects list, you can delete the track, or you can move the track up or down in the timeline (say you want the snare to be right below the bass drum track but it’s at the bottom, move it up until it’s where you want it.)
outside of the tracks properties you’ll see a fader, and a vu meter (the meter has option like all the vu meters) below that is a pan slider, below that is a small grey triangle followed by a 3 band eq. clicking the triangle or double clicking the eq brings up the track eq properties. here you can add/save/delete presets, invert the phase, adjust eq types, add/subtract bands of eq (I think you can have up to twenty bands) and adjust each band. the graph below shows your adjustments-it has option too. you can change the scaling type and size-you can show a real time spectrum analyzer and you can adjust it’s settings. there’s also a built in tuner for your guitar.
outside of the eq properties and on the track in the mixer, next you’ll see the effects list follwed by the auxillary sends/pans.
now back to adding effects-chorus and reverb.
chorus is best used as an insert-meaning you send the full signal to the chorus-so it belongs in the effects list. double click on the black box and a list of all the effects you have will pop up-chose the chorus, and it’ll then bring up the chorus’ options-play with those to your liking. Now your track has chorus on it but no reverb.
reverb is best run parallel to the wav-so instead of putting it into the effects list (which you can do-as most reverb plugins have a wet/dry ratio, but if you wish to apply the same reverb to multiple tracks, the auxillaries work best.) so we’ll put the reverb we want into auxillary one’s effects list and turn the wet dry ratio to 100% wet. next we’ll turn the auxillary one’s return slider up to 0db (next to the master volume knob). now anything we send to aux 1 will be heard. next go to the aux 1 send slider/pan on the track you wish to add reverb. push the slider up to a level where you hear the reverb to your liking. the send pan knob allows you to pan the send as well-say your guitar is panned hard left, you don’t necessarily want the reverb to sound like it’s coming from the middle when the guitar is all the way left, so you pan the send hard left and now the reverb is only coming from the left. but since you did this on the send, you’re affecting the return’s panning and you can also pan the hard right guitar to the right and it’ll come from the right in the reverb. if you pan the RETURN (next to the master slider) ALL reverb from that auxillary will come from the panned position-regardless of where you panned the sends.
you’ve setup n-track (some changes in the preferences may be required with your sound card)
you’ve armed some tracks
you’ve recording some tracks
and you’ve got a track with chorus and reverb on it.
Now, you don’t have to wait until the track is made to add effects. right click on the timeline-add a blank audio track. add some effects by right clicking on the track-effects, or using the mixer method, add your effects and it’s ready.
Now you can use that track and hear what it’ll sound like with effects on it WHILE you record.
arm your track for recording-add any effects you wish to here including auxillaries.
make sure “live input processing” is enabled in the recording vu meter properties.
Click the LIVE button above the timeline.
If your soundcard buffering is set too low, you’ll get pops, clicks and n-track will not respond.
If your soundcard buffering is set too high, you’ll hear a noticeable delay between your input and the output.
If your soundcard buffering is set just right, you’ll hear your input (voice for example) with chorus and reverb as you sing without a noticeable delay (or at least a non-distracting delay-you may have a hard time with this at 192 khz-also, some plugins may not support that sample rate at all)
you can use live input processing with midi in the same manner.
now-the effects are not APPLIED during recording-you can remove them or adjust them to your will.
I like typing bubbagump
now we’ve got some track and some effects and you’ve adjust your eq’s on the tracks how you like them and panned them however you want.
let’s play with some envelopes.
at the top/middle of your screen you’ll see some icons that resemble a cross and to the left you’ll see a lopsided triangle icon. clicking on the little button to the right of the triangle will bring up some options. volume, pan, and axillary send envelopes.
choose the volume envelope.
a green line will show up in the middle of your tracks. in the middle-your track is set to whatever volume you set it at with the mixer faders. if you click on the track-a “node” will appear, clicking and draggin will allow you to raise or lower the volume of the track. clicking another node allows you to make sections of the track that are louder/quieter. this is useful for fading in/out, muting parts of a track, raising the volume of a chorus, etc… (if the “allow automated volume/pan” option in the preferences is UNCHECKED, these envelopes will not do anything.)
by choosing the pan option instead of the volume envelopes, you can pan a signal independent of the panning on the mixer-so if you want the track to move from the left to the right. you’d make a node at the top of the track, and then make another node at the bottom later in the track. the sound will now move from the left to the right.
the auxillary send envelopes are handy too- you can apply chorus to one part of the track by placing nodes at the very bottom of the track for anything you do NOT want with chorus- and then raising the areas of the envelope for parts you want with chorus. this works WITH the auxillary sends you set up. so middle height is the same volume as the send you had set in the mixer, lower is less, and higher is more send volume. the auxillary pan works the same way.
something to note about the auxillary sends in the mixer-right above the pan slider is a button. clicking on that button gives you some options- pre inserts pre fader-means that the send occurs before the fader adjustment of the track AND before the effects-so the reverb we set up earlier would NOT be getting the chorused signal we set up, it would be dry. the main signal would still have chorus, but the reverb would not. post inserts pre fader means the chorus would be in the reverb, but the fader adjustments would not. (in this case, if you mute the sound of a track with envelopes, the sound going to the auxillary send is NOT muted because it’s send is PRE fader) the last is post everything, the auxillary will be sent the signal with volume changes AND effects changes.
similarly, the auxillary returns have similar options too (next to the master volume knob)
the first would add the auxillary returns before the master channels effects/volume, and the rest would be self explanatory.
alright, so we’ve set up track with effects, we’ve set up eq, we’ve set up panning and volume and the song sounds just like we want it to.
now we’re ready to mixdown teh song for a final stereo track that can be put on a cd.
at the top, forth icon over from the left-you’ll see a picture that looks like a cd-click it.
here you can set the file destination/name
offline mixdown, or online (online does it while you listen to it- any fader adjustments or changes of ANY kind WILL show up in the final render.)
create a mp3 at the same time.
under more options
you can mix the entire song, or just part of it (doing part of it allows you to mix down say a group of clips with effects and replace those with the final wav file without affecting the rest of the song)
choose the bit rate. if you’re going straight to cd-choose 16. if you’re bring it to a mastering engineer, choose the highest.
channels will make the final wav either stereo or mono.
process master channel (do you have a compressor on the master channel? then check yes)
substitue tracks(again, you can replace a bunch of parts with the final track while not ruining the rest of the waves.
tracks to mixdown-choose ones you want, ctrl click allows more tracks.
sample frequency-going straight to cd-44.1, mastering engineer-leave it at your recorded sample rate-or the rate-if the mastering engineer can only do 96 khz, then render it at that.
dither-dither is used to change bit depth- it increases the signal to noise ratio by adding noise-you’ll have to read up on it to understand it. use it ONLY if going straight to cd. the mastering engineer will dither for you.
since you have midi hardware, i’d recommend you simply setup n to output your midi sequence from n to your hardware, and hook up your hardware’s audio outputs to your audio inputs and record them.
some other basic editing functions.
ctrl click and drag-you can move a wav section around.
holding shift while doing the above allows you to only move vertically (so the timing doesn’t get messed up)
ctrl x is cut
ctrl c is copy (cut removes the original part-copy leaves the original)
ctrl v is paste(click on the track you want to past-if you click and drag to highlight a section first-the pasted portion
will appear IN the selection.
ctrl a applies the effects and pans of a track permanently-this is good if you are done messing with the effects and stuff for sure and want to save some processing power.
ctrl b-turns on snap to zero-if you’re cutting and pasting a lot, turn this on to aviod pops at the seams of audio.
caps lock-with this is, enevelope adjustments apply to all tracks-want to fade all the tracks? turn on caps lock and fade one out either by hand (make a node at the start fade position, and make a node and the end fade) or make a selection, and click the fade out button next to the vu meter on/off icons near the top.
clone track-right click on the track-clone, or track menu-duplicate (useful for applying different effects to a track and panning each track to different places.)
n-track has lots of features and lots of ways of doing the same thing.
so I recommend you go through all the file menus and familiarize yourself with each function. if you don’t know what one does, come back and ask.
also if you hold your mouse over an icon, it’ll tell you what it does or how to use it.
I’ve covered pretty much everything you need to start recording.
Midi wise, someone else will have to help. I’m mostly just audio only. I’d like to learn midi though, so if someone wants to go crazy like I just did, then by all means, be my guest.
as far as mixing and such. visit audiominds, and read this-
this will help with reverb
i need some lunch
you can send the check to…
Someone cut and paste that somewhere. That’s practically a book!
With guitar69’s lengthy impromptu guides, I hope it’s apparent to you now that around here, the fully-qualified are often unusually quick to dispense with quality advice. And of course, it’s as free as it gets. The best part is that when your questions are answered here, they benefit everyone. But if you still insist on hiring a paid tutor, I wish you the best of luck with your search!
That’ll be $69.95 made payable to guitars69 Publishing Company. If you order now, you’ll get an interactive CD ROM absolutely free!
This sort of response is why I love this place!
What a bunch of helpful, knowledgeable blokes!
Wow. I haven’t read it all yet, but I know there must be something in there for me since I couldn’t rattle off that much about N-track at the drop of a hat. "Dear Lord, please don’t let the board get hacked again!"
I’ve actually considered writing a book
but since I’m only 24 and only have two band’s demo cd’s and 1 full length under my belt, I figured it wouldn’t sell much
|Quote (guitars69 @ Oct. 20 2004,10:54)|
|I like typing bubbagump|
Apparantly you do....