why I need punch-in

is there a way?

I tagged another older thread about punching-in, but didn’t see any response. So let’s try a fresh thread.

I’m going to be doing vocal sessions for the first time tomorrow night with n-track and I’m really uncomfortable wondering how I’ll be able to keep up with my singers.

The DAW I’ve been using and every piece of tape gear I’ve ever used allowed me to work extremely quickly punching to fix trouble spots in takes. I’m concerned that I’ll be holding up the show tomorrow while I fiddle to find the splice points on the waveform display, silence the section, and then and only then am ready to let the singer patch a couple words.

Is there really no option to have n-track auto-silence the orig track when punching in?

There’s some religious feeling in other threads that punching is “old school”, but I really don’t want to have to go back thru a zillion takes after the session to compose a final track (all after I’ve forgotten which tracks have which good moments). Plus I’ve got vocalists who will want to take a rough mix home with them right after the session.

The punch-in allowed me to build a single good track quickly, and with DAW gear, if the punch-in wasn’t right, I just hit Undo and poof, non-destructive, I’m back to the orig track.

So there’s really no trick in n-track to approximate this ease and speed of punching?



This is how punch-in works for me in NTrack.

1. Highlight the region you want to punch in/out
2. Press the “Punch In” button

NTrack plays back 5 seconds before the punch-in and then starts recording.

3. Press "Stop"

NTrack automatically splices the punched in section in the region previously highlighted.

No multiple takes, no manual splicing, no silencing of original track.
Big N does it all for you.

Least, that’s how it works for me in ver 3.3


OK, that sounds like one less keyboard command. But I still need to stare at the waveform display and try to imagine where I need to punch in and out. I’m used to being able to simply execute the punch in/out in real time so I don’t have to stop the momentum of the session.

One thing us vets know how to do is sneak a punch into the tightest little pause in the performance and we can do this quickly and efficiently with the singer hardly even aware of what we’re doing. No "hang on, I gotta select the part we’re gonna fix… oh wait, hang on, that’s too short, oops, too long, OK got it."

Have any of you guys worked with realtime punch-in capable gear? I can’t be the only one who misses this simple key feature, can I?



I see your point CAF but it’s something I don’t miss because I’ve never been used to using it.
Like most guys here I’m an amateur, time doesn’t matter to me.

Mostly, when I’m tracking vocals I do three or four complete takes and make a composite. Vocalists rarely make mistakes in exactly the same place every time.

I think if I were to start using punch-in in NTrack though, I’d build up a degree of expertise so I would eventually be able to perform the operation quickly and efficiently. Going to a particular location on the timeline has to be quicker than rewinding and winding a piece of magnetic tape :)

Oh, and the punch-in feature of NTrack is totally non-destructive. If you inadvertently start a little early or a little late, you can adjust it later by dragging the edges of the waveform where N has spliced it.
Try doing
that with a piece of tape :D

It’s mostly what you get used to though. We all have different ways of working, even with the same recording gear.


I’m not too sure how well this works for more serious recording efforts, but I record the ‘punch’ part to it’s own track, then cut & trim the 2 so it’s seemless on playback.

Welp, I just tried practicing doing some pretend fixes to a vocal track, patching a phrase here and there and it was fiendishly difficult to find the in and out spots from looking at the waveform view. Took me multiple tries each time to get the right piece of the previous track muted, stuff I could have done intuitively in real time without hesitation.

I just can’t imagine I’m going to be able to keep up with the session tomorrow, so I’m panicking and moving the tracks back to my DAW. Loving the program otherwise, but can’t imagine working without punching.

So I should post a feature request to the Wiki or where exactly?



Oops, my bad. So I had sync issues moving the tracks to the DAW so I went back to experimenting with punching. I now notice that pressing record again does seem to obscure the previous take as I would expect it would, without having to prep the track by scrubbing.

I think I’d been confused because of the way I still hear both takes when monitoring.

So apologies for the long diatribe. It actually seems to be working the way I want, so I’m gonna try n-track for tomorrow’s session.


I’m at work at the moment but can’t check but I seem to remeber last time I did dropins this way, the new track which is superinposed over the old one can be adjusted by moving the ends in and out so the exact drop-in and drop-out points can be modified afterwards to get it exactly right (It’s always so much easier to get the drop-in that the drop-out I find).