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n Track Manual

n Track Manual

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Published by: Allen De los Reyes on Oct 07, 2010
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Sections

  • Credits
  • 1. Getting Started
  • 1.1. Introduction to n-Track Studio
  • 1.2. Installing n-Track Studio
  • 1.2.2. Minimum system requirements
  • 1.4.1. Recording a demo song
  • 1.4.2. Adding compression
  • 1.4.3. Re-recording portions of a track
  • 1.4.4. Adding Effects and “Tweaking a Track”
  • 1.4.5. Appling an Effect to Specific Parts of a Recording
  • 1.4.6. Recording using Markers
  • 1.4.7. Final Mix-down, Compression, EQ and Reverb
  • 1.4.8. Programming volume evolutions
  • 1.4.9. Fading out the song
  • 1.4.10. Mixing down to a single wave file
  • 1.4.11. Editing the mixdown file
  • 1.4.12. Burning To CD
  • 1.5. Setting the recording levels
  • 1.6. Signal levels & clipping
  • 1.8. Audio devices selection dialog box
  • 1.9. Recording more than one track at a time
  • 1.10. Recording using Take Lanes
  • 2. Using n-Track Studio
  • 2.1. Types of files used by n-Track Studio
  • 2.2. Volumes and effects parameters automation
  • 2.3. Automating effect parameters
  • Aux send/return automation
  • 2.4. Varying effects on a track using aux send/return automation
  • 2.5. Audio effects and Signal processing
  • 2.5.1. Live input processing
  • 2.5.3. DirectX plug-ins
  • 2.5.4. DirectX and VST effects that work with n-Track Studio
  • 2.5.6. Hosting ReWire slave programs
  • 2.5.7. Side-Chaining
  • 2.5.8. Aux channels and settings
  • 2.5.9. Groups channels
  • 2.5.10. Track EQ properties
  • 2.5.11. Spectrum analyzer
  • 2.5.12. Automatic tuner
  • 2.5.13. n-Track Signal Path
  • 2.5.15. Dither & Noise shaping
  • 2.6. Working with Surround
  • 2.6.1. Surround formats
  • 2.6.2. Creating a surround DVD
  • 2.7. Controlling n-Track with MIDI faders
  • 2.8.1. Destructive wave editing functions
  • 2.8.2. Non-destructive wave editing
  • 2.8.3. Editing individual samples
  • 2.8.4. Destructive wave file processing
  • 2.8.6. Snap selection edges to 0
  • 2.8.8. Punch in/Multiple takes recording
  • 2.8.9. Looping wave files
  • 2.9. Input/Output formats
  • 2.10. Recording more than one track at a time
  • 2.11. Voice/ level-activated recording
  • 2.12. Mixing down the final song
  • 2.13. Tracks formats, mono & stereo playback
  • 2.14. 24 bit soundcards
  • 2.15. Technicalities
  • 2.15.1. The n-Track mixing algorithm
  • 2.15.2. 32 bit and 64 bit versions
  • 2.15.3. Recording levels
  • 2.16. Fine tuning the program to your system
  • 2.17. Customizing the program
  • 2.18. Synching a video clip to the playback
  • 2.19. Save/Recall selections
  • 2.21. Save project as a Packed Song File (.sgw)
  • 3.1. Recording MIDI tracks
  • 3.2. Editing MIDI tracks
  • 3.3. Creating a MIDI Drums track
  • 3.4. Notes/drums names display
  • 3.5. VSTi/DXi instruments plug-ins
  • 3.5.1. Playing live through an instrument plug-in
  • 3.6. MIDI Instruments Assignment
  • 3.7. MIDI Instruments Definition
  • 3.8. Programs (instruments) names
  • 3.9. MIDI System Exclusive messages
  • 3.10. Grid settings/Quantize
  • 3.11. Tempo/time signature
  • 3.12. Synchronization
  • 3.12.1. About SMPTE/MIDI Time Code
  • 3.12.2. About MIDI Clock
  • 3.12.3. SMPTE time formats
  • 3.12.4. Configuring the program to act as master
  • 3.12.5. Configuring the slave to an incoming time code signal
  • 3.12.6. MTC/MIDI Clock dialog box
  • 3.12.7. Virtual MIDI Patch Cables (loopback devices)
  • 4.1. Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Toolbar buttons reference
  • 4.2. Menu Commands Reference
  • 4.4.1. Recording settings
  • 4.4.2. Preferences/MIDI settings
  • 4.4.3. Preferences/Options settings
  • 4.4.4. Preferences/Appearance settings
  • 4.4.5. Preferences/Paths
  • 4.4.6. Fade properties dialog box
  • 4.5. Wave Devices (Advanced)
  • 4.6. Audio format conversions
  • 4.6.1. Wav to mp3 conversion
  • 4.6.2. Wav to Wma (Windows Media Audio) conversion
  • 4.6.3. Ogg Vorbis files (.ogg)
  • 4.6.4. Sampling frequency conversion
  • 4.7. Recover a wav file from raw audio data
  • 4.8. Mixidown Dialog Box
  • 4.10. Buffering settings
  • 4.11. Piano Roll settings
  • 4.12. MIDI Event properties
  • 4.13. MIDI Track Properties dialog box
  • 4.14. MIDI devices settings
  • 4.15. MIDI Events editing window
  • 5. Troubleshooting & Support
  • 5.1. n-Track Studio on the Web
  • 5.2. n-Track Studio version history
  • 5.4. Sync & lag issues
  • 5.5. Creative Labs Soundcards issues
  • 6.1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • 6.2. How to buy n-Track
  • Upgrading to n-Track v6.x
  • 7. Glossary of terms

n-Track Software

n-Track
Digital Audio Multitrack Recorder for Windows

USER GUIDE
REVISION 2.0.3

© 2009 Flavio Antonioli

Credits
n-Track Studio ©2009 Flavio Antonioli Portions of this manual by Alessandro De Murtas. Multiband Compressor, Graphic EQ and Tempo Delay plug-ins by Y. Oonisi. n-Track Drums based on DK+ by Luigi Felici Version 6.0 graphic design by Luca Panzarella Grammar revision by John Drummond. This manual, as well the software described in it, is furnished under license and may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of such license. The content of this manual is furnished for informational use only, and is subject to change without notice. We assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this book. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose, without prior written permission by Flavio Antonioli. ALL PRODUCT AND COMPANY NAMES ARE TM OR ® TRADEMARKS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. WINDOWS 95, 98, ME, 2000 XP, Vista and NT ARE TRADEMARKS OF MICROSOFT CORPORATION. VST PLUGIN INTERFACE TECHNOLOGY BY STEINBERG SOFT- UND HARDWARE GMBH. ASIO ITERFACE TECHNOLOGY BY STEINBERG SOFT- UND HARDWARE GMBH. Among the many people that have contributed in making the program always better with countless suggestions, comments, and bug reports, I.d like to thank in particular: Alessandro De Murtas, Sean Ercanbrack, J. David Lee, Jeff Keister, Richard Fairthorne, Lennard G. Cairns, Richard A. Smith, Michael Olsen, John Drummond, Bryan Bassett, Don Gaynor, David James, Kelly Craven, Tom Willis, Bax Taylor. Thanks to Ross Howard for the splash screen graphic.

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Table of Contents
Credits ...................................................................................................................................... 2  Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................... 3  1.  Getting Started ................................................................................................................... 6  1.1.  Introduction to n-Track Studio.......................................................................................... 7  1.2.  Installing n-Track Studio ................................................................................................. 8  1.2.1.  Installation ............................................................................................................... 8  1.2.2.  Minimum system requirements .................................................................................... 8  1.3.  Quick start .................................................................................................................... 9  1.4.  Step by step Tutorial .................................................................................................... 10  1.4.1.  Recording a demo song ............................................................................................ 10  1.4.2.  Adding compression ................................................................................................. 12  1.4.3.  Re-recording portions of a track................................................................................. 13  1.4.4.  Adding Effects and “Tweaking a Track” ....................................................................... 14  1.4.5.  Appling an Effect to Specific Parts of a Recording ......................................................... 15  1.4.6.  Recording using Markers........................................................................................... 15  1.4.7.  Final Mix-down, Compression, EQ and Reverb .............................................................. 16  1.4.8.  Programming volume evolutions ................................................................................ 16  1.4.9.  Fading out the song ................................................................................................. 16  1.4.10.  Mixing down to a single wave file............................................................................. 17  1.4.11.  Editing the mixdown file ......................................................................................... 17  1.4.12.  Burning To CD ...................................................................................................... 17  1.5.  Setting the recording levels ........................................................................................... 18  1.6.  Signal levels & clipping .................................................................................................. 18  1.7.  Soft clipping ................................................................................................................ 19  1.8.  Audio devices selection dialog box .................................................................................. 19  1.9.  Recording more than one track at a time ......................................................................... 20  1.10.  Recording using Take Lanes ........................................................................................ 21  2.  Using n-Track Studio ......................................................................................................... 23  2.1.  Types of files used by n-Track Studio .............................................................................. 24  2.2.  Volumes and effects parameters automation ......................................................... 25  2.3.  Automating effect parameters ........................................................................................ 26  2.4.  Varying effects on a track using aux send/return automation .............................................. 26  2.5.  Audio effects and Signal processing................................................................................. 27  2.5.1.  Live input processing ............................................................................................... 28  2.5.2.  VST plug-ins ........................................................................................................... 28  2.5.3.  DirectX plug-ins ...................................................................................................... 29  2.5.4.  DirectX and VST effects that work with n-Track Studio .................................................. 30  2.5.5.  Freezing ................................................................................................................. 30  2.5.6.  Hosting ReWire slave programs ................................................................................. 31  2.5.7.  Side-Chaining ......................................................................................................... 31  2.5.8.  Aux channels and settings ................................................................................... 32  2.5.9.  Groups channels...................................................................................................... 33  2.5.10.  Track EQ properties ............................................................................................... 33  2.5.11.  Spectrum analyzer ................................................................................................ 34  2.5.12.  Automatic tuner .................................................................................................... 35  2.5.13.  n-Track Signal Path ............................................................................................... 36  2.5.14.  Mastering............................................................................................................. 36  2.5.15.  Dither & Noise shaping .......................................................................................... 36  2.6.  Working with Surround ................................................................................................. 38  2.6.1.  Surround formats .................................................................................................... 39  2.6.2.  Creating a surround DVD .......................................................................................... 40  2.7.  Controlling n-Track with MIDI faders ............................................................................... 41  2.8.  Editing ........................................................................................................................ 42  2.8.1.  2.8.2.  2.8.3.  2.8.4.  3 Destructive wave editing functions ........................................................................ 42  Non-destructive wave editing ............................................................................... 43  Editing individual samples ......................................................................................... 43  Destructive wave file processing ........................................................................... 44 

..............  Mixing down the final song ................. 74  4..............  Recording levels..7.................. 62  3.............  Regions ........................6.......6.................. 82  4..................  2.....  Preferences/Appearance settings ..................17..............11.............................................................14...................  Save/Recall selections ........21.............. 67  3.............  Metronome ...........................................................8....  MIDI System Exclusive messages ............................................................................ 82  4.....................................................  Reference .......... 64  3.......................................  Technicalities ..................1..............12........................................  Audio format conversions .....................................2........................................  Preferences/Options settings ......................1...............................4...........................................6.................4.................................................................... 54  2..........3..................... 67  3..............  MIDI Instruments Definition ........... 80  4.4....  MIDI Instruments Assignment ............................................................8...........................  Programs (instruments) names .............................sgw) ............  Wav to mp3 conversion .. 49  2........................................................................5.................6.......................9..................................................................8..... 54  2...................................................1.......... 55  3..........................  Creating a MIDI Drums track ... 66  3.................................  Grid settings/Quantize ............................................................................  Recording MIDI tracks ...........................................  24 bit soundcards .  Synching a video clip to the playback ........ 62  3................................................................................................3..........................................  32 bit and 64 bit versions .......................................6...............  Synchronization ..........................1................................  2........4......................................2........................  MIDI ................ 59  3............9...  Input/Output formats ............................................................ 66  3...................... 67  3.........................  Playing live through an instrument plug-in ..............................................................................................  Markers ........................................................1......... 53  2..........................................................................................................................2.........................8.15.............5...........................5........  Fine tuning the program to your system ...3...... 52  2..................................4......................................................8...........................9.......................................  Preferences/MIDI settings .........10....  Wav to Wma (Windows Media Audio) conversion ..... 47  Looping wave files ............................. 61  3......................  Editing MIDI tracks .........................................................................................................................2............. 78  4......................................................1.......  Configuring the program to act as master ..............  MTC/MIDI Clock dialog box ......................  Save project as a Packed Song File (................12.................. 48  2................10...................................5.2......................... 57  3..................................................6..12... 64  3.............8................................................................ 78  4............ 49  2..................................................................... 62  3..................................................... 70  4..............................................12... 83  4...................................  Wave Devices (Advanced) . 46  Punch in/Multiple takes recording .................2.............. 69  4....19........  Menu Commands Reference ............................... 64  3............................... 56  3............... 45  Crossfading ....................................................................................................... 52  2............  Configuring the slave to an incoming time code signal ................12.......... 51  2.......................................................................................  Voice/ level-activated recording . 52  2.......................................  Normalize ........................................................................... 70  Toolbar buttons reference .........................2.................. 45  Snap selection edges to 0 ...........................20............ 81  Preferences/Paths ......... 53  2..................................12............................................................................................  About MIDI Clock .......................5............4.....................................  Tempo/time signature ...................................15..............................  SMPTE time formats .............................. 83  4.................18....15........16..........................  2..........................8................................................................................7..............................................................................................4..................................  The n-Track mixing algorithm ..  Virtual MIDI Patch Cables (loopback devices) ......5.................  Customizing the program .............11.. 53  2................ 77  4............... 47  2..................................................4........4................ 65  3................................................6....  2. 57  3....................................  Recording settings ......................  4..........  Keyboard Shortcuts ......... 68  3............................................................ 54  2...........  Tracks formats......................  Preferences ................................3................12............................................12...............  VSTi/DXi instruments plug-ins ...............13.................. 52  2................................7.........................................................................................................................  Notes/drums names display ...........  Recording more than one track at a time ................12.....  Fade properties dialog box ............3..... 63  3..........................................................................................1........................... 72  4........................... 48  2... 82  4........ 66  3....  About SMPTE/MIDI Time Code ...........4............... mono & stereo playback ................................................................................................10.....................15.......... 84  4 ........................8....... 51  2..... 79  4.

...........................  Asio settings ...........................ogg) ......  MIDI devices settings ..  Time stretch .....4............................................................................................................... 90  4..... 91  4........  Appendix ............................. 85  4................. 86  4.........................................  Troubleshooting & Support ................2...........7.............11............... 95  5...14.................. 88  4.... 85  4.................................. 91  4.................................................... 98  6..6............................................................... 97  6.................................................................3..............................  Sampling frequency conversion ................  Piano Roll settings ............................ 84  4.................................. 89  4.................................................................................................................12.............8........................4.........................  License ..  MIDI Event properties .......................  Buffering settings................................................ 101  7......................................................................................  MIDI Track Properties dialog box .................................. 95  5..................................  Feedback ...................................................................15.........1.....................  MIDI Events editing window .................................3......................  n-Track Studio version history ................................... 96  6.............................................................................................................................16...............................................................................2...........................................................................10.............................................  Recover a wav file from raw audio data ....................................................................................................................................................  Creative Labs Soundcards issues ....................13.......  n-Track Studio on the Web ............. 86  4...................................... 102  5 ..........................................................................................................................................................................  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) .........6.......................... 95  5...... 99  Upgrading to n-Track v6.............................................x ..............  How to buy n-Track ............................... 100  6.  Glossary of terms ..........................4.........3........................... 92  5........................... 88  4.........9.................................................  Ogg Vorbis files (...........5.....................................................  Sync & lag issues ...1.  Mixidown Dialog Box . 94  5................................ 96  5.............

Getting Started 6 .1.

cross fades. Videos (AVI. Tracks (. Add effects to tracks non-destructively. Tracks can contain more than one single wave file: you can drag and drop wave files (represented by rectangles in the timeline window) from one track to another. Echo. and a bit of imagination: there are no limitations on what you can realize with this program! Let’s have a look at some of n-Track Studio’s special features: Working with n-Track Studio is easy: to start a new song. during playback. The mixing process is done "on-the-fly": this way you can alter the volume and pan settings while listening to your song or even while recording. Pitch shift. After having selected either MIDI or WAVE recording (by switching between the microphone and keyboard icons on the toolbar). 7 . some free space on your hard drive. acting either as master or slave. Punch-In Recording: It’s also possible to start playback by pressing the play button and then start recording at a specified point by clicking the record button during playback. Once finished recording the whole song. The program comes with 5 native effects (EQ. The inability to afford expensive equipment has often confined many musicians to the world of second rate equipment. send and return settings: you can "program" fade-in/outs. and can also use third party DirectX audio plug-ins Live Input Processing to use the program as a multi-effect device for your instruments. Use your favourite external Wave editor. Introduction to n-Track Studio For a long time music recording has been difficult for those who could not get access to professional recording studios. Chorus. Also. Once you have finished. click on the stop button. The program can sync to other programs or external devices using SMPTE/MTC or MIDI Clock sync. It’s possible to automate the evolution of the volume.1. pan.wav files) aren’t mixed together in a single wave file and then played.on-the-fly. Again the result of the effect processing isn’t written on a file but is calculated .1. MPEG. you can mixdown all the tracks into a single wav file and then use it to burn to CD or to distribute the song via the internet using the built-in mp3 encoder. you’ll be able to process the tracks with the help of an external wave editor using the button on the toolbar. having a professional music home recording studio and a comprehensive audio environment has never been easier and more affordable than today! n-Track Studio has been designed to bring you a powerful Digital Audio Multitrack Recorder. Once this was typical but today things are changing! Forget private recording studios. expensive equipment and high invoices: with n-Track Studio. just record the first track (usually the rhythm base). Remix or burn to CD. ME. you can adjust the file offset inside a track moving the small crosshair icon in the lower left corner of the waveform rectangle. Forget the track limitations of your old tape multitrack recorder: n-Track Studio has been proven to be able to manage from as many as thirty tracks on an high-end machine to six tracks on a 486 processor. NT or XP. Compression. Quicktime) can be played in sync with the song in a dedicated video playback window. click on the record button on the toolbar. discouraging their ambitions to realize their true musical potential. Autovolume). boost the volume of a track when there is a solo etc. Multiple input and output soundcards or more than one soundcard are supported so it’s possible to record more than one track at a time and to output to more than one stereo output. a microphone. Windows 98. 2000.. All you need is a full duplex soundcard. Each output channels has its own master effects section and master volume control. Reverb. Looping of wave files can be easily accomplished concatenating several instances of the same wave file. Change parameters and listen to the results in real-time. Can it be any simpler? Do all by yourself! Record a track and then add as many as you wish. Due to the fact that audio tracks are stored as normal wave files.

Installing n-Track Studio 1. Windows 2000. Windows Vista x64 Make sure you’ve got the latest version of the drivers of all your hardware devices. Updating drivers is often the solution to many different problems.2.com) If you’re running Windows Vista you may have to accept the user account control prompt that asks you if you want to authorize the installation of the program Choose the destination folder where to install the program.2.2. Installation • • • • • • Double click on the setup file. Windows XP x64. The installation suggests a default destination folder “C:\Program Files\FASoft\n-Track Studio”.e. Windows Vista.ntrack. Windows XP. 8 .1. Windows ME.2. capable of simultaneous playback and recording) soundcard OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 98. Windows Server 2003.1. Minimum system requirements CPU: Pentium III 700 MEMORY: 512 MB RAM SOUNDCARD: A full duplex (i. especially the soundcard. usually named ntrck_sw (you can download if from www. If you want to install the program into a different folder click on the Browse button Follow the Setup instructions to install n-Track Studio software into your computer Launch the program by selecting the n-Track Studio icon in the Start Menu Enjoy To uninstall n-Track Studio • Open Start Menu/Control Panel • Select ‘Add or remove programs’ • Select n-Track Studio from the list of installed programs • Click on Add/Remove 1.

click then on the Add New Blank Track in the popup menu. See the File types used by n-Track topic for more info on the various files used by the program. just record the first track (usually the rhythm base): click on the record button on the toolbar. The track you've just recorded will appear on the timeline as a waveform. 9 . or the Mixdown Song command from the File menu). Now you may want to mix down all the recorded tracks into a single wave file using the mixdown command ( . the volume evolution and the effects settings. The . Select it and adjust the volume and pan settings (you can do so while listening to the track) moving the sliders on the mixer window. Alternatively you can start the playback by pressing the play button and then. To start a new song. It will not contain the actual audio data. during playback. That means “click on the Add Channel sign on the main menu bar that appears in the upper part of the n-Track main window. in the lower Once you have finished your song save it with the Save As command from the File menu (File/Save As). Note on menu commands: we will occasionally be referring to commands available from the nTrack main menu bar as for example something like Add Channel/Add New Blank Track/Audio. Tracks can contain more than one single wave file: you can drag and drop waveforms from one track to another. Once you have finished click on the stop button. start recording at the desired point by clicking the record button (punch in recording). you can adjust the file offset inside a track moving the small crosshair icon left corner of the waveform rectangle. The first thing you need to do is check if the recording vumeter shows the input signal coming from your microphone or instrument. the mixing settings. Also. Now you are ready to add a new track: make sure you are ready to play and click again on the record button. which will remain stored in the wave files as they were recorded.3. That is each / sign corresponds to a new popup menu that appears selecting an entry from the previous menu.1. and then click on the Audio command from the last popup menu”. If it doesn’t make sure that the cables are connected correctly and that the soundcard is set to record from the correct sources. a popup menu will appear.sng file that the program will create will contain the wave files names. Quick start Working with n-Track Studio is easy. See the Setting the recording levels topic for more info.

you’ll want to record mono tracks: 10 . which means the recording level in that precise instant has been too high and the recorded sound is going to be distorted. we will use a simple example to show you how you can create a new song from scratch using just your computer. a microphone and n-Track Studio. and that the level is sufficiently high. Try to sing (or play the instrument the mic is going to record) at the highest volume you think you will reach during the actual recording. Recording a demo song Prepare your instruments. and connect the mic jack to the soundcard’s mic input connector. turn on the computer. for this tutorial we’ll assume that you’re going to record all the tracks by yourself. In this chapter.4. Although the program is capable of recording two or more (depending on the audio hardware) tracks at the same time.1. and try to set the level so that at the maximum volume the vumeter will be in the higher red range.4.1. Step by step Tutorial After you have successfully installed n-Track Studio. Now check from the recording view (Options/Properties/Recording) that the mic in is the only input source selected. For more information on how to set the recording levels see the Getting started/Setting the recording levels topic. launch the program. The first thing to do is to check if the program is receiving signal from the microphone: try to talk into the microphone and see if the program’s recording level meters move (fig. Note: if you’ll exceed the maximum allowed recording level. and you’re recording directly from the mic.1). 1. While adjusting the mic input level check the actual recording level using the n-Track recording VUmeter. run the Windows volume control using the program’s Settings/Soundcard settings/Recording mixer controls menu command or selecting Start Menu/Programs/Accessories/Entertainment/Volume control [Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows] or Start Menu/Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Manage Audio Devices [Windows Vista]. one at a time. the recording Vumeter will show a CLIP sign. Since we’ve decided that we’re going to record a track at once. If they don’t. 3. you can begin your first project with your new Digital Audio Multitrack Recorder.

so that you’ll be able to retrieve it later if you realize that you erroneously removed a good file. 11 . Notice that the name of the track. The safer thing is to send the file to the Windows recycle bin. the name of a track is not related to the name of its wave files. links to wave files.sng) will contain all the song settings.wav" using the Rename wave file from the Track menu. Since the default name of a project is “New song”. effects etc. as shown in the upper part of the track’s mixer section will not change: since a track can contain more than only one file.to set the recording format to mono click on the “Settings” select mono. It's always a good thing to have a file name that is logically related to what the file is actually about. on Let’s assume that you were a little frightened by your first n-Track recording and the track didn’t come on the toolbar: the program will ask you what out right. The project file (.sng”. You listen to it (clicking on the playback button on the toolbar) and it sounds fine. to the file “DemoSong. the wave file you’ve just recorded will be probably named “New song_1. You can change the track name in the track’s properties dialog box that appears for example right clicking on the a track’s waveform in the timeline window and selecting Properties from the pop-up menu.. Let’s say that you record the track again and this time everything goes well. button on the recording vumeter and Since you’re recording your first track there’s no particular need to use headphones.wav” (where X is a number). You’ll see the time indicator showing the recording time and a red flashing “Recording” sign. It is now a good time to save your work: the program by default names the wave files that you record like this “name_of_the_song_X. Let’s now save the whole project using the Save as command from the File menu. No problem. Complete the recording and click on the stop button. but you will need to use them for the following tracks to avoid the microphone capturing the signal coming out of the speakers. Now that everything is set up prepare yourself for the recording and press the record button the n-Track toolbar. just click on the recycle bin icon you want to do with the recorded file.wav”. so we’ll now rename this file (supposing that it is an acoustic guitar track) to "DemoSong_Ac_Guitar1.

4. You can instead move the wave out (playback) or master volume slider to match the playback volume to the volume of the microphone monitoring. 12 . For detailed info on how to use the compressor right click on the plug-in’s logo and select Help from the popup menu.2. like the “DemoSong_Ac_Guitar1. More often than not vocal tracks need a bit of compression: here you will use one of the most powerful features of software based multitrack recording in general and of n-Track in particular. Adding compression Let's assume that all went well and the second track (a vocal part) has been correctly recorded. If you’re using headphones you may also need to check if the audio being played back (i. position the time bar where you want the second track to start from (by clicking with the left mouse button on the desired point in the time axis) and click on the record button. Now click on the drop down preset list and choose a preset that is suited to the track (for example “Soft knee compression”). so you may not be able to move the mic monitor slider.e. without altering the recording level. Now you notice that the vocal level is a bit too low in some places and becomes too loud in others. the first track) is at a volume similar to that of the signal that you’re recording so that you will be able to play along with the recorded music while also hearing what you play through the headphones. You’ll see the built-in EQ window appear and below it the Compressor plug-in window.e. If you still can hear the first track with the solo button pressed. We’ll use the n-Track Compressor plug-in that comes bundled with n-Track Studio.but not the actual audio data. Effects processing is always performed in real-time. Setting up these levels properly may be a bit tricky with some soundcards because with some of them the input sources (i. Let’s now record the second track. Once you’re ready. The most common problem at this stage is the so called “bleeding” of the first track in to the second track: if the soundcard mixer is not properly set. mic) recording level (the slider in the recording view of the volume control/sound control panel) is not independent from the level of the input monitoring (the level in the playback view of the volume control/sound control panel). so you can tweak the plug-in settings while hearing in real-time the result of the processing. Click on the EQ/AlwaysOn effects button on the track’s mixer strip near the three small EQ knobs .sng file points to. If you changed instrument you’ll need to check the recording level again to be sure it’s correct. the newly recorded track will re-record existing tracks. your tracks are bleeding: again the Setting the recording levels topic contains instructions on how to solve this problem. software effects processing via plug-ins. By default n-Track automatically adds a Compressor plug-in on each track channel which is very handy because most channels need a bit of compression (and for those that don’t need it simply leave the compressor with its default settings which leave the signal unaffected). Effects plug-ins can be added in a number of different ways. thus destroying the isolation between the tracks.wav” we previously recorded. which remains stored in the wave files the . To check if this is happening just playback the tracks together and solo the second track clicking on the S button on the track’s mixer slice. 1.

you’ll notice that a new part appears on the timeline. and the second doesn’t come out right: Since the first solo was ok you don’t want to re-record the whole track. This is called non-destructive overdub. Read more on Takes and Lanes. Since we were doing this just to check what had happened. it doesn’t modify its actual wave files. but it just records another wave file with the new material. Record the electric guitar solo track Let’s say that the first solo goes well. we want to restore the parts exactly as they were after the overdub. Once finished.3. The new recording is placed into a new Take and both the old and the new take will appear stacked on top of each other. and select from the dropdown list “record to Now click on the time axis in a point some seconds before the start of the 2nd solo and click on the record button. then select MME: Microsoft Sound Mapper – Right Channel (or the name of your input soundcard channel if your configuration is not the default). To revert the song to the previous state click two times on the undo on the toolbar. but you just want to overdub the second solo: click on the button on the left side of track 3. a couple of electric guitar solos. You can switch between the old and the new take simply by clicking on the waveform the of take you want the track to play. as the original wave file is left unmodified.4.1. and it adds it in the correct place in the timeline. button 13 . Alternate way to set which track to record: Click on the track 3”. button on the recording vumeter. Re-recording portions of a track Now that we’ve added a bit of punch to the vocal track we’re ready for the third track. In fact when the program overdubs a track. just after the first solo wave file.

select Add Effect from the popup menu and then select n-Track Echo from the list of available effects. then enable both the Show Master Channels and Show Aux Channels items.4. Right click on the mixer window. to hear it applied on the 3rd track you’ll need to send this track to the aux channel: adjust the track send volume slider to very the amount of signal sent from the track to the aux channel. The plug-in will now be applied on the first aux channel. 14 . select “Add new send”. A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the button that shows the output that the guitar track is being sent to (in the track mixer stripe or in the bar on the left of the timeline window).4. Right click on the second upper black list box from the left in the mixer window (corresponding to the 1st aux channel). Adding Effects and “Tweaking a Track” Now that the solos are ok. you may want to add a little EQ to the guitar track. and maybe also a bit of delay. you can put it on the first aux channel. then enable the Horizontal Masters & Auxs item in the Layout submenu. Since other tracks may need the delay. nTrack will add a new aux channel to the mixer and a send section at the bottom of the guitar track mixer stripe. 1.n-Track can automate the process of trying recording takes of a portion of the song using Punch-In Multiple Takes recording.

You can put a marker in correspondence to the start of every chorus: click on the 15 button on .4. This means that no signal will be sent to the aux channel during that time Start the playback and hear how the transition sounds (to start the playback at a certain point simply double click on the time axis). 1. The Send mechanism is very flexible. click on the label at the bottom of the channel’s send section (the one that by default shows Aux 1 after the send is created). Appling an Effect to Specific Parts of a Recording Suppose you want the echo to be applied only to the final part of the second solo. We can obtain this using aux send (or return) automation: • • • • Add a new Aux channel selecting the Add new Aux channel command from the Add Channel menu (you don’t need to do this if the song already has an aux channel) click on the volume button on the toolbar and select “Draw send to aux 1 volume” from the drop-down menu. To change the output of a channel’s send. You want to add back-up vocals during the choruses.6. which is located near the master channel’s effect list. you may soften it substituting the abrupt step in the volume evolution with a short fade-in: by clicking and dragging on the volume evolution you’ll be able to shape it at your convenience.5. If it sounds too sharp. but you still won’t be able to hear the effect of the delay. holding down the Ctrl key and dragging with the mouse on the track click on the button on the timeline: you’ll see that the line that represent the send volume evolution will be set to 0 (-Inf) for the duration of the selection.During playback you’ll notice that the aux channel’s vumeter will start to move. Once you’ve set it to an adequate level. allowing for complex and creative signal routing. Recording using Markers Now we’re ready for our last track. any track or group channel can be sent to any other channel.4. you should be able to hear the delayed signal. Let’s assume that the choruses lyrics are all a bit different from each other and you don’t remember too well the song’s lyrics. To make the aux channels signal appear on the output you’ll need to move the aux channel’s return slider. select the part where you don’t want the echo to be heard. 1.

You can edit the pop-up text double clicking on the marker triangle on the time axis. showing the marker’s name. Click on the volume button and select draw volume from the drop down menu. and electric guitars are usually very noisy when they are not being played. In this way the program will process with the reverb plug-in a single signal made up of the two tracks. Compression. putting a compression plug-in on the master channel.4. you can draw their evolution in the same way we previously did with the aux send.7. you can obtain the same result moving the start and end of the wave file to where the guitar actually begins and ends play. 1.the toolbar and then click on the desired place on the time axis. During playback. During the recording the lyrics will appear and you’ll no longer have the problem of remembering them (just like Karaoke).e. We recorded an electric guitar solo track. If the buzz is just at the start and at the end of the wave files. To do so drag the little rectangles at the left and right of the wave file to the desired position. 1. select the region where you want the fade to take place (typically the last few seconds of the song) by dragging with the mouse on the time axis and press the fade out button on the toolbar 16 . You can change the font used in the pop-up window from the Preferences/Options/Fonts dialog box. You place markers at the beginning of each chorus and type in the pop-up text field the lyrics of each chorus.4. as it is adding a reverb to the vocal track. Fading out the song We’re now ready for the final fade: select ‘Master volume’ on the popup menu that appears clicking on the volume icon on the toolbar. Also a bit of EQ is typically a good idea. 5 seconds before the marker time a pop-up window will appear. cpu time) than putting a separate reverb on each track. You may then want to remove the guitar buzz in the instants where you’re the guitar is not playing: select the intervals to mute dragging with the mouse on the track (holding down the Ctrl key) and then click on the button to mute these parts. Now you can “design” all the track’s volume evolutions. EQ and Reverb All the tracks have now been recorded. If you have a compression plug-in an almost mandatory step is to add compression to the whole mix.9. 1. Programming volume evolutions Now you want to refine the volume of the tracks during the evolution of the song: the volumes don’t need to be constant. Since you may need the reverb on both the lead vocal track and on the backup vocals. Final Mix-down.4. This will use much less system resources (i. A triangle will appear to signal the marker position.8. you may put the reverb on the 2nd aux channel and send both the lead vocal and the back-up vocal track to the aux channel. a text message and the count-down to the actual marker time. let’s do the final mixing of the whole song.

1. Open the CD burning dialog box with the View/CD Burning menu command.4. press the start button. Editing the mixdown file You may now need to cut unnecessary silent lead-in and lead-out parts in the mixdown wave file: click on the button on the toolbar and select “Destructive wave editing” select the part to cut click on the cut button on the toolbar. Burning To CD The last (optional) step is. The mixdown usually takes quite less than the actual duration of the song.1.4. Mixing down to a single wave file Now that everything sounds good the last step is to mix-down all the song to a single wave file: select the Mixdown Song command from the File menu. which you should normally do every time you make any important changes to it) and import the mixed down wave file using the Track/Insert wave file menu command. You can also tell the program to mixdown and automatically burn the track to an audio CD with the Burn audio CD track option in the mixdown dialog box. The file will sound exactly as the original song. If you want to hear how the mixdown wave file sounds press the button on the toolbar to remove all the tracks (obviously do this after you have saved the current project. Import the mixdown wave file you just created.12. The format used by audio CDs is 44100 hz 16 bit stereo.4. then select the destination filename. 1. if you have a CD recorder.10. If you plan to use the mixdown file to burn an audio CD track make sure that you check the ‘stereo’ and 16 bit options in the mixdown dialog box and select 44100 hz as the mixdown sampling frequency. insert a blank CD and press the burn button. Good luck with your next song! 17 .11. to burn the song into a CD-R.

• Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows Run the Windows Volume Control (usually found in the Start Menu/Accessories/Entertainment menu). The controls available for each input or output may differ and depending on the particular model of soundcard there may or may not be controls for recording/playback level.e. routing etc.e. the checkbox below the source’s level slider is checked). selecting Hardware and Sound. then click on the Levels tab. through which the soundcard is able to select. Turning off all unused recording sources reduces the overall noise level and improves the quality of the recording. In the options dialog box make also sure that all the relevant signals are not hidden: the dialog box shows a list of the sources the mixer will show. with most soundcards can be configured so that you can record the signal coming from the line input while monitoring (i. among its many inputs and outputs. levels. Before starting a recording. Now make sure that the recording source to which you have connected your audio source is activated (i. Signal levels & clipping 18 . Most soundcards contain a simple mixer circuit. Audiophile etc. Adjust the selected recording source’s recording level slider. The audio device options. can be set in the device’s own proprietary control panel usually found in the Start Menu/Control Panel folder. connect your audio source (microphone. Setting the recording levels The first thing to learn when recording with the computer is using the soundcard’s mixer software or the standard Windows Volume Control [Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows] or the Sound Control Panel [Windows Vista]. This usually happens with professional and semiprofessional devices such as the M-Audio Delta. You can set which signal to monitor from the playback view/tab of the Volume Control/Sound Control Panel. To adjust the settings of each input/output right click on the Input or Output (for example Mic in). while the signal from which to record is selected from the recording view/tab. That happens because the device has many options that don’t fit into the general purpose Volume Control/Sound Control Panel scheme. Some soundcards/audio interfaces can’t be controlled by the Windows Volume Control or Sound Control Panel. select your soundcard and click on the Recording button. guitar. the signal(s) to record from and the signal(s) to send to the output. Each input and output of the audio device/soundcard will appear as a separate icon with its own level meter. After you click on OK the mixer will show the view of all the recording controls. • Windows Vista The audio devices settings can be adjusted in the dialog box that appears opening the Windows Control Panel via Start Menu/Control Panel. select Properties from the popup menu. mic boost etc.) to a soundcard input (usually line in or microphone in). mixer etc. watching n-Track’s recording meters until you obtain a good signal level without clipping. and sometimes important sources may be hidden by default. Each particular device has its own set of controls and configuration so please refer to the device’s user guide for the details on how to to use the control panel. 1. You’re now ready to start your recording! Note that hearing a signal coming from a soundcard input doesn’t necessarily mean that the soundcard is recording that signal: for example.5.. recording sources) appear in the Recording tab of the dialog box. Audio inputs (i.e. then clicking on Manage Audio Devices. Chose the Options/Properties menu command.1. hearing from the soundcard’s output) the signal coming from the microphone input.6. outputs appear in the Playback tab.

Audio Driver Standards The program can access a soundcard using various different methods: • WaveRT. WaveRT is an audio driver format that’s specifically designed to enable audio applications to operate with very low latency. which tries to minimize the negative effects of digital clipping by automatically reducing the level of the signal when clipping is detected. the 1st device will be the device to which each track is sent by default. recording) and go out to the soundcard (i. When clicking on an entry in the devices list. Levels are measured from the maximum level downward. the 1st device’s level meters will be the leftmost ones in the level meters window. To send a track to a device other than the 1st select the output device in the Track Properties dialog box that appears double clicking on the track. It is true only for the signals that come from the soundcard (i. Soft clipping n-Track includes the soft clipping function. Introduced with Windows Vista.8. soft clipping does modify the audio signal in trying to reduce its level. the entry will highlight and a number will appear to its left. so that for example you don’t have to worry that an effect is boosting the level of a track excessively.e. and then gradually restoring the volume back to its original setting when clipping is no longer occurring. with digital audio the audio recording level must always be strictly lower than the maximum possible level. signal level. 1. where the recording level is somewhat flexible and there is a ‘red’ area where some distortion occurs but the recording is still acceptable. When the signal level goes above 0 dB the signal is abruptly cut (clipped) resulting in a very noticeable distortion called clipping. The number indicates the order in which the program considers the devices.e. Audio devices selection dialog box The audio devices dialog box allows selecting which soundcards/audio interfaces the program uses for recording and playback. Note: due to what appears to be a bug with Windows Vista x64 WaveRT drivers allow to use low buffering settings only when the x64 native version of n-Track is used. Signals within the n-Track virtual mixer can reach very high levels without causing distortion. 1. 60 dB is barely audible and -6 dB is a very strong signal. much like what would happen if you had your hand on a volume knob and adjusted very rapidly the volume of a song during playback to try to smooth out the loudest parts and boost the quietest parts. For example -90 dB is almost perfect silence. The only thing that matters is that the overall master audio level. Soft clipping can be disabled in the popup menu that appears right clicking on the View / Playback meter window. For output devices. playback output). full scale. You can for example boost a track volume so that the track level is +30 dB. The above is actually not true for the audio signals that flow within n-Track. as shown in the master channel level meter or in the Playback meter window (View / Playback meter menu command) is below 0 dB. The signals inside n-Track virtual mixer are floating point audio signals.0 dB. While this works rather well and the clipping distortion is typically avoided until the level is extremely high. 0 dB is the maximum. usually indicated with 0. which support levels way above 0 dB. When using the x86 32 bit version on the x64 version of Vista low buffering settings result in an error opening the 19 .7. as long as you reduce the master output volume (for example setting it at -30 dB) so that the overall level is below 0 dB. This translates to more efficient streaming at low latencies.Unlike analog audio. For example using two recording devices. Unlike analog distortion digital clipping is very unpleasant and should be avoided as much as possible. WaveRT achieves a reduction in CPU usage at low buffering settings by basic ‘getting out of the way’ after the playback and recording has been set-up and letting n-Track directly talk to the audio hardware without intervention by the driver. The dialog box can be opened with the Settings/Audio devices menu command Selecting multiple playback and/or recording devices To select multiple devices click on the entries on the devices list holding the Shift or Ctrl keys.

WaveRT or Asio drivers. The content of the playback devices list will look something like this: X Audio -> MME driver for X Audio card WDM: X Audio -> WDM driver for X Audio card Y Technologies -> MME driver for Y Technologies card X Audio ASIO driver -> Asio driver for X Audio driver Wave Mapper -> Alias for “X Audio” In this example the Y Technologies doesn’t have an Asio driver. as the program will immediately restore the settings required by the Asio driver. or you can record a full band with each instrument being recorded to a separate track. Many semi-professional and professional soundcards have Asio drivers. accessible clicking on the ‘Asio control panel’ button in the dialog box that appears clicking on a vumeter’s settings button. “X Audio” and “Y Technologies”. Suppose for example that you have 2 soundcards. WaveRT or Asio drivers usually allows using a much lower latency than other types of drivers. When using Asio. and the preferred audio playback audio device set in the Control Panel/Multimedia applet is “X Audio”. The default settings should work well for most users. MME. This is the oldest driver standard and although very reliable doesn’t allow to work with low latencies and is consequently not suited for live input processing and playing instrument plug-ins live Asio. 1. Dedicated multichannel audio recording hardware can have from 4 to 16 or more inputs. 20 . Please see the 32 bit and 64 bit versions topic for info on the difference between the 64 bit and 32 bit versions of n-Track WaveRT drivers are currently available for Vista for a small number of audio devices including many audio interfaces built into motherboards such as the Realtek ALC882M and C-Media 8738/8768 • WDM. Introduced on Windows 98SE and supported by later versions of Windows. All soundcards have MME drivers. Depending on your particular soundcard/audio interface it might be better to use WDM. the playback and recording buffers size and number is decided by the soundcard’s driver: changing the settings in the n-Track’s Buffering settings dialog box will have no effect. Windows Default Playback/Recording device is an alias for the device currently selected in the Control Panel/Sound-Multimedia applet as the preferred recording or playback device. WDM is comparable to Asio in terms of achievable latencies. Regular soundcards/audio devices typically have one mono mic input and one stereo line input which can’t be used simultaneously so the maximum number of simultaneous tracks that can be recorded is 2.9. Recording more than one track at a time n-Track supports simultaneous recording of multiple tracks. When using WDM. Many soundcards have a control panel that lets you change the buffering settings.soundcard. The Advanced button in the dialog box opens the Advanced audio settings dialog box that lets you adjust specific settings. You can limit the number of channels that you want to use in the Advanced dialog box. and makes it feasible to use the program for live input processing of a musical instrument played in real-time (for example use a distortion plug-in to play an electric guitar without an amplifier and process its sound within n-Track). You can for example record yourself singing and playing guitar to two separate guitar and vocal tracks. you typically select a single driver in the Wave devices dialog box and all the soundcard’s channels will automatically be used (as opposed to having to select multiple ‘virtual’ drivers with MME one for each couple of channels). WaveRT or Asio drivers. which allow for latencies similar to those of WDM drivers • • Using WDM.

you can connect one instrument to the left and the other to the right channel of the soundcard’s stereo line input connector. play audio from different takes for different sections of the track (i. a track can contain multiple takes and for each track you can tell n-Track to actually play one particular take.e. or even play all of the takes simultaneously (which can get pretty loud pretty fast!). By default the track will look like this: When a track has more than one take the track will be vertically split into Lanes that show all of the takes available for a portion of a track stacked on top of each other.To record two instruments playing together with a regular soundcard. Takes are a sort of ‘sub-track’. 1. Recording using Take Lanes When you re-record over an existing track n-Track by default creates a new Take for each recording attempt. this connection can be made combining the wires properly. To enable recording the stereo line input to two separate mono tracks set the Stereo to two mono tracks recording mode in the Recording format dialog box.play this chorus from take 2 and that verses from take 3).10. The fun part comes when you want to the track to play a portion of one take and the rest from another take: • Select the interval that you want to play from one take by horizontally dragging with the mouse over the track • Press S (or select the Edit/Splice menu command) • Now simply click on the takes that you want to play during the highlighted section 21 . Say you have recorded a track and then recorded a new take on the same track. If one or both the instruments are not line-level (for example microphones) this kind of recording is typically done using a mixer to pre-amplify the signal and to route the instruments to one of the stereo channels using the mixer’s panning controls. If the two instruments have line-level output (for example a guitar amplifier and a keyboard).

You can switch between Take Lanes and the old way of showing and playing a single take per track in the Takes submenu of the track popup menu that appears right clicking on a track. The Takes popup menu has also commands to move parts between takes. in which the portion of take 2 (lead1. when a portion of a track has more than one take available. In the screenshot above the original take (Guitar.wav) plays for the whole length of the track except for the central part.wav) plays instead. and split a track with multiple takes into multiple tracks with one take each (which is handy when you want more control over the takes selection/comping). See also Punch in/Multiple takes recording 22 . Disabled takes will appear with a different color (purple in the screenshot above) from the take that is actually being played.In fact. you can switch between one take and the other simply by clicking on the take that you want to play during that portion of the track. or by pressing the L shortcut. clone takes.

23 . Understanding this tasks (with particular regards to the interaction with the soundcard’s mixer) is strongly recommended in order to be able to use the program properly. To make your work with n-Track Studio as effective as possible.2. Using n-Track Studio This chapter contains information regarding the most common tasks that need to be performed when recording or mixing songs using n-Track Studio. please take the time to read this chapter.

sgw file can be used to save and transfer a whole song as a single file. the effects used on each track. Packed song file Extension: . the mixer settings. Wave files can have many formats. and in fact . velocity with which the key was pressed.mid Standard Midi files are files that contain sequences of musical notes. Mp3 (mpeg layer 3) compressed audio file Extension: . Each waveform that appears on the timeline window corresponds to a wave file (the full path of the file can be seen in the wave file’s properties dialog box that appears double clicking on the waveform). the program will recreate it the first time it will have to display the associated wave file’s waveform.sng file and the associated . without having to worry to find the .npk n-Track Studio creates peak files to speed up the displaying of wave files’ waveforms on the timeline.sgw Packed song files are a special kind of song files. This files are not critical as the information in them is contained in the wave files they were created from. Packed song files are mainly useful for archiving or transferring songs from one computer to another. Thus a .1. Song file Extension: . Mp3 files are typically 1/10 or less of the size of uncompressed .sgw files can be either uncompressed or compressed. To playback a song you’ll need both the .wav files structure. The main difference with . Both file types contain the structure of the song.wav files.wav file obviously contains much more information than just the sequence of notes.wav Wave files are the files that contain the audio data that makes up songs tracks audio signals. They contain the song structure.wav files contain a representation of an acoustic signal. The difference between a . the volume envelopes etc. Normally the program generates the npk files during recording. A song can contain more than one instance of the same wave file. with 16.wav files is that while .wav files associated with a . Below are listed the main file types and their use. If you accidentally delete an npk file. while only marginally sacrificing the audio quality of the recording.2. The difference is that a packed song files also contains the audio data used for the song’s tracks. Standard MIDI file Extension: . 24 or 32 bit depth. Song files don’t however contain the actual audio data of the audio tracks. they instead refer to wave files that contain the audio data. Types of files used by n-Track Studio n-Track Studio uses numerous types of files for different purposes.sng Song files are the n-Track Studio project files. 24 . When the program opens a . Peak files Extension: .. time at which it was pressed and duration of the note) played by the pianist. so the .sgw file it still has to recreate the . MIDI files contain the sequence of the notes played on an instrument. The corresponding .mp3 Mp3 files are audio files that are compressed to drastically reduce the size of the file.wav files are typically much much bigger than MIDI files. and export the current song’s MIDI tracks to a standard MIDI files.sng file.wav files.sgw format is not useful for saving songs while you’re actively working on them. The audio data contained in .wav and a MIDI file is basically the same as between a recording of a concert and the concert’s sheet music. For example a MIDI track of a piano recording contains only the sequence of notes (described as note number. n-Track Studio supports stereo and mono wave files of any sampling frequency. The .wav file instead contains the acoustic signal emitted by the piano.wav files to mp3.sng + . and are widely used to transfer songs over the Internet. Wave file Extension: . n-Track Studio can both import standard MID files into MIDI tracks. n-Track Studio can save a songs mixdowns to mp3 files or convert existing .

If you want to perform a fade in/out.e. there's no direct connection between this tracks and the return evolutions. Clicking on the volume button send or return volume etc. This line represents the temporal evolution of the selected parameter. the timeline window will show a line superimposed to each track. you’ll be able to program the track’s volume temporal evolution simply drawing on the track’s timeline representation. 2. Windows Media Audio compressed audio file Extension: . the volume evolution will be put to zero. select the effect in one of the ‘effect’ drop down boxes. the faders will move according to the relative parameter’s programmed evolution. then select the desired effect in the left drop down list and the parameter in the right drop down list. Once an evolution has been recorded moving a fader. Holding down the SHIFT key allows to freely draw the evolution of the volume (i. When this button is activated. but wma files are typically ½ or less of the size of mp3 files of comparable quality and are thus more suited for transferring songs over the Internet.wma Windows Media Audio is a compressed audio file format similar to mp3. Volumes and effects parameters automation on the toolbar and choosing the desired parameter (track volume. the aux returns evolutions are shown for every master channel (i. then choose the desired parameter in the pop-up menu. See the Ogg Vorbis files topic.3 Effects automation 25 .). Effects parameters automation works with both DirectX plug-ins and VST plug-ins. An alternative way to program the evolution of a parameter is to use the fader automation: during playback.e. the current selection will be muted. To see if a DirectX plugin supports automation select ‘Effects parameters’ from the drop-down menu. which applies to a particular aux channel and not on single tracks. you can select the time interval during which the fade should take place by dragging with the mouse on the track and then selecting the Edit/”Volume/Pan drawing”/Fade In/out menu option. The plug-ins parameters will be listed in the drop-down box on the right. pan.Ogg Vorbis Extension: . every move of the mouse will create a new node in the piecewise linear waveform).wma is a Microsoft proprietary standard. but while any VST effect will allow its parameters to be automated not all DirectX plug-ins allow it. Unlike what happens with all the other parameters. See also 2. available mostly only on Windows based PCs and it’s not currently nearly as popular as the mp3 file format. output soundcard) and aux channel in the same screen: even if these evolutions are drawn on top of certain tracks.e. it can be edited on the timeline window displaying the relative parameter’s evolution clicking on the button on the toolbar. To switch between volume. When for example you select “Draw track volume” on the drop-down menu. pan send or return drawing press the downward arrow near the volume icon on the toolbar .2. click on the button on the main transport toolbar.ogg Ogg Vorbis compressed audio files. i. If no parameter is listed the plug-in doesn’t supports parameters automation. By clicking on the X icon on the toolbar. If the button is pressed during playback. Clicking on the same button holding down the CTRL key will destructively silence the selection: the wave file will be modified in an unrecoverable way (except for the undo ). To draw the evolution of an effect’s parameter select ‘Effects parameters’ in the pop-up menu. excluding the master volume knob) will be recorded in the evolution graph of the relative parameter. every action on a mixer’s fader (volume sliders or pan knobs. Unfortunately .

you could put the reverb in the first aux channel and the delay in the second channel. Automating effect parameters Effects can be automated using Automation of effects parameters using parameter envelopes or mouse input recording All VST plug-ins support automation of their parameters.setting. The program handles up to 32 aux channels. The amount of the effect can now be regulated by the send evolution. See also 2.2.5 Real-time effects 2.5. the opposite happening after the ending of the chorus.2 Effects automation 2.5. Varying effects on a track using aux send/return automation Sometimes it is useful to apply certain effects only to specific parts of a track or to vary the amount of an effect during the evolution of the track.4.7 Aux channels routing and settings 2. This kind of processing can be obtained using aux channels and send/return automation. both the send and the return level for this aux channel to 0 dB.3.2 VST plug-ins 26 . for example. In a similar way different effects can be applied to different parts of the same track. In the preceding example the reverb could be placed in the first aux channel .3 DirectX effects 2.5. If in the preceding example for example you wanted to substitute the reverb effect with a delay only during the chorus. so a lot of more sophisticated real-time processings can be easily obtained. For example you may want to increase the amount of a reverb only during the chorus of a vocal track while keeping the reverb amount low during the verses. but only some DirectX plug-ins do. Now you could draw the send evolutions so that during the chorus the send to the first aux goes to 0 (-Inf) and the send to the second aux channels goes from 0 to a suitable level. Click on the downward arrow near the volume icon on the toolbar select "Draw send to aux 1 volume" and draw the send evolution so that during the parts in which you want the effect amount to be greater the evolution assumes higher values. All n-Track built-in plug-ins support parameters automation or using Aux send/return automation 2.

The aux signal. the same result can be obtained by putting a reverb on an aux channel and then using the send control of each track and the aux return control to adjust the amount of reverb applied to the track. be aware that the program calculates them while the song is being played back. as happens with inserts. instrument and group channels. To apply a new effect click on the icon on the toolbar or click on an empty part of the track's inserts effects list in the mixer window.7 Aux channels routing and settings 2. delays etc. or to vary the amount of an effect during the course of a song. The effect dialog box will appear and you will be able to make the desired changes. Using the send automation (drawing the send evolution in the timeline) allows you to apply effects on only certain parts of a track.13 Signal Path 27 . and the track that the program processes isn’t really modified. At the end of the signal path. For example instead of applying a reverb to several tracks using inserts. To make some changes on a particular effect on a track. open the effects dialog box and select the desired effect on the track list box.5. such as reverbs.2.5.2 VST plug-ins 2. see aux channels settings). This kind of effects processing is extremely useful for certain kind of effects.5 Real-time effects 2. This is typically the place where you can play with EQ or compression and limiting to obtain a good volume impression without clipping. You can exchange the order in which the effects are applied using the up and down arrows buttons. all the adjustment you make are not destructive. You can decrease the load on the CPU by Freezing tracks. located below the list of inserts effects on the mixer window. On the other hand. You can make the changes permanent by destructively processing a track with the current track effects. Each track signal can be sent to an aux channel using the track's send controls. instead of applying them to the whole track.3 DirectX effects 2. Up to 25 effects can be applied to each track. See also 2. so you can experiment without having to worry to ruin the wav file and more importantly without having to wait for a wave editor to process the whole track.5.5. To add an effect to an aux channel click on the icon and select the desired channel from the dropdown menu. Effects can be arranged in any combination and one single effect type can be repeated several times for a single track (for example you can add two separate echoes with different delay times). so the load on the computer processor increases quite heavily. the master channel effects will process the signal resulting from the mixing of all the tracks and aux channels (aux channels can be optionally excluded from master channel effects. When using effects. will then be processed by the aux effects and then fed to the main mix as set by the return controls.5. To add an effect to the track simply select it from the effects drop down list. made up of the mix of the signals of all tracks whose send controls are different from -Inf. Audio effects and Signal processing Realtime audio effects can be used from within the program in a number of ways: • • • • • Tracks inserts Aux channels Group channels Master channels Live input processing The track signal will be processed with inserts effects before being fed to the main mix.

5. Live input processing n-Track Studio allows the computer to be used as a multi-effect device. For example when playing electric guitar. such as EQ or compression. loose their usefulness. the input to output latency will be low enough for the processing to appear to the ear as done instantly.2.x standard plug-ins. This allows applying effects to an instrument while playing it through the computer.5 Real-time effects 2. a slight distortion (actually a fast repetition of clicks) will be hearable. even if in this way some effects.5. on the aux and master channels. Using live input processing you can instead add the desired effects before actually recording the track. thus allowing you to use plug-ins as track inserts. The processing works also during the song playback and during recording. Vocal tracks for example are often processed with compressors and reverbs. you can connect the amplifier output using the guitar amp line-out jack. Normally one would record the track dry (without any effects) and then apply the effects. thus allowing for a smaller delay: if the buffering is insufficient. then record the track with live processing enabled so that the program processes the voice with the effects and mixes it with the other song’s tracks.5. Carefully adjusting the buffer settings on the buffering settings dialog box is fundamental in obtaining the lowest possible input to output intrinsic delay. or add reverb to vocals etc. while muting its speaker output (for example plugging an headphone jack into the headphone connector). usually the best way to use the real-time processing is to hear your instrument only through the output of the computer. If you don’t need these adjustments. will feed the recorded signal into the main mixer. A track or channel’s mixer stripe contains a black list box that lists the plug-ins currently applied to the channel.2 VST plug-ins 2.1. and then will output the resulting signal to the active output soundcard(s). the CPU time indicator (that shows the percentage of the total program time spent by the plug-in) and the preamp/postamp controls.3 DirectX effects 2. The property window for each plug-in contains the bypass checkbox. If the buffer sizes are sufficiently low. The drawback with this way of recording is that during the recording the performer doesn’t hear how its voice will exactly sound when processed with the effects. You can for example add a delay or reverb to an electric guitar. you can adjust your setup so that you hear your instrument output from both the computer speakers and from the instrument amplifier speakers (if applicable). The live input processing mode is enabled pressing the Live button on the toolbar. keep this controls in their central position (the “off” writing will appear below them) so that for example the program doesn’t waste CPU time to apply an unhearable 28 . This may be useful to monitor the tracks being recorded. You can apply a VST effect to a track right clicking on a track and selecting Effects from the popup menu. A small delay is typically hearable: this is due to the buffering that is always necessary when dealing with soundcards. When input to output latency (the sum of the input latency and the output latency) falls below 10 milliseconds the delay becomes un-hearable to most people. but mostly on the soundcard’s driver design: the best results are typically obtained when using WDMm Asio or WaveRT soundcards drivers. Turning the buffering knob to the left will decrease the total buffering. VST plug-ins n-Track Studio supports VST 2. This control will allow to adjust the level of the signal arriving to the effect so that no distortion is introduced and that the signal level is kept sufficiently high.5.x and 3. See also 2. If the intrinsic delay is so high that you can’t manage to play while hearing the delayed sound. The minimum delay of a system doesn’t depend much on the computer speed. When in the live input processing mode the program will record from the selected input soundcard(s).2. To make the intrinsic delay less annoying.

but Windows internal codecs. See also 2.x plugins is standardized so you shouldn’t typically need to worry about VST 3. You can specify the path to this folder in the Preferences/Paths dialog box. This will also greatly enhance the result of some effects. See also 3. reporting an error when you chose them from the list: you can either chose to use them only on stereo tracks or check the option “expand mono tracks to stereo” from the Preferences/General dialog box.5 VST istruments 2.5 Realtime audio effects 2.x plugins locations. VST 2.amplification (to easily do this you can right click on the control and choose “Center” from the pop-up menu that will appear). Typically if you choose them a pop up dialog will appear saying "Filter doesn't support property pages". Some plug-in will refuse to work with mono tracks.5.3. the plug-in installation should take care of that. If you don’t need these adjustments. the CPU time indicator (that shows the percentage of the total program time spent by the plug-in) and the preamp/postamp controls. The property window for each DirectX effect will contain the bypass checkbox.x plug-ins must be stored in a single folder on the hard disk. This control will allow to adjust the level of the signal arriving to the effect so that no distortion is introduced and that the signal level is kept sufficiently high.5 Realtime audio effects 29 . keep this controls in their central position (the “off” writing will appear below them) so that for example the program doesn’t waste CPU time to apply an unhearable amplification (to easily do this you can right click on the control and choose “Center” from the pop-up menu that will appear). The effects list may contain some entries that aren't actual filters. The location of VST 3. DirectX plug-ins n-Track Studio supports the DirectX standard plug-in architecture. in particular reverbs.

5 Realtime audio effects 2. The command is also useful for preparing the tracks for exporting the song to 3rd party multitrack editing programs. DirectX and VST effects that work with n-Track Studio You can find links to shareware and freeware DirectX and VST effects plug-in at this web address: http://ntrack. click on a track. which instructs n-Track to simply re-use the temporary wave file created during the earlier freeze. It also gives the option to create a wave file that starts at the beginning of the song for easier exporting of tracks to 3rd party programs (see below) Tips • • Hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the Freeze button (or when selecting the Bounce command right clicking on a track) to freeze/bounce all the tracks in the song.5 Real-time effects 2.4.2. Launch the the Bounce and Process track command. although it won’t reflect any changes in effects parameters done after the original Freeze. especially when working with complex projects or when the computer is not very fast.5. The Bounce command consolidates tracks made of multiple wave files into a track with a single wave file. resulting in annoying clicks or pops while playing the song. This will bounce all the song tracks so that you’ll be able to painlessly import the tracks into a new song and the tracks will automatically be in sync with each other. When you de-freeze a channel and want to freeze it again you have two options: either repeat the regular freeze procedure just like you did the first time. During subsequent playbacks instead of processing the channel with the plug-ins n-Track simply reads the temporary wave file you created when you froze the channel. Re-freeze is instantaneous. EQ. When a channel is frozen the effects are bypassed and you won’t hear any change in the effect’s parameters until you de-freeze the channel. or use the Re-Freeze command. You’ll still be able to hear through the instrument new MIDI tracks sent to the frozen instrument or MIDI notes coming from an external MIDI keyboard.5.5. Freezing Effects processing can sometimes overload the CPU (the computer’s ‘brain’). When you freeze a channel n-Track creates a temporary wave file with the channel’s audio data after being processed by the channel’s plug-ins. The Bounce and Process track command consolidates the track into a single wave file and also gives the option to permanently apply track effects. Freezing is also available on Instrument channels: when a VSTi or DXi is starting to use too much CPU you can simply freeze the channel and the MIDI tracks sent to the instrument will be frozen too. See also 2. See also 2. the Bounce Options dialog box will appear. press the DSP button on the toolbar then choose the desired effect from the drop-down list.php To use DirectX and VST plugins.2 VST plug-ins 30 .5.com/effects.5. select Bounce from beginning of song and click on Bounce all tracks.3 DirectX effects 2. One way to overcome the problem is to Freeze channels that are being processed by CPU intensive plugins. volume envelopes.

for example the kick drum track) • select Add new send from the popup menu • click on the send output label of the send that you’ve just created. Hosting ReWire slave programs n-Track Studio can host ReWire compatible third party software such as Propellerhead Rebyrth. Voxengo Crunchessor.2. i. FabFilter Pro-C (available as VST3).e. Ableton Live. starting the playback from the Rebirth window will also start the n-Track song playback. A window with the available channels will appear. the output selection popup menu should list the side-chain input of the plugin in the controlled track. rewind etc.5. To add a ReWire channel: select the desired ReWire compatible program in the Track/Insert ReWire Channel menu command. A typical use of side-chaining is when the dynamics (i. group channels etc.5. Once you’ve finished your work close the ReWire application first and then n-Track. for example the bass track) • click on output label in the mixer stripe of the track that you want to use as side-chain (the controller track. send it to aux channels. Other channels can be activated ‘on the fly’ during playback.7. Reason. Plugins that have support for side-chaining include DensitymkII (free). ReWire software will sync to n-Track’s timing and the transport controls (play. You’ll then be able to process the signal with plug-ins. compression) of a bass track is altered based on the dynamics of a kick drum track. To use side-chaining with n-Track: • add the plug-in that supports side-chaining to a track (the controlled track. A plugin needs to have explicit support for side chaining.) on any ReWire software and n-Track will work together. Side-Chaining Side-chaining is a mechanism by which an effect plug-in can process the signal of an audio track based on the characteristics of the signal of a different track. Once you’ve added the ReWire channel you can load the ReWire application and test if its signal is correctly being routed through n-Track. with the music automatically decreasing in volume when the speaker talks (“ducking”). select that menu entry • if required by the plugin set the option in the side-chain plugin to activate the side-chain input 31 . nTrack by default activates the first two channels. A ReWire compatible slave program will automatically send its signal into the corresponding n-Track ReWire channel(s). Virtual Sampler and more. for example many compressor/limiter plugins have a switch that lets them use as key signal a sidechain or external input. A ReWire program can have two or more channels. or when a radio speaker talks over music being played.6. ReWire technology is developed by Propellerhead Software AB 2. Closing the programs in the reverse order may cause stability problems.e.

The default setting for the aux return slider is –Inf. 2. Pre-fader sends may be useful for example when using an aux channel as a sub-mix. If for example the aux contains a reverb effect the send slider will effectively control the amount of reverb that is applied to the track The signal sent to aux channels can be taken from three different points in a track’s or group channel’s signal path. pre-inserts send when a send is pre-insert the track’s signal is sent to the aux channel prior to it being processed by the track’s insert effects and before the track’s volume and pan settings are applied. 32 . to group tracks and control their volume and pan using the aux's return setting: if a send is pre-fader and the track's volume is set to -Inf the track's volume will be set exclusively by the send and return controls.8. or post-fader. Aux channels and settings To send a track to an aux channel: • click on output label in the mixer stripe of the track that you want to send to theaux channel • select Add new send from the popup menu • click on the send output label of the send that you’ve just created. Each send can be pre-inserts. pre-fader send when a send is pre-fader the signal sent to the aux channel is not influenced by the track's fader settings (volume and pan). you can send the track’s main output to the plugin’s side-chain input instead of using a send output.5. you can adjust the send level to control the amount of the track’s signal that is being sent to the aux channel. pre-fader. the output selection popup menu should list the available aux channels (Aux channel 1 will be automatically created if it was not previously present in the song) • the newly created aux channel should appear in the Master Mixer window (View/Mixer/Master mixer menu command) • the aux return section for the aux channel just created should appear at the bottom of the master channel’s mixer stripe in the Master Mixer window. i.e. The type of each send can be set with the send mode button right above the send pan control in the track’s mixer stripe. you’ll need to turn the return slider up to hear the aux channel • the track’s send volume is set by default at 0 dB.If you want to use the controller track only for the side-chain source and you don’t want to actually hear the controller track.

13 Signal Path 2. so that when you adjust the setting of the group channel all of the group’s tracks are influenced. Track EQ properties n-Track’s track EQ lets you use up to 20 bands of parametric EQ. The three bands are by default set as respectively low-shelving.10. Groups channels It’s often useful to adjust the settings of a group of tracks at the same time. frequency and bandwidth can be customized in the EQ properties dialog box. See also 2. Having to change the same setting for many tracks may be tedious. The knobs control the 3 EQ bands boost/cut amount.5.5. so you can instead send a group of tracks to a dedicated group channel. Group channels can in turn be sent to other group channels. allowing to organize the song in a hierarchy of groups and allowing a great flexibility in the routing of signals.9. More than one track can be sent to a group channel. 33 . A group channel is created when a new group is selected in the Output to drop-down list in the track’s properties dialog box. The signal returning from an aux channel to a master channel can be inserted into the mix in four different ways: pre-master channel effects & pre master volume the signal returned from the aux channel is processed with the master channel effects and the master volume setting is used to control the return’s level post-master channel effects & post master volume the signal returned from the aux channel is not processed with the master channel effects and the master volume setting is not used to control the return’s level pre-master channel effects & post master volume the signal returned from the aux channel is processed with the master channel effects but the master volume setting is not used to control the return’s level post-master channel effects & pre master volume the signal returned from the aux channel is not processed with the master channel effects but the master volume setting is used to control the return’s level 0 to 32 aux channels can be used.5. band boost/cut & high-shelving filters.5.5 Realtime audio effects 2. but each band filter type. It's advisable to use only the number of aux channels effectively needed See also 2. The higher the number of aux channels the more system resources will be used. Each wave track has 3 EQ knobs on the mixer window. When the group channel is created a new channel strip appears on the mixer window. send its signal to aux channels and have automated volume and pan just like regular tracks.13 Signal Path 2. A group channel can have its own effects.post-fader send when a send is post-fader the track’s signal is sent to the aux channel after it has beeen processed by the track’s insert effects and after the track’s volume and pan settings have been applied.

A bandwidth of N octaves means that the highest frequency in the band is 2N times the lowest frequency. you’ll only see the sum of the three notes spectrums. Band: The band whose parameters are displayed in the dialog box. Bandwidth: Size of the band to be boosted or cut (applies only to the ‘Band boost/cut’ band type). This in turn means more analysis per seconds and thus the CPU will used more intensely.5. the spectrum of the corresponding signal block will show the frequency bands corresponding to all the three notes that have been played on that second. See also 2.5 Realtime audio effects 2. the size of the FFT and number of samples after which each new analysis is performed can be adjusted in the popup menu that appears clicking with the right mouse button. but the accuracy of resolving adjacent frequency bands will not improve unless the window size is also increased. and if some bands overlap. The longer the window the more the analysis will be accurate. Other available filters are ‘high pass’ (which entirely cuts all the frequencies below the corner frequency) and ‘low pass’ (which entirely cuts all the frequencies above the corner frequencies).Even though the mixer has only three knobs. If a ~0. More accuracy means that the signal’s frequencies will be shown with more detail. The disadvantage of using a long window is that the spectrum will show all the signals in the analyzed block. The analysis of the signal is performed using the FFT method. EQ type: Sets the band filter type. The size of the FFT window. for example one note may be or contain an harmonic component (an integer multiple) of another. the 2nd band a ‘Band boost/cut’ filter (boosts or cuts by the selected amount the range of frequencies centered around the center frequency and of width set by the bandwidth parameter) and the 3rd band is an high-shelving filter (boosts or cuts by the selected amount the frequencies above the corner frequencies).3 second window is used instead you’ll see three spectrums each showing the spectrum of a single note played on the guitar. Spectrum analyzer The spectrum analyzer examines the signal at the output of the EQ and calculates the power of each frequency contained in the signal’s spectrum. groups of frequencies close to each other will be shown as a single frequency band when a short window is used but will be shown as distinct bands as the window length is increased. and if the block is too big you may get into a single spectrum two subsequent signal that you instead wanted to be shown separately. FFT size: the size of the FFT must be at least the size of the Window. This the same knob that appears on the mixer window. You don’t typically need to understand what these parameters mean to use the spectrum analyzer. more EQ bands can be added or deleted in the EQ properties window with the ‘add band’ and ‘delete band’ buttons. 34 . By default the 1st band is a low-shelving filter (boosts or cuts by the selected amount the frequencies below the corner frequency). Boost/cut: Set the selected band boost (when the value in dB is positive) or cut (negative). If for example you want to see the spectrum of a sequence of notes played on a guitar. If the guitar player plays 3 notes during one second. A bandwidth of 1 octave means that the highest frequency is twice the lowest frequency. however here’s a quick explanation: Window size: the window size is the length of the block of signal that is analyzed. The parameter units are ‘octaves’. A longer size for the FFT basically implies a more smooth graphical representation of the spectrum in the graph. Frequency: Sets the frequency at which the band is positioned (the value represents the center frequency for the ‘Band boost/cut’ filter and the corner frequency for the other types of EQ). Also a longer window means that the screen is updated less frequently. Track: The track whose EQ’s parameters are displayed in the dialog box. The EQ window also has a built-in spectrum analyzer and automatic instrument tuner that can be activated or deactivated right clicking on the frequency response graph.11. This can be overcome by setting the ‘computer FFT every X samples’ parameter to a size less than the window’s. The results of the analysis are drawn in the graph. and you set the window length to a number of samples that approximately equals 1 second.

When the note is close but not exactly equal to the note’s frequency the percentage of the difference in frequency will be shown. More analysis per unit of time impose a greater stress on the CPU.5. the right channel or of both channels simultaneously (in the latter case two spectrums are drawn. Window type: without getting too technical the choice of the type of the window used is a tradeoff between smoothness of the spectrum and ability to resolve (show as separate) small peaks in the frequency spectrum. When this is done the program will analyze the signal at a frequency higher than that set by the window size (which implies that a same portion of the signal will be analyzed more than once). You can enable or disable the spectrum analyzer right clicking on the frequency response window. The accuracy of the tuner is typically so high that it’s likely that you won’t be able to reliably tune the instrument to the exact note frequency. the left channel’s in red and the right channel’s in green). This doesn’t mean that the instrument is not in tune as the human hear won’t typically notice a very small detuning and a musical instrument is usually built to be heard by a human hear and not by an electronic tuner! 35 . it may be useful to set this parameter to a size smaller than the window size. The tuner analyzes the signal at the output of the EQ and shows how much the signal’s main frequency component is close to the frequency of a musical note.Compute every # samples: if the window size is large. The closest note is automatically selected so that for example when tuning a guitar you don’t have to manually tell the tuner which string is being tuned. With a guitar the tuner detects even small detuning caused by the bending of the guitar’s neck caused by the weight of the hand resting on top of it.12. The rectangular window is the best for the latter requirement while the Blackman window provides the smoothest spectrum. Automatic tuner You can enable or disable the tuner right clicking on the frequency response window. With stereo signals you can display the spectrum of either the left channel. 2. allowing you to adjust the instrument (typically a guitar) to tune it to the desired note.

This parameter is 36 . n-Track Signal Path The View/Signal Path menu command opens the signal path window. which shows the flow of the audio signal inside the audio engine.5. The amount of noise added is controlled by the Preferences/Options/Dither depth parameter. if you plan to process the resulting wave file (which is often advisable) you may want to do the mixdown with 32 bits resolution.13. 2.5. so to assure the minimum possible degradation of the sound quality due to the repeated processing (actually even when using 16 bits wave files the sound quality degratation caused by a few processing steps is very hard to notice. Dither & Noise shaping n-Track Studio can use dither and noise shaping when converting signals from the program’s internal format (32 bit) into 16 or 24 bit format. which can result in the generation of harmonics that are often annoying to the human hear. Mastering Mastering is the the last step in the production of a song. the file may be loaded again to apply the latest processings (typically EQ and Compression) to produce the filnal wave file to be used for burning a CD. when the signal is prepared for the output to a soundcard or for writing to a wave file. When using 32 bit wave files you may fell free to process the same file tens of times without any noticeable loss of quality). When mixing down a song. This process also reduces the effects of the non-linear distortion inherent to the quantization process. The signal path view is interactive and you can • drag a track’s output from on output to another • bypass sends • bypass effects • open tracks or plug-ins context menus by right-clicking on the plug-in box 2. The drawback of the dithering process is that a small quantity of noise is added to the original signal. Once the song has been mixed down to a single wave file. The dithering process consists in adding a very small and calibrated amount of noise to the signal before converting it to a less accurate representation.5. This conversion takes place at the very end of the signal chain.14.2. allowing to represent signals even smaller than a given format’s theoretical maximum resolution. This can increase the dynamic range of the resulting signal. for example during the mixdown.15.

while when converting to 24 bits. which moves the dither noise to a region of the frequency spectrum where the human hear is less sensitive (high frequencies).expressed in bits. 1 bit unit is 1/(2^16) of the full scale. 1 bit is 1/(2^24) of the full scale. 37 . which are referred to the current output format. when no other processing is to be applied to the file. The noise shaping process should typically be applied only when preparing a wave file to be used for creating a CD track. and can be completely voided by successive processing. The benefits of the noise shaping process are in fact somewhat delicate. The noise introduced by the dithering can be reduced using the noise shaping technique. For example when converting to 16 bits.

If you selected a multichannel WDM.e.).6. 7.2. The Surround Main output is a virtual channel that maps to the actual physical output channels according to the current surround configuration.1 is the most popular surround format as it is the format used by the majority of film and audio DVD.1.1 etc. To create a surround project: Make sure that the desired physical output channels are selected in the box that appears selecting the File/Settings/Preferences/Audio devices menu command.2 Creating a Surround DVD 38 . Surround effects plug-ins can be applied on Surround Group channels: select a surround track. but since your setup might be different you can use the move up/down buttons to change the relative ordering of the channels). WaveRT or Asio audio output driver.1 formats.6.6.e. 5. You can modify the surround configuration even after you have started working on the project. make sure that all the desired outputs are active selecting the View/Soundcard settings/Playback format menu command and clicking on Select I/O channels Select an audio track Right click on the audio track and select Surround from the popup menu The track will automatically be sent to the Surround Main output Right click on the circular surround panner control that has been added in the track mixer strip Click on the surround format name (for example “Surround 5. the central channel is usually the 4th channel. you can create a single mixdown wave file: select the Mixdown command from the File menu click on the More options button select Single multichannel wave file from the output format drop down list in the lower right corner of the window See also 2. n-Track supports all popular surround formats.1. regular mono or stereo effects will not work or will not produce the expected results).1!”) in the upper right corner of the surround panner window The surround configuration dialog box will appear. right click on it and select “Send to a new group” from the popup menu a new group channel will be added to the mixer Effects applied to the surround group channel will need to be able to process surround signals (i. including 5.1 Surround formats 2. Working with Surround You can use n-Track to mix songs in a surround format or to create a surround soundtrack to a video. where you’ll be able to select the desired surround configuration (5. which surround channels go to which physical audio outputs and the order of the various surround channels (i. When the project will be complete. 6.1 and 7.

the LFE channel contains only low frequencies. The subwoofer is typically used for the reproduction of both the low frequency content of the signal of the main channels (left. It’s generally believed that human hears can’t detect the spatial origin of a bass sound. below 120 hz. Increasingly common formats are 6.1 channels. That’s the reason why in home-theater speaker systems the sub-woofer position in the room is considered irrelevant. Extended versions of both standards. 39 . The LFE channel allows for extra control and separation of bass sound effects. You can totally ignore the LFE channel and still the sub-woofer will play powerful bass sounds according to the bass content of the main channels. The “. The output of a surround project created with n-Track will be in uncompressed PCM wave format.6.1 and 7. It follows that you don’t typically have to do anything to have signal go to the subwoofer. The basic version of both Dolby Digital and DTS allow up to 5. airplane engine noise etc.1. On many setups small home theater speakers can’t reproduce low frequencies. Multichannel compressed formats allow to store 6 channels of audio data in less space than 2 channels of uncompressed audio data such as the uncompressed format used in audio CDs. In contrast to the main channels. central.1. Surround formats The most common surround format is 5.1 channels. The LFE channel has a separate slider that controls how much of the source signal goes to the LFE channel.1” in a surround format specification stands for the LFE channel. right. 5. sending the high frequency content to the corresponding main channel speaker and the low frequency content to the sub-woofer.1. Audio on video DVDs are usually encoded in either Dolby Digital or DTS compressed formats. named Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES allow the enconding of 6. LFE channels were used in analog film audio for technical (unburden the main channel tracks from the distortion easily caused by heavy bass signals) and economical reasons (eliminating the need to install in theaters expensive analog cross-over filters to separate the signal going to the subwoofer and to the main speakers) that wouldn’t matter in the digital world. Accordingly the n-Track surround panner doesn’t place the LFE channel as a speaker in the virtual room shown in the panner screen. The mixdown wave file will need to be imported into a DVD authoring software that will use it to create the audio track of a DVD performing the encoding to a multichannel compressed format.1 is the standard multichannel audio format for movie DVDs.2. surround left etc.) and for the reproduction of the LFE channel. One of the main reasons why the LFE channel has been added to Dolby Digital and other multichannel digital standards is for compatibility with legacy analog film audio formats. LFE is an acronym for “Low Frequency Effects”. Some confusion usually arises between the concepts of LFE channel and subwoofer. LFE content is typically present in movie soundtracks only during scenes containing sounds such as explosions. so the home-theater amplifier divides the signal of each of the main channels. The LFE channel is used to drive the sub-woofer which is used in all home-theater speaker systems.

2. Third party software that can be used to convert the n-Track mixdown to an ac3 encoded file include: Audio DVD Creator (http://www. An alternative way to create audio-only DVDs is to create regular video DVDs with no video (or just a static background image). A standard exists for audio-only DVDs with very high quality audio format (24 bit 192 khz). Audio on standard video DVDs is typically encoded in Dolby DigitalTM ac3 format.doom9. 40 .net) The resulting .minnetonkaaudio. Creating a surround DVD The mixdown created with n-Track can be used to create a DVD that will play on standard DVD players connected to a home theater speaker system. Unfortunately the DVD-Audio standard is not yet widely used and only a minority of DVD players can play DVD-Audio discs.ac3 file can be imported in a DVD authoring program to create and burn the actual DVD. You can create single wave files for each output selecting the Two mono wave files for each output option in the mixdown dialog box.com) Sonic Foundry Soft Encode BeSweet (http://dspguru.wav file for each of the surround outputs. Although the audio quality will not be as good as with DVD-Audio the discs will be playable on any standard DVD player.com) Minnetoka SurCode (http://www.2. Some DVD authoring or Dolby DigitalTM Ac3 encoder programs require as input a single .audio-dvd-creator.6.

You can configure what actions are associated with the MIDI events generated by the control surface faders and buttons in the View/Settings/MIDI faders-control dialog box. solo etc. then click on an empty part of the list window to save the settings. click on the ‘Learn’ button.) that you want to associate with the selected MIDI event Track/num: Track to which you want to apply the selected action. MIDI event: Channel: Type of MIDI event to which associate the desired action Channel to which the MIDI event is sent Controller number: Number of the MIDI controller (if the event is a MIDI controller) or of the MIDI note (if the event is a note-on or note-off event). send pan. mute. pan. The program will detect which event the control sends and update the ‘MIDI event’ settings accordingly. The dialog box shows a list of the defined events and the associated actions.) can be controlled by an hardware MIDI control surface. return vol & return Receive/Send: Check the receive option if you want the program to respond to the MIDI events coming from the control surface. Controlling n-Track with MIDI faders The mixer faders and the transport controls (play. you can select the event you want to edit.7. To change an event click on its name in the list. or output channel number (if the action is return volume or return pan setting) Aux num: pan actions) Aux channel to which to apply the action (used for send vol. then move the control on the control surface. rec etc. Learn: Automatically detect the event generated by the control Action: Action (change in volume. change the desired options in the lower part of the window. 41 . Check the Send option if you want the program to send MIDI events to move the control surface faders when the faders are moved within the program (useful with motorized control surfaces). If you don’t know which events are generated by your control surface.2.

One common useful operation is to extract a part of a bigger wave file and place it in a separate track. or otherwise drag on the time axis (the top or bottom part of the timeline window). If you drag on the time axis all the tracks will appear to be selected. 2. This editing mode is called destructive because the files are actually modified Non-destructive wave editing: copy. . You can reverse the current selection using the Edit/Special/Reverse playback menu commang 42 . cut & paste portions of parts (references to wave files). You’ll see the selection highlight as you drag. you must first select a part of a wave file inside a track on which you wish to perform an operation. Make sure that the arrow icon is selected on the toolbar and that the destructive wave editing button on the toolbar is pressed Holding down the left button drag with the mouse on the desired wave file waveform to select a part of it. or for example to repeat a vocal part in multiple tracks offset by a small amount in such a way to simulate a choir. click on the copy button and then click on the paste button while holding the SHIFT key: this will make the program create a new wave file with the copied data and it will put it at the exact offset that the copied data had.Another useful trick is to silence part of wave files: you can do this selecting the part and clicking on the ‘X’ button on the toolbar: if you hold the CTRL button the operation will be destructive. Editing The program supports 2 different editing modes: Destructive wave editing: in this editing mode the program behaves like a wave editor. To do this select the desired part of a wave file.1.2. but the wave editing operations will have effect only on the wave file that has the white border around its waveform. so make sure that the selection lies all within the wave file). n-Track can also edit individual samples of wave files. You can also use this editing mode to create loops (pasting holding the Shift button appends the part at the exact end of the current track) To change the current editing mode click on the editing mode icon on the toolbar (which will show on of the icons above) and select the desired editing mode from the drop-down menu. the part of the file will be physically silenced.8. . If you don’t hold CTRL the volume evolution will be altered in a way to mute the selected part of the track: to view the effect of this operation switch to the volume drawing view by clicking on the volume icon on the toolbar. . insert part of wave files. All destructive wave editing function are undoable: when the program executes such operation it saves the data in temporary wave files to allow for multilevel undo. When performing these editing operations the wave files the parts point to aren’t modified. Destructive wave editing functions Basic wave editing functions can be performed inside the program: you can cut. copy. so you can for example use this function to keep only the good part of a long recording take deleting the original wave file. i. paste. To execute such operations.8.e. Once the selection is made click on the icon corresponding to the desired operation on the toolbar (many operations will have no effect if the selection extends out of the limits of the wave file.Sometimes very strange effects can be obtained by reversing an audio recording.

while if no selection is active a new part will be created in a new track. Each digital sample is simply a value between -1 and 1. To make the temporal selection empty simply click on a part without moving the mouse. the Splice command will be applied to the selection you dragged on the waveform. Holding the Shift key while pasting (clicking on the icon or pressing Ctrl+V) will append the part currently in the clipboard (i. the entire active part (the part you last clicked on) will be placed in the clipboard. icon on the upper See also 2. Editing individual samples Wave files are made up of a series of samples. The sampling rate at which a wave file is recorded represents the number of samples that the wave file contains for each second of recording.e. copy and paste actions will never do any modifications on the wave files the parts (references to wave files) point to.For more sophisticated operations on wave files the program can launch an user specified (through the Preferences/Paths dialog box) wave editor on the selected track by clicking on the toolbar.8.8 Editing modes 2.e. 43 . if you select a portion of a track by dragging with the mouse over the waveform.8.8. The modification will be only applied on the parts themselves: Cutting the selection will have the effect of splitting the selected part in two pieces and shrinking them so that the selected range of the part’s wave file is no longer included in the song If the copy command is applied when the temporal selection is empty. The Splice command actually works in two modes: • when a track selection exists (i. then single click on a different position in the timeline axis. one before and one after the cursor position. Splice in N parts Create N concatenated parts out the (whole) selected part Merge Rejoin two parts that have been previously spliced See also 2. The selection will be transformed into a new part. Non-destructive wave editing When in non-destructive wave editing mode the cut.e.2. If the paste command is executed when the current selection is not empty the selection will be filled with the clipboard part. not at the point where the cursor was positioned. Other non-destructive operations are accessed through the Edit menu: Splice: detach the current selection from the rest of the wave files: a reference to a wave file is cut in 2 or 3 pieces. thus creating 3 parts from the original part. i.8.6 Snap to 0 2.3.8 Editing modes 2. an highlighted portion of one or more tracks) the splice command works on the current selection. it doesn't look at the position of the vertical playback cursor. Pasting a selection previously copied (or cut) will create a new part that exactly corresponds to the clipboard selection. • when no track selection exists (for example press Ctrl+0 to clear all selections) the Splice command will be applied at the timeline cursor position. and it will split the current part into two parts. the part which has been previously copied or cut) exactly at the end of the current track (see looping wave files).6 Snap to 0 2.

Apply: Volume envelope Pan envelope Effects Apply to: Convert to: Selection Whole file apply the track’s volume envelope to the selected wave file apply the track’s pan envelope to the selected wave file apply the track’s effects to the selected wave file process the selected portion of the wave file process the whole wave file Stereo convert the (mono) wave file to stereo 32 bit convert the file to 32 bit format Note: if the file format is being changed (the strereo and/or 32 bit options are checked) and if only a portion of the wave file is present in the song (i. Note that abrupt changes between near samples do not usually appear in real recordings.4. Likewise in some situation it may be useful to apply volume or pan changes to a wave file in a permanent manner. you might be able to eliminated the click by editing the samples near the connection point to make the transition visually smooth. The ability to edit individual samples can be useful to correct DC offset problems in recordings and to harmonize editing points.When you see a waveform you usually can’t discern each sample as even for short lengths the number of samples is very high and they are ‘blurred’ together to form the waveform representation that you see on the n-Track timeline. the left and right file edges have been dragged to shring the part) the processing will be applied also to the excluded parts 44 . volume and pan envelopes can be applied destructively to a track wave files. In many cases it may be better to apply effects in a permanent manner. Normally effects are calculated by the program in real-time during the song playback. If for example you place two wave files next to each other and during playback you hear a short click corresponding to point where the two wave files are attached. In other cases it may be needed to apply different effects to certain parts of a track (this can also be accomplished in real-time using aux channels send/return automation). This typically is needed when mastering a wave file resulting from the mixdown of a song (for example to apply the final fade out). For example sometimes using too many effects may cause the computer to go out of resources: applying the effects destructively can free many cpu resources. If however you zoom into the X axis by repeatedly pressing the button on the toolbar (or rotating forward the mouse wheel holding the Ctrl key) at a certain point you’ll start to see a series of dots appearing on top of the waveform as shown in the screenshot. An alternative method is to overlap the two wave files slightly and cross-fade the two.8. Destructive wave file processing Effects. 2.e. You can drag a dot vertically with the mouse to adjust the sample value. The dots represent the individual samples that make up the wave file. Manually edits of individual samples that result in abrupt changes in the samples value (the screenshot above shows such an abrupt change) results in very high frequency noise bursts that can be very annoying and hurt your ears.

Normalize to: maximum level that the signal will assume after normalization Scan: scan the file to extract the current maximum level Channels: select which channel to apply the normalization to. It's usual good to use always a certain (positive or negative) slope.e.23') between 0 and 1. '0. 45 .Dither: Use dithering.8. Setting the maximum level of all CD tracks to 0 dB assures that no clipping occurs and that the playback level of all tracks is similar (assuming that all the tracks have been processed with similar compression and limiting settings). sets the number of samples that the program will scan when searching for Assume DC component: sets the signal level that the program will consider as 0. Apply to: Convert to: Selection Whole file process the selected portion of the wave file process the whole wave file Stereo convert the (mono) wave file to stereo 32 bit convert the file to 32 bit format Note: if the file format is being changed (the strereo and/or 32 bit options are checked) and if only a portion of the wave file is present in the song (i. If the normalization is applyed to both channels the aplifying factor will be chosen so that the channel which has the highest peak will reach the requested level (for example normalizing to 0 dB a stereo file with the left channel that peaks at –3 dB and the right channel that peaks at –2 dB will produce a file in which the left and right channels peak at respectively –1 and 0 dB). This will lead to a higher probability that the edit will not be accompanied by short clicks in correspondence the edit points. Thi option is useful if the file you're working on has a DC component: the snapping will be made relative to the DC value specified instead than relative to 0. The Snap to 0 option is designed to help the selection of such points: the instants in which the waveform crosses the 0 level are often the best places where to cut a wave file. For more info see Dither & noise shaping 2. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Noise shaping: Use noise shaping. the left and right file edges have been dragged to shring the part) the processing will be applied also to the excluded parts Dither: Use dithering. Scan at most x samples: the 0 crossing. amplifying the signal will also amplify noise.5. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Dither depth: Depth in bits of the dithering noise.6. Note: normalizing a wave file will not improve its signal to noise ratio. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Dither depth: Depth in bits of the dithering noise. Normalization can be useful for example when preparing a wave file for burning a CD.e. so that when for example a segment of audio is pasted into another. the slope of the resulting waveform at the insertion point will be sufficiently smooth. Snap selection edges to 0 Selecting good cut and paste points is crucial to obtaining natural sounding edits of wave files. Snap when crossing 0 with [Negative/Positive/Any slope]: the program can detect the slope of the crossing of the 0 level. If the recording level used was too low. The level must be entered as a real number (i. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Noise shaping: Use noise shaping. For more info see Dither & noise shaping 2. Normalize Normalization is the process of amplifying an audio signal so that it maximum amplitude matches the level specified.8.

You can disable crossfading of a wave file in the Crossfade sub-menu of the popup menu that appears right clicking on the crossfade area at the intersection of the waveforms. The operation is non-destructive because the original wave files are not modified. To apply a crossfade. Select More from the popup menu to customize the length and shape of the crossfade volume envelope.2. 46 . The program performs the crossfade in realtime during the playback of the song.7. drag a part so that it overlaps the other part by the desired amount (the crossfade time).8. As you drag you will see the a crossfading volume envelope shape appear in the space at the intersection of the two waveforms. Crossfading Crossfading is the operation of creating a smooth transition between two separate wave files.

for example.8. Looping wave files To loop a wave file in n-Track Studio do the following: . When you check the multiple takes option.make sure you’re in the "non-destructive editing mode" (click on the on editing mode button on the toolbar) .press CTRL-V (or select Edit/Paste) holding down the SHIFT key: this will make the program insert another time the same wave file. Notice that as you drag the punch-in toolbar is updated to reflect the selection.press CTRL-C (or select Edit/Copy) . After a couple of attempts you start to get tired of having to use the mouse to start. If the Add takes to new tracks option is selected. Using this option allows you to play continuously without having to manually stop the recording. click on the stop button. when you want to record a difficult solo and you need to try it a few times. so that there will be no gap in the playback . and you want to try recording it again: click on the undo button and send the wave file to the recycle bin (if you are not sure if you want to keep it. The punch in toolbar allows you to set the time at which the start and the end of the recording will occur. each take will end in a new track as soon as the take is finished.8. so that if you don’t manage to record another solo as good as the original one. undo and restart the recording.2. More options can be specified in the punch-in settings drop-down menu that appears clicking on the button. Click on the punch-in settings button on the punch-in toolbar (second button from the left) Check the “multiple takes” option in the popup menu. By default n-Track shows takes on top of each other. stop. the recording procedure will automatically restart when the cursor reaches the punch-in end time. Click on the start punch-in recording button to start the recording. allowing to select bits from different takes simply by clicking on the take sections (Take Lanes). Select the View/Toolbars/Punch-In-Multiple takes recording settings/Show command to make the punchin toolbar appear.Insert the wave file to loop using the Track/Insert wave file menu command .8. 2. You can have the program do this automatically for you while you’re trying to record a good take using the punch-in facility. The program will repeatedly let you record the selected part. The recording will continue to loop and accumulate takes until the user presses the stop button. including the amount of time the playback will start before the actual recording begins. Drag with the mouse on the timeline to select the interval to record. you may save an “alternate” version of the song before trying to rerecord it. the program automatically puts the new reference to the wave file in the same track as the copied part with the offset equal to the former end of the track. Punch in/Multiple takes recording After careful listening to the solo you’ve just recorded you decide that you’re still not satisfied. You can now switch between the takes right-clicking on the track and selecting the take from the Takes popup sub-menu.continue pressing SHIFT-CTRL-C until the wave file is repeated as many times as you wish 47 . you can always revert to the saved song). This can be useful. Each take is recorded to a new take on the same track. remove the bad recording from the song and start again. If you find this confusing and you prefer to view one take at a time right click on the track and select “Takes/Keep takes separate” from the popup menu.9. When you decide you’ve recorded a good part. If SHIFT is pressed and held.

2. Markers can be moved simply dragging them on the timeline axis. If a marker’s pop-up text is not empty. clicking on the Settings button of each device’s vumeter.8. the break bar 1 time.10. supported by almost any soundcard 24: 24 bit packed format 24 unpacked: 24 bit format in which the 24 bit of data are memorized as the rightmost 24 bits of a 32 bit block 24 unpacked left justify: 24 bit format in which the 24 bit of data are memorized as the leftmost 24 bits of a 32 bit block Stereo/Mono: Asio settings: driver) Number of channels opens the Asio settings dialog box (the button appears only when using an Asio Setting that appear only on the recording format dialog box (that appears clicking on the settings button on a recording vumeter): Stereo -> two mono tracks: allows recording two separate mono tracks (corresponding to the left and right channels) from a single stereo signal. Use the Ctrl+Shift+ left and right cursor keys to move between markers. Playback and recording formats are set independently. during playback. one for the normal bar and one for a break. Markers button on the toolbar and then clicking on the desired Markers can be inserted by clicking on the place on the timeline upper time axis.9. comment and pop-up texts. For example if you want to create a drum track and you have two wave files. and then copy and paste the whole sequence. you can for example record in 24 bits and playback in 16 bits and vice-versa.In this way it is also possible to create more complex loops. A marker can also be inserted simply right-clicking on the time axis and selecting “Add marker here” from the pop-up menu. The marker countdown time and the font used for the pop-up text can be customized clicking on the Settings button on the Markers list dialog box. This feature may be useful for example during recording: you could let the program warn you just before some critical points of a song are approaching (for example “first guitar solo”. “last chorus” etc. Input/Output formats You can select which recording and playback format to use in the dialog boxes that appear clicking on the settings button in the playback and recording vumeter windows. you could paste the normal bar 3 times. in which you can change the marker’s name. 2. The input and output format dialog boxes let you chose the input or output format: Bits 16: 16 bit format. Double clicking on a marker will open the marker properties dialog box. Likewise the format can be set independently for each input and output device. Click holding the Ctrl key on the timeline axis between two markers to set the edit selection between the two markers. position. See Recording more than one track at a time for more info 48 .). x seconds before the marker time a pop-up window will appear which besides the pop-up text will show a count down of the time before the marker position.

If you record two separate tracks at the same time. To record from multiple input channels: Select the desired recording devices from the Preferences/Recording Settings/Wave Devices dialog box. set the recording mode to mono. The box lets you set a Threshold level above which recording will occur. in the If you need to record more channels n-Track also supports simultaneous recording and playback with multiple soundcards or multiple inputs soundcards. Recording more than one track at a time If you need to record two tracks at the same time (for example if you sing while playing guitar) you can do this with a single soundcard simply by connecting two different microphones. dragging them with the mouse or clicking holding down the CTRL key Select the desired recording format clicking on the Settings button on the recording vu-meter for each input channel. The mono option may not be available with all soundcards. Select don’t record from this channel for the unwanted channel. If it isn’t available. you can set the program to record from either only the left or only the right channel in the popup menu that appears clicking on the rec to… button recording meter window. one for each channel of the soundcard’s line input (left and right). You can set how the program should behave by clicking on the Settings button in the recording vumeter window. Voice/ level-activated recording The Voice/Level activated recording command in the Transport menu opens a box that lets you record only when the input channels have a level above a given threshold. You can set the record mode to stereo -> two mono tracks in the dialog box that appears clicking on the settings button on the recording vumeter window.11. If you are recording a single stereo instrument set the recording mode to stereo to obtain a single stereo wave file.10. and the Hold time for which the program will keep on recording when the signal goes below the threshold level (to avoid very frequent stops and restarts of the recording when the signal oscillates near the threshold level). 49 . you’ll want the program to record two separate wave files. If you are recording a single instrument. this input 2. The program can record in stereo mode. audio surveillance) and you want to avoid recording long stretches of silence to save disk space and to simplify the subsequent editing and listening of the recordings. The feature is useful when doing very long recordings (for example church services. when Live input processing is active. Select which channel to record from activating the record to buttons Start recording on the vu-meter 2. Note that each input and output channel has independent settings.Enable Live input processing from this input: soundcard will be used only if this option is checked. creating either a single stereo track or two separate wave files.

50 .

mono & stereo playback Tracks can be either mono or stereo: the pan slider will simply act as a balance control for the stereo tracks while it will actually pan the mono tracks to the left or to the right. It's also possible to disable stereo playback only while recording other tracks: in fact many soundcard are capable of full-duplex (simultaneous recording and playback) operation only when used in mono mode. that it will not sound too bad when played on mono devices (for example old radios. you may want to convert the wave file to mp3 or wma format for distributing the song in a smaller file. or when the number of tracks you’re using becomes high. 2. it doesn't matter if the computer isn't fast enough and every now and then you hear some jumps in the music: the mixed down file will not contain these defects. 51 . try to enable the option "mono playback while recording" in the Preferences/Recording settings dialog. it may be a good idea to mixdown some or all the tracks to one single wav file. In this way you’ll be able to manage more tracks and you won’t suffer from possible synchronization failures that may happen when the computer is too loaded by the high number of tracks. Mixing down the final song Once you have finished adding tracks and you have adjusted the volume and pan settings. and the resulting mixed down file will exactly reflect what you hear during this “final mix down”. If you get messages such as "Error opening soundcard” when trying to start the recording. On slow machines. Mixing down works only on audio tracks. it saves it to the mixed down file just after the previous good packet of data. Also. You can set the playback number of channels (stereo or mono) in the dialog box that appears clicking on the playback vumeter settings button. pan settings as well as adding or removing effects while the song is playing. so the program will be able to treat it as a wave file. but when it finally manages to have this data ready. Listening to a song in mono mode is often useful to ensure that the song is mono compatible. and the program. so if you have included a midi file. as these jumps are caused by the computer not being able to furnish data to the soundcard in time for its playback. Once the mixing down has finished. you'll have to "record" it selecting MIDI as the recording input in your soundcard mixer.2. Tracks formats. but the playback data will also be saved in to the mixed down file. will start the playback and you will hear the song played normally. and then proceed to record other tracks.12.). you may want to mix down all the tracks to a single wav file: just select "Mixdown song" from the file menu and choose the desired options in the Mixing down Dialog Box. You can also select Mixdown while playing”. i.13. This operation may take a while.e. mono televisions etc. In this way you can adjust volume. after you entered the name of the file to mixdown to.

2. • The 64 bit (x64) version only runs on the 64 bit versions of Windows. 64 bit operating systems are available since a couple of years (starting the x64 version of Windows XP). probably it can't.1. To check if a soundcard accepts the 24 bit format. Audigy 1. • The 32 bit (x86) version runs on both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows. each one amplified by a factor resulting from the combination of the master volume.15. The Soundblaster Audigy 1 can only record and playback in 16 bit mode.15. The volume evolution is used at the very ending of the mixing process so it doesn’t influence the aux sends. 32. n-Track is available in two “formats”. EMU 1820 etc. If you don't have such a card you don't need the 24 bit n-Track version. Creative Labs Soundblaster 16. Live!. select "24 bit". M-Audio Delta cards. click on the settings button on the playback vumeter window. 24 bit soundcards 24 bit recording and playback is currently available only on very good quality soundcards. and most of the multimedia soundcards that you find pre-installed on your computer are only capable of 16 bit recording and playback. The standard version of Windows XP is not a 64 bit operating system and can’t consequently install or run the 64 bit version of n-Track. If you’re unsure which version of n-Track to download or install. AWE32/64.2. SB128. unless your songs use a lot of instrument plug-ins that require massive quantities of memory. After the tracks are mixed all goes to the master channel effects. The Soundblaster Audigy 2/4 can record and playback in 24 bit (& 96 Khz) mode. Ensoniq/AudioPCI 64. Echo Layla. 2. 32 bit and 64 bit versions 64 bit processors are widely available and today constitute the majority of CPUs on newly sold computers. Also make sure you've selected the soundcard's WDM or Asio (not MME) drivers in the File/Settings/Preferences/Audio devices dialog box. The program always uses 32 bit (or 64 bits if the option is selected) floating point signals for optimum sound quality and dynamic range. If the format is not supported the program will report an error. The n-Track mixing algorithm The mixing algorithm is conceptually very simple: the tracks are first fed through the inserts effects and then mixed together. despite the specifications may lead to think that it's a 24 bit card. 52 . If you'll buy one of this cards later you'll be able to upgrade to the 24 bit version for the exact price difference between the standard and 24 bit version. go with the 32 bit version as it is the most compatible version and has no noticeable performance disadvantages over the 64 bit version. The format of the input or output (16 or 24 bit) has no influence on the precision with which the program does its internal signal processing calculations. Technicalities 2. such as the Creative Audigy 2 and 4. 2. click OK and start the playback. If you don't know if your soundcard can handle 24 bit recording and playback. even if the “pre-fader sends” option is unchecked. Sends and returns are placed at different points depending on the Auxs dialog settings. the track volume slider and track drawn evolution. Despite the great availability of 64 bit CPUs 64 bit operating systems are on the other hand still not quite popular and the vast majority of Windows users still use the 32 bit (x86) version of either Windows XP or Vista.14.15.

Fine tuning the program to your system There’s a number of settings you can customize to make the program work better with your computer.Both versions of n-Track can be downloaded from the download page at www. named respectively “mixer_background. On slower computers. otherwise it will use the standard background. so that if you have a slower CPU you can use the program without problems: • You can experiment with different playback buffering settings to find the optimum compromise between reliability and “real-timeness” of the program operation: fewer buffers of a smaller size will allow the result of actions made during playback. on the other hand. 2. Low buffering can. “main_background. lead to occasional jumps in the playback and loss of sync which can be very disturbing if they happen during recording. or when the number of tracks becomes great and the system becomes heavily loaded. while if you sample a signal with an amplitude two times the maximum (+6 dB) you will probably hear bad clipping distortion.17. Then you record the next block of tracks using the partially mixed down file as the base. 53 . you can reduce the load on the processor: • Disable the mixer vumeters (uncheck the Preferences/Appearance/”Show vumeters for each track” option • Disable automated volume/pan evolution for MIDI and wave tracks • Turn off or resize to a small dimension the recording and playback vumeters • Disable the “Expand mono tracks to stereo” option in each track’s properties dialog box • Use higher program priority (use caution with very high priorities) • Disable the display of waveforms during recording One strategy for working with a great number of tracks is to mixdown a partial version of the song. you can reload all the wave files that were previously mixed down. adjust all the settings and mixdown all the original tracks into the final song.ntrack.3. using smaller buffers. The background of the mixer window. peaking at -6 dB) you will probably not hear the difference (and you surely will not hear it if you use 23 bits out of 24).bmp”.16.bmp”. Customizing the program The colors and fonts used by the program can be configured through the Preferences/Appearance dialog box. Suppose your system can’t seem to handle more than 8 tracks: you can record the first 8 tracks. to be hearable in less time.com 2. adjust the settings and mix them down to a single wave file without deleting the original wave files. You can alter some parameters to make the program more or less “heavy” on the computer CPU. when real-time response is more important. use only half of the amplitude. of the main window and of the timeline window can be customized putting a bitmap file in the program’s directory. If upon loading the program finds one of this files (or both) it will use it.e.15. 2. pan. such as altering the volume. Recording levels It's better for the signal to be a bit lower than the ideal than to be a bit higher. One may consider keeping the buffering heavy during recording and then during the final mixing phase. If you use 15 of the 16 bits (i. Once all tracks have been recorded. “timeline. or effects parameters.bmp”.

AVI. Releasing the button outside the toolbar will delete it. depending on the size of the video window: to reduce the load on the computer reduce the size of the Video Sync window. click on a button and drag it to the desired location (within the same toolbar).19. Saving and recalling selections is a method complementary to using markers to define edit points. When not in playback a single click on a given point on the timeline time slider will cause the corresponding video frame to be displayed on the Video Sync widow.18. uncheck the Audio checkbox From now on every time the playback is started the video file will be played back in sync with the program's audio output. The “Normal” setting will work with most MIDI synths. Synching a video clip to the playback To play a video clip in sync with the song playback: • • • • Select the Sync with video command in the View menu A window will appear: click on the browse button on the lower right corner of this window. 2.MOV files. .The Toolbars can be customized double clicking on them or via the Preferences/Appearance/Customize toolbar 1/2 buttons: buttons can be moved. You can check which codecs you have installed in the Control Panel/Multimedia/Devices/Video codecs dialog box. Regions 54 . deleted and moved from one toolbar to the other. Add: Save the current selection Delete the selection highlighted in the list of selections Delete: Merge: Merge together the selections highlighted in the list of selections Apply: Recall the highlighted selection Bank selection method: The method used for switching instrument banks. Close: Close the window 2. Usually Windows installs by default codecs for playing . added.20. Creative Labs soundcards use the “Channel 0” switching method. Save/Recall selections The Save/Recall selections window allows to save and recall the selections used for editing on the timeline window. select the desired video file and click on Open Make sure the Sync with checkbox is checked If you don’t want to hear the original videoclip audio. Toolbar buttons can also be moved in this way: hold down the Shift key. The program will be able to play any file type for which a proper CODEC is installed on the system.MPG and . 2. Video playback can absorb a great quantity of processing power.

The .n-Track allows to define regions within wave files. Saving a project as a packed song (using the . Close: Close the window 2. including the audio data.wav files (you can find more info in File types topic). Save project as a Packed Song File (.sng files contain only the structure of the song. not the audio data which is kept in separate . The information on a wave file’s regions is saved in the wave file itself. Add: Add the selected region to a new track Delete the selected region Delete: Show regions in waveforms: Check this option if you want the regions to be shown in the waveforms representing the song’s wave files in the timeline window.sgw) n-Track Studio normally saves projects into .sgw file dialog box).sng + . into a single big file.sgw format is not suited for “everyday” saving of projects as n-Track will always need the . To define a new region highlight the section of the wave file that you want to be included in the region dragging with the mouse on the timeline window.sgw the program will extract from it the tracks’ wave files and will let you save the song’s . in a format compatible with most Windows wave file editors. This can be useful for transferring songs for example by email or for archiving them to CDs. so each time you load a .wav set of files to allow you to work (i. playback and record) on the song. The audio data stored into .sng files. then right click and select ‘Create wave file region’ in the pop-up menu.sng file.sgw file can be either uncompressed (producing a perfect copy of the song) or compressed using Ogg Vorbis compression. 55 .sgw extension) allows you to save all of the song data. edit. You can add a part made of a selected region to an existing or new track by dragging the desired region from the regions list dialog box to the timeline window.e.21. . You can find the list of all the loaded wave files regions in the View/Wave files regions dialog box. When compressing the file size drops significantly at the cost of loosing some information on the audio data with a consequent slight decay in sound quality (the amount of which can be selected using the compression slider in the Save .

3. MIDI 56 .

MIDI and audio+MIDI) the program records from. but other types of events (controllers.) can be displayed and edited in the same way as notes. Sometimes it is useful to record more than one MIDI track at a time. and that the MIDI input device is selected in the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices dialog box.3. the program can route the incoming MIDI signals to a MIDI output device. The Piano Roll window show the MIDI events occurring in the track. After clicking on it the button will change its image to a keyboard a keyboard plus a mic (MIDI recording). MIDI tracks can be edited in the Piano Roll window: select a MIDI track and press the button on the toolbar (if no MIDI track is selected a new MIDI track will be created). then for each track change 'all channels/all devices' setting in the MIDI track's properties dialog box to the channel from which you want to record the track from. See also MIDI editing MIDI DRUM TRACKS MIDI devices 3. which means that both wave and MIDI tracks will be recorded. To enable this check the options Keep devices open and select either the Auto or Manual MIDI echo mode. You can record multiple MIDI tracks at once using the following procedure: create an empty track for each track that you want to record (with the Track/Insert blank track menu command). pitch bends etc. for example when transferring MIDI tracks from a MIDI keyboard. Make sure that the MIDI instrument you want to record from is connected to your MIDI input device (typically a soundcard’s Joystick/MIDI connector). click on the microphone source (audio. Editing MIDI tracks Editing MIDI tracks can be useful both for correcting imperfections in recorded tracks or for creating new tracks from scratch. Recording MIDI tracks button on the toolbar. The most common events are notes. See the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices topic for info on how the MIDI echo modes work. Pressing the button again the image will change to . The button controls which To record a new MIDI track. The Piano Roll view can also be activated by clicking the Piano Roll button on the track properties dialog box which appears when you double click on a MIDI track. If you want to hear the notes played with the MIDI instrument through the current MIDI output device. You can set which types of events are displayed and which events are inserted in the dialog box that appears clicking on the events display icon on the piano-roll toolbar. 57 .2.1.

Multiple events can selected and moved at the same time. dragged into different positions. Once you have selected a group of events click on the the notes to be copied and press the copy button on the toolbar. The vertical axis represent the notes pitch: dragging the notes rectangles vertically changes the notes pitch. select the offset where you want paste button to paste the notes into the new position. properties of new notes). This rectangles can be selected. Note events appear as blue rectangles. copy & paste operations can be useful when composing MIDI drum tracks. Copy. 58 . copy & paste operations can be performed on MIDI events by selecting the desired events or by selecting the desired temporal interval (dragging with the mouse on the time axis). The event properties can be manually edited in the dialog box that appears double clicking on an event rectangle. enlarged or shrunk as you whish. New events can be placed activating the icon on the toolbar (click holding the Ctrl key to set the button is activated. while events can be deleted when the Cut. The View box lets you choose which events will be displayed.The Place drop-down box lets you select which event will be inserted when you click on an empty spot in the piano-roll window. whose color intensity is proportional to the note intensity (velocity).

This is very important because channel 10 is the channel for drums. Once you have finished your selection. simply press the copy button. Creating a MIDI Drums track Create a new blank MIDI track with the Track/Midi/Create blank MIDI track menu command.3. the base rhythm that you want to repeat over the length of the whole song. Press the arrow button (Move Events on the toolbar) Select the desired area you want to copy. 59 . Select the note button on the toolbar Clicking on the piano roll create a brief number of beats. If you prefer you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+C.3. Assign the new track to channel 10 in the track’s properties dialog box.

you can let the program automatically replicate the selection you’re pasting an arbitrary number of times in the dialog box that appears clicking on the paste button while holding the Shift key or pressing Ctrl+Shift+V See also 3. This procedure is particularly useful if you want to create drum tracks because you must often manage repeating measures. Instead of manually pasting the same beat multiple times.6.4 Drum tracks note names display 60 . your selection has been copied to the offset you wanted. As you can see.Now choose the offset where you want to copy your pattern selection (fig.6) and press the paste button.

3. Instrument definitions can be edited in the dialog box that opens clicking on the 'Instruments' button in a MIDI track's properties dialog box. Notes/drums names display The left side of the piano roll window usually shows a vertical piano keyboard. then on 'Edit'. so when editing a drum part instead of the classic vertical piano it is often useful to have the names of each drum instrument being written on the left part of the piano roll window. If any of the following entry is selected.2 MIDI editing 61 . For more info see the MIDI Instruments assignment/definition topics. Drum instruments are different than the usual MIDI instruments because each “note” of a Drum channel corresponds to a different percussive instrument (for example D4 is an high tom. The name of a note can be modified double clicking on its name while holding the Ctrl key. the program will write each note name as set in the MIDI instrument definition. D3 an acoustic snare etc. Right clicking on the left part of the piano roll window opens a dialog box in which you can select how the notes are drawn.). See also 3. This is often useful when composing or editing tracks of melodic instruments.3 Creating MIDI Drum tracks 3.4. If “Show piano” is selected a vertical piano will be drawn.

5. The MIDI output port drop down box should now contain. A MIDI instrument is a set of program names. WaveRT or Asio drivers the buffering can be usually made small enough so that the latency is not noticeable.1 Playing live through instrument plug-ins 2. besides the regular MIDI output port.5.5 Instrument Plug-Ins 2. Both the instrument plug-in’s audio channel track and the MIDI track’s volumes and pan settings can influence the signal. an entry relative to the VST/DX instrument plug-in.5 Freezing 3. The quality of the MIDI tracks depends exclusively on the quality of the VST/DX instrument sinths. Playing live through an instrument plug-in Instrument plug-ins can be used to play a MIDI instrument live (i. the program doesn’t even need a soundcard with MIDI capabilities.3. 62 . so it can processed with effects. To enable the live playing through an instrument plug-in enable the Live input processing mode by pressing the Live button on the toolbar. See also 3.5. MIDI Instruments Assignment Each MIDI channel of each MIDI output device can be assigned to a different MIDI instrument. Playback buffering can be adjusted in the Buffering settings dialog box. note names and controller names definitions that will be used for the selected MIDI channel/output port combination. Note: the delay between the time a note is pressed on the MIDI keyboard and the time you actually hear the note played is called latency and is caused by playback buffering. See also 3. With soundcards with WDM. check the Connect input to output option in the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices dialog box and set the Echo mode to either ‘auto’ or ‘manual’ (if the echo mode is set to manual you’ll have to select the desired instrument plug-ins in the output drop down box). How to use a VST/DX instrument: select the desired VST or DX instrument to use in the Add Channel / New Instrument Channel menu open a MIDI track’s Track properties dialog box. Using a VST/DX instrument MIDI synth has many advantages: the synthesized signal is mixed as a regular wave track. VSTi/DXi instruments plug-ins VST/DX instruments are particular VST/DX plug-ins that accept MIDI data as input and can be used as MIDI synths.e.5 Real-time audio effects 2. sent to aux channels etc.2 VST plug-ins 2.5. An entry for each plug-in will appear in the MIDI track’s properties output port drop-down box.5. the synchronization is (unlike what usually happens with MIDI devices) sample accurate so the audio and MIDI tracks will always be perfectly synched since all the MIDI output can be sent to one or more VST/DX instruments.5 Realtime audio effects 3.5.6.2 VST plug-ins 2. For links to shareware and freeware VST/DX instrument synths see the Effects compatible with n-Track Studio topic. Multiple VST/DX instruments can be used.1. let the VST/DX instrument output in realtime the notes you play on a MIDI keyboard).

will be used for all banks for which a specific program names set hasn’t been defined. The items can be dragged from the right box to the left box. MIDI instruments can be assigned to MIDI output ports/channels in the MIDI Instruments Assignments dialog box.6 MIDI Instruments Assignments 63 . As with program names sets the note names set with a leading ‘*’ will be used for all the programs that don’t have a specific note names set defined. note names. The dialog box has two boxes.7 MIDI Instruments Definition 3. note names and controller names for your MIDI instruments.General MIDI 4 . while the right box shows the currently available program names.7. Each instrument can have a different program names set for each bank (the current bank is set with the Bank parameter in the MIDI Track’s properties dialog box). which will use the ‘Program numbers’ program names set.Program numbers n-Track will use the General MIDI program names set for all the instruments banks except for bank 4. The note names are shown in the left side of the piano roll window. If you define for example an instrument to have the following program names sets: * . denoted by a * sign. When a channel is selected the relative instrument is selected in the right box. then drag it to the desired position in the left box. controller names sets. The items in the right box are the items of which instruments are made of. If for example you want to assign to the 3rd bank the selected instrument the program name set ‘General MIDI’ select with the mouse the ‘General MIDI’ program names set in the right box (it will be listed under the ‘Program names set’ folder). The left box lists all 16 MIDI channels for each MIDI output port. See also 3. The left box shows the current instruments banks. See also 3. The first program names set of the instrument. MIDI Instruments Definition The MIDI Instruments Definition dialog box lets you define program names.The MIDI instruments assignment dialog box can be opened clicking on the Instruments button in the MIDI track’s properties dialog box. Each bank has a controller names set and each program can have a separate note names set.

Each system exclusive message consists of a series of bytes written in hexadecimal formats. Different program names sets can be configured in the MIDI Instruments dialog box that opens clicking on the 'Instruments' button in a MIDI track's properties dialog box. they just store or transmit the messages. Although it’s not usually useful to do so the messages can be manually edited double clicking on the message in the events list dialog box. Not all synths adhere to the General MIDI standard. System exclusive banks may be configured to be sent automatically when a song file is opened. recorded during the regular recording just like MIDI notes.). or an external multieffect device could download its configuration through one or more system exclusive messages. Swing helps to create a ‘shuffle’ feeling in the quantized notes the region where quantizing takes place can be limited so that the program will quantize only events that fall within a certain range from the nearest grid point.5 seconds) moves forward (positive swing) or backward (negative swing) every other grid point. You can switch between the available set of names clicking on the small button to the right of the program drop down list on a MIDI Track’s Properties dialog box. 3. Each bank can be set to be sent automatically when the song is loaded (‘Autosend’ checkbox in the event’s editing dialog box). 3. Each message must start with the byte F0 and end with the byte F7. Other devices and programs make no assumption on the content of the data messages. 1. In the example above n-Track may set in the external MIDI synth the correct sound bank needed to play the song’s MIDI tracks sending the song’s system exclusive banks. beats etc.e.9. so you may find that some instrument name doesn’t correspond to the sound produced and you can select or create a program name set that matches your MIDI synth sounds. n-Track allows to record system exclusive messages in two ways: as normal MIDI events within a track.3. so that if the messages are used to configure devices needed to play the song all the configuration is automatically done upon loading the song. then on 'Edit'. It may be used to correct imperfections of a recording Snap sets the grid spacing. Programs (instruments) names The program by default associates to each program number the corresponding General MIDI standard instrument name. The grid may be spaced according to a musical time (measures. The dialog box allows to manually receive (without the need of recording a MIDI track) and send system exclusive messages. For example a MIDI synth may use a system exclusive message to download from a sequencer (n-Track) a set of sounds.8. and as a global set of system exclusive banks that can be managed using the View/MIDI System Exclusive banks dialog box. Grid settings/Quantize The MIDI quantize function snaps the selected notes to the nearest point in grid. Swing Quantize region 64 . MIDI System Exclusive messages System Exclusive messages are messages that MIDI devices may use to transmit or store data using their proprietary format. Events outside that range will be left untouched.10. by number of musical ticks or by absolute time (i.

65 . If you simply need to change the whole song tempo or time signature double click on any one of this first two tempo changes and modify them. Events within the specified region will not be quantized. 120 bpm as set by the two "built-in" tempo changes at the beginning of the first measure. At any given measure the time signature or the bpm (beats per minute) may be changed. moving the notes ending points by the same offset (the notes length remains unchanged) snap the end point of the selected notes (the start point is not changed. From the Tempo changes dialog box tempo changes can be added by clicking on the "new bpm" or "new time signature" buttons. Tempo/time signature The evolution of the song tempo and time signature can be programmed in the “Tempo changes” dialog box. so the notes length can change) moves the event around the quantize point by a random amount limited by the randomize parameter if the strength parameter is less than 100 the program will move events towards the grid point only by the percentage set by the strength parameter. highlights the quantize region as defined by the ‘quantize region’ and ‘excluding’ parameters snap the start point of the selected notes to the nearest point in the grid. If for example the strength is 50. By default the tempo is set to 4/4. The program will use this information when displaying the time in the M:B:T format (measures:beats:ticks).11.Excluding Highlight quantize region Quantize settings Notes start Notes end Randomize Strength exclude the given region around the grid point from quantizing. for MIDI Clock sync purposes and for setting the metronome tempo. when this option is active each time new MIDI notes are recorded they will automatically quantized according to the current quantize settings quantize the currently selected MIDI events Auto-quantize recordings Quantize 3. which will open a dialog box asking for the desired tempo information and for the time (in M:B:T format) at which this new tempo should start. each time you quantize an event it will move half of the way towards the nearest quantize point.

and opposed to MTC sync.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12. respectively generating or syncing to an incoming signal.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 66 . In this way. About MIDI Clock MIDI Clock is a protocol used to sync different MIDI devices to the same clock reference. syncing to MIDI Clock automatically allows the slave to follow the master tempo variations.12. Synchronization n-Track Studio can be synced to other audio programs or to external devices using MIDI Clock or the MIDI Time Code (MTC) protocol. In this way it's even possible to sync multiple instances of n-Tracks in the same computer or even in different computers connected by a MIDI cable! See also 3.3.12.12. The SMPTE timing is the standard used to sync different machines such as video tapes decks.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3. About SMPTE/MIDI Time Code The MIDI Time Code (MTC) is a protocol used to exchange SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time signals over a MIDI connection.12. See also 3. The program can act both as master or as slave. It's possible to use a loopback MIDI driver that simply routes the MIDI signals sent to its inputs back to its virtual MIDI output ports. Many software packages support MTC sync. sent when the playback is being started from the beginning of the song Many software packages support MIDI Clock sync. where absolute time is the only information sent. A program or device that generates MIDI Clock sends a “MIDI clock” impulse every 1/24 of a quarter note. and the syncing of different programs in the same computer can be accomplished without having to resort to hardware cables.12. multitrack recorders etc. sent when the playback is being restarted . three other signals are exchanged: .4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12.1 About MIDI Time Code 3.MIDI Continue. You can download freeware utilities that accomplish this task. Apart from the clock signal itself. In this way it's even possible to sync multiple instances of n-Tracks in the same computer or even in different computers connected by a MIDI cable! See also 3.12. sent to signal that the playback will be restarted from a new location .3 SMPTE Time Formats 3. You can download freeware utilities that accomplish this task.2 About MIDI Clock 3. It's possible to use a loopback MIDI driver that simply routes the MIDI signals sent to its inputs back to its virtual MIDI output ports. in both the professional audio and video world. and the syncing of different programs in the same computer can be accomplished without having to resort to hardware cables. The standard SMPTE signal coming from hardware devices can be converted to MTC using dedicated interfaces.12.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3.2.12.MIDI Start.1.12.Song Position Pointer.

In this format two frames are dropped every minute.12.97. However here's some info if you are willing to dive in the subtleties of time formats: 5 SMPTE time formats can be used with MTC: 24 frames per second (used mainly for film sync) 25 frames per second (as used by the European television standard) 29. To make n-Track generate this timing select "30 fps non-drop" from the MTC/MIDI Clock dialog box.00.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3.e.97 frames per second (also referred to as 30 fps non-drop) 30 frames per second (used only in the audio world).1 About MIDI Time Code 3. 30. such as 1:00.97 fps "drop" time format is used to compensate for this problem.97 frame rate. 10. which has a frame rate of exactly 29.18.97 frames per second with drop frame (also referred to as 30 fps drop) 29. Note that this leads to some times that are never used.12. The last two formats are used to sync to NTSC video. The 29. Open the Syncronization dialog box pressing the icon on the toolbar Click on the Enable button corresponding to MIDI Clock or MTC From the program or device you want to sync n-Track to enable master MTC or MIDI clock syncing and select the output port corresponding to the output port previously chosen.2 for each minute in the hour except at minutes 0. See also 3.12. 2:00. Configuring the program to act as master icon on the toolbar Open the Syncronization dialog box pressing the Select the desired MIDI out port (for example LB1 if you're using HUBI Loopback device) Choose if want to use MTC or MIDI Clock sync (if needed both signals can be generated simulateously) For MTC sync choose the desired time format (typically 30 fps non-drop) Click on the Enable button From the program or device you want to sync n-Track to enable slave syncing and select the input port corresponding to the output port previously chosen.12.5.12.2 About MIDI Clock 3. SMPTE time formats The time format most commonly used between audio programs is 30 fps non-drop.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12. i. 67 .00 etc. 20.4.97 fps non-drop time is exactly 1:00:00. 1:00.97 fps.3. thus perfectly compensating the "slowness" of the 29.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3. the SMPTE time soon departs from the real world time: for example when the SMPTE 29. The seconds counter is always incremented when the frame count reaches 30. Now everytime the playback is started from inside n-Track the device the program is synced to will (after a short delay) start the playback. so if the frame rate is 29. the time advances from 0:59:29 directly to 1:00. 40 and 50. In this way a total of 108 frames are dropped every hour. enable the "use real 30 fps for 30 fps non-drop" checkbox and click on the enable button.00 the real world time would be 1:00:03.1 About MIDI Time Code 3. See also 3.01. Configuring the slave to an incoming time code signal Include the MIDI input port (for example LB1 if you're using HUBI Loopback device) from which you want to receive the time code signal in the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices dialog box. 108 frames higher than the non-drop time.3.12.12.12. This is all you really need to know.

6. For example if the "start at offset" value is 1 hours and "set 0 at" value is 5 minutes. When the record button is pressed and slave syncing is enabled. the program will start the playback when the SMPTE it receives reaches 01:00:00. never Continue: always send the MIDI Start signal instead of MIDI Continue Use Start.Now everytime the playback is started from inside the master device (the device that is generating the sync signal) n-Track will start the playback.00) MIDI Clock output Output port: port to which the MIDI Clock signal is sent to Enable: enable MIDI Clock generation Offset: offset that will be added to the generated MIDI Clock Use Start. Notes: The program need some instants to prepare itself to the playback: after detecting an incoming signal the program will actually starts the playback after the time specified in the "pre-roll" field (the playback will start with this delay but it will be nonetheless in sync with the other device).1 About MIDI Time Code 3. [MTC only] Preroll: time that the program takes to actually start the playback after it has detected from the MTC input that the playback should be started Free Wheel: after not receiving a valid MTC signal for this amount of time the playback will be stopped [MTC only] See also 3.00 and the playback will start at the offset 00:05:00. when you start the playback within n-Track the first timecode generated will be 00:00:05.12.00 in the song. n-Track will start the recording as soon as it receives the incoming sync signal. The program will stop the playback after the time specified in the free-wheel field will be elapsed without having received MTC signal.12.97 NTSC frame rate (see SMPTE Time Formats) Input Input Port: port from which the program received MTC or MIDI Clock signal MTC/Smpte . MTC/MIDI Clock dialog box MTC/Smpte output Output port: port to which the MTC signal is sent to Enable: enable MTC generation Format: SMPTE time format used for the MTC generation Offset: offset that will be added to the generated MTC (this value will be summed to the time you see on n-Track's time window: if for example the offset is 5 seconds.12.2 About MIDI Clock 3.12.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3. never Continue: always send the MIDI Start signal instead of MIDI Continue Send Song Position Pointer: send the SPP signal to notify the slave of the new position within the song Wait after sending SPP: waiting to allow the slave to cue to the requested position Use internal timer: use the internal timer instead of the soundcard's clock reference (recommended).12. You can compensate possible sync problems changing the "offset" and "set 0 at" values in the Syncronization dialog box See also 3. The internal timer resolution is set through the Preferences/MIDI dialog box Use real 30 fps for 30 fps non-drop: use the true 30 fps frame rate instead of the 29.MIDI Clock select the type of the incoming sync signal Enable: enable syncing to the incoming signal Set 0 at: offset in the song at which the playback is started Start at offset: offset in the incoming SMPTE time at which the program will start the playback.1 About MIDI Time Code 68 .

3.12.2 About MIDI Clock 3.12.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3.12.3 SMPTE Time Formats

3.12.7.

Virtual MIDI Patch Cables (loopback devices)

A Virtual MIDI Patch Cable or Loopback Device is a driver that generates virtual MIDI input and output ports. Every MIDI event sent to a loopback ouput port instantaneously appears at the corresponding input port. The driver also allows routing the same output to more than one input. This can be used to sync n-Track Studio to one or more audio programs using MIDI time code, without having to resort to external MIDI connections. You can download freeware virtual MIDI patch cables utilities at the address: http://www.ntrack.com/hubi_loopback.html

See also 3.12.1 About MIDI Time Code 3.12.2 About MIDI Clock 3.12.4 Configuring the program to act as master 3.12.5 Configuring the program to act as a slave to other programs or devices 3.12.3 SMPTE Time Formats

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4. Reference
Detailed documentation on the program features and dialog boxes

4.1. Keyboard Shortcuts
Shortcut Spacebar 0 (zero) Backspace F12 ESC Mouse wheel Ctrl+Mouse wheel +/Ctrl+Shift+Mouse wheel Windows Key + Drag Ctrl + Drag Alt S Shift+S Q Ctrl+A Ctrl+0 Ctrl+R Left arrow Right arrow Up arrow Down arrow Ctrl+Up arrow Ctrl+Down arrow Ctrl+O Ctrl+S Ctrl+Shift+S Ctrl+1 Ctrl+Z Ctrl+Y Ctrl+T Ctrl+C Ctrl+V Ctrl+Shift+V Ctrl+X Ctrl+Shift+X Ctrl+I Ctrl+B Ctrl+G Ctrl+Shift+G Ctrl+M Ctrl+Shift+M Ctrl+Shift+Left cursor Ctrl+Shift+Right cursor Ctrl+P Ctrl+F4 Ctrl+F3 70 Function Play/stop Start Recording Rewind Pause Mute All output Move left/right Zoom In/Out horizontally Zoom In/Out horizontally Zoom In/Out vertically Duplicate and drag part Drag part (without clicking on crosshair icon) Show volume envelopes Splice selected portion of part Merge parts Mute selected part Select All parts Clear selection Mixdown Song Select previous track Select next track Increase volume of current track (shift -> faster) Decrease volume of current track (shift -> faster) Pan current track left (shift -> faster) Pan current track right (shift -> faster) Open Song Save Song Save Song As Import Audio file Undo Redo Toggle timeline follows playback cursor Copy Paste Paste at the end of track (append) Cut Cut and eliminate silence in the middle Insert Toggle snap to 0 crossing of audio parts Toggle snap to Grid Grid Settings Place Marker at playback cursor Click and place Marker Go to previous Marker Go to next Marker Preferences Soundcard Recording mixer Soundcard Playback mixer

Ctrl+Alt+F3 Ctrl+Alt+F4 Alt+F4 F5 F6 F2 Shift+F3 F3 Ctrl+Shift+Tab Ctrl+9

Playback format Recording format Close program Recording meters window Playback meters window Big Time window Show/hide Master mixer Show/hide Track mixer Show/hide all mixer windows Toggle Keyboard mixer (see below)

When the Keyboard Mixer is active (Ctrl+9 to toggle): To adjust more the mixer settings, you can use the keyboard as a set of virtual faders: Q A W S E D R F T G Y H U J I K

will add (Q) or subtract (A) 1 unit from the volume setting of tracks 1 to 8. Holding down the SHIFT key or activating CAPS-LOCK will increase the step to 10 units. Holding down CONTROL key or activating SCROLL-LOCK, will switch the keys to operate on the pan settings. For tracks other that the first 8, select the desired track (clicking with the mouse on any of its waveforms or use the left/right keyboard arrows), and the use up and down arrow keys to move the selected track's volume (hold Ctrl to adjust pan). Z and X adjust the master volume level.

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that will added to the song at the offset corresponding to the start of the original data.sng file Saves the current . If the CTRL key is pressed the contents of the clipboard will be pasted to a newly created wave file.Toolbar buttons reference See also 2. The audio recording input will depend on how is configured the soundcard internal mixer. a menu will appear where you will be able to chose which volume. pan or aux evolution to draw Sets the mouse mode to wave file’s offset dragging mode Sets the mouse mode to wave files dragging between tracks mode: wave files can be moved from one track to another (provided that they don’t overlap with another wave file in the same track). If no MIDI track is selected a new blank MIDI track is added 2nd toolbar buttons: Cuts the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file Copies the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file Pastes the clipboard contents to the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave. When this button is pushed.16 Customizing the toolbar Main toolbar buttons: Creates a new document and closes the current .sng file Opens a saved . 72 . but offsets can’t be adjusted Switches the editing mode between destructive wave editing.sng file Opens the mixing down (mixdown) dialog box Calls the preferences dialog box Docks/undocks the timeline and track list windows Calls the external wave editor (selected from the preferences) on the selected wave file Inserts a wave file in the selected track Removes the selected track from the song. To select the correct recording source and adjust levels use the soundcard’s own software mixer or the Windows standard volume control. Opens the program help file (the one you are reading now!) MIDI panic & playback stop: all program audio & MIDI output should be immediately halted Reverse the playback direction of the selected portion of a wave file Opens the video sync window Opens the tempo/time signature dialog box Normalize the selected portion of a wave file Fade out selection Fade in selection Flatten the volume evolution of the selected track Crossfade two parts Opens the Piano Roll window for the selected track. If the “Ask to delete wave files to be removed from the song” preferences option is not checked the wave files associated with the track will not be deleted from the hard disk Activates the selected track’s effects window Activates the master channel or aux effects window Sets the mouse mode to the volume/pan evolution drawing mode. whole track parts editing and nondestructive cutting&pasting Switches between audio and MIDI recording.

Silences the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file. If the CTRL key is pressed while you click on the button, the wave file will be actually modified. Otherwise the track volume will be put to zero, but the wave file will not be modified Undoes the last action made on wave files Redoes the last action undone Activates or deactivates the loop option: the current selection will be looped forever X axis zoom Y axis zoom Zoom selection View all song Opens the selection dialog box Place a marker in the time axis (press this button and then click on the desired place in the time axis) Activates or deactivates the grid. When the grid is activated, all selection values and wave files offsets will be snapped to the nearest (not shown) grid line. Hold CTRL and click on the button to adjust the grid settings Activates the Metronome settings dialog box Activates the MIDI Time Code status dialog box Opens the punch-in/multiple takes recording dialog box Show or hides the big mixer window Activates the playback vu-meters window Activates the recording vu-meters window Opens the Real-time input processing settings dialog box “Remote control” toolbar Starts recording Starts playback Puts the playback offset to point to the the start of the song and if pressed during playback restarts immediately the playback from the start of the song Stops playback & recording. Holding down the SHIFT key stops only recording. Holding down the CTRL key stops only playback.

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4.2. Menu Commands Reference
File: wave file) New Closes the current .sng file and starts a new song Open Open a saved .sng file Import wave file Import a wave file in the current song (same as Track/Insert Save Saves the current .sng file overwriting the old file Save As Saves the current .sng file prompting for a new filename Move Song Copy or move all the song's wave files to a new directory Mixdown Song Mixdown of all or some of the wave tracks to a single wave file Export MIDI file Exports all MIDI tracks to a standard MIDI file Import MIDI file Imports MIDI tracks from a standard MIDI file (only MIDI format 1 Convert .wav file to: Mp3 Converts a wave file to mp3 format Wma Converts a wave file to mp3 format Preferences Opens the preferences property sheet Exit Quits the program

supported)

Undo Undoes last wave editing action Redo Redoes last wave editing action Volume/pan drawing: Draw Pan Set mouse drawing to draw pan mode (the volume drawing icon on the toolbar must be activated) Draw Volume Set mouse drawing to draw volume mode Markers: Place marker Place a marker (chose this command and then click on the place where to insert the marker in the timeline time axis) Manage markers Opens the markers list dialog box Grid: Snap to grid If this option is checked the selection and the wave files offsets (when dragging with the mouse, will snap to the nearest grid line (not actually shown) Grid properties Sets grid parameters (spacing & offset) Enter Selection Manually enter the selection limits Loop selection Set the playback mode to selection loop Snap to 0: Toggles snap selection to 0 Editing mode: Destructive wave editing edit destructively (i.e. actually modifying the files) the wave files present in the song Non destructive editing Cut, copy & paste portions of references to wave files, without altering the actual wave files Fade in Opens the fade in/out dialog box with fade in settings Fade out Opens the fade in/out dialog box with fade out settings Flatten track Flattens the volume or pan evolution of the selected track (constant for all the track length) Cut Cuts the selected portion of the wave file corresponding to the selected track Copy Copies the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file Paste Pastes the clipboard contents to the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file. If the CTRL key is pressed the contents of the clipboard will be pasted to a newly created wave file, that will added to the song at the offset corresponding to the start of the original data. Insert Inserts the clipboard contents into the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file Apply track efx/envelopes destructively apply the track’s effects and/or volume/pan envelopes to the selection Normalize destrucively normalize the selected portion of wave file Silence Selection: Put volume to 0 The track volume will be put to zero, but the wave file will not be modified Silence destructively Silences the selected portion of the selected track corresponding wave file. The wave file will be actually modified Special Reverse playback (destructively) temporally inverts the selected portion of a wave file

Edit:

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Non destructive Splice Detach the current selection from the rest of the wave files: a reference to a wave file is cut in 3 pieces, with the middle one exactly being included in the selected range Splice in 2 parts Create two concatenated parts out of a single part breaking the original part at the start of the current selection Splice in N parts Create N concatenated parts out the (whole) selected part Merge Rejoin two parts that have been previously spliced Trim Cuts the unused beginning and ending sections of the wave files corresponding to the selected track parts, regaining unused disk space. This option has effect only if the edges of the wave files have been dragged, and consequently the wave files are not entirely in use in the song (for example if a part is made of the middle 3 seconds of a 9 second file, trimming it will transform the part into a whole wave file 3 seconds long, deleting the 6 seconds of unused audio from the hard disk) Song comments Opens the song comments dialog box. The text you type there will be saved in the .sng file: you can use this feature for example to remember what instruments, chords or whatever else you may need to remember when you will open the file at a later time. Song information Opens a dialog box with a textual description of the current song, including wave files used, effects, aux channels etc. Track: Insert Inserts a wave file in the selected track Remove Removes the selected track from the song. If the “Ask to delete wave files to be removed from the song” preferences option is not checked the wave files associated with the track will not be deleted from the hard disk MIDI: Piano Roll Opens the Piano Roll for the selected MIDI track Insert Blank MIDI track Inserts a blank MIDI track Effects Activates the selected track’s effects window Wave file properties Opens the wave file properties dialog box Rename wave file Renames the selected wave file Track properties Opens the track properties dialog box Split stereo track Splits the selected wave file in two mono wave files and adds this newly created files in the song, removing the original stereo file. The program will prompt to delete it depending on the preferences settings. Copy track Copy the selected attributes of the current track to an existing track or to a new track Import tracks from .sng file Imports all the tracks from a previously saved .sng file Action: Play Starts the playback Record Starts recording Stop Stops playback and recording Rewind Restart the playback from the start of the song Punch in recording Opens the punch-in/multiple takes recording dialog box Launch wave editor Calls the external wave editor (selected from the preferences) on the selected wave file Mute all output Mutes all outputs, wave & MIDI Timeline View the timeline window Track list View the track-list window Recording Vu-meter View the recording vu-meters window Playback Vu-meter View the playback vu-meters window Metronome View the Metronome settings dialog box Mixer View the mixer window Big Mixer Activates/hides the Big Mixer window Master channel effects Activates the master channel effects window Buffering Opens the buffering monitor window, which shows how many buffers have been queued, information sometimes useful to determine when the computer isn’t being able to handle the current number of tracks and/or effects MIDI Time Code Sync Activates the MIDI Time Code status dialog box Sync with video Opens the video sync window 75 View:

com.ntrack. n-Track Studio homepage.Soundcard’s mixer: Playback controls Recording Runs the soundcard’s mixer as configured in the Preferences/Paths dialog box Wave editor Opens the selected wave file with the wave editor configured in the Preferences/Paths dialog box Zoom… Timeline zoom controls Refresh view: Refresh Refresh the timeline window display Recalculate waveforms Recalculates the waveforms that appear on the timeline (recalculates the . view the FAQ or post messages to the n-Track Studio Discussion Forum Help: 76 .npk files) Window: Docked windows Activates/deactivates docked windows mode Cascade Cascades all windows Tile horizontally Tile all windows horizontally Tile vertically Tile all windows vertically Contents Opens the help file Tutorial Opens the Tutorial help topic Keyboard layout Opens the help file keyboard layout topic About Opens the about box Register Opens the register dialog box: if you are a registered user you can enter there your program codes to register the program and unlock all the features not otherwise accessible from the shareware version Buy the registered version Connects to the web page where you will be able to register online the program using a credit card through a secure server n-Track Studio Homepage Connects to www. There you’ll be able to check if there exist a later version of the program.

so to play the next beat the preceding beat note has to be ended .Note: sets which note to play for the beat.Duration: duration of the MIDI note corresponding to a beat.Tempo: Sets the time base (3/4.Velocity: sets the velocity of the MIDI note (that ideally corresponds to the velocity of the keyboard key as pressed by a finger): influences the volume of the note . select in both settings the same entry (i.MIDI synth”).PC speaker: check this option if you want hear the metronome clicks through the standard PC speaker . If you select a drum channel. Click on the test button to hear if the tempo is right. kick. hat…) . You can open the metronome settings window by clicking on the metronome icon Set the tempo.3.) .Playback: activates the metronome during playback . When to use: .Accent first beat: Makes the first beat of a measure sound differently than the other beats . or vice-versa. so this is the default setting .4. Too high values make the metronome loose timing.e.Channel: sets the channel to use for the MIDI output.TEST: test the selected metronome configuration.MIDI note: check this option if you want hear the metronome clicks through a MIDI synth. If the program reports an error when starting playback. due to the fact that it can’t play two notes at the same time. make sure that you’ve not selected MIDI MAPPER in the metronome settings and the actual MIDI device the MIDI MAPPER points to (as set through Control Panel/Multimedia/) in the Preferences MIDI devices. the note selects the drum sample (snare. choose MIDI or PC speaker output and if the metronome should be hearable during recording and/or during playback. If you want to use the same device. Channel 10 is usually used by MIDI synth for drum instruments. both MIDI MAPPER or both “Xyz Inc.At … bpm: sets the number of Beats Per Minute . You can select which MIDI device to use: usually you will set the metronome device as the same device used for normal MIDI output (as set thorough the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices dialog box).Recording: activates the metronome during recording . Output to: . 4/4 etc. Press it again to stop 77 . Metronome on the toolbar.

Mono playback while recording: Some soundcards allow simultaneous recording and playback only in mono mode. Preferences 4. clicks in the playback caused by excessive load on the computer) is exceeded.4. Recording settings Sampling Frequency: Sets the sampling frequency of the recorded tracks. Entering 0 will make the lag indication show always. try this option. If you experience some problems while recording. Entering in this field the critical value of the lag above which one can actually hear synchronization problems will make the program normally hide the lag value indication. So what’s important is knowing when this happens. Default = 500 Number of tolerated buffers under-runs: the program will halt the playback when this number of buffer under-runs (i. Wave Devices dialog box: choose here which soundcard to use as input device and which to use as output.e. ruining a recording. Make sure that all the tracks are recorded using the same frequency.1.4.4. Hide lag indicator if lag values is less than… This option will control when the lag indication will be displayed on the time window: sometimes the lag value can grow to large size due to playback or recording glitches. 78 . Set this value to -1 to disable the detection of this ‘out of resources’ condition.

while if the MIDI tracks are added to the song is the n-Track internal MIDI sequencer that does all the work. If this option is unchecked the drawing will have no effect.4. set and draw the evolutions of volume and pan etc. The automation of the volume and pan consumes some resources so if it’s not needed it’s better to leave it off: Default = unchecked MIDI devices: choose here which soundcard to use as input device and which to use as output.4. Default = 8 ms Ticks per quarter note: sets the resolution with which notes are represented (used for representing time in M:B:T format and for MIDI clock sync).. The latter way allows for some more flexibility in that it is possible to adjust MIDI channels & programs. Timer to use: sets what timer the program internal MIDI sequencer should use. The wave timer (retrieving the actual time querying the soundcard’s wave output elapsed time since the playback has started) may be preferable in some situations when MIDI tracks may not be in sync with the wave playback. Default = checked Filter program changes: same as above but with regards to the channel’s program (instrument) setting.2. If a MIDI track is inserted in the song the preferences MIDI file playback is disabled. unless you move the volume slider again (making the program send another volume event). Default = checked Automated volume/pan: This allows the volume and pan of the MIDI track to be programmed drawing on the track (after having clicked on the volume icon on the toolbar). It is different from adding a MIDI file to the song (using “Import MIDI file” from the file menu) or from recording MIDI tracks because in the former way the program just tells Windows MCI sequencer to playback the MIDI file. This will have made the program record that event and if this option is left unchecked during playback the same volume change will be reproduced: after the volume event will be posted. Higher resolutions (lower values) result in better timing at the cost of more CPU utilization. Default = 120 79 . Remap channels: This option allows the program to remap the MIDI tracks output to channels selected thorough the track property window. Default = checked Filter volume/Pan events: Eliminates from the played back MIDI notes the ones that control the volume and pan of the MIDI synth: for example while recording a MIDI track you could have moved the volume slider on the keyboard. Default = system timer Internal Timer Resolution: sets the resolution of the Windows timer used by the program to generate MIDI events. Preferences/MIDI settings MIDI file & Compensation: This allows to specify a MIDI file that will be played in sync with the song. the volume setting made in the program’s mixer will have no effect. This dialog also includes the “connect input to output” option: check it if you’re playing thorough a MIDI keyboard attached to the MIDI input of the soundcard’s and you want the output to be heard through the selected output soundcard.

Otherwise the program will assign a filename based on the name of the current song (displayed on the main window’s caption). If this option is unchecked the drawing will have no effect.sng. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Noise shaping: Use noise shaping.4. Default = unchecked Ask to delete wave files to be removed from the song: if this option is checked every time the program is told to remove a track from the song it will ask if the user wants to actually delete from the hard disk the wave files associated with the track. the level shown on the vumeter corresponds to the signal which will be heard after x tenths of second. It’s always possible to rename a song’s wave files using the “rename wave file” option from the track menu. If the option is unchecked the program will use the recording time reported directly from the soundcard Dither: Use dithering. Ask for “ready?” before recording: if this option is checked a little message box will appear before the actual recording start.wav and so on.3. a few seconds may pass between disabling the mute control for an audio track and hearing the track again. If the option is unchecked the program will use the playback time reported directly from the soundcard Use system timer for recording time: when this option is checked the program will calculate the current recording time using the computer timer.e. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Number of Aux busses: Sets the number of aux channels to use in the current project 80 . Preferences/Options settings Priorities: Use higher priorities to make the program able to exploit more of the system CPU resources. If this is unchecked the program will wait for the end of the recording and then will process the whole wave file to extract the waveform data to use for displaying the wave file on the timeline.4. For example if the name of the song is blues. Default = unchecked Ask for names of wave files to be recorded: if this is checked the program will prompt the users for the name of the wave file(s) to be recorded each time the record button is pressed. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Dither depth: Depth in bits of the dithering noise. Be careful with very high priorities as they may render the system unusable. Default = checked Restart playback where it last stopped: if this option is unchecked the playback will always restart at the last position where the cursor has been manually set Read data from tracks even if muted: when this option is disabled. Defaults = Normal Generate peak files while recording: Allow the program to generate the peak files during the recording. You can uncheck this option if you need to make economy in CPU usage. where x depends on the buffering currently used). The automation of the volume and pan consumes some resources. the first recorded tracks will be named blues_1. Default = unchecked Playback vu-meter anticipates the output: set this option for a more precise measurement of the output level and clipping condition. This may cause accidental deletion of wave files so be careful when answering to the message box. The drawback is that the level graphically shown on the vumeter is slightly in advance with respect to the signal being heard at a given moment (i. Default = checked Automated volume/pan for wave tracks: This option allows the volume and pan of the wave tracks to be programmed drawing on the track (after having clicked on the volume icon on the toolbar). Default = unchecked Use system timer for playback time: when this option is checked the program will calculate the current playback time using the computer timer. blues_2. When this option is checked the program will report levels above 0 dB instead of just the CLIP sign.wav.

The backup will be named "~ntrck_backup-XXXX". as well as all the preferences settings. volume evolutions etc.. If for some reason the song you're working on gets corrupted you can revert to the last saved backup loading this file.4. when one whishes to re-record a certain wave file. ticks). samples or M:B:T (measures. 30.) are lost. 75 FPS (Frames Per Second). 25. The pop-up window will appear only for marker whose “pop up text” (as set in the marker properties dialog box) in not empty. Setting the time to –1 disables the marker pop-up window. so under stress situations the vu-meters may stick for some instants.4. If this option is unchecked new tracks will be assigned the color set in the Default Colors dialog box Delete empty tracks: if this option is checked the program will delete a track when the last wave file it contains is removed. Lower timeline axis time format: selects the time format for representing time in the time axis at the bottom of the timeline window Passive vu-meters update: if this option is checked the animation of the vu-meters is given a low priority. it may be useful to delete the wave file. Default = checked Markers pop-up time: sets how many seconds the pop-up window with the marker count-down appears before the marker time. where XXXX stands for the current song name. keep the empty track. record the new file and place it in the old file’s track. In this way you won’t have to adjust again all the track settings.4. tenths of seconds).e. Available formats are 10 (i. This changes. Since when a track is deleted all its settings (effects. beats. Default Time Format: selects the time format used by default on every dialog box. will be saved when the program will exit Volume drawing ranges: set the ranges of the timeline volume drawing Delete all undo data: deletes all the temporary wave files created to allow undo on wave editing operations View Waveform: if this is unchecked the wave file will be displayed in the timeline as just filled rectangles. 81 . 24. : factor by which the mixer window size is enlarged (values greater than one) or shrunk (values between 1 and 0) Split mixer in two rows if the numer of tracks is greater than: if the number of tracks is greater than the number here specified the mixer will be split in two rows to allow more tracks settings to be adjusted in the mixer without having to use the horizontal scrollbar Log interpolation: see Fade Properties Save backup every X minutes: if this option is checked the program will save a backup of the current song every X minutes. Preferences/Appearance settings Set fonts/Set colors: customize the program’s look. Enlarge mixer by factor. but in this way the system will be able to "concentrate" more on the actual mixing job Show vu-meters for each track: uncheck this option if you think that the mixer's vu-meters are using too much CPU resources (you may check if this is the case temporarily closing the mixer window and checking if the program becomes more responsive) Use different colors for each track: if this option is checked a new color will be assigned to every newly recorded or inserted track.

By double-clicking on a track in the tracks list box the program will launch the wave editor to edit that track. This reflects in a logarithm-like evolution between two nodes in a logarithm graph such as the timeline volume evolution representation (the levels are shown in dB).2 Volume automation 4. Wave Devices (Advanced) n-Track supports different types of soundcards drivers.5. 82 . Logarithmic fades are the most natural sounding ones Interpolate logarithmically: the program interpolates linearly between the volume evolution nodes. If none is specified the program will use the current directory. When it isn’t the program simply connects the nodes with a straight line. Soundcard’s mixer or Windows volume control path: sets the path to the mixer software that may be launched from within the program using the View/Soundcard mixer menu command Working directory: Sets the directory the program uses by default to store the wave files. In this dialog box you can set which drivers are displayed in the Wave Devices dialog box.4. So the correct representation of the volume evolution takes place when this option is checked. the program will normally use all the available input and output channels. 4.4. although less correct.npk peak files and undo data.4.6. Preferences/Paths Wave Editor Path: Insert here the path to your wave editor. which is not how the volume actually evolves between the nodes.5. . You can use this settings to make the program use only a certain number of channels. Un-checking this option speeds a bit the drawing of the timeline window and may render the volume representation clearer. Show MME devices: Show MME devices in the devices list boxes Show DirectSound devices: Show DirectSound devices in the devices list boxes Show Asio devices: Show Asio devices in the devices list boxes Compensation: see Sync & lag issues Use up to N input/output channels When using an WDM or Asio multiple input/outputs soundcard. Fade properties dialog box Shape: select which shape the fades should assume. See also 2.

6. specifying that this is a copyrighted MP3.50 of BladeEnc.6. . which is in turn based on freely available ISO sources. The checksum data is needed for errorcorrection when streaming the MP3 in realtime over Internet (as done by Internet radiostations). Higher values will produce a bigger but better sounding mp3 file . the file will be nonetheless deleted .Priority: Changes the priority with which BladeEnc is run. created after mixing down) to mp3.Private: Sets the private-flag in the MP3-file. Wav to mp3 conversion Mp3 (which stands for MPEG Layer 3) is a standard compressed audio format that guarantees high sound quality while obtaining very high compression ratios: depending on the chosen bit rate compressions up to 1:10 can be achieved with almost unhearable (at least to non audiophile’s hears) loss of quality. .6. . To listen to the mp3 file you’ll need an mp3 player. If the original wave file is mono the mp3 file will be mono anyway .Bit rate: selects the compression factor. but it only allows conversion from finished wave files (i.4. file size or quality in any way. For this reason (and also because on-the-fly decompression of mp3 files will be way too heavy on the computer CPU) n-Track Studio doesn’t support mp3 file format for recording or importing tracks. See also 4. This makes this format ideal for distributing audio files over the Internet or in any situation when the size of regular wave files will make their transmission impractical.e.Copyright: Sets the copyright-flag in the MP3-file. On the other hand mp3 is always a lossy compression and so it isn’t suited for storing audio data when the sound quality must be kept as high as possible. Multiple conversion can be executed simultaneously by the program and the normal program operation can continue during the conversion(s). Setting this flag doesn't affect the encoding time. specifying that this is a private MP3. .Mono: forces the mp3 file to be in mono format.1. Audio format conversions 4.Delete wave file after conversion: if checked the program will delete the original wave file after the conversion has ended. such as Winamp. This program uses for the actual encoding the freeware utility BladeEnc by Tord Jansson. file size or quality in any way. Wav to mp3 conversion Dialog Box: . Clearing the original-flag doesn't affect the encoding time.2 Wma conversion 83 . Be careful with this option since if the conversion ends with an error. It lowers the quality of the sound slightly since the checksum data also needs to fit in the specified bit-rate and is not needed for normal use.Copy: This switch clears the MP3 file's original-flag that is set by default from version 0. file size or quality in any way.Crc: Adds checksum data to each frame in the MP3 file. Setting this flag doesn't affect the encoding time.

Although not as popular as mp3 it is rapidly gaining acceptance and support from audio software as it’s currently considered the best audio format in that it achieves the best sound quality for a given file size. The attributes you set will be visible when opening the file with a compatible player Multiple conversion can be executed simultaneously by the program and the normal program operation can continue during the conversion(s).2. • • Format: selects the output file format.xiph. It also uses Ogg Vorbis for compressing audio data saved in packed song files (.6. More information on Ogg Vorbis can be found at www. Wma files contain audio data that is compressed by using a new high-quality lossy audio compression scheme (codec) called Windows Media™ Audio codec Wma files can be be significantly smaller than mp3 files of comparable audio quality. Wav to Wma (Windows Media Audio) conversion Converting wave files to wma format is useful for distributing audio files over the Internet or in any situation when the size of regular wave files will make their transmission impractical.ogg) Ogg Vorbis is a new non-proprietary standard for audio files compression. If an attempt to play a wma file is done with older versions of the Media Player the player will recognize the new file type and will automatically download from the Internet the appropriate codec.ogg files can be played on most current audio players such as Winamp (www.com) and the the newest Windows Media Player.org n-Track Studio can convert wave files to the Ogg Vorbis format with the File/Convert wave file to/Ogg Vorbis menu command.winamp.com).4. Ogg Vorbis files (.5 and later (www.6. 84 .sgw). See also 4. and can import . . Higher values of the bitrate and the sampling frequency will generate bigger but better sounding files Attribute: select in the drop down list the attribute you want to set and enter the corresponding text in the edit box.winamp. Playing wma files A number of players support the wma standard. among which Winamp v2.ogg files into the current project using the Import wave file command in the Track menu.3.6 mp3 conversion 4.

Any integer number can be specified. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Noise shaping: Use noise shaping. or when doing a mixdown you select a sampling frequency different from the working frequency. program crash etc. Dither: Use dithering. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Dither depth: Depth in bits of the dithering noise. For example when converting a 44100 signal to 22050 hz. If you change the setting. When multiple source files are selected the program will automatically generate the name of the converted file appending to the original name the new sampling frequency (for example converting the file named “guitar. Start trying each of the bit formats.wav file from raw audio data command allows you to try recovering the audio data from a . For more info see Dither & noise shaping 4. Increasing the parameter Audio data starts… parameter by 1 will result in all the file samples to be shifted by 1 byte resulting in pure noise. If the recovered wave file resulting is too slow or too fast an incorrect sampling frequency or number of channels might have been specified. you should change it by a multiple of the file sample size. Replace existing file: Change the original file sampling frequency. all the frequencies in the 11025-22050 range will be eliminated. Likewise if the format is 16 bit stereo (2 channels). The most common sampling frequencies are listed in the box to the right of the sampling frequency text box.e. If you intend to apply further processing to the converted wave file. The File/Convert wave file/Recover .7. File format New sampling frequency: The sampling frequency you want the file to be converted to. 85 . You can browse for the file clicking on the browse button.wav” to 32000 hz frequency the resulting filename will be “guitar_32000.wav file headers n-Track will ask you to manually specify the format that the wav file uses. Windows crash. Multiple files can be selected. shifting by 2 bytes will result in the file’s left and right channels to be exchanged. For example a 16 bit mono wave file has a sample size of 2 bytes. File to convert: The file to be converted. This happens because when lowering the sample rate the signal is low-pass filtered to avoid a phenomenon called aliasing. particularly for files originally created by n-Track. you can try going by trial and error. Recover a wav file from raw audio data Sometimes . the beginning of the file which contains information about the file format) have been somehow corrupted. the 32 bit format guarantees the greatest possible quality.) and number of channels. Create a new file: Create a new file with the desired sampling frequency leaving the original file untouched. If you select an incorrect bit format the resulting wave file will sound as pure digital noise. If you’re lowering the sample frequency.wav”.6. including the file’s sampling frequency. sample format (16 bit. Sampling frequency conversion This option allows changing the sampling rate of wave files.4.) failure. a subsequent increase in the sampling frequency will not restore the file as it was before the first conversion.4. The Audio data starts N bytes from the beginning of file parameter should typically be left at the default setting. The change will generally not be undoable. In order to restore the . If you don’t know or remember which format the wave file is supposed to have.wav files get corrupted following an hardware (hard disk) or software (file system.wav file whose headers (i. 24 bit etc. New bit depth: Bit depth of the converted file. The program will automatically ask to convert the sampling frequency if you try to import a wave file with a sampling frequency different from the working frequency (as set in the “Preferences/Recording settings” dialog box).

CDs have 16 bit resolution.9. 86 . so if you intend to use the mixed down wave file to burn an audio CD use the 16 bit setting.Mixing down some tracks to apply effects permanently or to reduce the number of tracks that the program mixes “on-the-fly” For the first application. Channels: select the number of channels of the mixed down file Sampling frequency: select the output file sampling frequency. For the second application. Not all drivers have a control panel: the button will have no effect if no control panel is available. thus making the program exploit less the system resources.8.sng file” menu option. In this way.Mixing down the whole song to a single wave file .sng filename to export the mixed down tracks. Generating 32 bit wave files can be useful if you intend to process again the file to be created using a wave editor or n-Track itself. the program will not process master channel and will consider the master volume as if it was 0 dB.wav file that has been unrecoverably corrupted or that has a bit format different from the one you specified will result in very LOUD noise which may hurt your ears and damage the speakers. 4. 4. as maintaining an high intermediate quality helps in keeping low the noise that is always generated when the audio date is processed. If the selection is different from the working sampling frequency the program will mixdown to the working frequency and then will convert the resulting file to the specified frequency. Asio settings Asio Control Panel: Opens the soundcard’s Asio driver control panel. Mixidown Dialog Box Output file: name of the wave file that will be created Tracks to mixdown: select the tracks to be mixed down [default = all tracks] Substitute tracks with the mixed down file: let the program remove the mixed down tracks and substitute them with the newly created wave file Create also an mp3 version: after the mixing down has ended. 24 or 32 bit (float) wave files clicking on the relative radio button. typically all the tracks will be selected (as the program does by default) and the “Process Master channel” option will be checked. If you need also an mp3 version check the “Create also an mp3 version” option. where you can change settings specific to your soundcard’s driver. the “Process Master channel” option will be typically checked as the “Substitute tracks with the mixed down file”. You can force the program to generate 16. The two typical applications of the mixdown feature are: .Warning: playback of a recovered . the program will open the mp3 conversion dialog box to convert the mixed down wave file to mp3 format Process Master Channel: if this option is unchecked. The program will also ask for a . Bit depth: by default the program creates wave files with the same bit depth you’re currently using on each output soundcard. Uncheck this option if you want to substitute the tracks to be mixed down with the wave file to be created. the program will create a new wave file with the selected tracks and will substitute the tracks with this single wave file. so that at a later time it’s possible to reload the single tracks as they were before mixing down (wave files associated with the tracks should obviously not be deleted) using the “Track/Import tracks from . in such a way that the song will sound exactly the same as before but the actual number of tracks will be decreased.

use the ‘internal setting. If with this option activated the program becomes unstable uncheck it.Process in driver’s thread: Use this settings for maximum efficiency and low latency. If unsure. 87 . Restart if driver asks: Uncheck this option if you don’t want the program to stop and restart the playback or recording when the Asio driver reports that a loss of sync has occurred Clock source: Some soundcards allow to sync to external clock reference signals.

Press the apply button to use the new values. Size: sets the size of the blocks the program uses to save data to disk. sets how many times the buffers used for loading data from disk are bigger than the buffers used for accessing the soundcard. Preload buffers: a value higher than 1 allows the program to load buffers from the hard disk while at the same time processing another buffer Disk loading buffers bigger.11. Default values appear rotating the knobs. then try to increment the buffers if you need more reliable playback and decrement them if you want lower latency. the buffers size and numbers are dictated by the Asio driver. 88 . Low values of this parameter will make the program more resource consuming: if you can hear jumps in the playback.4. Piano Roll settings The piano roll window can show a number of different MIDI events. If playback. Since big disk loading buffers lead to a more efficient use of the hard disk and small buffers used for accessing the soundcard lead to a lower latency. In this dialog box you can select which events to show and which kind of event to insert when the button is activated Place: select which event to place when the View: select which event should be drawn on the timeline window button is activated. Buffering settings Playback buffers: number and size of buffers used during playback and for live processing output. When using Asio drivers. Recording buffers: during recording number and size of buffers used during recording and for live processing input Disk buf. but any other value for both the buffer size and number can be manually entered typing the number in the text boxes. Decrease the buffering to decrease the time between an action operated on the mixer and its hearable result (output latency). a relatively high value for this parameter can allow to use the hard disk efficiently while maintaining a small output latency. try to increase this parameter.. Always start from the default values. 4.10. Bigger blocks make the access to the hard disk more efficient. they will be stopped and restarted with the new buffering settings. but too big blocks may cause small drop-outs in both the recording and the playback during recording. recording or live input processing are active. so the program will complain if the settings are different from those requested by the driver.

When the player pushes a key. the way in which the key is pushed in the end reflects only in how fast does the key hammer hits the piano strings. range 1 to 128 channel to which the event will be sent to 89 . range 0 to 16383 Program change: Program: instruments number. range 0 to 128 Pitch wheel: Value: pitch wheel value. Channel: Controllers: Controller #: controller number Value: controller value. MIDI Event properties Start: time at which the event starts End: time at which the note ends Note: pitch of the note Velocity: note velocity. but the velocity often also affects the timbre of a note. The velocity parameter reflects how an acoustic piano keyboard actually works. With most MIDI synths and with most instruments higher velocities result in louder notes.4.12.

The drop-down box will include all the devices selected in the output section of the Preferences/MIDI/MIDI devices dialog box.4. Creative Labs soundcards use the “Channel 0” switching method. Not every MIDI synth has the same set of instruments. Leave “(none)” to use the default channel. The “Normal” setting will work with most MIDI synths. MIDI Track Properties dialog box Track name: Edit the track name displayed on the timeline and on the mixer window Program: Select which program (instrument) assign to the selected track. If the switching banks has no effect (and your MIDI synth has different instruments banks) try to change the “Bank selection method” parameter Bank selection method: The method used for switching instrument banks. Output port: The MIDI output port the MIDI track is sent to. When “(none)” is selected the track will use the MIDI synth default instrument for the track’s channel Channel: The channel the MIDI track is assigned to Bank: The bank of instrument used for the track channel. Velocity +/-: Augment or diminish the track’s MIDI notes velocity by this factor Transpose +/-: Chorus +/-: Reverb +/-: Augment or diminish the track’s pitch by this factor Augment or diminish the track’s MIDI notes chorus by this factor Augment or diminish the track’s MIDI notes reverb by this factor Color: Track’s color Piano Roll: Open the Piano Roll window Remove the selected track from the project Remove track: 90 . You can change or customize the set of instrument names associated to program numbers clicking on the small button to the right of the programs drop down box.13.

4. the velocity and duration parameters are listed in the event’s row in the table. When this option is unchecked it’s not possible to route the MIDI input to one of the outputs (for example to play with a MIDI keyboard) Input to output echo: None: the program doesn’t send any incoming MIDI signal to any MIDI output port Automatic: The program sends the incoming MIDI signals to the MIDI output port and channel of the currently selected track. Multiple devices can be selected dragging with the mouse or clicking holding the Ctrl key MIDI Output port: Select the MIDI Output ports to use. channel. You can also alter the incoming notes transponding them and changing their velocity 4. the start time. MIDI devices settings MIDI Input port: Select the MIDI Input ports to use. The device number sets the order by which the devices are shown in the ‘Output port’ drop down list in the MIDI track’s properties dialog box Keep devices open: when this option is checked the program will always keep the MIDI devices open. Similarly to what happens with the Piano Roll. Multiple devices can be selected dragging with the mouse or clicking holding the Ctrl key. Selected devices will have the device order number written to the left of the device’s name.15. For example for a note event the note name. and no other program will be able to access them when n-Track is running. Manual: When this mode is active you can select the MIDI output port and channel to which the incoming MIDI signals will be sent to.14. See also 3. When in this mode you can switch the sound produced by a MIDI keyboard simply clicking on the MIDI track that has the desired channel and output port settings. MIDI Events editing window The MIDI events editing window allows to sequentially view and edit all the events in a MIDI track in a table that shows all of the event’s parameters. Some events (for example program changes) may be easier to add or edit using this table view instead of the piano roll view.2 Editing MIDI tracks 91 . you can customize which events are displayed and which can be inserted in the dialog box that appears clicking on the View/Place Settings button.

Create a new wave file with the desired length. Dither: Use dithering. the 32 bit format guarantees the greatest possible quality. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Dither depth: Depth in bits of the dithering noise. The file size and speed will be changed accordingly. To stretch a wave file click on its waveform in the timeline. Transpose: Set the change in the file tonality. leaving the original file untouched.4. New bit depth: Bit depth of the converted file. If you intend to apply further processing to the converted wave file. then use the Track/Special/Time Stretch menu command. For more info see Dither & noise shaping 92 . Time stretch This option allows changing the speed and size of wave file. Replace existing file: Create a new file: Change the original file size.16. The change in speed and tonality will be inversely proportional to the change in size. For more info see Dither & noise shaping Noise shaping: Use noise shaping. For example an increment of 12 semitones (one octave) corresponds to making the file length half of the original New length: Set the desired file length.

93 .

Troubleshooting & Support 94 .5.

3. then send an email to Info@ntrack.2.com Please include in your message as much information you know about your system: The exact version of the program you have installed Hardware configuration details (processor.ntrack.com n-Track Studio download page http://www. suggestions and comments are welcomed and will help in developing better versions of the program.shtm) web page to see if the problem may have already been fixed.ntrack. n-Track Studio version history The updated version history can be found on the n-Track Studio web site at the address http://www. please check if you can find in the F. an answer to your problem. If none of this helps.ntrack.com/whatsnew. n-Track Studio on the Web n-Track Studio web site: http://www.com/frame_stat_discussion.com/download.com n-Track Studio Discussion Forum: http://www.com/frame_stat_discussion. hard disk(s) and especially soundcard(s)) Software configuration (including the version of Windows you’re using) See also n-Track Studio World Wide Web site: http://www. Credits 95 .shtm 5.ntrack.com/whatsnew. check if you are running the latest version of the program. memory.html 5. If you are submitting a bug report or reporting a problem you are facing using the program.Q.1.A. If not.ntrack. Feedback Bug reports.ntrack.ntrack.html 0. Also. check the version history (http://www.shtm n-Track Studio Discussion Forum: http://www.5.

The default value of 0 will work in almost all systems. If the lag value is constant throughout the duration of the recording it can be compensated with the compensation setting discussed above.. When this occurs the problem can’t be fixed using the compensation parameter and the program may not work properly so it may be necessary to change soundcard. or if the compensation is negative the shift will be towards the left). If you notice a sync problem in which recorded tracks sound constantly (i. The Soundblaster Audigy 1 can only record and playback in 16 bit mode.5.4. If you experience sync problems try unchecking both the Preferences/Options/Use system timer for checkboxes. 5. with equal delay during the whole length of the recording) too early or too late with respect to existing tracks in the song you can use the compensation parameter in the Preferences/Wave devices/Advanced dialog box to compensate for the problem. 96 . parameter to 1. Note: the lag values reported are based on the recording and playback position information reported to the program by the soundcard. When other frequencies are used the card performs a real-time sampling rate conversion which doesn’t perfectly preserve the timing and thus creates sync problems. Creative Labs Soundcards issues SoundBlaster Live! The SoundBlaster Live! Has some sync problems when the sampling frequency used is different than 48000 Hz. Use a negative value if the new tracks sound delayed or a positive value if new tracks sound too early (the program will shift new tracks to the right by the amount specified.5. then set the Preferences/Recording settings/Hide lag indicator. so read this only if you can hear a shift between the recorded tracks. It’s very important to double check with your ears if the lag values reported make sense. This information may be incorrect so it may lead to think that sync problems exist while it’s just that the recording and/or playback times are being reported incorrectly. notice the value that will appear near the "lag" writing on the time window on the program’s toolbar. Usually there’s no need to worry about the compensation settings. Sync & lag issues With some soundcards new recordings don’t sound perfectly in sync with the previous tracks because of the inability of the soundcard to start the recording and the playback at the very same time. despite the specifications may lead to think that it's a 24 bit card. During a recording.e. This seems to happen because the Live! internally always uses this sampling frequency. If the lag value grows constantly during the recording the problem is most likely caused by the soundcard sampling frequency not being perfectly constant or by a difference in the soundcard’s recording and playback sampling frequencies. The Soundblaster Audigy 2/4 can record and playback in 24 bit (& 96 Khz) mode.

6. Appendix 97 .

6.ntrack.com/faq. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) The latest updated version of the FAQ can be found at this address: http://www.1.shtm 98 .

Your web browser will be launched and pointed to the online purchase page (http://ntrack.x versions • Unlimited email technical support • 30-day money back guarantee Purchase n-Track Studio online Now Purchasing options Credit card You can purchase and immediately receive the full version of n-Track using a Credit Card with the option of making the purchase online over a secure web server.com/buy) After the order is complete you’ll immediately be able to download the full version of the program. Click on the “Buy n-Track Studio” button in the “About” dialog box or select “Buy n-Track Studio” from the program Help menu.6. Postal Mail You can purchase the program filling this order form and sending it via postal mail. tool free phone or by fax. Purchase n-Track Studio Now 99 . Thank you for registering n-Track Studio.2. you can optionally order a CD containing a copy of the program. via an U. If you can't download the program from the Internet.S. How to buy n-Track The benefits of purchasing n-Track include • Unlocking all the features of the program otherwise locked in the evaluation version • Free upgrades to all n-Track Studio 6.

S.x Registered n-Track Studio users can upgrade to n-Track v6. 100 .Upgrading to n-Track v6. removing all limitations and nag screens You will get free upgrades to all n-Track Studio 6. tool free phone or by fax.com/upgrade Thank you for registering n-Track. Benefits of registering n-Track: You’ll receive the codes to register the shareware version of the program. via an U.x at http://ntrack.x versions Being a registered user you can ask anytime for technical support Purchasing options Credit card You can purchase and receive the full version of this program from using a Credit Card with the option of making the purchase online over a secure server. Connect to http://ntrack.com/upgrade If you registered the program on or after the 1st of May 2008 the upgrade is free (please contact us if you have not already received the upgrade information).

2. If more than one person needs to use the software at the same time additional licenses must be purchased. All copyrights to n-Track Studio are exclusively owned by the author . License 1. Installing and using n-Track Studio signifies acceptance of these terms and conditions of the license. damages. You use at your own risk. the user is granted a non-exclusive license to use n-Track Studio on one computer. 3. No person or company may charge a fee for the distribution of n-Track Studio without written permission from the copyright holder. All rights not expressly granted here are reserved by Flavio Antonioli. 6. 5. but may be permanently transferred. 7. 101 . The program can be installed on multiple computers belonging to the same person.3. Following this test period of 40 days or less. 4. The n-Track Studio evaluation version. you must purchase. provided the distribution package is not modified. the transfer must include the update and all previous versions. but can actually be used by one person at a time per license. for any legal purpose. n-Track Studio is distributed "as is". No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. The author will not be liable for data loss. may be freely distributed. Flavio Antonioli.Flavio Antonioli.6. Thank you for using n-Track Studio. Anyone may use this software in evaluation mode during an evaluation period of 40 days. If you do not agree with the terms of this license you must remove n-Track Studio files from your storage devices and cease to use the product. at a time. Once purchased. loss of profits or any other kind of loss while using or misusing this software. if the person receiving it agrees to the terms of this license. If the software is an update. if you wish to continue to use n-Track Studio. The purchased n-Track Studio software may not be rented or leased.

Firewire. The term is generally used as a glorified term for soundcard. the process of combining different takes into a single track selecting the best portions of MIDI a standard mechanism for digital representation and transmission of musical information. Soundcard the device somehow attached to the computer (via USB. A MIDI track represents music as a sequence of events. other takes are discarded. PCI or integrated into the computer main board) that is responsible for capturing and digitizing the audio input signal and sending the audio output generated by the computer to external devices such as speakers or mixing consoles. Some audio interfaces are made of an internal card and an external break-out box attached to the internal card via a proprietary cable. Take an attempt at recording a particular track. 102 . Glossary of terms Audio Interface a Soundcard which not being attached to the computer PCI bus is no longer a ‘card’. as opposed to an audio track that represents music as the digitized acoustic signal as detected by a mic or other device.7. Comping each take. In the process of recording a song multiple takes are recorded and then the best one is selected to be part of the final version of the song. but is still the device responsible for audio input and output. musical part.

......................................... 42  aux channel ... 98  MIDI program names .................. 69  clipping ....wav ...................................................... 69  effects parameters envelopes .................................................. 127  download ................................................ 98  MIDI Instruments Definition ................................................. 51  I  input to output latency ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 121  microphone ......... 57  103 dithering ........................ 30  live input processing ..................................... 31  1  16 bit .......... 90  editing points .............................................................................. 69  delay ................................ 31  compression ............... 72  D  DC offset ........................................................................................................................... 18  control surface ..................................................................... 82  5  5...................................... 30  MIDI Clock .. 81  2  24 bit ........................................................................... 29  click ................................................................................................ 137  crossfading ................. 53  Forum .................. 45  G  General MIDI ................................................ 140  buffers.......................................................................... 37  ............................................... 52  exporting .......................................................... MIDI Drum tracks ..................... 40  EQ ......................................................................... 25............................. 44  destructive editing ................................................................................................ 64  MIDI devices  ................................................................................... 70  digital sample  ..................................................................................................................................................... 45  buffering ....................................................... 98........................................................................... 11  Instrument plug‐ins ....................... 156  C  CD burning ................................................... 49  dither ........... line in .......................................................... 97  E  editing ........................................................................................................ 59  6  64 bit ................................................................................................................................. 50  B  backup ..................... 155  FFT ........................ 37  0  0 dB ....... 43  insert effects .......... 74  M  markers ...................................................  ............................................................................................................. 81  3  32 bit ..............................................................1 ......mid ............................................................ 32  audio effects ................................................................................................ 69  .........................................................................sng.................................................................................................................... 43  live playing ............... 47.......................................................... 37  .............................. 57  metronome ........................................................................................................... 153  audio devices ................................................................................................................................................................................................. 46  F  FAQ ............................ 100  ......................................................... 64  corrupted ........................... 51  group channel ..... 123  .................................................................................. latency  ................................................................................................. 150  Drum instruments ................... 100  grid ........ 82  Asio ....... 111  L  lag  ......... 44............................................................................. 101  group .................................................................................................................................................................... 150  freeze ......................................... 42  install .................................................. 96  DXi .Index ................ 98  K  keyboard .............................................. 145  ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 76  mastering ................................................................... DirectX .............................. 150  Buy ....................... 93  MIDI events ......... 66  Editing MIDI ......... 128  bounce ........................................................................................................................................... 98  loop . 99  MIDI keyboard .................. 140  Bug ................................................................................................................................................................ 82  A  algorithm ............................... 145  MIDI instrument .............................................................................................. 34  Audigy .... 140  ......................... 105  MIDI control surface ........................................................................... 42..........

......................................................................... 26  VST ................... 135  P  packed song ........................................................................................................ 27........ 33  monitoring ........................................................................................................................................................ 156  restore ................ Mp3...................................................... 82  x86...................................... 30  soundcard’s mixer ........................... 100  MIDI Time Code .... 72  sng .. 80  Stretch ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 104  mixdown ......................................................... 80  .................................................................... 74  purchase ........................................... 49  S  samples ........................................................... 87  shareware .................................... 85  send .......................................................................... 42  ReWire ............................... 59  synchronization ......................................................................... 105  track EQ .............................. 32  song file .............. 42  ............ 14  U  uninstall ................................. 137  regions .................... 156  Q  quantize ......................................................... 31  mono  ................................ 30  recording vu meter ..................... 33  WDM ... 37  stereo ............................................................................................................................................................................... recording level ......................... 96  O  Ogg Vorbis ..... 89  MIDI System Exclusive .................................................................................... 54  tutorial .... 78  multi‐effect .......................................................................................................... 79  MME .................................................................. 137  return ........................................................................ 134  X  x64........................... 42  send automation  .................................. 43  N  noise shaping ................................................................................................................ 132  MTC  .. 147  surround ............................................ 33  Windows Volume Control ................................ 153  soundcard input ........................................................................... 49  VST/DX instrument ................... 143  video clip .................................................................... 30  spectrum analyzer  ............................................................................................................... 82  104 ........................................................................ 84  volume automation .......... Standard MIDI files ............................................................................................... 76  punch‐in ....................................................................................................................................... 97  VSTi ........................................................................................ 35  recording source ............................................................................................... 97  W  Wave file .................................. 11  T  time format ..........MIDI recording ......................... 53  .................................................................................................. 136  selections ...................................................... 30  SoundBlaster Live ......................... 71  note name.... 69  sampling frequency conversion ............................................................ 52  Troubleshooting ........................................................................................................ 158  V  Velocity ............................................................................................................ 57  non‐destructive editing ......................... 87  playback format .............................................................................. 31  signal path .............................. multichannel .............. 159  ......................................................... 86  registration ..................................... 104  system requirements ................ 37  WaveRT ................................. 57  snap to 0 ........................................... 101  quick start ...... signal level  .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 37  Sound Control Panel ...................................................................................................................................................................... 83  recording multiple tracks ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 46.. 76  ...................... 31.............................. 30  Wma ......................................................................................................................... 87  soft clipping .... 68  normalization ........................... 14  recover ................................................................................................................................................................................................ sgw ..... 13  R  recording format  ........................................................................................................................... 11  upgrade .............................................. 149  tuner .......... 104  ..... 39  volume evolutions ........

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