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Multi-track recorders/sequencers

From: Digital Audio Principles

Video: Multi-track recorders/sequencers

As the name implies, multi-track recorders are designed to let you work with multiple tracks of audio and also multiple tracks of MIDI. When you're working with MIDI it's usually referred to as sequencing. Most multi-track programs are both MIDI sequencers and audio recorders. This is probably the most useful of all of the applications in terms of the range of uses it provides, it's kind of the all-inclusive studio, and you can use it to work with audio, work with MIDI, do lots of editing, do lots of mixing and also mastering.

Multi-track recorders/sequencers

As the name implies, multi-track recorders are designed to let you work with multiple tracks of audio and also multiple tracks of MIDI. When you're working with MIDI it's usually referred to as sequencing. Most multi-track programs are both MIDI sequencers and audio recorders. This is probably the most useful of all of the applications in terms of the range of uses it provides, it's kind of the all-inclusive studio, and you can use it to work with audio, work with MIDI, do lots of editing, do lots of mixing and also mastering.

If you're recording bands with lots of tracks this is the kind of software you'd want. Or if you are doing things like Podcasts, and you're going to have multiple voices and add sound effects or background tracks of music, the multi-track recorder is the way to go. It's also good for doing MIDI arrangements and composition if you are using a lot of samplers or sound module and playback devices, and it's also great for doing sound design if you are doing anything with video for film, it's a great place to make sound effects or add music and then layers of voice-over and do some mixing in that respect as well.

It also has the option of using plug- ins, which are other mini applications that you can use in conjunction with the multi- track recorder, which you can use to effect. We will talk more about what plug-ins are later, but multi-track recorders, that's one of the great benefits is they are expandable in terms of their capabilities because you can use these other mini-applications in conjunction with them. Some of them are popular software that you will find out there in the multi-track world, are Pro Tools, Digital Performer, and Logic. There is also a huge selection of different titles out there and at different price ranges.

For an example, let's open up Pro Tools and just kind of look around and see what's there. Okay, so here we are in Pro Tools, and I've got a music session setup that we are looking at, and as you can see there is kind of different tracks, different waveforms to represent each track and multiple tracks, drums, bass, couple of guitar tracks, some reverb tracks with some effects on there. Down here we have a MIDI track and a Master Fader, and when you work in this Timeline, you set it up and hit Play, you get some music, get some playback, it's non-linear, so you can jump around.

We can work with different tracks independently, see, we can solo this one out. We can solo the little drum track there. So you can play this or you can mute them, then you can work with them in groups, you can copy and paste stuff. Take all those pieces and say, hey, we want them back over here for why I don't know. So you can do things like that, and you can work in a multi-track fashion. You can also go ahead and record a new track in. We'll add a new track, create a mono track there, and bring it up here, say newtrack, and then record.

Record another track in there, maybe some cymbal crashes, maybe the sound of some coyotes, something exciting. We can also work with the Mix window, as we are playing back all these tracks, I will go ahead and hit play via the console here, and then we can look at the Mix window which shows our Mixing Board, Digital Mixing Board. We can go in and make Volume changes. So the main thing here to keep in mind is that we have independent control of the channels.

Also we've got some plug-ins happening here, different kinds of things. This is--let's take a look at what we have here, this D-Verb, so we have added some reverb. I will give you a little taste of this, some action there. Let's do the drums, that's going to solo those out.

Now we are doing like the '80s Duran sound. So you can play with different plug-ins here to effect things, EQ and stuff like that. So in general this is the overall look and feel of a multi-track setup, independent channels, multiple channels, and independent control and great for music production. Again, you can also use this to do voice-over or podcast production, one track for voice-overs, other tracks for music beds, sound effects, things like that, or you can also import movies, it will open a little window up here in the corner that will playback a QuickTime movie, and so you can actually score to that movie playthings in time with it, sync things to it. So this is the multi-track environment.

We will go in-depth into kind of the different pieces of the multi-track software in another chapter, but I wanted you to get an idea of what it looks like and what it's capable of real quick.

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This video is part of

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Digital Audio Principles

110 video lessons · 26890 viewers

Dave Schroeder
Author

 
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  1. 50s
    1. Welcome
      50s
  2. 39m 10s
    1. What is sound?
      4m 15s
    2. Hertz and frequency response
      5m 34s
    3. Phase
      2m 39s
    4. Capturing audio
      3m 39s
    5. Sample rate
      6m 16s
    6. Bit depth
      9m 47s
    7. The waveform
      5m 3s
    8. Audio file formats
      1m 57s
  3. 7m 25s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      2m 59s
    2. Typical DAW signal flow
      4m 26s
  4. 50m 33s
    1. What microphones do
      1m 57s
    2. Element types
      5m 0s
    3. Pickup patterns
      6m 51s
    4. Axis
      2m 52s
    5. Frequency response and the proximity effect
      5m 10s
    6. Phase issues
      1m 41s
    7. Microphone types
      8m 44s
    8. Miking vocals
      5m 39s
    9. Miking amplifiers
      2m 17s
    10. Miking drums
      10m 22s
  5. 16m 39s
    1. Cables and connectors overview
      2m 42s
    2. Balanced and unbalanced cables
      3m 19s
    3. Common cable types
      7m 13s
    4. Cable tips
      3m 25s
  6. 12m 16s
    1. What is an I/O device?
      1m 41s
    2. Analog to digital conversion
      3m 10s
    3. Tour of an audio interface
      4m 49s
    4. Interface considerations
      2m 36s
  7. 21m 5s
    1. What is a preamp?
      3m 21s
    2. Input levels
      5m 29s
    3. Padding
      2m 18s
    4. Phantom power
      2m 37s
    5. Phase reverse
      3m 4s
    6. Preamp demo
      4m 16s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. What is a mixer?
      5m 55s
    2. Input section
      1m 17s
    3. Channel strips
      3m 16s
    4. Master section
      2m 28s
  9. 18m 21s
    1. What is monitoring?
      2m 11s
    2. Speakers
      4m 47s
    3. Room considerations
      5m 43s
    4. Headphone types
      3m 50s
    5. Monitoring levels
      1m 50s
  10. 15m 23s
    1. What role do computers play?
      1m 36s
    2. Performance issues
      4m 11s
    3. Hard drives
      4m 38s
    4. Mechanical noise
      2m 10s
    5. Authorization
      2m 48s
  11. 6m 54s
    1. Planning for recording
      54s
    2. Doing a system check
      1m 26s
    3. Planning your inputs
      1m 42s
    4. The recording environment
      2m 52s
  12. 25m 52s
    1. Types of digital audio software
      38s
    2. Multi-track recorders/sequencers
      4m 56s
    3. Two-track recorders/waveform editors
      4m 55s
    4. Loop-based music production software
      5m 44s
    5. Plug-ins
      6m 56s
    6. Other varieties
      2m 43s
  13. 18m 59s
    1. Common components
      46s
    2. The transport
      2m 4s
    3. The toolbar
      3m 19s
    4. The Edit/Arrange window
      4m 42s
    5. The mixer
      5m 8s
    6. The file list
      3m 0s
  14. 19m 17s
    1. Setting up a session
      3m 30s
    2. Assigning inputs and getting signals
      3m 19s
    3. Input modes
      3m 28s
    4. Overdubbing and punching
      5m 14s
    5. Bouncing down
      3m 46s
  15. 19m 42s
    1. What is editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Waveforms
      2m 53s
    3. Making silent cuts and trims
      7m 1s
    4. Fades and automation
      8m 27s
  16. 1h 23m
    1. What are plug-ins?
      3m 0s
    2. Using plug-ins
      6m 11s
    3. EQs
      7m 4s
    4. Dynamics pt. 1: Compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates
      5m 40s
    5. Dynamics pt 2: Applying dynamic effects
      7m 2s
    6. Pitch shifting
      6m 14s
    7. Reverb
      9m 28s
    8. Echo and delay
      6m 23s
    9. Modulation effects: Phaser, flanger, and chorus
      9m 39s
    10. Sound tools pt. 1: About, gain, normalize
      7m 39s
    11. Sound tools pt. 2: Reverse and time compression/expansion
      6m 29s
    12. Sound tools pt. 3: Noise reducers, dither
      8m 11s
  17. 23m 43s
    1. What is MIDI?
      3m 6s
    2. Keyboard controllers
      1m 23s
    3. Computer-based virtual instruments
      1m 6s
    4. Control surfaces
      1m 6s
    5. Recording and editing MIDI
      12m 4s
    6. Virtual instruments
      4m 58s
  18. 27m 29s
    1. What is mixing?
      1m 54s
    2. Some common objectives
      3m 4s
    3. Some useful techniques
      5m 59s
    4. A quick mixing demo
      16m 32s
  19. 18m 48s
    1. What is mastering?
      2m 24s
    2. Sonic maximization
      9m 43s
    3. Final preparations and exporting
      6m 41s
  20. 13m 34s
    1. What is audio compression?
      2m 16s
    2. Popular formats
      2m 9s
    3. Bit rate, sample rate, and channels
      5m 42s
    4. Other adjustments and considerations
      3m 27s
  21. 15m 6s
    1. Essential gear
      7m 36s
    2. Voice recording setups
      1m 43s
    3. The voice production process
      5m 47s
  22. 10m 4s
    1. Analog vs. digital
      2m 48s
    2. Tube vs. solid state
      5m 6s
    3. The continual upgrade
      2m 10s
  23. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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