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Multitracking in Cubase

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by deleeuw, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. deleeuw

    deleeuw Guest

    Hi,

    I've got a Roland VDrum TD3,.. I would like to record multitrack in Cubase, I found this MIDI-USB device to connect the TD3 module to my pc (http://www.m-audio.com).
    Features:
    - 1x1 USB MIDI interface
    - 16 MIDI input and output channels
    - bus-powered—requires no external power
    - extremely compact for mobile or desktop use
    - built-in USB and MIDI cables

    16 MIDI input and output channels; does this mean i have the possibility to multitrack?

    Thanks in advance for any replies,

    deleeuw
     
  2. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Yes you can multitrack via midi, but a 1x1 is very limited IMO. If you plan on using just your vdrums, then I'd say it'll do. But if there's other external midi devices that will be used, then I'd look into using something else. Softsynths are different, since they don't rely on any type of external midi connections.
     
  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Actually, the answer is NO. But, do you mean recording MIDI data or Audio?

    For audio, that MIDI interface won't help you at all. All it does is allow for the transfer of MIDI data from one device to the other. It doesn't allow you to record audio into your computer. For that you would need some sort of multi-channel audio interface.

    Since the TD3 only has stereo outputs, multitrack recording will be a somewhat tedious process as it involves isolating each sound to it's own track.
    Ideally what you would want to do is first record the MIDI data (using that interface) into cubase. This can be recorded on to one track. Now set up your TD3 so that the kick drum is output on the Left channel and the snare on the Right. Send those outputs into your computer so that the left is recording on track one and the right is recording on track 2. After recording the entire track, change the TD3 settings so that the toms are being output individually. This time record the toms on tracks 3 and 4. You'll need to repeat this process over and over until you have all the drums recorded.
     
  4. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Midi data is what I was pertaining to. I too (in most cases) record midi first on the repetitive parts like the drums, synth bass, & etc. to give my music that tightness, then re-record (the sound from) those midi tracks as audio tracks (once the midi tracks were fixed). But would'nt it be easier to break down each individual part and assign it to its own midi channel? That way the parts can be tailored to that individuals likings like, better groove quantizing or locking a straight 16th bass drum beat, on certain channels if needed. I find it (no offense) somewhat limited doing everything on one midi channel. I started out that way but I've experienced that utilizing as many midi channels as possible, gives you better control over what you're trying to achieve. Now on the other hand, if it's a very simple straight forward beat minus the rolls & etc., I'd do it all on one channel. BTW, I use a Motu MTP/AV & Express XT in my setup.
     
  5. deleeuw

    deleeuw Guest

    i read something on the inet about kit from hell... so i asked around then someone said that it was combinable with midi recorded tracks.

    does anyone have any experience with this?

    deleeuw
     
  6. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Sure, just add DKFH as a VST Instrument (shortcut F11) in Cubase and then select it as the output for the MIDI channel which contains the data. :cool:

    As for multitracking, that's a term which typically implies audio. You can't record audio through that interface, it's MIDI only. You can record multitrack MIDI which gives you lots of landscape if you have some VSTis, a few good ideas, and some dedication. Here's an example, every single song on this sight was recorded 100% MIDI, no audio at all. So this is within your reach:

    http://www.liquidcabaret.com
     
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Shoot...if you want to have the MIDI stuff on individual tracks, that's easy as pie.

    I seriously doubt that the TD3 will output each note on a different midi channel. Also, I don't know if you can filter midi notes so that certain notes are recorded on specific channels and others aren't. So here is what you do.

    Record the whole song to a single midi track. So that midi track will have everything: kick, snare, toms, cymbals..the whole shebang.

    Now copy that track so you have two of them. Do it again for each individual sound you have. When you have all the tracks, open up the first one in the midi editor. If you use the piano roll type editor, each midi note/drum sound will have it's own row. So in this first track delete every midi note that isn't a kick drum. It should be as simple as drawing a box around all the other notes and hitting delete. Now you have a single track just with the kick drum notes.

    Next do the same thing for the snare, then the toms, etc. When you are done, you'll have each drum isolated to it's own track so you can edit them individually.

    If you wanted, instead of creating multiple tracks and delete the extraneous data, you could copy just a single drum from the first midi track and paste that into a new midi track. Either way will give you the same results.

    Technically, you could still edit each drum individually in Cubase without having to split them all out on to their own tracks, but if that makes it easier for you, go to it.
     
  8. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    After recording the MIDI data to one track you can just use the "dissolve part" function to automatically split the drums to separate tracks in one click if you want. :cool:

    But you don't need to do that for VSTi based drums like DKFH, Groove Agent, Best Service Artist Drums, Kontakt, etc. to mix because all those systems output to multiple audio channels. You're not actually processing the midi tracks. So for example with Kontakt you would just route the individual drums to whichever output you wish and they show up as individual channels in the mixer to be processed as separate tracks, but there's only one MIDI track. :)

    You can mute individual drums from the VSTi GUI for all these systems also for rendering individual midi parts to audio tracks. :cool:
     
  9. deleeuw

    deleeuw Guest

    hehe, thanks guys for all the info 8)

    one more question...
    when 'converting' my midi tracks (edited with DKFH) to audio (mp3, wav...).. will it still sound like Calgary said?
     
  10. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Keep in mind that there is no type of "conversion" actually going on. All that's taking place is like what takes place when you type from a keyboard. The data is the only "activity recorded" which triggers the internal sound engine of your fav VSTi. Then audio from that VSTi is generated and bused through whatever output you designate via cubase. It's just like having a built in sound module loaded within cubase. The only drawback is, you'll need a decent pc with enough horsepower to handle those chores if you're gonna use a lot of them (VSTi's). This process however has no effect on the sound at all.
     
  11. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    I think he was referring to where I made reference to converting your separate drum parts to audio tracks so you can get rid of the MIDI track and VSTi completely, lock the audio tracks, and proceed with the project. Some people find that this frees up memory and/or increases performance. Quite often VSTis will chew much more CPU/memory than a handful of locked audio tracks and for some people this allows them to then add another VSTi which they could not have run in conjunction with the drum VSTi. If you have enough CPU though there's no need to convert anything strictly speaking. Some engineers just feel better rendering or "converting" the MIDI (drums) to audio tracks early on, I guess it seems more familiar maybe... :cool:
     
  12. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Gotcha, my bad. I was taking that he was implying that the midi was being converted, as opposed to the conversion being the process in whole. :wink:
     
  13. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    I agree with everything you posted. The semantics are unimportant, your post basically says it all. :cool:
     
  14. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    I really should read the manual for cubase some time. I'm still doing things (MIDI) the way I did them back on my old Amiga.

    I think he wanted the MIDI separation not really for the audio separation but to make it easier to edit each individual sound. For example, he may want to quantize the hi-hats with one value and snare's with another. I know that can still be done with all the MIDI data on the same track, but it can be confusing if you're not careful.
     
  15. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    It's identical either way. The MIDI data is going through the same VSTi so no matter if you dissolve it or not the audio tracks in your mixer will not change. The exception of course would be if you're using "MIDI effects" but no one does that in practice, especially for drums. I agree that some of the VSTis can be a bit convoluted at times. Fortunately it's not too hard to grow accustomed to in most cases. FWIW my experience is that the drum VSTis these days are very good and can be properly manipulated to produce some worthwhile drums. Here's a quick bed track for a tune I'm working on for example, the drums seem OK although I probably need to sizzle up that open hat a bit and back the kick off a little. I'm really happy with how the toms came out though, they're integral to this tune.

    http://www.albertadesign.com/mp3/rhythm.mp3
     
  16. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Great job on the drums "C"! Now that's what I'm talk'n bout. :cool:
     
  17. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Hey thanks dabmeister, that means a lot to me since I'm still extremely unconfident of my productions. Cheers. :D
     
  18. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    You know we are our worst critics. You've inspired me to pull out a recent purchase of some drum samples I got a few months ago by IK Multimedia, "SampleTank 2". I don't tend to use many VSTi drums because of the MPC4000 I have. I'm still in a bit of a learning curve with it so it takes away from my creative intentions with other things. I do however use it as one of my sound modules, so I'm experimenting with a few things on it at the moment to see how well I can incorporate it in my setup. It's really fun how you can manipulate certain sounds and make them sound so realistic. We'll always learn & find new ways to better our production skills.
     
  19. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Sample Tank XL has some really great sounds included actually. I use it from time to time and consider it to be a very decent sounding source for certain drum material for sure. I like the Sample Tank electric pianos and Indian flute in particularly also. I also like the GUI, you can work with Sample Tank quickly and pain free. :cool:
     
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