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Track copying issue

Discussion in 'Recording' started by apodos, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. apodos

    apodos Guest

    I have no stereo output for my acoustic guitar so what I normally do is record a track in mono........copy it...then bounce the two tracks together, panning one guitar to the left and the other to the right during the bounce.

    I recently started using Cakewalk(as opposed to a hard disk recorder). The problem I'm having in Cakewalk is that when I copy a mono track to another track, I can't get one of the tracks to pan left and the other right during my bounce to the third track; they both only play from one speaker and one output.

    I 'm pretty sure there's a simple solution and I'm going to look pretty stupid but can somebody help.......
     
  2. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Figured it out.
    Never mind........
     
  3. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Active Member

    Haha..... Yeh, it's always something simple but at the time, you just can't see it :s:
     
  4. apodos

    apodos Guest

    I guess I haven't completely figured out my problem. Here's the deal: In the console view of Cakewalk I see that the meters respond appropriately(one mono track pans completely left and the other completely right), however, unless I adjust the mixer settings of my echo sound card, the sound I hear through my speakers does not correspond to the meter readings. I guess that was what created my initial confusion. So......when I mix my final product, I'm assuming that the only thing that really matters is the meter readings in the software program, right?
     
  5. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Ok, let me clear this up a bit in case anybody ventures in here to try and decipher what my problem is: I have two recorded tracks of sound. One is a copy of the other and I'd like to mix them together in order to get a stereo image by panning one hard left and the other hard right(I've done this successfully a bunch of other times with a different recording setup........or at least I think I've done it successfully). When I play the tracks back and pan them as described, the playback meters respond appropriately but I only get sound on one side of my headphones. I think I've tried every possible option in my mixing consoles for both my recording software(cakewalk) and sound card(echo mia midi) and no dice. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something conceptually about mono/stereo sound but I don't see why two separate mono tracks can't be arranged as I've described. Please help before I lose what little sanity I have........
     
  6. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    If you are getting the two tracks out to two seperate channels on your mixer and have the two channels panned left and right you should be hearing them in each of the headphone pads. Something is wrong with your setup and or panning.

    The bigger question here is whether two mono tracks panned left and right become stereo - and the answer is, no. Stereo images occur because two different versions of the same sound come to your two ears. In real life, your right and left ears are hearing the sound at two different times, because one ear is a little closer to the sound than the other.

    Even when this is not the case, one ear is hearing reflections (echoes and reverberations) off of walls, floor and ceiling at different times than the other ear. These variations in timing cause comb filtering to happen, as some waves will actually cancel each other out when they meet after bouncing off of some surface. Comb filtering will change the tone being heard, and so there are a zillion tiny differences between what each ear hears.

    This is a long way of saying that two mono signals is still mono. If it's an acoustic guitar you're trying to record in stereo and you have only one microphone, record your guitar with it panned to one track and at the same time record your guitar output to another track.

    If it's an electric guitar then you'll need some kind of chorus pedal or delay or reverb to take the mono guitar signal and make a stereo left/right image out of it.

    Or just record the guitar twice, it'll sound really nice panned left and right.
     
  7. cherrytone

    cherrytone Guest

    If you offset one side with a 10-12 millisecond delay you can get some width out of it.
     
  8. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Thanks for all the education and advice.

    My problem is not solved, however:

    My headphones(which I've tested recently and I know are capable of stereo sound) only get sound through one side when I plug into the output of my echo sound card. The sound card has 2 ouputs and the same problem occurs when I'm plugged into either output separately AND when I plug the headphones into both ouputs simultaneously with a stereo y-connector. I've tried panning the ouput of what I'm attempting to hear but the sound just decreases to nothing when I pan to the non-working side of the headphones. The ouput of my sound card mixer and my mixer in Cakewalk shows that the meters respond appropriately. And when I plug the outputs to my speakers, I AM able to pan the sound as I want; unlike the headphones, in which the sound decreases to nothing when I pan to the non-working side, the sound through the speakers responds to panning appropriately(the sound can be placed in either completely left/right/center position or anywhere in-between. This may be an unrelated problem but my sound card(echo mia midi) has one true stereo output and 4 "virtual" stereo outputs.....I can only get sound through one of those outputs.
     
  9. moles

    moles Active Member

    Have you tried playing around with the amount you are inserting the jack into the output? I know some cheaper Radio shack (for instance) phone plugs are spec'd to the wrong length, and wind up messing with the signal in different ways.

    It seems if a) your speakers work with the outs on your audio card, and b) your cans work with another source, them the problem must lie in the compatibility of the two.
     
  10. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    good advice.

    by the way... don't use a y cord to bridge both headphone outs to one pair of headphones. that's not going to help and may cause damage to your headphone amps (unlikely but possible)...

    You can also cause damage with some stereo headphone amps (which you have built into your echo) by using a mono adapter instead of a stereo adapter.

    Just offhand my guess is that one of two things are happening. You are either using a mono adapter (probably 1/4" to 1/8") for the phones in which case only one side will work.

    Or your headphones took a dive.

    If you are using an adapter make sure that it has three conducting surfaces on the jack... the tip, the ring, and the ground (shaft). If you only see one insulator on the jack seperating the tip from the shaft you have the wrong adapter. If you see two insulators making a total of three conductive surfaces (the tip, the ring, the shaft of the jack) you have the correct one.

    It is unlikely a mono jack will cause damage with most modern headphone amplifier designs. Some designs can be fried that way though. Like the old, old Tascam port-a-studios...

    Anyways check it out and report back.

    Cheers,
    Brock
     
  11. apodos

    apodos Guest

    I've done all that you both have suggested: I've inserted the tip of the jack at different depths, I've made sure that my y-connector is in fact stereo and I've checked my headphones with another source. I've checked for the three conducting surfaces on the adapters, as well.

    I used these same headphones and 1/4 inch adapter for quite a while with a hard disk digital recorder with no problem; I also used them with the standard computer soundcard in my PC.

    I guess I should try another pair of headphones.

    I am suspicious that I'm not doing something right with my echo soundcard, though I've been through the manual and I think I've tried everything; and then why would the sound work through my speakers if that were the case...I'm thinking out loud.....

    I'm as stumped as a tree at a chainsaw convention
     
  12. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    I too own a Echo Layla24 that I use with Cubase SX. Now, to me Cubase is a virtual (that's where the VST came from) replica of lets say a Mackie 32/8 mixer. You have the master section and the mixer section which you can setup to route/bus to any input or output. I use to use Cakewalk Pro back when it was version 6 & 7. I'd check and see how the sound card is setup in Cakewalk first then I'd record 2 seperate tracks (no copying) and try to see what I have as far as I/O is concerned. Sorry to say but the copying thing ain't happening. Not a true image of stereo reproduction.
     
  13. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Brock and/or everybody,
    Let me outline, as clearly as I can, my hookup from speaker to soundcard. Here goes: Speakers to RCA cable output(red and white outputs)to RCA cable input(red and White)to two MONO 1/4' adapters(one adapter on red, one on white RCA input)to two individual soundcard outputs.

    This setup allows me to get what I believe is the correct effect. All instrument tracks will pan correctly with this setup.

    The output from my headphones is now the only thing I've yet to understand. There is an 1/8' stereo plug at the end of the wire and I'm connecting that to a 1/4' stereo adapter which goes into one of my soundcard outputs(I also have a stereo y-connector, which I previously described, which can hook up to both of the soundcard outputs); both of these setups give only sound from one side of the headphones.

    Two questions: Is the solution that the headphone plug needs a mono adapter? Are the outputs of the soundcard mono outputs?
     
  14. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    alright, that gives some food for thought.

    I'm not familiar with the Echo products so I did some googling.

    First of all you say that you are coming out of your soundcard's outputs. These are 1/4" balanced outputs (meaning they are MONO balanced outputs operating at +4db). I am surprised you are getting usable level at all to your headphones (unless you happen to be using powered headphones which is truly unlikely).

    Your speakers have their own power which is why they are happenin'.

    Even though the outputs are tip/ring/sleeve three conductor outs they are in fact mono. You kinda' have the right idea with the "y" adapter however just because a "y" adapter has two 1/4" male connectors going to a single 1/4" female connector does not mean it is stereo. This sounds to me like that is the case with your adapter. On top of that bit of info there is no way you will get a usable, non-distorted level from those outputs to a pair of headphones. Not only is the impedence mis-matched but you simply do not have enough juice. Even if you got the right adapter you will be sorely dissappointed I believe.

    Now the RCA thing has me truly baffled as those are supposed to be spdif digital I/O. One for stereo in and one for stereo out. I have no idea why you are getting any signal what-so-ever using those as analog outs. You will have to explain yourself some more before I can except you aren't playing a cruel trick on me...

    Solutions:

    use an external headphone power amp which is receiving input from your two mono outputs on the mia midi. This can be anything from an almost broken tape deck, home stereo, or a stand alone headphone amp to anything with stereo inputs and a headphone out. Just keep in mind that any home units are going to want to see a -10db input signal so you will have to set the level that is sent via the mia accordingly...

    If you have a small mixer with headphone out this would be ideal (considering what you have to work with). This would allow you to use your mixer to send your analog stereo outs to both your speakers and your phones (while having seperate volume control over each).

    Let me know if this is making sense to you.

    Good luck,
    Brock
     
  15. TimOBrien

    TimOBrien Active Member

    Yes, each of the Echo's outputs is mono... one is the right channel and one is the left, making a stereo pair.

    You do NOT want to use a "Y" adapter.

    What you want is a (2) 1/4" mono - to (1) 1/4" TRS stereo adapter.

    Radio Shack has them; just don't get a mono "Y" adapter! (Guess who found this out on his Mia a couple of years ago! :) )
     
  16. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Firstly, Tim, I actually was at Radio Shack a few days ago and bought a stereo Y adapter for my headphones; I think that will work as long as I get mono 1/4' adapters to connect to the Y. I'll drop by the "shack" again and see what a TRS adapter is, though. So did you have success using non-powered headphones with the setup you described? Or was that setup for speakers?

    Brock's latest response leads me to think that unpowered headphones won't work with the Mia.....but I have gotten decent sound with my headphones(mono sound but decent, nonetheless).

    Now, the spdif issue. What exactly is the deal there? Brock, are you saying that the spdif is intended as the speaker connection? If not, what is the function of the spdif connection?(actually, if you can, please tell me what the spdif function is regardless). I tried hooking my speakers' RCA cable to the spdif connection and all I got during playback was some hissing from one speaker only.....no music though.
     
  17. moles

    moles Active Member

    spdif is a strictly digital connection, transmitted as pulse code modulation. If they are spdif outs, you should be hearing fax-like noises.
     
  18. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    The Echo Mia is a 4 channel card, 2 in & 2 out on balanced 1/4 in. jacks. Are you using 1/4 in. to RCA adapaters (you can get them from radio shack) then have them connected to the speakers from there? And let me ask you, what type of connectivity do you have on your monitors/speakers? Are there any XLR or 1/4" inputs, or is it just RCA?
     
  19. apodos

    apodos Guest

    Dabmeister,
    I have no trouble now getting appropriate sound from my speakers. I hook 1/4' mono adapters to RCA cables to RCA inputs on the speakers and that works fine.

    The problem is with my headphones. I plug the 1/8' headphone jack into a stereo y-connector to 1'4' adapters to the soundcard. I think the problem is that the 1/4' adapters from the y-connector to the sound card are stereo(I need to get stereo 1/4' adapters that fit my y-connector. If that's not the answere than I'm really going to be confused.
     
  20. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Well, the best answer I have is to get yourself a small compact mixer so you'll be able to monitor the signal. Other than that, I'd upgrade the soundcard. Anybody else have any suggestions?
     

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