Click Track Bleeding... Please help!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Scott MacAdam, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forums but I have a problem that is driving me INSANE and I'm really hoping that this forum can provide me with a solution here. First I'll describe my set-up so we are all on the same page reading this.

    I'm using a 12 Channel mixer with my guitar amp as a Direct line in. From here I use the AUX out to run to my PC's Mic in (or Line in, I've used both) and then my PC's Audio out back to the mixer as a separate channel so I can monitor them both (the Playback and the inputs) through the master out control room headphones.

    PC playback is zeroed for AUX send (to the PC, mic in) so it doesn't bleed.
    This set-up all works fine.... until I found that my click track is recording into the tracks.

    Ok here is where the problem starts.

    When I record, either on my laptop or my desktop computers, in either Linux Ardour or Cakewalk Sonar, if I use a click track it ends up recording into the actual track.... really quietly, but it is there and it is driving me CRAZY!

    So for diagnostic purposes, I tried a whole bunch of different set-ups with no resolve and finally I just disconnected everything inputs and outputs to the PC and left the click track on and recorded with no inputs at all and when I played it back it was STILL THERE. This leads me to believe that it has nothing to do with my set-up.

    In attempts of a quick fix I went ahead and sent the click track (PC output) right back in as my only input (through my mixer via aux send) and I just recorded myself a track so I could just use it while I record and then delete it later... After this, I turned off the click track (in Sonar) and used only the track that I had just recorded, with EVERYTHING again disconnected. I armed the 2nd track for recording and hit play and I could see the click track bouncing the inputs for the 2nd track yet again.....

    It seems no matter what I do, if I use a click track, I'm stuck with it. I have NO IDEA why but I'm lost and I need some help here before I call it quits with this.

    Any relpy or idea would be GREATLY appreciated. Maybe this is something stupid that I am overlooking and it is a quick fix....

    Thanks so much,

    ~Scott MacAdam
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Hello Scott,
    Welcome to the forum. Hmm... Are you using the built in soundcard with your computer? I know that there is many problems inherent with the stock soundcards, it could be that there is something called crosstalk going on in your soundcard. You may want to consider stepping up a notch and getting something better if you are going to be recording your music. I think the manufactures skip quality altogether with built in soundcards, they figure the most a consumer will do is record some speech for notation or something very basic, so they cheap out as much as they can. There are so many good values out there as far as soundcards go, so you have many different options for all kinds of budgets. I would recommend getting something that is quality. M-audio, PreSonus and RME are the best choices.
  3. Never thought about that but it seems TOTALLY plausible. Just out of curiosity, how much would I be looking to dish out for a card suitable for professional recording? I spent pretty much my entire budget for gear just recently, I'll make room for a suitable card but what should I be looking at?

    Can anyone provide Specs or a link to a great card, value/performance.

    Thanks Again!!
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Things you should think about are making choices as to how your going to record. Firewire vs. USB, drives internal vs. external since your OS needs one drive and your track data needs another.

    Since you are wanting something high on the bang for the buck factor I have heard very reasonable feedback on this device:

    emu 0404 - Google Product Search
  5. My local music shop has something pretty similar to this. It's made by Roland and comes with a condenser mic for $229 I might go check it out. So just to clarify, If I get a USB audio interface I can bypass my internal soundcard and thus eliminate this problem without directly replacing the current card? This would be a better alternative for me if that is correct.

  6. RiF

    RiF Guest

    I have the same effect when recording guitar. Guitar pickups "pick up" signals from headphones. Do you record using headphones?
    Same as in your scenario, I have a lot of different backing tracks going into my headphones when recording, but only the click seems to bleed into the guitar recording. OK, here's how to solve this: turn down the volume of the headphones and see (or hear...) if the click-bleed reduces. If you're going direct, the volume doesn't matter so it's not a problem.
  7. Yeah as mentioned in my original post the click track bleeds into the recording even when recording with no inputs connected so I can confirm that it has nothing to do with my guitar/headphones or mics. This leads me to believe that it is definitely crosstalk on my soundcard but if I get a USB audio interface can I bypass my internal soundcard and thus eliminate this problem without directly replacing the current card?

    I've been considering buying a USB AI anyway so if this is a reasonable solution I will just go with this rather than replacing my internal SC.
    Can anyone shed some light on this issue?

    Thanks again everyone.
  8. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Okanagan,B.C. Canada
    yeah, the interface is an audio card.
    the best way is to uninstall the onboard audio, then install the interface will replace your audio card for everything.
  9. RiF

    RiF Guest

    1. Disable the internal sound card in your bios.
    2. I would stay away from USB-based audio interfaces, but that might lead from my bad experience with them (Line6 and Digidesign). Go for firewire or PCI, if you can.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    The crosstalk is more likely to be in your mixer. Depending, of course, on the brand. It COULD be the soundcard and its likely that its either one if not both. Since you are returning the signal through the board and using the aux's, I'm thinking that a send is leaking this. Effects, monitor, even the subs. Crosstalk in a board not originally designed for recording isnt that rare.
  11. As mentioned in the original quote and again above, the click still bleeds through with the inputs to my PC disconnected (thus the board all mics and DI instruments have no line in). Thanks for the thought though I will keep this in mind when purchasing my next board as my current one only supports 12 channels.
  12. Sorry, I'm not sure I understand. If I were to disable my sound card AND not use a USB-AI how will I record at all. Maybe I misunderstood.

    Just for further reference when I am purchasing gear, why do you suggest staying away from USB-AI? I'm relatively new to recording but don't you NEED a M-Box to use Protools and isn't Protools one of the most popular DAWs? If there is a better quality solution I will go for it, but at the same time my budget is pretty tight right now and I really just want to work out all the little kinks (like crosstalk/bleeding) so I can begin recording without all the little imperfections.

    Just for you reference into what I'm using I currently run Sonar 8, Cubase 5, Ardour 2 and a few other little mastering programs that I like using depending on the project, in case that affects the hardware I should be using.

    Thanks again everyone, this is really helpful for me

    ~Scott MacAdam
  13. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    Neuse River Watershed
    Home Page:
    The only time you should need a loud click is when laying drums. Then, presumably, you won't need a click any more.

    Or if there are quiet passages where a click is needed, it should be real quiet. Otherwise, through whatever means the click is bleeding, its disturbance will be minimized.
  14. planet10

    planet10 Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    Chicago area
    Home Page:
    maybe in your software you have the click bused to the same input as your recording track on your daw or mixer ??? Nuendo allows me to send a click track to any output i want. just shooting from the hip here.
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