Soundcard info page and links
Software info page and links
How to setup and optimize your PC for DAW apps.
Helpful Articles.
Recording and mixing tips.
Product reviews and comments.
Links to other great resources.
Press Releases.
Press Releases.

PCRECORDING.COM - - N-track review, pg. 3

Recording begins by clicking on the record button. The program starts recording a track and will do so until you press stop. When you stop a .wav file appears across the screen. To record another track you simply press the record button again. A new track starts recording while the first one plays back in full-duplex. A big clock is available to keep track of your time or you can rely on a smaller one on the toolbar. Input and output levels are monitored by the VU meters. I noticed that there is a bit of latency that occurs during recording and mixdown. Therefore, I would not rely on thses meters to prevent oversaturation. You simply could not react quickly enough to lower a dangerously high level. You will need to anticipate whrer your peaks are going to be and have things set accordingly.

After recording your tracks, mixdown is done by selecting the Mixdown tag from the File menu. A virtual mixer board, like the screenshot shown, will appear that allow you to set pans, levels, and add DirectX effects to each track.

You have the option to send each track’s signal to an auxiliary channel for processing. This is valuable because it saves considerable CPU resources. For instance, if you have a number of tracks, each of which you intend to run through an effect, you simply set the effect in the auxiliary channel and route each track through it. In this way, you do not need to load down your CPU with duplicate effects. You can independently set the amount of send and receive for each track to and from the auxiliary channel. You can also fade in/fade out and crossfade tracks automatically.

The mixdown signal is processed internally at 32 bit and can be rendered down to 16 or 24 bit at your option. In addition, you can process your .wav file into MP3 or Windows Media format for loading onto the Internet. One nice feature is that the program creates a .sng file every time you record. This file remembers the specific .wav files used and their relative positions and settings. You can then simply open the .sng file and it remembers which .wav files you used.

Perhaps the best feature of the program is the support. sponsors a forum at its site that is heavily visited by experienced users. The author frequently posts and responds to the forum and makes himself available via email. In addition, a user’s manual has been posted in the Adobe .pdf format for download.

On the downside, the program lacks a wave editor, noise cleanup utilities like denoisers and declickers. It is rather simple in its design and intent. It does not have extensive video editing capabilities either. Lastly, Mr. Antonioli is Italian and uses the English language very well. Nonetheless, his English user manual would benefit greatly from a review/edit by an english speaking editor. That way his excellent explanations and wonderful ideas would more clearly get across.

All in all, as a straight up multi-track recording program, N-track rocks with the big boys. Especially at its price of $35.00. It has robust features that cover virtually every contingency in basic PC recording. It works well in MIDI and in .wav formats. The program will provide an opportunity for any user to adapt his PC to a multi-track virtual studio with ease. Lastly support is exemplary and free. At this price, you are getting much more than your money’s worth.