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Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9

Big Mick 16 Jul 00 - 12:45 AM
katlaughing 16 Jul 00 - 01:03 AM
katlaughing 16 Jul 00 - 01:06 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 00 - 01:22 AM
Escamillo 16 Jul 00 - 03:08 AM
IvanB 16 Jul 00 - 03:19 AM
IvanB 16 Jul 00 - 03:26 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 00 - 03:35 AM
Nicole Leonard 16 Jul 00 - 08:19 AM
flattop 16 Jul 00 - 09:01 AM
Roger in Sheffield 16 Jul 00 - 09:49 AM
Jeri 16 Jul 00 - 11:20 AM
IvanB 16 Jul 00 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Willie-O 16 Jul 00 - 02:12 PM
Jeri 16 Jul 00 - 02:18 PM
Áine 16 Jul 00 - 02:45 PM
Roger in Sheffield 16 Jul 00 - 03:00 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Jul 00 - 03:28 PM
Big Mick 16 Jul 00 - 04:48 PM
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Subject: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 12:45 AM

As many of you know, I have bought a new computer, 800 megahertz, 45 gig HD, 128K Ram (the only weak link, I will fix this later) and a top of the line sound card. I now want to install software with which I can lay down tracks, do some mixing, and in general learn how to record music that I have created. I have little experience at this time, but I do have a basic understanding of the process. I also want to experiment with recording with Mudcatters in other parts of the world. For example, I lay down the rhythm track and vocal, send it off to THE FAIR ONE and have her add some whistle, harp or bodhran (even though she holds the tipper wrong). Then off to Frank McGrath or Dave Swan for some harmony and so on. Ultimately it ends up with Max.

Now to the heart of my question. After investigating what is available, it is my opinion that Cakewalk Pro Audio 9, seems to have most of the capability, including some pretty good tutorials. What are your opinions of this software? Do you have alternatives? In your collective opinion, will this accomplish what I am after? What are your observations of my project? Is it doable?

I know that I am thought of as non-musical in some corners, but I really want to take some time with this and coordinate with a number of you to try and put this together. I value your opinions greatly.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 01:03 AM

Well, let me bully you into looking at RealProducer, too, Mick. I've used it to send some files to Max and others. It does a nice job of compressing the files so they aren't too huge and take forever to load.

I know we've had some great discussions about CakeWalk...Jon Freeman uses it, if I remember correctly. I'll go hunt up some of the threads.

katlipstickandall


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 01:06 AM

Oh well, if you put Cakewalk in the super search, there are a bunch of them that come up, "too numerous to mention."*g*


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 01:22 AM

Yes Kat, I do use a version of Cakewalk (pro 3) and enjoy it for playing around with MIDI sequencing for my own amusement and I like the program but I am afraid that the question that Mick has asked is WAY beyond my knowledge.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Escamillo
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:08 AM

I have not seen version 9 of this excellent program, Mick, but as far as I know, Cakewalk will let you generate and listen to MIDI files in a huge variety of emulated instruments, but will be a very poor mixer for voice and instruments like acoustic guitar, which don´t have a MIDI interface. Even using keyboard instruments with a sophisticated interface, MIDI is never the real thing. If your goal is to record, mix and process live music as professional studios do, Cakewalk is not the way (unless version 9 includes complete studio processing). I didn't try more than very simple recording sessions with Sound Blaster programs, but surely some Mudcatter out there could give some advice.
Un abrazo - Andrés (looking forward to hear you again in Hearme)


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:19 AM

Mick, your project is doable, but are you going to expect that all your collaborators have Cakewalk? That's a pretty expensive program for a lot of people, and then the machine they have will have some bearing on their capabilities as well. I'd suggest you might want to work with some freeware or inexpensive shareware programs that allow you to record .wav files. Done this way, YOU could record the basics of a song, produce a CD of it, then send it around to those you wanted to work on it. They, in turn would record their portions as .wav files (or as MP3 files, which would make greatly reduced file sizes, but with a little reduction in quality), which they would then forward to you for the final mixing. There are a number of free recorder type programs on the net. I use MusicMatch Jukebox which allows recording in either .wav or.mp3 format, and it has pretty good quality. I'll admit I have the registered version, which costs $29.95 and allows me to use higher sampling rates for recording, but I believe even the free version would be suitable for making files to be played on Mudcat Radio. If you're going for production CD quality stuff, then that's another whole ballgame. I've done some sound track editing (nothing quite as ambitious as what you propose) and I'd be glad to work with you to try to accomplish what you want. And I'm sure there's a wealth of knowledge here on Mudcat to add to ours (Jon F. and John from Brisbane come immediately to mind).


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:26 AM

I see Escamillo obviously posted while I was typing and he has an excellent point also - if Cakewalk only works with MIDI files, it's not what you want. For the best quality, you'll probably want to work with .wav files.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:35 AM

Ivan, I believe that the the Audio versions of Cakewalk do integerate Audio tracks with MIDI but it is an area that I have never gone into or have any understanding of and is something that my old version of Cakewalk does not do (except for providing a messy way of adding a sound event such as opening a wave file at a given time)

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Nicole Leonard
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 08:19 AM

I don't know about Cakewalk, but I am using Emagic Logic which probably does the same kind of stuff. I am only using it as MIDI sequencer (as I have a dedicated hard disk recorder) but it is capable of recording audio tracks as well. You would need some way of getting the audio into your computer (the A/D converter or whatever it is, it is getting a bit too technical for me). I am not sure how you could send the files around for people to add tracks, unless you all had the same program, as you would need to keep all the tracks separate.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: flattop
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 09:01 AM

One inexpensive alternative to Cakewalk is Powertracks by PG Music:

http://www.pgmusic.com/powertracks.htm

I have earlier versions and will probably upgrade at some point. Powertracks will record midi and audio. The latest version will record more than two tracks at a time using multi cards or cards that accept 4 or more inputs. Cakewalk is better in areas like printing sheet music and working with Peavey's device with sliders but it cost a lot more. Controlling multi tracks via a mouse is troublesome but can be done.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 09:49 AM

no idea. Liked the multicoloured lettering though.
I have downloaded some trial programs from Cakewalk before though. Just looked and Pro Audio 9 is available as a trial at an amazing 12.3MB download. Go Gozilla if you dare - hope the download acn be resumed !!!

Good Luck

Roger

http://www.cakewalk.com/

http://www.cakewalk.com/download/TrialVersionsLinks.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 11:20 AM

Mick, I've tried multi-track recording on my computer, and it's close to impossible. The problem with recordings (as opposed to MIDIS) is, you have to lay one track on another and the timing right. Can't have person B singing a quarter after person A sings. This can be done with WAV files, but takes a lot of monkeying around.

Then there's the problem with recording in the first place. Inless the main track is recorded with a metronome, and the next people to record have one and set it at the same tempo, the timing will be messed up. I have to listen to the first track while I sing. The only way I've found to let me listen and record at the same time is to put the first into Real Audio with RealProducer, and record my subsequent tracks with WAV recorder. Then I still have to do the cutting down and hit-and-miss combining, but if the rhythm is OK, all I have to worry about is the start.

My ancient version of Cakewalk will let me import WAV files, but not edit them. There may be a program out there that's made specifically for recording live music, but I don't know what it is. There has to be something less complicated that what I try to do!

I think you have a grand idea!


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: IvanB
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 01:51 PM

Jeri, if you have a middle to high end sound card, you've probably got a WAV editor included with it. I've had good luck editing in both the editors that came with my Turtle Beach card (preinstalled on my computer when I bought it) and a SoundBlaster card that I added on later. I don't think the computer exists that can come close to emulating a good recording studio, but for the fun stuff that Mick's proposing and even for recording tracks to be used by a band for learning purposes, I think a computer can do an adequate job. One advantage with both the WAV editors I cited above is that I can have a visual representation of the WAV file on the screen and can zoom in on very small segments of it. By doing so, noting where certain instruments or voices enter or exit becomes quite easy. Just for instance, I found I was missing the entire intro to one of my WAV files, but there was a break section later in the file that I was able to copy and paste to 'fake' an intro. By zooming in on the beginning of the file, I was able to visually insert the section almost seamlessly. I imagine a sound expert could detect the break, but to my ears it's quite smooth.

As for the technique to add others to a work in progress, I doubt if working with a metronome would be very successful. I've found a metronome OK for learning the proper tempo for a tune (assuming the author has indicated such), but I believe that too much dependence on it can lead to a stilted performance (I also find it EXTREMELY hard to play for any lenth of time to a metronome beat). My suggestion for a project like this would be to lay down an audio file with an instrument (perhaps guitar) that was going to be used through the whole piece and perhaps the lead vocal line. If a CD were produced of this audio, the additional performers could record their tracks by using earphones to listen to the audio while recording their contribution into the computer. I have to admit I'm a relative neophyte at this but, judging from the posts to this thread so far, maybe I have some knowledge that's of use. I'm just beginning to delve into the possibilities of sound editing on the computer, but I'm quite excited about it. One thing I have found is that, like many other computer enterprises, there's a whole lot of tedium involved.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: GUEST,Willie-O
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 02:12 PM

Hi Mick.

I've tried a bunch of different shareware editors--never made up my mind to put the money out for the full version yet, but if I did, of the ones I've used, it would definitely be CoolEdit. Basically its designed as a media production tool, (I edited Emily's radio play with it. The tryout version is fully functional for 30 days I think, another big plus. It is not a multitracker in the $70 version, you have to pay another $30 for a 4-track version, then there's a fully professional unlimited tracks (I think) for about $250.

It's a good program though and lots of people use it. Other ones I have tried include

  • N-Track (just OK)
  • GoldWave (OK)
  • Acoustica -- a very nice interface and SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED, as the name implies, for acoustic recording. BUT it changes the attributes of your WAV files in a somewhat controversial manner which make them unreadable by many other sound editors.
  • Wave Flow -- slow but non-destructive

    I haven't gotten into multi-tracking on the computer--it's too hard to twitch controls and play at the same time.

    Be interesting to hear the results if your plan comes to fruition--my experience is that recordings need a centralized producer/engineer to hear, suggest, and record, for both artistic and technical reasons. You need a pretty strong artistic and technical bond with someone to work out an arrangement without being in the same room...

    All the best buddy, hi to Mary Lou and Ciara.

    W-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 02:18 PM

Ivan, I don't have any problem editing WAVs as WAVs - I only can't edit them with Cakewalk or RealProducer. The one thing that really bugs me is I can't have two wav files open at once. It would be a lot easier if I could look at the visual representations of both tracks so I could see how to cut and mix paste.

I agree about the metronome, but it was the only thing I had until I discovered I was able to listen to the RA file and record.

Bouncing off your idea for a CD, perhaps Mick could send a RA file or MP3 around with the primary track(s). The people who will be adding on can record a WAV, and send it. Mick would have all the fun of mixing it! People would just have to keep the speaker level down when recording, or use headphones.


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Áine
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 02:45 PM

This is Dear Hubby posing as Áine (except I'm not as goodlooking).

Big Mick,

I've been using Cakewalk in its various forms for almost 10 years and upgrading each time a new version was available. It will do everything you want to do.

The only other competing products on the PC platform are Steinberg Cubase and emagic Logic. By competing I mean same price range and they support both MIDI sequencing and Audio recording.

I would steer clear of Logic. My understanding is it has a rather steep learning curve, as well as some very intrusive copy protection.

Cubase is a good program. My biggest gripe about it is that it originated on the Mac and its interface doesn't adhere to the Windows conventions (I've heard the latest version has a revamped UI though).

If you have any Cakewalk questions, PM or email Áine (she monitors Mudcat more closely than I do) and she will forward it to me. I'd be more than happy to help out.

-- Dear Hubby


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:00 PM

thats a twelve point three meg download
looks like 123Mb on my screen its big but not that big

Roger


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 03:28 PM

Mick, I have just had a look at the spec of Pro Audio 9 and it does look pretty impressive and it should meet your needs nicely.

As I noted earlier, my own version of CakeWalk is an old one but CakeWalk have been producing top quality software for some time and are worthy of consideration. As far as I know, CakeWalk's biggest rival is Cubase and both of these packages have thier own loyal following so that is worth checking out as well.

As for which one of the two, I am biased. I like the user interface on my version of Cakewalk (as well as later versions that I have had a play with) and if I was considering getting software to do what you are looking to do, CakeWalk Pro Audio 9 would be my choice.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Cakewalk Pro Audio 9
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 00 - 04:48 PM

I love the Mudcat. Not only because you have answered most of my questions, but because on those that weren't, you gave me the right questions to get answers to. And Dear Hubby and Áine, I intend to fully avail myself of your fine offer. Perhaps we can work together on this project. After all, you publish the songbook. I hope to do this in a very inclusive way.

Mick


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