Trying to make multi-track recording using browser-based virtual instruments

Hi everyone,

I am tech-impaired. I bought a USB cable so I could plug my low-end Yamaha keyboard into my laptop, only to find that I bought the wrong kind of cable. Arrrrrgh! For now, I am trying to use browser-based online instruments. The kind where you use your computer keyboard (the very one I am typing this post with) to ‘play’ them.

Example: Steve Gadd’s kit from Where you use your computer keyboard to play it. ‘B’ is for the kick, ‘V’ is for the snare. Cheesy setup but it sounds okay for what it is.

I started with the ride cymbal. I wanted to do kick/snare in my second track and lay it on top of the first track. So I got a ride cymbal track down, and when I did the kick/snare, it duplicated the ride cymbal track in the new second track and it sounded all messed up. I added the second track and the ride went from ‘tssss ts tss tssss’ to ‘TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT’ Totally ruined!

According to my Device Manager, my sound card is an ‘AMD High Definition Audio Device.’ My speakers are Realtek High Definition Audio.’ I"m running Windows 10 on a recent model HP laptop. That’s all I know.

Is there some kind of workaround or am I boned here?

The problem is that Windows has extremely limited abilities for routing sound. To record sound from a web browser you have to record “sounds playing through the computer” - that’s “ALL” sounds playing through the computer. If the web browser is playing the kick/snare and Audacity is playing the ride cymbal, then recording sounds playing through the computer will record both to the new track.

An alternative approach would be to use a drum machine that can create the full drum kit in one go. Hydrogen drum machine is free and open source. It can also export directly to WAV format so you don’t even need to record it - just create your drum patterns and export as a WAV file, then import that WAV file into Audacity.

Hey, thanks!

So I would have one track for the drums, and maybe three different tracks for the online browser-based synth (bass, rhythm, melody).

The main problem is how I can record each subsequent track without being able to hear myself. Like, how would I be able to lay down the synth rhythm track without being able to hear the drums/bass at all? I guess I could export the previous tracks to a seperate device and then synch everything up as I go, but I sure wish it was easier.

You will have the same problem with any browser based synth as you did for the drums.

Perhaps it would be worth considering a DAW app (digital audio workstation) that supports MIDI tracks and VST instruments (for example “Reaper” - free unlimited demo available and very reasonable $60 license).