Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Narrating and Producing Audiobooks.
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ander
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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by ander » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:42 am

Oops—I went back and edited my original (complaining) post before I realized you'd replied to it. But I wanted everyone to know I'd realized it wasn't Audacity's fault.

I'm using virtual instruments on a PC. Problem is, when I play back an existing track and record along with it, Audacity "hears" everything the PC's playing—the existing track, and the music I'm now playing—and records both of those to the new track, because I can't play the new music on a separate audio channel. It's all internal, in the PC.

I do have a USB audio interface I use for acoustic recording, and have also used it to record external digital devices (synth sounds, digital pianos, etc.) that I liked more than those I could get on the PC. So I guess I need to figure out how to play the VST instruments in through USB, rather than on the PC's soundcard. How do people usually do that? Do you really need a 2nd PC so you can play it into the first one? I can't think of another way... Thanks!
kozikowski wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:01 am
[From my original "complaining" post:] And why did people stop answering you when you finally made it clear what you wanted?
It's a forum, users helping each other, not a Help Desk. Sometimes, a response has to come from the other side of the earth, so the responder has to be awake in their time zone.
In this case, though, they were posting last year... I'm pretty sure all the time zones had chances to roll around since then. ;)

ander
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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by ander » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:45 am

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:41 am
I went back and edited my original (complaining) post
Don't do that. It makes following the conversation impossible... You're just concerned with your postings. We're trying to follow all of them.
Sorry, but when I find out I'm wrong about something, I'm not going to leave a rant up than blames something or someone for something that's not its/their fault—it's just not who I am. I think I've made the real scenario clear enough, retroactively.

I suspect that what I (and the OP here?) were trying to do wasn't typical of how people use Audacity—and that's why we had the problem, and why nothing in Audacity's documentation seemed to help.

When creating multitrack recordings, I imagine most people either:

• Record live (acoustic) music in through a USB interface—so they can set that as their recording channel, and tracks they play back at the same time don't get re-recorded.

...and/or

• Using a multirack MIDI sequencer to record electronic instruments (where hearing playback isn't a problem, because everything's recorded as MIDI info, not sound), then using Audacity to record the finished arrangement.

By contrast, I was trying to record two separate tracks directly into Audacity, using a PC-based piano simulator—so I couldn't separate the playback audio from what I was recording.

So I guess I need to record MIDI tracks after all, then play them back to record them together. The results will sound the same, it just won't be "live". LOL—you can probably tell I'm on the older side, thinking there would've been any difference, here in this digital age.
Last edited by ander on Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

kozikowski
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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by kozikowski » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:01 am

How do people usually do this? Do you really need to get a 2nd PC to play into the first one?
I think this may be just a process problem. You need to cross the Playback and Recording barrier to record your virtual instruments. After you get your instrumental backing track recorded you have to destroy that cross. No more recording from Stereo Mix or however you're doing it.

Change the Audacity recording device to your vocal microphone and use the instruments as recorded in Audacity as the playback.

As long as you have "Playthrough" de-selected in Audacity, that should give you a clean voice track.

Koz

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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by kozikowski » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:06 am

they were posting last year...
I think that posting is when we fall back on the forum format. Users helping each other. We should wait for someone who has the same devices, connections, and setup to help.

Koz

ander
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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by ander » Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:11 am

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:01 am
Change the Audacity recording device to your vocal microphone and use the instruments as recorded in Audacity as the playback... As long as you have "Playthrough" de-selected in Audacity, that should give you a clean voice track.
Thanks, but I'm not singing; I'm using stand-alone VST instruments, as I think I mentioned. (You don't want to hear me sing!)

I need to use a MIDI sequencer, and play my "live" performances to MIDI tracks rather than recording them directly as waves. When I play it all back together, it'll sound identical, as the same VST instruments will be responding to the same MIDI input. The difference was psychological, as I come from a generation that didn't have all this stuff... And yet I'm not too old and senile to eventually catch on, so that's good! :)

kozikowski wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 11:06 am
they were posting last year...
I think that posting is when we fall back on the forum format. Users helping each other. We should wait for someone who has the same devices, connections, and setup to help.
Before I investigated more and became enlightened (as I've now described), I was under the impression that a very basic need—adding one track after another, listing to existing playback—wasn't being addressed. That was as baffling as the problem itself. I now realize it was a technical limitation of the way I was using the program, so colour me humbled.

kozikowski
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Re: Listen to one track, while recording a second just by itself?

Post by kozikowski » Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:17 pm

If all your performances involve virtual instruments, then the answer to your earlier post is yes, you need two machines for successful overdubbing. To record your instruments, you have to have a Playback/Record cross. For successful overdubbing you have to not have a Playback/Record cross.

The only possible alternative is software/virtual mixers or sound pathway managers such as Voicemeeter.

https://vb-audio.com/Voicemeeter/

Koz

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