View Full Version : Aaugh

Aug-16-2004, 8:22pm
I'd love to be able to lay down a song with guitar backup but can't seem to be able to do it. i admit i've only been trying for 30 minutes, but it seems impossible. I have a steady guitar track laid down, that seems quite consistent. I can play the melody to it when listening to it, but when recording (and the backup on 'mute' so as not to record it into the mix), I can't do it well enough to keep the tracks synchd enough. They may start off well, but one teeny falter by the mando, and they sound terrible. I am utterly stunned by teh ability of all of those here on teh board who do it and the millions of musicians around the globe that can keep time. i wish I was one of them.

I start each track with a metronome beating out 120, then I stop it with my hand after I've got my foot going quite consistently.

I think I may be coming in too quick after those 2 beat notes at the end of some of the measures. Then there is that syncopated (?) section in teh B part that i may not have quite timed right.

How do you all do it?


uncle ken
Aug-16-2004, 9:39pm
I always record the mandolin part first without a metronome. I don't care if it's in perfect time or not as you can probably tell from my versions. I record the guitar afterwards and just try to follow the tempo of the mandolin. To align the two tracks, zoom in the scale a little so that the individual notes are visible and then try to line up the guitar beats to the mandolin beats. You can also record a couple of pick clicks at the start of each track and line those up.

Aug-17-2004, 3:10am
If you use Audacity, don't worry at all, it's not your timing that is bad. It's the software and even if I try to use the adjustment function it doesn't turn out good so I've given up on Audacity. Now I have FINALLY found a recording software that synchs perfectly and that goes with my computer, it doesn't require too much memory. It's called Cool Edit. If you have much memory to your computer you can also try N-track studio. it's a great software, it just doesn't have the sound effects that Audacity has, but you can record the tracks with n-track and then adjust the sound with Audacity.

Aug-17-2004, 6:23am
Ken, How are you listening to your mandolin track while recording the guitar - headphones? I don't have a set that will reach teh back of the pc...

Aug-17-2004, 10:41am
you said you turn off the 1st track (guitar) before trying to play the 2nd (mandolin)??

there is absolutely NO WAY to ever get the 2 tracks to line up unless you can hear them.....headphones maybe??

don't know because i don't know your particular set up but you sounded like you were being hard on yourself for not being able to play in rhythm .... don't feel bad - no one else could either....you've got to hear what you're playing with

Aug-17-2004, 11:12am
You poor soul, trying to match a 2nd track to the 1st track, without hearing the 1st track, AND thinking that every other musician in the world does this. There may be someone who could pull that off, but I haven't met them.

Typically, when you are recording the 2nd track, you are listening to the 1st track through your headphones (Audacity should let you do this). There is probably a headphone jack on the sound card in the back of your computer.

Good luck, and look forward to your posting a multi-track recording.

uncle ken
Aug-17-2004, 12:02pm
I use some inexpensive powered PC speakers that have a headphone jack on the side of one of the speakers. The phones kill the speaker output when you plug them in. The speaker also has a volume control which really helps. This setup works out great for laying down the second track. I've also found that leaving one ear out of the headphones or half out helps you hear both parts when playing the guitar track.

Aug-17-2004, 3:21pm
With most programs, you can listen to the first track while recording the second track. This doesn't have to be done with headphones, I usually do it through the speakers. If you lay more tracks, you can mute any track you want while recording new tracks.
A good software will synchronize when you do this, so you don't need to line them up at all.
Only when I use Audacity do I need to use headphones (maybe in other programs if I do more tracks than two), because then I have to first record a track with the melody, then while listening to that track, I record a new track with the melody, then muting the new track, I record the back-up, etc. That's the only way to make it synch, but it's quite time-consuming.
Maybe someone who knows audacity a bit more than I do, would be able to do it but I can't. I use another software now.

Aug-17-2004, 9:26pm
I figured it's the listening thing, as I was able to accompany myself fine when listening. I'm just going to get myself some headphone sooner or later. My old Gateway speakers don't (surprisingly) have a headphone jack on the front or back...

Thanks for the help, and not laughing (out loud)!

Aug-18-2004, 10:49pm
Hey Alan,
If your headphones don't reach to the back of the PC, try going to Radio Shack...they have headphone extender cables that will solve that little dilemma.

Happy Pickin'

Aug-19-2004, 8:23pm
Sweet, Jim. I was wondering about "headphone extension cables" and if they existed. I will keep my eyes posted.


Aug-23-2004, 7:19am
Well, I bought a headphone extender cable but got home and found that I don't have a headphone jack on the back of the pc. I DO have two line outs (and assumed that one is for headphones) and it sort of works although I can't adjust the volume, b/c I have to have the speakers off. Then I tried to record like that and all I got was a solid line of feedback on my recording. ( a loud buzz, that appeared as a thick solid line on my recording in Audacity. The cable was a 'mono' cable as well. I don't know if you can get em in stereo or not. My sound card is an onboard card on my SOYO motherboard I installed this year. I probably have some sound card sitting around I can put in...i hope. either that, or get better speakers that have a headphone jack in the speaker itself, like mine do at work.


Aug-23-2004, 7:21am
Wouldn't you know it, but my PC case that I bought when I remodeled by computer, came with a set of speakers that I tried to sell on ebay. THEY have a headphone jack, so I'll try them. Sweet.

Don't mind me....just let me talk...I'll get this working!

Aug-23-2004, 11:50am
Good luck, Alan.