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Topic: using multiple outputs

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  1. #1

    using multiple outputs

    Hello,

    I have read the link on assigning each instrument to its own audio track and have performed all of the necessary steps. Unfortunately, I do not get any sound out of any of the outputs other that the first one - st. 1. I did the proper output assignments in the synth, putting the first instrument on st. 1, the second on st. 2 etc. window, and I do see the audio meters move for each of the different channels, but only hear the one assigned to st. 1.

    I am using Sonar 7. I must have missed something, but I cannot figure out what it is. The master channel does not show any activity in sonar, (when using 2-16) even though the meters on the kontakt player do show activity.

    I'm stuck on this one!

    Mikul

  2. #2

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Hi, Mikul

    I work in Sonar, so maybe I can help you out.

    You think you've done all the necessary steps, but something is being left out, or you wouldn't be having this problem.

    It sounds like you've set up KP2 correctly, with each instrument on its own fader inside KP2. But you said the Master channel doesn't show activity - What about the individual channels in Sonar?

    I don't think you have all the audio tracks set up inside Sonar--There has to be one audio track to match each fader in KP2. So you have 16 channels in KP2, OK, now they each need an outlet for their sound--16 audio tracks in Sonar. And of course each of those Sonar tracks need to be matched to 16 corresponding MIDI tracks.

    When you set up a project in Sonar, there's the pop-up menu for how you want to insert the soft synth. You need to ask for All audio tracks, not just the one, because the default of just one out will be just the first stereo pair in Sonar. Ask for all of them--Then you painlessly have all the corresponding audio tracks inserted for you. You don't need to go in and fix up their ins and outs--they're automatically paired to KP2.

    Isn't this your missing step?

    Randy B.

  3. #3

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Randy,

    That did it - thank you so much! I never looked closely at the popup window when inserting the synth, and it was not a problem since I was putting everything on one audio track. Now that I needed to have 16 audio tracks, I should have looked at the options and realized the problem was something I omitted in Sonar.

    Thanks again!

    Mikul

  4. #4

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Randy,

    Thanks for all the help you give people. I've learned a tremendous amount from you about these types of things. I'm almost an audio convert.

    I have a question about this specific topic. What additional control do you gain by having a separate audio track for each KP2 output? I ask this because ultimately everything goes to a stereo output.

    I guess short of trying it out myself I'd ask first

    Thanks again,
    Steve Winkler

  5. #5

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Steve,

    I don't have a fraction the knowledge as the many helpful people on this forum, such as Randy, but the reason I like it is so that I can EQ, and reverb each instrument separately and hear the effects while I am playing/recording the individual midi tracks. Any audio plug in you have can now be dedicated individually to each instrument and not just to the master.

    I'll let the real pros fill in all the other stuff!

    Mikul

  6. #6

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Well super - Thanks, Mikul, for letting me know that my post helped you out. I was pretty sure I'd spotted your mistake, but now it's good to know I got it right and that you figured out what to do. It's great to have all your sequencer tracks and KP2 tracks in synch. Just remember to always ask for all the audio tracks every time you start a new project.

    And that segues nicely into Steve's post. What a nice message, Steve - I guess I didn't really know that you were picking up on new things from the posts I sprinkle around the Forum. A couple of years ago when I had more free time, I was posting tech responses on a more regular basis. It's nice to hear that I still manage to help out when I can.

    You're almost an audio convert--hehe, that's an amusing way to put it. I know what you mean, but MIDI really wasn't intended to be the be-all-end-all of music production on a computer. It's just the protocol for working with synths. The MIDI output still has to be handled in the audio realm in some way. But with the development of notation programs and other software designed to make our lives easier, a lot of people have missed out on the meat-and-potatoes of audio production, and instead, they're reducing the process to a matter of pushing a button to get an audio rendering.

    "...What additional control do you gain by having a separate audio track for each KP2 output? I ask this because ultimately everything goes to a stereo output..."


    The answer lurks in your question. Everything ultimately goes to a stereo output - that's right, but the important thing is what happens to the signals Before it becomes a stereo mix down.

    There are many things I could try to touch on in response. Let's talk about MIDI volume control. We do all we can to get our instruments, our tracks, moving forward and moving back in a mix via MIDI volume, and that is indeed an important part of our MIDI work. But if we record the resulting tracks, one track per instrument, and then start mixing the piece again in the fashion of old school mixing - where each fader controlled each instrument in a band, then it's rather amazing how much More control we can get in balancing how the instruments interact in the mix.

    We may think we have had the most control in balances possible via MIDI, but once we take those resulting tracks into a DAW's audio mixer, suddenly we see that what was "soft" in volume can be brought down even more softly. What was "loud" can now get Hugely louder. The contrasting balances already set up can be dramatized even more via working with the audio tracks.

    Notice that some of this kind of work can Sort of be done inside KP2 - But I feel it's better to use KP2 just as the audio engine to get your audio out into your DAW. I completely ignore the built in effects and audio mixer in KP2 - I want all of that to be done inside my much more powerful DAW, Sonar. KP2 is just the Thing, the conduit through which the instruments play.

    All sorts of other fine-tunings to a mix can be done when working with audio wave files that can't be done with MIDI tracks. Jumping in and trying it for ourselves really is the only way to start experimenting and discovering what all is possible, just as you said, Steve, when you indicated you should try it out for yourself.

    There's a visercal thing that happens from Seeing the wave form. There's no question about where the peaks are, the ones you may want to tame or emphasize - they're graphically displayed. Many are the times when I've exagerated the volume swoops accomplished in a MIDI track by drawing in a volume envelope which is precisely lined up with the peaks and valleys I can see in the wave form, resulting in a much more effective recording. In the simplest examples, maybe there's a note which still stuck out too much, regardless of how I tried to fix it through MIDI. There in the audio track I can plainly see that peak. I draw a volume envelope around that peak and bring it down. Aaaah, now it's exactly where it should be in the mix.

    I can precisely add any digital audio effect under the sun, when I've recorded the MIDI tracks to audio. I can use subtle or not-so-subtle echo, phasing, whatever I want to try - and I can do so in a very accurate way because of this visual guide of seeing the wave form.

    When I'm satisfied that I've done everything I possibly can with the audio tracks, I've ended up with an incredible jigsaw puzzle spiderweb of drawn and automated envelopes. I've strapped in audio effects if needed, I've done a ton of audio pre-production more accurately than I could have if I'd tried to do the same thing to the blank audio output track of a soft synth. And only Then am I ready to attempt an audio mix-down to a 2 track master.

    And even after I've recorded the 2 track there's more work to be done, since I'll take that track into Sound Forge to do mastering work. There, for one thing, I'll make sure the audio signal is maximized to its utmost, and more accurately than can be done in a DAW. But I'll also have done volume work on the entire piece with more volume envelopes and EQs.

    There's more - But the basic point is that the MIDI tracks are raw data. No matter how much I've tried to squeeze as much expressiveness as possible out of those tracks, they are narrow in scope and very limited in comparison to what can be done with separate audio recordings of each track in the console mixer of my sequencer.

    Once all the MIDI has been recorded, then I'm in the realm of being an audio engineer with tracks from live musicians, and every audio "trick" I'm aware of can be used. I'm back in the realm of mixing real audio and not just the data which simulates live musicians.

    It's something like that.

    If I had to live with recordings of my MIDI data straight out of the gate without the benefit of real audio mixing, I wouldn't feel able to ever play anyone the results! - It'd be like showing someone the sketched in outlines of objects in a painting I planned on creating, instead of showing them the completed picture instead.

    Now--go forth and record your MIDI to audio and start discovering how much more you can do with your tracks!

    Randy B.

  7. #7

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Hello again, Mikul - Your new reply came in as I was typing my long response.

    What you're describing in your new post is the process of adding EQ and effects to the audio output of a soft synth before it's been recorded. That is one way of doing it. It's fun to hear reverb etc as you work on a project, to keep you in the realm of more what the project will sound like when you're finished.

    But what I described in my long reply is about using EQ and other audio effects After the recording. You want to keep your audio tracks Flat in every way - no processing. That way you have complete flexibility in what the final mix will be like. On that flat recording you automate and/or draw in your volume envelopes, and experiment with various EQs and effects, until you're satisfied.

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Quote Originally Posted by mikul View Post
    Steve,

    I don't have a fraction the knowledge as the many helpful people on this forum, such as Randy, but the reason I like it is so that I can EQ, and reverb each instrument separately and hear the effects while I am playing/recording the individual midi tracks. Any audio plug in you have can now be dedicated individually to each instrument and not just to the master.

    I'll let the real pros fill in all the other stuff!

    Mikul
    Mikul is spot on- individual control of effects and signal routing is the big perk of having individual channels. Another small one is being able to use your sequencer's panning laws opposed to whatever Kontakt does.

  9. #9

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Wow, thanks guys. There's alot of helpful info here and it all makes sense to me

    I must try this out soon.

    One other quick question on a specific matter. Is there a difference between having Sonar create the audio tracks for KP2 as opposed to simply bouncing or recording a midi track to a new audio track?

    Steve Winkler

  10. #10

    Re: using multiple outputs

    Hi, Steve -

    "...Is there a difference between having Sonar create the audio tracks for KP2 as opposed to simply bouncing or recording a midi track to a new audio track?..."

    Yes there's a difference because those are two different things. When you insert KP2 into a project, you want tracks to appear for each track in KP2. Those tracks in Sonar are just the pipelines for the sound.

    Bouncing or recording a MIDI track's data into an audio track is an entirely different thing. That's obviously after you've done a lot of work in your project. Getting the audio tracks for KP2 is at the beginning of the project.

    Randy B.

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