Best setup for sync in cakewalk

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Best setup for sync in cakewalk

Postby jeffsiegel » Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:09 pm

Looking for the best setup. I have a 2in2out midiman. A Tascam 644 midistudio ( basically an 8 track recorder with has a midi in/out for sync purposes). A roland r-8 mkII drum machine, a midi keyboard with an alessis nanosynth. I am using cakewalk express. I want to program and play drums using roland. Compose all other parts with cakewalk and then sync all that up to audio which i will record with Tascam mididstudio. Looking for help on the midi "ins and outs" and slave and master settings. It's a great program easy to use but i am such a midi newbie that i am my own worst enemy! Thanks in advance for the help and a great forum. I boutght Cakewalk power as you had recommended, very helpful.

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Postby HDB » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:31 am

Hmmm...not sure. Does the MIDIMan or the Tascam GENERATE time code? If not, you may need something that will, maybe something that will do SMPTE, and converts it to MTC(MIDI Time Code). (MIDIman and others makes these kind of things).You need to find out if the TASCAM writes, and what it wants to read. Does it read MMC(MIDI Machine Control)? This would allow the computer to control the TASCAM. Either the computer or the TASCAM is going to have to be the master when using both, and everything else can be patched together to slave from out/through/MIDIman ports to their in port.
Look in the manuals for any mention of sync or timecode, etc, and see what terminology it uses, as far as SMPTE, MMC, MTC, MIDI, etc. If they can't talk the same language, it won't do it without another device which may have to be installed in the computer.
IF, by chance, the TASCAM outputs and is able to respond to any of these, you may be in business.
(Did I get all that right?)

Postby GretscGuy » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:42 am

I remember the 644 well. If you run a program (like Cakewalk) the 644 will respond to MMC. However, you will need to find a tascam mmc interface (I think it was the MTC-100 or 1000).

The only other MIDI features that the 644 had were a scene memory and midi controlable mutes and some editing.

I used one of these for a long time and it worked great.

Suggestion - Think about recording your MIDI and audio in Cakewalk rather than getting bogged down looking for interfaces and being limited by the machines capabilities.

The 644 does have a cool lo-fi sound, I guess it all depends on ehat you're going for.
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Postby HDB » Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:47 am

Recording into Cakewalk probably would be better, but if he doesn't have more than a stereo input, it would probably be a tedious process. He has at least 3 outboard sound sources, and his Roland, I think, has 8 outputs. That's a total of at least 12 outputs to get into the computer, but since they are all MIDI controlled, he could simply record them 2 tracks at a time with the modules following Cakewalk, which should be no problem. Then he could simply record other stuff along with it. Or, if he has a mixer, he could always mix to stereo, record that, and continue, but it's probably better to have all the tracks seperate for final mixing. Personally I like tape for guitars and stuff. I have an old TASCAM 80-8 that I stripe track 8 to sync to my audio/sample computer, then my MIDI computer just follows behind. When I get as many as 6-7 tracks onto tape, I just transfer them all at once through the Delta 1010 to the audio computer, then that becomes master. Then I just record vocals or whatever to the audio computer while monitoring it and the MIDI computer. Finally, I process and record any MIDI coming out both soundcards on the MIDI computer and the Audigy in the audio computer (kind of supplementary), through the 1010. I may just mute all but the tracks that need EQ'ed or compressed, record them through outboard stuff until I have a bunch of seperate tracks to finally mix in the audio computer.
A lot more work messing with tape, but I play rootsier stuff, and kind of like the marriage of old tech and new tech.

Tascam 644 as input to Cakewalk

Postby spthomas » Sat Feb 14, 2004 11:29 pm

While we're on the subject, I have a question since some folks here appear to be familiar with Cakewalk and the Tascam 644. I have a new laptop, whose soundcard has one 1/8" input. Would it be feasible to use the Tascam 644, which has 16 inputs, phatom power XLR, 1/4" , etc., as an interface to connect the inputs to, and then feed them to the computer? My concerns are that I have to feed things one at a time, but at least I have the proper connections for each input. But, can I bypass the 644's tape and just output to the computer?

My other choice I've been considering is buying something like an M-Audio Mobile-Pre or a Audiophile 24/96 USB. But if I already have this 644 (which is nearly new and I've never used it), could I use it instead of spending more money?

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Postby GretscGuy » Sat Feb 14, 2004 11:47 pm

It would be possible to use the 644 in that situation - but only as a front end to track. You couldn't use the 644 as a controller - I don't think. It could be possible to build a studioware pannel set up to respond to the 644 - not sure though. May be a fun (if useless) project though!

Good LucK!
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thanks for the advice

Postby jeffsiegel » Sat Feb 28, 2004 7:44 pm

Appreciate the advice here folks. The tascam does allow for Midi time code sync. I suppose I am stuck at actually setting up all my patches. I think I should be able to write a drum track on the Roland Rhythm composer and sync that with my cakewalk whcih will have bass, keys etc, utilizing the nanosyth for sounds. question is can i get the Tascam to sync this as well? So what cord goes where?
Cakewalk says i can write drum parts on external drum machine then dump that to cakewalk which could then shoot it back trough the drum machine during playback. Just don't see how to get the drum parts into cakewalk. I am clueless with midi messages. My brain just freezes when it comes to that. Thanks again

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:53 pm

First of all, make a drawing of ALL your MIDI in/out/thrus on ALL of your MIDI gear that you want to use. Just make some crude rectangles, and draw little circles, naming the gear and the circles. Starting with the computer going to the main ports of the MIDIMan I/O, see how many things you can connect using in/out/thru. At this point, since you want to sync to TASCAM, it would probably be best to connect this first in the chain OUT of a MIDIMan port (probably 1), to avoid inevitable MIDI delays.
By the time you read through this next (lengthy) part, you MAY realize that you may have to swap out a thing or two by the time you finish. You MAY just not have enough equipment to do everything easily, although you can probably, eventually, use everything.

I THINK this is getting closer to a solution, but you have a LOT of outputs from the keyboard, drum machine, computer, Nanosynth, tape deck, etc.
Do you have a mixer, other than the one in the TASCAM? Eventually, I suspect, all of this is going to have to make it either into the computer, the tape, or both. And then, finally, into the computer for final mixing to a stereo file. I'm guessing you only have in your computer a soundcard that will only allow stereo recording through a mic/line input (of which you should have set to line in).
If the TASCAM can access all 8 inputs at once, and can mix to a stereo output, there are several things you can use that for. If it can, and you dump all 8 outputs of the drum machine on it, the tracks will filled, forcing you to dump them into the computer. You COULD use it to record the drums to record to the computer as a stereo track, but this would probably be redundant, and just add noise. Could you use the TASCAM as an 8-in/ stereo-out mixer, to submix the drums? In this way, you could theoretically run, say, the different drum outs through different outboard processing (compression, reverb, etc.), into the TASCAM, mix, and output to record in stereo. Does the drum machine internally offer a stereo out mix?
As you can see, there are a lot of options already.
Personally, I would use the TASCAM for submixing to stereo (if it's possible, barring another mixer), and only use tape maybe for non-electronic sources, such as vocals, guitar, etc. The drum machine, Nanosynth, keyboard, etc., I would probably run directly from their outputs to the computer for the crispest, cleanest sounds.
SO, I don't know how you are going to monitor all those outputs, unless you have another mixer with a lot of inputs. It may be worthwhile to invest a couple hundred dollars in a small mixer. Of course, then you'll wanna hear it properly, so an amp and decent monitor speakers will eventually come into play, but you could theoretically just do it all through headphones or a home stereo/speakers, though it probably won't translate well to a final mix.
Anyway, if you end up putting ANYthing on the tape, what I would do is don't put audio into the computer until AFTER anything on the tape has been submixed and recorded to the computer, unless it's clear that the tape will follow the computer properly. The only reason I can get away with dumping all 7 tracks (track 8 is SMPTE) of my 80-8, is that I do it all at once through the Delta 1010 with 8 A/D inputs.
Now, the Nanosynth, keyboard, and drum machine will follow Cakewalk using Sync to Audio and outputting MIDI sync, so you can wait until late in the project to record them in as audio. I would just monitor a basic MIDI file of the project through the soundcard using it's instruments. With the tape acting as Master (MIDI should follow properly), record all the tracks you want onto tape. This way, the tape tracks and MIDI are always in sync. Once you have all your tracks recorded to tape, now is the time to dump them to the computer. Unfortunately, if you don't have an interface that provides at least 8 I/O's, you are going to have to submix the tape to stereo to record to the computer. This will prevent ANY further editing or EQ'ing or tweaking to any of the individual tape tracks.
UNLESS, the tape is able to follow, via MTC or MMC, Cakewalk, which will be then acting as Master set to Sync to Audio. If you can figure out how to do that, you dump the tracks a pair at a time to their own tracks in Cakewalk, thus allowing you to further process them individually, if desired.
OK. So now you have all your tape tracks into the computer. Cakewalk is set to sync to Audio. It's outputting MIDI sync. Now you run your keys, Nanosynth, etc. in, one (or a stereo pair) at a time.
You can now use, or mute, or delete any of the MIDI tracks that you started out with to monitor through the soundcard. (I would have made a backup called something like "TheSongBU" before recording any audio. That way you can always recall it later and start over from scratch).
Sheesh....time for breakfast.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas that may be useful.

HDB :shock:

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