Recording Vocals

edited May 19 in General chat

I haven't found where people are already discussing this. It's a noob question, but all of my questions are, so here we go.

In NanoStudio 1, I found it easier to synchronizing vocal samples when I was recording them. It was easy to line up the recording with the time point in the song where I wanted my sample to begin. Because of that it was fairly simple to record the vocal tracks on songs that I was composing.

With this new version, I haven't figured out how to do sync vocals into a song in a very straightforward way. I think it's probably not supposed to be as complicated as it seems to be. I know I'm not describing this in great detail, or any detail, but is there a tutorial somewhere that guides one through laying vocals in NanoStudio 2?

I'm also more accustomed to the controls for the reverb and delay effects in the older version. It stands to reason that this version does more and in more nuanced ways, but I just haven't figured out how to make the same kinds of intense reverbs that I used to add to vocals with NanoStudio 1.

I am a long-time supporter and I am very happy with NanoStudio 2, but I've not quite made the transition so smoothly.

Last but not least, the Eden synthesizer voice that I used most in the previous version, Distorted View, is not available anymore. Someone here helped me to make a rough approximation (thank you!!!), but man do I miss that synth voice.

Thanks for any and all views.

Comments

  • edited May 19

    Yes, to be honest, recording into the sampler is a mixed bag: on the one hand, NS's sample editing capabilities are way better than NS1's but on the other, I don't think Matt intended it to be used in this way, counting on audio tracks to handle the brunt of the heavy audio lifting. So I'm not aware of a way to make synced audio recordings directly inside NS2, even if you start the song and the recording at the same time, they don't line up. But you can do two things:

    1. Do a clap in the beginning of the recording on beat, then in the sample editor, turn on beat grid, trim to the clap, turn on snapping and trim away any excess. Now you have an accurately synced recording.
    2. Record your vocal into another app using Audiobus and Ableton Link.


    Neither is ideal, but they're not too cumbersome either, at least the first one. And I'm still hoping I'm wrong and dendy or someone will swoop in again and chide me for my ignorance, as they should.

  • Thank you for the response! It's helpful enough just to know that I'm not missing something. Syncing and effects were easier on the old version. That being said, I still love this version.

  • @Stiksi said:

    1. Record your vocal into another app using Audiobus and Ableton Link.

    Any recommendations or favorites?

  • @internalogic said:

    @Stiksi said:

    1. Record your vocal into another app using Audiobus and Ableton Link.

    Any recommendations or favorites?

    Unfortunately no, I use Audioshare, but I don't think it does Link. Maybe Loopy Pro? I haven't used it but I used the heck out of Loopy when I was still on NS1. I hope someone else can give you better insight for this.

  • Thanks, again. I actually have AudioShare, but haven't been using it for anything like this. Anyway, the learning journey continues.

  • edited May 21

    @internalogic
    In NanoStudio 1, I found it easier to synchronizing vocal samples when I was recording them. It was easy to line up the recording with the time point in the song where I wanted my sample to begin. Because of that it was fairly simple to record the vocal tracks on songs that I was composing.

    this is strange because recording features in NS2 are same like in NS1 (plus some details improved)

    can you exactly explain your workflow in NS1 which you cannot reproduce in NS2 ? Maybe i'm missing something but recording audio in sync with project playing on background should work basically same way (of not better*) like in NS1

    (*) improvememt, comoared to NS1 recorder, is possibility to set treshold NS2 really starts record only when input signal is over this threshold (so you started singing, for examole) for perfect recording without initial recorded silence

  • edited May 21

    @dendy said:
    this is strange because recording features in NS2 are same like in NS1 (plus some details improved)

    Did you try it? Because I can't find a synchronized start setting for recording and sequencer start and I remember this being discussed during beta. Even if I tap both buttons at the same time, for some reason the recording doesn't line up with the beats if I turn on Beat Grid. This means that there's a trimming stage involved that wasn't there in NS1.

    The point is, the recording has to start at the exact same moment the playback starts, otherwise the sample start point doesn't line up and you have to either trim the sample to the grid or hunt the exact starting point down and place your trigger note at that point. Most of the time vocals don't start on the one in my experience, so threshold is less useful, unless you use a clap.

  • @internalogic I suggest using Blocs Wave on the same iDevice to record synched loops. The free version does it, which is nice as well :)

    To make it happen,
    1. use Ableton Link to synch both apps,
    2. make sure your tempo is right (and Link hasn't changed it),
    3. loop your beat in NS2 so you have something to record over
    4. record as many takes of the loop as you want in Blocs Wave
    5. export the loop to NS2 (long press the loop in Blocs Wave, then select export).

    I tend to move any loop from the NS2 Inbox to the Project folder and rename it, just to keep tidy.

    IMO it's quite a quick and easy workflow - not quite as good as recording directly into a pad, but pretty good. You can still edit the samples once in NS2 for any noise or level changes, of course.

    I'm writing this from memory - I haven't done it in a while - so please yell out if you can't make it work and I'll check that I've described it well enough.

    Hope this works for you! :)

  • @Stiksi said:

    @dendy said:
    this is strange because recording features in NS2 are same like in NS1 (plus some details improved)

    Did you try it? Because I can't find a synchronized start setting for recording and sequencer start and I remember this being discussed during beta. Even if I tap both buttons at the same time, for some reason the recording doesn't line up with the beats if I turn on Beat Grid. This means that there's a trimming stage involved that wasn't there in NS1.

    The point is, the recording has to start at the exact same moment the playback starts, otherwise the sample start point doesn't line up and you have to either trim the sample to the grid or hunt the exact starting point down and place your trigger note at that point. Most of the time vocals don't start on the one in my experience, so threshold is less useful, unless you use a clap.

    Yes, it is exactly as @Stiksi describes. That’s the issue. And it actually significantly influences workflow. I’m glad he could describe it because I actually didn’t have the precise words.

    (Sorry for this long delay in responding. I didn’t realize that anyone else had responded to my question.)

    Another change I’ve found is that it’s less intuitive to adjust reverb settings when recording vocals on a Slate pad. They seem to have a narrower range.

    I don’t consider these to be major criticisms. I’m basically a fan. But I’m just trying to make it work.

  • Thank you!!!! I’ll try this.

    @Trigger_the_Monkey said:
    @internalogic I suggest using Blocs Wave on the same iDevice to record synched loops. The free version does it, which is nice as well :)

    To make it happen,
    1. use Ableton Link to synch both apps,
    2. make sure your tempo is right (and Link hasn't changed it),
    3. loop your beat in NS2 so you have something to record over
    4. record as many takes of the loop as you want in Blocs Wave
    5. export the loop to NS2 (long press the loop in Blocs Wave, then select export).

    I tend to move any loop from the NS2 Inbox to the Project folder and rename it, just to keep tidy.

    IMO it's quite a quick and easy workflow - not quite as good as recording directly into a pad, but pretty good. You can still edit the samples once in NS2 for any noise or level changes, of course.

    I'm writing this from memory - I haven't done it in a while - so please yell out if you can't make it work and I'll check that I've described it well enough.

    Hope this works for you! :)

  • @Stiksi said:

    @dendy said:
    this is strange because recording features in NS2 are same like in NS1 (plus some details improved)

    Did you try it? Because I can't find a synchronized start setting for recording and sequencer start and I remember this being discussed during beta. Even if I tap both buttons at the same time, for some reason the recording doesn't line up with the beats if I turn on Beat Grid. This means that there's a trimming stage involved that wasn't there in NS1.

    The point is, the recording has to start at the exact same moment the playback starts, otherwise the sample start point doesn't line up and you have to either trim the sample to the grid or hunt the exact starting point down and place your trigger note at that point. Most of the time vocals don't start on the one in my experience, so threshold is less useful, unless you use a clap.

    yup. Pretty much everything about the sampling experience is improved in NS2 other than the ability to synchronize the sample's start with the song clock.

  • Hopefully, we can all agree that synchrony is a pretty important feature when it comes to composing music.

    And again as @Stiksi pointed out my vocals basically never begin on the one. It's a very rare case when they do.

    Also, I haven't found the reverb settings for samples/drum pads to have the range and intuitive simplicity that they had in the previous build. Other than that, I agree with @Will. What I love about NanoStudio2 is the effortless cleanness of the mixes it produces. Sounds so much more live than the previous build.

    The final thing I miss is the Eden Synthesizer voices. Especially B17 Distorted View, but a number of other voices as well.

    @Will said:
    yup. Pretty much everything about the sampling experience is improved in NS2 other than the ability to synchronize the sample's start with the song clock.

  • @Trigger_the_Monkey said:
    @internalogic I suggest using Blocs Wave on the same iDevice to record synched loops. The free version does it, which is nice as well :)

    From what I was able to observe, Blocs Wave restricts you to 4/4 time signature. I like to work in 3/4, 5/4, 7/4 and so on. So.....the quest continues.

  • edited June 6

    Hey @internalogic,

    I have used ‘MultiTrack Recorder by 4 Pockets’ in a NS2 project.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/multitrack-recorder-plugin/id1483833410

    It’s long winded, but it works(ed).

    In that case I had to record the vocals in Auria Pro first, then *edit them there, then import them into 4Pocket MT, and use that as an AUv3 on a NS2 track (not sure if I could do all of that too often).

    But it’s also the best way to be able to start the NS2 project anywhere in the timeline, and have the vocals play immediately.

    (For me) this is the best option until Audio-Tracks arrive..

    King

    “*edit them” as there were a number of backing vocal tracks too. So arrangement etc, (which could be done in MT, but is a lot more fiddlier there).

  • @King said:
    Hey @internalogic,

    I have used ‘MultiTrack Recorder by 4 Pockets’ in a NS2 project.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/multitrack-recorder-plugin/id1483833410

    It’s long winded, but it works(ed).

    In that case I had to record the vocals in Auria Pro first, then *edit them there, then import them into 4Pocket MT, and use that as an AUv3 on a NS2 track (not sure if I could do all of that too often).

    But it’s also the best way to be able to start the NS2 project anywhere in the timeline, and have the vocals play immediately.

    (For me) this is the best option until Audio-Tracks arrive..

    King

    “*edit them” as there were a number of backing vocal tracks too. So arrangement etc, (which could be done in MT, but is a lot more fiddlier there).

    I really hope I can work it through that way. I have been looking out for the simplest way to get my vocals into NS2. I will normally export all my arrangements in NS2 to Cubasis 2 where I add my vocals. I really pray blipinteractive will come up with the audio track soon

  • edited June 10

    @LanreEj said:

    @King said:
    Hey @internalogic,

    I have used ‘MultiTrack Recorder by 4 Pockets’ in a NS2 project.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/multitrack-recorder-plugin/id1483833410

    It’s long winded, but it works(ed).

    In that case I had to record the vocals in Auria Pro first, then *edit them there, then import them into 4Pocket MT, and use that as an AUv3 on a NS2 track (not sure if I could do all of that too often).

    But it’s also the best way to be able to start the NS2 project anywhere in the timeline, and have the vocals play immediately.

    (For me) this is the best option until Audio-Tracks arrive..

    King

    “*edit them” as there were a number of backing vocal tracks too. So arrangement etc, (which could be done in MT, but is a lot more fiddlier there).

    I really hope I can work it through that way. I have been looking out for the simplest way to get my vocals into NS2. I will normally export all my arrangements in NS2 to Cubasis 2 where I add my vocals. I really pray blipinteractive will come up with the audio track soon

    Yeah!

    Audio-Tracks in NanoStudio 2 ... the missing link.

    King

  • @King said:
    Hey @internalogic,

    I have used ‘MultiTrack Recorder by 4 Pockets’ in a NS2 project.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/multitrack-recorder-plugin/id1483833410

    It’s long winded, but it works(ed).

    In that case I had to record the vocals in Auria Pro first, then *edit them there, then import them into 4Pocket MT, and use that as an AUv3 on a NS2 track (not sure if I could do all of that too often).

    But it’s also the best way to be able to start the NS2 project anywhere in the timeline, and have the vocals play immediately.

    (For me) this is the best option until Audio-Tracks arrive..

    King

    “*edit them” as there were a number of backing vocal tracks too. So arrangement etc, (which could be done in MT, but is a lot more fiddlier there).

    Me, I basically do the same thing as @LanreEj - export the arrangement to Cubasis 3 (grouping tracks and iPhone compatibility are crucial features for me), record vocals there (both the main and the backing), clean them up with Brusfri, and dump them back in NS2 to be placed in Slate. Easy peasy.

    I'm hoping Audiotracks are coming soon so I can do things internally. To the beta testers - how close are we anyways? :)

  • @internalogic said:
    The final thing I miss is the Eden Synthesizer voices. Especially B17 Distorted View, but a number of other voices as well.

    That really was a lovely sound. It was the basis for so so many of my customized sounds. I bet @dendy could recreate something quite close in Obsidian if beg/harass him enough. :)

    All of the controls are available in Obsidian but the internal algorithms for everything are so improved that the upper-mid smeary/crunchy thing of the Eden patch might be impossible to fully recreate.

  • edited June 19

    @Will said:

    @internalogic said:
    The final thing I miss is the Eden Synthesizer voices. Especially B17 Distorted View, but a number of other voices as well.

    That really was a lovely sound. It was the basis for so so many of my customized sounds. I bet @dendy could recreate something quite close in Obsidian if beg/harass him enough. :)

    All of the controls are available in Obsidian but the internal algorithms for everything are so improved that the upper-mid smeary/crunchy thing of the Eden patch might be impossible to fully recreate.

    Interesting challenge .. unfortunately NS1 desktop version doesn't work on Catalina and i haven't any iOS device capable to run NS1 .. but if you can upload this:

    • samples from C0 to C7 (simple note, probably around 1 - 2 sec long) so i can get idea about sound character
    • screenshots of Eden edit and mod matrix screens (so i can see how is that patch approximately programmed)

    then i can try do my best to reproduce it in Obsidian ;)

    Btw. if i good remember, i was inspired by (or tried to reproduce in some form) around 12-15 Eden patches in Obsidian factory, they are just a little bit different named (for example there is patch "SweptTeeth" which was inspired by one well known Eden factory preset :)) ...

    There is few hidden gems and few jokes in factory (like "Nick B Tribute", patch full of pulse modulation, even two years after release nobody noticed this one) - i'm suspicious that most people check just few patches from factory and almost nobody really goes through all presets there ..

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