Shoot it down: n-Track vs....

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by thwackless, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    Who's got something devastating or glowing to say about n-Track, in light of other consumer/"pro" software out there? Like:

    Sonar (any)
    Cool Edit/Adobe Audition
    Digital Performer


  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    How many bells and whistles do you need? What soundcard are you using? How important is MIDI to you?

    I haven't used version 4 of n-Track, but version 3 was fine for some demo quality stuff I did a year or two ago. Save early, and save often, and n-Track works pretty well for many folks. For what it costs, I figure it's worth having around in addition to one or two of the pricier alternatives. I've discussed sending multitrack projects to friends for collaborative purposes, and the low cost makes it a good universal choice for that, I'd say.

    I do most of my editing in Wavelab though, and for whatever reason I thought Samplitude produced a slightly better sounding final result. YMMV, naturally. I'm going to Cubase now, since that's what works best with my EMU card.
  3. i like cool edit has a lot more effects (i am pretty sure) and it seems to me that the CEP interface is a lot easier to use than N-track
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    It's Adobe Audition now, but it should have more effects for 4 times the cost, no?

    it seems to me that the CEP interface is a lot easier to use than N-track

    Not if you're doing MIDI composition. :cool: I don't do that much myself though.

    I have a brand new version of Audition, but it's nearly useless to me until they build in ASIO support. I cut my teeth on Cool Edit (before Pro), and I do dig the interface. It's a nice combination of editor and multitrack software, and the cost is pretty reasonable. I thought the n-Track interface was at least as easy to learn, but then part of my job involves learning new software frequently. ;) Just wait till Adobe gets their hooks into it, it's bound to get much more arcane.
  5. I liked n-track when I used it for a tiny demo a couple of years back. It did have a nasty problem of locking up, although I think it was a bad hardware driver to be honest.

    I've used CEP/Audtion. CEP is great for what it was designed for, that's WAV EDITING... it really bites for recording multi-track. It definately feels like multi-track was tacked on as an afterthought. It will do the job, but just barely.

    I personally use Cubase SX and love it. You can get cheaper versions than SX that will still do you... and with the number of really great FREE VST effects you can get some great quality songs together! I think N-Tracks supports VST as well, no?

    - Andrew
  6. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I used N-Track for over a year. It was a really weird experience, because as I built better machines (I went from a PIII-500 laptop to an Athlon64 3200 workstation with a few boxes in between) it kept getting more and more unstable. I ditched it for Cubase SX and then went back and forth a couple times. Then I ditched it for Sonar on the last machine I had and haven't looked back.

    I have a couple friends who have built similarly bad-ass Pentium machines who have no problems at all with N-Track. They love it to pieces and you would have to pry it from their cold, dead fingers.

    Sonar is rock solid for me, easy to understand, more useful for my 'style' of recording and looks a hell of a lot better IMO. But I still like the way N-Track does things, and you can't argue with the price. There is no difference at all in the quality of audio you produce with one or the other.

    My personal verdict is that if you're on a budget and you can magically make N-Track work on your hardware, you should use it.
  7. I hate n-track with a passion that is more than words can convey.

    I was messing around with it about 5 minutes ago... I swear, every time I open it, I am reminded why I hate it so much. Every single time I settle into a creative groove, I can be guaranteed that a system lockup is not far off. N-track crashes my system like I've never seen a system crash before.

    And Rewire with Reason Adapted... is... suicide.

    Hey, if it works for you, I envy you more than you could know. As for me, I can't WAIT till I can get something like Sonar or Cubase... if I am EVER in that position...
  8. thwackless


    Nov 24, 2003
    Smithfield, RI
    Thanks all for the replies, thanks thanks!

    Passinwind, I'm doing Audio only. I'm doing a lot of running 4-track tape into the PC (via a Tascam US-428. Maybe there's an E-MU card in my future...) and cleaning up or re-mixing tracks for CD. Using CD Architect to arrange and burn.

    Bells and whistles are not real big on the list... I'm using CEP 2.0, and am playing around with Sonar. I've been using CEP for everything, and am now looking for another app to accompany it- though I do like recording into CEP, as it's very straightforward. Mostly, though, I think I'd like to use Cool Edit as an editor.

    If there's no difference in sound quality with n-Track, that's big- but I think the biggest issue will be (this might sound silly to some) whatever best supports my controller, since I paid out $500 for it new! The mouse thing kind of bugs me out after a while...

    Sonar is pretty comprehensive with the US-428. Cubase I have not tried- I had Cool Edit Pro 2 when I got the US-428, so I didn't really get into the bundled Cubasis. Also, I needed to record to 4 simultaneous tracks right away (which Cubasis won't do), and just never got back to it! (I just remembered I have it in the Tascam installation disc... :rolleyes: ) Looking there next...

    Anyone else, by the way, using the Tascam US-428 controller? Does it work with n-Track?

    Thanks again, all, for the opinions, and listening to my musings...


    P.S., yes, AndrewShirley, n-Track is billed as doing VST and DirectX.
  9. ShantiCat

    ShantiCat Supporting Member

    As I mentioned in another post, I think n-Track is a great program for the money. If you are getting started in the digital realm, it is nice that you can spend such little money for a piece of software that is packed with features. I have not had too much problem with stability but when I do have issues, it is usually more hardware driven (m-audio firewire 410) and the compatability with SP2 of XP.
  10. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    ...dare I say "...with the intensity of a thousand suns.."?

    Good thread - I'm getting a lot out of it as I'm going through the same situation...

  11. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Yeah, it worked fine for me too. As long as I was only running multiple channels audio through it and doing a little mixing. When I started doing things like automated fading, punchins, cut/pasting audio tracks, and similar was when I ran into issues.

    Eventually for me, even recording was a problem. I can't tell you how aggravating it was to open up a project the next day only to find that all of the tracks were just slightly offset from each other. Or the few times I would get "magic" takes only to go back and find that NTrack had put pops or gaps in the files.

    I was an NTrack evangelist at one point as well. Not any more.