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Audio tracks to a BUS

Hi, another question, I know it's a common issue but maybe I'm doing something wrong...
I've got some tracks which I want to send to a BUS (e.g, several drum elements tracks: track for kick, track for snare...). Then I want to add the drums BUS to master, into the main mix.
So I define a drums BUS and I route every drum track to it.
Then, when I route the BUS to the master, I can't hear anything anymore.
Therefore I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong.
Someone could ask me: why are you routing the drums BUS to the master output? Because when I want to bounce all tracks (export tracks) I can choose just one output way, which is tipically the master bus and I'd like to have everything in my bounce: single tracks, buses, etc. So I think that everything should be routed to the main master output.

thank you!

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copyc4t's picture

...what's wrong with the old idea you had mentioned, of ignoring the Master bus altogether, route all the tracks and submixes to your last bus and bounce that one only?
You can do any bus treatment and metering there, and bounce at full speed instead of real time recording in Audacity.
JACK of all buses, Master of none :)

manu_controvento's picture

what's wrong with the old idea you had mentioned, of ignoring the Master bus altogether, route all the tracks and submixes to your last bus and bounce that one only?

Hi copyc4t
That's right, but this way would be the same as mixing-down all buses (thru exporting function). Of course, it could bring the advantage of exporting just one bus, and if on that bus I see no clipping, in mix-down too there won-t be any problem. I'll consider this option.
On the contrary, concerning my initial topic, I think this way wouldn't work, since Audacity takes the main Master output as source for recording (or maybe, I didn't understand how to change this behaviour).

Thanks
Manu

rncbc's picture

On the contrary, concerning my initial topic, I think this way wouldn't work, since Audacity takes the main Master output as source for recording (or maybe, I didn't understand how to change this behaviour).

maybe you can just connect the additional output bus with some JACK connections manager like qjackctl or even from qtractor's own side ?

audacity seems to take one stereo pair of channels as default, but you may connect any additional output ports to the audacity input ports manually, anytime and before starting recording...

cheers

manu_controvento's picture

ill try! :)

copyc4t's picture

Ciao manu,
well, the point is that your original idea doesn't need Audacity at all and it's all inside Qtractor, so it should simplify the workflow; especially if you save a multi-bus template project for your future uses.
But if you prefer recording in Audacity anyway, Rui's suggestion works perfectly, and here's how to see Audacity as a device in Qtractor connection manager:
press Pause and Record in Audacity, a new device named PortAudio appears in Qtractor's input ports; manually connect to it any buses you want to send, disconnect "system" and any other unwanted sources, release the pause and start playback in Qtractor.

rncbc's picture

hi all

always remember that you can take *both* buses outputs (master and the alternate one) and thus the result will be *added* (ie. mixed-down);

the resulting mixed signal may well go over +0dBfs at some point so that if you're exporting (or recording from both outputs via jack) to a *non-floating-point* format you will get a damaged audio sample file due to severe clipping eg. over-the-scale integer samples will "wrap-around" and will become negative and vice-versa, in a way that maybe well beyond repair.

so please: a. make it sure the mix never goes above +0dBfs having a wise but lower levels on each of the output bus gain faders; or/and b. select on floating-point sample file format for export and recording so that you may correct the mix later, anytime anyway.

hth.
cheers

manu_controvento's picture

Could you please suggest me which audio formats are "floating point" ? thanks

rncbc's picture

yes

1. File-type: "WAV Microsoft", sample format: "Float 32-bit" (lossless);
2. File-type: "Ogg Vorbis", sample format: N/A (lossy).

cheers

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