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Monitoring seems confused

Of course, it is not QTractor's monitoring that is confused (I assume), but I certainly am.

Mostly to try to learn how to use QTractor, I have been trying to record myself playing a trio. (I also have a MIDI project I have been experimenting with.)

I recorded a guide track, and then recorded each of the 3 instrumental parts, listening to the guide track and/or the previously recorded instrumental track(s) if any. I was using an earpiece to listen to the previously recorded material.

Unfortunately I could always hear what I was currently playing through the earpiece, which made the whole thing very difficult (and not very successful). Eventually I gave up in despair!

Later on I reloaded the session to have another look at things and try to sort out the problem, I discovered that I had "Auto Montor" activated. Once I turned this off, it solved the problem.

All the same, I don't understand this monitoring business at all. I have my microphone connected to QTractor's Audio Master In, I have 4 audio tracks, and I have QTractor's Audio Master Out connected to System Playback. This has to be correct, I'm sure. However, I find that if I click on the Monitor button of any of my 4 tracks or either audio bus, then the input from my mic is relayed through my earpiece. There seems to be no sense in this (to me) - why do we have all those buttons if they all do exactly the same thing - feeding Master In to Master Out?

Clearly I'm misunderstanding something here, but I would be very grateful if someone could explain it to me. I'm a retired musician and I know a lot about music, but little or nothing about sound engineering, so I will undoubtedly have a few more of these apparently daft and elementary queries as I go along. But we all have to start somewhere!


rncbc's picture

hi. welcome aboard :)

it's all terribly simple: the buses' "monitor" button is probably a misnomer: it was once called "passthru" in the ancient times, eons ago; but someone with some more knowledge on DAW's at the time told me to call it "monitor" and it stuck since the; note that it only applies to duplex buses while it's grayed out (disabled) on simple input or output buses.

you just hit some of the several qtractor idio(tic)syncrasies ;) don't let any of them take your sleep or challenge you: they just reflect how this piece of software was designed and engineered in the first place

yet, you'll find some more that similar stuff of the trade calls something like this or that name for the same thing and meaning (or not).

there's nothing like one single picture to explain all the things; have a look at the Qtractor Wiki - Manual - 4. Qtractor--An Overview.


Thanks for your generous response. I'm afraid that I'm still confused about it, but it probably doesn't matter at this stage.

I have re-read section 4 of the Manual as you suggested, and I picked up a few more helpful points from there, but some of it doesn't seem to correspond to what I have in my version of Qtractor (v.0.9.25). I suppose some things get changed along the way.

rncbc's picture

afaict. the overview diagram mentioned above applies to v0.9.25 as well, although it's pretty outdated by now.


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