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Chapter 4. Recording Audio > Recording Automatically: Punch Recording

Recording Automatically: Punch Recording

So far, we've been talking about recording manually using the Transport bar or the keys on the computer keyboard. This is an intuitive way to record because you click buttons much like you click tape deck controls, something nearly everyone has used. Cubase provides far more than tape deck functionality, though, letting you start and stop the recording process automatically. This is commonly known as punch recording, and it's particularly useful when you have to be engineer, tape operator, and performer all at the same time.

All of the tasks in the next few sections use the ruler and the loop markers (Figure 4.27). The left and right locators are useful for such operations as setting loops points and selecting part of a project, but for now just keep in mind that the left marker indicates the punch-in point (where recording automatically starts), and the right marker indicates the punch-out point (where recording automatically ends).

Figure 4.27. The two markers and highlighted section of the ruler indicate the loop selection. In this case, the loop selected is all of bar 2.


To start recording audio automatically

1.
Configure one or more stereo or mono tracks to record.

2.
On the ruler, click the left loop locator (the right-pointing triangle) and move it to the location where recording should start (Figure 4.28).

Figure 4.28. The left marker (which is the punch-in point) has been dragged to the first beat of bar 5.


The cursor will turn into a small hand as the left point is moved.

3.
On the Transport bar, click the button to activate punch-in recording (Figure 4.29).

Figure 4.29. Punch-in recording activated on the Transport bar.


For now, do not click the Cycle or Punch- Out button.

4.
Click the ruler somewhere before the punch-in point.

5.
On the Transport bar, click Play.

Playback begins. When Cubase reaches the punch-in point, recording will begin.

6.
When you are done recording, click Stop on the Transport bar.

The newly recorded track is highlighted (Figure 4.30).

Figure 4.30. The newly created track starting at bar 5 is recording.


✓ Tip

  • You can use a keyboard shortcut to set the left and right locators. To set the left locator, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the ruler. To set the right locator, Alt-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) the ruler.


Punching out

Punching out while recording audio is accomplished in much the same way as punching in, but uses the right locator to define the punch-out point. By far the most common way to punch record is to set both punch-in and punch-out points. This lets you define very specifically where audio recording will take place. With punch-in and punch-out points set in this way, you can start playback before the punch-in point, and Cubase will run the recording operations for you.

Setting up good punch-in and punch-out points can provide very convenient, automatic, hands-free tracking.

To start and stop recording automatically

1.
Configure a track or tracks, stereo or mono, to record.

2.
Place the left locator where recording should start and the right locator where recording should stop (Figure 4.31).

Figure 4.31. The ruler with the punch-in point set to bar 5, beat 1, and the punch-out point set to bar 7, beat 1.


3.
Activate both punch-in and punch-out recording on the Transport bar (Figure 4.32).

Figure 4.32. The punch-in and punch-out settings both are activated.


4.
Click the ruler at some place before the punch-in point.

5.
Click Play on the Transport bar.

Recording begins at the punch-in point and ends at the punch-out point.

6.
To stop playback, click Stop on the Transport bar after the recording has punched out.

✓ Tips

  • In these examples, Snap has been turned on and set to either Bar or Beat. With this setup, the locators snap to the nearest snap point when they are moved. Snapping provides a quick and easy way to create a clean two-bar overdub (Figure 4.33). However, snapping can be turned off and the punch-in and punch-out points set manually. This allows you to specify surgically precise punches, if that's what you want.

    Figure 4.33. A two-bar punch, with the just-recorded part still selected

  • Double-clicking the L and R settings on the Transport bar allows you to enter the left and right locator positions manually, by typing the bar, beat, or time location using the number keys on the keyboard. This approach can be very handy if you know exactly where you want to punch.


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