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Chapter 4. Recording Audio > Recording a Single Track

Recording a Single Track

The simplest way to start recording is to use the Transport bar exactly the way you would if you were using a tape deck. There are lots of options that we'll cover later; for now, we will simply put a bass loop over a drum loop.

To record a single track using the Transport bar

From the track list, select the track you want to record. Double-click the track name and rename it. In this example, the track is renamed Bass.

Check to be sure that the Record Enable button is red (Figure 4.19).

Figure 4.19. The track name is set to Bass, and the Record Enable button is on.

In the Track inspector, select the correct input on your sound card.

In this example, the bass is patched into the left input of the first VST connection (Figure 4.20).

Figure 4.20. The left side of a stereo input is selected in the Track inspector for this mono track.

On the Transport bar, be sure that the AQ (autoquantize), Punch-In, Cycle, and Punch-Out buttons are not selected.

Click the Record button on the Transport bar.

This starts both recording and playback. The selected track turns red to show that it's recording, and you'll see the new audio file being created (Figure 4.21).

Figure 4.21. Recording in progress. The track being recorded is highlighted (it's actually red); note the audio file image being created in the track.

Click the Stop button on the Transport bar when you are done recording.

✓ Tips

  • The spacebar on your keyboard starts and stops playback, and the asterisk (*) key on the numeric keypad starts and stops recording, so another quick way to start recording is to press the spacebar and then * on the numeric keypad when you want to start recording. There are numerous shortcuts for recording using both the Transport bar and the computer keyboard. If you find some recording operation frustrating, there's a good chance that Cubase has a way to make it easier; check the included documentation.

  • It's common when recording yourself to play back and record to previously created material, building up a song one track at a time. If this is what you're doing, try setting the beginning of your song at bar 3 or 5. Then you can start Cubase recording and have a few measures of your loop or drum part playing before you start recording new material.

No Signal?

You may still have trouble getting Cubase to recognize your input device. If the meters don't show any input signal when the Record and Monitor buttons are selected, or if your audio tracks remain empty when you try to record in them, make sure that your audio input device is selected on the VST Multitrack tab of the Device Setup dialog box under the Device menu. (You may need to quit Cubase and relaunch it after you make your selection.) Make sure that your drivers are installed in the correct locations on your computer, that your VST Connections settings are specified in Cubase, and that the input patch on your sound card matches the input selection number on your Track inspector. For additional setup instructions, refer to Chapter 1, “Installing and Configuring Cubase SX 2.”

Remember also that working with multitrack audio on a computer inevitably involves a certain number of configuration hassles. You are asking your computer, a highly specialized sound card with equally specialized drivers, and Cubase all to deal with each other happily. There will be frustrating moments, but the problems almost always can be fixed. Nevertheless, even the people who get paid good money as consultants to fix these problems have moments of confused and embarrassed head scratching.

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