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Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 8:55 pm
by Pianofiend
Hi there,

I recently purchased Cubase Elements 7, installed with Windows 8, M-Audio Fastrack interface. I have no idea how to learn to use this software, the tutorials have been zero help and do not seem to match the program I'm running, the help book seems to be set up for someone already very familiar with a basic understanding of how to navigate the program. From a trial and error approach, I was finally able to figure out how to record an audio track. Then I tried to record a vocal track and I am having issues with the recording cutting in and out, despite the appearance of the track having a streamlined vocal without interference. All my connections are good as far as I can tell. I have to turn up my Mic gain all the way for the playback to even register, which ends up having areas that are way too loud and distorted, but even then it cuts in and out. Again, I can turn the gain down, and on screen it shows a vocal being recorded at a decent volume without distortion, but then on playback, it's hit or miss. What am I doing wrong? Is there somewhere I can learn how to use this program besides the tutorials? Does any website offer lessons? I am so frustrated, just want to record and know how to adjust/edit/enhance but the program does not feel user friendly at all.
I used a very simple program (Acoustica MP3 mixer) for a long time, wanted to upgrade to something more high tech with more options. I am confident I can learn how to use the system, but need somewhere to get some instruction. Help!

Thanks in advance

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:22 pm
by sasha-che
Well, have you tried youtube? There are plenty of free video lessons there. I'd prefer reading the included pdf manual though.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:27 pm
by -steve-
Pianofiend wrote:I am having issues with the recording cutting in and out,
Possibly your audio device buffer is too low for your system. In the manual search for "VST Audio System"

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:44 pm
by DaveAbbott
Hi Pianofiend

My first piece of advice to you would be to "hang in there" even Cubase Elements which is the "Entry Level" version is still quite a complex piece of software and recording is not a "plug and play" thing, for that matter it never really was!! Sacha's advice is good, there are a LOT of tutorials on youtube, keep at it and it will all make sense eventually and Steve in Chicago's suggestion on the buffer setting is also good, keep going!!!

Best Regards

Dave

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 9:53 pm
by Pianofiend
Thanks guys!
Good news, I figured out what was going on with the vocals, had the direct monitor on the interface turned on and it didn't like that for some reason. I've searched for other tutorials--is there some made by an entity/person other than the Steinberg ones? I can't seem to find any for Cubase elements, just the full version...

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:00 pm
by Pianofiend
Okay at this point I would be really happy to find out how to adjust the volume throughout the track. In other programs I have used, you can adjust this throughout, using a point and line system. I see that there is a both a line and drawing tool, but nothing I try is letting me do anything with it?

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun May 11, 2014 11:22 pm
by TomcatToo
There is a very good book written by Matthew Hepworth called "Power Tools for Cubase 7". He explains what all the knobs and controls are and how to use them and writes in a very easily understood style. When he writes about a feature you can't find that means you don't have it in Elements so just move on to the next topic and keep going. Cubase Elements 7 is a very capable program that for the price is actually pretty amazing.

Tom

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 3:58 am
by Pianofiend
Thanks Tom! Funny I was just looking on Amazon and came across that title. I think I will definitely purchase it, thanks for the recommend :)

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:58 am
by dronai
I feel your pain !!! Takes time, and I think the designers could have done a better job of making it more user friendly.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 7:05 am
by DaddyO
Hang in there, pianofiend, if you keep plugging and using available learning materials, things will start clicking. In my case, there were times where I had to temporarily set aside DAW work for a bit and come back to it fresh. Ditto on YouTube videos, a picture is worth 1,000 words, and a video worth 10,000.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:31 am
by DaveAbbott
Hi again Pianofiend

The adjust volume function is "Track Automation". If you go to the left hand edge of the track header(where the coloured bit is) if you hover with the mouse over the lower part, a little arrow appears which will say Show/Hide Automation. Click to show automation and the first one should be volume, then just use a pencil to draw in your volume curve and "voila"

Best Regards

Dave

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:30 am
by Luis Dongo
Pianofiend wrote:I have no idea how to learn to use this software, the tutorials have been zero help and do not seem to match the program I'm running
Hi Pianofiend,

probably you were watching the Cubase 7 tutorials, which will show you a lot of stuff that your Elements version doesn't have. You can access the Cubase Elements 7 video tutorials through the Steinberg Hub though. On the top left hand side window of the Hub you will find three buttons, the last one is called "Quickstart". Click there and you will find 5 links that will redirect you to the quick start video tutorials of Cubase Elements 7 on youtube.

This is Chapter 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBVwMnoz ... e=youtu.be

Hope this helps

Regards

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:39 am
by Pianofiend
dronai, thanks, I am not a very patient musician, so it is very painful lol!

DaddyO, I agree videos would be super helpful if I could search out specific functions--it's frustrating to sit through a whole video that's not even my version of Cubase only to not get what I need out of it :/. Thanks for the encouragement, I will hang in there!

Dave, I could kiss you ;). Thank you, I needed that! Much appreciated!!

Luis, I have used the link through the hub, it still doesn't seem to match the functions of my Elements 7--for instance, the video for recording shows that I can save to a specific location, but when I try this, it won't load up the starter tracks, and it won't let me add any tracks either? In addition, the windows that he works within do not all look the same as mine...?

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 8:01 am
by jamusic
Pianofiend wrote:Thanks guys!
Good news, I figured out what was going on with the vocals, had the direct monitor on the interface turned on and it didn't like that for some reason. I've searched for other tutorials--is there some made by an entity/person other than the Steinberg ones? I can't seem to find any for Cubase elements, just the full version...
Have you heard about and/or considered Groove 3? An all access pass for the year is $150, but I think you can go month by month for $15.
[You can also buy the videos out-right.]

There's a good section on both Cubase 7 and Cubase 7.5 update, and they're great learning videos, often just 5-10 minutes long each, divided into many categories, so you can go bit by bit and not have to watch for hours at a time.
Then you can watch certain ones over again and not have to fast forward, rewind or search through long videos.

http://www.groove3.com/str/

http://www.groove3.com/str/steinberg-training-videos/

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 1:49 pm
by hjwinge
On a sidenote, its a good idea to play around in cubase when you're not planning to do serious recording. At least for me, searching and clicking for any function everywhere instead of getting the song recorded is really frustrating and counterproductive...

When im not busy, im learning new stuff in cubase, so that when im going to do something serious i know how to do it.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014 7:54 pm
by jamusic
hjwinge wrote:On a sidenote, its a good idea to play around in cubase when you're not planning to do serious recording. At least for me, searching and clicking for any function everywhere instead of getting the song recorded is really frustrating and counterproductive...

When im not busy, im learning new stuff in cubase, so that when im going to do something serious i know how to do it.
Me too! Do some throw away songs where it doesn't matter what happens when you click around the different options while learning what they do.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:34 pm
by dronai
Hey guys, I purchased Cubase 7.5, and later on was buying a second USB interface, which came with Cubase LE5 free ! Really all I needed, but too late. Anyway, when I was learning to fade in and fade out, I selected "auto fades settings"
and read the pdf instructions, and it worked great and easy in LE5, but it won't work in 7.5 !!! Really frustrating ! anyone have any insight ?

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sat May 31, 2014 10:59 am
by ALSTUDIOS
hjwinge wrote:On a sidenote, its a good idea to play around in cubase when you're not planning to do serious recording. At least for me, searching and clicking for any function everywhere instead of getting the song recorded is really frustrating and counterproductive...

When im not busy, im learning new stuff in cubase, so that when im going to do something serious i know how to do it.
Hi
Probably better approach is to load the demosongs and play around with it - helped me a lot :!:


Cheers

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:40 am
by jamusic
dronai wrote:Hey guys, I purchased Cubase 7.5, and later on was buying a second USB interface, which came with Cubase LE5 free ! Really all I needed, but too late. Anyway, when I was learning to fade in and fade out, I selected "auto fades settings"
and read the pdf instructions, and it worked great and easy in LE5, but it won't work in 7.5 !!! Really frustrating ! anyone have any insight ?
'Cubase features an Auto Fade function that can be set both globally, and separately for each audio track.'

Perhaps that's what causing you trouble. Maybe there's a conflict there.

Page 149.

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:50 pm
by Svenne
DaveAbbott wrote:Hi again Pianofiend

The adjust volume function is "Track Automation". If you go to the left hand edge of the track header(where the coloured bit is) if you hover with the mouse over the lower part, a little arrow appears which will say Show/Hide Automation. Click to show automation and the first one should be volume, then just use a pencil to draw in your volume curve and "voila"

Best Regards

Dave
Well, not quite. You also need to turn on the "Read Automation" button (the one with an "R" on it). Otherwise the drawn curve doesn't actually do anything.

Now you can "voila". ;)

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:32 pm
by DaveAbbott
OK Svenne so I forgot the Read button, sorreeee, he still wanted to kiss me, a little concerned about that:-))))))))))

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:58 pm
by -steve-
DaveAbbott wrote:OK Svenne so I forgot the Read button, sorreeee, he still wanted to kiss me, a little concerned about that:-))))))))))
Dave you assume Pianofiend is male, but no one actually said that. :o :P I say, if someone wants to kiss you on the internet, go for it! I would prefer to be kissed than corrected.

Sooooo frustrated! Stereo recording as mono??

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:55 pm
by Pianofiend
Hi, I am trying to record a stereo audio track. I will try to include as much information as possible to hopefully get some helpful feedback. I am amateur with studio recording in general, so most of my results have been figured out purely by trial and error. I've gotten this to work in the past, but I am now having trouble remembering what I "did" that got the desired result as I don't record very often.

I am operating the Cubase elements version of 7. I've bought the Power Tools for Cubase 7 by Hepworth book and I am not finding any information related to my problem and feel like I have tried everything. I am starting to wonder if there is something wrong with a: my interface, b: my stereo cable, or c: my digital piano that I am plugging into my interface. I don't think it is C, because the sound from my piano is coming through stereo just fine through my headphones plugged directly into it.

Interface: Fasttrack by M-audio
PIano: Yamaha CVP 96

Here's what I've done. I've set up an audio track using a stereo bus. I've made sure it says that it is connected to my interface and that both left and right stereo are selected for line 1 and 2. I've tried connecting the cable to my piano to both the headphone jack and the audio output stereo jack. (I've used the headphone jack to record output with other programs and it has functioned just as well as the audio output jack.) Anyway, the LED display only shows one side of stereo playing. When I record the track, it shows one flat line and one with sound. I've tried recording on a mono track also, and it is still only recording and playing back on one speaker.

Here's another puzzling thing. I recorded a sample track for this project back in May, and it recorded a stereo track just fine. It plays back stereo. It shows stereo in the track display lines and LED. So I looked at all my settings, and found that I had the stereo bus set to only the L port for recording on line 2. The other was set to not connected. Then I also had a Mono bus connected to line 2, I'm assuming for my vocal track. So I tried these same options on the new project and I am still getting only mono recording and playback. I then tried line 1 instead of 2 for both L and R individually and got nothing--which concerns me. Does this indicate a problem with my cable or interface? I am so frustrated!

Obviously, I'm not recording very often. I would like to, but I'm a busy mom of four, so opportunities are few and far between. Any chance I get to record I want to make the most of, so it's really disappointing when things aren't working!

Please help me connect the dots here! And I appreciate patience, as there is still so much I don't understand about this software and studio setup/jargon/etc.

Thanks in advance :)

Re: Amatuer newbie...so frustrated

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:25 pm
by Pianofiend
LOL, yes Dave, I am female, but I wouldn't actually kiss you since I'm married ;). However, it's amazing how getting over one little hurdle makes such a huge difference in my mood! Would appreciate some feedback on my new thread about stereo recording issues! :)

Re: Sooooo frustrated! Stereo recording as mono??

Posted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:45 pm
by DaveAbbott
Hi Pianofiend

At a guess!!! You may not have set the VSTConnections up properly. Go to Devices>VSTConnections. Then you can set up a Stereo bus with the left input using your Fastrack 1 input and the right using Fastrack 2. You should also set up two mono buses (use the Add Bus button) using each of the two inputs. Then in Cubase you will select the Stereo bus as an input for a Stereo track. Then plug the physical piano outputs to the two Fastrack inputs and it should work. If not we would have to troubleshoot to see if there is a faulty cable or input or.........Hope this helps

Best Regards

Dave