M7 Docs Recording   

With MuLab you can record two things: Record Audio and record Events (aka MIDI).

So what's the difference?

Well imagine you have a piano. When you record the sound of your piano with a microphone, then you're recording audio. But when you record the notes you're playing, eg via MIDI, then you're recording the note events into an event sequence.

 

Recording Audio

To record audio the basic steps are:

  • Add a new audio track via the [+] track button
  • Choose the inputs you want to record from
  • Click the main record button in the Transport Panel
When you have already setup audio tracks then you can easily select which ones to record on by toggling the "Arm" button on the audio tracks which looks like a mini record button. Note that, by default, audio tracks use the Auto Arm feature which automatically arms the focused track and disarms the other ones.

About selecting inputs:

Note that there are two levels where audio inputs are managed: The hardware level and the modular level. The advantage of abstracting the hardware level is that you can not only record & process the audio inputs directly, but you can also insert FX plug-ins prior to recording. So you have much more control.

Enabling Hardware Audio Inputs:

 Windows ASIO: To enable the hardware audio inputs you want to use open MuLab's Audio Setup. That's only to be done once and independent from your projects.

 Mac Core Audio: All available hardware audio inputs are enabled automatically.

Note that thanks to the modular structure you can not only record audio inputs directly, but you can also record the audio inputs eg. with compression and EQ, or even record from other sources like a ReWired device.

Countdown

You can set the prefered number of countdown beats via right-clicking the main record button or via the [Project] menu -> Edit Recording Setup. If you want a metronome during recording, activate the metronome in the Transport Panel.

OSX specific issue: Where is my built-in input?

On systems with Mac OSX 10.4 or later, the built-in audio input and output may appear as separate devices leading to the fact that you can't use both at the same time.

The solution is to make an aggregate device that uses the input/output from different audio devices on your system, and showing up as 1 device in audio applications.

This can be done via OSX->Applications->Utilities->Audio MIDI Setup->Audio menu->Open Aggregate Device Editor:

This makes a single device from the built-in input and output making both available at the same time.

Device Latency Compensation

Normally, if you record audio into MuLab, the audio will be positioned perfectly in sync with the music, just like you recorded it. More in detail: If an audio recorder also records from audio input then the resulting audio recording will get a start marker that compensates for the device input latency so that the result sounds in perfect sync. But this depends on how accurate the audio driver is reporting latency values to MuLab. In case you notice that the recorded audio is not in sync with the music, you can finetune the "PreferredAudioRecordingLatencyCompensation" preference in Mulab/User/Settings/AudioSetup.Txt. For detailed info on how to change this go to the Preferences page.

Also note this aspect: If you would have setup your audio recorder via the Project Modular Area to record from both an external audio input and internal audio source at the same time, you have a mixed 'latency compensation' situation within a single audio file. And so or the audio input result or the internal source result will sound out of sync. Solution: Record external and internal sources using separate audio recorders so there are separate audio files and so these audio files can be latency compensated separately.

 

Recording MIDI Events

Most of the time you can simply click the record button in the Transport Panel and play what you want to record. For detailed setup of event recording, right-click the record button in the Transport Panel -> "Setup Record Events".

Here you can define, among others things, whether the recorded events should be automatically quantized. There also is a global on/off switch that enables/disables event recording, for example you want to onlyrecord audio, but play your MIDI keyboard at the same time, without recording it.

If you want a metronome during recording, activate the metronome in the Transport Panel.

When you have recorded events, e.g. by playing on your MIDI keyboard or tweaking plug-in parameter knobs, MuLab will check whether there is a selected sequence part with a matching target module. If not, then the new recorded events are put on a new track in a new sequence part. But if a sequence part is selected, you get these options:

  • Merge: The new recorded events are merged into the existing sequence.
  • New Part: The new recorded events are put into a new sequence.
  • Overwrite: The new recorded events overwrite all events in the existing sequence.
  • Punch: The new recorded events are put into the existing sequence, but in such a way that all existing events that fall in the recorded time area are overwritten, the other events are kept.
  • Cancel: The new recorded events are trashed.

 

Step Recording

Via a sequence part's context menu you can open the Step Editor. The Step Editor allows you to input notes step by step. This can be very useful to record a difficult sequence of notes, or to make special arpeggiated note sequences.

The Step Recorder is very simple: While the window is focused, it will record any notes you play on your MIDI keyboard, also chords! It will automatically advance the cursor position to the next grid position whenever you have released all notes. You can also easily switch the grid on the fly using the 2 buttons at the right of the grid.

It's interesting to have the Step Recorder open on top of the Sequence Editor. This way you can make quick edits to the step recorded events. Clicking in the sequence editor will also sync the step recorder position. Then by activating the Step Recorder window again, you can just continue.

Info Tips:

  • The [Arrow Left] and [Arrow Right] keys will move the cursor position one step backward / forward.
  • The [Delete] key will delete all events at the current cursor position.
  • [Backspace] key = Step one back + delete all events on that step.

  • When you click in the Note Editor, the Step Recorder will also jump to that position. This makes it handy to use the Note Editor and the Step Recorder together.

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