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Jon Watt

EZDRUMMER sound - poor recording quality in cakewalk?

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I have a question regarding recording quality in cakewalk using the EZDRUMMER 2 VST.  I have a drum midi file that I recorded.  I have EZDRUMMER 2 setup in cakewalk and it's working well.  I've added an instrument and setup all the EZDRUMMER tracks.  When I open the EZDRUMMER interface, I can play the midi file and it sounds great, really good sound quality.  Once everything is setup, I can hit record and it records all of the output tracks from the drums, which is what I want.  However, when I play those back, the sound quality is really bad.  Mainly the high frequencies like cymbals, hihat, snare, all sound very muffled.  I have all of the effects turned off, I've triple checked this.  It sounds like when I would record and my noise cancellation or noise reduction was still on.  But I have everything turned off.  I've gone through every effect I can think of and can't find a fix for this.

I've tried playing the same EZDRUMMER midi file and then recording on Audacity and the sound quality is great, it sounds just like when EZDRUMMER is playing.  But with Audacity I have to record each track individually which is a pain.

I really like the ability that cakewalk has to record each track at once, but just want to find a fix for the sound quality.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thx!

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The best way to get a virtual instrument to audio is to freeze the track, (the little star in the instrument track). This will bounce all the midi to audio and you can unfreeze it at any time to go back to the midi.

If the audio sounds bad that would have to be related to your soundcard settings, project bit depth etc. Some specs on what audio interface and project sample rate and bit depth would be useful.

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Also, be sure when you're playing your recorded tracks back that you mute the original MIDI to EZDrummer. Otherwise, you'll get some weird phase cancellations.

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I'm running 32bit and 192k sampling rate.  ASIO sound card driver (newer Lenovo P51s computer with Windows 10).  I added a couple screenshots of those settings.  I've tried 64bit as well and can't notice a difference.

It really seems like cakewalk has some noise reduction filter built in that can't be changed.  It really messes with the hihat and cymbal sounds.  I recorded with cakewalk and with audacity, same bit depth and sampling rate, and it's quite a bit different.  I have some wav samples for both, wish I could upload them here so you could hear the difference.  Maybe I can put them in videos and send youtube links.

ASIO DRIVER SETTINGS.jpg

RECORD AND RENDER BIT DEPTH.jpg

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@henkejs  I think that was my issue.  After recording, I removed the midi file from EZDRUMMER and it sounds much better.  I would have thought that when exporting audio, it would only export the recording and not replay EZDRUMMER, but it seems to include both.  I tried exporting the audio after removing the midi track from EZDRUMMER and sounds much better.  Thank you for the help!!

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Your using ASIO 4 all?? I wouldn't expect studio quality sound from that. Are you not using an audio interface? 

Your workflow seems very strange? 

The midi file plays the vst drums. The VST instrument is in a audio track ,  There is no reason to "record" the VST.  Nobody needs to bounce instruments anymore unless your computer is 10 years old or something. When you export a song the audio output from any VST instrument is treated exactly the same as a audio track of a guitar or vocals. 

Why are you using a ridiculously high sample rate? That's asking for trouble too. 48 is all anybody really needs but if you think your fans will notice  while listening to the MP3 on $10 ear buds-- then 96 is more or less way out there. But I wouldn't attempt that on a system without a good interface and ASIO driver. Asio4all is not really ASIO, it just pretends to be. Its a wrapper for WDM mode. 

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I would agree with John here, Running at 192 is  a bit over the top and could cause issues once the track count piles up. 48/24bit should be more than enough. 192 and 96 are usually used for high quality sampling or on very top end systems that can handle it but not necessary for making songs.

And if possible it is preferable to  use the sound card manufacturers latest drivers rather than ASIO4ALL.

I don't use EZDRUMMER but if it is anything like other drum vsts you often get the midi file triggering both the individual tracks and the vst itself which results in the weird doubling up sound. I wouldn't have thought you would need to bounce the tracks to audio and remove the midi file, I am sure there are other EZDRUMMER users on here that have the answer. It may just be a simple as turning off input echo once you have the midi recorded.

Edited by Hatstand

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5 hours ago, John Vere said:

Your using ASIO 4 all?? I wouldn't expect studio quality sound from that. Are you not using an audio interface? 

Your workflow seems very strange? 

The midi file plays the vst drums. The VST instrument is in a audio track ,  There is no reason to "record" the VST.  Nobody needs to bounce instruments anymore unless your computer is 10 years old or something. When you export a song the audio output from any VST instrument is treated exactly the same as a audio track of a guitar or vocals. 

Why are you using a ridiculously high sample rate? That's asking for trouble too. 48 is all anybody really needs but if you think your fans will notice  while listening to the MP3 on $10 ear buds-- then 96 is more or less way out there. But I wouldn't attempt that on a system without a good interface and ASIO driver. Asio4all is not really ASIO, it just pretends to be. Its a wrapper for WDM mode. 

That's what I thought, too. I think the OP has somehow misunderstood the idea of  the use of EZDrummer , but I'm not sure.

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21 hours ago, Jon Watt said:

I have a question regarding recording quality in cakewalk using the EZDRUMMER 2 VST. Once everything is setup, I can hit record and it records all of the output tracks from the drums, which is what I want. 

 

 

Can you explain what you mean with "when I hit record"?

To have EZ Drummer 2 in Cakewalk  you don't have to hit any record, but in the track view drag a drum file in to  EZ2 midi track. That's all.

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GREAT advice from John Vere.

BTW according to the screen shots you provided, just because you "set" Cakewalk to "default" to record "new projects" @ 192k/Hz ,  you are actually recording at 44.1h/Hz at 46.4 msec. CbB can ONLY record at a frequency that your sound chip/card can support. That setting  just instructs the DAW what bit depth and frequency to record at in a fresh "new empty project". And even if you had a CbB project that was recorded on another computer at 32bit/192k/Hz CbB couldn't open the project that your hardware can't support.

And that may sound like bad news, but that's actually a good thing because 192k/Hz sound files are so HUGE they are an abusive waste of hard drive space considering us humans can't "very arguably" tell the difference in sound quality between 24bit/48k/Hz "professional industry stand" sound file and a 32bit/192k/Hz sound file being played on state of the art, top of the line audiophile equipment.

 And even the term "Very Arguably" is kind of pointless because even at best, us humans can only actually hear frequencies between 20Hz -20k/Hz sooo, 🤔

So unless you are willing to spend more money on a sound system that costs more then the average new car just to try to experience it, don't even bother trying to record at  32bit/192k/Hz.

 You CAN of course splurge with as little as $100 (us) on and audio interface capable of recording at 192k/Hz such as a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, but unless you spend $1000'S of big bucks on monitors you're still wasting your time.

I have many old Cakewalk projects that were recorded at 24bit/96k/Hz many years ago using Windows 2000 and XP. 32 bit OS's that could only support 128 MEGA bits of RAM with duel M-Audio Delta 1010 PCI audio interfaces which allowed me to record up to a jaw dropping 16 audio tracks at once with SONAR 4 Producer. USB was just being invented & released. The reason for recording at 24/96k/Hz wasn't because music sounded better then music recorded at 24bit/48k/Hz, it was because of recording latency on much slower and less powerful computers then we have today, USB v2 became many times more efficient, faster, and cheaper than PCI tech, and as a result there is no longer any need to record at 96k/Hz. In fact, it's foolish to because the .wav audio files are 2x the size.

But today we have cellphones 100x more power then those early computers, and computers with 1000x of times more power, ALL the rules change. Just like they did when we switched over from analog audio recording to digital.

 Even with all the constant and fierce misinformation I was one of the very few who embraced that with all my heart. Why? Because I knew it was only a matter of time before I knew I could compete with the "Big Boys" studios in NYC as early as when SONAR 4 literally blew past my coveted Mac/ProTools rig rocked the entire world with 1st affordable brute force reliable digital DAW. The whole political climate of the recording industry done got turned upside down and inside out. And while it was still true the Big Boys could still kill my mass media broadcast radio and TV career simply by ignoring me they couldn't control or stop me from publishing to the Internet😆

And now, thanks to Bandlab's continued support of IT and embrace of music, they can't stop anybody. Bandlab's 16 track Mix Editor is not only a shockingly good fully functional and powerful web based DAW, it can interface with seemingly any device with a microphone that hooks up to the Internet, be it any kind of smartphone or computer.

 It's so good in fact, I would recommend uploading these projects your having trouble with on your PCs and try working on them from there. It doesn't matter what kind of DAW or computer you use, it cross platforms with everything that can run a Chromium based browser. It runs very fine with Microsoft Edge browser on both Windows and Mac PCs, as well Android and iPhones.

I wouldn't say it's a replacement for CbB, not yet anyway, but if you crash it somebody else who know what they are doing will fix it for you and it's an EXCELLENT back up. You should try it, it's free, so you don't have anything to lose and many MANY things to gain. Things like fans, collaborators, Oh I can't list them all, free back up storage for projects you don't want to lose while you wrestle with trying to get your aging PC to do what you want it to, or come to grips with the fact that's it's never going to happen..

 

If you record the drum tracks directly into the EZ Drummer audio output channels without muting the MIDI track(s) for the drums you'll hear both the recorded audio tracks and the MIDI performance tracks playback together and go out of phase.

Your LATENCY is so HIGH I'm kind of shocked that you can even recognize the drum performance. 

 And even though I never gamble, I'd be willing to BET you can GREATLY REDUCE latency by getting rid of ASIO4ALL once and for all that as John Vere as already pointed out uses WDM drivers to fool your DAW into thinking you're running ASIO drivers and just use the much newer and much improved Windows WDDM audio drivers which  a couple of years ago the bakers at  Cakewalk had done a good job to greatly optimize to use for those who can't afford or refuse to spend a couple of dollars on an audio interface that supports real ASIO drivers.

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Good Call and good eyesight @Steev   I didn't catch that one regarding the projects sample rate. And notice the 16 bit too. So lot's of issues going on here. 

I think the best corse of action is for the OP to dig in and do a little tutorial watching. 

First on how to set up a DAW properly with your audio interface and second an Ez drummer video.  This old thread has a few links to tutorials plus other info. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+use+ezdrummer+in+cakewalk&rlz=1C1UEAD_enCA936CA936&oq=using+ezdrummer+in+Cakewa&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0i22i30j0i390l5.21434j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_PYIZYJXpOcTY-wT42a3YBA16

 

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