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southcoaststeve

Audio track artifacts

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I've been messing around with Cakewalk for a while and trying to get to grips with how it operates.

Armed with enough knowledge to make my first 'proper' recording, I set about creating a track using a guitar, a bass and a drum sample.

However, when I listen to the isolated bass I can hear the drums very faintly in the background during quieter sections of the track.

Also, one of the guitar tracks can be heard in the background of a separately recorded track. 

Does anyone know why tracks might be bleeding into one another?

I'd appreciate your wisdom. Thanks.

 

 

 

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It looks like you used  VST instrument for drums and then played guitar and bass. 

How did you record those this is what is important.

Did you use an audio interface?

If using on board audio how do you connect your instruments? 

Did you plug them in direct or use a mike? 

If you used a mike that explains the leakage from your monitors or even headphones if they are loud. 

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I had to switch to closed back headphones to minimize this but I noticed some leakage is still possible but not enough to show up in the mix. Only if I solo the track and listen carefully.

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Thanks for the speedy response.

The drums are a WAV file that I imported into the track and looped.

The guitar and bass are DI'd into an audio interface.

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OK that narrows it down 

Normally there should be zero crosstalk between tracks in Cakewalk. 

My first troubleshooting would be to outside of Cakewalk, go to the audio folder for the project and find the tracks with the crosstalk. 

Play those tracks , you can usually just double click and Media Player will play them.  If there is crosstalk still then you have somehow managed this durring the recording process. It could be a defect in your interfaces signal path. So question what make and model is your audio interface?  Does your interface have a software mixer? 

If there is no crosstalk present in the wave files then you must have a signal path issue in Cakewalk, like an aux send etc. 

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Ok, so I played the individual track and yes, the artifacts are present.

In fact there is a section of the track where the bass is silent for approximately 10 seconds and I can hear all the other tracks during that section. 

I'm using and Audient iD4 interface.

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Posted (edited)

OK, so your interface is leaking playback into the newly recorded tracks. You will need to do some tests. 

With nothing plugged into the interface. Turn up the gain to at least 3 o clock. 

Set up you monitoring same as you did before. 

Now arm and record a new audio track. 

If you hear the playback in the new track your interface is defective.

 

Edited by John Vere

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Did you record the DI stuff with headphones or speakers on?
Pickups are a form of microphone...

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It's the headphones...

I recorded a portion of the track with the headphones plugged in and then removed them for the next part.

I did this a few times during the track and each time the headphones were connected the crosstalk occurred and when I unplugged them it disappeared.

So now we know the cause, but is it the interface or the headphones that are the root of the problem?

Thanks for all your help so far.

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DO you have another set of headphones? 

It's certainly a weird one as in my understanding of how things work I would not figure on a output device leaking via the internal circuits into an input device.  It should make no difference if the headphones are plugged in with interfaces circuits. Unless like I asked- is there a software mixer involved here? 

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Yes, I have other sets of headphones so my next step is to see if the issue occurs with them all.

My setup is very simple as I am new to this game and didn't want run before I could walk:

Instrument > iD4 > PC > Cakewalk.

 

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I have tried it with 4 different sets of varying types (including earbuds!) and the issue is apparent with them all.

The set I use most often for recording are Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros which are a closed back design.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just to give you a heads up, nothing to sweat here. It's fairly common in any production with overdubs that a little bit of leakage is present in mics which may be near to the headphones.. heck, there's artists (and studios) which overdub vocals singing over speakers, inverting the polarity of one of the two and positioning the mics so that the null(s) minimize the leak.. which still ends up being far more substantial of what you hear from headphones. Many people sing with only one cup of the headphones on - and then it's leak galore... 

In normal circumstances, it's doesn't do any particular harm (so long the leak is reasonably low) - unless you really want to change the backing completely... but then if you do, you'll want to re-record the vocal line as well.

Use good isolating headphones and enough level for the singer to be comfortable with pitching and following the pitch, and you'll be fine. If you want, you can ask  the artist to place his/her hands on the cups and push them towards the head a little when singing, which seals them even more and makes the leakage almost zero. Many pro artists have learnt to do that in the studio (but then again, many others don't use headphones at all when overdubbing).

 

Edited by Cristiano Sadun

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Posted (edited)

I just looked up your interface because you never did say if it uses a software mixer,,   I notice it has a loopback feature. Are you choosing this as your input source? The other possibility is the loopback circuit is leaking into the channel input circuit. But this is odd that the headphone jack would be involved. No matter what,  I think it's either a design flaw or defectives.

You should really contact Adient as this is clearly an issue with the interface and not Cakewalk. 

Unless you are using the loopback as your input to the tracks which I doubt. 

Edited by John Vere

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As a couple of people have suggested, it's leakage from the headphones being picked up by the guitars.

Some adjustment of the volume levels whilst recording is all that's required.

Thanks for your input everyone..

 

 

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