[ecasound] First big multitrack project

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Subject: [ecasound] First big multitrack project
From: Nolan Darilek (nolan_d@bigfoot.com)
Date: Thu Jul 26 2001 - 21:39:17 EEST

I'm trying to use Ecasound in my first large multitrack project. Until
now, my multitrack recordings were limited to simple drum/bass/rhythm
guitar loops to solo over. Now I'm trying to cover a song, and am
having some issues.

The song has two guitars, one clean and with a chorus, the other
distorted. Unfortunately I don't have a pedal with which I can control
my POD, so I'm recording the distorted verse on a different
track. First I generated drum/bass tracks using midge. Then I
converted the midis to wavs, ran them through equalizers, and
normalized them individually. I then have two wavs, a drum and bass
track. For the sake of simplicity, I mix the two wavs to a single wav,
backing.wav, which I'll use to add the verse/chorus guitar onto,
though I mix the individual guitar tracks with the separate bass/drum
tracks, since the finished product doesn't sound so hot if mixed with
just the backing tracks.

Now I'm encountering a problem. To record my verse, I do:

ecasound -a:1 -i:backing.wav -o:/dev/dsp -a:2 -i:/dev/dsp -o:verse.wav

and that works, sorta. Unfortunately I have to wait while some of the
backing track plays until I can start playing; I can't easily figure
out the offset of the verse since the song's in 86 bpm, and I'd much
rather just start playing when I should than have to grab a
calculator. So ideally, verse.wav should be a wav which is almost
entirely blank, and the distorted guitar should start about a minute
into the song.

Unfortunately the chorus is always about 1/4 seconds too late when I
mix bass/drums/chorus to a single track. I'm not the greatest
guitarist, but I'm sure my timing is great. I've noticed that when
playing, the sound seems to skip and shudder a bit on the monitor
track, and I'm thinking this may be causing the problem. I'm on a P3
500 with 192 megs of RAM, and my box can play mp3's and do lots of
other stuff simultaneously without problems; is playing a wav much
more demanding? I've tried a number of things to help solve this
problem; I've shut down a few useless tasks, made the ecasound binary
+s and turned on raisepriority. I've increased the buffer size, turned
on double buffering, but no luck. I'll include my .ecasoundrc below.

Can anyone recommend any suggestions? I'm running on ALSA 0.9.0b6 with
a SBLive! Value.

midi-device = rawmidi,/dev/midi
default-output = /dev/dsp
default-buffersize = 4096
default-samplerate = 44100
default-to-interactive-mode = false
default-to-raisepriority = true
default-schedpriority = 50
default-to-double-buffering = true
default-double-buffer-size = 100000
default-to-precise-sample-rates = false
default-to-internal-buffering = true
resource-directory = /usr/share/ecasound
resource-file-genosc-envelopes = generic_oscillators
resource-file-effect-presets = effect_presets
user-resource-directory = /home/nolan/ecasound-config
ext-text-editor = pico
ext-text-editor-use-getenv = true
ext-wave-editor = ecawave
ext-mp3-input-cmd = mpg123 --stereo -r %s -b 0 -q -s -k %o %f
ext-mp3-output-cmd = lame -b 128 -x -S - %f
ext-ogg-input-cmd = ogg123 -d wav -o file:%F %f
ext-ogg-output-cmd = vorbize --raw --write=%f -
ext-mikmod-cmd = mikmod -d stdout -o 16s -q -f %s -p 0 --noloops %f
ext-timidity-cmd = timidity -Or1S -id -s %s -o - %f
internal-plugin-directory = /usr/lib/ecasound-plugins
ladspa-plugin-directory = /usr/local/lib/ladspa

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