n-Track Android

for Android phones and tablets

USER GUIDE

REVISION 4.0.0

Installing

You can find and install n-Track Studio for Android on Google Play

 

Using n-Track

Calibrating recording latency

The first thing the app asks you when first started is to calibrate the audio latency. n-Track needs to do this to determine how to compensate for the inherent audio latency in the Android audio system. Make sure you let the app perform the latency calibration in a quiet room, without an headset plugged in and with the device volume turned all the way up.

If you notice a lack of sync between existing and newly recorded tracks please try repeating the latency calibration by selecting the button next to the Recording latency compensation sign in the Hamburger menu -> Settings box.

 

Recording audio

You can start recording simply pressing the record button. n-Track will normally record from the device builtin microphone or from the headset mic (if a headset is connected).

Press stop once you've finished recording. Click record again to start recording your second track while you hear the first track. It is usually useful to use a standard set of headphones (without the mic, i.e. not the standard headset) so that you can hear on the headphones the track(s) that you have already recorded and record with the device builtin mic the new track, without re-recording the tracks that are being played.

You can make adjustments to the tracks settings (volume, pan) by clicking on the mixer icon ios mixer button. When the mixer pane is open you can tap on a track and the mixer will show the settings for that track.
You can show the mixer settings for the master channel (i.e. the channel that all tracks are sent to, any change in the master channel will affect all tracks) by tapping on an empty area in the tracks view, i.e. below all the tracks waveforms.

You can add effects to any track or master channel by clicking on the Add efx sign in the black list box in the lower part of the mixer pane. n-Track currently includes Reverb, Compression, Tube Simulator, Pitch Shift, Echo, Tremolo and Chorus effects.
You can also apply EQ by clicking on the EQ/Spectrum button in the tab bar at the bottom of the screen. The EQ settings will be applied to the track that is currently selected.

Press the Hamburger button to open the main n-Track commands menu. Select Import audio file to import tracks. In the browser view swipe left to right then click Delete to delete audio files.

 

Input Monitoring & audio latency

Audio monitoring on n-Track for Android has currently a noticeable latency. This is currently a limitation of the Android audio subsystem. The latency doesn't affect the sync of recorded tracks, it may however make recording the recording process difficult because you may have trouble playing or singing while hearing what you play or sing on the headphones with a noticeable delay.

If you use n-Track to monitor the audio you want to record (i.e. from the builtin mic, an external mic or an instrument connected to your device via an adapter), you'll hear what you are playing with an usually noticeable latency. With some devices (typically Nexus phones and tablets using Android 4.2 or later) the latency is not too high, while on some other devices it may be of the order of one second. Consequently it is usually best to use an external device (i.e. a small analog mixer) to monitor the signal you're recording, and set n-Track to not monitor the input signal. This way you won't hear the input latency and it will also not affect the sync of the recorded tracks.

You can always try to minimize the latency by setting up the buffer size as low as supported by your device. If you own a recent device always check that “enable low-latency audio” is checked by going in the settings field (p.s. this field is present only in newer device).

 

Setting which track to record to

By default n-Track records to the track you've last tapped on. When you have many tracks and/or input channels it's useful to use the Rec-Arm button Arm track buttonto set which track will be recorded from which input channel. When a track is armed for recording the Rec-Arm button will turn red Rec Arm button (active)
When you want to record to a new track, select the Add Track button Add track button, then Add new track, then tap on the new track to select it, then tap on the Rec-Arm button and select the input where you want to record from. If you don't see the Add Track button, scroll the bottom toolbar to reveal it.

 

Restarting from scratch

To start a new song press the Hamburger button, then select New Song to close the current song and start a new one.


USB Audio

USB audio is included in n-Track Studio Pro and available as in-app purchase in n-Track Studio standard.
n-Track Studio support external USB audio devices. Since the support for USB audio is not built into the Android audio system and n-Track directly accesses the audio devices, USB audio may not work on all Android devices + USB devices combinations.

See below for a compatibility matrix that shows the devices we've tested.

 

Enabling USB audio

After you've connected the USB audio device to the Android device, launch n-Track, click on the Hamburger button , then select the Settings command, click on the Select Audio driver option and select USB audio.

Android USB settings


A box may popup asking to give permission to n-Track to access the USB device:

Android USB permission 

 

Connecting the USB device

Unless your USB device has a built-in microUSB port (some recent devices do have one) you'll typically need an adapter cable. Most Android devices use a microUSB connector, so you'll need a cable with a microUSB male connector and a female regular USB connector.

Some USB devices work well with the Android device power. Some other devices need more power and can only work when connected using either a powered USB hub or a microUSB splitter cable.

The splitter cable is very inexpensive and can be easily found for example on Ebay, searching for "microUSB OTG splitter".

microUSB OTG cable microUSB OTG splitter cable
Android OTG MicroUSB to USB cable Android Y MicroUSB to USB adapter



Using multichannel audio devices

When using multichannel USB audio devices you can record as many audio channels as the audio device allows.

After connecting a multichannel USB device n-Track will by default start using only 2 inputs and 2 outputs. To use more channels change the Max Inputs and Max Outputs settings in the Audio Settings box.

Note that not all devices might be able to handle many input and/or output channels. The more channels you enable the more workload the device must handle. If when you increase the number of channels you hear that the audio starts clicking try to increase the buffering settings in the Audio settings box. See the USB compatibility chart below with notes on recommended buffering settings for specific audio devices.

 

24 bit recording

n-Track automatically detects wether the audio device in use has 24 bit recording capabilities. If that's the case the recorded audio files that n-Track generate will use the 24 bit audio format. 24 bit recording currently works only on external USB

audio devices, the Android built-in audio device is 16 bits only.

 

Editing

You can perform most common audio editing tasks such as copying, cutting and pasting portions of tracks. The gestures that you perform on the main tracks view have different actions based on the current editing mode:

Pan & zoom. Double tap to view all song
move button Drag tracks
ios edit button Select & edit. Tap and drag to select, then use the Copy, Cut & Paste commands

 

Working with MIDI

n-Track Studio lets you record and edit MIDI track and play them via the built-in MIDI synth.

 

MIDI tracks, instruments and MIDI keyboard

Press the MIDI keyboard button Arm track button to open the on-screen MIDI keyboard
If the song doesn't yet contain any MIDI track, a new MIDI track and an instrument channel will be created.
MIDI tracks contain the sequence of MIDI notes. Instrument channels are where the actual audio from the MIDI notes is generated. Multiple MIDI tracks can send their output to a single instrument channel.
If you want to add a new instrument channel select a MIDI track output channel selection button Arm track button and select New Instrument.
When you add a new MIDI track by default it continues to use the same instrument used by the previous MIDI track. If you want the new MIDI track to have a different sound, you can add a new instrument clicking on the track output name
button in the left side of the track, then select New instrument from the popup menu. Now click the button again to select which sound will the new instrument use. The list of sounds appears below the New instrument command, you can select Drums kit or any melodic instrument below.

You can view all the instrument channels in the song by pressing the small right arrow in the upper left part of the screen, then add a checkmark for Show Instruments. The instrument channels will appear below the tracks. You can change volume, pan settings for the instrument channels, draw volume envelopes etc.

 

USB MIDI

n-Track allows you to connect a MIDI keyboard or controller. While compatibility with USB audio devices is not always guaranteed all of the USB MIDI devices we've tested work correctly with n-Track on an Android device.

For info on how to physically connect the MIDI device please see the USB connection instructions for USB audio.

 

Recording a MIDI track

Add a new MIDI track, click on the Rec-arm Arm track button button, select Arm Recording, then press the main record button
You can now play with the onscreen keyboard or with an external MIDI keyboard connected to your device.

 

Editing MIDI tracks

You can edit a MIDI track in the Piano Roll window by double tapping on the MIDI track waveform, i.e. the box that shows the MIDI notes. By default it's a small box with no notes on the left side of the track.
The Piano Roll has 3 editing modes:


USB Audio compatibility chart

Below is a list of the Android devices & USB audio devices we've tested.

Note: If a device doesn't appear in the lst below it doesn't mean that it doesn't work, it simply means that we haven't had the chance to test it.

If you have an Android device + USB audio device combination that doesn't appear here please send us a short message using the Report Issue command telling us if the device works or not and we'll add it to the list.

Green means that the USB device works with the Android device above. Red means that the Android & USB devices don't work well together. We're interested in knowing if your device configuration works or not, when you try an USB device please report wether it works or not using the Report Issue command.

Supported USB audio devices
Generic USB stereo in/stereo out audio device  
Creative Soundblaster Play!  
Griffin iMic  
RME Babyface (10 inputs / 10 outputs) Buffering: 4 x 220 samples
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (12 inputs / 18 outputs)  
M-Audio Fast Track  
M-Audio Mobile Pre  
C-Media USB PnP  
Berhringer Xenyx 302  
Behringer UCA202  
Native Instrument Komplete Audio 6  
Audioprobe Spartan Cue  
Audiotrak Maya 5.1 USB  


Compatible Android devices

Google Nexus 5

Works with all supported USB devices

 

Google Galaxy Nexus

Works with all devices above except: RME Babyface, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

 
Samsung Galaxy S4  

Samsung Galaxy S3

Works with all devices above except: C-Media USB PnP (kernel driver conflicts with n-Track's one)

 
Dell Venue 8  
Non-compatibile devices
Galaxy Tab 7 2.0
(faulty USB Android kernel)
 
LG X4 HD
(no Android USB support)
 
Samsung Galaxy S2
(no Android USB support)
 

 

Video Tutorials

 

Feedback

Please let us know if you have comments or bug-reports about n-Track Studio, we are continually working on improving n-Track and your feedback is greatly appreciated.