Tech Tip:An Introduction to Hard Disk Recording, Part 5

An Introduction to Hard Disk Recording
presented by the Roland Corporation


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What Are Virtual Tracks?


In the "old days" most albums were recorded in studios with expensive tape recorders with lots of tracks. Often the artist needed many tracks in order to have several different versions of the lead vocal, or the guitar solo. Or, maybe they wanted to have several background vocals on different tracks, so they could mix them later. They needed so many tracks because they didn't want to throw away any of their recorded takes!


The Virtual Tracks that some HDRs have give you this same ability to keep all of your takes for later comparison, editing, or re-mixing.


Here's how Virtual Tracks work:


Picture several piles of filing cards. Each pile has one card on top, with several others underneath. By shuffling the cards, you can bring any individual card to the top at any time. Virtual Tracks work in the same manner. Each track has one main or top virtual track. That is the track you hear.


You can bring any track to the top anytime you want. In fact, you can even make a new virtual track that contains pieces of the other virtual tracks or even mixes of the other tracks. These Virtual Tracks or layers are just different storage locations for your recordings.



You can keep many takes of a guitar solo on the same track using virtual tracks.


How can you use Virtual Tracks to help you make music?


Recording a guitar solo:
On different Virtual Tracks of one track, you can record several solos. You don't have to erase previous takes or lose other tracks. You keep your creativity flowing, then later decide which solo (or parts of solos) you want to use.


Recording background vocals:
Record several tracks of background vocals. Mix or bounce them together to one track for playback. You can now re-use these tracks for other instruments and still re-mix the original vocal parts later if you need to. They're still safely stored on virtual tracks.


Recording a dry guitar and a processed guitar at the same time:
Record a guitar with all of your effect pedals. At the same time, record the guitar without effects on a different track. Keep the "dry" guitar on a different virtual track in case you later decide to try a different effect on the guitar.


Virtual Tracks can make your music sound better.


"Best of" version copied from other virtual tracks