Recording Audio On Windows & Mac

In this article, we will show you how to record audio using the Cantabile VST host (on Windows), and using the MainStage application on Mac OS X. Also included in the article, are audio files which let you listen to the results of such recording.

Recording On Windows

To make this recording, I used the Cantabile VST host to play the Sonar X2 Essentials “Dimension LE” sounds, using the KeyMusician Keyboard to perform the music.

Since Sonar X2 is a sequence-editor as well as a VST host, I could have used Sonar to do the recording, but Cantabile is much easier to use, so I used it instead.

Here is a screen-shot of my Cantabile window:


In this screen-shot, I have clicked in the “Record” drop-box (underneath the “Record” button, near the center-top of the image). Notice in the pop-up menu, that “Audio Record Output” is checked (selected). Also notice that “Audio Format (16i)” is selected, which is what you need for a standard audio CD.

Before you record, you need to click the “Record” drop-box, and select the parameters you want for recording. It will assume you want to record MIDI as well, but I have cleared it in the image above. Also, I don't recommend using the “Audio Auto Record” menu entry, because it starts and ends the recording abruptly, cutting-off part of the beginning and ending sound.

Notice in the left pane, there is an audio recording already done, called “Audio Rec... 003 5:01”, which is 5 minutes 1 second in length. That recording is what the audio file example below was exported from.

To record (after you have practiced sufficiently playing your piece using the KeyMusician Keyboard), click on the Cantabile window, then on its (round red) “Record” button, then click back on the KeyMusician Keyboard window, and start playing.

When you finish playing, click on the “Record” button of the Cantabile window to stop recording.

In the screen-shot below, I have done just that, and here is how my Cantabile window looked after that recording:


Notice that in the left pane, there is another recording “Audio Rec... 004 0:40”, which is the recording I just made.

After stopping the recording, you can go to your Cantabile files folder, using the file browser, and you should see the wave-file of the recording you made, as shown in the screen-shot below:


Notice the highlighted file “Audio Recording 004.wav” in the image above.

I used an application called “Audacity” for editing the '.wav' file (trimming-off the extra silence at the beginning & end), and for exporting it as an MP3 file. The “Audacity” application is available on Windows and Linux.

I made a recording on Windows, of my “Improvisation for March 2014, Part 1” composition. In this case, I have used the sounds available in the “Dimension LE” voices of Sonar X2 Essentials (the less-expensive version). Even that sub-set of sounds can be pretty impressive.

I think this version of the piece has a more 'folksy', relaxed feel. See what you think.

Improvisation for March 2014, Part 1 – on Windows



Recording On Mac OS X

To make this recording, I used the MainStage application's “Grand Piano Pad & Choir” sound, using the KeyMusician Keyboard to perform the music.

I could have recorded using GarageBand, since it is a sequence-editor with the capability of recording audio files as well. But the MainStage application is inexpensive, and has some really amazing sounds. I wanted to show what you can do with the KeyMusician Keyboard using those sounds.

Here is a screen-shot of the MainStage application's window:


Notice that there is a “Record” button near the upper-right of the window. But before you click the “Record” button to start recording, you first need to specify the type of recording you want to make, and where you want to put the file.

You do that by clicking on the “MainStage” menu of the task-bar, and selecting “Preferences” from the pop-up menu. That yields a window like the screen-shot below:


In the above screen-shot, the “Audio” tab is selected. Notice under the “Recording” heading, the folder where the recording files are put is specified (“Recordings Folder”), and also the “File Format” is specified. In this case, “Wave” was selected, which is what is used in a standard audio CD.

Having done that, and having practiced the piece you want to record sufficiently, you switch to the “MainStage” window, and click its “Record” button (at the upper-right of the window). Then you switch back to the KeyMusician Keyboard window, and start playing.

When you finish playing, switch back to the “MainStage” window and click the “Record” button again to stop recording. After doing that, the file of the recording will be in the “Recordings Folder” directory, as shown in the screen-shot below:


Notice the two “.wav” files in the screen-shot above (I tried other formats as well).

One of those files was the source of the audio file link below. It is an improvisation, played entirely (both hands) on the melody section of the KeyMusician Keyboard. See what you think:

Improvisation for the MainStage Grand Piano Choir Pad Voice



Summary

I think you'll agree that there are some really amazing sounds in addition to those of the FluidR3_GM sound-font, available on Windows and Mac OS X. Hopefully it will give you a reason to check out the “Improving Your System” links of the member pages.

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