Saturday, August 15, 2015

Punching in & Punching out! A guide for dummies

Hi everyone and welcome to this week's article, in which we celebrate our article n.200 AND our Facebook page fan n. 500!

Today we're focusing on an option featured in almost every Daw (although in the pic above we are showing the Cubase/Nuendo u.i. version): the Punch in (and Punch out) funcion.
This funcion basically lets you replace a section of a take on the fly, by deciding before when to start recording and when to stop.

In the Cubase/Nuendo interface you can see, in the transport panel, a section in which you can type the positioning of the left and right locators (otherwise you can set them manually by dragging them in the top part of the interface). There is also a downhill icon and an uphill one: activate both those icons to tell the Daw that you want it to start recording at the left locator and stop when the marker reaches to the right one. 
Now "arm" the track you want to record in by clicking in the red button of the channel, set your marker anywhere prior the beginning of the area that will be re-recorded and press play (not record, play). 
The song will start playing, until the moment it will reach the left locator, then it will start recording in the armed track, and it will stop when it will reach the right locator, but the song will go on playing.

Why is this function useful? 
Essentially for one reason: let's imagine we have tracked the perfect guitar take, and there is only one small flaw to re-do, but we can't re play it on its own, it would lose the swing of playing the whole take together: we can re-play the whole part and tell the Daw to record just the small bit we need to re-do, and if we're precise enough in setting our locators, we won't even need further editing.
If the new track appears to be BELOW the old one, thus we can't hear it, we can right click to the old track and select it from the drop down menu, choosing it and clicking on To Front.

Additional info:

If we select only the left locator from the transport panel, it will go on recording until we press stop.

One last thing: in the transport panel, in the locators section,  under the numbers that sets where the locators are, we can also find a smaller number: this is the PRE ROLL COUNT, it makes a pre-count before playing, but make sure you don't have it in the metronome too, otherwise the DAW will give priority to that one.
In the Preferences section, finally, we can also decide the Daw to stop playing when the marker reaches the Punch Out locator.

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