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Kronos as soundcard question...

 
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject: Kronos as soundcard question... Reply with quote

Korg keyboards use a 48 khz sample rate. Doesn't this mean that if we use the Kronos as a soundcard, {since KRONOS has USB connection to computer (stereo audio / MIDI)}, that we would need to set our computer DAW software to a 48 khz sample rate as well? Then we wouldn't have to dither down to a 44.1 khz sample rate to make a CD? What I really want to know and understand is the best way to go about getting the wonderful sounds in this keyboard recorded as separate tracks onto the computer. So far, I'm unclear as to how best to go about doing this. Would we establish midi sync between Kronos and our computer Daw and then solo each track one at a time then record the audio into the computer in many separate passes (a cumbersome process)? Or, is there a way to bounce down the audio inside Kronos into separate wav files and then transfer those wav files to the computer? If anyone can chime in with some helpful information, I would sure appreciate it.

Thanks and best wishes,
Blaze
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm seriously considering purchasing this keyboard but not until/unless my previous questions are addressed. The Kronos blew me away at the NAMM show. It sounds absolutely amazing. In a studio environment, however, it remains unproven. When it comes to interfacing with a computer DAW, the Yamaha Motif has streamlined this process. But I'm not here as a Yamaha fan boy. I'm here to seriously question the way Kronos is supposed to interface with a computer DAW. The MIDI editor is important but it's not the whole story. Transferring audio from the Kronos onto to separate tracks in a computer DAW is of great importance in music production. This, as we all know, is one of the huge advantages of virtual instruments - the audio is already inside the computer. Actually, it really surprises me that, so far, this issue has not been adequately addressed. Personally, I think it should be a top priority. Don't you guys think so?

Hope to hear something back,
Blazer
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MartinHines
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Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3006
Location: Topeka, KS (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Kronos has 2 main analog outs and 4 individual outs.

If similar to other Korg keyboards (like the OASYS), the maximum different audio channels that can be output by the Kronos at the same time is 6.

According to the specs, only 2 digital audio channels can be output via USB. These would be the MAIN (L & R) channels, identical to the 2 analog channels. These are also available via an Optical S/PDIF connection.

By default all of the audio from the sounds (Programs and Combinations) will be directed to the MAIN L&R audio channels. You can change this if you want (for example re-directing some timbres to the 4 Individual outs).

http://www.korg.com/Product.aspx?pd=598#feat

Regarding recording, there are many options. Given the Kronos supports 16 audio tracks, you can definitely sample/re-sample the audio output to a .wav file within the Kronos. If you want to only record audio with your computer, you can keep it simple (like many do) and just use the 2 analog audio outputs.

Regarding interfacing with a computer, you are always going to have some limits that will make getting audio out of a workstation different than generating audio internally in a computer. Even the Motif and its 16 digital audio channels are constrained to those 16 channels.

I personally find it easiest to treat a workstation like a separate instrument, recording different/separate audio tracks for each different workstation sound I want to play.
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Hines,

First of all, let me thank you for your response. I have found it helpful. Btw, could you please address the 48 kHz sample rate issue? I know that that's not a factor when using the analog outs, but it is when using the digital outs - either the USB or the spidif. I did find this post helful:

http://karma-lab.wikidot.com/misc:choosing-a-sampling-frequency

but I would still like more clarification.

To say that the Motif is "constrained" or limited to 16 channels is true, but then again by that definition, Kronos is "constrained" to 2 digital channels or 6 total (either 6 analog or 4 analog and 2 digital). This once again brings up the issue of sample rate conversion which would be neccessary for the digital channels but not the analog ones.

Resampling midi tracks as audio within the Kronos sounds promising. Here are a few questions regarding that process:

1) Are midi tracks resampled as a mono tracks or stereo tracks (or dual mono)?
2) How would you get these tracks to the computer? Write them to a usb thumb drive and shuttle them there (I'm guessing)?
3) All audio tracks would be 24bit, 48kHz wav files, correct?

Thanks again for being so helpful,
Blaze
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing...

"I personally find it easiest to treat a workstation like a separate instrument, recording different/separate audio tracks for each different workstation sound I want to play." Martin Hines

I agree with you. However, since Kronos has 9 seperate synth engines, doesn't it make even more sense to have a way to record them separately?

Blazer
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EvilDragon
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1992
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blazer wrote:
doesn't it make even more sense to have a way to record them separately?



There is. One by one. Laughing Laughing Laughing



Smile
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very funny. I take it that EvilDragon is not working on a deadline....
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Dr. Who
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Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been tracking forever at 48khz and whenever I bounce to disk I do it at 44.1kz for CD. AFAIK that's pretty normal. I've been scolded by some studio nuts for not tracking at a higher resolution for various reasons which I don't exactly agree with. But if you set your DAW at 48khz and leave all of your music at 48kz leaving it to be reduced to 44.1kz at CD creation I really don't think you'll have any problem. And it you do... then I've been doing somethign wrong for many years Laughing


Everyone has their own way of working but personally I send all synths to an outboard mixer with British EQ's and separate as many tracks as possible. The way I track with any multi timbral synth is by using the max of audio outs routed to separate tracks. For Kronos this would be 4 outs. For ease I program the midi in Protools and on shot record up to 24 tracks of simultaneous audio from my various synths into the mixer and each on a separate post fader out from the mixer into Rosetta A/D's and into separate tracks in ProTools. Viola 24 tracks in one shot. With so many sounds available on the OASYS/Kronos it does mean multiple recordings, but I don't usually fill up 16 simultaneous OASYS tracks more like 6 or so. It still does mean extra work. There are work arounds such as routing several OASYS/Kronos bass sounds to one out and treat them in ProTools as one track for mixing. For me that's why it's nice to have multiple synths that I can use for basses or leads pads etc. One less extra OASYS/Kronos recording. This is just how I work, everyone works differently. But it has proven to be very fast with minimal multiple recording sessions. Just food for thought.
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EvilDragon
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1992
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blazer wrote:
Very funny. I take it that EvilDragon is not working on a deadline....



Nope, not yet. Smile
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Blazer



Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Dr. Who,

Glad to hear that recording at 48 kHz works for you. That's very encouraging. As far as using the 4 individual outs, that sounds reasonable. Seems a shame to waste the digital outs, though. Is it possible to effectively use both?

Still think it would be nice to be able to export tracks as separate wav files. Is this possible? It might speed up the workflow. Just a thought....

Glad to hear that EvilDragon is chillin' Very Happy
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jg::
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Joined: 14 Aug 2003
Posts: 678
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Oasys, I also use the digital outs to record into my DAW at 48kHz, and then use the DAW to change/export to 44.1 if I need to. No issues whatsoever.

You could also export audio files from the Kronos sequencer onto a memory stick or HD, so transfer this way is possible - not sure if it would be much faster.

jg::
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BasariStudios
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Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 6507
Location: NYC, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.The most honest answer is NONE of us has actually tried the Kronos how it
works in a studio enviroment so basically whatever someone or anyone says
is not valid and dont take it as an answer...but one thing i can tell you straight
and that is dont rely on its SoundCard options a lot, you might get dissapointed
cuz this is a WS ONLY and there wont be much of a SoundCard to it.
USB as it is is pretty weak and slow for Audio (except rme FF UC).
2, I own several SoundCards and probably over 50 Analog I/O on them and
i still record EVERYTHING track by track (one by one) i guess it is the better way.
3. As someone pointed out, Sample Rate HAS to be CLOCKED to the DAW
with Kronos's Sample Rate which is 48KHZ but most of us recording profesionally
use even a lot higher then that, not many of us would hear the difference but
always everything has to still be dithered down.

To your Questions:
1. They can be resampled i think the way you want to, Mono or Stereo.
2. 2 Options, you either do it in the Synth and export them to DAW by a
USB Stick or you record directly in the DAW.
3. I dont know if Kronos records at 24 and 16 Bit or both but it will record
at a Sample Rate of 48 KHZ,

Having a separate Audio Interface with few ANALOG I/Os would still be
a good idea and better then Kronos, if affordable.
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