Bouncing vs. printing tracks

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Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by Bobby4157 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:24 pm

In the most gentle of laymen's term can someone define and if it's possible explain how to do these operations in Mixcraft 7 Pro Studio. I have watched some youtube videos but they were featuring different DAW's. Thanks in advance

Sami Seif
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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by Sami Seif » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:12 pm

To print:
Go to "file", the mix down to, and select the option you would like.

To bounce:
(I've never done this before so I'm not entirely sure, but I think this is the way to do it)
Insert the CD you want the track to be on, then go to "file", select "burn CD"

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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by Pete Stobbs » Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:41 am

Bouncing tracks was used to free up tracks for recording.
A simple example would be:

You might get your drums and bass levels how you want them then bounce these to another track.
Then, you have drums and bass on one track.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by Mark Bliss » Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:00 am

The terminology is left over from another time. The old methods are obsolete, but some use the terminology still, which quite frankly, may confuse...... And I have found that peoples definitions even vary a bit.

For example, there was a time when an engineer/producer might cut and splice together a stereo track on tape (yes, I am old enough to have some experience with a razor blade and adhesive tape splice or two.....)
Once satisfied with the result, one might have recorded that track onto a second tape machine.
Another example might be as Pete Stobbs describes, due to the limited number of tracks available with the hardware of the time.

Now with the DAW we have the benefits of editing and unlimited track counts only dreamed of. Our considerations and workflow changes reflect that.

So I think the best way to answer Bobby is to ask for a definition of just what you want to do?

You can turn an edited and automated track into a new audio track. ("Print"?)
You can render your project to individual tracks/stems.
You can render selected tracks into one track and re-import into the project. (Bounce?)
You can render your project into a stereo file in various formats and audition it on various audio sources. Send it to be mastered/duplicated. Or re-import it to a new project for home mastering. Upload it to an online host for sharing, burn it to CD and distribute it at live shows, try to sell enough to buy new equipment.....

Possibilities are as endless as your dreams I suppose.
Stay in tune, Mark


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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by aquataur » Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:00 am

Here some terminology and technology from present and past get intertwined.
Of course there is no standardization insitute existing to set this straight.
Some of the following was already covered by the previous speakers.

A look into the past:

When recordings were still done on tape machines, the numer of tracks were limited. Once a portion of the song (e.g. a drum submix, vocals, a guitar part) was considered complete, it was printed to a spare track on the same tape machine, thus freeing several other tracks previously occupied by the submix.

The sound quality was degraded by this action due to the added media limitations (compression, noise). After this step, the previous tracks were deleted and no individual corrective changes could be done to them afterwards. The term "printing" implies a hard copy as is.

The whole process was called bouncing.

(Believe it or not, Sergeant Pepper´s was done on a 4 track system.)

Printing on a current DAW would mean rendering a selected portion of the project into an (uncompressed) file.
Bouncing would mean to re-import this file into the project while deleting the source files.

However, this cumbersome process is no longer needed with today´s DAWS:

* There is no practical limitation for the number of tracks, although at some point the project may become unmanagable, HDD speed and space may become a factor, and the audio interface may congest.
* There is the option for freezing tracks, thus relieving the CPU from realtime calculations. This action can be undone in a mouseclick to allow for further audio processing.
Freezing happens on a per-track basis. The audio source file plus all applied effects are printed to an intermediate file, which restricts the realtime load on the DAW to file I/O. Note that this action does not currently (as per MX Ver. 7) free the memory claimed by the used plug-ins.
* Inside the DAW (Mixcraft at least) there is no sound degradation due to the media, no noise (for all practical reasons at least), no unwanted compression, not even clipping distortion (due to the 32bit floating representation of audio).
* there is submixes that can be "folded" so as to hide the tracks within from the screen.

Having that said, some mastering services use a similar procedure (albeit for different reasons) during mastering:
A stem, also known as a submix, subgroup, or bus track, is a single audio file made by combining similar tracks. For example, you can create a "vocal stem" by soloing all vocal layers simultaneously and exporting them as a single stereo audio file. Unlike for traditional mixing, you should leave all of your volume, panning, plugins, and automation enabled when exporting stems.
During the mixing and recording stage, since there is no sensible action to reflect the process described before (printing and re-importing) inside a DAW (for the reasons it was done in analog times), and also no need, the term "bouncing" best gets eliminated. The only vague resemblance is freezing.

There is no practical media limitations that would justify the additional effort and loss of comfort caused by bouncing.
There is other concerns inside contemporary DAWs, such as CPU load, memory usage, and user interface (screen cluttering) that must be addressed. Make yourself familiar with the concepts of freezing and subgroups to manage tracks.

For mastering, a functionally similar process can be used (stem mixing), albeit for different reasons. This is mentioned, because you could use your DAW to accomplish this.


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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by gypsy101 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:10 am

RE: Bouncing (sort of)
I'm not sure if many others have noticed this but if you do,for instance,3 identical guitar tracks in separate lanes it sounds a certain way but if you merge them (bounce them) together w/out crossfade it does sound different.

the same goes for if you do (example) 3 tracks,have 2 in a Submix track & leave one as a "main" track then include it in a Submix track it changes the overall sound just a bit too.

the way it's done in Mixcraft would be to SOLO the tracks you want to bounce or mute all other tracks & "MIX DOWN TO" WAV then add a new track to the project,select sound,insert sound and add that WAV track back into the project.

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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by aquataur » Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:28 am

Since it probably never was laid down in terms what "bouncing" exactly means technically, and since other, similar actions can be termed "bouncing" without harm, everybody will continue to use this term with actually different meaning.

The original term "bouncing" refers to limited tracks on analog tape machines and the method of dealing with that in the way described earlier.


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Re: Bouncing vs. printing tracks

Post by Juno » Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:36 am

Another thing: while bouncing may broadly refer to the process of combining several tracks, it's also used in filenames created by Mixcraft.
For instance, right clicking a single track and choosing 'mix to new audio track' creates a new file with the format:
  • [bounce-track] [track#] [mm-dd-yyyy] [ID#] [file extension]
bounce-track 04 11-8-2015 ID1.WAV

This new track is then added to the project automatically, and the old track is muted.

Freezing a track does a similar thing. It makes a file:
  • [Frozen Track] [track#] [[sequential id #]] [extension]
Frozen Track 5 [832].wav

This is a temporary file that gets deleted once you unfreeze the track. Mixcraft inserts and removes the frozen track in/from the project automatically.

The id # is done in different ways. A bounced track's id is based on the number of bounced tracks in the project, starting with [ID0].
A new frozen track always gets:
  • [new id]=[previous frozen track id]+1
and as far as i can tell the number taken from [previous frozen track id] might be in another project, if that's where the previous frozen track was made. This track doesn't have to exist anymore (it can currently be unfrozen). The id keeps increasing to make sure no identical filenames are made in this process.
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