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Post new topic What Are Your Home Recording Work Flow Tips?
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Author Topic:  What Are Your Home Recording Work Flow Tips?
Chris Bauer


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 9 Oct 2019 5:51 pm    
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I love being able to do overdubs at home but even after all these years, I'm still pretty terrible at being my own engineer. I'm especially clumsy with punches.

I'm curious what you all are doing that helps you get the takes you want more quickly and easily.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post  Posted 9 Oct 2019 7:31 pm    
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Chris,

You can certainly automate your punches and even loop between in/out points, tracking non destructive takes until you're satisfied.

Adjusting pre & post roll (ex. 10 sec before the punch in point) can certainly help you get comfortable by not having to reach for a mouse or keyboard after every take.

Hope this helps.

Yer Pal
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Chris Bauer


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 9 Oct 2019 7:57 pm    
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That’s definitely been a life-saver for me. If it weren’t for being able to stack punch takes, I’d never finish a project.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 9 Oct 2019 11:32 pm    
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are you on a DAW or a workstation ? makes a big difference in the process or rather, procedure.

On the DAW , I create additional tracks. I don't punch in on the existing track.

I cut the parts that need "altering" ,also called fixing, move that piece to another track (above or below), keep it muted , not deleted.

I record the NEW part on another track, if I like it I move it into the initial track and group it all together. If I don' t like it, I just do it again.

If I am not playing a track all the way thru, A to Z, I am working ( recording) over two tracks anyway. If the recorded tracks are acceptable, I move the parts into a single track.

Don't forget to SAVE !


The few sessions I do, this is what they do, they had me recording on typically 3 tracks, then used the pieces they wanted . Choices.

This makes it very easy for an engineer/producer to cut the song into sections.


Its cut and paste, like MS word !

You can do this on a workstation but it's much more difficult as you cannot SEE what it is you are moving( or deleting) and/or adding plus you may be limited in track space.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 5:43 am    
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fwiw, Cubase (and I assume other DAWS) has an automated feature where when recording and looping between 2 points it automatically creates a "lane", a secondary track under your primary.

It will stack as many lanes as you choose. You can later move any lane into the primary track. You can also move any RANGE of any LANE into the primary, pasting your perfect take.

My usual method is to track multiple lanes until I get the sense that there are workable parts/sections and then start working on the DAW.

I hate moving back and forth between my "musician mode" and "engineer mode".

Putting picks on and off frequently annoys me.

h
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 6:10 am    
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I generally keep a first pass in case there are some ideas there. Then I playlist a second track and work through the song punching in when I need to and seam the punches later. If it’s a section punch, I just do it manually. If it’s a tight punch in a solo or something I highlight and auto punch it. I never use the looping function as I like the little mental reset before doing it again (the thing I miss most about tape is that little reset you got while the machine located and parked). If I didn’t beat the part already there I undo and do it again, I never keep multiple passes. Sometimes after I get a track I’m happy and done with, I’ll take another pass and see if I beat anything. 98% of the clients I work with want me to send them one track that I like, a few like a second pass that may be a little busier fill wise. Most live sessions with producers tend to run the same way. Commitment is one of my favorite words. Less experienced producers seem to be the ones that want to keep everything you do Smile....
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Chris Bauer


From:
Nashville, TN USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 6:48 am    
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I find that I work really differently with an engineer - especially an experienced one - than when I'm working at home. With those folks we can do a pass or maybe two and then go back and see what can be made better. Done. (Those are also the folks who know what really needs to be burned as opposed to those who, horrifically, end up using material on the final mix that should have never even been kept.)

At home, though, I'm sometimes doing as many as ten overdub sessions a week and in most cases those tracks go to someone I may have never met. So, I find myself mentally bogged down between the need for efficiency and the wish to send tracks that feel more finished. Personally I find looped takes to be helpful for that but I've never found a great sweet spot as far as pre-roll times; I want/need to work fast but I really need that mental re-set.
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 7:08 am    
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"Personally I find looped takes to be helpful for that but I've never found a great sweet spot as far as pre-roll times; I want/need to work fast but I really need that mental re-set."

Hmmm..usually 2-4 bars works for me.

Here's my looping story:

This time my brain must have been looping and I could not stop until I looked up at the monitor and it was on lane (take) #67.

That was a personal record.

h
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John Macy


From:
Denver, CO/Rockport, TX
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 7:33 am    
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For me, longer reset=less takes needed....
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Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 7:42 am    
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John Macy wrote:
For me, longer reset=less takes needed....


It depends on my caffeine consumption! Very Happy
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Jonathan Cullifer


From:
Nashville, TN
Post  Posted 10 Oct 2019 11:44 am    
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I do what Tony does and crossfade the punch with the old track later. Most of the time, when I punch in, I keep rolling all the way through to the end, unless it's a solo. Never know when I might like the result better.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2019 2:08 am    
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Depends on whether I'm just fixing something or doing a complete new track. Cakewalk (Sonar) has take lanes so if its a new track its a new take lane. But, I keep a copy of the original recording and any subsequent takes/modifications, etc are saved as separate files (e.g Take 1, Take 2, Mix 1, etc).
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Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2019 4:12 am    
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I usually do 3 or 4 complete passes on the entire track, and when I'm done I usually have a 'notion' which one was the best. I start with that, and if I have issues with a given spot on that track, I'll audition the other 2 or 3 and see if I like that better. I normally end up with a track that's mostly one take and maybe a comp'd section or two here and there.

Tommy Detamore told me about this 3 or 4 take 'rule', and it works pretty well for me. Not surprisingly, the first take or two are usually the best, before you hammer it so many times you lose all sense of what you're trying to do. Nothing worse than looking at 10 or more takes and trying to figure out which one sounds the best at 2:31 or whatever..

I seldom punch solos, unless I have a very planned phrase or solo that I'm just trying to execute cleanly. I'd rather wing it as part of the take, that's usually where the stuff I like the most shows up.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2019 5:17 am    
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Over the last few years I have been turning in a single track that I think is what they want. I generally send a complete pass with no punch ins or fixes. Then I include a track of textures and sounds that I think might help. If I’m feeling ambitious I’ll send an extra take of my own ideas that may have little to do with the idiom they are looking for but is what I hear in my head.

All full takes. If I’m playing and screw up or lose focus I stop and dump the take and start over. I get lost in details when I do surgery. Things seem to go faster and stay musical when I do full takes.
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Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2019 6:35 am    
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Depending on the song/style and if there is a vocal or not, I will play all the other instruments first... telecaster, uke, piano, organ, synth strings etc. I will lay down the chords, fills intros and endings etc. BEFORE I EVEN TOUCH MY STEEL GUITAR...

Why?

1.) Because I love to play my steel guitars so much and I am super critical of my performances... I would get bogged down and never get to all the other tracks to finish the song.

2.) Because if it was a real "band" or studio session, the other players would take some verses or choruses and fills. Then I would find the "Holes" in the vocal or solo instrument and fill them in.

3.) Because often the arrangement comes to life with a particular Guitar riff, or Piano trick, and then my Steel guitar can do the Harmony, or call and response or counter melody...
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 11 Oct 2019 8:38 am    
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Tascam 788, non-DAW using odd man out here.
For all intents and purposes I'm limited to 8 tracks.
Yes, I do have virtual tracks as well.
However, you can only listen to any 8 at a single time.
That said..........

1) Always record a click track, regardless of if you are using a real drummer, or a drum machine, or even no drummer at all.
There are a couple of reasons that I've found for this.

2) THINK (yeah, I know it's tough) about what you want to record first.
How many tracks, what instruments, etc.
Arrange the song in your mind before you ever go near the recorder.

3) Record the tracks as dry as possible.
If you have a favorite effects pedal then go for it.
But try to save the reverb and/or delay until mixing/mastering.

4) I have noiseless pickups, and I still use a noise gate.
If you do a punch in later, it can make it easier to separate the notes.
It can also get rid of extra clicks due to level shifts or whatever when punching in/out.
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