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Lord Tim

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  1. My counter to that is you have no real idea what's going to happen at the master stage if it's the kind of music that will most likely have a fair amount of limiting done to it. First, I do absolutely agree that if you're planning to send your stuff off to a mastering engineer, let them do their job! Like Craig says, they more than likely have much better toys and far better skills than you do, so don't tie their hands by limiting their options. Take any dynamics effects off of the master unless it's something crucial to the sound of your mix before you send it off. But with that said ... If you're doing a style like metal or modern "radio" pop/rock where it's likely going to be hit hard with limiting later (to whatever degree, now that the loudness wars are kind of done) then you need to have an idea of what you're giving the mastering engineer because that can *also* tie their hands. How a mix is going to react to those effects is something you need to keep in mind. Generally you'll find that any bed instruments like rhythm guitars get much louder, cymbals get harsher/washier, you lose the snare or it loses transient definition... lots of things like that. So how do you deal with that? One option is to send stems so the mastering engineer can rebalance the mix if things start to get lost. The other option is to get your mix sounding great with nothing / light compression on your master outs, then strap a fairly aggressive limiter over the master and listen to the changes. You'd want to try to match the loudness levels of the commercial mixes you're aiming to get close to. Do a new mix with that on there, getting it close to what you were originally going for (with that added loudness you'd get from a limited mix) and then *take it off*. It will sound super weird and pokey sounding now, but this will be EXTREMELY dynamic now, giving the mastering engineer huge amounts of headroom to play with for processing later. Bring both mixes to the mastering session and talk to the engineer about it. I've found the best mastering people will want to work with you to get the best product and will give you guidance about what they need. Every style of music will have its own requirements and goals, so don't take what I'm saying as a one size fits all thing. If you're doing acoustic folk, or jazz or something, the chance of this stuff being slammed as hard as a melodic death metal mix is kind of nil, so it's not worth going to this kind of trouble. But it does pay to at least have an idea once your mix goes off, and good communication with your engineer will really get you over the line!
  2. It's fairly common to run a compressor over busses, even the master buss. Some people use these as "glue" compressors since it kind of crushes the sound to tame some transients and make it seem thicker, and "glues" the mix together more. I personally don't like to use single band compressors on the master too much, preferring to use a multiband so I have a bit more flexibility for what frequency area I want to crush, how much attack and release, etc., but I've been in a lot of mastering studios where it's common to use a gentle single band compressor first to "knock the tops off" of the transients before you send that to the final limiter. Running a series of compressors rather than trying to do that all with one set more aggressively can make things sound a lot more natural. For anything I master here from other clients, though, I'd really recommend hardly any to none on any mixes I'm given. You can't bring back the dynamics on a mix that's been squashed too much, and it's really easy to go too far if you're fairly new to using compressors on the master buss.
  3. This is stuff we've done a lot over the years. It's fiddly but if you approach it in the right way, it's fairly foolproof. Basically, it's like people have said here - you'd split the MP3 as the drummer mix with the click on one side and the front of house mix on the other side. To do it right, you'll need a cheap mixer or you have a world of potential issues to deal with (which isn't to say it won't work, but your chance of failure will increase). So, get your mix together and set up 2 BUSS tracks: Drummer and FOH. Send those to your sound card outputs. Set them both to mono, pan Drummer 100% left, and FOH to 100% right. Change the output for every track except for the click to go to FOH. This will be what you're sending to the audience and whoever else wants it (say, the foldback speakers across the front of the stage). Bear in mind that if you have any tracks with crazy stereo effects, it might be best to set those to mono or it could sound a little crappy once it's all folded down to mono at the end and panned to the right in your FOH Buss. Set the click track output to go to the Drummer Buss. Then, go through any other track you'd like the drummer to hear and add a send to Drummer Buss and set it to PRE. That's going to be the mix you'll want to send to your drummer. The reason I'm suggesting PRE rather than POST is that typically you'll want the click track BLASTING loud and the balance to be a little different to what you'd send out to the front of house. So those sends will kind of be a completely independent mix to what you're sending to FOH. At this point you can mix this down to an MP3 and have your drummer mix on the left, and the front of house on the right. And you could play that back with an iPod or whatever, with a split headphone cable sending one side to the drummer's headphones and the other side to the mixer. But where this is a problem is that you'll need to make sure the mixer side is running through a DI so you're getting the proper signal levels, and the drummer will either only be getting audio in his left earphone, or if you've set it up so the channels are joined, we found there's a good chance on some players that it ends up giving you all kinds of bleed, and worse, it may not actually be loud enough if you've got someone who hammers his kit. What I'd suggest is running into 2 channels of a cheap mixer. Run the left output into channel 1 for the drums, and the right output into channel 2 for the front of house. Typically those little mixers have balanced outs so you should just be able to plug an XLR into it and you're all set. Drums, you should be able to plug your headphones into the phones out and you'll get HEAPS of level for the drummer. The only real gotcha here is the routing can be a little weird on some mixers so you're getting independent outputs. As a good example, we used to run a Mackie 4 channel mixer. The click/drum send would go to the drummer via the headphone output, but we had to send to the front of house vix an Aux send on it, because there was no way to split the channels and have them come through both ears of the drummer's headphones without that. Your mileage will vary from mixer to mixer though, but I definitely recommend that over a split cable thing. The other option you could try is dragging a laptop on stage and running the outputs of your soundcard directly to each place while the mix is playing back, It's a little more risky for problems to appear during a show, but you have complete control over who gets what then, and taking a lot of steps out of the equation. Not recommended if you don't have a beefy machine or a soundcard with good drivers and decent headphone preamp / balanced outs. Hope that makes sense!
  4. Sorry @Ben Staton, I tried that when it happened to me last and it remained stuck unfortunately. The only way I could even get the audio to stop playing at all was ending the task, which obviously killed CbB. In a way I wish this happened more often for me, because it's extremely rare, and usually when I'm in the middle of something deadline-crucial so I can't do more tests.
  5. The zoom window stays visible for me.
  6. Can confirm that I've seen this behaviour too. It's only happened a couple of times but it's pretty annoying. I'm wondering if an ESC key exit from that function might be a good idea?
  7. Absolutely agree. I set CbB up on a new machine recently and I had no idea what was going on with the downloads until they actually started installing.
  8. Yep, I hear you - I asked for this too, and I believe this was added last year sometime. You need to insert an MCI event in the Event Viewer, which is easier than it sounds. @msmcleod - is this something you could explain properly?
  9. Let's not jump to conclusions just yet - if it was a bug in the EA then we'd all be complaining about it, yeah? The trick now is to narrow down if it's something on your system that's a problem, something on your system that's exposing a problem in the EA (which is the point of this - we want the proper release to be stable, right? That's kind of our jobs if we're trying out these releases) which we can explain to the Bakers so they can fix it, or something has borked during the install. Can you give more info on your system and what's happening exactly?
  10. Yeah, I've seen this maybe twice. It's so random it's a really difficult thing to report, and I could never to get a consistent recipe to reproduce it. 😕
  11. Yeah, listen - I was told I'm not supposed to leak any upcoming features, but... well, it's DEFINITELY the Cakewalk Hovercraft we've been promised all these years (now as a Pro Channel add on). You heard it here first!
  12. Let's not talk about how it's curved, just in case she says anything else... 😒
  13. I have a 32:9 curved monitor and for the most part it's pretty great. Only 1080 high though, and at essentially 2x 27" HD monitors stuck together, things are just that touch too large for me - I'd recommend a 1440 over a 1080. That aside, being able to have views open that you'd ordinarily have to close to persevere screen real estate is great. CbB isn't so bad since the Skylight interface is pretty well made, but things like After Effects or Premiere Pro where you'd ordinarily be switching tabs to get to certain effects or parameters is wonderful just having them open in front of you. The first day is weird using CbB since there's just... so much in front of you to look at 😐 but when you get used to it, it's really hard going back to anything smaller. I rate it! 🙂
  14. ^ This. CbB exposes the names that your audio interface gives it, and that's usually named in stereo pairs, so what you end up with is weird names that seem to skip numbers. What it really is: Input 1 is really 1 (left) and 2 (right) Input 2 is really 3 (left) and 4 (right) etc. So look at your input list and you'll able to work out the "missing" channels. What you might find helpful is going into Preferences > Audio > Devices and checking Use Friendly Names to Represent Audio Drivers and going up and double clicking each input and naming it something a little more sensible (eg: the first channel of my interface is exposed as US-16x08 ASIO IN 1, the second is US-16x08 ASIO IN 3 etc. and what I've done is renamed the first one In-1L/2R and the second one In-3L/4R, etc. MUCH easier to read and keep track of.)
  15. The "what is the business model / how do they make money" thing comes up so often, it should really be a sticky or in the FAQ. It's a fair question, though. Firstly, just to address the Bandlab Assistant thing, when CbB was first integrated into it, it would auto run with Windows start. A lot of us complained and it was fixed. The other thing that freaked a lot of people out was the software went into "demo" mode sometimes, which wasn't really named particularly well. That was also modified in a big way. Basically, you only need Assistant to first install CbB and activate it, then it checks in periodically to make sure you're using an up to date version. The dev team is far more streamlined now than they used to be, and with the pace of new features and bug fixes that's coming in now, trying to keep half a mind on a version from 18 months ago where a lot of the problems people might be reporting here will already be fixed is a huge waste of limited time. It makes sense that everyone is on a relatively new version. The other thing relates to "it's free, how are they making money." If they can check activation, they can see how many users are using the software. It's kind of a no brainer for a business to know who their users are, really, and from what's been said in the forums, the core Cakewalk program will remain free, but a lot of the add ons that used to come with SONAR may be available for sale in the future some time, so knowing who your users are and having a way of contacting them is just smart business. But don't take my word for it, here's a bit of reading from the old forum (scroll down in the thread) where Meng, the boss of Bandlab, chimes in about it: http://forum.cakewalk.com/Cakewalk-by-BandLab-free-but-will-next-updateversion-cost-us-SONAR-userscustomers-m3744438.aspx#3745236 And the CTO here: Disclaimer: I don't work for Bandlab - I'm just a regular dude that uses the software like the rest of us here, so I can only go on what I've been told. But any one of us that have been on the forums for a fair amount of time will know the people making CbB are genuine and simply care about making it better. I have to say that's a big part of why I've been so loyal to the product for so long. When Gibson pulled the rug out from everyone a couple of years back, from everything I've seen, everyone that managed to resurrect Cakewalk have all been doing it for the right reasons. I'm happy to see where it all goes.
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