Jump to content
Mr. Torture

Continue, or call it a day?

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Philip G Hunt said:

Nah! Stick with Cakewalk! 🤣

Nesting in Reaper is hot and with the right theme (which I've finally found the right one for me) the mixer is very intuitive.

Studio One works two just not quite as elegantly as Reaper with the theme I use.

I'm usually dealing with 50-90 tracks and nesting is essential to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bapu said:

Nesting in Reaper is hot

You mean nested folders? Cakewalk got that feature a couple of revs ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

You mean nested folders? Cakewalk got that feature a couple of revs ago.

Ah, folders!  I thought he meant something with twigs and eggs!  😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

You mean nested folders? Cakewalk got that feature a couple of revs ago.

Gald it's there and that works for CbB users in the way that works for them.

Reaper is based on the fact that a track can be anything you want (as well as being infinitely nested): it can be a folder, a bus, an audio track, a midi track (simple or instrument like CbB) or a VSTi track and they do not have fixed position buses. It's totally flexible in how your buses/folders/tracks appear in the TV and Mixer.

I grew up on hardware mixers and I get the 'logic' fixed bus positions like CbB and Harrison Mixbus. For me the flexibility of freeform placement of buses, tracks and or folders like Reaper and Studio One  in the TV and Mixer is a non-hardware approach to DAWs which appeals to me. It may not be for everyone.

That's not to say had I stuck with SPLat/CbB that I would have been please to see nested folders a reality but I had been asking for it since the SONAR 8.5 days when I learned of the Reaper approach.

Had Studio One not come out with Chord and Arranger tracks shortly after the Gibson shutdown I was fully prepared to go with Reaper as my Go To DAW. For me Studio One beat out Reaper with their implementation of Chord and Arranger tracks.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fwiw, for me it's about the journey, not the destination (as can be seen by the sheer number of unfinished things)

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the answer to this question is in two parts, really. Long post, sorry!

If it's just getting the production of your stuff up to the level of the glossy releases coming out of Frontiers, then I'll refer back to my reply to the OP in the Production Techniques forum. It's definitely able to be done on pretty modest gear, so long as you go about it the right way.

I think the biggest issues is what Jim and Mark mentioned - your brain is tired of it all. I've been doing this stuff for 3 decades now, and had some pretty good success, especially of late. But despite all of that, I sometimes sit down at my workstation and go "What the hell am I even doing? I *hate* recording!" HAHA! But it's true - the process of doing what my main band does takes AGES and is a significant investment of time, and is incredibly draining emotionally when you're the guy doing the demos, pre-prod, recording, performance of vocals, guitars, keyboards, then editing, then mixing, then mastering, then delivery, and then usually the video/graphic side... and then we have to take it out live. Argh. Every new project I start I wonder if this is the one that finally will be the one that makes me pull the plug - and it's come close a few times by the end of it, let me tell you. But a few months on, when you can bear to listen to what you put yourself through, you can look at the big picture and go "you know, this is actually pretty damn good" ... and that's what keeps me coming back again and again.

There's a couple of steps that gets me past wanting to set fire to the studio and go off to become a potato farmer.

The first is what a couple of people have mentioned: don't be scared to be crap.

I'm currently listening back to demo ideas for our next release and they're super rough and actually a little bit soul destroying, listening to the performances. But experience of being a producer for so long has taught me that's entirely not the point of this stuff. Get the ideas down first, no matter how bad they sound. Arrange the good bits into a good structure. Don't be scared to shelve parts that aren't working for this particular project, you never know when they might come in handy later (we have stuff on our last album that was from demos originally done in 2006 that just didn't work until now). Don't let the voice in your brain that tells you "that doesn't sound as good as the final mastered and polished output from X band or label" make you look at what you've done as an inferior product - at this stage it IS an inferior product, but you're getting the framework together, nothing more. Getting the basics working is 80% of the battle.

Once you can start to see this stuff as the big picture, refine, refine, refine. What do you love about X band? Taking production out of it for the moment, what thing about the bands you like make you go "oh yeah, THAT is what makes me love those guys" ? Can you apply that to your music? Find the thing that makes the hairs go up on your arms and mercilessly steal the idea. I'm not saying rip off another band, but I'm saying try to recreate what they did to give you that "oh yeahhh" moment, which will make you see your own music a little differently. You can always refine that "theft" further to make it more into your own thing. Alternatively, do a cover. Sometimes recording music you love just for kicks can help kick start your creativity. We just released a covers album, in fact, and it was heaps of fun.

Then step the hell away from it all for a bit.  At this point, your brain is all about the minutiae of the process. And this is where it'll start to lie to you.

This is where I think better gear can actually help you. Anything that can potentially be a roadblock at this point WILL BE a roadblock. 

If your DAW is constantly BSOD'ing or you're struggling to get things to play back in real time, it sucks all of the joy out of it all. You can certainly make great music on crappy hardware, but it's so much harder, and when you're already halfway out the door, there's nothing making you stay if you're fighting with it  rather than just getting the job done. Sometimes a new instrument can inspire you to really rip on it - a different perspective, or sometimes it's "man, I just spent $5000 on this custom guitar, I'm gonna play the damn thing and get my money's worth!"

I think once you can get past that point, and start seeing the songs themselves as decent. and you're able to get OK performances down, if you're stuck at the last "this doesn't sound as good as X label's bands", get in fresh ears. Either as a producer, co-producer, or just someone to offer advice - and advice you'll actually listen to. If you're going "yeah I know you said it was good but I think it's crappy" then it's not helpful. A third-party producer can work wonders there.

Now where this is good is that if you get something amazing sounding back from a good producer, that really makes you look at your songs and the journey you took to get to those amazing songs in a different way. You went through the doubt, you went through the "I'll never get this to sound as good as I want" and now you're sitting there in front of these finished songs going "well, after all of that, look at what I have!" and eventually it can re-train you into thinking about stuff the right way, and can actually get you doing your own productions that sound as good because you're not sabotaging the process before it's done.

Honestly, if it's time, it's time -  if you really have your heart set on it being over, then I get it. But if there's a doubt there, let me say age doesn't have a lot to do with it. The industry isn't anything like what it used to be. The Frontiers' roster is a great example - those dudes are OLD! HAHA! But they sound great. There's no reason someone in their 50s can't do amazing material and release it independently and do well. At least I hope so, because that's me. 😬 HAHA!

 

  • Like 1
  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s always sad to see someone dive down this self doubt rabbit hole. And I’m somewhat one of these. What keeps me going recently, last year or so is… Jamulus. I gave up relying on local musicians. Now I have a fairly frequent group of great musicians I play with most days of the week for around 2 hours a day!!. I’ve learned so much on my drums too that I never knew playing all on my own for 19 years prior. Sometimes something entirely new and uncomfortable is what you need. 
 

my .0250

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Bapu said:

That's not to say had I stuck with SPLat/CbB that I wouldn't have been pleased to see nested folders a reality but I had been asking for it since the SONAR 8.5 days

I get how frustrating it got for people to ask over and over for these "smaller," convenience features and in turn get "big" features that it seemed like nobody was asking for. Matrix View comes to mind. Not that I haven't had fun with Matrix View, but I can imagine that if I had been waiting forever for a ripple edit indicator and a huge feature like that showed up, with no attention paid to the endless requests, I would have wanted to scream.

But for 4 years now, there's been a new sheriff in town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never got into mixing metal the way @Lord Tim has, but I've had enough of a taste of it to know that for me it was HANDS DOWN the toughest genre of music I have ever mixed. I have mixed pretty much everything and metal always comes out on top as the toughest with rock ranking a close second. What I'm referring to is a mix that compares with commercial mixes in that genre.

It shouldn't be too difficult right? Just a couple of guitars,a vocalist, a bass and a drummer. The problem is they are all competing with one another more. The drums and bass are constantly fighting for space. The guitar solo has to punch though. The whole thing needs to sound massively loud balanced and powerful while still abiding by the LUFS standards. Mixing that was a fine line that had to sit just right, and no matter how many hours I put into it, if I put it up for suggestions on a board somewhere there would always be the comment that this or that should be changed.

As most here know- HUGE difference in mixing ITB and mixing a band. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arrangement plays a huge part in this too, especially for heavy genres. If you're doing speed metal, your goal is clarity so it's all about carving space for everything using EQ and automation, since it's usually everything all in your face at once all song. If it's more melodic rock, this is where you can really make a mix shine by leaving space for other elements to poke through, and think about what serves each part the best.

This is kind of what I was getting as with the "steal the bits you love" comment in my epic novel post above - once you have the basics down of the song, arranged into a coherent structure, have a listen to something you love the sound of. Do they have guitars all the way through with the bass following the root notes? Are there parts where the rhythms pause to let the drums shine more? Is there a single crunch guitar playing across keyboards that gives way to huge layers of heavy guitars and vocal choirs in a chorus? That's still super fiddly to mix but stealing the arrangement ideas from bands where you know this worked can really make your own material shine. :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lord Tim, you are a lot better of a singer than mine. My singer would completely agree. That makes it easier for sure when you already have a professional voice. I'm sure it didn't come easy and you have payed your dues. 

But when the singer isn't confident and clearly not as good to compete, it wipes him out emotionally so he has no desire to try and improve. He's had plenty of time to do so, but never really worked at it like he should have. So we are left with the "All or nothing" mentality, so I guess it's nothing.

Thanks for your insight and encouragement, but I am just returning to my practice amp.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's it. When you demand all or nothing, what you usually end up with is nothing.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mr. Torture said:

Lord Tim, you are a lot better of a singer than mine. My singer would completely agree. That makes it easier for sure when you already have a professional voice. I'm sure it didn't come easy and you have payed your dues. 

But when the singer isn't confident and clearly not as good to compete, it wipes him out emotionally so he has no desire to try and improve. He's had plenty of time to do so, but never really worked at it like he should have. So we are left with the "All or nothing" mentality, so I guess it's nothing.

Thanks for your insight and encouragement, but I am just returning to my practice amp.

Ha, I dunno... listening back to my recent demos, I'm not sure if I'd agree with the professional voice thing! Ugh! HAHA! But I'll get there by the time we do the actual takes, if experience has taught me anything. Can't say I'm a fan of the "I suck, why do I keep doing this to myself?" part of the process. however... 😒

That said, I think you can still get some exceptional results from someone who isn't a great singer. I mean, look at, say, Dee Snider or Lemmy - both absolutely iconic, but Freddie Mercury or 1988-era Geoff Tate they are not. So long as you can work within the bounds of their range and know how to process it properly (tuning, compression, doing MANY takes and comping, etc.) and arranging harmonies, you'd be surprised at what you can end up with. I've recorded some AWFUL singers over the last couple of decades and I'll admit it was a hell of a lot of work getting them to sound good but we got there in the end. We just had to work to their strengths.

A great example is when Blaze replaced Bruce in Iron Maiden - what monstrous shoes to fill, and frankly, he didn't. It was pretty bad. But then he went off and did his own thing with Andy Sneap producing, and his solo stuff was fantastic. MUCH more suited to his voice because he wasn't trying to emulate Bruce Dickinson (which is hard on ANY singer - I know that first-hand!) and had a producer that knew how to work with his more limited range. I worked on a few recordings with Blaze doing guest vocals on them and honestly what I was delivered wasn't great, but again, it was all about understanding his limitations and working with that, and we ended up with a great product in the end.

I mean, the other option is to not throw a dream away because some other guy isn't doing the job. There's nothing stopping anyone from getting a vocal guest in just to knock over a couple of songs to get your confidence back - I'm sure there's a heap of great singers in the Songs forum here that would be willing to hop in for nothing. Or look on Fiverr or somewhere like that. Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes a great production or final mix can make you go "oh wow, OK, maybe I'm not complete crap after all" and really give you that kick along.

But also like I said, if you're sure it's time, it's time. Take a break if you need to get away from it. There's nothing more soul-destroying than sitting down in front of the DAW when your tank is empty. But if you're not really done, you'll know about it sooner or later when you can't stop yourself from diving back in again. :) 

Edited by Lord Tim
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right on.

I'll be damned if I let someone else's lack of cajones stop me. I'll find someone else even if I have to do it myself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mr. Torture said:

Lord Tim, did you record your albums using Cakewalk?

I'm pretty sure he did, but I would venture to say he would still be Lord Tim if he used Reaper, Studio One, ProTools, Harrison Mixbus, Logic, Samplitude or even Mixcraft. Maybe the workflow would be faster or slower, but he knows how to get to the end. 🙂 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Bapu said:

I'm pretty sure he did, but I would venture to say he would still be Lord Tim if he used Reaper, Studio One, ProTools, Harrison Mixbus, Logic, Samplitude or even Mixcraft. Maybe the workflow would be faster or slower, but he knows how to get to the end. 🙂 

Dang...  I don't see Notepad on that list!  Maybe I should switch what I use?  🤔

 

😜

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ha, busted - I actually record everything in Notepad! I write in every data bit manually in binary and then export to a CD image at the end 😎

6 hours ago, Mr. Torture said:

Lord Tim, did you record your albums using Cakewalk?

... but actually being a bit serious (probably for the first time in my life 😒), yeah exclusively in Cakewalk for anything done in my studio. Our other guitarist does his parts in ProTools on an ancient Mac that is held together with bits of string and sticky tape and emails them over, and I'll do the odd process here and there in other apps (eg: tops and tails in Adobe Audition, DDP masters in an older version of Studio One, maybe some VariSpeed stuff in REAPER) but yeah, otherwise all in the box using CbB. :)

@Bapu is right though, it's not the app, it's the process. I use CbB because for me, it's stable and feature rich enough to not get in my way, and familiar enough so it just fades into the background while I work. I don't want to think about my DAW, I'm thinking about my music. By contrast,I trip over REAPER whenever I use it because it doesn't gel for me, but it's certainly not lacking in features to get you to a pro sounding final product - if I can't make it work, that's on me. All decent modern DAWs are more than capable of amazing results. :)

 

Edited by Lord Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

But also like I said, if you're sure it's time, it's time. Take a break if you need to get away from it. There's nothing more soul-destroying than sitting down in front of the DAW when your tank is empty. But if you're not really done, you'll know about it sooner or later when you can't stop yourself from diving back in again.

I guess we are all at least entitled to our opinions. They can't take that away. 

I  don't think it's over if a person is asking the question. If it's over you'll know it's over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...