In this tech-talk episode: Everything a self-producing musician needs to know about Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
The 6 Critical DAW Skills that you cannot live without:
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#music production, #home recording, #recording, #mixing, #music production
Transcript (auto-generated by a bot - please forgive the occasional error):
Jan 'Yarn' Muths
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay, so in this episode I'd like to have a little chat about the tool that we use for recording commonly known as door or digital audio workstation. Which one should you get? which ones might you have already? Is it the right one? Is it the wrong one? Should you go with what your mate says? and get rid of everything you own and buy something else? No, probably not. Let's just quickly go through a couple of doors that I came across so I just did a little bit of research and came up with you know, in north of 50 different recording softwares some of them I've never even heard of. So just to sum it up quickly. There are a couple of big ones couple of small ones, but the ones that I came across right now our Ableton Live asset pro ardour, Audacity. Adobe Audition, bitwixe Studio cakewalk Cubase digital performer Fruity Loops studio GarageBand Harrison Mixbus Logic Pro X Luna mixcraft Pro studio new window Pro Tools Pyro mix, Reaper reason samplitude sicko yesterday, one traction, and probably quite a few that I didn't find. So here's the thing. Ask yourself whether your dog is doing what you needed to do. And there's a very good chance it will most of us are pretty much pretty capable of doing almost anything, particularly Ableton logic, Pro Tools Cubase these are the more common ones that you find in a lot of different studios. And they're all really good with audio recording and MIDI programming. So there's we know, nothing that will stop you there, we definitely have a couple of special ones in this list. So Pyro mix, for example is definitely not for you. If you are at home producer. This is a tool for not a niche tool for professionals. Sometimes mastering engineers. Reaper definitely deserves a mention because it's very reasonably priced, and very well spec. So a fantastic piece of software. I've worked with a samplitude, which is very, very capable. Studio One is up and coming spin on the rise for the last couple of years. And there's really no
Jan 'Yarn' Muths end in sight. Luna was released earlier, it's only for a UID users. And I've found that this is actually that Luna is still a little bit on the light side when it comes to features. But I'm sure this will change over time. Just to give you a bit of a background, some of the older doors that definitely deserve a mention our logic and Cubase. They all started as MEDIA list editors
Jan 'Yarn' Muths A long time ago, probably 2030 no more than 20 years ago, maybe like 30 years ago. And as media editors, they became more and more capable. And eventually they learn to also do audio recordings. And now they're very good at it. Pro Tools, however, comes from the opposite direction. So ProTools was the software and what big studios sold all that tape machines and got rid of them and eventually replaced most old tape machines with the Pro Tools rake in the 90s. And yeah, that reach on the industry round at that time Pro Tools did nothing but audio. And it was really good at it from the beginning on. And in the early days it couldn't do any MIDI then learned a little bit with the release of ProTools seven occurred fairly capable. However, it's still considered to be a bit of an underdog when it comes to MIDI. So a lot of people prefer Ableton or Cubase or logic. However, if you really dig deep, there's a lot of features and protocols as well. So long story short, it is really difficult to find a door that is not good. So literally every single door that I'm aware of is phenomenal and having one door, but not the other is not what keeps you from making a number one hit record. So as long as your door works well and does what you needed to do. Just stick with us, I reckon. There's always another door that has this flashy new feature that you know everybody wants, but to hold your money. If you've got an established workflow in your door, just stick with that. There's really nothing wrong about this good. Talking about feeling at home in a door, or digital audio workstation. There's usually a fairly steep learning curve attached to that. And if this is new to you,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths yes, get yourself a cup of tea you need extra patience, there will be a couple of moments when you just want to
Jan 'Yarn' Muths throw the computer out of the window and when it drives you up the war that is normal every time you learn something new. And most of these door programs are extremely deep. So looking for example at Logic Pro X. It's a software that you can work with for 10 years and you still find new things. It's really really deep under the hood. Most of them are nowadays However, that's not necessarily where the money is it comes down to a basic skills and I have a little list that I would like to talk to you about of the key skills that you need to learn and operator in order to operate your door effectively.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Then, yeah, let's get started with one
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Number one, the number one key skill for the operation is that another something really boring, it's file management. Look, this definitely doesn't sound exciting. But you might have been in a situation where you open up a project that you worked on two days ago, and the window pops up and says I can't find these or that file, there's an audio file missing. Where is it? Good file management basically means to avoid these situations and just to hopefully never end up in one of those situations. And therefore, it's important to understand basics about your doors file management.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths I'm pretty sure there are exceptions but by my understanding, literally every door that I'm aware of records MIDI internally, so if there is a session file, this would contain any MIDI data, therefore also virtual instruments. And that is not stored externally. So it's always attached to your project file, which is really good when it comes to MIDI. However, audio is commonly placed outside.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths There is often an audio files folder attached to the project. And some doors such as GarageBand or logic can also be saved as a package, which seems to be one big bundle that contains everything including the audio. And if your door supports this, it's not not a bad workflow to stick with this because it literally avoids
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, losing audio files. So therefore that's that's definitely something to consider or play with or make a self aware of.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths The next thing that we need to talk about is
Jan 'Yarn' Muths technical aspects of audio. Going back to sample rate and bit depth, those two settings are a little bit technical, a little bit boring, but if you get them wrong at the beginning, it can have negative side effects. So it is therefore very important that you familiarize yourself with your door and find out where you change these things. And that's where it differs dramatically from one piece of software to the other. Just a simple example is ProTools and Ableton in comparison here we are Pro Tools will always ask you to set your sample rate and bit depth upon opening up a new project. So the moment you created you have to make that decision and it's a wise idea to focus on that and just stop for a second think about what you need to do. Choose the right sample right and the right Bit Depth which is probably 24 Okay, usually 32 bit floating point but 16 bit is probably not recommendable anymore. Anyway, when it comes to sample rates, there's a longer discussion attached here.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths However, you literally can't get past the dashboard window in Pro Tools if you want to have a project open so therefore you need to make a decision on sample rate and bit depth and when it comes to sample rate you're almost it's almost set in stone changing it later is a little bit of a mission. And to be perfectly honest, it should be in contrast, Ableton is a little bit more casual and the beauty of that is if you have an idea in your mind you just open Ableton and you immediately start tracking and there's no no showstopper in your way there's no pop up windows that say nothing technically. Instead it's just fairly casual about these things and the settings for is separate a bit of a little bit hidden. So make yourself aware about this it's in Ableton in the preferences and the audio and in there is the separate and the bit depth and it's a very important idea to set those things correctly. So it's one more time it's the preferences in Ableton and once you're in there in excuse me, did I say audio? Yes, that's where it was in. So in Ableton go to the preferences, open up the audio tab, and that's where you set your separate. important, very important. Good Okay, so which separate should you choose? Well, look,
Jan 'Yarn' Muths it's one of these discussions that has has been around for decades. And what I learned is that anytime separate us discuss somewhere on the internet, any factual discussion, turns into a religious war or a big fat shit fight within minutes. People call each other names yell at each other's wages, other capitals come out, lots of swearing. Look, if there's one thing I've learned is that the industry doesn't agree on what the right sample rate is. That's the one thing we can take from it. Let's therefore just think about a technically for moment what exactly happens there with a sample rate, it sets the speed at which your converters sample incoming or outgoing audio
Jan 'Yarn' Muths and if we choose one of the standard rates 48 kilohertz, that means 48,000 times per second, his little sample is taken off the amplitude of the audio and stored in digital form. That's basically what it means.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Why do we need to know what this what practical difference does it make? So let me just explain one thing to you. Not once in the history of the world has music fan listen to a song and said that song was recorded the wrong sample rate so I will not buy the record. That has never happened not once. So
Jan 'Yarn' Muths I think it's one of these discussions, that is just a little bit irrelevant. A lot of people keep themselves very, very busy fighting on the internet over sample rates. And instead don't don't find time to produce. So don't be that kind of guy. Just work with the sample rate that you choose. And stick with that. This said, there are probably a few technical things that we can point out. One is, the higher the sample rate, the more high frequencies you will contain, in your recordings, the more high frequencies you will capture when I say more, I don't mean louder. So in other words, it doesn't make it brighter in an audible sense, but it effectively sets the opposite limits, or sets a limit of the highest frequency that you can record. And that is simply calculated by dividing your sample rate by two. So in a 48 kilohertz situation, nothing past 24 kilohertz is recorded. And that's effectively all the difference they raise. Now, this leads to an entirely new can of worms. So what's the point of going high sample rate? Look, I don't even want to go there. This is not something that I believe we should spend too much time on. However, if you if you start a new project, think about what the end product will be. So are you going to make an audio CD, old school? Or are you going to produce a song for for video for post production for TV series? sync music, for example, usually goes along with
Jan 'Yarn' Muths with video on so for anything that's broadcast related 48 kilohertz seems to be the preferred sample rate. And it's a wise idea to start recording in 48 kilohertz, if you want to do the same thing, if you want to produce for for post. If you just want to go for music, you can do 44.1 However, what do you do if you want to do both, let's say you want to produce a song that you were that you would like to release online on Apple Music and SoundCloud and Spotify.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And at the same time, we also hope to sell this to for sync music licensing to post houses. In this case, I would generally recommend to just stick with the highest common separate in this case 48k. Then what I would also recommend is to avoid unnecessary separate conversion where what's feasible. So let's say if you know the song will be released in 48k. It's maybe not the wisest idea to choose another sample rate to start with. So why don't you just go straight to 48k because sample rate conversion by nature is a lossy process. The people who are probably most qualified to do this carefully are usually the mastering engineers who are very experienced with what method to choose to convert separate. But in an ideal world, I would always say the separate should become converted only once or not at all. And therefore if you choose the right separate at the top, at the beginning, that's not a bad idea.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay, good. So that's separate and bit depth. The next thing is where are the recording stored and again, some doors do differently than others. Most of them attach an audio files folder to the project and record the files there. However, some other doors may need a command like collect all and save at the end of it to get the files from all different places and put them into one directory. I personally prefer the other workflow better. I like to know where my files go as I record rather than trying to patch it up later on. But
Jan 'Yarn' Muths the only thing that really counts is that you know exactly what your door does and and how to manage that. So make yourself aware where the audio recordings are actually stored. That's a good place to start. For audio recordings, it's a smart idea to have external hard drives. solid state drives don't cost an arm and a leg anymore. So they are warmly recommended for that. They're usually really fast, and no follow performance or you usually won't run out of steam. So that's my recommendation to get yourself a warp drive or audio drive if you want to call it so where you do all the recordings to
Jan 'Yarn' Muths good, then there's just one more thing that we need to talk about, there's a good chance that you might record some signals yourself. And then if you want to add things every once in a while you find yourself dragging files from the Explorer on PC or from the Finder on a Mac into your door just drag and drop. And the question is now what happens to the audio files? Will they end up in your project directory or will they remain where they were.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths So there's another little pitfall here and again, this differs from project to project. So if in doubt, read the manual or maybe just do a little experiment and work out for yourself. Whether you can figure out whether my drag and drop files into your project actually end up within the project or remain where they were.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths In some doors on import you get an option to choose either add or copy. When you add it leaves the audio file where it was maybe on your desktop or maybe on your mates external drive
Jan 'Yarn' Muths and just play it from there. We'll reference
Jan 'Yarn' Muths The audio file from the original location, copy usually means that the audit file is imported into your project and a copy is made into the project folder so that you've got your independent copy. In many situations, that is the wiser workflow. However, there are of course exceptions where this may not be suitable. So just be aware about this.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, just maybe on this note dragging and dropping into Pro Tools, it literally depends on whether you match the sample rate or not. If the sample rate is a match, it will add and leave the file where it initially was. Or if it's a mismatch, it will actually convert and make a new copy or a new version and put it into your audio files folder. However, in the preferences, there's a setting that will force files to be imported by default. So that is definitely something to consider in Pro Tools that are warmly recommend. Okay, let's sum this point up one more time. So file management is important. You don't want to deal with missing audio files, especially when you're on a tight deadline. That's usually when these things happen. So make yourself aware about where the sample rate and bit depth settings are for your door. The recommendation is there to use 24 bit all the time. Never 16 bit anymore, that's too old and obsolete. If you want to use 32 bit float, that's fine. Whether you gain something or not is another debate but okay, nothing to lose over here. When it comes to sample rate. Try to match the destination or the target sample rate of your final product, so that you can avoid sample rate conversion and don't waste a time engaging in separate discussions online. That's pretty pointless.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Then you need to know where recordings are stored on your computer. Are they with the project? Are they in a common directory
Jan 'Yarn' Muths and manage those really well please. And then the last thing you need to know is what happens when you drag and drop audio files into your door? Are they added or copied. This is a point where all the different ones are really different. So it's definitely worth checking this out in your own dorm. Okay, good. That concludes file management.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Let's move on to the next one dealing with tracks. So one thing we find in every single door is a tracks is usually running from left to right along the timeline.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And the tracks that you need to be aware of are audit trails. That's what I'm recording to right now audio tracks to simply record a microphone or a DI bass into your door. Alternatively, you may want to consider MIDI tracks or virtual instrument tracks. They run under different names. Sometimes MIDI tracks, usually referred to MIDI notes that are recorded from a MIDI keyboard and then routed back out to your door to an external sound module like a synthesizer or external sampler.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths While virtual instrument tracks are pretty similar, they can record MIDI data from an incoming MIDI keyboard. However, the sound modules are inside the computer. They're also known as virtual instruments or vi some people call them just VST s although that's a little bit misleading. VST is actually a plugin format.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Those three tracks are commonly used so make yourself aware about what they do how they look like on your door, and choose them accordingly. So audio for anything that you want to record an audio signal such as microphones or the eye signals, the media just to record MIDI notes for external sound modules, and virtual instruments or instrument tracks for MIDI notes that trigger in channel virtual instrument plugins such as samplers or synthesizers. One last one that we definitely should mention here a master is some doors have a master fader built in it's always there Harrison Mixbus, for example, has a master fader always present in other doors you may need to create by yourself. A master fader is useful because as you add more files, things can sum up and get louder. And even if everything is recorded clean under the door, you need to control the output volume. And that's where master fader can be useful so that your output converter doesn't clip. Those are the tracks that you need to know of the ox tracks are sometimes useful, but that's actually more of a mixing thing. So let's not go into too much detail here. Some doors have a designated click track or tempo track that's definitely something to make yourself aware of. So a couple of other skills here that relate to tracks is setting the tempo of the song and setting the meter of the song for for in most situations. But every once in a while we want to do a song in a different time signature good into this category I would also add a memory locations or markers or whatever they're called positions. Those are little flags that you can place along the timeline and one standard use for them is to map out the arrangement not just set a little flag that says intro another one that says verse one or another one that says chorus that really helps to navigate inside a session and find a way around quickly.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Good. That concludes the second subject here that I wanted to talk about that was tracks we can now move on to the next one which is a little bit trickier. It's monitoring and monitoring is our subject number three
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And it has to do with what you hear when you record through microphone or maybe the eyes signal.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths There are generally two different possibilities. You can either hear yourself through the door or through the interface. And those two monitoring options are both very much valid, and which one you choose should really depend on your piece of gear and your personal computer and your circumstances. So let me explain the differences. Let's say I'm recording some overdubs. Now I programmed the music, it's all recorded, and I now would like to sing across and lay my first vocal takedown. The scenario is as follows all the audio signals come from the computer, however, my vocal is recorded to the computer and then also added back out. So standard situation would be to do the monitoring through your door, and there is a little problem that can come along. It's called latency. latency is caused by something that we call buffer size, which leads us straight to the next bullet point that I want to talk about. So we'll leave this for a little bit later the explanation will come. But effectively, a buffer size can be set to optimize your door for recording, or for mixing. Some doors can optimize it to both at the same time. But really, this depends on your personal computer.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths So the first option is to run your monitoring through your door. And in this case, you want to find the settings for the buffer size and set this to one of the shortest values you can find the shortest values are often 32 samples, sometimes 64. And those values usually usually work quite well. If it's any longer than this chances are it will manifest itself in the headphone mix as an audible echo so that you try to sing and you hear yourself actually later which is a little bit annoying. So therefore you need to run your computer at a low buffer size. And at the same time, I would recommend to limit plugin use to the absolute bare minimum. You don't want to load your session with lots of fancy mix plugins when you still track at a low buffer size. That's usually when computers start to spit the dummy and misbehave. Okay, so this is option number one. In this case, you don't need to worry too much about monitoring yourself through the Oriental face. It's coming through the door. And it's definitely a good workflow that works for most situations quite well.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths This said the other option is to do the monitoring through your audio interface or your mixer. And it now depends on whether your interface has the capabilities to do this effectively or not. And there are some major differences between the different models. So let me explain what happens in this case. When you track into your door, you might even want to consider keeping the channel that you record to a muted so that you don't actually hear it coming out of the door anymore, but you want to record to it. At the same time, you can use your auditor phase and route the incoming signal back to the output.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths In summary to faces this literally happens in the analog domain. So you might have a little blend control that mixes the input back into the output. And if when you hear what you sing currently in the output as well. Some of the audio interfaces such as the Focusrite Scarlets, for example, or universal audio interfaces, they use their own software for that. And there's a little bit of DSP involved engineer processing that routes the signal again from the input or the output directly. And this allows you to actually run your computer at a high buffer size, and maybe even a couple of plugins. While the monitoring happens low latency on the way in. So yeah, you can visualize basically a signal path from the microphone to the audio interface or your preamp, then into your converter. And option A was to run the signal into your door Pro Tools, Ableton logic, whatever your weapon of choice is, then it's going through the door and back to the outputs and from there to your headphones. And if this is your monitoring path, you should be using a low buffer size inside your door. Alternatively, you can use option B. In this case, all the playback files would come from your door. However, the microphone will be recorded from your mic to the preamp into your computer. And it will literally split at this stage it will continue to travel to your door and it's recorded to track so it's scattered. But at the same time it's split in the interface and directly fed into the outputs so that you can hear yourself without any latency in your headphones. This is often referred to as low latency monitoring or zero latency monitoring or direct monitoring. All of these terms are commonly used. And depending on your audio interface, this might be a very simple process, or it can also get really complicated and techie. So I guess find yourself an audio interface that works quite well on this regard. Okay, that's the monitoring. In most situations it's a wise idea to choose either one or the other. Which workflow that is for you. I recommend to do a little
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Bit of testing because you simply need to find out how your computer and your door and your audio interface work best together, then yeah, that's a little recommendation here.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Good. So let's move on to the fourth bullet points on my to do list that's a bit more about the buffer size. So what exactly is a buffer size? In Look, it buffer size is effectively a little buffer that your door uses to play that audio from. In other words, when you see the playback cursor moving from left to right, it actually reads the audio from the hard drive a little bit ahead of the playhead and puts the data from your hard drive into the RAM and keeps a buffer of audio there.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths buffer sizes are usually measured in samples and that goes back to our sample rate effectively now the values such as 64 samples or 256 samples effectively indicates a length of time it's a duration. And this amount of time is usually then buffered in your computer's RAM, which is really good because that is stabilizes the playback. It is necessary because hard drives are particularly dodgy when it comes to playback speed now they can reproduce data really quickly, however, rarely very consistently. So the delivery speed of a harddrive constantly fluctuates, fluctuates goes up and down. And now imagine if this happened to your audio. If you constantly speed up and slow down your audio, everything would sound really wobbly motor sort of insert a little wobbly. So the fact you're nobody wants to hear that. So the buffer is effectively used to know to keep the audio running in case the hard drive slows down a little bit. So it constantly speeds up or down and another buffer stabilizes the playback. The more load on your computer's means the more audit tracks or MIDI tracks virtual instruments, the more plugins you run, the longer the buffer needs to be. So in other words when you don't record and when you do edits, or mixing, I generally recommend to set a larger buffer size. And in my doors, I just literally go to the biggest one available and just don't even think about anymore. However, in rare occasions, this can cause timing issues for recording automation. That is only for the advanced mix engineers in our audience here. If you track yourself at home that you don't worry too much about that.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Shorter prophesies are good for simple tracking sessions when you just record a sounds to your computer. And you want to monitor without lots of plugins directly through your door then set your buffer size to a shorter value. And yeah, it is one of the tools that allows you to tune your door to work best with your computer together in tandem.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Okay, that's the buffer size. Are there any exceptions let me just think about this. Yes, there are.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths There are some recording systems that are DSP based. And the one that just comes to my mind because I work a lot with those is called an HD x system and from avid from ProTools. And this system basically does a lot of the audio routing without involving the CPU which changes everything in some ways and can guarantee a very, very low latency literally inaudible
Jan 'Yarn' Muths even when it's on us, but generally speaking my suggestion would be to either decide for hypothesize and then use a few plugins to your liking, or choose a low buffer size if you want to monitor through your door and then make sure not to use many plugins at all. So for tracking keep your buffer size short and for mixing, make it look
Jan 'Yarn' Muths good This was bullet point number four let's move on to the next one on my list. The fifth and second last one it's recording basics. Well a lot of the things are self explanatory. Usually on each track you find a little red button that you can press to record arm agenda or track and know then in your transport window you might have a big red button that starts the actual recording process and then you can select which tracks you record to by clicking the record arm button on each track.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths I would say this is pretty much consistent across all the doors they are usually red and they often awkward record arm and then in contrast the record button and the transport window them however this may differ from door to door slightly so no big surprise over here however, every door that I'm aware of has a key command to commence recording and that's definitely one that I would suggest you look up and maybe write down Put a little sheet right next to your computer because you know that saves you a lot of time. Eventually when you do a lot of recordings so
Jan 'Yarn' Muths yeah, shift r for example in my Harrison Miss Mixbus are three in the numeric keypad and my protrudes rig and no logic is different again, but whatever it is in your door or work out the recording key command. That is one of the most basic skills. Good. I'm a big fan.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths of recording fully takes with musicians, if that works to their strength, of course, but I often find myself doing two or three vocal takes, and I try not to go into too many takes at all. However, if I then feel like you know, there was one good take, but there's a little section that could be a little bit better, we would then go into a punch in recording, punch and recordings are generally done when you're already done with a take. And then you just want to improve one little section. In most stores, this is done by simply placing the cursor somewhere, the cheap just before the OneNote, or bum note that you didn't like. And then you set yourself something by the name of pre roll time. And yeah, the pre roll time you is use to playback the audio leading up to the punch in points so that if you just hit record, will be a little bit harder to get into the timing straightaway. But with a pre roll time, you can listen to let's say three or four bars of audio leading up to the point to get into the groove. And then from the punch in point whether you place the cause and would then jump into the recording. This is actually something that is much easier when you do your door monitoring with a low buffer size instead of
Jan 'Yarn' Muths interface monitoring. However, I guess you know, there's more than one way to do it. So let's just be open minded here. But yeah, it's a very useful little recording technique where you set yourself a pre roll time, let's say two bars usually works well four bars works well. And place the cursor where you want to start recording, then replace the four bars leading up back so you can hear what you did before, let's say your old Walker tag. And then once you hit the punch point, it goes into recording and starts tracking. So that gives you a couple of bars to get into the groove and sing along and then patch up a certain word that didn't come out the right way, in the first place.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths The same can happen for the punch out point. So you can literally program a punch in and punch out. if let's say there's only one line that you would like to redo inside of verse, there's maybe just a couple of words, you can highlight those that's usually done with a highlighted area, sometimes along the timeline sometimes across the audio that depends on your door. And then you can also set yourself a post roll time, so you jumps back into the old tech so you can hear the transition really well. And that's definitely a good recording technique to learn. And familiarize yourself in your own door how this is best done. So a few things to look up, punch in recording, punch in or punch out points and setting pre and post four times, this is definitely a little trick that makes it much much easier to record.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Good. That leads me to the last point of the day, take management and compiling. So let's be perfectly honest, it's very rare that a musician's may have a very first take, although these musicians are around, but that's definitely not common. And a lot of musicians are used to doing many takes, and there's really nothing bad about it. So let's just move on and make peace with that it's just the way it is. And that's perfectly fine. So what's the best way to manage takes, let's say you have a musician who would like to record a few takes. In this case, you could, for example, do the old school way and now move the first take and drag it over to the right hand side and make some more space. But that makes it really hard to compare takes, so there's usually better methods. In some doors, they're known as playlist or takes in others. And that allows you to record more than one take and stack them up on the same channel and all the same plays along the timeline, and then alternate between them. So that is a really good feature because now when you do, let's say three vocal takes, you might find that the first one was a warm uptake, but you really nailed the ultra butter, the choruses were really good. And the second take and the verses were really good. And the third take, now you've got a little puzzle here. And this is called compiling or comping In short, where you choose a bits and pieces of each take and patch them together into one compile, take or go ahead and take as some people call it. And when it comes to compiling, there are definitely differences between the different doors. So maybe just read up on text management and compiling for your door.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths In ProTools, there are some very nice features that I like a lot. logic is also very good, it makes it super intuitive. It crossfades for you automatically.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Yeah, other doors handle it differently. So just learn these features for your own door. Once once you're in the compiling process, you will often find that you need to learn the tools of your door. Often there's a little bit of trimming and fading involved. That's a very common workflow. You also may learn how to split clips or edit clips, sometimes quite separate. That differs from door to door again, but basic editing techniques are definitely something that's worth worth learning. Because you can actually save a lot of money if you if you clean up your tapes all by yourself. Often you find that at the beginning of a song, there's a lot of well what appears
Jan 'Yarn' Muths To be silenced at first, but if you zoom in or listen very carefully, you can hear handling noises, you know, people just bleeding up to the counter and might, you know, handle the guitar or clear their throat or breathing through the microphones. And these things literally pile up and make themselves audible in the mix. So if you can just trim off the beginnings and just play short veyts at the beginning, and not also inspect the end of the song and just wait for everybody to now allow the last note to sustain nicely, then find the right place to chop it off and apply a nice, smooth fade at the end. That's generally a good workflow. Good. Okay, so now we sum it up one more time file management was the first one knowing where your audio files are and where they should go. And then the next one was learning attracts MIDI, virtual instruments, audio and maybe master tracks. And then we needed to learn about the monitoring through your door or through the interface. In this regard, we came across the buffer size, what it is and what it ain't. And then we spoke about a couple of recording basics as in standard recording techniques, punch in and punch out with pre and post roll. There's also loop recording, which I forgot to mention. By the way, this can be an interesting technique. Sometimes it's often used in ADR and sound for picture or post production however, it can also be very useful for musicians sometimes. And the last step was intake management and compiling and those basic skills are definitely worth investing a little bit of time in YouTube is a fantastic place to find tutorial videos videos, however, I sometimes find that it's really hard to get to the good stuff. Because among the hundreds of videos, you also find actually a lot that I personally would not recommend. Or sometimes people actually say wrong things and those videos so take everything you see there with a pinch of salt.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths The them get used to opening up the PDF manual of your door and do a bullet point search, you know to search for something like punch in. And now find your answers this way. That's also definitely good thing. and here if you want to learn more about your door, and you don't want to trust YouTube, you can look for official training courses. So some
Jan 'Yarn' Muths developers such as avid actually offer their own training courses. I know because I am actually an avid certified produce trainer, and have helped a lot of people overcoming the initial bump and hurdle.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths Apple does the same thing. There are lots of training courses for Ableton, and there's a lot of good stuff that may be worth investing in. But that obviously depends on you, if you prefer to just do it in your own time. And also check out LinkedIn learning which used to be known as lynda.com. But under LinkedIn learning, there are a lot of different tutorial videos that are found to be of generally very high quality, with very few exceptions, but most of the stuff that is said there is actually a super good very valid and definitely worth learning. So for most major doors there are extensive, long tutorial videos that are definitely worth checking out.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths And just as we finish this episode up, I would like to just tell you about a little special that I just put into the show notes of this episode. If you have some music ready and you need some help with that, you can click a link in the show notes and apply for a free test mix. And the way it works is you just give me some flowers. I'll have a listen. If I can take it on. I'm pretty busy. So this is a limited offer. Of course I can't take on every single song. But if I find the time I will have a go at mixing your work. I'll give you half a second back to her to have a quick listen. And you can then decide to go ahead or move on that's perfectly fine. No questions asked no risk no obligations. This is a very special offer that is now available to podcaster subscribers. As a little Thank you for tuning in with me. I really appreciate that. Go to the shownotes click the link to apply for a free test next. Thank you very much to narrow enough alchemy audio, who helped out with the editing of this podcast episode.
Jan 'Yarn' Muths I hope you enjoy today's episodes. I'm sure there are lots of questions at a later stage we might be able to go into more technical details and go into more advanced things. But for now, this should cover most of the basics that you need to record yourself at home, or your band or your mates and I wish you all the best with that. Let me know if you've got any questions. You can always reach out to me on social media via mix artists.com that are you on our website. And I would also appreciate if you could please give my podcast a five star rating because this will really help me to get more interview partners attracted to this podcast. And I really appreciate us hanging out with me for this long. Have a great week and we'll see that bye for now.
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