Now that you have had a few weeks with the challenge; what are you missing/needing?

JTI

Goatlord
TGF Recording Artist
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1. Huge a$$ display. My dual 21" (?) monitors are fine for working but DAW work is going to require a bigger boat.

2. A WORKFLOW FOR EXPORTING. I need to do some deep diving into cakewalk. I need to optimize my plugin routing to free up some more resources and I also need to figure out keyboard shortcuts for accurately selecting audio and all associated tasks when I go to mix down/export my mixes. I am clunking my way through it and I need to break through that wall.

3. I need to bring my SY1000 back home so I can have a "bass" again.
 
Time :cry:

Seriously though, I have been set up pretty good over the years. Here's what I currently have for recording:
  • Apple Macbook Air M1 with a Samsung 28" 4k monitor
  • Genelec 8020D studio monitors
  • MOTU M4 interface
  • Lots of good headphones (Sennheiser HD6xx, AKG K371, Beyer DT770)
  • Lots of guitar plugins (Helix Native, Scuffham S-Gear, Neural DSP)
  • EZ Drummer 2
  • Several great guitars
  • A decent bass guitar
  • Fractal Axe FX 3
Last weekend I purchased a Novation Launchkey 37 mk3 to handle keys/pads/MIDI, so that was a big hole filled too.

Here's some stuff on my wish list:
  • Logic Pro - currently using Garageband and a trial of Logic Pro, which expires soon. 99% sure I'll buy Logic Pro and be set.
  • EZ Drummer 3 - supposed to be a pretty nice upgrade to EZD2 with more sounds, better interface, and smart beat sensing.
  • Drum loops/libraries - while I'm planning to spend time with the Logic drummer, I also want to explore additional loop libraries as that seems like a cool way to build songs.
  • Acoustic guitar pickup - I want a way to easily add acoustic guitar to recordings. Perfect world I'd throw some mics up but I don't really want to bother with that as there's a lot of noise in my basement. So I'm thinking one of the cheap Fishman/Duncan ones would work fine.
  • 7-string of baritone guitar, for heavier music
Oh, non-gear stuff that I need to do:
  • Set up a bunch of presets and favorites in Helix Native for quickly recording guitar parts
  • Learn how to record using loops, which seems really interesting
  • Re-learn how to mix and master, especially with Logic plugins
  • Play keys properly
  • Find a good workflow to quickly capture song ideas and riffs
  • Set up my electronic drums and hook up to the computer
  • Clean up my office/music space
 
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1. Huge a$$ display. My dual 21" (?) monitors are fine for working but DAW work is going to require a bigger boat.

2. A WORKFLOW FOR EXPORTING. I need to do some deep diving into cakewalk. I need to optimize my plugin routing to free up some more resources and I also need to figure out keyboard shortcuts for accurately selecting audio and all associated tasks when I go to mix down/export my mixes. I am clunking my way through it and I need to break through that wall.

3. I need to bring my SY1000 back home so I can have a "bass" again.

Buss tracks are a life (CPU) saver! If you have a bunch of tracks you’re using the same plug-ins on, just route the output of them to a buss, slap the plug-ins on there and Bob’s Your Non-Touchy Uncle. When it comes time to mix, I’m basically just mixing sub mixes from the buss; there’ll be 6 tracks of guitar all going to the same buss channel, so I level those how I want them with the actual guitar tracks and then the buss fader is a master volume for all of them. Makes things much more efficient with workflow speed and CPU processing.

And yeah, I said it before but I used to have two additional monitors on either side of my iMac, I think they’re all 27” but I can put a mixer window on one, the main tracking window in the center and all my plug-ins/AxeEdit on the other screen. No clicking through different windows, it’s all laid out and easily seen. It’s really, REALLY surprising how much time this cuts down for me.


Thanks for starting this thread! I’d love for everyone to be at a comfortable level so these challenges are strictly about the music aspect rather than learning a DAW + music.
 
Buss tracks are a life (CPU) saver! If you have a bunch of tracks you’re using the same plug-ins on, just route the output of them to a buss, slap the plug-ins on there and Bob’s Your Non-Touchy Uncle. When it comes time to mix, I’m basically just mixing sub mixes from the buss; there’ll be 6 tracks of guitar all going to the same buss channel, so I level those how I want them with the actual guitar tracks and then the buss fader is a master volume for all of them. Makes things much more efficient with workflow speed and CPU processing.

And yeah, I said it before but I used to have two additional monitors on either side of my iMac, I think they’re all 27” but I can put a mixer window on one, the main tracking window in the center and all my plug-ins/AxeEdit on the other screen. No clicking through different windows, it’s all laid out and easily seen. It’s really, REALLY surprising how much time this cuts down for me.


Thanks for starting this thread! I’d love for everyone to be at a comfortable level so these challenges are strictly about the music aspect rather than learning a DAW + music.
I was running Ozone and sonitus EQ on each guitar track. I removed the Ozone but I am still running a bunch of instances of the probably fairly lightweight eq. I have a low cut and then I have an instance with low cut and fairly big mid bump for "lead" passages/character parts. I could certainly buss the tracks to the proper eq for whatever guitar parts they are in question. I am going to bring up one of our spare 32" TVs I think over the weekend and see if it's an improvement on the monitor end of things.
 
I was running Ozone and sonitus EQ on each guitar track. I removed the Ozone but I am still running a bunch of instances of the probably fairly lightweight eq. I have a low cut and then I have an instance with low cut and fairly big mid bump for "lead" passages/character parts. I could certainly buss the tracks to the proper eq for whatever guitar parts they are in question. I am going to bring up one of our spare 32" TVs I think over the weekend and see if it's an improvement on the monitor end of things.

Ozone was definitely a CPU hog for me, in some cases I couldn’t even have it loaded-but-turned-off and it’d still cause crazy latency to occur, regardless of where it was in the mixer. There’s a few plugins that do that to me, even having 32G of RAM. Little pricks. Mostly mastering plug-ins.
 
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Ozone was definitely a CPU hog for me, in some cases I couldn’t even have it loaded-but-turned-off and it’d still cause crazy latency to occur, regardless of where it was in the mixer. There’s a few plugins that do that to me, even having 32G of RAM. Little pricks. Mostly mastering plug-ins.
I've got 64g and last night with like 6 guitar tracks running it was sputtering something fierce. To the point where I might just a session without ozone loaded, export that mixdown into a new project and ozone it for my final mix. I wanted to try the Neutron 4 but the whole AI thing and the whole $400 thing pushed me away fairly quickly.
 
What are "Plug-Ins?"

Episode 5 Reaction GIF by The Office
 
Playing live in a room or on a stage with others is not like recording. Nothing like it. Totally different
skillsets. Totally different approaches.

If I can just get used again to multi-tracking, and develop some kind of workflow that is more efficient
for me, then this Challenge thing will be a huge win for me. Lots of bugs to work out, and most of them
are internal. :LOL:

I don't long for any gear apart from a Keyboard Controller. I am smart enough to realize 99% of my issues
are user end, and have NOTHING to do with gear, or software. More money is not going to give me a better
result at this time. I am the variable that needs to grow, and develop, and work the kinks out.

I also need to figure out how to have a better ear, and chops, and write something that is out of pitch and
redundant as a motherfucker!~!
And if I had my wish I would be tracking live in a room with a band. And have an in house engineer! :banana

My ears just are not tuned right now to cop the vibe from isolated tracks stacked on top of one another.
I am so used (conditioned!) to hearing everything all at once as I am playing, and then vibing and jiving
with other people in the moment. May have to find a way to try and mimic that approach somehow and
someway---because that is also the style of recording I have always loved the most. Tracking live and then
judicious use of overdubs. :idk
 
Playing live in a room or on a stage with others is not like recording. Nothing like it. Totally different
skillsets. Totally different approaches.

If I can just get used again to multi-tracking, and develop some kind of workflow that is more efficient
for me, then this Challenge thing will be a huge win for me. Lots of bugs to work out, and most of them
are internal. :LOL:

I don't long for any gear apart from a Keyboard Controller. I am smart enough to realize 99% of my issues
are user end, and have NOTHING to do with gear, or software. More money is not going to give me a better
result at this time. I am the variable that needs to grow, and develop, and work the kinks out.

I also need to figure out how to have a better ear, and chops, and write something that is out of pitch and
redundant as a m*****f****r!~!
And if I had my wish I would be tracking live in a room with a band. And have an in house engineer! :banana

My ears just are not tuned right now to cop the vibe from isolated tracks stacked on top of one another.
I am so used (conditioned!) to hearing everything all at once as I am playing, and then vibing and jiving
with other people in the moment. May have to find a way to try and mimic that approach somehow and
someway---because that is also the style of recording I have always loved the most. Tracking live and then
judicious use of overdubs. :idk
Seriously. Workflow (ugh; terms) is king.
 
Playing live in a room or on a stage with others is not like recording. Nothing like it. Totally different
skillsets. Totally different approaches.

If I can just get used again to multi-tracking, and develop some kind of workflow that is more efficient
for me, then this Challenge thing will be a huge win for me. Lots of bugs to work out, and most of them
are internal. :LOL:

I don't long for any gear apart from a Keyboard Controller. I am smart enough to realize 99% of my issues
are user end, and have NOTHING to do with gear, or software. More money is not going to give me a better
result at this time. I am the variable that needs to grow, and develop, and work the kinks out.

I also need to figure out how to have a better ear, and chops, and write something that is out of pitch and
redundant as a m*****f****r!~!
And if I had my wish I would be tracking live in a room with a band. And have an in house engineer! :banana

My ears just are not tuned right now to cop the vibe from isolated tracks stacked on top of one another.
I am so used (conditioned!) to hearing everything all at once as I am playing, and then vibing and jiving
with other people in the moment. May have to find a way to try and mimic that approach somehow and
someway---because that is also the style of recording I have always loved the most. Tracking live and then
judicious use of overdubs. :idk

I suspect your inner voice is nagging at you, telling you what’s “good” and what ”sucks”, ya gotta tell that dude to f*ck off for a little while until you’re finished working. Nothing can suck if it’s not finished yet! That was easily the best advice I’ve ever heard come from Devin Townsend, “Finish everything. If something is telling you it sucks when it’s not finished, how do you know it sucks? It’s not done yet” and I’ve often found that pushing through the suckage causes me to introduce something that makes it not-suck.

And I hear ya on the recording vibe thing; I started recording and we could only track live going to a Fostex or Tascam 4-track via mixing board, then I did no recording for years and the first time I recorded not in a live setting was at my former bass player’s recording school. He got free recording time with the caveat other students were going to be in the room ”learning” as well, so the first time I ever recorded and was tracking to already-recorded music I got to stand in an iso booth in front of a bunch of strangers as I was learning how to sing and do my thing. It f*cking sucked. These were mostly rap dudes who were there to learn how to be producers, our prog metal was not their thing and they just didn’t get it. They’d start laughing their asses off when I started screaming. :rofl

It’s probably not a bad idea to sit down every so often and just record to the click to get a feel for it, or just jamming along with drum tracks without even recording anything. I definitely feel that the improv aspect of that is like any other muscle, it needs to get worked out before it can start lifting 200lbs.

But most of all, don’t be so hard on yourself, man. You busted out something great last week without ever even attempting it before. I really need to dig up some of my first recordings so you guys can hear where I started off and where you’re all starting now. With the same quality gear everyone here sounds better than I started off sounding.
 
Admittedly I haven't used Ozone in over 15 years, but I always thought it was a mastering plugin (used on the final stereo track).

For individual tracks, it's best to run simpler plugins if possible, like compressor and EQ. Obviously for software instruments (keys, drums) and for things like guitar amp sims, those would be track inserts as well.

Aux bus plugins would be good for things you want to apply to a lot of tracks. That might be things like reverb or delay, where you have a bunch of vocal tracks that you send a small amount into the same plugin. Kind of like parallel effects vs serial in Fractal terms.

Then you have other effects that may be reserved for the master bus (or 2-bus). Things like overall EQ or a limiter, that the final mix would run through.

You could also have group buses if you want to have several similar things running through at once, like drums or guitars, etc. And for those you may have an overall EQ or compressor and what not.

I learned a lot of that stuff reading GearSpace (formerly something else), just reading producer stuff as much as possible. I only know like 5% of what a decent engineer or producer does, but that's how I got from nothing to something.
 
Oh, forgot to mention back in the day I really liked the Waves SSL plugins, especially the E-channel. It's like "easy mode" for channel strip work, just like if you were using an SSL console. I'm not sure if there are better options now or not, but it has all the basics...high/low cut, basic EQ, a compressor, and a gate/expander.

One of the neat things with this plugin is there was little visualization, as opposed to a lot of plugins where you could see things like EQ curves and compressor slopes and what not.

ssl-e-channel-v2.png
 
Recording is hard. Writing something is hard, too. I am reminding myself that iconic bands with
4 or 5 virtuosos in them would take a year to write, record, and produce an album in a year. :idk

So, why can't I do a single little song that is not a song in a week all by myself?? :LOL:
 
Oh, forgot to mention back in the day I really liked the Waves SSL plugins, especially the E-channel. It's like "easy mode" for channel strip work, just like if you were using an SSL console. I'm not sure if there are better options now or not, but it has all the basics...high/low cut, basic EQ, a compressor, and a gate/expander.

One of the neat things with this plugin is there was little visualization, as opposed to a lot of plugins where you could see things like EQ curves and compressor slopes and what not.

ssl-e-channel-v2.png

I probably said it a few times in various threads, but this is still my main EQ, despite having a sh*tload of plug-ins from other companies. It’s just so familiar to me and I know exactly which knobs to turn to get what I want. While Logic has it’s Channel EQ in every channel strip, I still prefer this.
 
Recording is hard. Writing something is hard, too. I am reminding myself that iconic bands with
4 or 5 virtuosos in them would take a year to write, record, and produce an album in a year. :idk

So, why can't I do a single little song that is not a song in a week all by myself?? :LOL:

Remember, you can also do the bi-weekly challenge that gives you two weeks!

I think once you write something you really dig, it gets a lot easier and I know for me, that’s entirely what propels me to the next song. Leading up to that it can feel like walking through a mine field of sh*tty riffs and terrible guitar tones and it’s so easy to stay hyper-critical in that mind frame.

While it’s adding more to the plate, maybe set aside a separate DAW session to work on a song without a time limit so you can let things marinate in your head without the pressure of having it done in a week. I tend to think of these weekly tunes as my throw-aways; they aren’t songs that’ll make it onto on album or anything because I don’t have enough time to fully flesh them out so they’re just keeping my motivation and chops up. Though this week’s challenge I’ll most certainly want to keep for an album or whatever I decide to do, I got lucky this week and the inspiration was flowing.
 
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