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Thread: Which parts of the process do you like or dislike and why ?

  1. #1
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    Which parts of the process do you like or dislike and why ?

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    As home recorders, we do end up being a combination of pretty much everything for a lot of the time ~ songwriter, arranger, player/singer, maybe multi~instrumentalist, engineer/"tape op" {capturing the sounds}, mixer, producer and some even go the whole hog and master too.
    That's a lot of hats to wear.
    Did anyone here actually want to be all those things or is it often the case that in order to pursue the parts one loves, one has also had to take on other aspects that one would rather not ?
    Are there parts of the overall equation that you actively dislike ? How do you feel about each part of the process ? Has it been relatively easy, extremely difficult or somewhere in between to achieve that balance ?

  2. #2
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    TBH...I never desired to be all those things, it's just how it evolved over time.

    My initial goal was to write some songs, and just thought it was cool to also create some home demos...which is what they use to be called back in the early days of home recording, when all we had was 4-track tape decks and an 8 channel mixer, with some processing if we were lucky, but back then, there were not too many products aimed at the home recording folks. You had instruments for musicians...and you had pro studios.
    So in those early days, if you had a small "consumer" grade recording rig, it was just to churn out some demos, and send them out, and hope to one day get into a pro studio to record your music.

    Now it's about wearing a bunch of hats, and trying to emulate a pro studio in the home environment, for many folks.
    Going back to my early days, because I wasn't thinking much about editing/mixing/mastering...the best part about it was tracking, which is still my favorite part.
    You have that basic production plan, some overall ideas, and then during tracking you get to flush out the song as the tracks start to add up and you're finally hearing what you were only imagining in your head.
    I don't dislike the editing (well, maybe more than anything else), or the mixing (sometimes when it's just not coming together) or the mastering (which is still more about experimenting and learning than just doing it)....but I would be happy to just track and let the rest go to someone else.
    I think it's because during tracking, I am still in the process of creating the song. Yeah, it's written and arranged for the most part, but tracking often also becomes an extension of's where you can really define the song and how it sounds...though these days, a lot of people think all that is supposed to happen during the editing/mixing/mastering, and so tracking is like just to get anything down, and then worry about getting what you want later.

    Also...because of those early 4-track days and limited post-tracking're production needed to mostly happen during the tracking stage, and the writing and arranging also had to be pretty much set.
    I don't dislike the option of creating in the computer, so to speak...taking rough bits-n-pieces of record parts and then using the power of the DAW to make them into something...but that can be often tedious and a drawn out process. I love the approach of going for something more specific at that tracking stage...and for me, since I still use tape to track to, just like in the early days...though now I've got the big 24 track machine...even though I know I can "massage" the tracks later in the DAW...I still try to make them as complete takes as possible, as if I was going to mix them right from the tape they have to be pretty close to what I want.

  3. #3
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    Rick Ruskin
    Lion Dog Music - Seattle WA

  4. #4
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    I find the tracking to be a chore. It is a means to an end, and for me that is in working with those tracks to create the final work of art. So I really enjoy mixing, but I'm not keen on tracking.

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    The worst part is trying to figure out what to do for drums and keyboards. I can't play either, and programming note by note is too tedious. I make do with using stuff like an SR18 for drum tracking, and started working with MTPowerDrummer for another track, but its not the same as a REAL drummer.

    I know one guy who is really good. The problem is that he lives about 1200 miles away, which is too far to set up a session! As for keyboards, I have a friend who is retiring Dec 31 who plays bass and keys. I'm hoping to rope into a visit or two. I'm sure if I invite him over for a nice glass of single barrel bourbon, it will go a long way.

    Next worst part is listening to my gawd-awful singing. Some I think there's not enough autotune, EQ or plugins to make me sound good!

  6. #6
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    I am not great at arranging so that can be frustrating but still fun.

    Doing volume rides, comping tracks, moving stuff around, yuck. The minutiae kill me, I guess I am a big picture guy.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

  7. #7
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    I never really wanted to be "all those things."
    I do recall being in a band and then the 4 track cassette thing was so much more fun and art-vibed to me than playing in bars.
    The creativity freedom, I guess in making sounds and tracking...was so much more interesting than playing and loading gear at 3am in the winter for drunk crowds.

    As mirsolav mentioned with 4track you kind of had to mix as you tracked.

    Before the internet there wasnt much info around me and all I knew was the HR stuff sounded like garbage compared to the commercial albums and cassettes by the pros. So then it was kind of a challenge to learn Mixing and Mastering....and about recording studios.

    Post the hi-speed internet, we have this ocean of information and books by Engineers and Articles everywhere, and forums.
    Thats when I was much older and realized the gear of EMI or Motown, and the fact there were trained pro's running Engineering in addition to Producers and Arrangers.

    lol....before then I thought, for example, the Beatles played ALL the instruments on their albums, only to find George Martin scored a lot of it and arranged it and they called in expert horn players and strings and Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott and Norm Smith ran the sound....etc...

    so yeah wearing "all those hats" is almost an unrealistic expectation of oneself.
    maybe a jack of all trades master of none comes to mind.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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