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Old 11-11-2012, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freebase Dali View Post
Personally, I find Pro Tools to be unnecessarily complicated in terms of how and where they place things and ways to go about doing things. It's not set up very intuitively. A program like Sonar, however, does all the same things as Pro Tools but is very intuitively laid out, and allows for customization of workflow. It's one of the main reasons I prefer Sonar over Pro Tools.

For instance, adding buses in Pro Tools seems like an autistic person designed the process. And in Sonar, you simply open up the mixing console, right click and add a new bus. On that bus, you set the input and the output. Done.

That's just one of the many things I've seen using both programs. I understand that it's the industry standard for some weird reason, but it definitely can't be because it's easier than everything else.

As far as Fruity is concerned, that's geared more to production anyway. I wouldn't put it in the same category as either Pro Tools or Sonar, although both can do production as well.
I cant divulge an opinion for Sonar, but I do agree that it is unusually difficult to bus and add channels in Pro Tools, and I would prefer that it is one click. However, within the new versions of Pro Tools they made it easier, and it is a coupld clicks. You simply add the bus then you wire it to the bus you like and the effects are much easier to add, however they made the effect level kind of difficult to control. I have not attempted to make beats in the new pro tools, but I learned in 6 and it was rather difficult to make beats, as it was a lot of cutting and pasting and no midi control for synths so everything was multitrack recorded in. I however like Pro Tools multitrack usage for recording. I have used Adobe Audition and found that it was much easier to use than Pro Tools and did the same thing.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I recorded my bands EP with Logic, it worked really well and can be fairly simple with some pretty good built in plugins. The only problem i had was latency, with is a big one if you've ever done recording or have been recorded. Pro Tools has a really steep learning curve, but when you get it down, its the undisputed best in business.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think, after using Pro Tools 10 for a few weeks, the only thing I actually thought was better than Sonar (which I've been using for years) was the automation curves. I especially loved the clip gain from Pro Tools 10 that allowed you to simply drag the corner down to adjust the clip gain, instead of having to create a clip gain curve for that clip, and for every clip. That's something I'd like to see in Sonar, but I'm still using 8.5, so I'm not sure if any of the X versions have introduced it or not.

As far as capability, I think it's probably a false assumption to think that any one program in the arena of legitimate DAW software is inherently better than the rest in terms of anything more than better ways of doing what they all do.
I know that Pro Tools doesn't automatically make your songs sound better than any other DAW software. And I know that Sonar doesn't either. But one thing I DO know, is that Sonar has stock plugins that sound FAR better and more transparent than the ones I've used in Pro Tools. Particularly the compression, and some of the reverbs and other things. I absolutely died laughing at some of the plugins Pro Tools included in 10.
Obviously, they just want you to buy the more high dollar stuff. Personally, I don't even care one way or the other. I'm going to use my Waves plugins either way. But Sonar's stock plugins for reverb and delay, and their channel tools and linear phase EQs... oh man... I've been in this business for a lot of years, and I can say they are some of the best I've heard for stock plugs.

So there's that. But again, pros and cons for everything. I think Sonar's automation manipulation is the worst thing I've ever encountered. And it sucks because I actually use the sh*t out of it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Does Sonar need a usb mixboard to work?

If not I may take you up on the offer and check it out, as someone might have a demo or a fileshare of the program I can try. I wouldnt mind checking it out. I agree that Waves is awesome.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJunMC View Post
Does Sonar need a usb mixboard to work?

If not I may take you up on the offer and check it out, as someone might have a demo or a fileshare of the program I can try. I wouldnt mind checking it out. I agree that Waves is awesome.
No, you can do everything right in the software. A midi controller is pure preference.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Okay Imma see if I can get a demo or fileshare of the program to try out

thx
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I was told that if I want to get a "Synth Crash" cymbal sound I should remaster a regular cymbal sample. However I don't know what kind of mixer plugins I should use to get one.
Spoiler for I tried making one with these mixer plugins::
1. Equalizer
2. Reeverb (Echo/Delay?)
3. Overdrive/Distortion
4. Equalizer
5. Stereo Shaper

The result wasn't very good so I assume I didn't do it right.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baka94 View Post
I was told that if I want to get a "Synth Crash" cymbal sound I should remaster a regular cymbal sample. However I don't know what kind of mixer plugins I should use to get one.
Spoiler for I tried making one with these mixer plugins::
1. Equalizer
2. Reeverb (Echo/Delay?)
3. Overdrive/Distortion
4. Equalizer
5. Stereo Shaper

The result wasn't very good so I assume I didn't do it right.
If you want a synth crash just get a synth crash sample. These will often come from your classic TR-808 or TR-909 synths. However, the patches for them are probably available in any softsynth you might have that features rhythm-oriented patches.

Depending on whether you want to DIY or not, and how realistic you want to take it, you might even go as far as this:
SYNTH SECRETS

If you're not keen on creating one from scratch, just download 808 or 909 samples, or really just any sample packs you can find of any synth drum machine.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Need an idea of what to get

I'm in an out of various bands due to drama and such, because of that I've decided i want to front my own. I intend to create a studio of decent quality but I'm not sure what the best way is. My peers in the scene have been useless as far as advice considering we're all high schoolers, likewise with the "professionals" at the music stores unfortunately. The studio will be located in my bedroom. Its square about 16x16.
My current equipment:
-Gibson Flying V
-Fender frontman R38 amp
-Hoffner Hi-series B-bass
-Acoustic B30 bass amp
-desktop /w/ Windows 7

The info I want know is what mics, mixing boards, software, cords, etc.
also should i buy an electric or acoustic drum kit.

I have a moderate budget so I'm basically looking for the cheapest, decent quality product.

I want to create a nice, professional sound. so any tips, info or w.e you might have to offer me is appreciated.

Thanks, John aka A Happy Medium
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I just want to post something here for those of you that do your own recording, as it seems to be a pretty big factor that man people recording digitally don't take into account:

Recording levels.
What I mean by this is no matter what digital recording equipment you have, whether it's miked acoustic instruments into an audio interface and into recording software, or a standalone digital recorder, and no matter how low or high budget that setup is, your first and foremost concern when recording digitally should be your gain.

Back in the day when everything was recorded in the analog domain, you could get away with recording too hot. In fact, it created quite a nice effect that people still use today, and many digital plugins try to emulate. But when it comes to recording in the digital domain, digital distortion is definitely not a good thing. Sure, overdriving sounds great on tubes and tape, but in the digital world, when you go over a certain point, you will simply create a nasty, distracting effect.

So what am I talking about here?
Ok. Let's say you're an acoustic guitarist. You have a cheap microphone and a cheap audio interface and you're just recording to one track in a cheap music program. While your thoughts may be primarily on the cheapness of your mic, interface and music program, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR RECORDINGS is to just ensure that when you record, your levels are not going over 0 decibels. In fact, I would recommend that they don't go over -6 decibels at the very loudest parts, assuming you're recording in 24 bits. (Which you should be)

So how do we know whether we're going over 0 db or not? First let's talk about gain staging, and bring level metering into it.

Gain staging is ensuring the proper and optimal gain for your signal throughout all gain-influential points in the signal path. This is typically from your instrument > amplifier/preamp > amp/preamp output > input gain on your mixer and/or interface > output level on the interface, then finally, the input gain on the track that you are recording into in your program. Additionally, if you use plugins in your program that affect the signal before recording, each subsequent plugin in serial has an input/output gain stage. (This is true after recording as well, however it's adjustable after the fact)

So, if you understand that each of these points in the chain can affect the signal level, then you should understand that you need to control the level at each of these points where necessary, starting from the instrument and going forward all the way to the input gain of your recording device or track.
We use level meters to determine how hot our signal is throughout the chain. Sometimes you may only be limited to a level meter on your interface, and on your recording track and master channel. That's fine. You can start off in a great position by utilizing the unity gain concept.

Unity Gain
This is the concept of not changing the level of the signal through each point in the path. On mixers, this point is usually represented by a U. (Unity)
On some other devices, it may just be a tactile notch that you feel when the dial is up the middle.
Basically this is just leaving the signal the same, without lowering it or raising it. This is important to know, because when we know that we are not processing a signal that would add more or less level to the signal, then we are not unnecessarily changing the signal level, especially if it ends up with us overdriving along the signal chain and introducing digital distortion that we cannot get rid of in the recording.

For instance:
You have a guitar going through a multi-FX pedal which is DI'd into an instrument input on your audio interface, which sends to a recording track in your music program. Let's say you have your guitar wide open (which would be fine), your pedal input set to whatever sounds good, then you jack up the pedal output to 11 and send that whole signal to your interface, which has its input level set to 11, and its output set to 11...
(I use 11, because there usually isn't an 11. Which would definitely be way too high)
Then in your program you have everything at unity gain. Input is at 0 and track volume at 0.
Do you think your signal will be at unity gain?
No sir.
You will likely be overdriven on the recording track. And when you hit the record button, the negative effects of digital distortion are there to stay. The only way to undo it is to record all over again with the proper levels leading up to that point.
Even if you overdrive up to your recording track then lower the gain into your recording track, if you have digitally overdriven something ahead of it, the effect may still be there. That is why gain staging is important when dealing in the digital realm.

Using the peak meters on your gear is a good way to tell if you're overdriving. Most audio interfaces will have this, even if in the form of a software mixer that comes with it that lets you see the levels bouncing up and down. Try to use them as close to the source as possible to get your acceptable level, then work your way forward.

I would recommend that if your first meter is at your audio interface, that you set your instrument how you want it, set your microphone how you want it, then set your mixer or interface input gain based on the meters. Go up or down so that you're sitting no higher than -6 db on your loudest parts. -12 db on average is fine. It's probably a 24 bit device, so we don't have to worry about the noise floor issues we had when we could only record with 16 bits of headroom.
Once you have the input gain set on the mixer or interface, unity gain EVERYTHING past that. You will know that you have succeeded at unity gain past the input of your interface or mixer ahead of your recording track when you monitor the recording track in your program and look at where its meter is peaking. If it's the same as the mixer or interface, you're good. Stay at that level. Do not be tempted to turn up gains so you can hear yourself better. Use monitor volumes to do that, as they will not affect your input gains.
If your recording track is peaking a lot higher than the meter behind it, something in between those meters needs to be lowered. Lower the first output gain after the first meter, then work your way forward. Your goal is to have your desired first signal be equal all the way through. This way, you will have the best representation of your signal while preventing stages from putting that signal over the limit.

Finally, it's important to know that when dealing with digital hardware and software, there may be situations where you don't hear the negative effects of digital overdriving if they operate in higher bitrates during the processing phase. (Music programs will usually operate in at least 32 bits!) You will typically hear the effects when hitting converters that operate in a lower bit rate, and exporting/converting from your project to lower bitrates to support the 16 bit standard we use with Wav and MP3.
This is because there is temporary "headroom" there, since the bits are available at the time. However, if we don't account for the fact that, at some point, the bits will not be available, we will ultimately end up with the conversion simply chopping off the signal where it exceeds the limit, and introducing some very nasty sounding effects.
This is an important concept in the mixing phase when you've recorded your instruments all nice and clean and at the proper levels, then begin to add more elements without compensating for the additive effect that all those elements have when they sum to the final stereo bus.
This is very typical due to a lack of understanding that gain staging continues even into the stage after you have recorded and have begun to process the signal or have added more recordings along side. In this case, hope is not lost if we have properly maintained a reasonable level for each individual recording or element. Assuming we did, we can then bring down the levels of each element so that, at the master channel, the totality of the signal is not going above 0 db.


So, I hope this has helped someone.
Ensuring proper levels is not the only step, but it's an important one, because you can have the best digital equipment in the world, but if you violate the 0 db rule, not a single person in the world can fix the issue after the fact. So please do pay mind. You can always raise levels after. You can't remove digital distortion after. It's just part of the recording.
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