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Have you got T.C.I. ?? ( stealing bigtree's abbreviation style a bit..lol)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Big K, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Have we got T.C.I. ??

    After GAS and PAS ... Have you got TCI ( Track Count Insanity )???

    Not being fixed on 24 tracks of a MTR is great, but over the last years I have seen project ..swollen to 250 and more tracks..Some have complained at Nuendo forum that they can't go beyond 500 ( with the known trick 1000 tracks) same for midi
    I mean ...is this still healthy?

    I had smart assistents and interns here who made real mess out of a simple demo recording job. They used anything up to 120 tracks for a 4 piece band... When I told them to produce a SKA band demo on 24 tracks like my Sony DASH 3324S had, they almost wacked out. PlugIn counts of more then 250 in a project seemed quite ok for them... Not for me, though. They were gone, soon... Selfcomplacent little smart arses they were..

    How many Tracks do you use in an average project?
    I know, from my former partner who works at SoundDelux in LA, now, that at film mixing stages they have easily more then 400..but let us stay with a standart band project of 4 to 8 musicians..

    What about total plugin count??
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    Average project 24-26.

    Drums 2 kick, 2 snare, 3 tom, 2 OH = 9
    Bass 1 DI, 1 mic on cab = 2
    2 Guitars 1 scratch each, prob 2 different amps with 2 mics each = 10
    Vocals 1 main, 2 backing = 3
    Percussion, synths, or room mics = 2

    This would drop to more like 8-12 on a demo project.

    Plugins maybe 2-3 on each group track = about 20 including reverbs.

    Can't believe that is so low compared to what you're saying....
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I'd be about the same. I do fewer for each electric guitar - I usually don't double mic my amps. I do more "extra" acoustic instruments lately: mando, dobro, lap steel, 12-string. I sometimes mic acoustic instruments in stereo. A lot of my songs are fewer than 24 tracks, but it's nice not to be limited to that.

    Same philosophy on the plugins - 2-3 for each instrument.

    I understand the high track counts in the film world, but I would really like to see what someone is doing with 100 tracks on a four piece band. Are we talking a virtual orchestra in the background?
  4. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    Typical 4 piece rock band (2 guitars, bass, drums and vocals)

    Kick 2 or 3 tracks
    Snare 2 tracks
    Toms 2 to 3 tracks
    OH 2 tracks
    Room 2 tracks

    DI + Cab = 2 tracks

    1 or 2 tracks per amp x 2

    In the end one compt'ed track (during recording could be a lot of takes)

    -Back VOX-
    2 to 4 tracks compt'ed

    So worst case track count is 23 tracks

    Plugs In about 1 to 3 per track
    so worst case 69 plugs per song....

    Now that varies greatly for Jazz, folk, usually I use less tracks....
  5. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Ha, no orchestra..

    Just a severe case of decidophobia...
    They want to keep any and all versions ... a nightmare...nobody is going to listen to all of those dozens of guitar and vocal tracks.

    The guy who was whining about with 500 tracks are not enough was a composer who uses Audio and Midi.
    I have asked him why he needs so many tracks and got the answer that this was "minimum" for today's composing and score work.

    I would be totally confused with that many tracks. He prolly puts any old fart on a separat track.
    This technique is unkown to me.. and I will not even try to understand that.
    Death by scrolling....lol...
  6. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    500 tracks?

    I'd like to see a console that can handle that?

    I personally do not believe in mixing more than a few tracks together In The Box now that I have my own experience of the differences mixing on a modular console / summing mixer as opposed to doing it all in the computer..
    Even though at the moment all I have is eight D/A's at least its better than doing it all in the digital realm. I am amazed all the detail that gets lost with the digital mixing that goes on inside my DAW! If I had my way I would be doing all of my tracks on the console, however it can get really expensive depending on which converters you decide to buy. I am totally convinced that analog is the way to go for quality tracks, and quality is fading quickly from sight in todays recordings, however I am sure the tide is changing.

    I typically use at least a couple of tracks for vocals. When there is a song that calls for vocal harmonies then it can be great to do extra work, but typically I don't do too much.

    With guitars I like one solid rhythm track and extra riffs are a plus, maybe two extra rhythms in the background paned left and right? Depends on the song, the mood, sometimes its better to keep it simple.

    Bass guitar is usually very straight forward, however doubling can be very effective for a smeared kind of effect when the timing is dead on.

    Drums are great to layer and multitrack IMO, so it all depends on how comfortable the drummer is about multitrack, most are very stubborn and do not like fancy studio tricks, playing with Midi and so forth. Most drummers are set on one take, its hard to try and convince them to do more.

    I typically use overheads and mic the kick and the snare, mic's on both sides if available ( helps phase problems )

    I use Audio and Midi to compose my songs too, I would say if you cannot nail a good Midi sound with around three tracks something is wrong, but thats just me.

    I cant see any of my productions toping out over 30 tracks anytime soon. But in a situation with more than five musicians there could be higher track counts. I'm no different than most whom have already posted here, I use typically no more thant three plugins on voice, maybe more on one guitar lead or keyboard. Most Virtual instruments have their own effects, sometimes it's refreshing to use outboard effects with the console too.

    I use Logic Pro and use the freeze setting on virtual instruments often, it saves CPU for the other tasks.

    I think music that has so many tracks diverts the focus of the melody. Just think of trying to mic each individual instrument in a live performance situation, with sensitive LDC mic's? All the phase issues arrive when you sum the parts. I've read about the advantages of ribbon microphones for their ability to accept sound pressure levels better and provide better isolation in live situations, although I do not own any ribbons yet I will be looking into getting a couple soon. I also know that ribbons are delicate and cannot handle high SPL, so you have to be careful with them not to damage them.

    I remember a while back when there was a video demo here of Sonar (64bit), this was a song that had over 100 tracks, to me it sounded like mud, but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess?? This reminds me being in the middle of a huge marketplace with people all around diverting your attention from what you are trying concentrate on.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Moderator Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The last full blown orchestra recording I did was a main stereo pair, a pair in the hall, a pair of ww spots, spots for Concertmaster, principal horn, principal trumpet, harp, tympani, basses. I ended up using the main array, a bit of the hall mics, and ever so little of the tymp and ww spots. So way under the 24 track limit. I used a bit of eq and light compression. Done and done.
  8. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I get into some higher track counts in some instances, but that's because I'm stacking.
    A horn part might be separated into verses, chorus, and solo. Same for any other instrument but drums/bass.

    I do this b/c it makes workflow a little easier, but in reality, I top out around 20-30 tracks.
    Typically 8 for drums (I close mic toms, and use a room or FOK mic), and no more than 2 for any other source. Some of these tracks will get tossed in mixing.
    I'll expand on the 2 track rule w/ acoustic instruments (ST pair on acoustic + room mic), but it's still the same track count, or less.

    Many have no plug-ins at all. Plus I tend to bus to group tracks where most plugs reside.
    Kick, snare, bass, and lead vocal all get some individual comp, and sometimes reverb (snare/vox).
    Outside of that, most of my processing is handled by parallel (FX/aux) or group buses.
  9. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    I've read other posts on this topic and it seems beyond my comprehension and hard to wrap my head around.
    But it appears the new school of the PT (and other DAW users) seem to create a virtual track for every aspect of a "part(s)".
    I think this is where the high track count comes from but I'm not sure.
    These are not simultaneous track counts. Sometimes these "tracks" are only seconds long of loops or MIDI content or snippets of effects etc....
    I've seen screenshots and videos of working projects that scroll to the right indefinitely.
    I need a bigger monitor!
    I think they breakout each effect, insert, send and return.
    Other posts claim and list various combination's on why they need a min! of 200+ tracks to create one song...
    In this new DAW digital power world I guess this is how you gain complete control over every aspect of the tracks and project.
    Of course now it's apparent that more tracks means better quality music and if you can do it with the gear you should do it!
    My New Years resolution will be to try my best to create a composition with 200+ tracks in Cubase! (if that's possible with my stuff).
    I would also love it if someone who's done this to please post an example project with high track count and list a brief description of each of the tracks used even if it is an effect or whatever. I need to plan this out and I would like to know how best to set this up and assign channels....
  10. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    NY, USA
    Home Page:
    My computer is old and crappy so it limits what I really can and cannot do. I use cubase and start to peak at about 45 audio tracks (with abot a dozen plugs). For most of what I am recording lately I wind up initially recording a bunch more than i need and disable them until mix down (for cpu resources). When I am done, my usual track count is about 30-35 for use in mixdown (and 18 of these are drums), and then these get shaved down further. For the pop country stuff I work on it suits me well.

    My basic session:

    12-18 drums (I almost always have 1 stereo sub for NY compression)
    2 bass (one direct and one amped or blended with amp sim plug)
    2-3 acoustic gits (rythm and maybe a lead)
    4- 5 electric gits
    2- stereo piano or ogran
    2- stereo synt/strings
    1- vox
    2-4 vox harmonies
    4 effect sends (short plate, long plate, long verb, delay)
    2-3 for some extra stuff (maybe a word, phrase or loop for flavour)

    i usually stick a plug in comp for each track until i run out of cpu.

    While I do wish for a new computer- I have made my peace with what I got and actually feel that lacking the ability to have a bazillion tracks keep me focused on getting it right during tracking, kinda like they had to do in the old days. I remember when I got that mastertrack file of Sgt Pepper from the Beatles that was floating around the net a while ago, I was AMAZED at what they did with so little.

    500 tracks seems to me like total insanity.

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