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serious newb question: when to bounce down a track?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ThirdBird, May 15, 2008.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    What are your thoughts on this practice for recording yourself by yourself:

    1. Record a track to get levels (any instrument):

    2. Apply mild eq and gentle compression based on instrument.

    3. Record a keeper track

    4. Bounce down to a new track. My reasons (which are probably wrong) for doing this is so I get to apply additional eq and compression and/or other fx on a fresh new track, without worrying about the initial modifications. I do understand that I won't be able to go back and change them, but to me it seems cleaner. This is the step I am most unsure of.

    5. Record all tracks following steps 1-4.

    6. Bulk mixing stage: worry about how tracks sound together, apply specifix eq, panning, compression, other fx until I am happy with final product.

    7. Bounce down to one stereo track.

    8. Do whatever mastering you desire.

    Is there anything signifigantly wrong with my process. I know its most likely very crude, but I am worried about a serious flaw about step 4, bouncing down individual tracks to "save" initial eq and compression.

    Thank you for any input!
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    You have Sonar. Why do you need to bounce tracks at all? It's a bad idea to print effects that you cannot undo. And it's an even worse idea to print effects, bounce again with more effects...and THEN mix.

    Don't be bouncing stuff down or applying extra effects before ALL tracks are recorded. This is not tape. You don't need to do that. There's a "Save As" function to go back, if you want.

  3. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Thank you sir may I have another!

    Seriously though, sometimes I don't know whether I am doing too much or not enough. (probably both)

  4. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    As another recording yourself by yourself kinda guy, I would say that recording everything dry makes a lot of sense to me.

    If you care what you sound like in the headphones going in, you can usually monitor with effects, and just take them off after they're recorded if you're worried about RAM.

    It's digital so it doesn't need to be as hot as possible. As long as your room noise isn't too high, a lower level I find will do. You can compress and EQ it in the mix.

    My process is like this:

    1. Record a keeper track with no effects at all.
    2. Record all the tracks.
    3. Mix (apply effects/eq/etc.)
    4. Bounce to stereo track.
    5. The much debated mastering stage.

    Hope that helps...
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    What you are describing is almost like recording in analog. I've done things very similar to that when trying to produce highly complex and orchestrated jingle music for commercials. Productions that required a 24 trick machine but produced with a 8 track & 2 track machine. Back in the analog days, you had to envision what you wanted your end product to sound like before you got there. But in that respect, I would actually track with compression/limiting/downward expansion/gating & EQ. I didn't care if it couldn't be undone. As long as it sounded good going down on tape. So half of the stuff I ended up mixing was already 2 to 3 generations down on the 1 in., 8 track machine, from bounces & layups . I'd still be happy to play you these 30-year-old jingles as I'm still very proud of them.

    In your situation, if your computer cannot handle all of your real-time plug-ins, your way may work quite well. The best part is you can still save your original dry tracks. Especially if you're bounced processing doesn't work in the mix? So I say, ANYTHING GOES! But bouncing just for the sake of bouncing is like having fixed dinner and then going to McDonald's for dinner. Right, doesn't make much sense. Especially when you read it.

    I like music that sounds like it was played by musicians who were living.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Ms. Remy, could I listen to one of your jingles, now I am curious!

    Semi-related question....

    Say I want to overdub a percussion rhythm section, but it is only me... and I have to overdub lets say 4 perc. instruments.

    Is any of these ways better/preferred?

    1) Keep the 4 tracks as is, but just lower them as necessary

    2) Assign them to their own bus/fader

    3) Bounce them down together as one?

    Could this theoretically be applied to vocal harmonies or extra guitar dubs as well?
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    What you are basically describing is the process of compositing tracks. Whether you physically composite by bouncing or compositing via automation of levels, muting, pans, etc.. It's all doable. Whatever workflow works for you is what matters. As long as it doesn't lower your quality in the process. If you find that to be the case? I would rethink the process. I find that people have a tendency to want to make things more complicated because they are confused and believe that more stuff that you play with makes you look more professional. Right? Or trying to understand gain staging and/or signal flow. Sort of like trying to interpret Georgia roadmaps or driving in the dark without headlights. Difficult to spatially locate your self when you are not really sure where you are to begin with.

    If you're working in analog, then your methods may be sound? But if you are working with digital and are utilizing some kind of current professional multitrack software, your methodology may be wasting a lot of your time. In that is that, you can accomplish all that you want to do through the software without ever having to physically bounce a composite of tracks to another track. Not necessary. Don't need to. But that all comes with a good understanding of your software. At this point, perhaps even more so than understanding the difference between a U47 & SM57?

    Either way, it has to work right in your head so that you can translate it to your fingers, as you relax and watch your mix grow before your ears.

    Mixing audio in my head while delivering doughnuts on another planet
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I just tried it that way because I thought thats how it might be the conventional way things are done, not just to look cool.
    That's EXACTLY how I feel. You hit the head on the nail. To help fix this, I started browsing this forum, and now I have some books on the subject coming in at the library. Everyone's help here has been indispensable.

    Well, I do know what a SM57 is, but not the other, so I still just may be able to pick them apart.

    Looking forward to it!
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    If I had to guess,
    U47 IIRC is a condenser, costs a stash, is shiny silver and is used for vox more than snares and guitar amps.
    SM57 is stashed inside condoms, used on guitar amps, has foam squashed on the end sometimes...a working man's mic.

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