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Pro Tools, Julian and the Modern Monk

Member for

21 years 3 months
Hi Julian. I posted a question on another forum re
my intent to purchase The Tools(thanks for your two quids worth!).Since then I have actually braved replying to Nika. I read where you spoke of how you took a year off to come to grips with the Tools. This is exactly what I plan doing next year, using my own projects as a process, after working hard to do this. I was just wondering, how you are going? I'm not asking you to buy into current controversy, although I do ask in light of
the various discussions/exchanges re sound quality taking place.Neither am I particularly asking for further advise. I'm more interested in your own reflections, the more you get deeper in the system. I'm still hesitant about getting a current Tools system (yes equipped with the Sonyplug-ins, getting pretty good on it over a year and damn the upgrades or waiting till their new stuff comes along - which could be ages. I will have to make a move by February at the latest.I will be using Manley and Focusrite front end stuff, with the RØDE Classic 11 (hey built here in Australia), the RØDE NT and a few Shure's. Not finalised my back end outgear. The only other way I would go is getting a Radar system with an outboard mixer rather than Pro Tools. Whilst we're waiting for Derby County to do anything decent this year, any musings you would care to share, like what works for you, what doesn't, would be good to hear.
Kind regards
PS. Good forum by the way! (maybe I'll get a response!). Just kidding. Er no not about the Forum. Honest. It's good!


Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Tue, 10/30/2001 - 13:54
I have learned:

No need to record 'hot'
Use old school engineering to get sounds 'the way you want them' on the way into the DAW.
Read up (digi newsgroup) on the latest plug ins and only use them.
Buy the best possible/affordable 2-channel converter available at the time of your purchase. (More channels is a bonus)
Pick a back up method with cheap media.
If you record live music with a drum kit. TAPE IS FORGIVING - PRO TOOLS IS NOT. Sort out the kit to sound good at the very beginning or you are f**ked for the rest of the project.
At mixdown keep a 'flat' unprocessed high bitrate copy of the mix as well as a hyped 'semi-mastered' 16 bit version to give to eager clients.
Make use of the "copy channel" function to get 'mults' or copy versions of the same track, effect these with anything you like, but keep the original to blend in too!
Use Ribbon mic's when possible for - (outer) Bass drum, cymbals, and often times for electric gtrs.
Use a Fatso on acoustic gtr, kick & snare, and most other things!
Use a Cranesong Hedd - to warm up your mix.
Use flatscreen monitors to avoid single coil gtr 'buzz'.
Use some sort of controler with 8 or more faders on it.
Sit like a hawk on newsgroups / forums to pick up tips.

All I can think of at the moment!


Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 10/30/2001 - 18:22
jules suggestions are dead on.

Some other hints from a long time pro tools user.

- dont let the PT detractors worry you. most of their PT gripes are not valid. Ears Ears Ears.

_ Mix with your ears not eyes. This is way easier said than done!

_ Try not to fear the next PT upgrade. Their will always be one. It will hurt your wallet but you will be happy in the end. (can you lend me some money when the PT 96K stuff ships&gt ;)

_ Rumor is the new stuff will NOT be at Jan NAMM.


good luck

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 10/31/2001 - 04:37
I have a control24, been really trying to mix without the bloody mouse. Been full computer mixing for 5 years really hard to get back to faders and not look at the screen.

Other Hints.
Get good mic pres, some nice variety of color.
Agree with Jules, Ribbons for Overheads sound best.
Watch clipping the plugins, bus etc.
Buy the Sony EQ plugin and your mixes will sound so much better.
Do some research on what plugins you need, I was on PC NT TDM so a few I brought then come across with me to the Mac. I might not of brought them if I had a Mac and better choice to start with.

Where about in OZ are you?? I am in Melbourne, if you want to drop me a line, or come by and have a play let me know.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 10/31/2001 - 18:02
Julian's tips are excellent.

It's good to dive in, like you suggested you'd do. I cut my teeth on Pro Tools with a low-pressure record a friend wanted to do and I managed to eke out a lot of free studio time and learned by doing. Good luck.

I can't say enough for commitment. It is vital to learn WHEN TO COMMIT ( to sounds going "to tape", performances, printing FX, etc.) with Pro Tools or you get into the cluster f$%@ that befalls the mix phase of every Pro Tools project because you've left all the decisions to the end. That isn't to say don't take advantage of what Pro Tools has to offer, far from it, but there is a balance. Finding it can put years back on your life. Get it right going in!

I concur with the "not printing hot" thing. it really makes a difference.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 10/31/2001 - 22:15
Wow thanks for replying folks - I actually re-read my post and was going to delete it..I thought somebody must have slipped a vague pill into my coffee! I've been using a "high end" -do - all native system DAW for nine months at work, hence my keen interest in quality, or the lack thereof, in DAW's I'll soon be sinking some of me hard earned into my own small, but not too nasty, tracking and mixing studio. Prior to this my experience was mostly analog - although I kind of diversified and got involved in multi-media CD Rom type things(Don't go there BTW!!! Wait for five years!!!!)
I got to the point in mixing with this DAW where I thought, wait a minute, where's the oxygen? Is it me? Do I have a lung problem? Or have I been immersed in some vacuum trap?
The posts on ProTools,long at times - even longer than my reply here- have been excellent.What I've read - including replies to my own posts here on this forum (which I found out about BTW because of Julian's.....erm.....enthusiastic promotion on other sites!) has probably saved me two years of chasing a good sound, tearing my hair out in the frustration of not getting one, and possibly investing some serious money (for me)in some seriously wrong directions.
And speaking of seriously, I wouldn't be here except a seriously clever sales guy recently steered me in The Tools direction and let me play with it for a while. I loved the elegance of its design and working environment.It put me on a 180 degree turn, added (quite) a few extra dollars on to my previous estimates, and gave me a hundred more questions!!!!Places such as this forum have helped me look hard at The Tools, understand the potential of it,away from the salespeople. And Yep. As you all know and advise - get the best possible front end for your needs that you can,use it wisely and enjoy it(well I already knew that bit). But then, understand the Tools system - IT IS VERY DIFFERENT TO ANALOG (what I'm used to)- understand its superior design to the "Native's",do your homework and, as the old song by the Byrds says, take some time, and learn how to play.Really looking foreward to doing this next year. I'm fortunate - but I've been working hard to be able to do this.
As far as asking Julian how is he going with this stuff - well he seems to be a pretty enthusiastic sort of guy and I now realise that Julian often actually tells you (and occassionally tells you and tells you!) how he's going on the forums he graces.For me, more power to him! So thanks.
BTW the extra dollars comment was serious, damn, sardine casserole again? At my age?)
So thanks again folks, taking heed of your comments. If you see questions from me about stuff, they're not idle,actually I have a query re the Manley VoxBox that I'll be posting soon, I am making real decisions here for myself, and sometimes Australia seems a ******* long way from things. However, be assured, it's brilliant over here!!!