Producing rock music

Discussion in 'Production' started by oskysum, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    hey guys, would you say producing bog standard rock music is easiest in terms of editing and mixing after all the recording?

    What DAWs would you recommend for producing rock music? Im using cakewalk sonar 8.5 now, but i'm thinking of changing to Pro Tools...

    I dunno what to decide, between a mac or another pc desktop. I know alot of people use mac, so don't know whether to jump on the bandwagon, what do you guys use?
  2. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    "bog standard"?? what is bog?

    I'd say go with your instincts, maybe you should consider a reel to reel tape machine and a decent mixer? I still say good ole rock and roll sounds best on*tape, but I am old fashioned. Everyone uses computers now, even me. Still there is some real Magic with tape, especially a decent quality professional machine. The best thing about recording with tape is how raw it sounds and thats what you want with Rock.

    You'll probably want Pro Tools and if you go with a PC your going to have someone who knows what they are doing build you one for your DAW.

    Do some searching and you'll read more about it. If you want to learn more about what people use on this forum, click on anyones name and then click profile. There you will find what any user on the forum has posted in their profile.

    I know many guys like Pro Tools for editing and recording, its also the standard by which major studios go by. Then you get guys like me who go with Logic. The best thing about Logic is that you get it "all" for $500. I'm not saying that its as easy to edit on Logic as it is on Pro tools because it is not. But there are lots of great tools that come with Logic that you have to shell out big $$ to get with Pro Tools, so pros and cons with both. Its really something you need to study more before you commit your $$. Recording decent quality gets expensive but now days it does not have to be so when you know how to play your cards right.

    You need to ask yourself many things, but first the big question is what is your budget? You can then break it down from there.
  3. natural

    natural Active Member

    I'm with Jammster,
    Need to establish what bog standard is first.
    I did find this:
    Talk:bog standard - Wiktionary

    According to that article it can mean any of 3 things. Bulk Standard, A high quality standard, or bottom of the heap, lowest common denominator standard.

    But I would say there is nothing easy about recording a rock project that is poorly planned, regardless of it's standard.
  4. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    sorry, i guess it's a term we only use in Britain. Bog standard means like normal, so if i said bog standard hifi or something. just like a hifi that plays CDs and nothing else. So in this case basically, very simple rock, like early zepplin, or in my case recording a band like nickelback.

    like, just drums, bass, guitar vocals.

    I feel like, most lies in the sound engineering part and getting the recording right. I find that alot of the editing and mixing is easier compared with drum and bass and dance. But i guess that's cos i have less experience in those sectors.

    o and natural, i find it amusing you went to wiktionary and it gave you those definitions!

    I agree that rock seems to sound better with tape machines, but another question i propose is, is it worth not being able to use VSTs? but i suppose i can answer that by saying it depends on what kind of sound you want?

    my budget it endless when it comes to stuff and decisions like these. I still can't decide between the 2, many people say you get the same result. my Main concern is what DAW to use which in turn decides whether i'll get a mac or pc. I thought protools was mac only?. Do you think Cakewalk sonar producer 8.5 is good enough?
  5. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Alright, since you say you have a endless budget you should consider going into the biggest local studio and book some time with your band. Look at what gear your engineer is using and ask some questions, since your paying for some time you will find out some useful tricks and see what different gear sounds like. This is the best way to hear for yourself how well your songs can be recorded with quality components.

    Protools is both PC and Mac, and since your in Britain I would think the Mac is likely more popular. So, consider which platform you are more comfortable with. If you do decide to go with a Mac be sure to get the apple care warranty since this can really save some $$ down the road, its very expensive to fix a Mac since the parts are only available through apple.

    Do you build PC's? If you are interested you can build your own and save your money for some decent gear. I know a bunch of guys that swear by their PC's and those guys really know their machines inside and out. Mac or PC, remember this really makes no difference. Find what you like and stick with it.

    Better yet find what platform your techie friends are using, see if your friends can help? I've stuck with my Mac for this reason. One platform is no better than the other, just different. You could run both if you want? PC's are just as worthy, it all depends on what you are comfortable with and can maintain. A computer is a computer and there is a vast ocean of DAW variety to choose from. You need to feel for yourself here, nobody is going to hold your hand and tell you whats best because it all depends on how you work.
  6. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Ah, found this. Looks like you can update your version of Sonar soon:
  7. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    fair enough dude, i think that helps.

    As for building pcs - i can't do it for S.. but i guess i could get someone else to do it. furthermore i was looking online on shops that sell desktops specalised for music production.
  8. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Birkenhead, UK
    First off.. I'm from the UK.. wahey!! 2nd.. Get pro tools.. It's outrageously useful to have the knowledge.. regardless of what you're doing and it is fantastic for rock music the same as it is for most genres. So..

    My day job is a computer technician.. I can tell you that the caching system on the processor of a mac is superior to the standard PC by far and that the operating system handles its threading a lot better. It has a clear advantage in anything media related as you will tell by how fast it pulls things up compared to windows. When you think of this in terms of buffering samples in music etc it is very very important to consider that as a factor.. I'm a PC home user.. and a mac work user.. I think they're worth the cash.

    As for "easiest" and hardest.. I don't think that can really be boxed off because sometimes you can take a guy with a guitar and it's hard to get it to sound how you want. Everything needs to have individuality and bring out the best in a specific track when you're looking at producing. It's not about easy or hard it's more about whatever you are faced with and what you gotta do with it.

    Basic rock is pretty "easy" to record but then again.. it depends whether you want a classic sound, a modern sound blah blah blah to the mix.

    It's one of those things, difficulty is down to the personal taste of what the artist and yourself wish the track to sound like, that could take minutes or days depending on what sounds you have in front of you.

    Anyway yeah I should go to bed.............. Lol..

    Hope this helps you, just my opinions of course :)
  9. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    thanx for the advice dude, yeh someone told me that which brings me to such a confused state, cos i think it's gonna be key what machine i get next.

    half the people are saying Mac is superior, whereas half say it doesn't make a difference

    It's an important decision for me, cos i've been using cakewalk and it's gonna be a massive transition to go to using pro tools on a mac.
    another thing i've heard is driver problems on a mac... but i guess this cancels out from the positives of a mac..

    does anyone else have any more opinions?

    At high performance i.e. if you have a strong pc, does it make that much of a difference?

    Good to see another UK guy here!
  10. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Birkenhead, UK
    As a computer expert I can tell you that.. as far as I have seen with my experience. The macs load things considerably faster and the theory behind it is due to threading on the processor and OS services.

    Now I dont know just HOW clued in you are on computers but I will explain it this way. Take vista for example. A windows based operating system. This runs MANY services in the background of its operations even when it is idle, for such things as error reporting, temperatures, etc etc, you know.. mostly necessary stuff. But it also contains a lot of crap as well that really is just there for "added functionality" which does come at a loss of speed because even at "idle" the processor is still reasonably active.

    On a MAC system you don't have this problem so much because whilst snow leopard does have a considerable number of features it only runs the services when they are actually required as opposed to all the time. For example. You open up itunes to play some music on a mac.. it opens up itunes and when you close it.. it closes itunes. On windows first it loads itunes helper and updater and then itunes.. then once itunes is closed it continues to run these processes even without the main program running.

    You also have the fact that the way the operating system handles its caching is better (in relation to the processing). The processor basically links with a temporary storage area and works in conjunction with the ram to process data. The way that the operating system on a mac handles this data is considerably more efficient even though macs and pcs now tend to be powered with intel processors of the same calibur.

    You also got the fact that pc's often crash with DAW's through freak errors. Thus meaning you have to turn the machine off. The macs force quit is more effective meaning that you can just slam that program down and its VERY rare that the whole machine will lock up.

    If you were to pit high end vs high end the mac would just about scrape a win and admittedly there are ways to match a PC to a mac by optimizing settings but it's fiddly. I am a big fan of both PC's and Macs but I just think that little bit more you get from a mac.

    As an engineer in general you will understand just how important it is to be that LITTLE BIT MORE FUSSY.. in order to achieve something. The experienced guys here such as Dave, natural, audiokid, etc (There are MANY more lets not get childish over this :D) will tell you just how important it is to do that extra little bit in recording. I've always been taught that doing the extra will always be what separates the good from the best in most lines of work or sport etc. I would urge you to think about using mac with pro tools because i have noticed personally, when jumping from one to another that it gives you that little bit more and there's nothing worse than having a session crash and having to sit there and reboot your machine 5 or 6 times trying to get one take.............................. (I'm not saying this will happen but if it does it's freaking annoying). Ultimately its always going to be down to you of course but it's nice to have the right tools (plus then you can't blame them if stuff goes wrong LOL)

    It's up to you and I know that my view here is very bias towards mac but this might shed some light on things for you. Again. My opinion. Ask some of the other guys. See what they suggest, but I am in fact a computer technician as my day job and have been for 4 years so I thought I might be able to help.

    Good luck :)
  11. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    BTW, I was reading more about Sonar X1, there seems to be problems. Be sure and get up to date on the forums with other users. I'm sure every release of a DAW that has been reconfigured takes time to iron out the issues, so watch out! It took Apple quite a while to get Logic Pro back without so many bugs.

    Voiceofallanger: Good post, I'm a Mac guy too, always have been.

    The reason I don't rail on PC's is that I respect the users on this forum that have expressed their experiences with them.

    Someday I would like to configure a PC for my studio as well since I believe that it would be useful for recording software (Adobe Audition, Cuebase, Samplitude, ect...).

    I find that the mac is suited for creative ventures very well, I've stuck with them in the past too. There was a period of time when Mac ticked off a huge number of users. I was a very poor musician through those times and stuck with an old machine till 2007 when I bought a new one. I really like OSX Snow Leopard, Tiger was good too. I find its a great platform for Logic Pro, I'm sure it will run Pro Tools great! One thing is for sure, Its lame to buy a new machine all the time. For me its better to spread out the purchase of a new computer over five years or so, at least in theory. In a way it still ticks me off, I guess thats the price we pay for technology.

    Cheers all!
  12. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Great thread! It's good to see the whole PC vs. Mac thing can be discussed rationally without invoking anyone's mother. ;)

    A Mac is a fine machine, but I'm a PC man, myself. I switched to the PC after Commodore went bankrupt in 1994 and I couldn't get any more Amigas.

    I skipped over the Mac because I couldn't build one to my specs. I like the PC because I can build it from the ground up to be exactly what I want. I would never recommend buying a ready-made PC to anyone except maybe a Jr.High student wanting to start in recording. Anyone above that needs a better machine (assuming they are dedicated and not a flaky teenager.)

    The thing I've found about PCs is that you must be willing to "get under the hood" of the machine. Imagine building a car from scratch. You'd have to know how to tune the engine yourself. Same with a PC. PCs were designed to be a mass product, and as such they carry many services and features you don't need or want in a DAW. By learning how to turn these things off, you rid the machine of things that slow and impede data flow. And by learning how to improve the things you do need, you make it that much better.

    So, as a PC guy, I recommend a PC. I think it is a better machine at a better price. But with that comes the requirement to learn more about it, so you can have your PC your way.

    Here's a link to get you started on building your own:

    The Ars System Guide: September 2010 Edition

    My DAW is a variant of the “Budget Box”, with more hard drives, a quad-core, and more RAM.

    Here's a hint: No need to buy a sound card! A sound card will do a “bloody awful” job of A/D conversion, so skip it and put the money towards a better outboard A/D converter. All audio passes through your outboard converter.

    Another hint: A DAW will do just fine with onboard video. No need to buy a video card! Get a motherboard that supports dual-monitors if you want, and you are set! Put the money you save towards a better mic or something.

    (If you want to play video games on this DAW, you may want a video card. I play games on my DAW but still have no video card.)

    Here's a link to things that can be turned off easily in a PC. The list is daunting, but you'll be able to understand all this when the time comes to put this information to use:

    Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Service Configurations by Black Viper

    Hope this helps!
  13. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Birkenhead, UK
    And there's the other side courtesy of Mr Todd. You're in quite the predicament here ain't ya ? Hahahaha. But yeah, it's nice to see some rational dicussion lol :D
  14. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    Vashon Island, Washington
    Home Page:
    Best discussion I've ever seen regarding features / benefits of Mac & PC. Very refreshing to have calm rational information. Especially liked the info on cache & threading and all that stuff that I don't personally understand but find interesting nonetheless.
    In my studio I use a Mac and have used Macs always. With any system I think you are wise to stay current on software, keep the system relatively clean, don't use hacked/cracked software and run regular maintenance routines.
    I go for months, even years without crashes or freezes, any PC can do the same if treated properly, I would guess.
    Best of luck!

  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Pacific NW
    Since this is in my forum its good to see civility and calm adult participation. Elsewise I'd have to get in the middle and kick some serious buttocks.

    Carry on then.

    But first let me comment on the OP's take on PRODUCING of anything.

    It matters not so much what kind of machine you're using. If you hire an engineer, the producer job becomes less cumbersome......certainly not easier....just gives you the ability to focus more on the crafting of the sessions and the resultant sound which should represent the songs and the identity of the band.

    Think hard on what I just said. The Producer is the musical representative in charge of the final decisions as well as the director of arriving at these decisions. How you get it done is the gist of 'Who You Are' as a producer.

    Everyone has different styles as varied as their individual personalities. One is never BETTER than another, but is MOST CERTAINLY more effective than another in particular situations. How you choose to manage a recording to bring it to product level will determine its success.

    If you think that all you need to do is get a machine and push the red button and magic happens, then you have a bit of training for yourself to accomplish.

    You mention early Led. Theres so MUCH magic in those recordings.....this is a very high standard to aspire to. The band itself was/is comprised of veteran musicians who had, at the time of their inception, already been in a number of high level recording bands. They recorded in established great sounding rooms with an engineer who is legendary. They set their own hours for their studio time. They were playing live everywhere constantly so they were well rehearsed, (think this doesnt matter????), and they had a vision as well as a commonality to each individuals love of a certain kind of music which they used to form a style that has yet to be duplicated.

    What could be easier?

    Uh-huh. Righty-o.

    Thats my take for the day.
  16. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    this is definitely what i wanted to hear, pros and cons of both.

    I think i might get mac... the thing is, I wanna get mac, but i feel that all the work going into learning cakewalk sonar is wasted, cos chancees are. I won't go back to it after learning pro tools in depth.... i guess it may be for the best.... i'll miss sonar :(
  17. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Birkenhead, UK
    Learning a new program is not the tricky part. The tricky part of all this .. kind of leading on from what Dave said, is your ability as an individual to craft and use techniques that you have learnt. These can be applied across a variety of DAWs and they're the fundamental important part.

    Don't worry about learning pro tools, it's a very well laid out program and there are plenty of youtube videos teaching you various techniques.. as long as you know how to use the plugins as if it was outboard then you'll be fine! All the other stuff is just fun fun fun and more learning!

    I've enjoyed this thread but I feel I should shut up now.. hahahaha.. Was nice.

    Cheers !
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Well-Known Member

    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    If you can't do it with Sonar 8.5 , you can't do it. However, I can't use Sonar because it bothers my eyes. Its a great platform and maybe one of the most optimized PC DAW out there. Don't get caught up in the trend, cause the trend is always changing.
  19. oskysum

    oskysum Active Member

    is there anyway to print threads apart frmo copying and pasting every post? i think this is useful..
  20. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Look at the bar right above your original post....there's a section called "thread tools". Look there.

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