THOUGHT I'D SHARE

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Davedog, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    During the weird goings on we are experiencing I have spent my time going through old sessions and projects. I've decided that before I get so old I don't care anymore (not too far from now!!) that I would open these up into the newest OS and DAW I'm running and finish the ones I could and at least listen to things I haven't heard in years.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one. In fact my 16 track 1" multi's are going to be down loaded to PT on Tuesday. Three reels....som semblance of track sheets.....er...kinda...lot's of doodle art on the boxes...I know what the boxes say is on these...We will see.

    I run ProTools Ultimate now and the gear has gotten some sophistication. Hopefully so have I in my quest for sonic delicacies.

    This first set of songs were tracked when there was a console and Alesis HD24. Then there were overdubs on ProTools 9. And versions 3/4/5/6/7/8/etc Since then. After a bit I met my song arranging partner Howard Helm who played the keys on these and really brought the songs to the correct level. So v.10 was done on the new rig.

    All songs written and sung by Megan James. The songs are why I finished this project. She's really got a knack for saying things.

    All guitars and bass and song arrangements by Davedog himself...Drums by one of my longtime live drummers Matt Banke who may just be the easiest drummer I've ever worked with and can play to a clik like nobody else.

    I appreciate comments. Will answer newbie or any questions about sounds etc...Tracking info. This one is BLUE SLIDE

     

    Attached Files:

    pcrecord and Makzimia like this.
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Nice arrangement and solid performances. Thru my bt speaker there seems to be some sss ing on the vocals. Could just be the speaker.

    Im also curious if any of it was tracked live and if any drum samples were used. What was the vocal chain? Fun stuff.
     
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Hey Kyle, Good to hear from you.
    The drums were tracked live in a fairly small room with a lot of sound control. It's now my guitar and amp storage room! I used Slate trigger on the kik,snare and toms....I forget what the wet/dry percentage was. Generally I will use this when there's a lot of excess bleed and I want tight focused drums. Drums were edited to the grid, at least the kik and snare are...but in this case not much needed to be moved because this drummer is spot on with the clik. He generally won't move more that a millisecond around in the pocket so editing is a breeze and I dont have to do the overheads, just make sure of the ghost hits through the open mics. He played to an acoustic guitar guide track and we discussed the arrangements beforehand as far as fills and pressure and release points. I forgot to say, the drums were tracked through a Ghost with Jim Williams upgrades on the master section and the first 8 channels. Close mic'd with Audix D series kik/toms and bottom snare. Top snare is a Beyer M201. Overheads are spot mics AT 4041's there are four....

    I haven't de-essed anything on either of these tracks (but I will eventually) and as I said on the other track, I like things that should be upfront to be upfront. She has such a rich contralto tone to her voice that it can get lost in a bunch of instruments so I have to be aware of her. The vocal chain is a vintage U87 and a Kel HM-7. The U87 is through the ViPre and an LA 2A and the Kel is through a Manley DMMP and a DBX 160SL. The capsules are side to side rather than stacked for her. They are phase aligned with a Little Labs IBP. The vocals were all scratch tracks. I never was able to recapture the feeling in them so there are some words that got slurred.... the timing and tuning took a bit of time. She does sing in-tune most days however.

    The main acoustic track is a Taylor with an AKG 460 up the neck (thanks Kurt) and an AT 4033 on the lower bout of the body. Both of these through a Phoenix DRS Q4. The compression is added at mix. 1176 with an SSL across the buss.

    There are several electrics in the track. The tremolo guitar is a Tele through a Deluxe Reverb. The lead figure guitar is is a Gibson Studio Les Paul with some custom wound single coils through a Vox AC30. The intertwined guitar is a Strat through my Conrad and is the only live mic'd guitar. No pedals were harmed. Mic is a Royer pre is a Neve-ish kinda thing.

    The keys are from Howard Helm @ Chez Helm Productions. He has a giant library of stuff and a great studio in Gig Harbor, Wa. I don't know what he used but I guarantee they were all one takes and probably first takes. I usually tell him how I hear it and send him raw tracks of drums/bass/vox and a guide git and he sends me this brilliant crap that I just line up to zero and push play. LOL! You Canadians would know him from a band called Zon and one called Refugee. There were others. He's a pro. Anybody that needs keys this is what he does.....

    Thanks for asking
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    Dave - it's really good to hear the track and to read your commentary. What you have done is not only create a lovely-sounding track, but also provided a great example for RO members, newcomers and oldies alike:

    1. Those who are hoping to up their recording game can listen to your tracks and say "how has he got that sound?", then read how from your description.

    2. For those who are new-ish to the recording process, it's good to have real-world examples of what it takes to get a quality sound. Instruments, mics, pre-amps, ADCs - one duff item in the chain and the quality isn't there.

    3. There's plenty of evidence of how much work and attention to detail it takes to get this level of result.

    Well done!
     
    Makzimia likes this.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Kind words . Thanks Bos.

    As a quick follow up to these comments I'd like to point out that the years of doing this has put some of the detail oriented things on automatic. By this I mean I simply prep tracks a certain way at certain points in the process that allows me to think through the mixes at another level not related to repairs. If you are constantly having to "fix" things you'll never get to the 'art' part of a mix. Every mix is a performance as much as the tracking and playing is.

    Thanks again. Hows things in Merry Olde??
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
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    In reality, it's a bumpy road, and not so merry. But thanks for asking.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    Great summary Dave. Its surprising where those Soundcraft Ghosts show up sometimes. Seems like a nice value unit.

    The Manley DMMP brings back fond memories, a very nice unit.

    Its cool that you used the scratch tracks for vocals, it takes a certain discipline and awareness to do that.

    A question about PT. Was this a pt 7x session that you opened in 9. Then the current version?

    Im trying to get a handle on the best way to salvage my pt m-powered(LE) 7x sessions if the drive still works. Im guessing i cant just open 7x sessions in my current pt2018 software.

    Insight to your process would be appreciated.
     
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Hiya Kyle.

    For me this whole project was carried through four iterations of my studio. It went kinda like this.

    Original tracks....drums, acoustic guitars, early bass, early electrics, and scratch vocals were done through the Soundcraft into Alesis HD24. After a bit I went to PT8 with an 003 console version and a Toft sidecar. I tracked more guitars and we made another stab at the vocals and while they sounded better sonically they didn't have the same emotional content. Then I got PT 9 and used that for a year or so and then went full tilt and bought into PT10/11 HD complete with all the cards and the Avid converters (NOT the 192 crap) with no console only rack gear and Avid Artist control and Artist mix surfaces. Now I'm complete with a yearly update fee and Avid PT Ultimate with MORE rack gear and all the stuff...

    So these tracks have been transferred a number of times. Since they were originally Alesis dedicated wav files I had one of those Alesis things that let you load all your tracks into a computer. What a lot of work that is especially if you weren't johnny-on-the-spot with archiving.....which I am NOW....it learnt me good

    As for PT. You should be able to open PT7 files into 9 as long as the 9 is native. The best way may be to simply go back with the old LE box and export the wav files into your computer. I think if you make sure of your beginning times and ending times on each set of files in each song that you'll be able to sort things out in order to drag them into a new era. It's probably gonna be a long long process. But I don't know any other way but then I'm no expert. My "expert" is currently dealing with his fmily thing right now so I wont be able to confirm this. I kept all my 10/11 HD gear since part of my work is I have a couple of clients who send me tracks from the stone age that they can't open. They dont send me any data just the session file and I simply open it in 10hd and close it and send it to them. They populate the data and then they can open it in Ultimate or 12 or whatever they are on. Maybe something like that would work for you. Does it make sense?? I've open PT6 files for them.

    Maybe thats the ticket. But you will have to have your old machine to even start the process.if that where your projects are stored.
     
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  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
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    Its pretty amazing how good those alesis hd24s were.

    Are you saying that pt10/11 is the necessary 'bridge' between 7x and the current stuff? Also what does "populate the data" mean?

    I might actually have to purchase an old 7x interface and license, if my eleven rack doesn't work as certified hardware. Im not even sure i have the pt disc. Funny to think ill be purchasing windows xp in 2020. Not excactly the fun type of vintage gear. Lol. My new system has great attention to archive and backup so at least i learned...

    Cheers Dave!
     
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    "Populate the data" refers to them pulling the actual data from the sessions into the new template which I have updated with a new stamp for them. I never see the data in this process only the template which when I open it into the newer system it becomes that system and their data or tracks if you will will now work for them.
     
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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Cool thanks!
     
  12. Makzimia

    Makzimia The Minstrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Keighley, England
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    I finally sat long enough to wack some decent headphones on with the laptop and listen. Very nice mate :).
     

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