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Printing on the way in?

aBigPianist

Member
Hey, guys.

I'm just kind of looking for some perspective here. As someone who's only ever really worked ITB (going on 20 years now), the idea of committing to a sound and printing it on the way in is quite intimidating. That being said, it also seems like it could be liberating to a certain extent. Plus, with the Apollo, I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try.

I'm looking for some insight from those of us that have been in the business longer than me, or who have seen both sides of the equation. Any tips or advice would be awesome!

Thanks!
 

UniversalAudio

Official UA Representative
Hey, guys.

I'm just kind of looking for some perspective here. As someone who's only ever really worked ITB (going on 20 years now), the idea of committing to a sound and printing it on the way in is quite intimidating. That being said, it also seems like it could be liberating to a certain extent. Plus, with the Apollo, I feel like I owe it to myself to at least try.

I'm looking for some insight from those of us that have been in the business longer than me, or who have seen both sides of the equation. Any tips or advice would be awesome!

Thanks!
Indeed, it's how all the records that have stood the test of time were made! At least with regard to basic EQ and compression. Engineers get sounds. This used to mean something. You didn't hit record until sonicly it sounded as close to what you wanted as you could get. Why is this important? Because you can't move the mic during mixing. You can't change the tone knob on the guitar during mixing. You can't tell the player to dig in more because the tone you're looking for requires it. Etc, etc.

Can you screw it up? Yes, but that's called learning and it'll make you better. But record is making subtly stacked on subtly and NOT doing something while tracking is a missed opportunity to make something closer to your vision.

Recording is not "data collection" to be sorted out later. It's about capturing magic in moments.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop here for now. :)

EDIT: having said all that, I do NOT commit basic reverb or certain types of delays. If it's a spring and an integral part of the sound I will. Or if it's an echo that a pedal is doing and we decide it needs to be baked in, yes. But your basic mixing type effects, no.
 

klasaine

Hall of Fame Member
Since you have an Apollo and Console, you owe it to yourself to at least experiment.
Start small with just a preamp or the preamp section of a channel strip (you can disable the eq, comp, gate on many of the UAd plugins). Or just set everything flat and record through it for just a little more weight. Same with a compressor. Instantiate an LA2 or 1176 and barely bump the meter. My guess is that you’ll like what you hear. And, since you’re not doing anything drastic, you can tweak more in post.
 

Nyoak34

Established Member
Indeed, it's how all the records that have stood the test of time were made! At least with regard to basic EQ and compression. Engineers get sounds. This used to mean something. You didn't hit record until sonicly it sounded as close to what you wanted as you could get. Why is this important? Because you can't move the mic during mixing. You can't change the tone knob on the guitar during mixing. You can't tell the player to dig in more because the tone you're looking for requires it. Etc, etc.

Can you screw it up? Yes, but that's called learning and it'll make you better. But record is making subtly stacked on subtly and NOT doing something while tracking is a missed opportunity to make something closer to your vision.

Recording is not "data collection" to be sorted out later. It's about capturing magic in moments.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop here for now. :)

EDIT: having said all that, I do NOT commit basic reverb or certain types of delays. If it's a spring and an integral part of the sound I will. Or if it's an echo that a pedal is doing and we decide it needs to be baked in, yes. But your basic mixing type effects, no.
There is also a workflow component to this. Without the mindset of COMMIT....when will you ever ? When all avenues of decision making are left to the mix, this tends to lead to the un-ending circle of doom where the tweaking never ends.
 

UniversalAudio

Official UA Representative
There is also a workflow component to this. Without the mindset of COMMIT....when will you ever ? When all avenues of decision making are left to the mix, this tends to lead to the un-ending circle of doom where the tweaking never ends.
yup.

Mixing should be the process of putting the final shine on things are already sound great. Not re-engineering the tracking sessions.

When you put 6 mikes on the guitar amp (insert any other instrument you like here) and print them to separate tracks, you've already lost the battle.
 

flandybob

Established Member
my singer likes it when I blast 15-20db of gain reduction in his monitor mix so I tend to not commit this because well… I wish I could commit some inserts but not other in console!
 

Wellz

Active Member
As someone who’s new to the home studio world but not to recording studios - printing and committing on they way in is great. Not a fan of the fixing in post modern mindset.
 

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
When you put 6 mikes on the guitar amp (insert any other instrument you like here) and print them to separate tracks, you've already lost the battle.
Mostly agreed, although there might be phase issues that you don't catch while tracking. Close mics won't matter but any distance mics (even just a foot) should be on separate tracks.
 

aBigPianist

Member
There is also a workflow component to this. Without the mindset of COMMIT....when will you ever ? When all avenues of decision making are left to the mix, this tends to lead to the un-ending circle of doom where the tweaking never ends.
I appreciate all of the insight here so far, but this is definitely what I was getting at. I think I have a baked in fear of committing anything. Sure, I can get a great sound with a bunch of time spent tweaking, but as I start to grow away from exclusively using VIs and more into putting a mic in front of things, I want to build up my techniques.
 

flandybob

Established Member
Well the good thing about our tools is that you can mess around in software to test stuff / different options. If you end up using the same plugin doing roughly the same thing all the time you know you are ready to commit!

It’s also great to be able to quickly put a mic in front of something when that creative spark arrives and now you can get it sound good after the fact. Sometimes by the time you are done setting up you don’t even remember what you wanted to record in the first place…
 

Bear-Faced Cow

Hall of Fame Member
I appreciate all of the insight here so far, but this is definitely what I was getting at. I think I have a baked in fear of committing anything. Sure, I can get a great sound with a bunch of time spent tweaking, but as I start to grow away from exclusively using VIs and more into putting a mic in front of things, I want to build up my techniques.
What’s the worst that can happen? You tweak and record a new track. Or, you might find that you like what you did and go in that direction. I’m more likely to take something because I like the performance over sound itself.

one of my practice routines involves setting up some recording chains and just playing through them. This allows me to tweak things long before I start recording them. Thus when I’m ready to record an idea, I can just record through the chain.

Jord
 

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
I appreciate all of the insight here so far, but this is definitely what I was getting at. I think I have a baked in fear of committing anything. Sure, I can get a great sound with a bunch of time spent tweaking, but as I start to grow away from exclusively using VIs and more into putting a mic in front of things, I want to build up my techniques.
Just work in moderation. You can always add more EQ or compression later. Go especially light on gates and saturation (or don't track with them at all).

I knew an engineer at NRG who slammed his API EQ's when tracking but that came after years of using that same board and mics.
 

easyrider

Established Member
I’m in the process of getting hardware for getting close to the sound going in as possible.

Neve DPX
LA2A variant
1176 variant

This short doc is great BTW

37 mins in



I don't have this level of gear but what Paul Stacey says at 37 mins onwards resonates with me right now.
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
There are so many aspects to this topic that speak in favour of printing the effects.
Firstly, the psychological component of having your head free for all other decisions (of which there are many in the production of a song).
The logical component is that all further sounds and decisions are based on the sound of the current track.
Of course you can keep everything open until the mixing stage, but then you leave it up to chance whether you end up with what you had in mind at the beginning.
 

EoSNJ

Active Member
Getting a sound I like effects how I play, so I print.

Inspiration is perishable.
 
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