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How Many Of You Are Using Above 128 Tracks In Your Productions?
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#31
12th June 2008
Old 12th June 2008
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damn!

most I ever used in my own production is like 12.
#32
12th June 2008
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Actual tracks that play in the end I am probably 20-30. If I include all the takes, comps, etc, probably around 40-60.
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#33
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronlovesapi View Post
What kind of music are you doing that requires 30 track of BGVox?

And what kind of music are you other guys doing that needs 100+ tracks? How many layers of instruments are you using?

All kinds of stuff, pop, or pop rock, gospel, even some highly produced folk stuff.

It's not hard to get 20-30 tracks of BGVox. 4 parts sung 4 times, plus some ad libby stuff. Then if you add a choir in there, it gets even bigger. Usually 8 tracks for the choir, and then another 8-10 tracks of choir "helper" tracks, if the choir's not quite up to snuff.

Obviously not all of these tracks are going on all the time, and I could comp it down to about half as many tracks, but it's easier to keep them all separate. Less EQ automation in particular.

For straight ahead rock stuff, BGVox usually ends up being between 2-8 tracks.

And like Tazman said, The tracks that play in the end are more like 40-50 of the original 80 tracks.

Here's an a sample of a gospel/folk song with 100+ tracks in the original session file with 20 + tracks of BGVox. The final mixdown used about 65 tracks. Notice that there's no drums, so if there were, That would add at least another 8-10 tracks. And if it were a poor drummer that had to be sample augmented that could easily get up to 20 more tracks.
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#34
12th June 2008
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I layer 128 kick drums to get the right timbre.
#35
12th June 2008
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128+ tracks on backing vocals!?!

What is going on here? Most tracks I've used is about 30! I'm not a pro though, but I think you can get a top tune with 10 tracks (drums as a stereo track), less is most def more. Minimum input - Maximum output.

Surely having to layer something so much means that the part maybe weak. I think it should sound strong by itself. 200+ tracks for a normal pop/rock song seems like overkill to me.

Then again, what do I know?
#36
12th June 2008
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Two year ago, my artist gave me 67 tracks of back vocals; drove me crazy
Because there was 3 sets of chants; bridges and choruses, I manage to bounced via daw to 3 tracks

No I'm worried now because she working on another project; the roughs got Back vocals chants
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#37
12th June 2008
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If we keep the session on tape, then it's 16 tracks max. If I dump to radar, 24 tracks.

These track counts mentioned in this post are mind boggling. Think of bands like Queen, ABBA, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, ELO, Journey, Boston, Chicago, etc., with over the top productions using the best gear of the 70's and 80's, usually not more than 24 or 48 tracks max with two machines.

And let's not even mention The Beatles and Beach Boys!

Can someone please post a song that had over 200 tracks?
#38
12th June 2008
Old 12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst View Post
Where the hell do you find a good hmong harpist in Texas? I usually wind up with crappy hmong harpists, and that's what eats up all my tracks; having to comp the hmong harp.
Yep, and while you're recording him, his family is setting up their living quarters in your lounge...

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#39
12th June 2008
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Wow...

Is this actual tracks used in the final mix?

Or is it all of your overdubs, alternate takes, comps or what ever.

I would shoot myself if I went over 48...

Even with Choir...4 mics at the most, sub mixed to stereo.

I wonder if this is a clear case of not being able to make decisions...IE get a good take...not 15 that you will build into the perfect take later.

XJ
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#40
12th June 2008
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It's not how many tracks you have, it's how you use them. I figure once y'all can do better than the Beatles did with 4 tracks you are ready for 8. Once you do better than the Doors did with 8, you're ready for 16. When you do better than Hendrix did with 16, then you're ready for 24.

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#41
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's not how many tracks you have, it's how you use them. I figure once y'all can do better than the Beatles did with 4 tracks you are ready for 8. Once you do better than the Doors did with 8, you're ready for 16. When you do better than Hendrix did with 16, then you're ready for 24.

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Halelujah! Preach on Brother Jim...can somebody give me an AMEN!

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#42
12th June 2008
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...ok back to all seriousness, I personally find that the less tracks I have, the better my mixes are.

Things I have done to get there.
  • Submix tracks (think multiple mic setups)
  • stop thinking that everything has to be recorded in stereo
  • have the musicians nail a take
  • stop the thinking of "fix it in the mix"
  • Stop the thinking of: Just because I can...
  • Have a self imposed track limit. I find often I was much more creative in the old days when all I had was 4 to 8 tracks of Tape (ana or dig)
  • Sub mix and do bounce downs (sometimes if the client wants me to I keep the original tracks buried, but muted in a folder track just in case.)

More food for thought.

XJ
#43
12th June 2008
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Wow... seems like a huge drain on time and the ears to use so many tracks. Depending on the number of musicians and vocal layers, I can get up to 40 tracks, but usually it's between 20-32. For hard rock, usually.
#44
12th June 2008
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128 tracks! WOW- to me that's just insane, but that's me. I usually start ribbing the band (if they're buddies of mine) when we get to the 30-35 track area with comments like "OK, so when do we book the children's choir?"
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#45
12th June 2008
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I agree . . . this is ridiculous. Some people seem to be bragging about the large number of tracks as if it's some sign of how good they are. Just because you can . . . doesn't mean you should. It's like, just because you can put everything in tune on beat etc . . doesn't mean that you should do it. Personally, I am very grateful that I am of the age when music was about music not technology and musicians were about being musicians playing instruments not creating things in a computer. When I started out we had 4 / 8 tracks . . and we got the performance / arrangement down. Musicians were woodshedding, learning their instruments.

Not long ago . . this young guy recorded here, he played guitar on one verse and one chorus . . . then stopped. I looked over to see why he stopped as I didn't hear any mistakes . . . he said" just copy and paste that in all the verses and choruses" . . . . he looked exhausted, like it took everything out of him to play those two parts. I said "no, just play the frikkin part all the way through man". sheeesh Of course everyone is not like him as I have some great players come through that knock it out in one take straight through. It just seems many young guys are too dependent on the technology and editing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's not how many tracks you have, it's how you use them. I figure once y'all can do better than the Beatles did with 4 tracks you are ready for 8. Once you do better than the Doors did with 8, you're ready for 16. When you do better than Hendrix did with 16, then you're ready for 24.

Jim Williams
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#46
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xj32 View Post
...ok back to all seriousness, I personally find that the less tracks I have, the better my mixes are.

Things I have done to get there.
  • Submix tracks (think multiple mic setups)
  • stop thinking that everything has to be recorded in stereo
  • have the musicians nail a take
  • stop the thinking of "fix it in the mix"
  • Stop the thinking of: Just because I can...
  • Have a self imposed track limit. I find often I was much more creative in the old days when all I had was 4 to 8 tracks of Tape (ana or dig)
  • Sub mix and do bounce downs (sometimes if the client wants me to I keep the original tracks buried, but muted in a folder track just in case.)

More food for thought.

XJ
So you say you sometimes get up to 40 tracks, but if you are submixing and bouncing down, then in reality you are using more tracks. I'm just leaving everything as it was originally recorded, both for mixdown and archiving.

A lot of things are recorded in stereo, but only things that really should be. Usually guitars are mono. I don't exactly subscribe to the acusonic recording process per se but I certainly see the point. Bruce Swedien was one of the first if not the first person to try to utilize "unlimited" track count. I think his mixes sound alright.

These tracks are all with good quality session musicians, who nail the takes and don't need to be fixed in the mix. If I'm working with poor musicians, I don't have the patience to deal with that many tracks of crap. These are not alternate takes or comps, although every track does not always get used in the final mixdown.

I find I can be creative when I don't have worry about technical limitations like track count. If I hear sometime that needs to be added, I just add it. I don't have to submix or bounce tracks down, or move things around to track it. Then when it comes to mix, I don't have to worry about having mulitple sounds on the same track, so I can do less automating.


At least for me, having this many tracks is not "just because I can", but because I always wished I could. Some art is created by self imposed limitations. When I'm capturing someone else's art, I prefer to have no limitations, and to be able to deliver what they hear in their head.
#47
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's not how many tracks you have, it's how you use them. I figure once y'all can do better than the Beatles did with 4 tracks you are ready for 8. Once you do better than the Doors did with 8, you're ready for 16. When you do better than Hendrix did with 16, then you're ready for 24.
Sure, all of us should stay at 4 tracks because we're not as good as Hendrix or the Beatles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox View Post
I agree . . . this is ridiculous. Some people seem to be bragging about the large number of tracks as if it's some sign of how good they are. Just because you can . . . doesn't mean you should.
What's ridiculous is the amount of hostility people have towards guys that have a high track count. If you can do your thing in 10 tracks fine, but try to realize that someone else may have a different production strategy than you and just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you have to condemn it, sight unseen.

Live and let live, please.
#48
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
Sure, all of us should stay at 4 tracks because we're not as good as Hendrix or the Beatles.



What's ridiculous is the amount of hostility people have towards guys that have a high track count. If you can do your thing in 10 tracks fine, but try to realize that someone else may have a different production strategy than you and just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you have to condemn it, sight unseen.

Live and let live, please.
Also, on the older stuff, many times multiple items, which today would have been put on separate tracks, were forced to be on the same track. Such as a celeste put on the same track as a bell tree and a mallet cymbal roll, etc....all those would be on a separate track now.

Phil Spector would have used as many tracks as he could have

TH
#49
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inthere View Post
Sure, all of us should stay at 4 tracks because we're not as good as Hendrix or the Beatles.
Perhaps the reason you're not as good is you use the technology as a crutch? Those folks had to make do with what they had. It forced them to be better at engineering. Making Sgt. Pepper sound as wide as the new stuff with a 4 track only shows how the engineering craft has declined in the age of easy technology.
That was an easy example. If you want really hard one's, check out Sinatra's 2+3 track recordings. When you can do that with 2 tracks, we will want to listen to it.

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#50
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#51
12th June 2008
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Project I am working on now has about 80+ tracks per song, and each song takes 20-35 gigs on the hard drive.

Not my fault, I got it this way. We spend waaaaayyy too much time in the session trying to find things.
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#52
12th June 2008
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wow.

best,

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#53
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Perhaps the reason you're not as good is you use the technology as a crutch? Those folks had to make do with what they had. It forced them to be better at engineering. Making Sgt. Pepper sound as wide as the new stuff with a 4 track only shows how the engineering craft has declined in the age of easy technology.
That was an easy example. If you want really hard one's, check out Sinatra's 2+3 track recordings. When you can do that with 2 tracks, we will want to listen to it.

Jim Williams
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Jim, I think it is more the musicians using us as crutches. It is rare now to have a track that is played all the way through. So many tracks are comped.

Also, Sinatra and the like had full bands playing live behind them. Now it is a small handfull of people playing all the parts (and sometimes not very well, needing more comp tracks.)
#54
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I do mostly indie / electro stuff, but I rarely get above 30 tracks. The last two songs I recorded/mixed used around 10 drum tracks, 6 guitar tracks, 4 vocal tracks, bass, 2 keyboard tracks... then there's all the submix groups. Pretty manageable.
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20-50. Most.
#56
12th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Perhaps the reason you're not as good is you use the technology as a crutch? Those folks had to make do with what they had. It forced them to be better at engineering. Making Sgt. Pepper sound as wide as the new stuff with a 4 track only shows how the engineering craft has declined in the age of easy technology.
That was an easy example. If you want really hard one's, check out Sinatra's 2+3 track recordings. When you can do that with 2 tracks, we will want to listen to it.

Jim Williams
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Or perhaps the reason I'm not as good as Hendrix or the Beatles has absolutely nothing to do with how many tracks I use, and even If I didn't "use technology as a crutch" I still wouldn't be better?

And while you're at it check out Swedien, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Trevor Horn, or Hugh Padgham, they all use more than 4 tracks, so they must suck too, because they're using technology as a crutch.

And as mentioned previously, don't think for a second if Phil Spector had today's technology back in the day he wouldn't have shoved 100+ tracks of Righteous Brothers right in our faces
#57
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Actually I could do it with 16 mono/8 stereo tracks. That's how I sum. That's the mixdown track count. Of course with BV and each and single percussion and drum track I usually work with around 30-40 tracks.

I really can not imagine how BV can sound good if you have 100 tracks only for them (except you have a 100 men choir where every singer is close micd) I'd get lost

I'd even say that if you keep all the differen takes and dubs and overdo's then you lack of determination.
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#58
12th June 2008
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84 max for me..

usually I do the chris lord alge and try to stay within 48 tracks (with bouncing and feeling happy while reducing the crap that isnt necessary)

cheers
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#59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deft_bonz View Post
Actually I could do it with 16 mono/8 stereo tracks. That's how I sum. That's the mixdown track count. Of course with BV and each and single percussion and drum track I usually work with around 30-40 tracks.

I really can not imagine how BV can sound good if you have 100 tracks only for them (except you have a 100 men choir where every singer is close micd) I'd get lost

I'd even say that if you keep all the differen takes and dubs and overdo's then you lack of determination.


A lot of times it's not 100 tracks of the same part. Sometimes you may have 8-9 different background parts, sometimes they'll play off bits of the verse or bridge, other times it the chorus. If you have one part going over the chorus and another going over the verse, the music has a different feel and level and they're sung differently, then it may be better to have them on separate tracks.

Other parts you may want to harmonize slightly up and down on separate tracks to give it a different feel. Still another part you may want the BG's far away from the mic while others you may want the vocalist eating the mic, etc, etc.
#60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strewnshank View Post
Was it common, pre DAW days, to slave 8 or more 24 track 2" machines?
No.... Syncing two 24 track machines together was the most I've ever seen.
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