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A New Pain in the Ass
Old 15th October 2002
  #1
Moderator emeritus
 

A New Pain in the Ass

I found myself doing something that not a regular part of my daily workflow the last couple of days, and it seems that this is an excellent forum to complain.

Here's the deal - for most of the last 9 or 10 years, I've been recording to Tascam DA-xx machines - 6 of them, or 48 tracks. My usual methodology is to record intruments to specific tracks, or at least to specific machines. For example, Machine 1 is for click, bass, fiddle, steel, mandolin (or other acoustic type instruments), and acoustic guitars. Machine 2 (or tracks 9-16) are my basic drum tracks, Machine 3 (17-24) is for keyboards (beginning with piano and carrying on in stereo pairs for as many passes as I need), Machine 4 is electric guitars, machine 5 is vocals, and Machine 6 is for whatever's left over. Things vary, of course - sometimes there are no keyboards, or no acoustic instruments on a song, but 10 or 12 electric guitars. Or tons of percussion. But essentially, if there's a piano on the track, it's going to show up on channels 17 and 18 on the console.

But overall, my mixing setup is based on tracks coming up in specific locations on the console. My buss assignments are based on that, as are aux sends and all the other things that tend to stay the same from session to session.

Well, I'm finishing up a project that I tracked on an iZ Radar. Since I only had the one to use for testing, I ended up running it into tracks 28-48 of the console (Since most of the songs in this project require more than 24 audio tracks, I also had a my A and B Tascam machines locked to the Radar, and they'rewired into tracks 1-16), and realized that since things were tracked diferently (for instance, drums were on the first 8 tracks of the machine), I was going to have to cross-patch every channel of the Radar to where it needed to be. Alo, I had to Cross-patch the DA-78's instruments back into their usual positions.

What a pain in the ass! besides the hassle of looking at each channel of the Radar to figure out where to patch it (The numbers didn't help, since channel 1 on the radar was 25 on the console), I had to re-patch for each song. Damn - no wonder high dollar mixers spend a day per mix - an hour or so is simply sorting out what goes where... Because I don't have an assistant these days, I couldn't even take a break while that was going on. And since most channels have some sort of outboard gear on them, the patchbay got a little crowded.

And I can't really think of a more effective way to have done it, except to have put the radar on the first 24 channels of the desk, and then wired the two Tascam machines to channels 25-40.

Oh. I could have done that, couldn't I?

Never mind.
Old 15th October 2002
  #2
That will be 5 Cents - Thank you.

NEXT!

You could have popped em into PT and spat them back out in the order you wanted on the machines. That would have also give the audio that PT 'magic sound" too!



Doesn't Radar have an output shuffle option? Where is the Wizard of Iz when you need him!

heh

OH Wizard! Cometh hereth!
Old 16th October 2002
  #3
Re: A New Pain in the Ass

Hey Dave,

Question. I work sort of in the same way you do, everything pre patched in a certain way so the flow is the same from project to project(it saves tons of time in repatching and makes recalls easier). But sometimes in mixing someone throws in a monkey wrench by introducing some X factor(last minute over dubs, keyboards, or some other foolish suggestion). I end up having to find some solution to introduce this X factor(without throwing off what is setup already). I see you don't have an assistant and I don't either. I guess my question is why? I know after every situation like this I always lament that fact. I always wish for someone who kinda thinks like I do(or will try to), but it never happens. Is it a patience thing or trust thing? I know since I've worked alone most of my professional life, I've learned to eat standing up, use the bathroom and call my girlfriend at the same time because breaks are hard to come by. Does anyone else share some of these thoughts?


Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Because I don't have an assistant these days, I couldn't even take a break while that was going on.

Oh. I could have done that, couldn't I?

Never mind.
Old 16th October 2002
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
That will be 5 Cents - Thank you.

NEXT!

You could have popped em into PT and spat them back out in the order you wanted on the machines. That would have also give the audio that PT 'magic sound" too!

Doesn't Radar have an output shuffle option? Where is the Wizard of Iz when you need him!
Well, I would have had to take them into PT in 2 or three passes (because I have 2 888/24's, and also some tracks on tape), plus it would have had to be in real time. And then 2 or three passes back out to DA88's. Passing through both the Digi and the Tascam converters might have had an impact on the sound, don't you think?

Besides, I needed most of these tracks to show up on the 'wrong' side of the console frim where the Radar is plugged in.

And no, there's not an output shuffle option, at least in the analog domain. At least, not unless i want to copy tracks to other tracks (another PITA).
Old 16th October 2002
  #5
I meant a digital re-shuffle... (youv'e got 16 AES i/o on your PT rig right? And 64 tracks once in there?)

oh well

Boo-mer....

grudge

As they say in France!
Old 16th October 2002
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I meant a digital re-shuffle... (youv'e got 16 AES i/o on your PT rig right? And 64 tracks once in there?)

oh well

Boo-mer....
Well, I do, but that would have entailed buying the cabling... After the fact, I realize that I could have done a couple of things to make it easier, but even then, I wouldhave ended up having to crosspatch a bunch of stuff (or worse, tracked vocals into DA-88's when that was one of the things I wanted to hear the Radar do).
Old 16th October 2002
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Re: A New Pain in the Ass

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
I see you don't have an assistant and I don't either. I guess my question is why? I know after every situation like this I always lament that fact. I always wish for someone who kinda thinks like I do(or will try to), but it never happens. Is it a patience thing or trust thing? I know since I've worked alone most of my professional life, I've learned to eat standing up, use the bathroom and call my girlfriend at the same time because breaks are hard to come by. Does anyone else share some of these thoughts?


The main reason I don't have an assistant is budget. What I really need is someone who can pretty much do what I do, which is a combination of producing and engineering, complete with the ability to handle an overdub session, figure out what's needed and then make it happen when I'm not there (I'm looking to spend a little more time with my wife, after all), plus do all of the work that takes time but not a lot of brain cells - run multiple mix variants, burn CD's, keep the place kind of liveable, do the appropriate backups, etc., and do all of the patching to set up for my mix days. I know what I would charge someone else to do this for them, and I can't afford to pay that.

My studio is out in the country, about 20 minutes away from Music Row (not, unfortunately, towards Franklin or Hendersonville, where there are a bunch of studios, or even towards Murfreesboro, where I could look at interns from MTSU, but North-West of downtown.

So while I'd love to have someone to take some of the load off of me, I don't know how I'll be able to justify it without finding a better paying niche...
Old 16th October 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 

I feel your pain brother!
Old 16th October 2002
  #9
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

why i love DP. i can route anything out anything where ever i want at any given time. be even better when i have the new 424.
Old 16th October 2002
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Wouldn't it have been quicker and simpler to just use some console tape and have things in a different spot? I understand the concept, but it seems like more work than it would be worth.
Old 16th October 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 

Well, with all the analog outboard I use when mixing (even though I'm doing so in HD most of the time), documenting the patch and outboard settings can easily turn from a minor hassle into a full bown pain at the end of a long mixing day. All the while trying to maximize my time by running the various alternate versions and mix stems and/or re-recording the processed tracks for recall purpose... this is not my definition of quality time!!! :eek: tut
Old 16th October 2002
  #12
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
why i love DP. i can route anything out anything where ever i want at any given time. be even better when i have the new 424.
And to a certain extent, I could have done this in the digital domain, except that I mix in the analog domain, and Radar won't let you simply reassign the analog outputs for each track. Worse, most of the tracks were STILL on the wrong side of the console, so cross patching was the way I had to go.
Old 16th October 2002
  #13
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
Wouldn't it have been quicker and simpler to just use some console tape and have things in a different spot? I understand the concept, but it seems like more work than it would be worth.
It might, except for all of the bussing assignments which are saved as a console setup. This project involved mixing 15 songs, and I had to change the cross patches for each song. If I had needed to change all of the outboard gear patches for each song, it would have taken even longer than it did.
Old 16th October 2002
  #14
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin

And to a certain extent, I could have done this in the digital domain, except that I mix in the analog domain, and Radar won't let you simply reassign the analog outputs for each track. Worse, most of the tracks were STILL on the wrong side of the console, so cross patching was the way I had to go.
hmmm, tough thing about radar like that... if you had say DP and 2 2408's you could of run the tracks out to your DAX8's to their regularly scheduled inputs on the board.

of course you could of hooked a radar into that scenario and run the optical i/o from a radar to the 2408's and run out to the tascams... or something like that.
Old 16th October 2002
  #15
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk


hmmm, tough thing about radar like that... if you had say DP and 2 2408's you could of run the tracks out to your DAX8's to their regularly scheduled inputs on the board.

of course you could of hooked a radar into that scenario and run the optical i/o from a radar to the 2408's and run out to the tascams... or something like that.
Yeah - unfortunately, no other scenario could have happened withough (A) planning in advance what I was doing, or (B) buying calble harnesses of some sort. Oh, well - live and learn.
Old 17th October 2002
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I don't have an assistant either. I really haven't been able to find anyone with half a brain that I can trust to do simple things. Sometimes I could really use one.
Old 17th October 2002
  #17
You must be prepaired to invest time in training. Do that and you can reap rewards. My 2 year assistant has turned into both a client and freelance engineer I can call on. His sucsessor is shaping up nicely and has started to drive the desk & DAW for me during overdubs from last week onwards.

Delegation is great! Free's you up to chase bills, clients, chill, take on a extreme workload, fix stuff, couch it!

The bottleneck of most businesses is usually - the boss!

It's good to be the king!

heh
Old 17th October 2002
  #18
Gear Addict
 

I was actually wondering lately whether you'd be able to mess with track assignments in a Radar. Why isn't Barry from IZ poking in here? It seems like a good idea for a software upgrade to me (assuming there isn't a good technical reason they don't already do it).

Hmm, it's gotta be a pain, but if you have a few tracks left, you could shuffle tracks back and forth with the editing functions, couldn't you?

Bear
Old 17th October 2002
  #19
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 

Re: Re: A New Pain in the Ass

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Hey Dave,
I see you don't have an assistant and I don't either. I guess my question is why? I know after every situation like this I always lament that fact. I always wish for someone who kinda thinks like I do(or will try to), but it never happens. Is it a patience thing or trust thing? I know since I've worked alone most of my professional life, I've learned to eat standing up, use the bathroom and call my girlfriend at the same time because breaks are hard to come by. Does anyone else share some of these thoughts?


you can find really good assistants...if you have a recording school or college near your studio set up an intern arrangement with the school .some even give the student credit for the work they do for you....i had a great arrangement with the university of miami for years...now all my assistants are famous and i use them for references......lol.
Old 17th October 2002
  #20
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
You must be prepaired to invest time in training. Do that and you can reap rewards. My 2 year assistant has turned into both a client and freelance engineer I can call on. His sucsessor is shaping up nicely and has started to drive the desk & DAW for me during overdubs from last week onwards.
OK, what do you pay them? I don't mind investing in traing; my last assistant was were for more than a year (and was almost to the point of being about to work completely without supervision, though he wasn't yet as fast as I am), when he took a job working for EMTEC. He's now freelancing and is currenty building a studio for his PT HD system in Florida. Anyone who remembers seeing me at the RAP dinners in LA the last couple of times it was there may have met him. Nice kid.

But I'm far enough out of the way for the MTSU (one of the big recording schools down here) that getting interns up is fairly problematic (it's more than an hour drive). Belomont College is a possibilty, but I don't know that an intern woudl be willing to work in a private facility out in the country when the college owns Ocean Way Nashville. And I've heard what the SAE guys are capable of (We have a branch here). No thanks.

Something will work out one of these days; I'm killing myself with these hours....
Old 17th October 2002
  #21
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Gone Fission
I was actually wondering lately whether you'd be able to mess with track assignments in a Radar. Why isn't Barry from IZ poking in here? It seems like a good idea for a software upgrade to me (assuming there isn't a good technical reason they don't already do it).
It looks as though you can change the track assignments in the digital domain (I didn't try it, but it looks that way), but the guys at AES told me that it would take a major hardware change to do it in the analog domain.
Old 17th October 2002
  #22
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Gone Fission


Hmm, it's gotta be a pain, but if you have a few tracks left, you could shuffle tracks back and forth with the editing functions, couldn't you?
Bear
Some of the songs had all 24 tracks of Radar filled, plus 8 tracks of DA-78 (and a couple had more vocals in Pro Tools). Everything locked together just fine, but the real issue was that I had 15 songs to mix and only 2 and a half days to mix them. That's why the whole cross-patch thing annoyed me - it took so much time...
Old 17th October 2002
  #23
"OK, what do you pay them? "

$11,000 (USD) per year + lunch & dinner if we are working past 8pm

Free food, is the weird part of my pay system

+ bonuses for good work / holidays / Xmas etc
Old 17th October 2002
  #24
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
"OK, what do you pay them? "

$11,000 (USD) per year + lunch & dinner if we are working past 8pm
Which works out to a around $225 per week USD. Do you pay them whether work is there or not? Do you deal with the sort of tax withholding and insurance stuff that full time employees require in the US, or do you simply write them a check every week?

My curiosity is is piqued...
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