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Recording and Layering
Old 6th June 2016
  #1
Recording and Layering

Hi David,
you said somewhere you like to layer a lot of sounds, and that you like your tracks to "open up" the more you listen to them.
I want to ask how you combine and record these layers, by asking a few questions: Do you compose them and record all at once or do you stack them one by one? If "one by one" is that something you already written or planned or do you add as you go? How do you keep the tracks from "clogging up" since you do use sounds that take up a lot of space by themselves. Do you use eq and reverb to fit them in? What hardware do you use for recording, and does that have limitations?

Thanks!
Old 6th June 2016
  #2
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Cool question and one that needs a LONG answer. I'll be back to answer fully :-)
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Old 7th June 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Hi David,
you said somewhere you like to layer a lot of sounds, and that you like your tracks to "open up" the more you listen to them.
I want to ask how you combine and record these layers, by asking a few questions: Do you compose them and record all at once or do you stack them one by one? If "one by one" is that something you already written or planned or do you add as you go? How do you keep the tracks from "clogging up" since you do use sounds that take up a lot of space by themselves. Do you use eq and reverb to fit them in? What hardware do you use for recording, and does that have limitations?

Thanks!

I do tend to have a few sounds playing individual voices within a chord layer, so for example I will play say a top and bottom note of a chord first throughout the tune and then add the middle notes with a slightly changed sound and mix it up a bit. Then I'll layer an octave up or something with a different sound. I might also find a sound I like in the low range but not higher up, so I just use the specific sound for what it is good at and use an edited version for the higher ranges. I'll also improvise slightly whilst playing lines in so they are not quite so repetitive to the ear. I'm also NOT afraid of drastic EQing. I mean in my mind electronic music is one genre where anything goes. These aren't acoustic instruments to be captured perfectly. They are imaginary sounds!
Having said that, I do then take my time to balance those sounds carefully. I think my personal preference really is for nothing to jump or stick out. HiPass filters to the rescue..

Another thing I do sometimes is to record multiple monophonic lines each playing different chord notes, this is a great way of making chords less static, certainly with analogue synths, as the subtle movement over time of those lines not being totally in sync and each voice moving in pitch is unrepeatable on a polysynth. I'm a bit ham fisted when playing chords, so the on/off effect is avoided!
This also allows anyone with one decent mono synth to create very rich pads and string sections..very rewarding too.

I am a reverb fan, so I'll also layer those. This came about from not having great outboard to start with, but realising that just taking 2 different budget reverbs actually sounds WAY better than it should, so I still do that with my Lexicon 300 and EMT 246. One is dark and warm, the other is richer and brighter.

For recording, do you mean format?
I have too many formats and still prefer tape. I have Logic, a Fostex D2424, a Fairlight MFX3+, a Tascam 8 track. I am moving towards getting a pro tape machine though as it is still my preferred way of working. I'm not a computer fan if I'm honest (it feels like I'm in the office sometimes), but I do think Logic is a great piece of software.
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Old 7th June 2016
  #4
excellent. thank you
Old 10th June 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
I have too many formats and still prefer tape. I have Logic, a Fostex D2424, a Fairlight MFX3+, a Tascam 8 track. I am moving towards getting a pro tape machine though as it is still my preferred way of working. I'm not a computer fan if I'm honest (it feels like I'm in the office sometimes), but I do think Logic is a great piece of software.
On the Sanctum December album, which of those recorders did you use for playback, while mixing on the desk? It sounds very warm and precise, so I'm sure it wasn't logic, lol.
I started to use the Ensoniq Paris myself and love that. I also know the Fairlight MFX quite well and like the new Crystal Core as well. People underestimate the quality of a great playback medium when going into the console. It's not just the console that makes it sound great, it is a combination of both, playback engine and mixbus, imho.
Old 12th June 2016
  #6
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Originally Posted by Stimmt View Post
On the Sanctum December album, which of those recorders did you use for playback, while mixing on the desk? It sounds very warm and precise, so I'm sure it wasn't logic, lol.
I started to use the Ensoniq Paris myself and love that. I also know the Fairlight MFX quite well and like the new Crystal Core as well. People underestimate the quality of a great playback medium when going into the console. It's not just the console that makes it sound great, it is a combination of both, playback engine and mixbus, imho.
Hi there
Indeed. I agree re the importance of everything.
Actually and this might surprise some, I used the Fostex D2424. I think it's a great machine and they are dirt cheap. Perhaps not clocking things and having the hardware unit running alone is just fine. Syncing multiple digital components things can create issues.

Cheers
david
Old 12th June 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
Hi there
Indeed. I agree re the importance of everything.
Actually and this might surprise some, I used the Fostex D2424. I think it's a great machine and they are dirt cheap. Perhaps not clocking things and having the hardware unit running alone is just fine. Syncing multiple digital components things can create issues.

Cheers
david
Cool, thanks, I thought so. Can you still get harddrives for the Fostex? And how do you handle file transfer between it an the computer, for backup?
Old 13th June 2016
  #8
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Originally Posted by Stimmt View Post
Cool, thanks, I thought so. Can you still get harddrives for the Fostex? And how do you handle file transfer between it an the computer, for backup?
There is a model of Samsung drive that is compatible and turns up often enough on eBay for very little. I think the last new one I saw was 20 euros.
I have a DVD RAM but have never used it. I can transfer track's to the computer via light pipe if I need to backup, but I just fill the drive and get a new one. You can also have 2 drives per machine so copying across is easy enough.
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