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Old 15th July 2019
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Originally Posted by Lorenzop View Post
hey dr. bill....just curious how you handle recalls? DonĀ“t your film/tv clients ask for revisions, alt takes etc. and what about all the cue changes that need to be re-arranged musically and then remixed?? Or do you mix analog YOUR projects and digital film/tv work?
Or are you oh so very old skool and have an actual pen and paper recall sheet?!
No pen and paper!! I use pro tools, and use the comments section to notate any changes - BUT - I try not to make any changes. I REALLY try!! I can quite often get away from changes by using trims before, after and between pieces - thus allowing PT to manage the gain staging and keeping the hardware in it's sweet spot.

I do keep a master document that is "ground zero" for all outboard in my mixing template. I'll occasionally go thru everything and check to make sure nothing's been bumped, tweaked or changed. Then, I know that if no changes are notated in the comments box of PT, that the gear should be in it's "default" sweet spot position.

Often, if a project is unique or different, I'll mix up the settings I need on gear and make a "project dependent" master document of all the gear and it's settings. Not pen and paper, but a .doc that gets put in with the project.

As mentioned, and it's important, I try to keep my outboard gear in it's "designated sweet spot" and leave it there. I have enough gear that if something is not working, I'll just move on to a different piece of gear or add another piece, and if I can't make something work, I'll look to a plugin. I think lots of guys work that way - and it makes recall as simple as using plugins. It's harder when you only have a handful of pieces and must constantly make changes to the settings. Luckily I've pretty much moved past that.

For guys with minimal gear that are still dedicated to a hybrid approach while building the arsenal, printing tracks and keeping and de-instantiating the original is a good option when you've got to change settings.

Also, I try to choose gear that is easily recallable, and has the most sonic bang for the buck. An obvious example is an LA2a. It's essentially 2 controls per channel that never get changed. I'll also generally defer to gear with stepped controls when buying so that if I do make changes, recall is easier. I just added a 11 sp 500 rack of Mr.Focus modules, and I use them as "analog" presets. They work great for that, although I do usually end up tweaking the Focus filter, but other than that - they stay where I like them. Just like a synth / plugin preset that you always use.

For gear that will inevitably get tweaked, I like stepped controls that are in the "half hour" position and can easily be glanced at and I notate : "HF boost - 1:30" or something to that affect. Makes recalls a bit easier.

EQ is often the hardest thing for recalls, but sometimes, I'll keep a general HF boost, LF cut on an EQ (or whatever is required), and use it for the overall tone and vibe, and use a plugin for some midrange nips and tucks. Best of both worlds, and constant tweaking of the hardware is not necessary. I like API EQ and it's serendipitous that it's also easily recalled.

The hybrid approach is a mindset and production esthetic that works for me. It's rare that I have to do major recalls (I am generally working for myself these days), but when I do I'll always gripe a bit, and then do it. It's not that time consuming with my setup.

I'm so grateful and blessed to have the gear I have - both purchased and designed for myself - that make mixing so much more euphonic and fast. I'm loving mixing life these days. (although more i/o and a few more pieces of hardware are no doubt in my future.....)