Recording Workflow Hacks - Listen now to supercharge your creativity, improve your recording workflow and discover new approaches to recording your band
You might be saying "I'm doing it all on my own, I don't have hard deadlines and I enjoy the process, so why would I need to speed up?"
Well, wouldn't it be great to be able to spend all that time and energy you have working on the creative things that really matter and never again let that moment of inspiration go by without taking advantage of it?
Imagine how focussed you would be and how that would benefit your end result and also the satisfaction you'd get from it! You could be 100% in creator mode, just doing the things you need to do to get your art out on autopilot, without having to think about them.
That flow state is what we all are going for when doing creative things. We want to free up as much mental capacity as possible, make intuitive decisions and just go for it.
That's why we made this episode for you. We're sharing a pretty comprehensive list of things we do to speed up our workflow and make creating cool stuff easier for us. Some of it is pretty basic, some things are pretty advanced. Some will save you time and energy directly, some will take a little more work, but will make it easier for you to get to the desired end result.
It's not just about shortcuts, hotkeys, or productivity apps. It goes much deeper than that. And it's definitely not about cutting corners or compromising anything. Not at all. Quite the opposite, actually.
Listen now to supercharge your creativity, speed up the process and discover new approaches to recording your band.
This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.
Tools & Gear Mentioned In This Episode:
Marshall JCM 800, Peavey 5150, BX_solo, Neural DSP, Soundtoys, RME, TotalMix, EverTune, Cubase, ProTools, Keyboard Maestro, UAD, Universal Audio, Auto-Tune, ESP, Fender Telecaster, Elgato Stream Deck, Screenflow, sE Electronics Voodoo VR-1
People Mentioned In This Episode:
Josh Wilbur, Andy Sneap, Jay Maas, Diego Casillas
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
TSRB Podcast 050 - Recording Workflow Hacks – Supercharge Your Creativity, Speed Up The Process And Discover New Possibilities
Benedikt: [00:00:00] lot of you listening might be slower than you could be, and you could be a lot more faster recording the tracks. If you knew about a couple of really handy tricks. And this episode is sort of a workflow hacks episode meant to help you speed up your workflow. This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are, DIY style, let's go.
Hello, and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host and I'm here with my cohost and friend Malcolm. Oh, and flat. How are you maca? Hello? I'm
Malcom: [00:00:38] good. Benny, how are you,
Benedikt: [00:00:39] man? I'm good. Thank you.
Malcom: [00:00:41] Awesome. For some reason, right before we started this, I was like, I need water and now we're recording and I'm like, ah, it's too late, but I've been putting cinnamon cinnamon in my coffee and it's like, you've probably seen the cinnamon challenge, right?
Nope. What? Oh, that's like a sensation it's [00:01:00] like put like a teaspoon of cinnamon into their mouth and try not to cough. Really, and it's impossible. You can't, you can't really see that you haven't seen that our bands were doing it all over the place. It was like this hilarious thing. I want to try that now I've been drinking it in my coffee, but it definitely like dries out your voice quite a bit, but I'll be fine.
Let's go this record
and don't try it in your studio. You'll have cinnamon over everything. Yeah. Sounds like it.
Benedikt: [00:01:28] Nope. I don't, I won't do that, but I want to try it. Doubt, because I just want to know if it's really possible, but yeah, I can imagine
Malcom: [00:01:36] that it's hosted just watching some before you try it,
Benedikt: [00:01:41] but where w where would you, uh, where did you want to go with this?
Like, why cinnamon in your coffee and what.
Malcom: [00:01:47] Oh, just because I don't even know. I, uh, essentially I was like, I need water because my voice is, I feel like I'm going to cough and stuff. Now this is just a waste of our listeners.
Benedikt: [00:01:59] That's one of the [00:02:00] weirdest podcast interests that we ever had, I think. But yeah, I mean, we're in episode 50, by the way now, which is kind of
Malcom: [00:02:06] crazy.
Hey, that's a better thing to talk about. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:02:10] Yup. Um, so like th this is really, this is really interesting and amazing because yeah. It still feels like it's pretty brand new, but we've almost got a whole year of episodes now. Yeah. Every single week.
Malcom: [00:02:22] That's so easy. Thank you all very much for listening.
It's been a blast and we don't plan on stopping. So,
Benedikt: [00:02:31] um, and now after like the last couple of episodes we started doing well within the last couple of episodes, we started doing a lot of, um, things where we answered questions from the audience or invited people and just brought in outside, like voices to the show.
And this episode is. Like, it's not an interview episode, but it's also something that came up in the community and that we just, yeah, we just immediately acted on and like, and thought we could do an [00:03:00] episode on it. And that was that. We had a question in the community where someone asked what, which kind of key commands or hot keys we use or people use in general.
And that's a very interesting topic because I mean, she asked, they are, it's just natural to do that. Like if you work in professionally in the studio, you need to be fast and you need to have an efficient workflow. So key commands are key. And, um, so you need to know those of course, but. W I can remember when I started that I did everything with a mouse for a long time, pretty long time.
And then I started to use basic key commands, and then I got into the more advanced stuff. And it was a very long time actually until I got to macros and other workflow hacks and like speeding up things. It really took a while. So I think, or we think that a lot of you listening might be slower than you could be.
And you could have a lot more fun and you could be a lot more fat, a lot faster recording your tracks. If you knew about a [00:04:00] couple of really handy tricks and things you can do. And that's why these, this episode is sort of a yeah. Recording workflow hacks episode meant to, to help you speed up your workflow.
Malcom: [00:04:11] Yeah. I've actually heard of people getting. Really big gigs because of how fast they are with their dog, their technical proficiency and speed, and just ability to, I kind of like akin it to playing an instrument. If you treat your dog like an instrument you're learning and become more proficient at it that can actually have like a crazy impact on your life.
And that's for me. Um, I take speed extremely seriously. Um, and I was with you. I didn't even realize. It was a thing. I mean, I kind of like always wanted to be as fast as I could, but I didn't realize how much learning shortcuts could impact making a record. Oh yeah. Cause it's not just for your own benefit.
It's also for the musicians in the rooms, um, which sometimes, obviously for the listeners to this podcast is you, but if you [00:05:00] have a singer waiting for you to comp a vocal so that they can try another take and you're trying to just like. Navigate and drag things around with your mouse. They're going to lose inspiration by the time you get it done.
So your job is to make it seamless and shortcuts are the only way to make that happen. Really shortcuts, uh, and good workflow
Benedikt: [00:05:19] hacks. Yes, exactly. And yeah, you're going to you, you can completely kill the vibe of a session if you don't use things like that. And, um, I remember when I did my first couple of projects, it was always this like.
Okay, now we're doing another instrument or another take or whatever, and I need to now add a track and then I need to label it and I need to color it. And I need to assign an input and. Wait now I accidentally copied something that isn't supposed to be there and like, you know, all these steps and that it took forever.
Where now, if someone wants to do another take, I just hit two buttons and we're good to go baby. Right? Like, you know, it depends on what, what we're doing, but it's a totally different thing. And back then it was like every [00:06:00] single change to the session was like tedious. Yeah. And that's, that's the way many people work, I assume still work.
So it doesn't have to be that way.
Malcom: [00:06:10] Absolutely. Um, it actually gets way more fun and creative once you have the stuff down, cause you don't feel like you're trying to learn a new language and by like looking for menus and scrolling through menu bars, trying to find the, like the option that you're looking for, it just becomes very intuitive.
And your mind is now freed up to focus on the music side of things. Again. Side note, it was Joshua Wilbur. That's who I'm thinking of that. Got to get, he got a gig working for Andy sneak just because he was fricking good a pro tools. That's pretty cool. That's
Benedikt: [00:06:40] damn cool. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:06:41] Working for one of the world's biggest mix mixers, uh, because of that.
Benedikt: [00:06:48] yeah. And I can, I can totally see that. And like things like assisting on sessions or editing, stuff like that. The speed is so, so, so important. I had a couple of sessions myself where I outsourced. [00:07:00] From editing, uh, before I got Thomas, who does it all now, um, where I just needed a whole album of drum tracks within like two days or something crazy like that.
And yeah. Not everyone can do that, but I got a file found. Some people could, and they not only like they did excellent work in like with a turnaround of like 24 hours or two days or so we like, I don't know. I don't even know how, because I couldn't do it that fast probably to the level that they did it with that quality, but there are people that just that fast and, um, that's fascinating.
And I can totally see that they get Gates because of that, because that's so invaluable to producers and, um, musicians and studios. So yeah. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:07:39] absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that's like another level of getting fast because that's the, you know, you learn all the basic stuff and then you specialize at a task like drum editing.
You're going to get really good. Um, same thing for vocal tuning. Uh, that's my favorite thing to outsource because people that get good at that are just so much quicker and yeah. It's awesome. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:07:58] So. Because of the [00:08:00] fact that every day is so different and key commands and shortcuts are different for every dollar.
We won't really go over specific shortcuts to learn for you. You got to figure that out yourself or make your own depending on which all you're in. But, um, we're going to go first. I think we're going to go through a list of basic. Key commands that we use that exist in every door in some way, shape or form.
So we just going to tell you what it is, what, what the things are that we, uh, speed up and, um, yeah, you just got to find out what the key commands are in your, in your software or create your own shortcuts depending on how it. If you, if your doll let you do
Malcom: [00:08:36] that. Yeah. Highly recommend getting a notepad out for this episode.
So you can write down things. Um, just true. Not going to be an easy one to remember stuff. So yeah, pretty much. We'll tell you the function of what we're trying, what we're doing and not the actual patterns we press on the keyboard, because those will change for whatever software you are using. Um, but as long as you know that the function can be [00:09:00] done using your keyboard.
That's the important thing and you just need to figure out how to bridge that gap on your own.
Benedikt: [00:09:05] Yeah, exactly. So let's start with the, the real basics. Yep. Um, and that's something you mentioned before we started this episode and I think you're totally right. I almost like I would probably have skipped this, but it's important to mention it.
So. Things like, um, hit record, start and stop. The playback sounds very simple, but there are probably a lot of people out there who still do that with their mouse. So before you navigate to the play and record icons just hit the space bar or the whatever key it is that, that activates recording and do it that way.
Um, and just get used to it instead of using the mouse. That's the first step, I guess.
Malcom: [00:09:43] Yeah, that is, that is a huge one. It's like the dead giveaway of a, a newbie. They got the most and go looking for the round button to record arm things and then click the play button after it's so much quicker just to have, I mean, I'm not going to say what it is, but anyways, it'll make one, maybe two buttons [00:10:00] on your, on your keyboard and it'll be instantaneous.
And, uh, you'll love not grabbing the most for that. On that note. You also need to know how to get back to the start of the session with a single click so that you can just like, cause I mean, that's something that you hear all the time. Can we just listen to the song, start to finish. This is refresh yourselves and you just have to know which button gets you back to the beginning of the timeline.
And then which button starts to
Benedikt: [00:10:24] back. Yeah, absolutely. Then you already said it like arm tracks or solo tracks, mute, tracks, those things. Um, yeah, these, these are also like basics that you just need to need to know how to do them. Um, it it's, I guess this is a little different from door to door, because maybe you need to figure out how to select the track.
You actually want to arm us, but there is a way to do it without having to use the mouse. And it's probably quicker than doing that. So those basic functions on every track, you need to know how to do that. The navigation, a big one. Um, w you said navigating up and down on a [00:11:00] track. What do you mean?
Malcom: [00:11:02] I mean, between tracks, not on a track.
Okay. Yeah. So, you know, if you have like kick snare, Tom, Tom overheads, and you want to just listen to. The second time, you need to be able to get down there. And that's generally quicker just using a button that kind of like transports up and down tracks rather than grabbing your mouse, scrolling through your window and finding the one.
And then of course, that ties into the solo. So you navigate to that track and then use your solo. Shortcut once you're on that track. And now you're listening to just that track. There's a little more that goes into this because there's groups and stuff like that, which you absolutely need to understand.
That's not on our list. I don't think, but, uh, learn how to make groups, which is just, uh, parameters get linked between certain tracks. Um, and there is a shortcut for doing that too. If you're selecting tracks by hand and then going up into your menu bar to find that that's too slow, it's time to find the shortcut for that as well.
But, uh, yeah. Being able to navigate the session with your keyboard will feel really good once you get it down. [00:12:00] There's one more little note on that. This is kind of a workflow method, more than a key command, but something I like to do with like vocals especially is I'll have one track that is a tracking playlist.
Um, Or track, I guess, and then below it I'll have my arrangement, so there'll be my tracking track. And then below it there'll be my lead vocal track. And then below it there'll be my double and then my other double pan left pan. Right. And then my harmonies and all that. And then maybe I'll have like an old one.
And instead of comping on the track and recording too, I'm just dragging down good parts onto their necessary tracks. Kind of things. So if I'm like, Oh, that was really good, but not quite perfect. I might just throw that down onto the Doubletrack and now my doubles already partly done kind of thing. And it's kind of just a method I like to do, but being able to not jump between tracks with my keyboard and command, like, you know, just command C command and be paste things all over the place.
It's so much quicker. They try to use the most to do
Benedikt: [00:12:58] that. Oh yeah. That's a good one. Actually. You [00:13:00] you've mentioned that in an episode. I think I've heard that I've heard, I've heard
Malcom: [00:13:04] you do it for guitars as well. Pretty much whenever there's more than one track, like, like bass is normally just going onto base, so it's not really necessary, but if I'm going to have like a left and a right, I'll normally have a tracking track, I call it a tracking drag, which is a stupid name.
Got to figure that out. And then a, and then my, my comping tracks below it and I'll just move them down onto that.
Benedikt: [00:13:23] Yeah. What that also helps with is a problem. I don't know if that's an issue in pro tools, but in Cubase, there's this thing. If you're monitoring through Cubase, you can, and you are on a track.
Um, you have to enable the monitoring on that track. If you want to hear in real time, what, like, if you want to hear the input, basically, and if you don't activate the track, you're going to hear the playback. So you can either hear the input or what's on the track. So yeah. Usually when you are recording and comping on the same track, you need to engage the monitoring when the singer is performing.
And then when you want to listen to the tape, you need to deactivate the monitoring, which is kind of tedious. So what I do here [00:14:00] is I duplicate the track and I have. The monitoring aren't on the second on the track that I'm not recording too, so they can just leave it on and record to the other track.
But your method basically helps with that as well, because you have the one track that has always, that you can leave monitoring on, and then you just drag the stuff down to the actual track that you can then listen to. Exactly.
Malcom: [00:14:20] Cool. Exactly. Yeah. Cool.
Benedikt: [00:14:21] Also, do you smooth. Yeah. The navigating, the sessions left to right.
Is also a big one. Yeah. Like you said, like memory locations here, I assume you mean like chorus, whereas intro like the sections of the song. Yeah. That's a big one too. I didn't do that for a long, long time. I only started doing that not too long ago, actually. Um, and I don't know why, and I don't know how I could, how, how I was even able to work like that because now I have every section of the song.
I have a marker there that I can jump to with a shortcut. And if I want to hear the chorus, now I hit a button and jumped to the chorus and everyone hear the worst. I do the same. And now when I'm mixing Thomas, when he, perhaps the mixing sessions, he will [00:15:00] do that. He will go through the song and make those markers for me.
And whenever I track a session, so like on Saturday at a vocal tracking session here, and, um, before we started, I just went through the song with the band and they told me, okay, this is the intro. This is the verse. This is the chorus. This is whatever. And we just made those markers real quick and it like, it takes 10 minutes to do that or five minutes to do that, but then it will save you so much time during the session because communication will be so much easier because if someone says let's do a double in the chorus real quick, you don't have to ask where the chorus is or a search for it or.
You know, you just jumped to the chorus and there we are.
Malcom: [00:15:35] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. It's really quick again, intuitive because people don't want to sit there waiting to hear the part they're thinking about right now. They have an idea. They need to hear it like right away. Um, and it, it's amazing because we're talking about all these things, which are obviously hugely important for recording, but I bet we use these everyday when we're mixing as well.
Like our brain needs that as we're making mixing decisions as well. Like we just need to hear the part where [00:16:00] thinking about instant. Oh, totally.
Benedikt: [00:16:02] Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. The next one is one that I can't really talk about because it's like beat detective is pro tool specific. There is, but there is something like that in Cuba that basically works the same way.
Malcom: [00:16:12] pretty much figure out what your primary editing tool is inside of your door and figure out how to get it up really quick.
Benedikt: [00:16:20] Yeah. Yeah. There are short cuts in every door, like from an incubator it's like. You select a track, you, um, create hit points, which is like the, the, the transients like that, the same thing be detective does.
And then you hit a button to slice the track and then you hit the button to quantize it, and then you hit a button to do the cross fades. And basically with three buttons, you've edited a whole song of drum tracks. And then you just need to go in and fix hits that might be off, but basically with three buttons, you can quantize a whole song of drums, you know?
Malcom: [00:16:53] Right. Yeah. Which can be super valuable to know if you need to just make that happen really quick. Um, I use that fate, like the [00:17:00] batch fading function of that all the time. So yeah, mandate. I've got it on lock. It happens every
Benedikt: [00:17:06] day. Yeah. Q is. It's just X. If I have a comp, like if someone, if we just chop.
Like things up. And we ended up with a lot of cuts. I don't do every fate after every time I cut, but I do all the cuts and then I select everything hit X and then everything's crossfaded. And I even got a template in the crossfade window, so that when I do that, all the CrossFits are like 10 milliseconds and equal power.
And like, you know, all these parameters that you can set there so that you have the same starting point and not random
Malcom: [00:17:34] crossroads. Yeah. I don't know if that's on our list even, but learning batch fades is important. Um, and save a lot of time. If you're getting pops and clicks in your comps, you've got to learn that batch rates.
Um, another thing worth mentioning, I think is that. Well, we use all of these functions that we're talking about and we're just getting started. We have a lot to go. Uh, yeah, we, I bet if somebody asked me like to recite what the key command is, I might get some [00:18:00] wrong, cause it's just muscle memory and that's important.
I think don't understand is you're not really, you don't have to. Remember what they are. You just have to learn them, your hands have to learn them. And most of you are musicians. So you probably understand what I mean by that. Yeah. I couldn't tell you what frets. I play some of my songs on, but I could play it for you.
Benedikt: [00:18:19] Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah, totally. That's for me, one thing is we get to that, but what to me. The thing that I, I couldn't tell you right now is the workspaces thing in Cubase. So there are shortcuts like workspaces in Cubase is a certain arrangement of windows. Like which plugins are open, where they are on the screen, uh, windows are open and where the, where you are, what you're looking at, basically at a moment in time like that, that is a workspace and you can.
Whatever you're looking at right now, you can save that as a workspace and then you can make a different window configuration, open different plugins, jump to a different spot in the session and save that as a workspace. And then there's a shortcut to switch between those workspaces. And I don't know, [00:19:00] I couldn't tell you, I just hit, I think it's options option and then a number.
Like for all these different workspaces. Right. But I don't know. I just do it. Yeah. Yeah. And this is also very handy for navigating a session. So I have one workspace for, um, where it only shows me the edit window. So it's full screen editing window and it's like, start to end of the song, like the whole song on one screen, it's like one click of a button.
And another one is the mix window, all the faders full screen. Right. Another one is called metering where I have the, I have an ultra wide screen. So the left side of the screen. Will be the edit window. The right side will be the mixed window and on spots on the screen where it doesn't cover anything important.
There will be metering plugins that I need. So with one click, I can see an analyzer on the master. I can see a VU meter on the mix bus, and I can see certain gain staging things that are relevant to me. So that's the metering workspace. And then there is like a show me all the buses workspace or stuff like that, you know, or show me all the drum tracks, you know?
So I have like numbers one to [00:20:00] nine. Oh, like, show me with one click, all the things that I need if I want to do a certain thing.
Malcom: [00:20:05] Awesome. Yeah. I, I think there is something like that and I mean, A couple of those are definitely built into ProTools, just default, but, uh, the, like the really custom ones. I gotta look into that more.
I'm writing it down now, folks.
Benedikt: [00:20:18] Yeah. That's, that's super handy and I get to a more advanced use of those later, which is not difficult to do, but super cool. Um, yeah. Like navigating the session, basically do everything you can to make that as smooth and intuitive as possible. So you don't have to think about it.
And if someone needs to hear or see something, you just hit some button and then there you go. So you need to get to that point. Yep.
Malcom: [00:20:40] Uh, this is not a key command, but it is definitely a workflow hack that I think we've talked about in the past. Uh, but having some template sessions like for tracking, um, in my case, I've got a tracking template and a mixing template, and I think I'm just gonna make them the same soon, but, uh, anyways, they're different for now.
And it just has like all the tracks that I'm [00:21:00] almost definitely gonna need. You know, it's going to have to click track already in there. It's going to have a scratch vocal and a scratch guitar track sitting there ready to be recorded too. Um, with the inputs already selected, it'll have a little default reverb and delay on that vocal.
It'll have headphone monitoring all set up and bust and ready to go routed. And my go-to drum tracks, you know, you know, I'm going to need a kick mic. I'm going to need a snare mic there. So why don't they already exist? And that probably saves me like a half hour a song. Right. Like, and I'm quick with ProTools.
So it saves a slow person at least an hour. Um, absolutely. Yeah. So I've, I've got one in every studio I work at as well. Cause I, I do drums at a bunch of different studios, so I that's the first thing I do when I go to one, does I make us a template? Like, okay, that's my starting
Benedikt: [00:21:43] point. Totally. So the routing like buses and stuff, you want to have probably a drum bus, just a, a group.
Even if you don't mix, you want to have just one fader where you can mute a solo, the whole drum kit. So why not just have in the template, all the basic drum tracks that you always going to have, like kicks near Toms [00:22:00] overheads rooms or whatever, whatever it is that you always use and route all those to a group and have that in the template.
And same with like all rhythm guitars, go to one bus or all lead guitars. So all of the vocals stuff like that. Exactly. Already routed already. Ready to go. Um, maybe you want some plug-in style, maybe not, but just the routing alone saves so much time and yeah. Definitely pre-configured that because it will be the same every single
Malcom: [00:22:21] time.
The plugins is a good point. I've got an ache just sitting on every track. It's like probably going to want it. It's there.
Benedikt: [00:22:27] If I don't, that's fine. Or like different options like this, this gets more into mixing now. But for example, I have like three or four different mixed bus compressors sitting there, deactivated, but they are already there.
So I don't need to go through the plugins folder that might like my go to choices are there. And I just. Can switch between them and see what works best or like same with bronc compressors. So I have a small selection of the plugins that I'm really going to use versus like going through 30 compressors, trying to find the one, you know?
Malcom: [00:22:55] That's a great idea. Uh, penny, it's totally unrelated note. That's going to bore our [00:23:00] listeners again, but is that a bunch of snow outside of your door? The lighting changed on your rear door there and I can see out of it. Ah, you've got a lot of snow. Yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you. Jealous on a Friday, I was sitting on the beach having a beer shit.
Benedikt: [00:23:16] Yeah, that would be really cool right now. I mean, I, I kinda like the winter, but yeah. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:23:22] I mean, it is so weird on the Island. We had, uh, I mean maybe two weeks ago we had like a foot of snow and then. On Friday, I was sitting in the sun having a beer. It's like the weirdest thing. I get a t-shirt on a beach.
I'm like, Oh, that's possible where I was. I live at good Island. Yeah. That's just how it is here. In the last few weeks, we've had a wind storm, snow storm, and then. T-shirt weather.
Benedikt: [00:23:48] That's crazy, man. That's a, no, you can wear a t-shirt right now, outside that. Not at all. Like I saw, I started, we need to get back to the episode, but I saw a really funny mean today.
Like it would be a funny picture, you know, [00:24:00] the guitar player like, uh who did a lot of, Oh yes I do. Yep. I do a lot of like camper packs and stuff, and he's like a guitar. Um, expert and w well known in the metal scene, especially as a mixed engineering top layer and stuff. And he just posted a meme where there was like a guy with the scarf and the hat, uh, in a beanie, you know, like a, okay.
Yeah, exactly. And it just said, The air hurts my face. Why do I live somewhere where the air hurts my face? I can still relate to that because that's what it feels outside right now. Outside of the air hurts your face. That's
Malcom: [00:24:38] the way that we have that. That's how I feel about everybody else in Canada.
Living like in the rest of Canada. I'm like, why, why don't you don't get it.
Benedikt: [00:24:49] All right. So, um, Yeah. And then the last one of the basics here is the activate click track. So, uh, yeah, basic one again, but still you need to know how to do that and don't use the [00:25:00] mouse for that. Don't look, don't search for the click.
I conscious know how to. Turn it on and
Malcom: [00:25:03] off. Yeah. Yeah. These are things that we use every single day. So they're just, you got to get them to be way quicker and it'll free up a lot of your time and mental
Benedikt: [00:25:15] capacity. Absolutely. Yep. Now we get into the more, um, yeah, not more interesting, but like more, little more advanced stuff.
And there's some, a couple of really interesting things here coming up. Not only shortcuts and key commands, but general. Workflow, um, hacks speed hacks. Yes. So. Yeah, I'm curious to hear yours. Malcolm led talk us through a bunch of yours on your yours.
Malcom: [00:25:39] Why don't I we'll we'll do it this way. I'll read one off my list and explain it.
And then you'll read one off your list. Unexplainable jumped back and forth like that. That sound good. Okay. Okay. So this first one for me, I love doing when I can, but it kind of requires having enough gear to make it possible and the space and all that. But I like to set up what I call stations. So you might have a mic [00:26:00] sitting in a vocal booth.
Or two or whatever, and then a guitar amp miked up somewhere else. And then a bass dice sitting in the control room or whatever. And. Essentially now we don't have to batch all of the base at once, although we could, and maybe you should, but if we want to, we can just instantly grab another instrument and it's already rigged up, ready to go.
And there's like a tone and levels already done. And I'd mostly. Like the most often use case of this would be vocals because I don't like in the vocalist to sing everything all the way through and blown up their voice and getting tired. And there's one, one there to be excited every time they're in there and keep it into small chunks.
So I'll usually have like guitar going and then once we finish a rhythm track, we're going to move over and do vocals. Uh, for a song and then we can come back and do guitars, or we can do bass, whatever. Cause those stations are still set up. We didn't have to repatch and use the same gear. So this only works if you have enough preamps generally and whatever other gear you need, but it can really be a nice way to keep workflow [00:27:00] fresh and exciting.
Benedikt: [00:27:02] Absolutely. And you don't really need that much gear, like an eight channel interface. Lets you do that. Like once you're done with drums, you can start doing that. So you could have one or two channels for bass. You could have a couple of channels for a guitar and you would still have like a channel for the vocals and maybe one for gang shouts or whatever.
Um, so that, that will be pretty easy. You need the microphones though? That's the only thing. Yes. But, um, Yeah, but I, I, I guess it's not too complicated to do, and I love that wheel for working. I didn't do it for a long time, but I do it, definitely do it. Now. I have a band here right now to record a record with me.
Yeah. And we have that exact thing going. So to the left of me, there's, JCM 800 and below that is a 51 50 and both are connected to cabs in my control. Uh, my live room with a microphone is ready to go and there's a vocal mic in there. And there is a base the, I set up and the base cap mic in there, and we can switch between all those things and, um, super easy.
Super smooth. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:27:58] Very cool. Yeah, because [00:28:00] if somebody gets tired, it sucks pushing them, just let them have a break and do something else.
Benedikt: [00:28:04] Totally. Yeah. I can totally see that, that being valuable. I don't know why I batch things for so long, especially with the vocalists, like so dumb to have a vocalist, especially if you're in a time crunch.
Like if you have a deadline and the vocalist has to sing a whole record in like two or three days, it's just. Not a good idea. Not really
Malcom: [00:28:21] no fun drummers. They have to suffer,
Benedikt: [00:28:25] unfortunately, unless you have the luxury of a really big laugh room and a lot of microphones or preempts. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And budgets.
And also, yeah, and also taking drums is a thing as well. If it takes too long to detract drums, you're going to end up needing to change the hats too often and retune stuff. So you just want to get that out of the way.
Malcom: [00:28:44] Exactly. Yep. Okay, cool.
Benedikt: [00:28:46] You go. Um, my first one here is track the I and Mike on one stereo track or two, one stereo track.
That sounds a little advanced or weird maybe to some people. But what I mean by this is sometimes when [00:29:00] I have, I do that myself sometimes, but I really like to do that when I work remotely with bands to record themselves, because if I can't be there to quality control. So to make sure that if they're recording a dye and an amp.
That it's actually in sync and like, um, like that the two tracks are that the phase is always the same, that, um, that it's the same take on both those tracks. If I can control those things because it can't get messed up. It can, you can accidentally comp make two different comps on the din and an Amtrak and it can get all messed up.
So if I can't be there to control that, I just tell them to record to a stereo track and. Have them like you, you assign, let's say you have a two channel interface and you assign channel one, you plug the microphone and channel one. And the, the I and the channel two or so, or vice versa. Yeah. And then you make one stereo track and your door and you record the amp to the left side and the eye to the [00:30:00] right side.
And all you need to do then is a plugin that lets you. Summit to mono. So there are plugins, like most of us have them built into it, but there are free plugins that have just have a mano button. You hit it and you get a mano. A thing. And then you can pan you can use the pan on the track to switch between the amp or the eye, depending on what you want to hear.
So if you can, if the amp is on the right, you can have the pan all the way to the right hit the mono button and you only hear the amp and, um, yeah, and the da will just get tracked to the same track, but you don't hear it. And when they sent the stuff over to me, I have two tracks that are perfectly in sync.
And it makes editing easier. It makes sure that yeah, things are always together as, as they share this always the same take. And that's a little neat workflow that I, I, I really like, and you can get more advanced with that. You can do some crazy things you can have. If you have dual mano plugins, you can have an amp SIM on the DIY and blended with the mic with the, using the pan knob and stuff like that.
So, [00:31:00] Oh, you've kind of thought of that. You can stuff, you could do stuff like that on one track, which can be pretty neat. So, yeah.
Malcom: [00:31:05] Yeah. That's something that I haven't adopted, but I've been hearing about it for awhile. I keep thinking about it. I'm just kind of an old man stuck in my ways, but I I'll give it a shot next time.
Benedikt: [00:31:13] promise. Yeah, I don't do it as often here because I don't really like the thinking the thought process, like having those things on one track and then what gets summed into that too. I mix the Dai with the Mike and all that shit, you know, and some plugins do it differently than others. So. It's a little advanced, I just do it.
Um, and I give them specific plugins to do it so I can make sure that it works, but I just make people do it. If we don't trust or they don't trust themselves that they can do it without me. Like, yeah. I'm writing things up and if I can't be there to quality control, that's, that's just a way to work around that.
Malcom: [00:31:49] Yeah. Now, do you have a plugin that you recommend off the top of your head
Benedikt: [00:31:53] use? What's the brain works one. I don't know the name at the top of my head. It's like BX solo. I think it's called [00:32:00] where you can solo the mid and side and left and right. And mano and all those options. I use that for
Malcom: [00:32:06] that. I think that's a free one.
Benedikt: [00:32:08] could be. Yeah, it could be. And there are a couple of free ones. There's one called . That's definitely free. It is free.
Malcom: [00:32:15] Just anybody interested. It's Dave, which I'm downloading right now.
Benedikt: [00:32:20] That'd be X one or which
Malcom: [00:32:21] one? BX solo is free.
Benedikt: [00:32:23] Yeah. Yeah. I think that's the one. Um, and yeah, you can do it with that and, um, it's pretty neat.
Malcom: [00:32:29] Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to, I'm going to give that a shot. The only reason I hadn't was, cause I didn't really like have a plugin off the top of my head that was going to be convenient for that. You know, I could like pull up a dual mano IQ and then. Unlink. And they go to the left and drag the volume down on the input and output, and then it just seemed like a pain in the ass.
Benedikt: [00:32:46] But, uh, yeah. Cool. And I think I explained it wrong. I mean, that's one of the things where I cannot really explain it. I just know how to do it because I think the right way to do it is you need to first select either left or right. And then hit mano because you don't want to [00:33:00] sum the thing and then pan it.
You want to hit that you want to select one of those things then hit mano so that you hear it in like coming out of the middle. That's the way to do it. Not the other way around. So
Malcom: [00:33:08] yeah, I I'm looking at the plugin right now. It'll be, it'll be obvious for anybody that tries this
Benedikt: [00:33:12] out. Yeah, exactly. Um, so yeah, that's, that's, that's one thing.
Malcom: [00:33:17] cool. That brings me to mind, which is very related and that's just recording a die, even if you don't plan to reamp. Um, and that's definitely misconception. I've heard is that people. I think that the eyes are just for the eye, like for the purpose of changing the tone later, which is something I almost never do.
I mean, I do react and I love doing it. It's fun, but it's never my goal. I'm always trying to capture the app on the way in. Um, so the DEI is actually more of a visual tool, uh, for editing a lot of the time. It's very like you can't really edit an app heavily distorted amp sound, um, easily. I should say.
It's not fun. Uh, And at Dai we'll make it a lot [00:34:00] easier and they can also be a little lifesavers. You know, if there's like something out of tune, you can, you can fix it. There. There's all sorts of stuff you can do with the DEI. So I'm just hugely team always recorded the, I, no matter what, even if it's an acoustic guitar just going to plug in, I'm still gonna do it.
Benedikt: [00:34:14] Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. Samia. I really, really amplified due to threat tracking just because, and I kind of know what I'm, what I'm doing and what I'm going for. And I just go with whatever I record, but for the visual. Reference. Absolutely. And why not record it? I mean, it doesn't do any harm, so just record it.
Yeah. I heard, I think it was Jay MAs on the URM podcast who was talking about a session and he was like, We didn't clean track. We didn't even track the eyes on the session because we were punk as fuck, you know? Yeah. That's cool.
Malcom: [00:34:45] That's the only reason because
Benedikt: [00:34:48] my back is fucked, but yeah. I mean, went out, went out, recorded the eye,
Malcom: [00:34:51] so yeah, that's funny.
Benedikt: [00:34:57] Yeah. So yeah, track of the eye, you [00:35:00] will see where the transients are and, um, you will see where yeah, it's just, it's just handy and it's just. No reason not to. All right, cool. On that same topic. Uh, this is a one that I love recently. I do that on the session right now here, and there's multiple reasons why I love that.
So what I do is. I'll track it. The I, so I have the guitar plucked into good die. That's the only thing I directly record, then the output of that AI track and the doll is routed to a physical output, which goes into a ramp box, which goes into the amp. And then the microphone is set up and like captures the amp and then record spec in.
So I'm kind of ramping in real time. So the guitar doesn't go to the amp. It goes to the computer out of the computer, in the amp. And then the mic comes in. So there is a latency between the DIA and the mic, if you do that, but you're only going to listen to the amp. Anyway, you need to have an interface and the software that's capable of very, very low latency in order to do [00:36:00] that, because you have a, you need to have around trip of like only a couple of milliseconds in order to make that work.
Um, Because you're going in and out of the computer and you want to monitor,
Malcom: [00:36:10] right. So the, yeah, you are listening to that ramp signal as you perform.
Benedikt: [00:36:15] Yeah, exactly. Great. And the, that is two things. First of all, if you're tracking and you find that after tracking you really like the take, but you're saying, ah, that could've used a little more gain or something.
You don't need to set anything up. You just hit play, turn up the gain. The ramp is already set up. You just really recorded without having to play it again. And there you go. So you have the ramp set up going while you're tracking, so you can make adjustments to parts without having to play it again during tracking, which is super awesome.
So that is very cool. That's super cool. And the other beautiful thing is you can use your plugins while you're tracking, because you can, you don't have access to the die before it hits the amp. So. Um, we had a couple of parts yesterday or last week. It was where we track the eyes and we were like, Oh, let's try a tremolo [00:37:00] here.
Or let's try a delay in some reverb or whatever. And you can use a pedal board of course, but you would either have to have that. Big pedal board in your signal all the time, which you shouldn't do, or you need, you would need to patch in and out stuff. And if you just want to move quickly without degrading the signal, you could just, you can just use whatever digital plug-ins paddleboards you have or other plugins.
You can go crazy with it, or you can use Clippers or whatever, because you have access to the D I can manipulate it before it hits the amp. So we track the bunch of delayed tracks or reverb tracks using pedals that come with the new earliest people against, for example, or. We use, we just turned the amp off when we turned the cab off and just use the pedals from those plugins.
Right. Very cool. Yeah. Or we use like sound toys stuff, or a crazy tremolo things that are only possible in the D and the digital worlds. And we send that stuff to the amp and use it while we're tracking. And that's so fun. So I really enjoy that sort of set up. The only thing you need to do afterwards [00:38:00] is you need to compensate if you want to ramp, or if you want to blend, um, That's a Sims with the actual recording, you need to compensate for the latency between the DEI and the mic track, because there will be a latency of course.
Malcom: [00:38:12] Right. Do you have a method that you like to use for making sure you get that right?
Benedikt: [00:38:17] Um, mostly by ear, but yeah, there's there isn't, there is a method. Um, the same method that I use, basically, if I want to make sure two Macs are in phase. I just have the guitar player do a quick little impulse, just a little pick click on the swing.
And like, I watched that and it gives you a really clear transient spike in the doll. And you can just use that and move it so that it overlaps. Perfectly right.
Malcom: [00:38:41] Yeah. Yep. I use a signal generator and just make a little blip of white noise and then that once it's recorded back end and I can see like a little okay.
It's that many samples.
Benedikt: [00:38:53] Yes. Yeah, exactly. Now
Malcom: [00:38:55] I do have a question. This might be a little technical. This is a technical podcast or whatever. [00:39:00] Are you sending it out an output inside of your door or is it happening just in your. Interfaces, total mix kind of a, I think you've got an RME, right? Yep. So is that called total
Benedikt: [00:39:11] mix?
I think it's called, it's called total mix. Yeah, no, I see it happening in there Cubase because I want to use the plugin. So I go attract to a track in Cubase and the output of that track is sent to a physical output. Right, right, right. Yeah. And then I can use the plugin, send the buffer is set to minimums so that I don't have, it's like, that's the cool thing about the army interface, at least like mine.
It's like super, super low latency. I can have like one millisecond in and out or something and it's like,
Malcom: [00:39:37] right. Yeah. That's really good. Yeah. I'm going to have to look into the UA world and see what it can handle in that domain. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:39:43] But I, I highly encourage you. If you can do that. If you can pull it off with low enough latency.
I highly encourage you to try that because it's such a fun way to work, even just the fact that you can just hit play and change the amp tone without having to set something up.
Malcom: [00:39:57] Yeah. Going back to dis and why [00:40:00] they're totally worth doing it. Um, especially for like the people that are into like really fast shredding music.
That's like really technical. It has to be perfect. You know, D eyes are capable of being mutated. Much more than a recorded amp signal. Um, like you can stretch them and like use all these kinds of weird pitch stuff and all this stuff that you can't really do to an amp sound because it's too complex. Um, and.
It sounds fine. And then you wrap it and it sounds totally good, including like chopping up doing really hard edits, like really butcher something. And if you did it to the amp sound, it would be awful. But if you do it to the DEI and then wrap it, it's totally invisible and works. Great. So if you were in a tough situation and your guitarist, just wasn't up to the task of playing that part, you could record the DEI.
Edit it to snort and then wrap it out and you'd probably get away with it. So that's, that's a super cool method you've got there.
Benedikt: [00:40:57] Cool. Yeah. Oh, and I forgot one benefit as [00:41:00] well as well here. And that is if you're planning on ramping anyways. So if you have in mind that you want to like borrow some amp to do the ramps or whatever it is that you want to do, if that's the plan.
Then, so I had, for example, I had, I'm mixing a record right now for a band who like they tracked rather quickly and focused on the performance because they knew they were going to reamp later and then focus on the tone. So they kind of split it up into two different parts of it. And if you know that you're going to ramp anyway, another beauty, beautiful thing about this method is that you already know how the amp reacts to the ramp signal, because an amp sounds different if you plug right into it versus.
If you ramped through it, like it's not, it's not going to be the same. You always going to have to do some matching. If you, I don't know, like it's the impedance, it's like a ramp signal is not exactly the same as the one that comes out of the guitar. There's the conversion, there's the preempt, but there's also like probably an impedance and a couple of other things that play.
So when you track like that, You intuitively adjust the amp to work with that [00:42:00] ramp signal without you having to think about it, you just do it and make it sound good just as you would. And then when you ramp later, that's already perfect. You don't need to do anything because the episode is set to, to respond to the ramp signal the way it should.
Malcom: [00:42:14] Yeah, that's really cool. That's good. Good thought. I got an ever tuned guitar a little while back. I probably mentioned on the phone. I can't remember if I did it actually. Maybe I didn't, but I got one and, uh, at first it was garbage. It was set up really bad, right? From the factory. It was out of tune, which is the whole.
Point of never tuned is that they're super in tune. Um, and, uh, then I changed the strings and didn't realize that I couldn't go that heavy and that didn't work out. So I had to go back and finally got it going. Good. And Diego actually, uh, Diego who we had on the podcast, uh, two episodes, three episodes. Oh, go now I think.
Yeah, I think, uh, he, and if you haven't listened to that episode, it's a must. Listen, my God, that was a good episode. But, uh, I got him on Facebook messenger, zoom call thing, and he, he talked me through it a little bit and I've got it set up now and I [00:43:00] am so excited about this thing. Um, I'm like, I'm now so converted that I'm like anybody that's serious about self recording and just wants to like save years of learning, how to properly record guitars should just consider it an Everett tune.
Mandatory. Like, it's just that simple. As soon as you have one, your guitars are going to be really. Good. Yeah,
Benedikt: [00:43:21] totally, totally agreed here that are people who don't like the attitudes for their sound. But I say like, even if they sound a little worse than without it it's worth it, it's so worth it compared to the tuning nightmare that you get with some guitars.
So, yep, absolutely.
Malcom: [00:43:34] Yep. The intonation like becoming good at intonation. It takes years of practice to really understand how to do that well. Um, and, and hear it properly. Yeah. Uh, and that's the biggest thing for like a bit of hard truth for DIY people that have sent me stuff to mix is that is the most commonly lacking thing in the guitars is the tuning.
Totally. And you might think it's great, but it's like, there's a difference and this will
[00:44:00] Benedikt: [00:43:59] sound awful. Totally. People don't realize how important to this. They don't even hear it in the beginning. I think I didn't, I couldn't hear it for a long time because it didn't bother me. It now it bothers me all the time.
To the point where I think I'm going crazy, because I can't believe that that always something is something's always seems off now. I'm so sensitive to this. Like it's like, something's always off. I kind of doubt myself sometimes, because I think it's maybe it's me, you know? But you, you get so sensitive and yeah.
And, but it's, it matters. It matters so much. And like the scenario that I am, that I'm in right now, I wish I had an avatar in here right now because what we, what we are dealing with is I'm going to show you real quick. We have one guitarist plays with this ESP, um, thing here. Yeah. That's and that's super, super in tune.
It's like, well, set up super in tune, no problems there. Um, you have a guitar, the other guitar is also well set up and we made sure everything is good, but the other guitar is just a standard tele and, um, Just the fender Telecaster [00:45:00] instead of three
Malcom: [00:45:00] saddle, or I can't really
Benedikt: [00:45:01] tell, um, they, they have this jumble frats and like, they are like, it's a different sort of guitar and it just compared to the USP guitar, it's so different to so difficult to set up and to keep in tune.
And those two together is such a nightmare that I just wish we had an attitude because getting that to work is such a pain. It sounds awesome. And it's fun to work of course, but still. We are like, we spend as much time tuning as we spent playing almost like really? Yeah. And like, that's just how it is.
And at the beginning, like on the first day, bands sometimes are a little confused and surprised that it is that way, but it's just, it's what it is. And I I've talked to so many producers on all sorts of levels and it's just, it is that way. There's no way around it. You need to do that. And with an attitude, you don't at least not as much.
Malcom: [00:45:53] One of the biggest differences between a massive budget, because I got the, I had the pleasure of making a really big budget album [00:46:00] and the difference is time. It's just that time is spent making sure that tuning is perfect. Yeah. So that's pretty much it. And if you're wondering what the difference is between a pro vocal.
And mediocre vocals is in tune instruments under that vocal because your singer can't sing in tune. If your guitars are out attitude, it's just not possible. So it it's, it's so important and, uh, ever tuned. If you're listening, just email us, we'll send you our address. You can send us free shit.
Benedikt: [00:46:28] Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. That would be the, uh, yeah, the dream sponsor.
Malcom: [00:46:34] Um, they've got an evergreen base coming. Apparently there's a prototype in, in the works and I'm so excited. I'm going to buy one for sure.
Benedikt: [00:46:42] Absolutely. Yeah, seriously, but really seriously. If you consider buying a guitar, consider buying an attitude, all the standard guitars are available with an ever tune.
I would say most of them. And if not, you can. There's probably some, um, I don't know what they are called [00:47:00] authorized. I dunno. Um, Guy or authorized dealer dealer in Canada,
Malcom: [00:47:04] I found. Um, but they, you can get them and they are not as confusing as you think it, like once you wrap your head around it. You'll you'll you'll yeah.
Benedikt: [00:47:13] going on. Yeah. Cool. Yeah, that's a big one. Awesome. Um, yeah. So the next one here on my list are, is macros. And that's sort of key commands. We've already talked about that, but macros is, I don't know if you see what you can do in pro tools when it comes to that, but QQ bays is pretty good at that.
So it's a chain of key commands of hotkeys that you can activate with one key or one shortcut that you, you set. So you can say create eight tracks, label them reds. Call them, whatever, route them to a bus and then do whatever. So you can have like all these individual shortcuts hotkeys, you can make a chain and you can trigger them with one [00:48:00] shortcut that that's a simple version of a, of a macro.
You can do really complicated thing. Things that you can come up with all sorts of workflows and you can really condense complex. Um, Lists of tasks to one action that you need to perform and then let the computer do the rest. It's super powerful. And I love it and I need to get into more because I don't really use it to like, not, not, not at all, like to its full potential, not, not even close to it, but I, I use some of them and I've created some and it's so awesome.
Malcom: [00:48:32] That's definitely cool. I pro tools. Is less developed in that, that realm. Um, I use a tool called keyboard Maestro to kind of pull off some stuff like that, which is a third-party thing that you can kind of make shortcuts in. Um, and there is, yeah, no, you can make some custom shortcuts, but it's pretty limited in inside of just pro tools itself, um, using, yeah, the keyboard max settings, but.
It definitely is worth looking into pretty [00:49:00] much to figure out if this would help you is start trying to realize tasks that you're doing over and over again in succession, and you'll figure out patterns. And then once you determine a pattern, try and make a macro for it, and then you just saved hours of your life.
Benedikt: [00:49:14] Yeah. Can be simple things like, um, select all the events on the track, consolidate them to one audio file and then normalize it. And then whatever, it's just stuff like that, you know?
Malcom: [00:49:28] We're at like 53 minutes. So we're going to start boogieing like hyper-speed here. Yeah. This one has been mentioned before, but, and people really liked it.
So I think it's worth mentioning it again in case there's new listeners or people didn't give it up, but muting the strings. You're not playing on your guitar. Um, just grab a piece of paper towel or whatever you can. And, uh, Or like foam your plugs. Those are awesome. Really? You can manipulate those, just make sure they haven't been used.
And then you just mute the strings. I, you know, between the pickup and the string, it'll keep it dead. And then you don't have to be as tight of a guitar player, even though you [00:50:00] should still try to be. Yup.
Benedikt: [00:50:05] Yeah. String nudes. Absolutely. There are various techniques you can do. You can even like, if you're only doing a riff on the lower lowest three strings, you can just take away like the, the other three things, thanks that you don't need.
Or you can use them like the shred reps things or whatever, the various techniques, but just consider muting whatever is ringing. And it's not supposed to be in there.
Malcom: [00:50:26] Um, that just made me think that I'm going to do this the next time I have a piano and see what that sounds like. That's a good idea.
Actually, sometimes as low strings, just rumble, whenever they click the sustain pedal and stuff like that. Yeah. No. Okay. We gotta be quick.
Benedikt: [00:50:39] You can, it can also be sort of the sound part of the sound of a piano and doing that sometimes. It's awesome. Yeah, but yeah, that's a good thought. Awesome, cool. Uh, as always you can abuse those things as well to manipulate stuff, even if it's not supposed to be used that way.
So cool. Uh, the next one here is yeah, when you're using direct monitoring. So when you're not monitoring through your dog, but you monitoring through something [00:51:00] like total mix or your UAD console or, uh, whatever mixer comes with your interface or some interfaces such as my small Steinberg interface, they have a hardware mix knob where you can.
Blend between like playback and direct monitoring through the hardware. If you do something like that. So you get like zero latency monitoring through the hardware and you still want to have like delay or reverb on your monitoring chain. Um, it's cool to have like a as backup sat in the, in your template, have a reverb, the delay track set up, that's just wet only like only reverb, only delay and just send the track your recording to those, uh, to the effect tracks.
And, um, only sent that to the headphone. So you're not monitoring your actual. Record a track through the Dar that's dry, that's direct monitoring, but you're monitoring. You're listening to the delay and the reverb. And if there is a latency, which is probably the reason for you wanting to do that monitoring, it doesn't really matter because like a delay and a [00:52:00] reverb, you can, you can use that with a little latency.
So let's say you have a fully loaded session and you can not track Intuit anymore without like latency, but you want to add some overdubs and you need to do direct monitoring, but you still want to have a delay on your vocal. Just route the delay only to the vocal and do the rest direct and it works right.
Perfectly fine. Awesome.
Malcom: [00:52:20] Good one. Uh, this is one, that's a little more new to my workflow, but I've been occasionally using Auto-Tune on a recording track. So you can get like the latency tuning plugins, like, uh, waves to in real-time is actually a pretty good one. And the singer will actually sing with that on their track and they're hearing it.
And this isn't for everyone. They'll either hate it or love it, but some, like, it's almost like you're singing along to the song and it helps you just nail the pitch. You like hear it right away and you get there quicker. It's weird that it works. I didn't think it would work at all, but it has definitely helped in a lot of situations.
Sometimes we're turning it on for parts and offer others or whatever, but totally worth knowing that that's an option.
Benedikt: [00:52:59] Agreed, [00:53:00] agreed. Uh, it helps them saying, and it's surprisingly good as well. Like it can.
Malcom: [00:53:05] Yeah. I also like using it as like, sometimes singers get really self critical. Right. And they're like, ah, like that, part's just no good.
And I throw a tuning plug on on, and it sounds exact same. I'm like, okay. It's in tune, man. Yeah, it is. It just is. Or maybe it goes opposite and it like jumps to another note entirely and you're like, okay. Yeah, we're definitely too far off. It's kind of like a guide if
Benedikt: [00:53:27] your years can't tell. Oh yeah, totally.
Do you ever commit it or you do you just put the plug-in on the track and listen to it too fast? Just put it on.
Malcom: [00:53:34] I've never committed a, an auto auto tune.
Benedikt: [00:53:38] Okay. Yes. Okay, cool. Um, because I know, I know people will do that because it actually can sound really good and they just trust that it works. I wouldn't do it probably, but it's just, it's it's really good if you said it right.
You can, you could have committed it's that good, but I, I wouldn't recommend it because you don't have to. Yeah. Um, okay. So the next one is real quick. It's just, um, an addition to the, [00:54:00] um, macros. Uh, thing. And also to the workspaces thing that I mentioned in the beginning, I use an app called stream deck.
There is an actual device it's made for streamers. It's like a, a little, yeah, a little pad with the different configurations. There's one with nine buttons and one with 15 and one with 30 buttons or whatever. And you can assign shortcuts, key commands, whatever. You have everything your computer can do.
Basically we can assign those commands to those keys and with the press of a button, you can make your computer do something. So it's meant for streamers to, um, trigger sound effects or switch, switch camera angles or stuff like that. So it's like, uh, a little yeah. Control deck that you have there. That's, that's a purpose, but you can, it's it's widely used actually in a lot of fields now.
And a lot of audio producers use it as well, because you can do put all the. Key commands, macros and whatever. To those buttons, you can have different layers for different apps on your computer to use it. And I thought about [00:55:00] buying one of these until I discovered that there is an iPad app that works just as well.
Like it's from the same company, you can just use your iPad and you don't have to buy the device. And the app is like way cheaper and, um, yeah, but the device is not as expensive as well. Uh, so I have my iPad here and with, I can switch my workspaces to Cubase, uh, with the click of a button and it just says, edit meter, bus, whatever.
And I just hit it and it switches the different workspaces. Then there's a layer for just general like office work. So I have the websites that I always go to, or like my CRM, my calendar, my to-do list, whatever. Is on a button. So whatever app I'm in, I can just hit a button and it opens Chrome with that website there.
Um, there's a button to open all of the apps that I frequently use. So if I want to add, if I want to open ScreenFlow, there's a button for that. If I want to do a screen capture, there's a button with an actual macro, a command that not only opens ScreenFlow, but starts a recording. So when I think, Oh, that is cool.
I want to do a screen cap of that. I just hit a button and it starts right. [00:56:00] And, um, So you can configure it to what you have whenever you want. And it's such a great workflow boost, and I'm just starting now using it. And I need to configure it a lot more, but it's already so much fun. It's possible. I'm going
Malcom: [00:56:13] to check that out cause I have an iPad, so I think that'd be fun.
Yeah. All right. Uh, My next one is recording sample audio to reference. So this is for things like your drum tuning. Um, if you like, you know, set up the kit and sounded awesome, quickly record. Each of those drums so that you can later in the day, make sure your drum still sounds like that. And compare if they still sound awesome and fresh, like those drums did earlier and you can do this with strings as well.
That's how, you know, if your strings are getting too dead, you know, just like get the basis to hit each of the strings open or whatever a couple of times, and then you can go back or, you know, you can also just go back to the beginning of the song, like assuming that you record it in order. Uh, uh, the chronologically, if the song you could just go listen to the intro Dai, and then wherever [00:57:00] you are at like the bridge and listen to that Dai.
And if it's obviously sounding different than, you know, right. Um, but there there's something to be said for like the control. So maybe have him replay the intro and then compare those two, you know, because like a different parts gonna sound different, but you just want to be able to see, okay, is it, are we going crazy or does this actually sound like crap?
All of a sudden
Benedikt: [00:57:23] what's going on? Absolutely. It's super invaluable. Your ears will get tired throughout the session. You're not going to be able to tell, um, after a while, and like having that France is yeah, it's important.
Malcom: [00:57:34] You know what, honestly, you could do that with vocals too. Probably. Yeah,
Benedikt: [00:57:38] yeah, absolutely.
Absolutely. Um, on Saturday, and that was the session that I mentioned. We had a situation where I thought that it takes sounded pretty cool and I was not so familiar with that vocalist yet, and I thought everything sounded great. And then. Um, one of the guys said, Hey, I think in the demo, his voice sounded way better.
And I, I didn't know, because I thought it's still sounded [00:58:00] great. And then we went through the session that they, and we noticed already that there was like, the voice kind of got worse. And then we listened to the demo that was done in a completely different day with like a really fresh voice. And it was a totally different voice.
So if I hadn't had that reference, I would just like, I would say, okay, that's I would have a proof that take, because I wouldn't have known that it could be much better.
Malcom: [00:58:21] Ah, interesting. Okay. I'm going to budget in line because it's relevant. Um, but, uh, I have a tactic where I pretend to be busy so that the vocalist like has to warm up.
I'm like go in there, warm up. And, uh, I just got to do some stuff and I'll be, you know, as soon as I'm ready, we can jump into it. And then like two minutes later, it was like, Hey, I'm good when you are. And I'm like, yeah, that's not enough for him enough. I mean, I am doing stuff, you know, there's always something to do.
I I'm I'm editing the guitar or whatever, but they just think I'm getting their vocal straight and set up for that. That's quick. That takes no time, but I'm just keeping busy and I want him to warm up for like 50 minutes or something, you know? Um, and, [00:59:00] uh, that that's one way to get them to do it. Cause vocalists seem to hate warming up.
So if I kind of just like don't. Tell them to, but put them in the room with nothing else to do.
Benedikt: [00:59:10] Yeah, exactly. Versus if you tell them to warm up, they'll say, Oh, I'm fine. Let's just go. Yeah. Yeah. I'm already
Malcom: [00:59:15] warmed the scale. Like, Oh, you got to do something while I get ready. That's how I,
Benedikt: [00:59:19] yeah. Oh, that's a super cool one.
That's a good one
Malcom: [00:59:22] for everyone, but uh, like often. Another good one. If there's a piano and there's somebody in the band that plays piano, I'm like, Hey, go lead a warmup session for the band. And then everybody does warm ups together with like somebody playing scales on piano. And that, that seems
Benedikt: [00:59:34] to go well.
Oh, cool. Yeah. That's that's also a good one. Awesome. Cool. Um, yeah, then a real quick, so one, I would just throw that in there because it was also a part of a session that I am working on right now where I haven't thought about that really with my checklist that I sent bands and that the way they communicate with bands, but I will do from now on.
And it's. Um, I tell every band to label tracks a certain way to organize things a certain [01:00:00] way when they track and to, um, label tracks, like not with the band members names or anything, but like with the function of the track. So like rhythm right. And lead center or whatever. Uh, so that, I know when I open up the session, what is what you know?
And so stuff like that, but what I haven't mentioned. Up until now is that you should probably, it's probably good idea to make a new track if you change that, the guitar sound, for example. So what happened was the band sent me tracks. They were super cool, organized. They were leaving bold clearly, and everything was good.
And I made a rough mix and started balancing and like whenever changed or at some spots in the song, I was like, Hmm, what's going on? Like. The part before felt right. And now everything falls apart what's happening. And I needed to go search for the track that, that changed. And it turned out that they recorded a rhythm guitar track, but they use different guitar tones on that one track.
So what that leads to is you either need to [01:01:00] cut the track, um, into pieces and then move it to different tracks for different sounds, or you need to automate a bunch and make different cue moves and every session. And it's just, uh, Tedious way to work. So it's much more efficient for yourself during tracking as well.
If you have like one rhythm track that has the fuzzy guitar tone, and then you have one that has the high gain tone and one that has a crunch tone or whatever, so that you can just push a fader up for one certain for one sound and you can make cue moves and tweaks to that sound. And it will stay consistent through the track versus having to like enable and disable EQs throughout the song.
Malcom: [01:01:38] Yeah, I'm with you on that. A good rule of thumb is if there is, if you have to use different plugins on the track for, for the sound you're trying to get, it should be on its own track kind of thing. Um, but in the case of like a fuzz guitar to him that might be happening with the amp, but if it's different, it's a probably be on a different track.
That's just good rule of thumb. As for naming it. I wanted to quickly touch on that. I've got [01:02:00] a method that I think is foolproof and everybody in the world should adopt. It should be instrument function, the script of pan. So for my system, I use a letter for instruments. So it's just D for drums G for guitar V for vocals, and then the function.
So like you said, it could be rhythm guitar, whatever you want like that, you know, um, What it's doing in the song. Um, and then descriptive, and that's only if it needs it. And a lot of DIY people that send me tracks aren't recording amp sounds. So they need to tell me that it's meant to be dirty. You know, like this is high gain.
I'm like, cool. That's great to have. And then the panic where it's meant to live. Um, and I like to abbreviate all of that. So it might be G R. L and that's enough for me. Literally it's guitar is rhythm is left. Like that's awesome. You know, you can do more letters is fine too, but like, it's so awesome. And then when you're actually like a working engineer and you're trying to bust stuff around [01:03:00] and I click like, To bus, some attract, do another ox.
It shows me all of the tracks in my session, but they're now grouped by alphabetically. So there's all my detracts, all my G tracks, all my V tracks. And it's like so easy, so easy to see a hundred things, but know exactly where I'm meant to be looking.
Benedikt: [01:03:17] Yeah. A hundred percent agreed. Same same here, basically.
Malcom: [01:03:21] Yeah. And I know some people use numbers as well, but that's only works with their system, so I'm not
Benedikt: [01:03:26] really into it. Yeah. Yeah. Just don't label them Thomas take seven or something like that. That doesn't make any sense that it's not relevant for us. So yeah.
Malcom: [01:03:37] Thomas bonus whammy.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And if you can tell what it is when you listen to it, that doesn't need to be in the name, like, like whammy, for example, it's like, okay, it could just be called a lead. I think, you know, it's obviously a whammy we're mixing. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Actually that's worth mentioning.
[01:04:00] You're labeling things for the person who's going to be on the song after you. Not for you. Yeah.
Benedikt: [01:04:05] In a way for you to, to move to the next, if you don't label tracks at all, you should do it for yourself as well, because you don't want to search for audio three, four, six, or whatever. But, um, yeah, it's for the person that comes after you and you do yourself a favor and, uh, if you do it, so, yeah.
Cool. Um, and then there's two left here. One is, if it don't have an, an a D I, for whatever reason, Um, and you still want to, um, edit a guitar Trek or make some, or a comment or whatever. Um, there's the danger. And even with the I-track, there's a danger here because if you have, if you're editing guitars and you cut at a transient, so where the pic hits the strings.
W w without a doubt Trek, it's very hard to tell where that even is. If it's a distorted guitar and with a GI track, you might see the transient, but the actual pick attack is quite a bit before that, because the high spike that you see [01:05:00] is already the, the note that's coming out of the guitar. And before that, there's the scratch, the pick attack, the start-up, it it's visually it's a little before the, the big transient.
And a good way to see where that actual pick attack is. So, so you don't accidentally cut into it is to take the distorted guitar Trek, put a high pass, filter, a low cut on it, uh, to like one K or so. It's a really high up and then consolidate that. So I'll make a copy of it, consolidate that, and then look at that because.
The low end will be gone. And the first thing you'll see, you see clear transients. And the first thing you'll see will be a little before the transient on the Deitrick actually. And that's the scratch, the pick attack, whether the pick hits the string and you're only gonna, you're going to see that better in the Amtrak actually, then you're gonna see it in the GI tract.
So high pass the track, make a copy of high, pass it, consolidate it, and then look at where the, uh, where the pick attack is, is a neat little trick [01:06:00] too, to not mess up the transience of your guitar. Do you do that every time? No, not every time, because I kinda know how much space I need to leave before.
Like when I look at the eye, so I don't do it. It's just a neat little workflow thing before you drive yourself crazy editing guitars and you end up cutting into transients and you're not really finding where the attack is. So. If you don't have it. Yeah. Especially, and if you want to consolidate, if you want to comp a guitar or edited, then it can be really hard and really tedious to do that.
And so that's the way to solve that and to get into a better workflow.
Malcom: [01:06:31] Yeah. I, I only have ever done that when it's like Uber technical needs to be beyond precise. Um, and I like, I want to visually check that my ears are correct. That's the kind of time, but it's yeah, it's definitely a good thing to do.
And, um, I think worth mentioning that. Our ears as humans perceive that pic scrape that you would have been missing as the beat. That's what we're timing is based off for us. So you can't really look at the wave form as if you're in time. It's what [01:07:00] our ears are
Benedikt: [01:07:00] hearing. Yeah, exactly. Because that's what people will do.
A lot of times they will quantize it so that the big peak is on the grid and that will lead to the guitar being early. Yep. Because the, the, the timing is a little, like the attack is before that it was, and with that trick, you can actually see that. So, yeah. All right. And then the last one here on my list is the one that I enjoyed recently.
Um, you don't have to do that sometimes less is more, but I really enjoyed lately. And that is if I'm recording, especially for, for drums, like kicks, snares and guitars, I would say I do that a lot. Um, so the technique is to combine two, rather extreme sounding mix. To get the full picture of what you're recording compared to try and get everything out of one mic.
So for example, I had a snare drum last week where I put a dynamic mic on it and it was, it was good, but it was lacking something. So I, what I ended up doing was I used. A specific dynamic mic that has a lot of aggressive mid-range to it, but [01:08:00] lacks a bit of the bottom fullness and also a little, uh, like top end precision, um, transient, but it has a really nice ring and aggression in the mid range on that snare room.
So I use that and next to it, with the capsules aligned, I put a condenser mic that captured the lows and the highs and has a rather boring sounding mid-range. So I have that dynamic for the aggression and the mid range and the crack. And then the condenser for the body and, um, the actual wires and the stick attack.
And those two combined gave me a way better picture of the overall snare than either one of them. Cool. So yeah, that's one thing. And with guitarists, same thing, I have one pretty harsh sounding aggressive dynamic. Mike sat close to the center of the speaker and the really aggressive spot. And that alone would be piercing and not enjoyable.
And then I have a ribbon mic and it's called the VR one voodoo by SEL. It's like a Buddha mic. Oh yeah. It's called, it's called VR. Yeah. It's called VR [01:09:00] one voodoo. Great. It's a great ribbon maker, but it's pretty dark sounding as some ribbon makes are. And he has, uh, a lot of proximity effect and um, so it gets even more like dark and full.
If you have a close to the cap and I have that to the side of the speaker more and then like, Uh, even like, uh, yeah, making that, that characteristic even more extreme that way. And what, what happens is I have two faders with completely different sounding things on it. One is the, the bright, aggressive stuff, and one is the full body round smooth stuff.
And because there's a different, you have less face issues because there are barely related. It's like two different signals almost. And you don't, I need. Almost no ACU aside from some notches that you need to do maybe on a, on a, on guitars, but it's like a tilt cue. Like if you move the faders is like a, yeah, you can cue the guitar by just moving those two faders.
And those extremes onto faders gave me [01:10:00] better control and the better overall picture of the guitar, again than just one mic in that particular situation. So it's not always the thing to do. And sometimes 57 is all you need, but, um, It's worth trying. And what I really like about this is the idea of making extreme things and combining them where versus like, I liked that more than doing the opposite, where people would put a bright Mick in a dark spot and then a dark mic and a bright spot and both end up sounding pretty much the same.
Right. So I like to do the opposite. I like to make them even more extreme. So that they are, there are less phase issues on the guitar, for example, and that, that every mic can do what it's, what it does best basically. Right. I like that idea. That's cool. So that's one thing where I just, yeah. Instead of, I would have to start with, with that snapped rom I would have really, I wouldn't have needed like, yeah.
A lot of tweaking would have been necessary to get it to where I would have wanted to be. And that those two mics just did it instantly. So. Cool.
Malcom: [01:10:58] All right. That's a heck of an [01:11:00] episode. There's a lot in there. I really hope that you did have a notepad out because that was necessary.
Benedikt: [01:11:06] Exactly.
Malcom: [01:11:08] My warning to relisten.
Benedikt: [01:11:10] Yeah, that was a good one. I enjoyed that as well. So I lived a lot in the suite. This was action packed, man. All right. Um, let's wrap it up then and, um, see you next week.
Malcom: [01:11:22] Yeah, absolutely. If you haven't already come hang out with us in the Facebook group and, uh, because it's, it's fun times in there. There's some really smart people
Benedikt: [01:11:30] in there.
Yeah, absolutely. Go to the self recording band.com/community. It will take you to the Facebook group, or if you're on Facebook, just search for the self recording bank community, and China's there. And yeah, and we too can wait to see you and yeah, you're the fad, you know, pass out. But all of what we've been talking about in this episode, or at least the most important things and links to stuff will be in the show notes as well, which you'll find if you go to the self recording band.com/fifty.
Um, yeah, because this is [01:12:00] episode number 50. Yay. Yeah. Right on. See you next week. Thank you for listening. .
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