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santellavision

So, I bought Pro Tools.

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I know I'm asking for trouble with this. But, I bought a ProTools recording rig and just finished a few tunes for a new band demo. It wasn't too hard to learn, but I have a totally new respect for recording engineers now!!

Long story long, I had the band over and we recorded some tracks in my little man-cave. All direct, electronic drums and guitars are all Axe-Fx II. Everything was live to disk with only vocal and solos overdubbed. What a blast.

Without too much flaming, comments would be appreciated. We didn't intend for these tracks to be a CD, just a quickie band demo. (As crazy as it may sound, we recorded 7 tunes in about 5 hours total!!) Here's a couple, I'm still mixing the rest.

SRV - Cold Shot


Black Crowes - Jealous Again

Susan Tedeschi - I Fell in Love

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Sounds good. My suggestion is to pan things more. Sounds like you have things straight up. Things will open up and sound wider.

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I didn't get a chance to run it through my good monitors but even through the little computer speakers I tend to agree with silentman. It sounds really good but almost mono. That can easily happen when you're running nearly everything direct. You lose the "wash" that live drums, live amps and live mikes bring to the table. Panning is a delicate thing, though...there's a real fine line between not enough and way too much. Spread things out a little and it will open up and give you a nicer overall sound "picture."

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Thanks guys!! Yeah, it's really hard to get a full stereo and room feel, as even the Roland drums were output mono, so no chance to pan toms or hi hats etc. I did try on a few tracks to pan the guitars L/R and the Keys to one side. Also, pan the background vocals around, but, you guys are right on, too center. I'll work on that.

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sounds good.

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It sounds a little sterile to me. The bass sounds a little lifeless in its tone, not the playing. The guitars sound good, but something is missing.

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Headphones can help if speakers or monitors are lacking. But I think what you did is pretty cool. Good work outta ya.

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I've been wanting to move up to ProTools myself. What you have sounds pretty good to me - especially for your first time messin' with it

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I don't know if others share this experience but I know something happens to me when I hit record -- my playing gets all self conscious. I have this more when I'm the one doing the recording vs recording for someone else.... like my anxiety about capturing the performance makes me perform anxiously. I'm much more fluid and expressive when others record me. Did you experience anything like this? Did wearing the recording engineer hat change the way you played?

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I don't know if others share this experience but I know something happens to me when I hit record -- my playing gets all self conscious. I have this more when I'm the one doing the recording vs recording for someone else.... like my anxiety about capturing the performance makes me perform anxiously. I'm much more fluid and expressive when others record me. Did you experience anything like this? Did wearing the recording engineer hat change the way you played?

For me it is just too many things to think about, and my playing suffers (goes from sucky to really sucky.) I do somewhat better when someone else (even my 9 year old kid) is pushing the buttons and I can just play.

Re the original post, I think that sounds pretty good for a first time, going direct. Maybe my ears are too used to the modern, uber-squashed sound, but I wonder if a little more compression would help make the whole mix sound more up front, if that makes any sense. That would help bring up the overall level, too, which wouldn't hurt. Regardless, a nice job!

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I sound just like a cross between Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Stevie Ray Vaughan, with a splash of Gary Moore... until I hit record...

Then I sound like a guitar falling down stairs...

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I don't have as much of a problem recording my self playing really. I've always recorded myself playing. I actually still have a tape or two of me playing in the first few weeks of starting to learn. (what this says about me.. :D )

It is singing that I can't handle recording myself. I totally tense and change my voice. Rarely can I get relaxed and not pay attention to the mic.

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Sounds great to me. Everyone has their own style, but I like to mix so that the cymbals sound farther away.

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Hey nice job, especially for being new to it! Gave a quick listen on laptop...

What's the deal with the major chord organ part in Cold Shot?? Kinda gives it a circus vibe :)

Is there a bass on there? Like I said just gave it a 'quickie' on my laptop but it probably should be more apparent?? maybe check that out.

Guitar playing sounds good! (and lets be clear.... that's all that really matters here! haha)

Drums sound 'simulated' but hey... thats what they are!

Overall, it's a big thumbs up from me!! :D

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The instruments sounded fine to me with the exception of the bass lacking attack and definition, but it seemed like there were some "extra" background vocals. I think a lot of folks think they're thickening the sound when they do that but too much is too much in some cases. I'd definitely mix them lower and maybe cut out a few voices.

It took my band a month last year to demo about 7 songs at a friend's "studio", and it sounded like shit in comparison to what you did in a few hours. Kudos for that.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I learned a heck of a lot from trying these recordings. The next go round should be a lot better. I'm just glad I got stuff down on disk and it wasn't all distorted - haha. Just kidding. Now, I've listened to these tracks on about 1/2 dozen different speakers/systems, the car, laptops etc and it really does sound completely different. Too much bass, not enough, too much verb, too dry. That's why I mentioned how I give kudos to good engineers who can do this in their sleep and and make it sound great everywhere, it's freakin' hard!

But, it saved us a ton of money to get some new demo tracks for potential gigs. That was the goal. I'll probably go back and re-mix most of them using all you guys's input.

Thanks again!!!!

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that sounds great for a quick n dirty recording!

i'm in the minority in that i like a good set of V-drums for some situations;

i was in a jazz trio w/ a guy who had some, and you couldn't tell on recordings.

they are so easy to record.

agree w/ the comments about bass & keys;

put some hair on the bass tone, most of it will disapear when the bands playing.

what is it about keyboardists, they always want to play full chords w/ 3rds & 7ths, ha.

nice job, ernie. wizard sleeves is gonna try a recording soon at my pals pro tools bedroom studio

(wish we had some V-drums, its a very small room).

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Mixing and mastering is hard. Really fucking hard. Drive you fucking crazy on the rooftop hard.

But it is really fucking fun too!

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Btw, I don't cuss much, just wanted to reinterate just how FUCKING HARD it can be...

:D

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It's hard getting things to sound good everywhere. You need to mix on a pair of good flat response studio monitors. If you like, we can have you export the tracks and I can take a crack at mixing it for you. Maybe do a song at a time. Hit me up via email if you like.

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For a quick demo, that all sounds really cool. The greatest thing about ProTools is that it's 100% the professional industry standard, so the more you learn about it, the more time you'll save in getting that inspirational idea down when it hits you - and if you ever get the time or inclination to record in a 'proper' studio, the chances are that's what they'll be using. The vast range of plugins available for pocket-money prices also saves you a heck of a lot of dough in fancy outboards and similar.

Have fun with it, it's a purchase you'll never regret.

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For a quick demo, that all sounds really cool. The greatest thing about ProTools is that it's 100% the professional industry standard, so the more you learn about it, the more time you'll save in getting that inspirational idea down when it hits you - and if you ever get the time or inclination to record in a 'proper' studio, the chances are that's what they'll be using. The vast range of plugins available for pocket-money prices also saves you a heck of a lot of dough in fancy outboards and similar.

Have fun with it, it's a purchase you'll never regret.

Said this and got a like for it.

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I get more self conscious when others record me. I usually try to play an hour or so before I even walk in to a session and remind myself that no one has to pay for tape anymore anyway. When I recording myself, I just set up a loop if necessary, track until my playing starts sounding loose and natural, and piece the best sounding chunks together. Sometimes you have to take a breath and remember when it is your stuff, you are doing it because you love it and it's fun. It's so easy to get worked up over the process of recording your stuff that you forget why you do it in the first place.

I was glad that I got to do some studio sessions back in the early 2000s when it was still normal to see 2" analog being used as well as 32 track DASH. If you think Pro Tools can get crazy, you should see a good engineer run a mix down from tape and no flying faders. I knew a couple of guys who could play an 88 channel SSL like Back playing a fugue on pipe organ. I remember one song we had filled out nearly all 32 tracks on the dig tape and took the engineer and three guys in the band to do the mix with him cuing us. It was definitely an art, and I was glad to see it practiced a little bit there at the very end before Pro Tools became a fixture just about everywhere.

On the other hand, I paid for one reel of 2" once and swore I would never record on it again unless someone else was paying :D Pro Tools definitely makes a quality recording on a budget possible for us mere mortals.

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