Do you one take tracks? Help me learn how to be like you!

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calaveras
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Post by calaveras » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:15 pm

Over a few years I got really into recording an entire set of electronic instruments into my DAW. Then cutting that up and mashing things around to make breaks, crescendoes etc.
I started to get tired of the homogeneousness of the results, and kind of missed the band experience of writing.
So now I try more to write the basics on a few sequenced modules like the Analog 4. And play over the top of those. I still do a bit of editing in the DAW. But it's more about trimming out a few overplayed bits here and there.

I'm also trying to get more in the frame of mind of hearing with my mind what the track is missing. Then playing that.

Summer before last I did a bunch of tracks just recording my modular and a Korg drum machine into a Zoom H4n. It's kind of educational to hear how bad that take was when you thought your were wiggling the Cianni out of it.
I think I got 3 or 4 keepers over the whole summer!

What that also taught me is that making dramatic moves with your modular requires planning, and deep muscle memory familiarity.
OR
Keeping it super simple. Its really fun to have very complicated patches with all your cables in use. But harder to wield towards desired results.

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RhythmDroid
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Post by RhythmDroid » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:47 pm

The technique of "capturing long swathes of experimentation" and then cutting up and editing into something cohesive is common...but I try and take a step further.

My configuration which has yielded the most finished songs and gotten me gigs has been the same for 20+ years

1) a hardware MIDI sequencer
2) a drum machine/sampler
3) a primary synth
4) all into a mixer then into something that captures stereo audio

And I would always try to do a cohesive, dancefloor/DJ friendly song all in one take.
My setup has changed over the years ONLY in terms of models, but not straying from the above config! In the beginning, I got all drums and synth sound from the sequencer/groovebox itself.

20 year evolution of the "spine" of my music:

Sequencer: MMT-8 > MC-505 > RS7000 > Toraiz Squid
Drums: Yamaha CS1x > MC-505 > TR-707 > Electribe ES-1 > Electribe ESX > Analog Rytm
Synths: Yamaha CS1x > MC-505 > RS7000 > Korg Radias
Mixer: Minidisc 4 track > CR1604 > Vestax 3 channel > A&H Xone:62 > Rane Empath > XAir18

- - - - - - - - - -

The concept has always been: compose a song that can be arranged live by muting/unmuting, changing patterns, and tweaking parameters live. Record a FULL PASS AS IF YOU WERE PERFORMING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE. Go back and listen and see what needs to improve, usually it's adding little swooshes and cymbals, rethinking when elements enter/exit, setting up additional parameters to tweak live on the machines.

Then I psych myself up, hit record, and attempt again, to do a PERFECT TAKE. Pop the song into my phone and take a walk while listening as my ideal audience member. I note what could improve, and then DO IT AGAIN.

Just pretend you are performing and it's gotta be done right. It's tough, I can distract myself and put off recording for hours, days, months, and even years...but the results I swear by. I am very very happy with things I have recorded in this way.
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Cortega
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Post by Cortega » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:41 pm

RhythmDroid wrote:The technique of "capturing long swathes of experimentation" and then cutting up and editing into something cohesive is common...but I try and take a step further.

My configuration which has yielded the most finished songs and gotten me gigs has been the same for 20+ years

1) a hardware MIDI sequencer
2) a drum machine/sampler
3) a primary synth
4) all into a mixer then into something that captures stereo audio

And I would always try to do a cohesive, dancefloor/DJ friendly song all in one take.
My setup has changed over the years ONLY in terms of models, but not straying from the above config! In the beginning, I got all drums and synth sound from the sequencer/groovebox itself.

20 year evolution of the "spine" of my music:

Sequencer: MMT-8 > MC-505 > RS7000 > Toraiz Squid
Drums: Yamaha CS1x > MC-505 > TR-707 > Electribe ES-1 > Electribe ESX > Analog Rytm
Synths: Yamaha CS1x > MC-505 > RS7000 > Korg Radias
Mixer: Minidisc 4 track > CR1604 > Vestax 3 channel > A&H Xone:62 > Rane Empath > XAir18

- - - - - - - - - -

The concept has always been: compose a song that can be arranged live by muting/unmuting, changing patterns, and tweaking parameters live. Record a FULL PASS AS IF YOU WERE PERFORMING FOR YOUR AUDIENCE. Go back and listen and see what needs to improve, usually it's adding little swooshes and cymbals, rethinking when elements enter/exit, setting up additional parameters to tweak live on the machines.

Then I psych myself up, hit record, and attempt again, to do a PERFECT TAKE. Pop the song into my phone and take a walk while listening as my ideal audience member. I note what could improve, and then DO IT AGAIN.

Just pretend you are performing and it's gotta be done right. It's tough, I can distract myself and put off recording for hours, days, months, and even years...but the results I swear by. I am very very happy with things I have recorded in this way.
Thank you very much for this Insight ! :yay:

Do you sequence the Drums with the Rytm Seq. or with the Toraiz too ?

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RhythmDroid
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Post by RhythmDroid » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:19 pm

Cortega wrote:
Thank you very much for this Insight ! :yay:

Do you sequence the Drums with the Rytm Seq. or with the Toraiz too ?
The Squid currently doesn't have the best pattern organization...so I'm reluctant to really have it sequence more than one machine (my Radias). Analog Rytm's sequencer is tightly integrated into the sound engine (parameter automation within a pattern is THE BEST") so I'm fine using it's internal sequencer.
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BendingBus
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Post by BendingBus » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:33 pm

For me, the line between "live-in-the-studio" and "overdubbed" has become blurry, as my modular setup has evolved.

I'm using a Maschine sequencer (3x midi cable outs) to drive a MOTM synth (3x 650s which output 8 synth audio channels to the recorder). Playing/programming into the sequencer is essentially what I used to call overdubbing (back when I recorded bands using acoustic instruments). Except now, the audio from those overdubs is not actually captured immediately; rather, it's captured all at once "live" during the final playback (with live knob tweaks).

Vastly superior to the old overdubbing days. The problem with overdubbing was always that you couldn't hear how the next tracks you were going to lay down, would sit with the current track you were laying down. If the tracks didn't quite gel, you'd have to go back and re-record the first tracks, or try to "fix it in the mix." But now I just tweak all tracks simultaneously until they sound right together. This also makes the actual mixing process a lot easier, because a lot of "mixing" was done using the synth knobs.

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XXXEsq
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Post by XXXEsq » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:08 pm

This is my current goal - one shot multitrack recording into a DAW.

I use an Analog RYTM MkII and a Social Entropy Engine (with a CV board installed) both synced to the clock coming off the DAW. I can use the Engine as the master, but I like having things synced up in the DAW in case I want to go back and fix something small in an otherwise great take.
(Making music is the final goal, and the method and gear are just tools)

The RYTM outputs individual instruments (and now midi!)
The Engine controls 7 different analog synths - A Moog 1, Model D and OB6 via midi; an SEM and 3 other modular tracks (patched as desired) via CV/Gate, and a single control track that does various things on a per-project basis.

On some projects, I may send a control track midi CC out to my Expressionist that then gets turned into a gate and/or CV and sent back to the modular. On others, I use the track modulation feature to alter other internal Engine tracks to do ratcheting or vary gates or velocity. It is possible to do both at the same time....

I use the Engine snapshots and RYTM patterns together to keep things lined up. I build the parts one layer at a time. Then when performing them, I mute/unmute; add fills, change patterns, sequence directions and probabilities, etc.. Once I feel I've worked a specific scene, I move to the next pattern/snapshot and start over.

I've been working on a pretty intricate piece for a few weeks now which I hope to complete and record in a single pass later this month.
Moog IIP, Dot.Com 110, Moog One 16V, MiniMoog, Cubase 10.5/64, Ableton Live 10.1.2/64, W10Pro/64, i75820/GigaX99SLI/16Gigs Hyper-X, 3xSSDs, 2xMR816, MidiExpress128, Expressionist, Social Entropy Engine, Novation SL61MKII, SL49MKII, HPD15, HR824s, NS10Ms, Analog Rytm Mk II, Komplet12, Omnisphere 2.6, RMX, Trillian, Analog Lab, MMV2, Z3ta+, Axon AX50, Customized Variax JTV69s (the Hexstainocaster), 700, Strat, Godin ACS Slim, Helix.

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Eichburger
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Re:

Post by Eichburger » Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:47 am

This...
RhythmDroid wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:47 pm
Then I psych myself up, hit record, and attempt again, to do a PERFECT TAKE. Pop the song into my phone and take a walk while listening as my ideal audience member. I note what could improve, and then DO IT AGAIN.

Just pretend you are performing and it's gotta be done right. It's tough, I can distract myself and put off recording for hours, days, months, and even years...but the results I swear by. I am very very happy with things I have recorded in this way.
...and this...
BendingBus wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:33 pm
The problem with overdubbing was always that you couldn't hear how the next tracks you were going to lay down, would sit with the current track you were laying down. If the tracks didn't quite gel, you'd have to go back and re-record the first tracks, or try to "fix it in the mix." But now I just tweak all tracks simultaneously until they sound right together. This also makes the actual mixing process a lot easier, because a lot of "mixing" was done using the synth knobs.
...have really clarified a lot for me, thanks guys. I've been heading in this direction for a while but without really knowing why, just a gut feeling.

I use a Koma Komplex sequencer generating looped parts for up to 6 modular voices (mostly semi modular or single manufacturer voices) with Doepfer A-155 and various switches to arrange the parts. During recording I am mostly creating variations and movement by switching parts in and out, transposing, tweaking, etc. All effects are also hardware modular and it's all recorded via a mixer to Cubase though I also record the channel direct outs.

The big question for me is how far to go with editing, overdubbing, processing once the live take is done. I tend to leave the recordings for a couple of months and then go back to them and do some editing, comping and arrangement tweaks. Sometimes I think about doing much more processing and overdubbing but other times I think about just ditching the direct outs and recording the live mix. :hmm:

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sutekina bipu-on
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Re: Do you one take tracks? Help me learn how to be like you!

Post by sutekina bipu-on » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:00 am

The best way to do it imo is to do a live mix, but unless you have enough nice enough hardware to let you capture all the pre fader and post mix signal of each track, you have to compromise on some way of how to record it.
I used to send everything into a multi-bus mixer then record each 4 bus separately, and mix those in the DAW later.
Now for most cases i can get away with using the external inputs on my TR-8S and recording that via usb, but i hate having to use an interface to re-track it out with hardware fx. (tube pre's and stuff i would otherwise be putting the drums thru). But you can send two mono signals into it and treat them individually to some degree
The only thing i can say for sure is make a stereo recording of the master out when doing one takes because its easy to forget to hit record on one track on the sickest one take jam you ever did in your life and then you either have to re-do it or at least have your stereo mixdown to put in the daw and make it sound as good as it can.
The short answer is there's no winning but you can always figure out a way to integrate what you have into a workflow conducive to success with this sort of recording style as risk-free as possible.

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acidbob
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Re:

Post by acidbob » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:41 pm

_nathan wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:34 pm
A lot of people in this thread are probably better at improvising a live-to-2-track set. I do it the more fussy, control freak way - everything is sequenced on the Octatrack so by the time I record it's pretty much there.

Takes a lot of time in arrange mode, copying and altering patterns, and parameter locks but I prefer that to multitracking and getting lost editing in the computer.
Same here, except I have two MD, A4, Digitone and RYTM.
Sometimes I use a sequence or two in my daw when I want to do chords.
Basically doing as much processing as possible out of the box, but I invested in 32 input soundcard to my DAW, so I get all the channels.
Rarely I edit in the DAW, but EQ, compressor and mutings/removing noise, and stereo widening.
Here is a track, you might like it or not, but this is the stuff I do, mostly


The idea with recording on the phone and listening is super good. Also something that I use.

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chaocrator
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Re: Do you one take tracks? Help me learn how to be like you!

Post by chaocrator » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:05 am

yes, i do.
requires: quite a lot of rehearsals, a proper sequencer (e.g. Squarp Pyramid), and a multitrack recorder (e.g. Zoom LiveTrak L-12).
i often just record rehearsals — who knows when a good take happens.
that UFO behind me is real

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