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

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janglesoul
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Post by janglesoul » Mon May 18, 2015 1:31 pm

Hi there wigglers,
First ever post in this forum! Really interesting to read about all your experiences. I've just recently gotten interested by the idea of "one-takes". I did my first one the other day. What I like about it is that it forces me to finish something. At the end of a finished session I will have a track to listen back to. Warts & all, happy/unhappy accidents etc - sure, but I like the directness of it.Just getting lots of tracks made, quantity will lead to quality in the end.

To me it is the antithesis to being stuck with endless tweaking in a DAW, nothing is ever finished since I'm bored with the song before it gets to the finish line. In the long run I might try to go for some mix. Editing afterwards or maybe overdub something.

Originally a guitarist/songwriter I'm a real newbie to everything synth. The other day I had my Arturia beatstep sequencing a Microbrute and clocking a Volca beats. I did all editing in real time, switching speeds on the Beatstep, tweaking delays into oscillation etc, muteing different drums on the Volca etc. Next time I'll see if I can let the Beatstep sequence my pawnshop rompler so the Microbrute can play it's own internal sequencer. An other idea is to use my SP-404sx to sample, let's say a bass pattern, so I can have more different parts weave into each other.

It's great fun at least!
= = = = = = = =
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Gear: SP-404SX, Microbrute, Beatstep, Volca Beats, RE-501, amps, guitars, pedals, Live

Ashi
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Post by Ashi » Tue May 19, 2015 4:01 am

very interesting thread :sb: I started to record a stereo file of me performing my material and then record the individual parts as well - my plan is to use the quick stereo track as a guide for the detailed arrangement to try and capture the moment so to speak - I usually have the problem that a day after recording the individual parts I don't feel them as much anymore..

How much gear do you feel you need though? Without a few different sound sources and effects it seems very hard to get a interesting track going to me..

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etantloh
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Post by etantloh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:39 am

I'm used to recording strictly inside a DAW (pro tools), and have tons of great software instruments. I generally use similar techniques as have been discussed here in terms of cutting, editing, layering, looping etc. I got into modular mostly for the hardware interaction aspect of it but quickly started to appreciate the spontaneous composition aspect. Now, every time I turn on my synth whether it's to practice using individual modules or just experimenting, I open Ableton and send clock to the mother 32 and midi 3 and record everything.

I'm scouring MW right now trying to find some techniques for simultaneously sequencing complete tracks (drums, harmony, melody) with the same modular system. I have a fairly modest 208 hp system, started off with a Mother 32 but added a good assortment of additional modules. I have a Midi3 so can have a couple sequences going, and I have 8hp left to fill.

If anyone by chance happens to see this post and can point me in the right direction in the MW forums or has techniques they'd want to share to achieve what I described above that would be the kittens mittens

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/305274 :hihi:

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etantloh
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Post by etantloh » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:55 am

I'm used to recording strictly inside a DAW (pro tools), and have tons of great software instruments. I generally use similar techniques as have been discussed here in terms of cutting, editing, layering, looping etc. I got into modular mostly for the hardware interaction aspect of it but quickly started to appreciate the spontaneous composition aspect. Now, every time I turn on my synth whether it's to practice using individual modules or just experimenting, I open Ableton and send clock to the mother 32 and midi 3 and record everything.

I'm scouring MW right now trying to find some techniques for simultaneously sequencing complete tracks (drums, harmony, melody) with the same modular system. I have a fairly modest 208 hp system, started off with a Mother 32 but added a good assortment of additional modules. I have a Midi3 so can have a couple sequences going, and I have 8hp left to fill.

If anyone by chance happens to see this post and can point me in the right direction in the MW forums or has techniques they'd want to share to achieve what I described above that would be the kittens mittens

https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/305274 :hihi:

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wsy
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Post by wsy » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:40 pm

Villarceau wrote:It's good to warm up before recording/really start working. I tend to jam for an hour at least before I start recording a track. It's a habit that I successfully patched over from my guitar playing days.
I get exactly the opposite. I'll tweak and wiggle for a while, turn off the synth, go do something else.

Then the next day, come back, and the next three minutes are magical beautiful wondrous music. The kind when
I get to the end, I pot it down and have to remember to breathe for a minute or two. Literally breathtakingly amazing.

But only when I forget :doh: to turn on the TASCAM first. :cry:

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Villarceau
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Post by Villarceau » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:35 pm

My habit only is indeed only meaningful when you're actually playing notes, like on a keyboard. Last week I had this patch I liked and I played notes on a keyboard and modulated the timbre using a ribbon, I missed a hand for some knob tweaking. So I would rather not be like anybody, one take tracks aren't that cool, even when it's just a monosynth on one track because if you don't have enough hands, your sounds simply miss out.
Shiva is the god of one take tracks.

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Hainbach
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Post by Hainbach » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:11 pm

I record to stereo track tape and edit digital so here i my 2€:

1. Get stuff sounding good technically after you are satisfied artistically. Gates, EQ, Comps, Reverb etc.
2. Rehearse
3. Record
4. Listen to what the track wants versus what you did
5. Record again if needed
6. Record variations and mess around
7. Edit with a clear mind in the morning. Learn from the mistakes that the free-jamming idiot made last night.

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D Beau
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Post by D Beau » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:08 pm

I always aim for one-takes, but I rarely succeed. I pipe everything through one or two mono lines, and even though I might be satisfied with my "warts and all" results at the time, those warts start to irritate me later on.

Edits can range from quick band aids (kick drums starting a beat too late) to open heart surgery (abridging a section I let run for too long). Sometimes the modular itself is to blame, with free running LFOs making doomsday planetary alignments and random sources deciding to be assholes at inopportune times. But usually it's just me sucking.

I've made a habit of recording solos for every sound source, but I still find editing modular music to be an absolute nightmare. Everything is constantly shifting and churning and interacting with everything else, so "seamless" edits are usually out of the question. I've come to accept the fact that finding creative fixes for my own fuckups is an inevitable part of "my process."

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timoka
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Post by timoka » Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:02 pm

Hainbach wrote:I record to stereo track tape and edit digital so here i my 2€:

1. Get stuff sounding good technically after you are satisfied artistically. Gates, EQ, Comps, Reverb etc.
2. Rehearse
3. Record
4. Listen to what the track wants versus what you did
5. Record again if needed
6. Record variations and mess around
7. Edit with a clear mind in the morning. Learn from the mistakes that the free-jamming idiot made last night.
good 2€, i take them!

i usually record one stereo track and 2 mono tracks at the same time directly to daw.
i always edit and often find new ideas during that so i prepare and record a second take.
i have the best ideas when listening to a spare one take recording...so it always ends up being a 2 or 3 take thing...

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etantloh
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Post by etantloh » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:13 pm

D Beau wrote:I've come to accept the fact that finding creative fixes for my own fuckups is an inevitable part of "my process."
Yep :lol:
All things in modulation
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https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/305274

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sparood
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Post by sparood » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:15 pm

I am a simple man, I only do one-takes with some basic/minimal editing afterwards up to this point.

However it does take it's time, most sessions last 2 or 3 hours. Funny thing is, I feel I achieve the best results when I'm wiggling hours without going anywhere, be done with it, unplug everything, re-patch in a different way and go for another take.

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Hi5
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Post by Hi5 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:46 pm

Making the tetno, I have been using just hardware and only live takes with much better results than being stuck only in the computer. The biggest plus for me was getting a board that I could record plenty of direct channels from. At the moment I can grab 20 separate tracks from a live session (typically I only do 10-14 per piece). With this method I don't have to worry if every transition or number of pattern repeats was exactly as it needed to be since I can easily truncate things after the fact. Having each sound isolated makes the editing even easier than committing to a 2-track only situation.

I just track out everything I want to accomplish in the piece during the live take and trim the fat from there with eq/compression as needed.
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tron23
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Post by tron23 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:25 pm

sparood wrote:I am a simple man, I only do one-takes with some basic/minimal editing afterwards up to this point.

However it does take it's time, most sessions last 2 or 3 hours. Funny thing is, I feel I achieve the best results when I'm wiggling hours without going anywhere, be done with it, unplug everything, re-patch in a different way and go for another take.
The same thing is happening over here, it probably has to do with the mind set after listening to non sense for that long. We somehow need to get to a beautiful place musically after that I suppose. :guinness:

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MindMachine
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Post by MindMachine » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:11 am

X PRO wrote:
tIB wrote:Im a one take wiggler- I build stuff on multiple machines, jam it out into a stereo master recorder. The option is there to edit the stereo file afterwards, which I sometimes do and sometimes dont.

For better or worse it is my preferred way of working and I've been working that way pretty much always- I tried on the computer when I first started out but didnt get very far- much prefer working up a track, getting it sounding as good as I can and jamming it out to sitting with loops at a computer.

I'll try to add more to this if needed... just off to bed now but if you have specifics you want answers to fire away.
i work basically the same way.
usually i sequence out whatever i want, when i'm happy with it i play thru my sequences as i want and mess with stuff live as it records.

i always just finish my work until i like how it sounds, turn on the recorder and let it go

as long as i don't fuck it up while recording that's it really.

i also usually play most of it live while it's recording with a few layers looping on a sequencer, i would play it all live but i don't have enough hands or perfect enough timing
Same process here. I try to preview the different mixer channels before hitting record, so I don't have any spikes, etc. But fairly often, inevitably, a channel will be too low or loud in a spot. I am thinking of going into a Korg D8 live versus to stereo live. Then I could kill a bad channel muff and set channel levels better, etc. or even mixdown a little. But I've yet to crack the old D8 since I am too busy jamming live to stereo still.

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felixer
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Post by felixer » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:23 pm

janglesoul wrote:In the long run I might try to go for some mix. Editing afterwards or maybe overdub something.
yep, whatever is good you leave alone. whatever is bad you edit ...

for my own solo stuff i do a lot of overdubbing since i only have 2 hands and 2 feet. for the group stuff we keep it at one take. but there is always mixing where you might change things ...
whatever it takes 8-)
don't need midi, don't need keys, just want knobs and cables (all together now ;-)

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i.murray.fraser
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Post by i.murray.fraser » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:01 pm

I'm starting to realize that if I don't get things to a complete, or nearly complete, state within the session that I probably won't do anything with it. For this reason, I generally do a single take, or do very quick multitracking with my Zoom R8. So far, if something is a bit cool, but doesn't get finished, I just throw it onto the computer and basically forget about it. At some point, I'm hoping I feel like mixing and matching all those fragments in ableton, but we'll see if that ever comes about. I'm not super keen on computer music making at the moment.

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Paranormal Patroler
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Post by Paranormal Patroler » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Very inspiring thread. I haven't recorded in so long ...
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suboptimal
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Post by suboptimal » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:56 am

I was in a long drought of recording before I got my Zoom R16 and committed to the single take approach. Now I have a bunch of takes of badly executed modular tracks. But I'm finding that my skills are getting noticeably better, I think as a consequence of stripping away all but the bare essential complications so I can focus on being a musician and developing patches that lend themselves to evolution through performance. My music is still shit, though. :hihi:

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RubberGong
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Post by RubberGong » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:04 am

I am also doing one take stereo recordings, i do use a Squarp Sequencer for both my CV and midi instruments. I find that i tend to work on an arrangement for a week or so, slowly building parts up - adding stuff. Jamming and recording, often doing relatively shitty recordings, but mentally noting where the fuck-ups are.

I use a A/H 24 channel mixer and an Shure Auxpander. A LOT OF AUXILLARIES, and stereo effect sends. I find that quite a lot of dub mixing techniques are really musical and fun. I use Comps i mix into. I don't do any mastering myself.

I sometimes wish for the magical multitrack recording RME_800 / 802 - and just getting rid of all errors afterwards. But generally i am left with quite a lot of remixes, trial and error stuff i do think helps me grow.

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drcz
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Post by drcz » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:20 pm

One thing that i saw somewhere "between the lines" in previous posts, that requires to be stated "brutally" is: practice. As with every instrument, a regular practice (aided by some notes and re-listening on the next day) is probably the most important part of doing a single-take recordings that will satisfy you.
My setups are extremely simple [because of the genre], yet on musically active periods I do practice 1-3h every day (technically: night) most often recording for future examination; also, if 20min after pressing "record" there is a mistake or an accident, just press "stop", take a deep breath, a sip of water, and start over.
With time the process seems to become easier -- because (a) you know your instrument better, and (b) you are trained in patience.
good luck, one-take 4 life!

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mycoST
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Post by mycoST » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:20 pm

All my tracks (none of them are out to the world yet though) are one-takes, just for the reason that I want to make and finish songs and move on. I am way too impatient to edit later, so yeah the results are pretty rough, but I would rather have a rough song than no song at all.

Practicing and getting the feel for the song is the most important for me. Acknowledging that you only have two hands and you can only do so much real-time tweaking in a one-take is crucial, even though it is tempting to twist and turn every know as much as possible, if it doesn't enhance the feel of the song, leave it.

Recording in the morning also gives me a clear mind, I don't get that much done in the evenings unfortunately

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Post by efexx » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:46 am

I tried all different approaches, ITB, OTB and a mix of both. Bought adat extensions for my soundcard to record 16 channels from directs outs and groups of my mixing desk. But at the end by far the best method for me is to just record 2-Track and later (best is another day) have just a very light editing of the best parts or sometimes even not that.
I have a hardware-mixer, effects, compressors and my Hardware-sequencers are super powerful. So why should I do everything that I did already with tactile hardware, do again with the mouse ? It would be just again, mixing, sequencing, effecting....

I also loose the live-feel and the little imperfections that gives this organic feel to the recording. For me even some music releases from different artists often sound too overproduced. Like every frequency is perfect cutted, all exact arranged and the automation curves are just perfect. Sounds often dead to me.

Another advantage : You learn faster and with more fun, because you put all task into one live-process. You get forced to mix it nicely and build your patterns exciting. Not record everything halfassed and have later 1000x options to edit it.

And : Everytime you record, you also practice how to play live, because the Studio und Live-process doesn’t differ much.


So just press record and have fun.

Technologear?
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Post by Technologear? » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:47 pm

Hainbach nailed it with this:
Hainbach wrote:I record to stereo track tape and edit digital so here i my 2€:

1. Get stuff sounding good technically after you are satisfied artistically. Gates, EQ, Comps, Reverb etc.
2. Rehearse
3. Record
4. Listen to what the track wants versus what you did
5. Record again if needed
6. Record variations and mess around
7. Edit with a clear mind in the morning. Learn from the mistakes that the free-jamming idiot made last night.
I'll add:
0. Ensure that your monitoring is accurate enough for you to make good decisions about the mix balance before you hit record - you can't turn down that cowbell in post.
3. ... Only if you're thinking "this sounds freaking awesome!", or "I'm going to record this to keep working on [some technical goal you're working on, like 'relying less on cowbell to carry the song,'].
4. ... Listening back, first focus on it creatively "is this piece keeping me engaged as a listener?", then technically "should I turn up the ring mod on the cowbell?".
7. ... Only edit if "this STILL sounds awesome!" or "I need to practice editing/mixing stereo 2 tracks"

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naturligfunktion
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Post by naturligfunktion » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:32 am

Very inspiring thread!

I absolutely love the idea and aesthetic of a one-shot recording (that is, after all, how Neil Young likes it) but I suck terrible at it. Every song I make is based on a jam, but the end result is usually pretty far from the original recording. I usually only keep one or two components from the first jam (I multitrack). There is A LOT of overdubbing and editing going on in the computer. Every track takes time to finish...

It works pretty good tho. But I would like to have free'er approach to making songs. I probably need to practice more :doh:
A new track for your enjoyment

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wiggies
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Post by wiggies » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:26 pm

I do one-take recordings ... over and over again.

When I build a patch, I'm trying to create a structure that will play itself with minimal intervention from me, or sometimes a patch that I master control from one module (usually Frames).

As I build the patch, I'll record some takes. As the patch evolves, I'll record some takes. As the patch matures, I'll tweak the settings and record some takes. When I feel like I'm done with the hardware routing and knob-setting, I'll record some takes.

When I feel like I've taken everything from the patch in its current state, I'll sometimes make a radical change--record at a different clock speed, or change scales on the quantizers. And record more takes.

I record 8 tracks into my DAW straight from the modular. Sometimes, I'll play back one of the takes soon after recording it (listening helps me know what the patch needs--it's not always obvious when playing live). If I'm liking it, I'll work on the mix, add effects, etc., and then I'll render the track.

So, I end up with multiple versions of tracks, and lots of disk space on my computer gets used up on tracks I never listen to.

I've recently undertaken collecting some of my best bits and editing them down to a reasonable length for an album.

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