multitrack overdub recording question

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multitrack overdub recording question

Post by artilect99 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:22 pm

Hi all,
Not entirely new to DAW recording but I have always used it pretty much like a 2-track tape machine and haven't done much multitracking. I can't find a convenient way to get external gear synced up with recorded audio. I am trying to record a sequenced part (outboard synth hardware and modular gear, analog clocks) over another sequenced track already recorded.

How do you guys sync everything up in a case like this? Do you send a midi start command lined up with the recorded audio start point, or record a clock signal to an audio track and pipe it out of the DAW, or what? Is there a way to send analog clock natively from the DAW (reaper or live) to a hardware output?

If it helps to know I have a korg SQ1 and drumbrute which both can convert MIDI clock to analog clock, and I'm using Reaper right now but also have Ableton Live 8.1 (that I never really got along with, but am thinking of going back to.)

I would love to hear what solutions you have come up with. (aside from inevitably buying an expert sleepers module :hihi: )

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Post by Koekepan » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:46 pm

There are many of ways of doing this, whether manual or automated.

DIN SYNC, MIDI start/stop, tape synchronisation signals, plain old metronome sounds and a quick finger on the button, another channel with a telltale click that you can use for later adjustment...

It really just depends on which facilities you have.

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Post by calaveras » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:26 pm

usually I sync the hardware to itself, then record it free of sync between the computer and the hardware.
When I overdub stuff, if I want it to be in sync I will use beat mapping to detect the tempo. Just because the drum machine said 80bpm doesn't mean it is true. Drum machines are well known liars!

Once it's beat mapped, I can then sync external boxes to the DAWs MIDI out.

You may have to fiddle with SPP MMC and transport settings of your DAW and the boxes you want to control. On some it's a simple midi sync on/off. Others may have more fine grained control where you can have MIDI on, SPP on, but transport/MMC off. This might be desired if you want a sequence to play in time, but not start at the top of the song!

The other tricky part is delay compensation. Some but not all DAWs will more or less do this automatically now. But I still find that I have to drag things around every now and then to line them up. Usually the external MIDI gear will be a tiny bit late. I just find the 'one' and line up the sequence on top of the kick drum.

I used to try and record midi and audio simultaneosly, and sync everything to a master drum machine, or to the DAW. But this resulted in too much instability. It appears that MIDI is no longer an A list feature. It doesn't seem to be a well vetted, thoroughly debugged part of modern DAWs. Even with class compliant devices!

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Post by The_hitcher » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:04 pm

This may not help you with your rack, but I was using a pulse from an alternate audio out from Ableton into Tempi to sync with the DAW. I recently got a keystep and this can be synced through USB to Live and you can send a gate or sync signal to your rack. Not everyone has a Tempi, but a lot of people have a keystep.

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Post by artilect99 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:49 am

I think what I may do in the future is mult the clock signal to its own track in the DAW and then send that out of a separate output when overdubbing.

The problem is how wacky the drumbrutes clock is. It was the main clock for this track I recorded (mostly because it has a bpm readout) at 98 bpm, but when I set the daw to 98 the beat markers are completely out of sync with the audio after 1 minute or so.

I tried for a long time to sync it up by making fine adjustments to DAW tempo, but there was no way to get the whole thing in sync all the way through -- so I guess the DB clock is just floating all over the place.

I have heard people talk about the particular "groove" of certain drum machines -- maybe this is what they are talking about.

I guess I could just record the new track at 98 bpm and then line it up manually afterwards, but this makes it hard during recording if it's not in sync.

Overall I think I hate overdubbing. :hihi:

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