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Recording Modular Music: How do you do it?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Recording Modular Music: How do you do it?
What's everyones process of recording modular music?

What DAW, post processing, automation, plugins, interfaces do we use for the best result of music thats a single stereo instrument?
I sold my drums and three guitars just to twiddle with knobs..
I take the output of the WMD performance mixer via a DB25 snake to get 6 separate tracks into my interface (focusrite 18i8 mk3), one per voice. All effects are hardware and applied in the rack.

I record using Reaper, and the only studio trickery is some master bus compression for glue. Can't think of anything more of a buzzkill than making modular music that requires extensive time with the computer, so my workflow reflects that.
I multitrack everything into Ableton via a soundcraft signature MTK12. I use channel 6 for delay, 7/8 for my turntables, 9/10 for reverb and 11/12 for monitoring. The other channels are for the modular, drum machine and what not.

It is of highest importance that the levels are correct, so it is really good to use channel 11/12 for monitoring. After I have recorded I do all the post-processing in Ableton. I group things in Ableton and send them out to the various channels of the mixing desk. Channel 7/8 is usually for drums, and 11/12 is for FX e.g. When the song is done, I make a print of the track by recording channel 13/14 (the master out). Then I listen to it on other speakers, make adjustments, make several other prints until it sounds good. Then it is done. If I release the music, I let a professional master it.
VM wrote:
I take the output of the WMD performance mixer via a DB25 snake to get 6 separate tracks into my interface (focusrite 18i8 mk3), one per voice. All effects are hardware and applied in the rack.

I record using Reaper, and the only studio trickery is some master bus compression for glue.

My method is both similar and different to this. If I am stemming out from my modular, it’s usually module > Focusrite OctoPre/18i20 combo. I usually track with effects. If I am capturing the entire modular, it’s eurorack mixer > output module > stereo out > interface.

Post effects are usually of the ‘clean ‘em up’ variety, maybe some corrective EQ, but essentially it’s not very different from the live sound.

I use several sub buses in my mix template split by frequency band, and a bit of mid-side EQ on my 2-bus along with my multimeter (true peak, rms, lufs, rta).

If I am doing a full mix, not just a capture for demoing, I will employ sub mixing, aux send for layered reverbs and volume rides.
Multitracking into motu828 with behringer 8200 adat, straight from the VCA's or fx modules
I multitrack using the 8 outs in my system (Meng Qi please exist 1,Mannequins RIP, and Happy Nerding Isolator) I like the "Iron Sound" of transformers, plus they are fun to DIY, most of them are passive, and they can boost up low signal levels if you use them in reverse. Depending on how much material I have to record I try and get a dry/effect signal separately from my system.

I use tons of in the box effects, reverbs, etc. Especially the valhalla stuff, but Waves, etc. as well. My workstation is a hackintosh that was powerful 5 years ago when I got it (3.5 GHZ quad core), but less impressive now. I'm actually dreading upgrading. As much as I can, I prefer to get my sound fixed before recording, but inevitably things sound different the next day, or I want to add something else and that means EQing after the fact. I also like automating volume in the box, because I find it much easier/less risky than programming this with a sequencer or doing it by hand.

Sometimes I just let everything run free, especially if I'm using some weird method of composition, but more often I find myself tuning to A440, and using a set tempo that I save in the filename. That way I can sequence more material later, if I want to.

This is a deliberate break from my earlier practice where I would just take a stereo or mono out of my system and use whatever came out. There are so many neat tracks that I lost that way, usually by mixing some annoying sound way too high in the mix, or not paying enough attention and recording something out of tune with the other tracks, etc. I just got to a point where I made it really easy to have multiple outs. For me this is the perfect middle ground between where I was previously (endlessly messing around inside the DAW, very little happening synchronously or in real time) and what the modular has brought to my process (spontaneity, fast synchronous development of multiple sounds/musical ideas). I'm personally very happy with my process, but I'm still ironing things out. I would really like to have an accurate CV to MIDI system so that everything I wrote on my ER-101 can be used on the other instruments in my studio.
I try to make sort, focused recordings and as time passes by, I catch myself getting rid of the purism of the past and axiomatic notions and consider bringing back midi and sync from the pc.

I used to record long, mostly monophonic passages, if not performances so I have a huge drive filled with these. However it is very rarely that these recordings are useful for material. Most often than not, they stand alone....

Btw I have a 6-9u system mostly focused on soundesign and modules that I find to sound "special" instead of a system with x-number of voices, that are flexible enough to do one thing and then another and eventually compose with them.

So i rarely have more than 2 things happening together, in order to multitrack.

In terms of daw, I've gone thru many, currently using reaper and before that renoise and sequoia. Renoise has many flaws but allowing you to edit before saving is very convenient for me. Alas reaper brings so many good things with it, it becomes indispensable.

No special signal chain, straight to my Steinberg firewire interface and then to my rme digiface thru adat which I found as a good rescue plan in this post-firewire world, for my not at all bad sounding interfaces smile
I record from my WMD Pro Output to a Zoom recorder, then pull the .wav file off the SD card into Audioshare on my iPad Pro, where I master it in Cubasis using FabFilter plugins. Record in one take, listen, try my hand at improving the sound with mastering techniques, listen again, tear down patch, move on to the next thing.
This is all just for my own entertainment of course, but being as I do software stuff for a career I decided that the computer is Not Permitted to be part of my music hobby. If for some unforeseeable reason I ever wanted to make a “real track”, I would do much the same thing I do now to capture the output of my rack, but would send the .wav file to a professional for mastering.
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