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HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

2 Things:

1. I think it would be fun to have an “Ask Joe” logo to post with these posts, since they’re becoming more frequent. Any takers?

2. This week’s episode of “Ask Joe” deals with:

  • advertising options for your studio
  • drum machines/software
  • copyrights on a benefit compilation
  • master fader and dB
  • hard drive issues with Pro Tools
  • tempo changes
  • getting studio quality vocals

Happy Listening!

One last thing…

You guys have been slacking on the comments lately. I blame myself, so here goes…

…wait for it…

LEAVE A COMMENT!

Seriously, I wanna know what you think. Do you agree? Do you think I’m a genius? If so, you need help. Do you disagree? Do you think I’m a complete moron? (Now we’re talkin’.) Leave a comment. 🙂

I’m tempted to impose a 10-comment rule. I won’t post another blog post until there are at least 10 comments. Or maybe I should make it 100. 😉 We’ll see.

  • Mike

    Hey Joe, Love the site.
    Wish there were more folks out there that did what you do
    for the Home recording community. One quick comment: you recently posted some info on scoring music to video with pro tools.
    It’s my understanding that Pro Tools LE does not come with video
    scoring capability, I was told you need to purchase some kind of
    DV Tool Kit which is fairly expensive? Just wanted to touch on that
    for those folks that are just jumping into the recording/ scoring world.
    I’m not knocking Pro tools, I love Pro tools, All my Engineer buds use it. I score alot of corporate stuff with Logic/…love that as well.
    Keep up the Great work!!…I’m amazed you find the time to keep HSC so up to date. Sweet!!

    • Hey Mike, you can import video into Pro Tools LE, you just don’t get any of the advanced video features. However, you CAN import video into LE.

  • Just listened to your podcast yesterday. Thanks for the tips. I just found your site the other day through Production Advice where I watched your great video on EQ. I’m just getting into production, so those tips helped me out a lot.

    I was actually just putting some of it to use this morning and it made a big difference. I mean, just after tweeking a couple of things over a few minutes, the overall mix was so much clearer and I could hear all the different parts much better. Granted, I still have a long way to go, and I plan on watching your vid a few more times, but it’s already helping.

    Thanks for all the great advice! Great blog and you’ll see me around in the comments for sure.

  • I just wanted to throw in a comment about advertising since I haven’t seen one yet. The way I run my studio is almost parallel to the way I book gigs. I have to create an information source, i.e. website/demo reel/brochure and then I have to get out there and spread the good word.

    The web only goes so far and like you said Joe, people have to wade through a lot of silliness before they reach YOU. I also find (esp w/studio clients) that people still like to shake hands and actually meet you before they slap down money to work with you.

    What ever the case it takes effort and time.

  • Steve Rohlfing

    Thanks for your response to the copyright question. Yeah, I think most everyone involved in the project needs something simple they can understand.

    Keep it up, Brotha!

    Steve

  • Jac Mandel

    There is a great meter for checking dynamic range and it has a very accurate peak meter (TT Dynamic Range Meter) listed on Ian Shepherd’s site, but it is available for free on the Brainworx site under free software, avaialable here:
    http://www.brainworx-music.de/en/download

  • hariel

    IMHO Stylus RMX is a great electronic drum machine. Since 2-3 weeks i started using Reaper (which is a great DAW), it shows the dynamic range in the master fader. Great podcast Joe! Thanks!

    • YES! Stylus is another great option. I think it’s the 2nd highest selling plug-in of all time? Not sure if that’s true, but it’s wicked popular. Thanks Hariel!

  • Sam Swenson

    Great PodCast Joe 🙂

    With regard to the “hard drive issues” portion, I know the world is split 50/50 on some things; and partitioning externals for use on a Mac may be one of them.

    I have read that using the journaled option for externals may cause delays in the writing of data to the hard drive, or that the drive may be slightly unresponsive once the “record” button is turned off. This is mainly due to the fact that journaling sets forth a process of ensuring data integrity on the hard drive by writing a serial log alongside the written data. It’s critical for system drives, because it ensures data integrity in the event of a crash.

    However, on a drive (particularly external) that is reserved for just recording, journaling may cause performance draws.

    Like I said, I am sure there are other opinions out there on this. And I’d actually be interested to see if anyone has had any experience to the contrary.

    Regards.

    • Hey Sam,

      You seem to know a heck of a lot more about hard drives then me, and your points make sense.

      However, I tend to do whatever Digidesign tells me to do with regard to Pro Tools. Here’s a quote from this page of their website:

      Formatting Instructions

      * Open from the following location: Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility, or in the Apple Menu when booted from the OS X installation CD.
      * From the list of drives on the left, select the actual drive (the one on top, with the GB and drive manufacturer listed) rather than the user defined name of the drive below it.
      * Choose either the Erase or Partition tab
      * Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
      * If you plan on using your drive on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, check the box next to “Install Mac OS 9 Drivers”.

      That’s why I use “journaled.” After that, I really don’t know much more about the intricate workings of the hard drives, so I can’t weigh in much on the matter. 🙂

      • I know over in the Windows world Digi wants us to use NTFS for all versions 7.4 and higher and it’s a journaling file system. I’ve heard there were performance considerations to journaling a long time ago, but modern drive speeds and the data-integrity advantages make journaling file-formats recommended by many software shops.

  • Erez

    Thanks a lot Joe! I was so excited hearing your answer.
    It really helped me get some new points of views about this business, I’ll start adopting your suggestions right away!

    BTW, if you’re wondering about my name LOL, it’s Israeli and it means “Cedar Tree” in Hebrew 🙂

  • Eric

    Great stuff, as usual, Joe!!!

  • Tomas Blomqvist

    I used the contact form to e-mail you links to an “Ask Joe”-Logo that I made… Check it out. And when you have stopped laughing, please tell me what you think.

  • Once again, an informative show. About time stretching, I know that Sonar touts Audiosnap as being the greatest thing since ice cream, but most pros say that it is still not ready for prime time. If you want to play with the tempo after recording, you’re probably best to stick with all (or mostly) MIDI; you can change the tempo, then re-record the audio tracks.

    I like the Q & A format – it’s quite entertaining.

  • To help out on the hardware drum machine, I personally always suggest the Boss DR-880. Its everything you need in one, plus it has guitar/bass input and even a backing bass if you need that. It is a bit expensive at $500, but it was worth it.

  • Spencer

    Haven’t listened yet, but will when I get home. (Army has decided that “audio files” are a security risk, thus can’t pull them up at work! LOL)

    I am intererested in hearing about creating tempo changes and getting the studio quality vocals. I just finished my first “song” and am quickly realizing that mixing….takes….time! LMAO But I was able to apply a few techniques that I learned here, and that made it so much easier.

  • Toby Baxley

    Good stuff as always, Joe! Even as a Sonar user, I glean so much from your posts. My mixes are already better!

    What is the benefit of a Glyph drive? I’m using a 500GB iomega drive connected with Firewire (probably 400, should I use USB2 instead?). I haven’t had any issues with it whatsoever.

    Also, I agree with Neil about rolling off the low end for vocal tracking. I actually have a graphic eq setting that i apply to my master bus when I’m tracking (then I bypass it for mixing of course). I’m a bari/bass singer and tend to be all over the pitch when the tracking mix is bottom heavy. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works.

    • There’s certainly nothing wrong with other drives. If it’s working, great! Glyph’s are just made specifically for recording, and they’re very quiet.

  • Regarding getting good vocal performances & headphone mixes, here’s one tip I came across a few months ago. Human ears are much more precise with pitch at higher frequencies. So, if a singer is having trouble hitting notes on a bass-heavy track, you might be able to get a better performance by doing things to give the singer a better ‘reference’ for pitch: adding a high-pass filter to the main outs, raising levels of higher-pitched tracks (e.g. organ), etc.

    For example, if you were recording a song where the first verse has only drums and bass guitar, you might (temporarily) add back a scratch guitar track or add some sustained organ chords, so that there is high-frequency pitch information that the singer can work off of.