Before we leave the land of click tracks, there are a few more little tips I wanted to share. Enjoy!
Do you use a click track?
I came across a really interesting article today at MusicMachinery.com called “In search of a click track.” In the article Paul Lamere analyzes various recordings — from the Beatles to Britney Spears — to discover which ones were recorded to a click track. It’s a good read, I’d highly recommend checking it out.
In all this click track talk, it’s important to remember that the music should come first. We should use a click track to enhance the song, not sterilize it. Sometimes it’s just appropriate to NOT use a click track.
Yesterday I posted a video on how to create a click track in Pro Tools. Today I want to show you how to take a click track and assign it to whatever sound you want using Xpand!, a virtual instrument that ships with Pro Tools.
Today I’ve got more basic video on how to create a click track in Pro Tools. As I mentioned in The Importance of Pre-Production, recording your music to a set tempo is a good habit to develop. It may be helpful to read that article first, then watch this video.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting a video about how to get more sounds out of your click track. (Let’s face it, not everyone wants to have a wood block blasting through the headphones.)
Do you use a click track? What advice or tips do you have? Leave a comment.
Let’s say you just got your first USB audio interface. You’ve set up your home studio, installed everything, and you’re ready to hit that big red Record button and go to town.
What happens next can be both surprising and frustrating – latency. USB 1.1 isn’t the fastest protocol on the planet, and what can happen is that it takes the computer a little time to process the audio. Translation: you play or sing a note, then you hear it in your headphones several milliseconds later. This is latency.
The cure? Most manufacturers include a mix knob on their USB interfaces. This mix knob allows you to blend the direct signal (of the microphone plugged into the interface) with the playback signal (the tracks you’re playing back in Pro Tools).
In this video I’ll explain it a bit further and show you how to get around this latency issue.
* There’s a slight hum in the audio during the screencast portion. My apologies. I had to rewire things a little differently to demonstrate what the latency sounds like.
When you’re getting started with Pro Tools, or any DAW for that matter, the whole idea of inserts and sends can be a bit confusing. If you’re a bit hazy on what these do (and the differences between them), this video should help.
Thanks to Jon, one of my readers, for asking me to cover this!
What are some tricks you’ve come up with with your inserts or sends? Leave a comment for the rest of us!
Here’s the second edition of “Ask Joe.” If you’re new to Home Studio Corner, “Ask Joe” is basically a question-and-answer portion of the blog where I address questions submitted by readers via the Ask Joe form. (I tried to post this last night, but YouTube wasn’t playing nicely.)
I mention at the beginning of the video how the previous video was a bit on the long side (10 minutes!)…but this one ended up being 8 minutes. However, I’m only dealing with four questions today.
0:25 – A good all-around virtual instrument package?
1:44 – Hard drive chipset for Cubase?
3:13 – Good audio interface for a band?
5:57 – Using a Yamaha PSR keyboard as a MIDI controller?
One of the things I enjoy most about starting a new recording project is setting everything up. If you’ve done much recording, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a certain sense of giddiness that bubbles up when you sit in front of a blank Pro Tools screen.
It’s very god-like. You’re creating something out of nothing. When you open Pro Tools for the first time, it doesn’t open up with a huge song already put together for you. It’s a blank slate. There’s not so much as a single mono audio track created. You must do this yourself. For me, that’s an exciting part of the creative process.
But what happens when it takes you thirty minutes to set up your Pro Tools session for every new song you start recording? While it is certainly fun to build your virtual Pro Tools mixer, is this the best use of your time? Shouldn’t you be…um…what’s the word…recording instead?
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. However, as I mentioned in the first article of this productivity series, it’s important that we view our home studios as professional studios. Time is of the essence. If there’s a basic activity that you’re doing over and over (i.e. setting up a Pro Tools session for recording), wouldn’t it make sense to automate that process? (more…)