Why I (try to) Use Multiple DAWs (poorly)

Why I (try to) Use Multiple DAWs (poorly)

I don’t really know what I am doing.

I played music in bands and orchestras back in the late 1960s. I got paid to do it. It was going to be my career. I went to recording studios. Sat in on some really nice sessions. Couldn’t stay where I lived, moved away, work as a musician dried up.

One thing that I learned is that I could always learn a new trick or technique. A lesson with a master was always welcome.

I wound up working with computers and software (yes, in the 1970s, before you were born). I could always learn a new trick or technique. Wrote software, tried software, helped make software work.

I learned that there were always multiple tools that could get the job done. Some were easier than others, depending on the task, but there were always choices.

When it was time to learn a new tool I always tried to find a new project or task and use that as the benchmark for learning a new tool. Maybe it would be harder, maybe it would be easier. Never knew until I tried.

I have been learning to use new tools for more than 45 years. It’s still fun. I still learn.

DAWs and the “Path to Glory”

ProTools is the DAW you must use if you are a professional! Logic Pro is the DAW you must use if you are a composer. Fruity Loops is used by “people who fiddle PCs”. Ableton Live? A lot like Opcode Vision from the late 1980s in lots of ways. Think sequencers. There’s this DAW called Studio One that gets praise from people who do lots of music. Reaper is the true path.

It’s all just tools. The same tools for the most part. The interface changes. The tasks generally do not.

I tried ProTools (version 8LE – oops). Not happening. Finally switched out and realised that GarageBand fit my needs better. Really, I wanted to play the instruments. Mainstage with all of the sounds and tools was what I wanted to use. That was where my 20+ year old understanding of computers and music was. PC + Sounds + programs = music in some ways.

Live Sound Is Where I Grew Up

Play Music. Record It. Listen To What You Did. Make It Better Next Time. That’s it. Simple.

Live Sound

If I was able to stay exclusively in the thrall of one band I might get by with learning “one thing”. Nope. The cover band that does bluegrass, country swing, and a little jazz uses a Mackie board. The “Pulk Fonk” (think punk folk) band uses a Line6 weird thing. The bar where the band is playing has an old PA system that you need to use. It’s all the same, basically, but it really is different. If I want to “play” I have to adapt to all of the things that are the same, but not. A lot like how I spent my career in software.

Learning How to Do it

Joe Gilder shows us how to do things in Studio One. Graham Cochrane shows us how to do things in ProTools (some variant). Graham English tells me how to do things in Logic. We get to see things done with Reaper, ProTools, Logic, Studio One, etc., etc., and so forth (that’s a reference).

I want to do these things. They tell me I can do it in my DAW. But how? They don’t tell me that. I have to go find a translation of what they have said and convert it to my DAW. Fortunately it’s fairly simple to translate, and all things come to those who wait.

Here’s the Neat Thing

All the tricks and techniques are really helpful. If I learn to do them (in any tool) I will get a better result. I can translate between the DAWs! There is enough common ground that I can learn how to do things in the best tool for the task. MIDI thingies in Logic, comps in ProTools, mixing in Reaper, master in WaveLab. Doesn’t matter which I use. They all get the job done. In many cases they get the job done a whole lot faster with one tool chosen over another.

Getting Back to Simple

Me? Harrison MixBus is my challenge. I listen better when I use MixBus. It’s harder for me to set up, but I get to use my faders and pans to balance things once I get it all put into play. If I do it in Logic I get tempted to try X, Y, or Z. If I try to work in Studio One I get “side-chained” by all of the things that work so well in that DAW.

Is using multiple DAWs simple? Maybe.

If I record in Auria on an iPad, rough mix in Logic Pro, final mix in MixBus, and “master” in Studio One (or T-Racks) is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

Yes, I might spend more time getting it done, but it gets done. I learn a bit on all the fronts. Next time it gets done faster.

This Week’s Challenge

This week I get to work on 15+ tunes recorded live on a Midas M32 board. Two-track recording plus multi-track for 11 instruments and vocals. Saw a Midas M32 for the first time 48 hours before the gig. I was stressed. I applied my knowledge of things “mixer”, read some manuals, and went forth. I am used to doing this kind of stuff with a Mackie board, but enough “spills” over to let me go forward and “Just Do It”.

Let me think about this for a while. Maybe send it out for a mix critique or some mastering…

written to “Miles Davis — Tutu” – hell of a kick drum for 30 years ago…


5 Things I Love About ChromaVerb – Logic Pro Expert

Chromaverb, introduced in Logic Pro X 10.4, sounds fantastic and has several unique features that make it really stand out. Take some time to explore it!
— Read on

Testing the plugins.

Applications Notes

Show only exact duplicate tracks in iTunes – Mac OS X Hints

In iTunes, a very useful feature is the File » Show Duplicates menu item. As expected by its name, you can use this feature to help weed out duplicates from your iTunes library. However, many people (myself included) have different versions of songs, remixes and such, which will show up as duplicates when using this feature.

The solution is to hold down the option key prior to selecting this menu item. When you do, Show Duplicates changes to Show Exact Duplicates. In this mode, iTunes shows only true duplicates, and not remixes or alternate versions.

via Show only exact duplicate tracks in iTunes – Mac OS X Hints:

Oh this is so nice. I can get rid of a few (bunch) tunes that are replicants in so many ways.

Utilities Notes

How to duplicate CD on a Mac

How to duplicate CD on a Mac

My daughter’s music CD for her skating short program got badly scratched and because it was the last-but-one copy as skater you need many copies, in case you loose/forget/scratch/misplace it,  I was confronted with the task to create a new copy. Rather than starting Nero on Win-XP notebook, I have decided to learn finally how to do it on Mac. It must be simple, intuititive and much easier than on Windows. Right ? Wrong To my big surprise, there was no easy, idiot proof, very obvious way mac-ish drag and drop way how to acomplish it. It was not exactly hard either, but it actually took consulting the omniviscent Google to find it out. To save the search for the next time, I’ll write it down. Here is what you have to do:

1 Create a disk image from source CD

Insert the source CD the one you want to copy

Open the Finder, open Applications, then Utilities, and start the Disk Utility program

In Disk Utility, select File -> New -> Disk Image from Folder

The Finder will appear – select whole CD and click on the Image button

A new dialog box will appear. In the Where box, choose Desktop. In the Image Format box, choose DVD/CD master

Click Save

Now a new file will be created on your Desktop, titled the name of your CD with a “.cdr” extension. This file is a disk image of your CD. Btw, it works even if you do not select cdr format and write disk as generic Disk Image .dmg.

Now you need to burn it on new, blank CD:

2 Create new CD from a disk image

Eject your original CD from the CD drive

Return to the Disk Utility program.

You should now see the disk image of your CD on the left hand side, typically at the bottom of the list. Select the image, and then click on the Burn button

Follow the directions and insert a black CD-R disc when prompted

You can repeat step 2 as many time you need, of course . Next time I am going to use the image, of course assumed that it will be still the same music. Thanks to Spotlight magic, I am sure I will be able to find it, because I used proper, descriptive and obvious name “track 86.cdr”. Just kidding .

What do you think – why did not Apple make this process easier – as they did for many other chores ? Has it maybe anything to do with the fact that copying CD can be and quite often is used for copyright violation activities ?

via How to duplicate CD on a Mac « Miro’s World.