Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I think I'm in sync

My long experiment with recording our worship services multi-track on Digital Performer is finally starting to prove fruitful. Its been difficult because of my siginificant time restraints. Sunday's come relentlessly and I have to make that my priority so spending time playing with the software and hardware has not been high on the list. The last couple of weeks things have come together nicely and I'm getting some quality mixes now. They are still not up to the level I really want but I think I'm having some equipment issues that I can't over come right now. I have budgeted for some quality outboard mic pres to go directly to the computer via fireware (probably going to go Focusrite). Hopefully by the end of the year I can make that happen. Till then I will use what I have and get some worship CD's made for our people. We get asked all the time for recordings of the music.

What I am discovering is that if I build templates that have all the general settings I need to mix with and keep those with every recording it makes the process much faster. (DUH!) Even saving the setting for all the plug-ins and recalling those is not fast enough. Now that I have done some mixes that I am comfortable with I have made templates with all the plug-ins so all I have to do is sit and hit play and off I go. Still some minor tweaking of course but its certainly faster this way. My next step is to really start using the automation in the software. I'm slowly getting away from using the EQ on the console and using only whats in the computer so the next step is to not use the analog faders. I've mentioned before how mixing with a mouse is no fun at all. There is just something about the feel of a fader that helps me be more in tune with what is happening, and its tons faster and easier than trying to click and hold a mouse button and move the on screen fader. Having said all that I need to do it so the console is only used for input and all the mix happens in the software. Thats what it is made for anyway. I still have not opened the manual for the software. I think that speaks volumes for the quality of the interface and its ease of use. Now I am to the point where I'm not sure how to do a few things (automation) so I do plan to read some over the weekend.

I also want to teach some of our voluteers how to use the system. A few of them have spent some time on it already. No reason for me to spend time on the recordings when there are perfectly capable people around. The plan would be to let them make all the initial settings and I'll give it a listen and then dump it to CD. What a great learning tool!

I'm curious if any of you do multi-track and how you do it? What gear do you use, your basic procedure, etc?

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