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Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

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Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Frank Rideau » Sun May 27, 2012 4:25 pm

Just wondering, you have a nice advanced mix going, most tracks are nicely processed and balanced and you are not far from sending it to your favorite mastering facility. But then you feel it would need a new guitar track, or you want to replace an existing one, is there any advice on tracking inside a finished mix ? I ask this because I was thinking of a risk to maybe over-gain the recording to compete with the strong mix while monitoring or even be tempted to compressed at the recording stage or maybe I'm thinking too much, I just have to make -add track and press record and try to mix the track correctly later on.

This seems the icon of choice in many discussions here, so here we go ->
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby adrian_k » Sun May 27, 2012 4:46 pm

Yeah I think you are thinking too much Set up the monitor feed so that the player hears what they need, forget about the main mix. Track just like you would if you'd done it earlier in the process, then re-mix. Would be my shout anyway.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 28, 2012 8:48 am

If you are tracking then the mix isn't finished...

Having said that, it isn't totally unknown to do overdubs at the mastering stage but I would generally want to remix to make space for the new parts.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon May 28, 2012 9:20 am

Frank Rideau wrote:Just wondering, you have a nice advanced mix going, most tracks are nicely processed and balanced and you are not far from sending it to your favorite mastering facility. But then you feel it would need a new guitar track, or you want to replace an existing one, is there any advice on tracking inside a finished mix ?

Meaningless question. If you're still tracking it isn't a finished mix. Not even a started one, really.

(Let's try not to lose the distinction between a "composition" a "performance" and a "mix".)
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Bossman » Mon May 28, 2012 12:36 pm

I've done a lot of mixes where, after having got the mix close to being finished, the client turns up with a new guitar track (or new vocal tracks or something) to replace the current one.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Bossman » Mon May 28, 2012 12:41 pm

Frank Rideau wrote:...is there any advice on tracking inside a finished mix ?


yes (assuming the mix is setup with a sensible headroom margin), I would adjust the input gain so that the new track is roughly the right level balance with the rest of the mix and try and adjust mic positioning, guitar/amp tone etc to fit the mix - then hopefully it will just slot straight into the mix without needing much in the way of EQ/volume adjustments.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 28, 2012 12:50 pm

Frank Rideau wrote:... is there any advice on tracking inside a finished mix ?

As others have said, it isn't yet a finished mix because you have decided it needs more!

You don't have to undo any of the basic work you've already done, before tracking -- just overdub the new guitar part while listening to the existing 'rough mix' just as you usually would. You can then process the new track as required and blend it into the mix just as you would any other track. You'll probably need to revisit some of your existing tracks and their processing to make spectral space for the new part, of course.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Bossman » Mon May 28, 2012 12:51 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Frank Rideau wrote:Just wondering, you have a nice advanced mix going, most tracks are nicely processed and balanced and you are not far from sending it to your favorite mastering facility. But then you feel it would need a new guitar track, or you want to replace an existing one, is there any advice on tracking inside a finished mix ?

Meaningless question. If you're still tracking it isn't a finished mix. Not even a started one, really.

(Let's try not to lose the distinction between a "composition" a "performance" and a "mix".)

meaningless answer!!!... wheres the advice?

Normally tracking *should* be finished before starting a mix, but this isn't always the case.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon May 28, 2012 1:04 pm

This happens all the time. Artists come up with a new idea, a part they start doing live while the project is ongoing, and they want to incorporate it.

I find the main thing to watch for is that your overall system latency can get quite large once you have a lot of plug ins running, and routing into and out of each other etc etc. If you also involve analogue then then that latency increases further with the required conversions. Now it all depends how your software works, and what settings are on or off, where you monitor the overdub from, if you're mixing on a desk or summing mixer etc...But you need to be sure that your overdub is going in the right place. Personally I always print the mix, make sure it's aligned with the tracking (which it might not be if you're using a desk) and then do the overdub to that printed file with everything else turned off.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon May 28, 2012 2:15 pm

Bossman wrote:
meaningless answer!!!... wheres the advice?

Normally tracking *should* be finished before starting a mix, but this isn't always the case.


And if you add a track it may just slot in, you may need to rethink the mix to a greater or lesser extent. What answer do you WANT to hear?

You added a track because the mix lacked something. Something fairly basic - a whole track!
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Frank Rideau » Mon May 28, 2012 5:29 pm

Ok, please let's dont have a fixation on the word "finished", we all agree it's not if you have to add a new track, just a bad formulation on my side.

So that's why i'm asking an advice to work out a new track over the "not-finished" mix. But I hear some of yours, thanks.

Exalted : you seems to take my situation as some kind of paradox ? Would you suggest to start the mix from scratch because of the need of a new track ? I'm not talking theory.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Frank Rideau » Mon May 28, 2012 5:37 pm


Personally I always print the mix, make sure it's aligned with the tracking (which it might not be if you're using a desk) and then do the overdub to that printed file with everything else turned off.


Nice one, thanks.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon May 28, 2012 6:59 pm

Frank Rideau wrote:Exalted : you seems to take my situation as some kind of paradox ? Would you suggest to start the mix from scratch because of the need of a new track ? I'm not talking theory.

Like I said. Maybe. There's no blanket answer. If the new track fits in easily, good. If it doesn't, do what it take to MAKE it fit in.

If you're playing the music, a lot of the "fitting in" can be by using musician skills - listening hard, choosing to play appropriate notes using an appropriate sound. If you're sequencing, a more mechanical approach may be needed.

If you're filling an obvious hole in the music there may be little extra mixing needed. If you're working a "layer upon layer" style you may have to work harder.

There you are - lots more words. But I'm not sure they add anything to "maybe" :-)
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Urthlupe » Tue May 29, 2012 6:21 am

Trying to avoid the semantic discussion which seems to have broken out above....

Jack's right on the money for me. When your mix is a stretch down the line already you will most likely have a fairly hefty latency going on due to mix plugins - a particularly significant problem if you wish to overdub new virtual instrument parts, or 'playthrough' midi, and will need to be addressed. Your software will provide some method of removing this latency, usually by temporarily disabling processing that requires compensation. This may be the quickest solution but might make it impossible to correctly judge your overdub where the nature of the track is profoundly affected by the removal of processing.

A second solution is to make an attempt to 'freeze' the worst culprits, be they processors or instruments; long-winded, and in some DAWs difficult to achieve where the processing occurs on a bus.

For the best solution, see Jack's post.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Frank Rideau » Tue May 29, 2012 1:24 pm


I was thinking of exporting the mix into stems (with all the processing), load this into a new project and make the overdub in that project, then bring back the new track into the mix project. The multiple stems will allow me to rebalance things to taste if necessary for the recording and I will not have to bother with CPU, Ram and latency.
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Jack Ruston » Tue May 29, 2012 1:41 pm

Just depends on whether it's really worth the effort to stem it out. It's sometimes useful to have the main reference point for the track on its own stem. Eg if it's a harmony vocal, stem the main vocal. Whatever you do keep it simple. You don't want to find yourself resisting the process because it's a pain. That's the wrong reason to reject the idea of trying something.

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed May 30, 2012 11:10 am

Frank Rideau wrote:
I was thinking of exporting the mix into stems (with all the processing), load this into a new project and make the overdub in that project, then bring back the new track into the mix project. The multiple stems will allow me to rebalance things to taste if necessary for the recording and I will not have to bother with CPU, Ram and latency.


This is getting so complicated! If there's really a latency issue affecting synch when you record the new track, just switch out those FX while tracking.

Is this a real problem, or are you inventing a theoretical one? :-)
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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Wease » Wed May 30, 2012 4:50 pm

i sometimes mix to stems then record something- especially if i want to use a kaoss-pad on the whole drum track etc etc.

I'll also add a guitar sometimes - usually a booster/tone exiter/pan thingy underneath the main guitars - especially if i want a 'real feel' (which is more often than not!) guitar part - rather than multing a pre recorded part. - and i didn't know i wanted it till i've started mixing...which is often!

There is no hard and fast rules - I just try to get the sound right at source so I'm not destroying a mix, just adding

....and sometimes recording a sound you know you want is just easier without any plugin's running...this is not so important (and therefore probably not needed - so you could record straight into your mix in a low latency mode) when recording a single sound, but becomes important when you want to use something like a kaoss-pad over pre-effected material- where you want the plugin effects all singing and dancing, but the latency issues affect your 'playing' of the kaoss-pad.

just me 2p worth really - i would just record the guitar peice - if you don't then like it - don't use it!

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Urthlupe » Wed May 30, 2012 5:57 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Is this a real problem, or are you inventing a theoretical one? :-)

Just a problem which is obviously outside your experience.....

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Re: Overdub a new track in an advanced mix

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu May 31, 2012 1:33 pm

Urthlupe wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
Is this a real problem, or are you inventing a theoretical one? :-)

Just a problem which is obviously outside your experience.....

Loopy

Possibly. IS there a synch. problem? Are we talking about an actual current project or a hypothetical one? It's much easier to address concrete issues (well, actually, it's easier to waffle away theoretically, but you don't get so far :-)
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