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A Very Simple DAW Question

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A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Maleven » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:58 am

Will soon be getting an audio interface, probably one that comes with something like Cubase AI or Pro Tools Express. Failing that I'll get hold of Reaper.

Anyway, I'll be tracking drums myself, often on my own, in a very small room where there's not sufficient space to have the laptop at my side by the kit, so my question is a very straightforward (and quite possibly very stupid one):

Do workstations like those listed above tend to come with a feature where you can hit record (or play) and have the track - a guide track with a click in this case - start only after a pre-set delay? A delay of 20-30 seconds would give me time to get from the laptop in behind the kit and ready to come in with the guide track.

In lieu of this kind of thing, any other solutions beyond blank bars before the guide track kicks in etc.?

Thanks, and again, apologies if it's a really daft question, I'm nearly illiterate with all this!
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Goddard » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:32 am

There are wireless mini control surfaces with DAW transport controls (and which accept a footswitch) that work nicely for this (I've used a Tranzport, but there are others).

Another option is a tablet/fone app for doing the same thing (and more), which is what I use nowadays.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:29 am

And then if you fluff you've got to climb back out from the kit to reset the laptop again? That's sounds like a recipe for stress and frustration!

A simple wireless keyboard might work for you - just pop it behind your drum stool.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby alexis » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:39 am

Cubase allows a loop to be continuously and automatically played and recorded to (see "Lanes" in the manual), and if you set the loop up to encompass the part you wanted to record, with a few bars early at the beginning to catch your breath, it might work out for you.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby BJG145 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:23 am

Goddard wrote:There are wireless mini control surfaces with DAW transport controls (and which accept a footswitch) that work nicely for this (I've used a Tranzport, but there are others).

Another option is a tablet/fone app for doing the same thing (and more), which is what I use nowadays.


Yeah, I just sold my Tranzport because I figured it was all done on tablets nowadays. Screen-mirroring apps like Splashtop look ideal, though I haven't tried it. There are also loads of DAW-control apps nowadays of course, like Cubase iC, V-Control Pro, Daw Remote HD...
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby fieldrecords » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:35 am

The wireless keyboard or a USB keyboard with a long cable will work. For running a tablet with an app on it will mean that you will need to carry out some more setup to get them working.

Reaper did have a web server built in so you if it was on a network you could just browse to a page and you could control track levels and the transport. This would then work from a phone or tablet but I've not used it for a while so I assume it's still there.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby ef37a » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:32 am

I have used a 15quid PCWorld wireless keyboard and mouse for several years now. Used to be for acoustic guitar in another room away from a noisy PC but is now on my living room computer so I can flop on settee without wires. If you can arrange to see the screen from the drums, cheapest way to go.

N.B Whilst the keyboard AAs last forever it seems, the mouse AAAs get eaten PDQ, fit Lithiums.

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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Barry Garlow » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:49 am

You will be able to set a 'pre-roll' on your DAW, but you'll be leaping around and end up smashing everything to pieces.

I bought one of these recently Korg Nanokontrol and it works a treat with Reaper (which btw you can just about control with anything) but somehow i keep going back to the wireless keyboard. Once you've setup your keystrokes in the very easy editor that ol' keyboard will do pretty much any and everything.

You will need to be able to see a screen though (to avoid the smashing again) and depending on your setup and pocket etc might be worth thinking about running a second screen and fitting it on a stand on your kit.

The good folk here will be able to advise once you get setup. But the short answer is just "yes", modern DAWs are very configurable and you'll be able to do pretty much anything.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:12 pm

Maleven wrote:Do workstations like those listed above tend to come with a feature where you can hit record (or play) and have the track - a guide track with a click in this case - start only after a pre-set delay? A delay of 20-30 seconds would give me time to get from the laptop in behind the kit and ready to come in with the guide track.

At the very simplest level, you could start the guide track with 20s of silence! But there are pre-roll and pre-count facilities as well.

What you really need is a wireless keyboard for your computer. You can find somewhere to place that within reach, I'm sure.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Mixedup » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:31 pm

Wireless numeric keypad-cum trackpad working nicely for that side of things here.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby ef37a » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:10 pm

Just a point on wireless keyboards.
I found mine had a range of about 25feet line of sight and about 1/2 that through a single course red brick wall. However the USB TX/reciever blob can be extended another 3 or 4 metres closer to the keyboard if needs be.

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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Dynamic Mike » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:04 am

Mixedup wrote:Wireless numeric keypad-cum trackpad working nicely for that side of things here.
+1 for this. 5 minute job to set your own shortcuts & you're away.
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And of course there must be something wrong. In wanting to silence any song.


Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Maleven » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:08 am

Thanks guys.

Yep, getting up and down from behind the kit between every take would have been a bad pain in the arse, and yep, I'm a complete bloody dunce with all this stuff. Wireless keybaord should have been an obvious enough solution really!

Cheers for the input.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:30 am

If you get ProTools, in the main transport control is a button that when set, will require some MIDI event to happen before it starts. In ProTools it is called 'Wait for Note'. The purpose of that feature is to allow you to move to location as the engineer/performer - hit a key (or MIDI drum in your case) to start the record. Very handy for just such as your purpose. Other DAWs might have something similar, I just know ProTools. I use it all the time as default so I can get into the zone and control the time that the recording starts from my keyboard. You want to avoid feeling rushed as it will distract you musically.

If you use a wireless keyboard, then you have to keep moving it back to do the mixing position, so you might end up needing more than one. Wait for Note is better for recording. I use a wireless keyboard too though so anybody in the room can control the DAW from their instrument.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby Mixedup » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:04 am

DC-Choppah wrote:
If you use a wireless keyboard, then you have to keep moving it back to do the mixing position, so you might end up needing more than one. Wait for Note is better for recording. I use a wireless keyboard too though so anybody in the room can control the DAW from their instrument.

Having two is the whole point You have your usual keyboard etc at the workstation, and use a tiny numeric keypad thing to use as transport controls over by your instrument. Any computer can use more than one such HID device at a time, and they're compact and cheap — so duplication just isn't a problem. With the wait for note solution, you're much more limited in terms of playing back your performance, or scrapping and restarting. The numeric keypads which double up as a trackpad give you an extra layer of control.

Another option is an iOS/Android controller over wireless network.

Another option is to use a MIDI footswitch or some sort of 'accessibility' pedal and map them to transport controls. Can be handy if you want foot control (eg when playing guitar rather than drums...).
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby ef37a » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:21 am

"Wait for note! Hmm?

Wouldn't you have to be meecey quiet climbing into your kit?

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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:31 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Wait for Note is better for recording.

You can do this in Cubase, but...

...you hit the first note and it begins recording. You fluff a note. What now?
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby The Elf » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:44 am

With a bit of ingenuity I bet you could fasten a wireless keyboard (or mini numeric keypad) to something like THIS. That could be a neat solution.
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Re: A Very Simple DAW Question

Postby ef37a » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:00 pm

The Elf wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Wait for Note is better for recording.
You can do this in Cubase, but...

...you hit the first note and it begins recording. You fluff a note. What now?

Panic. Get up. Kit goes Ts U.You go Ts U. Get speared by the Hihat stand. Hospital. Off work. Have to sell all the kit and recording gear....

No, MUCH better to get a wireless keyboard!

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