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KISS principle?

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KISS principle?

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:24 am

I've been thinking (dangerous I know).

I keep reading about people having horrendous problems with latency, X-runs etc. often on a machine with a fairly similar spec. to mine, yet I don't seem to have anything like the same issues.

However, it dawned on my that there are some big differences.
I develop my own sounds as complete self-contained 'units' whereas many people seem to start with a more basic sound then use a nest of plugins to get the desired result. It would seem to me that each plugin has to do at least two additional conversions - from input to internal format, then from internal to output format - and that's on top of whatever modifications they make.

Also I use very little by way of automation. I prefer to play out a track as MIDI then statically add any 'extras' in the sequencer (where there is no significant latency overhead). e.g. Rather than running an arpeggiator, I record a bar of the wanted sequence, then get the sequencer to make the necessary copies. So again I'm not soaking up processor time with additional work either at the initial recording stage or when the complete track is played.

I wonder what workflow others use here, and get the best results from.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby Dr R » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:14 pm

I record from a source with massive distributed real-time computational power and effects management. Goes by the acronym Brilliant And Not Digital, also known as the Band :D
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby Watchmaker » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:22 pm

Interesting workflow. I think it comes down to many factors, the machine specs often being the least impactful.

I know when I started out I tried to have my DAW be the ultimate studio on all channels and basically put every plug in I could fit on every track, for example, I'd be recording guitar and vox and have 16 channels open with pre amp emulation, reverb, delay, and compression (not necessarily in that order) across all of them, in addition to sends and sometimes inserts..all topped off with a mastering chain on my two buss.

Then I would curse and swear and wonder why I had drop outs...until I found SOS!

Now I use only the channels I need and usually render stems when I get above 50% avg CPU consumption. I also bought a ton of really nice gear - I have an Apollo 8 quad and two quad satellites so I fixed all my problems... :lol:

Dr R also has a point - it all depends on what's being recorded, skill level, depth of understanding, etc. Great performances are probably the best latency reduction technique I can think of
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby nathanscribe » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:34 pm

I've recently gone back to how I used to work in the 90s, but with the DAW instead of tape. Analogue clock recorded as a stripe to one channel, everything sequenced externally is locked to that; play everything by hand that can be, and pre-mix as much as possible with the desired effects and processing in place.

Reason being, it forces decisions early on, structurally as well as sonically, instead of the endless potential for faff you get when you leave everything open to adjustment. I'm learning to enjoy the certainty, and the need for practice. And I think the music's better for it, as well. I'm certainly more motivated since reducing the 'end point' part of the process and concentrating on getting things right on the way in.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:40 pm

nathanscribe wrote:I've recently gone back to how I used to work in the 90s, but with the DAW instead of tape. Analogue clock recorded as a stripe to one channel, everything sequenced externally is locked to that;

Well, OK. But why sequence anything externally? That's just using clunky old technology for the sake of it.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:09 pm

On the other hand Mr. Folderol, there are those of us working in the box who have virtually no issues. It has taken time to learn the quirks of the box, so it has been a small compromise but mostly it is quick and fairly easy. l really liked working with tape but there is no comparison to what I can do now.

But I rarely get to work with other musicians so I mostly record myself. I might think more like you if I had players coming in on a regular basis.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby nathanscribe » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:11 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Well, OK. But why sequence anything externally? That's just using clunky old technology for the sake of it.

I enjoy it. I'm more productive and creative when I'm limited to step sequencing and clunky old technology. Personal preference, that's all. Part of which is the KISS thing, I understand exactly what I can do with a heap of simple old gear. I can't get my head round doing everything in one box. I think part of that is the way complex software presents its ways of working. Not sure how to word this, but there's a procedural wall for me with that kind of method, but not with a room full of wires. Familiarity, maybe? Dunno. I like boxes with wires between them, I can see what I'm working with, it's tangible, all the controls are clear and right there, and I can change out any part and for me that's the simplest way of doing things. I don't equate simplicity with minimalism. It's not just software though, any suitably messy hardware interface stops me as well.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby Folderol » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:51 pm

I have a similar issue with 'information overload'. Too many controls available at any one time (no matter how important) slows me down dramatically. This is one reason I like the the soft-synth I use. It's a multi- windowed system and in each window you only see the controls relative to that particular function.
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Re: KISS principle?

Postby CS70 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:09 pm

Folderol wrote:I wonder what workflow others use here, and get the best results from.

To me the DAW is either a recorder, or the place where I mix recorded tracks.

The rare occasion where I have to make a part which doesn't come from an actual instrument being played (say a MIDI bass line) I fiti it in the project if I can, otherwise I just build it like any other overdubbing - playing or programming over a bounced base mix.
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