Sunday, October 7, 2012

Big Sur : Wide Guitars Demo Sketch (Soundtoys Crystallizer)

This is how a lot of my tracks start. Just a basic drum loop and then I find a couple chords I like and just try to play them well enough to get a decent rhythm track down. Once that's done, I'll double (or in this case copy) the part and try to add some space to it by effecting it and hard panning the two tracks.

You can see from the screen shots below this is really just the bare minimum to get the raw idea out. A lot of my process is trying to find a vibe. Recording for me is a lot like sculpture as I try to figure what to take out to make room for other parts and ideas.

In the tracking screen shot here there's only 4 parts comprised of six channels of audio total:

1) Drums from Toontrack's Superior Drummer - Stereo
2) The basic rhythm part played on the Telecaster recorded - Mono
3) The duplicate (copy) of the rhythm part w/ SoundToys Crystalizer added - Mono
4) Effects Returns of the basic rhythm part processed in Eventide Effects - Stereo

In the mixing screen shot you can see minimal use of effects plug ins and eq to just give the track enough vibe to start figuring it out. 

Some of these old projects I'm opening up for this blog were recorded in previous versions of Sonar. So when I'm opening them in X1 I'm having to do a little tweaking to adjust the project from previous settings which may have included plugins I'm no longer using. 

One of the really nice things about Sonar X1 is the Pro Channel with compression and EQ on each channel. I also like the way Sonar expands and collapses the channel strip. The compressor allows you to toggle between a sorta 1176 Compressor model and an SSL 4000 series compressor model. The EQ settings also provide three options of "Pure", "Vintage", and "Modern." I'm assuming that Pure is completely digital with no coloration, "Vintage" is some version of a Neve 1073 (I'd hope) and "Modern" is SSL. 

This particular project is using two plugins from my UAD-1 card. Generally speaking, I find the UAD plugins to be the best sounding to my ears. On the Drum Buss I disabled the AUD Roland Space Echo, but I'm still using the UAD LA2A compressor and the UAD RealVerb. 

My Guitar Buss Compressor of choice is the Waves Ren Comp. It just works for me. And finally on the 2 Buss is the tried and true Wave L2 limited for quick and dirty leveling. All of the EQ on this demo track is the Sonar native EQ within X1. 

It may be interesting to listen to the Demo Sketch of Big Sur above, and then listen to this completed version of the song with added Lap Steel, arrangement changes, and effects editing. 

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