Thursday, August 23, 2007

Production Junction

The Scoop

Too hot to blog? Apparently so, or maybe too busy with mundane local things to not bother writing about it. 12 days this month with temps over 100 degrees. It rained a little a couple of nights ago, and I practically did a "Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption" dance.

I've been spending my days and nights working with roots-music maven Tim Carroll on getting his next album together. Tim is a prolific writer, and when he gets inspired, he records a quick demo of the song while everything is still fresh. Those demos are getting polished up a bit, deconstructed and reconstructed, dismantled and re-mantled and on occasion, getting extra guitars and real drums. It's sounding great, and we are making good progress.

The fabulous Cole Slivka dropped off a hard-drive last night containing what should be another record for her. I have not yet opened the files, but I am pretty excited about it. The best live show I've seen in Nashville recently was Cole, her husband and bassist Paul Slivka, Marco Giovino and Reeves Gabrels. Amazing.

Pro Tools +

I'm getting a Pro Tools rig either today or tomorrow. M-Audio has a line of Pro Tools software that is unique to their brand name. Parent company Avid - which is to say Digidesign, inventors of Pro Tools - has developed an affordable line of "M-Powered" programs that require an M-Audio interface to work. I have both the ProjectMix I/O and the Black Box, so I should be able to get at least 32 tracks of Pro Tools on my computer, and with the optional Producer Pack, another dozen, which is too many! Even though you are restricted in using an M-Audio interface, all session files are compatible and can be opened and read by any Pro Tools rig, anywhere in the world.

I've been using Nuendo for my DAW, but Pro Tools is the "industry standard", and if not the best overall engine, then certainly the most famous, which means any serious studio needs to offer it to their clients. People will ask "Do you have Pro Tools" and you'd better answer yes, even if you end up using a different DAW. I have never actually recorded anything on PT, so I expect my earning curve to be high for a week or so.

I spotted a good book at Barnes and Noble written by an engineer/musician that covers the most likely used features from a musician's standpoint. Once I get the thing loaded on my computer, if all does not seem familiar, I'm off to the book store.


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