Workflow Technique Question

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KVRian
869 posts since 24 Nov, 2011

Post Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:54 pm

I'm wondering how most producers workflow is with plugins.

I don't tend to render tracks with plugins to audio and then mix and master, which I think is contributing to my computer being overloaded.

Does anyone render their tracks with instrument plugins to audio once you've tweaked until your heart's content?

I typically have the plugins all running and don't render to audio until my computer has pretty much hit a brick wall and then render the track to audio.

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KVRian
803 posts since 7 Apr, 2019 from Canada

Post Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:04 pm

Everything in relation to dsp is basically linear or non-linear. It's better to track down the best vst plug-ins from the 90's that used to be expensive.

They understood how to work with less. It's not that programmers these days are any less but merely that the older programmers retired and had families.

I make pretty old school plug-ins but I devoted years to the cause; it's rare that people consider every calculation, and the result of that calculation. The bottom line is, from the perspective of someone who uses/writes dsp, most math that people say could be used is not efficient enough. People can keep trying and come up with new algorithms, but it will never change that fact until we're all using faster computers.

I ask Myself, what about slower? Why not make software made for slower computers? So why not find software that was made for slower computers so that you can work fast.
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KVRAF
4161 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:04 am

Does anyone render their tracks with instrument plugins to audio once you've tweaked until your heart's content?
Yes. It was at first mentally difficult to leave the comfort zone and render tracks to audio without the possibility to go back and make adjustments. But eventually it helped me to finish tracks and also care more about their proper quality.

Also, I now sort the plugins in chain accordingly to their potential for tweaking - so I may render some to audio (modulation, fixed EQ / chorus), while leaving the others for adjustments (eg. trancegate, compressor ETC).
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Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

KVRian

Topic Starter

869 posts since 24 Nov, 2011

Post Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:48 am

It does make sense to work that way.

Lay down the tracks and then mix and master.

What plugins were around in the 90's?

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KVRAF
30190 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:01 am

I always render tracks to audio before mixing and mastering. Always have. So far as 90s plugins go, I don't know of any. I didn't start using them until 2005 or so.Maybe ask kingozrecords to elaborate. :ud:

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:53 am

So you demand your system to instantly deliver the power to generate and process every element live :? Every guitarist or singer would call you a slave driver and run away!

I´d better focus on partial results - also to have at least some in the end. Or maybe in 3 years.

Recording resp. rendenring or "bouncing" as we called it back then may even be (used) advantageous if you know what you are doing. We did it with samplers btw. You´ve surely heard of "resampling" already? It´ll trigger your creativity once you´ve realized the options you have have missed before.

Me personally - I have never been a friend of automations. Just sequence some recordings and you can save lots of time.

But OK - people may think different today. You can hear that in all those completely minded tracks that lack random and organic elements ;-)

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KVRAF
4161 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:24 am

GRUMP wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:53 am
So you demand your system to instantly deliver the power to generate and process every element live :? Every guitarist or singer would call you a slave driver and run away!

I´d better focus on partial results - also to have at least some in the end. Or maybe in 3 years.

Recording resp. rendenring or "bouncing" as we called it back then may even be (used) advantageous if you know what you are doing. We did it with samplers btw. You´ve surely heard of "resampling" already? It´ll trigger your creativity once you´ve realized the options you have have missed before.

Me personally - I have never been a friend of automations. Just sequence some recordings and you can save lots of time.

But OK - people may think different today. You can hear that in all those completely minded tracks that lack random and organic elements ;-)
God I had to read this post 3 times before I understood it. But you've got your point.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

KVRian
1184 posts since 11 Jun, 2019

Post Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:07 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:24 am
GRUMP wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:53 am
So you demand your system to instantly deliver the power to generate and process every element live :? Every guitarist or singer would call you a slave driver and run away!

I´d better focus on partial results - also to have at least some in the end. Or maybe in 3 years.

Recording resp. rendenring or "bouncing" as we called it back then may even be (used) advantageous if you know what you are doing. We did it with samplers btw. You´ve surely heard of "resampling" already? It´ll trigger your creativity once you´ve realized the options you have have missed before.

Me personally - I have never been a friend of automations. Just sequence some recordings and you can save lots of time.

But OK - people may think different today. You can hear that in all those completely minded tracks that lack random and organic elements ;-)
God I had to read this post 3 times before I understood it. But you've got your point.
Boy - do you want to say that I am complicated :? You should better stay safe :x

Automatisation is complicated. Trying to do everything at once even more. What I practice and preach is the reduction of (overwhelming) complexity by separating the production process. Sequential, results oriented workflow. People work this way since the stoneage of audio recording.

The Prodigy would never have been without this .. technique ;-)

KVRist
241 posts since 27 Aug, 2015 from Paris, France

Post Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:56 am

I render vst tracks to audio in 2 cases mostly:

- Near the end of a production, when CPU is getting too high, I usually render the most consuming vst's (IE Repro-5 most of the time :D ) to gain some "CPU headroom".

- When a track has a lot of random going into it, you don't want it to sound different each time you listen to it, nor hope that the final export gets a good version of it by chance. This said, I tend to put a lot of subtle random modulations into pads I design, yet I rarely bounce them before exporting (but yes, I should).

Now, that's how I work, because I have a hard time commiting. Always thinking I might make some changes later, and I want the process to be fast. Bouncing a full track takes nearly as long as a whole song, so it tends to be a workflow killer to me. I would bounce more often if it was lightning fast.

But if I had to give an advice to a newcomer, I would tell him to bounce whenever possible. It gives you a lot of new possibilities once in audio (chopping, reversing etc). So, do as I say, not as I do :)
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KVRAF
3101 posts since 27 Jul, 2004

Post Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:16 am

At the very end the conclusion is very easy...

If too many plugins max out your system but you need to insert more... what alternatives do you got as rendering some tracks??

If you render in that situation all tracks or just enough to be able to run the complete project properly is just a matter of taste...
I personally render stuff to audio as soon as I am happy with the result (i.e. after sounddesign for fx sounds, risers, etc...), I disable and hide the source track to be able to come back later if necessary but it doesn´t harm my system anymore...

This way I first commit to what I´ve done, second I have always enough free resources for adding more and third I am still safe for being able to come back and adjust stuff if something isn´t right in the final context...

Last but not least: never underrate this:
EdSfer wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:56 am
...But if I had to give an advice to a newcomer, I would tell him to bounce whenever possible. It gives you a lot of new possibilities once in audio (chopping, reversing etc)...
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KVRian
803 posts since 7 Apr, 2019 from Canada

Post Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:03 pm

If you do bounce, bounce clean samples by relying on linear phase so that you're not constantly adding more dirt each stage of re-interpolation. It may require some normalizing to do so though, or peak softening first.

The biggest challenge is that many daw's just automatically force mono to dual mono which is counter-intuitive. Thinking that's the result of total lack of professional mixing experience imo (of the DAW creators and programmers).
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KVRAF
1663 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Post Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:40 am

wha all you jokers on about?

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KVRist
44 posts since 15 Jun, 2021 from Brazil

Post Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:33 am

EdSfer wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:56 am
But if I had to give an advice to a newcomer, I would tell him to bounce whenever possible. It gives you a lot of new possibilities once in audio (chopping, reversing etc). So, do as I say, not as I do :)
Well, ima newcomer and in need of some advices :hyper:

Ive never used the "bouncing" technique and always exported directly to wav. Well, im learning about compressing and eqs, post arrangement plugins, techniques now... so bear with me :roll:

Let me ask some questions:

1) When we export the tracks, should we export it in which level (0 db?), or with room?
2) Which format is best, wav?
3) Should I make automation after the bounce or before, and that stage should be for mastering only? (if so, how to balance with question 1)
4) Should I use post arrangement plugins after the bounce or before? (compression, eqs, reverbs, etc)
5) Why most of the time it sounds a little bit different when you play on DAW and after the export? Its because i didnt bounce tracks and exported everything together?

Tks and sorry for all those questions, ive found some different answers scattered thru the web and im lost now :pray:
My music project "Strange Adventures in Void" :arrow:
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KVRist
241 posts since 27 Aug, 2015 from Paris, France

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:44 am

sambombe wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:33 am
Well, ima newcomer and in need of some advices :hyper:
Welcome sambombe, I'll do my best to answer your questions, in the limits of my knowledge :

1) Depends on your workflow and what you're trying to achieve I guess. In my case I would just bounce the track with the same level it already has. I mean, I use Ableton, I juste freeze the track and flatten it, this way it's exactly the same as it was, but it's now an audio track. If you bounce directly in the DAW, you shouldn't have to think about it. As soon as you don't bounce a track which hits over 0 db, everything should be fine.

2) Any lossless format. So yeah, wav/aif would be a standard. But then again, you don't have to worry about it if you bounce directly in the DAW (vs exporting the track and reimporting it). The DAW will take care of it and render it with the best possible format I guess (but I only use Ableton and don't know how other DAW's handle it).

3) Again it depends... if we're talking about an automation in the synth itself (ie opening/closing the filter for instance) you don't have the choice but to do it before the bounce. If you're talking about, let's say the track's volume automation, then it would be better to do it after the bounce, especially if you plan to do the mixing afterwards : let's say you want to use a compressor, if your audio track has volume variations in it, it won't behave correctly, it would be like automating the threshold of your compressor, which might not be what you're after.

4) Aaaaand again... it depends :)
It depends on why you bounce in the first place? Do you bounce so that you have plenty of free CPU in order to do the mixing? If so, then keep your mixing tools for after the bounce. Are those FX's part of the creative process and you want to play with the resulting audio (ie chop/reverse etc)? Then bounce the tracks with all of these. Keep in mind that bouncing means committing, so, only bounce the things you're confident enough you won't modify later. And keep in mind there's no rule :)

5) Could be.. If you use some random modulations, the result will be different each time you play your track in the DAW. Bouncing allows you to keep a stable version of your track. Even without random modulations, a lot of vst synths oscillators have random phase, which means each note you play will be slightly different than the previous one. So, all those slight variations can have some effect on your sound when you play it in the DAW. Freezing/Bouncing the tracks allows you to keep a unique version which won't be affected anymore by any randomness. So, yeah, if you bounce all the tracks before exporting, the result should sound identical before and after the export.

I hope it makes some sense :wink:
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KVRist
44 posts since 15 Jun, 2021 from Brazil

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:10 am

EdSfer wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:44 am
1) Depends on (...)
I hope it makes some sense :wink:
Tks a lot for your time and advices. Ill have now to make some experiences in my daw, following those steps. Course most of the "rules" in music, in general, are guidelines and its up to one discretion and experience to apply it or not but, when youre new, you have to have something to stand on and move forward. My CPU suffers when i put lots of synths and effects and bouncing alliviates a bit. I use Cubase but i guess its the same principles as any daw. Tks again :tu:

Obs: gratz on your work on SoundCloud (Canape Lee), really wonderful songs there! :phones:
My music project "Strange Adventures in Void" :arrow:
https://soundcloud.com/savoid

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