(return of) the new (old) DAW


“the new (old) DAW pt 2”

once I get all my post tags together, this post will make sense as it shows up next to “part one”

There’s been a lot of push/pull (here) regarding how I’ve been writing/recording the last couple of years.

I didn’t have a lot of pressure to finish anything beyond a couple of mastering projects and demoing my work with Eurorack Modules. The final decision as to whether or not I should get out of the box and go back to “older methods” had been deferred.

Two years ago I was able to pull off remix on my HDD recorder in 1/3 of the time it would’ve taken “in the box”. The difference between the two approaches is primarily “me”. I’ve concluded, 25 years of tape and recording tricks before using software to produce, has conditioned me to visualize everything as a multi lane sonic highway. All of the looping and plugin signal chains eventually become frozen stems with very little automation beyond a master fade. Logically, this is an extra step when compared to hitting record and and maybe a few punch ins to do something better. It’s probably a good thing that using software is efficient enough to make that extra step appear effortless (read: not last long enough to notice).

The most significant advantage with software (to me) is the potential to infinitely undo everything. Compared to what I call the “linear process”, I can change my mind. I can go back with the knowledge I have today and “do things better”. Despite the options, none of them come close to the value I place on “doing something NEW and better”.

(note: not going to spend a paragraph on “infinite capacity to record everything”)

It’s two years later and there are a lot of folders containing the beginnings and rough mixes of things that were intended to become finished projects. They’re all good places to start and they all have “next steps” that “didn’t work for me”. Regardless of how quick and easy non linear playflows have become, they’re useless to me if I’m not staring at the monitors in disbelief during mixdown.

(note: also not going to spend a paragraph on “time spent sifting through raw recordings for new ideas”)

Maybe, the sticking point is starting out with things that I can go back and change to the point of being unrecognizable. If the initial idea isn’t strong enough to remain permanent, should I be surprised that it isn’t permanent enough to attach to anything I put next to it?

Two weeks ago I pulled the iMac out of the studio and swapped all the routing to the back of the AW4416. In addition to adding a second part to the topic, this post is a marker for where I commit to using this process for at least a year to see what happens (expires 3/30/2017).

here goes…