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Old 04-26-2011, 02:04 PM
perryr perryr is offline
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Default Cleaning Up Tracks

New DAW user. I have a session with audio multi-tracks improrted from an anolog tape recorder. Tracks were done 10+ yrs ago, remixing. The recording environment was poor, the tracks are rough, but the music is good.

I want to address the silent area's in tracks.. and what do Pro's do. There seems to be numerous ways to get the job done, but I'd like to learn the most practiced method.
1. Intro's and outro's, do you just cut the dead space out before and after the music, or do you leave it there and just set the start and end points (with fade ins/outs, whatever)?

2. Breaks within the song. Do you cut (and apply crossfades) or use automation, gates or strip silence, or??

3. Tracks where the instrument only plays for short periods (Vocals, and some instruments), do you cut and create regions or do you you leave the track whole and address the dead spots in other ways (these dead spots have bleed as it was performed live).

Appreciate any input.. up to recently I was 100% analog.

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Old 04-26-2011, 02:17 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

A mix. Whatever sounds good. IMHO, tape hiss helps up to a point. If you have a few tracks, like drums, that have tape hiss throughout already, you can probably cut out the rest of the "silences" with either Strip Silence or manual cutting, depending on the material. Things with long tails can be truncated by Strip Silence, since its minimum threshold is frustratingly high. Things with short decays can usually be cut up pretty effectively with it by setting a long enough end pad.

Whether you need fade ins and outs on the hiss can only be determined by ear. It will depend in part by how hard you end up compressing stuff. I might start without fades and add them as needed. Whether you do fades with automation or fade files depends on your equipment and workflow. If I had a good controller, I'd probably do it with automation. If it has to be done with a mouse, fade files are probably less trouble because you're not flipping track views constantly.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:29 PM
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Shan Shan is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

Quote:
Originally Posted by perryr View Post

Appreciate any input.. up to recently I was 100% analog.
Keep the noise(or at least some of it). Amp hum, preamp noise, hiss, vocal breathes etc are part of the sound. When you cut this stuff out, it seems to sound lifeless and fake in my honest opinion. A trend in many plug-ins these days is an "analog button", which adds a noise floor in many cases.

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Old 04-26-2011, 02:30 PM
fakir_cz fakir_cz is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

Hi Perry, welcome to the digital world.

As you said, there really are many ways to get the job done. I'd personally cut any unnecessary parts out, because it's simpler and somehow more comfortable to work with than the automation (for this specific task). You can automate mutes, which will get you the same result (except for fade ins/outs, you'd need to automate volume for that, obviously), but with edits, you can immediatelly see where those cuts are and how does your session look like, which can be harder when looking at many automation lanes. So I'd edit. When you cut something out in Pro Tools, the data are still there and you can easily modify the cut, or undo it entirely, so no danger here.

But, from my experience, all those bleeds in live recordings gives the sound a bit different character, that may be desirable in some cases. But this is up to you, of course.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:46 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

It's pretty shocking what most "analog" buttons add to the sound! Print it some time and then gain it up. Pretty nasty in most cases. Tape hiss is vastly preferable. It glues things together.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:54 PM
perryr perryr is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

Thanks for all the great input! I assumed off the git-go that everyone did some basic house keeping, but as in all things audio.. "it depends"! Should have known that to start.

I figured it would be really nice to have the power to get rid of all that stuff I tried hard to minimize with manual fader moves, gates, and mutes. Tape hiss, never figured it would be something I'd like to keep around! But having not mixed down in the digital world, never really thought of the side effects of not having any noise. Of course I have a few tracks with poor bleed and another with poor erase depth on prior passes, so I'll clean those up. But I'll let the other stuff be for now and just do what sounds best for the work.

Appreciate the insight, Perry
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:01 PM
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SpinningDisk SpinningDisk is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

Most of all (what I learned here on the forum), use your ears.

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:12 PM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

Right... considering all the work people did to minimize noise in the past... now there are pricey plug-ins so you can add that noise into you mix!
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

I usually prefer gates for what you're describing, less editing
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:52 PM
CME CME is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning Up Tracks

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Originally Posted by guitar486 View Post
I usually prefer gates for what you're describing, less editing
This can work quite (quiet ???? ) well. lol Really it depends on how bad it is as to what would work best. And how much you want to remove. I tend to mostly edit out empty spots, but as mentioned leaving some can make parts not sound so.... empty..... maybe.

However if it is just a break in the song. Like a one beat "pause", I'll usually leave that mostly alone, as long as it was played well enough. If you edit it completely clean it can sound really odd. However some times you have to do a little tweaking if something rang out a little long.
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