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#446773 - 12/22/17 02:25 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
Janice & Bud Offline
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For us excluding vocals it is typically 4-6. But that's because we favor open "airy" mixes that sound like something a small band could play live in a club, etc. I've mixed projects with many more tracks but, perhaps counter-intuitively, I find it more of a challenge to get a "big" sound with a "small" number of tracks.

No value judgements here....just our preferences. And I should mentioned that often one RT track in our mixes will be comped from many regenerations of that same track...but I count it as one smile

Bud
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#446845 - 12/23/17 05:33 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: Janice & Bud]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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<<< But when I saw some mixing tutorials on the web, especially for the professional songs, apparently a song may have 60, 70 tracks.

How can you have so many tracks? Could you pls explain what tracks you should or can add after generating the song in BIAB? >>>

Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
For us excluding vocals it is typically 4-6. But that's because we favor open "airy" mixes that sound like something a small band could play live in a club, etc. I've mixed projects with many more tracks but, perhaps counter-intuitively, I find it more of a challenge to get a "big" sound with a "small" number of tracks.

No value judgements here....just our preferences. And I should mentioned that often one RT track in our mixes will be comped from many regenerations of that same track...but I count it as one smile

Bud


Bud, you actually get to the heart of the OP's original question. Your final mix plays what appears to be 4-6 instrument tracks but the total tracks used to get to that final count may actually be 30-40 tracks. Because of the unlimited track count of many DAW's, these producers he watches on YouTube rarely, if ever discard or erase a track. They save everything and their entire mix is a comp of dozens of tracks.

I recall one tutorial I watched on YouTube where the intro played a single guitar for 8 bars but the intro was comped from three different takes.

There is also a wonderful tutorial in the PGMusic videos and available on YouTube of the artist making a series of videos writing, recording and completing his project from start to finish. At one point, he creates a unique fiddle riff as a focal point of the song by cutting and pasting from 8 different tracks of a fiddle. He saved the riff and places the comp recording throughout his song.

I like to say it's best to have more tracks than you need in case you need more tracks than you've got....






Edited by Charlie Fogle (12/23/17 05:34 AM)
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#447287 - 12/26/17 07:37 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
David Snyder Online   happy
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I think there might be an opportunity here to discuss the difference between basic instrument tracks and additional tracks used for ornamental fills or patches (like a patch to correct a bad spot in a vocal.)

In brief, a BIAB “style” will give you four or five basic instrument tracks to write a song with. It is basically what the Beatles had to work with early on (track-wise) and they didn’t do so bad.

You do not really add extra tracks in BIAB. You add extra tracks by opening the BIAB file in Real Band (the free DAW that comes with BIAB) and generating more instrument tracks there. You add more instruments at your own risk. If you have more than eight or nine instruments in most popular songs, it is going to get way too busy. Eight instrument tracks in a band is about the norm.

Here is an example of what it means to minimize tracks: If in addition to your five BIAB tracks, you play a live acoustic guitar part perfectly the first time through, and decide to keep it, you have one extra track for that instrument part, which is the ideal, of course. If you have to do that in 10 takes on 10 different tracks and chop them up, things will get messy.

For most vocals, even if you do the main take perfectly, you will want to copy that at least twice to other tracks so you can experiment with different effects on each track and then do a blend of those tracks, experimenting with panning effects or other tricks. Or you may do backing vocals. There go another three or four tracks.

And now for drums!

Most people don’t know there is tone toggle on BIAB in the far right hand corner. Moving this and also the reverb switch on the drums will dramatically change their sound. You need to find a good tone for what you want and export at least one track completely dry to make your own effects later (EQ, reverb etc.)

I have found that with Real Drums, if you use at least 3 tracks of the same recording, you can get a pretty fair simulation of a live drum recording session by using EQs and effects (such as Izotope Neutron along with various EQs, including a 10 band EQ) to focus on the kick drum on one track, the toms on another, and the cymbals and snare on another.

If you spend enough time on the drums you can fool many people into thinking you have real drums—almost everyone except for drummers. Well, that’s not true. I have fooled one or two drummers on occasions, good drummers too.

While it may be true that some Nashville recordings have 300 tracks that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good songs. Many of those songs on the radio (to me) sound like a cluttered wall of sound and I can’t listen to them. I would rather hear a great two track song—one great guitar and one great vocal.

Most really good songs have about eight well-chosen instrumental tracks, a few good vocal tracks and as many extra tracks as you need to add what is needed.

The goal in any song is to get what you need done with less. Less is almost always better and more is almost always messy after a certain point.

So, bare bones:

Six to eight instrumental tracks.

About five vocal tracks (including doubles and background vocals).

Three drum tracks.

About 16 to 18 to keep it simple.

Hope this makes sense. Happy Holidays.

* Oh, one another thing, try recording Verses and Choruses (and Bridges too) on different tracks.

There may be a lot of argumentation on this point, but that's okay--and the point is I do not chop vocals. To each his own, but I may sing a verse 100 times but I won't chop it. Even if the take I use has "flaws" and is not "perfect" I find it impossible to get the rock and roll authenticity and passion I want unless all of it flows from one take. (Regardless of how many takes it took to get there.)

Others may do it differently and splice on and on forever and do just great with it, but I just don't find that works for me. I have to do it in one take to get the continuous sound I am looking for.

But again, to each his own.


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#447317 - 12/26/17 11:38 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
Will Rockwell Offline
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The last song I finished, "Paradise" has 41 tracks on Pro Tools, 12 of those are BB. 8 of the tracks are vocal harmony and vocorder harmony. There are 10 stereo effects returns as well. I'll often create a second BB version with additional instruments, including different drum styles that can be changed during the song.
I had the advantage of learning engineering working in New York studios, including at Electric Lady under Eddie Kramer, so I get a kick out of building extravagant productions at home.
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#447448 - 12/27/17 07:56 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
Janice & Bud Offline
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We do one or two vocal takes at most. Janice’s feels like a little is lost each time after that. But when she says she’s ready to record she has as floyd says “lived with” the song and she, well, is ready smile

We rarely ever use styles. Our recent rockabilly tune is the rare exception. I’ve used BiaB enough to “know” the RT’s that work for our Americana approach. I really enjoy starting with a blank slate and building a band - often from seemingly disparate RT genres.

I frequently, especially with solos, comp at the bar level and sometimes comping individual notes particularly when transitioning back to the vocal. I don’t like mixing with a number of volume shaped tracks of the same RT so I cut/paste into one track before getting serious about the mix. I’ll comp rhythm tracks to hopefully get a signature feel through the tune.

With RD’s I often double the snare (learned from floyd) so I have a max of two drum tracks - the kit and the snare.

Like David alluded to there are a zillion ways to approach all of this. And I deeply appreciate all of the productions with large numbers of tracks - it would make my hair hurt to try it
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#447596 - 12/28/17 06:23 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: Janice & Bud]
BlueAttitude Offline
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Registered: 11/30/07
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Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud


With RD’s I often double the snare (learned from floyd) so I have a max of two drum tracks - the kit and the snare.



Bud, how can you double the snare if you are using realdrums? Or, are you building a separate snare track using loops??

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#447633 - 12/28/17 09:05 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
jford Offline
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Quote:
Bud, how can you double the snare if you are using realdrums? Or, are you building a separate snare track using loops??


I had that same thought when I read it, since RealDrums are stereo recordings of the entire drum set.
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#447659 - 12/28/17 10:28 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
Janice & Bud Offline
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David S asked about this and this is what I sent him.

Several years ago floyd told me that he often doubled the snare by using a second track and positioning a snare hit snippet under each BiaB snare hit on the wave form. I later discovered that for each RD there is an audio file hidden in the depths of BiaB folders that includes several minutes of the drum track and at the end has the actual individual hits, e.g., snare, kick, tom, ride, high hat, etc.

So my method is to cut the snare hit out of the respective “hidden” RD drum audio file and use it for the double. Since the RD is, well, a real human, lining them up was tedious at first as the RD snare would not always be right on the beat but for a, say, three minute song it only takes about 15 minutes or so. Then you can process the snare track anyway you wish and it's the same snare that's in the original full kit. I used Ozone’s imager module to “spread” the sound a bit and them pan it dead center. Some times I'll pull out other hits from the RD audio file to build my own drum intro, etc.

Oh, my DAW (Logic Pro X) has a snare replacement function designed for it's drummers but it works pretty well on a RD; however, I think doubling them as mentioned above with the same sound works best. I love the snare sound that Mellecamp has had for decades and that's the sound I aim for. Farm rock smile

Bud
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#447673 - 12/28/17 12:05 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
BlueAttitude Offline
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Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 990
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Very cool, thanks Bud! I'm going to try that technique on my next song smile

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#447685 - 12/28/17 01:01 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
floyd jane Offline
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Do the same thing with the Kick on a separate track.

Then you can control both - Kick and Snare...
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#447693 - 12/28/17 01:36 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: Janice & Bud]
sslechta Offline
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Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 990
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
I later discovered that for each RD there is an audio file hidden in the depths of BiaB folders that includes several minutes of the drum track and at the end has the actual individual hits, e.g., snare, kick, tom, ride, high hat, etc.

Hey Bud, I dug up an old post from the "Post your own Tips and Tricks" forum where I went into detail a little more on that in case anyone is interested:

Changing drum style within existing song
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#447712 - 12/28/17 02:46 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: sslechta]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
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Originally Posted By: sslechta
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
I later discovered that for each RD there is an audio file hidden in the depths of BiaB folders that includes several minutes of the drum track and at the end has the actual individual hits, e.g., snare, kick, tom, ride, high hat, etc.

Hey Bud, I dug up an old post from the "Post your own Tips and Tricks" forum where I went into detail a little more on that in case anyone is interested:

Changing drum style within existing song


Thanks! I knew I couldn't have been the first to find that smile

Bud
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#447722 - 12/28/17 04:03 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: BlueAttitude]
David Snyder Online   happy
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Registered: 08/29/14
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OR,

for lazier people like me, you can double or triple the entire drum track then add a 10 band EQ to extract them snares and pull 'em out..

Technology can do it a lot of thangs...Tater Totts taught me this one...

You get double or triple your money with Band in a Box. It's almost as good as a Double Whopper with a super size side of fries at Thanksgiving.






Attachments
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#447769 - 12/28/17 11:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: fantasyvn]
erickabadude Offline
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Registered: 08/12/16
Posts: 8
Originally Posted By: fantasyvn
Could you pls help me with this question. If you generate a song in BIAB, usually it only has a few tracks (bass, drum, guitar, piano, synth). If you add your own vocal singing the melody, and some harmony vocals, it seems you still only have about 10 tracks.

But when I saw some mixing tutorials on the web, especially for the professional songs, apparently a song may have 60, 70 tracks.


A typical EDM track has 60 to 100 tracks. The magic answer is 'layering'. A lot of layering goes into tracks that are done properly. On synths, atmosphere, kicks and other elements as well like claps, hi hats, etc. 60 kind of seems low actually but again, depends on what kind of music you are making. For EDM is super low. Maybe even for trap music too.

Also go on Google and type 'Hyperbits Revolution'. Click on the first link and half way through the page is a video tutorial. It's an hour long tutorial and you'll learn TONS! Even if you're not and EDM producer, it should give you a good idea on how to make real professional tracks. Dude easily has over 80 tracks.

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#447837 - 12/29/17 09:01 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: How many tracks does your song usually have? [Re: erickabadude]
David Snyder Online   happy
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Loc: North Carolina
Good points.

One observation--actually several. EDM is kind of its own thing. It is also constantly evolving.

You CAN make an EDM composition with 200 tracks but you can also use any one of the EDM or techno styles from BIAB and add in your own string parts and piano parts and such and make an EDM song with 10 tracks or less.

Put side by side, it's user's choice. The listener will decide.

(I found the guy's comment about the basic Compressor unit looking like something from NASA was funny. It was like "Man you haven't seen complicated. That's a cereal bowl full of fruit loops and warm milk, dude.")

Anyway, in music you can do anything you want. If you want to paste together a great song with 5000 samples, you can do it. But you can also do great song in EDM with 12 tracks or a great jazz song with 3 tracks. Or one.

Also, people who play instruments and who have been studying piano or guitar since they were two years old will never agree with loopers on how many tracks you need to make a professional song.

But, since you can do whatever you want in music, I say do it. If you write the greatest song in the world with two tracks and both of them done on the first take I say bravo. If you spend 4 days pasting together 100 synths to do as many variations of the same piano riff, well bravo to that too.

Come to think of it, though, I think I get the most goosebumps listening to Hilary Hahn do one track.

But, well, she has a lot going on, that Hilary Hahn.

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