Creating Tracking Templates
At this point, I would start setting up drums so that we could have drum tracks in there. I know that it might sound like I said to do drums last or not do drums last or whatever. I would at least get set up because you never know what's gonna happen. You don't wanna record great drums in a shitty way and then not be able to recreate them. I would go ahead and set it for drums at this point. Just set up and get drum tones and take the time to do it. That kinda blurs the lines between Pre Pro and tracking. But this band is so good that why not just do that? It's not like I need to move the song around. So that would be the next step. Then I would start making tracking templates for guitar and vocals. Once again just so everybody knows real quick at this point I would set up the drums. Then I would also set up within this master session, guitar tracking, vocal tracking, and bass tracking. But for the purpose of having them in separate sessions, I'm gonna go ahead and do that separately f...
or you guys right now. The reason is that that way I can do whatever I need to Pre Pro-wise at any time and not have to fumble with setting it up. We get an idea, we can just plug into, hit record, and go. Or get on the drums, go. Or start recording vocals, go. This is really simple. This is how I do it for guitars. I usually will track two main rhythms, sometimes four, sometimes six, but at least two. I will first make two tracks. Before I start making a bunch of stuff, I'll first just make two tracks. G Rhythm Left, yay. And then G DI Rhythm Left. Craziness, right? That is just so insane. I would set ... This is arbitrary here. One of these inputs the one thing, one to the other. Basically this is so I can record a DI and my kemper or an amp at the same time. One input would be for the kemper or the amp, and the other one is for the DI. I'm setting this up now so that I can duplicate it. I want to change the track colors for this right away. I'm gonna make my guitars green. Then the DIs slightly darker green, cool. Then I'm gonna make a group here. It's called Guitar Record 1. The idea here is real simple. The only thing that enables is recording. Nothing else is linked. And input monitoring but that doesn't even matter really. Nothing else is linked. That way always we record at the same time. But that doesn't matter. I will always turn down the DI. Great, I have a record group for guitars. Then I will just duplicate that. And I'm not gonna duplicate the group assignment because I want a new group assignment. G Rhythm 2. G DI Rhythm 2. We'll call it Right actually. As you can see the inputs are already set. Then gonna make the group, Guitar Record 2. Do not follow globals, just record enable. Perfect. Pan that. Then I will make a different group here. These are the amp tracks and these are the DI tracks. I'm gonna take the two amp tracks and I'm gonna make a group of those. I'm gonna call them Guitar Rhythm Tweak. This is not about record enabling or anything like that. This is solos, volumes, mutes, plug-ins, sends. And not panning, by the way because I don't want the right and left guitar to pan together. This is so that when I tweak the plug-in, the EQ, on one side, it'll also tweak it on the other guitar. I know you can't do that in certain DAWs. But it's good to do that here. For instance, just put that on both. Let's just say we're gonna filter that. As you can see, happened to both. Then I'll make a guitar bus. Aux Input. Alright, so, Rhythm ... So Guitar Rhythm bus. Then I'm just gonna color this green as well. A different green. Then I will put it above. I'm gonna route these guys into, let's just say ... Probably have a bus set up already for this. Name your buses. It makes life way easier, yeah, Guitar Rhythm. Then bus, where is it? Guitar Rhythm. Yay, right? In Pro tools you can name all that stuff when you go to I/O and you go to buses and stuff. See? I've named a bunch of them. You should do that too because once things start to get real complex and you have a bunch of buses going a bunch of different places, you don't wanna be trying to remember where 15 and 16 is going. It's a lot easier if you remember that Guitar Rhythm is going to the Guitar Rhythm bus. Seems simple, and it is, but it'll make your life way easier. I would also just add a bass DI. Notice I'm putting these all on different inputs so that we can be plugged in at any time. I'm gonna make this yellow because that's what I like for bass. Then vocals. Because this guy I already know is pretty heavy on layering, for Pre Pro I'll open up four tracks of mono-vocals just to get started. Then I'll also open up two tracks of send effects. Stereo Aux Tracks for vocal effects. I love how those are all different colors. For vocals I make these guys purple because that's the color of vocals. Then I'll make the effects darker purple. Boom. Voc Delay. Just so you know, I don't do this from scratch on every record. I've got these ready to go. I'm just showing you how my thinking is towards constructing these. Doing these effects as a send, I like using inserts on vocals for individual types of effects. But just for a general type of global effect, I'll use sends on an aux. And just for the sake of Pre Pro to just get going or the sake of starting tracking, I'll set it up like this. I'm gonna send, first of all, let me see here. I think I have a vocal effects bus. Yep, vocal effects. And I'll also make this one vocal effects. Name your buses. Then I'm gonna set up sends here that go to vocal effects send. Cool. Generally this is what I like to start with. If you have it on an aux, you put it to 100% wet. I like just a dual quarter note on one side, eighth on another. These are just starting points really. It's not anything. Analog delay, boom, done. Then a reverb. So whatever deverb, who cares, right? Good. Now with the vocal group, here's how I would do it. Voc record. I definitely don't want record enable all the same. I definitely don't even want all the same volume and stuff or the same mute. But I do want the same sends and the same plug-ins because I'm gonna wanna get the same, what am I saying? The same compression settings and EQ and all that. If I choose to have one that's different, I'll remove it from the group, like if I do a special vocal or something like the megaphone I played earlier. It won't be a part of this group. Again I don't know what the volumes are gonna be that I'm gonna be checking and solo or how they're gonna be panned so I'm not touching any of that. I just wanna be able to tweak the plug-ins. I'm gonna actually call this voc tweak. Then since I don't have any global soloing or muting going in, I'm gonna make a vocal bus already. Stereo aux. Voc bus. All these vocals including the effects are gonna go to the voc bus. Again, I'm pretty sure that I have one already. I have various ones like vocal scream, vocal sing. For now just for the sake of doing this, I'm just gonna say vocal sing lead. Vocal sing lead. Now I can mute all the vocals or solo all the vocals as needed plus compress them all the same way if needed. Oh, cancel. See? But only record one at a time. And that's it. I'm not gonna go through the drums now because like I said, I would set up the drums to record for real. That's what we're gonna start doing tomorrow so there's no point in doing that. But with this, I know that no matter what, I can work. I'd also probably set up a lead guitar bus and everything, just get that going. This would be the basic starting point. I can mute or solo the Pre Pro. I can record any of the main instruments. And I can route them to buses. Cool.
Yeah. The thing that I want people to understand is that this band is awesome.
It's like the Pre Pro was not anything other than the technical stuff really. It wasn't ... We weren't gonna sit there an redo their songs especially because it's a song that's already been released. But even if I was recording it for the first time, I probably wouldn't be cutting this band up. It would be more about just getting their stuff in, making a template, getting the tempos right and all that. Then just getting going. If I had picked a crappier band or something for this CreativeLive, then Pre Pro would've been three sessions or something. (man laughs) That's pretty much it.