Assembling a Song. A song? There has never been such a thing as a thirty minute song since the early 70s, but since cue list has already been taken by one of the S1100s other functions, and play list sounds so similar, maybe song is a good enough term for a list of takes which plays sequentially without gaps.
Assembling a Song
A song? There has never been such a thing as a thirty minute song since the
early 70s, but since cue list has already been taken by one of the
S1100s other functions, and play list sounds so similar, maybe
song is a good enough term for a list of takes which plays sequentially
without gaps. This is the screen:
[diagram not available]
Unfortunately, this diagram from the manual doesnt have any takes listed,
but Im sure you can imagine what might be there, a simple list of take
names. In my project I simply inserted the items in the correct order and, at
the end of each item set a fade time of 9999ms - ten seconds as near as damn
it. Then when I went back to Song Play mode and pressed the Run softkey the
whole thirty minutes worth played through. I simply copied this via the analogue
outputs onto another DAT tape, then repeated the whole procedure until my job
was done. Actually, I did have to do one thing extra - record a silent take
which I called Gap to separate the items, but this was no hardship.
Now the question you are undoubtedly asking yourself is, Why did he
copy it to DAT through the analogue outputs. Why not use the S1100s main
digital output or the digital output of the IB104?. Well unfortunately,
I have it from Akai that it wasnt physically possible to provide this
feature on the S1100, so analogue it has to be. But the sound quality is still
pretty good nonetheless.
Use with multitrack
The other job that I had been holding my breath on while I waited to borrow
a hard disk recorder was to fix a couple of finished mixes which were both very
good and achieved only with much sweat and toil, but in each case there was
one instrument that really should have been louder. I didnt want to do
the mixes again because I knew that I would never get the same sound and I wouldnt
be happy. So what I did was to record the offending tracks from the DAT master
onto the disk and also load up the original tape on the multitrack. Then I went
to the S1100s Utility page and set up a cue list. Yes this can be done
using hard disk takes as well as samples. The list in each case was very short,
just one item, for which I set a SMPTE start point. After a bit of fiddling
around I was able to play the multitrack tape, with only the offending track
coming through the mixer, and sync up the mixed track which was now on the disk.
It was very easy to add a little extra level, although I had to be careful with
phasing. There is a fine tune function that can adjust the playback
speed of the take very accurately so that any discrepancies in the speed were
ironed out. Even though I only had myself to blame for the original cock up,
I was very pleased with the end result.
Of course not everything about hard disk recording on the S1100 is perfect.
The main problem for me is that there is no possibility of cross fading. This
is strictly a two channel replay system and I didnt expect it to be anything
else. The other problem is that Akai dont seem to have realised that when
you play a series of takes in Song mode, what you will want to listen to most
are the joins between each take. Editing is a fiddly business and it needs to
be made as simple as possible. Here, you have to play each take from the start,
and who wants to wait five minutes to hear an edit point? What I found myself
doing was temporarily changing the start points, but this shouldnt really
The other function of the revamped S1100 that I have already mentioned, and
certainly a major function, is to play back audio in time with a MIDI sequence,
under MIDI control. Yes, you can do this, and the S1100 will play back samples
at the same time. With a fully expanded S1100 you could have access to over
three minutes of stereo samples, plus as much as fifty minutes of audio (from
the largest hard disk the system can handle).
A significant upgrade?
Yes, and if you have a hard disk already you will probably want to have it.
As a hard disk recording system it doesnt do everything you would find
yourself wanting, but I feel that in the course of everyday studio events you
will find yourself turning again and again to the problem solving and creative
capabilities of the S1100 v2.0.
“It isn't about equipment and software -
it's all about knowing how to use it”
Are successful producers the best people to tell you which is the best equipment?
In a recent test, top producers were asked to pick out the best converters. But were they the best people for the job? Read more...
Do digital signals degrade at higher levels?
Do your recordings brush up against the full scale mark? If they do, might they be distorted or degraded in some way compared to lower-level signals? Read more...
Apogee Duet audio interface features soft limiting to prevent clipping
Should a pro engineer prevent clipping through correct gain setting? Or can soft limiting be relied on to save the day? Read more...
How to get into music with no musical ability
Probably anyone can make it in music, as long as they have sufficient determination. Plenty of people have achieved great things in music even though they had very little ability to start out with... Read more...
Can you tell which mic was used on a recording?
So you are listening to the latest hit by Katy Perry (we won't tell anyone!). But can you hear which mic she is using? Or anything else about the recording?? Read more...
Record a clean acoustic guitar track at home
Recording a clean acoustic guitar sound at home isn't always easy. But there are things you can do to put the 'wow' into your recordings... Read more...
Is there such a thing as maximum loudness? What if I want to go higher than that?
As Roger Waters of Pink Floyd once said, "It doesn't have to be loud. We just like it loud." Well, some people would like it even louder. Is this possible? Read more...
Producer Fran Ashcroft: How many tracks are enough?
One of the most enduring myths in recording has been the endless quest for more and more tracks, which grew exponentially from the real need to overdub in the 60's. Prior to 4 track, overdubs were made by compiling sounds from one machine to another - with a generation loss of sonics every time... Read more...
Do you curse at your computer?
Computer rage is a well-known phenomenon of the times. But apparently 61% of people don't suffer from it at all. Read more...
Even your spouse would like these lovely, polished walnut, LARGE loudspeakers...
Every home needs a listening room or home cinema with a pair of really big loudspeakers. And this pair certainly is big. And unusual too. Read more...
Can a technical error cost you your record deal?
So you're signed to a label and your first release is only weeks away. Is there any way you could screw up your whole career with a simple technical error? Read more...
The worst-sounding hit record ever?
How can a record be a hit, yet sound terrible? Is the quest for audio quality pointless in today's market? Read more...
Songwriters get hammered by record labels. Again!
Get caught downloading illegally and you could be made to pay anything up to $80,000 per track in compensation. But when record companies sell songs without permission or payment to the writers, they only have to cough up $157. Read more...
Are all great microphones made in Germany or Austria?
Some people working at the high end of audio believe that nearly all great mics are made in Germany or Austria. But can you make a great recording with a mic made in China? Read more...
Would you record vocals like this?
Two singers, one microphone. Could it cause an Internet sensation? Read more...
How have production techniques changed over the years?
Would you describe how equalization, compression and effects were used through the decades? I have heard producer Mark Ronson talking about his job with Amy Winehouse and he was saying that in the sixties the tendency was to use a lot of reverb, and that is the sound he brought to the Back to Black album. I'm really curious about the evolution of sound tendencies in music. Read more...
Microphones do matter
In contrast to my recent article where I said that choice of microphone often doesn't matter, there are times where selecting the right microphone can make an enormous difference to your sound. Read more...
Your school grades you 0 to 100%. But what does a real-world client think of your work?
There is a big difference between a school or college, and the real-world working environment. One is helpful and supportive, the other is harsh and takes no prisoners. Guess which is which? Read more...