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Who needs a DAW?

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
Announcing a DAW-less recording experiment...



This tune can be downloaded freely if you wish

This is recorded and overdubbed without a DAW, without tape, without editing. I tried to free myself of the controlling elements of "editing freedom" by playing a tailor-made layered Kontakt instrument in one take into Quicktime, dropping this recording into Audacity, playing back this take on same then overdubbing live with Pigments 3.

Only then did I do some sound editing to remove an extra loud click on the fade and then passed it through the Landr engine to beef it up.

This process requires Soundflower, a tiny software DL that allows the computer to record itself. You just have to do a minor set-up in the prefs of each software instrument beforehand and away you go.

For full details of the process, if you are interested, please go HERE

And a warning for haters of ARTY VIDEOS... here is the video version lol.



Doubtless some people will think "why bother if it sounds so rough?" but this is is exactly what I want. I have found myself disappearing into hours of re-takes, tweaking compression chains, micro-managing note positions etc when using Ableton (or Logic, or Bitwig) and losing sight of the initial musical inspiration.

Anyone else feel the same about DAWs? Anyone else long for some freedom?
 
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bill5

Senior Member
Nope. :) tbh your process sounds far less straightforward and adds more work vs less and is vastly more limited. So less freedom, not more. Using a DAW doesn't have to entail micro-managing effects and whatever. IMO I would just stop micro-managing vs switching tools...but if that works for you, that's what counts.

I'm a minimalist when it comes to production anyway. if I like what I hear, I don't add stuff for the sake of adding it and chasing my tail (not that I haven't been there).
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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I agree that my process is a faff. But I like the limitation. It is almost like recording live onto a two track and making the best of it. Yes, I shouldn't micro manage! This is an extreme experiment to gat me into a new creative space and so far so good...
 

A.G

Senior Member
Anyone else feel the same about DAWs? Anyone else long for some freedom?
Not me for sure and probably 99% of the professional arrangers, composers and studio engenders.
Using Soundflower, QuickTime etc. is a complicated poor quality amateur way. For example, if I demonstrate your complicated way to little students (10 years old) and after that if I demonstrate the DAW way, be sure that the guys will vote for the DAW.

If you want to stay away of DAW, then I recommend to use a hardware equipment (mixer console, rack FX, multitrack recorder etc).
 
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kgdrum

Greetings
I agree that my process is a faff. But I like the limitation. It is almost like recording live onto a two track and making the best of it. Yes, I shouldn't micro manage! This is an extreme experiment to gat me into a new creative space and so far so good...
I totally understand the premise and ironically my most productive time writing and actually finishing numerous pieces of music is when I took a similar but a little more flexible approach.
I recorded directly to a Roland VS1680, I had a Roland XP-30 with some expansions an Akai S950 sampler,an eDrum kit and a vocal mic.
So while I could do a few more tracks than your experiment like multiple takes ….edit, cut and paste sections of music it was still limited by today’s standards ,it kept me close too immediate,and this kind of method makes you commit to an idea.
I wasn’t utilizing midi or a click track but somehow I made it work.
Does it sound great by today’s standards? No not really but I finished about 30-40 songs in less than a year. This was in the 90’s unfortunately now with the tons of advancements and better technology available I don’t finish nearly as much music and I feel less creative,less spontaneous and feel more restricted with all of the technology.
 
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bill5

Senior Member
Why not just use Audacity? It's limited in what it can do, giving you a more minimalist approach, but eliminates all that extra stuff you were doing.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
I use an Alesis HD24/96 just because I got tired of Cubase/Reaper.
Don’t do Orchestral, more Jazz Fusion or Hip-Hop where less production/less tracks are needed.

Just personal taste but it does set me free from the workflow blues that came over me after years of DAWs.

When I master it’s done via ADAT to my DSP Rack where I can even go to surround if need be, but once levels have been set which is simple due to less tracks, I send audio through a great Mastering Plug In called Optimizer by Algorithmix that uses Multiband compression and other tricks that gives me a full balanced sound.

I can do a few tunes in a matter of hours. Good enough for me.
 

Al Maurice

Active Member
In any case a DAW, is just essentially a multitrack recorder. Not sure how midi got there any way, but it is now.

Many bands in the past used overdubbing before they even had 4 track recorders. And then at one time it was recorded to waxen disk in one take.

So why not experiment, try different ways of making music. That's how we innovate and move forward.
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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Jack White approves your methods.
Wouldn't working with a workstation give you something similar?
I think he may! I guess a workstation would be the way to go perhaps, as long as it hasn't got pads... (like Maschine or Push). In realitity I shall continue this method for now.
 

KarlHeinz

Senior Member
Announcing a DAW-less recording experiment...



This tune can be downloaded freely if you wish

This is recorded and overdubbed without a DAW, without tape, without editing. I tried to free myself of the controlling elements of "editing freedom" by playing a tailor-made layered Kontakt instrument in one take into Quicktime, dropping this recording into Audacity, playing back this take on same then overdubbing live with Pigments 3.

Only then did I do some sound editing to remove an extra loud click on the fade and then passed it through the Landr engine to beef it up.

This process requires Soundflower, a tiny software DL that allows the computer to record itself. You just have to do a minor set-up in the prefs of each software instrument beforehand and away you go.

For full details of the process, if you are interested, please go HERE

And a warning for haters of ARTY VIDEOS... here is the video version lol.



Doubtless some people will think "why bother if it sounds so rough?" but this is is exactly what I want. I have found myself disappearing into hours of re-takes, tweaking compression chains, micro-managing note positions etc when using Ableton (or Logic, or Bitwig) and losing sight of the initial musical inspiration.

Anyone else feel the same about DAWs? Anyone else long for some freedom?
Definitely understand the approach. I tried something in the same direction while trying to get the output of a generative midi app into workstation (Omniphere, Unify.....) and record the output directly. In general it is just much more creative for my impression.

Still not found really what I am looking for cause the Generative app could of course not start the recording directly (at least on win 10, it seems there are solutions on mac), in Unify I got problems with the midi in and then recording with MRecorder,..... and at least I stepped back to my daw to record the midi and then.......:sad:
 

ennbr

Active Member
In any case a DAW, is just essentially a multitrack recorder. Not sure how midi got there any way, but it is now.
Actually Midi came first to computers and started in the early 80's it wasn't until around 1990 that audio tracks were added to DAW's. Thats why programs like Cubase and Sonar were so midi centric they started out as midi only DAW's
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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I use an Alesis HD24/96 just because I got tired of Cubase/Reaper.
Don’t do Orchestral, more Jazz Fusion or Hip-Hop where less production/less tracks are needed.

Just personal taste but it does set me free from the workflow blues that came over me after years of DAWs.

When I master it’s done via ADAT to my DSP Rack where I can even go to surround if need be, but once levels have been set which is simple due to less tracks, I send audio through a great Mastering Plug In called Optimizer by Algorithmix that uses Multiband compression and other tricks that gives me a full balanced sound.

I can do a few tunes in a matter of hours. Good enough for me.
I'm loving this
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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Definitely understand the approach. I tried something in the same direction while trying to get the output of a generative midi app into workstation (Omniphere, Unify.....) and record the output directly. In general it is just much more creative for my impression.

Still not found really what I am looking for cause the Generative app could of course not start the recording directly (at least on win 10, it seems there are solutions on mac), in Unify I got problems with the midi in and then recording with MRecorder,..... and at least I stepped back to my daw to record the midi and then.......:sad:
Sounds like using Reaktor's onboard recorder? This has just given me an idea to multi up some ensembles (my own of course, LOL), record a tune into the recorder then drop it into Audacity and continue from there.
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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In any case a DAW, is just essentially a multitrack recorder. Not sure how midi got there any way, but it is now.

Many bands in the past used overdubbing before they even had 4 track recorders. And then at one time it was recorded to waxen disk in one take.

So why not experiment, try different ways of making music. That's how we innovate and move forward.
Yep, let's innovate and move forward! I'm with you.
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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Why not just use Audacity? It's limited in what it can do, giving you a more minimalist approach, but eliminates all that extra stuff you were doing.
Yes. I agree, I am going to drop in more than one wav and take it from there.
 
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Flintpope

Flintpope

Sound designer and seller of BRILLO
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Not me for sure and probably 99% of the professional arrangers, composers and studio engenders.
Using Soundflower, QuickTime etc. is a complicated poor quality amateur way. For example, if I demonstrate your complicated way to little students (10 years old) and after that if I demonstrate the DAW way, be sure that the guys will vote for the DAW.

If you want to stay away of DAW, then I recommend to use a hardware equipment (mixer console, rack FX, multitrack recorder etc).
Yes I think the kids will always go for a DAW. You are so right that my technique here is amateur and sounds rough. however, I am happy this way. My biggest musical influence was the tail-out music on old Polish films in the sixties in a small school hall cinema. Koniec!
 
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