Guitars, guitars, and more guitars. And computers.

by mike ~ May 16, 2009

Over the last two weeks, I’ve recorded the guitars for just about half the songs for the new album.  It’s quite the process.  I’d done fairly fully-fleshed out demos for most of these songs, and so started out the “real” versions by importing the demo parts as a road map once the drums were tracked.  So all I needed to do was to re-record each part in place, like color-by-number for some of them.  But as I’m going, I’m coming up with some new ideas and changing things around, so it’s still quite the creative process.

That is, when my computer is working right…  I’d have a lot more done by now if I wasn’t spending half my time troubleshooting computer issues.  Pro Tools ran great on Windows Vista 32-bit, but I needed more than 3.2GB of ram for some of these sessions.  (32-bit operating systems only let you access between 3 and 4GB of ram…)  So, I’ve been running Windows 7 64-bit.   Win7 is running awesome for the most part, and I quite like the way it works, but Pro Tools doesn’t officially support 64-bit operating systems, so it’s been an experiment, to say the least.

For example, a few times now I’ve recorded a guitar part and gotten it just right, but then on listening back, I found pops and clicks in the audio, so I had to redo it.  Or I’d be adjusting an edit, and PT would just stop responding, forcing me to restart it and wait several minutes as it re-loads the session.  Or I’d change the hardware buffer size and PT would just crash and take down Windows with a BSOD in the process.  That’s always fun.

Somehow though, through it all, I’m still making progress.  I recorded 6 electric guitar tracks and 11 acoustic guitar tracks for a song called “The Words” tonight and yesterday.  I used two mics on the acoustic for each part (a 414 and a 57), so there are actually 28 guitar tracks in this song currently.  I’m gonna have to figure out a way to whittle those down, though; I think I might have done too much this time around.  But it is much easier to remove tracks than to record more later, so away I went!

I’m still optimistic, and listening to the new mixes as I get more and more parts recorded is still a thrill.  And yes, part of me is wondering if getting a Mac would make this go much more smoothly…  I feel dirty.

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