woeischris wrote:Regarding tape programs, use your ears and base it on the material. I find the almost limitless options with Nebula's tape libraries can be a bit overwhelming. If nothing else, remember that traditionally, a studio would have one machine that they used for an entire recording, then maybe it would be mastered on another. When in doubt, a good sounding tape library can be used on every track and will yield authentic results... or so I telling myself.
That is exactly what I have been doing lately. Despite the many possibilities, I am learning that self induced limitations have become very liberating. As woeischris suggests, I am now picking a tape preset and using it on every track. In fact, whether it seems "right" or not, I also do this with consoles as well. I may be missing out on the supposed best preset for a particular need, but I am noticing the sense of cohesion that my mixes have now. And it has simplified the already complex Nebula workflow. I am treating my mixes to a full studio emulation. Certain console, tape machine, some select eq's and preamps, a collection of compressors, and a few "special" colors. My mixes almost automatically get glued together even before I work on the fine tuning. Much like I remember from my analog tape days.
I use to work this way too. In particular I´m fully into 50s/60s music so I try to do everything using the same console (I´ve been using Bogen succesfully and now I´ll try L401) along the project and just a few tools, maybe the same console eq's and a few outboard programs like any other eq or any comp/lim. And that´s all, I like one kind of sound and I try to recreate it so I do it this way. I know it´s a limiting way and maybe not for any goal but I find it more coherent with my point of view about recreating an real analog scenario. We have so many options and so many tools that sometimes I have spent lots of time choosing what eq to use or what pre or similar... These limits are not bad things, they just establish the rules of the game and then you just can to focus into your musical idea, solving the problems you find. Every (big or small)studio have its (bigger or smaller)equipment and that is all. Nowdays we are not limited by not having a big budget, we even should be grateful cos we can recreate the big tools in the box for an affordable price. So we have the chance to work like the "big ones", why not take it?
Of course there are no rules to create and you must follow your ears and your taste, if your way is more about experimenting and the results are good for you then it´s ok. But anyway I find my projects sound more "like the discs I like" from beninning to work this way. Everything is more clear for me and I´m learning more and faster than before, cos using regularly the same tools I´m knowing them in a better way and I´m learning how to get the best of them.
At the risk of looking like an "old wise man" I´ll tell that this is something I often find in the life, having limits make us paying more attention and getting the best of ourselves.