Thursday, February 24, 2011

Piano Idea Two

It's been too long since I last wrote something here, and a lot has been going on in Hybernation Studio. Since getting "Mac Fever" a few months ago, Pro Tools 9 was released to much acclaim. I finally scored my upgrade copy a few weeks ago and I was and remain very impressed with this update to the standard in digital audio workstations.

I was also again impressed by how much more stable Pro Tools is on my under-powered iMac than my honking quad-core PC. And I was missing using Apple's Logic DAW. You see, in December when I was recording my "Big Christmas Production", I realized quickly that I had to revert to the PC, since the iMac was just not powerful enough for all those tracks. Since then I have also been working on several other compositions, and experiencing the same thing...I start them on the iMac, and then have to port them to the PC once I exceed eight tracks or so. And since Apple Logic is a "Mac Only" program, well, I just wasn't able to use it, so I have been using Pro Tools almost exclusively.

That is until Valentines Day came. My incredible wife insisted that I let her treat me to the "iMac of my dreams", and how could I argue? So I scored a 27" iMac with a quad-core i7 processor, 12GB of memory, and a 2TB hard-drive. This is one amazing and beautiful machine, and now I'm able to port those projects BACK from the PC and work on them on this amazing machine. And it looks and feels absolutely amazing!

But I'm still in the "Pro Tools vs. Logic debate" internally. Logic is incredibly intuitive (like the Cakewalk/Sonar I grew up with), and it's way more CPU-efficient than Pro Tools. And Logic now has a full 64-bit version, so those extra 8GB of memory don't go to waste! (Pro Tools 9 is STILL only a 32-bit program, so it can only address 4GB of memory at the most). So, I have begun to re-explore Logic, and I'm reading another book on the subject and planning on starting and finishing all new projects in Logic for the time being.

This little project I'm posting tonight was one of those 10-minute deals. I had Propellerhead's Record/Reason up on the new iMac, I thought of a quick idea, and I played around with it for 5 minutes, building up a little arrangement in my head. Then I hit record and played it through, only to notice that I didn't really hit record. Then I REALLY hit record and played it through, and that was IT! Done.

I posted the rough mix on Facebook and got some positive feedback, so this lead me, tonight, to import the MIDI file into Logic and remix it. I removed four notes that seemed superfluous, added some compression and EQ, and chose a different piano sound. Ironically, after auditioning several of my favorite multi-gigabyte pianos from SampleTekk, none of them seemed quite right. I ended up going back to Reason and using Sonic Reality's new refill called "Classic Rock Piano". I added IK Multimedia's T-Racks 3 Vintage Compressor 370 to the master buss, and bounced the Rewire track down to audio prior to mixing. The whole thing took me less time to accomplish than to type the last few paragraphs. Like I said "intuitive".

Here is what Logic looked like when I was done:

So, here is "Piano Idea Two", an exercise in simplicity.