October Sticky Punching In/Out

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Russian Recording
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Post by Russian Recording » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:37 am

I too will occasionally punch early and sometimes punch out late, it all depends on the situation. I just see it as another very useful tool that working in a DAW provides me with.

The nice thing about punching early in the digital realm is that you have more flexibilty in adjusting where you want the edit to happen, and you can use crossfades to make it completely transparent. Also, it's an added level of security.

I see nothing wrong with this and I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem with it either. The only argument made so far is that it's not "manly", or that it's carelessness. I do not feel that carelessness will be cured by doing traditional punch-ins. I am very careful when I punch in early, and I know specifically how early I will punch. Some people may get a hard-on for themselves cause they know they can get a punch in right. Personally, I don't think it's very difficult and it's nothing to be proud of. I've punched on several varieties of tape michines, digital tape decks, etc. I will gladly trade the 3 seconds (tops) of time it takes for me to fine tune the edit in a punch for the security that I am taking extra care to make sure that I am doing the best job I can for the artist. I take no pride in being able to "punch like a man", but if the situation comes up when I have to do a traditional punch in I know that I am perfectly capable of doing it.

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Post by jmoose » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:06 pm

dogcow wrote:I knew an engineer who always did punches in Destructive Record mode in Pro Tools, his main motivation being that it didn't leave him with tons of oddly named regions in his audio files folder and was simpler to move all the files around becuase it just records the audio over the old material in the same file. I thought it was an interesting approach. Hope that made sense.

Well, thats the OTHER side of the coin in this whole thing.

Having migrated from owning & working on a 2" deck for a long time to becoming a DAW owner & working with that for the last year I gotta say...

DAW's just ARE NOT set up for old-skool rock 'em sock 'em robot stylee punching.

No sireee bob.

In the last few weeks since I took on the new Swampadelica record I've had to sort through the Toolz files from their other tunes & do punches and stuff while we track vocals to a DAW and man...it's just NOT fun to keep track of all that stuff.

One song...oh man...this one tune....there's 1200 something files in the folder.

No fucking joke! There's four takes of the song...22 tracks each, plus vocals, various overdubs...I guess they were working on one of two versions at some point and even when you delete the tracks from the screen the audio remains in the pool...do a dozen or so takes of vocals with three singers...times a few dozen spots...times a few different parts so it's like 8-9 voice harmony by the time it's all done...


:shock:



It's waaaaay easier to toss up a reel of tape & hit record...you got all 'yer tracks and they're just there 'ya know?

If it sucked, well...do it again and make it NOT suck!! :lol:

That's fun. Like, I can't believe this is my career & I get paid for this kinda fun! Number crunching on DAW's sucks. Keeping track of files on DAW's sucks. Granted, ya gotta do it...but why make it hard on 'yerself?


I'll punch drums on tape...no fear. Same with Radar or any other 'liner' recording medium.

I can do it in DAW-land too...it's just a bit more difficult.

Sometimes the gotcha is the ability to monitor the previously recorded material up to punch-in point. Depends on how the software is setup...soundcard drivers, loops & latecency non-sense...

It's computer non-sense...not fun rekkid makin' stuff. Gimme my 2" deck or a Radar!

Though...a DAW is still better then Adats.



Back to tape world where the punchin' is easy...



I remember doing this one record a few years back...the band loaded all their crap in and started a two week camp-out. When we broke for a meal on day two or three the bass player said she didn't want to eat where we were eating & was gonna head to some other place up the road & meet us back at the studio. Ok, no problem...whuddever...we all left together, bunch of us heading to place A and her to place B.

We chowed as a group & drive back to the studio to find that our bass player wasn't there...

Splitsville.

Found a couple of semi-wrapped up cables and an unplugged DI near where the rig used to be! :lol:

The band decided to do what ANY real band would do...keep tracking! They gotta make a record after all.

Once we had all the songs tracked the guitar players and I shot it out for the bass chair...I won so I ended up having to show someone in the band how to punch-in on the JH-24 and do some pseudo-engineering so I could play bass on a dozen tunes. By the thrid song he was getting REALLY good at it, being able to anticipate the punches a little, like getting in on the "and" of 4 if you wanna make the '1' clean...

It was all smooth sailing from there!







Now from the Twilightzone...another record...guest engineer in my shop...a guy I knew from the rec.audio.pro days...

This guy books a few days to bring a band out for some tracking, power trio with a vocal. We get the band setup...he's running the show & I'm on assistent duty, which basically means hangin' out in the lounge & playing Mortal Kombat...run for food, make the odd patch here & there.

Getting the band setup & going took a bit longer then it should of. I had some internal rumblings that this engineer dood who had booked my shop might not be all that experienced but I shucked those feelings off. Chaulked it up to him not knowing the room, being in an unfamilar setting or something along those lines.

No worries. On to Madden football.

At some point he asked me to come into the control room...the band had just finished a take and wanted to punch-in the vocal at whatever point & for the LIFE of me I can't remember what this kid needed....

Maybe to set a punch-in point or something...

But whuddever.

The singers all ready, pointing out where to hit...Mr. engineer cues up the tape...singer heads back towards the booth...

While he's cueing around, listening and identifing the I/O spots I happened to glace over at the locater from the side of the room and notice that he's neglected to notice that tracks 1 through whatever are still armed...

But alas...it was too late to say anything...by the time I had whirled around to look at the machine & confirmed that 17-odd "record ready" lights were lit up he had JUST dropped into....











SILENCE.





He hits stop.









The band looks at him....he looks at me....


And asks....







Rather blankly.







"Where's the undo?"
















Doo-od.




There is no undo.

Only redo.





Band trudges back in, makes another take and laments the "lost" take for the next few hours. Spirits rose after dinner & a few drinks.


But that kid...

For the rest of the day...any time the vocal needed to be redone or punched...

He'd just burn another track on the 2" deck.
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Post by thethingwiththestuff » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:51 pm

has anyone mentioned the problem of hitting zero crossings? i think someone did briefly, but i think thats a key point here....how are you supposed to prevent pops if you force yourself to use a computer as if it were a tape machine, when it plainly is not?

i guess some of you have automatic crossfading set up for any edits....i dont because i like to have control over that. i usually punch at musical in and out points, but i still usually need to clean it up when i'm done.

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Post by drumsound » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:46 pm

My RADAR has auto crossfades and I've never heard a pop on a punch.

My MCI JH24 has the QUIOR seemless punch system. My 3M M79 has a fast punch mod.

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Post by greatmagnet » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:17 pm

I think I'm that guy in California.

I think Tony what you may have been watching me do was not so much a function of having "the fear" (to praphrase Dr. Gonzo) of punching in at the right spot. It's more that having a bit extra at the beginning and ending of the punch allows me to look at the overlapping files' wave forms afer the fact and figure out where the most "innocuous" area is for the crossfade to occur. It might not be exactly where the boo-boo is: the old and new takes may align perfectly and make for an invisible punch somewhere a little bit further ahead of the mistake.

That said, I've been working a lot on tape this past year on a machine (Otari MX5050) which does NOT have a very quick punch in, and the punch-out is...well...terrible. And there is definiely something akin to bragging rights and big nuts about having an intimate enough knowledge of your machine to be able to anticipate the machine's punch in/out nature and use that knowledge to perform really tigh punches that the client never thought possible. I've been getting really food at that and it's sooo fun...it's almost like some kind of interactive GAME or something. Plus, having a NATURAL crossfade as opposed to having to engineer one is often amazingly useful.

And I think that those kinds of methodologies tend to translate over to your DAW chops inadvertently.
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Post by drumsound » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:37 pm

Caldo71 wrote:I think I'm that guy in California.
Yes you are.
Caldo71 wrote:I think Tony what you may have been watching me do was not so much a function of having "the fear" (to praphrase Dr. Gonzo) of punching in at the right spot. It's more that having a bit extra at the beginning and ending of the punch allows me to look at the overlapping files' wave forms afer the fact and figure out where the most "innocuous" area is for the crossfade to occur. It might not be exactly where the boo-boo is: the old and new takes may align perfectly and make for an invisible punch somewhere a little bit further ahead of the mistake.
I'm just used to doing that and making the decision before I punch. I will often tell the player I need to listen and choose my spot. Then we do the punch.
Caldo71 wrote:That said, I've been working a lot on tape this past year on a machine (Otari MX5050) which does NOT have a very quick punch in, and the punch-out is...well...terrible. And there is definiely something akin to bragging rights and big nuts about having an intimate enough knowledge of your machine to be able to anticipate the machine's punch in/out nature and use that knowledge to perform really tigh punches that the client never thought possible. I've been getting really food at that and it's sooo fun...it's almost like some kind of interactive GAME or something. Plus, having a NATURAL crossfade as opposed to having to engineer one is often amazingly useful.

And I think that those kinds of methodologies tend to translate over to your DAW chops inadvertently.
You are progressing nicely grasshopper.

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Post by greatmagnet » Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:01 am

Thank you mastah.

And yeah, as to you first point that is quite true I now know. It's better to review the passage first and make a decision as to where to cue the player to start redoing the part and then figureing out for yourself where you actually will punch him in/pout.

Also Mark is totally right about how long it takes to set in/out points for autorecord, but I think that function is most useful when your record YOURSELF and simply do not have a second set of hands in play.
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Post by drumsound » Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:05 am

Caldo71 wrote:Thank you mastah.

And yeah, as to you first point that is quite true I now know. It's better to review the passage first and make a decision as to where to cue the player to start redoing the part and then figureing out for yourself where you actually will punch him in/pout.

Also Mark is totally right about how long it takes to set in/out points for autorecord, but I think that function is most useful when your record YOURSELF and simply do not have a second set of hands in play.
There have been a few projects that I have played bass on. As its not my first instrument, if I'm on the RADAR I'm all about the auto-punch (which is really easy to set up on the RADAR). On Tape I have to teach someone and hope for the best.

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Post by xonlocust » Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:39 am

drumsound wrote: I'm just used to doing that and making the decision before I punch. I will often tell the player I need to listen and choose my spot. Then we do the punch.
this is usually the hardest for me, the band is all geared up "just punch in that part.." and i have to slow them down... hold on now, let's review... ok, you screwed up this part, but the part you're playing here isn't condusive to the punch in... so we're gonna go in here, and out here... making sure everyone knows exactly what the fuck is going on. usually it's easiest if you just say, start playing along as soon as you know where you are and keep going until you hear the tape stop - but i need to know without a shadow of a doubt where i'm going in and out before hand. i'll jot the locate point down and still have to feel the punch, since it's obviously never really at 10:27 or whatever, it's at 10:27:15, but you need to punch at 10:27:08 or whatever, but of course you don't have that level of detail. you still have to feel it.

or else the band not feeling the flow of the section leading in... or leaving notes ringing out on the punch where they were cut off stacatto on the original take... dude... it doesn't work like that...

the joys of tape. and knowing your machine's in/out time and compensating for it in the punch.

but on DAW i'm definitely lazier on the ins/outs and trim after. my anxiety sure is less.

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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:14 am

Caldo71 wrote:...but I think that function is most useful when your record YOURSELF and simply do not have a second set of hands in play.
Engineering oneself is a whiole 'nother dealio, for sure. I tend to use a footpedal, but have used auto in/out too. Good stuff, then.

Prior to us having automation of any kind over here, we would sometimes print mixes and/or stems to (gasp!) ADATs, chasing the analog deck with SMPTE.
I'd set auto in/out points for sections I wanted to fix/change in the mix. Sometimes as fas as a few milliseconds to get in and out for elimination of a tongue click or something.

(And yes, they sounded fine. You'd be surprised, I suppose, but they did. 20 bit resolution sounded better than 16 bit DAT, which is all we had otherwise...)


And xonlocust, you are spot-on. Figuring out how and where the punch is to be done is part of the art and craft.
he took a duck in the face at two and hundred fifty knots.

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Post by drumsound » Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:55 am

xonlocust wrote:
drumsound wrote: I'm just used to doing that and making the decision before I punch. I will often tell the player I need to listen and choose my spot. Then we do the punch.
this is usually the hardest for me, the band is all geared up "just punch in that part.." and i have to slow them down... hold on now, let's review... ok, you screwed up this part, but the part you're playing here isn't condusive to the punch in... so we're gonna go in here, and out here... making sure everyone knows exactly what the fuck is going on. usually it's easiest if you just say, start playing along as soon as you know where you are and keep going until you hear the tape stop - but i need to know without a shadow of a doubt where i'm going in and out before hand. i'll jot the locate point down and still have to feel the punch, since it's obviously never really at 10:27 or whatever, it's at 10:27:15, but you need to punch at 10:27:08 or whatever, but of course you don't have that level of detail. you still have to feel it.

or else the band not feeling the flow of the section leading in... or leaving notes ringing out on the punch where they were cut off stacatto on the original take... dude... it doesn't work like that...

the joys of tape. and knowing your machine's in/out time and compensating for it in the punch.

but on DAW i'm definitely lazier on the ins/outs and trim after. my anxiety sure is less.
That's generally how I do it too. Most of the time the player doesn't know where the punch is. I'll make sure the drummer hits the cymbals if they'll be ringing from the part. '

I find counting musically makes punching much easier than looking at the counter.

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Multitrack punch ins

Post by Aquaman » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:28 am

Just seconding the awesomeness of the Pro Tools Quickpunch mode. For those who don't know, it records audio from when you start playback, but does so "invisibly" (i.e. to an audio file, but not to your regions) until you punch in. The actual punch points "reveal" the audio in your track regions. This gives you a defined set of in and out points, but gives you the flexibility to drag the trim points back and forth to find the best possible crossfade point.

Big deal, you say? You can punch anything just fine, you say? Sure, so can I.

But working with Jack Endino a few years ago on an album project, I learned the best trick ever for multi-tracked drum punch-ins: use the quickpunch mode, then you can individually adjust the crossfade points for each mic to create a perfectly seamless drum kit punch in. The hats cross slightly before the snare, but just after the kick, longer xfade on the cymbals etc etc. and bingo!

Quickpunch is very close to magic, as far as I'm concerned. If you nail the punch manually, you're done. But if you need to tweak, or draw in an extra-long xfade, the additional audio is waiting there for you. It's an easily overlooked feature, but if used right, it can make your life (by which I mean your live recording time) way more productive.

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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:17 pm

drumsound wrote:I find counting musically makes punching much easier than looking at the counter.
I don't want to come across as boorish, but yeah, that should be the primary way of doing it... methinks. :)

And when one is working with analog tape (where tachometers are prone to slippage) that goes triple.
he took a duck in the face at two and hundred fifty knots.

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Post by leftofthedial » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:19 pm

In Nuendo, I can use my keyboard and punch like a man, but even if I frig it up, I can still drag and crossfade due to the pre-roll recording of 1 second on the armed track. 9 times out of 10 I don't have to frig with it, but I have the option if I don't like the way the punch sounds and I can even do the xfade thing manually if it needs even more work. Sadly, this would be more useful for punching drums, but I generally don't record drums using Nuendo.

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