Recording Records with Pro Tools
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Bumping It Up
Even though most of the masters were 16-bit, and 44.1 or 48khz, Hawtin felt it was very important to upgrade those to 96khz. I did that just to give the tracks a little bit more head room and a bit more depth, he says. That way all of the frequencies and effects that I was working with would have more possibilities for warmth and keeping those characteristics of vinyl and that kind of classic sound that everybody likes.
Hawtin uses Ableton Live strictly as a BPM-warping tool and leaves the effects processing to Pro Tools. For me, Pro Tools is the best platform Ive been using it for 8 years, explains Hawtin. I have what I call an HD4 system which is an HD3 with an additional farm card and I max the fucker out! I need the power and instant access to the power because, when I have the inspiration, I need to be able to go for it. I can not wait. If I have to wait, Ill go and have a coffee and Ill lose the inspiration.
Keeping a Healthy Effects Arsenal
Beyond the DSP power inherent in an HD rig, Hawtin attests that for him it comes down to just three secret effects weapons. The SoundToys, and Waves and the Eventide stuff is amazing, he says. He also uses Eventide hardware like the H8000 and the H7500, which he uses with the Digi system for some extra brute force power.
I have Eventides Anthology bundle and I was such a fan of Eventide that when they announced Pro Tools support I was freaking out! says Hawtin. The Clockworks in the Anthology is really amazing. And the Band Delays are also really amazing.
Hawtin consistently uses Eventide and Sound Toys, and he used its predecessor UltraToys before that. Ive also recently been using ReVibe quite a lot its a really nice Digidesign effect, he says.
Just Say No to Compressors & Knowing No Limiters
Hawtin recommends leaving the compression and limiting to the mastering house. I do not use compressors or limiters on anything, he attests. Its partly because I dont totally understand how theyre supposed to work and in the early days, I couldnt afford them! I leave that stage to the mastering because I do not want to limit the dynamic range or the dynamics, period. There should be parts that are too loud or too soft.
Hawtin recommends working within the mind frame of how you play and perform as a deejay. I try to use those dynamics to create tension or emotion, he says. And if they go a little too far, then we fix that in the mastering stage.
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