[Trombone-l] Overdubbing for beginners!

Craig Parmerlee craig at parmerlee.com
Sun Apr 26 19:00:10 CST 2020

Ableton Live is promoted mostly as a DAW for live performance.  For 
doing more traditional recording projects I think there are probably 
more popular choices: Logic, FL Studio, StudioOne, Cubase, etc.

Most of these DAWs offer a very low cost (or free) starter version that 
may include only the most basic plug-ins and may be limited to xx number 
of  recording tracks.  If you buy an audio interface, most of those come 
with a license to one of the starter products.  Getting up to the full 
version will cost some serious money ($250-500).  That's why I mentioned 
Cakewalk and Reaper.  They are both very rich packages for the cost of a 
couple of big pizzas and pitchers of beer (or free in the case of 

The DAW itself is the "container" for everything, and most of the DAWs 
do all the basic stuff about the same.  Different DAWs emphasize 
different parts of the work-flow more than others.  E.G. Ableton is 
really great for looping, especially in live performance.  StudioOne has 
a nice mastering module that is a bit more seamless than other 
products.  Cubase includes an elaborate chord track feature used with 
arpeggiation, and so on.

But the real intense action happens in the plug-ins.  Any of the DAWs 
will come with at least a few plug-ins to do compression, EQ and maybe 
reverb.  But there is a huge industry of third-party plug-ins.  Many 
people accumulate hundreds of plug-ins over time.  I have more than I 
can remember how to use, but tend to use the same 15 plugs very frequently.

Regarding Ableton, I'm sure everybody has seen Christopher Bill's 
amazing version of Happy.  I couldn't see the screen, but I'm almost 
positive he was using Ableton Live.  He's a real ninja. There wasn't any 
pre-recorded material when the video stated.  Everything you hear is 
Christopher putting music into the DAW on the fly.  I can't even think 
about playing that on the trombone, let alone also coordinating all 
those layers and loops on the fly.

On 4/26/2020 11:38 AM, celebratingchrist wrote:
> It nay be overkill, but the mac daddy seems to be Ableton, and they 
> have a 90 day free trial going.
> Sent from mobile.
> -------- Original message --------
> From: Craig Parmerlee via Trombone-l <trombone-l at trombonelist.org>
> Date: 4/26/20 11:23 (GMT-05:00)
> To: Jim Nova <jim at jimnova.com>, Trombone List 
> <trombone-l at trombonelist.org>
> Subject: Re: [Trombone-l] Overdubbing for beginners!
> This is a great introduction.  Thanks for taking the time to put that
> together, Jim.  I also started by using Audacity, and I still keep it
> installed on my studio computer because there are occasionally some
> things I want to do that are super quick and easy with Audacity. The
> nice thing about starting with Audacity is that is straightforward and
> uncomplicated (relatively speaking) and generally does exactly what you
> would expect it to do.
> If there are people who are looking at this sheltering period as a time
> to take next steps, then they may want to explore the DAW (digital audio
> workstation) world. Audacity is what I would call a static audio
> editor.  Everything is done in discrete steps.  If you want to apply
> equalization, you select the range, process the EQ, then listen. If it
> isn't what you wanted, you undo and try it a different way,  That makes
> it very comprehensible because you are never doing more than one thing
> at a time.
> With DAWs, everything is interactive. For that equalization example, you
> would select the range, loop it, *and while listening*, apply EQ
> adjustments in real time until you get it sounding the way you want.
> The original file is unchanged, but the DAW knows to apply the EQ any
> time that track is played.  With DAWs you can automate all these changes
> (EQ, compression, reverb, chorusing, distortion ... anything you need)
> so that the effects can change during the course of the song.  And you
> can also automate the volume faders (to bring up a solo), pan controls,
> anything.  Also with DAWs, you can freely mix recorded tracks with
> tracks created through MIDI performance.
> It is a completely different experience, and probably a whole lot more
> learning curve than most people want to undertake.  I just mention it as
> an option because people may have a little extra time available right
> now to take on a learning curve.
> For Windows users, the Cakewalk (previously called SONAR) DAW is now
> provided 100% free from Bandlab and it is a very, very advanced DAW.
> For $60 you can get Reaper, which works on Windows, Mac and Linux.  It
> is also a very advanced product.  If anybody is very serious about going
> in this direction, feel free to send me an email.  There are loads of
> other options out there with varying levels of features, price and
> system requirements.  Truly an embarrassment of riches in this space 
> today.
> On 4/21/2020 12:45 PM, Jim Nova via Trombone-l wrote:
> > Overdubbing for beginners!
> >
> > This is a step by step instructional video on how I do my overdubs! 
> I use Audacity in this demo which is free software on either a Mac or 
> PC. I hope this helps people get started!!
> >
> > https://youtu.be/xr3m3YyhHYM <https://youtu.be/xr3m3YyhHYM>
> >
> > James Nova
> > Trombone - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
> > Brass Area Coordinator and Adjunct Trombone Faculty - Duquesne 
> University
> > Brass Coach - Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras
> > jimnova.com
> >
> >
> >
> >
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