Tech Tip:An Introduction to Hard Disk Recording, Part 6
Digital Effects, Mixing, and MIDI
Some HDRs have built-in digital effects. These effects allow you to process your sound without leaving the digital domain. Some even have effects such as Roland's COSM guitar preamp and microphone modeling. Just plug in a guitar or mic and choose from a selection of amp and microphone sounds at any point during recording, editing, or mixing. Remember, you lose quality every time you move in and out of the digital domain. Also, if your HDR doesn't have internal effects, you will need to buy additional effects processors.
Advantages of internal digital effects:
- Maintain the highest sound quality by keeping everything in the digital domain
- Customize different effects types and levels for every track
- Experiment with different effects without changing or losing your original recordings
- Keep the dry, unaffected track for use at any time
- No cables to worry about
You can have a truly portable studio, with onboard processing to make a vocal or guitar part sound great, without having to lug around extra gear.
This diagram shows how Virtual Tracks and internal digital effects work together to get the most out of your music!
Keeping your whole song digital can make it sound much better.
There are many advantages to HDRs with built-in digital mixers.
- You keep everything in the digital domain. You don't lose fidelity when bouncing or mixing tracks
- Digital mixers with automation, snap shots, and scenes give you more control over your mix
- Dedicated digital faders and knobs make mixing faster and easier
- Built-in digital mixers adds portability to your HDR system If your HDR does not contain a mixer, you'll need to purchase a console specifically designed for recording.
An integrated HDR and digital mixer often allows you to:
- Compare different mixer settings instantly (level, pan, etc.)
- Restore all effect and mixer settings when you re-load a song!
- Craft intricate mixes
- Recall the levels and effects for bounced tracks to re-mix them
- Even automate your mix
Internal digital mixing allows you to make an audio CD directly from some Hard Disk Recorders! This gives you complete control over your entire musical project.
Some HDRs with integrated digital mixers include onboard assistance with the process of Recording, Bouncing & Mixing. The HDR makes mixer and routing settings automatically after you answer simple onscreen questions.
Save time by storing your custom mixer and effect settings with each song.
What About MIDI?
Many people use MIDI to record keyboards or drum machines. Most HDRs make it easy to work with MIDI.
HDRs with digital mixers typically have additional inputs for keyboards, sound modules, or an outboard mixer. These inputs can be mixed with your recorded tracks for the final digital mix.
Some even allow you to create a tempo map of bars and beats to match your song. This makes your editing more musical and creates MIDI Clock to keep your drum machine or keyboard sequencer in sync with your HDR.
MIDI Machine Control and MIDI Time Code are also ways that most HDRs synchronize with your sequencer.
If your HDR has a digital mixer that can be controlled via MIDI, then your computer sequencer can be used to automate and control your mix. Some
HDRs even have the ability to automate the mix without the need to purchase an external MIDI sequencer.
These capabilities allow you to easily integrate an HDR into your MIDI environment.