Dick MacInnis uses only Free Open Source Software

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macinnisrr
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check out http://www.dickmacinnis.com to listen to my new album. The album was recorded and mixed in Ardour (using only ladspa plugins), Mastered with Jamin, and the website was created with Komposer. I use Ubuntu 8.10.

BenLoftis
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The songs are great - particularly "Its the Amps that Kills" caught my attention. I'd love to see you live.

I can't comment on the sound quality because I'm listening to the online version on a laptop soundcard and crummy headphones. But I like the production on the tracks - it sounds very honest and not over-produced. I would think many years from now, someone can listen to these recordings and get a feel for how you sounded and played (unlike many recordings these days which don't honestly reflect the sound & skill of the musicians) ... and you guys rock!

I'd love to hear more about the production process you used.

-Ben

rozea
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sounds nice. Yeah tell us about the production process :)

macinnisrr
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The first session of drumtracks was recorded on four old computers, ranging from a 266mhz k2 to a pentium4 3.2ghz. I used whatever mics were lying around (two Shure sm58s, an sm57, some old fender mic and a couple condensers for the overheads). All mics were run through a behringer eurodesk 1224 for preamplification, and sent via inserts I used gnome sound recorder on three of the PCs to just capture the line input of the soundcard, and made sure to make a loud clap at the beginning of each track to sync to. The overheads were routed into the p4 system and recorded using ardour to a scratch track I had made earlier, as that would be the machine i wanted to use for production. Once the tracks were recorded, I copied all the files over to the pentium 4 (mostly via usb thumb drives as two of the computers had no NIC) and imported them into ardour. At this point I had 7 tracks of drums to work with (2 overheads, kick, snare, tom 1-3) I had to sync all the tracks at the clap, then zoomed in really close near the end of the song and timestretched all close mics to match the overheads because there was pretty substantial clock drift between the machines. After that, I recorded guitars, vocals and other instruemnts by routing mics (or a line6 pod xt) through the mixing board into the line in jack on the p4 (it has a builtin SiS soundcard of some sort). For the second round of songs, I borrowed an edirol 55a (i think) from a friend and recorded drums onto a newly acquired ibookG4 in ardour (to a click track, same micing and mixing setup). I can hardly describe how much easier that was than the way I tried at first. All this began about two years ago, and by the time I had done guitar, bass and vocal tracks, I noticed a post on these forums about the ladspa trigger, which I compiled and inserted on the kick and snare of every song (I compiled it using samples from Hydrogen's UltraAcoustic Kit). This made a great improvement as I had used drumagog in the windows/cubase world and loved to see an open source replacement. I mixed each song one at a time, saving templates and presets as I went along, and by the last couple songs, I was able to pretty much just drop in tracks, tweak for half an hour or so, and the song was done. The flexibility or routing, programmable hotkeys and minimal interface (which let to me being able to use more effects without bouncing) made my life much easier than it had been using products like cubase sx, apple's logic, or cakewalk sonar. Once the songs were mixed (which was split duty between laptop and desktop as I travel quite a bit with a touring band), I fired up jaMIN. Originally I inserted it into the post fader section of the master volume of each song individually, but soon I began wanting to do complex crossfades and sample inserts between songs, so I ended up mixing down each song to stereo, importing each onto a separate track in Ardour, and mastering from there. The most often used effects were the SC4 compressor, TAP plate reverb, C*10 band EQ, Steve Harris' gate and of course the ladspa trigger. Oh, by the way, the keyboards are all ZynAddSubFX.

rtp405
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i had fun testing the new raydat card matrix mixer with your songs, because the songs are good.

i didn't listen closely but it sounds like you high pass filtered every song from 250hz. there's no bottom end in any of the songs. low frequencies are the most difficult challange we deal with in every room. if you near field monitor and the speakers are against the wall, reflection from the wall will be part of your initial reflection. this means you might hear lots of low end in the room and respond by taking too much of it out of the mixes.

getting to know our rooms and gear is everything.

anyway, i really enjoyed your song writing and singing. in one of the songs you remind me of jim morrison which is good by me.

rtp405
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disreguard the lowpass comments, it's important to route 1 to 31 and 2 to 32 on the mixer rather than 1 to 31 and 1 to 32 = mono which is how I was listening to your songs. dah!

macinnisrr
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thanks cdman!

skywriter
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You say Ardour gives more productivity in production use than well-known restricted brands. This is good news for me as a lot of musicians constantly repeat that free software is useless in production. In this context I think Ardour needs more agressive PR!