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How many of you use Pro Tools in producing music?

I work in Pro Tools almost every day at work, but I'm editing and mixing for post-production. So music production is at a very low minimum. I make my tracks 95% of the time in BuzzTracker and have been doing so since it pretty much came out. I love it as I can easily get into it and bang out a track very quickly since I know it inside and out. But I feel the need to expand (or even limit) my palette and habits to shake me out of routines and 'no fail' methods in composing.

I dabbled in the instrument plug-ins in Pro Tools and had some fun, but it's a different beast altogether compared to the tracker style of composing. I'd just like to read some of your approaches to composing in Pro Tools to give me a few ideas I never considered. And maybe someone else had the same tracker background who 'graduated' to Pro Tools?


Thanks!

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It sounds like you're in a very similar position to what I was a few months ago. I too am a long term Buzz user (used it for about 13 years, after 'graduating' from Fast Tracker) and decided that I was becoming to reliant on my normal workflow and wanted to try something new to spur on my creativity so in April I bit the bullet. The only difference for me is my DAW move was to Ableton rather than Protools - It's certainly taken me a while to get used to the non-tracker method of composing though I'm really starting to get the hang of it now.

 

The move from entering notes via the pattern editor to a midi grid has actually been far less tricky than I feared it would be, in fact writing drum parts has actually been a lot easier. I thought I would lament the 'precision' of editing stuff in the step-sequencer methodology though it's actually proving quite the revelation of composing and mixing by ear rather than being tied down to numbers in a parameter window.

 

It is quite the handycap to start with - my music technically at the moment feels like I've gone back 5+ years, and not being able to jump around the program via keyboard shortcuts has been a little frustrating. But I'm sure within a short amount of time I'll be back up to speed.

 

I do occasionally pop back to Buzz - hell it almost almost made specifically for me by the time I finished with it what with all my .xaml GUI customisations, but I honestly think this move is for the best.

 

Good luck man, it'll be a bit of a bumpy ride to start with but you'll be grand !

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Thanks for the insight! It's encouraging to hear a similar path taken.

It is quite the handycap to start with - my music technically at the moment feels like I've gone back 5+ years

I'd have to say that this is the main hurdle at the moment. The want to learn new methods, but needing to put in the extra time learning. It's kind of discouraging to go from banging out a beat in 2 minutes to taking two hours figuring out how to get the drum machine working correctly in PT. Then when you've got your head wrapped around it, to be creative with it instead of just figuring out the basics. And doing this on my free time after mixing all day is not always a welcoming idea.

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not to bother you guys, by i'm interested why you changed?

 

I want to shake things up in my creative approach instead of feeling comfortable with Buzz. After a while, it feels like routine instead of creating since I know certain approaches will work but not be as exciting. There isn't as much of a sense of discovery after 15 years playing in the same program. So since I know Pro Tools really well for a different purpose, I could learn it in a music context instead of an engineering one which might help 'rekindle the romance'.

 

I'm not bashing Buzz by any means, of course. It's incredibly diverse, powerful and creative and I will always love it. But the thrill is gone slightly and I need a 'mistress' so to speak.

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I want to shake things up in my creative approach instead of feeling comfortable with Buzz. After a while, it feels like routine instead of creating since I know certain approaches will work but not be as exciting. There isn't as much of a sense of discovery after 15 years playing in the same program ... I'm not bashing Buzz by any means, of course. It's incredibly diverse, powerful and creative and I will always love it. But the thrill is gone slightly and I need a 'mistress' so to speak.

All of the above, exactly the same for me! I bloody love Buzz, but I really feel my music has become a little stale from how comfortable / composing 'by numbers' I've become from using it for so long. A change is as good as a rest.

 

Plus Midi/VSTi editing is a right pain in the arse with tracking. If I improvise a long segment and make a few duff notes I have to spend ages sorting through the mess of notes in the recorded Buzz pattern - On Ableton, just move or delete a box on the grid: simple !

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I want to shake things up in my creative approach instead of feeling comfortable with Buzz. After a while, it feels like routine instead of creating since I know certain approaches will work but not be as exciting. There isn't as much of a sense of discovery after 15 years playing in the same program ... I'm not bashing Buzz by any means, of course. It's incredibly diverse, powerful and creative and I will always love it. But the thrill is gone slightly and I need a 'mistress' so to speak.

All of the above, exactly the same for me! I bloody love Buzz, but I really feel my music has become a little stale from how comfortable / composing 'by numbers' I've become from using it for so long. A change is as good as a rest.

 

Plus Midi/VSTi editing is a right pain in the arse with tracking. If I improvise a long segment and make a few duff notes I have to spend ages sorting through the mess of notes in the recorded Buzz pattern - On Ableton, just move or delete a box on the grid: simple !

 

 

I've never used MIDI in Buzz as it seemed, like you said, a huge pain. Plus, I've never gotten a midi controller or anything. I've done everything with mouse and keyboard.

 

 

wow, paranerd. That's a name i haven't heard in a decade or so, hi hi.

 

Wow, deleterboy?? Yea, probably been almost a decade! Nice to see you again! :) What have you been up to?

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I tried to use PT for composing but it never really took. One thing I did like to use it for though, was `preproduction` things like sampling or doing intermediate bounces of stuff or whatever. So I would use PT to pre-process and cut samples, basically. With tab-to-transient and the stretchy beat marker thing and the ability to quickly crossfade and shuffle pieces around it was pretty slick to set up a buncha loops that I would then export into some other more friendlier, more tekno sequencer.

 

I never really learned PT super well, and some parts of the MIDI editing were nice, but it did seem unavoidably slow to me. Like no matter how good you get at it, it's probably not going to be as fast as a tracker for sequencing. But then again I'm a pencil tool guy, not a play-and-quantize-and-edit guy.

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I tried to use PT for composing but it never really took. One thing I did like to use it for though, was `preproduction` things like sampling or doing intermediate bounces of stuff or whatever. So I would use PT to pre-process and cut samples, basically. With tab-to-transient and the stretchy beat marker thing and the ability to quickly crossfade and shuffle pieces around it was pretty slick to set up a buncha loops that I would then export into some other more friendlier, more tekno sequencer.

 

I never really learned PT super well, and some parts of the MIDI editing were nice, but it did seem unavoidably slow to me. Like no matter how good you get at it, it's probably not going to be as fast as a tracker for sequencing. But then again I'm a pencil tool guy, not a play-and-quantize-and-edit guy.

 

Yes, the editing capabilities are incredibly powerful in PT. I have used Beat Detective to cut up beats and then 'snap-to-grid' the cuts to my liking. Though a triggered sampler would probably be best since I felt it was kind of a clumsy way to go about it which is similar to what you've described.

 

I remember looking at Atom's blog a few years ago and he would post his ProTools edit window when he was working on a new track. It was just a bunch of thinly cut snapped clips with pretty much no instrument plug-ins. The meticulousness of it floored me.

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I want to shake things up in my creative approach instead of feeling comfortable with Buzz. After a while, it feels like routine instead of creating since I know certain approaches will work but not be as exciting. There isn't as much of a sense of discovery after 15 years playing in the same program ... I'm not bashing Buzz by any means, of course. It's incredibly diverse, powerful and creative and I will always love it. But the thrill is gone slightly and I need a 'mistress' so to speak.

All of the above, exactly the same for me! I bloody love Buzz, but I really feel my music has become a little stale from how comfortable / composing 'by numbers' I've become from using it for so long. A change is as good as a rest.

 

Plus Midi/VSTi editing is a right pain in the arse with tracking. If I improvise a long segment and make a few duff notes I have to spend ages sorting through the mess of notes in the recorded Buzz pattern - On Ableton, just move or delete a box on the grid: simple !

 

I've never used MIDI in Buzz as it seemed, like you said, a huge pain. Plus, I've never gotten a midi controller or anything. I've done everything with mouse and keyboard.

 

 

wow, paranerd. That's a name i haven't heard in a decade or so, hi hi.

Wow, deleterboy?? Yea, probably been almost a decade! Nice to see you again! :) What have you been up to?

 

 

little, as usual, that's my problem. see you round the boards then.

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I've recently made the switch to Pro Tools, but mainly for mixing/editing. I also use it a lot for post production and I figured I would try it out, especially since my editing was so quick. I don't do a lot of composing (from scratch) in it, but will often import existing audio into it and rework a lot of sections simply because editing within it can unleash a lot more ideas and you can get super intricate. There's a really good studio video with Four Tet where he shows his Pro Tools work flow which was pretty interesting.

 

In general I'm still finding the best way compose a fair amount in ableton, but to then dump it all into Pro Tools and edit from there.

 

Edited by b born droid
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