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The case of the missing click

One of the most irritating things in Cubase is its propensity for losing some of its settings at the slightest provocation.  One of the things that provokes it most is changing Devices, something I do regularly as I switch between recording and mixing using my audio interface on the one hand and recording these videos using a digital headset on the other.  This can result in my routings in the mix console being wiped out, but can also lead to the click vanishing and it’s the Devil’s job to work out how to restore it.  In this video, I show you how to do it without tears, (or tearing your hair out… or both!).

 

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Video Tip: Restoring missing presets in Cubase

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an axiom that seems to have fallen out of fashion with computer users, as we rush headlong to install all the latest upgrades and fixes.  Indeed, this site uses WordPress, the latest iteration of which has the ability to self-update, rather than requiring user intervention.  Which is all to the good, giving us ever more robust systems and increased functionality.

Until it goes wrong and something stops working.

Then, the cry goes up “it was working before”!  You can also end up with bits missing when the upgrade process isn’t as seamless as you’d like.  I found this problem when installing Cubase 7 on a new computer, with the presets for the MIDI inserts and the logical editor suddenly going AWOL.  This video shows how I restored them.

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Colour In Cubase

Ever have that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something?  Annoying, isn’t it? Well, the other day I found out that I’d completely forgotten something without ever noticing, which is even more annoying.  When I started Finish Your Song, I was already starting to put together my YouTube channel, but I thought I’d caught up the content of one with the other.  However, I’ve started a daily tweet to promote my older videos and, when it came to finding the post on here for my first video on Colour in Cubase, it was not to be found.  Oops!  An oversight I’m can’t let pass, so here it is:

 

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From The Boiler Room: Bass Guitar Basics

Ace of bassHaving analysed to death the way in which I’m going to voice the drums, the decision as to how the bass will be voiced was easy.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve auditioned all sorts of VSTi bass players and kept coming back to a very old plugin, Broomstick Bass.  To get it to run in Cubase 7, I have to run Cubase in Windows administrator mode and bridge it using the jBridge, (Broomstick Bass is 32bit and doesn’t look like it will ever be otherwise). It has a great DI Jazz Bass sample, either picked or fingered, and it sounds like a bass guitar should.  Now, I haven’t tried the specialised Kontakt bass guitar VSTis, such as their Scarbee Jay-Bass, but I have tried the bass guitars in the Kontakt 5 factory library and they just don’t do it for me.

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From The Boiler Room: Sketching An Arrangement [Video]

When I was thinking through my approach to recording the songs I’ve picked, I said I would be using the Chord Track in Cubase 7 to sketch out the arrangements.  I’ve done this, using just one keyboard sound that fits in with the song as I hear it in my head today.  I’ve not taken much time to pick the sound – what’s being used now is just the first sound that I came to that fitted.  I very much doubt that these sounds will feature on the final tracks; they’re just to give a voice to the chords.

The process was intentionally rough and ready, but the Chord Track works well with that approach.  Apart from editing out a couple of moments when my tongue tripped over my teeth, the video below is in real time.  It shows me setting up the Chord Track for the song “Too Far From Home”, starting with my default template and finishing with the song arrangement sketched out in full.


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From The Boiler Room: Lockdown

LockdownThere’s such a thing as tempting fate.  I’m about to start a major project, (my new album), and don’t want to do anything that’s going to derail my creative train of thought before its even left the station.  So until this project is finished, nothing gets upgraded.  I’m locking down my DAW and VST installation until I get to the stage where the final song has been mixed and I’m happy with the results.

So, for the foreseeable future, I’m sticking to Cubase 7.0.5 and my VSTs in their current form, be it 64bit or bridged 32bit.  112dB just got in under the wire by releasing a 64bit version of Redline Monitor, which I’ve installed and verified, but other than that, we’re good to go.

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From The Boiler Room: Method In My Madness

Method In My Madness

Having eschewed my old way of working in favour of trying to keep multiple plates spinning at once, (how come you never see that on TV anymore – it was staple of Saturday night TV shows when I was a child?), I now have to decide where to start and how I’m going to develop the arrangements for each song and build up the parts for each member of my virtual band.

In the days when I was using Cubase 3.0, the starting point would be to set the tempo, (and time signatures), in the tempo track in Cubase, then block out the drum parts, followed by bass and keyboard parts.  Which actually doesn’t seem to be a bad way to go, (it worked well before), but it does lead you towards fixing the structure of the piece rhythmically before you start adding any melodic instruments.  Cubase 7 offers a different possibility that I want to try, to see if an alternative approach has anything to offer.

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