Sound Smack! by AfroDJMac — Resampling Part II: Boosting Efficiency and Creativity

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As each day passes, it seems there is yet another cool piece of musical gear coming out. Since the release of the iPad, the constant flow of apps has made it hard to stop and just use the tools that are already at hand.

Let the light of AfroDJMac's resampling wisdom shine down upon you in all its heavenly glory in the name of all that is efficient and creative and musical and...OK, you get the idea.

Today we are going to continue to ignore that dizzying noise of new innovations and products, and focus on what we already have.  Here is part two of our Study in Resampling, “Resample Your Tracks.”

Last time we talked about the possibilities that open when we start resampling synthesizers and chords. This week we will discuss resampling the individual tracks in your songs and the practical benefits of doing so.  From there we will venture into some specific special effects you can achieve once your tracks have been resampled.

If you are like me, then many of your tracks have an abundance of effects and processing, ranging from compression, to equalizing, reverb to delay.  There are a number of reasons why you may want to consider resampling the output of those tracks into new tracks.

Regain the Power

First the practical reason, it saves on CPU.  Every effect you place on a track requires some power from your computer, when your songs get larger and larger, you may run into problems such as audio dropouts, sudden freezes, or the dreaded crash!  The risk of this happening can ruin your session and is simply unacceptable in a live performance.

If you record the output of your effect-heavy track, you can use the resampled track instead and save on your precious CPU.

Set it and Forget it

Another practical reason:  It forces you to commit to a sound.

We live in a day and age where technology has given us unlimited choices in our music production.  When I was younger and had a Tascam four-track tape recorder, I pumped out songs like crazy.  There weren’t a lot of options — maybe if I wanted to get crazy I could hook up my microphone to a reverb pedal, but beyond that I was super limited.

Today, with all the options and possibilities in your average DAW, I spend hours tweaking every little thing and as a result my creative output has dropped dramatically.

Resampling your tracks will commit you to a particular reverb sound or EQ setting, for example.  It becomes one less thing you need to worry about that can get in the way of your creative progress.  “Out of Limitations Comes Creativity.”

So How Do I Do It?

Resampling your tracks is very simple.  Just route the output of your effect-laden track to the input of another track and start recording.  Your DAW may also have a freeze feature, which can be a handy way of freeing up your CPU and committing to your ideas.

One of the benefits of freezing: Unfreezing.  If you find your decay time on your reverb is 10ms too long or the threshold of your compressor should be nudged up .4db, you can always unfreeze and tweak away.

Check out the video below that details a technique in Ableton Live that allows you to quickly print your tracks to audio.

I hope this helps, next time I will show you some cool effects you can accomplish once you have resampled your tracks!

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