#1
I've been recording a song over the past few days, and including folder tracks, have come close to 100 tracks.
I was just wondering if this is unusual or if other people have recorded songs with a similar number of tracks?

Thanks
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#2
It is very common, I've some friends that have already reached around 180 tracks, although the biggest number of tracks I've reached was around 20.
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#3
I've never really counted, but I've probably had songs with 100+ before

100 tracks is nothing compared to a few Def Leppard songs though
#4
Not gonna go through and check track counts in various projects, but I imagine an average finished project will have between 40 and 50 tracks for me, including the busses/auxes. Never found I've needed more than that, but I can imagine why someone might need more tracks in certain genres, mainly electronic-based genres where you might be more inclined to layer softsynths and other samplers to achieve a particular sound.
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#7
Including audio tracks, FX tracks, etc., probably into the 40's.

Where the hell would you PUT 100 tracks in a single mix without the whole thing being a big wall of muck and mush?

CT
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#8
Quote by axemanchris
Including audio tracks, FX tracks, etc., probably into the 40's.

Where the hell would you PUT 100 tracks in a single mix without the whole thing being a big wall of muck and mush?

CT

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#9
I can only think of one time when I might have approached 100 tracks and that's when I created a massive backing vocal that ended up being 38 tracks by themselves. Frankly I seldom feel the need for a massive track count, it tends to become very hard to mix and individual ideas and timbres get lost which is usually very frustrating. The only time in recent years I've ended up with a large track count was when I tried to do some Muse-like tracks and one Christmas song where I tried to make it sound like Queen. That said I also have a built-in limitation in that my computer really is too slow and has too little RAM to be able to run a lot of tracks with the effects I need to mixing so I usually end up with stereo audio submixes (or stems) for guitars, vocals and possibly drums. It's a bit like old-school mixing, it forces you to make certain decisions and then live with them.
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#10
I wish my computer could handle anything more than 20...but that is not the case
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#11
Probably around 20-25 at maximum, never had the need to go further than that yet.
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#13
Quote by dwally89
I've been recording a song over the past few days, and including folder tracks, have come close to 100 tracks.
I was just wondering if this is unusual or if other people have recorded songs with a similar number of tracks?

Thanks


Thanks everyone for your replies.

If anyone in interested in hearing the song I was referring to, they can watch/listen to it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCZEaQEwGGo
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#14
It's easy to get a lot of tracks, especially if you have a lot of drum tracks and bus channels.

Though I'd like to see a video of your project file, I wasn't expecting that kind of video for a 100 track song, it doesn't sound that layered/that many effects.... Did you do a lot of takes and just not consolidate?
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#15
Quote by OfCourseNot
It's easy to get a lot of tracks, especially if you have a lot of drum tracks and bus channels.

Though I'd like to see a video of your project file, I wasn't expecting that kind of video for a 100 track song, it doesn't sound that layered/that many effects.... Did you do a lot of takes and just not consolidate?


Excluding folder tracks, there are about 61 tracks with media in them.
About 20 or so tracks were used for the choir at the end, and most of the rhythm guitars were double tracked.
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#16
Quote by axemanchris
Including audio tracks, FX tracks, etc., probably into the 40's.

Where the hell would you PUT 100 tracks in a single mix without the whole thing being a big wall of muck and mush?

CT

There was a thread about this on the Andy Sneap forum not too long ago. Specifically, it was about conserving CPU when your track count gets up there. I asked how they got to such high track counts, and one guy gave me this response, and actually posted a track list of a song he did.

Quote by ahjteam
Easily. Just do music that has more stuff than midi drums, bass, 2 guitars and 1 vocal track. I just mixed barely 5 minute long track that had like 110 tracks (roughly 20 routing buses, 30 tracks for drums, 30 for bass and guitars, 20 for vocals and 10 for everything else), and I could easily think of more things to add to it to make it look something like this, and it still wouldn't be anything special really
But even tho if you have 160 tracks in your session, it doesn't mean you have to use all of them in the mix, and you certainly don't even have to process every single track.

I would post the track list that he posted, but it's REALLY long, so I'll just post the link to the post: http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/production-tips/742199-handling-big-mixes-2.html#post10127790
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#17
Quote by GoIrish668
There was a thread about this on the Andy Sneap forum not too long ago. Specifically, it was about conserving CPU when your track count gets up there. I asked how they got to such high track counts, and one guy gave me this response, and actually posted a track list of a song he did.


I would post the track list that he posted, but it's REALLY long, so I'll just post the link to the post: http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/production-tips/742199-handling-big-mixes-2.html#post10127790


Not all of those are gonna be used though, I don't see how you could really count the DI tracks for example as part of your mix.
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#18
I use plenty of DI'ed guitar and so forth in my mixes. There is so much software available that can turn a DI'ed sound into gold (VSTamprack for example) that you'd be mad not to capture the DI of every take just in case.

That said, it is very easy to get to a large track count but it is not skillful or even wise to always do so.

The skill is in getting a huge or distinctive sound with only a FEW tracks.

Some people are great at making decisions early and therefore only need to record a small number of tracks, as they can already 'hear' the final production in their mind as they record.

I am not one of these guys!

So I often start out with a dual-purpose recording of every track. I record lots of tracks for each instrument so I have options - but I always make sure that one of those tracks can be used alone if I want to make it simple and ditch everything else.

For example, a guitar part I might record onto four or five tracks:

Track 1: SM57 on grill
Track 2: large diaphragm condenser for ambience (somwhere in room further away but in phase)
Track 3: DI from either a split before the amp and effects chain or from the pre-amp out of the amp
Track 4: cabinet rear (often this has a distinctive sound, especially cabinets with open rear)

You can add to this another 57 on the grill and then have one on-axis and one off-axis. This gives many options. You can have a dry recording from the grill on its own, or you can blend this with some room ambience...you can use a software tool or some outboard to process the DI signal and mix it all back together. You can therefore have a simple sound or a wall of complex texture.

So there you have up to 5 tracks for one guitar part.

If your band has three guitar players, thats 15 tracks minimum.

A drum kit mic set-up:

1/. Kick 1 (at skin where beater hits for click)
2/. Kick 2 (in shell for 'woof' or yamaha sub-kick http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/drums/accessories/lowfreq/skrm-100sfv/?mode=model)
3/. Snare top
4/. Snare bottom
5/. rack 1 (tom 1)
6/. rack 2 (tom 2)
7/. rack 3 (tom 3)
8/. Floor tom
9/. overhead left
10/. overhead right
11/. Hi hats
12/. Room 1
13/. Room 2

So there are another 13 tracks without any percussion (tamborine, wood blocks etc).

Add in a doubled main vocal, two tracks of backing vocals, two (sometimes three) tracks of bass (clean DI and a mic on the amp) and three keyboard parts (6 tracks cos they will be stereo) and you have 40+ tracks without even thinking about it or overdubbing anything.

Start adding effects channels and so forth, overdubs here and there and you will soon exceed 100.

So the trick is to reduce the track count and make your life easier - how?

Find good sounds and parts BEFORE you record and make decisions early. You can defer making any decisions until very late in production because of all teh available technology - but keep asking yourself 'is it making the song better?'

Sometimes the answer is yes but it depends on the song.

I often find I ditch almost all my 'optionals' and end up using the guitar tracks recorded with the 57 on the grill. It is a famous and standard recording technique for guitars for a reason - it works.

The drums I usually end up using kick, snare t+b, room mics and overheads with not much of anything else.

And as I work, I group tracks together and bounce them down. So once I am happy with a guitar sound, I will bounce all the takes and all the tracks down onto one stereo mix and use that.

When you are mixing at the end you will have a much easier and simpler time of it, rather than trying to deal with 100's of tracks.

So I am working on what NOT to record now, to make my life simpler. I have a target of only mixing less than 32 channels in a final mix because more than this just means I have not been decisive during the production process in most cases...

...unless I am working on something epic and crazy...which happens!
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#20
Currently at 19 tracks and were just tracking ATM. Probably going to have another 10+ added to this session for aux and mixing.
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#21
100+ is quite doable, but as said earlier it depends partly on the genre and complexity of the songs (i.e how many instruments, how many parts on the instruments etc.) not to mention the miking choice of the engineer.

In that tracklist posted by ahj on the Sneap forum, he's literally giving the entire track count and not removing tracks that are muted (stuff there just for ease instead of having to re-find the track if there was an issue, i.e by keeping the trigger tracks for the drum spot mics he is adding a fair few, even though they're only there to trigger samples and aren't audible themself) not to mention he has the ability to put lots of mics on everything which many of us here are limited by - heck, most of us are limited to 8 simultaneous channels which means a lot fewer drum mics!

He also gains a few by placing additional spot mics on cymbals, rather than just using the OH's - that's something used increasingly more by modern metal and rock producers as it gives you more control over the balance of the kit, and he is including the bus/aux tracks to. In some DAW's they're in the tracklist either way (and I believe ahj uses PT so it would be in the full count), whereas I use Logic Pro and the aux channels etc. aren't necessarily included in the track count, as they only show up in the mixer and not the arrange window, unless you want to automate various parameters on the aux tracks.

If I was to include aux tracks, and had the relative luxury of utilising so many channels on drums etc. (which I also would), I could imagine my track counts would be nearer the 60-70 mark, but ahj is awesome at this and if he has that many tracks running, I doubt he'd be doing it for the sake of having an impressive-looking track count
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Jan 7, 2012,