PS Indepth

The Joy of Digital 8-Tracking by Michael Phillip-Wojewoda

As soon as I bought my Fostex RD-8 ADAT, I immediately locked it up to the 24-track and began using it on albums I produce. On The Waltons’ Cocks Crow, I used my ADAT as an extension of the 24-track, so I ended up with 23 tracks of analog (one track had the timecode running), plus eight tracks of digital (because the ADAT has a hidden ninth track for chasing code). I actually like the idea of using the analog for the rhythm section and the digital for layering vocals; I sometimes don’t enjoy the colouration that you get when you record vocals analog.

A lot of times, I’ll take some tracks on the ADAT machine and import them into my Mac at home. I’m running Deck II, so I have four virtual tracks to work with all in the digital domain. I can edit or comp and even overdub stuff at home, and then take the ADAT back to the studio with the new sounds and lock it up. On Ashley MacIsaac’s Hi? How Are You Today? album, I was doing that a lot; I actually did some pre-mastering. I noticed that the kick drum wasn’t loud enough on one mix, so I found an isolated kick drum and literally pasted in another kick drum visually using the drawn wave shapes on my Mac. I did some rebuilding of tracks that way as well; it was like sculpting.

Michael Phillip-Wojewoda — Juno award-winning producer of acts including Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics, The Waltons and fiddler Ashley MacIsaac.

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