Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Studio

Finally, the recording studio is complete. After years of procrastinating about what computer to get, what Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to use, what audio interface to purchase, what monitors to use and all of the other decisions that go into a recording studio, I bit the bullet and went for it.

The new Apple iMac desktops got the nod. It was actually the only computer that I had in mind. $2,999 AU gone. Then I  purchased the Apple Care Protection Plan, plus a disc drive and AntiVirus. All up the purchase came close to $3,600.

The Steinberg UR44 became the audio interface of choice. This was the hardest decision that I needed to make. I was looking at PreSonus, Apogee, Avid and M-Audio interfaces. I originally wanted one that had about 8 plus inputs (just in case I wanted to do a full band) however we all need to start somewhere so I settled on the 4 input Steinberg unit. However the Cubase AI (DAW) software that comes with the audio interface is NOT  COMPATIBLE with the latest Yosemite operating system. Go figure. The monitors by the way are JBL’s.

Now for the DAW shenanigans.

From the mid-nineties to about 2001, 90% of the studios that I used for recordings had Cubase as their DAW. Then after that, ProTools suddenly became the standard. Some studios also used Logic. I have exposure to all three and in the end, it was the ease of paying and downloading Logic Pro X from the App Store that made me go with that.

However, I am pretty sure that in a few years I will most probably upgrade to ProTools for the DAW with an Apogee Audio Interface. But as I said, we all need to start somewhere.

So finally on Sunday, I cranked it all up and fumbled my way around the Logic Pro interface and the Apple operating systems. I have been an IBM and Dell user for the last 14 years, so the iMac takes a bit of getting used to. In Logic Pro I couldn’t even find the tempo settings (which thanks to the quick help guide) it got me going.

Then I laid down a few scratch guitars for this song I am working on called “The World We Live In” and my boys are all down in the studio enjoying the moment. In order to make their day, I set up a few vocal tracks and asked them to sing the verses.

Did they nail the key?

Of course not.

Were they far off the key?

Of course not.

What they did realise is that when the record button is clicked, stuff ups happen around the timing and the phrasing of the vocal melody. The 8-year-old got a clean pass down and then the 9-year-old followed. The almost 3-year-old, without the mic in front of him is pretty good. As soon as I put the mic in front of him, he freezes. My wife is the same. For talking she leads by miles, however put a mic in front of her and you get silence. Hey that’s an idea.

Then the 8-year-old asks me how was his take as he wants the song to be up on Spotify ASAP. I love the enthusiasm. It keeps me young and energized.

I told him that the vocal take was okay however he would need to redo it again and maybe redo it many more times. This kid, I will tell ya, doesn’t like re-work.

And after three hours of fumbling and stumbling with the DAW controls, I have a pretty decent minute and a half musical draft down to start building on. Now the only problem I have is sneaking away to spend more time in the studio.


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