Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Technology rewards me for my slowness

Being a songwriter who performs and records his own songs is a large part of my identity -- but somehow, I haven't recorded a complete song since about 1997 (or maybe 2001 -- I don't remember), and haven't recorded **anything** since about 2006.

There's lots of reasons for this: graduate school; moving countries (and having all my old gear be the ''wrong'' voltage); having a kid (and then having a kid again); not having a good place to set up. All that stuff.

Yeah, and maybe a lack of focus and discipline: could be.

And, realistically, I don't see it being any sooner than mid-2010 before I get my gear set up: even though we now have our mega-shed (the size of a three-car garage) next to the house, I've had to scale back my ''one to two hours a night of going through old boxes and shifting things over to the shed'', in favor of putting in more time on the timesheet (I stay at home with the kids during the day, so I put in my hours (i.e. earn $$) at night). Once we clear the boxes out of our ''library'', we'll shift our computers out there. Then maybe I can set some gear up, and steal some hours here and there to record.

The irony is that, as a ''solo artist'' (sadly, no bandmates or collaborators...), as I wait, technology is facilitating my success. Sure, I would've been great to put out an album when I was 25 (or 30), rather than 45. But then, web-hosting one's mp3 files wasn't around; the whole ''iTunes'' (pay a buck per song, online) didn't exist; and doing recording on your home computer was just getting started.

So, the longer I wait, the more technology lays the groundwork for affordable, good-quality recording gear and music dissemination conduits.

What inspired this blog post is an ad I saw tonight in Tape Op magazine (#69, Jan/Feb 2009, p. 6). M-Audio has a new recording interface called the ProFire 610 (owner's manual here): it uses Firewire (natch!), has six ins, and ten outs. Six ''ins'' means that you can record up to six signal sources (microphones, guitars, etc.) at once. For AU$595 -- or US$400. Niiiice! Two or three years ago, for that price you'd only have two inputs -- not six.

The difference between two inputs and six inputs is the newfound capacity to record a drummer with a moderately-complexity micing setup (one mic each on snare, kick drum, floor tom, between the rack toms, and an overhead pair for the cymbals) -- or a small band, live, with a bare minimum drum micing (lead vocs, guitar, bass, kick drum, two drum overheads).

For years, I'd been toying with getting an external (USB or Firewire) recording interface, but couldn't justify the cost of paying for six- or eight-channels of input -- and figured I would get frustrated with just a two-channel input (you could do vocals plus guitar at the same time -- or a stereo input from a keyboard or guitar). **This** new thing is right in the zone of my requirements versus justifiable cost... Yowza. :)

Technology is catching up to my needs.



At December 12, 2009 9:59 AM, Blogger chazlitt said...

You might also take a look at the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R - USB with 8 ins and outs. I'm very happy with mine

At December 12, 2009 9:11 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...


Thanks for the tip! Yeah, that looks more like what I'm needing -- I'd rather have the individual mic/line level inputs, than have to mess around with splitting out two "stereo" channels for four of the in's.



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