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  1. 1. An article about writing and recording music while on vacation with minimal digital set up.stock business music
  2. 2. Recently a friend of mine and myself decided to take some time out andhead up to the mountains for some rest and recuperation  Thepressures of city life are only too obvious these days and the desire to getaway from the office and computers were main motivating factors  Weplanned to do some hill walking, relaxing, eating and drinking  Bothbeing musicians it only seemed right that we take a few instruments withus to help us wile away the nights  It had to be on an acoustic basis soI took my flamenco guitar and my friend took his little Ukulele  Justbefore setting out on what would be a five hour journey we pondered onwhether we should take my friends Apple laptop After thirty seconds ofweak resistance we caved in and decided to take it
  3. 3.  As my friend picked up his Apple laptop I noticed his little USBaudio/midi interface sat next to the laptop  He looked at me and smiled“well there’s plenty of room in the car might as well take the C1000and the SM58, just in case we record anything, we can improvise somestands if needed … oh this little slim line two octave midi keyboardmight be good too ” He did not even mention the headphones; they justwent straight in the bag So there it was; a small sports bag with aportable recording studio inside it “What music software do you haveon there?” I asked as we drove away from the seemingly unendingurban sprawl that is London
  4. 4. “Not much really, Garage Band is on there though… Not reallychecked it out yet  We can always have a bit of a play with that, let’stry not to get too geeky …… ” My friend replied We did not evenbother plugging in the laptop for the first couple of days and reallyenjoyed just jamming with the guitar and uke  If you have not got aUkulele then I can heartily recommend that you buy one  They are suchgreat fun, easy to play, cheap to buy, and easy to carry around with you
  5. 5. I think it was the third night when we decided to try to record an idea thatwe had been playing around with  Setting everything up was a breezeas the USB audio/midi interface and USB midi keyboard needed noexternal power units to make them work so we just plugged them straightinto the Apple laptop  We used the USB audio/midi interface as theGarage Band audio inputs and the laptops internal sound card for theGarage Band audio output  Normally we would not have needed to usethe onboard sound but we had forgotten our quarter inch mono jacks tophono leads  Luckily we did have a 3 5mm stereo jack to phono lead(very useful cable to have lying around!!)
  6. 6.  To record without using the stereo hifiÂ’s speakers we just plugged thestock business music head phones into the hifiÂ’s headphone socket Atfirst we had a quick dabble to see how it all worked and we soon foundthat Garage Band has some very usable midi instruments available ÂWe were getting maybe 8-10 milliseconds of latency using the midikeyboard and one of Garage Bands on board piano sounds  This wasmore than acceptable  Using the phantom power on the USBaudio/midi interface enabled us to record the flamenco guitar and ukulelewith the C1000 and we were both surprised by the quality of the recordedsound  Another massive bonus was that the apple laptop was so quiet
  7. 7. We found Garage Band to be a very useful piece of software  It isgreat for throwing ideas together and if you really went at it you couldprobably create something of note using just garage band and liveinstruments  You have to be careful as there are some very tiredsounding drum loops in there but they are useful to sketch ideas with andthe time stretch facility works quite well  If you want to piece together aJohn Bonhamesque drum track it should not take you long in GarageBand  All the built in midi sounds are a little too manicured for my likingbut having said that they fit in well and I particularly like the electric pianosounds  My only real gripes are the transport and locator features; afterusing Cubase for years it feels quite restricting in how you drop in and outand navigate around your little project…
  8. 8. They need to sort this out In the end we used Garage Band to record akind of Eastern European polka type instrumental which featured just theflamenco guitar and ukulele  We obviously used a click track to recordand did play around with several midi instruments to experiment with thepiece  In the end, though, it seemed quite apt that the piece thatbecame known as should remain a simple instrumental duo of guitar andukulele I was that pleased with the piece that I put it on my website,
  9. 9.  I like the fact that you can hear the acoustics of the room, while it doesnot have a polished sound it does have character and I find it, ultimately,a believable piece  The simple recording set up we used helped usconcentrate on just the music as we wiled away our evenings  Topmarks to Garage Band and the little set up we used  It now reallyfascinates me that one can get away from it all, travelling relatively light,and still have all the marvels of the digital age at one’s finger tips to helpthe creative process  I am already dreaming of stating in a cottage inthe Tuscan Hills…… with my guitar and laptop Article Tags: , , , , , , , ,
  10. 10. stock business music