Sunday, 26 October 2014

Studio update

After about two years of creating a studio setup I think it's ready for music production. As ready as it can be with low amount of space and money.

I got that sloped side table from my brother, so no money was spent on that. It's great, because I only have to turn slightly to access Bass Station II which is also my midi keyboard. On the table is also Waldorf Streichfett string synth and EHX deluxe memory boy delay for Bass Station. I like the idea of manual effects as a part of the instrument's sound. I probably need a reverb pedal for Bass Station to complete it.

Mac Mini was a great choice for studio computer, although I've been using it also for watching endless amount of Youtube videos. As you can see my studio monitors are not in optimal place, but can't really do much about it. I'm using headphones to record anyway, because there is slight random drops in volume with those monitors on (possibly they are just too close to Propellerhead Balance).

I'm still unsure how to record bass and guitar. It could be direcly in DAW or using amps. However my Marshall JVM1 has serious static noise problem which makes it difficult to record without background noise. It could be something wrong with tubes.

Then there are Yamaha DTX430K drums. As with other instruments I want to play them myself. Playing drums is harder than you would think! I've been practising for couple of months and even I have good sense of rhythm the difficult part is make all your hands and legs work without interfering each other in funny ways. I'm still confident that I can play my own music, it's not that difficult stuff after all. With modern recording magic it's possible even to play one drum at a time if it's what it takes.

Limited space is a constant issue. The trash bin is under the piano chair, because it's the only available place for it! Yet I'm happy that I have an entire room just for the studio and this is a quiet place so it's possible to record acoustic stuff as well, even there is no acoustic isolation of any kind.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Mac Mini first steps

Somehow MacOS reminds me of Atari ST which is quite nice. It's much like what you would expect an OS to look like and not that Win8 bullshit (or even Win7 which was step back in user interface usability). MacOS is extremely easy to use and Mac Mini is simply noiseless. It produces less noise than regular laptops. How is that even possible? Why can't everyone do the same with the exactly same Intel hardware?

The first test was plugging in Propellerhead Balance which is my USB sound card for studio work. It was more mindblowing than I thought: you simply plug it in and that's it. It just starts to work and appears on sound device list where you can check it as the main input and output source.

There is some kind of problem with displayport and the monitor. I have a Deltaco mini-dp to dp cable and it looks like Mac doesn't always know it's there. The monitor says there is no signal. When this happens I have to scroll through the input choices from the monitor and when returning back to displayport it starts to work. This problem is random and usually everything works just fine. After I ran into this I've been reading about a large number of similar problems with Macs and thinking that I'm almost lucky to have it this easy.

I also got Mac wired keyboard and wired mouse with that small wheel ball thing. I actually like the ball, but some people seem to hate it a lot. I also like the keyboard, but it's not as good as my Filco on PC. One of the things wrong in Mac keyboard is how Return and Delete keys are close to each other and when they rammed nordic keys on it they possibly have made Return narrower which makes it even worse. But in general it's a great keyboard.

The next step will be installing Studio One. Oh man, can't wait all that downloading...