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uneducatedweasel Offline
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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Location: Guildford, UK
Age: 27


PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:09 pm    Post subject: Working on the cheap Reply with quote

Seeing all the expensive equipment around, I often despair that I won't be able to create anything good without having all the things that I can buy, and many that I cannot. In the massive neon hypermarket (/cafe/tanning salon/fridgemagnet repair station that Tesco's is probably offering by now) of equipment on offer, I feel as though I have walked in, and bout the cheapo economy No-Brand Cola that really seems like a bad idea now.

Talking in real terms, I have about 6 things (1 mic, 1 cable, 1 Mixer/Interface, 1 Laptop to run it off, A guitar and an amp to be precise) and always find myself limited. Should I continue? Should I hold myself off until I can buy the next best thing(s), and then wait to start again. Or can I fight through the small difficulties I have and produce something worthwhile, if thin sounding, and nowhere near as epic as I hear it in my head. Just listen to some of the stuff by the black zetas (see signature)

As such, I feel I can challenge myself to invent, produce and create something fantastical with what small resources that I have. If I can do this, I feel that I can acomplish something.





























That's all I have. No point to this. Just wanted to rant. Those financially challenged (such as myself), feel free to sound off like you've got a pair. BTW, has the aux bus vanished? Also, can't get rid of the slashes in my sig, any ideas? And while I'm on it, what is the deal with airline food...

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Dafduc Offline
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The slashes are a bug that happens when you preview your sig. Get rid of them, skip the preview, and you'll be fine.

The aux bus is here but traffic is way down. I blame Bu$h.

As to your main question, I've spent an assload of money on gear, and still can't record my way out of a paper bag. At least when I was poor I had an excuse. Now I have no choice but to face up to my suckage.

xxxoo,

Daffy

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pdknkow Offline
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Joined: 10 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stick to it! Epic is a long ways off but it is achievable. I listen to some of the stuff i created with a 4 track tape recorder 10 years ago and glow with appreciation for what I was trying to accomplish.

I think it is important to get the music out and try to achieve the sound you want with the gear you have and then tweak from there. Boston used some really creative and cheap ways to get their signature guitar sound.

I guess my main point is that there will always be BETTER gear and if you have the money it takes no skill to go out and buy a pro tools set up. But do you know how to record? Those skills only come from doing it. You will look back on these days fondly....enjoy the journey and use this board to find comrades in music!

~pdk

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Plus there's the added benefit of annoying Zlurgh and wisc... Dafduc (RIP)

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ramen Offline
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004
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Location: Chicago...ish
Age: 37


PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well dude, I'm basically in the same boat you are in. Cheap gear gets in the way of being productive in that sometimes you need to spend longer tweaking settings and or troubleshooting broken sh*t to get the sound you want, or even to get it to a usable state.

The trick is, if you are in songwriting mode, don't let guitar tone hold you up. the main point is getting down the vibe of the riff and piecing things together.

When it's time to do keeper tracks, go ahead and set aside time to dial in your gear as best you can.

When it's mixing time, use alternate loudspeakers (your hifi, your car, headphones) to get a good idea how your mix translates.

And if the sound of you playing through your amp in your room sounds good to you, you should still be able to get close to that ballpark with cheap gear. I'm assuming your mic isn't from walmart and that you aren't using a cassette recorder as a preamp. Smile A budget Shure mic and a budget preamp will get you there. The thing is you have to spend a lot of time positioning the mic in relation to the speaker and you might have to change some of the setting on your amp around. but the good thing is once you get it right, you can just keep the mic and the amp in the same spot for as long as possible. Cool

Hang in there man. Smoke

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uneducatedweasel Offline
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C3000 and a marshall mg. Lifesavers. Saying that, saving for a vox valvestate one
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A Friends Band I Record For: www.myspace.com/theblackzetas
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Nocturn Offline
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Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a production lab already...use it, I have less than that and I consider my self lucky!
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uneducatedweasel Offline
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most annoying thing I have is that I can have four mics at one time, but only two inputs, right and left. If I'm only doing to things, not a problem, but for more, its annoying. Still, it works, as ou said. Wouldn't call it a lab tho. More of shed....
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BluesMeister: When I'm watching movies on my PC, it's not my guitar I'm playing with...

A Friends Band I Record For: www.myspace.com/theblackzetas
My own stuff: www.myspace.com/uneducatedweasel
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ramen Offline
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004
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Location: Chicago...ish
Age: 37


PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

uneducatedweasel wrote:
Most annoying thing I have is that I can have four mics at one time, but only two inputs, right and left. If I'm only doing to things, not a problem, but for more, its annoying. Still, it works, as ou said. Wouldn't call it a lab tho. More of shed....


well, if you are really talking about on the cheap... here's another pair of analog I/O if you've got a spare USB jack and $30. http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHUCA202 (It's 16bit/48hz, but it's the cheapest way to add 2 channels.)

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bardo Offline
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Joined: 22 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thing is,no matter how much gear ya got,you always want more.
I have spent twenty years collecting gear.Sounds like a lot but after twenty years MOST of it's out dated.
Still comes down to five fingers and six strings.Get those right and every else falls into place.
Bardo.
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uneducatedweasel Offline
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Location: Guildford, UK
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah behringer, the cheapo-mans best friend. Looking at, for the next step up, getting something that is firewire. I have an alesis multimix, but the usb one, hence only two tracks. Will need to get firewire on the laptop sorted tho... The presonus one or an alesis 26i|o look good. Again, down to budget. And if I can finally be bothered to acually get a part time job ^^
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A Friends Band I Record For: www.myspace.com/theblackzetas
My own stuff: www.myspace.com/uneducatedweasel
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joeydego Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dafduc wrote:


As to your main question, I've spent an assload of money on gear, and still can't record my way out of a paper bag. At least when I was poor I had an excuse. Now I have no choice but to face up to my suckage.

xxxoo,

Daffy
Wow. Ditto.
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KyleD Offline
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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Location: New York


PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why i always try to buy in accordance with my abilities (obviously within reason).

I figure the bare minimum of what I need and stick with it until I out grow. Then I sell to help fund the newer stuff.
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stainless Offline
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Joined: 21 Mar 2005
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Location: Left Coast... away from earthquakes
Age: 64


PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this "train of thought" reminds me of something (I try to reflect on quite often... like everytime the Pro-Gear catalogs gome in the mail...)

When I was just learning to play guitar, there was an older man (Mr. Williams, never knew his first name) down the street who'd sit on his porch and play some of the coolest jazz standards that I'd heard (and recognized somewhere) growing up. He played an old Harmony archtop that was literally beat to death and had packing tape (the stuff with the string in it) wrapped around the body in 2 places) to hold the tops and sides together, one of the tuners had no knob and he had a pair of pliers always handy for tuning. The guitar was beat to death, but he could make it sing.

I took over my first electric (A Victoria, sold at Walgreens and Thrifty Drug Stores for $19.95) to show him and he looked at it, tuned it, played it, had me follow him to the garage where he "made adjustments", played some tunes which sounded great and handed the guitar back, telling me "now you just need to practice". He taught me how to play a 9th chord, and an assortment of three note (triads) "voicings, as he called them. I struggled like hell with the 9th, having to physically place my fingers in the correct position with my other hand. I complained that I'd never be able to do it till I got a "good" guitar like the Gibson my friend Jerry had. He looked at me, took the guitar from me and played a shuffle with 9ths ever so sweetly. He handed the guitar back and said, "...it's not the guitar that sounds good it's the person playing who knows how to get the best out of what he's got...."

I didn't really believe him, thinking he was just trying to make me feel better about my piece-o-crap Victoria. I struggled on and Mr. Williams told me one day he was moving down south to be closer to family... next time I went over he was gone, with nothing more than a 'For Rent' sign in the front door window...

about a week later I realized while playing I could play that 9th chord anywhere on the neck without even thinking about it...

so, my point is, even though you can't afford the best equipment, you can still get your ideas across if you take the time to learn and know the limitations of what you do have..

imagine trying to build a house without electricity... what a preposterous idea... gotta have power tools right? Wink

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uneducatedweasel Offline
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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Location: Guildford, UK
Age: 27


PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Power tools, or ridiculously strong hands
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A Friends Band I Record For: www.myspace.com/theblackzetas
My own stuff: www.myspace.com/uneducatedweasel
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