Sunday, October 16, 2016


It's been a while since my last posting...

The album Sojourn has been completed and released, I have a new ambient album (primarily synth) in the works (out shortly) and have started working on a new guitar based album "inbetween the dreams & waking".

With "inbetween..." the album title came first and I wanted to move away from the beats and loops I had explored with Sojourn.  Every album I create takes me in new directions. I've recorded using a 4-track digital recorder (Heartland), recorded directly into Logic Pro and Ableton Live and I've recorded into a Boss BR800 when I got tired of spending time dealing with software instead of making music.  

I've dubbed inbetween the dreams & waking "the Linux album". Linux is a computer operating system that is not MAC OS and not Windows.  I really wanted to strip back the way I make music. Some of my favourite music includes demo recordings, out-takes, live takes and improvisations.  I wanted to make an album that was more immediate, not caught up in a multitude of software and that was mixed and mastered using basic tools.

Initial recordings were done on an old computer using the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Ardour, running with only 160GB.  I wanted to see if I could re-purpose an old computer, having successfully run Linux on a 5 year old macbook.  However, once I started to add a few effects like reverb, delay and compression the computer started to buckle.  So next I purchased a more up to date (but 2nd hand) desktop computer with a solid state drive and replaced Windows 10 with Linux Mint. This made the world of difference.

My guitar effects are primarily through the use of guitar pedals instead of adding guitar effects later via software and virtual amps. This works fine for me because often a particular sound or effect dictates the direction of the song. I got rid of my Thunderbolt audio interface (which I loved, but they are only supported on mac machines and I have read that Thunderbolt will no longer be supported).  I have a new USB interface which works a treat with Linux.

Even the artwork I have created for the album so far has been created in Linux using GIMP, a "image manipulation program".

Although I've spent considerable amounts of money on hardware and software to make my music, I now believe that you don't need expensive computers and software to make music.  I also don't like it when companies design computers that can't have the RAM or memory upgraded or laptops where you can't even replace the battery.

So I've re-purposed an old computer, simplified and downsized my recording process and I must say it's been the most enjoyable and rewarding time I've had recording music for a while.

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