Off the Musical Deep End, Part II: The Unpackening

John Scalzi

As a follow-up to the post from a couple of weeks ago, I now have the music room largely set up; there are a few more things I need to do and get (some acoustical tile; an actual chair), but they’re relatively minor things. I’m ready to fall all the way down the rabbit hole with this stuff now. If I can’t make music with what I have at this point, the problem is me, not what I have to work with.

What you’re not seeing here is the actual mountain of boxes and shipping material much of this stuff came in, so much of it that I think I need to donate to the Arbor Day Society to make up for all the cardboard I caused to be used.

(Oh, and: I did end up getting a Mac after all; a new Mac Mini. For two reasons: One, The Dell is a capable machine but like a lot of ultraportables doesn’t have a lot of physical connectivity. The Mac Mini does and it turns out that’s actually useful with a room full of physical equipment. Two, at the end of the day there’s more and better music creation stuff in the Apple ecosystem, and that’s what I’ll be using this particular computer for. Also, three, Krissy was all, “I know you want one, just get the damn thing,” and who am I to argue with Krissy.)

Again, my plan is when I’m not in my office, writing words, I’m down here in the basement, writing music. I’m not giving up the day job, to be sure. But this isn’t meant to be a side hustle. It’s just meant to be enjoyable for me. And I’m having fun already, so that’s good.

— JS

23 Comments on “Off the Musical Deep End, Part II: The Unpackening”

  1. I just spent a week of my vacation building an entire outbuilding and painting it so I can have a potting shed/garden shed/greenhouse, so I fully understand the lure of a dedicated area for [hobby of choice]

    Also Zach is happy to have his garage back instead of overrun with all of my garden/landscape stuff. :)

    Enjoy the music room/studio and I’m looking forward to hearing a new song – maybe even before Christmas!

  2. Peeps you need to hook up with:
    1) Sina – drums. German, prolly not worth the other side of the Atlantic effort.
    2) That chick from Youtube JJs One Girl Band. The way she focuses on her guitar, then does the up eye thing with a smile makes her a person, not a Kardashian.
    3) Andreea Munteanu and the guitarist she hangs out with. She’s a pretty good singer singing shit she should not be singing, but the guitarist she sings with is amazing. I think they’re in LA now, used to be, um, Romania? Whatever, it’s sad my searches all lead to her and not her guitarist. Iron Cross is what you would feed YouTube.

  3. Bob Dye:

    I’ve had Apple stuff before and currently had an iPad, so it’s not entirely new to me. That said, I haven’t been on MacOS in well over a decade so there’s some getting used to things.

  4. …at the end of the day there’s more and better music creation stuff in the Apple ecosystem…

    The Mac OS versions of programs for music notation and playback (as well as page layout, photo editing, just about anything creative) have tended to be easier to use than their equivalent PC versions for decades now, so I’m not surprised you changed your mind about using a PC in the music chamber. (I purchased Finale music software for a first-generation Mac SE back in 1991 and have a near-current version on my fairly new iMac.)

  5. Since you got the Mac Mini, Logic is an incredible deal for the price. I worked at Emagic, the company that originally made Logic, when we were bought by Apple. Back then, you paid extra for instruments and effects. Now they’re all included in the base price (and, of course, are higher quality and more plentiful than they were back then). Plus the base price is hundreds of dollars less than it was twenty years ago.

  6. So you can now leave the win computer on its own and it will sit quietly playing music.

    After all it is a dell

  7. “I think I need to donate to the Arbor Day Society to make up for all the cardboard I caused to be used”

    You know you’re a bestselling author, right? I mean, granted, your books are less likely to go in the trash/recycling than packaging cardboard, but it’s still funny to me.

    (As a book production person, I have personally ordered the destruction of literally MILLIONS of books, notably when a couple of big bestsellers had inexcusable errors and we had to pulp the whole first print run. So I sometimes joke that I “murder trees for a living.”)

  8. Your setup makes me very, very jealous, especially the drum kit. But at the same time I am happy for you. Happy banging!

  9. Nice! Though your megaguitar looks weirdly as though it’s trying to climb up the wall to escape :D

  10. Surely that megaguitar needs a megadrum sibling? It looks lonely. Perhaps a set of tympani?

  11. First, very wise not to argue with the wife. ;)

    Second, I wanna hear a song where you use all six necks of the beast. That would be epic.

  12. Can’t comment on the musical side, except it looks like a neat set up. I got a new office chair from Branch and it seems great value for money, FWIW.

  13. Great that you’re all set up, and going Mac was smart. Did you get the newer one with the M1 chip? I wish I had a little more room in my studio, my pile of basses takes a ton of room.

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