More Learning the DAW

"Learning the DAW 02"
John Scalzi

How I spent my Fathers’ Day: In my musical man cave, trying to figure out how to make all the stuff I bought work. And the results were — well, pleasantly productive! I figured out how to play guitar and bass directly in my DAW, apply effects, chop up loops and beats and fiddle with their various values, like volume, and generally move a step up from just staring into my computer with a furrowed brow wondering how to make the damn thing function. Progress!

As evidence of this progress, this track, which, while I hasten to add is not particularly good (it’ll be a while before “good” is a thing I can say about my musical fiddling about), is nonetheless a substantial step forward in my ability to use my music equipment. For example, with the exception of the drum tracks, I actually played all the musical instruments on the track: Guitar, bass and keyboards. Those parts aren’t complicated, but they’re me, and this is the first time I’ve actually multitracked myself playing instruments. There is some irony in me using drum programming when that is the instrument that I am actually competent on, but look, my drum set is too far away from the preamp to be easy to plug in at the moment. I stand by my musical choices, such as they are.

Hope you all had a fine Father’s Day, if that’s a thing you celebrate.

— JS

13 Comments on “More Learning the DAW”

  1. Hopefully there’s a local source you can buy cable. Never know when you’ll need to make a new cable run for your bass player.
    Looking forward to seeing pic’s of her new bass.

  2. While I was playing the track, the cat curled up next to my computer got up and settled down facing the other way.

    I don’t know if that’s any kind of review… (I liked it.)

  3. Sounds good for first serious day. Cables are cheap, and don’t forget you have a Bluetooth keyboard so just get things set to go, and take it with you to the drum set so you just have to hit one key to start recording.

  4. Impressive for a first time and with all of three chords–keep it up!

    And imagine what…say…Bach could have done with a setup like this…

  5. This is basically an accompaniment (as one of my professors once wrote on a composition assignment of mine). Coming up with a melody will be the real creative challenge.

  6. You can buy inexpensive cables, but you should avoid “cheap” cables at all costs. If I had a dollar for every cheap cable that ever crapped out on me at exactly the wrong time, I could buy some nicer cables.

    Micing up a drum kit in a crappy acoustic space can be hard. Set up a Glyn Johns or recorderman setup (4 or 2 mics, respectively) and you will spend a lot more time making music and a lot less time fiddling with a bad mix because you’re in a small, parallel walled space.

  7. All the stuff you’ve been monkeying about with so far sounds a lot like some of Bob Mould’s more dance-y numbers to me.

    Keep up the ridiculous midlife crisis!

  8. So the thing about recording drums is it’s much easier to get good sound when you can properly mic the whole kit (plus room treatment helps) on separate tracks, so for a standard kit you’d want at least 8 inputs on your audio interface (kick, snare, hat, 3 toms, overheads for the cymbals). You absolutely can just throw a room mic at the place in the room the drums all sounds best though.

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