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Thread: Equipment won't write songs for you

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    Hello,

    I visit these boards when I have the time (not as much as I'd like to), and after a typical 30-45 min. reading, I usually feel just a bit uneasy. There are a lot of "start-ups" looking around and asking for advice, trying to develop their recording techniques, and I think sometimes they're having their attention turned away from the music. To anyone with an instrument, idea, and any recording device: please don't let that happen.

    Itís an easy trap, though, because it really is a lot of fun - but donít lose perspective. In my opinion, if youíre spending more time playing with recording equipment than actually writing songs for use with that equipment, then youíre probably running in place. Of course, if recording is your only responsibility or youíve got some songs ready to commit, then by all means focus in on the recording aspect. Otherwise, hone your craft and worry about recording when youíve actually got something to record. Writing isnít an inherent process (for most of us), it has to be developed, and the idea of the world missing out on some great songs because the person was busy playing with their new digital 8 trackÖwell, it saddens the soul.

    I hope no one misunderstands me because I think this truly is a fantastic site, and Iíve learned a lot from it. Everyoneís comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. As an example though, if someone new to music chimes in requesting, perhaps, information on which recorder to purchase, suggesting anything more than a four track *could * be almost counter-productive. Unless you plan outright on recording 20 tracks, get something decent and relatively easy to use so that you can concentrate on the songs. Great equipment will not do the work for you! Remember, the best Beatles songs were done on 4 tracks. Hell, Iíve heard some incredible songs done on boom boxes. Use your imagination, itís an artists most valuable asset.

    Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 cents. Sorry for the length.

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    Cool

    You hit it dead center with your observation that recording can be just as much fun as playing music, especially with all these new digital avenues previously off-limits to the average Joe.

    It's pointless to try to assign an optimal percentage of your time to fiddle with each hobby without first performing an honest self-assessment of one's skill levels in those areas. Not to mention factoring in what one's actual goal is. Is it playing out, making a CD, writing for others to perform, amusing yourself? Think of it as an Iron Man competition where the third event after music performance/composition and recording is maintaining a life.

    Come on over to the sunny side of the street and get a glimpse of the magic that occurs when these hobbies are pursued simultaneously.

    It's called the .MP3 Mixing Clinic

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    You are right, but just try getting my guitarist to realise that being in a band is just as much as a comittment as anything else, and "oh, i've got too much work this week" won't work every time. Anyone else wanna take his place and lives in SW London?

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    Thumbs up

    30 years huh? Damn, you must be a really mean guitarist!

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    Vurt -

    i hear what you are sying and I agree. I lost track for a while and "it" stopped coming out. But - alas I am back on this horse and ready to push it "further". I learned guitar when I was 14 and continued to play it because the more I did the better it felt - It was and is a perfect way for me to "get in the zone" and get the feeling of living in the present. That's one thing I like about music - it is all about now -

    check the post called "Split Personality" under guitar and basses - it's similar

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    Actually I find it very difficult to record "live". I'm only an average guitarist, but I find it near impossible to lay a live track down which is simple enough that I can play it without making mistakes.

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    Vurt:

    If a person has come to this site because they're interested in recording, then it *probably* means that they already have some music written. What we're trying to do is CAPTURE the music...give it life...from your head to the stereo, a beautiful thing.

    I don't think that most people are going to miss out on writing their greatest music because they're fiddling with their 8 track. In fact I think that the opposite is more common. I know a lot of guys who's music is going to die with them. People who have hundreds of good songs but never get them onto tape.

    I think that once you become efficient with your recording devices, they can actually help you write music. Like a writer who refuses to use a word processor because they don't want to take the time to learn the technology. Becoming efficient at recording will help you hear your ideas and therefore make it so much easier to add the little nuances that make the music special.

    One more point. Not all music can be plucked out on an accoustic and some of us don't have a band to work with. I am now writing the best stuff that I've ever written because of my move into recording. Suddenly I have a whole band at my disposal, but I retain total creative control. This must be how Ian Anderson feels

    Slackmaster 2000

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    Great comments everyone, and MasterSlacker, you've got some very valid points that I agree with to some extents. I'm just the type of person who would rather get 20 poorly recorded songs onto tape than 1 masterpiece, simply because I can later go back to the tape (maybe), pick out 3 potential masterpieces (hopefully), and then perfect them (god willing). Paranoia, I guess, but I liken it to fishing; you can screw with your tackle for six hours, but until you throw the line in, you're just screwing with tackle and drinking beer. I do know what you mean though, and you're probably right.

    So, perhaps to the surprise of some of you, Iím *considering* a digital 8 track vs. the 424 MKIII that Iíve had my eye on lately. My reasoning is based primarily on past experiences with computers as well as a lot of comments Iíve read from others on this site about outgrowing their 4 tracks. Iíve done that too many times with PCís, and may as well get a recorder that Iíll be happy with for a while. Anyway, I think Iíll also post a new msg in hopes of getting as many suggestiions as possible.

    -Vurt

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    a little off the topic...but this came up in a different forum ..

    c7sus , how well does the event tria system pick up and accurately reproduce the low end of the sonic spectrum ?

    sorry vurt , dont meant to stray your topic..

    - eddie -

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    Vurt:

    I think that there are two schools of thought that musicians struggle with. I've been thinking about this for a very long time. The Minimalist vs. the Technolgy. I'm torn between it myself. For instance, I absolutely hate too many effects on the guitar. I don't like chorus and I don't like flange and I don't like cheasy overdrive...etc etc. Yet I find myself using them from time to time, and when I do I feel like I'm cheating!

    There's that part of me that will always be of the mindset: "Give me a guitar, an amp, and a wah pedal and you can stick all those fancy gizmos straight up your ass!"

    Then there's that part of me that thinks: "Hell, you're pathetic. What would you do if the power went out, eh? Gimme my beat up old acoustic!"

    And then there's that part of me that thinks: "Hmm. It sounds cool when I twist this knob around."

    So where do you draw the line between playing music and playing with music? Is there one? If someone spends two weeks trying to get a mix to sound perfect...how is that different from a guy who spends 20 years perfecting his guitar tone?

    Anyway, not much point to this I guess. There is a part of me that agrees with what you've said for sure. But I do love recording...

    Slackmaster 2000

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