Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Making an unbroken record…

IT’S BEEN several months since I had to basically start over before I could continue recording more Songs of the Month. It happened like this: I semi-willingly upgraded my Mac OS (you know how that can be—upgrade or else) which made my Logic 9 recording program not only obsolete but actually disabled. POOF, it was gone. For only $200 I was back in the game with Logic X, which was just like the prior version only completely different in every way possible.

My late-life red convertible sports car. Also converts analog audio to digital. Try that with your Porsche Boxter…

Okay, fine. Now that I’m in over my head, why stop there? So, I added a complex new outboard audio magic box (see blog post below), upgraded my mic preamp and digital converter thingy, and got a couple of plug in software gizmos to add some sonic secret sauce—and then all I had to do was learn how to use all this insanely technical stuff.

Retro gear software plug in. Hey, it was good enough for the Beatles!

Well, a few months of crunching through manuals, watching tech videos till my eyes bled and trying this, that and the other with mics, adapters, sliders, dials and switches, and I actually feel ready to start up again.

So standby for a new “Song of the Month” in early September. Just in time for school.

A Sound Investment?

THIS IMPRESSIVE techno-thingy, apparently pulled from the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, makes sound sound better in recordings. It rounds of the edges of raspy vocals and volume spikes and subtly warms the sound by using actual vacuum tubes like 1950s radios. Who even knew vacuum tubes were still made!?

For any techno-nerds, it’s an ART Pro Channel II optical compressor and EQ that goes between the mic and the computer.

Naturally, once I learned such a device existed, I wanted one to round off and warm up MY vocals. It took me about a ton of aluminum cans collected by the side of the road to pay for it,* and several misadventures to get it working, but the thing does make a difference. How much? Well, we’ll all find out next month when I (finally) release the studio version of “Little Heart.” 

Meanwhile, the recording light is on…


*Not really, but my mother taught me to never let a few facts ruin a good story. It was actually a half ton.