Thursday, 14 July 2011


I'm not demoing, I'm making finished recordings at home. Big difference. I have sixty-odd songs that I could hum for you right now, but I've narrowed it down to five that are 'ready' to record. I'm using my own gear, and doing it as outboard as possible, using GarageBand as a glorified tape recorder (Ableton Live makes it too easy to cheat). It's going to sound horrible, in a lot of ways, which is what I want. It's NOT demoing, I'm not making demos, with the intention of making 'proper' recordings somewhere else later. These are the recordings, capturing actual sonic events happening in real time. And I have ten rules...

Mic and amp. All you need.

1. As much as possible, I must use equipment I have to hand, and not solve problems by buying or borrowing gear.
2. Everything must go into the computer via a microphone, including synths and loops.
3. Everything must go through an external pre amp and compressor.
4. Direct recording is allowed for secondary parts, and sonic diversity, ie using the Avid Eleven Rack for guitar solos and bass tracks.
5.  Every part must be one continuous take - no comping allowed!
6. Editing is allowed, as long as it doesn't compromise rule 5. No copying and pasting is allowed.
7. EQ is allowed in GarageBand.
8. Effects processing must be kept to a minimum.
9. PSP's Vintage Warmer ( is used as a mastering plugin across the mix, simply because I don't have any hardware that'll do the job.
10. Sound quality is not a priority. Getting the songs across is the priority.

This week I'm recording rhythm tracks, and working on a vocal production style that fits the theme...again, it has to be hardware-based, which is proving tricky. I'm using software to figure out what works, then I'll have to reproduce it in hardware. I'll bite the bullet and post some movies/audio when I get the vocal thing cracked!

Vintage Warmer 2 running in GarageBand's Master Track

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