Luke Melia


March 20, 2002

3/20/02, 1:08 am

I’m somewhere in the middle of a musical adventure. Earlier this evening, Elbert and I recorded one of the songs I wrote.

Before we recorded, he walked me through his whole digital audio setup, teaching me several weeks worth of a computers and music college course as he did. The whole thing is incredibly cool and (incredibly complicated). Elbert’s little iBook sits in the middle of it all, running the show. The software on the iBook replaces thousands of dollars worth of audio hardware (processors, compressors, samplers, mixers) and makes possible things that Bach would have believed was magic. On-the-fly, as-you-play musical notation is an example.

We recorded a guitar track, after a failed attempt where I forgot to not sing. Pretty funny, considering it wasn’t so long ago I was worried if I’d ever be able to play and sing at the same time.

recoding sessionThe vocal track proved trickier, because Elbert’s microphone had no windscreen to keep the vocals from popping and hissing. We rigged up a hilarious-looking contraption out of a mic stand, clothes hangar and a synthetic t-shirt that did the trick. I had to keep my eyes closed while I sang, though, because singing into a t-shirt is, well, pretty silly.

We applied some effects to make the levels and fullness of those tracks work and then Elbert picked out a bass line. Unlike the recorded portions, the bass part was captured in the iBook as pure MIDI data, which meant that after the first take, we could go in and adjust and modify individual notes. Which we did, and it added a lot to the tune.

I’m going to get myself the gear and software (entry-level to start with) I need to do some similar stuff at my place. It’s oh so far out to continue to see music unfolding in such interesting ways before me. Other upcoming stops on the magical musical mystery tour: seeing a friend’s band (called “RED”) play at Arlene Grocery Thursday night, a guitar/perl lesson with Alec Saturday, maybe catch his band, The Flow, play Sunday. The Fab Faux soon, too. I’m curious to hear Rusted Root‘s upcoming album. Melissa and I need to sing together soon, too. It’d be cool to take a month off and do nothing but music. Of course my friends would all have to have the time off, too.

Enough. I’ll post an MP3 of the result of our recording session soon.

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