Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Attempts at Recording

Image representing Fedora as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Late last night, after I made my last blog post, I started toying around with some recording software on my computer. My options are a little bit different from most people since I am running Fedora 10, which is a Linux distro. For some reason the new Fedora 11 won't work on my computer. The graphics are always blurry no matter what I do, so I am stuck with 10 until I get a new computer, at which point I will probably switch to a Linux distro catering specificly to recording, with Ubuntu Studio being the lead candidate at the moment.

Anyway, the goal of this recording is not to produce tracks for commercial distribution, it is just meant to be a song writing aid for myself, so I can record riffs that I come up with, without forgetting them. Later, I can go back and add to them, and put them together in order to make songs. This will also help me with writing lyrics, because I have an easier time coming up with lyrics that fit the music I am working on while I am actually listening to the music play, but not physically playing the instruments myself. This allows my full attention to be focused on lyric writing, rather than instrumentals, like it usually is.

My equipment is very limited and my budget is non existent at this point, so I have to take what I have and make it work. My most recent attempt at this involves playing my guitar through my Didgitech RP 90 modelling guitar processor, while using an eight inch Radio Shack stereo audio cable that I had lying around to connect the headphone jack on the processor to the mic input jack on my old Dell laptop. It is a Dell Latitude C640 with mobile Intel Pentium 4 2.2G processor and 1G of RAM, as well as an 80G hard drive. It just uses what ever sound and video came on-board with that chip set. The guitar is a Korean Squire Stratocaster, probably from the 80's.

It took me over an hour just to get my input set up correctly so that I could actually record. Ounce I finally got this in order, I toyed around with a couple different recording programs. First I tried Audacity, which I have had trouble with in the past, and continued to have the same troubles with on this attempt. No matter what I do, and believe me, I followed all the procedures I could find on their Wiki, and elsewhere, the program would always lag and skip to one extant or another. So next I tried Ardour DAW, which I had also had troubles with in the past, but this time it ran incredibly smooth. My sound quality is still pretty crappy, which isn't at all surprising considering the equipment I am using, but I think If I work with it some more I can improve on this a bit.

My next goal will be to figure out how to make some audio clips and post them on this blog for anyone who cares to follow my progress.

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