Thursday, April 09, 2009

408. Couch Surfing for the First Time Ever with Ira Everett and Gang, Tempe, Arizona

I guess I am very lucky I am starting out my Tempe, Arizona Couchsurfing experience with Ira Everett, a young business major at Arizona State University (ASU) who knows a HXLL of a lot about music, and probably knows a lot about many other facets of life as well. Ira's profile came up first on the Couchsurfing search engine--so might as well give it a shot. He and his housemates live in a massive two-story house a couple of miles south of ASU. It turns out that the owner of the house is a drummer for a cover band, and all of Ira's housemates are very musically oriented. Their living room is invaded with top-of-the-line musical equipment--making a very complete set of instrumentation--a multi-grand music studio / band room essentially. The common rooms are downstairs, and the bedrooms are on the top floor.

[BLIP = Just had a Mexican dinner at Riva's about 12 bucks for me and Ira. The least I could do is buy him a burrito!]

After picking into Ira's brain for a little while, I was able to formulate a TO-DO list of items I need to get to expand my music studio kit. I should be able to do this for $500-$1000, given that I rip off Logic Studio from Craigslist. Here are some notes:

**Sam Ash is the best possible walk-in music store. Guitar Center is second rate. Best Buy is converting one of its music sections into a small "Michaels" "music-half-done" component. It's best to buy close to everything used through Craigslist--locally.
**These are recommendations more specifically for MacBookPro (15 inch).
**First of all, to make things run smoothly, update the hardware of the Macbook Pro. Check out how much RAM it has and then upgrade it to 4 GB RAM, 2 GB by 2 GB. DDR2 SODIMM (acronym) the 5400 one. You can purchase this cheap from
http://www.newegg.com/.
**For all music studios around the world, you can only hope they have LOGIC STUDIO (2), and then you can always expect for them to have PROTOOLS (.ptls file). Logic Studio has a very user-friendly interface, made exclusively for mac computers. Protools still has problems with it, has advanced to the logic studio interace, but is compatible with PC, MAC, LINUX, etcetera. Logic Studio (pro) is around $500 new and potentially $250 for a pirated-burned version (or via torrents).
**For file backups, consider having a separate external hard drive.
**NEED A MIDI CONTROLLER--Axiom? ($75 two octabes?) The Yamaha Vic has?
**AUDIO INTERFACE--M Audio Fast Track Pro (pro versus fast track is the firewire versus usb port, usb 2.0 goes faster supposedly but firewire is a wider road), should be around $100-200, check out
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/, the M-box is an UPPER-END interface
**"plug-ins" are essentially VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS, Logic Studio comes built in with a series of plug-ins
**consider getting STUDIO HEAD PHONES because you need to be aware of the fine-tuned audio elements; an example is "One More Day" which sounded fine on the computer and a small radio, but when you play it on loud speakers, it sounds off...
**garage-band, built-in musical keyboard....
**the main lines of audio that people hear are vocals-lead melody, high-hat, and the snare... so that is what to consider when making decisions for audio

4 comments:

Victoria said...

I did a huge inversion in my head. It's not "Ira Everett" but "Ari Everett"!

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I just had a fairly intense conversation with Steve Dillin after Christmas dinner, and he gave me a tour of the capabilities of Garageband. I still was a bit dissatisfied with it, because it didn't seem to have a smooth, integrated design in terms of looking at the big picture versus tiny scales. Volume and panning weren't integrated into each track.... Everything was a bit choppy, though it looked quite "user friendly." Steve and I are both salivating over Logic Studio Pro/Lite and I will get that little plug in box as well. Steve might be a great reference and nice refuge to go to in order to figure out the logistics of the software. I might have to hotel it for a night right next to Sam Ash in Ontario just to figure out the software.... Sigh!

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

I also had some fabulous conversations with the "Erni" sisters at Dr. Olson's birthday party. One sister is totally into marketing and social networking, and the other sister is very good at video editing and music composition. I'm excited to have met both. They will be great resources in terms of my banging my head on the wall trying to figure the software out. One sister gave me the low down of AVID, and the advantage of AVID over Final Cut Pro. (1) AVID is 300 bucks for students and can be on mac or PC (2) AVID has the ability to play back at low resolution so you don't have to waste your time rendering files like on FCP. Talk about me shaking in my boots about the decisions I've been making. I have to make three great films before I can upgrade to a 8 gig ram processing macbook pro and an HD Sony camera (another $5000 bucks). I had a long conversation with Jim Knowlton during one of the MLPA BRTF meetings, and he gave me some advice on how to proceed with upgrading equipment. But he said most importantly, if you have a storyline, it doesn't matter really if you have HD or a silly camcorder....

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Some features of Garageband. It has an ARPEGIATOR?!! What?! And it has a simplified version of an AUTOTUNES pitch corrector?!! It's also worth looking into AUDACITY (much improved freeware) and AUDIO HIGHJACK PRO, which can strip music from whatever you are listening to at any time....

Couple of things to know about the macbook pro (1) use the "Activity Monitor" when editing video (2) use Disk Utility --> "Permissions Repair" in order to condense files and optimize the functionality of the computer.