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Constant Craving

I have a hankering for some kit.

I’ve wanted a home recording set up for a long time.  Not anything particularly fancy – the modern equivalent of an 8-track, maybe with a bell or two, and a functional, if mainly decorative whistle.  On top of that, a mic for recording acoustic instruments and vocals, and a stand so that I don’t have to hold this mic with my feet while I play. I already have a set up picked out.  You could call it rudimentary at a stretch.

In my head, this will be the audio equivalent of a sketch book.  I can pick it up and plug in and record that riff while it’s still fresh in my head.  I can put down a melody and try different harmonies over the top until I find one I’m happy with.  If I think of that perfect lick to go over a chord progression, then I can try it out.  What’s more, I can lay down that shitty pop-punk track I’ve had in my head for the last week, and see what all the bits sound like when they’re put together.  I can add bass-lines, and vocals all by myself, and get an idea of what the finished song would sound like.  If I come up with a lick or a riff that I think would work as a song with the band, I can throw together something for the guys to listen to, instead of saying “it goes like this, and then like that, and then has this weird bit that happens twice, and then goes back to the first bit”.

But this is not a set up that will ever enable me to produce release quality tracks.  That’s not what I want to do at the minute, but I might want to at some point in the (not necessarily too distant) future.  I know I could get some software and an outboard sound-card for my laptop, and have a better quality, more versatile set up than this for around the same price.  But I work with computers all day.  They are slow, they are unreliable, and they crash at inopportune moments.  I don’t want the hassle of dealing with a computer when I am trying to relax by playing some music.  Waiting for Windows to boot, and then $mixer_app to load and then open a new project adds too much delay between “idea!” and that idea on tape.

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