Apr 072008

Today I was reminded why I’m not recording much. For months now I have been wanting to record at least some improvisations. Today was the day. Because my husband left the house for more than half an hour (which he rarely does). The recording equipment was to be mine.

So. I had lunch, and dessert, and checked e-mail, and read blogs, and then, finally, shoved myself in front of my husband’s big computer with the mixer and everything. I searched for my microphone. I looked for a suitable cable. I looked at the mixer. I pulled one cable out of the mixer and inserted mine. I pushed the little button that sends power to my mike. I opened the software. I was very careful not to change anything that my husband had recorded. I tested the mike. I had no signal. The mixer seemed dead. Ah, there was yet another switch to switch. The mixer showed a green light. Green is good. I tested my mike – no sound. I tried three or four things. Nope. I closed the software and decided to use the smaller, and simpler recording software. I already have worked with this a couple of times on my own. Opened software. Tested mike. Changed preferences. Tested mike. Still nothing. Closed software, disconnected cable, put mike back in box, shut off computer.

Right now I’m very, very frustrated. What I want is my own mixer preferably a small one because I don’t need more than two inputs at once. You might ask why I don’t just ask my husband to help me. He is very good with this equipment thing. And I would be too if I used it more often. But strangely enough I can’t seem to bring myself to ask him. I have to be all alone and by myself to record something. The recording equipment is in his room where he basically does everything that doesn’t involve sleeping, eating or a bathroom. To shut him out is a big thing. And what if I didn’t have anything to show for it later?

I find it hard enough to work on my music in my room when anybody is in the house. I’d like to be able to do recording on impulse. And I can. I have actually recorded vocals through my computer’s built-in microphone. They sound like something recorded over the telephone though.

The reason I find writing easier to fit into my life than music is that music needs a bigger chunk of time. While I can jot down a few sentences and not lose the idea for a blog post, creating music seems to require a certain feeling of free time, of being able to go back and forth, doing something else in between, coming back, trying again. Half an hour of songwriting might mean one hour of playing, and on hour of just sitting there, and staring at the wall.

No wonder that I am drawn that much to knitting these days. Two hours of knitting are two hours of knitting. In the lace stole I’m currently making that would be about 40 rows, or 12 cm of stole. When I’m knitting, even two hours of waiting, riding the train, talking with someone, or watching TV are two hours of knitting. It is as if time magically multiplied itself.

With blogging two hours of writing is one or two posts. With writing songs two hours of song writing might result in having tried a few notes, having crossed out lyrics I wrote some time before, and a bad taste in my mouth.

So I thought improvising might be the thing. But improvising just for myself seems pointless. I’d like to record some things and try overdubbing and such but that comes back down to equipment.

I have to find a solution for this. For now I’ll go off and practice guitar for a while so that I stay ahead of my students.

(Actually, I wrote this ten days ago… Since then my husband has shown me what I did wrong. As soon as he isn’t madly recording music for once I’ll try again.)

  6 Responses to “Insert strong swear-word here”

  1. What if you made the decision to dedicate a week or a month in which music would be your priority? Then you could really familiarize yourself with the equipment, work out a loose schedule with Gary, exercise the “music-making muscles,” so that it will be easier to just pop in there and do it when you’re moved to do so. With the nice weather coming, I bet your husband would enjoy going for a bike ride or something to let you have some time alone.

    I absolutely recognize in myself the greater desire to do things that yield results. It’s important to have things like that in your life, too.

    XO – Good luck. I’ll be away for the next two – three weeks. I’d love to find a post with some of your music on it waiting for me. 🙂

  2. ah. i’ve been wondering lately why i make my life so difficult, refusing to ask for help so i can then have that next ounce of knowledge for myself. and then i read this and i completely understand.

  3. I have realized that the computer things that I do infrequently I tend to promptly forget; so I try to make a short “how to” list for the next time. I feel silly having to do that, but it does make me less dependent.

  4. did you really want me to insert the swear word? because i could lay down a f*ck or a sh*t if you like…


  5. I know! Ican only be creative with no one intimate around!

  6. I completley understand why you dont want your husband to be involved. the reason i took up sewing was becuase although i love love love to write i find the process painful and agonisingly slow and yet i can have a bag made in 2 hours. hey presto creative urge fulfilled

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