Mulligan #4 and Studio Rebuild

So no track this week. Sorry for not saying anything sooner. I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t have one this week and meant to say something, but I was really busy this week! No work, but I FINALLY got to my oft-discussed and frequently delayed studio rebuild.

Studio MkIV: Work in progress, functionally almost done, some organization and clean-up still to do!

This rebuild included the option to record live instruments more easily than I used to. Every thing is patched together and tied into the main mixer, which is also connected to the main PC via USB. The mixer is a newish PreSonus AR12c and semi-modern (I bought it used which let me get into something I can grow into. I couldn’t cost justify the $600 price tag on a new one) , so it has supported drivers and unlike my old audio interface that just presented itself as a stereo in and stereo out device, each channel on the mixer presents as a separate stereo audio device so I can do things like record guitar dry and through outboard effects at the same time. Wow, it’s like I’m serious about this stuff!

Additionally, I am preparing this studio to resume live DJ streams. I hope to resume those at the end of June! I don’t know what the schedule looks like for that yet. I also want to practice a little before I stream again. I’ve not touched the decks seriously since November last year, and testing out the system I tried a little 15 minute mix and I was terrible. Not that I’m normally a Superstar DJ but I prided myself on at least being able to put together a cohesive mix. I really struggled in those 15 minutes to phrase match. The beatmatching came quick, that’s THE core skill of DJing and it’s difficult for me to think of a DJ as a DJ if they can’t do that much. Not to say every mixing style needs it, but I think a DJ should be able to align beats. My phrase matching was frequently off by a measure, though. Sad thing was, I was even mixing MY OWN tracks. You’d think I’d know those cold. I do, but not in a way a DJ needs to know them!

Funny thing was, apart from the DJ errors, they actually sounded nice to my DJ ear, particularly my more recent tracks. I haven’t made any GREAT tracks yet, but there’s some serviceable stuff in there. I’m looking forward to what the next half of this project looks like!

Speaking of halves, if I’d done a track this week, I would be at the half-way point, which isn’t bad since the year isn’t half over yet. There was that self-doubt part of me that was sure I’d somehow get bored of this project and move on to something else by March or April. April got a little rough for me, and May really DID get rough , and I did quit…for about 4 hours. Instead it’s June, and I’m already thinking about the next three or four tracks!

Is it coincidental that I feel into the Abyss right in the middle of what was in retrospect not only the most musically productive period of this project but of my life? I’ve never made more than 3 or 4 songs in a YEAR. I feel the last few have been strong. Far FAR from perfect, but dare I say…good (Okay, “Space Karen” is goofy, but I still think it’s fun) ? I think a lot of it is coincidental though. April 15 was my dad’s first birthday after his death and we had a silly tradition where we would try and call each other on their birthday when they couldn’t get to the phone and sing “Happy Birthday” to each other in a recording (I’d even accompany myself on guitar sometimes!). I almost did that this year and remembered just as a picked up my phone and it just reminded me that I will never get that call again on my birthday either. That kind of slayed me.

But now I’m doing much better. Instead of on the verge of giving up, I’m ready to do battle! Will there be bad days ahead? No doubt, but right now I know that those are passing. No feeling is final. I hope you will continue this journey with me! I appreciate you listening and reading.

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