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Write Now: Have Fun Creating Your Own Music

You have heard the saying “the world is your oyster.”

For aspiring musicians who want to be heard, now is the time.

Let’s start with an idea. You have had the idea in your head, and you tinkered with the melody and chords, but now you want to commit your ideas to a file, so you can build on them or not at a later date.

Most musicians want their music played on the airwaves. During this COVID-19 period, get out your laptop or go to your desktop computer, connect your interface, the device that lets you get sound to your computer, and open your digital audio workstation or DAW. These DAW programs include Garageband, Logic, Cubase, ProTools, Ableton Live, and Reason, to name a few.

It doesn’t matter what what DAW, interface, or instrument you use. You don’t need distractions. You don’t need other musicians because some of your instruments are virtually at your fingertips, depending on what DAW you use.

Depending on your needs, here is some of the gear you may want to use.

MICROPHONE

You may own a microphone that connects to your interface, so you can get a great sound. Through your DAW, you will set up the equalization, and pre-amplification, and routing of it. It’s very simple to do. It will not record in stereo. If you want a stereo mix, then you would have to use two separate mics, and have an interface that has two separate channels. Each channel then would get its own EQ, routing and pre-amp sections to create a stereo spread. Also, when recording with a mic, be sure to where headphones. If you use speakers to monitor your sound when recording with a mic, you may create a feedback loop in which you will hear growing high-pitched squeal. Within three seconds, you will want to shut it off or lower the volume. Also if you down’t own a dynamic or condenser mic, you could use an inexpensive USB mic or even your computer’s mic.

GUITAR

You may own an acoustic or an electric guitar, but you may not own an amplifier. That’s not a big deal because your DAW may come with amp modeling software that will enable you to pick an amp. If you only only own an acoustic, use your mic to record your acoustic. Make sure you point the mic near the sound hole. If your acoustic is also electric, then plug into your interface and use your DAW plug-ins. If own an electric and want to record it throug an amp, then experiment mic placement near your speakers. When recording an amp, it’s best to use headphones to monitor your performance.

ELECTRIC BASS

When recording an electric bass, you really don’t need an amplifier. You can plug directly into your DAW via your interface use the program’s virtual to shape your sound. Most DAW have amp and speaker simulation plug-ins, so you won’t have a problem with achieving your sought after sound. Recording the bass is probably the easiest of the components. Like an electric guitar, you also can use an amp to record your sound.

DRUMS

For drums, if you own a drum set, you can record your drums with one mic. The mic will record the room, so your drums will not sound close. The sound will resemble if you were watching a drummer play about 20 feet away. You will hear all of the pieces of the drum set, but some will louder than others. If you don’t own a set, your DAW may have a plug-in where drum patterns are available. Find one you like and use it.

KEYBOARDS

If you have a digital keyboard, then you have many options because that keyboard can be played as other instruments through your DAW. With it you could control brass, woodwind, strings, and percussive instruments with plug-ins from your DAW. If you don’t own one, you probably still can build chords and melodies by using your DAW. It may take some extra time to develop a routine.

MONITORS

These virtually function like headphones. You can use them for playback and to hear sections at different volumes. If you only have headphones, you don’t need to get monitors.

See FUN, Page B6

Your headphones will suffice.

WORKFLOW

Remember that this all comes down to how you create. It’s about your workflow.

It’s your music and you can make it sound the way you want to make it sound. Don’t let anyone tell you that the way you make music is wrong. They will just interfere with your creative process, and slow you down. The best part of this is there is no timeline or deadline, so the pressure is virtually off. You don’t even have to be able to read music or know music theory. You just need to know what sounds pleasing to your ear.

There is no wrong way or right way to record a song.

Most of all, have fun while you experiment with different sounds.

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