I appear to have been slacking on documenting my reading & also music recording efforts. 2 reasons for this, 1st there is not that much to report & 2nd, progress has been slow on both fronts. I have been doing much reading, just not from my list of books, most of it online doing research to try & improve my recording techniques. I also bought a book to help with this; there is a brief review below.
As far as recording music, I am still in the process of recording the alternative version of My Everything”, it is almost done, but time seems to be flashing by so quickly these days, having a combination of the time, energy & desire all at the right moment has been tricky. Other than that I re-recorded an acoustic guitar piece that I came up with & also a dub-esq piece whilst trying to figure out midi-loops & virtual keyboard based instruments. They are both on my soundcloud if you have any interest.
I have discovered some pretty good quality free VST plugins through the web & also the Computer Music magazine. Using these is helping with the overall sound, but it is still difficult for me to get it where it wants to be. I have developed an annoying habit of throwing more effects / eqs on the vocals than I really should. It just seems to get the desired end result quicker somehow. Oh well, I’m learning slowly. I’ve found the limits of my system, annoyingly sooner than I had hoped for, but I can work around them ok for now though.
The book: Guerilla Home Recording, by Karl Coryat
This book is excellent, it was exactly what I needed. I would recommend it to any musician starting out with recording at home. It gets away from the snobbery of online forums populated by sound engineers who cannot comprehend recording in a less than perfect acoustic environment with budget equipment. The book does an excellent job teaching you think of sound in 3 dimensions, using dynamic range, frequency & panning to really separate the individual pieces to come up with a much less muddy & more professional sounding track.
The book also does a good job explaining things like compression & EQ to novices (like me). There are many tips for recording techniques, some get-around ideas etc. There were some parts of the book that were a little dated, technology for home recording is progressing so quickly these days, that unless they republished annually it is always going to be left behind somewhat. The basics are there though & I anticipate referring to this book many times as I continue to learn my new favourite hobby.