This post is a hard one to categorize.  I’m leaving it as ‘Life in general’ because it applies to so many of the topics I talk about…

If you are a regular reader to my blog (what?  I’ve got readers? 🙂 ), you’ll notice that I’ve recently been talking about GarageBand.  This is pretty weird, as I’ve been a die-hard Cakewalk Sonar user for many years.  Well, let me re-phrase that.  I’ve been a die-hard Sonar PURCHASER for many years.  Cakewalk has been getting more and more ‘pro’ every year, and I’ve absolutely loved it.  With Sonar 7, they have stepped into the realm of professional multi-track software, that few companies can match.  And… it’s not fun for me anymore.  I don’t have a degree in music recording, nor do I have the patience to gain that level of experience.  I’ve purchased several upgrades where I install, make sure things play, then never boot the software again.  GarageBand feels different.  Sort of a cross between Sony’s Acid, Sonar, and Band-in-a-box, and it manages do combine them into something ‘fun’.  What’s interesting is that GarageBand is fairly inexpensive (iLife is like $79!) and Sonar is far more (more than $500!).  It is the difference between software that is entertainment, and business software.  Sonar, one can run a pro studio.  I certainly wouldn’t try it with GarageBand. 

But, even big studios need scratch pads.  I still remember my first trip into a ‘real’ studio, I saw a little four track recorder.  I asked the guy how much for it, figuring he’d NEVER need that with having a full studio available.  He said it wasn’t for sale.  He used that like a notepad because ‘it takes too long to set everything up just to capture an idea’.  I’ve never forgotten that.  Unfortunately, I never really understood it until recently, either.

What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t NEED a full studio for my music.  I can get by with the basics.

Now, why did I say that this story and idea apply to almost all my topics?  Just like anything in life, one must master the basics before going on to the pros.  Most people want to skip the ‘simple stuff’ and go right to the ‘good stuff’.  Unless one is incredibly gifted in that area, one will certainly fail.  And that’s not just about guitar playing.  Programming is another prime example.  Once you learn how the computer and the low level languages work, you can do just about anything.  But, skip that part, and the rest is REALLY tough.

This is a lesson that I seem to keep having to learn myself…  Back to basics!

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2 thoughts on “Using what you’ve got…

  1. Dave, do you have a knacsaying just what I need to hear at the right time.  This blog was great and I just wrote about how it inspired me to get on it and record something "with what I’ve got".

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