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Culture Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    05 Jan '14 14:02 / 1 edit
    I just got a Toshiba laptop at a Staples clearance sale, like 300 bucks and it had *Ugh* win 8. So I had it converted back to win 7, 64 bit. Dual CPU's, 8 gigs of ram and a half terabyte HD.

    It cost 100 bucks to convert to 7 and add another 4 gigs of ram (it came with 4). So 400 for the laptop.

    Then I looked around for an audio I/O and found a nice deal on Musician's Friend, a big online and inhouse music store.

    The box I settled on was the Tascam US 1800, it has 8 mic preamps with XLR connectors and other inputs totaling 14.

    It came with Cubase LE5 which worked sort of.

    I could not find how to stick the audio being recorded to a second HD or flash card or SSD in cubase LE5 and Cubase and Tascam would not help me figure it out, Cubase people said it was an OEM software set and they washed their hands of it and Tascam said I would have to contact Cubase for help which was clearly not forthcoming.

    I did go to a few forums for help and got basically no help there.

    Putting audio on a second drive keeps the main HD from whacking itself to death keeping up with the demands of windows, background activities and the audio recording software.

    So I chose a 32 gb flash drive as an experiment, there was one on sale at Best buy for 20 bucks. The I/O cost 280 so 300 for that and 400 for the laptop for a total of 700 bucks.

    I found cubase LE5 to be pathetic, a weakened version of the real thing.

    So I had been using Sonar from Cakewalk since my daughter was going to Berklee college of music in Boston where they had given her Cakewalk 4.5.

    She gave me a copy and I have been using Cakewalk ever since, now I am up to Sonar X1, Cakewalk is up to X3 but I have not upgraded yet since it takes win 7 or 8, won't run on XP any more.

    That was for my desktop system.

    I scrounged up an older copy, Sonar 8, and downloaded it into the laptop (Toshiba) and set up the system for that.

    Sonar 8 allows you to chose the path the audio goes to so I used the flash drive, 32 gigs which gives plenty of room for many recording sessions.

    I had some problems which I figured out and now the system records really well, records at 24 bits and I choose the sample time, I stuck with 44.1 K just to keep compatibility with CD's.

    I also got a copy of Wavelab 6 and that allows editing like cutting dead space at the beginning and end of a recording and lots of other tricks, including being able to line up 20 or more tracks with a set time delay between each track and batch recording them to a CD.

    The whole thing with power cords, two mic cables, 6 mics, laptop, laptop cooler fan, US 1800 all in the box the 1800 came in so it folds down into a nice briefcase sized package, maybe a bit bigger than that but pretty small considering what I have packed in that box!

    Very pleased with the result, my first serious project was a new tune I composed on guitar a couple of weeks ago and last night adding a mandolin track. The piece had fast and slower parts and I had a devilish time getting the timing right on the mandolin but I got it 95% correct.

    So now I am ready to record our little band here in Allentown Pa.

    We play civil war era songs, Johnny comes marching home and 50 others.

    Right now the weather is killing us, no recording this week but I am in the process of making my own CD, my second home project of that nature.

    I have written about 25 tunes mainly on guitar but also a few on mandolin and 5 string banjo.

    Have about half the tunes I need for a second CD now so am working on new tunes and some older ones and some Irish and American Old timey ones for CD #2.

    That's my story and I'm sticking with it
  2. 06 Jan '14 00:14
    You lost me near the beginning, but I have heard some Civil War songs which I found on iTunes U. They're very good, with nice fiddle parts and a very tight band.

    Is any of your stuff online to sample?
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    06 Jan '14 12:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    You lost me near the beginning, but I have heard some Civil War songs which I found on iTunes U. They're very good, with nice fiddle parts and a very tight band.

    Is any of your stuff online to sample?
    My own music is on myspace, 4 original tunes at myspace.com/donjennningsguitar

    I haven't been there for awhile, you can see if it still has the cuts I put there.

    They are decidedly not civil war era tunes. And not exactly even representative of my latest compositions but it shows where I was like 5 or 10 years ago.

    The recording system I put together is what I hope to use to record our little band. Weather has sucked and everyone was gone off visiting over the holidays but now maybe when the weather clears up a bit (predicting a bad cold front coming in today) we will start getting serious with the recording.

    There are some of my family songs at my facebook page, don jennings. There are some tunes I put on Reverbnation but they only allowed 5 or 6 tunes to be put there without paying bucks for a full membership. Still mulling whether to do that or not.

    I have 2 1/2 hours of family music on dropbox but it takes a bit of work to get there, PM me your email address and I send you an invite and you sign up for a free dropbox account and then as a friend you can peruse my whole collection of live and recorded music of me, my wife and a couple of dear buddies now RIP.
  4. 06 Jan '14 12:39
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    My own music is on myspace, 4 original tunes at myspace.com/donjennningsguitar

    I haven't been there for awhile, you can see if it still has the cuts I put there.

    They are decidedly not civil war era tunes. And not exactly even representative of my latest compositions but it shows where I was like 5 or 10 years ago.

    The recording system I put toget ...[text shortened]... whole collection of live and recorded music of me, my wife and a couple of dear buddies now RIP.
    Done!

    I've gone back to basics with music with my old classical piano, singing, clarinet, and theory books. I should make more time for playing and writing, so that's a NYR for me.

    I'd love to perform classical or jazz but that's a long way off right now.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    06 Jan '14 16:18
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    Done!

    I've gone back to basics with music with my old classical piano, singing, clarinet, and theory books. I should make more time for playing and writing, so that's a NYR for me.

    I'd love to perform classical or jazz but that's a long way off right now.
    Done, meaning you listened to my 4 tunes on myspace?
  6. 06 Jan '14 17:52
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Done, meaning you listened to my 4 tunes on myspace?
    No, meaning I messaged you. I'll get the page up now and listen after the 6 o-clock news.
  7. 06 Jan '14 19:32
    They're good! I liked Andronian Android and Heather's Waltz the best, the medieval/Elizabethan styles appealed to me more than the blues and the blues-ish acoustic fingerpicking. HW is very reminiscent of Greensleeves, but that's okay. I felt they could have done with vocals to provide some extra interest, but I know it can be hard to find good singers, plus you need to write good lyrics.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    07 Jan '14 02:30 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by NoEarthlyReason
    They're good! I liked Andronian Android and Heather's Waltz the best, the medieval/Elizabethan styles appealed to me more than the blues and the blues-ish acoustic fingerpicking. HW is very reminiscent of Greensleeves, but that's okay. I felt they could have done with vocals to provide some extra interest, but I know it can be hard to find good singers, plus you need to write good lyrics.
    We had a short lived band a few years back we called 'the Gladsmiths'. We had all of one gig but one of us, Juli Moscovitz, divorced her husband and moved to Sacramento, where she teaches grade school band. We had written a song together, called 'a young man's fancy' and when she left for California, I lost the song. Going through some old DVD's full of backup files, just two days ago I found it again! So we will try to resurrect it.

    Right now Susan is in Hospital with asthma, if she ever gets better we will record it.

    If you peruse the music on dropbox you will find lots of songs, both on stage and recorded at home, as well as my instrumental compositions or decompositions, take your pick

    Heather is my daughter from my first wife and I wrote HW in her honor when she graduated from Berklee College of music in Boston. She went on to do her MA at Wesleyan in composition and is pursuing a Phd now. Her husband is a physicist, from India, Tamil Nadu in the south. His parents emigrated to Brazil when he was little so Portuguese and English are his (and Heathers' main languages.

    They both teach their respective disciplines at the Federal University in Natal, in the north of Brazil.

    I just sent an MP3 of my latest composition I called Silent Garden, a guitar and mandolin duo, to Rick Ruskin, a friend on Facebook. He is a great guitarist. I had a lot of computer problems today. I have 4 working computers, one is a laptop with Sonar and Wavelab for recording and a house computer and my wife's computer and another desktop in the music room for recording.

    So I mentioned to Rick I had a new tune, asked him if he would critique it, he says yes, so I attempt to export my tracks as an MP3 file. No go. Sonar 8 says it is locked out.

    So I went to my music room comp which I knew WAS able to produce MP3's. So it fired up and windows or something is corrupted and couldn't get that one going.

    So I am scrounging around for a flash drive that I can stick at least a WAV file of Silent Garden and stick that flash drive in the laptop and was looking through the old files there and lo and behold, there is a file called MP3 activation from Cakewalk! Totally by accident it turned up. So I ran it and now Sonar 8 is happy, it spit out an MP3 of Silent Garden and I shipped it to Ricks facebook. So now I have to deal with the music room computer that has a big problem with XP.

    At least I was able to do an MP3 of my latest piece, after a couple of hours of screwing around with 4 separate computes! I will send a copy to your email address you gave me.

    Well that didn't work either, may be able to send it from work tomorrow. Bad computer day for me here!
  9. 07 Jan '14 13:22
    ...
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Jan '14 11:09
    Originally posted by darvlay
    ...
    Ah, a comment from the maven of sarcasm....
  11. 08 Jan '14 12:54
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Ah, a comment from the maven of sarcasm....
    I didn't say anything!
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Jan '14 00:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I didn't say anything!
    You didn't have to. I could FEEL your attitude BTW, you'll be happy to know the music PC problem turned out to be my own fault, lesson learned. Somehow I ended up with too many stupid AV's and they never let me out of the opening window till I killed about 8 of them It works a lot better now! I don't remember even uploading the dam things on that PC, I hardly ever go online with it since it is a recording system, RME Hammerfall I/O with dedicated PCI card and firewire connect (Somewhat obsolete now) but I am stuck with an old system till I get a thou or two together to build a proper system.

    I tried to use that PC with Konnect 3, a sampler, piano's, harps, guitars, trumpets, the works. But Konnect wants computers with a minimum of maybe 12 gigs of ram, which you ain't gonna get with XP and 32 bit systems.
    Konnect would load a piano sample, several gigs worth for one piano, VERY realistic but when I tried to actually play tunes with it, hit 3 keys, fine, hit 8 keys together and fast runs, the CPU goes to 100% and freezes, not exactly what you want for a RAM intensive program like that.

    I use a Kurzweil PCX1 keyboard, 88 weighted keys, aftertouch, the works and just went back to its built in piano, not quite as good as Konnect but very good nonetheless.