Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Everyday Tales of a Home Studio and Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass Mods.

I record many pieces of music that never actually get heard by anyone but me.
In the main the recordings tend to be experiments, usually to do with mic positions, or putting various EQ settings to the test.

Some recordings are instrument tests, some are tests of outboard equipment.

I have recorded the curtains in my back room studio.
There is method in my, apparent, madness.
My old lap-top is beginning to show the strain and the cooling fan kicks in at the slightest provocation.
If I aim the microphone away from the lap-top toward the curtains I can usually loose the sound of the fan, or at least reduce it to the point where it's drowned out by the source signal.
The curtains also help kill the 'liveliness' of the room.
I don't like a completely 'dead' room as I have to waste time adding all manner of different effects to get it to sound as if it were recorded in a 'live' room.

This mic position was jolly inconvenient as it meant I had to start the recording then race round to get in position behind the mic.
Which sometimes ended in disaster.

I now control the recording programme (GarageBand) from my iPad.
I haven't tripped over a single cable, bringing up to 15 linked items of expensive electronic equipment into violent contact with the floor, since I started using this set up.
(The app's called GBTouch BTW)

Which brings me to the Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass.
(Original Posting: Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Slide Bass Demo No: 01)

For all the test recordings, when ever a bass is needed I use the Biscuit Tin and Broom Pole Bass.
I no longer play it with a slide.
After prolonged periods of playing the instrument I've become pretty good at approximately hitting any given note more or less near enough dead on.

Truth is it would make my life easier if it had frets.
I added a contact microphone sometime ago.
It picks up every last scrape and buzz of the fretless device.

I added zip tie frets :

At this point there are three more frets to add to form a diatonic C maj scale.
No sharps, no flats.

That's if the string is tuned to C of course.
It's easy enough to tune the string one semi-tome this way or that and be able to twang along to anything.

Putting the frets on has solved so many of this instruments problems it's difficult to believe it's the same one.
I was even able to remove the damping material I'd used to remove the 'tin-canning' effect.
Linda had been looking for those t-shirts for some time apparently.

It now sounds like this:
TinBass Test-01

Notice how I attempt to play the lead riff from Stanley Clarke's 'School Days'.

I'm always doing that sort of thing....

It's embarrassing.