Robs bloody home-made mp3 repository (and Spork's vids)

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:18 pm

leafDrums is cool, and cheap. There are other, similar, "drum machine" programs out there that let you build up a single wav file that contains your backing track.

The majority of musical backing stuff I do is done with a program called Octamed, which is a "module", "tracker"-based program that I have an affinity for, from my Amiga days. You can get it for the PC. It's pretty cheap, but it's music-by-numbers (quite literally). I no longer care much for Octamed for a variety of reasons (it's counter-creative, it's more like rote-programming than expression) but until I find a better replacement (ie, get better at playing keyboards and find a half-decent cheap midi sequencer), I'll live with it.

I use Cubasis to make the basic recordings. Although the version I've got is crippled (it was the "lite" version that came with my recording desk), it does the basics and that's all I need.

I use n-track, which I can't praise highly enough, to arrange and mix the recordings. n-track is basically a cheap but powerful multi-track recording studio for the PC, which allows you to record and playback lots of inputs at a time (soundcards permitting). It supports VST plugins which means you can have cool reverb, echo, dealy, chorus etc - the plugins are industry standard and work a little like photoshop plugins.

I bought a budget "proper" mic (cost about £80, around $110 but $1=£1 for this kind of stuff, we're always getting the shaft here in Europe). Best thing I bought. If you don't have a half-decent mic, get one, it's the best thing you'll ever buy. It can make a world of difference to what you're doing. I've now got both an AKG and a Shure general-purpose vocal mic. The next best thing I ever invested in was a "angled" mic stand. Now I can direct and support the mic exactly where I want it - in front of an amp, in front of a stool, in the corner of the room - wherever. They're cheap and another vital investment. (The other vital thing I bought was a little portastudio-type USB recording desk, but if you've got a decent soundcard or two in your PC then you can get by without this - my earlier mp3s were recorded either via an SB live or, later, an SB Audigy).

Armed with a backing-track program, some recording software, a reasonable mic, a stand, a midi sequencer (I guess the freeware version of cakewalk would do, although I'm midi-shy and usually avoid that kind of deal), and some patience anything is possible. Although sadly, no combination of the above has yet improved my voice. I couldn't hit the same note twice if a night with Kelly Brook was riding on it.



And thanks everyone for the nice words. But really, if you haven't checked them out, the best ones are "Our Summer", "Let Me", "Herself, Today" and "The Day She Went Away". Put "Want You Back" and "Affinity" in there too, and you've got the half-dozen recordings I'd keep from the stuff I've already done.
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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:15 pm

New recordings done today (when I should have been working). Done pretty much live, busker-style, with only 1 track having a guitar overdub (Wasted Again).

I think I'm getting the recording process sorted now, definitely starting to find it easier to get stuff down onto hard disk. The mixing is getting a little better too. I need to start concentrating on the performances now. :-)

Rob's Main Music Page


http://www.citadeloftruth.com/members/r ... dagain.mp3 - Wasted Again (3Mb)

http://www.citadeloftruth.com/members/r ... ersent.mp3 - Letter Never Sent (3Mb)

http://www.citadeloftruth.com/members/r ... ghtnow.mp3 - Right Now (5Mb)


With sincere apologies to Plut, who won't get anything new for Two Bit this week as a result of me fucking around with this stuff instead.
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Smokin_Jayz
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Postby Smokin_Jayz » Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:11 pm

I'm going to be recording some songs around christmas time and was just wondering if there's any good free recording software out there?

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:33 pm

*sigh*

n-track is pretty cheap.


I am absolutely convinced that sometimes I make posts that nobody ever bothers reading. If you were all figments of my imagination, I'd fucking un-imagine you lot, sometimes. :-(

From this very topic:

http://www.ultimate-wurlde.com/phpBB2/v ... 4766#64766

http://www.ultimate-wurlde.com/phpBB2/v ... 4833#64833

http://www.ultimate-wurlde.com/phpBB2/v ... 4029#94029 (yes, this very FUCKING PAGE!!!!)
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Postby . » Sat Nov 22, 2003 8:43 pm

Rob wrote:With sincere apologies to Plut, who won't get anything new for Two Bit this week as a result of me fucking around with this stuff instead.

That's it! You're fired!
Speak nothing of my slacking..

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Smokin_Jayz
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Postby Smokin_Jayz » Sat Nov 22, 2003 9:41 pm

Rob wrote:*sigh*

n-track is pretty cheap.


I am absolutely convinced that sometimes I make posts that nobody ever bothers reading. If you were all figments of my imagination, I'd fucking un-imagine you lot, sometimes. :-(



You need to chill out and have a wank or something Rob. I said free. None of what you specified are free, therefore, you did not ever answer my question, as I obviously remember my previous posts here. I have a shareware version of n-track which will hopefully do the trick. And if push comes to shove I'll use a 4-track, although I'd much rather have my songs on a cd.

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sat Nov 22, 2003 10:04 pm

grrrrr....

Look, okay you wanted free. Fine. Whatever.

I'm just annoyed that my thread in here becomes the 'ask for free shit' thread.

Does anyone follows Thorn's contributions with "hey, anyone got a notepad replacement?".
Anyone follow Halo's contributions with "hey, anyone know where I can get a camera?"



Maybe you're right, maybe I should just chill. I should just know better, by now...
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Postby skyknyt » Sat Nov 22, 2003 10:27 pm

Well, we could continuously say how much your work is fucking awesome and mention that we have a Rob Uttley folder on our account at NASA, but we wouldn't want to make you feel too good about yourself. A happy Rob is a non-posting Rob.

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sat Nov 22, 2003 10:36 pm

<feels like a cunt>
Never mind me, I'm just having a Kathy evening.

Sorry folks.
</feels like a cunt>


You have a rob folder at NASA? Woah. That sounds like something I could use in my advertising. :-)
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Postby Bag of Ass » Sat Nov 22, 2003 11:06 pm

I feel like a cunt, too. Know where I can get one for free?

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Smokin_Jayz
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Postby Smokin_Jayz » Sat Nov 22, 2003 11:11 pm

Image

Hey man, I ask because I like your tunes and you seem to know what you're doing. Sheesh, take a friggin compliment. I wouldn't ask if I thought you wouldn't know. And regardless, I was just asking in this thread since it has a lot of knowledgable music folk, the question wasn't directly related to you man.

I never meant any disrespect or harm, I just wanted to find some free software to help me record some music ;)

Can you blame a brother for being cheap?

Edit: just so there's no confusion, I wasn't asking you for software, but if you knew of any good free software...you know...freeware...

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sat Nov 22, 2003 11:23 pm

Sorry Jayz - I was in the wrong to be so touchy.

Nope; I can't blame you for wanting a cheap route. Plut posted something a while back with a link to a company that was doing free stuff, I think. Here's some stuff that might be useful - I don't really know 'cos I haven't got any experience with 'em:

http://www.digidesign.com/ptfree/ - free Pro Tools evaluation

http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/win95/MULTITRACK_RECORDING/ - a list of suggestions for Win95-XP

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/about.php (I think this might have been the one that Plut was referring to)


PS - I'm flattered by your screen shot. I didn't realise that anyone actually played the nowhere man jam thing, though. It was meant as a throwaway joke.... :-)
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Postby Smokin_Jayz » Sat Nov 22, 2003 11:24 pm

Cheers.

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Postby DampCat » Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:29 am

Nowhere Man Jam rules!

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Postby mtdew » Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:28 pm

New tracks?!

I'm happy with all three, honestly. Right Now is currently front runner for me, but I think I'm being entirely arbitrary. It's clear you're getting better at recording, especially the voice bits. Contrast this current batch to Let Me or Herself Today... it's an impressive leap, though it's been over a year, granted.

God, that's crazy. You've been a regular in my playlists for over a year, and a soundtrack to these odd nights when insomnia and caffeine mix to a mellow, strug out, writing mood. Bunyip's Lullaby is also floating around in the Rob Uttley playlist. . .

I believe with these three songs you've passed the hour mark in CoT released recordings. Damn.
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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sun Nov 23, 2003 1:18 pm

Thank you! For a while I've been trying to resist the urge to go back and redo the older ones; I can play them better now, and I would record them better too. Almost by definition the old ones are a bit more polished in my head, because I've had time to think about what I'd do to "finish" them, but... :-)

I'm surprised at how down-beat they often turn out too - I'm not sure why they do, but even the upbeat ones seem to come out tinged with something slightly dark and 'unwell'. The guitar playing will always be ropey ("distinctive" is a euphemistic phrase I've heard used a few times to describe my playing). It will always be that way because I'm too lazy to learn any proper technique, and because I'm just not very good anyway. But I like the fact that people say it's quite recognisable. I like to take that in a positive way. Some of my favourite guitarists aren't actually very good. :-)

My biggest frustration is the singing. I can't sing the same note twice, nor even keep the same pitch through a note. I have lots of ideas for the songs but can't actually perform them, which is incredibly frustrating and annoying.

However, Plutster has sort-of convinced me that I ought to keep singing them myself, rather than find someone else to do it. If I'm being honest, I'd rather sing them myself than hear someone else interpret them anyway; in many cases they're pretty personal to me, really.

So I've looked for singing coaches in the Chester area but not found anything suitable yet. Everything seems to be geared up for classical stuff, or for people who want to be popstars. Or stage-school kind of stuff, which I'm a bit old for (and not interested). I'm too fat to dance and too self-absorbed to act; my idea of a tap-dance would be a morose shuffle between the aisles of the local DIY centre.

I just want someone to teach me how to breathe properly, to repeatedly find a given note and hold it.


I don't really know why I do it; I'm not trying to achieve anything really. Perhaps score some online kudos. I dunno - I'm not convinced, because I was doing this for years before I ever got online.
I guess that I just really enjoy doing it, it's incredibly cathartic for me. The more I fuck around playing stuff, the less prone I am to get miserable and wind people up. Building up something quite complicated like "Almost Out Of Time" is a draining, exhaustive (but fun) process that is ultimately much more rewarding than any programming job. It's also very very time consuming - there are reasons why I don't do much of that electronic midi type stuff; the guitar is a much quicker 'fix'. I can have an idea and knock it out in minutes with the guitar, not the hours and hours that the electronic stuff requires. All in all, it's just a positive thing to do with my energy, which otherwise would probably be turned to something more destructive and unhealthy.


Bah, I'm rambling again. Sorry.

To the point, then: Most importantly (and best of all): I continue to be surprised and flattered that you guys actually listen to these things more than once - I guess I'd just assumed that maybe a few of you would download them in politeness and then gently move on.

For other people to get something (hmmm, what I'm not sure) out of the deal too is pretty damn cool. And it makes me want to try harder next time.
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Postby mtdew » Sun Nov 23, 2003 1:59 pm

You know, if my computer were closer to my bed, I'd go to sleep to your music most nights. It was that way when I lived in South Carolina. Hell, there really wasn't a difference between my computer chair and my bed there...

It's a soothing sound, which isn't just the accoustic guitar speaking. That, combined with the somewhat darker shades of emotion from the lyrics keeps me listening even when I'm not trying to lose consciousness.

But now my computer is further away... so I have to fall asleep to my case fan. Not nearly as good.

Oh, there's been one other playlist that can knock my out so thoroughly... I mean this as a compliment. It isn't a bordem but some emotional shift your music evokes that allows me to relax. Right, the sound track. Not entirely sure what you'll personally like off this, but you might find a jewel or two, and hopefully the individual tracks don't cause you to wretch. If you do decide to check any of it out, please, do try to forget the artist. Most of the bands within this mix I don't listen to hardly at all... but for some reason the tracks combined work well for me. Er... here you go:Quiet You!
beware the angry can of mountain dew
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Rob
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Postby Rob » Sun Nov 23, 2003 2:20 pm

Woah, I've not got anything by most of those artists. Nick Drake and Elliot Smith, sure, but.... I'll start having a trawl.

Cool. Thanks, 'Dew. That should keep me out of mischief tonight...
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Postby . » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:28 pm

I keep downloading them, they keep disappearing. I have those three songs in 4 places SOMEWHERE on my computer with the "Find" option not working.

Edit: Well, there they are ( one set, at least ).. in the My Pictures folder. Of course..

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Rob
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Postby Rob » Thu Nov 27, 2003 4:57 pm

I'm psyching myself up to record "Just Don't Believe", "Glass Between Us", "Two Big Mouths" and possibly "Angelina" this coming weekend....

Just so you're warned, like.

I've bought new strings for the electric guitar, and some new ones to go on the acoustic (which reminds me - another thread I need to start later on tonight when I get home, to do with the guitars).

My cold is getting better fast now (I sweated it out last night) and I hope to be able to sing, sorry, caterwaul again by the weekend.
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