In the Beginning

Ever since I started seriously playing music four years ago, I have been recording myself. In 2006, I was using Cool Edit Pro on an old PC and the type of mic you use for video games.  For me, recording myself was just a natural part of learning to play music and compose songs.  I liked tracking– I did a lot of harmonizing vocals, and added a fair number of toy xylophone solos.

About the same time, I found myself with an audio engineer for a boyfriend.  He basically insisted that I learn Ableton Live and gave me his old Mac laptop to run it on.  His attitude was something like no girlfriend of mine will be using Cool Edit Pro.  Got me a MOTU ultralite, too.

At first, I was frustrated.  I knew exactly what I was doing on my old equipment!  I only had to plug one thing in!  I couldn’t tell the difference between an XLR and a quarter-inch, nor did I particularly want to.  I just wanted to play music and make nice recordings.  And why did I have to plug something into that little black MOTU box, anyway?  The learning curve was steep and it slowed me down.

Then I got bit.  I don’t know when it happened– probably the first time I quantized my midi track, or maybe the first time I slowed down the tempo so I could play some scorching guitar solo I couldn’t yet do in real time.  I felt a sense of control over my music that I hadn’t felt when I was simply playing.

That’s when I started realizing that I could do this for other people.


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