Record! Record! RECORD!!!

Okay, so I think I have a better plan: I’m just going to use my iPad and record everything on it. I love technology and drool over a giant recording rig and even have some decent gear – I want to focus on writing rather than the software and I think the share feature, along with the simplistic (almost too simplistic in some cases) interface in Garage Band in IOS does it for me.

I say “almost too” because I think there are some small areas where things could be more intuitive and easier to do – even more subtle features and additions, but Apple evolves and I’m sure they realize this is an important area for them and they’ll continue to improve their products in unison with the demand. So back to the recording:

Tonight alone I recorded the basic tracks for about 10 different songs / instrumentals and a few where I have previously written melody or additional parts – I tried to remember them or at least get the basic concept recorded. It was nice and refreshing in a lot of ways and simple. Simple.

I think that’s the problem for me. As I’ve grown older I love complexity in some things but others I see the need for the most simplistic approach possible. Take IT work for instance – I’ve been doing it for over 20 years in numerous different capacities and have worked with everything from System 390 IBM to OS/2 machines and all sorts of nostalgic technologies over my career. It’s been rather interesting in a lot of way but as far as IT work goes – it’s just not a glamorous or even a remotely interesting topic in a lot of ways and only due to the large base of adoption in different areas has the need for information and news of such technologies been in demand. But in IT we strive to simplify and make everything more efficient – you should always look for ways to evolve what you do and make the process and the cost work in simplistic and efficient ways. I think tossing money at problems has been an issue in a lot of small companies and with time and recognition, you can figure out what and where and how to improve most anything.

So I got off track a little and I’ll get right back but the idea is that while I might enjoy a complex passage or entire piece of music and tend to prefer them over all others – I like simplistic ideology when applied to other maintenance and service areas of my life. Like the difference between doing your own laundry or restringing 5 guitars – the time involved is valuable, how much value do you attribute to the time you don’t spend on the more important or productive activities? You can take this really far and the price tends to go up per service although I find there are free or more cost effective ways of doing certain things like having Safeway deliver me 120lbs of cat litter and 200 cans of food for free? Just tell me when you’ll be here!

My method over the last year has been to try to advance my ability as a musician and my trade in which I earn my income – IT. I spend a lot of time reading as well as learning new instruments and exploring chords and scales and time in ways that might change how I think about what I write and play. I see even my more complex instrumentals can have simplified parts that can be stacked to layer a much more diverse level of expression in the melody of the particular piece – and I can do that with a freaking iPad!

I think this is where Apple is really kicking mucho ass. Music recording and with Garage Band and the mountain of apps and accessories already out there that can give you a highly polished representation of your creative efforts, and then share it with friends to help record more or share it to publish! To me, it feels like something I had lost and now I have it back and I can now continue along this interesting path of musical exploration.

So far I’ve rocked out about 25 total simple recordings in Garage Band and I’m going to try to share my first song with someone in collaboration – very exciting! I don’t think I can get the high level of quality that a studio can only do, but to me, this is a great way to work with my crazy brain and way of looking at recording. It works, and it feels like what the doctor ordered.

Simple is just that: Simple. This is that and to me it makes putting my ideas down in a quality way and being able to share them? This is beyond a Star Trek moment to me, this is the now and it is an amazing level of technology we have.

I think the other tablet manufacturers are left way behind in this area and would be prudent to pursue similar passion about music production and sharing. All you have to do is improve the base and enable more creative people and isn’t that more important than anything? We can inspire the creative and enable them with super simple ways of capturing their efforts and giving the world their unique gift. So, yeah, come on other tablet people – get with it! I would have one of each just for the different tastes in their flavorings – make it and we will record!

My current gear:

iPad gen 3 32Gb Wireless only.
Apogee – jam
Garage Band
Guitar Toolkit – Agile Partners

I have the iRig, but I like the gain dial on the jam and I think it just works easier (simple!).

So, I’ve had some problems and sometimes things just don’t work and I need to reboot it all and start over, but not often – nothing is perfect! Soon I’ll hopefully be able to share some of these new recordings and some of the new stuff that I’m doing in my collaboration!


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