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Microphone Choices

The Author playing Baritone Sax – The Motown Review

Which microphone choice?

Let’s look at a few options.

It really depends upon what we are doing. There are lots of microphones on offer so we have many choices. Here we will discuss just four of the microphones that I use and these fall into two types. Condensor and Dynamic.

For stage -Shure SM58, Shure SM57, AKG D5 or Pro35cw.

For Recording – Audio Technica AT2035 and Shure SM58, Shure SM57, AKG D5 read on for reasons I would choose these.

Condensor microphones

Photo taken with Focos

Condenser microphones are capable of picking up higher frequencies. They do require power to work though – often called phantom power. Phantom power is typical around 48V or less and is supplied through the xlr cable from the desk or transmitter, check that your desk has phantom power without which the mic will not work. They are not as rugged as dynamic mics and can be more affected by excessive humidity and condensation.

In a cold environment the players breath will condensate inside brass instruments and may drip onto the condenser capsule, this can cause dropouts crackles pops and a host of other problems.

Audio Tecnica AT2035

The Audio Technica AT2035 has a great sound for a relatively inexpensive mic, it has a switchable 80Hz high pass filter to remove rumble and a switchable 10db pad if your instrument is too “hot”. I use it primarily for recording saxophone but it is versatile enough to record vox and acoustic guitar.

It is a condenser mic and must have phantom power. It is great for vocals and capture the upper frequencies of your voice with clarity. Its sensitivity and pickup pattern make it harder to use on stage as it may feed back especially so if monitors are in close proximity to the mic.

Radio microphones

Photo taken with Focos

When playing a saxophone on stage and playing into a microphone on a stand the saxophonist is restricted in their movements. The sax has to stand in the correct position just in front of the mic. This restricts the players movements and limits eye contact with the rest of the band. The beauty of a radio mic is the freedom it affords the player. It clips to the bell of the mic and the transmitter is worn on the hip. The performer is now free to wander any where in range of the receiver.

Audio Technica Pro35w

The quality of the Pro35cw works well enough on stage but would show its limitations if used for recording. It is a condenser mic (condenser mic have capacitors in them which is why they need a small electric current to make them work) so the caution about getting the capsule wet still applies. In this case the phantom power is tiny and supplied by batteries in the transmitter.

Dynamic microphones

Photo taken with Focos

Dynamic microphones are rugged, they do not require additional power and can be seen in use on most stages in the world.

The Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is an excellent mic and is generally used for vocals. Its design has not changed in years and so is a tried and trusted microphone. It comes with a filter which is there to help stop the pressure wave caused by saying or singing words that start with a “P” or “T” Its supporters range from the likes of U2, Henry Rollins, Patti Smith and Sheryl Crow to name just a few. It can be used for both recording and stage where its ability to reject feedback is welcomed by sound engineers all over the globe. On stage it has a warm solid sound. Ive seen models with significant dents in the windshield still functioning perfectly.

Photo taken with Focos

The Shure SM57

The Shure SM57 is very similar and due to the nature of its “windshield” can get really close to its sound source. It is great for snare drums, brass and wood wind and a favourite for miking up guitar amps too.

The AKG D5

Another Mic that I have used which gives a brighter sound and picks up the upper frequencies of the saxophone is the AKG D5 seen here below. The design of the diaphragm is such that there is an increased sensitivity to the high frequencies and because it is a dynamic mic there is no need for power. It is an ideal microphone for street performances where it can be used with battery powered amplifiers such as the Roland “Street Cube Ex”

Photo taken with Focos

Shock Mounts

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels.com

Recording requires use of a shock mount to help isolate the mic from low rumble which can travel up the mic stand to the microphone.

Music Keyboards and controllers.

This week we take a quick look at keyboards.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A real piano has many qualities some of which can be simulated with an electronic version.

The most expensive keyboards will have weighted keys, some of these even have the weights arranged across the keyboard with proportional weighting so bass LH keys are heavy in action and the treble or topmost keys are lighter in action. Yamaha call this a Graded Hammer Effect (GHE) It may well depend on your intended use for the keyboard – some users actually prefer the lack of weight in the keys. I prefer weighted now that I have got used to them.

Some keys use finishes that simulate piano keys which used to be made from ebony and ivory for the black and white keys. They may have speakers and built in sounds or Voices. The stage piano below P255 has several types of Piano, acoustic emulation and electric. It also has organ, strings, choir, bass, harpsichord etc. it also has 4 levels of reverb and can record LH and RH parts to onboard memory or usb stick. It has a metronome, and several variable speed (bpm) drum patterns and built in speakers or 2 headphone sockets for evening playing when you wish to play silently from the rest of the household. It will take an mini stereo jack plug to play from smart devices too. The sound is great with the quality that Yamaha are renowned for. It will accept foot pedals for sustain, soft and sostenuto. It also has a three fader eq, and The middle sostenuto pedal allows those notes that are being played to remain sustained while other notes played after will be unaffected. A lot of people will just used the sustain pedal supplied with the Piano as I do.

Yamaha P255 Stage Piano

Keyboards with Control surfaces

Novation produce several sizes of keyboard in the Launchkey range here are two.

Novation Launchkey Mini

The mini may be perfect for users short of desk space where the small footprint will be ideal. Also for laptop users on the move it can fit in your rucksack. It usually comes bundled with Ableton Lite and a selection of other sample libraries and utilities. Check the current bundles as these may change depending when you read this blog. It has 25 mini keys and 16 launchpads which are used for launching clips or playing drums, with midi it is possible to connect the DAW to the keyboard allowing many parameters to be controlled giving a unique organic arrangement that you can call your own.

Novation Launchkey 49

This is the keyboard I favour for DAW work, 49 full size keys, 9 faders, 8 pan pots, 16 square multicoloured launchpads, and who doesn’t like lights?

Novation launchkey MkII

below is the new layout of the Mk 3

Novation Launchkey 49 Mk III

App for playing from notation

Flowkey This app (supplied when I bought my P255 with 6months free access) is great at fulfilling that thirst for playing some “graded” pieces when you have done you usual piano practise. The app displays a plan view of a pianist hands to help with correct fingering technique, it has a searchable database of songs that are graded by a traffic light system. The sheet music is displayed in a scrolling format which is easy to follow and the app will follow your LH or RH playing. I use the bluetooth connection which is faultless. I use this to augment my usual practise. Great for playing tunes that are arranged by ability. Seeing fingering is a great way to ensure that my fingers are correctly placed until I become better at judging my own fingering.
Although I have used keyboards for years in my DAW work and I do use lots of chords in a style which I was taught at the Yamaha music school in the eighties. I now wish to learn to play classical piano rather than my busking style, not as easy a transition as one might have hoped for.
Naturally the left hand independence is a challenge as is the bass clef reading. I am a good treble clef reader (saxophone) and can play pieces on sight which is a necessity when playing with big bands or concert bands.

Yamaha MDBT201 Blue tooth midid Adapter

Blue Tooth connection.
The P255 piano comes with a downloadable app for iOS. It allows voice selection, recording, tuning to non standard tunings such as equal temperament to 440Hz plus or minus about 27Htz, which may be needed to tune to another acoustic piano that has gone slightly out of tune. There are also Pure Major, Pure Minor, Pythagorean, Meantone, Werkmeister and Kimberger. I use a blue tooth midi from my Yamaha P255 which works perfectly. I believe the Yamaha P515 which replaces the P255 now has Bluetooth built in as standard. The app also allows you to record to both the onboard and a usb memory stick so that you can transfer your latest audio and midi to use elsewhere. This is great when inspiration takes you somewhere and you just know that come the morning you will have forgotten the piece. This a beautiful instrument although quite heavy with its built in speakers.

Yamaha P125 portable piano

This P125 is a more affordable version which may suit those with a smaller budget.

Yamaha P125 Portable Piano

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Impulse responses? Click and collect!

Make your own reverbs spaces for free? Just click and collect it’s that simple!

If you have a convolution reverb you must read on.

This rather uninspiring interface of the Space Designer cloaks a really excellent convolution reverb in Logic Pro 10.5

Space designer in Logic Pro and Revenance in Cubase are both convolution reverbs. This means that they can load an impulse response (IR) and build the reverb properties upon that. Once you have done that you can treat the audio with that impulse response.

Cubase allows you to add photograph of the venue which is a nice touch.

This means anywhere we can record a hand clap or a click from a clicker (see below) we are able to convert the IR from that recording to emulate the venue reverb properties.

Hand Clicker

Once the IR has been loaded you can still tweak a number of settings, these can include a delay or a starting point at which point you want the reverb to begin operating after the audio is played.

Here are two impulse responses loaded into Logic Pro 10.5

When recording in any space be it wood, canyon or even a cave, we can vary the recording by how close to the source we place our microphone. We can also affect the recording by the choice of microphone which also will colour our sound.

Every room will have its own IR including the one where we have recorded our vocal or guitar. It is helpful to understand that our choice of location for recordings of voice and guitar will have can be critical. It is better to have no reverb in our recording area rather than a bad reverb as it becomes increasingly difficult to remove reverbs once they have been recorded along with the performance, and to be clear I mean the vocal or guitar etc.

Some studios rooms will have a live area and a “not so live” area. The choice of furnishings and surfaces will absorb or reflect audio. These reflections are what makes our reverb impulse responses so useful. The convolution reverb ingeniously incorporates those responses and thereby recreates the ambiance from the original space.

So start making your own recordings, avenues and alleyways, city squares and subways. Be creative and apply your own unique reverbs space to your next project. Seek permission in museums or public places and be prepared to add a link to them as a thank you.

Here is the equipment used in the making of the video and the blog

Tascam DR-100

Audio Tecnica AT2035

Scarlett 2i2 Audio interface

Desk Boom Mic Stand

Pop Filter

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Drums, flams and paradiddles …

The Youtube Video to accompany this tutorial is further down, I suggest reading through this page first if you have time before going to the Video.

Do you want to learn how to program your own drums. This tutorial session is relevant for Garage band, Logic Pro, Cubase. Most other DAWs will have a similar work flow. It will also be helpful if you have an electronic or acoustic drum kit and are wanting to know the basics of your first rhythm on the drum kit.

Sometimes you want a really simple drum loop. Let’s start at the beginning. There is also a drum kit designer tutorial built into Logic but for now we will just focus on creating a midi region to create a rhythm.

For this rhythm we shall use three parts of the kit. The bass drum or lick as it is often referred to, The Snare drum and the Hi-hats. This is what the standard pop or rock beat sounds and looks like in a DAW.

Created in Logic Pro

The Orange rectangles shown below indicate when the notes are played.

Music is divided into groups of repeated sections, we like the predictability of the repetition, it’s like the heart beat, probably the very first sound we ever heard.

On a standard kit these are the drums/notes that would make up most of our patterns

I use the duplicate notes in red when I want to simulate LH or RH stick to give a more natural sound.

Below is what the sheet music would look like for the drum rhythm. Often the bass and snare (black notes which in this example are shown as 1/4 notes or crotchets) are shown going down. There is no official way to notate drums but providing a clear legend at the beginning is invaluable if you wish to hand out the sheet music to a performer. See the link at the bottom for a great reference book if you want to “brush up” on drum notation.

If you don’t need to create sheet music then you can ignore the notation side of things, it is not necessary to be able create great drum loops.

We are going to use the most common sound or rhythm of four beats to the bar. This is known as “four four” often seen as a fraction like 4/4 but usually placed vertically.

If we count 1 2 3 4 that is a bar. If we count that 4 times that would be like counting to the first line of the rock & roll song Johnny B Goode. (Which incidentally is on a Nasa’s Voyager 1 travelling at 38000mph heading off to who knows where as we speak.) the rest of the song adds up to 12 bars and is often used in blues, known as a 12 bar blues.

The speed of the counting is what we call the tempo. It has been said that faster tempos makes us excited and slower beats calm us down. Possibly related to the heart beat rate when we are at rest or excited. A good starting place for pop music is around 120 beats per minute expressed as 120bpm. An easy way to feel this is to count in seconds and add a beat in between. It takes 1sec to say “One-thousand” so when we count aloud “One-thousand, Two-thousand” our Beats 1 and 3 land on the “One” and the “Two” the video will demonstrate it far better, I hope…

These two Beats 1 and 3, land on a healthy heart rate, (a healthy heart rate is about 60bpm which I believe is more than a coincidence) we use a bass drum to emphasise these two beats and the first is slightly stronger, we call this first beat the down beat.

The other two beats we emphasise with a snare drum. So our count goes like this 1,2,3,4 or BASS, snare, bass, snare.

The snare drum is unique on the drum kit as it has a set of springs underneath that can be put into tension with a lever and they rest tightly on the bottom of the drum skin. When the snare is on we get a snappy sound with a crisp delay. For latin rhythms we can often play with that off to get another tom tom sound. You can see the snare wires at the bottom of the drum picture below

Photo by Carlos Coronado

Listening to most pop and rock drums you will hear a “T” beat in between these main beats and this is the hi-hat. Listen again to the audio file above. In the image below the Hi-hats can be seen on the right hand side. This one is shown in the open position.

The hi-hat has two horizontal cymbals operated with a foot pedal that allows you to hold them closed, open, or any combination in between. We will use the closed hi-hat sound. This we play 8 times in a bar, we call these 8ths. In the notation above the top line of Xs indicate where we play a closed hi-hat sound.

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Drum Notation by Norman Weinberg

Ableton Live 10

Cubase

FL Studio

Video and Studio equipment I use.

Audio Tecnica AT2035 studio mic

Scarlett 2i2 Audio interface

Yamaha MG20xu

Desk Boom Mic Stand

Sennheiser HD200 this model is the closest to my HD205 that I could see.

Let the music play on

Violin player in the sun
@mitifotos

2020

2020 the year that keeps on giving!

As a full time musician times have been hard, I mean really hard! It’s enough to make even me take up the violin. (seriously you wouldn’t want that!) In fact I along with many others have done exactly that, well not exactly, but yes, Clarinets, Ukuleles, Saxophones, guitars basses, drums, you name it, if it can be blown, twanged or struck we have all had a go.

How to fill the void

Violin player in despair

Unfortunately for some this year has had the opposite effect. No more blowing, strumming, twanging or striking unless it is our heads against the wall. As musicians we by nature have spent years on our own practising our craft so we are not afraid of solitude and hard work, but along with the natural bias toward solitary periods their is an insatiable desire to connect!

Many musicians earn their living by performing, composing, arranging, teaching and street performances all of these have brought the art of musical expression to the public – ever keen to support that which makes all of our lives worth living.

Most of these avenues had been removed this year! Teaching had to be adapted to deliver the syllabus on line, and the courses we have all taken for the protection of vulnerable members of our society had to be revisited to make sire that the criteria was being satisfied by the new delivery medium. Insurances had to be checked to include the new circumstances and the Musicians Union have been ever helpful in all of these career adaptations. Yes its been a very very very strange year.

Cello player surrounded by orchestra

Music brings peace, healing, both laughter and tears and it brings us together. The one thing that we have struggled with this year is being together. Now just when we start to put shows together it has unfortunately coincided with another spike in the pandemic. Rule of six and all that the winter month can throw at us.

Some hidden benefits

Close up of coffee and computer and music keyboards

We have zoomed, Skyped, practised new skills, learnt about green screens, how to make a video, and how not to make a video 🙂 Playing a saxophone in the shower – don’t even ask!

Adaptation has been the order of the day. We have come together virtually to make recordings and presentations to satisfy that need to create the connection. Many of my students – as most teachers of adults will know – become friends and share similar desires to perform and so these past months I have found myself tuning in to my students performances whilst starting the day with a round of toast and black coffee, and it has been wonderful!

Saxophonist playing
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

So thank you to those who have sought to keep up with the connection. Some of my groups pioneered the digital zoom sessions and found ways to keep up the communication via playing in turn and also hosting quizzes on line.

mobile phone with communication apps on it

Others joined me with a zoom version of my usual format, and still others supported me even though not joining in with any of the new digital sessions, I have had many different emotions this year, grateful, elevated, annoyed, full of energy, and at at other times despair, yep, I’m human… no really, I am!

Blogging, and other outlets!

So I find myself with a moment of time to turn over the topsoil of what has been a very, very, very strange year.

I remember hearing that phrase early on and I guess my creative flywheel was still in full tilt so inwardly I though “a bit theatrical, that” but here we are in the autumn and I acknowledge, yes, it has been a very strange year, oh my goodness and has it just!

Working long hours from home has been my way of surfing the strangeness, late night TV box sets for when I feel the days creative juice has dried out, and also certain in the knowledge that there will not be a last minute contract through the digital mailbox requesting a surprise gig or lesson that needs to be fitted in, I have happily concluded a couple of series in the early hours, my wife ever used to my gigging antics sees no difference in my nocturnal arrivals and asks the usual questions… has the dog been out, are the lights off, doors locked et al

So as we prepare for this next foray into our Autumnal Calendar it may not be too early to start rehearsing for that winters night performance, either by the log fire, or the webcam or however we are able to connect with each other, keep reaching out and let the music play on.

Young lady reaching out to the camera surrounded by lights
Reach out, I’ll be there!

My arrangements on SMPpress are available under the name ArboretumSunday, along with thousands of other composers.
As an Affiliate member and contributor I am pleased to be able to offer Sheet music from both myself and thousands of other Composers and arrangers.
Use the link above to enjoy an amazing collection of superb arrangements for you to start playing straight away! These arrangements can be downloaded now for you to play.

Saxophone on sheet music.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Dandruff in the studio?

You know when you get new black socks and specks appear on the carpet where you remove your shoes (or slippers – if you like a bit of comfort) well, my wife ever vigilant in keeping up my appearance (what do you mean not that vigilant!) constantly was picking out black specs from my hair and beard after my time in the studio.

Being a man of certain years my hair is a little bit salt and peppered😝 so the said specks show up, also, certain that –unless life has unleashed yet another twist of fate where the dandruff of my youth has returned in a deep black form – we had to get to the bottom of this!

Yes you guessed it, disintegrating headphone cups!

Seinheiser headphone ear cups

We found the culprit to be my tracking headphones. The covers were starting to disintegrate. As also was the headband.

Headband disintegrating.

These headphones are great for tracking. This is when you want to keep the audio from you headphones from leaking into the microphones – which in a studio are super sensitive. They can pick up a mouse with belly ache in the hallway. 😳

I could put up with it but as I give zoom lessons from my studio I don’t want “black snow” to detract from my delivery. I have studio lighting and HD webcams so I can’t even disguise the fact with fuzzy imaging. 🙄

The headphones work really well and Ive worn them in nicely so no way was I going to bin them. They were really tight to begin with. Not all headphones are repairable so I checked to see if there were any spares available and yea! So I ordered some new covers and fortunately the process is relatively simple with just one very important thing to watch out for – hence this blog.

The ear cups are changed by first prising off the old cups, looking at the new cups I worked out the best way to do it noting where the plastic barbs were arranged.

The ear cups were replaced really easily.

The headband is glued on, take care when removing as the middle section may be stuck to the inner connecting cable as mine was. Mine had a healthy coil of cable which I narrowly avoided ripping out but it was firmly stuck to the headband. You can see it in the centre of the picture below.

Coil of wire was stuck to the headband!
Out with the old in with the new.
New cups!
New headband fitted.
All repaired and ready for action.

So pleased to have my headphones back to near mint condition. I have kept the old cups as I have a cunning plan to replace the covering with black heavy denier nylon! This could be interesting, however these should keep me going for another five years at least!

#DIY #HomeStudio #Headphones #

Hindsight is 2020

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Hi friends, several things to share with you all, as you know this year has been… shall we say slightly different, it has been referred to as  “2020 – the year that keeps on giving” 

So, after a summer together here in Cherry, and being so grateful for our garden and lovely home that has been our oasis in these strange times we are preparing for the Autumn and Winter.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As you know like most musicians the opportunities just dropped off the radar, even the fallback position of street performing was removed, it was a crazy situation and if we had been living hand to mouth as we did in the early days of our lives things could have been very different indeed, however being over sixty has its rewards: yes, it does have some benefits besides the aching bones and creaking joints. 

My word for this year has been determination and however hard it’s been and it has been hard, I have mastered several new skill sets. Zoom, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve 16, green screens, creating interesting content and accepting for most of us mere mortals that two hours is too long for an on-line meeting however much one loves the surject. And the list goes on…

August, I needed a holiday, so I took off the whole month only to be offered work which I couldn’t turn down. We went to Scotland, a holiday which we were never sure was going to happen.

We differ over which item on this picture is essential for our holiday!

We booked it last year and both our children came with us, it was remote, sunny, surrounded by wildlife and different in many ways to other summer holidays. We had booked a cottage complete with cooked breakfasts and would normally spend most of our holiday sight-seeing and eating out at the most leisurely speed possible.  The holiday went ahead but unfortunately the restrictions meant that no breakfasts would be served and we ate out, once. 

It rained once but it did make breakfast interesting.

The cottage we stayed in had no cooker but did have a toaster a kettle and a microwave so not to be undone we took along out camping stove and cooked our own breakfasts outside… we could have complained we could have been downhearted but we were together, warm, well fed and happy and it will be a holiday we will never forget. 

We were determined to make it work, sleeping arrangements were adjusted to accommodate snoring. Our fifteen year old Westie with her amazing youthfulness tired herself out, although we hadher carry bag with us, we let her enthusiasm take preference over our better judgment. My daughter and I arrived home from a predicted 10.5 mile walk, some of it up and down a mountain (but that is a another story). The map disagrees with me!

We arrived back at the cottage where my son and wife had been for the day staying reading and taking it in turns to comfort our little dog Sophie who had spent most of the day either shaking or very lethargic. We decided to take her to the vets, they were brilliant and the following day Sophie bounced back but we never again let her do all the walking and she spent half her time being ferried around in her bag, she never complained. So, with determination we made the very best of what was a very different holiday. 

Unsurprisingly as a musician I can be in touch with my emotions and can be brought to tears by the most abstract thoughts, I don’t apologise for this however as the press releases subsided and we looked back over the summer I was completely taken by surprise when a replay of Boris’s request “you must – stay at home” brought a tear to my eye.

I guess the stresses of the lockdown had been there hidden away and I had been determined to survive in every way I could. I hope you all have come through unscathed but no doubt for some this summer will have not passed without loss of one kind or another, loss of liberty, of fellowship, of making music together, and for some it will have been worse.

Photo taken with Focos

September, hurrah! Back to school, and on day one my wife comes home having fallen in the school carpark – now sporting a very bruised arm, A&E agreed, bruised and also broken. Another six weeks at home is the usual diagnosis, does this never end?

Three school staff today with broken arms today in A&E

Apparently not, she was the third school staff member with a broken arm that day.

Things will get back to normal, it may be a New Normal for some time, so chins up and we will get together again and make music.

In my year of determination, I have created about thirty educational music videos on YouTube site (search on YouTube for FretsnReedsif you’ve not seen any) I have also started these blogs which are on my FretsnReeds.com

If you want to benefit from my educational outpouring please will you subscribe on YouTube

Subscribing on YouTube is free as is following this blog, however on a blog we call it follow. Subscribing does a few things for you; it means that you will get a reminder that I have released another piece of information that without which your life would be incomplete 😎 and for me it allows certain avenues which are withheld until I reach one hundred subscribers. I am determined to reach that milestone and you can help me.

Face to face facilitating. We are looking at ways to re-introduce our get togethers but it must be the right thing at the right time, here’s looking to the New Normal, and for group members we will contact you through the usual channels.

Look out for my new logo! I’m excited on the inside but my game face isn’t showing it, yeah right, you know me better than that. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon.

FretsnReeds.com

I must dash now, I have another video how-to in the making. lets all look forward to music making and getting together.

In… or out the box?

Logic Pro 10.5

To create your masterpiece you have many choices!

Lets simplify things a lot!

Today’s choices are, DAW software will be Logic Pro 10.5, we will produce the whole project in the box, it will be a classical piece, the subject will be a chase theme.

Behringer X touch Control surface

As pleasant as it is to have extra equipment to control the creative process, all you need is a computer and the software.

MacBook Pro used but in great condition it came with a new battery 16gb RAM 2.4Ghz Core 2 duo

To use Logic you will need a Mac of some description. The software doesn’t run on other operating systems ie windows. There are plenty that do, but I will cover that in a later blog. If you want to keep the cost to a minimum then you can use GarageBand which comes free with your Mac.

GarageBand is the ideal introduction to DAWs and in particular many of its features are the same as Logic Pro.

A second hand MacBook Pro is how I started this project. I started with a violin sample and created a motif, which is a short musical phrase on which I based the whole tune.

You can write the melody on screen straight into the software using a mouse, indeed many producers do exactly that! You do not need the peripherals shown above.

They are a nice to have but by no means are they essential. Apart from the cactus in the photo! If you haven’t got a cactus, well other plants may work for you! 😝

Like any craft, you start with small steps and build from there. This particular project was completed in a month to a deadline. I was also engaged in many other projects so I guess it could be completed in a few days. In the beginning though speed is not the focus but just absorbing the opportunities that a home audio can create for you. Many producers start here with a simple in the box mix to generate the enthusiasm to build on the foundations laid out during your first project.

Creating in the box means using just the software and computer without recourse to other hardware or instruments.

Music theory can help.

Music theory can help but is by no means essential. In fact some musicians will create shapes and drag notes around until they get something which sounds good. Also “in the box” doesn’t just mean electronic sounding music. All genres can be created with DAW so rich is the sound and the limitations are endless. All from just 12 notes!

In these blogs we shall cover some of these genres.

Please subscribe for regular blog updates, and get creative.

Behringer X Touch Stand

My finished controller stand.

The behringer x touch is what is known as a control surface. It is used to manipulate the DAW software in real-time. It is excellent for quickly applying multiple adjustments to audio track settings. Such as volume, pan, etc. Their are also transport controls and a jog wheel to help with editing and playback.

This control surface is best viewed from above or at least at a greater angle than its design allows. It has scratch pads (which are little LED windows shown below) that relay the name of the track linked to that fader.

Scratch pad.

If you have more than eight tracks the Faders need to be swapped in batches therefore it is critical that you know which channel you are addressing whilst adjusting the settings.

Close up of stand.

I also want space under the controller to stow my keyboard. The controller takes a reasonable chunk of desk space and I don’t want to lean over too much so for this I want it as far forward as I can get it!

Printing 3D parts

I designed the parts to accept commercially available fibre glass tent poles to use as cross pieces. I already had a couple in my garage from a tent repair which were spare.

I wanted a snug fit and therefore design a tight transition fit for the holes. In engineering their are three types of holes for this type of fit. Clearance, interference and transition. I could have made the parts out of wood but I liked the looks of the 3D printed part and also it allows me to make it available as four separate 3D STL files for people who want to make their own – using a 3D printer.

The four parts are available as STL files.

3D printer screen display during printing.

You will also need 11mm diameter tent poles to complete the model. The four parts will need printing by you or someone with a 3D printer! You will also need fasteners or glue to complete the stand.

Printing 3D parts.

I made the design suitable for smaller printers so the sides are made in two halves which can be either glued together or screwed together with small nuts and bolts.

Assembled rack.

I have been using it for several months and I am really pleased with the results.

Copyright FretsnReeds.com

WordPress does not currently support STL file download so until that is changed please use the ZIP file which contains all four files. The behringerstandstlfiles is the zipped file download link.

Disclaimer:
This project is supplied in good faith and has worked for me, by downloading these files you agree that I cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. To the best of my knowledge all files are uncorrupted and virus free and have been generated on my own system I have taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in these files, but cannot guarantee this and recommend recipients take appropriate precautions.

#Behringer #Logicpro #3Dprinter