During this segment of the in-depth project, I have made the next step towards finishing a song: I have been able to acquire a new microphone to use for recording whatever I have written down. The microphone that I got is the Blue Yeti, which is convenient since it plugs directly into a computer using a USB cable. This is much nicer than having a standard microphone, which uses a specialized cable that requires adapters and sound boards to plug into a computer. Using a USB connection, I will be able to record much faster, and spend less money on buying equipment.
The next step to recording is to get the best sound quality possible. Professional studios have rooms built specifically for recording, with walls that are shaped to bounce sound waves off in a way that gives you the best possible acoustics. However, I don’t have one of these rooms, and they cost thousands of dollars to rent. Instead, I’ll just have to use one of the rooms in my house. Although it may seem strange, it seems to be widely known that bathrooms actually have the best acoustics for recording music. The tightly enclosed space, combined with the materials commonly found in bathrooms, makes them ideal for getting a good sound quality. But because I have to be setting up guitar amps and a recording studio, I won’t be using a bathroom. I’ll likely end up just doing it in a bedroom, since it’s close to the right size for getting the right acoustics, and I already have all of my music equipment set up there. Using a guitar amplifier, I’ll have the microphone placed 1-2 feet in front of the amp, and then adjust the sensitivity to get the right sound quality. I’ll then be playing a metronome through headphones so I can get the right tempo when I’m recording. The microphone will be recording directly into my laptop, so I can use whatever program I want to get my songs recorded. After I have everything recorded, I’ll use a music compilation program to piece it all together. The one that I am looking at right now is called LMMS, which is a freeware version of more popular programs such as Microsoft’s FruityLoops. I haven’t had much time to look at any of these programs yet, so it will take some effort to learn how to use them. However, I won’t have much time to think about that right now since I’ll be leaving for Cuba in a few days.
Moving on, in my last mentoring sessions, I had recorded one of our conversations to identify all of the different “hats” that were used when we were talking.
The conversation started off talking about the strategies that we could use in writing a new song, an example of the blue hat, where we were talking about what would need to be done to complete my in-depth project. The option that he presented was to use the existing chord structure from another song, and write a new melody over top of that. This was an example of green hat, since it is presenting a possible idea, rather than a hard fact. Although this sounded like a good idea to me, I was still interested in creating my own chord structure as well. Using the yellow hat, we talked about how the first song could be based off an existing chord structure, and the next ones could be original ideas. This was also an example of the black hat, since we were looking for ideas that would fit both of our values, and therefore be a more productive idea for the both of us. Using the white hat to state facts, my mentor referred to many incredible artists who wrote many of their songs using existing chord structures, showing that it is a viable strategy to use. Reflecting on the conversation with the red hat, I believe that my mentor is a very qualified person to be teaching me, and I should generally be trusting his ideas and suggestions, even when they may seem odd at first.