Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Setting up your Digital Audio Workstation or DAW

Despite the blog title this not a step by step instructional on how to set up your own DAW. It's just me whining about my trials and tribulations while setting up my DAW, when all I really want to do is be creative and produce wonderful melodic music for movies and CDs and blah, blah, blah. Hang out anyway, maybe you got some handy tips to pass along...huh?...huh?

SETTING UP a recording studio, even a little Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an expensive and time consuming affair.
Especially if you're doing it alone and as an "as time permits" project.
Sometime a purchased piece of software or equipment will sit in the box on the shelf for weeks before I get time to install it or set it up. Even after it's installed, software could sit in the computer for months before I have time to open it and test it out.
Not all software is setup in an intuitive manner which means a learning curve that could make it a week or more before you get a sound out of it or get it to do what it's supposed to do.
Then there's compatibility issues and believe me those can set you back months.i.e. ProTools and IE8 (but that's a story for another time).

As I see it there are series of limitations involved in building a DAW..
Space is limited. Time is limited. Money is limited.
Technical support is limited and occasionally my patience have been extremely limited. Thus from time to time one might pass the studio and hear a long streak of blue words which describe an oral event of a sexual nature performed by a person of a certain profession with an Oedipal complex. The streak is usually spoken in a loud, rude and aggressive manner. Possibly flying objects are involved, scaring people and animals of all sorts.
Regardless, Studio B is slowly coming into focus. The preliminary software is mostly all installed and functioning as it should. The hardware is talking to the software and I am actually learning again at the age of 56. Keep in mind that I come from a mechanical, analogue, old school, recording background so working in a software environment while not totally foreign is bit like swatting at a wasp, you might get lucky and hit it before it stings you.  While the DAW is still a mess with piles of crap (some proper studio furniture is on the list) it is semi-workable and on the last long weekend I was able to do a test recording of a small, tiny, little project.

So Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you, Jazz Dicks. So entitled because it's jazzy, and written by me, Richard (but don't call me Dick). The first item recorded and mixed, blah, blah, blah in Handwritten Digital Production's Studio B
 Jazz Dicks.mp3
double click to listen or right click and "save link as" to download to your computer

The tune (such as it is) is written by me and is copyright (© 2010 Handwritten Digital) but you can download it and listen to it multiple times at your leisure.
Just don't play it out loud in public or try to sell it or post it on the internet etc, etc, yada, yada, yada.
Or I'll sue you like it's 2012. (I got that from a Library Voices song, cute huh?)

One more item to mention.
COMMENTS: We likes them. So you leaves them. 
simply look down and find the word "comment" click on that bastard and then unleash the inner you in type form. 
We loves it.


Anonymous said...

Nice tune. Good luck with the studio in the future.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog. The DAW community needs more blogs like this one. I'd be interested in your experience using the m-powered protools. I hear a lot of complaints about digidesign products.

Handwritten Digital Productions said...

Thanks for reading the blog and for your kind comments.
The Jazz Dicks thing was recorded with Abelton Live 8, using samples from Native Instruments Komplete 6.
The subject of M-Powered Pro Tools is a long story and I will be blogging about some of my experiences with that software and my M-Audio hardware soon.
Stay tuned.