16 February 2016

(Im)practical tips and (un)sound advice

We're over half way through February! This means it's time for the Mid-Month Motivational Message:
You're an amazing person. You do amazing things. And if you don't, then you will do amazing things in the future. Just keep at it.

Now, if the following picture applies to you, please read on...

So you really want to make some cool sounds but for one reason or another you don't know where to begin. You have a really bad digital keyboard that you got at a carboot sale (or maybe your grandma, thinking you'd be in raptures over it, gave you it for Christmas).

Now you happen to have an alright DAW (that means anything that isn't Audacity). And in that DAW you notice an intriguing little option:

If you enable this option, you can hear yourself while recording. So far, not so good. What difference does it make if you hear your trashy keyboard going through your DAW or not?

Well, your DAW happens to have another inconspicuous button mysteriously lit up with the green light of success:

 Clicking on it, you find filters, a dozen choruses, several reverbs, and a range of delays. Add as few or as many as you like to the 'FX chain'. Make sure 'Monitor Input' is on. And this is when you will bless the fateful carboot sale (or your grandma) a million times, because the keyboard will sound nothing like its trashy pre-FX self.

The basic equation is
trashy keyboard + FX + monitor input = sounds unheard by human ears

All of the above might be complete codswallop. But you're not doing it wrong if no one knows what you're doing.