I've decided to continue my musical journey and get a MIDI keyboard and actually learn how to play it! 😁
I actually had an M-Audio something-or-other keyboard ages ago (nearly twenty years in fact: https://virtualwolf.org/media/posts/1423) but in a similar story to my guitar from 2007, due to the lack of decent learning resources I never actually stuck with it. It turns out that the "Melodics" app I use for learning drums _also_ includes a whole course for keyboard as well so I'm going to take full advantage of it!
I did a bunch of looking around and settled on this, the Roland A-49. The reviews are all glowing and apparently the key feel is very good as well. I could have gotten the black version and probably had it in my hands this week because the white one doesn't seem to be in stock anywhere, but I think the white looks far cleaner and sleeker.
We had our combination barbecue/jam session today, it was great fun!
It was hilarious though, my friend's younger brother is an actual muso and can legit play, to the extent that he's actually playing a gig tomorrow. He kept trying to tell us stuff (like "So you want to start with a diminished fifth" or whatever) and it was just WAY over our heads and I kept saying, "Look, you're very much overestimating how much skill and knowledge we both have." 😂
I did some more musical mucking around last night and today and recorded this! I did the guitar first, then bass, and finally drums, and it was a lot easier to fit the drums to the guitar tracks first than the other way around. I made more use of the guitar pedals this time, I had nearly everything on! Reverb and analog delay as always, but I also had the SD-1 Super Overdrive on and feeding into the DS-1W Distortion, plus the flanger in front of everything, and I quite like how it came out. I did the same thing as last time with the scooped mids, partially because I love the tone but also because I haven't figured out the best settings for a good crunchy tone yet.
It's funny how I can mostly play drums along to the track fine, but as soon as it comes to actually RECORDING I keep overthinking things and being overly nervous about fucking it up, and end up not doing nearly as many fills as I mean to. This was my first time recording a "skip note" (the extra snare hit right before the kick drum on beat 3) and I missed a bunch of those, as well a lot of the open hi-hat hits right at the end of the bar too.
(Yes, this is still using basically the same handful of notes that my last song did, in much the same progression. 😛)
And the end result! 🎉
I used the "dirty" channel of my amp, with both the amp EQ and the EQ pedal with scooped mids so it sounds a bit more on the metal side, and I actually ended up recording a whole different guitar track today from what I was doing originally because the first one was very boring (I realised upon playing it back that I was just playing on every quarter note with basically zero variation). I also had to go in and copy/paste in a handful of sections in the bass track fix some cocked-up notes on the bass guitar that ended up being REALLY obvious when playing it back, oops.
The guitar track is still a bit repetitive since I'm playing all of three notes on each of the low E, A, and D strings — I guess four if you count the open string as well — but in my defence I'm still working my way through the basic chords part of my guitar course and haven't done ANY of the play-awesome-lead-guitar parts yet. 😛 I definitely notice I'm getting much better at keeping in time now too.
First recording with my new bass guitar! 😁
The Orange Crush Bass 25 amp I have doesn't have a direct output but it DOES have a headphone jack with a speaker cabinet sim built in, so I plugged it into the audio interface and recorded through that. This is the same song I posted back in December (https://virtualwolf.org/media/posts/2232) but with a shiny new bass track now. It's definitely a different feeling strumming with your fingers versus doing it with a pick like I do on the regular guitar.
I recorded another thing! It's a slower, swing kind of thing, with the guitar just plugged directly into the audio interface rather than going through my full amp+pedal board setup because I couldn't be bothered getting it out. 😛
I'm aware I cocked up in a couple of places, and this is after I rejiggered a couple of parts of the drums because I realised I was starting the fill in the middle of a bar, oops.
I recorded a thing on the drums!! 😁 (The backing track isn't mine, full credit to Jack Curtis of https://drumdrumdrum.org; all his stuff is up on Bandcamp, highly recommended: https://drumlessbackingtracks.bandcamp.com).
I screwed up slightly in a couple of places because I'm used to watching the iPad in front of me and knowing when time changes are coming from there but I kept having to look over at the computer to my left instead. I've subsequently realised that I can use the iPad as an extended monitor for the laptop and can move the track time display over to that.
I also discovered the fun* of getting audio and video synced up, and how despite the fact that the iPhone says it's shooting video at 60 frames per second, it's ACTUALLY 59.94 and so by the end of the song the audio I recorded directly in Logic Pro had drifted significantly from the video. Thankfully iMovie has a "Speed Editor" where you can get it all lined back up again.
But eeeee! Absolutely stoked with this!
Yesss, very excited about this! All the reviews have been glowing and it'll be wonderful to just plug into the guitar, pop headphones on, and not be tethered to one place when I just feel like doing a bit of guitar noodling rather than anything serious that'd warrant the full tube amp setup.
I've started doing some more advanced stuff on the drums and some of it involves using the hi-hat pedal to open and close the hi-hat, but the stock hi-hat pedal that comes with the drums is fairly mushy and I was having a lot of trouble getting it to register when doing fast switches between open and closed (it's perfectly fine just when it's fully closed or open, just not so much when switching between the two in rapid succession). I did some research and Roland actually have a hi-hat that you mount on a regular acoustic hi-hat stand and it physically moves up and down as a regular hi-hat would.
I ordered both the cymbal and the stand earlier in in the week and it arrived today, and man it feels nice to play!