Playing with DAW’s
Man oh man what’s a music geek to do when his band mates are off having lives and stuff? Well last summer I started taking an audio engineering course at a local college to help try and fill the musical itch, and that REALLY solidified my love of the music making process. It was an intro class that basically covered the tracking part of the recording process. As a rather large gadget geek, being able to learn how to use a pretty sweet Avid S5 console was also pretty amazing. But really what did for me was being able to be there in the middle of a musical creative process. As cheesy as this may sound, there is something magical about being in a recording studio with a group of talented musicians and trying to capture a moment and distill that down to a piece of audio. So naturally when that wrapped up I decided to take the mixing class to continue down that road. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough students and that class was cancelled and I ended up in a digital audio for multimedia course. Anything that teaches me more about the history and how to apply that practically is fair game for me, so I’m doing that right now.
As part of that we started learning how to use Pro Tools, the one DAW I’ve actually never played around with and that I really should have because that’s what is the “industry standard”. I’ll be completely honest, I don’t love it. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and none of them really matter, because something my teacher has been drilling in our heads is, think of a DAW as a tool, like a hammer. Whether you use a Black and Decker hammer, or a Dewalt hammer, at the end of the day they’re both hammers and perform the same function. It’s starting to sink in, but on a reflective note, it’s interesting how much brands matter, in my head at least, I think it’s a testament to power of marketing and the hive mind mentality. There’s a big rant in there about gear as well, but we’ll save that for another day 😉
I started way back in the day with a product called Samplitude, moved on the Cakewalk, then Sonar, then I got a Mac and Garageband blew my mind, with Logic as a natural successor. Last year I built a rather ridiculous PC for the sole purpose of playing with VR gear. With that I thought I should grab some DAW software, and loving the ease of Garageband I looked for something similar for the PC. I was turned onto this product called Mixcraft by a company called Acoustica. Honestly that is the one for me, the layout, work flow, and functionality are exactly what I was looking for. It’s kind of funny because I was telling my wife yesterday I’m working on a couple of projects for school and rather than use Pro Tools I might sneak in a laptop with Mixcraft and use that instead 😉
As customer I got asked to try the Mixcraft 8 Beta they’re working on, and for shit’s and giggles I thought I would load up a couple of their loops, and then jam along and see what comes of it, and then thought to throw it up the site. I’m a mediocre rhythm guitar player at best, and I suck at lead guitar work, so naturally here’s me doing some lead guitar stuff.