Birth of a Home Recording Studio

Way back in 2013 I bought my wife an iPad for Christmas.

It was about 4 or 5 years before that Christmas that I bought her first laptop.

At first she really didn’t seem too thrilled with the technology but once she discovered Facebook, using the laptop became a mainstay in her daily activity.

The laptop is getting old.  The fan whirs like a helicopter and programs load slower every day.  I’m sure it’s full of malware and spyware and who knows what but it’s only used for Facebook and some other random web surfing.

So in November of 2013 I figured this laptop is going to crap out any day now.   I thought she would love an iPad.  She could Facebook from anywhere in the house and maybe eventually discover some of the other cool things you can do with it.

But alas the iPad sat idle.

My daughter used it on occasions to watch Netflix stuff in bed but other than that it sat.

Then my friend showed me the Garageband app during a visit to his home and he sent me a couple of grooves he had written for us to work on prior to my next visit.

When I saw the app I thought that’s pretty cool.  So when I returned home after my visit I downloaded the free version of Garageband onto my wife’s idle iPad but like everyone else in the house I left the iPad sit.

It was my wife’s gift and I didn’t want it to look like I bought it for myself under the guise of it being a gift for her because I didn’t.

By March of 2015 the old laptop was still cranking away and the iPad still sitting around rarely being used so I figured screw it.  It sat for over a year, it’s time someone gives it a try.

I sat down and started fooling around with Garageband.

I started with just a simple eight bar drum beat.  Believe me playing drums with your fingers on a little pad is a lot harder than the real thing, at least for a drummer it is.

I had a nice drum beat so I thought let’s get adventurous and see what this drummer with very minimal music theory knowledge can do.

I did take piano lessons for about one year when I was a kid so I still remember the notes of the keyboard.

I laid down a bass line which was simple but I liked how it sounded. It was just two notes, C and G.

I kept going.

Two hours flew by and I had what I thought was a pretty nice sounding eight bar loop complete with drums, bass,  guitar, piano, organ and strings.

All of it was based on just those two notes from the bass line, C and G.

It was very simple yet interesting and pleasant sounding.

Well I was pretty excited and over the next two weeks came up with six more of these little music loops.  I had a blast doing them.  It was like being a kid and getting the coolest toy that you really wanted.

It was also very interesting to see how tracks are built and how adding the right notes and sounds at the right time can take a simple track and give it an emotional feel.

At the time I thought this was good training for me for the recording process.

This was the birth of my home recording studio and I’ve been having the time of my life every since.

At first I thought I would need a second iPad but instead I got the Macbook Pro the mics, the interface, the MIDI keyboard and the monitors, everything I need to write and record.

It’s amazing when I think that 10 or 15 years ago I never would have been able to do any of this.

Now I can function on my own as a drummer.  I can make music all by myself.  I can be my own band.

I miss the interface with other musicians but this is pretty cool and it all started with an iPad for my wife.

Ain’t technology grand.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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