Getting back into it

Have been feeling a lot more human today. And while I’ve been pretty tired and had a few short rest periods, I actually haven’t napped at all, which I think is a good sign.

Mind you, I haven’t made much RPM progress either, but there’s been some. Stuart Russell came round today after a session recording the sound of the Heathrow Express thundering through Ealing Broadway station, and our conversation was both a lot of fun and very helpful. He listened to the thing I’ve made for the slide guitar piece and made the obvious (once said) comment that it really needed some bass. I knew it had needed something extra but in my concussed state wasn’t able to identify what. I’ve now added in a sort of percussive part and identified a base sound for adding in bass notes which I will then probably distort – what I have so far isn’t really melodic at all, so a bit of distortion is, I think, needed to mask the pitch a little. Hugely helpful. I was hoping I’d have this piece finished today, but it’s not quite there. I’ve been too tired this evening to do very much. And getting distracted by Blazing Saddles on the telly didn’t help!

I’ve decided I’m going to try to create a graphic score to go with the tape part rather than leaving it as freeform improv. As Marc Yeats says, it’ll look prettier 🙂 and as Sam Grinsell commented, if it doesn’t work I can always throw it out and fall back on the improv plan, so I’ll see how I go. Really hoping I can finish this piece by tomorrow night although as Djeli has planned a trip to the kitchen department of Ikea tomorrow to pick their brains about how to make the best use of our slightly tricky kitchen space in the new house, I may not get much done in the evening.

The other thing that Stuart was hugely helpful with was my dilemma regarding field-recording rig that I was burbling about yesterday. Basically, it seems that anything to do with adaptors is going to degrade the sound, which is already going to be degraded because of getting into the iPod Touch via the audio plug rather than through the dock, and given the expense and difficulty of obtaining said adaptors and the bulkiness of most of the them (compared to how I originally imagined the setup), and having seen how MINUTE Stuart’s Zoom H1 is – it’s TINY! – I’m thinking the H1 may be a better solution all round – inbuilt mic for surreptitious recording, excellent recording quality and can take an external mic too if I want it to, and presumably without the hassle involved in connecting the M3 to the iPod Touch. It’s a real shame I can’t just use the equipment I have nice and simply, but it sounds like the best solution. Still going to keep looking for a suitable adaptor for my tiny stereo condenser mic though – the combination of that and iPod Touch would be absolutely perfect for travelling. But it might take a while to find the right thing, so I suspect I’ll cave and order a Zoom sometime in the next couple of months.

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