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Down In the Trenches of Sound

I walked yesterday.  I'll walk again tonight when it gets cool and dark.  I'm pretty much drenched in sweat, working on music in my apartment.

Recording is insanely frustrating.  I have two main problems.  One, my cheap acoustic guitar has poor intonation, meaning that some chords sound in tune and some don't.  Which means that I have to tune it to sound good for specific chords, then overdub short parts of songs.  My songs tend to have a lot of chords all over the neck, so that means lots of overdubs.  Which is hard to do without a click track, which I'm trying to avoid using.

Two, even if my guitar would stay in tune, enabling me to record complete guitar/vocal takes the way I like--and the way I sing most naturally--my good mics are insufficiently source-selective.  When mics overlap, you get a nasty phenomeno known as phase cancellation, which ruins the sound.  There's a rule of physics that states that in order to avoid phase cancellation, the distance between two mics must be three times their individual distance from the sound source.  Which does not work for acoustic guitar and voice.  You can avoid the problem by panning them apart from each other in the mix, but I dont want to have the voice or the guitar forced hard left or right.

The answer to everything seems to be money.  The guitar I want is $900 and only because it's used.  Two good directional mics would probably be at least $500.  

So, here I am, endlessly retuning this piece of shit and trying to get a natural feel while cutting and pasting a bar at a time.  I've been working for two days and I've still got no final takes.  But I'm keeping at it.  This is going to be the best sounding album I've ever made.  If it kills me.


You may find some of this information, and links, useful in your hunt for good audiobooks!

Thx! Hey, I'm listening to The Dog of the South by Charles Portis. I think you'd love it. It's a southern picaresque, somewhat similar to A Confederacy of Dunces. Laugh out loud funny.
I'm sorry. Why does money always seem to be lacking in the lives of people who need it most and so excessive in the lives of boring, uninteresting people?
Maybe the kind of people who obsess over getting money don't have other interests?

I'll be alright, though. Compared to my pre-college days, I'm living the life of Riley. Haven't lived on ramen in ages. I'll get a good guitar and some more mics. It'll just take a little while.
Nah, I don't know anyone with a guitar I want to borrow. Plus I would need it for long periods of time and guitar players who play the quality of guitar I need don't part with their axes like that. I think I'm going to just demo the songs using my cheap guitar. Then when I do buy the good one, I'll now the material inside out. When you're as sloppy a player as me, a couple extra weeks of rehearsal is a good idead anyway!

I've heard your bass playing. You play really good instruments through good gear, so that solves your problem there. The problem is that I'm trying to play all these different instruments when the only good gear I have is my electric guiar stuff. Even my tambourine is decrepit.
Hey, that's okay. The world is not crying out for more guitar players. It can be a torturous ordeal even if you love it and are obsessed with it.

After 35 years of playing, I'm at the point where I'm only happy with $1000 guitars.