Cheers for your comments. Leave us that comment on the page and I'm sure the other band mates would appreciate it. Funny you should mention Curtis as I was at the singer's (in those recordings anyway; he's filling in for "Sam's Hat" but he does sing "Pool Music") house the other night and we watched this Joy Division biography film centred on him. He's a fan. Also Captain Beefheart and Jim Morrison are big influences, and I later turned him onto a fair bit of Frank Zappa. All influences for the band. He's into Velvet Underground as well. Has the most penchant for atonal/chaotic/avant-guard music out of all of us. Sometimes he goes a bit mental and starts smashing stuff but I guess that comes with the music.
Once we had a swordfight on stage with the necks of our guitars which was pretty funny. Not so funny was when the synth player barraged his keyboard into my guitar and took to the neck in an annoying place.
ANYWAY yeah my EQ and compression is pretty bad in a lot of the recordings (and those are the better ones), and my guitar tone is too kind of acidic in some of the recordings. A lot of it comes down to using an amp modeller and only using a real amp as a monitor so I didn't quite know what the guitar really sounded like as it was being recoloured and re-EQed by the monitoring amp. I don't use the modeller now and mic or use emulated speaker outs on amps (Peavey and Marshall). It's hard to tell what the sound will be like and sometimes I just want a nasty guitar tone in the jam even if it might not sound great later. I tone it down a lot more now, and play without any effects (except a little delay) half the time to keep a good range of tones available. I can actually EQ the live recordings after the jam because I record kick, snare, overheads, bass, guitar, synth, cornet and vox on seperate channels. It's great being able to post-process and level recordings afterwards and focus on playing in the studio. That's why I built the PC - it's the perfect solution for my band.
I've gone through tens if not hundreds of hours of recordings (I record an entire evening's jamming) so there's not really much point putting much effort into mastering unless it's a really special recording. My mastering chain at the moment is just Live's eight-band EQ > PSP Audio Stereo Enhancer > Wave's TruVerb to Wave's L3 Ultramaximiser compressor/limiter that pumps everything up.
Didn't realise until recently that I was getting clipping between the chained processors so I've taken an eye to that now. Although there's probably clipping in it, I'm pretty happy with the big, clear sound of "Strobe Lit Hornet", especially since I hadn't really bothered to soundcheck and mic everything properly.
Still using cheap microphones - Samson C03 multi-pattern condensor for drum overheads and R21 dynamics for snare, bass amp, guitar amp and cornet (trumpet). Samson Q-kick for the bass has been a massive improvement for keeping the beat better in our recordings and we do use a Shure SM58 for vox. Considering I got the R21s 3x for £40 in a hard case I'm pretty happy with the recording quality. I'm only really bothered about capturing jams for archival purposes: when I can afford it I'll get better quality mics and probably some pencil condensers for cymbals, move the C03 condenser over to the cornet, and buy a better bass drum mic, moving the Q-kick to the bass amp (which is just a Peavy Microbass practice amp, but I can't convince my permanently skint, boozing and puffing mate to spend £200 on a real bass amp!!).
Shame about your card pissing about - did you really smash the thing? A lot of it is to do with the PCI controller on the motherboard sharing IRQs in Windows with USB hubs (which have constant data flowing through them like keyboard and mouse input) or, worst case, the graphics card. You need to re-jig the parts in your PC until the sound card is sharing an IRQ with something sensible. I never quite managed to do this with my main tower so I ended up just building this dedicated PC and once it worked, I didn't fix it. I try to avoid using USB sockets (PS2 connections for the mouse and keyboard) and it has an integrated video chip, so there's only one PCI device (instead of 3 in the other PC). Works brilliantly now and never get any pops and clicks.
I upgraded the CPU and RAM in my main PC and put the old parts in this recording PC, so I saved some money making use of old bits. The recording PC build cost me about £200 in the end, pretty much just the barebones kit and a low-profile cooler (the case is 5cm high. Which is cool because I could probably rack-mount it).
One cool idea I've got is to use my Eee PC with a decent external audio interface to use Live and Reason live on stage so we have an endless range of sounds to use. The Eee's small enough to just sit on top of the keyboard!
Holy gooseberry fool that's an epic post..
Wow I'm really liking your first song. I wasn't expecting any vocals which are pretty good sounding, are you singing or a friend? Nice work. Kind of electro-fairytale sounding. Reminds me of Depeche Mode but more ethereal and spooky. Quite dark.
Did you ever finish that soft synth you made, Cascade? Did you ever get a VSTi going? If you did I'd make a tune with it.
This isn't Gaf where being a Junior Member means you're opinion is worth strawberry float all, this is GRCade where nobody has a decent opinion.
PM is your friend.