DIY Music Blog #9 – All DIY *All* the Time?

Hey there guys and gals! Here’s the ninth (not tenth as originally thought!) DIY Music Blog. I’m sticking with the new format of thought of the day / my news / other news again as I think I can fine tune that into a decent blog style. Let me know if you agree or not.

Once again, there’s been plenty going on since I last wrote, including new (old) projects and interesting turns of events. And something I’ve been thinking about a lot…

One-Man-Band

Is DIY Music really such a great idea?

Okay so that question is deliberately a bit vague. I’m not questioning whether I should still be running this website (I’ll be doing this for a long time, I think. I enjoy it too much to quit any time soon). I’m not questioning whether it’s worth all the time and effort you and I put into developing our skills and our home-studios and creating music that we love. Obviously it’s worth it.

What I’m talking about is taking ‘DIY Music’ literally.

D.I.Y. = Do It Yourself

But should you really do everything yourself? I definitely try. I’m currently working on a song which I’ve written myself, I’m playing the guitar and bass parts, programming synths and drums, doing the mixing and eventually mastering… And singing…

Well. This is where I’m coming unstuck. I don’t like my singing. I love to sing but I don’t like to hear myself. And my voice doesn’t really suit the song.

Now I’m considering getting someone to sing for me. And that idea suddenly opens up a huge realm of possibilities. Someone else singing could bring so much to the project. Not just a new voice but new ideas.

And what if I got someone in to play bass or guitar too? Another creative brain on the case could add so much… But wait. Now I’m suddenly in a band and this isn’t DIY at all.

So where do I draw the line. Is it so important to do everything myself?

The conclusion I’m coming to is that it’s great to be able to do everything yourself but it’s okay, and actually beneficial, to have some outside intervention now and then. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s All About Me

Well, this section is anyway. What have I been up to recently?

As mentioned I’ve been getting back into some recording of real instruments, as opposed to the purely electronic stuff I’ve been working on for Humjunkie over the last few months. I have a song I wrote quite a while ago that I’m returning to with my new knowledge and equipment. Using IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube, ToonTrack’s EZ Drummer 2 and the Slate Digital mixing and mastering plugins, I’m hoping to get a really good near-commercial-as-possible sound. I just need a singer, I think. Though I will have a go myself first I know I’ll hate it. It’s all good practice though.

On the website side of things I was surprised and incredibly pleased to have an article shared by Tape Op magazine on their Facebook page. Some of you reading this may be doing so because of that. They have nearly 60k ‘likes’ and I received a huge amount of extra traffic and subscribers. This is really encouraging but also a little scary as I really want to live up to any expectations now. I hope, if you’re a new or old subscriber, that you’ll continue find my stuff valuable.

Apart from all that, I’ve got a couple of new plugins to play with. The new FG Bomber which now comes as part of the Slate Digital Mix/Master monthly bundle. Which I’m still very happy to be a subscriber to. I use the VMR and VTM on pretty much everything now. I also picked up the Kramer HLS channel from Waves which was reduced from $249 to £29… I am a sucker for those great Waves discounts!

In Other News

There’s been a few things on my radar recently. As mentioned already there’s the new Slate Digital FG Bomber which looks interesting, though I’m not yet sure how useful it will be.

ToonTrack have aired a live song-from-scratch thing with one of my all time favourite artists, Devin Townsend. This was on USA time and therefore the middle of the night for me so I’m hoping they will post a recording of it as I’m very interested to see how it went. Devin is a DIY Music genius and has always been an inspiration. They also already have a few drumkits on discount so I’ll be looking closely at them when payday comes.

Going back to the ‘to DIY or not to DIY’ theme, I’ve been chatting to a mastering engineer at Magic Ears Mastering. They are currently offering a deal where you get your first master done for free! Which is pretty neat. I’m hoping to have an interview with the owner, Adam Matza, very soon and pick his brains for mastering tips for you lot, so keep an eye (and an ear! sorry…) out for that.

Finally, a great band who I’m friends with have recently shipped their latest album, having hit their Pledge Music target in less than a day and doubled it over all. Which is annoyingly impressive. Anyway, I’d pre-ordered my copy of Back to The Drawing Room by Smokey ‘B’ and it arrived last week. I have to say, it’s awesome. And very well produced. One great thing about it is that most of the recording and production was done by members of the band, so it’s a DIY album in many ways. I will be speaking to them very soon and posting an interview about the whole process, but specifically any recording and mixing tips they might have.

I’ll leave it there for now. I hope you are enjoying my site as much as I’m enjoying writing for it. My only problem is trying not to write too much. (I may have failed on this occasion, let me know what you think!).

Until next time… Laters!

Stu

6 comments

  1. I agree that having another pair of ears in the home studio can help to widen one’s perspective. My buddy was here the other day with with some bass riff ideas, so I was able to get a different viewpoint on the project we worked on – really useful. I will still be DIY’ing for the majority of the time though (actually I would really like to hire a singer too – als, no funds) and I will continue to find it rewarding and well worthwhile.
    Thanks, Stu – neat blog

    1. Thanks Mark. I’m personally thinking if anyone I know would be interested in singing for me, for free…! But in general I don’t think it would do me any harm to let someone else in now and then. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  2. I DIY everything excepting drums.

    Once I learn how to make my own kicks & snares(*cough* tutorial idea *cough*) I’ll be full DIY.

    Great article

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