This is part three of this series of blog posts charting my home studio journey so far. Please do check out part one and part two if you haven’t already. If you have, then thanks for sticking with me! These posts are just to give you an idea of where I’ve come from and where I’m at. Maybe we have some things in common…
In the previous instalment of this epic tale (okay it’s not that epic) I got as far as my placement year working in Andover, where I spent a lot of time writing, recording and experimenting with effects. When my placement was over I had to return back to Plymouth to finish my course. So once again my studies took over and music took a back seat, though I did spend some time producing a few DnB tracks with my new housemates and also chose to study generative music as part of my final year project and dissertation. Generally though, I wasn’t really developing at much of a rate.
I finished uni and went back to work for the same company I’d worked for in my placement year. This is where a huge gap in my musical growth began. I basically spent the next few years balancing work and play, moving through a number of jobs and homes, without much time spent on music. I wouldn’t ever complain because I did follow a great career path which has got me to the position I’m in today (this isn’t a work blog so I won’t go into details but I basically have a job I love in marketing and advertising, dealing mainly with artwork and design). However, I definitely have a slight regret that I didn’t spend more time honing my musical skills, if only so that I could have become better sooner, whilst I was still young(er).
I never stopped loving music and continued to go to local gigs and spend a lot of time hanging out with musicians and jamming occasionally. I did have a couple of opportunities to get involved in recording during this time. One was for a local punk band called Signs of Insanity and involved me going to their practice room with my four track and a bunch of microphones to record four songs. They paid me in Jack Daniels, which I consumed whilst recording. I’ll be honest, the results weren’t great! But it was fun and reminded me just how much I loved recording.
A bit later on I became good friends with a very talented musician called Oliver Flanagan, who was in a band at the time called The Hey Lows. Together we had the opportunity to record in the music department of the local college of technology, thanks to a family connection of Ollie’s. Over a few hot summer evenings we were allowed into the ‘Blue Room’ on campus and given free access to the equipment and an Apple Mac running Logic Pro. The result was the three track Katie EP, which I’m still pretty proud of today. I’m not entirely sure how it turned out as good as it did, considering how little I knew about recording and mixing at the time. I had the benefit of working with three great musicians, which definitely helped the process, and I was able to learn a lot in a short space of time.
Apart from those two recording projects I only really dabbled for the next five years or so, just messing around with the four track and bits of software here and there. I was still developing in my career and other aspects of my life and for those years I just didn’t give as much time to music as I should have done. But, as I said, I have no regrets. And I’ve been working very hard to catch up since then.
Thanks for reading part three of my home studio journey. I hope you enjoyed it and will check out part four when it’s written. Please do feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments or via the contact form. Please also give the DIY Music Facebook page a ‘like’ and follow me on Twitter to keep up to date with my latest posts, articles and tutorials.