NOOB HOME RECORDING (007): Laying The Foundation

I finally mustered enough motivation to continue my home recording adventures... well, being sick  and cooped up in the bedroom all day had something to do with it.

I fired up Reaper and continued working on the basic drum pattern on Plastic Flowers using BFD Eco.

Laying the "basic drum pattern" is my preferred method for starting a song project. It's as simple as setting the tempo, key in alternating base drum and snare pattern,  then copying and pasting the pattern to last the entire length of the song.

Doing so gives me, one, a better metronome as opposed to the usual beep sound that comes with most DAWs, and second, it serves as my drum template. I would already have one-third of my drum programming done since all I have to do next is add the embellishments.

Keith Wyatt's Jimi Hendrix Rhythm Guitar

Something I want to master... someday.

Source: Guitar World, August 2012

Keith Wyatt's All-In-One Blues Shuffle Rhythm

I'm saving this for reference. I've always wanted to learn how to play the shuffle this way.

Source: Guitar World, October 2012

NOOB HOME RECORDING (006) - Plastic Flowers

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was abandoning "The Metro" cover and re-record an old original song instead. It's called "Plastic Flowers" written back in the 1990's by my friend and bassist, Paul. This was actually our first song as a band.

I tried to record it in on my own in 2005 with the following setup:

Vocals - using a cheap Sony dynamic microphone
Guitar - my Les Paul Jr.
Bass - also my Les Paul Jr.
Drums - a Boss DR-500 drum machine
Effects - Zoom 505 (1990's release)

All audio was run through a Tascam 4-Track tape recorder, no tape, which was hooked up via it's RCA outs into the stock sound card of a Dell PC, running Audacity. The guitars and "bass" was recorded by mic'ing a Crate 15w practice amp. This was my first taste of recording on a PC. I just dove in not really knowing exactly how it's done but Audacity was so intuitive that I got results which was far better than recording on a 4-track at the time.

Here's the old recording that I'm going to use as a reference.

Pill - plasticflowers(hall) by mario gozum aka PILL

Next: NHR 007 - Laying the Foundation

Refocusing Update

I've been totally sidetracked by my home improvement project. Anyway, here's an update for the Digital Lab:

THE BLOG - Still serious about the title change. I have some ideas floating in my head.

NOOB HR - Was working on covering "The Metro" but I'm having trouble with copyright worries... I'd like to invoke fair use but what should I do with the finished product? I found out, to play it safe, I needed to get a license to ensure proper ass coverage... BUT there's the cost. I think it's not worth it, so... I'm abandoning this project and restarting with an original song instead. More on that later.

DISCOVERING REAPER - Dabbled with it a bit. Still don't know much about it. I'll use it on the new Noob HR project.

GUITAR MOD - I already have a nice humbucker to replace the one on my Epiphone LP Jr. The plan is to install it with coil tapping options... then the old humbucker will go to the Silvertone SS10 converting it into an HSS config... also with coil tapping features.

And there you have it!


As much as I'd like this blog to be the repository of ALL my creative endeavors, I'm finding that DIY Digital Lab is heavily gearing towards music and music production in the home recording arena.

So I'm toying with the idea of changing the blog title (but not the web address) to something more related to this little hobby of mine.

For my drawings, I think they will be more appropriate for the blog I just started, I AM RONIN, which is about my adventures in making comics and graphic novels.

Then I have EXPLODING TUNA which I can use for anything other than music and graphic and comics art.

We'll see.

Silvertone SS10 Update Part 1: The Good and The Bad

Following up on my initial review, after playing with the SS10 on and off over several months, I was able to pinpoint the good and the bad on my budget guitar.

Mixing Tips Roundup

As I approach the mixing stage of my musical project, I thought it best to compile my favorite guru advice in one place.

These tips could have been kept secret but instead, these guys went out of their way to write, record and shoot videos for the general home recording public... for FREE!

They will forever remain in my "Book of Awesome". Thanks and more power to you!

NOOB HOME RECORDING (005) - Recording Bass Tracks

I still haven't established a process on how I go about recording a song. However, it seems logical to start at pre-production and recording tracks. It's tempting to start mixing as I go, applying EQ and compressors, etc... as soon as I lay down a track but I try hard to avoid it. I keep reminding myself that mixing should start after the tracks have been cleaned, edited and when every piece of the puzzle is in place so that everything is mixed in context.