Wayside

©2022 Michael Raven

I’ve fallen by the wayside these past few days, disinclined to write much or anything — although I keep my commitment to myself to write at least something every day.

I have yet to experience an empty house (that, my friends, begins Tuesday, which cannot come soon enough), so it has nothing to do with the presence (or lack thereof) of people. And it isn’t writer’s block. I have ideas (and I’ve been jotting down a ton for my planned power-writing session later in the week). I’m merely disinclined to write.

Maybe that’s it: my mind is resting in preparation. shrug

On Friday, I convinced myself I deserved and needed a new sound interface for my PC. I’ve been running off the integrated sound chip for years, which has significant limitations when it comes to using my PC for recording music and vocals. Without going into boring technical details, the quality of the sound has been lacking even in the mixed-down end product. And, because I needed to use a freeware driver (ASIO) because Microsoft doesn’t believe in including one with their OS, I have had to shut down my DAW to listen to something not in the DAW (e.g., YouTube or other online service) because the free driver was, well, free. Now, the proprietary ASIO driver makes it so I don’t need to.

The old method of getting better sound was to buy an expensive sound card and slap it into the motherboard, but I did some reading and while there are benefits for gamers when it comes to 3D sound, these cards are less useful for music and sound production anymore. So I got an external interface recommended by some trustworthy sources in the reasonable price range of less than $200 (a good sound card will cost around the same amount). The added bonus is, because it is designed for musicians, it also has 1/4-in inputs (guitar “plugs”) and proper microphone inputs (XLR) so that I can use my mid-range Audio Technica microphone without a Frankenstein setup (e.g., XLR -> XLR-to-1/4-in transformer -> Cheap-ass Radio Shack 1/4-in to 1/8-in converter -> PC).

I could justify the cost because I have been doing quite a bit of music for the Cherie Suski/O’Wisp collaborative venture and have been butting up against latency and quality issues. With voiceovers, I’ve resorted to recording on my phone using Android Recorder, downloading the .mp4 and converting it within my DAW with mixed results. Plus, I’d like to bring back my guitars and non-virtual keyboards back into my music and the PC’s integrated sound chip was barfing whenever I futzed around with analogue instruments (drops, crackles and pops).

But music tinkering is not really the cause either. I look at my stats and you can definitely see that I have been posting significantly less the past month or two (just looking at post count alone).

I’m just noodling a bit on it, thoughtful as to the cause, but not concerned either way — I’m being creative in other ways and that’s the biggest need more than the type of creativity employed.

Anyway, hope all of you folks are staying cool this summer and, if for whatever reason I drop out for a few days later in the week, know that it is because I am focusing on creative ventures or recharging my batteries.

3 thoughts on “Wayside

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