From the Blog

Posted by Jake DiMare at 8:28 am

My brother Max sent me a gift certificate to Guitar Center for my birthday. Yesterday I picked up the next (and last…for a while) addition to the home studio…An Ibanez RG350. It’s black on black with a maple next…Absolutely stunning. And it shreds. I have wanted one ever since I was a teenager, which may sound silly since there are much better guitars out there. But, the guitar player in my band had an Ibanez and he wouldn’t let me touch it. Compared to the squire or whatever it was my brother and I learned on…It may have as well been the best guitar in the world. Nevertheless, for the money, Ibanez guitars might be the best value in the world.

I also spent some more time getting comfortable with the Rosegarden midi sequencer after accidentally discovering it will play back on the piano I use to input the sequences! I recorded a melody and then created chords and passing tones with the matrix editor. It was a little tedious at first but as I got more comfortable with the interface I realized how much power this tool is going to give me in my quest to create a complete piece of music.


Posted by Jake DiMare at 9:49 am

I’ve played the drums since I was 8 or 9 years old. Over the years I have also picked up some piano, guitar and bass…Plus a lot of music theory. I am back to practicing the drums regularly with the recent purchase of a professional Roland electrical kit. Playing acoustic drums in an apartment in the city is really not something I would like my neighbor to do…regardless of how talented he or she may be. My upstairs neighbor is a professional cellist and I can hear every note of his four hour practice sessions every day. Fortunately it is a very pleasant background score for life at home.

Anyhow, it’s been a life long dream to set up a little studio with more instruments I can play with and maybe even put an original piece of music together from beginning to end. Just for me…no ambitions other than a hobby. Unfortunately, this could be a pretty expensive hobby. For starters, I have plenty of experience playing with bands…even professionally at different times in my life. I know the difference between pro gear and consumer gear and I am not willing to mess around with the latter group. It took me a long time to save up for the drum set I wanted. Fortunately, all the research and experimenting involved in looking for ways to cut cost but get the quality I am looking for has turned out to be an enjoyable aspect of the experience.

My next purchase is an electric piano I can connect to a computer for sequencing, synthesis, mixing, etc. The piano isn’t going to be that bad…my requirements are professional quality, weighted keys, touch sensitivity, and a quality piano voice. I would like USB but I can live with a MIDI connection. I don’t need a thousand voices, built in synthesizer, sequencer or speakers. I am already putting together the studio monitor system so I can plug it in or use headphones.

I’m already experimenting with Linux for the computer. There are lots of powerful, free applications out there for Linux but installation and software conflicts are a challenge. On the plus side the experience of setting up and maintaining a Linux environment is beneficial for my day job too.