Another EtceteraThesis Music Studios Update

Okay, so I haven't done much work on the new songs. The multi-track still gives me headaches, but I'm learning. Anyway, some progress in the studio was made today; my wife and I finally mounted the guitar rack we built a couple of months ago to the wall over my keyboard and multi-track.

I still have a few little problems to iron out, aside from my aversion to the multi-track. The keyboard seems to be dying on me, and that little mandolin of Gary's on the wall needs to be restrung quite badly. I won't have the money come this Christmas for the keyboard I want to replace this one with, so I'm stuck without keys for a while, unless we can figure out why this one keeps shutting down on me. This and the mandolin problem are an issue because certain songs I want to work on require both instruments.

When I do finally get the new keyboard, I'm going to have to figure out a better way to monitor the multi-track, because I won't really be able to continue using my beat up old Hitachi as I have been. Although, if I could just get it working, I'd put the Hitachi to greater use, because it was a great demo recorder back in the day.

Sadly, the last time I had a repairman whose window advertised that he handled Hitachi stereo equipment have a look at it, they dickered with a few things and sent it back 'fixed', except that, really, it was pretty much just as I'd sent it to them. Now it's so old, I haven't a hope of finding someone in town who can really repair it to working order, let alone find replacement parts for the front gate assembly.

I just need a fast and intuitive way of getting ideas down, to stimulate my urge to work on the tunes more and get them tracked and produced. Once I finally get comfortable with the multi-track, this problem might disappear. But until then, I'll keep wishing I could just press a button and get the job done simply. Whenever I try to do that with the multi-track, I start dickering with the tracking functions, and before I know it, the day has passed and I still don't have a playable track.

And sadly, I have no urge to go back to using my forlorn four-track. I can't live with the tape hiss in my final recordings anymore, and the lack of EQ makes getting the tracks to sound good next to each other almost impossible. Given that I don't have a functioning band to work with right now, I have to be able to do everything for myself, and it's hard to get any kind of performance when you're playing alone.

I also need a headset for the multi-track. You can't really use a headset for monitoring and engineering, but for tracking, it's the best way to isolate your performance against everything you're laid down so far and really get into the piece. No distractions, no concerns, just you and the music. I haven't operated like that in years. Almost a decade now. I think when I finally do sit down to record the album, I'm going to need that.

Anyway, enough.

Lee.

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2 Responses to “Another EtceteraThesis Music Studios Update

  • Hi, a bit of a random question but how did you go about building your guitar wall mount. It looks very professional. I’ve been looking on the net for something similar but not much available. Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hello Graham,

      I know exactly what you mean, as my wife and I went through pretty much the same problem you’re having. Sadly, we never did find a proper plan or diagram for our guitar rack; we just sort of hashed it out ourselves (makes me think I should be building custom rackmounts, tho’). I see from your email addie that you live somewhere in the UK, and as I’m Canadian, I fear I can’t give you the best directions on how to acquire the items we did. But I might be able to give you some basic instructions on how to build your own:

      First off, we ordered a half dozen of these little babies: Hercules GSP40WB Wallmount Rack Stand. No idea if they ship overseas, or if a UK-based instrument vendor carries them. We looked at other makes and models, but really, these were the only ones we felt comfortable buying online. They’re very durable and flexible, and we haven’t had a problem with any of them yet.

      Then, we went to our local hardware store (I think we chose either Home Depot or Lowe’s, but I have no idea where you would go over there. To get the length you need, you’ll have to measure your guitars themselves and decide what the greatest width you’ll be dealing with is, and apply some basic maths. We added about an inch on either side, but I can’t for the life of me remember what the final measurement was. Sorry.

      After marking out the space we had versus the space we needed, and making sure to leave a good bit of space on either end for stability, I cut my boards at a 45 degree angle and twisted them around to screw them together at a 90 degree angle, using a pair of metal L-brackets for each corner, acquired from the hardware store. The dual brackets are necessary, especially if, like us, you don’t have a table saw or work bench to use power tools on, thus assuring a perfect 45 degree cut. The work may look professional from a distance, but if you got up close, you’d see the slight gaps where my lousy handsaw went astray.

      Finally, I marked out the widths and screw-hole placements (measure twice, cut once 😉 ) and screwed the rackmounts onto the top plank of the finished rack, and screwed that directly to the wall, after ascertaining where the studs were.

      Had I to do it over again, I’d have ordered two or three more rackmounts and bought longer lengths of wood, but hindsight’s 20/20. Hope that helped somehow. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. I might even crack out the measuring tape (wherever it’s gotten to) and give you more useful measurements. Good luck!

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