Pain Pain and More Pain

I put leads on four songs before work this morning. It was a bad experience in three ways. First, I am so rusty it’s embarrassing. Second, the interface problems left me on the verge of screaming in fury and frustration the whole time. Third, I have no callusses on my finger tips anymore and I am in searing, burning agony right now. I played for about 45 minutes and oh my god the finger tip pain.

Fun.

I have four songs to mix by the end of the day. I don’t have an album-in-a-month for September, but maybe I have an EP in a month? At the very least I’ll have my first RPM Challenge Record Every Month song since RPM ended in February. That’s nice. The four songs I have to pick from are AWFUL and the guitar playing is AWFUL and the singing is AWFULAWFULAWFUL, but at least they exist. I guess.

My iPad has a USB C input. I am thinking of trying to use one of my USB interfaces with the iPad to see if the same problems with lagging will happen on that machine. If not, then I can keep writing and recording without wanting to punch holes in the wall in furious angry anger as the input signal drops out for a fraction of a second and fucks up a solid take… again and again and again and again. That would be nice. If the iPad work around doesn’t work… I don’t know what I’ll do. I’ll need to upgrade to a faster USB interface but I most definitely do not have any money for that. Two kids in college, you know? Urgh.

Pics…

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USB C Hates Me More Than I Knew

I spent my lunch break trying to convince my two USB audio interfaces not to fuck up in GarageBand. I failed miserably.

I guess I must have got the M1 MacBook Pro around the time of my surgery because I haven’t tried to do very much recording since then. I’ve done some, and definitely had lagging issues, but nothing even remotely as bad as it was today.

I tried using different USB adapters and it didn’t help. I tried bypassing my USB hub and it didn’t work. I tried different USB cables and it didn’t work. I tried only using the interface for input and using the Mac’s headphone out of output and that actually made it worse because the input lagged but the output didn’t so the tracks ended up out of time.

I actually have four songs that are a lead guitar track away from being finished. They are bad songs with really bad performances (especially the vocals) and they have timing issues everywhere because of the lagging. I’d still like to finish them off before the end of September, but I’m at the point where my recording setup is basically useless.

I think the solution is a USB interface that outputs directly into USB C. I think the old USB connections are too slow and the MacBook is too fast that the two can’t work together.

I am so fucking pissed off right now.

I guess maybe the next OS update might include a software fix for my issues, but I doubt it. I think my amazing 16 channel interface is now obsolete.

Shit.

USB C Hates Me

I did some music this morning. The infuriating problems I had with my interface yesterday were worse today. I used different cables and adapters and eventually used a different interface all together and it just kept getting worse. I don’t know what I am going to do. I did manage to get through guitars for one song and vocals for two, but it left me so effing mad, and the performances were complete shit.

There’s two pics though, so I guess that’s okay?

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Intermittent Latency

I got up early this morning to ensure I would be able to watch episode four of Andor while doing my walkies, and also sneak in some guitar playing before I had to punch into work. Success. Sort of.

I added two rhythm guitar tracks to one song and one to another. I didn’t use my amp, I plugged directly into the USB interface and used an amp sim. Somehow doing so exacerbated a problem I have been having every now and then and made it almost impossible to get anything done.

I have a newish, M1 Mac. It’s generally lightning fast. When using GarageBand though, every now and then there will be a random, split second of latency that throws off my timing. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s concerning.

Today, while using the amp sims, it was happening 2-3 times every 20 seconds or so. It was fucking infuriating. That plus my terrible rusty playing had me swearing at the screen and feeling generally pissed off. I Googled it to see if it was a thing, and there are a lot of mentions of latency but no clear reason or solution. I expect it has more to do with my USB interface going through a USB hub and an adapter, rather than something with the M1 chip, but who knows. Maybe I’ll mess with the cabling next time.

Anyway, here’s a couple of gitter pics.

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A rare look at the clip on headstock tuner that I am usually embarrassed to let people see.

Music… Finally

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It’s been almost two months since the last time I played guitar. I’ve been so wrapped up in rediscovering my camera obsession that I’ve nearly forgotten about my guitar obsession.

Now that the weather is starting to get cold and I’m running out of places I want to try to take pictures, it’s time to dive back into the music. With five days left in September, I am clearly not going to pull off an album this month. I might pull off a single though. I wrote two really simple song ideas today. Music will happen, if it kills me.

Given the situation though, it might be safe to expect the bombardment of post-playing guitar pictures will be from the DSLR so the image quality (though not the megapixel count) could be improved. Here’s hoping, at least.

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More Bass Royalty

Holy crap! So you thought a couple of pictures of Geddy Lee and Paul McCartney together were amazing? How’s about we add John Paul Effin’ Jones!

I like to be a dick and refer to Mr Jones as John Baldwin, because that’s his given name. I do not, however refer to Geddy Lee as Gary Weinrib. I’m pretty sure Geddy legally changed his name. Not sure about Jonesy.