M is for Money

I’m really poor. I’ve been making music. Here’s how I did it:

I used a Dell laptop (£500) with Ableton Live 9 Intro (£55, bought during a 20% off sale) and Ignite (free with my MIDI keyboard).

I connected electric guitars/mics to my computer via a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface (£120). For some songs I plugged my guitar (a lefty Epiphone Dot) straight into the audio interface; at times I also used an effects pedal (a Boss CH-1 chorus pedal or a Digitech DF-7 distortion pedal).

I recorded my ancient Yamaha C40 classical guitar using a Rode M3 condenser microphone (£69). I also used an M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 MIDI keyboard (£34). The keyboard was really useful for writing MIDI bass guitar parts.

I listened to everything through an old pair of headphones with a frustratingly high bass response, and a pair of generic smartphone headphones.

The things that don’t have a price were bought too long ago for me to remember the cost. I like to think that even though I bought all the cheapest things, I’ve had some really good results from them!


E is for Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

I’ve managed to get some overtime at work – an extra wee 4 hours a week for the rest of the month – which means that I’ll have a few extra pennies and be able to do some fun things! I’ve only been working 16 hours a week, and almost everything I earn goes towards my rent, food, and travel costs. I complain a lot about it, but I can still live comfortably enough and it means I have plenty of time to focus on creative pursuits, or sleep all day, or whatever.

There’s a gig on Thursday that I thought I was going to have to miss, but the extra money means I can justify going. (Clearly I’m choosing to ignore, for now, the fact that I won’t receive that extra wages until the end of the month!) It’ll be a cheap gig – something like £7 for a ticket, since it’s quite an unknown band – but I also have to pay to travel to Glasgow. Nine out of ten times, when bands come on tour to Scotland, they choose Glasgow over Edinburgh, which sucks for my bank balance.

The band I’m planning on going to see on Thursday is a husband-and-wife duo called Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), who write incredibly sweet, sad songs. They’re doing a co-headline tour with another band that has something like 10 members and is called The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die. They’re pretty cool but sometimes when I listen to them I feel like someone’s bombarding me with ribbons and confetti and I get really confused. Anyway, it’s a tour of the ridiculously-named bands! I’m really looking forward to it.

I was a day late with this post because I couldn’t decide whether to write about Edinburgh, “Emo” music or (Quantum) Entanglement. In the end I picked none of those. I need to get myself a bit better organised for this A to Z Blogging Challenge!