Tag: Recording

Hi Fi systems Recording For everybody

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I am not really sure what age I had been after i got the gift for Christmas, but I recall thinking it had been quite a impressive bit of electronic hardware. It had been great looking (technologically speaking), and that i was awfully proud to possess it. It certainly designed for plenty of fun times.

That which was this high-tech gift, you may well ask? Why, it had been a tape recorder! It had been a monographic, reel to reel tape deck that included it’s own plug-in microphone. I possibly could hold that mic as much as my transistor radio’s speaker and record songs onto tape. I possibly could also take part in the guitar and sing and record every second from it. I possibly could even hide and record conversations from unsuspecting members of the family. I had been in recording heaven!

Years later I owned an 8 track stereo recording deck (ok, that has been a blunder). At another stage I needed a stereo cassette recording deck that will physically flip the tape over when either side was finished recording or playing. Now I own an even more conventional stereo dual cassette deck, but I will no longer put it on for recording or anything else else for example.

My recording has become done on my computer. The audio and midi software currently available for computer recording is very amazing. You are able to record multiple tracks, edit the recordings and add effects as desired. Most of the audio recording programs include their very own native effects for example reverb, compression, flanger, and chorus, for starters. A few of the recording software may also accept 3rd party effects for example vocal removers, tube amp effects and much more.

Multitrack recording software allows for recording various live instruments, vocals, etc, onto individual tracks. After recording one track, you can play it back while recording another. Once finished, you can mix all the individual tracks down into one stereo track. Some recording software will import and record both audio and MIDI, some audio only. If you have a MIDI keyboard or other MIDI instrument, be sure to pick software that handles both formats.

Making a simple hi fi systems recording studio is straightforward. As well as software, an audio and/or midi interface will assist you to plug all sorts of audio components, microphones and instruments into your personal computer for live recording, recording from tape and even from the old vinyl lp’s. You can even work with a home head unit as a possible interface for audio components by running cables with it from the computer’s sound card. A laptop with recording software plus a USB interface may serve as a completely portable recording studio. And again, when you have MIDI instruments, make sure you receive an interface that will enable connecting them in additon to audio components and instruments.

The digital revolution has created music recording common to you aren’t a pc. If you love music and even do not just download mp3’s on the internet, get some good multitrack recording software and commence your house sound studio.

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Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – The Colors Emerge
digital music recording
Image by familymwr
Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – The Colors Emerge

Photo By: SPC Aristide Lavey

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History
After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.
On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.
In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work… Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm…”
In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.
In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion …to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”
Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.
To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.
The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.
Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.
Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.
Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.
In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.
Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.
While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.
In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”
The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.
In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”
In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.
The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”
In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.
As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”
At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.
When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.
In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.
The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.
During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.
The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.
In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.
Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”
The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.
In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.
After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.
The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc… New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.
The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.
The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.
The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:
* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc…)
* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence…)
* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.
* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things …).
* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.
* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).
* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).
* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).
* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc…).
* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.
* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.
What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc… were far away places that most had not visited.
As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.
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My Digital Music Recording and Production

The Digital Renaissance

From the perspective of modern technology with it’s personal computers continually rising in processing power and an increasingly vast array of well-budgeted music software and hardware to choose from, it can be said that it has never been easier to make music.

Whether you are a professional with aspirations to climb dizzy heights and achieve multimillion sales with award winning projects, or just an amateur looking for a bit of fun, it cannot be denied that there is a lot of creative opportunity available using the desktop computer to handle you musical input. Long gone are the days when extensive multi-track recording was reserved for those connected to the industry with its strictly commercial

setup or for people well off enough to afford the expensive equipment.

Nowadays, in conjunction with your computer, a relatively cheap virtual recording studio software package like Steinberg’s Cubase or Pro Tools which has all the features of multi-track recording, a few instruments such as a midi controller keyboard, a guitar and a microphone and your all set up potentially to make some really good music: Basically, it’s all down to dogged-determination, enthusiasm and ability!

Who am I?

-Someone who has been making and recording rock and pop music for a hell of a long time! I have my own virtual recording studio set up and have written, performed on and produced some 16 CD’s to my name. I have also produced other artists in my long and varied repertoire. However, in the early days I never thought I would end up with having that much of an involvement with music in the recording studio.

Some twenty-odd years ago I had been in and out of bands. Then I decided to go solo. I had a head full of ideas and a handful of songs I wanted to record. The choice of doing it all on my own seemed quite practical to me at the time: It would save money employing other musicians and prevent endless rehearsal hours of trying to get across what I wanted and how to do it, when I could achieve this much quicker on my own.

…Well, so much for that nice little theory! Using the words of the immortal bard, what actually happened in practice was a comedy of errors! It took me over two years to finally come up with an album’s worth of my own material.

It had taken such a long time because I had made just about every mistake imaginable during the making (well, it felt like that!). I may tell you more about those mistakes later, with the hope that you don’t make them. It has to be remembered, in those days there was no such thing as computerised recording. It was not even a mere twinkle.

It was a time when the boundary between musicians and non-musicians was a lot less grey: None of this copy, cut and paste sound sampling that you get today from software packages such as Rebirth and Fruity Loops where anyone can have a go. There was no such thing as a controller keyboard linked up to a personal computer where a knowledge or experience of having played is not essential, or midi programming with all its time and money saving implications.

For example, these days I find it a wonderful thing that by using the midi there is no need to have to tune or mic up drums or go through hours and hours of rehearsal and take after take with the drummer to get what is considered to be right for the production. Or even have to call the whole rhythm section back a few days after because a flaw was found in the timing of the whole thing (I’ve been there and done that!). Nowadays the right sound samples and the necessary clicks of the mouse or operations via the keyboard can get the whole software-editing job done relatively quickly to my liking.

Nor was it a time when digital multi-track processing was used where signal-to-noise-ratio was not a problem. No, it was a problem then with analogue reel-to-reel tape recorders. Especially when a high number of tracks, not to mention the cost incurred through having to use a suitable Dolby noise reduction system. If you ever get the chance, ask someone to take off the Dolby on a 24-track tape machine so that you can hear how much hiss nose it makes.

However, in spite of my shortcomings, I still carried on in the same determined way. Which leads me to one piece of advice I can give loud and clearly: Never give up. From a philosophical point of view, I have learnt those mistakes, incompetence, disappointments, shortcomings or anything suchlike are events that can be seen as opportunities!

Sometimes when we are in the morass related to these things, we fail to see the big picture: those undesirable circumstances are platforms for learning, growth and achievement in disguise. -This is how it has been many times for me in music and recording.

From those early days on I did progress, slowly but surely. In a way I was glad to have been around in that era, since I can appreciate the transition from the old analogue set up: reel to reel tape recorders, mixing desks, the multitude of effects racks, echo machines, harmonisers …to the digital technology of today, having gained a broader perspective on how to approach a production and have a greater instinct in knowing how to put music together.

For me, it is this intangible instinct that I treasure the most in all the things I have gained through learning.

I realise also, apart from there being a whole number of different and alternative ways to getting the same task done, that with music being the creative process it is, it may not be appropriate at times to be governed by rigid laws and dogma on how to go about things. For example, today’s offbeat may be tomorrow’s convention. So, from this point of view I realize that many things are not set in stone; take an open minded approach at all times.

Above all have lots of fun!

If you liked reading this article then go to http://www.NewParadigm.ws for more related articles, blogs and videos… including a free download PDF entitled ‘The Greater Way and the New Paradigm Experience’. Hosted by Paul A Philips. One again the link is: http://www.newparadigm.ws/

Demand that Your Audio Recording Studio Has Solid Bamboo Floating Floors

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When you are looking to book an audio recording studio for your band to record in, one of the most essential things you will find it needs to have will be solid bamboo floating floors. In the studio, the overall sound that is produced in this room will have an impact on the recording, what you are going to find is that the acoustics that come with this form of flooring will actually help you to produce the highest quality sound possible.

With this, the right audio recording studio should have a digital audio convertor available to you. This is going to help you to effectively produce and mix your music, instead of having to combine master tapes into a seamless production. In fact, this digital music will allow you to make all the adjustments you need to create the perfect mix.

As part of the process, a solid microphone is going to be important as well. The source recording from this device is going to have a direct impact on the quality of your recordings. A cheap microphone is going to give you mediocre results. With that, you are going to find that no matter how good your editing software is. This means you should verify that any audio recording studio you choose should have a quality microphone in place to ensure that you have the foundation for a great recording.

Space will be another thing to consider when you are looking over your options. What you are going to find is that some recording studios are open enough that you and your band are going to be able to perform together in a single space and create a dynamic recording. In turn, you will also find that some recording studios can only fit so many people and their instruments in a room and you will need to plan for the adjusted space and break down the track into different layers. Some newer studios take advantage of having sound booths where instruments and vocals can be produced at the same time, while keeping each instrument localized so that you can adjust the power the instrument has on recordings.

No matter if you are planning on going the route of recording live or laying down tracks, your top priority should be on getting the best sound quality from the audio recording studio you choose. From the solid bamboo floating floors that can improve sound, to the technical aspects of the room, these simple things are going to help you to take your recording to the next level and to produce a higher quality album than you can make anywhere else. Because of that, take a moment to look at all the factors that come into play with the recording studio.

Liberty Studios is a Professional Audio Recording Studio in Toronto. It provides musicians, producers, filmmakers and editors with the resources for all their audio and visual production needs.

Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – A Cold Winter Day
digital music recording
Image by familymwr
Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – A Cold Winter Day

Photo By: COL James Rentz

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.
On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.
In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work… Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm…”
In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.
In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion …to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”
Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.
To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.
The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.
Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.
Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.
Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.
In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.
Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.
While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.
In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”
The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.
In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”
In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.
The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”
In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.
As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”
At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.
When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.
In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.
The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.
During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.
The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.
In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.
Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”
The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.
In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.
After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.
The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc… New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.
The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.
The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.
The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:
* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc…)
* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence…)
* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.
* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things …).
* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.
* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).
* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).
* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).
* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc…).
* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.
* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.
What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc… were far away places that most had not visited.
As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.

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Related Digital Music Recording Articles

The Importance of an Internship in an Audio Recording Studio

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Apprenticeship is part of acquiring the knowledge base and skill-set needed to succeed in your field. Whether you’re learning to cut diamonds or using a digital audio workstation, nothing takes the place of experience, especially under the guidance of a pro.

An internship at a recording studio is an exciting way for a would-be engineer to learn the ropes. Hands-on experience is the best way to learn new techniques, especially in this rapidly advancing field. An internship is a valuable source of tips and tricks learned from studio professionals. A short stint as an intern exposes the student to crafty studio veterans on both ends of the microphone.

Recording Studio Opportunities

Unfortunately, internships at recording studios are a little tough to come by. Studios have a long waiting list of would-be engineers who would love to be an intern. The best chance for you to get on a short list is to attend an audio recording school which includes an internship component into their training.

Audio Recording Schools

Across the nation there are audio engineering schools that are training the audio producers of tomorrow. Audio recording schools not only help you get a hands-on internship, but they also include training using the same equipment that professionals use. You can get a great start on your audio recording career by learning how to use industry standard equipment while working hands-on

Find the Best Audio Recording School for You

Music production schools vary from location to location, so it is important to make sure that you get a program that fits your needs. You should definitely look for a school that offers current equipment as well as an internship component. These two factors play a huge role in getting your audio recording career started on the right foot.

If you find that the audio recording schools in your area are lacking, you should consider branching out into surrounding areas If you’re serious about working as an audio engineer, traveling a little to get the best education would be worth it.

Music production schools explore an exciting and rewarding career in the music industry. Audio engineering school can give you the skills and training you need to succeed in a career you’ll love!

A Visit To Windmill Lane In Dublin
digital music recording
Image by infomatique
[Visit Photo Gallery]

Windmill Lane is covered in graffiti from fans who have paid pilgrimage from all over the world, many attracted by the studio’s historical connection with U2. Initially the graffiti was interesting but is now a terrible mess and the quality of the art is not as good as it was.

Windmill Lane Studios, also known as the "U2 studio", is a three-storey music recording studio located in Dublin, Ireland. It is located on Windmill Lane, a small street just south of City Quay and the River Liffey and a little north of Pearse Station. It was opened in 1978 by Brian Masterson who is a company director and head engineer. It was originally used to record traditional Irish music until U2 came along and began to record there. Prior to this, Irish rock bands such as Thin Lizzy or The Boomtown Rats carried out their recordings outside Ireland.

It is now boarded up, with the actual studios having moved elsewhere. Nevertheless, the studios are still a popular cult symbol and are regularly visited by tourists, particularly those originally from the United States.

Pulse Recording College recently took ownership of the studios. The college has previously sent students to work at Windmill Lane straight after graduation and these students have collaborated with 50 Cent, Bryan Adams, Moya Brennan, Donovan, Jon Bon Jovi and New Order.

The studio is no longer located on Windmill Lane, although it retains the name. Windmill Lane Studios has not been located on Windmill Lane for quite some time and the current facility was originally Ringsend Studios in Ringsend, Dublin 4. Plans to construct a six-storey office block on the old site led to criticism from local resident groups in early September 2008.

The studio remained empty from 2006 onwards, although reports circulated which linked Van Morrison with purchasing the studio for his own personal use that August. Morrison had previously recorded several albums there, including Back on Top, Magic Time and Pay the Devil. In January 2008, the studio was used to record "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew". In 2009, Pulse College took over Windmill Lane painstakingly renovating the studios which are internationally perceived as being at the heart of the Irish recording industry. The renowned multimedia college has now transformed the facilities with state-of-the-art equipment which encompasses not only 3 fully equipped recording studios, but also a creative hub for Digital Media Training in areas of Music Production, Film Production and Game Analysis and Design.

Find More Digital Music Recording Articles

Home Recording Equipment: Basics

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Once upon a time before home music studios were popular the only way to do any recording was to go to a professional music studio. The reason for this was equipment was expensive and only qualified professionals had the privilege to use the equipment. Lack of consumer recording equipment made recording at home nearly impossible.

Thank goodness that those days are now long over with, and you can now do your recording at home without the big equipment or high amounts of technical knowledge. This technologically advanced age of the digital world has enabled every musician, no matter how small and unknown, to lay down tracks in their own homes. Amazingly, you can get high quality results with very little gear and expense too.

A good place to start would be the computer. Whether using a desktop or laptop what is important is having USB inputs and firewire inputs. If for some reason you feel your computer needs updating, more RAM will help speed up audio processing and a good sound card, so you can get good quality sound into your computer.

With a computer ready you can now look into the many software programs available, remember to choose one that suits the type of recording you will do. there are so many types of home recording software, but they all do the same thing; they record, mix, edit and master audio. The key here is not to procrastinate, find a software that will work on your computer and start recording. Learning one type of home recording software will make it easy to use any piece of recording software.

The stock audio inputs an your computer are usually not the greatest quality. I recommend looking into audio interfaces, which is the next piece of the puzzle. Audio interfaces are external sound cards that connect to your computer by either USB or firewire. Audio interfaces have great mic preamps, midi inputs/outputs, line inputs and outputs for your computer speakers. Another great feature is they have professional grade connections using XLR and 1/4′ adapters, which will maintain sound quality. If you want to record midi then midi inputs/outputs are important and if you want to record your voice or instruments then microphone inputs and line inputs are important to you.

Another important piece of equipment to consider is the microphone you will be using. Here is where your research will really pay off, and here is where you want to pay out for the best you can possibly afford. Microphones and microphone preamps are the crucial link in quality recording, of course your skills as a musician also plays an enormous role. There you have it; a computer, software, audio interface, speakers and a microphone is all you need to get started. Once you understand and see for yourself how it all works you can add to your arsenal of home recording equipment.

Want to find out more about Home Music Studios, then visit Mosses Itkonen’s site on how to choose the best Home Recording Equipment for your needs.

Summer Here Kids no.118
digital music recording
Image by dek dav
Summer Here Kids no.118, by Grandaddy from their album Under the Western Freeway

Summer here kids
All of them awful lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
Do as I didn’t do because
I’m a picture of imdumbivinity
Stay alone put a record on
Listen to the songs keep yourself at home
Cause summer here kids
Summer here totally lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
Summer here kids
All of them awful lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
I’m not having a good time

Background texture image by D Sharon Pruitt www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/sets/72157610551917961/
Sno-cone truck image by zombieite www.flickr.com/photos/zombieite/8792900958/in/photolist-e…
Click here youtu.be/os5k2M1KQxI to hear track
Click here songmeanings.com/songs/view/129991/ for full lyrics & meanings

My 365 art project, where I create a year’s worth [yep, 365] of digital collages, with indie songs as my subject.

Music Recording Secrets: Setting the Proper Recording Level For Your Mixes

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Recording levels are of the extreme importance when you’re creating your music. This pertains to the level for the racks or the mixes. There has always been a average answer for this being to set the level at max just below the digital zero. Referring to the top of the meter. Regrettably, numerous of the professionals would most likely tell you this is inaccurate.

One of the things you might want to keep in mind with this industry is not to believe everything you hear. (No pun intended). There’re various individuals that would tell you whatever thing just that you will buy their products. Anyone that has been in the pc music realm would tell you that digital audio has just gotten to the point where sound quality is good.

Keep in mind 1 basic factor about your quest of composing music and thats the sole purpose of recording sound; which is of course so we could listen and enjoy it. You require to learn and be able to determine what parts of the music must be louder than several others. For example, a pop ballad should be lower on track than a thrash metal. A guitar solo should be above the regular background playing.

Your 1st inclination may be to utilise only your digital meters and record these individually. On the surface, it sounds reasonable, but in actuality, you can end up with the truly opposite results. Reason being the digital recorders use peak meters, whereas music listeners utilise their hearing signifying they use moderate characteristics when judging the levels. If not done in the right way then it implies the listener would be forced to turn the volume down.

You can prevent your frustrations if you simply record everything at the appropriate levels right from the beginning. It will be right to share one track ‘tween two instruments at least. This should only be done when the two specific instruments are not playing simultaneously. So you will record these instruments at the correct level that they will be at when physically playing the song. Use your estimation qualities to get the results that’re accurate. You want to hear what the end listeners should hear. They wont be utilizing meters they’ll be utilising their natural ability of hearing.

Stay consistent with your whole album, if the listener has to keep standing up to re-adjust the volume you could bet they wont be too impressed.

If you try and do your sound recordings according to every of the information that different people give you then you would soon become disheartened. What will work in one song would for certain not work in some other. Then there’ll be all the controversy to sort through. Learn the fundamentals, follow your judgment and trust your ears. Composing music is suppose to be a beautiful event even if it’s your livelihood, if you didn’t have passion for music it is unlikely you would even be required in computer music.

Discover how to produce cutting-edge music easily with VSTPlatinum.com Announcing: Former Sony BMG sound engineer, Greg Hoffman, reveals the goldmine of vst effects and effects usually available only to pro studios. As seen in Computer Music Magazine, you’ll learn to create music from home easily with over 1700 steinberg cubase plugins and audio effects.

Old School
digital music recording
Image by Metrix X
Last night I was out at a waterfront pub called "Against the Grain" It just happens to be in the same building as the rock radio station Q107. Looking through the glass windows I could see the interviewing rooms and the broadcast room complete with an announcer. Everything was digital, no record players, no tape machines, no stacks of media, no gold records on the wall. The only concession to Rock and Roll where 3 guitars placed sort of against the wall. I have seen accountant offices that were less bland. Now days mostly everything is pre-programmed by equally bland people somewhere, most likely not even a person but a computer calculating what and when something should or should not be played all to maximize short term profit.

Back in the 80s I had good luck to be connected through good friends to both Chum Radio and Chum TV. I can tell you Chum Radio was far from sterile. DJ programmed much of their own music many times to the chagrin of management and the CRBC.. Music and radio was a lifestyle Rock and Roll meant well rock and roll. Maybe it’s my age but I can’t help thinking that when we are adopting disruptive technology we might be throwing out some of our passion, humanity and individuality, the proverbial baby in the bath water.

Chum the early days

Music Industry Jobs – How to Become a Sound Recording Engineer

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A music studio contains more equipment than just microphones and a keyboard. To produce a world class album, you need to get the best sound out of the artist and the music. One person whose job it is to do this is the music recording engineer.

When I think of an engineer, I think of an architect or someone who tinkers with wires and circuits all day. In the music business, they use a different type of engineer. He is called a recording engineer and his job begins as soon as the artist starts to sing.

The area that the recording engineer occupies is called the digital audio workstation, or DAW. This workstation contains all of the technical gadgets an engineer needs to fine tune the sounds he hears. The engineer works with the artist to lay down the best sound they can get. This may involve the artist recording certain parts of the song several times until just the right sound is achieved.

The recording engineer may have additional teammates to collaborate on the performance. They are mostly a part of larger projects with big budgets. Smaller projects use the recording engineer in several roles to compensate. Learning all aspects of music engineering can help you land a job in a smaller studio that needs a multi-tasking engineer.

Let’s move on to the mixing engineer. This person takes the best tracks and mixes those together into one blended sound. He uses the best musical tracks that the recording engineer has produced. The recording engineer can hear how the sounds mesh with each other. If it is less than optimal, the recording engineer is back in the studio with the artist recording new sound tracks. Being a mix engineer is kind of like putting together a performance.

A mastering engineer depends on their ears to enhance their experience. He will listen to see what the sound is really like. Over the years he has developed a talent for hearing tones that should be projected more and voices that need to be stronger.

Every engineer needs an assistant. If you are the assistant engineer, keep your wits about you. This could be the final step towards your big break. An assistant performs the usual duties: gopher for the artist and engineers, working with the recording and mixing agent, and learning as much as they can about the business.

The assistant learns to operate equipment and practice their sense of hearing. Music is important because the instrumental sounds and lyrics create a mood in people. It is a form of artistic expression that everyone can appreciate. I love listening to good music and a crystal clear recorded song is that much better to listen to.

Employers will expect a recording engineer to know something of the equipment when they accept the job. In the music industry, there is no substitute for learning and gaining experience. It used to be a catch-22 of sorts. No one wanted to take a chance on you if you hadn’t had any practical time using the equipment. Then again, it is hard to get the experience if no one will hire you.

Take a course or apply for a degree program that will give you the necessary hands-on training. You will need it to get into the door of a music studio for an interview. Where once this equipment was rarely seen in a classroom, many music schools have all of the resources they need to hold labs where everyone gets to utilize the equipment to do some real work.

Do you desire to be a recording engineer? Learn how to do all the jobs of every engineer in case you will be the only one. One way to know if this is right for you is to apply for an internship and try a variety of jobs.

It’s a great time to pursue a music career, whether it’s sound recording engineer jobs, marketing and promotions, or even song writing. The industry is changing, with CDs yielding to digital downloads. Learn about music jobs on JobMonkey.

A Visit To Windmill Lane In Dublin
digital music recording
Image by infomatique
[Visit Photo Gallery]

Windmill Lane is covered in graffiti from fans who have paid pilgrimage from all over the world, many attracted by the studio’s historical connection with U2. Initially the graffiti was interesting but is now a terrible mess and the quality of the art is not as good as it was.

Windmill Lane Studios, also known as the "U2 studio", is a three-storey music recording studio located in Dublin, Ireland. It is located on Windmill Lane, a small street just south of City Quay and the River Liffey and a little north of Pearse Station. It was opened in 1978 by Brian Masterson who is a company director and head engineer. It was originally used to record traditional Irish music until U2 came along and began to record there. Prior to this, Irish rock bands such as Thin Lizzy or The Boomtown Rats carried out their recordings outside Ireland.

It is now boarded up, with the actual studios having moved elsewhere. Nevertheless, the studios are still a popular cult symbol and are regularly visited by tourists, particularly those originally from the United States.

Pulse Recording College recently took ownership of the studios. The college has previously sent students to work at Windmill Lane straight after graduation and these students have collaborated with 50 Cent, Bryan Adams, Moya Brennan, Donovan, Jon Bon Jovi and New Order.

The studio is no longer located on Windmill Lane, although it retains the name. Windmill Lane Studios has not been located on Windmill Lane for quite some time and the current facility was originally Ringsend Studios in Ringsend, Dublin 4. Plans to construct a six-storey office block on the old site led to criticism from local resident groups in early September 2008.

The studio remained empty from 2006 onwards, although reports circulated which linked Van Morrison with purchasing the studio for his own personal use that August. Morrison had previously recorded several albums there, including Back on Top, Magic Time and Pay the Devil. In January 2008, the studio was used to record "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew". In 2009, Pulse College took over Windmill Lane painstakingly renovating the studios which are internationally perceived as being at the heart of the Irish recording industry. The renowned multimedia college has now transformed the facilities with state-of-the-art equipment which encompasses not only 3 fully equipped recording studios, but also a creative hub for Digital Media Training in areas of Music Production, Film Production and Game Analysis and Design.

Building a Simple Recording Studio for Beginners

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This article contains introductory information on what the basic components of a recording studio are. It outlines the use of the multi-track recorder, the microphone, the studio monitor, the console and finally the mixing console.

There is a huge selection of gear to choose from when wanting to record music. Sound quality is very important when recording music so the recording musician can select the right equipment for getting the best sound. To do so however, to get the best quality in creating and recording music you need to know a few details regarding various recording gear.

To start, someone who is looking to record music professionally should have some short of multi-track recorder. You can either have an analog multi-track recorder that takes a tape or a digital multi-track recorder that has a digital tape; digital tapes similar to zip drivers. Nevertheless, the analog tape recorders are usually the cheapest recorders out there as well. The recently popular multi-track recorder is the one that uses a hard drive.

This type of multi-tracker recorder is based on a computer hard drive that you can save your music and channel configuration on. Depending on the make of the digital multi-track recorder the size of the hard drive varies and so does the amount of information that you can save on. In addition, some hard drives can also be upgraded and to have more memory.

Before you start recording you need to get the sound to the recorder from the source. A microphone is a basic and most common way to do so. A microphones utility depends on a few factors but in general microphones are categorized based on quality and consistency.

Quality of sound is one thing but the second one is consistency which is also important. Consistency has to do with the perception of sound as well as for the eventual usage of the sound. Moving on to other things you will need to record music, is to have a way to listen to what is being recorded in the studio.

These types of studio speakers are referred to s studio monitors or reference monitors. These speakers are specially designed for music production and are very accurate. They are made to give out highly detailed overall sound without focusing on a particular frequency.

After the multi-track recorder, a microphone and a monitor you will also need a mixer. A mixer is an audio device that can either be digital or an actual piece of electronic equipment. What a mixer does is mixes signals. It mixes the audio inputs into viable audible sound wave entities that can be manipulated in way that can be altered around for the best levels.

A mixer works great in bringing all your studio components together and allows the recording professional to control the audio levels as well as connect other instruments and studio components. A mixer supports audio mixing consoles that allow you to alter the tone dynamics of more than one audio signal at the same time.

Aside from the above the recording professional will also need a variety of cables, connectors and other kinds of recording equipment. A good sound engineer also needs a good pair of headphones so you can monitor everything closely.

It is not hard to start your own studio. These days it can be achieved very easy and at a low budget.

If you are interested in setting up your own studio then visit Music Recording Equipment. Get information on headphones such as the Sony mdr-v900dj DJ Monitor Headphones. You should also get a turntable like the Ionaudio Vinyl Recording USB Turntable .

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digital music recording
Image by jDevaun.Photography

Working Out What You Need for Your Home Recording Studio

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An important consideration when looking to set up a ‘home recording studio’ is how you will use it. You will need to work out how many things you want to record or plug in at any one time or you might wind up with uneccessary gear-or not enough!

Let’s look at a typical example of ‘Vinnie’ the guitarist who has a desire to show his ‘band’ how the songs should be played.

No matter how many times he’s tried to explain, they never quite get it right, so the only way he can see to achieve this is to record it all ‘properly’ himself.

What does Vinnie need?

He needs to record a basic drum pattern – nothing fancy – he wants to record two electric guitars, an acoustic guitar, he wants to record a bass guitar and record a main vocal and two backing harmonies.

Vinnie of course will not do all this at once, so even though he needs to record 9 things does he need 9 channels?

No.

All he really ‘needs’ is a maximum of 4 inputs- two with pre-amps. He will also need a microphone to sing into and to record his acoustic guitar, we will asume he has a guitar amp simulator to record the electric guitars and bass and that he has a physical drum machine or one inside his computer or stand alone hard disc recorder.

Vinnie could easily walk down to his music store or get online and find what he needs to get the job done. He could look at a computer recording package with appropriate software and specialised sound card for audio recording. Some companies provide these all in one packages Lexicon, M-Audio, Pro-Tools and Presonus are good brand names to look at as a starting point, but be aware that recording onto a computer can be a frustrating experience if you’re not computer savy.

Vinnie’s other alternative is the stand alone hard disc recorder with a built in mixer section. Any of the offereings from Fostex, Yamaha or Boss/Roland would take care of his needs, at this point Vinnie just wants to get his ideas onto the physical plain as quickly as possible so others can hear them- so he’ll probably need a CD burner thrown in to the equation unless his machine can link up to a computer-as a number of them now can do.

Now let’s look at another example of Barabra who plays in a four piece folk/rock group. They want to record a couple of songs for CD release. All the instruments her band uses are acoustic; Double Bass, Violin ,Guitar and Banjo.

Three of the group also sing. Now Barabara is lucky enough to have a large secluded garage space available for her group to rehearse in and given they don’t annoy the neighbours by making too much noise she wishes to record the band as a ‘whole’ for the best vibe-what will she need?

4 X Instrument Microphones or D.I. [direct injection] boxes
3 X Vocal microphones
8 inputs with Microphone Preamps
Capacity to record on 8 channels at once.

There are some limitations with stand alone recorders, some of them will only let you record on 2 channels at once, another thing to be aware of is the ‘quality’ of the recordings.

Some years ago during the ‘compression algorythm’ wars, clever boffins discovered that our ears can ‘fill in’ missing information, in the same way that you can look at the scrambled letters of a word but are still able to decipher what it is.The boffins kept removing bits of what our ear was hearing until they came up with a formula [algorythm] that fooled our ears most of the time. These are known as ‘compressed’ formats as they ‘squish’ the sound in such a clever way that we don’t notice.

Almost all commercial and home recording computer software will record ‘linear'[non-compressed] files to your computer hard disc. Pro-tools,Logic Audio, Cubase, Sonar all do this. Later on when you ‘mix-down’ your songs you can turn them into mp3 files for podcast or to load to your portable digital music player. Adobe Audition and Steinberg’s Wavelab are two programs I can think of that record direct mp3 files- but they are not ‘full function’ multitrack programs.

When we deal in compressed formats- mp2 mp3 etc, ‘unneccessary’ information is removed making the file sizes smaller [and hence downloads faster]- so these are ‘compressing’ the files. The advantage for the home recordist is that less hard disc space is needed.

A consideration when looking at stand alone recorders is to ask the question- do I want compressed or uncompressed audio. If you have any intention of turning these recordings into something for release then the uncompressed format is the best- you will lose some quality by using a compressed format, but your ideas will be captured quickly for you to work on later. Also bear in mind that a number of hard disc recorders can later transfer data to a computer software system for more elaborate processing so if you use a non-compressed recording format you will retain the quality of your recording.

Now when Barabara popped down the music store to express her needs she told the sales person that, “she wants a high quality recording of her group but I have no idea about computers” so the salesman suggests a stand alone unit with eight inputs that records the data in a non-compressed format. As she doesn’t have a huge budget she chooses to hire in most of the microphones for this recording session. The man at the shop suggests she uses condensor microphones for the instruments and dynamic Shure sm58’s for the vocals.

A crucial quality consideration at this point is the ‘pre-amp’. What does that do and why is it so important you ask?

After your microphone has done the incredible job of sorting out sound pressure waves and converting them into electrical signals, they arrive via microphone cables at the ‘pre-amp’-a short way of saying pre-amplifier. For years I struggled to really ‘get’ what a pre amp did, unitl I understood this:

When the microphone puts out a signal it is very very very very tiny. I now call this ‘mouse level’. Once it’s gone through a pre amp it becomes ‘elephant level’, something that our mixing consoles and digital recorders can use easily.

Hear this:

Depending on the quality of the compoments used, this amplification process can make or break the quality of the recorded sound. A bad pre-amp will add hiss and noise to your recording

Most stand alone recorders and computer sound card interfaces have ‘adequate’ microphone preamps. To make your recordings ‘shine’ I would suggest getting an ‘outboard'[separate component] pre-amp, though having said that the pre-amps in high end Yamaha consoles are gaining a very good reputation. Focusrite/Joe Meek/Avalon/Tc Electronics are great brands. Currently I use a Focusrite Twin-Trak pro, a device specifially for home recording enthusiasts.

To sum up, our friend Vinnie will probably be quite happy with an off the shelf hard disc recorder with 4 or so inputs that records ‘compressed’ files because he is only trying to show his band colleagues a ‘rough’ idea of how he hears things.

Barbara who is not computer savy is looking for a more polished end product and wants to record her group in the best quality for a CD the band will release, hence she needs to record ‘linear’ [non-compressed] data and will look for a unit with the best quality pre-amps she can buy.

For more information on home recording visit www.myhomerecordingstudio.com
Download 100 free money making eBooks at mymillionairebuddy.com

Window Like
digital music recording
Image by trekkyandy
I know it’s out a window for real but the song is "Window Like" which explains the title. I recorded this on 4/22/08. I wasn’t sure if I was going to post it or not but decided to post it tonight. I used my Logitech ClickSmart 510 digital camera/webcam to record the video onto the hard drive. The colors aren’t the best because the camera sucks. I recorded for over an hour while I washed the dishes and cooked supper.

Music is "Photo theme: Window like" by Antony Raijekov

Related Digital Music Recording Articles

What Do You Need To Get Started In Recording?

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The innovations that have been brought about since the advent of digital music recording have changed much in the recording industry. One of these big changes is that it is easier than ever for musicians to record themselves rather than go into a studio. If you are looking to record on your own, you can set up a home studio and start working towards putting together a CD. What follows is some of the “must have” equipment to get started with a home studio.

A computer and software – There’s a lot of different software out there for the purposes of recording. Regardless of which software package you pick to use in your home studio, you will need something. You’ll find that this will become the center of your home studio. You’ll need a relatively powerful computer with a lot of RAM and a large hard drive so that you can easily store and work with your recordings.

Foam – Soundproofing is important. The echo which can occur in some rooms can ruin your recordings. Using soundproofing foam will deaden the sound in this room, which depending on size and shape may only need to be partially soundproofed to provide you with the echo dampening you need for your home studio.

A mixer – You’ll need this to get the sound from the instruments and voices to your computer. You’ll need a mixer with enough channels to handle everything you want to record all at once (it is a good idea to get a mixer with a few more channels than you think you will need).

Pre-amps – These will give your instruments much better sound than can be achieved by running them directly into the mixing board. You can set the sounds of instruments individually using pre-amps, offering you much more control over your recording.

Monitors – While some prefer headphones for this purpose, you may want to consider some high quality full range monitors; these will let you hear the full dynamic range of your recording during the mixing phase, if you do opt for headphones instead of monitors, be sure to use headphones specifically designed for the purpose.

Microphones – You’ll want high end microphones for recording which will capture the full range of voice and other sounds recorded in the room. For voice recording you’ll want a pop filter – this prevents hard consonants from overloading your recording.

Compression – This can be done either by a separate compression unit or after recording, but shouldn’t be neglected. Compression allows you to limit the peaks and valleys of sounds and match these peaks between different tracks.

Using this basic setup will allow you to create good sounding recordings from the get go. You can add in other equipment as you go on, or take out equipment you find yourself not using, but the equipment listed above will get you off to a good start with your home studio.

Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of MusicianHome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.

Low-Tech Suzuki Melodion – Ottawa 01 08
digital music recording
Image by Mikey G Ottawa
Nowadays, with modern technology, You could record (‘sample’) any instrument (like say, a trumpet) or Any Sound Imaginable, even! Next minute, you’re playing that sound, automatically transposed across the 96, touch-sensitive keys while also simultaneously recording your performance as MIDI performance data in a computer-controlled sequence of performance instructions at 496 kHz, in stereo . . . .
or you could play The Melodica.
It’s cheap and easy.

See Mikey G Ottawa’s Flickr Photo Set of my visit to Spaceman Music in Centretown Ottawa on Gladstone Avenue at Bank Street. www.flickr.com/photos/mikeygottawa/sets/72157603698127445…
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