Friday, August 05, 2011


I've been quite inspired recently by OCRemix, and I hope to do some arrangements of my own for the good old games back in the day. As such, I've built a beginner's DAW.
The signal chain is quite straightforward; microphone -> audio interface -> laptop, and my main application (for now) would be Garageband.

For microphone, I decided (after much, much going around in circles) to go with the good old Shure SM57. The logic follows that it is a very hard wearing microphone, plus it's a dynamic and will help reject ambient noise as my room is not properly treated.

Audio interface is an Onyx Blackjack. There are several interfaces at the same price point, and this was chosen mainly as the preamps are supposedly of very high quality. There is no midi in/out, and that is alright as I do not think I will be connecting any devices that use traditional midi connections at the moment.

The mini keyboard is the Akai LPK25, a really small usb midi keyboard that I think would be fine for use with garageband. Having used larger M-Audio keyboards with weighted keys, the keys on the LPK feel like a cheap casio. In addition, the velocity feels non linear. Can't be helped as it is very affordable. Still, I had alot of fun playing tunes on it in garageband. Some songs with extended ranges annoy with the octave break though :)

Sound wise, I haven't tested my saxophone on it. Based on vocal tests, this is a very different sound from my Zoom H1. The H1 is very clear, but doesn't seem to have as much bass. The XLR signal chain at the moment sounds very smooth, with the right amount of bass. I actually thought my voice wasn't too bad through the sm57.

Can't wait for the weekend when I can go all out and check out this setup on the saxophone :) Still working on my Houdini cookoff project - was doing fluid sim tests - and was playing with the above whilst the sims were cooking away :)

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