The Blues Dude

Carryin' on the Blues legacy

Recording Guitar and Vocals with A Home Computer

The Blues Dude - Ik Multimedia

Here I am using the goto device the iRig for quick and painless recordings

With all the major advances that have been made in the last few years, there is no excuse to not be recording your guitar and vocals with your own home recording setup. The computing power that most of us have at home now is equal or better than that of a professional studio in the 90’s. Also, it just isn’t as complicated as it used to be. Outlined below are methods and devices that anyone can use to accomplish home recording regardless of your level of technical knowhow.

The items needed to record at home are a computer, an interface, and your instrument. By instrument it can be anything from a guitar to a wind instrument, or even just a microphone for a vocal track. We will start with the assumption that you already know how to connect a usb cable or just a line in to your sound input and install your device into your computer.

GUITAR/BASS PLAYERS

For recording it pays to be a guitar or bass player because the sound is already converted into electricity by the guitars pickups. So, the absolute most inexpensive way to record your guitar/bass into a computer is to buy a device called an iRIg by IK Multimedia. It usually runs around 39.99 and it connects right to your sound jack on your computer while allowing your headphones to be plugged in for monitoring yourself without any external noise. This way you can get a great recording at 3 am and no neighbors, parents, or roommates will be disturbed.

AmpliTube iRig - Mobile Guitar Interface for iPhone/iPad

The iRig claims it is only good for use in your iPhone, iPod, or other compatible mobile device, but this just is not true. I have used this device plugged right into my computers microphone input and it sounds just fine. If you like, you can certainly use your phone or iPad to do this because then you will get a free bonus; the Amplitube software. This method would be considered analog to analog to digital which forces the conversion to the responsibility of the computer or device it’s plugged into. For $99 there is a higher quality method that converts the signal before it’s gets to your computer, which will increase the quality and overall sound of the recording.

Once you have your guitar/bass plugged in to your iPhone/iPad download the free Amplitube app. Amplitube offers access to a multitrack recorder with built in live digital amp-modeling effects. There do offer a free version, but like anything in the app world the in-app purchases will enable the really cool stuff to happen. However, even the free built in sounds are fantastic and professional enough.

For a higher grade of recording there is another device called the iRig HD. The iRig HD – High-Quality Guitar Interface for iPhone, iPod touch & iPad now does the audio conversion for you, where it should happen, before it gets to the computer or device. This way the device can use its power to record your signal and it won’t waste resources on converting your signal from analog to digital. Which means you will have more signal and less noise in your recording and an overall much better recording of your guitar/bass. This is only $99 Bucks.

VOCALISTS

For vocals IK Multimedia offers a few professional grade products, all which are an extremely good value to a singer at home or out in the field; the iRig mic HD and the iRig Pro. Both of these devices can be used with mobile devices or at your own home recording studio. The iRig Mic HD is a fantastic product for live, studio, and electronic field production. The only drawback with the iRig Mic HD is that you do not have a choice over which microphone you choose. You must use the one that is supplied with the product. This device does the the 24-bit analog to digital conversion inside the microphone. In one regard it’s extremely easy to setup and get started recording your hit single.

ALL-IN-ONE – (yes even midi)

The iRig pro is the flagship IK Multimedia product. It can interface with an analog guitar / bass / keyboard / and even has a midi input. This device can also be used with any computer Mac or PC that has a USB input or an iPod, iPhone, or iPad. This device is the most versatile of all, and has every feature the other devices mentioned here do also. The advantages of owning this product are great.

IK Multimedia

The iRig Pro HD offers flexibility most of all. It is not microphone dependent, which means you can use any quality mic you already own or plan to buy. This device works flawlessly with Garageband and Logic and many other common Digital Audio Workstations. Another major advantage this device offers is its ability to be used in the field. If you are recording an interview or just going to do a mobile recording session for someone other than yourself, you are in luck. Just bring your iPhone/iPad/iPod or portable laptop and you’re good to go. This is a professional device and by no means should be considered amateur.

Best Harmonica Amp The Blues Dude Ever Heard!!

Kendrick Amp

Taken at Bushstock, Bushkill PA, Sep 9th, by Jeremiah Williams.

As many of you may already know, Bushstock ended yesterday and there were many fantastic bands that played. Most of the bands that played, I would consider to be Blues Bands. Many Blues bands, since Muddy Waters in the 40’s, use a harmonica to get that authentic blues sound. There was one band that played that call themselves The Kelchner Brothers, that had one of the best Blues Harp players I have ever heard. His name is Jansen Kelchner and he is only thirteen years old.
Jansen’s Blues Harp playing was phenomenal due to a combination of many factors. The first factor being his unbridled talent. His licks and tasteful blues accompaniments sounded like the real thing. According to their website http://www.kelchnerbrothers.com he has been getting lessons from many of the great sounding blues bands in the Lehigh Valley. The James Supra Blues band and the Eddie Bluestone Trio has takes these young brothers under their wings. Clearly these kids are heading for a life of fame and music if they stick with it.
The other contributing factor to the amazingly accurate sound of the blues was his gear. Jenses plays out of a Kendrick Harp amplifier. The amp is from the Texas Crude series and it looks like their best model for harps. The sound that this amp made was perfect. It laid beautifully in the mix and just complemented everything that was going on soundwise. The dirty and gritty amp had a gain that was so clear and perfect, it would be suitable for any harp player. Usually, when I hear harp players, their sound almost overloads your ear so nothing else can be heard. But this amp was perfect for the harp, not too distorted and not too clean either. It seems that is just what you get when you buy a hand wired amplifier from Kendrick Amplifiers.
I just couldn’t believe this kid was only thirteen. It was the highlight of the Bushstock festival for me. You can find more of the Kendrick amps at their website.www.Kendrick-Amplifiers.com