Been doing various musical things lately. I'm still doing the singing lessons and making some progress there. We've been working on some Muse songs, but some of them go into the ultrasonic. I don't think I'll achieve that any time soon, but my range is extending.
I put my singing into practice by finally getting around to recording a song for the next Six String Bliss album that should get released next week. After a session on Linux audio at friend Malc's studio I was inspired to give Ardour another go. It turns out the trickiest part is finding some reasonable settings for the JACK Audio Connection Kit so that you don't get too much latency or drop-outs. Mine is not optimal, but allowed me to record. I'm using my Zoom H4 as my microphone and interface. My song was all acoustic, so I didn't use the built-in effects. I didn't have time to do proper backing tracks, so I used an existing MIDI file for the bass and drums. These were played by Rosegarden into Fluidsynth and then to some Ardour tracks. It took me a while to get to grips with the general recording process and techniques like punching-in, but I managed to put something reasonable together. I'll talk about it more after the album release, but I plan to do more.
The other musical adventure was a little trip to Hamburg. This arose from a mention of a gig by friend of Six String Bliss Skinny Jim. A few of us decided to go over for the gig. Dave, his son Callum, Martin and myself flew out from Luton to be met by local member Jan. We stayed in a couple of hotels on the notorious Reeperbahn, centre of the local red-light district. The whole adult club/shop scene was a bit surreal to be around, but we had not trouble there. This is where The Beatles got their start. Jan showed us around some great guitar shops where you could played just about any instrument without getting hassled by the staff. I played some nice Parkers, a PRS and various others. This gave me some more ideas for my next guitar(s), but I don't really need another just now. That evening was spent at the gig in a small club by the port. The support band were a Brazilian punk band who were 'interesting', but the main act were excellent. Good time rock 'n' roll. We had a good chat with the band who were really glad to have us there. I recorded part of the show on the H4 and this should appear on the 6SB podcast some time (with Jim's permission). This couple of days were a great opportunity to meet people I've been chatting with on-line for ages and it felt like meeting old friends.
There are lots of pictures of the trip from me, Dave, Jan and Martin. Martin has also written his own report on the trip. Of course it's discussed on the 6SB forum too. There's a big meet-up planned in Nashville next year, but I don't think I'll get there. We'll have to do somthing else this side of The Pond.