New Studio

Here’s what I did today: tore down my office tables and gear entirely, and built a little home studio.

I’ve certainly worked in / broadcast from worse locations, so meet the new Lava Lamp Lounge – Studio A. Since I’m not doing any live shows for a while, and since my own “home studio” is essentially any flat surface I set up on to record, I decided to use those turntables that kiisu gave me, and make this my home for the foreseeable future. (And: beyond?)

The iPad can be traded out for any other 1/8” jack device. I can also have a cord to swap out devices that need RCA and 1/4” jacks, too. I have a mic-stand / microphone that I can fly in, to use for situations like that. Tapes, CDs, records and digital… right now, I can play almost anything, and I even have that 16 Speed turntable and a reel to reel player I can hook up, if need be. (As I’ve said before: I dare someone to record a song on a format I can’t play.) It’s not ideal, certainly, and I don’t have real monitors or a real studio mixer. But it works, and I can swivel my chair around, stand up, and it’s there, ready to go. 

This will be where all future radio and podcasts are created and recorded, and it is also the same setup I use to perform live, with extra gear I usually can’t bring to shows. (Two turntables is just too much for the stage, given the space it all takes up.) So I can probably stream live, too. 

I haven’t figured out how to get the streaming sound quality to be as good as the recordings, and I think I might need some more sophisticated cameras / mixers / etc to really pull that off. (Possibly a second computer to manage taking the signal from the mix and putting it through to the streaming camera.) I’m pretty sure I can take calls and / or Skype too, but its not as easy as, “I hear the phone ring and I push a button and the caller is on the air.” I would probably have to hot-swap a couple of items to make it work, and I’m not sure I could mix music behind the call very easily, like I can do at a pro studio. I will be able to add delay or reverb, which will be fun.

It’s a start. I may try some broadcasting later, just to see how it works in practice. For now, you will have to settle for “room sound” on the stream when I do, until I can figure out how the pros do it.

(Also: anyone sitting on any old radio / studio gear that they need to part with? I could certainly use an actual studio board, or something a little beefier than my tiny six channel Behringer. Anyone wanna donate anything to the new studio?)

Hopefully this will help me get through feeling crazy for… however long this winds up being. 

Broadcasting

Artists and friends: Where are we with streaming services and delivering your work to fans? I have only ever used FB streaming, but it is decidedly “one-way,” and they get cranky about copyright. (Ditto for IG, but at least there you can have two-way interaction fairly easily. Can you add more than one person on IG, I wonder?)

I use Skype for straight conversations, and I have only ever used it for recording / playback, never for a live show. It seems like it might work, but I’m not sure Skype is ideal for a streaming / broadcasting service.

Marla used Zoom the other day, but it sounds like someone needs to either pay for the service, or have credits of some kind, to use it. But that allows any number of users to all interact, and I imagine there are other’s that don’t cost.

What I’m looking for: a free two-way (at least) service that I can use to send video / audio to any number of people easily (and publicly). I would also like to be able to “add” callers / viewers to the stream, and receive / capture the incoming audio so I can mix it into the show.

Preferably, I’m looking for a software / computer solution, and not a phone app, but I’ll be curious what anyone uses, and for what, regardless of the tech.

I’m almost to the point where my office is clean / re-designed, and I want to start broadcasting as soon as I am able. I have turntables, tape decks, and CD players (in addition to a number of digital options), so I feel like this would be a good time to get into regular broadcasts again. What are people using?

Unreasonable Opinions. 

I have a lot of unreasonable musical opinions. “I can’t stand arias. All country music after 1975 is crap. Shellac is good.” We’re all guilty of it, and we all say the most extreme inane untrue bullshit, partially informed by taste, and largely informed by how we FEEL at the moment.

What kind of unreasonable music opinions do you have? 

 


“Miller: A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidences and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean. Suppose you thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly, somebody says, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate of shrimp. Out of the blue, no explanation. No point looking for one, either. It’s all part of the cosmic unconsciousness.

Otto: You eat a lot of acid, Miller? Back in the hippie days?

Miller: I’ll give you another example. You know the way everybody’s into weirdness right now. Books in the supermarkets about Bermuda triangles, UFOs, how the Mayans invented television. That sort of thing.

Otto: I don’t read them books.

Miller: Well, the way I see it, it’s exactly the same. There ain’t no difference between a flying saucer and a time machine. People get so hung up on specifics. They miss out on seeing the whole thing. Take South America, for example. In South America, thousands of people go missing every year. Nobody knows where they go. They just, like, disappear. But if you think about it for a minute, you realize something. There had to be a time when there were no people. Right?

Otto: Yeah. I guess.

Miller: Well where did all these people come from? Huh? I’ll tell you where. The future. Where did all these people disappear to? Huh?

Otto: The past?

Miller: That’s right! And how’d they get there?

Otto: The fuck do I know?

Miller: Flying. Saucers. Which are really? Yeah you got it: Time machines. I think a lot about this kind of stuff. I do my best thinking on the bus. That’s how come I don’t drive, see.

Otto: You don’t even know how to drive.

Miller: I don’t want to know, I don’t want to learn. See? The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.”