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January 7th, 2006

love and rescue with a cheap microphone

I got off work early last night. My wife had gone to pick up some photos she had had taken, so I fended for myself for dinner. "Fending for myself" in this context meant stopping by Dickey's BBQ, where the turkey flows freely and the giant yellow Dickey's cups not only provide abundant sustenance, but also serve as a kind of surrogate stemware for us at home.

We watched the movie "St. Ralph" last night, a charming small film with a lot of heart and vim. We got some happy news about a family member, and began the first outlines of plans for getting together with another relative.

I think sometimes that reading too much about any hobby can be more burden than help. For some months, I've been poring through all the guides to microphones, impedances, pre-amps and ideal conditions, to no avail. Yesterday, I simply stopped by Radio Shack and bought the 12 dollar computer microphone the guides all say not to buy. I used it to record some instruments and also some vocals. With the help of some softstudio effects, the results proved pleasing. Last night I recorded an a capella piece to post on ccmixter.org called "Saint Bernard Song".
I find rhyming lyrics to be particularly challenging, just as rhymed poetry is challenging. I finally worked out a simple song about a fellow whose innate desire to rescue people gets in the way of his romantic success. This odd folk-pop ditty, rendered in my serviceable but far from compelling voice, is rather a departure from the usual a capella on the mixter. We'll see if anyone samples it for remix. So far I've also used the new microphone to sample a cheap harmonica and a one-dollar xylophone, giving my sampler new things to chew upon.

Today we go see Cornells and Duchamps at the Dallas Museum of Art. I'm eager to ride the train down, take in culture, and ride the train back home again.