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Blast from the 80s bedroom studio
I began creating music nearly ten years ago on my computer in my bedroom. That story is not in any way unique, but read on (if you care; otherwise do something meaningful with you time). I got a copy of FL Studio that my friend had been passing around, and was instantly hooked. I had recently developed a taste for Kraftwerk, and decided that, not being much of a guitar player like everyone else, I would try my hand at this electronic music. I learned FL Studio inside and out, and even learned the notes of the keyboard (thanks piano roll)! I became decent at programming beats and sequences, and even put together a few albums entirely of songs I had produced on FL Studio. My music, my sound was completely in-the-box. It felt good to create, but I wanted to learn how to play. I was interested in analog synthesizers, and felt that was the next step in my musical life. I got a microKORG, and now fast-forward to today: Earlier this year I decided it was time to say goodbye to FL Studio and laptop producing in its entirety. It had taught me everything, but I knew it wasn't the road I wanted to be on anymore. I sought to create music without looking at a screen, in the most organic way possible. I was browsing a buy/sell/trade group on Facebook, and a guy had posted this Tascam four-track on there for $150, and I jumped on it. I got home, plugged it into my mixer, turned on the synths, and made music. It was glorious, freeing, and enlightening to record this way. I looked at the panel and immediately knew what to do. There was no menu-diving or fucking about with latency settings or audio driver balogna. It was forgiving. You could clip the shit out of it and it would still sound good. I was in paradise. Nine months later, I'm still not using the computer. I feel like I'm finally home, and that's not a feeling you can just buy at a store (well, maybe if you know what you want, it can be). Anyway, to put it more bluntly and less blathery: I think everyone should own a portable tape recorder. Even if you love producing on a laptop, just having one of these suckers around for some goddamned tonal variation is extremely worthwhile. I digress.