Cheap Transport

How do I record myself?

Well, as I’ve got a vocal-booth, I tend to try and use it – especially as a mic and music stand (with light) are already set up nicely. I could set up another mic, right in front of my desktop and then press record and stop when necessary – But that’s a faff!mic/stand/headphones/light

Up until recently, I used to give myself a 4 bar count-in, then rush into the booth, slam the door, fix the headphones to my head, focus my short-sighted eyes on the right point in the lyrics – and then sing.

If I was using joined-up thinking that day, I’d remember to set a loop for the section I needed to sing (which quite often, was the whole song), so that I could give it several takes, and then choose the best one for the mix afterwards. If I’d taken my vitamins that day – I’d even remember to press Record!

Actually, all that sounds like a faff too, doesn’t it?

Yes, it was. Which was why I wanted to buy one of these:
Frontier Tranzport

This little wireless gadget, can speak to your computer from up-to 10 metres away. So you can tell the sequencer to play/record/rewind/fast forward etc, all the usual controls you would expect on a transport – and, more importantly, all the controls (and more) that one would need to record ones self, from ones vocal booth, in ones studio.

Trouble is, it’s RRP is £200, and my conscience didn’t let me spend £200 on something, purely to reduce a faff.

But then, in May 2009 the Apple iPhone came charging into my life, like Santa on a skateboard – a granny on a Harley – a puppy on ice – a… uh, well, you get the point. I welcomed my new best friend by feeding it with all the food (apps) that it could stomach. Mostly novelty emptying lager glasses, zippo lighters, spirit levels and pac-man – but then, after the honeymoon period was over, I started looking for more useful purposes for it.

And I found them.

Apart from the golf GPS range-finder, sat-nav, piano tuner and voice recorder – all saving me many hundred of pounds on their hardware counterparts, I also found Snatch;

Snatch does all that the, once cute, but now rather unwieldy Frontier Trazport does, but for only £2.37:

You can design the controls you need, either simply with the stock square boxes, or artistically, as I have done:

Snatch Screen 1Snatch Screen 2Snatch Screen 3

All I need to do now, is make sure the accompanying utility is running in the background of my Mac, and set myself up in the vocal-booth, at my convenience. I can then press play, record the section I want to, listen back, create a new track, loop a short section and even undo, if it all goes Pete Tong.

Logic transportSnatch Logic Edit page

So, now I can give myself a similar experience whilst recording my own vocals, that I do with my clients. After-all, the recordings I do of myself are, for the most part, a showcase for the studio – so they’d better be good. And anything that makes the process less of a faff, has got to be a good thing.


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