Sunday, August 10, 2014

Setting up for speakers... again.

The last year in Montreal was my first time I had speakers for composing/mixing/general purpose listening and they were wonderful. This year, I'm located a fair distance away in Adelaide, South Australia. Having sold most of my music gear, I'm looking to build up a small setup.

First up, the audio interface. The last two I have owned, the Onxy Blackjack (really good!) and Focusrite 2i4 (generally very good, but I've had rare occasions where the audio interface would play back distorted audio - needed a reboot to fix). This time, I've decided that I will not sell the next audio interface I buy and just bring it along with me. Much review reading later, I've decided that it'll be the Komplete Audio 6. Ideally, the interface I want would have one input suitable for either mics or guitars, ouptut for speakers, and a good driver for headphones. The KA6 appears to tick all these above with seemingly quality components but without a crazy price. Was going to get one today, but the place here don't seem to have it in stock >.> Online purchase it is!

Speaker wise, I am very torn between buying a good pair to tote around wherever I travel for work, versus buying a low end pair and selling before I leave, or, actually getting some regular desktop speakers that do not weigh 7kgs each (international shipping is costly!!!).  The fact is, I'm not a pro, and I won't use the speakers for composing/mixing for more than a few hours - if at all - a week.

Also, the places I stay at are generally tiny. The place I got this time round, is probably the smallest room I've rented ever. It's actually student accommodation, and the room is maybe 8feet, if not 10 feet square? Reaaally small! As such, I started looking for smaller speakers, with woofers 5 inches or smaller.

Of course, I'd love a pair of Adam A5X monitors, but face it, it's overkill for noobs like me. And they cost a bomb, and are super heavy to boot. The Adam F5s are another option, I've tried them and they sound great. Still a pretty penny though.

Another speaker that piqued my interest really bad are the Eve Audio SC204s. I remember testing the 205s in Montreal, expensive, but I thought they were ok. The thing going for the SC204s are the size - at 3.8KG each they would be perfect to tote around if I move. The main concern is the cost - they run exceedingly expensive in Australia, but oddly if I bought through Thomann, the price is much more reasonable. But still, again, those are probably overkill for my needs.

I'd like to diverge a bit about prices in Australia. The Adams are insanely expensive here for some reason. The price I see online range from almost 550AUD for *one* A3x speaker, to almost 900 AUD for a pair. Thomann, on the other hand, costs just under 500AUD for a pair, including shipping! And if I understand correctly, purchases under 1k AUD are not subject to tax, so if I really wanted Adams I'd definitely get them from Thomann.

Much review reading on gearslutz then eluded me to the Presonus Eris series of speakers, particularly the E5. This speaker checks all the boxes - AUD349 for a pair from storedj- in this instance, thomann has those speakers at almost 400 with shipping. In addition, the speakers have specs that call out to me.
- Front bass port
- 5.25in woofer - bass goes down to 53hz
- Relatively lightweight, under 5kg each!
- Balanced connections
- Many eq settings to match the room.

Once I settle in, it's very likely I'll get this speaker. I'll update when things happen!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Classical Guitar Del Camp

So, after a long bout of deciding on an instrument that would be more friendly to the travelling nature of my job, I decided to pick... a travel guitar. The other option would be a flugelhorn (omg so sexy) or cornet, but they do cost a fair bit and I do know I suck at instruments requiring breath. The guitar has several appeals: the travel guitar I got is supremely light, only 2.5kg and does not take up too much space. I've also never player the guitar, and am curious to see how far I can take it. Finally, the music I've heard, especially the early renaissance pieces (see previous post) just make my heart go :3

I found a free online resource/forum, classical guitar del camp.
www.classicalguitardelcamp.com
Free classical guitar lessons on the internet
Lessons given by Jean-Fran├žois Delcamp
The lessons will begin in September 2013 and finish in June 2014.
These classical guitar lessons correspond to the first five years at music school.
The lessons are free. They are aimed at the isolated amateur who does not have the opportunity of having a teacher.
The conditions for registration are available on the forum: http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/
As you might surmise, one of the conditions of attending this online resource is to publicise it. As above :3

Hopefully, I don't get murdered by work this year, and have a better work/life balance so that I can spend more time looking into music. Haven't posted anything in months as my sample drive has been on a 2 month+ journey on a ship from Montreal to Singapore.

As luck would have it, the boxes arrived the day before I left for Australia, and I managed to send the sample drive over to the office - it should arrive by next week. But... honestly, I have just been down in a funk. Half a year of 50-70hr 6-7 day work weeks just killed me, and I am not entirely over it.

Let's hope music will sooth the beast, or so the saying goes :)