Thursday, 19 April 2012

Garage Band: The Artist's Review

Patricia Mc Parlin: Artist Musician Writer Tutor

Hello folks
I've been so busy actually creating Fusion Inspire that I have hardly had time to blog about it so am going to do a series of shorter updates to keep you all in my loop.

Massive thank you to the lovely Patricia Mc Parlin for inviting me over to her place to have a look at Garage Band on her Mac. How lovely to be down a country lane surrounded by trees and fields as well as her amazing art work and creativity ... made sitting in front of a computer feel less grey!

I met Patricia when she came to the Celtic Women Concert Series at The National Botanic Garden of Wales. I organised the Series as the legacy to the Celtic Women Community Project of which I was Creative Director.

She came to the Great Glasshouse and we hit it off straight away.

It transpires that she is infact a gifted and recognised artist, having run a Gallery in Pembrokeshire and exhibited in some our most prestigious events.

She is also a wonderfully intuitive musician playing guitar and drums .. oh yes, and she now plays ukulele having come on my Ukulele & Songwriting Course at The National Botanic Garden of Wales in The Great Glasshouse in March (ps there's another one in May)

So Patricia is coming at technology from the same angle as myself. It's not that it is the central aspect of her work; it's the support aspect of many artists across genres in terms of getting their creative work out there. It's something we have to learn to do to reach out to the world with our creativity rather than our actual passion.So we need to make it as painless as possible!

It tickles me because you wouldn't expect an IT person to write you a song or paint you a beautiful picture, but I have met a fair few IT people who think I'm a complete clutz cos I can't fall in love with their lingo!

I found the whole experience at Trish's Home far less daunting than the Cubase training .. I felt as if I was just at a chums house having a cuppa sat at the computer looking at the gubbings :)) so I would recommend others doing this before committing to what is a very big expense and important decision ... You could either have a look at a Mac with your friends, or Patricia has kindly said for an hourly tutor rate she would gladly support others in her home.

She played some uke and sang just sat in front of the screen, showing me how it works and then straight away I had a go and in terms of recording, it is absolutely easy peasy lemon squeezie! Must be if I can handle it ... but Trish didn't have any outboard gear or an interface so we couldn't be sure what we were hearing back is what we actually would want on a CD ... I would also need to have a good poke around the EQ levels and effects.

Kindly the lovely Bob Edwards, who is a Volunteer at The Garden as well as a fine musician, actor and great chum, has come to our rescue and is lending Trish his interface and I'm going around again next week to have a butchers.

Bob Edwards as The Rebecca Riots
at The Story Telling Weekend Children's Tale Trail.
I was Creative Director making it all happen back in Feb this year.

Conclusion?? Looks like I will get a Mac its just bringing myself to part with the money because my grant doesn't cover new equipment, so like every other bod, I have to try to find £1000!!! Having said that, I will chase up the Local Initiative Fund which is 40% of outlay, but will wait til I know how much I need to spend on a new video camera and put both expenses in. I'm thinking it may not come through in time! But you don't know unless you try!

Massive thank you to Patricia for her time in showing me this very intuitive and almost beautifully simple way of recording music on the computer rather than my old skool set up in my studio.

We are doing a trade off and she is coming over to my studio next week to have a go and see how she feels about the quality of the end recordings. Be interesting to hear her comparison .. old vs new technology!

A chum on facebook had asked me for a quick review of my thoughts on Garage Band and this is what I instinctively wrote to him on the day ...

Hi Alun, Garage Band is like so easy compared to Cubase ... it is very intuitive and quite slick ... I am very tempted to get an imac to upgrade my studio and i reckon it may be a tad limiting in terms of monitoring multi instrument levels and EQ's but that may just be cos I didn't have enuf time to poke around and my friend didn't know ... but it was such a quick result! A tad sterile maybe compared to what i'm use to in my analogue studio but absolutely brillant for sketching songs .. am going back for a whole day to have a proper look at it before deciding :) Defo 10 times less complex to work out than Cubase! hope this helps, chez x


  1. Thanks for your post was a pleasure to help....see you soon...pxxx

  2. Thanks for the mention Cheryl, my niece will love this. Xxx


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