Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Equipment Preparations

When I first started recording I had: a Tascam 4-Track cassette recorder, one SM58 mic, a guitar, a Casio keyboard, a borrowed drum set and a variety of miscellaneous instruments and toys that made noise. Today, almost 20 years later, I have made some upgrades, yet I'm still just a modest "home-studio" when compared to others. My current equipment list now includes: 6 mics, a newer Casio keyboard (with weighted keys...finally), a banjo, some guitars and a (different) borrowed drum set. I've been in high-dollar recording studios before, and they're nice. However, I'm thankful for the convenience and affordability of my personal studio, ThreeByNine.

I have been able to make a few recent purchases to help with this project. Paul Allen at Sweetwater has been a knowledgable and trustworthy salesman over the years (paul_allen@sweetwater.com). Also, Adrian Gamez (adrian@secondstoryms.com), a friend and a Guitar Center employee, was also able to get me some great deals.

In the end, it's not how much gear you own, it's how you use the gear you have.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

OTTO: A New Song Every Day (project description)


My name is Matthew Otto, I am from Texas (USA), and I have been writing and recording music for years with various bands (2nd Home, oneunder) and under various aliases (Mumford, Squishy Jackson, OTTO). When I was 16 (1991) I bought a Tascam 4-Track cassette recorder, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I recorded hundreds of hours of music on that small recorder before graduating into the world of ProTools (2001). I took piano lessons as a kid, but guitar has been my main instrument since I was 15. However, throughout the years I had the opportunity to learn and record all the other instruments on my own. I found that this gave me more control over the writing process, and it enabled me to make music when no one else was available. Granted, I am not that great at most of the instruments, but access to the instruments and desire to have fun playing each one was enough for me. Over-dubbing and multi-tracking became a few of my favorite terms. Years of approaching music from a solo stand-point has allowed me to streamline the creative and technical processes involved with writing and recording. At this point in my life (34) I feel ready to challenge myself by recording a new song every day. At the very least it will improve my abilities, but I’m also hoping that the uniqueness of this project will stimulate the word-of-mouth machine…making my music available to new ears. I will start in July 2009 and continue for up to one year.

Site Features:

This site has a few features that I wanted to make you aware of. If, for some reason, you want to watch the recording process, then there is live streaming video available for you daily. I did this for a few reasons. Some of you might just want proof that it’s happening, but some of you might find it educational. (If you’re watching for perverted reasons be aware you only stand a 0.02% chance of being aroused)

Also, I’ve included a daily blog on the site. This will allow me to summarize the highlights of each recording session in “real-time.” I will update the blog with information such as: where each day’s idea came from, names of special-guest musicians joining me in the studio and more. I might even blog about my mood or the challenges I’m facing with each new song. Blogging is new for me, so I’m not sure what will come out.

For those wanting to purchase music I have incorporated a few features specifically for you. SnoCap has provided a “jukebox” that allows you to preview 30 seconds from any song before deciding to purchase. This feature is very user-friendly…not much explanation needed. Additionally, you can subscribe to OTTO’s project, A New Song Every Day, by following the “SUBSCRIBE” prompts on the site. Choose the options that suit your needs, and then let our automated service do the rest. Check the site daily, or you can just opt for having me email you a new song every day.


I only recently found a few others that have attempted this idea before. I thought I might be the first, but I'm not surprised. This will be quite a journey. I’m interested in any comments or suggestions:

matthew@anewsongeveryday.com (Email)

http://www.anewsongeveryday.com/ (A New Song Every Day)

http://www.ottotx.com/ (OTTO)