This is the worst part of this whole process for me, but I am doing it because it directly affects the amount of work I can put into my blog.
I spend more hours than you probably imagine looking for and thinking of ideas to write about, and more still paring them down to what I feel is the best software or the most useful information. Then comes the process of actually making the post, which is written, re-written, and combed over again and corrected for clarity, flow, and grammar.
Obviously, when I am doing all of this I am not spending time doing other things that I would like to be doing. To be honest, I have a chronic illness that keeps me from being coherent enough to do anything much of the time, so the time that I am 'with it' is important to me.
I have many passions, most of which are creative, but most revolve around songwriting or book writing. So why do I do this blog, you must be wondering? It is my passion too! I have been fascinated with recording technology for many, many years (I was born in 1970), and this blog serves 3 purposes for me.
- It is a chance for me to clarify and articulate a lot of information that floats around my head, like "What do I think the best free compressor is, anyway?" Yes, those thoughts take up a disproportionate amount of my limited brain power!
- It seems like I have a number of people ask me about software, and recording software seems to be the most common topic. So this is also a place where I can point those people, where they can discover a lot of things that I would not be able to verbalize very well right on the spot.
- YOU! Yes, you. Nearly all of you will undoubtedly be people I have never met, from all parts of the world, from all walks of life, and at all different ages and levels of experience. When I take the time to gather information in the first place, one of my primary intentions is that I want it to be useful for others somehow, not just for me. So this is my effort to spread the years of experience and research around to others, which I sincerely hope will save you some time, money, or both!
There are a few ways that you could meaningfully show your appreciation.
- Make a contribution via Paypal (below). You no longer need a Paypal account to send money, so it is quick and easy to do with or without one. ANY amount is both encouraging to me and useful (I am unemployed because of the illness so small amounts are relatively larger to me!) You can use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club, Debit card, or even a direct withdrawal via virtual check in some locations. Give it a try!
- Contribute to this blog by:
a. writing a post! You might be thinking that you don't know enough about this kind of thing to provide anything useful. Well I disagree! No matter what level of experience you have, there will always be others who are where you are. If you have learned or discovered just one interesting thing, you can share it. The people at your level will benefit from what you have learned! You don't have to make it perfect or provide a bunch of pictures if you aren't able to. I will help by editing and cleaning up anything that needs a little help.
b. processing audio for before and after comparisons of what a plug-in sounds like.
c. making a MIDI composition that we can insert different instruments and effects in to differentiate them within the same context. It could be any length, style, or skill level. I would REALLY appreciate help with this one!
d. finding patches, presets, and mp3 examples of music software lying around the web.
e. interviewing a software developer! (or other relevant person...) If you are unsure of what to ask them, just let me know and I can give you as much advice as you need. Remember, most free software developers offer their stuff for free because of the kind of people that they are! You will probably end up having a pleasant and memorable exchange with someone who has the same passion that you do about music technology!
- E-mail me to express anything you want to say about my work. Most of the time, writing a blog is a thankless job and you wonder if anybody really cares about the work you put in to it. If you write to express your appreciation, that would put a big smile on my face and be motivation to write more. If you write to express your criticisms, I will consider whether they are cause for me to chance anything. I am sure there are things I am not noticing that are either wrong or poorly done, so another set of eyes is invaluable! Please send feedback of any kind; it shows me that somebody is reading and is concerned.
This blog will not be taken down tomorrow if you can't do anything, and I am not begging for money. I do know, though, that it is good to have a straight-forward way set up for anybody to give back who desires to do so. Once again, anything that you do will be sincerely appreciated and motivational to me :-)
Thanks for reading and for hopefully being an important part of the Music & Recording Toolbox!