March 13, 2008

Mac n Music

Mac n Music

One of the ventures I am going to begin is getting back to writing music, but this time with more of a purpose. When I was in my 20's, like every other musician of the time, I had dreams of becoming a famous recording artist. I was playing in a band and was also a student in college, struggling with which path I needed to concentrate on. I really didn't give enough time to either, so I didn't excel in either. I did however always have my voice. That was a gift and was easy to use and was the reason I received the most attention. I was a lead singer and a decent keyboard player.

For a period of time when I was in between bands and decided to put all my efforts into song writing, I spent all my time trying to come up with great stuff. Some of it was very good and a lot of it was crap, at least in my mind. I did have an "almost success" story, as I like to call it. I took some songs on a tape and went to the big concert promoter in the Pittsburgh area. I was amazed as they actually loved some of my stuff! I thought I was on my way. Well, this is a subject for another whole article, but needless to say, you never heard of me.. did you?

But those days, my writing was to be one of the famous rock stars that I idolized. Today, I have a totally different purpose. Actually, a lot of purposes! Basically, I first want to just start playing, creating and recording to come up with some good stuff that I want to develop. I intend on writing some music only and some with lyrics too, again for different purposes.

To begin this venture, I am purchasing a Macbook to use with my midi keyboard. The Macbook is the most portable and yet powerful enough to use for both music recording and video production, which is another creative venture I intend on doing. ( I will discuss that in another topic )

The equipment I will use:

MacBook 13-inch (Black), 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB of SDRAM. I am getting Apple's Logic Express pre-installed for music recording and Final Cut Express for video production. I ended up not getting a refurbished Mac for two reasons. One, the model I want was no longer available, so I guess it's a keep checking kind of thing for that. Two, the model I want to be able to handle what I am going to do with video productions has 2GB of memory and the refurbished one I saw only had 1GB, which I would have had to pay an additional couple of hundred dollars for the upgrade. I also wanted the black Macbook and it seems to come only with the more memory and hard drive space. That is one thing about Apple products. They are more expensive.... but in the end, it is worth it to bite the bullet and go just that extra up front. There are macbook users still using the same computer for years, when pc users, usually have to upgrade in 3 years due to improvements and the fact that pc software actually creates the need for improved hardware. Apple upgrades in software will tend to still work on older models, for the most part.

My keyboard is a Yamaha DGX-505 88-Key Portable Grand Digital Keyboard which is a great instrument to create on.

Here is a great site that about music creation with a Macbook: (the article is not recent, but the meaning still applies)

I will continue to add articles about this venture and tag them as Mac & Music.

I found a forum on MacOSG which has a lot of good help for Mac users. This discussion thread gave me some help for my keyboard and Macbook connection. (

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