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Starting from scratch article

Postby blinddrew » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:10 am

I've had a quick trawl but apologies if I've missed something, but I wonder - based on some of the new threads over the last few months - whether we're due a new 'starting from scratch' article or series?
There was a piece back in 2002 but that was around mixing specifically, I was thinking of something about taking people through from the decision of, "I want to start recoring music" through understanding different sources, choosing your DAW, interface decisions, optimising your room, up to setting up your mix.
Thoughts?
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:32 am

I was thinking that as well. And probably a basic PA components stage set-up article. Both with a few diagrams. Just something we can point 'newbies' (hate that term) to to help them understand, as most seem incapable of doing any Googling for info themselves.
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:01 pm

Brilliant idea, "Recording for Dummies" and "PA for Dummies" :thumbup:
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:18 pm

In less than 300 words. :D
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:35 pm

Plug the mic in, press record, sing......

Will that do?
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Watchmaker » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:54 pm

Start at the beginning. Open box, inspect contents, RTFM...plug device into receptacle...when I was a tech, the very first questions was "is the unit plugged in?"
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:23 pm

Now it might be -
Turn on computer, start your downloading, comeback tomorrow, start watching all the relevant YouTube manuals, oh and is the computer plugged in ?
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Agharta » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:27 pm

Wonks wrote:.. as most seem incapable of doing any Googling for info themselves.

Google is a great tool and can be simple and quick for some enquiries.
But for an area you are totally new to which is as complex as those outlined here it can be overwhelming.
So just finding a resource as rich as these forums is maybe the best thing that Google can hope for.
Some primarily prefer the more visual medium of YouTube but I find that great as an adjunct but often too verbose as a primary source.
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:08 pm

It was a general reference to searching for information, even within the forums.
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:06 pm

I've produced loads of 'ABC' Instruction Sets for sound systems I've installed for churches over the years, so would be willing to give it a go using simple words and non-tech speak.

Probably a series would be better - bite-sized-chunks...

There would need to be an understanding and acceptance among the cognoscenti that it would be simple and that not every 'i' and 't' had been dotted and crossed - or even mentioned! :)

Paul White's 'Basic' series were good intros, but even those could be too wordy. Sadly, those are no longer in print.
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:53 pm

I'd be happy to proof read Mike if you do :thumbup:
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:01 pm

"...You can plug up to six instruments into an AC30 combo, so once you have one of those, all you beat group fanatics need worry about is converting an old gramophone to accept a crystal microphone for vocals, then you'll really be swinging, daddy-o".
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:47 pm

Thanks Sam!

... but I wouldn't do it on spec... would have to be commissioned with very clear spec/guidelines.

... and I suspect for the reputation of SoS it would have to be one of the 'in-house' guys who did it...

I may be wrong, but the ethos of the mag seems to be that people have bought it because they've already put several toes in the water and have a reasonable idea already regarding what they're about.

There's Hugh's (and others) 'Readers' Queries' section, but even that often dives quite deep for the 'starting-outers'.

... as for RTFM manual... we've had recent experience here of people really struggling with manuals. A&H generally produce simple, well-written ones, but even those are too much for some.
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:57 pm

I think some back-to-basics pieces would be a great idea, and even if there is insufficient space in the paper mag they could go on the website as a handy resource.

Why not sketch out an outline plan of the concept and content, and then discuss with Matt?

H
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:43 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I think some back-to-basics pieces would be a great idea, and even if there is insufficient space in the paper mag they could go on the website as a handy resource.

Why not sketch out an outline plan of the concept and content, and then discuss with Matt?

H

Not sure if that was a general comment or specifically to me, Hugh. But anyway, I'll mull it over and maybe contact Matt in due course.

It would need very careful planning and writing to ensure that it wasn't an endless set of "we'll cover that later", "as I've already said" or many needed diversions into important side-points.

Note to self (and anyone else who's listening): Writing for the absolute beginner isn't as simple as it first appears... :D
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:05 am

We've had similar discussions internally about the need for some more accessible articles for newbies. We definitely need to do something on this... but equally, there's only so much space in the mag each month. Which points us towards an online resource... and then we need to find/fund the extra effort in terms of writing, editing, creating diagrams, shooting videos... etc. And we'd also need to cover all sorts of would-be recordists, composers, producers, artists.

BTW, I suspect that one reason this sort of thing tends not to appear in the mag so often is that we tend to want to put a new slant on things, rather than regurgitate what we've published before. Partly because we get criticised from those with long memories if we appear to be teaching Granny to suck eggs. But you can't please all of the people all of the time... so perhaps there's an argument for changing that stance. Perhaps we might look to breathe new life into older material for a new audience, with better graphics, videos and examples... After all, some of that material is two or three decades old now, so there will be pleny who've not read it.

Anyway, just thinking out loud here... very happy to listen to more ideas if you want to PM/email me, Mike — or, of course, if others want to put ideas forward in this thread. :sos:
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:16 am

Thanks Matt

... and just to add to the complexity, there's also the live-sound 'start-outs' to consider...

But good points, well made. Personally, I have a lot on my plate until late September, but will do some background mulling and maybe put some thoughts together idc.

And, of course, it doesn't have to be me... :lol:
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:33 am

Mike Stranks wrote:... and just to add to the complexity, there's also the live-sound 'start-outs' to consider...

Yes... my post merely hinted at summarising the faintest whiff of the tip of the ice-berg... :lol:
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:46 am

I suspect a 'live sound basics' article would be rather harder to produce than one relating to simple recording procedures given that there are so many variables with live sound.

Another 'useful' page would be a "Things that affect your recordings" page, maybe as a list in order of priority, and carrying the endorsement of the mag. Given how hard it is to convince often quite experienced home recordists that some basic acoustic treatment will improve their recordings far more than spending several times the money on a new mic or audio interface. Obviously it would have to be followed up with a 'basic acoustic treatment' article :headbang:

And how about a 'beginners' version of the 'useful information archive' forum, stickies only and locked to avoid further posts from complicating matters?

Sorry, 'stream of consciousness' ramblings..........
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Re: Starting from scratch article

Postby Wonks » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:07 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I suspect a 'live sound basics' article would be rather harder to produce than one relating to simple recording procedures given that there are so many variables with live sound.

Not for the very basics, which quite a few people come here to find the answers for. You can easily overthink these things unless you focus just on the very basics.
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