Friday, March 13, 2009

Material things

I am going to set myself some goals, which are basically things I want. I intend to get them too. I realise I should have aimed at this when I was 22, not *mumblety-mumble*, but fuck it, anyway.

They are, in order of difficulty:
1/ A cottage by the sea with a pear tree in the back yard.
2/ A published book.
3/ A laptop suitable for making music with and top of the range software to do it with.

I want the first because I have always lived in horrible places and I want to live somewhere I can make nice. I am a restless soul, never satisfied, but I want to be satisfied.
I want the second because I will always feel I wasted my life if I don't "achieve" something. I do not care that that is philosophically unjustifiable. It's how I feel. Since when did feeling have a damned thing to do with philosophy.
I want the third because I love making music and I've never had the equipment to do it properly.

The first will cost about half a mill.
The second will cost a lot of effort.
The third will cost, hmmm, dunno, 3K quid maybe? We're talking a top-end lappy with a top-end soundcard, equipment for recording music and so on. I don't even know what I'd need exactly (suggestions welcome--and thanks, but "a good hard kick in the teeth" might be something you think I need, but it won't make for a slammin' track, will it?).

Yeah, I know, one's goals should be "create a socialist utopia" or "help create world peace" and not material things, but I want happiness as much as fulfilment. Not that I believe that happiness is an outcome of gaining material goods (the opposite is probably truer) but I want the life I want, and don't see why I have to apologise for it, or dissect that wanting to the degree that I become hateful to myself.

And yah, I know that prozac would probably work faster.


At 7:25 pm, Blogger Father Luke said...

Happy Friday the 13th.

- -
Father Luke

At 7:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zen wrote,

"1/ A cottage by the sea with a pear tree in the back yard."

"The first will cost about half a mill."

First, let me applaud your desire to live in a quiet place you can make your own. You've spoken before, I think, of a walled garden. Such a place is nearly essential to anyone who wishes to think more than two consecutive thoughts without interruption.

I'm not fond of the sea, I'm a desert person. The wife is a mountain person. We live in a cottage/cabin in the mountains that we (literally) built ourselves. We hired out the concrete flatwork and the sheetrock. Everything else we did ourselves, including digging the ditches and foundation with pick and shovel, the framing, siding, roofing, plumbing, electrical, cabinetry -- everything. It isn't that difficult, though it is continually overwhelming and the requirements of building codes are nearly guaranteed to drive you mad.

You think your cottage by the sea will cost you half a million. It could if you choose an area with high real-estate prices and have the work done for you. There are massive levels of profit and markup involved in the homebuilding industry. Although it is not easy, one can save most of the cost of a home by building it oneself. Your estimate plans to give perhaps 75% of that half-million to the builders for keeping you from having to deal with the actual building.

"2/ A published book."

Good on you.

Best luck in achieving your goals, and I think your three goals are all achievable. Even if they're not you can pretend that they are until you've achieved them and find out that they were achievable after all.

At 5:44 pm, Blogger Looney said...

As for #3, you know I had a home studio I recorded on for a long while. It's now spread about for other musical endeavors I'm involved in, but it is hugely rewarding, even if only a few close friends join in. I've been piecing together a PC based setup, but I've been lollygagging lately. I use Sony ACID Pro 6.0 (haven't gotten around to upgrading to 7.0 yet) which is a loop based DAW. It's probably not the most powerful DAW around, but it's fairly easy to learn, and there are a few good aftermarket books to guide you through better than the manual. There's also a really good and supportive users network in a forum format. There are some really talented people on there. I have the Garritan orchestra software, which I'm not thrilled with, plus I have Absynth, which is a beauty of an atmospheric synth. I still need to get a couple more instruments and an effects package but I'm on the way anyway.

If you are PC based and want a more traditional DAW, probably the best one is Cakewalk SONAR (now v. 8, I think?) or at least it's one of the most accepted. If you go the Apple route, besides ProTools, probably Logic Pro is the most popular DAW.

The choices can be overwhelming, but if you go with reasonably priced packages to start with, then when you dive into it more deeply you'll figure out which parts you're happy with and which you aren't, and you can upgrade or move to a different piece of software that might fix what's bugging you.

Good luck with that. The feeling of listening back your own music the first time is a very unique and fulfilling one...



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