September 15, 2009

Studio (de)construction

I spent a good chunk of Saturday afternoon criss-crossing the town of Hendersonville to raid every pawn shop and thrift store for studio construction items. In my travels, I happened across a great little place on King Street called Antidote, where I'll be shopping for some sound-reducing fabrics for the walls sometime next spring.

However, in all my chaotic running around (which was primarily a result of not planning my route before getting in the car), I found only one item on my "to-buy" list.

Thankfully, the item was the first one necessary for starting the deconstruction of the current space -- a prybar. And I got it for just $3, which puts me $12 under budget already.

So even though I probably spent $5 in gas, I'm still under budget, which is a great way to start the project. Let's just hope it lasts...

Now I'm just counting down... 15 days until I tear into the walls and begin work on my recording studio!

August 18, 2009

Currently Listening

Thought it was time for an update. This is the stuff I'm tuned into right now, some new (to me), some not so new:

Jackie Greene -- Honey I Been Thinking About You
Alexi Murdoch -- All My Days
Leona Lewis -- Bleeding Love
Ryan Adams -- Dear Chicago
Joshua Radin -- I'd Rather Be with You
Jason Mraz -- If It Kills Me
Rhett Miller -- The El

August 10, 2009

Studio sketches

I'm still working on the research phase of my plan, but I thought it was time to post a couple sketches of what I'm envisioning.

At some point, I hope to remember to take a picture or two of the current space, but here's the layout:



In the next sketch, you'll see a little more of what I'm going for, but this shows the layout of the space, for starters.




I'm not great with dimensional drawing, but it's a good start, I think. Although now that I've uploaded this sketch, I realize I never finished coloring in the wall and sound panels on the right. Oh well!

My plan is to do wood floors (possibly bamboo?), with optional roll-out carpets for sound-deadening when needed. I hope to build the desk by hand, and I really would like to use some recycled materials in this space. I'll likely buy the furniture at a re-sale shop of some kind, and I want to use some unconventional materials in other ways, although I haven't figured out how just yet. Feel free to post suggestions.

I think I'll make it my goal to begin construction October 3.

July 31, 2009

Building a Studio: Research and Development

When I first decided to build a studio, I thought, "I'll just put some foam things on the garage walls and ceiling and buy a half-way decent computer. Maybe paint the walls and stick a comfy chair out there."

But ohhh I am so naive. Or, I was. After watching a dozen videos and reading about fifteen articles on how to build a home recording studio, I now I have a MUCH better idea of the project I've decided to tackle.

My first clue that this wasn't going to be as simple as I first thought was when I started watching a video on how to build your own studio and the guy starts rambling about insulation and z-channel and soundboard and AC units, and I'm sitting there with the same expression that my dog gets on her face when I try to explain... um, almost anything. The look that so clearly says, "Huh?"

So I did what any reasonable, semi-ocd person would do. I made a list. And several lists within that list. And somehow, I sort of ended up with a plan. Or at least I know what color scheme I want to decorate with.

I've made a couple changes to my original plan, so now I'll be using my 15' x 9' storage shed and won't build a separate sound booth. It will all be one room, which I think will work just fine for me. I've begun researching the materials I'll need (tools, supplies, etc.) as well as hardware and software for the actual recording process. I realize I'm not a sound engineer and I have a lot to learn, but I love learning and mostly I'm just very excited about having a space that is dedicated to music and completely sound-proof.

I hope to post pictures of the current storage shed very soon. And maybe even the sketch of the future studio.

If anyone has tips on how to make this a more successful endeavor, please leave a comment. Thanks!

July 16, 2009

Let's Start a Band (and build a studio)

It's been about 10 months since I recorded my last album. I've written new material in the meantime and am thinking about recording again. I'm sure the finished product is months away, partially because of budget and partially because it takes me a little while to get around to being ready, but I'm already getting excited about working on the new material.

As I've been thinking about recording again, somehow the thought to build my own studio crept into my head. Actually, not so much build a studio as just turn my existing garage into a recording room. I've begun the R&D phase and hope to begin on this project in the next few months. I'll post more about this as I get closer. If you have tips or good links on building a studio, leave a comment and I'll check it out. I'll take all the help I can get.

On another note, I've got two gigs at my favorite wine bar this month -- one tomorrow night (July 17) and one at the end of the month (July 31). I'm really looking forward to the gig on the 31st because I'll be joined by bass player Anthony Picicci. It's been ages since I've played with another musician, so it will be a good motivator to really get my act together and have a plan for the two-hour gig, as opposed to just winging it like I usually do. I've been saying for months that I need a band. Maybe this is the first step...

[[listening to: Amy Macdonald -- Let's Start a Band]]

June 2, 2009

Writing again

I picked up my guitar last night to write something new. That hasn't happened in a long time. There's been a lot going on -- inside, outside -- and I haven't done a very good job working through my thoughts or feelings. When I fail to deal with my emotions, my unidentified feelings always end up coming out in a frenzy of tears and new music. So last night that's what I did. I cried and I wrote music. I cried more than I wrote, but the one always has to come before the other, so maybe now I can do more writing.

I read something the other day that struck me: "I sabotage all my relationships so I can be a better musician." While I don't intentionally create drama in my life (or at least like to think I don't), I have noticed that dramatic events and feelings often lead to better, more raw, and more compelling music, which is what I think that author was saying.

Drawing from intense situations and emotions is certainly a part of the creative process, so in a way I'm thankful for the difficult parts of life because of the resulting art.

May 8, 2009

Vaso de Vino



It turns out strep throat can really do a number on your vocal cords. It's been a couple weeks since I was sick, but I'm still fighting the urge to cough when I sing.

And that should be all the encouragement you need to make you want to come hear me play at Vaso de Vino Wine Bar & Market tonight at 8.

Vaso is one of my favorite gigging spots, and not just because it's the only place that'll have me right now! Good lighting, good acoustics, great wine and great art on the walls make this place a fantastic spot to meet with friends and open up a great bottle of wine. Oh, and there's live music.

If you can't make it tonight, I'll be back again on May 22nd. And if you don't want to hear me and my swine flu vocals, there are some other great musicians that play on Saturday nights and alternating Fridays as well. Basically it's just a sweet place and well-worth a visit.

March 30, 2009

What I'm Listening to

I'm always interested to hear what other musicians are listening to, so here's a sampling of what's playing in my car, at my desk, and anywhere else I have the slightest control over the speaker system:

The Jones Street Boys (now called Jones Street Station)
Amos Lee
Gomez
Jen and the Juice (local Asheville band)
The Be Good Tanyas

Brandi Carlile
Scott Tyler - (Black Mountain, NC, artist)

Leave a comment with a few of your favorite musicians or bands -- I love hearing about new music.

February 26, 2009

Home

All right, so this blog is going to function as a home for Amy Burritt music. Sure, there's a website. Sure there's an iLike page. Sure there's a MySpace. But this is where it all comes together.

Find upcoming shows, news (please let there be news to report someday), and other stuff. If you have suggestions on what other stuff you'd like to see, just say so. I may or may not listen. But give it a try anyway -- I certainly don't have any brilliant ideas.

Mostly I'm excited about having an easy way to post new gigs. And maybe someday someone will come to one of them. And maybe that someone will be a record company exec. And maybe that exec will like what s/he hears. And maybe THEN I'll have some news to post.

Until then, grab a friend and come and enjoy some free music (so far I've only played at one place that charged a cover) and have some food and wine.

Hope to see you there!