My first piece of digital audio music: A Very Great Sadness

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I used to make music on computers when I was a teenager. I used to spend hours in my room on a MIDI sequencer with a keyboard, a synthesiser and a mouse. These tracks were all MIDI. No they didn’t sound awful I had a nice sound module, but they do sound a bit dated now. But that was MIDI.

I very clearly remember a turning point. The day I bought my first (and, it turns out only) microphone. A Røde NT1A vocal mic.

I had a mixing desk in my room with phantom power and preamps, (a

Seck 18/8/2 since you ask) connected up to my PC. I rushed home and wanted to make something. Listening to a lot of Steve Reich at the time, my first thought was something on the piano. First I had to wire up two XLR plugs to a length of CAT5 cable. My reasoning was that it was twisted-pair and therefore suitable for a balanced mic signal. I also ran the headphone output down the cable so I could play in sync. It worked… kind of.

So with my cable plugged in, dangled down the stairs to the piano, my mic suspended from a light fitting, I pressed ‘record’ in Pro-Tools, ran down stairs and stated playing. I repeated this to make a total of six tracks of piano if I recall correctly. Plus my sister reading excerpts from my school regulations and something by Boethius (don’t ask).

I give you… ‘A Very Great Sadness’.

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