Ed Driscoll

D.I.Y.

“When things get so big, I don’t trust them at all; you want some control, you’ve got to keep it small”, sang Peter Gabriel in his 1978 song, “DIY“.

DIY of course, stands for ‘do it yourself’. In the mail today were review copies of two books about just that:

Hugh Hewitt’s Blog, which you probably don’t need me to tell you about, if you’ve been reading the Blogosphere for the past few weeks.

And Guerrilla Home Recording by Karl Coryat, which is a subject near and dear to my heart: its subhead reads, “how to get a great sound from any studio, no matter weird or cheap your gear is”.

These days, recording on my PC, with a gig of ram, 300-odd gigs of HD space, 2.6 GHz of processor, Sonar 4, and a ton of plug-in processors, it’s not too hard to get a great sound. But back in the old days (the mid-1980s, for you youngins), home recording meant using a cassette four-track recorder, a couple of outboard processors, a stand-alone drum machine and synth, and whole lot of luck. Forget getting a great sound: getting any completed song felt like a major accomplishment, because all that gear had to work its guts out, and the fellow operating it (me) had to have his mojo working double-overtime.

But my early efforts in that medium made me want to try other DIY projects–eventually including writing and blogging. The fact that the Professor, Eric Olsen, James Lileks and several other prominent members of the Blogosphere are also technologically adept musicians is no coincidence.

Look for reviews of both books in the not too distant future.