Well, I Tried…

I had sworn to get a new DJ mix recorded at some point over the long holiday weekend, and I gave it a shot this afternoon. But, alas, it seems it was not meant to be.

First, the plug kept falling out of the wall socket. This is a common thing in my apartment, where there are several outlets that are so “loose” that I can’t plug anything into them as the plug just falls out of the wall. So I had to dig around to find a surge protector to use an an extension cord so I could plug it into a different socket.

Second, Ableton Live, which I was using on my desktop Mac to actually record the mix, crashed hard on startup. I couldn’t even force quit out of it, and the entire Mac locked up trying to reboot.

Next, I couldn’t get audio into the Mac. It took about 45 minutes of poking around the Mac preferences and digging around behind the mixer to figure out if it was a software or hardware thing. Finally discovered it was a hardware problem, I had inadvertently plugged something in to the inserts on the main mix bus, which cut off the internal inputs from the mixer channels. Thus, no sound.

Finally, I get to mixing. This old laptop (a G3 500 iBook) just isn’t up to the task. Back when I was more in practice (I haven’t mixed anything in months) I was better at anticipating it’s sluggishness and being proactive enough to offset it. Now? Not so much. I’d click play on the new track and it would inevitably take a moment to start playing, throwing the upbeat/downbeat out of sync. Try to click early to offset? Then it would actually start playing immediately and start one beat ahead.

The fight just to get things beatmatched left it near impossible to line up the tracks on a larger scale. The breaks/builds on the tracks kept ending up a measure or two off from each other, and made things sound like ass. I was going to let one or two here and there slide, but it kept happening every time. So I finally gave up five or six tracks in and shut everything off.

I may give it another try later today or tomorrow, but I doubt it. It’s just no fun with this old laptop, and what’s the point of doing it if I’m not enjoying it? Time to maybe give up on the mixing thing until I can afford a new laptop (a long way off.)

Besides, it’s far too beautiful a day to spend holed up in a dark room. *smile*