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Are all these complicated audio programs just a waste of time for somebody like me?


 I have been (trying) to play acoustic for over 30 years although I only got serious about it approx 3 years ago,I have started to try and build a home studio even though I only recently begun trying out amplification,it has been a very stiff learning curve for me but what I have discovered already is that I am not a bad guitar player and my songs aren’t to bad either however just to get things into perspective,my guitar playing will always be ok as will be my song writing capability (well at least it sounds ok to me) but I have no aspirations other than to be classed as average, I do not even have a decent guitar as yet,I am playing a freshman Apollo 2.0 but I will have a Martin by the end of the year.

I got a fishman rare earth single coil pickup for the freshman and a zoom A2.1u, I also bought a cheap Ashton 15w acoustic amplifier (this was a complete waste of money because it sounds crap and its too dam loud even on a low setting for my neighbors).

I have ordered a direct box, a focusrite scarlett 212 and M audio studiophile Av40 - home studio monitor speakers, just learning about all this extra gear is taking to much of my time and my 3 hour practice regime is already suffering because of it also, I really do not like computers and they do not like me, my laptop and me just tolerate each other but my patience with it gets very thin at times so you can imagine how I handled Cubase 6 when I downloaded it doh!!

So my point is this I have the gear to record and run through a simple system like Creative media toolbox, this gives me the ability to get the jist of what I am trying to achieve and only takes 5 mins to copy and it also picks up my mistakes remarkably well so……   there is a recording studio up the road that charges £60 per session

I now have the equipment(or will have when I get my Martin) to evaluate what I am trying to achieve, it is going to take me months if not years to try and get a handle on a program like Cubase meanwhile my guitar practice will almost be non existent because all my time will be spent staring at a dam computer screen so I have decided that I will keep practicing,forget about bloody complicated audio programs and record my stuff on Creative media and when I know I have something worthwhile to record take a trip to the recording studio once or twice a year and that’s being optimistic, god knows with my dodgy guitar playing I need all the practice I can get anyway, so can anyone see anything wrong with this?.

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Sorry but aren't you the one thats making it complicated. I think you need to ask yourself why are you putting yourself through this and what you hope to achieve with it. Are you recording for prosperity or just for the fun of it and I have to ask what advise have you sought prior to going out and buying all of these things if you have no clear line as to what you hope to accomplish at the end of it all and if you need all of this equipment or if a simple Boss CD recorder might not have worked just as well wit a few oither things.

And 3 hour practice time is just a bit much unless you are going out to play at open mics or a stage. I think from the from the sounds of it you should work on your playing and become as good as you want it to become and then worry about if you need or want to record.

Please remember unless you are doing this for a living it is suppose to be about having fun and not making it into work,ship

No I have not got any aspirations to play professionally however I do like my own songs, they are sounding a lot better already and I still have some more stuff to come this week, it’s also made me change my mind about getting a decent Guitar sooner rather than later, I have a trip to Amsterdam coming up and shortly after that expense I will be buying a Martin.

I just do not have the time or inclination to get into these heavy recording programs, I defiantly do not find that enjoyable, as far as my 3 hour practice sessions go I do have the spare time for it and my Guitar playing without a doubt is improving because of it.

I guess it’s just my age and the fact that I do not really use a pc for work other than checking emails etc, computers and more to the point computer programs just bore me to death, I would rather spend the rest of my time reading through forums like this one as my music theory in general is not great and there is some very good articles on here.

Once I have my Martin and I have recorded, re recorded and reworked  all my songs and I can play them perfectly every time I can nip up the road, do a couple of sessions at £60 a time (which I can afford anyway), and hopefully end up with a decent CD to pass around my friends and family.


I use a simple Open Source program called Audacity for my recording. I have a simple Line 6 Toneport UX1 on my Win XP PC and a Shure PG58 Mic that plugs into it. I use my Seagull S12 Cedar 12-string with a Seymour Duncan Woody sound hole pick up that I also can plug into the Toneport for differing guitar settings.

Audacity is not too complicated and you can add tracks for other instruments or vocals. The Toneport allows only one or the other - Mic or Guitar at a time. So I do a lot of recording through my Shure Mic. Then add any lead tracks or backup vocals.

My Page has some songs and a couple of simple videos on it here My Page

I try to keep my "studio" as simple as possible. And I have a great time recording and sharing with AGC and family, friends. I think the studio costs for what you want to do is a very personal decision and you know what you need and want. I also have a photograph of my computer "studio" on My Page, it's one of the last ones so you might want to look at view all and scan for it there.

Hope you find your niche!


 Hi Kirk

             I like your stuff, wow you got loads of good songs it really puts my measly half a dozen tunes in perspective

I guess I am being a bit lazy when there are less complicated programs around like Audacity, maybe I should just bite the bullet and spend some time on the research, the problem for me at the moment though is that I literally have just got into amplification and I still have lots to learn there so between my practice, my song writing, my researching and general reading up on forums like these I just don’t seam to be able to find the time to fit it all in.

I guess I am suffering from a touch of overload trying to learn too many things at once, I am finding it all very inspiring though and I believe I will end up a better player for it and hopefully a better songwriter too, definitely one of my better moves so far was finding this site.


Thanks for the vote of confidence! I have been writing songs since learning my first few chords! That was when I was 13 years old! I am an improviser and have a hard time duplicating any leads I play, so a good musician I am not, just average I would guess.

I currently don't have an amp for my guitar. The Toneport hooks up to my stereo and I use that for my playing and playback. Headset keeps the wife from going crazy! Not the best set up but adequate for my needs anyway.

As to your learning process, take your time, do the best you can and pick what seems most important for the day. You get in a lot more practice than I do. I am hit and miss due to illness problems (another story.)

You are right about AGC it is the best place I've found too. Try not to get overwhelmed! Check out the link I have to Audacity in my previous comment and give it a try. It is simple, free, yet does a decent job. I tried to master Cakewalk's Music Creator and Ableton Light and found I was so confused I got nothing accomplished! It was very discouraging to say the least. A friend told me about Audacity and I have been using the current releases every since. (not the betas releases but the working ones.)

Take a moment to breath and decide what you want to accomplish and prioritize a bit more stringently. Be a bit selfish, but not a lot! Your work will pay off before you know it! 

Above all have fun! Be Playful! And enjoy yourself and your guitars. You will meet your goals!



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