I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 18 years old. My first guitar was actually (believe it or not) a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. It was basically my high school present from my mom in exchange for graduating and getting myself to UBC. Unfortunately, I really couldn’t afford an amplifier at the time, so I basically just practiced on it ampless for the first few years. Eventually I managed to save some cash and bought a Fender Princeton 112 amplifier, which I still have (although it’s been at my friend’s house for a few years now — something I’ve been trying hard to remedy for about two years now).
My second guitar was actually just a cheap acoustic I picked up here in Chilliwack in my early 20s, mainly so I’d have something to play while camping. It was really hard to play, and it always sounded a bit out. Despite that, it was my primary guitar for most of my 20s.
Upon moving back to Chilliwack, I decided to treat myself to something a bit better, and went guitar shopping again. I actually went with the intention of getting a Larrivee guitar or a cheap Taylor, but just couldn’t part with the money at the time. So instead, I found a really nice sounding jumbo Takamine acoustic electric, and decided to make due with that for a while. It actually sounds really sweet, and I’ve been really happy with it. That being said, since I’ve been playing so much recently, I’m already thinking about getting something a little nicer.
About a year ago I picked up a USB condenser microphone from Tom Lee in Vancouver, and started toying around with Garage Band. The Samson microphone I purchased (which was around $120) actually sounded really nice, but it was kind of a pain to use with GarageBand, mainly because I didn’t have a proper microphone mount for it. So when I bought my new guitar, I also decided to pick up some better recording equipment.
The first item I picked up was a Tascam US-122L USB 2.0 Audio Interface. I actually looked at quite a few different units, including some higher end M-Audio ones, but decided to get the Tascam after talking to a few people who said it really had more bang for the buck than the M-Audios (something that online reviews also agreed with). Second, since the Tascam can supply phantom power, I picked up a real condenser microphone along with a proper microphone stand.
I haven’t spent much time recording with the unit yet, but it seems to do the job nicely. It has two separate channels, both of which are selectable in GarageBand. There are a few different settings on the unit, such as volume, amplification and impedance settings, and controls for the phantom power.
So as I’m packing for my camping trip here, I’m also thinking of packing my electric acoustic and the audio interface so I can mess around with GarageBand by the ocean somewhere, which I’m quite looking forward to. I’m really not sure where I’m going to end up, but driving down the Oregon coast is sounding pretty nice right about now.