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  • Writer's picture Krystal @ The Vinyl Life

Starting over, again.

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

California coastal highway view of Pacific Ocean.

In an earlier post, I mentioned I was in a classic rock cover band 12 years ago. During that time, I was also building a home recording studio, but technology & pricing was very different than it is today. I remember saving up for a year to purchase my first audio interface. I used to record in my bathtub. Yep, you read that correctly. I'd have my desktop computer on the floor of my small studio apartment & would run the XLR cable under the door while I sat in the bathtub strumming my guitar & singing.

Although I wasn't churning out professional recordings back then, I loved the purity of my voice & the vibration I heard in the tiled bathroom. It was my way of closing out the rest of the world to just feel, hear & exist.

Besides recording in small apartment bathrooms, I've converted small closets into vocal booths & written lyrics & melodies in my car if my neighbors complained about me singing at home (don't get me started on renting as a musician!).

After all these years, I have never set foot in a professional recording studio. Future goals.

I never bought new guitars either -- Guitar Showcase had a separate consignment shop across the parking lot from the main store & that's where I purchased my first guitars & amp.

Really early on, I didn't know I was a left-handed guitarist. I found out when I took a classical guitar my dad had brought home, into Music Village for new strings. I told the guy I didn't think I was playing open chords right because it always sounded bad funky, not Jamiroquai funky. He asked me to show him how I was holding it & promptly told me I was holding it upside down. He insisted I'd be better off playing right-handed like 90% of the guitarist community.....I politely told him to shove it. I write with my right hand, but baseball, shooting pool....I use my left.

My first home studio back then consisted of an iMac I couldn't afford, an M-Audio interface, M-Audio Luna II mic & Garageband as my DAW. That's it. Streamlined, but effective. I never mixed or mastered my tracks -- just did rough recordings of my vocals & guitar.

So much has changed in the past decade. The way we listen to music is in full streaming mode, YouTube & social media has changed the way we connect & share our work & independent artists have a shot at making a living without being signed to a major label. It's overwhelming, but promising.

Last year, I decided keeping my music equipment in storage was like locking a major part of myself away. I sorted through equipment I'd had for over a decade & had to come to a difficult, painful conclusion: my music hardware was outdated. Let me just say when even the guy at Starving Musician doesn't want your equipment, it's time to take a trip to Goodwill.

Starting over is tough, really tough. You wonder if the financial, emotional & time re-investment will be worth it. I expressed this hesitant thinking to a friend of mine & she challenged me to come up with my "why." So here it is, not in pencil, but permanent, typed out officialness on a very public blog:

To use my musical gift to convey authenticity, freedom & feminism through stories of survival that I hope will help others feel less alone & connected on a level deeper than the mind.

It's not perfect, but it's a start. One big fat fresh start to which I am incredibly grateful.

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