The Null Device
Tips for recording live music gigs with the Archos Jukebox Recorder:
- Don't bother with the internal microphone, unless you like having the sound of hard-disk noise over the top of the recording every few minutes (perhaps if you're doing lo-fi glitch electronica or some form of sound-art it could add to the overall ambience). Yes, it's convenient, but it's also useless for anything other than voice notes and the like.
- As the Archos doesn't have a pre-amped microphone socket, you'll need an external preamp. The only pocket-sized battery-operated one I've seen that doesn't cost an arm and a leg comes with the Archos stereo microphone, so get that.
- Once you've got the Archos stereo microphone, throw out the cheap dynamic microphone that comes with it and, in its stead, plug a decent-quality condenser microphone into the preamp. Otherwise, no matter how you adjust the gain, anything recorded in a band venue will be distorted horribly.
I recently got the Archos microphone/preamp combo in the mail, and decided to test it this weekend. I tried recording last night's Ninetynine gig with the dynamic tie-clip microphone that came with the preamp, and ended up with a horribly distorted, and ultimately unlistenable, 60Mb MP3 file. This evening, I went to the Bidston Moss gig with the Sony stereo microphone I bought some years ago for my old MiniDisc and the recording came out sounding surprisingly good.
Some pictures from this evening's Bidston Moss gig:
The show was pretty good; sweet yet spiky power-pop, with catchy lyrics and hooks. And they are doing another one sometime in the next few weeks.
I also managed to catch up with BeTh, who sings/plays bass in the band, after their set. She's pretty cool, and has an enviable memory for faces. And, it turns out, she works practically just down the corridor from me. It's one of those ironies that I find this out about a week before she emigrates to warmer climes.
The statue of Saddam Hussein which was toppled by
the newly-liberated Iraqi public a Whitehouse-backed warlord and his militia has now been
replaced by a new statue of Ronald McDonald a symbolic Iraqi family holding aloft a crescent moon (representing Islam) and sun (representing the ancient Sumerian civilisation).
The Graun's Mark Simpson on Morrissey and his influence on popular culture:
Most of all, it was men who never recovered from Morrissey - the last two decades of British masculinity have been shaped by him. Fathered, even. His Smiths period handsome androgyny and narcissism anticipated New Man; his early solo work, with its preoccupation with gangsters, boxers and "low-life" prefigured New Lad - albeit artistic and passionate, where what followed was cynical and commercial, and with the balls to acknowledge rather than disavow the aesthetic and homoerotic.
Little wonder then that his fans are mostly male, overwhelmingly heterosexual, and all are passionately, vehemently in love with him, wrestling beefy security personnel to the floor to hug and kiss him onstage. "I'd sleep with him if he asked me to," a hod carrier from Norwich once volunteered to me at a Moz gig, out of the blue. "My girlfriend would understand," he added. "She's a Morrissey fan too." Of course she would.
Apparently Simpson has a book titled Saint Morrissey coming out later this year. Meanwhile, there's a Channel 4 documentary titled The Importance of Being Morrissey airing in the UK soon. No news on an Australian date. I may have to ask someone to tape it for me and airmail me the tape...