Home Recording Blog:
Radio Adelaide Interview
SONG: THE LIBERTY CAFE
LONG: A brand new production from Jim Lesses, who is in the studio. A very
good afternoon to you…
LESSES: …and a very good afternoon to you as well, yes.
LONG: Welcome. I’m fascinated by this, because having been a sound
recording engineer for quite a few years, twenty plus I think it was, I
know the technology that we had for recording was phenomenal. But now you
do it all on a computer…
You can. Yes, it’s incredible what you can do with a fairly basic
system. I certainly don’t have… I mean it’s fairly up-to-date, but
not state of the art by any means. A reasonable microphone, a tiny little
mixer, and away you go. For me the last 18 months has just been an
absolute ball. You just can’t believe how much…
Huge learning curve…
Oh, huge learning curve. I had no idea. I mean, I’d been in the studio
to do my first album, but there I was just, you know… now is the time to
sing, and you’d sing and strum your guitar, and other people would take
care of all the engineering and the mixing, and all that sort of stuff,
and I would just sit in the background and go, oh yeah, that looks sort of
interesting. And then I sat down one day to see if I could do something
– with a bit of home recording, and I was surprised that… the learning
curve, like you say has been huge, but being fairly familiar with
computers I thought, I’ll give it a go.
some of the songs, I listen to them now and go, you know, that was like
eighteen months ago, and [compared to] what I’ve done six months ago,
there’s a big difference. Basically, I’ve been absolutely delighted
with what I’ve been able to achieve and I’m just looking forward to…
For all those people sitting at home, I mean, a computer is like, that box
in the corner that a lot of people don’t quite understand. You’re
familiar with what computers do, as I am, but what sort of a software
program were you using?
It started out as basically a shareware program called Cool Edit... Cool
Edit Pro, and Adobe have now bought that out, so they obviously thought
the program, the company was very good…
Oh yeah, we use it here…
That’s right. And now they call it Adobe Audition. And
unfortunately, all the shareware versions of Cool Edit have disappeared
off the Net, but there are obviously places you can find it, but it’s a
terrific program for what you were able to do, and still are able to do
with it. I just, you know, get in a have a go. If it sounds stupid, nobody
else has to know, you delete it and have another try until you get
sounding like what I can hear in my head, that’s the sound I’m going
for, and keep moving.
What sort of speakers were you using to mix to?
I’ve bought a couple of Alesis near-field monitors.
They’re about $1800 for a pair…
That’s the secret of it all in the end.
That’s right, yes… For a while I was… a lot of people say you can
just use a good pair of headphones, but you can’t. You need a really
good pair of speakers to be able to hear the quality as well.
Obviously you put it out, so you must be happy with it. What advice would
you give to anybody else?
Have a go. It’s just been… you can’t go wrong basically. The trick
for me is… one of the things I use to remind myself to enjoy what I’m
doing is (and it may sound a bit silly): Be as a child.
have a song on my first album called, I Want to be Eight Again, and
so the theory for me is – just have a go. Kids just have a go. They have
fun. They don’t care whether it’s right or wrong, or it works or it
doesn’t, as long as they’re getting in there having fun with whatever
they’re having a go at. And that’s what I have in the back of my mind.
And I think, just do it. if it works, it’s great. If it doesn’t, it
doesn’t really matter - no-one else has to know about it, if it doesn’t sound
And you haven’t spent a fortune on it.
Well, funnily enough I’ve probably spent more than I thought I would,
but hopefully over a period of years, it’ll get cheaper is I go, because
once you've got that initial investment, which I’ve probably spent several
thousand dollars, with the computer and the speakers and a AU$600 dollar
microphone and things like that; a little mixer. So you have to make
But those are one off…
That’s right. So you have to make that initial outlay, and then as you
just keep doing it, it gets cheaper – but then with technology of
course, you go: well, now maybe I need a better microphone, or a faster
computer, or… so it never gets cheaper…
It’s called, American Dream. And Jim Lesses, who a lot of you in the
folk scene around Adelaide will know… he’s done other things in the
past but this is a work of love, as you can tell it… here’s another
track from that album.
A MODERN CHIEF EXECUTIVE
< Home >