OLD STUDIO SETUP (1991)

Here is what my home recording setup looked like in 1991. 🙂 At this time, I was just starting to experiment with sound and home recording, and the equipment I was using was primitive, to say the least. The picture you see below is the floor of my old bedroom at my parent’s house. My home studio would morph over the next few years with the addition of more pieces of gear. This was the very earliest incarnation, even before I got into recording with reel to reel tape. At this time, there were no overdubs (except when I would jump from cassette deck to cassette deck). This was mostly all done live, direct to cassette. Talk about lo-fi!

 

Follow this diagram below for a numerical explanation of each piece in the photo:

1- This is actually an old ghetto blaster (or, as they would later be called, “portable stereo”).  The speakers have been removed.  Basically I would feed all the instruments into my mixer (3), and then run that into the amp (5) and then run that directly into the ghetto blaster (1) for recording.  At the bottom of the ghetto blaster you can see a rather big sub woofer, which I recall sounded great.  I later sold this at a flea market, I believe.

2- My Casio CT 360.  The first keyboard I ever owned.  I still have it.  I got this as a birthday present (in 1987 I think).  Many of the sounds are cheesy as hell, but there are a few (like the violin and the synth) that sound neat.  This is pre-sets only.  On top of the keyboard you will notice a little bottle of model paint.  I would often use this if I needed to hold down a key and both my hands were all ready occupied.  🙂

3- My Realistic mixer.  I think every amateur musician and their dog owned one of these at one point.  I bought this brand new at Radio Shack, on sale for $20 I think.  I used this thing in all of my earliest recordings, plus I also used it during my days as a wedding DJ, and to make mix tapes.

4- The Yamaha RX 15 drum machine.  I did not own this.  I rented this from the Yamaha Family Music Centre (?) in Saint John.  I think I had it for a weekend, and I paid about $12 or $15 to rent it.  I didn’t get much sleep that weekend.  I tried to wring as much use out of it in three days as possible.  I would play along to some programmed beats, but I also remember tapping some beats manually to some previous recordings (which of course sounded awful).  I recall this being a fun drum machine, but even by 1991 standards it sounded kind of dated.

5- This is an amplifier which I pilfered from my mom’s stereo system.  It was a great old burly beast.  I love that old 70’s style of stereo equipment, complete with big silver knobs and the thing weighed a ton.  I think the wattage of this was 60W, which is not much but was sufficient for my bedroom recordings.  There was even a “Mic In” 1/4 inch input on the front of this thing, which I often used.  Not sure why someone would want to input a mic into an old stereo…..perhaps an early form of karaoke?

6- My first microphone.  A cheap old Realistic (as you can tell, I did much of my shopping at Radio Shack in the early days).  This was given to my as a Christmas present.  Despite its cheapness, I recall it gave a decent, clear sound.  I would also later part with this at a flea market (there were several points in my 20’s when I was dirt poor and sadly had to part with some cool stuff just to get some extra money.  *sigh*).

 

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