Dave TheBuskerUK

Retired Busker

Gave up the busking a fair few years ago but I still dabble when I can :) Just starting to mess about with slowly building a dead simple mini studio for recording just to keep my hand in. I was asked about my setup for recording, I'm making it up as I go but at the moment here it is. I currently use a Mugig condenser mic for the vocals. My acoustic guitar is a 10 plus year old Earthfire 6 string bought for about £100 UK. Originally when I was gigging I added a single coil magnetic pickup but for recording that sounded dull, so I've added a trio of stick-on round piezo pickups that run into a 9V pre-amp, I couldn't bring myself to cut a hole in the guitar to site the pre-amp so it's set into a margarine box ? The mic and guitar are fed into a Proel Mi5 mixer where they are panned hard left and right. I run the stereo out from the mixer into a desktop PC line in. On the PC I run Linux Mint XFCE. I use Audacity to grab the audio stream, then trim the start and end, after that I split the stereo track into a pair of mono tracks, one for the guitar and the other for the mic. I then run both through the Normalize filter set to do L/R individually. This brings up the audio volume without gaining the background noise. After a few plays to get the levels right so the vocals sit just above the level of the guitar I clone both tracks so I end up with 4 mono tracks, mic L/R and guitar L/R. For some reason if I don't do this Audacity has trouble exporting to Mp3. Then I export the track to Mp3 at about 128K. I run the Mp3 track through Puddletag to add a cover pic and edit the iD3 tags and then finally through the CLI version of Mp3Gain to hard gain the track to 95dB. Then it's all set for uploading ? I've just added a Behringer amp modeller / DI pedal to the mix but the only recordings I have from testing that got trashed in a power cut so until I have time to do some more recordings I don't know how that will work with the setup. I hope this makes sense as I wasn't sure where to add this info and it seemed overkill to add it to the info on each track I uploaded. I'll update as I tweak things.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Everything. Comfort when I'm down. Energy when I'm up. A place to hide from the world. The knowledge that everyone goes through all manner of chaos ;)

What is your music dream?

To find that perfect balance where there's enough time and space to create and share music without the dreaded "life" getting in the way ;)

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Ummmmm ;)

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

There's so many, how to pick one. Maybe Freebird or Time In A bottle. Can't choose :)

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Love Del Amitri, Levellers, Ashton Lane ( great new country band - look them up on FB ), David Gray, Bread, Charlie Landsborough. Again too many to list :)

What inspires you to make music?

Life ;)

What is the message you want to send with your music?


How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Terrified :)

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Teaching new artists that there's no short cut, these big "tallent" shows just are not real. Work hard at it, pay your dues grafting away doing what you love and just accept most brilliant musicians never hit the "big time".

What do you think of Drooble?

I've always loved the whole environment of music and musicians, sitting round sharing songs, trading war stories. Since quitting busking and gigging that's been missing, already it feels like Drooble is a new way of doing that.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

People who say to a learner, "just play something I know" there's little that does more damage to a budding musicians confidence. It can put them right off before they can get over the first few hurdles.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Unfortunately I haven't been to a gig for too many years, but I used to love being able to go to local live events.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Pure luck and determination, combined with really thick skin and pragmatism.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Bates Motel, Concrete Geraniums, The Void. I grew up in Cornwall listening to some great local bands, recently I managed to get in contact with some of them and get permission to share their old tapes ( mostly over 20 years old ) that I'd encoded after my music collection got hosed in a flood :O I can't post direct links to the bands but all the albums I could share are here - http://moco.davethebusker.uk/ I don't appear on any of these recordings, but am honoured to be able to share some great music so built and maintain the website. If you would like to leave any comments for the artists please do so via either the email address on that site or my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/DaveTheBuskerUK/ so I can pass it on, please be clear which songs / band it's for.