I heart my new speakers

19 Jan

Harman Kardon SoundSticks IIWhen I moved out of my last apartment (and the nice stereo system there), I didn’t realize that my laptop would become the center of my musical life, almost more than my instruments. I’m a power digital music user. To give you an idea, here are many of the musical things I use my computer for:

  • Listening to music (recreationally)
  • Learnig lyrics, melodies, and chord changes to songs
  • Slow songs down to learn and/or transcribe the mandolin or guitar parts
  • Transpose songs to different keys to learn the parts in a girl singer-friendly key (most bluegrass is sung by guys)
  • Transfer audio recordings of lessons, back-up tracks for practicing, recordings of new solos I make up to iTunes

You get the point. I should really have good speakers.

But it wasn’t until I realized I couldn’t finish working with our engineer on finishing mixing the Nellies‘ CD unless I could actually HEAR the mixes, that I finally bit the bullet. I read the CNET reviews, I read the feedback on Amazon, and I went for the cool-looking ones with the good sound but weird controls (otherwise known as the Harman Kardon SoundSticks II).

It sounds hyperbolic to describe new speakers as life-changing, but it’s really not. Music was starting to, um, bore me, which didn’t exactly put me in a panic — more like an identity crisis (who am I if I don’t devote a big chunk of my life to music). Now, I feel like I’ve found that joy of discovering new music again, only I’m listening to things that I’ve had on my computer for years. And when I heard how clearly Doyle Lawson’s mandolin comes through on the left speaker on the Bluegrass Album Band stuff, I couldn’t believe how I learned as much as I did on the Bluegrass Album Band Plan* with my teeny speakers.

Now playing: Buck Owens, 21 #1 Hits: Ultimate Collection.

*Bluegrass Album Band Plan (BGABP): A total bluegrass geek endeavor in which a few friends and I learned an entire album by the Bluegrass Album Band (a bluegrass supergroup) note-for-note Yeah, I’m a dork.

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One Response to “I heart my new speakers”

  1. Andrew Mager January 21, 2008 at 11:15 am #

    Heh, you bluegrass nerd. (You have a slight misspelling in your second bullet point.)

    Speakers totally make the difference. I have this one shitty speaker on my desk, and it’s sitting upside down right now. It works, but it sucks.

    I need some nice ones like you. I can understand how an increase in quality of sound can be life-changing. Music charms the soul.

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