Awright, peoples! It's time to talk gear, right? I don't know if it is, seeing as I don't get many comments on my news posts...but I assume that SOMEBODY will eventually read one of them, and that somebody might be wondering how I get a specific effect, or get my recordings done so quickly, or for so incredibly cheap.
And to them I say...uh...I use a mic. And acoustic instruments. And GarageBand. To be specific....I use a Samson Meteor Mic (about $100), which is an excellent USB mic for podcasting/musical performance, because it picks up sounds from a bit of a distance. I ordinarily place it about 3 feet from where I'm performing, which is important, because I use a variety of guitar techniques that require a bit of space to keep me from hitting the mic. The difficult part of recording is actually my MacBook Pro - it has this fan that kicks on when I use a lot of processing power (like when recording), and it can screw up a recording pretty badly. My answer has been to place a foam mattress between the mic and the Mac, and perform at an angle on the mic side, so I can see what I need to on the Mac side. Other than that, I'd need an actual sound guy to be operating the software in a separate room. I'm too poor for that.
For guitars, I currently use a Godin classical, an Ibanez 12-string, and a Cort 6-string, all acoustic/electric, and the latter two being jumbo-body with cutaway. For those instances when I need to plug in, I use a very simple Larivee electric, with a single EMG humbucker. I plug that right into the Mac, and mix my FX with software.
I also utilize a Roland digital piano, which is far beyond my capabilities to play well, but was a gift, and so I'm eternally grateful for it.
Other than that, I make my percussion mainly by hand. Clearly, I have use premade-loops for various projects, but recently, with the addition of a good mic, I can utilize my own percussion background. My rule: If it makes a sound, it's percussion. I have used beatbox, hambone, tapping fingers on my mic, even foley-type percussion, like breaking celery in a wet towel, or drumming with a couple full pencil cases. It's all valid percussion, in my opinion.
So, in all honesty, this wasn't cheap to make happen, but the more I've done, the more I notice that there's help out there for musicians who have shown that they won't just go away with a toy ukelele. Stores are willing to barter on prices, everyone has a guitar in their house that they never play. Drummers who move out of their parent's houses have to give up their sets when they get an apartment. And there has never been a shortage of celery.