Once upon a time, back in 1993, I stepped into the world of MIDI. For those of you who don’t know, MIDI is a modern tool in recording music that has been around since the early 80’s. It’s basically a connection that allows the computer components of musical instruments to talk to each other. We still use it today as we create our music on computers, but in the early 90’s it was just trickling into home studios.
Anyway, after working 2 jobs for 5 months to save up $700, in October of 1993 I bought my first sequencer - The Roland MC-50 mkII. After 7 years of recording on a 4-track cassette, I was very excited about the new creative options this piece of gear offered me.
In the first few months of using the MC-50 I recorded several tracks including “Goody 2 Shoes” and “April Showers”. These are 2 tracks that would be categorized today as “chilled house”. Back in 1993, there was no such thing. I was just flowing with the inspiration and following the guide of my muse as opposed to intentionally targeting a market or genre. I didn’t know what to do with them so they were never released. Today I am releasing them as a 2-song EP titled “Meanwhile in 1993”.
Roland MC-50 mkII sequencer / Roland JD-800 Synthesizer / Alesis HR-18:B Drum Machine / Digitech DSP256 multi-effects processor / Mackie MS 1202 mixer / Tascam DA-30 mkII DAT Recorder / Alesis Monitor One studio monitors.
On “Goody 2 Shoes” the main drums and synth toms come from the JD-800. Percussion and drum fills come from the HR-16:B. On “April Showers” the drums come from the HR-16:B with some percussion from the JD-800.
I did not own a sampler yet, so there were no loops used. All drum fills & percussion were played “live” on the pads. I didn’t have an ADAT yet so I didn’t track anything. Everything was recorded straight through the mixer onto the DAT.