So, Who's "Ruppe?"

My name is, Stephen Ruppe, and I’m just another independet musician sharing what I’ve learened in regards to writing and recording music…

Not that it matters that much to me, but I happen to pronounce my name as, “Stefan Roop.”  Click the link below to hear the way some of my friends have pronounced, “Ruppe,” in the past….

R-U-P-P-E! (Pronuniciation)

by Various Friends at a show many moons ago...

Like many of you out there, I enjoy writing and recording music and dealing with all forms of audio.  It can be in the form of a song, audio-for-video, podcasts, whatever… I just think it’s incredible what one can do with audio before and after it has been captured on tape or some other medium…

Past 20+ years

First off, the better part of my professional life has been spent in the military (Army 22+ years).  This experience has had its ups and downs like any other form of employment / service.  For instance, I’ve met a lot of different people that have added to my overall music / recording (life) knowledge, which of course, would be a definite positive aspect.

The downside is that sometimes you’re away from your music, and musical equipment for a lengthy period of time, sometimes making it hard to find the motivation to get involved again when you gain your access back, or to keep a regular rhythm going for recording / song writing sessions.

I’m no longer in the Army, but I still work for the U. S. Government as a “federal civilian.”  At least, now when I have to go on business related travel, it’s nowhere near as long as before (and I’m not lugging around 100’s of lbs. of Army gear – not usually anyway).  For the most part, I now have a basic “9-5 type life.”

Musical Background

The first musical instrument I started playing was the piano with songs such as, “Heart-N-Soul,” and “Chopsticks,” taught to me by my Father.  I’m fairly certain I was still in elementary school when I started.  From there (instead of staying with the piano, which would have probably been a good idea) I took up the trumpet in junior high.

I swapped between first and second chair fairly regularly.  But, like the piano, I didn’t stick with it and instead opted for the guitar in high school.  I think because it was deemed, “Kooler” at the time…

Playing the trumpet did, however, teach me how to read music, which allowed me to pick up the guitar and a couple of books and teach myself.  I did take a few guitar lessons eventually.  I took 4x 30 minute lessons – 1x per week for one month, that drastically improved my overall understanding of the guitar and taught me how to finger pick.  All-in-all, the guitar still tends to be my go-to instrument for musical inspiration.

Audio Recording Experience

My audio recording experiences started out around the age of 19-20 with a TASCAM Porta 03 cassette recorder, which I bought along with a Fender Squire Stratocaster (neither of which do I still have )with a co-signed loan.  I was in-love with both, but thought the Porta 03 recorder was just “magical.”

Sadly, I never really took the time to make the quality of the recordings as good as I could.  I just liked the idea of being to overdub multiple tracks – to play over something I’ve already recorded earlier.  And therefore, just spent my time recording idea after idea as “rough drafts” usually without producing a “final copy.”

Remember the ADAT? …

From the Porta 03, I graduated to an ADAT system, and managed to record a few songs on it and even take it to a couple of live events to record some friends’ shows.  I think a great deal more could have been accomplished with the ADAT, but again, I didn’t take it as far as one could’ve (I still have it.  Maybe I’ll crank back up one day… just because…)…

The Age of The “DAW”

Now, like most I use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).  I started out with Pro Tools 8LE and have moved over to Logic Pro (10X) for now (long story).  I don’t really have preference.  I just wound up learning more about Logic Pro and have stayed with ever since.  Other software that I use inside Logic are: EZ Drummer, Native Instruments, Output, Etc. …

Recording Without a Computer …

I also like to use standalone recorders such as the TASCAM DP-24 and the BOSS Dr-880 Drum Machine.  Sometimes these are just easier to turn on and off and they can make you focus on the actual audio you’re laying down initially, instead of thinking about how you are going to “doctor” it up later on the computer (even though audio recorded on these types of units still can be transferred to the computer)…

RUPPERADIO.com’s reason for being

This site will eventually contain all of the answers to the questions that I’ve had over the years on the subject of recording audio / midi / etc. in the home studio.  If I’ve “googled it,” you probably have too.

Unfortunately, over the years I’ve maintained a certain level of procrastination that has kept me from finishing a great many projects.  Whether its songs I’ve left undone, or blogs I would never really start…

Another Attempt @ Progress …

Fortunately… having gained a better understanding (or so I think) of how to approach writing and recording music along with having learned “slightly” better research and writing skills, maybe I’ll be able to provide some useful content to other aspiring musicians, and / or audio recording enthusiasts.

Beginner, Advanced, or Expert?

Dealing with the basic experience levels of: Beginner, Advanced, and Expert (Professional)… I would put myself closer to the “Beginner – Advanced” level.  I can write and record a piece of music in a very short period; however, getting that “broadcast quality (or radio) sound” when it’s all said and done, can still be quite the challenge.  Sometimes, I think it might even prove more beneficial (prudent) to pay for my material to be recorded by a professional studio..

Join Me On My Recording Journey

With that being said, this site will serve as a “living document” of how my audio recording journey is going.  I’m sure we’ve asked a lot of the same questions and have tried out some of the same equipment.

Whatever I’ve learned, you’ll have access to that same knowledge.  Bottom line… I’m not “Pro,” but I have a lot of knowledge that I can pass onto others.

 Gear Reviews

“No, not more gear reviews!”… Yep, again, like many of you, I have a lot of gear laying around that needs some special attention.  And, I don’t know about you, but I watch/read many different videos/articles before making a purchase.  The more, the merrier is my opinion.

If you’re like me, you go straight to YouTube for reviews on just about anything; however, occasionally I’ll prefer written content for the “particulars.”  Knowing this might apply to others as well, each review that I post will “first” be about something I own myself… “Secondly,” will have a combination of a video and the written content (or blog post).

RUPPERADIO Original Music

My original music content will be used throughout the site; however, for those of you interested in my music enough for streaming, downloading, (purchasing), etc. … you have a few different options:

SoundCloud – YouTube – iTunes – Amazon

I write (primarily) in form of instrumental cues, or standard instrumentals these days, but I do “tinker” with regular song writing here-and-there.

“What’s the difference between an  ‘instrumental cue’ and an ‘instrumental?’”  Glad you asked.

Instrumental cue: A short 1:30-2:00 long piece of music that is only meant to serve as an enhancement to the visual content.  I.E. the visual media is the most important element that the user will be focused on.  The music that’s heard in the background (the cue) should not distract from the main visual element.  You are just trying to set a mood for the visual media.  Just think of any reality type show that you’ve ever watched.  There’s little 10 sec sections of various cues played throughout the show.

Instrumental: basically the same thing as any standard song that you could hear on the radio.  The only difference is the musical elements of the song are telling the story rather than lyrics.  An instrumental would normally be too distracting to be used as background music for a reality type show, unless there’s no (or very limited) dialogue in the scene.  It would be distracting because an instrumental is normally “more musical”… Whereas with a cue, the musician (or musicians) aren’t trying to show their musical abilities.

I think that’s about it

I can’t reallhy think of anything else to add at this point.  If you’ve read this to the end, then “God Bless Ya…”  After re-reading it myself, it just seems like a lot rambling, but hey… “it is what it is”…

Later,

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