ipod, italk, recording, songwriting, tape

Capturing Song Ideas

I’m always on the lookout for a better portable tool to record my song ideas. Over the years, I have gone through several solutions.

In the 90’s, I’ve used this trusty Optimus cassette tape recorder:

Beside the crappy sound quality (lo-fi baby!), using this unit over a prolonged period resulted in boxes and bozes of tape, which I cannot bring myself to get rid of. Hargh! Then in my first visit to Japan in 2001, I bought the new Zoom PS-2, a “palm top” multi-track recorder. The instructions were in Japanese, so I had to “go with the pictures”.

I actually wrote a pretty good song on it while on the plane on my way back (gotta find something to do during the 16-hour flight!). Unfortunately, it was too complicated for ctually capturing ideas. First, you needed to wait 15 seconds while it “booted” (what?). Then you needed to be in the right mode and have available memory (it came with a crappy 32MB memory card). Then you could record. Of course, by that time, the song idea you were trying to capture was totally gone. Harrrhg! I gave that one to a friend (who I’m sure, in turn, gave it to somebody else…right now, you know there’s a kid in Bogotta cursing as he waits for this thing to boot…)

So in 2003, I got a 3rd Generation iPod with an Griffin iTalk for recording. The 8-bit sound quality was still lacking, but there was significant advantage: I could use iTune to transfer my ideas to the computer and tag them.

Lately, Apple finally added “CD-quality” recording to the iPod, so I’ll be checking out this very cool lookin’ Belkin TuneTalk extension.


So I’m curious, what method do you use for capturing your ideas?

· Paper Notebook
· Tape recorder
· Digital audio recorder (including iPod+iTalk)
· Answering Machine
· Natural “in-skull” short-term memory
· Others?

Let me know…


3 thoughts on “Capturing Song Ideas

  1. Thanks for your comment.

    Personally, I avoid paper notebooks as much as possible because I prefer to have everything in digital form from the start. Even lyrical ideas end up on the iPod/iTalk.

    I used to have stacks of used paper notebooks…

  2. Pingback: IPod Nano: Now Songwriter-Approved « SongHacker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s