I’ve got things pretty well set up in my little home studio now, with both the CS2x and the Blofeld hooked up the PC’s audio input for recording; the CS2x has an audio input, so I’ve piggybacked the Blofeld through that in to the single input on my sound card. With my headphones for monitoring, and a good selection of software apps (mainly Rosegarden, Hydrogen, and Ardour), I don’t have much to complain about Well, I can complain about the state of Linux soft-synths, but that’s a separate rant, and the Blofeld eliminates much of my need for them anyway.
One thing I didn’t think I’d be able to do with this setup was record vocals, since my sound card lacks a preamp, and I don’t have a mic to plug in there, anyway. It was then that I realised that I have a perfectly functional mic out in the lounge. Well, there’s really seven if you count the various SingStar and Lips mics, but the one I was interested in was the Rock Band mic, which is a generic USB audio device, so it Just Worked as soon as I plugged it in. I wouldn’t want to record anything serious with it, but I did have a bit of a fiddle with a vocoder app last night, which was good for a laugh.
The question that begs now is what to do with my CS2x. It’s a very versatile synth — because it’s sample-driven, it does not just the synthy sounds, but also drumkits and traditional instruments, but the Blofeld serves me better for synth sounds, Hydrogen is better for drums, and I have some nice Soundfonts for pianos and such. It still makes a fine keyboard controller, but in the future I may end up replacing it with a dedicated controller keyboard: something with programmable knobs, aftertouch, and a bit less bulk (49 keys would do quite nicely, I think).