Moving Over

I’m typing this post on a second, maybe third hand ThinkPad, testing out IA Writer 1 on Windows to see if the experience mirrors that of macOS and so far so good. Reaper and Mixbus are doing their things as the licenses work for both platforms. Hell, pretty much all of the apps I use these days have Windows versions and they all run pretty damn good.

The dark horse is MainStage which I use quite a bit and is an absolute steal if you’re on the Mac platform. It’s thirty bucks and comes with untold gigs of samples and is, quite simply, one of the most powerful, easiest to use  music performance apps out there. Moving to Windows is going to be super hard without MainStage.

… Wait, what?

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GLS Test

Here is a snippet of a composition I’ve been working on since April. This is one of the most recent variants of the song and includes testing the GLS ES-57‘s I bought last month.

That recording is dry. There is no eq or compression on any of the tracks, just panning and volume.

I used my LTD EC-200QM (with 12 month old strings – I really need to change those) and a Schecter Revenger I borrowed from H, Opium Winter’s guitar player. Both guitars were played through a Kustom The Defender tube cobo amp 1 (also thanks to H) miced with an ES-57.

    • DAW: Reaper
    • Interface: Tascam US-16×08
    • Three rhythm guitar tracks miced as mentioned above
    • The melody guitar that comes in at 0:25 is straight DI with an amp/pedal sim on the track
    • Bass: straight DI
    • Drums:

The drums were recorded about two weeks before the ES-57’s arrived. I did get four of them and plan to test them on snare and toms as soon as I can (I also need some more mic stands and/or drum mic clips). If the sound as good on drums as they did on the guitars, then they’ll be used when I lay down the final takes of this piece.

1: The Kustom is out of this world. H can get it to howl and scream with distortion and effects but up until now, I’ve never heard it clean in a quiet environment. This thing has colour and a well rounded tone. I’ve played a lot of budget amps in my life and this has to be my favorite.

All of it

The thing is, there is room for all of it. There’s room for trashy pop music, there’s room for electronics. I mean, when people say: “I don’t like this this kind of music, I don’t like that kind of music”. Well fine. You don’t have to listen to it, but there’s still no reason why it shouldn’t exist. There’s room for all of it.

– Michael Beinhorn – The Significance of Pre-Production. PLaP.

Millbrae Exit

So I did this thing. It’s pretty off the cuff and rather ridiculous. It was born out of practicing recording techniques and trying to remember anything I learned while taking drum lessons. I setup a Soundcloud account because I think I’m going to do more ridiculousness.

Heavier! Faster! Noisier!

Punk rock and metal is a slippery slope … You start with something like the Ramones and go, Wow, now I want something faster! And then you get to DRI and it’s, Wow, I want something noisier! And then you get to Voivod and it’s, I want something crazier! And pretty soon you wind up listening to white noise and thinking it’s the greatest thing ever!

– Dave Grohl; Mojo Interview

Buying Second Hand

I’m a big fan of budget equipment. I honestly enjoy digging around and researching all kinds of lower end gear. It’s really awesome when you manage to find something amazing that does exactly what you need, especially when it doesn’t break the bank. This is how I found the Tascam US-16×08 and the 12 Step.

That being said, there is something that’s even better than new budget equipment: buying second hand.

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Burnt Bacon

This is a follow-up on the old post I put up about Neil Young and the way music sounds.

Through a small stroke of luck I’ve begun stepping into the world of vinyl records. I have a Fisher turntable and a Pioneer receiver – coupled with a Realistic stereo preamp 1 – that came included with the house we bought two years ago, and a set of speakers that I bought second hand from Mez, Opium Winter’s drummer.

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Music Has Always Sounded Like Shit

I wrote and posted this bit back in July 2015 after Neil Young announced he was pulling his music off of streaming services because of sound quality. I wanted to put it back here as it’s a nice precursor to a piece I’m finishing up about vinyl albums.

To note: Neil Young’s music is currently available on all the streaming services. Guess that Pono thing didn’t work out as well as he thought it would. that being said, he’s still on his damn soapbox.

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Opium Winter: Making the First EP, Part 3

This entry is going to cover the editing/mixing portion of the recording process and my thoughts along each step of the way. This not going to be a step by step entry that covers every EQ setting and compression ratio on each track. 

The recording process began in early April 2018. All instruments and vocals were tracked by the end of the month. The plan was to release the debut Opium Winter EP by the beginning of the summer. Instead it was officially released April 1, 2019… almost exactly one year later.

What happened? The answer is simple: Mixing.

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I’ve done football commercials; I’ve done everything; commercial and noncommercial: My attitude has been that they’re both the same. Why is it better to get a check every week from a university than to get royalties? Of course I’m a sellout. What else would I be?

– Phil Glass; New York Times.