Adventures in Overclocking

In a prior blog post, I proclaimed proudly that my latest scratch-built audio workstation would handle any sort of processing load my musical ambitions could throw at it. High-def 24-bit, 96 kHz audio. Surround sound. Blah, blah, blah. That was a foolish statement.

A Decade of Spotify and Still No Liner Notes?

Will Lloyd's article in Spectator, "Spotify and the Death of Discovery," got me teething on the problem of dwindling engagement between artists and streaming music listeners. In my opinion, a chief contributor to this unfortunate decline is obvious, and has been for ten years now: In short, where are the liner notes?!

Back to School – Finding My Voice

A lot has happened since I graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2016. Among other things, I've worked on my vocal technique, following the teachings of Berklee's Anne Peckham and Jeannie Gagné, and Melissa Cross ("Zen of Screaming"), but still haven't found 'my voice.' That is, I'm not satisfied with the sound of my vocals and am losing confidence. Well, I might be a DIY musician, but vocal technique can't be fixed in a vacuum, so I'm returning to Berklee College of Music for help.

Practical Couture: The Songwriting Notebook

Next week, I'm heading to London for seven days of songwriting tourism. Okay, that's not a real thing, but it should be. Any tunesmith will tell you, nothing obliterates writer's block like travel - the more exotic, the better. In preparation, I crafted a new songwriting notebook - one that supports my unique workflow. And matches my outfit. Because nothing screams "punk rock" like a couture songwriting notebook. And, more importantly, because nothing screams "suicide risk" like a dog-eared Trapper Keeper in the armpit of a 50-year-old "songwriter." Pick your poison. I choose rock. "Double-goat horns, baby!"

Feynman vs. Mecha-Feynman: Supercharging the Note-to-Self

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I forget a lot. Physicist (and bongo player) Richard Feynman developed a technique for understanding and remembering complex ideas that I've found to be useful in the recording studio. For the music entrepreneur - or any entrepreneur, really - with so many hats to wear, this technique might improve your efficiency too.

The Mystery of the Haunted Recording Studio

Army living has its perks. Getting stationed in a haunted house isn't one of them. Arguello Boulevard. The Presidio. San Francisco. 1979. Truth be told, we never saw the ghost, perhaps because our dog slept where prior tenants reported seeing the uniformed apparition. Not that I was anxious to meet anyone from the Great Beyond - not at thirteen. Twenty years and eight homes later, I received another chance.

Happy 808 Day

Last year, I produced a clean, respectful TR-909 drum solo to celebrate 909 Day. Well, this time around, we're going crackers. I'm an industrial musician and it's time we got filthy.

The Speed of Sound

Today, I began an entirely new sort of audio recording project, narrating course notes from a road race into what you might call a "virtual rally navigator" audio program. To explain, imagine a traditional audio tour through the Louvre, but in a Lamborghini Diablo, at 110 MPH. "Hairpin left at 'La belle jardinière' in 3, 2, 1...." Buckle up, buttercup.

How Much Is That Bass In the Window?

I really need to stop buying instruments and start playing them. Last week, I came across an orphaned 2012 Fender Deluxe Jazz Bass in a (pop-up) window and thought it inhumane not to give her a good home. So, let's call it an act of charity. I'm selfless that way.

Happy #909Day

This year, I'm celebrating 909 Day with a quick little drum solo. No bass. No guitar. No vox. Just pure, glorious Roland TR-909 goodness, with a touch of environmental darkness and overdrive. But not too much. After all, we want to honor the venerable 909 without distorting it beyond recognition.

Movin’ on Up: HD Acoustic Drums

This week, I continued my mission to fill the holes in my "high-definition" audio palette, aiming my sights squarely on acoustic drums, or rather, high-resolution digitally-sampled acoustic drums. I know. "Whatever."