Wednesday, May 27, 2009

On Hold

The new mac should be here any day along with its accessories to fit it to the studio area. I found a nice laptop stand that will work nicely in my space.

Today I ordered the Acme stuff. They make incredible quality products. I got their QM-50 mic arm and QM-25 9-inch curved pop filter. Really nice setup to use with the RODE NT1A LDC mic!

QM-50 mic arm

QM-25 9-inch curved pop filter

The table hole drilling and mixer stand install is not going to be very difficult so I am holding off until the mac is here. Soon as I have the mac to fire up that gives me a DAW for the 01X mixer. Until then, I'm just fiddling about with my Xbox360 catching up on some lost game time.

I'm still kicking between the Yamaha HS_series or KRK_series reference monitors. Will decide when i order the VoiceLive_2 vocal processor.

The Hunter air filtration system in the RV is wonderful. Everyone should have these filteration systems in their homes. Period! No more dirt!

The ice maker has been really a pleasure. It makes ice quickly and without a lot of fuss or noise. No more buying expensive ice and the conveniences is a major luxury.

The Memorial Day crowd is long gone and things are quiet here as usual. So far, this season, city visitors seem to be mellow compared to last year. Perhaps the economic pressure plays a part.

Will update here when I got something new.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

QY100 - Let There Be Light

Hello. I’m a very happy camper finally finding a Yamaha QY100 that is backlit. Sure, if you’re an electronics wizard I don’t see this as being too difficult to do. But since that is not my forte, [in itself]finding one of these gems was an amazing adventure. Shown below is a typical QY100 that is NOT backlit.

Shown below [in a darkened area] is the same QY100 shown above, but my machine has a built-in backlight. I am very jazzed about finding this genuine, fun and creative musical instrument!

For now I won’t bore you with the specs of this 24-track sequencer, but what turns me on are the 4,285 phrases in this machine.

There are a myriad of ways to construct music besides turning on a recorder and playing guitar and singing. Today’s music construction tools include using computers with very sophisticated recording software including virtual instrument. Additionally there are dedicated machines such as the QY100 which can also be used portably to create songs and patterns when that moment of inspiration smacks you in the face while having coffee at Starbucks. There’s more. Extremely complicated and high quality digital audio workstation keyboards like the MOTIF_XS easily create loops and patterns. You can record linear songs, import samples from CD and include in your sequencer tracks, and then there are 6,000 arpeggios at your disposal.


Take a listen to the short phrase clip. See what you think. It may not sound like much but this music was a bunch of junk_MIDI data when it first was ported to the MOTIF. First I had to sort out an XG_MIDI issue between the QY and the MOTIF. Then choosing the right instruments for each part, although fun, was time consuming even though the MOTIF makes this process very easy with category search. Then on to making EQ adjustments, adjusting verb and chorus helped too; a little bit of panning helped the arrangement settle down in the mix.

I was proud of this first try. Take 3 phrases, slap them together and then paint-by-number using the MOTIF’s colorful palette of instrument samples. Also let me say, the MOTIF_XS’s 16-track MIXER is really cool. I find myself spending more time using the mixer as I do using my 01X mixer with Cubase. It really nice to compose music on the board, and on the fly, make mixing adjustments right as you are constructing your music. Usually, this is a post-production process where you would mix down everything later. On the MOTIF many times I don’t have to remix my music because I got a great recording within the 1st 5 takes or less, mixed and adjusted it there and now its ready to be a part of the arrangement. To frost the cake, all of this can still be easily shuttled into Cubase or Logic where high quality studio plugins for mastering can be applied to further enhance the dynamic range of the mix. The music clip above is a first take recording that was remixed several times, but only recorded one time, and with no further DSP enhancements added to the original instruments. Not bad ;;smile;;


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sorry I'm Late

Time flies when you’re having fun… or when you’re slammed with headaches like I am. Nevertheless, I do try to remember to blog here about what’s going on with me.

Most recently I am songwriting, staying in practice on the MOTIF and continuing to finish up the details constructing NASAV_studios.

Yeah, I know. You’ve been hearing about this for over a year now. Well, take it from me. I planned this for years before I began and although I am four month behind my initial estimated time of completion, I AM COMPLETING. The studio will be wonderful when it’s done and worth all of the man hours PLUS the down-time due to my health, which both played a part in completing the studio project.

That photo above is a Yamaha QY100 which is a portable, 24-track sequencer. Mine happens to be one-of-a-kind being “backlit” when powered by 110V AC. I use this device for sketching out song ideas and testing song construction. This is a fast and easy tool which saves me a lot of time. If the idea doesn’t work here, it is seldom that I will continue the project on my MOTIF_XS workstation. The QY100 operates for only 3 hours on batteries but I use it most of the time jacked into the wall power so the backlit screen is powered. Data saves are managed using 128Megabyte SM flash memory card. Musical data is shuttled directly to the MOTIF_XS via MIDI where then musical instruments are chosen and reassigned to tracks as well as any additional song construction is managed.

In other news, we installed an icemaker in our motor home which is really nice. No more buying ice! Also, our ice now is made using the bottled water we prefer and the ice does not dis-flavor anything we drink when using ice cubes we make. Looking forward to using this machine a lot come summer. Shall keep an ice chest full all year long.