Sunday, June 28, 2009

Many Challenges, Many Themes

Let's begin with themes. The Apple logo symbolizes simplicity and health. Remember the slogan, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Perhaps you don't, that was a long time ago. But, nevertheless it is true. Five years ago I planned to record music using a Mac-based system. Once that I became acquainted with Yamaha_01x, then I immediately had dreams of LogicStudio because 01x is hardwired to work with Logic, and it does. I've had other recording rigs in my life, but nothing as substantial as what I am playing with now. And, I am glad that I have quality hearing. Because many days [and nights] I am producing high-quality crap. Engineering your songwriting skills whether it be using a large diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphone or dialing in the correct type of digital signal processing (DSP)and adjusting its parameters to correct or improve upon your original signal [is, in itself] a major undertaking. Some days it appears that I get lucky and I am right in the groove. Other times, it is obvious that I am a newbie recording engineer and have much to learn. All in all, I am very pleased with the Apple MacBook in my recording rig.

Since taking extra time in deciding upon which near-field reference monitors that I would purchase, added an additional month delay to installing these and performing the initial audio tests to determine how much acoustic treatment and soundproofing will be necessary. Luckily, the general area here is fairly dampened. The ceiling will need some damping and I will need to dampen some of the lower wood panels to deflect the subwoofer from rattling 25 year old wood. Additionally, I need to purchase some wood-working tools to create parts needed to mount a heavy-duty scissor-boom mic stand to the studio table. The original mount failed the test of time. Other than that, I am excited to play the new 12-string once it arrives. I hope it does not require too much setup. So, July is looking like an improved month for music with the month of August being an official production-mode period of time.

Thus far the Yamaha MOTIF_XS is carrying its weight as my main multi-timbral keyboard synthesizer. Also, there are some voices in my Korg_i3 that I plan to use when recording specific songs, and the i3 has some really nice MIDI rhythms that I will probably use right out of the box. The MOTIF_XS has an awesome vocoder built-in and I am trying it both in live setups as well as recording. Once the new vocal processor is here, I can mix the vocoder into that device as well. This is amazing sounding audio gear and a lot of fun to play with.

The real challenge in harnessing this level of audio gear, is having songs to record. [which I do] So it is my hope that by August, I can get started recording a 70's pop song that I wrote, called, "I Still Miss You". We shall see.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Losing Time

Aha! I've lost a week. These blasted headaches are burying me. The new mic boom mount was cheesy so I need to buy a small 3.5-inch circular saw so I can cut some wood and make some custom blocks for the table to create a dead-solid mount for the boom stand. These delays are really stressing me out. Songwriting alone is challenging enough let alone not being able to record the songs. In hindsite, if I were to do this all over again, and I may just might be doing that, I will go with a dedicated hard drive recording system. In just trying all of these combinations I have somewhat grown out of computer DAW recording. Maybe its great for people who never have health issues and have more time to iron out the niggles. For me, my only chance now is with the Mac. Reaper is showing good promise. Cubase4 works and Logic is another learning lesson. I don't wanna learn, I wanna record. I may still buy a MackieHD24 and connect my 01X lightpipe to that. Luckily the 01X also can be a standalone, automated mixer. That's why I bought it.

I'm bluesy. But I've come this far. So I trust the rest will come with more time. Providing I don't run out of time, I'll be okay.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NASAV_studios Semi-Operational


Finally! Mac OSX and Yamaha 01X up and running. Using the 01X with OSX and Logic is so superior to anything on the PC. Also, every knob, button and setting, including [SCRUB] works flawlessly out of the box.


As you can see, this is a tricky setup in a 27-foot motor home! The 30-inch LCD also serves our TOSlink optical 5.1 surround home theater, XBox360 gaming, XBoxLIVE Netflix streaming both to the 30-inch and the 19-inch flat panel LCD in bedroom. The 30-inch also has connectivity to the 2 PC's behind the view you're seeing. But, most of the time the MacBook gets all the attention!

Until the near field monitors arrive I am not going to re-route any cabling. Things are a bit haphazzard now out of excitement to get busy playing music. I've got the mixer, Mac and LogicPro8 online working well. And, using Paltalk Express in Flock browser with the MacBook's built-in mic and cam works really well.

A large portion of recording work [for me] is vocals. Being a songwriter, songs have lyrics and they need to be sung. Then there are oooh's, ahhh's and harmonies. And they also need to be sung. So, until the new vocal processor is here I will not initiate recording the first song of my album.

Meanwhile, I am really having fun with the MOTIF_XS and I am using it quickly compared to months ago. Now constructing, "instant songs" is starting to become the norm. This truly opens the door for both comedy parody songs and inspirational ideas.

Soon as the new monitors, vocal processor and 12_string electric guitar arrives, then I can finish routing cables. Then I will begin recording, "song 1" for the CD.

Meanwhile, I've got a ton of web work that I wish to do. I am revamping all of my websites. Making them match a consistent theme. Recoding them to load much faster and display properly on a wide variety of monitor resolutions and different brands of web browsers. So, I am excited to get all of that done and out of the way. But, it will take up to and possibly through Fall to accomplish this, which I will explain below.

I've got more content coming to my sites. And, in the grand scheme of things, in between health, I will be lucky to actually accomplish this before 2010, but I am going to say that I will.

One thing that excites me is to finally be playing music and sharing it! I look forward to LIVE music sessions via and Paltalk. And, of course I will archive the videos to my YouTube accounts. Just search for: