Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cold Winter Changes

NASAV_studios - December 2011 - in cabin not RV

When I began to type this blog I almost typed, "Cold Water Morning" by Neil.Diamond because that song was playing in my head when I began this blog.

Winter is upon us and the temperatures have dropped. I am living in hot showers to keep my bones from Carbonite Poisoning. Headaches have been enhancing my production schedule. We're not living in the RV motor home now but rather a rental cabin. A little more space, of course more money and a few benefits that I do appreciate. The big picture don't change much for me. I burn rubber when I'm on my feet because I don't know which day will bury me in morbid pain which will consume a week of my life.

Jennie [my ukulele] has been a good friend whom I've enjoyed spending time with. I have become quite accomplished on this instrument in such a short period of time and it is so much fun to play in banjo tuning.

The studio is functional and I love that my design works anywhere in the world. No matter where I take my kit, once I am set up, everything is identical. This makes for great workflow and production.

On another note, I just bought a Nintendo.3DS and I enjoying it during my leisure hours such as in my favorite chair and when lounging around in bed. I plan to SLOT1 the 3DS and I do plan to include everything.3DS on my upcoming and redesigned SLOT1 website. The website is functional now; I just don't list it on my main site. You can access my SLOT1 site below:

Meanwhile, my iPodTouch32 and iOS.5 rocks - very productive platform. MissToshiba is managing the latest and greatest PC games ala Steam and Impulse (GameStop) plus my 200+ Real.Arcade games that I usually install a couple dozen of them. They are great games to play in between the heavy hitters which can simply be overwhelming when you're not in the mood.

I'm still shopping 6.string.electric guitars such as Gibson.Les.Paul, LP.Flood, Carvin and Rickenbacker. I am very pleased with my Dean.Boca.12 electric and the Ibanez.AEL20 acoustic.electric.12 has seasoned a bit and plays real nice now. Drumtracks are still getting designed and arranged ala Drumcore3 as a VST in Mixcraft5 on MissToshiba. Then I LAN them over to the MacBook and into LogicStudio. I've grown to like creating drumtracks in the bedroom where [in my mind] space appears to be clear of chaos and other spacial matters that block creativity and stump productivity.

Now 58 years of age, I am looking into moving out of the United States. But nothing will happen in coming year. I wish to finish my first record album and that time is also needed for logistics and mobility planning anyhow.

It is my sincere wish that each and every one of you enjoy your holidays including Christmas. More importantly, make it a point to spend time with the people you like and love. Do nothing else; and if that means spending time with yourself, that's okay too.

I know that I love me so I understand! >grin<


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs - Farewell My Friend

A year ago I purchased an Apple iPod Touch with 32GB of memory storage. Since buying this post.PC.device, my life is no longer the same. It was only a matter of days when I began to realize "neurological improvements" in my health while using this device. Simple tasks that I need every day became a breeze to accomplish. It was less than 2 weeks and I had already began doing my serious work on the iPod rather than jumping onto my i7.Toshiba or using the MacBook in the studio. There was no need. I bought the Apple Bluetooth wireless keyboard and used one of my IMAK ergoBeads beanbags as a prop for the iPod; which by the way works wonderfully when remote such as Starbucks or where ever. Within weeks I had tried, tested and purchased some apps that enable me to do EVERYTHING and more, than I was doing using my PC and Mac laptop. Of course, I use my Mac and LogicStudio with a Yamaha.01X automated digital mixer with little or no compromising with any aspect of audio recording.

My point for blogging this morning is, I do not live the same way as I used to one year ago. And this is SOLELY because of the iPod.touch and its hassle-free, ease of use. Mind you, I originally purchased my iPod.touch to use my Evernote database that I had created on the Mac and Windows machines. I didn't buy my iPod for music, movies, TV and games. Little did I know that I would soon be enjoying all of that too. But, I bought it so I had access to nearly 7,000 database entries dating back to post brain injury 1993.

Apple (FireWire) Sony (iLink) and Yamaha (mLAN) each chipped into this fast data transfer protocol with the exception being Yamaha gave their FireWire technology away free to the industry which enabled users to send and receive 32 channels of digital music data, including controller data for digital mixers, all using one 6-pin FireWire cable. [meanwhile it appears as though we are still waiting for USB 3.0] and I think Apple's Thunderbolt [again] will become a powerful data transfer interface for audio, video AND data transfer. Meaning SSD and HDD connections using Thunderbolt.

In honoring Steve Jobs, I am not recording music this week or using my Mac. This may seem silly, but for me, I simply wish to reflect on his legacy and his quote, "Stay hungry, stay foolish".

I will comfortably reside on my iPod.touch as I do daily. My website will continue to display Steve Jobs' memorial photo and my site will function with my basic content. Trust me, much more is coming soon.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

NASAV_studios - A Reality

Jee whiz. Nearly September 2011. But, I am excited more than ever with regards to this life long dream I've had about recording music. Of course, long ago when I first began my attempts to record music, it wasn't in 6x5.feet of space in a 27foot motor home. Still, when I think back, I tried this 2 times before. Once using Beta.HiFi as a recording deck and the second time I bought a TEAC.A3340S 15.IPS 10", 4.track multitrack recorder with Symul.Sync, a Model.2 mixer and DBX noise reduction. I still have some DBX cassette mixdowns which some were a total of 17 ping.pong tracks on a 4.track machine. They sounded pretty good at the time, but honestly, my passion was greater than the technology that I was using. But then again, I was using equipment on par with what the Beatles had. So, using that as a gauge I could accept the fact I simply just was not "as good as them". Nevertheless, my musical inspiration continued to grow and years later I purchased a Yamaha 4.track cassette machine that had some onboard DSP but you had to be a "switch nut" to use the thing. It used an insane combination of switch positions to accomplish a plethora of recording functions and tasks. I never grew to liking the unit and it eventually ended up in the hands of somebody else. Then I went through a chapter in my life where needing to record any of my music just wasn't important. But, again... that haunting need crept back into my life in the 90's when I lived in Florida and began recording again using my Korg.i3 and a 16.bit soundcard using a PC. Some nice recordings came from that chapter of my life including, Dolphin Blue and Isn't Love At All. Both songs are on my Click and Listen website.

In 2003 I moved from Florida to California. It wasn't long before wanting to move out of the city and into a motor home. Thus, NASAV was born. North American Surrealistic Adventure Vehicle. It all began hand drawn on legal pad, then pieces got printed out from the laser printer. Soon the NASAV logo as you see it today was on the wall in front of the computer table. The American flag that accompanies the logo on the RV, was initially drawn using colored pencils and crayons. After much searching, I found a place that sold high quality flags. Now I was ready to design the logo lettering from a bitmap font. Halfway through that project I got connected to a disgruntled ex-employee of NASA who gave me access to the official NASA Worm font. This put me immediately into Adobe Illustrator version 9 and the A.I. file was given to vinyl lettering shop who special ordered a vinyl that is matte black and actually looks and feels like rubber, rather than plastic. Applying the lettering and flags to the RV was a snap. SOMEDAY, I will get the RV website up so people can visually SEE this story, piece by piece.

During our first year in the RV, I was already hot to trot about getting started with the project studio. By that time, I had much of the initial design already on paper, including measurements and what recording gear I wanted buy. In 2007, I created a website for an RV park and that was the first $3,500 dollars that fueled NASAV_studios into action. Most of my recording gear was purchased by 2008 and since then has mostly been learning how to use the gear and many, many snippets of really good music. Some of these are on my website. Many of them are not, but I am beginning to leak them out.

This summer was my first public appearance musically and it went very well. I just bought another electric guitar and am shopping for the 3rd. Summer 2011 will also remind me as, "summer with Jennie". Who is Jennie? My ukulele.

Music production has been a mixed bag because I would get excited and take off and produce something. I would think it was great, but in a very short time later, learn how to do it better and then the previous music sounded [to me] like crap. So I would scrap the song and start over. I have done this several times since 2008. However, now 3 years later I am pleased with where my music is going and how it is sounding. My original idea was to record the music that I hear inside my head when I wake up each day. And, if I was not able to do that, then I would scrap the entire idea altogether. But, thanks to the quality gear that I bought and spending hundreds of hours learning how to use the gear and to improve my musical styles and performance has grown into something far beyond my wildest imagination.

In fact. NASAV_studios is just now beginning to operate, as it was intended to. From which mixer I want to use down to the smallest details. Like the routing of cables and connections from one device to another. Having many options and not being stuck with only one or two ways to do something. I didn't want that. I wanted an open ended production system. I can work with or without a computer. Mac or PC. Logic on Mac preferred and surprisingly Mixcraft5 on PC is getting big attention for constructing drum tracks ala Drumcore3.VST.

In my mind, summer is over and it's already Christmas. I can see that it will be Q4.2012 before I get a CD mastered and replicated. I could happen sooner. But, I don't want it to. The NASAV website [still] needs to get constructed. Much of the HappyHarry.NET content is getting a makeover and both HHNET and NASAV_studios will be launching out of which is a by-product of my band name will be HappyHarryNET and I wanted the dot com because I do plan to sell products including CD's, coffee cups, mouse pads, hats, etc.

So, even for me. When I look at this schematic, I take a deep breath and acknowledge where I've come from and how all of this came to be. It's really amazing stuff. After getting whacked by that car in 1993 I never would have dreamed I would retire to Florida for 10 years and then have my own recording studio in the mountains, living by a lake. Life is funny that way. You just never know what's in store for you right around the corner! But, I would like to say, that I did plan much of this and it feels really good to have accomplished those plans. Personally for me, the completed music will be the true stamp of approval. And, it will release me from the past to move forward and do all sorts of NEW musical ideas that I have. So much of this dream is about getting over the old one! LOL

I think we all go through much of this sort of thing in life. Sorting things out, fighting tooth and nail to get where you are trying to go. A budget helps tremendously. And, I will tell you that MANY spreadsheets made this happen! Thank you Lotus 1-2-3. >no kidding<

From time to time people ask me about progress and when can we expect to hear this so-called music that Harry is making. My answer is basically the same, but I am choosing to steal the Duke Nukem developers slogan, "WHEN IT'S DONE".

Those of you who click my blog, I genuinely appreciate your interest and your taking the time to read my dissertations.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Still Silence of Music

It's midnight sitting here in the studio. I'm hearing the battery clock on the wall with its slight tick-tock because I have not removed the AA battery. All the recording gear is on and silent. The 4416 has a hard drive and a fan for the CD-ROM. It's notable noise but honestly I cannot say any of that noise has made its way into any recordings. The 01X on the other hand is silent and again this past week has made me very glad I bought an 01X. Fast, friendly, useful, does the job and is versatile. I'm spending more time in Logic with the current music I'm working on.

Now with nicer weather it was easy to implement increased physical activity. Walking twice a day and bicycling every other with swimming getting adding soon. The quit sugar lose weight program is still in effect and now the activity portion only makes sense. Also, I am enjoying it because the exercise is increasing my physical stamina; something I did not think I would need recording music in the studio. But, you never learn it all. At times, I find myself jamming a pencil into the side of my head trying to resolve new territory. For example I am collaborating with someone. Their voice is not in tune. This prompted me to slice up their recorded voice into several pieces and manually tune each piece. Also, the music I wrote for their vocal had to be detuned by 65 cents. In a perfect world, it would much simpler and easier to have them re-record the vocal part while they listen to my recorded click-track. Anyhow, the challenge helps me learn more about Logic; a beast of a DAW, yet elegant, in part due to it running on Mac OS X.

I daydream about eventually shooting live video in here so people can see this recording process in action. It's a magical group of live events. And having the right gear makes for a workflow that can stumble and fall yet not trip you up. First takes are some of my best work, while mistakes make up some of my finest discoveries.

This entire process from idea to recording to mastering to publishing is on a massive scale when doing it all yourself. My initial goals and timelines all have been shattered. But, I remind myself that I am working. And thanks to total recall hardware, I am moving forward step by step. The other night I was reading my own brain injury website and in noticed that I had mentioned "...late 2006 with 2007 around the corner and getting my CD done". It amazes me how many years are involved in this passionate desire.

What excites me the most is when you get to listen to my creations.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Musical Comfort

The past few nights have truly enlightened me. Musical ideas that I've had for decades are now flowing like liquid gold. And the Yamaha gear keeps reminding me why I bought them in the first place. I think what amazes me the most right now is, anytime I am simply practicing or trying out some new musical sketch, I am hearing stellar quality audio. Gain stage isn't a struggle any more and I get to attentuating fader groups real fast. Some of this is learning and habits, but another large part of this process is workflow that is in harmony with my songwriting and instrument playing.

My new ukulele 'Jennie' is a blast to play. She is showing me another side of Harry's musical interests. I am already thinking about a ukuele folk/pop/jazz disc. Although I am busy enough as it is as I continue to track and edit the current album, I am finding that venturing off and trying a different musical canvas not only freshens my ears but keeps my creativity alive and flowing. And I adore playing 'banjo' on the ukulele! Very unique sound and style.

There is still much work ahead with regards to project details concerning this album. Right now I have all projects on rotation that is managed by my iPod. I call it distributor management because it reminds me of a mechanical automotive ignition distributor that rotates around firing each spark plug one by one in turn. I never dreamed I would grow to a point in my life managing screaming headaches that I would accomplish MORE, not less. This is truly a milestone. And to frost THAT cake, recently the USA.FDA banned one of my medications. So now, I am doing pain "raw" which is delightfully different to say the least.

In closing, I am tinkering with my websites in between the myriad of todo's I am juggling. It's spring and I am enjoying my writing workshops again. As well, I am reading John Abbott's 'Napoleon Bonaparte' and Mark Russinovich's 'Zero Day' both engrossing and good reads. I became interested in Napoleon's history while playing a staggering strategy game, 'Napoleon:Total.War' which is the best gun powder strategy game I have played to date. Also, I bought the game for $8 dollars during a Steam sale! I also plan to play Total.War.Shogun2 which is a beautiful, gorgeous, 16th century strategy! I simply do not have any available time in my distributor cap to fire more spark plugs.

Napoleon: Total War and Total War: Shogun 2 Soundtracks


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Multitrack Sampling & Recording

New things are happening in the studio. The MOTIF.XS is a real work horse and really getting a lot of attention these days and nights. Much of the time I'm not sure which is which. I've been hanging out in Paltalk to air out my head and my ears. Come Monday I dive back ito the abyss of multi-track sampling.

I like working at the workstation. Sitting in front of the keys. Having the entire orchestra of sounds on tap in front of me. Although I have new acoustic electric and electric guitars, many times I find myself composing and recording live, playing guitars from the MOTIF. It rocks. Also, my mod.wheel techniques have improved and this really makes the electric guitars shine.

Having top-notch DSP/DYN/FX processors on board really helps to fine tune and get the exact sounds I am wanting in my songs. Dynamics mean so much and I love bringing out the punch in a song by using a particular EQ or Compressor. The beauty of the XS is, much of the time, I can use the ROMplers built-in sounds as they are! In their native form. But, having the ability to tweak sounds to my liking is a plus. And having a solid 16-track sequencer and full digital mixer on board, combined with full high quality signal processors on tap, makes the XS a joy to use.

My angle now is to use the XS more exclusively for recording songs from scratch through to their final mixed down version. All possible with the XS. I've already been doing this. However, I want to do some advanced tracking with samples along side my sequenced tracks. Also, I wish to sample the VoiceLive2 vocal processor tracks so they can mixed down along with the sequencer music.

It's really a joy to do all of this without having to turn on a Mac or PC. Using DAWs have their place. I won't argue that. It is easier to edit waveforms using software such as Wavelab or even editing that stuff in Tracktion3. But its more musically fulfilling to do it on the XS without the computer because then you feel as though you constructed a song using a musical instrument. Which I did. This is what I enjoy the most.

Playing real instruments such as my two 12-string guitars or the new ukulele that is getting a lot of attention. I named her, "Jennie" and she plays really nice. I am already considering recording an entire album of ukulele folk jazz.

Also, I am looking forward to getting proficient using the XS so there is no need to rely on the 01X digital mixer just to get into a DAW to record music. Actually, the MOTIF.XS is very intuitive to use for how complicated it really is. I have learned to appreciate Yamaha's effort in making this possible. Just 5 years ago this was not possible.

Meanwhile, I am working on new songs in between headaches and websites that need revising with two new websites coming soon. For now I will say this year, but perhaps late spring or after summer. I am sure people will find them useful because it is my intention to bring more CONTENT to HappyHarryNET. As for it is lying dormant while I continue to henpeck the design and GUI layout. That's a fancy way of saying I have yet to decide how I wish to layout the site. Also, the site's purpose is to facilitate the e-commerce of my first record album and other products which I plan to be selling eventually. So taking time to think things through on paper does just that... take time.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Irons In The Fire

After 16 years of cold and flu-less health, I finally got nabbed. I'm on the second go-round and am doing the feel better one day and feel like death the next. I suspect this condition will improve in the coming 10 days.

Meanwhile, it is raining every day and every night. This has placed an incredible damper on my vocal recordings. But, hey! The timing is just right because I am coughing my brains out and can't sing now anyhow. God's miracles.

While I whimper around with my tail between my legs as I fend of this cold, I've been surfing the net shopping for new electric guitars to be used to record new album tracks. Upcoming blog(s) will have details and photos.

I am months behind, but I am working on my webs. Right now I am reconstructing the foundation of my sites so they will be HTML, HTML5, smartphone and iOS compatible, including animation and video. Some of my original older pages such as ABOUT ME, HISTORY, etc., will be rewritten and will no longer be contain scroll boxes for improved readability.

Enjoying iOS gaming much more than I ever imagined that I would. But, hard-core PC gaming via Steam shall remain along side Xbox360 and XboxLIVE.

My Quit.Sugar.Lifestyle (QSL) is intact and going well. I will be introducing a new HappyHarryNET Health and Fitness web site, so stay tuned. Anybody can get off sugar, lose weight and feel great. It even helps fight off colds and flu.

Let our prayers remain vigil for everyone in Japan!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

01X Swap Done

2008 kicked off my project studio with some official workspace. My KODAK digital cam died so after this and another overhead panoramic photo were taken there were no updates which included the near field monitors, a new 37" LED and the addition of the AW4416 which immediately claimed space where the 01X is shown in this photo.

You can see below the 4416 kicking the 01X out of the picture which forced me to relocate the MacBook which got moved to beneath the table where it is out of the way, provides its use in the studio and yet is easy to disconnect and "take with" as a remote notebook. However, now that I have an iPodTouch4G.32, I seldom take the MacBook OR MissToshiba out of the house.

Here the 4416 is shown in its new home with the MacBook still in its old location. The AW4416 provides a nearly unlimited mixing control and channel routing. 24-inputs, 44-channels and anything can be routed anywhere, including the handy 4-OMNI's which I use to connect TRS to 01X. They also talk to each other via S/PDIF and ADAT via the 4416's Y56K.

This arrangement was a bit tricky in its 6ft.x.5ft of space. However, the upside is a powerhouse of sound, DSP, FX, DYNamics and high quality instruments via the MOTIF.XS sampling workstation, which carries its weight without using either of the mixing boards or even turning on the Mac and using Logic. Firewire mLAN onboard the MOTIF makes for shooting discreet tracks to Cubase and Logic a snap.

Things in place finally. Although I am already trained left.handed on 01X, it had to go right because the 4416 just is too wide to hang on the right corner where the door entry way into the RV is located. I am adjusting quickly.

I am enjoying the RODE NT1A LDC mic very much with the VoiceLive2 vocal processor. However, already I will be inserting a TUBE mic.pre to warm things up. For straight digital the RODE is pretty warm, but not enough for my voice. For now I will use my ART.V3 shown below. It's only a $75 tube pre but very versatile for it miniscule price range. Soon I will pick up a Universal Audio Solo 610 to manage warming up any harsh mic levels.

The Art StudioV3 Tube MP is a nice way to go when your on a budget to get some tube warmth into your mix. Whereas I am a solo artist and am not recording anyone other than myself, there is no need for more tube mic.pre's in my studio. Perhaps down the road this will change.

The V3 sounds nice pre-4416 with the 02R-style pre's a bit stronger and warmer than the 01x preamps.

The VoiceLive2 preamp is hot, clean and bit bright. Which works well for harmony backing tracks and a live application. But used as a primary mic.pre it's a bit harsh, so the V3 warms things up just right!

I'm gearing up to purchase 2 electric guitars and a nice TC-Electronic Nova stomp box. It's exciting to get back into "plugged in" and use the acoustic 12's where they belong. The Dean.Boca.12.cherry will be a blast to implement into my album tracks. I am still shopping for my 6.string electric, but I have my eyes on a couple Ibanez models.

Due to complications with song #4, I scrapped it entirely and am starting from scratch. Currently I am 30% album complete.