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 HappyHarryNET.com 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 dot.com 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.