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.