Showing posts from January, 2012


Don’t you just love it. When people want to check if a mic is on, they hit it with their hand, causing a loud POP over the sound system (watch the sound guy freak out). Then they hold it right up to their mouth, and say quite loudly, “Is this thing on?” What is that all about? If a mic is on, the last thing you want to do is hit it and/or yell into it. Why do people do that? People just have no idea about mics in general. This brings me up to Part 2 of my series on The Art of Recording . I can only speak for myself, but I've had a bit of experience with mics. Hey, I even know which end to talk into! Over the past 12 years, I've dealt almost exclusively with acoustic percussion in my recording ventures (emphasis on acoustic ). A few pianos here & there, but mostly percussion.  To me it all starts with the instrument's sound . As a trained percussionist, I know how percussion should sound. I've had an intimate relationship with percussion sounds

The Art of Recording - Part 1

I've been involved in recording since I was a teenager. Back then it was all done with tape - cassettes & reel-to-reel recorders. It often wasn't very sophisticated, but we got the job done. The results varied widely in quality, but it was a great learning experience. One thing I learned was to be well prepared. Because of the limitations of tape, like hiss on successive generations, you needed to get things down in the most logical & economical way. A lot of recordings were done bouncing tracks and live takes between two tape recorders. We didn't have the luxury of multi-track gear. 4-track reel-to-reel was a big deal at the time, but expensive.  REVOX anyone? Because we didn't have the luxury of multi-tracks, we learned to record all, or most things, live. This meant you had to be a real musician and not only be able to play you part correctly, but you also had to know how to balance your part within the live 'mix.' There was no such thing as fi

The Deluge of YouTube™ Karaoke Drumming

I recently made this comment on my Facebook page: So, what in the world is the point of all these karaoke drumming videos posted on YouTube? So you can play along to "YYZ" — that doesn't make you Neil Peart. I'd much rather see someone playing their own music and showing that they can actually think, and not just mime… As expected, I received comments agreeing with me, but I also received one saying, “ A few of them have landed pro gigs from these things.” This one made me think. I suppose that some people have garnered some sort of gig from their videos, but I really have to ask, who would hire them? It’s true that both Journey & YES found their new singers (both virtual clones for their old singers) on YouTube. But to be fair, the videos didn’t feature them singing along to old Journey or YES CDs, rather, their were singing in Journey/YES tribute bands. So this was pretty close to singing in the real bands. But what I’m alarmed about is the fact th

MY Best Of 2011

OK, so I happen to be a person who goes for lists. In fact, my life is pretty much ruled by lists. So why not a list of my fave music to come out in 2011? Here we go, in no particular order of significance: David Sylvian - Died In The Wool . Only someone like Sylvian could redo their preceding album, Manifon , by stripping off the vocals and having new string arrangements, of completely different music, written by Dai Fujikura. The result is extremely haunting & beautiful. There's also some new tracks and a bonus cut. Kudos also to Samadhisound for the gorgeous packaging (this is what you miss with downloads…). Kate Bush - The Director's Cut & 50 Words For Snow . After 5/6 years of waiting, since her Arial album, we got not 1, but 2 Kate Bush albums in 2011!  The Director's Cut is a reworking of songs from her Sensual World & Red Shoes albums. Approached with a sense of maturity, the arrangements were stripped down, revealing the songs contained withi