The Purpose of Art (How to Avoid Worryville)

The Purpose of Art (How to Avoid Worryville)

Some nights when I lay in bed my mind can start to run away with me.  If I’m not careful it will take me straight to Worryville.

I start thinking about what needs to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and before you know it I’m concocting every possible scenario of what could go wrong. This makes sleep and just relaxing almost impossible.

What I have learned to do to combat these worries is to think about things I enjoy doing and solve those problems in my head while I am lying there waiting for sleep. Continue reading

Home Recording: I’m Not a Recording Engineer

Home Recording: I’m Not a Recording Engineer

I am a drummer, a musician and consider myself an artist but one thing I am not is a recording engineer.

It’s one thing to use all the great sampled sounds that come with a lot of the DAW software but my first attempt at recording acoustic drums showed me very quickly I’ve got a lot to learn.

Getting everything setup, plugged in and working wasn’t a problem.  It all seemed pretty intuitive to me plus there is a manual for everything.

I took online courses (Lynda.com) on drum micing plus watched videos on the subject, so I felt pretty good about my mic placements.

I got what I thought at the time were pretty good levels on everything so off I went into recording land.

I laid down some tracks that I was pleased with and still am pleased with the results of my playing.

Next comes listening to the playback through the studio monitors. Continue reading

Honesty In Your Art

I recently wrote about the office BS’er and honesty.

We all know what honesty is and about being honest, telling the truth and doing the right thing. But over the past year I have come to a better understanding about honesty in your music, your art, etc.

Having been away from the music business for so long and having put away any innate creativity the desire to create became pent up inside me.

Here I was in the hardware distribution business.  Your best bet at being creative was working up data and trying to display its meaning as simply as possible.  Sometimes you were lucky to get to work on short term and long term business plans.

You could get somewhat creative when writing internal memo.  But time constraints and the fact that clear and concise communications is extremely important left little room for poetic license. Continue reading

Drum Track Jigs – Are They Cheating?

Drum Track Jigs – Are They Cheating?

Something that I struggle with is when I am recording sequences on my electronic kit and I’m using the quantize and swing feature.

The features are nice and can take a sequence I played and correct every note so it is exactly on the beat or part of the beat (eighth or sixteenth, etc.).  The swing feature can then give it some feel by putting it on the back side of the beat.

When I first used these features it took a sequence I recorded, one that I thought sounded good but it did have one or two ever so slight but discernible flaws and made it sound great.  It would have taken me hours to get it to sound like that or perhaps I would never get it to sound like that.

Up to this point in my life I had always played acoustic kits.  Growing up in the analog world this ability to correct these slight imperfections seemed to me like cheating.  To be honest sometimes it still does. Continue reading