Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Line 6 offers new blog series on home recording

November 5, 2010

Line 6 has started a blog series on home recording. Find part one, about computer recording, here; part two, on microphones, is here.

Line 6 is a well established company best known for its Pod series of guitar amp simulators and recording interfaces. It also produces the Variax line of modeled guitars. I have and use many Line 6 products, which I find offer incredible variety and quality for the money. You can hear Line 6 guitars, modeled amps and effects all over my music.

A cool video for “Tatooine”

October 7, 2010

Classic, simple animation and a cool song, Tatooine, by Jeremy Messersmith. Thanks to Desiree Perry for passing this along…

Three ways to capture, edit audio on the go

September 10, 2010

Here’s a post from the excellent blog 10,000 Words on new tools to help you use your smartphone to capture, edit and share audio. Check it out!

Ringo and Paul take a cha-cha-cha-chance….

July 8, 2010

Ringo gets some help from an old friend on his 70th birthday…..

New Lennon remasters coming, along with stripped down “Double Fantasy”

June 29, 2010

Yoko Ono has authorized the remastering of eight of John Lennon’s solo albums and has participated in a complete remix of the final album he recorded, “Double Fantasy.”

(NOTE: Find my review of the remix here and updated info here.)

Ono says the new mixes in “Double Fantasy Stripped Down” delete instrumentation and production to highlight his voice. Ono and Jack Douglas, who co-produced the original album, performed the remixes.

“Technology has advanced so much that, conversely, I wanted to use new techniques to really frame these amazing songs and John’s voice as simply as possible,” Ono says in an EMI press release I received this morning. “By stripping down some of the instrumentation the power of the songs shines through with an enhanced clarity.”

Abbey Road’s Allan Rouse, who led engineering efforts for the Beatles’ remasters, headed the remastering team.

Here’s the entire release:

London, England – June 29, 2010 – Eight of John Lennon’s classic solo albums and other standout recordings have been digitally remastered from his original mixes for a global catalogue initiative commemorating the music legend’s 70th birthday, which falls on October 9.

Overseen by Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” campaign will launch on 4 October (5 October in North America) with the worldwide release of eight remastered studio albums and several newly-compiled titles.

Double Fantasy, 1980’s GRAMMY Award winner for Album of the Year, will be presented in a newly remixed ‘Stripped Down’ version remixed and produced by Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas, co-producers of the original mix with John Lennon. The new stripped down version of the album comes in an expanded 2CD and digital edition pairing the new version with Lennon’s original mix, remastered.

The campaign’s other new collections include:

·        A hits compilation in two editions titled Power To The People: The Hits

·        A 4CD set of themed discs titled Gimme Some Truth

·        A deluxe 11CD collectors box with the remastered albums, rarities, and non-album singles, titled the John Lennon Signature Box

All of the remastered albums and collections will be available on CD and for download purchase from all major digital service providers

YOKO ONO said: “In this very special year, which would have seen my husband and life partner John reach the age of 70, I hope that this remastering / reissue programme will help bring his incredible music to a whole new audience. By remastering 121 tracks spanning his solo career, I hope also that those who are already familiar with John’s work will find renewed inspiration from his incredible gifts as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and from his power as a commentator on the human condition. His lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were first written and I can think of no more apposite title for this campaign than those simple yet direct words ‘Gimme Some Truth’.”

The albums have been digitally remastered from Lennon’s original mixes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse at EMI Music’s Abbey Road Studios in London and by George Marino at Avatar Studios in New York.  All of the remastered titles will be packaged in digisleeves with replicated original album art and booklets with photos and new liner notes by noted British music journalist Paul Du Noyer. The albums to be reissued are:

·        John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)

·        Imagine (1971)

·        Some Time In New York City (1972)

·        Mind Games (1973)

·        Walls and Bridges (1974)

·        Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975)

·        Double Fantasy Stripped Down (2010) / Double Fantasy (1980)

·        Milk and Honey (1984)

YOKO ONO added:  “Double Fantasy Stripped Down really allows us to focus our attention on John’s amazing vocals. Technology has advanced so much that, conversely, I wanted to use new techniques to really frame these amazing songs and John’s voice as simply as possible. By stripping down some of the instrumentation the power of the songs shines through with an enhanced clarity. Double Fantasy Stripped Down will be complemented by the original album in the 2CD format. It was whilst working on the new version of this album that I was hit hardest emotionally, as this was the last album John released before his passing.”

Power To The People: The Hits gathers 15 of Lennon’s most popular songs, and will be available as a 15-track single-disc and digital package, and as an Experience Edition with additional content.  Both versions will be packaged in digisleeves with booklets including a new liner note essay by Du Noyer.

Gimme Some Truth, to be packaged in a slipcase with rare photos and a new liner notes essays by respected American music journalist and author, Anthony DeCurtis, presents 72 of Lennon’s solo recordings on four themed CDs:

·        ‘Roots’ – John’s rock ‘n’ roll roots and influences

·        ‘Working Class Hero’ – John’s socio-political songs

·        ‘Woman’ – John’s love songs

·         ‘Borrowed Time’ – John’s songs about life

The John Lennon Signature Box is a deluxe 11CD and digital collection of the eight remastered albums, a disc of rare and previously unreleased recordings, and an EP of Lennon’s non-album singles. The CDs will be housed in digisleeves within a deluxe box including a collectible limited edition John Lennon art print and a hardbound book featuring rare photos, artwork, collages, poetry, and new liner notes by DeCurtis.

One of the world’s most celebrated songwriters and performers of all time, John Lennon was killed at the age of 40 on December 8, 1980.  Lennon has been posthumously honoured with a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award and two special BRIT Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him in the Top 5 of the magazine’s “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time” list.

In celebration of his 70th birthday on 9 October, 2010, John Lennon’s life and music will be specially feted with a variety of commemorative releases and events around the world. Please visit for official announcements and updates.

New multimedia design blog by Desiree Perry

May 11, 2010

My friend, former colleague and sometime collaborator Desiree Perry just launched a new blog on web design, illustration and multimedia. Desiree is a top-notch designer and artist with some great thoughts on where we’re all headed in this crazy multimedia world – and she’s a real music lover too! Check it out, and congrats on the new venture Desiree!

Sonar 8.5.3 update now available – for free

February 19, 2010

Cakewalk just announced a free update for its flagship Sonar recording software suite. Sonar 8.5.3 focuses on improvements to its useful Audiosnap feature, which allows you to manipulate timing of audio files very much  like have long been able to++ do with MIDI files. If you’re a registered Sonar owner you can find the update here.

Sonar is my recording software of choice. I am planning a computer hardware upgrade soon; when I’m done putting the new beast together  I plan to write about how Sonar 8.5 works in 64-bit mode on a fairly modern (i5 quad-core processor) machine.

Questions about your recording environment? Bryan Pape has answers!

February 12, 2010

I’m thrilled to introduce Bryan Pape, who has agreed to appear in a series of blog posts to help us better understand room acoustics, sound treatment and related topics that directly affect the quality of any audio you record or listen to.

Bryan is the lead acoustical designer for GIK Acoustics, a respected sound treatment manufacturer and dealer, as well as owner of Sensible Sound Solutions, through which Bryan sells sound treatment services and materials.  Bryan also lends his advice to thousands of audio enthusiasts and recording engineers in several online forums, including the popular Gearslutz’ studio construction and acoustics forum.

I’ve asked him a few questions to get started. Here we go:

Q: People who listen to, mix or record music spend thousands of dollars on equipment — stereos, speakers, microphones, preamplifiers, etc., all carefully selected. Yet most don’t spend much time considering the space in which they listen to or record music. Why, in layman’s terms, is the space as important as the equipment?

A: Yes. That’s a real problem. The the things that influence what you hear more than anything else are:

– The room

– The speakers

– How you and your speakers are positioned within the room.

Your room provides gain to your speakers, impacts what frequencies build up and which ones get canceled, etc. The way the room is constructed determines how it absorbs and reflects sounds of different frequencies. For instance, two identical rooms, one with a wood floor and one with a granite floor, will sound different, even though both are ‘hard’ surfaces. They just have different resonances, flex differently, absorb differently, etc. Everything in the room works this way – walls, floors, windows, furniture, people, etc.

Q: What is the difference between sound proofing and sound treatment?

A: Sound proofing is trying to stop sound from entering or leaving a room. Treating the inside of the room for best acoustics will do nothing in terms of stopping sound getting in or out. They’re just two completely different things with very different solutions.

Q: Picture a person listening to music in a typical living room or bedroom environment: the walls are parallel, the speakers are up against a wall. What are some of the problems with this approach?

A: The biggest problem is that it’s reality. People have square and rectangular rooms. Parallel surfaces allow standing waves to build in in a space. Non-parallel walls can help minimize that depending on how much they’re out of parallel in relation to the wavelengths of the frequencies in question.

Most people don’t really have the space to splay the walls enough to really minimize bass issues. Most of the time, you’re better off having the larger space and dealing with the standing waves (modes) via treatment and careful placement to avoid sitting in the problem areas.

Q: Given those realities, what are three or four basic things people can do to improve their listening or recording environment?

A:  – Experiment with your seating position to get into a good position to avoid big bass mode problems.

– Try to maintain good left to right symmetry in front of you

– Experiment with speaker positioning. You can drastically change the sound of a speaker by where it is in relation to the room boundaries and where it is in relation to you. Sometimes you can deliberately introduce a ‘problem’ in a certain frequency range which will counteract another ‘problem” based on where you’re sitting.

– Learn your room and what changes to positioning do. Download Room EQ Wizard and take some measurements and see what it’s doing, what changes in seating position do, what changes in speaker positions do.

– Don’t get completely hung up only on frequency response. Decay time is just as important.

– Be realistic with your situation. Don’t try to use speakers that are too big for the space you have to work with. In a small room, you’re going to want to sit nearfield (i.e., use smaller speakers and sit closer to them).

– Don’t put your speakers in a corner – ever.

– Don’t sit right against a wall. This is the worst place for accurate bass response. (Editor’s note: Check out GIK Acoustics very helpful guide to setting up a room here, and Ethan Winer’s setting up a room guide here.)

Thanks Bryan! In future weeks, Bryan will address sound absorption in more detail as well as room modes, room treatment options, the dead/live room quandary and much more. If you have a specific question about sound treatment and related subjects, post it here and I’ll ask Bryan to address it in a future blog post.

Google uses music in Super Bowl commercial

February 9, 2010

Music is critical to Google’s historic Super Bowl ad above, as Adam Westbrook pointed out here. Note how the music sets just the right tone of expectant joy.

Oh and speaking of Adam, a freelance multimedia journalist and sophisticated advocate of new forms of journalism, here’s his excellent list of six tips on using audio. Right on, Adam.

UPDATE: Looks like the beautiful piano track the piece uses comes from these guys:

Deborah Pardes covers U2’s “One” for Haiti

January 19, 2010

Deborah Pardes is a fantastic singer/songwriter who writes an interesting blog here. She has recently recorded a stunning, plaintive version of U2’s “One,” accompanied only by her own ukulele. You can hear it above or at her site. She writes:

It’s a been less than a week since Haiti shook. The same week that I sang U2’s One for a show whose theme was One. What does it mean to claim unity and yet not really feel and act in unison? What’s the use?

I’m watching business as usual. The insanity of me sitting here recording in the cloak of safety…four walls and some running water. When did we say it was OK to be OK when others are not? What part of our evolution gave us the logic to believe that? If I ran to Haiti now to just hold somebody crying I’d be stopped – for lots of logistical reasons. But that doesn’t mean the holding wasn’t needed. It just means that my giving it there is not possible. So I give it…here. Hoping that singing fills the sky with something softer than falling concrete and crying voices.

Thanks Deborah for sharing your talent in this incredibly worthy cause.