Monday, August 27, 2012

That picture on the wall!

For the last 30 some odd years, I'd admired this wonderful enlarged photo shot by Frank Horvat in the 50's called Les Halles.  It's been hanging in Leunigs Bistro on Church St. in Burlington forever.  Every time I'd go in there, I'd have to go have a look.  Finally, my darling wife,  Zoe, got it for me for my last birthday & it's now hanging in my office at home.  Here it is:
There's just something about the scene, the ambiance, the kinetic motion et je ne sais pas...

Back to music:  had the wonderful opportunity to have a superb cellist, Suzanne Polk, in for a recording session on a new tune.  Absolutely lovely!  What a beautiful instrument when played by such a beautiful person.

All my best to all of you.

See ya's

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Piano For All Seasons

Hi all!

So, anyway Peter Wilder came down from the wilds of Vermont & showed me how with a little compression & reverb, the Sampletekk piano module is definitely acceptable.  It's still not the real thing when heard by itself, but relatively enjoyable to write with & sounds really good in the mix.  Thank you, Peter!

A bit of sad & disappointing news was heard recently.  Susan Hosmer, the singer in the band I play out with,  is leaving as she is going back to school.  Susan & I collaborated on a CD a few years ago ( & I for one will be sad to not be performing with her anymore.  Such is life...

So, if anyone knows of a diversified singer local to Burlington, Vermont please let me know!

The music business is a little rough in this never knows how long anything will last.  Sort of like life, I guess.  Maybe it helps us be better prepared for the exigencies of life?

Celeste got this great shot
of Elodie & Rama!
On the brighter side, my wife Zoë & I had a wonderful 2 weeks with my son Rama, daughter-in-law Celeste & granddaughter Elodie in Paris!  A fantastic time was had by all.  Although Rama is working hard at the Pompadeau Center on his research, he still had time to tour around a little bit with us.  Celeste is wonderful in finding hidden alleys with great artisan shops & secret cafés.  Really had a good time.  Got to get this all into a song somehow.

In the process now of taking the songs from my Images & Rhymes CD & making them instrumentals for my publisher.  It's probably a good idea to cover that side of the the music biz, but going back again to those songs I've left behind is interesting to say the least.  A different sensibility in this type of project.  Guitar is the melody instrument.  What sound?  Clean or distorted?  Slide?  Which effects?  We'll see...

By the way, the Prius now has 5,000 miles on it & is behaving beautifully!  Takes corners pretty well, handles great at the very few times I've gone 80mph on the highway & it's now at 43.6mpg!  YAY!  I stop in at the gas station just to say hi once in a while :)

See ya's

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Got a new car!

This post isn't really about our new car...although we did get the Prius as mentioned in my previous post!  Feeling a little smug at getting 40+ mpg ;)  I think it's going to be a lyric for a song, too.  Stay tuned!

More importantly, I went through the throes of finding a new virtual piano module.  Can't afford the real thing & even if I could, I'd still need the midi thing so I could correct all my mistakes.  I've had the East/West Bosendorfer 290 module for quite a while now & although I got it to work for me in my last few albums, I was never really truly happy with it.  It continually got in the way of the creative process as I'd try to EQ the sound or whatever so I could enjoy the 'playability' of it as much as possible while writing.

Anyway, in my research over the last few weeks, I tried the TruePianos module and eventually purchased The Big One (not happy with the name) by Sampletekk.  It's 19 GB worth of samples, thus the name.  My good friend & music consultant, Peter Wilder discovered it after I'd mentioned my frustrations & after spending quite a while comparing piano sounds & samples, decided to buy it.  Of course, once you buy software, usually, you're stuck with it.  Only TruePianos allowed a demo download for 40 days which was very appreciated even though I didn't wind up buying the software.  I also learned that the Sampletekk module didn't come as a standalone interface, so I was forced to purchase the Halion Player, as well.  I was not outlay was around $300.  My wife implied that this would be my birthday present, so don't ask for anything else...Yes, dear...

Anyway, I finally got it going & the piano module really wasn't as impressive in my studio as it sounded when auditioning it online.  Peter will be coming over this weekend to help see if there are any adjustments we can make.  It just sounds a bit thin to me.  I think the electronic emulation of a piano's resonance is what's bothering my ears.  The Big One (TBO) sounds better to me than the Bosendorfer module, but still not as good as a real acoustic piano.  So, needless to say, it's been a learning experience.  It also takes about 21/2 minutes to load all the samples.  I have to do that each time I open a song to work on.  Good things are worth waiting for?

The TBO piano module does sit much better in the mix, which is important, but by itself, I still feel unsatisfied, although a bit better than what I had.

So, you'll all be hearing it on the new tunes.  I hope you enjoy it!

See ya's

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow fall on such a winter's day

The snow is coming down on my Subaru on maybe the last day I'll drive it to work.  We're getting a new car.  A Toyota Prius.  I hope not having all wheel drive won't deter me getting to gigs & home from work in Vermont. Driving over to Vermont Tire for studded snows right after leaving the dealer. It's also going to ruin my whole image.

The new songs are starting to really take shape now with background vocals & guitar solos giving it a new depth & feel.  Still need to get drums & sax on it, but it's coming along.

Happy New Year to everyone.  Live long & prosper.

See ya's