F— ProTools

I recently updated from Mac OS Mavericks to High Sierra. Why would a tech geek such as myself sit out of so many Mac OS updates, you might wonder?

Well, my musician side (aka Rodzroom) bullied my tech geek side (aka Elroy). Terrorized him, actually, to the point where Rodzroom convinced Elroy that the incompatibility of my iPhone Notes and my Mac OS Notes was a minor casualty. After all, retaining Mac OS 10.9.4 was all in the name of ProTools 11 support.

Often, Rodzroom would secretly slink into a dark room and curl up in fetal position, lamenting the necessity of icloud.com to facilitate his previously unbroken creative flow, and re-learning the more capable, creative, and ultimately less expensive Reaper DAW in anticipation of ditching the “professional” ProTools software.

It wasn’t until my recent discovery, on the Reaper Blog, and eventual purchase of Morphit, that Rodzroom and Elroy sat down peacefully and made a joint decision: Fuck ProTools. A headphone sound-correcting plugin, compatible with Mac OS 10.10 and later, was just the thing to jolt Rodzroom and Elroy back to the reality that sweetness shall prevail.

Though I’ve remixed a huge chunk of my song catalog and participated in numerous mixing contests in ProTools, I’ve only done one album end-to-end in ProTools. If I get around to remixing that, I’ll have to face down my decision. In the meantime, my personalities have merged once more, and I’m quite happy that my forthcoming album and recent works are 100% Reaper.

Dirty Blues & the Post

There is a song contest for inclusion in Indaba’s sync catalog. I’m gonna give it a shot. I have a couple of catalogs of my own, one from my uncle. His song, The Post, is perfect.

I had to rethink the lyrics, though.

  1. There were names in there. A list of them. For licensing, you can’t be so specific. (That way, it can be sold to any number of shows while keeping their budgets under control.)
  2. There were some dated phrases that could be updated to simultaneously  embellish the story.
  3. Story. Slight rearrangement to flow. It is a classic story. Getting drunk in a place that’s kind of far away; a journey that never fails to produce an epic myth. There is also a subtle unrest; something about having no place to go to “get away.” A type of catch 22.

And so, my journey will be to record this blues song: Continue reading

Tom Petty

Don’t bore us, get to the chorus.” — Tom Petty

Tom Petty was on my musical “bucket list.” I saw him live a few times, and owned several of his albums, including The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 (perhaps the greatest songwriter supergroup album of all time).

His on-stage presence matched the cool simplicity of his music. He was a songsmith. And he instantly charmed me. One of the first CDs I ever bought was “Damn the Torpedoes,” which I probably listened to hundreds of times.

Full Moon Fever” saw him peeking into the mainstream at the end of one of the most transformative musical decades ever.

In recent years, I have literally imagined him (along with Bowie and Phil Lesh and a maybe a few others I can’t conjure at the moment) sauntering down the stairs to my little studio, ready to hit the bong and capture some of his musical magic. His death is sad in my musical world.

10 Things Tom Petty Hates


The Glow-in-the-dark Helmet

At five years old, I found two things particularly compelling: Getting free stuff, and Star Wars. Having achieved some level of literacy, I noticed that the latest issue of my favorite periodical, the Kiddie City catalog, featured a discounted, non-trademarked, Stormtrooper-ish helmet. And–get this–it GLOWED IN THE DARK!

Although I figured I had a 0% chance of acquiring such an item during the nonbirthday/nonChristmas season, I nevertheless asserted the necessity of this item to my dad. Cranial protection and light, I argued, were key to my success as a child.

(Actually, I probably pointed and screamed; but I feel the need to exaggerate my intelligence for narration purposes that will soon become apparent.)

To my delight, my dad capitulated, and soon I was rummaging through the Kiddie City discount bin, trying to find the helmet with Vibe (and that also featured a functional elastic band to secure it to my small skull).

After locating what appeared to be the only one that met my specifications, I handed it to my dad. I wore it all the way home, filled though it was with Winston smoke that failed to exit the (allegedly air-cleansing) triangle window of the duct-taped station wagon. Was I sick on carbon monoxide, or giddy about getting home and retreating to the darkest room in the house?

I was both. And I ran wildly to the half bath with no windows and a kickass mirror. Continue reading

Superior Drummer 3: Why Upgrade? – YouTube

This is a no-brainer. I have replaced pretty much all of the drums in my music with 2.0.  This basically allows me to arrange drums quickly after maybe recording a little idea. Quickly. The more experienced I get, the better I am at envisioning my art. Implementing something “pretty good” immediately is key.

Anyway, I shall force myself to reduce Tank 7 intake for a short while and upgrade.


Indaba Mixing Contest: Havoc

I relaxed this weekend and worked out my entry for the Pensado-Indaba Music mixing contest (Adrian Daniel’s Havoc). The resemblance to Michael Jackson’s voice is unmistakable. I worked to maximize the funk and drama as I continue learning the ins and outs of my Focusrite setup. I used a lot of stock plugins and features of Reaper, Focusrite plugins, and a few other odds and ends. Melda Productions’ Mamp continues to be one of my favorites.

Have a listen.