New Project!

February 8th, 2005

Well, i’m back into the thick of things with a new project. Hopefully as this one progresses along, I will have a bit of time to finish up some of these Refills for the site. You get “3″ guesses to figure out what this project is :-)

Actually, there are two day-job commitments that have been keeping busy lately, and i’m trying make time for the project itself.

I’ve actually been in the mood to work on music lately, which is a welcomed surprise. I never realized how much the slow computer hindered my inspiration, but now with a healthy processor and plenty of ram, things seem much easier than before. Not surprisingly, i’m still able to make this damn machine choke after adding tons of plug-ins and virtual synths.

I was at Robotspeak yesterday to pick up an iPod for a charity auction - long story, don’t ask -and I got invited to give a clinic on something in the near future. I told Steve, that when they get the Reason 3/R3 Upgrade packages in, I’d be happy to come in and give a Combinator clinic. Stay tuned for more info!

Cello Samples

October 13th, 2004

After dealing with several scheduling problems, Carson managed to get a room at the Expression College at a normal time where we could record Jim Aikin’s Cello for the Reason 3.0 Factory Sound Bank. I have trying to get this going since I returned from Stockholm, and I’m still surprised that we actually made it happen. As a nice surprise, Rich Bologna showed up to give us a hand during the session.

I brought along my C-12VR and the Revolution REDD.47 mic pre, and my good ol Korg Prophecy (to provide a pitch for Jim to track to). We didn’t get into the studer room at Expressions, but Carson did manage to get one of the Studer valve Mic-Pres and a Neumann M-50. It took a little while to get the mics just right since the room was pretty small and fairly reflective. Once we got things going, I manned the keyboard to provide a reference pitch for Jim while Carson and Rich manned the console.


Everything worked out pretty well, since we managed to get out of the room in about four hours with a complete set of dynamics and ranges, pizzicato samples, glissandos, and some really cool harmonic stuff. It was far more than what was requested, but I always have to sample very note.

Jim is a great teacher and gave us several lessons on the intricacies of Cello acoustics and how certain notes resonate louder. I’ve taken all of this into consideration as I prepare to map out hundreds of samples … now for the hard part!

Revolution Site

July 10th, 2004

10 July 2004
TXT:: So I have been busy helping John with more of the REDD.47™ stuff. I’m almost an employee now. This past week we’ve met and spent countless hours discussing various strategies on approaching his marketing. Basically i’ve been trying to learn as much as possible about the history of the recordings made at Abbey Road Studios through the original equipment. John schooled me on some interesting facts about the history of tape recording. I’ve also done a bit of research about Electric & Musical Industries, Ltd. (EMI) and it’s Record Engineering Development Department (the “redd” acronym) and Abbey Road studios - but the best information seemed to be anecdotal from John. I enjoy learning about this stuff since this is the history of music technology, and everything we do on the computers today is the culmination of what these engineers developed over the course of the last century. I’ve also discovered some of the reasons why certain Beatles recordings sound the way they do… part is due to the REDD 47 electronics, but also the REDD51 mixing desk. I wish i could post up all of the information I’ve learned this past week, but… I’m now bound by a non-disclosure handshake. anyhoo…enough rambling.

So we finally worked out the copy for John’s Revolution Recording Equipment website, and finally have the initial pages up online. I’m going to help him work on the documentation and packaging as well (with the help of my cousin Tamiko, of course). It’s a long ass URL, so it’s going to be changed to some a lot shorter.

After about a month of burning in the redd47, it’s starting to sound really sweet. It’s like buying a new car and working in the engine for the first 1,000 miles, or a new cast iron pan and carefully seasoning it. Rest assured, that i’m going to be tracking samples through it for a few up coming refills :-)

Hollister Biker Rally

July 4th, 2004

TXT:: My cousins (”the Kids”), who helped with the Power Tools for Reason CD-ROM, have been keeping me quite busy lately. They landed a fairly big commission with a local company, and I’ve been helping them with the contract = translating Ameriglish to Legalese.

The “Kids” came by after their meeting and we headed off to see the annual Hollister Independence Day Biker Rally. We caught it on the first night, so there weren’t that many bikes in town yet. Even as the event was starting a lot of beautiful machinery lined the streets downtown. I still love the look of the VROD, but the old bikes are really cool.

Circuit Bent ReFill

July 4th, 2004

ReFill:: The second Circuit Bent refill went online this past week. A last minute change occurred while I was testing out this new mic-pre, and I got the itch to see what the Speak & Spell sounds like tracked through it. Along with a tweaked set of alphabet samples, a second straight set of voice samples was added to the whopping 50meg refill. I tried a couple of different mics on the Speak & Spell internal speaker, and ended up using the set recorded through the C-12VR and the REDD.47. Everything seems to sound great through this combo. I also added a stuttering alphabet patch where random loop points tweak out the normal vocal samples. There are several example RNS files included in the Refill that demonstrate some ways of using these patches.

More REDD47 Stuff

June 20th, 2004

TXT:: I can’t really say that much has been going on. I’ve been juggling a variety of different projects this week. The main one is still helping John out with more REDD 47 stuff. I’ve been doing comparisons against some other preamps like the Neve 1095s (1081 preamp circuitry). It’s tough when you start comparing great pre’s against each other since each one has particular quality that stands out. The real differences emerge when I started messing with different mics. Basically, cheap mics sound better through the REDD.47, while the better mics sound good regardless of the pre-amp. With the exception of the mackie 1202-VLZ Pro, it couldn’t compare to the REDD, the Neve or V72.

I’m also planning to clear out some old gear to make space for something new. The biggest space hog is my old neotek series II console. As much as I hate to do it, I think I’m going to part the sucker out. It’s probably the easiest way to deal with it since I’m getting tired of vacuous offers. I built a little power supply/test station to check out the modules and do some minor repairs before I sell them.

I’ve been going through all those old junk boxes (everyone has a bunch of these) and discovering tons of hidden treasures that I had long forgotten about. I even found a stockpile of unused gear that I completely forgot about… sheesh it’s terrible. Software has made me forget about this hardware.

ReFill:: I’m putting the finishing touches on the second Circuit Bent refill which contains a variety of samples from the Speak&Spell/Speak&Math units. This set will be straight samples organized into NN-XT/NN-19 patches. Hopefully I’ll finish it up tonight and get it posted sometime this week.

Revolution REDD 47 Site

REDD.47 Photos

June 11th, 2004

I’ve been somewhat busy this week playing the role of photographer /product tester for my friend John Hinson of Revolution Recording Equipment. I’m one of the first to procure his new microphone preamp, the REDD47. I’ve been putting my photography skills back to work by doing product images for John’s site.

I’ve been taking some fun artistic gear photos just as a hobby, but now it seems to be turning into a fun side job.

I’ve been doing comparisons of this pre against some of my other preamps like the ever popular vintage Telefunken V72. First off I have to say that this unit sounds quite different in a good way. The V72 gives you a full round sound, but the REDD.47 has a very open high end with an airy quality that one would not expect from a Valve preamp. This is a very unique amp and sounds really good. It makes me wish i had a Telefunken ELA M-251 or U-47 to test through it, but the crazy part is that an SM57 or SM58 sounds really impressive through it!

I lost touch with John for many years, and it’s nice to be back in touch. We had small reunion earlier this week, and it seemed like old times. We sat around catching up on our lives, but the bulk of the conversation turned to gear and technology. Years ago when we had a studio together, John said that I should focus on the computer and synthesizer aspects of music technology…and as fate would have it, here I am! John was definitely a big influence, and i learned a lot about audio electronics from him.