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.
June 11th, 2004
TXT:: I’ve been watching the services for President Ronald Reagan this morning. It’s really quite strange to be a public observer to a typically private ritual. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive event to witness with the pageantry staged at the National Cathedral. I love hearing the natural reverberation of a large space and to hear such beautiful music and the grand pipe organ is incomparable. The C-Span engineers and producers did a nice job of capturing the sound.
In a period that seemed so heavily political, it’s refreshing to see the politics pause. Oh there are a few exceptions like California Senator Feinstein who made some comments in poor taste.
Farewell President Reagan.
June 10th, 2004
TXT:: Farewell Mr. Ray Charles. Your presence, music, and wonderfully joyful smile will be missed.
June 3rd, 2004
I spent the last couple of days up in SF again. Tortoise was in town for two performances at Bimbo’s 365 Club. I went to both shows, but the second seemed better since the guys had a day to rest and relax. It was a little strange since I normally hang out with my friend Casey when they come to town. I miss not seeing him, but it was still nice to see everyone and meet the new crew.
Johnny H. was saying that he was having problems with the fast food, so the first night a group of us went out for a nice dinner before the show.
I was really exhausted at the end of the show. It was one of those days when I was running on caffiene and nicotine, and for some reason i decided to drive out to an afterparty in Oakland. Shea Ako is doing the visual magic for the tour, so we rode out together to catch up on things. We finally found the warehouse, and the party was pretty cool, but I was beat so I bailed before I passed out.
I didn’t sleep enough and felt exhausted the next day. I met up with the guys the next day and did some of the touristy stuff. We went around SOMA, the Haight, Japantown… the usual stuff. While Shea, Doug, Johnny H., and Jeff wandered around the haight, I managed to sneak in a nice powernap in the car.
The first night I ran around shooting photos, but the second night, I had the chance to relax and enjoy the show. As usual, I’m always impressed at their live gigs. They simply fantastic musicians. There was a slight change on this tour. Armed with Laptops, Tortoise is using Reason during their live performances.
They are playing LA tonight and tomorrow night. Then San Diego, somewhere in Arizona, and Texas, and the Midwest. Then they’re off to Europe! Definitely try to catch this tour!
May 29th, 2004
TXT:: I managed to venture out to a SF Bay Area hip hop show last night. My friends at Paraphan Records had a record release party at Kimo’s in SF. It was nice turn out with four live acts lined up who have tracks featured on the debut compliation release, Electric Halo. Pictured is the group, Mr. Lexicon who put on an impressive performance. I’m not really into hip-hop, but some of the production on the CD is really creative. I’m rather fascinated by the way the producers use samples, and to see the DJs do things live is even more impressive.
May 26th, 2004
TXT:: Had another one of those dire emergency days today. Around noontime, I heard the fire alarms ring out, and I went out to see what the excitement was all about, and saw a smoke bellowing from our property down the hill. A grass fire ignited along the freeway and the flames were working their way towards our redwood trees along the property. The local fire department and the CDF (California Department of Forestry) were already working on one side of the fire, while a few people helped me out with some water hoses to protect the tree line. Fortunately the grass was still green, and the weather wasn’t too warm, so the fire didn’t spread too quickly, and the fire didn’t damage anything.
May 25th, 2004
Reason Studies:: Yesterday. I dropped by to check out Gus Lanzas’ Advanced Reason class held at Robotspeak in SF. There were only a handful of people who attended so the class was pretty mellow. Gus also offers classes in Ableton Live, Logic, Pro Tools, as well as beginner Reason courses. Having been around the business for quite some time, he really knows his stuff. Anyone in the SF area interested in learning more about Reason or other music software might find his courses useful. Check out the course schedule on the Robotspeak website