It took me a while but I finally struck a balance between my day job and my music career. Three week day nights and weekends I am in front of knobs, dials, touch screen, API and Ableton. Weekdays as Director of Operations at ENVEN Energy Services I stare at Windows 7 via Bootcamp, Excel tracking sheets, Quickbooks or I am in the field auditing commercial lighting systems in Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties. Once and a while live performances as The Horrorist steal a Friday away from ENVEN but since I am a partner in the company it’s a perk I am allowed. Mornings before anything starts thirty minutes goes here to Wire to the Ear and these words. I know balance has found it’s equilibrium because my to do list gets cleared and I am not having those “missing class” nightmares. I admit I struggled to make this work and for a while it cost me some music creating time. The key is I pretend I am far more important than I am. I pretend I am a CEO. I wake up early, eat super healthy and spend 45 minutes on the Elliptical trainer each day. I allow myself one or two planned, scheduled fun short late afternoon meet ups with friends and family per week. I know this all sounds pretentious and needlessly stiff. In between all the positivity there is a blackness. I regularly feel like I am missing something somewhere. I have huge doubts and I feel I’ve become a mouse on a wheel. That said, I am doing my life’s plan and I hope in the end people will have noticed.
“There’s more besides joyrides. Little house in the countryside. Understand, learn to demand, Compromise, sometimes lie. You think you’ve got a hold of it all. You haven’t got a hold at all. When you reach the top, get ready to drop. Prepare yourself for the fall, you’re gonna fall. It’s almost predictable.” – Depeche Mode
For more info: Get the Balance Right, Depeche Mode (iTunes link)
photo credit: Colin Harris
This entry was written by business, political, song writing and tagged balance, career, song writing, work. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Over the past three months I’ve been experiencing Chinese Democracy syndrome. Chinese Democracy was the Guns and Roses album that took them a decade to release. They wrote, erased, rewrote, sweated, talked and stressed instead of just letting it out. The truth is I have recorded almost 30 songs for my next album called Joyless Pleasure. I’ve worked harder and I’ve been more inspired while making these songs than ever in my life. Certainly it will be my best effort and about half I consider gems. Yet I still sit wanting to make one more song. One more that will be the one that will take it all over the top. I don’t have any advice in this post. I’m only sharing this strange experience. I am going to let go. I have my last song in Ableton. Maybe I just don’t want to go take the album photos!
“In the music industry, a release is usually a term referring to the creative output from an artist available for sale or distribution.” – Wikipedia
photo credit: Karola Riegler
This entry was written by business, promotion, song writing and tagged album, Guns and Roses, Joyless Pleasure, stress, The Horrorist. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
The nhow is a hotel in the center of Berlin on the Spree river. Why would I be posting information about a hotel on Wire to the Ear? Well this hotel has two recording studios in it available to guests. Not only that Gibson guitars are available to use through room service. Most musicians need really cheap rooms and Berlin is one of the cities where you can find nice hotel rooms for less than a hundred euros. The nhow hotel is going for 174 euro per night so if you stay get your studio time in to make it worth it. I like this idea and there should be hotels for any type of person no? Video game hotels, cat people hotels, etc… Let’s hope this nhow hotel has sound proof rooms, locks on the minibars and paid their insurance bills if they are inviting rock stars to stay with them.
“Located directly on the banks of the river Spree, the Nhow Berlin bills itself as the only hotel in Europe offering two professional music studios. A dedicated music manager is on staff, as is a team drawing heavily from local music colleges. Regular live events and concerts take place in the hotel’s event spaces and terraces, while first-rate DJs are on hand in the bar. The music studios are operated in collaboration with Lautstark Music GmbH/René Rennefeld, which also manage the legendary Berlin Hansa recording studios. The Nhow’s 304 rooms, meanwhile, are kitted out with iPod connections and more than 30 TV and 100 music radio stations integrated in a state-of-the-art entertainment system. Wireless Internet and more than 5,000 videos-on-demand are available in every room; Gibson guitars are even available through room service.” – springwise.com
For more info: nhow-hotels.com/berlin/
This entry was written by business, song writing and tagged Berlin, Germany, nhow hotel, Recording Studio. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Every time I see an Analogue Solutions Europa Sequencer demo I know I have to get one soon. It’s a good time machine especially here set up with Depeche Mode’s People are People drum kit. By the way if you haven’t heard the B-Side “In Your Memory” and your a DM fan go find it… it’s good.
“The beat was created using Europa’s Internal mode (not synced to MIDI clock or using outside sequencers). An Ensoniq ASR-10 was providing the drum samples in this case. The Europa was also used to sequence the AS Telemark synthesizer at the end of the video and uses the Europa’s velocity controls (per step key) to control the Telemark’s filter (velocity to filter). At the end of the vid, Europa is put into External clock mode and synced to MIDI clock (DAW sequencer). At this point, Europa will start/stop when the computer sequencer starts/stops. Europa also is sending sync to the AS Oberkorn MK3 sequencer, which is controlling the SE ObieRack.” – rezfilter
photo credit: Affendaddy
This entry was written by drum machine, hardware, song writing and tagged Analogue Solutions, Depeche Mode, Europa, sequencer, Telemark. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Inspiro is an iOS App that could help you write song lyrics (among other things). Three modes help you on your creative journey: The Muse, Scenarios and The Daydream Machine. I always have a thesaurus or Masterwriter open and I just added this guy to my tool chest. It’s current in the App store for $3.99: click here
“INSPIRO is more than an idea generator, it’s an “imagination stimulator”. Using dynamic word randomization and an easily customizable vocabulary, this engaging app is always ready with fresh concepts to inspire any creative activity, game or daydream. Lyricists can find the words for their next song. This nifty app may just be the final cure for writer’s block.” – inspiroapp.com
For more info: inspiroapp.com
This entry was written by iPad, iPhone, song writing and tagged inspiration, inspirio, lyrics, song writing. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Here’s some music I recorded for a German female producer. It’s in her court to add vocals for this and send it back to me. You’re hearing two slightly detuned Yamaha CS5 lines. Both are going through D16 Devator’s. You also hear white noise from the CS5 modulated through Ableton’s Auto-Pan. Assorted booms are my own recordings and swing is up.
This entry was written by Ableton Live, song writing and tagged ableton, d16, Devastor, electronic music, Germany, techno, Yamaha, Yamaha CS-5. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward album from 1984 is one of my favorites. I can sing every lyric on the album in order from beginning to end. It has a romantic feel with plenty of melodies, early sampling and fantastic 80s drums. I don’t know the story behind these demo versions of the album tracks but from a musician’s stand point they are very interesting. The highly produced gloss is gone revealing many of the songs parts which on the CD meld together (in a good way).
“In September 1984, Some Great Reward was released. Melody Maker claimed that the album made one “sit up and take notice of what is happening here, right under your nose.” In contrast to the political and environmental subjects addressed on the previous album, the songs on Some Great Reward were mostly concerned with more personal themes such as sexual politics (“Master and Servant”), adulterous relationships (“Lie to Me”), and arbitrary divine justice (“Blasphemous Rumours”). Also included was the first Martin Gore ballad (“Somebody”) – such songs would become a feature of all following albums. “Somebody” was released as a double a-side with “Blasphemous Rumours” and was the first single with Gore on lead vocals. Some Great Reward was the first Depeche Mode album to enter the US album charts, and it made the Top 10 in several European countries.” – Wikipedia.org
Be sure to own the original album!
This entry was written by music, song writing and tagged 80s, demo, Depeche Mode, Lie to Me, Master & Servant, new wave, Some Great Reward, Stories of Old. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
Considering this video from Australian comedy band Axis of Awesome has almost 5 million views most of you have probably seen this. For those musicians who haven’t you have to admit is pretty interesting. It surely explains why everything on the radio sounds the same.
“Australian comedy group ‘Axis Of Awesome’ perform a sketch from the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Footage courtesy of Network Ten Australia. See http://www.axisofawesome.net/ for more details of the comedy trio including Jordan Raskopoulos, Lee Naimo, & Benny Davis.” – random804
For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_(music)
This entry was written by song writing and tagged Axis of Awesome, chords, song writing. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I can tell that people in my own generation are employed as Industrial Designers. A lot of new products tug at my heart strings. Just look at the new Voicelive Touch from TC Helicon. 80′s membrane? Yes I want please. Getting past the simple hardware button gearlust it’s a vocal processor and looper. Considering I sing on almost all my songs, play live often and have become obsessed with the iPhone App Everyday Looper this should be my fortay. I also use the TC plug-ins daily so… The promo video… oh no…
Apple? I’m confused. I actually saw the Voicelive over at Peter’s Create Digital Music and noticed some comments about the promo video. Pretty hilarious. That’s not to say this could be an awesome little box. I’ll wait for a few homebrew YouTube videos before I decide to go try one out myself.
Combining best-selling vocal effects, VLOOP™ performance vocal looping and a uniquely addictive ‘touch’ interface, VoiceLive Touch is truly the first instrument for your voice. VoiceLive Touch is the perfect companion for any vocalist whether you sing live or record in the studio. It can easily be mounted on a mic stand or put next to your computer or keyboard. – tc-helicon.com
For more info: tc-helicon.com/voicelive-touch
This entry was written by hardware, song writing and tagged effect, TC Helicon, vocal, vocals, Voicelive Touch. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.
I’d like to try Ohm Studio but I have a strong vision of what I want music to sound like. I bet I’d just erase and replace a lot of what the other person is creating. Then again my friend Gabri who’s a real keyboard genius would be welcome. Is there video or audio chat in Ohm Studio? I guess I could record a vocal of what I want to say to the other person.
“Ohm Studio is a standalone DAW/sequencer that will allow you to make music collaborations with your friends or musical partners from all the world. This video show the Ohm Studio prototype and some of its real-time features in action.” – ohmstudio.com
Join the beta: ohmstudio.com
This entry was written by song writing and tagged collaboration, ohm force, Ohm Studio, song writing. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.