Bker, my equipment and hacks. A very long winded description.

This didn't start as a blog, but I have a blog for almost everything else.

The old blog was getting too long so I started another one

Jan 16 2016

Today I am feeling quite awful. I returned from my holidays and a day or two later started having tummy issues, I hope it doesn't last long. So while I wasn't feeling good I started playing the keys. I opened the four songs I haven't finished recording yet. I think Challenge is probably ready to go, Supernova/Supercollider just needs a solo and lyrics. Opus is still in an early stage, but could be completed quite quickly and Snowangels I couldn't even check as I don't have the D-110 hooked up ATM. No new aquisitions although I am keeping my eye on a couple of things. I am looking very seriously at a chip that would change MIDI clock signals into Sync-24 signals. My biggest problem would be that I would still have to monkey around in the inside of my EP-11 to make it work because the Sync-24 on the EP-11 is OUT only! I'm sure I could tap into the proper places to accept an incoming signal, but I would have to disable the panel controls. BUT then I could possibly use and sync the drums and appreggio. That could be alot of fun. I found a new way to set the JX-3P to not OMNI, just press POLY on the MKB-300! Easy. Still waiting for chips for my stupid amp, I ordered more from the states so hopefully I will finally have them in a few weeks. Then I can try to start repairing other things.

Jan 29 2016

Well I moved the bass amp off of the bench because I installed the power transistors and it still didn't work. So I really wasn't planning on doing anything, but I thought I would just open the Jx-3p and see if the chip I need to replace for the MIDI upgrade kit was in a socket or not. I thought I had some sockets but after looking, I don't, so I figured I should see if I need to order some. Luckily it was socketed. Then I thought I should see if I can fix my repair. There is a crack in the panel circuit board, and I tried jumpering across by using wires connected to the closest solder joint. I retraced the paths to make sure everything was right, then I found a join that didn't seem very good. After playing with it, there was something that was preventing a good solder join there like an oil or something that I can't seem to clean away. So I used a different join and made a connection to the other bad place. I also added a jumper for the ground, just to make sure and finally I can access number buttons 9 to 14! I wasn't going to do any more but figured I could drop in the chip for the MIDI upgrade solder the one wire to the main CPU and leave it at that. I did that and it took literally one minute, so I unhooked the MIDI jack board and quickly looked at what I would have to do to that. After a bit of looking I decided I could probably put this together fairly quickly too. So I had to open 2 paths on the circuit board, remove a resistor and a jumper wire, then solder 10 wires on various places on the board. It actually took longer to put the JX-3p back together. I plugged it back in and tried it out. So number one all the number buttons are working again!! Then I started playing it with the MKB-200. I wanted to make sure the OMNI was off. It didn't seem to be as the MKS-7 was playing as well, then I realized the JX-3P was receiving MIDI channel 3, and ONLY MIDI channel 3! I shut it off and tried the velocity mode, that was cool, then I shut it off and set the MIDI channel to 1. Then I set the MKB-200 to send CC's to the JX. The first one was the VCA level and sure enough I could play with the volume. I then HAD to try the cutoff level, and that worked great too! I played with the JX for about a half hour and decided all was good. I guess I have to open the S-220 now. Hopefully it is something I can fix. Oh and I have 5 80017 chips I can drop in the acetone bath, when ever I am ready to try that again.

Feb 24 2016

Progress has been very slow. I opened the S-220 and checked the voltages on the power supply and everything looked great, so my only guess is the capacitor by the cyrstal supplying the sample chip, or maybe even the crystal. Unfortunately there isn't ANYWHERE close that carries capacitors!! All I need is a 10 cent frigging part! So it is waiting. I also opened the MKS-30 and started removing the chips and dropped the chips I had into the acetone bath. Holy frig those chips were hard to remove! I finally just broke the last two out and will have to replace the legs. So I am just waiting for some DIP sockets (I couldn't get SIP sockets), they shouldn't be too hard to modify for the single 12 pin arragement. Then I will see if I have 6 chips that still work. I accidently broke one trying to get it out, so I have 10 80017 chips and 1 clone. Hopefully I can get both of these going soon.

Mar 28 2016

Weird I thought I wrote an entry here, I guess I didn't. So I got tired of waiting and just hooked up the S-220 and it seems to be fine. Who knows? So about a week ago I worked the MKS-30 and installed the sockets. I put in and tested 6 chips and they seem ed to work so I thought I was done and closed it up. Turns out one of the chips won't work at first, but after some tinkering it will come 'on'. So I tonight I tried some of the other chips I have but unfortunately they don't work. So the MKS-30 is sorta working, I guess I will have to order at least 1 chip. 2 nights ago I opened and repaired the M-120 mixer, I replaced a couple of op-amps and it works fine now. (I think). So the tinkering continues.

April 2 2016

I finally installed the handles and wheels I bought for the new rack. I also installed a little strip of wood across the back to reduce the stress of the cords on the mixer. This entailed unplugging all the MIDI and 1/4 inch cords and when I had the strength put it all back together. I wanted to know how long it would take, so I set my timer. 52 minutes! And after a bit of testing of course I had to fix some mistakes. But I think I finally have a handle on what is where. I will have to make a new MIDI chart and the mixer set-up. Because the main controller can controll ALL of the devices, I have had to change a few MIDI channels. Most notably the MKS-10 which for now is settled at 12. I just realized that the JUNO-106 and the D-110 are on the same channel, I may have to do more tweaking. The RS-5, U-20 and alpha JUNO-1 are not being used at the moment. In fact the U-20 and JUNO have been replaced by thier corresponding rack synths (U-220, and MKS-50). The U-20 and JUNO will now be used excusively for another project. I am thinking of selling the RS-5, maybe, I don't know. So the only fixing left is the adjustment of the JUNO-106 and when I order some D80017 chips to replace them in the MKS-30. I do wish I could have 2 fixes for the programming of the JUNO-106. I wish it would memorize the MIDI channel, and I wish you could send a CC to put it in MONO/POLY modes. Sigh. If I get ambitious I may look at trying to control some of the functions on the EP-11 by MIDI, but that seems quite far off.

Really all this is old news, but because the keyboards were finally set up again I ran through the Bker set and then started pissing around. I have really wanted to play with the keyboards as drums, so I started with a couple of things. I was going to program a sound on the JX-3p and then realized I could program it from the sequencer! I am finally getting to use a small bit of my investment of the Organix MIDI upgrade! I brought up the jet sound (B16) and shortened the attack and the release and set up a 16th pattern. I programmed a lower note for the snare sound on 2 and 4 but it really didn't cut through enough. I was going to use the MKS-30 but I found the MKS-7 sound chart first. There is a noise crack sound that worked great. Then I found this low sound on the JUNO-106 and added it as a kick sound. I programmed this for 100 bars. I had a simple little pattern that repeated with different bass notes, and at first I was going to use the MKS-10 for the verses, but I may not be able to, I'll explain later. I found a cool sync sound for the bass using the MKS-30. For the chorus after playing around alot I found this classical inspired sort of chormatic climbing thing. I settled on the orchestra sound I made for the U-20 (U-220). The chorus needed a bit of a boost rhythmically so I looked my Fdrums for the S-220 and doubled the kick and snare, just for the chorus and added a cute little snare pitch thing at the end. I thought just to set the melody I had in my head I would program the VP-70 in vocoder mode, but I liked it and programmed the whole song. The VP-70 is only hooked up to the right mic, so for now the only keyboard I can play with my right hand is the EP-11, I may be able to change this later as I have a Electroharmonix V-256 pedal on it's way (I actually had a new one at home, but it kept turning off randomly, so I had to send it back). So I had 2 verses and 2 chorus' I was thinking about an instrumental or a solo, but didn't really think it felt right, so I just played the intro, but added the phaser from the GP-8 for the 8 bars. Then I added a third chorus and decided that should be it. I made a cute little ending flourish for the vocals at the end. It just needs lyrics. And I may have to clean up a bit of my sequencing, especially the VP-70 stuff as it is tough to program. I am quite happy with this, AND it incorporates alot of new stuff, or stuff that I haven't used alot yet. OH! and I took the new photo at the top.

May 31 2016

I ordered a bunch of crap to make the Bker show easier and 2 of them arrived today. One actually arrived yesterday but I didn't have time to set it up till today. I got an 8 channel 1/4 inch unbalanced snake. I will hook up all the synths in the MKS rack, the S-220, S-550, the MKS-10, the MKS-30 and 4 channels for the MKS-7. The other device I got today was my new (to me) M-12e rackmount mixer. Another 12 channels but with 2 bands of eq! I hooked both things up and had to set up a the first 3 strips and channel 12 (which is from the other mixer for now) unfortunatley the mic above the 2 controllers can't be hooked up yet as the mixer does not have mic inputs, only 1/4 inch ins. But when I get the EH vocoder pedal again I will be back in business! Didn't play long today, maybe tomorrow.

Jun 26 2016

My Electro Harmonix Pedal finally arrived last week. Today was the first time I was actually able to try it. I was quite fascinated by Helena Beat by Foster the People, as the vocal is sang by a male but sounds female, and thought I would try something. Because Supercollider/Supernova still has no vocals (or solo) I decided I would just try a bit of that. I set up the pedal and sang some old lyrics (that I am starting to like). The first attempt I tried in my regular octave and it sounded not so good. So the next attempt I tried an octave higher in falsetto, it sounded not to bad. I checked the manual and adjusted the knobs a bit more and did a similar third try. It sounded very good, except some parts were distorting a bit in the pedal. I may need a compressor before the pedal. Anyway the results were very satisfactory although I don't think this is the right song for that effect. I will have to play with some of the other effects as well. Maybe I will vocode the vocals on this one. Maybe.

Sept 9 2016

What a weird summer, it literally just evaporated. I guess I had a bunch of other things to do, and really had no time for anything else. I have started playing the keyboards again a bit. And have made a couple of decisions. One is that I would like to record Where I Am as well as the remaining 4 unfinished songs (Supercollider, Challenge, Opus, & Snow Angels). This would make the album 13 songs and probably around 70 minutes long. I just don't like that so I will break it into an EP and an album. The EP will be called Ordinary, and have more piano style songs on it (Where I Am, Make it Real, Away, Summer Burns). The album will have the remaining 9 songs (Opus, Supercollider, 2nd Place, Ritual, Exhaust, Orchard, Ice Flows, Challenge, Snow Angels) and still called Places That Don't Exist (although I gave it a new cover). I already have a new batch of songs in their embryonic stage and it's so hard to stay excited about the old stuff, but I think I will once I get the ball rolling again. In other news, I had my eye on an EP-6060 that I desired, but it was in a want ad in Edmonton (about a 5 hour drive). I was hoping I could get there before teh ad expired, but I couldn't so I have decided to use the money any way. The MKS-30 still had 1 bad 80017 chip which has now turned to 2. There is a Candian seller of a 80017 clone for about half of the price of the D'naab clones. I'm hoping it is not too good to be true, but I will check it out. That means that if the EP-6060 comes up again, even if I can get to Edmonton, I won't be able to afford it. But I think it is high time to get the MKS-30 fully working.

Sept 16 2016

If I had only known, the last entry was on Roland day (909)! Anyway today I worked on the drums for Where I Am. I got to the last chorus before I got tired of fixing drum parts. I want to get that recorded so I can put out the ordinary EP. I have a couple of ideas, which means change. I think I should use either the VP-70 or the V-256 for all of the harmonies for this EP. Make it real already has them, but I could sequence them for Summer Burns and Where I Am. I will also have to make a sample of the backwards vocal after the solo for Where I Am. I am hoping I can make it fit into 1 bank on the S-220. So I have a bit of recording ahead of me. Listening to the :) EP I think I have to mix everything a bit hotter as well, I'm getting into that late 80's thin sound crap and that is no good. Won't have time to do anything till next week, but I guess it is good to have a plan. I was just thinking about getting another vocoder when I checked google, I guess Roland has released a bunch of new stuff in thier boutique line, and the VP-03 looks pretty cool! But I really don't have 500$ for such a toy (600$ if I want the keyboard dock) but it does look and sound really good. It makes me drool, and truthfully it HAS been a while since any new toys have really made me drool (just the white Juno-Di, not the black one). Although definately out of my price range the new System 8 looks really good too. Drool.

Sept 17 2016

I decided to continue working on Where I Am today. I am really enjoying playing this song. I finished the drums and added a few things like piano chords behind the solo and some strings. Because there was a guitar solo for the last half I have been working on some new solo ideas and have some cool ideas mostly worked out. Then I was thinking about using the vocoder, but I will have to make a new patch with the direct vocal coming through as well. I was thinking of hooking up the EH V256, but I would have to get a bunch of other stuff from the van. Anyway I played with it for the 2 hours before work. Then I ran out of time.

Sept 18 2016

Today I started to continue working on Where I Am. I wanted to get the sample with the reverse reverb on it. So I opened a file in cubase. I opened the song Away, and while I was at it I decided to tweak the mix then all of the sudden I decided wouldn't it be cool if I added some vocoder for the choruses. I hooked up my EH V-256 and practiced a bit then recorded the vocoder track. I sounded awesome! I really love the sound of the V256 and can't wait to use it more. I knew I didn't have much time so I muted all of the tracks and got a couple of takes of the part for Where I Am. I reversed it added the reverb reversed it again and then hooked it up to my S-220 sampler. It has been a while since I sampled anything so I took a few minutes to get everything saved properly, but it was an easy sample to get. I added it into the sequence and then I really ran out of time. Maybe I can start recording tomorrow.

Sept 21 2016

Looks like I missed an entry. Before work a couple of days ago I recorded Where I Am, and fixed the distorting vocoder parts on Away. The next day I uploaded the works to bandcamp and have a new EP out, you know that 6 people will look at but none will actually listen to. it's called Ordinary by the way. But the reason I am posting is because I recieved 2 new 80017 chips today. I installed them in my MKS-30 and they sound fantastic awesome! But now I hear another chip going! Crap it never ends!

Sept 22 2016

I am SO pissed off!!! I thought I would play the MKS-30 today and the chip that was going last night went, and it just hangs the stupid note. I tried to ignore it but it is just too annoying. So I have to buy another chip. For something completely different, I have an interesting idea. I have been watching some auctions for some interesting upgrade chips for drum machines, and think I can use them to control my EP-11, somewhat. I will have to look into it a bit more, but this could be really cool.

Oct 23 2016

I got the final 80017 chip for the MKS-30. It has been 11 years since this has been 100%!!! There are 2 original chips still in there, but they are stripped of thier epoxy. The chip that I replaced was one I bought on ebay with a little sticker that said 'working checked in Feb 2013'. Hopefully I will have no more troubles with this. The sounds are awesome. It is funny to me, but even though the architecture is the same the sound is so different. I think it is the shitty chips, especially the filter. As the filter in the JX-3p is more discrete with the IR305 chip, on the MKS-30 it is intergrated into the 80017 chip, and sounds more Juno-like. The dynamics button is Very cool. It is a bit sad that you can't control any of it, it is either on or off, but it does affect the VCA,ENV, and the VCF. So now I am trying to figure out how to build a circuit for the 2 chips for the EP-11. I have decided that I will jump in just after the buttons and create a sort of local on/off, that will default to off. But when on the controls for some buttons will come from MIDI. I found that I won't have enough controls on the chip for all of the buttons. I would be short 3, and I can't buy another 30$ chip for 3 controls. I have decided I probably don't need the auto bass or the auto chord and will have to give up the upper harmony. It will be enough to control the drums and arpeggio. The big trick will be to build this circuit, the local on/off, the rest should be fairly straight forward (I'm hoping). I should be able to cut into each button line just after the button and before the diode. I believe the rest is handled by the chip (such as the latching ect.). And another (20$) chip will control the tempo with the MIDI clock. I can cut into that line just before entering the Main chip on the INT pin. For now I can make a switch to do this, but I would like to have it all internal and automatic, so we will see. I just have to buy the 50$ worth of chips to start. Oh and I made a big list of MIDI channels and mixer channels so I can start to keep things straight. I have room for 9 more MIDI devices, but only 6 audio mixer channels. What a dilemma! Oh and I also made 1 small change to the sequencing. The MKB-200 was controlling both outs of the MC-50 sequencer, but there is getting to be too much overlap, so it now just controls OUT 1 which is the MKS rack. 1 song will need a modification, the song Neverending was using the U-220 strings with the MKB-200, but it is now not possible. I used the strings (strings2) on the JX and it seemed to be OK, but I will have to program that. But now I can turn on the MKS-50, D-110 and JV-880 which were being un-intentionally triggered by the MKB-200, and now will be only triggered by the MKB-300. Oh and there is a bad MIDI cable somewhere after the MKB-300 that is causing all sorts of problems. But I found a MIDI cable that the end had become completely broken (all pins broken!!) and I think this is what happened to another cable, but it is making just enough contact to work most of the time. I will have to find it and replace it. And I have decided I need to get 2 more microphones with stands as I do not wish to share resources with a different project, as I am sure I will forget to take them one time, and that will be disasterous. AND I have also hooked up my EH V256 to the left mic and it is Magnificent! I like it so much I have decided to add another cover to the list. I am programming Spacelab by Kraftwerk but I am in no rush as I will be changing the structure a bit. OK I think I am done, for now.

Oct 25 2016

I haven't really done anything today, although I may yet finally screw the M-12E mixer into the case. Maybe. But I did want to mention I think I actually want a new Roland product. Although I did kinda want a white Rolad Juno Di, I think it was just because I was hoping I could get something a bit more modern. At the moment the RS-5 is the newest keyboard being around 14 years old, then next newest would be either the JV-880 or the MC-50, if memory serves they are from 1989. But after playing with the V256 I think I really want a Roland VP-03 not only does it have a cool vocoder, but the voice and string sections are awesome. My big problem with it, is simply, it is not MIDI programable. Well it is a bit pricey as well. Oh and that someone has re-posted the ep-6060. I will have to make a trip to Edmonton for sure.

Nov 2 2016

I have been updating a couple of things on the roland pages, and sadly I see the EP-6060 is no longer listed in my buy and sell. But it will remain on my want list. I guess I can't afford it at this time anyway. Things have been quite busy so I really haven't had much time to spend with my toys. OK I spent the last couple of hours looking at how I can wreck my EP-11. I guess the next step is to open the EP-11 up and see if any of this is possible. I am breaking everything down step by step. Looking to see where I can cut into the current keyboard to make them MIDI controlable. There are a few unknowns, but alot of it should be fairly straight forward. I will have to buy a breadboard to start testing things on. I just want to check the voltages at the switches to see if this is worth pursuing or not. I will have to find a few of my electronics books to start figuring this out.

Nov 5 2016

Nothing really to report, but I did finish programming Spacelab. Pretty happy with the result. Maybe I will have to record and post it.

Dec 8 2016

Wow a whole lot of pissing around. I set up my 2 cameras to record but made so many mistakes the whole 20 minutes is unusable. Hopefully I will try again soon. I built another rack, but I'm not really sure what it was supposed to house. I haven't bought any handles or wheels, so really all it is at the moment is a wood box. And I finally did buy the PIC chips for the EP-11. They are still in the mail, but on the way. I think I have given up on the idea of fixing the Boss reverb and the Hartke amp. I may use them to hold other electronic projects. Maybe next time I should hook up ALL the cameras, I have 2 VHS camcorders, which could be cool. I could even hook up my phone. LOL.

Dec 10 2016

I guess I need more time to set up. Long after supper I tried to set up the 2 flip cameras and I was thinking of using one of the camcorders. In the end I realized I needed more tripods. I set up the 2 flip cameras and my phone. So I tried recording Where I Am, Spacelab, and Don't Cry. Half way through Where I am one of the flip cameras batteries died. Then on top of making alot of mistakes in the solo for Spacelab the sampler started playing the Where I Am sample and ruined the ending. I didn't even bother recording Don't Cry. I had to convert the phones file from a MOV to something I could use. I turned it into a AVI, but the quality of the transfer was not great. Overall it would have been good if I hadn't made so many bad mistakes, and if I had started this earlier I probably could have tried again. But it was late already. I have been listening to the Bker material and would like to finish recording the CD. I was running through Challenge, and all it needs are lyrics and a solo. Although when playing around I found an awesome sound for it, it may not take long to figure this one out. Opus needs some work, as does Snow Angels, but I don't think it would take long to put together. Supercollider or whatever it ends up being called, need lyrics and a solo. Then there are a few fixes for the stuff that is already recorded. Orchard needs a bit of a re-work. I may have to fix some of the drumming as well. And Exhaust needs the back-up vocals to be redone. I hope I can do some of this soon.

Dec 11 2016

Today before work I serviced my vanity and took a few Bker promo shots. Not sure which, if any, I will use.

Dec 13 2016

Feeling so lazy. I braved the wicked cold to go get the mail, and my PIC chips had arrived. I wonder if they survived the cold? I will hook something up hopefully tomorrow. I have ordered some octocouplers but they are coming from China and may take a while. I don't need the one in my broken LP-504 so I might pull the whole board, just to see if I can make any of this work. In the meantime I tried (mostly un-successfully) to record some Bker stuff from the basement. I got an OK version of Where I Am and Spacelab, but I couldn't get all the cameras going yet again. And most importantly, I had one of the cameras set up specifically to show me playing the solo for Spacelab and from where it is sitting the whole solo is obscured by my left hand and arm. Maybe I can use a take from one of the other days. I'll see. Because the MP4 is so long Vegas will not convert it, so I am waiting while I convert 2 - 45 minute videos to crappy AVI. I thought while I was waiting I could do something constructive, so I went downstairs to record a bit of something (maybe Challenge!), but remembered there were some crappy drum parts. So I decided to fix those. It took a couple of hours, but I also did a bit of housekeeping on the sequence, and most of the exteraneous noises are gone. I also worked on the solo and sequenced it so I won't forget it. So I think the music for this one is ready to record. I thought I might work on something else for a bit and loaded Snow Angels, but there is only a highhat and some sound that I no longer know what it was supposed to be. I know I wanted the snow bell sound from the JV-880, but I think I can only get drum sounds from the drum channel, and (for reasons of limited MIDI channels) have it off (just as i have the D-110s drums off as well). But beyond that, there is nothing there for guidance. I have no idea how long each part should be, but I guess at this limited almost template state, it really doesn't matter. Maybe there is another sequence, I will look tomorrow. At any rate, I lost interest and I was getting cold down there anyway. I was thinking about Supernova (I completed the lyrics last night!) I will have to see how the keyboards are arranged, as I know the intro and outro used the ajuno-1, and the second half of the main part used the u-20. Both of which are now controlled by the MKB-300 (the u-220 and MKS-50). So I will have to see what I can do to make this playable, I may have to hook up the other controller jack from the GP-8. I want to try and get this recording finished soon. Lots to do.

Dec 14 2016

After finishing some of the things I was supposed to take care of today, I recorded Challenge. I was just thinking I would do as much as I could, but I ended up doing all of the instrumental tracks. I even recorded the solo. I did a rough mix and am listening to it right now. I sounds pretty good, needs a couple of tweeks but nothing serious. Now I just have to come up with lyrics. If I had more time before work tomorrow I would try to do some vocals (either for Supernova or Exhaust) but that is unlikely. I know I said I wasn't going to discuss recording here anymore but it is my blog. Oh crap I forgot to try hooking up my new chips. I also rendered Where I Am and Spacelab, but not entirely sure if I should post them or not.

Dec 22 2016

I finally recorded vocals for Supernova. I tried to get the video from the other day off of the camera, but something happened, and they were corrupted, then the camera wasn't charged enough, so there is no video for Challenge or Supernova. But then I decided to record the solo as well and I hooked up the old VHS-C camera and used it although again I'm not sure how much I got, if any footage. So Supernova is mostly done. There might be a few bits or bobs I want to record yet, and I probably have to mix it a bit better, but the bulk of it is done.

Dec 20 2017

Wow! Almost a whole year since the last entry. So I have been working on the show, and have video for the binary drama and a short first set mostly of the ordinary ep songs. I have been practicing a bit and I think I am finally ready to book a show. I'll let you know if it happens.

Dec 22 2017

Really sick today so I played with the song Opus a bit, I think I have a rough outline for the song. But you know, I think I forgot to save it. I then got distracted and recorded a auto-tuned version of Supernova. I have been trying to make the V256 vocoder fit into this song since the beginning. Still not sure if I like it, and if I do I will have to fix a couple spots. I don't know. I have to get some lyrics for Challenge. Oh and Vegas is crashing alot now, so if I am not done my video editing, well I am done my video editing. I just actually have to burn a new CD and test it. So much to do before Christmas.

Dec 26 2017

Didn't have much to do today so I played keys for a while. Later in the evening I loaded Opus in the sequencer and checked and sure enough I didn't save my new ideas. It was OK though I did remember them. I decided I had better record these ideas before I forget them, so I did a scratch track of keyboard and a scratch track of drums. I then decided I should work on lyrics I almost have 2 verses before I got stuck. I played it a few more times and thought I actually did need a different part. The verses were too repetitive. I started playing around and almost came up with something. I started to hum a melody and actually the original verse melody was almost working, so after a while I decided to just use different bass notes in the second half of the verse. What a difference it makes! I think this song is mostly finished now. I loaded Snow Angels and really there won't be much to do except lyrics. I also loaded a song that I am calling Steamy for now. It is almost complete, but I had all of the vocals going through the vp-70, when I would actually need to use the other mic. So I made a couple of changes to use the V-256 and saved that too.

Jan 18 2018

The last couple of days I have been fooling around with Opus. I saved a new version without the scratch tracks and quantized the drums, then came the ridiculously long process of fixing them. Last night I did the bulk of it, and today made some small changes. It's not quite ready yet, there are a few fills that I had left unquantized, that have to be moved a bit, because they are throwing me off when I am playing. I am very close to recording this, I even have a rough idea for the solo. So I need another verse and a half for lyrics, I'm sure it wouldn't take long to finish. Then I will have to work on lyrics for Challenge and Snow Angels. Oh and I remixed Supernova and Exhaust again. I may take yet another stab at the vocals for Supernova, and one of the back ups on Exhaust needs to be fixed. So things are moving along, glacially. No news on booking the show yet.

Jan 26 2018

I am so disappointed. I will have to backtrack a bit. I have been playing and working on the sets and thinking about Opus. I haven't fixed the drums yet, but I was going to start tonight, but first I wanted to make some new sounds. I started with the U-220 and made a few new sounds. I was going to do one on the MKS-50 but realized I wanted a certain bass sound on the MKS-30. Something similar to a sound on my JX-3P, so I did that. I looked at the MKS-50 and decided I should work on Opus. But first I thought I would listen to some of the sounds on the D-110, there was nothing. I'm not sure what happened but the D-110 isn't set up like I had it and it is doing funny things. I tried for an hour to get it working properly but I just couldn't. All I can get it to do is play the BASS4 sound. I'm not 100% sure but it could be that the internal battery has died. Then I thought I would listen to a few sound on the JV-880 and IT'S not working properly either. I play with that a bit, but I guess I will have to dig out the manuals for these before I do anything more. Now I am too frustrated to do any more programming tonight.

Jan 29 2018

Today I was determined to fix my D-110 or at least find the problem. After alot of reading I decided to get the service notes. So even though the version of the D-110 I have says it is version 1.06, a problem from version 1.00 may explain what happened. I played the ROM play and in the very first version that would corrupt the RAM of timbers and patches ONLY!! Which seems to be what my D-110 is suffering from, as this morning I was able to get the tones from the i bank. They are definately someones creations and not the factory tones and they would be in RAM as well, but have not been affected, so it is not a battery malfunction. Once I figured out that this was probably the cause or at least it was the effect, I just needed to get the timbers and patches back to the factory sounds. Unfortunately there is no factory reset for timbers and patches (just for tones), but this was actually better. I checked to see if I had made a backup of the D-110 on the (dead) laptop drive, and I had. Unfortunately because the laptop was dead I would have to use the recording computer downstairs. So I transferred the sysex file and a Midiox installer on a USB stick and put it on the recording computer and the short of that story is the D-110 is working perfectly again! I decided to check my JV-880's system menu and sure enough for some reason the control channel was set, so I turned it off and now it works the way I want it too as well. I played what I have for Snow Angels a bit and then I ran through Opus again. I then decided to run through the Binary Drama set, and after that I ran through the Ordinary set all with the video. Aside from forgetting a few words to songs and a few bits here and there, and not changing the sample disk for a song, everything worked pretty good. If I get some practice in on the songs to remember lyrics and a few parts I think this show could be alot of fun. So I work alot in the next several days, but soon I will fix the drum parts in Opus, and record it and work on Snow Angels. Then my next big keyboard project will be to fix the drums for Heart of the Machine and record that too.

Feb 3 2018

I have been gravely ill, but today I started to feel a bit better. I had fixed the drums for Opus a couple of days ago, but when I ran through it again today I realized there were still a couple of things I wanted to fix. So I fixed the drums and a sequenced keyboard part that was a bit out of time. Then I decided to start recording it. I recorded the drums, bass and the brass parts. I probably could have kept going, but 1: I wanted to record some video and I didn't have any cameras ready to record and 2: it was long enough for my sick body to be in the cold basement. It is unfortunate that I will probably complete the album before I can do any beker shows, so I will have to sit on it for a while. But then again who's in a rush for the next beker album? Probably just me.

Feb 4 2018

Today I decided I would try to record the rest of the keyboards for Opus. I set up the cameras but as I suspected the white one one lasted about 20 minutes. The black one froze so I may not have all of what I had recorded. Hopefully I got the solo, I miraculously got the whole solo in in only a few takes and there are a few tough spots on this one. I did the VP-70 vocoder parts, but not the v-256 vocoder parts. I will probably do them when I record the vocals. I may have to back up a few things as well as the Hard drive is getting full before doing to much more. So a quick look at the playlist and I only have Snow Angels to record, but I wonder if I should keep it under 45 minutes (to possibly go on record)? If I want it less than 45 minutes I would have to trim both Snow Angels and Ice Flows. Hmm maybe a winter ep in the making. Well I will consider it. Anyway today I am happy with what was accomplished. Well I just transferred the video and all that seems to be missing is when I recorded the VP-70 parts, not really a big loss. Crap I just remembered I wanted to record the synth vocoder parts separately so I could have the MKS-30 in one speaker and the MKS-50 in the other, and the same as the brass parts with the MKS-50 and the D-110. I guess I will have to do that another day. Hmm I wonder if I should doulble all of the string parts with the MKS-7? I will definately have to make some room for more tracks. Well then later tonight I went completely bonkers and finished the sequencing for Snow Angles along with the lyrics and then completed the lyrics for Opus and Challenge!! The album is completely written, finally. So it looks like I had better clear the hard drive I have some recording to do!!

Feb 5 2018

Well I wasn't supposed to write about my recording here but I guess I am anyway. Today I went straight to it and recorded the drums and 2 sequenced parts for Snow Angels. I wanted to get the Icerain sound from the D-110 in stereo which is unusual for me, so it took a bit of doing to get it and still be able to hear what I am doing. I then got the Bass, Vocal and Vocoder parts. And I believe it is done! While moving the ordinary songs off of the hard drive I cued up Challenge, and to my surprize it wasn't the current version. So I looked for other versions and the only ones I could find were the same version. Turns out I loaded the same version twice so when I finally found the right version, I was relieved. I ran through it a bit just to remember how to basically play it. But a bit later I will finish recording Opus and Challenge. Yep I finished everything. I was just going to do some keyboards and vocoder, but I did the vocals too. There is a possibility that I may have to redo those but we'll see. I am going to listen to my finished (rough mix) album. I think Challenge turned out to have some of my favorite lyrics but I love the music for all 3 that I completed today.

Feb 13 2018

I should start mixing the beker album, but I really am in no rush. Today I finally made some samples of the distorted drums I recorded in the 90's and had sitting on my desktop for at least a year. After I made them I thought I should make a quick liitle loop to see how they sound. It wasn't long before it started turning into a song. I had a title that I had written on a fake album cover some time ago, and soon even some lyrics were written. So Ghoster1 was completed except for a solo and a few lyrics this evening. It is just under 7 minutes. I had actually put on the album a part 2, so I thought I would do work on a bit, but I completed that one too, although it has no lyrics yet. That one is just over 3 minutes. Originally my purpose was to get a few pictures as I am working on fixing the keyboard pages. So I took a few pictures as well. My voice isn't quite back to normal so I don't think I will be recording too many vocals yet. But I do hear a few things that need fixing on the last 3 songs. Basically all of Challenge, but I kinda figured I would have to, and there are a couple of lines in Opus that could use a bit of a fix. Tomorrow I work so nothing will get done but maybe I can play Ghoster 1 &2.

Feb 16 2018

I recorded Ghoster1 & 2 the other day but they weren't quite finished. Today I finished them and recorded them again, just live off of the floor. They are still kinda rough, but they sound great! I almost think these are the best Beker songs I have written so far, and Challenge is a great song. I also played a bunch of songs today. I really need to start practicing more but it is tough to find the time. I expanded my chart, although there are lots of things that aren't on here like the line that comes back from the GP-8 to advance patches on the MKB-200. Or that the VP-70 is only on the right mic and the V-256 is only on the left mic. Anyway I got the GP-16 today and hooked it up. I will be using it for vocal effects. I tried to get a nice reverb, but not sure if I was successful or not. I will definately have to peruse the manual, and make a few patches. I have been programing the GP-8 a bit more, Ghoster1 & 2 use it alot. Ghoster1 uses it for heavy flnager and Ghoster2 uses the delay on the solo. Sounds great! I checked ebay and it looks like my DEP-3 will be in next friday. Then that rack will be full as well!! I almost booked the show today, but I will think about it for a day. It will be alot more expensive than I thought.

Feb 20 2018

So even though I haven't finished Places that Don't Exist. I have apparently started working on a CD with the working title 'Ghosts'. I did have 2 songs for the follow up CD but they will have to wait. I have decided I will steal the instrumental Makeda for this and started working on sequencing the drums. It will also include a short song called Ghosts and a longer piece called Ghost Island. I have started working on those as well. Most of these ideas came from a pretend cover I made, and it was supposed to be an EP, but with Makeda, Ghoster1 and Ghoster2 clocking in at 20 minutes I figured if I added any more songs it would have to be a full length album. But today I bought a DVD player for the beker show and decided I should at least start running through the songs. It is embarrassing how much I have forgotten and I didn't even make it all the way through the set. I may have booked the show by the way, I told the girl I was definately interested and what do I need to sign? She said she would have a contract by monday. Today is Tuesday. So I may not have booked it. But there is alot to get ready if I am going to pull this off and I will have to assume it is still a go and just get started. Oh yeah the date will be april 6 if we are still a go. So I made a list of things I need to get done and practice practice practice!

Feb 22 2018

I spent all day in the keyboard room! I did some work to Ghosts, & Ghost Island but mostly worked on the drums for Makeda. I have a rough template to work with and this one is about 9 minutes long. It was alot of fun relearning and playing it over and over (I am NOT being sarcastic, it is a fun song to play). Although my wife probably didn't like listening to it over and over. The bulk of the day was spent on this. But I did a bit of work to the other 2 songs. I wasn't sure if I liked the portamento intro that I had for Ghost Island. Basically a descending chromatic line, but I am starting to like it. It is very abrasive which is what I was going for. I have a few chords mapped out, but probably less than 2 minutes. Ghosts is probably pretty close to being done. I also quickly looked at Supernova, which I had loaded, and looked at the drums. It appears I had tried to quiet the ride cymbal but I thought it could be a bit quieter. So I changed it again and saved it. After supper, I then did some real work for about an hour and then started to run through the Binary Drama. I finished Turn and had to stop and relenquish the basement. I spent the rest of the night discovering what amazing genuises Devo were (for 6 hours).

Feb 23 2018

I have been struggling with this for a few days. I will be running off some new copies of The Binary Drama, :), and Ordinary soon. I wonder if I should re-mix and or fix a few things that have been bothering me (like some keyboard bits that are out of sync a bit). But the remixing would be a huge job. I was leaning towards remixing but I am now on the 'just leave it' side of the fence, simply because it truly is a snapshot in time. Not sure where I will end up, but I know that as the deadline looms a decision will be made.

Feb 26 2018

Well a couple of things happened today. One is my DEP-3 came in the mail. So I hooked it up as soon as I could. It has very nice reverbs and will be a nice addition to the fold. The drums sound awesome through it! I will just need some time to go through and play with the settings a bit. Plus I actually don't have another MIDI cable. I have more coming in the mail, but they are coming from China, so who knows when they will get here. So I need time to get the DEP-3 and the GP-16 set up too. For now they have a basic patch and I can use them as they are. I just decided to print out both manuals, so I guess that's done. The other thing that happened was I got the email that said the Bker gig is a go. I just have to go down and sign some legallities. So the show is a GO! This week is a bust but next week I need to start memorizing lyrics and getting ready. Lots of stuff to design and print, but I think I will get Staples to do most of the printing this time.

7 Mar 2018

I have done lots of little things. I have gotten the program ready to print. I tried to print it here but it won't center vertically so I will have to see it we can make it work at Staples. I sent some posters to staples and they are just waiting to get picked up. I practiced the first and second set to the video but not all in one night. I found a couple of things that needed fixing and I think I have them fixed. Next will be to program lights for the other 2 banks of lights I plan to incorporate. But I am waiting for more MIDI cables. I think the one hooked up to the GP-16 is only working sometimes and I need one to go to the DEP-3, and another to go to the other LP-608 controller. The effects won't need much changing for now. Unresolved is the only one that will really change the vocal effects and I have that already programmed. I do want to turn it off for Dreamfinder because it seems to lessen the effect of the VP-70's doubler effect. What's left: making disks, making programs, promoting it, maybe planning a second show (?), and lots of practice.

10 Mar 2018

Today I finally got my MIDI cables from China. Took forever. But I was waiting for them to hook up the second set of lights and the reverb for the drums. Now I have lots of MIDI cables. I then started sequencing the few changes I needed to incorporate the new lights and a few fixes. I am trying to think of a possible encore song but I got nothing. I set up my U-20 and RS-5. I think I may have to keep the U-20 at home, it has just seen too many roads. Then I did something very impulsive and rash and bad. I bought the EP-6060 I have been watching for 2 years! eBay had a 20% coupon and it brought the price darn close to what I was willing to pay so I bought it. It is a cheezy, 80's analogue piano. I don't need it, but I bought it. I am bad.

15 Mar 2018

Been too busy too practice, and also my throat is very sore. So as I wait for my new keyboard to ship I looked at more keyboards. I see an Akai MX70 for about 400$ that would be nice, but there is also a Roland RD-300s for about the same price. The RD would be a nice replacement for the hp-800 that I no longer have, but the MX is a controller with 4 zones! Do I want a piano that I can use as a controller, or do I want a really good controller? I guess the whole thing is moot, I don't have, nor will I have, 400$ anytime in the near future. But I had better get practicing!

17 Mar 2018

8 days and it still hasn't shipped, this guy is looking for a bad review! I ran through everything yesterday and an encore song I was working on. So many words I need to remember. And the encore song seems a bit ... wrong, but I have gone too far with it to start again. I guess I just have to keep at it. I wish my throat was better. Anyway I just have to keep practicing, maybe I will remember 90% of the words, I guess I still have 3 weeks. Another thing I see that is disappointing is I have been watching some white Juno di's and one sold today. I don't know if I can afford to wait and yet I can't afford to buy. I may have to look for a consolation prize. I have been looking through the Reverb site and there are so many beautiful gems there. A Yamaha CS-80 for only 33,000$ and a Jupiter 8 for 28,000$. There are other things that are more affordable but still out of my reach. Maybe in the meantime I should get some of my merch together. Oh yeah, Happy St. Patricks day!

18 Mar 2018

Due to beer I am up early. And devastating news this morning! The seller has cancelled the transaction! He said there is some unspecified problem with the ep-6060 and he won't sell it. So after a quick check to see if there is another one available, and there isn't, I looked to see what other keys were on the wish list. The unfortunate thing is, I feel none of these are must haves. I looked at the Akai MX73 and realized something, it only has 61 keys, I thought it had 77. Big difference! I have another U-20 in my list for 150$ and if I used it as a controller I could have 6 zones, aftertouch, I could call up patches with MIDI, it would actually be a better controller. The only thing the MX73 would have on the U-20 controller-wise is an extra MIDI out. Now if it had 77 keys, that would be a tipping point, but the way it is, I could either use my current U-20 or buy another one for cheap (There is one in the buy and sells for 200$ so that would be the most I would pay for one) and be just as far ahead. So the Akai is out. I don't think I need another U-20 at this point so that is out also. I have the RD-300s that I could use as a 1 zone controller and for piano patches, but I guess I don't want it that bad, it is a contender, just not a strong one. I have an Akai AX73 in my list but it is about 400$ more than I have, so that's out. The only other one that I really want, is a Juno di in white, but it is about 1280$ CAN so I guess all I can do is save more money and wait. Well looking at the manual for the RD-300s it can be used as a 2 zone controller, but it would be cumbersome at best. It defaults to channel 1&2, meaning I would have to set it everytime I turned it on, and everytime I wanted to change it. But it is meant to be used as a controller and you can turn the internal sounds off. It has 88 keys and I believe a decent piano sound and some other sounds and tremolo. It is also 35kg! I will think about it for a bit. After careful comsideration I think I will wait and save. The RD-300s isn't going to sell fast, I don't think, and it isn't a whole lot of money. If I save I can get teh Juno di or a jupiter 6 just popped up for 3000$ CAN!!! I doubt that I will save 3K before it sells but who knows. I worked on my encore song and I had one of the sample disks fail so I took out the back-up and made copies of a few disks. I made a minor fix to the DVD as well today, but no actual playing. Maybe tomorrow my throat won't be so sore.

8 April 2018

Well the show is done. I am not sure if it was a success or a failure. On the one hand I got everything assembled and it mostly worked (although I was VERY rushed). I remembered most of the words and didn't make too many mistakes. But hardly anyone showed up. So I am about 500$ poorer, but richer in something, I'm just not sure what. So no new keyboards for me. Back is still sore and I still have to take the 2 heavy racks downstairs. I would like to do the show elsewhere but I will definately need someone to help me move and set everything up. I won't worry about that for now. Next will be to complete the new album and start working on new material. Jon1000 wants to do a split CD, and there is the Ghosts album and the Memories that don't Exist material, and I have an idea for the next EP it will be called Where Art Goes to Die.

9 April 2018

After work I pissed around and looked at my keyboards, hoping they would set themselves up. I did eventually open Orchard and recorded some new keyboard for the last verse and chorus. Sounds good and I think this song is done. Maybe before work I can work on Exhaust or something.

10 April 2018

Listened to Exhuast and Ice Flows and did a bit of tweaking but they are basically done. So I mixed down Exhaust, Ice Flows, Ritual, 2nd Place, & Snow Angels. Including Orchard that is 6 songs that are done (unless I am unhappy with the mix). I have to redo all the vocals on Challenge, some on Opus, and sone on Supernova. Supernova is so tough, I have recorded the vocals 3 times 3 different ways, and I'm still not happy.

12 April 2018

Yesterday before work I did the vocals for Opus, and thought there is hardly anything left to do I should be able to finish tomorrow. So today after some debate I opened Supernova to start with the vocals there. I redid the vocals for the first section and decided I should use the vocoder mostly for the rest. I wanted to double the last line on each verse with the vocoder and after having to create the melody managed to record that. It was at this point I realized I wasn't going to finish today, or for that matter several days. I will have to learn how to play the vocoder parts before recording them, then I will have to hook up the sequencer and re-record the drums as I found the ride cymbal is too loud. I programmed it on the sequencer quite a while ago (and also for Challenge) but haven't recorded it yet. So although I think I am down to 2 songs I still have quite a bit to go yet. Plus there were problems with the USB stick and I couldn't listen to my mixes yet. So I grabbed a different stick and copied the 7 songs, but I will have to scrutinize the mixes for before I do anything more with them. After a quick listen Exhaust, IceFlows and 2nd Place I think are completely finished. I guess I didn't save Snow Angels so I will have to quickly remaster it. Orchard has a bunch of space at the end of it that I forgot to remove. I noticed that the first JX part in Ritual is slightly behind, I will have to nudge it forward slightly (damn you sync problem!!). After listening to Opus I should have listened to my inner voice. I started replacing lines, and soon just redid them all except the first 2, and now I wish I had just replaced them as well. Not that they are bad but they sound different, so they will have to go. Maybe a bit of tweaking the mix a bit as well, something funny about the drums and bass. So the first 7 songs are very close, and the last 2 are relatively close. Another thing I did was, I made a dvd of the Beker show a couple of days ago. But I screwed up the menu so I fixed that and made a few copies today. Oh and yesterday my step-son helped me take the 2 keyboard racks downstairs, so I am almost ready to set everything up again. I have the keyboards set up and I have put the RS-5 and Juno-1 on the left side for now. I have one very important RL thing to take care of then it is the drive to finish the Beker CD, and maybe work on some new material.

15 April 2018

I think I did it! I think I am finihsed recording for the new Beker album. While having coffee today I hooked up the sequencer and got the dums for Supernova and Challenge. But after a quick look the impossible happened. The new drum tracks were out of sync!! I thought this can't be right and tried recording a second and a third time! But they continued to be out of sync, and not the same amount either. So I cheated and very carefully used the time stretch function till I got the new tracks to match the old ones. Then when my voice warmed up I had decided to pick up where I left off and practiced playing and singing the vocoder parts. I decided to leave a couple parts of the original singing track, and after a couple of hours had all of Supernova finished. I did like the way I ended the old vocoder parts so I put that in, but unfortunately there are 2 notes that are just too high for me to sing, so I decided to fade out the vocal part at the end. I think I am finally happy with what I have, although I am listening to the mix right now and here a few things that need to be fixed, mix wise. I thought I should do the singing vocals for Challenge first, as if my voice starts to give out I can still talk the vocoder parts. In fact that is almost better. I didn't think I would would finish it today but because I had been practicing playing it quite a bit I did most of it in one take. So I figured I would do some of the vocoder parts and managed to finish all of that as well. So I mixed them down and opened Opus, as I knew there was something I wanted to fix in that as well. It was just the first 2 lines and I quickly had that finished as well. I tried to fix the mix a bit and then started to get them ready for transferring them. I made the few little fixes to some of the other songs and should have a few more that are completely finished. I know for sure Supernova needs a bit of tweaking, and I think 2nd Place sounds bad with so much compression on it (but I had to try it), so I will have to do a quick change to that. My hope is that Challenge, Opus, Orchard, and Snow Angels are done, but I have decided I will try to take some time to evaluate the mixes before setting them in stone. Oh and I made one oher small fix to supernova that was bugging me, the first solo was out of sync so i fixed that.

19 April 2018

A few days ago I made a few quick fixes to the mixes. Supernova was missing a vocoder part, so I put it back in, I also decided the EP-11 solo sounded a bit plain so I added some delay to it. Did a small bit of tweaking to the mix and I think that should be it. I am really liking this mix. I had mistakenly assumed the last vocoder part for the stereo mix in Orchard was the right chorus, and it was not. One side had the right part and the other was the previous chorus. I did a fix there instead of re-recording as I thought it would be alot of work and it would be difficult to get it to sound the same. Then the first JX-3p part in Ritual was out of sync, so I fixed those things and mixed them down. I made a new version of 2nd Place as well. So I will try to listen to these over the weekend and see if I need any more fixes or tweaking. If not, out into the internet they will go. I should also upload the live version of Nexus to Youtube, it is ready. Last week I got a few chords strung together and they sounded pretty good, so today I started working on one of the songs for the Jon1000 split. I have the arrangement finished, the drums are about half way done, and I put down an idea for what might be the other song. I am enjoying they new song, and the new (easy) set-up. I have the MC-50 plugged into my U-20 and from there the Juno-1. I hope to write both songs with this set-up and maybe I can use it to play a new show. I also had an idea for a new show called Binary Compendium.ZIP. It would be a much smaller, compact show that would be more portable. It would mean dropping much of the 80's equipment, but from an audience point of view it would be almost the same. This would probably include the U20, Juno1, the V-256, my tablet, some L&M rentable lights, and a DVD player with the projector (unless I can run that as well from the tablet). I would have to rent a PA and small mixer (unless its close and I can just use mine). Part of this came about because I would really like to bring the show to my family in Vancouver, but I could also bring it to other places as well if I wanted. So I will also work on this as time is available, which looking ahead, there won't be much.

So I finished the drums for Loss tonight, but wonder if maybe I will keep this one for my own EP. I guess I will knew better when I have a pool of songs to pick from. But I am ready to record it, I just need lyrics. I also wanted to whine about something, and that is lately there have been very few interesting items on eBay, Kijiji, or Reverb. It is so disappointing. I guess the keyboards are starting to stay in more permanent homes, plus as they are getting more rare, the prices are getting absolutley ridiculous. It is SO disappointing.

29 April 2018

Still haven't set up the main keyboard rig. But I have been listening to the mixes. I think Challenge needs the vocals to be redone, but everything else sounds really good. So as soon as I do that I could probably upload the whole works and call it done. I could even start uploading now. On a similar but different note, I have the music for 2 new songs. Loss is complete and so is a new song called Century. I just have to work on lyrics. I have a tiny blurb for The breaking of something large into smaller units. And that's all I have to report for now.

2,3 May 2018

After supper, I started working on a new song and ended up completing it. This one is called Promice. I then decided I needed to listen to a few parts to see if they worked and figured I could just start recording. It was starting to get late, but I figured if I was going to record I should get the vocals for Challenge. So I did 3 takes of all of the vocals. I thought the last take was the best and traded out one little bit that I knew didn't sound any good. I then mixed it down and put it on the MP3 player to check out later. I then recorded then parts for Promice, then I recorded the parts for Century. I had a few lyrics for Century and REALLY wanted to try the V256 on it so I just sang the same few lines over and over. I did a crappy mix and put it on my MP3 player and listened to what I had done. It was 3 in the morning when I finished. Aside from many mistakes and the crappy mix, these songs are really taking shape quickly. They have a late 80's synth vibe. I guess because the workhorse is the U-20, making the drum, bass and alot of the synth sounds. I used the alpha Juno-1 for more analogue sounds. Digital really does sound SO different, not bad, just different. My plan was to just use these 2 keyboards for a few songs, they really compliment each other. I may continue along this path for the Bker ep I am hoping to work on. Loss will be one of the songs, while Century and Promice will go on the Jon2000/Bker split. I am thinking this may be the set-up for the Drama Compendium.ZIP plus maybe the MKS-7. I just can't get a good analogue sounding bass from the U-20. So today I listened to Challenge and tried to be hyper-critical, but I can't. I guess I will have to just listen to it for a few more days before I can say if it is done or not. I will probably start backing up the project though, I will need the room for the next Bker project.

4 May 2018

Before work I finished lyrics for both Century and Promice. I redid the vocals for Century and recorded the vocals for Promice, and added a quick solo. I'm really liking these 2 new songs. But I will have re-record most of the u-20 parts as they are very quiet and noisy, oh and there are mistakes. And both solos will have to be redone as well, actually almost everything will have to be done again. I am starting to get some perspective on Challenge, and the news is not good. I am still singing flat. I may have to record a temp track to sing to. I imagine all this will have to wait till tuesday, my day off. I got a cute idea and may release the Bker albums on cassette.lol

6 May 2018

I just had a little bit of time after work, so I learned the melody for challenge and recorded me playing it. I hope I will have time to try to record the vocals tomorrow before work, and hopefully this will help. If not it may take a while to finish this last song. I also adjusted the vocals on Promice, they were a bit loud. I have a couple of ideas for when I re-record the parts for Century and Promice. And I was thinking I might cover one of Jon1000's songs. We'll see how ambitious I get.

7 May 2018

Before work I did a fair amount of singing, as I knew I would be drinking later tonight. So I did 3 more tracks of vocals for Challenge and a quick fix for Promice and few tracks for Century. I was hoping I might be able to mix and or record a bit more tonight but I am too drunk.

8 May 2018

Although hungover I worked on the Challenge, Promice and Century. I think Challenge is done but I will have to listen to it quite a bit. I had hoped I could wrap up Century and Promice, but I think they still need work. Promice needs better vocals, and Century's keyboard part is very hard. The good news is I was working a bit on Breaking Something Large into Smaller Units and came up with some good and cool ideas. Then I got an idea for a chorus for Naked Desire, and prolly a verse for Where Art Goes to Die. So things are moving along.

10 May 2018

Places that don't exist is released today! Here are some notes I had written about the recording process.

The Ordinary/Places that don't exist recordings 2014-2018 For those who actually want to read this and are not big keyboard geeks I will do a quick rundown of the euqipment used. Everything is Roland. There are 8 keyboards in the rig but 2 of them are solely controllers (no sounds in them) One is a 64 key controller MKB-200 and one is a 77 key controller a MKB-300. There is an EP-11 from about 1980 which has nothing but super cheeze paino and harpsicord sounds. Below is my beloved JX-3P (my first love) an analogue from 1983. In the front is one of Rolands first sample playback keyboards, a U-20, this is my workhorse for most piano and string sounds. On my left top is an ajuno-1 an analogue with digital systems. Below it is my Juno-106 another analogue with many sliders to change the sound in realtime. Below that is an Rs-5 the newest keyboard I own (from 2000) that is a sample playback keyboard with over 500 sounds (just an aside it is the model that eventually turned into the Juno-d, so I think of that whole side as the juno side). I have 2 racks the first one includes a S-220 and a S-550 2 different samplers. And a MKS-7, a MKS-10, and a MKS-30 all different and old analogue synths. In the other rack I have a A-880 MIDI mixer (kind of my MIDI traffic control), a M-120 12 channel line mixer. Although not used for recording there is a GP-8 effects unit there. Then a VP-70, which is mostly a pitch shifter. You can program it to shift one note into several different notes. It is from 1987 so it doesn't always do exactly what you want. Below that is a newly aquired D-110, which is a true digital/analogue hybrid. And below that is an awesome JV-880 which is a sample playback synth with many bells and whistles. I could go into more detail but I doubt anyone even made to the end of this skimped down explanation as it is. I have to put a bit of an update at the end of this, as I guess this was written several years ago, my guess 2015 (I just checked the date on this document it is from 2014!), and it is 2018 now. So I have aquired abit more gear, a MKS-50 and a U-220, another mixer a M-12e, a MIDI mixer A-880, and hopefully in the mail a GP-16 that I will use for vocal effects live. The rig has moved around alot and the u-20 is not used at all, I use it with another band so the U-220 picks up all of the u-20's hard work. The aJuno-1 and the RS-5 are not set up, the Juno-1 because the MKS-50 replaces anything that it did, and the RS-5 just because I have a hard time finding a place to put it, and it will eat al least 2 MIDI channels which I am running out of. The biggest bit of new gear though is a Electro-Harmonix V-256 vocoder, I wanted a decent vocoder and didn't have a big budget. The Roland VC-03 came out a year too late otherwise I may have bought that (It would have cost me about 200$ more). But the V-256 has more to offer and it is awesome! So as you are reading some of the text below it has been written in various bits over the course of 3 or 4 years.


Away - This is another older song, actually from way back in the 90's. I played it on the U-20 but I felt I was willing to give up the bass tone for the better piano of the JV-880. I recorded the whole thing in 1 take and came back to fix a couple of mistakes. My throat was very sore so I left the vocals for another day.
keys used JV-880 U-220 drums MKS-7 vocoder V256
Exhaust - This was another hold-over from 2008. I had written the chorus on the EP-11 while playing with its super cheezy drum beats. I had the Disco beat playing and was using some of the auto-play functions and the chorus was done! It took a while to morph into what it is now. I was always a bit unsure of the vocals in the chorus. Because the music is kinda busy I thought the vocals should only be a few words, but I wondered if it was a bit awkward. I eventually settled on doing some back ups near then end to spruce it up. Another problem was the solo, this too had been set aside for another project, and had space for a guitar solo. Because I had never worked on a keyboards solo for this I just decided to keep the whole space. I had just been working on some new sounds for the U-20 and was excited to use them. One was a sound that's pitch was reliant on the aftertouch, the harder you pressed the higher the pitch, up to an octave. I thought this would be fun. It ended up being a real pain, but I wouldn't change it. It sounds kinda like a theramin and I am happy I kept it. The second part was a strange sound but was more straight forward playing-wise. I just had to work out something I liked. This was the fifth song recorded.
Keys used JX-3P bass & drums MKS-7 S-220 solos U-20
Ritual - This instrumental has been hanging around for a long time. Probably since 2003 or 2004. I can't remember for sure but I wrote the whole thing (for another project) and was going to incorperate a drum solo and a guitar solo into it when the band was ready. I know alot of it started when I was playing with the S-550 and the industrial kit. I actually envisioned playing the drum part with my left hand, but when i went to sequence this years later (and decided this was definately a Bker song) it would have been too hard to keep in time with the sequence. The solo was written on and with my long gone Ensoniq ESQ-1. While the RS-5 has a good faximilie to the sound I originally used the Juno-106 right. I used it in it's mono mode with portamento. I wish there was a way to set this via MIDI. This is also the debut of the Juno-106 on a Bker recording. I had recorded the Juno around 2006 or so when I bought it but it has always had at least one voice chip not working so it was tough to record until now. The pipe organ at the end was also the JX originally, but with the way I have the keyboards set up this would be impractical. The Juno-1's pipeorgan is almost identical so that was a simple substitution. This was the seventh song recorded and is about three minutes and forty-five seconds long.
Keys used EP-11 U-20 bass MKS-7 S-550 JX-3P JU-1 solo JU-106
Make It Real - This was a song written probably around 2007 or 2008. It was going to be recorded for another project. When collecting the songs for this album I though I should do a bit of clearing of the back log and decided to include it. I had always liked this song and had recorded it before with three part harmony at the end. This was problematic until I got the VP-70. It sounds very synthetic but I like that. I was kind of resisting the inclusion on the VP-70 on this song, because I didn't want to overuse my new toy. But this was the last song (I had only recently looked up and copied the old sequence) to include it. The others being Ice Flows and Orchard. I did have to record the VP-70 part a few times as I forgot the chords I was using in the sequence and evenually had to look them up. This was the third song recorded.
Keys used JX-3p U-20 drums MKS-7 vocoder VP-70 EP-11
Summer Burns - This is another older song that I had wanted to re-record. There was room for a guitar solo that I edited out of the sequence. I felt some of the lyrics were kind of weak and after having to live with the terrible lyrics in Smile I had to do something about it. So I recorded the song and tried some new lyrics, and after a few days I changed them a bit again. That's kind of how I feel, is if I can listen to them later and still like them then they can stay. Recording this song was a bit of a pain. It is actually fairly simple to play, but I had to record the bass and chord parts searately (because I didn't have enough cords ... OK it's because I was really lazy and ended up paying for it). This was difficult becuase there is a certain depenency on both parts to work together. I ended up trying to play the other part on a keyboard that I was not recording. It sort of worked. This was the fourth song recorded. It seemed to need lots of touch-ups, so I spent about 5 or 6 days on it. Kind of ridiculous for such a simple song.
Keys used MKS-7 U-20
2nd Place - This instrumental was written in june of 2014. I was playing with my new MKS-10 and happened apon this string of chords that I really liked. While playing this I visualized a child running in slow motion giving thier all only to come across the tape in 2nd Place (hence the name). It had a real appeal to me as I kept playing it at least once every time I was in the keyboard room. I decided I would include it with the new album after playing it a million times. I did think it was shorter for some reason. It was the second song recorded.
Keys used MKS-10 JV-880 MKS-50 U-220
Ice Flows - After getting my VP-70 it was a toy I had a hard time NOT using! I decided to use it in a couple of songs and thought why not make a song around the vocals? It was written quite quickly. I got visions of chunks of ice floating in an ocean in the dark, which of coarse, made me think of the most well known disaster with an iceberg. I liked the fact it was very dark and forboding. I think the lower register of the VP-70 does it. This was the first song recorded. I tried to record everything in stereo but noticed almost no difference, so this is the only song recorded this way. When I was starting to record the album for earnest I was simply going to re-record this song, but listening to it thought it sounded fine and it would be a waste to record it again. It is the shortest song on the album.
Keys used vocoder VP-70 solo JX-3P MKS-50 bass U-20
Orchard - I had the acoustic guitar sound on the u-20 for a while. There is a long story about how it got there. But I thought it sounded quite good and wondered if I could use it in a song. I tried a strumming pattern and it turned into the main part of the song. Including the VP-70 on the chorus really got me invested into this song, but I am trying to use it sparingly. The arrangement changed several times, and lastly changed again as I was recording it. I'm not sure how it sits with the other more synth sounding songs, although noone would mistake the acoustic sound for a real acoustic guitar. This was the sixth song recorded. I had just finished some fixes for some other songs and was anxious to move on. I was only going to record the keyboard parts but ended up finishing it that day. Then after repeated listenings I realized I wanted to change it yet again, but after deep thoughtwondered if it was wise. In the end I decided there would not be much advantage in changing anything.
Keys used U-20 MKS-7 JX-3P RS-5 MKS-50 vocals VP-70
Where I am - When I decided to split the recording into an ep and a full length, I drew another old song that I had wanted to re-re-re-record. From sometime in the 80's this piano song was my own personal anthem, and I thought it was a good song to add to the now modest collection of older songs that would become Ordinary. It was recorded very quickly, I really had to work out the second half og the solo (as in the original it had a (very bad) guitar solo). I had just gotten my V-256 and thought I should use it on the chorus instead of harmonies, and ended up using it alot on all of these recordings! As soon as it was done I released the ordinary ep.
keys used drums MKS-7 U-20 JU-106
Supercollider - This was a monster project. There were bits of the song all over. After working out the different tempos and then getting everything in the same key, the structure came together quite well. This was a full day of work. I recorded the all the instruments except the solo and the vocals, and hit a roadblock. I will note that the druns at the end were samples from the Ep-11 and I wasn't sure if I should use them or not, but of course I did. After writing lyrics 3 times, and not being satisfied with them, I dropped the whole project for over a year. I really liked the music for this monster, but for some reason just couldn't finish it. Finally over a year later I decided this needed to be finished. Looking at the last set of lyrics I thought they were fairly good just really dark. I think I had hoped I could have this song be a bit more positive. At this point I had another new toy an Electro-Harmonix V-256, and tried a couple of things before just singing it straight. I did keep an octave quietly in the background. I was quite worried about the solo, as the chords were number one major, and number two kinda plain. I knew I had to have some very interesting sounds to make it interesting to me. So I did end up starting with the ep-11, just for some variety, but found a very moog-like sound on the Juno-106 and of course had it in mono mode. I tried to make it a bit challenging to play and yet melodic. I ended up really liking the solo. It was just a matter of mixing it several times. I ended up re-recording the vocals several times using the V-256 in different capacities. I finally settled on a hybrid of normal and vocoded vocals recorded for the last time in april 2018. This was the last song to be completed and it's recording spans most of the time spent recording this album. This monsterous song clocks in just under 13 minutes.
Keys used MKS-50 MKS-7 RS-5 JX-3P U-20 solo EP-11, JU-106 Vocals V256 drum samples S-220
Challenge - So I looked at what I had for this song and it needed alot of work. It took a day to work out the structure and two to program the drums. I recored the music shortly after completing Supercollider, and knowing the lyrics would be difficult again I worked on the solo. Again the song is about struggle so most of the song is in a minor key but for some reason I put the solo in a major key. This time I went for a very strange sound on the Juno-106, almost similar to the space bell sound I used on the intro to Sad which was on the MKS-7, but in the mono mode it sounds even stranger. After sitting for over a year I had an inspirational day and completed the lyrics for Snow Angels and decided I should at least try to work on Challenge. They actually came fairly easy. I had been thing of a subject and the words almost poured onto the paper (the opposite of Supernova). I feel these are the best lyrics I have written in a very long while! Then the next day after completing both Snow Angels and Opus I figured I would try Challenge. Within a few hours I had a rough mix and could listen to the first version of all (now after releasing ordinary) 9 songs as a whole! I did go back and redo all of the vocal parts in april 2018. This was the second last song finished.
Keys used U-20 drums and bass MKS-7 JX-3P MKS-30 solo JU-106 vocoder V-256
Opus - Kind of inspired by Billy Joels prelude/anrgy young man the intro was so strong and the next part felt just right. It sat for some time then in late 2017 early 2018 I got it into shape and practiced it quite a bit. I took my time and finally got the drums in february. I didn't want what happened to Challenge to happen to opus; have a completed song without lyrics for over a year! So I slowly started coming up with lyrics, and had an almost complete version that was only short one verse. Then in a whirlwind couple of days I finished everything (including Challenge and Snow Angels). One thing I did which is unusual for me was I layered a couple of sounds. The intro brass sounds are from the MKS-50 and the D-110 as well as the vocoder patches in the bridge these are from the MKS-50 and MKS-30. Although the solo has few fast runs I managed to get it on the third take! After successfully finishing Snow Angels I decided to at least try the vocoder parts, but ended up completing this songs as well. I did have to take a second crack at the vocals a little later.
Keys used bass and drums MKS-7 MKS-50 JX-3P MKS-30 D-110 EP-11 solo JU-106 vocoder V-256, VP-70
Snow Angels - This song started with a sound from the d-110 and a sound experiment. Although this was the last song to get started it was the first of the last three to be complete. After recording the drums and bass and strings for Opus I decided I should start to work on lyrics for Snow Angels. It was fairly quick and painless so I decided I should work on lyrics and finished the lyrics for Challenge. I then completed the last verse of lyrics for Opus. The next day I started working on Snow Angels. Because the arrangement is very sparce I felt it was nessessary to have the Ice Rains patch in stereo, which is difficult with my set-up. I was quite sick but felt this might actually help the vocals and recorded everything that day.
Keys used D-110 drums MKS-7,U-20 bass MKS-50 JV-880 vocoder V-256

As you have read in the notes, sometimes there is a good deal of time between writing and sequencing and the recording the songs. While I can say I liked Ordinary, the songs were mostly over 10 years old. So it is a difficult thing to measure, but I do still love to play the peices . Places that Don't Exist is easier, there are alot of fresh experiences that went into the music and the lyrics.

11 May 2018

Just heard back from Jon and we are a go for the split. I think I am pretty close with the 2 songs I want to contribute. I would like to try another few takes for the vocals for Promice, and maybe the channel aftertouch part for the pads of Century (it's really hard to get it perfect). I am thinking about a late entry, and doing a cover of one of Jons songs. I should download it today and see where I get with it.

15 May 2018

I feel like I should have a new comment here, but I haven't done anything since the last entry. I downloaded the song but it has been nice and there are a ton of things that need my attention outside. Today I finally moved 2 huge speakers out of the way and tidied up a bit, moved the lights where they should be. The night before I conneted several MIDI and audio cables, so I am getting closer to being set up. I have to plug the keyboards into the mixer and some other small things. But soon I should have the system hooked up again. As it has gotten nice I don't think I will do much for some time. Hopefully I can finish setting up and finish recording the 2 maybe 3 songs for Jon1000. Oh and I archived the Bker recordings for Ordinary and Places that Don't Exist, giving me a nice 8G on the hard drive.

16 May 2018

Today I was supposed to do a bunch of stuff, but it was not very nice out and I was not terribly motivated. So instead today I finished setting up my keyboards. When I got everything back from the ill-fated performance, the dilemma was to try to get the RS-5 and the JUNO-1 integrated. I didn't think I would set up the U-20 because I use it with another project. But then I started recording the 2 songs for the Jon1000 split, and I ended up using the U-20 instead of the RS-5. I think there is a bit more room for creating sounds on the U-20 although it is fairly limited I feel I can coax some very interesting new sounds out of it. So the long of this story is that I tried to add 2 more keyboards into the set-up. I had to do a bit more MIDI monkeying around, and I will have to make a Mic merge cable, but for now I will just move the 1 mic from one stand to the other. The reason is because they will both have to share the V-256. And when I am using the U-20 and JUNO-1 the MKS and sampler rack is inaccesable. A small price for the time being. So after setting everything up and tidying up a bit (I moved a couple of big non-working monitors out to the shed and my mixer into the van), I started testing the new set-up out. I then loaded Century and Promice to get then ready to play live, so I added tracks to control the V-256 and the lights. I am having problems with the lights not getting signals, so some lights "stick" on. I'm not sure what is causing this, I don't remember having this many problems with the lights before. I then practiced each song a couple of times, took a couple of pictures of the new set-up and called it a day.

17 May 2018

I listened to Emerson Lake & Powell again today. What a great album! When I had time at work I listened to Brain Salad Surgery. I am finally starting to appreciated Keith Emerson, I mean not that I haven't before, but maybe as I become a better keyboard player, I can really appcreciate what a monster he was. When I am done listening to Brain Salad Surgery (I just bought it!) I will have to look for the live album I have. The sound isn't the greatest, and I wasn't overly familiar with thier songs so I just shelved it. I think I will like it better now. I know my problem with ELP in general was that they were more jazz leaning than my other favorites (YES, RUSH, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS), and I have not been overly fond of jazz per se. My least favorite YES album is Relayer because it is so jazzy. But slowly it is starting to sink in. I bought Oscar Peterson's Blue Train album at a garage sale and have played it now and again, but the last few times I have REALLY enjoyed it. So maybe I am just starting to appreciate jazz ... just a little bit. Anyway it is sad that I will never see Keith Emerson play, maybe tonight I will watch some videos on youtube. I guess the only keyboard hero that I have been able to see is Rick Wakeman (THAT WAS FUCKING COOL!! He came down the aisle and stopped at the end of my row! He was only 3 seats away from me!!). One other great that is still alive that I would love to see is Tony Banks, but I don't think Genesis will ever perform near me, if they perform at all. So that is my idol worship for today. Today before work I played through The Breaking of Something Large into Smaller Units several times. So I kinda see it like this: There are 3 parts, the intro (drum solos!), the piano solo (this part is still quite vauge, but I plan to work on it. I have a few more ideas from today) and the ending melody that is harmonized. It was only supposed to be about 6 minutes long but it is almost 8 at the moment. The piano solo starts with many very discordant notes and chords (this why I was talking about jazz I guess) and eventually ends in several Cm arpeggiated chords. I kinda wanted to do more of a mooglike solo, but that isn't possible with this setup. The Juno is already used for playing the bass notes and a simple sequence. So I hope to work on this and Loss a bit this week as I have time. Maybe even do a bit of recording. I think Century is finished and Promice I would like to do a couple more vocal tracks, just so I have different take to pick from. There are a few bad notes here and there and I shoud get rid of them. Other than that I think they are done. Oh just a tiny little tweak to Century's mix, the U-20 pads are a bit loud. Anyway things are slowly moving along, unlike all of my other recording projects.

26 May 2018

I guess, as usual, I have missed a day or two of blogging. I decided to record a Jon1000 song called Still can't Stop Hiding Things From People. I recorded it mostly one night, last week, except the leads. The next day I recorded 2 tracks of improvised soloing, and fixed the vocals on Promice. I listened to the leads for Still Can't and edited out the mistakes and edited the two tracks together, and it was almost finished. One part wouldn't quite join properly so I recorded a quick little fix, and it was finished. Then alot of RL stuff interferred, but I slowly worked on mixes. Promice was a bit stubborn, but yesterday I got something I am happy with. I messaged Jon and he was a bit surprized. He has a show today, so he said after that, he will work hard to complete his tracks. I wish I could go, maybe I am feeling a bit sick and unable to go to work?

I listened to many of the new tracks and a couple from Places That Don't Exist, and really would like to do a show. I know I would have to bring a much smaller version though and am thinking about what I really need and what I really don't need. I know for sure the core of the show would be the U-20 and the Juno-1, but these could not be the complete sound palette. The juno-1 is monotimberal, and the U-20 cannot get analog sounding basses. Actually if I could get a nice bass out of the U-20, this would work. So I am thinking I will add the MKB-200 and the small rack with the MKS-7. I will need the S-550 for some vocal samples and if I do Supernova some drum samples. I probably won't need the S-220. If I want to do 2nd Place I will keep the MKS-10 for the tremolo, other wise it can go too. And I will keep the MKS-30 as another analog source. So I will have 2U rack spaces (maybe 4). From the other rack I will probably need the DEP-3 and the GP-16 effects units. There is one other caveat. The Juno-1's Chord (MONO) button locks up sometimes when programmed on and off via MIDI. I may have to actually try using the MKS-50, I guess I will have to see. There is a part of me that is thinking about using the iPad for sequencing, which would make me need WAY less equipment, but I am not sure. I LIKE using the MC-50. I would need a mixer, a rack one or other wise. I don't think I need the VP-70, or the GP-8 (maybe some delay on the leads, not sure). Possibly the MKS-50, probably not the D-110, definately not the U-220, and probably not the JV-880 either. If I bring the MKS-50 I may not have to bring the JUNO-1, but I would be 1 less playing surface, which may be OK maybe not. Lots to think about, and then I have to start re-programming and video editing. I should see if I can get an old version of Flash going so I can do some animating, even if it is crude animating.

28 May 2018

I played through all of the new songs and fragments this morning, and I am anxious to put together a show. Maybe shoot for the fall. Hopefully I will be finished my ep. After the EP is finished, looking forward, I'm just not sure whether I should work on the album Memories That Don't Exist or Ghosts. I will think about it. There are pros to either side. So for a show I definately want to play Exhaust, Don't Cry, Neverending, Nexus, and the 7 new songs, that should be about 40 minutes. I want to see if i can play them exclusively with the U-20, JUNO-1, V-256 and very little other gear. I may have to use the iPad, so I don't need the sampler for back up vocals, and it would definately free up the polyphony of the 2 keyboards. The unfortunate thing is I would have to change my set up, just a bit.

30 May 2018

I had a few things to do but it decided to rain today. So I started recording The Breaking of Something Large into Smaller Units. I recorded the drums and sequence and I was about to take a stab at the paino solo, but changed my mind and did the ending first. I recorded 3 string parts and the distorted guitar and the organ part. I will have to redo a couple of things, because I wasn't entirely sure how it all went. It has been a week or two since I really worked on this. I took a stab at the piano solo, just to try a few ideas. I'm sure I will have to do several more takes of that. I will try to get at least a temporary mix tonight. I spent the last couple of days making cassette covers. I made a cover for Places That Don't Exist and one in progress for Where Art Goes To Die. Just make my initial mix and I hear many changes that I want to make. If I didn't have an interview tomorrow morning I would have tried to start changing things, but there just isn't time.

31 May 2018

Aside from a few out of sync parts I think I have the beginning and ending oF Breaking pretty much done. It will be the middle that will be a bit of a challenge. I think I have some good ideas, it will be to get them co-ordinated. I may have to re-record a bit here and there, but I think I have the song structure finished, and most of the framework will stay. All I recorded today was the vocals and put a mean ring modulator on them. I was going to change a few things but felt I didn't have to. Yep just the middle. If I have time tomorrow I will try to start getting Loss recorded.

3 June 2018

I haven't had much time for playing or recording but I have been doing some thinking. I think I need cues in the middle part to tell me when to change the bass line, which is what I was thinking. The bassline is F Eb C that fits with the Cm sequence, I was thinking of introducing a part that went Ab F C and a part that was Ab Eb F. This would break up the middle section a bit more. Even though I have some good ideas for soloing, the middle section is 66 bars long at the moment. I am not really fond of this because I would have to re-record, well probably everything. But I think this is the route I will have to go as the middle section is too repetitive. Loss should be pretty close the way it is, I'm just thinking it needs 2 chorus' at the end.

11 June 2018

I have been thinking about getting a piano. A roland electric piano, and I had been looking at a RD-300, but found a HP-5500 locally for 50$ and it came with a EM-101 sound module as well. So I drove down to warman and got it. It has one sticky key but sounds not bad and plays well. I think I can fix the key I just have to find time to open it up

13 June 2018

I opened the HP-5500 last night and thought I had the key issue fixed but soon it returned. At least I know what will be involved to take it apart again. Today I finally decided to fix The Breaking of Something Large into Smaller Units. I spent the morning before work fixing several problems, mistakes, adding about 12 bars, and 3 new drum fills. If I have time I will start re-recording it tonight after work.

14 June 2018

Today I decided to finally get the new drums and sequencing for Breaking. After recording it it took a bit of surgery to get the beginning and ending back to where they were suppose to be, but the operation was a success! So all I have to record now is the middle part. The bass and the piano. I keep getting cool ideas, so I put a bunch on my phone. Because the piano is pretty much it's own complete system (with the EM-101, RS-5, and I added the PR-100) and the U-20, JU-1 (with the iPad) will be a complete system when I am done, I decided to make another possible EP called System3. I have 3 ideas that I hope to piece together. I think it will be fun. But first I have to finish this project. Later today my kit for my ring modulator came. There aren't alot of parts but I was too lazy to put it together. I recorded the bass line for the middle section for Breaking. I had to do it a bunch of times because I guess the input was too hot. Both first and second takes were flawless except the signal was too loud and was distorting. By the time I got a good take that wasn't distorting I was too tired to do any more.

16 June 2018

Yesterday I spent the afternoon putting together the electronic components for a ring modulator. I even got an old rackmount chassis ready to house the effect. Unfortunatley In the end it didn't work, so I will have to do some trouble shooting. But it seems like the there are parts that are working, so I must be close. Today I played the piano for several hours, and I am coming up with several new cool ideas for something I hope will become a song entitled System 3. Unfortunately I will be working alot on the coming weeks and then I will be on vacation, so it won't be till the middle of july that I will be able to continue my recording efforts.

21 June 2018

I have been extremely busy, but I have been fighting to finish the piano parts for Breaking. I have had about half or so of the piano part that I was happy with. This has been recorded in the last couple of weeks. After trying more times than I know, I realized I wouldn't get it in one take. So I went through what I had and started fixing the piano solo. The first 2 parts were ok, I did a little touchup and that was done. The third part had to be totally recorded again. After several takes I finally got about half of a good take and punched in on the other half until I got something I was happy with. I think part of the problem is that I am still improvising most of it, so many mistakes are made. The last part was difficult just because it was fast and I wanted nice clean notes, if I could get them. So I will listen to this for a few days, I think it might be finished. I had hoped to start recording Loss tonight but just ran out of time. Oh and got Tarkus in the mail today!

July 1 2018

The Split is finished and on the internet! YAY!

14 July 2018

Today was the first day back from my vacation, so there were many things to do today. Later at night I ran through some songs and fixed the drums for Loss, so it should be ready to be recorded. I then set up the computer to record the audio and MIDI parts for what will be the new system2 set. I managed to record Make it Real without too many problems. It still won't sync properly, but it is close enough to work. I will just have to save audio and MIDI parts and try it out on my iPad. I then opened Breaking to fix a couple of little parts that were still bothering me. Plus I turned down the piano a bit, and then I was tired and had to call it a night.

15 July 2018

To be honest I still don't know if this is going to work, but I started converting songs to use on the iPad. Well first I made a quick mix of Breaking although I kinda forgot about it and didn't get the new mix for my mp3 player. Then throughout the day I started programming and recording the new versions of the songs. I started with Don't Cry got the drums and a few backing bits, then I removed as much un-needed MIDI information as I could and recorded the MIDI stuff (like program changes and lights). I then recorded a temp track of vocals and tried to get the harmonies. My ears are really going or something because they were so out of tune it was embarressing. I had to do them again and really watch my pitch (later I played the melodies on a keyboard and tried to follow that). I checked it out and it seems to work through cubase. Then I saved separate MIDI and wav files. Convert the wav to an MP3 and just like that the day disappeared and I had 4 tracks ready for the ipad. Don't Cry, Exhaust, Make it Real & Neverending are now on the iPad and ready to try, tomorrow! I had hoped to record the drums for Loss tonight, but ran out of time. So I can convert another 5 (breaking, i can't stop hiding, promice, century, and nexus) but I will have to add lights to most of them. Then I will have to finish the 3 remaining songs for the ep, and then the big one, make new video for the whole works.

17 July 2018

Today I checked the four songs on the iPad. I am still having alot of problems with my iPad, first it wouldn't charge, then it crashed and said there was only 1% left. I went to charge it and it was at 37%. I let it charge a bit and tried the songs. The first thing I realized is that I will need another splitter, because I have 3 terminating MIDI ins (the 2 light controllers and the V-256) for now I just switched in the V-256 when I needed it. So things started quite badly. At first I thought the MIDI wasn't even working, but it is just the first program changes are too soon (?). I will try to move them back and hopefully they will work. The other really obvious problem was one I anticipated, and that was the mix. The back-up vocals are too loud, but I will have to listen more to get an idea of how much I need to turn them down. And lastly there was a significant sync problem between the MIDI and the audio. Luckily the progam has an offset for both files so I adjusted each one to get it close. The lights are not as time critical, nor are the program changes but the MIDI for the vocoder kinda is, but I think I got it pretty close for now. So while not perfect it is working and it works pretty good, once I get everything synced! I can't wait to work on this more. But not tonight.

19 July 2018

Spent the whole day recording, so I have MIDI and MP3 files for 9 songs. I didn't get a chance to test it yet, I guess that will be tomorrow before work. Then I imagine the next week or so fixing the little things. It was a big job, but it is mostly done. It was such a pain because I would have to switch MIDI and audio cables ALL THE TIME! And also change the sequence when recording certain things, then letting the MC-50 be a slave to the computer. I was hoping I would eventually be able to use the recordings, but they are not synced to the computer and it would be a nightmare to convert. It was easier to just start from scratch. I also recorded the drums for Loss. I am kinda stuck on the lyrics for the chorus, but the music is complete. Then I will have to work on the other 2 songs as well. I will have to listen to my audio notes. So it is coming along slowly.

20 July 2018

This morning before work I tried the sequences. It was only the last 3 that I was working on that had problems. All 3 had bit of the begining MIDI program changes missing. Century also had a funny thing where it was playing the audio and the sequence was playing the same thing as well, just not in time. Nexus had a different problem. I hadn't really played it too much with the new sounds and they just didn't sound right, especially the bass. It's funny but it needed a certain sound. So I ended up making a new patch on the u-20. That took a while but then I was happy, at least for now. Tomorrow hopefully I can run through them again with the new MIDI parts. Then I guess I will have to get back to writing and recording.

22 July 2018

Before I started back at my project today I decided to check my new MIDI files. With a little nudge in the right direction they worked fine but there are a few new problems. The volume for the nexus patch is a bit too loud, I forgot to add the robot voice part in Century and the vocal in the solo for Promice. Everything else seems to be working pretty good, except the iPad still is crashing. It seems to be the MIDI interface, my guess is the cord, so I ordered a bluetooth MIDI device. Hopefully that will fix the problem. Later at night I thought I would work on one of the new songs. Loss just needs lyrics and a solo, so I thought I would work on one of the other two. In the end I decided to start Where Art Goes to Die. I fleshed out the intro and first verse, and that's where I go stuck. I tried a few ideas I had recorded on my phone, but none seemed to fit, so I will leave it for tonight. I have the first 2.30 of the song figured out, and the drums programmed for that as well, so it's a start.

23 July 2018

I got the worst news this morning. I made coffee and went downstairs to play keyboard to not think about it too much and pretty much finished Where Art Goes to Die. It is pretty moody and a bit longish, sitting about 7 and a half minutes or so. I then wanted to work on lyrics but even though everything conspired against me today I was able to finish lyrics for Loss and Where Art. They may change a bit, but they done. Later when I went to work on Where Art, I started playing around with Naked Desire and I finished writing that too! It has a great melody for the chorus, and I think I have lyrics for that too. I just need a melody for the verse and some words. So the songs are almost complete, I will hopefully start some recording soon.

24 July 2018

Feeling pretty emotional as I ran through Loss and Where Art Goes to Die this morning. It's just what's happening right now. I notice a few things that need to be fixed in the drums for Where Art Goes to Die. I ran through Naked Desire a few times. Lots of repairs needed to the drums, but it is coming along and I finished the lyrics this morning. So when I have time I will start getting these songs recorded and then sequenced on the iPad. For now, off to work.

Thursday 26 July 2018

I had finalized the drums for all 3 songs and decided to start with Loss. I had hoped that I would be able to work on Loss tonight. I had already recorded the drums so I started with the bass line, I made it all the way through but I think I knew that it wasn't the keeper. I recorded the u-20 pads next anyway, and then I recorded the pads for the juno. It was late and I decided the next best thing to do would be record the drums for Where Art Goes to Die. I then recored bass and pads. There wasn't much for the juno so I left it for now. I then recorded then drums for Naked Desire, and then the sequencing. I recorded a quick pass of the u-20 pads and decided to call it a night.

Friday 27 July 2018

Today was sort of an all day affair. I spent the morning fixing the bass line for loss, and then I REALLY wanted a different sound for the Juno pads, so I played around with the sounds and found that if I used the SYSEX stuff I could just change the sounds that way. So I recored new juno pads. I then worked on and recorded the solo, and then the ending lead. I almost felt like I had a song here, so I recorded the vocals. I thought I had a good take, but there were a couple of lines that needed fixes. I recorded the fixes and realized I was more confident and louder so I just recorded 2 more takes. I did a quick track of harmonies and listened. I was very happy with how it was sounding, but I decided the last bridge after the solo should be vocoder, so I quickly sequenced and recorded that as well. I was on a roll so I opened Where Art, and recorded the 2 juno parts. I then worked on and recorded a solo. I then realized I needed a few more lyrics, I wrote them and recorded the vocals. I did a couple harmonies at then begining and the end. I listened to that and was very happy, but decided I wanted a couple of extra juno parts and recorded that. I then opened Naked Desire I then recorded the leads on the juno-1. I knew there wasn't going to be much to this song so I recorded the vocals. But I had a hard time with them and recorded them several times. I recorded the back-up vocals, and then doubled some of the vocal parts with the u-20. I then mixed it all down and listened. I think Loss is almost there. There is a mistake in the bass part that needs to be fixed. Where Art Goes to Die is also almost there, but the mix needs to be better. Naked Desire sounds funny to me. I don't know if it is because the vocals are too loud or if I am singing very flat, but it needs some work. There is also a very audible mistake on the pads. So it is very close, but needs work.

Monday 30 July 2018

I have been working on the sequences to make them compatible with the recordings. I have finally completed that so they are ready to be recorded for the iPad. But I really only want to do this painful process once so I will have to work on a cover song (I still have to pick one) and I want to add Orchard as well. So I will have to get the old sequence and make a new sequence for that before recording.

Thursday 2 August 2018

Didn't have much time today but started recording for the iPad sequences. I SHOULD have all of the program changes and keyboard parts for Loss, Where Art Goes to Die and Naked Desire. I will just have to record vocals and program lights. I'm not sure what I want to do for a cover, and I think I already have enough songs so I don't think I will bother with Orchard. I also bought a new toy that I was able to get to work today. I bought a bluetooth MIDI device. I ran through the Bker setlist a couple of times this morning and noticed a few things that need to be fixed. Like the back-up vocals need to be quieter and the vocoder part for Make it Real needs to be an octave lower. The lights are out of time on Nexus. So little things, but nothing serious. Hopefully the BT MIDI device continues to work for me, I will find out this weekend, when I use it for the cover band!

11 Aug 2018

Yesterday I ran through the sequences and made notes about what needed fixing. Today I tried to impliment all of the fixes and then did all of the conversions and put it onto my iCloud. Tomorrow I hope to get all of the new files onto the ipad and see if its all working. I also spant a bit of time redoing some of the vocals for Loss and Naked Desire. I was going to remix everything because yesterday I also spent some time making some changes to the mixes, but decided I should wait till I make a couple of small fixes to the keyboard parts. Hopefully tomorrow I can finalize a few things with the recordings and the sequences.

12 Aug 2018

I forgot to say I got the roland power cords I ordered. I got one for the piano and another extra one, I'm sure I'll need it. Also the SYSEX stuff for Loss wasn't working so I just made a new patch. Today I got all of the new files on the iPad and checked them. The only real disappointment was Breaking, the MIDI file wasn't right. There were a few small things, but nothing major. I also set up the lyrics. So I think I just have to make a few more small tweaks and the sequencing will be done. I then fixed the MIDI file for Breaking and 2 other songs. There has been something bothering me about Naked Desire for some time now but I couldn't put my finger on it. I think I finally realized what it is. The chorus sounds the same as the verse sonicly, so I needed something to make it pop a bit more. I added a string part to both the recording and the sequence and that may have done it. So I remixed Loss, Where Art and Naked Desire, got another sequence version of Naked Desire and I will listen and see what needs to be fixed or changed. But Think I am near the end of this. I still want to find a cover for a encore, and maybe just maybe I will get Orchard set up just in case.

17 Aug 2018

I tried so hard to get vocals for Naked Desire, but truthfully I'm still not happy with them. I had to stop though because I was getting frustrated. Oh yeah I first had to fix the broken 'NEW' headphones I bought, and they sound like SHIT! At least they cup my ears, but I can't believe how horrible they sound. These are supposed to be professional headphones, maybe DJs would find these OK, but they are almost unuseable. I then tried to fix a bit of the sequencing, and adjusted the mix a bit. I then fixed Breaking as the distorted guitar was a bit out of time, and then got a new mix of that. And lastly fixed the u-20 parts on Loss, and got a new mix. I will have to listen to these, but I think I am in the final stretch with them. I then ran through the new set, and made a few note about things that needed to be changed. It's quite a bit more of a PITA because I have to open the file on the computer adjust it, export .wav and or .mid files. Convert the .wavs to .mp3s. Save them on a usb stick, take the stick to my other computer and put them on the icloud. Turn on and set up the iPad and retrive the files from the icloud and set them up in Backing Band. Then I can see if my adjustments were good or not. Still stuck as to what i want to do for a cover.

27 Aug 2018

Hmmm ten days later and not much has changed. I decided the mixes were fine and the album is now out, and the changes seem to be working for the sequences. There are a couple of very minor things like the vocals are still too loud in 2 songs and I need to put some light controller changes into Still can't stop. Still haven't decided if I am putting Orchard in the set or not and no cover. I have been working on some video, but first I had to backup some stuff because there was no room on the hard drive. Then I decided I should make some quick videos for youtube, so there is a video for Promice and Naked Desire. Spent some time on the video today and am a little more than half way through the first draft. I know I will make many changes along the way. I think I will make the first 4 songs chapter1 on the DVD Orchard chapter2 and the rest after chapter3, maybe the cover chapter4, so I can skip them if I want. That's my idea that I just thought of. If only I could decide on a cover song. I am starting to think of a tour, I don't know if I will follow this up, but I would like to go to some other cities to play this music. I looked at the National Music Center's main hall. That would be very cool to play, probably won't happen but it would be very cool. Oh I also tried a 3 camera video of a practice of the show. I used some of that for the videos and am using it as a temp video track for the show video.

12 September 2018

The worst thing possible has happened!! The U-20 has been acting problematic when it has been turned on the last few times. It would turn on but the screen would be full of black characters and there would be no sound. After trying to turn it off and on a few times, it would usually work. But today no matter how many times I tried it, all l saw were black characters. So any idea of doing a show in the next month or so its probably dead. I am hoping that is just a problem in the power supply, so I will replace all seven capacitors in the power supply. I am hoping this will bring it back to life, if not the next thing to try are the power regulators. There are three of them, hopefully I can still buy replacements for those. In the meantime, the U-20, is my main keyboard for both the Where art goes to die project, and my cover band. The cover band has a gig coming up in about three weeks, so I have to find a replacement very quickly. I think I will try to purchase a Juno DI. I sure hope this works. Ok I did, a white Juno-di is now in the mail, on it's way to me. But the Bker project his dead until I can resurrect the U 20 or get a new one. There are a few other problems, first I have changed a few of the sounds and hadn't made a SYSEX backup yet. I suppose I could change everything to work with my RS-5, but it seems like it would be more trouble than it is worth. I was even thinking about trying to use the U-220, but again I would have to re-program a bunch of sounds. No, the only solution is to get this U-20 working. In other news I have Orchard sequenced on the MC-50, and most of the drums for Invisible Touch. I may even include 1 more cover, but it really depends on the U-20 coming back to life. Invisible touch is really tough and it is fast. Plus I have to change the key as I can't really sing it in F. Just more practice, I guess. At least I don't need the u-20 for that.

26 September 2018

The Juno-di finally arrived. It came in yesterday after noon but I haven't had much time to play with it. The rest of this week doesn't look too promicing either.

2 October 2018

Did a recap to the U-20. Unfortunately it hasn't solved the problem although it does look like it is working better.

8 October 2018

Finally got off of my lazy butt and tried to accomplish something. I decided Invisible Touch was going to be too tough to play and sing (again laziness), I just kind of gave up on that. I still needed a cover for a encore and yesterday the most unlikely song popped in my head. So today I sequenced the drums and recorded 3 string parts. I programmed the lights but for some reason they aren't working. I tried to fix the lights for Breaking and Still Can't but something wierd is going on with that. I will try to figure it out tomorrow. But I did fix Neverending and now Orchard is complete as well. So I just have to fix the lights for the 3 songs and complete my video and I will be ready. Oh yeah my Beker rope light burnt out in a section. Shit! The U-20 seems to be fine now, maybe I did fix it. Fingers crossed. I am trying to check out the Juno-Di as well, just not enough time in a day. I did get a couple of ideas and recorded them. Maybe for Ghost Island. I will have to open the sequence for that when I have time. And the cover song? It's a secret.

9 October 2018

Just a lazy day. I fixed the lights for Breaking and the cover, and then I tested the whole set. Just Still can't needs the lights to be fixed. Then I just have to practice a few of the songs, get my video and book some gigs!

13 October 2018

Unfortunately my cover band is taking up most of my time at the moment. But this also means I have to get the Juno Di ready to play! So I made a bunch of performances, and according to the MIDI manual you should be able to call up performances just like a patch (there are so many sounds, you have to do a MSB and LSB bank change before selecting you patch). User Performances SHOULD be MSB 85, LSB 0 then your patch/performance. When going through the editor yesterday it seemed like the command MIDI channel set for my performances was channel 16 so I tried that tonight. And it didn't work. So for now I will have to pick a performance and I will set the patches for upper and lower (channels 1 & 2) via MIDI. I will keep trying to solve the riddle of the performance set. Yesterday I tried the Bker set but only got to the start of Breaking before I had to quit. I really wish I could just book a show and go. OH! Also the Bker rope light burnt out in a section. I will have to replace that. I also have some ideas for future Bker lights, but it will cost some money.

Oct 23,24

I didn't have any pressing projects, so I started working on Ghost Island again. I had started a bit when I was working on Ghoster 1 & 2. It will be the centrepiece of the ghost album. I had come up with the intro and a bass line and very quickly it ballooned to about 9 minutes. I incorporated what I remembered from the original sequence and now it is about 14 minutes long. I have a couple of fixes and additions to the first bit and I want to reprise something from the first part in the second. Then I will just have to come up with some lyrics. Part of me thinks this is a bad time to start working on this as I still have to book and play the where art goes to die shows. Plus I have this idea I would like to record the ghosts album live off of the floor. So I would have to know the material fairly well. Not sure how much room there is in my noggin for all of this stuff.

Oct 25

Although I have been busy (and will be busy) with the cover band, I have been pretty excited about the Ghost Island song. So after work I did a bit more playing with it and I think I have the bulk of it mapped out. The recording I have is at the moment just under 16 minutes. When I complete the fixes it will be slightly over 16 minutes. I have 1 fix and a couple of quick additions, but i think I will try to start on lyrics. I am afraid of this song getting bogged down like Supernova did, it took almost 2 years to make myself complete it. I recorded what I have for Ghost as well. I will try to do all the little stuff a bit at a time, lots of fixes to drums and the like. But I did quite a bit of work to it yesterday and it is already making a difference. I am using a different reverb for the first main part of the song, which is new. I REALLY want to use a gated reverb on something because the DEP-3 sounds AMAZING, but it really doesn't suit any of these songs. BTW I got the performances to work on the JUNO-di, I must have had the MIDI channel set to something else on the track in Cakewalk. OK I have some lyrics, but I am too tired and have to call it a night.

Oct 26

I did have other things I should have been doing but decided to work on finishing the drums and fixes to Ghost Island. I finished the lyrics but I am a bit uncertain if the arrangement will stay the same. There is a part of me that thinks I need to add a bit more. I will think on it. I tried recording and singing the whole thing but it is quite hard to play and sing it still. Hopefully more practice will change that. So it was definately NOT a keeper but I was able to kind of hear how it will sound. I may have played a bit with the mix but the vocals seem really quiet. I think the whole Ghosts album is almost ready to record. I may still go the traditional route of recording just because I have so much better comtrol over volume and sound, cause with live what I record is what was played, good, bad, or ugly.

Nov 1 2018

Over the last several days I have been continuing to work on Ghost Island. All the broad strokes are finished but I still continue to change little things. Hopefully tomorrow I will make what I think might be the last changes. In other news I am slowly getting the video for the Where Art Goes to Die show together. I am working on video for the 3 last songs, and maybe a bit of extra stuff. With a bit of luck this should be finished in the next few days. Then I will have to test it, and hopefully start booking the show. Such a process.

Nov 2 2018

I think Ghost Island is done. Current version is about 16.30. I say 'about' because there are a couple of improv spots that can vary in length. The WAGTD video is complete, I just have to re-set up system 2 and test it.

Nov 4 2018

Did what I think are final fixes to Ghost Island, and finsihed Ghost as well. So the Ghosts album is written. I will probably start recording in the new year (hopefully). I have been too lazy to set up system 2, so I haven't checked the video yet. I will have to get cracking on that and the fixes to the cover bands iPad stuff. I spent about 3 hours just going through the sounds for the D-110 and the JUNO-Di. It was fun.

Nov 12 2018

I ran through the set for the This is Where Art Goes to Die, and I think I basically have 1 fix to the video and just alot of practice. The unfortunate thing is that I can't book the show till February. I called the venue and they are booked for December and I really don't want to do a show in January, that is death. So February it is, I am thinking later in the month. Oh and I have one reservation with the video, I am wondering if a time-lapse rotting mouse is TOO graphic. It may be, then I will have to replace a few more things in the video. So a little work but 3 months to do it in. All of this has become low priority. Sigh. I have finished writing the Ghosts CD but I don't want to start till after the TIWAGTD show, so again low priority. I am having some problems with program changes on my JUNO Di, not sure what is happening there. I will have to investigate a bit. I also want to build an interface for the cover band so I don't have to bring along 2 keyboards. The JUNO Di needs a MIDI thru and the LP-608 doesn't like the signals from it anyway, so I am, for now using the U-20 with a splitter to send the signals to the JUNO and the LP608. I need the 5V from a MIDI out to run the Blutooth MIDI device and a MIDI in to power 2 MIDI thrus. I won't have too much time ATM so I may be putting that off till December. So aside from a few small things and booking shows I may be putting my keyboard stuff on the back burner for now.

Jan 21 2019

I am finished the christmas season and back from holidays. I have mostly recovered from sickness. So yesterday I plugged all of my keyboard stuff in and started looking at stuff. I was wondering if I had a finished version of Ghost and quickly realised that I didn't. Last night and today I finished Ghost and it is a magnificent climax for Ghost Island. I will have to record a version and then strip the setup back to my TIWAGTD set up so I can start practicing. I wanted to book the show today, but I guess I will hopefully nail it down later this week. I ran through the Ghosts setlist. Makeda was the one I remembered the least. Surprizingly I remembered most of Ghoster 1&2. I kinda forgot the intro for Ghost Island and had to relearn a few parts, but I can get through it. And Ghost sounds GREAT!!

Jan 23 2019

I am hoping I can record the whole album on video, friday I should have time. So I will have to practice alot tomorrow! Played Ghost Island and then Ghost this morning before work, it just seems like such a powerful pair of songs.

16 Feb 2019

So I did. On Jan 25 I recoreded the whole thing, it is not perfect but pretty good. I am scared to start taking things apart. It's almost like I should record these songs while I know them well, rather than re-learning them later this year (or next year or when ever I record them). I can't book the show at the moment anyway, I am very broke. I was listening to all the songs I recorded last year and left it on surround sound. I noticed the few songs that had a real stereo mix sounded WAY better than ones that were mostly mixed in the center. I will have to keep that in mind when recording. I made the small fix for the video, I guess I should burn a copy and test it soon.

2 Mar 2019

I recorded the whole Ghosts show again. Soon I will start fixing things and set up system 2 so I can practice. Today I made the red Beker light. It isn't turning out as good as the other one.

29 Mar 2019

Looks like the JV-880 has died. That is very disappointing. I bought a cheap mic to test the vocoder on the Juno-di. And it's just not very clear. It's OK but probably best for oohs and ahs. Still too broke to book the show. If I can't book it soon it will have to wait till fall. It's just the way it is.

9 April 2019

I took down the MKBs and set up the U-20 and the JUNO-1. I have been practicing the show a bit, but the U-20 is having problems again, soon I may have 2 dead keyboards (the u20 and the jv-880). Today I was looking at the new Roland keyboards and man, I wish I could afford some. It looks like all of the 61 key versions use the same shitty keybeds as the JUNO-Di, so I would have to get a 76 key version. Right now Long & McQuade have a sale on the JUNO-Ds 76 for 999$. It would be cool, but I don't need it, and more importantly, I can't afford it. I really like the GO series too. I think I would trade my HP-5500 for a GO:PIANO 88 if I had the money. I am curious about the GO:KEYS, I wonder if you can layer or split anything. It might be a better replacement for my cover band if I could get a bass sound on the lower part of the keyboard. Plus they keybed looks WAY better than any of thier other 61 key keyboards!! I am starting to think the JUNO-Di belongs to the Bker show. If I make it to Saskatoon anytime soon I think I am going to order the VC-03. The VP-70 is just too glitchy. I was thinking I should get the keyboard for the VP-03, but really I would only use it to program it anyway. I would save 130$ by not getting the little shitty keys. The FA-07 looks great too but again don't need it, can't afford it. Oh before I took everything down, I got a video of a new song called Island in Sun. Trying to get stuff ready to re-record Naked Desire.