This didn't start as a blog, but I have a blog for almost everything else.
The 2016 blog was getting too long so I started another one
The 2014 blog was getting too long so I started another one
16 Oct 2019
I realised that I have to get these songs onto the iPad, which means I have to get them ready to record. So today I sequenced the bass line for When We Touch and quantized it. That was relatively painless. Then I sequenced the lights. That was a huge pain. I'm not sure why but the light controller is being really picky and I have to move the note information around and even insert short flashes to keep the lights from "sticking" on. It took almost the whole afternoon. So I can see that this itself will be a long process. I guess all I can do is a bit at a time.
26 Oct 2019
In the meantime I realized that this is not going to be a 1 or 2 day project. I haven't gotten much farther with it. In fact the lights I sequenced don't seem to be working right. Athough it may be the light controller. I have to take it apart and fix it I guess, which makes this project even bigger and longer. So I set up the Juno-Di with the RS-5 underneath, and in a flash of brilliance plugged the RS-5 into the audio input in the Juno. I also hooked up and Mic. So I have been fooling around with this configuration for about a week, and I wrote a song. It is kinda techno but reminds me alot of the old Kraftwerk stuff. Very sparce. So it was easy to record, so I did. I used my new vocoder for the recording (I will use the Juno vocoder for live for now). The VC-03 is alot of fun, but I am starting to see how limited it is as well. Anyway after touching up some of the vocoder parts I thought I would try running a MIDI file through the Juno-Di's song player. I made a drum loop, but I may have used the wrong notes for the drums because it didn't work. But then I though I could just use the audio player, so I made a WAV of my new song and Don't Cry and Exhaust. Athough I won't be able to run lights I could literally just take the 2 keyboards and do a show!! I may look into this a bit more as it will be alot easier and be ready sooner than my show for Where Art goes to die and Antigone. Anyway it is a thought.
29 Oct 2019
I haven't tried the MIDI yet but I have been using the audio player. I have 5 songs on there and it is alot of fun to play. I just have to remember to change the patches in between and sometimes in songs. I am also working on a second song just using the Juno-di and the RS-5. I think it will be mostly an instrumental called Amethyst. The big thing for the audio player is to try and get all of the volumes about equal. So I recorded a video of Unhappy Robots and a cover, and made a new version of the Antigone video with it as a bonus. I had to make a new copy anyway because it wasn't highlighting anything on the menus. So I am learning about both keyboards a bit, which is good. I finally finished a long awaiting project on the bench, so next I will try to fix the light controller, and maybe work on the other one. At some point I will put the EP-11 on the bench and finally try to install those MIDI chips.
5 Nov 2019
It has been a productive week. I played a gig with the cover band so that ate a couple of days. But I got a melody that turned into a song. I have a new song for a project I am calling Houseparty. It will consist of Unhappy Robots, the new song called I'm Sorry I Can't Help You, an instrumental called Amethyst, and maybe one more. I recorded all of I'm Sorry I Can't Help You the night of the 3rd into the 4th. I tried recording Amethyst but it is a work in progress. So with the 2.5 songs I am starting to realize that with the new keyboards everything sounds like dance music. It's so weird. I'm sure if I play them on my older keyboards they won't, but with the new sounds and drums and stuff, they sound modern. Part of me is thinking i should just go ahead with this new project (which could be live in about a week or at most 2) rather than Antigone because it will require much more time to go live (or even record). But there is another part of me that thinks just stick to the plan.
So later this evening I tightened up the arrangement of Amethyst, it lost about 3 minutes, bringing it to a still fairly fat 11.31. I will have to go through and fix lots of stuff. The bass line will probably need lots of little things, as I played it straight through (at that time 14 minutes) and my left hand was starting to get tired (but it has been good practice). The melody line has a few mistakes in it as well. So I chopped it up and remixed it a bit, I added one more track. Now I will just have to listen to it. It is actually quite hypnotic. I was working on a few ideas and I wasn't (and maybe I'm still not) sure it was very good. There is a good insrumental hook, and I like the chorus, even the verses are good as is the break, I'm just not sure if they are good together. Plus lyricly I made it a dirty and cheeky song. I was just going to record the idea live and thought it won't take much time to record it for real, so I did. SO I have four songs (maybe) for this project. I think I will stop here, I will just have to go through and fix stuff. I will just try to listen to it for a few days.
6 Nov 2019
After work I mixed (remixed) a bunch of the songs for the audio player for the Juno-Di. So I have 9 songs that are playable on system 4. Of the 4 that are left, three are covers and I guess I forgot about Loss. I was also thinking I could add a few other covers that I had almost worked on like songs by Glenn Morrison, The Weeknd and Daft Punk . I don't want to go too crazy, because I need to work on sequencing and quantizing the Anitgone songs. I have the 4 songs for the Houseparty ep half assed recorded. I think Unhappy Robots and I'm Sorry I can't Help You are pretty much done. I guess it depends on how I feel as to when I fix finish the other two.
11 Nov 2019
Been working alot the last week and will be busy for at least another 2. I got my Houseparty set on the USB stick, not sure how I will play some of the songs, but they have drums. I still haven't tried the SMF yet. Who knows maybe that night be the way to go, but then I will need a newer sampler as well. It would just be nice to hook up the VC-03 I guess. Anyway I have 13 songs on the USB stick, ready to party. I just need a whole lot of practice. When I have time I will work on Antigone as well.
25 Nov 2019
Haven't had much time to do much except practice. There are a few songs that still need a lot of it. Today was the first day in several that I had a chance to play, so I played most of the day and came up with 2 new ideas. The first one will be for a future project. I was testing some of the distortions on the GP-8 and got an idea, and also thought maybe this is the direction I could go for an album. Something synth, but heavy! So for now I have a pretty cool heavy intro for something I am calling Pyramid for now. Later I was playing with the JUNP-Di and the RS-5 and came up with another dance song idea. I am calling it Forbidden Planet for now. I hope I can remember it tomorrow. I made a couple of videos as well, but I don't think any of them are good enough to use for anything.
26 Nov 2019
Today I recorded Forbidden Planet. It took most of the day in between RL things. But I am pretty happy with it. There was one mistake with the drums that I turned into a break and decided to create a break just near the beginning. I recorded the lead and made a couple of mistakes, I thought I would just punch in and fix them, then I found out I had the wrong input selected, so nothing got recorded. I was kinda mad so I took a break but the next take is the one you hear in the song. One undoctored take. After I recorded all of the parts I did a bit of editing for the breaks, and I think that one is done. I would like to fix Amethyst and Love's Got Nothing To Do With It, but I am out of disk space. That is the problem with having several uncompleted projects all sitting on the same drive. So I will have to look for things I can move or back up until these songs are done. Actually I think I will move the drums I recorded for the covers for the live Houseparty set. Oh and I will have to make a version for the live set. Which now brings me to a new problem, Houseparty was perfectly balanced. Amethyst (12 minutes) on one side and three four minute songs on the other. Forbidden Planet will now make one side 8 minutes longer. What to do about that. Later this evening I fixed the bass line and the solo for Love's got nothing to do with it. I wanted to fix Amethyst as well but it was late and I need to be loud. I don't know if I'll have disk space for it but I would like to re-record the whole bass line for Amethyst and it needs a fix in the lead line, maybe two. but that will have to happen tomorrow. So I think I know what I need to do, I am only 8 minutes away from a full album, so I will work on Amethyst pt2 tomorrow.
Dec 7 2019
I thought I had finihsed the houseparty album. I had fixed Amethyst1 and Forbidden Planet and I was pretty happy with everything. Except Amethyst2. I started to archive the whole folder when I realized I could just use some chord inversions in the chorus so it didn't sound so repetitive. I decided I could just record the bits in the chorus, then realized it would actually be easier to record the whole thing to about the 4 minute mark. It took forever, then I had to double it, and then I decided to double the Vocoder parts as well. I listened really quick and thought it was good and archived then whole folder. I did alot of other editing to the live tracks as well. Then when I was listening back to Amethyst2 I heard 2 sharp pops in the intro (I may have hit the mic stand) and some distortion near the end (a bit too much bass so I will tap down the tympani's and maybe the lead line just a smidge). So tomorrow I will have to transfer it back, re-mix it, re-master it, and all of the file converting and transferring that has to be done. I imagine it will take most of the day. But then I will be done.
Dec 8 2019
It took all day. It turned out there were 2 little pops on one of the chord tracks (they were 2 different takes though) I'm guessing the fridge turned on made a pop sound on the recording. Pretty fantastic odds that it would happen twice on the same track. Anyway I thought I got it the first time, but I was wrong. The second time I was much more cautious. I ended up mixing and fixing that song all day. But there are no more pops and the album is complete!!
Dec 9 2019
The Houseparty album is officially available.
Later today I will finish archiving Amethyst2. Then I will have to figure out how to proceed, as there are several unfinished projects taking up space on the recording computers hard drive. If it were possible I would like to archive the Live Where Art Goes to Die folder, but I remember there were still some things I needed to make changes on. I may have to start there. I also need to make and test some SMF on the Juno-Di, and then record intros for the 15 songs in the Live Houseparty set. I also decided I should change the colour of the blog, just because.
Dec 14 2019
A few days ago I made the intros for the songs. I tested 2 SMF files from my cover band and they seemed to work, so my drum file must somehow be wrong. When I have time I will test this a bit more. In the meantime I have been practicing a bit more and things are going well. Soon I will have to take down or move the Houseparty set-up as we will have guests from Christmas. Not much else has happened.
Dec 30 2019
I have been practicing when I can. I made a video of the show on the 21st. I had to move everything but it wasn't a big deal. I have the materials to build a back drop screen, and ordered a few lights, so in the the new year I should be able to go try a few shows. I thought about making the RS-5 the top keyboard and tried about 2 songs before I moved it back the way it was. Won't be able to do much till next week.
28 March 2020
So much has happened! I got the materials to make the backdrop and run the lights. I had my first (I had hoped) of many Houseparty shows on March 8. Although I was feeling a bit under the weather teh show was for the most part a success. That next weekend I went to work and there was a lot of noise about this new Corona Virus. In fact there were many new rules being implimented at my work and restrictions at many other businesses. Monday the 16th I wrote a new song, and was told that I wouldn't be needed at work Tuesday as we would be closing. The next day I went out for what I knew would be the last time for a while to have my St. Patricks day beer. It was a sad solo affair. The pub was almost empty on a day that should have had it full. In a certain way it felt like the last day of the world. I have been staying at home and working on a new concept using the U-20, Juno-1, Juno-di and the RS-5. Aerobotic was written first then shortly after 46. I had some ideas and started sequencing them. Curve of the Eye1 is pretty much finished. I had an idea for a song I was going to call Ghost Town, but I just don't think it's working. I don't think it is a bad idea but the mood of the song doesn't really fit. I may have to abandon it and start again. I dont' really want to force any ideas but I AM excited about this new idea. Aerobotic is AWESOME! I have had some thought about recording Antigone as well. I am just REALLy disappointed that all of my live stuff is put on hold yet again. This was supposed to me the year I went out and played some of this stuff!! Anyway I figured I had better update the blog before I forget it. It is such a strange time as well, It is unprescidented that the world literally shut down for anything, so what ever the outcome, it really is history in the making.
30 March 2020
Things are progressing slowly. I must admit I haven't felt the best lately either. I don't think it is anything serious, but it is one of the many reasons I haven't been pushing too hard on this. I think that now I seriously have all the time I need, there just doesn't seem to be much pressure to finish. I set up the video camera last night and recorded Aerobotic which I consider finished (and sounds awesome!), and my first draft of Curve of the Eye 1&2. I think Curve of the Eye1 is complete, but part 2 still needs a fair amount of work. When I complete that I will only have 3 other songs to write for this album. I do have a few ideas for 2 of the songs as well. Maybe I should just start recording Antigone. I guess I just have to remember to update what I have been up to, but it seems when I am busy I usually lapse on my blog duties.
2 April 2020
I listened to the temporary version of Curve of the Eye and I hear a few things that I need to incorperate. The original theme needs to make a recurrance near the beginning and near the end. This would be a problem though because of the way I structured the running order Curve of the Eye2 would follow Curve of the Eye1 with Aerobotinc preceeding both, making a running time that would exceed the 20 minutes per side of a record (I have decided that everything should work for the running time of a vinyl record even though they won't be release on such anytime soon.). So I may have to change the running order a bit, I feel Curve of the Eye2 is too important. I have to get it right. There is a bit of a dillema becuase 46 was going to preceed a longer song, and I don't know if it should preceed Curve of the Eye2. I will have to think about it. Well chop chop. I chopped Curve of the Eye up into pieces. I think I like what I have for the most part, and I will now have to work on embellishments to the drums. I think the majority of the song is done. I guess I should say songs.
6 April 2020
I think I finally have a finished version of Curve of the Eye2. I will listen to ut a bit and then I will have to write some lyrics. And it's running time is about 11.30.
12 April 2020
I still haven't written the lyrics for Curve of the Eye2, but I am geting used to the arrangement. I think I will use the vocoder mostly for this song, so will have to program the parts. But today I did something else. I started playing with the idea I had for a song called Layers, although I have an idea the name will change. Soon I sequenced the drums and several hours later the song is complete. I have a vocal melody and programmed the vocoder parts, I will just have to write lyrics for this song as well. It is just shy of 7 minutes and will fit perfactly on side one. So I have 5 songs complete for this idea. I just want to do 2 shorter, poppier tunes to finish. I'm not really in any rush. I'm also hoping to start recording Antigone soon.
14 April 2020
Programmed the vocoder parts for Curve2 yesterday and Layers is complete, even lyrics. While walking the dog today I was thinking about making a sound on the U-20 kind of like the Blade Runner portamento drop. I knew I could make one because I made something like it before. When I started playing with the sound some music came quite easily. I think I have the basis for a new version of Ghost Town. I really like the old idea of Ghost Town just not for this song. So anyway I will have to work on it a bit more but I think I have at least the main part and the first verse lyrics.
18 April 2020
After the basement flooded I decided I would probably take a few days before doing any playing. There were other facets of the project that could be worked on though. So I brought a bunch of files up to the laptop and laid out the lyrics for all 7 songs. I guess I have an idea of what goes where and how it fits together. Lyrically I definately have some work to do. Aerobotic needs 2 lines referencing flying, I took a quick stab at it but nothing seems to feel quite right. Curve of the Eye1 I think is fine. Layers needs a few changes, for sure the last 2 lines. I also want to expand the lyrics of the middle section speaking part. 46 has one weak line so I hope to change that. Curve of the Eye2 has basically no lyrics yet. Ghost Town isn't written yet, but I have 2 lines I think I would like to use at the start. Within is complete. OK it took a bit of time but I think I have all of the small fixes complete. So all the written lyrics are in place for now. I will have to run through them when I have time. Maybe I will even set the keyboards up somewhere else. Maybe.
20 April 2020
So all my lyric fixes were destroyed. I'm not exactly sure what happened but my new verison of all of the lyrics was blank. Yesterday because the basement flooded I moved my keyboard stuff (for this project) upstairs. I also found out that my other MC-50 no longer works. I spent some time trying to remember what I changed, and recreating what I couldn't. So now I am at the same point as on the 18th. Although I did make a few fixes to the sequences. All I have left is to complete the lyrics for Curve of the Eye2, and write something nice for Ghost Town.
22 April 2020
Haven't done much. I have attempted to write something for Ghost Town but nothing is sounding very good. I decided I should start to record Antigone, but because all of the keyboards for this are upstairs and the computer is now downstairs I came up with a possible way to still record. I have a USB Video interface, anf thought if I could set it up with Audacity. Unfortunately I can't get the device to work and I can't install the software because I have lost the serial number. So disappointing. Also the U-20 started to not want to turn on, so as soon as it did, I got a MIDI dump onto the MC-50. Which is something else I am worried about failing now that there is only 1 of 3 working. Just a day of disappointments.
24 April 2020
Spent most of the day developing an idea I had. This song seemed to require a fair amount of work. Songs are usually not this difficult to create for me. Anyway once I got started things started to coalesce.It took most of the day but I managed to nail down something I really like.
25 April 2020
Did a bit of fine tuning on Ghost Town. Now it is just lyrics. I have some for Curve of the Eye2 and some for Ghost Town. As I have time I will hammer out the rest. And as usual I imagine I will continue to fine tune everything as I go along. Well it took most of the evening but I have lyrics for all of the songs. I just have to print them out and test them tomorrow.
26 April 2020
Recorded the whole show and announced I will be playing it live in 1 or 2 weeks. I hope I have a mixer by then because the one I'm using isn't working very good and is really noisy. So I have a few things to do. Make a program, figure out where I will set up (because I am set up in my bed room and I won't be filming there), and test some streaming options. Oh and I made a disk, the audio is distorting but what can you do? I also made a few small fixes to the sequences. It sounds like one didn't get saved though.
13 May 2020
Like I said I get busy and forget to make entries. So in the meantime I have finished writing and testing and programming. Mostly practicing, but I have announced that I will be doing a streaming show on May 17. The one unfortunate thing I have found is that in this moment the mail has slowed to a crawl, so most of the things I had hoped to have here for the show will still be in the mail. So some of the time recently has been checking streaming programs and doing tests with them. The first test was awful, distorting so bad you couldn't tell what was going on, and worst of all it streamed to another website. The next test was alot better, but there were dropped frames and audio. I surprisingly got one of the USB extentions that I ordered so I video recorded the whole show, and then did a third test. This one seemed to work real well, so as long as the camera and computer communicate for the full hour I will be OK. I uploaded a PDF program and lyrics sheet, and today I made an audio intro, and a thank you pic for the end. I just have to keep practicing. Only a few days away! OH and I ordered a USB audio interface for the laptop. It seems to work well, so I can record with the laptop, and I think I will after the Artificial show.
18 May 2020
So disappointing. I played pretty well for the show, but technology let me down. The camera kept freezing, and there must have been something using enough bandwidth to make dropouts on the audio. So in a word it was a failure. There were a few people who tuned in but I'm not sure for how long. I decided to take it down. I was going to anyway, but if it was good I may have convinced myself to leave it up longer, but it really wasn't. The only really bad mistakes were 2 times I jumped ahead a bit. The first time in Curve of The Eye1, I was watching my phone (to see if the camera was freezing, this was probably the device that was using up the bandwidth) and got distracted, by the time I realized what I had done, I didn't know how to save it. The other spot in Curve of the Eye2 was near the end, and I managed to figure out what I had done. I kinda saved it. Anyway looking at the show today. I downloaded the streaming video, luckily I had 2 other cameras, but one didn't record, and an audio device. But the audio was a bit distorted. I put it all together anyway. I haven't rendered it yet. Not 100% sure that I will. I was thinking I should have recorded my practice on the 16th because it was very good. I tried recording today but of the 3 cameras only 1 decided to work. It sucks becuase it was a good performance again. I guess I should check the audio to make sure it wasn't distorting. I will try 1 more time to get a good recording of the Artificial show. I have another Houseparty show coming up, so I have been trying to get a few practices for that in as well. I guess that's why I really want to try to get some of the Artificial stuff out of the way because wednesday I will be pulling the rig apart to play a show, and who knows how long it will take for me to put it back together. OK I'm going to try recording on the laptop. I'm not sure how this will go. To be honest I'm just going to try to get enough to play a modified version of Within at the next Houseparty show. Yep it looks like that works real well. Syncing may be a bit of an issue, but I have to do that with the old computer anyway. Alright just transferring the video from today and then I think I am going to call it a night.
19 May 2020
Well I am literally out of time. I tried to video Artificial again today. This time all 3 cameras worked, but I sucked. It was the worst performance in weeks. But tomorrow I have to take 2 of the keyboards for a show, so that is pretty much it. I may actually get around to putting the keyboards together again, but I may not. My only thought is to take the best audio and the best video and splice it together. I'll have to check but I think the best audio was yesterday or maybe the 8th. One of those will become the audio for the live album for sure (unless I manage to get everything back together and manage to record a better version). The best video would have been today, just because I managed to get 3 different views, but then again maybe even the 2 views from the 17th were OK. I will have to check it all out. At any rate it won't be for a day or two.
26 May 2020
I am so pissed off! I had been keeping a record of the last few days on my laptop. I decided today I should stop being so lazy and transfer it, and the laptop ate it. 3 days of writing! And long entries too! So in the last few days I have made videos for the Artificial Show, the Houseparty show I played on the 20th, a quick vid for Unhappy Robots, and released the Artificial Live audio album (which is different from the video). Artificial video was tough, the Houseparty video was awful (there are audio syncing problems with my Chinese camera) and then it took 9 hours to render. The Unhappy Robots video wasn't too bad once I got the audio synced, and the Artificial Live album was a breeze! The show on the 20th went well! So after a quite busy week or so I am ready to start recording. Last night I cleared about 20G of space on the hard drive (which reminds me I will have to back up all of that video stuff when I have a chance), and today I recorded all of the drums and later this evening recorded everything except the vocals for Aerobotic. So it has all been good. I know not everyday will be as good but if I have another good few weeks I should be able to complete the Artificial album and hopefully be started on Antigone. Who knows maybe I'll get really crazy and record Ghosts! OK that probably won't happen.
27 May 2020
It was raining all day again, so I spent most of the day recording. I recorded everything except for vocals for Curve of The Eye1, and recorded Layers and 46 in their entirety!! I am getting a bit tired of it, but I may start of Curve of the Eye2 as it will be a huge job. I'm just making Mp3s of Artificial Live and the 2 new songs so I can listen to them.
1 June 2020
There were a couple of nice days and I had to get some yard stuff done. I still have a bunch of stuff to do but it is crappy outside again today. So over the last couple nights I have worked on Curve of the Eye2 and mixed it last night. There was one small think I wanted to re-record so I did that this morning and tweaked the mix a bit and maybe this one is done. Although I could start on Ghost Town, I think I should bite the bullet and finish the vocals for Aerobotic and Curve of the Eye1, and quick fix for Layers. I don't want to rush, but I do want to get started on Antigone. It has been waiting all year! ARRRGGG! I just blew up the new headphone's I just bought!! I accidentally had the headphone level maxxed out almost killing my ears in the process, but I definately killed my headphones. So I now have to use shitty distorted sound as my reference. The good news is I think I finihsed Aerobotic and Curve of the Eye1, and Ghost Town and Whithin just use vocoder, so I can't sing flat. Just remembered I needed to fix some of the extra tom parts in Curve of the Eye2, as they are a bit out of time. Then I will quickly mix all 5 songs and see how they sound. I might do more tonight, I may not. I ended up completing the last 2 songs as well.
3 June 2020
I spent a bit of time listening to the whole album and have a couple of issues. I mean there are a few mixing tweaks but beyond that. The bell sound in Curve of the Eye1 is a bit out and because it is such a sharp sound it is very noticable. I will have to sequence and quantize that part and record it again. The other is a bit more nefarious. There is ALOT of noise on the vocals and also several sound artifacts in certain passages. I will try redoing a few key parts, something in Aerobotic and the end for Whithin and see if it helps. What I need to do is remove the DOD effectbox from the chain. I already knew it was noisy and it also adds some hard mids in the EQ, I am hoping by removing it I can solve some of the problems. I really don't want to redo all of the vocals, but if they are that much better, I may. It is supposed to be raining again all day tomorrow, so that is the plan. I worked hard today so I am doing something relatively easy. I am rendering a bit of video for Artificial. I hope I can make a DVD for it in the next week or so. Although not a priority, I would like it done. Then I will also have to figure out what I want to do with the Houseparty DVD. Actually I think I will try to fit in bits of the 2 live shows as a bonus for disk 2, and maybe release it AFTER the Artificial DVD. Hmmmm. There's my plan. OH! I realised my audio for the Artificial Live album was in MONO! And I decided I should compress/normalize the tracks, so that has to be done as well, and then re-upload to bandcamp. Also a DVD of the last Houseparty show.
6 June 2020
I've been a busy bee. I haven't finished anything but I am making good progress. I made the 20 May 2020 Houseparty DVD. I am working on the Artificial Live DVD, and I think I am more than halfway finished. Really there just isn't enough room for all the things I want to include, so I will have to cut a few things. Also I don't know how to do one thing, but I have an alternate idea for it. So redoing all the vocals for all the songs was a bit daunting, so I did Aerobotic and Within (both sort of tests to see if this would actually make the voclas better, and there is a huge difference) on the 4th, drank tequila on the 5th and did Curve of the Eye1 and Layers today. I also quantized the bell sound for COTE, and a few other touch ups and mixing tweaks. So I should be able to finish Artificial tomorrow and then it will just be listening to the mixes. I will also hopefully start Antigone. I'm not sure how many times I have said that, but I think I am finally ready to do that. So there is still lots to do. Finish the Artificial Live DVD, fix the Artificial Live CD, Finish the Houseparty DVD, finish the Artificial recording, and start the Antigone recording.
7 June 2020
I quickly listened to the new mixes and only found 1 fault. For some reason the RS-5 and sone of the Juno-Di tracks are really noisy. During most of the song it is not an issue, it is endings and breaks. I think in most cases i can just fade the noise out, but Curve of the Eye1 I had to put a dreaded noise gate on the toms at the end and then add reverb to bring back the sustain. I hated doing that but aside from re-recording it,it was the only solution. I just hated the noise. So now to see if I can get rid of it in all the other songs. Oh wait there was another issue in Aerobotic. The choir sound in the middle part was still out, so it isn't the U-20 sound, it is the RS-5 sound that is out. OK so 46 is fixed and complete. Curve of the Eye1 is finished, unless I find something else later. I was just going to fade out the tail on Layers when I thought I REALLY should just go to the source and see if I can get rid of it there. I thought it was the drums but it was actually the bass, so I am just remixing it now. In my mastering I am trying to use less peak master, because should I ever want to put it on record, red meters just won't do. Shit I just remembered, I was going to re-eq the bass a bit. It needs a bit fuller sound, a bit more mids. OK re-remixing it now. Just Aerobotic and I'll have to check Within. Then re-record some more vocals. OK Within Is good Aerobotic should be good now. Time to start the last 2 songs. Curve of the Eye2 is the longest so I will start there. Actually listening to it, I think it's fine. I tweaked the mix though, so I will remix it again. For some reason I am just not happy with the sound of Ghost Town, so I am definately redoing the vocals, and some serious remixing. But I just have to wait for the 15 minute render of Curve of the Eye2. I also got my new microphone, it does sound slightly different. It is literally 1/5 the price of a SM58, so to me, it is still a great buy. So if I want to have 2 separate systems I will need another vocoder, but I will wait and see. I have a bit of money so I am trying to think of how to spend it, as wisely as possible. But not on bills. Alright I redid the vocals and decided to get another track of Sequenced Bass. I think it sounds pretty good. It is pretty bass heavy so I will just have to watch it is not clipping. I also found on old song that I co-wrote with Jason Moon a very long time ago. I always thought it was a good song and I think I will record it when I have a bit of time. Because it is from a 4 track I think the speed is wrong, so I will assume the key was A flat. I am almost sure that is what it was. Anyway I think it would be a nice little addition to the Artificial collection. Oh yeah the song is called Manmade. OK burned the Artificial Live and Artificial CDs. I will have to give them a listen but I they may be complete. Damn one little thing. You can hear the noise from the drum tracks in the 2 seconds before they cut in on Layers. Aside from that I think everything sounds smashing! Time for a bit of a break. I may do a bit more tonight, we'll see.
8 June 2020
I should have been recording the drums for Antigone today, instead I recorded a song called Manmade. It is an old song I co-wrote with Jason Moon. I always liked it but we never did anything with it, so today I recorded it. It ends with a solo, and I know it was a demo but the solo on the demo was so lame. I wanted to get a real ripper on there. In fact I got an idea I would hold the note on one solo and start a second even more fierce one. Because there is SO much going on at the end it is a real bugger to mix. I have a first mix finished. I also rendered what I decided I would use for the Houseprty Bonus DVD, so I will just have to add that to the DVD project. If I can I would like to add Manmade to the Artificial DVD project as well. Or should I save it for the next non-concept album. I don't know. Anyway I decided to start recording Antigone!!! I recorded the drums for the first 4 songs. I am using the U-220 so I can get stereo tracks. I would keep going but all of the sudden I don't feel very well. So I think I will stop here for now.
9 June 2020
It has turned out to be a nice day, so I guess I will have to spend some time outside. I just want to finish recording the drums, so I am trying to quickly get that done. I can then move the sequencer back across the basement to where the U-20 and Juno-1 are. I have also decided I will leave the Artificial DVD the way it is, so I'm not sure where Manmade will end up. It sure sounds good though. So the plan was to record at least a bit more this evening, but I got drunk and I don't think any more recording is possible.
11 June 2020
I was busy yesterday, and then so tired I almost fell asleep on the couch. Today I still got a few other things done, and some recording. I spent a few hours in the afternoon recording When We Touch. I had recorded the bass already, but I decided to go back to the sequencer and make sure it was really uniform, then I recorded it again. Because I am just using the 2 keyboards it came along quite fast. The only thing I was not too sure how many takes it would need was the solo. The first take I buggered up after the first few notes, but the second take was perfect! Once all the keyboard was done, I went to work outside. Later in the evening I came in and sequenced the arpeggio for Happiest days of our Lives. Because there isn't much in the song I decided to record everything twice and put it all in stereo. I then recorded the percussion for Must have been you, and decided to call it a night. The 2 longer songs are the ones that will take quite a bit of work, but that's OK. Everything is sounding good so far.
13 June 2020
On the one hand it is good being busy. One the other it means not everything will be moving at 100% forward. So the Antigone album is going to take longer than I thought, I guess that's OK. Today I recorded the parts for Must Have Been You, and decided I shoud record the vocoder vocals as well, then I recorded the vocals for Happiest Days Of Our Lives and mixed both of them. There are a few minor changes to the mix I want to make but they are sounding very good. Later in the evening I took a stab at the vocals for When We Touch, but then people came over and all I got was one take. I like to have at least 3, so I guess I will have to try this again another day. I am excited to keep going, because the songs don't have lots of keyboards involved, this goes fairly quickly. I can't wait to hear In The Sun finished.
14 June 2020
I had recorded the vocals for When We Touch and mixed it down. I sequenced the piano for In The Sun and fixed and quantized it, then I took the dog for a walk thinking i would record it when I returned. Shortly after I got back the power went out and I forgot to save the sequence! Hopefully that is all I lost, but it seems like the power won't be on for some time. I didn't think I would get back to recording but I did. I managed to record all of the instrumental parts of In the Sun. I really wasn't going to do the vocals, but I did 2 quick takes. I didn't edit them or anything, I just got a mix of however it was set. I am very tired but I definately want to hear the 2 new mixes. More rain is on the way.
17 June 2020
Today was dreary so back to recording I went. I recorded Fall in the morning, I knew it wouldn't take much. I also tested my Chinese microphone, it is a lot brighter and slightly louder, so I'm guessing it is not nearly as good across the full spectrum, but I'm sure it will be fine for what I need it for. I started putting down the organ for Fire Mountain in the afternoon, but kept getting interrupted. I kept at it and slowly I managed to get all the bits together. I did a quick vocal track, but I will probably have to do another couple tomorrow. But I am pretty happy. Both longer pieces are almost finished. Those are the two that I kept wondering if they were working or not, and from what I hear, they sound great! Hopefully I can get some more recorded tomorrow. So Now I just have a few remix tweaks and then I will listen to what I have so far. Oh and I have another idea for recording.
18 June 2020
This morning I started working on Whole. I managed to not be interrupted for the whole afternoon and I finished it. I made new mixes for In The Sun, Fall, Fire Mountain. I only had a quick listen but nothing bad jumped out at me. I will have to listen more. I am of two minds about starting the last song, Apart. I just checked the amount of free space on the hard drive. Before I started these two projects I had 20G, I now have 4. To heck with it I'm just going to start the last song. I think I'm going to do something wierd though. Because my wife will be sleeping soon, I will start with the vocals first. OK I sequenced most of the parts, it will just be the string parts I have to play. So now I wait. And that's a wrap. I mean there will probably be a few remixing bits here and there but Antigone is finally complete! So the next thing will be to try and have a Where Art Goes To Die show, or two, then release Antigone!! I kinda wish I could record Ghosts, but that might be a bit too ambitious.
19 June 2020
All I did today was listen to the Mp3s. Fall sounded horrible and the noise on Apart at the end was unbearable, so I fixed both of those and then made a CD. I was less impressed with the mix on the CD. There are 2 big things that I will have to address. One is that most of the bass sounds on the U-20 do not have much going on below 250 Hz, and for modern mixing that is not acceptable. The other is that for my regular vocals I usually use my AGK D112 microphone, for this I used a Sure SM58. There seems to be a huge difference, so I have 2 choices. I can re-record the few vocals I need with the D112 OR I can try to fix the vocals I already have. For now I will play with the latter, which may require some real patients. I should also look for a song I could use as a reference to help me mix. I really want this album to sound, not good, great! I also have a few minor notes for tweaking and I want to fix (change) a couple small parts in 2 solos. So there is still lots to do, but I got drunk this afternoon, so it won't be tonight. Oh and just a note to myself, I wrote new lyrics for Manmade, so I should record those and fix the solo before I back up that folder. And the Artificial Live audio tracks still need to be uploaded to bandcamp. Also back-up/remove the huge video folders!
27 June 2020
I did a bit of mixing on the 20th and then I just had to leave it. I tried not to even listen to it, although I did once or twice. I did make some notes, and today as it was raining again I figured I should start working on the things that needed fixing. I honestly didn't think I would get too far, but I managed to get through the first four by lunch. There was a bit of nudging the faders, but the main thing was to add some bottom end on the drums and bass. I just hope it's not too much! I did record some cello for Happiest Days to fill up the last chorus a bit, but it was mostly tweaking a few little things. Unfortunately the last four had more issues. I had to re-record 2 solos, and some vocals. The vocals for Fall sounded awful, and I just wasnt sure how to fix it, so I went the other way I was going, hopefully that worked. Fire mountain wasn't too hard to adjust the mix, I just had to make a new solo and then record it, twice! Whole's solo also changed, and again there was a slight adjstment to the mix. I needed to nudge the bass back timing wise a bit to give it a bit more groove in Apart. I also tried to fix the vocals, then I tried to rerecord them. I have hardly even talked for the last week so I ended up in a coughing fit and had to take a break. I did eventually record some vocals, but I think I need to just redo them all. But that won't be today my voice is shot. I will make mp3s and check it out tonight and a CD tomorrow. Then we will see if these new mixes are closer or further from being finished.
5 July 2020
After that last mix, the Mp3s were distorting... a lot! I checked the wavs and they weren't there so I started to realized that I had over compressed a bunch of stuff. After conferring with my friend Ken Burke I remixed yet again. There are still a few things to fix and he felt the vocals on Apart were a bit out. So I have to re-record some vocals, a bit of nudging the faders again, and hopefully I will be very close. I would like to record vocals tonight but I am just too tired. I am not 100 percent sure but I think I have the same problem with my Artificial mix. Everything is just too hot. So I will have to remix that as well. No big. Then I can archive all of that and start on one of the 2 new projects I thought of. Oh and I have a bit of work to do so I can get some live tracks happening. I transferred Whole and Apart and Manmade, but the MIDI was out a bit. Whole and Apart were an easy fix. Manmade I have to go through and remove the aftertouch and velocity on the Vocoder. I want to get Fire Mountain and Must Have Been You as well. I have drawn up a set for a listening party. Hopefully I can get someone to agree to host it very soon!
6 July 2020
All the fixes were so very minor, I completed almost everything in a few hours. I added a new portamento part for In The Sun, there were only a couple of woogie vocals in Fire Mountain, so I just tuned them as best as I could. I listened to Whole and started to think I was overthinking everything. I opened Apart and quickly realized I just couldn't tune the vocals, they are moving around too much. So I either have to re-record them which I was going to do but really didn't want to or just leave them alone. I guess I will have to re-record them. I guess I am thinking that because I haven't done much singing lately, that I may not be able to get a better (good enough) take. Well that was a struggle. I ended up having to mute the chorus-y strings and I recorded the melody with a plain sound so I could follow. I said to someone that I had to put the training wheels back on. BUT! The vocals are now in tune and sound so much better. I will have to listen to the mixes, but I think that is finally it. I almost forgot, I also fixed both DVDs. I wanted to add the subtitles on or off to the bonus menu for Artificial. I then thought I should include the program I made so I did that and added the Ruf Noiz logo as well. So now the Artificial DVD is completely complete. I then thought I need to add the Ruf Noiz logo to both Houseparty DVDs and I thought I should add the program for that as well. I decided I should update the Ruf Noiz logo video so I did that and burned both disks so Houseparty is also complete as well.
8 July 2020
So that's it! I listened to it on Todds big stereo and he said it sounded good, I thought it sounded good, so I guess it's done. I started getting some of the live tracks ready. Although I am not getting all of the Antigone tracks, I will have 4. I just finished Fire Mountain and I and recording Must Have Been You right now. I am going to try to smash out a version of Brick as well and call it a night. I am getting tired so hopefully I can finish these last 2 songs. Then I will have to figure out where I am going to have my release party.
17 July 2020
I did the craziest thing, I ordered a bunch of cassettes for Bėker. I started dubbing them today. Not sure how this will go. I decided to just do 5 of each of the last 3 albums, Houseparty, Artificial Live and Antigone. I ran out of black ink, so I will have to get some for the cassette lables. I intend to print the covers for both the discs and the cassettes at staples, I just have to get the lyrics for Antigone for the inside of both covers. I already made 5 copies of Artificial Live,the CD and the DVD. SHIT! the tape ran out and there is still over 8 minutes left! Something is wrong. SO fuck! I'm sure on the order page it said 22 minutes a side, not 22 minutes total. But that's what I have, 22 minutes total. So cassettes are out for the time being. Just because it takes 7-8 business days to get here. That's shitty. I guess I don't need black ink for the moment. I am wrinting this on the laptop, so I will have to remember to save and close the document when leaving it, otherwise I will have another blank document. So there are only a few things to move forward on this. 1: is book the release party. This is huge and I guess I'm scared they will say no, but I don't know why I would let that stop me. 2: get the covers printed out at Staples. I have to do a bit more to the Antigone covers (it won't take much) before printing them out. Maybe I should have an instert for the Artificial Live DVD. We'll see. 3: Practice Practice Practice. Except for Brick, I think all of the songs are close enough to play the way they are. Most of the songs I can play OK, except Orchard. That one really sucks. So I guess I have to quit pissing around and book the damn thing. And if they say no I will have to come up with an alternate plan.
19 July 2020
I loaded up Brick and finally realized why it was such a pain to sync up. I didn't set the BPM and every time I would move the MIDI track it would move it according to the BPM, usually making it more out of sync than before. So I painfully set the BPM till it matched the audio track, 104.95 I think was the final number. This took a while. So now I will have to re-record the MIDI track, and hopefully it will only take 2 or 3 tries to get it in sync. Although most of the tracks are out a bit, they are close enough for me to play with. I will practice Orchard a few more times and if it still sounds terrible, I will replace it with Exhaust. So I chickened out and didn't book the show, but I hope I can do it this week.
20 July 2020
It wouldn't appear in the cloud so I had to wait till this morning. I loaded the new MIDI file into the song and it almost works. For some reason the program changes are missing, and I accidentally erased the ending control changes. At least the vocoder parts are almost in sync. I will have to do a volume change too. I'm not sure where the volume on the Juno-1 is being changed but it is and it is no good. So lots of PC and CC to add but finally something playable. Orchard is kinda starting to sound OK. I think I will have to add something in the solo, it sounds so empty. I think if I can remember some of the words it will be better. I also found a new program called Cantabile that I will have to try. Backing Band just isn't cutting it, for a number of reasons. Plus I HATE Apple products now, the sooner I can get away from them the better. Also the iPad is totally dead, so I am just using my phone for now. Who knows how long that will last.
23 July 2020
15 tries later! I finally have a version of Brick that is close enough. I'm not going to play with it anymore, it would be to much effort for too little gain. So aside from the stupid patch change in in Nexus, which I may just leave anyway, I am ready to roll. Orchard is even starting to sound OK. Unfortunately I am still to chicken to book the gig. I'm going to have to get over this somehow and just do it. The things that are left to do before an actual show, are get the covers printed for the new CDs, get some change for selling, maybe a little bit of promotion, that's pretty much it. It would just be the day of stuff: set up the tent, PA system, keyboards, ect. Maybe it's a bit good I was chicken because I still have to practice a bit. If it wasn't so hot out I would drag all my stuff out there to practice. Oh and I got my new little 6 channel mixer (it's actually 4 channels and 1 stereo channel) so now I just need powered speakers. That's not happening anytime soon though.
28 July 2020
I've been practicing the set and although yesterdays practice was a disaster, I know over all it is getting better. I guess I have to get the last bits of the puzzle complete before I can move on. Meaning I have to have the CDs ready. I got the covers finalized, 100%, and now they are ready to be taken to Staples to be printed. I will also have to get a black ink cartridge to print the CD/DVD lables. That's a big ouch,78$. I also finally wrote out the bits to ge between the songs. I just have to record it and get it on my phone. I should fix the timing on Nexus (just the program change), Promice, and Whole. The others have reached the point of dimished returns. I hate making any MIDI changes. It seems like certain things just get eaten, never to return. And because I have to transfer them from the recording computer to the new computer to the icloud to the phone, having to try multiple broken versions is more than frustrating. At least the talking bits have no MIDI so there is nothing to sync. It would also be nice if I had my van running. I need a battery and maybe a starter, and I would also have to sell the 48 can light show that is sitting in there now. If I have these things finished I will have no other excuse, and have to book the show. In other news I loaded Canabile on the laptop and when I have some time I will have to see if this is a prospect for both my cover band and the smaller Bėker projects. I do wonder that when I do get the big rig running, if I will have to get a newer sampler for some of the back ground vocals. There aren't many songs that require it, but a few. Neverending, and Naked Desire come to mind. Luckily that is a worry for another day. So I procrastinate another day, but it fills me with anxiety going out these days. I'm not sure how to combat that.
Oh I just thought of 2 things that happened during yesterdays practice. For some reason the channel the Juno-1 was going through on my new little mixer was super killer loud. I don't understand it I had it set perfectly the other day. So it took most of the hour and a half to reset it. The other thing that happened is very disappointing. The monitor I have been using has been making a lot of noise, so I opened it up and sure enough there is a hole in the outer edge. It is very strange, almost like a part got brittle fell out and left a small hole. I wonder if i could put a bit of silicon on it to save it from ripping more and extending it's life at least a little bit. The worst thing is I had just replaced that speaker a few years ago and it has seen hardly any use to recently.
6 Aug 2020
So I finally went out and got the stuff for the CDs and DVDs, that was Monday. I was so excited I got them all done up that night. So the last thing is to book the gig. And just practice. I think I am pretty close. The evening of the 5th I got a bit of an idea, and after a bit of internal back and forth, I started recording Alterneath. So after 2 nights I have about 20 minutes recorded to some degree. I think the first movement (?) is almost finished, and that takes us to the 10 minute mark. There are a couple of things I need to fix, because I have decided I won't do any sequencing on this song. Even though I am working with a click, because the sound is so dence, there are alot of timing issues. The second movement is less complete, but I kinda like the way it sounds, even sparce. There the piano will have to be re-recorded for a couple of reasons. One is it is way too quiet, but there are a lot of mistakes there as well. Overall, I think this is coming along wonderfully for 2 nights work. I have one other idea recorded on my phone, and I think I will need one more idea to bring it to the end. Later that night I re-recorded the piano and finished work on the second theme.
7 August 2020
I wasn't going to but I spent almost all day recording. I think I finished AlterneathA. It is 31.45. I'm pretty sure that is the longest song I have written. No actually it is the second longest, although not recorded I have a 40 minute song for another project. It is much different though, almost made of 6 different songs. This has 3, maybe 4 movements. I worked on the part from about the 20 minute mark to about the 27 minute mark this morning. It contained the third and final theme. While playing around I realized there should be a short return of the second theme before returning for the first theme for the last 4 minutes. I finished up to the 27 minute mark and took a break, I later returned and completed the piece. I will just have to listen to it a bit to see if I want to edit it at all. It contains sounds from the U-20, aJuno-1, EP-11, JX-3P, Juno-106 and the HP-5500. I will record a shorter song called AlterneathB soon. I hope that I can use my VP-03 as well on that. Especially the string sounds. My plan is to start with a sequence on the JX-3P. Hopefully I can sync the BPM on cubase without too much playing around. Pretty excited to finish this guy as well.
8 Aug 2020
Listened to AlterneathA this morning I hear 2 things I would like to edit. In movement 3 there is a return of theme 2 and I think it fades out a bit too quick maybe 4 bars or so too soon. There is also a bit of a sync issue between the harmonies around the second time through. If I can get that a bit closer. It will be a bit more difficult because I had to turn the track down through it's wave volume and there is not much of the wave to see to align. Nothing too crazy. I am not entirely sure that the dischordant organ fades in a bit too soon. It may, it may be fine. More listening is required. It's a bit of a tough thing to allocate 32 minutes to listen. I guess when I have finished this I should finally make finished mixes of Artificial.
10 Aug 2020
Last night I started AlterneathB. I recorded the sequence then I pained over trying to get the sequence to match the click track. First I tried altering the click track, but no matter how close I got it wasn't close enough over the 6 minutes or so. So then I tried using the stretch function to try to get the sequence to match the click track. This still took several hours, and it never fully matched. I got it close and that was the best I could do. I was quite tired but still recorded a few basic tracks. I had the shell of the song for sure. Tonight I think I finished the recording for the song. Adding several melody tracks, a couple vocoder tracks, and some noise. I am tired now and have a mix that I can listen to, but I think I will have to do some editing. Some of the sounds should start earlier and fade out as new sounds fade in, right now at the climax all 10 or 12 tracks are playing. I even have a fair idea of what I want to move and to where. AlterneathA, I am pretty sure is finished.
11 Aug 2020
It has been a lazy afternoon, but eventually I went downstairs and edited AlterneathB. I will have to listen to it but unless I need to make any changes this also is complete. So quickly listening to AlterneathB I realize there are a couple of mistakes that I had intended to fix, but didn't get around to fixing. The mix and the flow of the song sounds good to me though, and once I fix or edit out the mistakes I think these songs will be complete. So it turned out there were only 2 small fixes, both were easily repaired, so another mix and a bit more listening. But unless something extreme pops up I think I am done. I was thinking this would be in the vein of Tangerine Dream's Pheadra and I think in a certain way it totally is. I feel it is a complete success and I can't wait to have people listen to it. It is a bit different from my usual, as I tend to like sparce-ness. Although I could have went even more overboard, I'm sure both songs use at least 20 tracks.
So AlterneathA has a great depenance on the aJuno-1. Most of the basic and melody tracks are from this keyboard. The main middle 'piano' section uses my HP-5500. It seemed to have a close enough piano sound for playing around, but recorded it sounded horrible, so I had to use some extreme EQ and lots of reverb for it to sound ok. The rest of the song is filled out with my Juno-106, and a single track of my U-20 using a choir patch. The pulsating sound was something I had wanted to use ever since I had heard it, and that is from the 106. I had wanted to use a fair amount of my JX-3P but there is really only 1 track of that. I heard in my head some distorted sounds so I used an organ sound with distortion from the aJuno-1. Oh and I almost forgot I used some arpeggios from the EP-11 with delay.
For AlterneathB the main keyboard was my VP-03. I had wanted to use this keyboard for some time and knew this would sound great for it. The vintage choir and strings sounds were perfect. I did start though, with a sequence from the JX-3P. It took forever but I finally got it kinda close to sync with the click track. If I ever want to do this again I will use the MC-50, because that at least will sync to my recording program. I used a few other JX sounds, but most of the basic and melody tracks are from the VP-03. And of course I included 2 vocoder tracks, how could I not? The rest is the Juno-106, and EP-11.
Finally the birds. This spring was quite nice and like many I was not working, so I spent many mornings drinking my coffee listening to the birds and thier spring chirping. One day I decided to record this. I thought I should put music to this, and realized I didn't have enough bird music. So over the course of several days I recorded over 40 minutes of bird chirping. This is the basis of the whole recording, and perhaps makes it more sureal sounding because it is so recognizable over much of the very dischordant ethereal music.
12 Aug 2020
Just uploading the songs to Bandcamp today. It may be a bit premature, but I am done with them good or bad. It will take a while though as I am putting the whole folder on the backup drive and will take the WAVs from there. I'm hoping the transfor from the old computer is less than an hour. Then it will be another hour or more to upload the tracks, I would guess. So it is released!
23 August 2020 Throat is a bit sore, but I practiced a bit anyway. Been sore for a few days. Practice is going well. I know the set fairly well and even songs that were quite rough (Orchard and Manmade) are sounding quite good. I'm not entirely sure about trying to play in the the art gallery parking lot as I had originally intended. I guess I can still ask. But there are a lot of street people one might have to content with. I also thought about the park, I looked into doing it with permission and it will cost 485$! So I may look a bit further about doing it without permission. But it seems like the best plan for success would be a yard show. I sent out a feeler today, if it comes back negative I have a few others I could try. I guess I'm just chucking rocks at a bucket hoping one will go in. Been quite down, out of cash and not much for prospects. Work called yesterday and said I would have to take a position reduction, I didn't ask but someone warned that it probably comes with a pay reduction as well. Even so, there is no date and the soonest I heard was October 1, so not sure where I want to go from here. I may end up looking for another PT job which will be the end of many of my musical endevours. Things are not desparate yet, but it doesn't look very good. Trying to be brave, chin up. 3 Sept 2020
A crazy thing happened. I had a melody in my head from a dream, but it needed a specific sound on the Juno-1. So I made the sound and started working on the song. The melody was supposed to be the chorus, but when another part sort of wrote itself, I realized that the new part was the better chorus. So I kept at the song just assuming it would go toward the eventual Memories that Don't Exist album. But the vocals effects I was using just weren't working. After a bit of thought I grabbed my distortion pedal and hooked it up. Boom! The song started to sound really good. I jotted down some lyrics and by the end of the day Pretty Boi was complete! That was Sept 1. The next day I was just planning on playing the new song when I got another partial idea. I programmed a simple beat and practiced it a bit. While walking my dog I got a few lyrics and when I got home quickly typed out 3 verses. A second song was mostly complete! Today I changed the drums a bit to give the song a bit of dynamics and added some distorted guitar. Freedumb was complete! So I have 2 songs for the synth punk album. I don't want to push too hard but I know I have another idea on my phone. I could have another EP soon! I just have to get the strength to book my CD release for Antigone. I hope I can do it soon.
26 Sept 2020
Although not much has changed a few things have. I wrote another song for the punk EP. It is called Cenobyte. I made an outline for the last song but have kinda lost interest, of maybe it's just that I am really really sick. I haven't booked the Antigone show and I now know I will have to do it somewhere inside. I think I know where I want to have it, I will just have to see when (or if) they will let me do it. Of course I can't do anything right now anyway. I M SICK. It so funny, I haven't fully fired up the big system since I was practicing the Ghosts set, early 2019. Things have been moved around and moved around again, and I have some trepidation just because it's likely I will have to hunt for MIDI cables, output cables, and there certainly will be some re-doing involved as I have decided the VP-03 will replace the V-256 with this system. I will have to find something else to replace the VP-70 later, probably some kind of polyphonic harmonizer. Hopefully something in a rack. My other worry is, that like last time everything was off for a long period of time, will some of these poor aged beasts no longer function? I am thinking specifically of 2 devices, my S-220 that was out of tune, and my JV-880 that just didn't work. I also know there are a backlog of repairs that need to be done, my JX-3P sorely needs some love, but maybe I need to repair the power sections for the S-220, JV-880, and my U-20 is still having issues. I re-capped the U-20 but there is also a power transistor that I probably should have replaced. Oh and I should go ahead and replace the rest of the op-amps in the M-120. I am starting to see that you can't do things half way with these guys, when replacing one you may as well just do them all. As I learned the hard way with the 80017 chips. Then there are all of the batteries. I do have 2 MC-50's going, one is with the U-20 system, and although not hooked up the other is with the big system. Then the biggest problem is my power amp died, so I have to put together something else until I can get it fixed. Yeah I really want to fire up the big system but it comes with a lot of issues.
4 October 2020
So unfortunately while I have been sick and not able to fire up the U-20 it has died again. I think it is the power regulators and have ordered all 3 to replace them. Although I haven't ordered them, the JV-880 uses a very similar system should I have further problems with that. In the mean time, which is kind of a sad time, I decided to see if I could get the big system fired up. It took almost all afternoon, which I thought it would. But in some ways it wasn't as bad as I thought, in others it was just as I thought. Anyway I got it hooked up for now, with the VP-03 replacing the V256 for vocoding (It will also give me a couple of extra cool vintage sounds on the MKB-300). Luckily all synths and effects work for the moment. So I loaded up Ritual and played what I remembered, it seemed to go well. I will have to do a bit of programming to set up the VP-03 (and unset it up), but Ghoster1 & 2 seemed to work fine (meaning the current CC's don't change anything significant). The problem was remembering a song I haven't played since fall of 2018. Anyway it was fun.
Just thinking always of the future. Hopefully I will start soon on recording the punk EP. I think after that I had better get Ghosts on tape. Too much remember/forget/remember going on. While the whole Ghosts set is very emotional for me, I think I have started to move on, and it would be best to try to capture some of that emotion before it is gone.
11 October 2020
So here I am again. The same thing happened last fall when the U-20 died. All of my new work was on the U-20, so nothing new can be done until it is fixed. Heaven forbid that it isn't fixable. Haven't had much interest in playing the last week or so anyway, but that is probably a side effect of not being able to play any of the new work. So as far as the Beker project goes, I am just spinning my wheels. It feels crappy.
I have been looking on the used market for the things that I would like. The PG-200 is getting outragous at about $700, but I would still like one if I can afford it. The Jupiter 6 is getting outside what I am willing to pay as it gets closer to 10K, if I don't get one soon I don't think I will be able to afford one. The cheaper ones are around $7000. The MKS-80 and the MKS-70 continue to go up, but luckily not as quickly. Hopefully I can purchase one or both before they get too expensive. The 80 is hovering under $4000 and the 70 is around $2000. And lastly the EP-6060 that I wanted, it doesn't seem to drop below $450, so I'm not sure if I can accept it's relative use for that price. I have looked at other classic synths for other brands but it's the same issue. Can I balance an average 2 osc synth for $2000 or more? Even the DX-7s are going up not down, so I think I may not be buying much in the way of classic synths anymore. It is sad, but they are getting too expensive. I guess you are paying now more for their reputation rather than thier usefulness. Anything analogue is now expesive. I even saw an MKS-10 for $450!!! That would be a waste of a lot of money, and yet someone will pay it. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I got many of my syths and rack synths before prices were TOO crazy. I guess I should work on new sounds for my MKS-30 and D-110, becuase they are good synths, but just need some original sounds. Especially the MKS-30. I am still surprised at the horrible banal soundset that it comes with. The soundset certainly wasn't a priority when they made it. Anyway, I guess there are things I could do until I get my U-20 back, I'm just not sure I will.
18 October 2020
All the parts finally arrived for the U-20. Today I decided to open up the machine and see if I can repair the power section. The one issue I see is that the 12 volt regulators (positive and negative) are not matched. I hope this won't be an issue. It took a little while to remember the best way to remove the old parts, and then the 5V regulator was a real pain to remove. In the end I just broke the pins and the desoldered them. So now I just have to replace the 3 regulators. I will also test the battery. I hope all of this works. The battery reads 3V so I think I will leave it for now. Well FUCK! At least before it would work sometimes, now it is completely toast. Not sure why but the LCD backlight comes on, and that's it. FUCK!
24 October 2020
I found a U-20 on eBay for a decent price and was just about to order it when I thought I would try once more to see if I could get the old one going. So I checked the schematic and wrote out some things to check. I checked the voltages and I was getting the 5V, 12V and -12V where I was supposed to. I was about to give up when I thought I should look at the display. It was on and looked normal. So I screwed in the power board and the heat sinks for the voltage regulators. I turned it on and the display was blank! I took the power board out again and the display was fine, so I checked after literally every screw. It turned out the heat sink from the -12 regulator doesn't want to be connected to the other heat sinks. Probably not the greatest idea, but I put a piece of paper in between the -12 V regulator and the metal that it was supposed to connect to. I hope it doesn't get too hot. So now the U-20 is sort of working. Several times when you turn it on it just blackens the LCD display, and every now and then it turns on as normal. So there is something going in it, but who knows how long it will last? days? years? I am debating about still getting the other U-20, it just has a broken key. It's not like I have money dropping out of my ass, so I will have to think hard about this. I have also been looking for reverb units for the vocals, but I don't really want to pay much. There have been several prospects, then I realized the DOD multi-effects stomp box will have a reverb! I can't beleive I have been overlooking this for months. So today I programmed a reverb, and a reverb with delay. I could start getting ready to finally do my album release BUT with COVID cases rising they are placing more restrictions on public places. Maybe I need to wait a bit more. In the meantime I could start recording my punk songs.
25 October 2020
So I fired up the U-20 and first time; no problem. I then ran through the punk songs and Nuclear City. I was fooling around and before I knew it I had a song. I'm calling it The Boy Who Couldn't Fly. Although I had sang the lyrics "You're too fat to fly" I don't think I will use them. It is challenging to play this one. Also I have to change effect patches for the vocals while everything else is going on and that is VERY challenging. At then end the U-20 had been on for about 5 or 6 hours. I turned it off and turned it on again. It took several times before it booted up properly, but at least it did. So I'm not sure if I am any farther ahead with this repair. I will wait a few days before I decide if I need another.
28 October 2020
I didn't turn on the U-20 yesterday and it didn't start the first time I turned it on, but it did the second time. So I loaded all of the songs including the bit for a song called Sup Punk? I played all of the written songs except The Boy Who Couldn't Fly and started working on Sup Punk? I had a verse and a chorus and in about 2 hours I had programmed the arrangement another hour so so after supper I had the lyrics and decided I was just going to record it. I also thought I should use a bit of the punk ethic and not sequence any parts and try to keep as many first takes as possible. I'm not going to worry about too many stereo tracks either. I will be using the U-20 so unless (until) I get another all tracks are in mono. 1 Hour later I have the basic tracks for Sup Punk? I just need vocals. I will attempt a few takes. Well I'm not sure if it's finished but I will have a mix tonight.
29 October 2020
Redid a few vocals and changed the drums in the chorus. I think I am done with Sup Punk? I recorded the drums and some of the u-20 tracks for Cenobyte and Freedumb, but I ran out of time. I was thinking I might record a bit tonight but I'm just not in the mood. My plan is to record the rest of Cenobyte, Freedumb, and Pretty Boi as well as Nuclear City and then start on the Ghosts songs. I should remix Artificial as well, it looks light Aerobotic is done. I worked on Ghost Town today. Yeah just too tired.
1 November 2020
Got called in for several days so today was the first day I could do this. Actually looking at the last entry I must have recorded one more day because all of the U-20 tracks were complete. I finished the Juno-1 on Cenobyte and it went quickly so I went through the other 3 songs (including Nuclear City). I still had time so I started the vocals on Nuclear City and then just did the other songs. The other songs I felt I got good takes the first time through so almost all the vocals are first takes! Just making MP3s for my player, I already have Wavs, and I think I will make a disk. So unless there are major mix issues I think I am done Auntie Punk. I will probably put it up sometime later this week. In other news I put in a bid on the U-20 online, I am thinking hard about a PG-200 that is about $595. It pains me to have to pay so much, but it is literally the cheapest one I have run across for some time. Then next one is at 695, most are over 700, and there is one at 975!! So I haven't pulled the trigger but I feel if I don't, it will be another one that got away on me. This one even comes with the vinyl box and the 5 pin cord! I see people trying to sell just the box for 100$!!! It makes no sense to me! Lol so listening to the songs it looks like I played the bass line for Cenobyte wrong and then I forgot the last little bit of Juno at the end of Pretty Boi. I also think Sup Punk? needs the bass louder. I could make most of these changes except for the bassline for Cenobyte, so I guess I'll just have to fix that stuff all tomorrow. Oh and I also think I need some of that guitar sound for Pretty Boi. I will listen to the MP3s now. I won't make a CD until I fix those mistakes.
2 November 2020
I actually didn't think I would have time to do anything tonight, but it looks like I have. I already fixed the vocals for Freedumb. Next will be the bass line for Cenobyte, then the juno bit for Pretty Boi. I'll also add the guitar, but I will have to add it to the U-20 sound and the sequence later. Then Just boost the bass for Sup Punk and I should be done. I also got a crazy idea. Maybe I could make a Places that don't Exist Also EP and put 30 minutes of music together. Then the Places that Don't Exist (both albums) would be about 80 minutes making it a double album. For sure Nuclear City would go on it, maybe Island in Sun. I'm sure I could come up with some short songs to fill it out. Oh I'm still for the time being winning the U-20 auction, and ... don't tell my wife but I bought the PG-200! It is the most expensive keyboard accessory I have ever bought. I guess I really have to try to sell some of the extra stuff I have to make up for that. So I am just mixing the songs now. Added a faux Laurie Anderson to Nuclear City for now. I don't know if I would actually be brave enough to ask.
4 November 2020
Listening to the songs I hear a couple of small changes I want to make. In Pretty Boi the snare isn't cutting through so I will record the drum tracks again and record the snare separate. For Freedumb I want the distorted guitar to follow the bass on the 1 change in the chorus. And I've decided the little news things I recorded, I don't want them. They are distracting and may actually make people think the song is about something else. I worked on Day After Day. To be fair it already had a verse and chorus, I just did a bit of arranging and added a instrumental break. I also got an idea for an instrumental called Black Forest. And I won the auction on the broken U-20! My U-20 seems to be working fine now, so maybe it was the power regulators. So I may have 2 U-20s, at least for now. If I get really ambitious, I may try to figure out my no stereo issue on my U-20, or even try the aftertouch hack. Also my PG-200 must have been couriered, it was in Southern Alberta this morning, literally 2 days after I bought it!! I imagine it will be here tomorrow. If only everything came this quickly. I don't expect my U-20 till the begninning of December. I am feeling a bit bad about my purchases, it is just under 1K at a time when I should be paying down bills. But it is done. Later I worked on an instrumental called Black Forrest. It is pretty much complete.
7 November 2020
I had issues turning on the u-20 today. I am glad there is another on the way, just in case. And if this U-20 continues going, I think having 2 would be great as well. OK so there is a part of me that really wants to do more work to the punk songs, but there is another that is saying "it's punk, quit playing with it!". So I may release this EP soon. I am also pressing forward with the songs for Addendum. Made some changes to both Day after Day and Black Forrest. Nuclear City is about as close as I can get it for now. I started recording Day after Day, although I am thinking of changing the name to the Observer. I wanted to record Black Forrest as well, but I think I need to take my time with that one. Some of the ideas are still very fresh, and I need to make sure it is what I want. Well I have a version of Observer that I can listen to. I think it's finished but I'll only know after I listen to it. Yeah I sang "Day by Day" by accident for the back-ups and thought I liked it. I recorded 2 more tracks the same and now I listen to it, I like "Day after Day" better. That's the way it was originally. Looking at my recent purchases makes me want to get more stuff. I see a possible replacement for the VP-70. It is a TC Helicon vocal unit. It is priced well, under 300$, but after this blowout I really can't afford it.
8 November 2020
Fixed the Observer this morning and over the course of the day I recorded Black Forrest. Well crap. I thought I should leave the very last Day by Day in Observer and it sounds stupid to me. I'll have to copy a Day after Day and fix the ending. Black forrest sounds really good, but it is a bit odd. A mostly orchestral instrumental in the middle of my electronic music. I am thinking about uploading my Auntie Punk album. We'll see how long it takes, if it takes too long I'll just leave it till tomorrow because I want to go to bed soon. But I do get the most interest on a monday morning. Done.
9 November 2020
Fixed the Observer again this evening. That's it.
11 November 2020
Turned on the Juno-di and RS-5 as well as the U-20 and Juno-1. I got a few ideas that I think will eventually make up Cloud Castle. Maybe. At any rate I sequenced and saved them. I think what ever it becomes I will work on it another day. Back is so sore from shovelling and I have more to do.
15 November 2020
A few days away from the keyboards. I still haven't had much of a chance to play with the PG-200. I hope to have time soon and plug it into the MKS-30. So I listened to the bits for Cloud Castle, haven't done anything more except clarify the parts that I have. I will need at least another 2 parts, maybe 3. I have also decided to work on The Boy Who Couldn't Fly because, why wait. It's got a good strong melody, and truthfully it's almost finished. Mostly just needs lyrics. It is challenging to play at the moment. I will need a lot of practice. So although nothing actually constructive, I think it was good just to play today. Oh an I learned that whatever idea I had saved as Inkle never recorded, so it is gone.
20 November 2020
I have had my new to me U-20 for a few days. The factory sounds are awesome! I haven't really listened to them in about 20 years. The buttons need cleaning and the internal battery needs to be replaced as does the D5 key. These are all pretty minor (to me). I spent yesterday going through sounds and I copied the factory R3 and R4 drumsets to the old U-20. I also used a couple sounds as templates to create 2 new sounds on the old U-20. I found out today that I wrote over 2 timbers for my Star Trash sound, so I will have to muck about quite a bit to fix that. I finally copied the standard drums onto R4 on the new U-20 and inserted the Rock Drums card. I set it all up to play all the sounds off of the card. I am not sure why but this keyboard has made me excited about some of these old sounds. Maybe it's nostalgia. Now I definately want to get more keyboards. I'm thinking a classic Yamaha DX-7, maybe some Akai, Korg, and Ensoniq keys. Definately a D-10 (or D-20 or D-5). I have no idea how I will hide it from my wife! But I think I have to work on the replacement for the VP-70 first. I think I have found a replacement in th TC Helicon Voiceworks, but they range in price from about 250$ to 1300$. I am obviously NOT going to pay 1300$!!! I have saved up about 200$ but in the auctions so far the shipping is expensive usually about another 100$. So very close to getting something. On the writing and recording front, I'm glad I had a few days away. I think I needed that. But The Boy Hwo Couldn't Fly is already arranged so today I wrote lyrics. I may change a few words here and there yet but for the most part they are done. I think I have almost enough ideas to start arranging Cloud Castle. I was going to start tonight but truthfully I am just too tired. I was going to incorperate some Juno-Di and RS-5, but I think I will stick with my Juno-1 and U-20 set-up for this as well. I was thinking this afternoon, all I need is a good instrumental section and I think I will have enough for this song. So maybe tomorrow or Sunday I will work on it. Here's a picture from the day I had both U-20's set up together.
29 November 2020
I decided I would use the Boy Who Couldn't Fly for Addendum. I wrote words for it and have been practicing it (it is quite difficult for me). I even went through it and added cool drum fills. Probably the most I've ever worked on a drum track before. I just can't seem to get the motivation to record it, Maybe it's because I know I have to do more work to the vocoder parts. Maybe it's because the lyrics are a bit juvenille. I'm not sure why but it hasn't been done. I changed the other song to Castle in the Clouds and it is arranged, just needs lyrics. I am excited about this song, but can't seem to get any further with it either. I think the instrumental is brilliant! Musically this song is great. I just have to write lyrics and work on drum fills. So I guess things are progressing just very slowly. I hope to have this finished by Christmas. I am also having second thoughts about Black Forrest. I do like it, it just might be too far away from the rest of the songs. I had an idea for a replacement. Basically just a drum beat, but it might be enough inspiration to write a short song. Oh and that is the other reason, Castle might be over 10 minutes when done, and that would make the album about 1-2 minutes too long. I guess I will have to finish it and see. In other news I bought a TD-3 module. No pads or anything, but obviously it was cheap. I always see stands for 40$, so I guess I will have to get a stand and a couple pads. At least to start. I also bought the TC Helicon Quintet to replace the VP-70. I can't wait for these toys to arrive. I bought the replacement D key ($30 !!!!!) and the batteries I need for the U20. When the key arrives I can open up the U-20 and fix it! I have my eye on a D-10 for about 400$ (with shipping). It was cheaper but I missed the sale. I forgot, but I spotted a Jupiter 6 for $5250, I figure 5500$ with shipping and stuff. I am so tempted to break the piggy bank. If I spend every cent, I have about 4600$ saved up and I think there is a place I could get another 1000$ in about a week. But there would be some 'spainin to do Lucy. I guess I will think more on this.
30 November 2020
I was going to record drums today, but thought I should try to record both songs together. I have to transfer the old U-20 drums to the new U-20 temp drums so I can get them in stereo and the factory set has different tom sounds than my old set. So I knew that before any of that I had to finalize the drums for Castle in the Clouds. So I went through and added fills and a few different patterns. It is always a lot of fiddling around and took all day. But the instrumental section sounds absolutely formidable!! Maybe tomorrow I can record drums. Or maybe I can work on the lyrics for Castle in the Clouds even fix some of the stuff in The Boy Who Couldn't Fly as well.
2 December 2020
Yesterday I recorded the drums for both songs, and because the second u-20 was hooked up I recorded the parts for Castle in the Clouds. I kept going and got everything except the main U-20 parts, but I knew those would have to be sequenced. Today I recorded all of The Boy Who Couldn't Fly. The only thing I am not sure about is the verse vocals. I thought I wanted that strong phaser effect on them but now that I hear it, I am a bit unsure. I am not sure what I will use if I decide I don't like it. Later at night I sequenced the U-20 part for Castle in the Clouds. I recorded it twice. So Castle just needs lyrics and then I will record vocals. Pretty close. Oh and I finally know it's length for sure, it is 10.30m. Because the intro is in free time and I didn't have the ending recorded there was some leeway.
6 December 2020
Finished the lyrics for Castle In the Clouds and tried to record the vocals. Nope interrupted every 5 minutes and in the end caused a fight. I am getting very frustrated with this. I want to re-record the vocals for Boy who couldn't fly but not sure if I should. I got the sample I wanted for Nuclear City so I think that one is done, I think the Observer is done. I'll have to hear Castle in the Clouds, but it might be done. It will just be a small bit of vocals for Boy. No actually listening to it it's ok. That phaser is hard to listen to. So remixing now, maybe this will be it. And Black Forest will be an extra. This is kind of wierd, I usually write for the album (EP) and stop. I haven't had an extra, I guess it will have to go on the next album without a concept.
19 December 2020
I have been working on yet another strange project. Live3. It is 3 short cassettes with live material. I think I finalized the covers and I started dubbing cassettes. Who knew 30 years later I would be dubbing cassetes! I had to find a use for the short 11 minute cassettes I bought, and here it is. I guess that was "released" last week. I also finally recorded the vocal fixes for Boy Who Couldn't Fly and Castle in the Clouds. I edited Nuclear City a bit, and put som reverb on the vocoder on Observer. The vocoder parts sound very harsh and there is a beating sound that I can't get rid of, but the reverb helps. So I thought I was done, but I did want to listen. Today I heard a few things. There should be a drum thing in Observer before the break, I will not be re-recording the drums at this point so I am hoping I can overdub something. The second verse for Boy Who Couldn't Fly is out of time, and there is a bit of hissing at the end of Castle in the Clouds. There is something playing noise that shouldn't be. So hopefully I can make these few edits and then Addendum will be finished.
20 December 2020
I think I am finished Addendum. At least there is little I can do to make the songs better aside from starting over. I think the next project should be a video for Pretty Boi and then one for The Boy Who Couldn't Fly, maybe one for Observer. I have made 2 sets of the cassette version of Live3, a CD version for me, a copy of Auntie Punk, and Addendum. I will publish Addendum in the next few days.
Dec 24 2020
So yesterday the key finally came for the U-20. I have the parts I need to open it and repair the new keyboard but it's Christmas, so I won't have time for a few days. I am happy to get the new U-20 fixed but wish I could do it right away. In the meantime I have been watching keyboards on ebay, reverb and kijiji. Although I still would like a D-10 the burning desire was wanned a bit. I don't really have the money anyway. Still keeping my eyes open for a DX-7, X-7000, AX-70, Poly-61, ESQ-1 or EPS. There are others I would gladly buy for the right price. Anyway I do hope I could fill that empty space under the U-20, but we will see. Oh and watching some pads and a rack for my TD-3. Not sure where I will put it because the basement is almost full. I may have to move my workbench but I'm not sure where.
Dec 28 2020
Released Addendum! I'm happy I got this out. I hope I can do a small show and release Antigone soon. Maybe next month they will let up on the restrictions a bit. As I said I have been watching keyboards. There is a sale for a DX5,DX7, & Poly-61 (bundle deal), after american exchange and shipping I think it would be about 3500$ Canadian. Killer deal, just not sure about it. I have been saving for a Jupiter 6 and this would totally wipe out my savings. Totally. So if a Jupiter or anything else came up I would be SOL. Or more importantly if something bad happens and I need cash, I wouldn't have any. I would definately have to run this by my wife, and I keep putting it off. If I don't do this soon it will sell, and I will be sad. But happy about Addendum.
Dec 30 2020
I finally decided to open up the new U-20 and fix the couple of things that needed fixing. There are so many things that need to come apart just to get at the battery, nevermind some of the buttons or keys. I took everything apart to get at the keys first, and it took me some time but it wasn't too hard to replace the key. The toughest part was keeping the spring where it needed to be when popping the key in. Although I did break a set of wires that went to the little tab that the aftertouch connects to. Luckily it wasn't the plastic aftertouch wires. I then took off one of the panels that half of the buttons are on. I had to literally take everything apart to get at it. I couldn't get the contact cleaner that I wanted so I sprayed the compressed air into the buttons. I wasn't sure how well it would work but did it anyway. I decided it was too much trouble to take off the last panel with the buttons and not sure if the compressed air was actually doing anything, so I left it. I put in panels back and the keyboard. I replaced the battery and noticed that there was some corrosion on a small chip and resistor. I cleaned it up as best as I could and then closed everything back up. Oh and before I did that I soldered the wires that I broke off. So the keys work great! Unfortunately replacing the battery didn't fix the low battery issue, I'm wondering if the corroded components has something to do with it. At least I know the battery is good now. I was tired and left the SYSEX for the next day.
Dec 31 2020
I took the new U-20 down stairs and hooked it up. I decided to load the SYSEX file for the old U-20 so I could test the aftertouch. I seemed to work fine so I loaded the new SYSEX file. I lost the two patches that had just drums in them, but it won't be hard to put that back again. I just have to find out what drum set goes to what patch. I want to add the manmade patch as well, or something similar. I guess I can start to change patches as much as I want now.
Jan 8 2021
In the last week I have put together a show for the Auntie Punk and Addendum EPs. I made a list of the things I need to finish to get the show together. I also talked to the lady who runs Jam Street and started putting down ideas about doing a show there soon. I am not entirely sure about doing public things yet, and yet I really would like to. I have to mention something else. I have been watching eBay, Reverb & Kijiji for interesting sales and there was a sale for a DX5, DX7 and a Poly-61 for 3500$ CAN!!!! I wanted to jump on it but it was just too good of a deal and someone else bought it. I was sad but maybe it was for the best, at least that is what I will tell myself.
Jan 10 2021
F**K!! The old U-20 did something it has never done. It messed up the parameters in the setup menu. The LCD was barely visible, all the MIDI channels were messed up and local control was off. So I put it all back to where it should be and played the Boy Who Couldn't Fly (I yeah I started programming lights yesterday, and that's another story) and then went to play Manmade and the keyboard wouldn't play. I checked the set-up menu and everything was fine there. So I just tried to reset it and it won't come on. It is back to the black LCD. Not 100% but I wonder if my U-20 is on it's last legs. I had hoped the repair would be good for a long time, but it appears that is not the case. I am really upset because I had went ahead with programming this show for 2 U-20s. I probably shouldn't have, even in the back of my head I was thinking "what if the old U-20 breaks again ...". And now I have this problem. So looking in the set-list there are 5 songs with 2 U-20's. Most are generic sounds that I could use any keyboard. Manmade is probably the one that may need something a bit more specific. I know one of the punk songs uses the distorted guitar on the new U-20 although I think I could make it use the main U-20 with no problems. Also I'm Sorry I Can't Help You uses the distorted guitar, but I'm not sure it would be missed too much without it. Maybe I should try to emulate the arpeggio a bit better for that song. Anyway I could use another keyboard I guess, it is just frustrating having the U-20 go down at this point and have to scramble to do something different. Then speaking of old broken crap. I am having a lot of issues with one of the LP-608 controllers. It isn't catching all of the light commands and sometimes I am just left in the dark. I thought maybe it was the MIDI splitter. So I removed that and still had problems. I thought maybe it was some of the cheap MIDI cables I got from China. Switched it out and still had problems so it HAS to be the controller. I think I may know what it is, but again don't really want to be mucking around with equipment at this point. I had an idea for a few more lights, but maybe I'll have to hold off on that.
Jan 11 2021
I finally figured out what happened to the U-20. One of the MIDI settings wasn't set right and it was changing the performaces as well as the patch. Today I opened the LP-608 and looked for broken solder joints. I wasn't sure but I thought I found a couple and resoldered them. I hooked it up but it still had the same issues. Just to be sure I hooked up the other controller and tried again. Same thing, almost like it is missing note information. I'm not sure what else could be wrong. I will hook it all up and try again tomorrow. I did bring in 2 par 56 cans but one of the bulbs was burnt out. I will hook up the flame light and see if it works with the dimmers. So much to do so little time. I have been watching the sale of a D-10 for just under 400$ for a while, just not ready to pull the trigger. Also there is a Yamaha C-60 organ for 50$ locally that I'm thinking about. I had just missed a B-35 for free, so I am just trying to figure out where I can store it, if I get it. If I was in Edmonton there is a D-85 for free, which would definately be worth it, but I don't think I can go there anytime soon.
Jan 12 2021
Lol. I double checked the ad for the D-85 and although the listing says FREE, in the ad they ask for 900$. Although a great keyboard, I wouldn't pay that much for it. Anayway, I decided I was going to try a few more things to try to solve my light problem. I needed to put the back on the controller I soldered anyway, and then realized I really had to clean up my bench. So eventually I tried the new MIC cable but the result was the same. I knew that these light controllers didn't like the active sensing signals and had forgot it on, so I tried again and it was the same. Then I saw a few other MIDI controls in the menu on the MC-50. I thought, lets get rid of everything except the note values and program changes. BOOM! it worked. So the short story is the LP-608s don't like Active Sensing AND MIDI Clock signals! Damn picky things. So my iPad/iPhone app will cause this problem as well, and the only way I could filter it out is to run it through my MC-50! This will help for other things, but for now I am happy I have an answer. Everything downstairs is still a mess, but I will clean it up later. I can at least move forward with progamming lights.
Jan 13 2021