Back to Grinding

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It’s definitely been a while since I last posted anything to my blog since I’ve been doing a great deal of soul searching.  I guess I have been more focused on doing things the way they should be done so that it all flows together smoothly.

With that being said, I’ve started to feel the urge to dive back into my music.  I had to take a break to feel fresh again.  I needed to rediscover the thing that made me feel alive for so many years.

That thing was being able to produce.  I believe I reached a peak in my creative space and really needed a new piece of gear that brought everything back to a point where I was highly motivated to do what I do.

While searching the web I discovered this little thing.  Tascam’s DP-008.   A very portable digital 8 track recorder with limited (but good enough) eq, compression, and reverb.  Most of which would only be used as a reference since I would do my final edits and mixes in software.

This little guy also has two small condenser mic’s built into it.  From what I’ve witnessed on line people have said the mics work pretty good.  The recorder also works with batteries so there really are some applications this recorder would excel in.

Long story short, with this portable unit I can easily collaborate with other artists when they can’t make it to me.  I’ll just take it to them plug them in and press record.  This is something technology has provided that I intend to take full advantage of.

The possibilities are endless.

Upgrade

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I’m looking to upgrade my system and reopen my services to the public again. For one, I need to be as lucrative as I possibly can in order to carry out my plans for next year. Secondly, I miss helping other people put together projects.

Presentation is key to making a good impression on people and the more professional you look the better the experience. These pieces are fairly inexpensive and will give me a chance to be hands on again versus using a mouse to control my software. The only drawback I’ve heard about them is the automated faders don’t run as smoothly as they should but you can open the machine up and tighten the bands on each fader to improve its automation.

Slowly but surely my plans are starting to move forward….it feels good!!!!

The Art of Digging!!!

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There was a time when those of us who sample couldn’t rely on technology for an advantage. These were the days that you actually had to go dig for records. The more extensive your collection the more access you had to extremely good samples.

These were the days when sometimes you had what I call “diggers luck”. Quite simply diggers luck was finding a record buying it and taking it home to listen to it to only realize that you found the sample for a popular song. I think most diggers would agree that discovering something Pete Rock and DJ Premier used was like seeing a boob for the first time in your life! (I’m sorry but that is the best analogy I could think of to describe the feeling…lol)!!!

Sometimes you may own a record for years and never know what you have until after you have used the pieces you wanted. Then one day you go back to the record and listen to it again looking for something else to sample and low and behold out of no where you hear the sample someone else used!

One of my favorite techniques has always been to listen to the song all the way through to find the parts that don’t stand out. Many people use the beginning of the song because it is by nature the easiest part to sample. To find pieces in the middle or near the end is a way to trick other diggers into missing what you sampled. There is one song that I sampled on my first solo album “A Fifth of the Gift” that sounds nothing like the song I sampled. It isn’t until the very end of that song that they do a complete change up and take the song in an entirely different direction. I wonder how many producers past up the sample just because they didn’t listen to the entire song.

The point of this particular blog is to simply state that technology has changed the compassion for digging for records. Now all you have to do is google who sampled what or go to the “whosampled” web page and not only do they play the song from the sampler they put the original song right beside it and tell you when the sample starts.

It’s a good thing on one hand but it is a disadvantage on the other because not knowing who sampled what indirectly helped you to discover samples of your own. In our day the closest thing we had to this information was the credits given. Even then all you knew was where the sample came from and you had to go find it and purchase it before you could hear it. In order to buy that record for that sample you had to be amongst other records and quite naturally why buy one record when you could buy as many as you could afford. Not only were you able to get the sample you wanted you also had more records to add to your collection for you to find your own samples!!!!

Computer Love

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With all the technological gadgets in the world we live in it is almost impossible to not be able to connect with like minded people across the globe. Social networks, smart phones, and tablets have given a lot of people control over their own destiny in a sense of marketing themselves.

Years ago, when I was like any other musician of the time trying to be discovered, so many variables determined if you were getting any closer to your dream. You had to find a studio, pay to record, pay to mix, and then pay to have it finalized on either cassette or CD…(depending on your age). You had to do this at least three to four times for the minimal requirement of cutting a demo. Then you had to find someone who could take professional pictures that look good, pay them to take them, pay to have them developed, and pay to have them printed. Next, you had to find someone to write your bio, which for the most part a girlfriend of one the members of a group usually wrote for no charge….. (see how sweet women really are).

The next step, if you could afford the first, required a decent plan or else you’d waste more money and time. That crucial step would be connecting with people who could plug you in to people who conduct business within the music industry. When you factor in the thousands of other artists trying to do the same thing it’s easy to be discouraged. Even if you slid through the cracks you still had to compete with hundreds of artists trying to get their music out there through the industry channels.

Enter the age of artists today and you find all these different ways to make your own channel to get your music heard. Social networks allow you to do just that. Not only can you network you can create your own product in the comfort of your home. You can also upload it to the world and utilize the social networks to attract individuals to you.

No more big costs for shooting videos and editing them. Nowadays all you need is a camera or camcorder and a computer. No more scheduled meetings to try to convince tv outlets to run your videos. In today’s world all these things are literally at your fingertips. A little money and a lot of time will really get you wherever you want to be.

The more available you are to the world the better chance you have of tapping into a core audience. The individuals who work hardest have more to show for their hard work and in turn usually grab the publics attention first. These are the times we live in.

So if you want to be successful it really is up to you. Technology has given power back those people who wish to work hard. You yourself can make the entire corporation….from secretary to C.E.O..