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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An entry where almost every paragraph has a sentence that begins or ends with "I've decided..."

Checking in, I've spent another long week hammering away at the notation for Collapsing Elbows and am pleased to say I've almost notated every measure. That's not to say I think I'm finished or anything. I'm going to go back through and add a layer to it that wasn't there in the recording, I've decided. Because, why not, after all? If I can improve upon what's there, I will. What I will do though first, before I tweak anything in the notation, is go through and notate all the instructions for the electronic part. That's going to be fun. Basically, there is going to be one mic on the piano going into my lap top and two channels of processed audio coming out. One will be an Absynth patch I used which will fade in and out gradually at different key points of the piece and the other will be a ring modulation patch from Guitar Rig that will fade in and out and pan left and right more aggressively at the climax of the piece. So I essentially just need to notate simply when that will happen, i.e. which measure, pan how far left/right and what should the volume of the channel be. This information thankfully is saved in the project file from the original mix of the piece.

Hopefully, I will finish this before the end of the month and Tania and I can get to rehearsing it. Meanwhile, the electronic music project gets underway as well. I've been taking breaks from notating the other piece to work on one of the first remixes. It's a song called Accidentally on Purpose that I wrote in 2001 and still actually like. Right now, I'm deciding what synth/guitar patches I will use for the song. I think it could go a long way so I've set to working on it first out of all the others. When the remix is done, I've decided I'm going to put the song up for free download for a period of time so you can all have it.

The idea is to give you all an idea of what this project will be before I go out and start playing these songs. I thought long and hard about using Rocket Hub but then I realized it just isn't feasible and might actually be a waste of time. After all, I want to get out and play as soon as possible so any delays have to be considered. Is it really necessary, I asked myself, to get the best of the best equipment-wise and pay for studio time when I can do the bulk of production at home. Plus, I sat down and looked at my equipment and I decided what I would need, bare minimum, to get started. It's not much. The laptop goes without saying but that's an investment that I'm comfortable with paying for up front. Then I realized, my M Audio Axiom 49 can do just about everything I need it to do as far as triggering samples and twiddling knobs and faders. I just need to really dissect the manual and figure out how to make it do those things that I know I'll be able to do with the hardware controllers I wanted to get, the Maschine and the MPC40. Beyond that, all I'd need is a MIDI footswitch like this one. I'm interested in being able to switch settings, control volume and tweak aspects of the sound with my feet since I'll have my hands full with the guitar. This seems to have all I really need for that. I considered getting the actual Guitar Rig pedal, called Rig Kontrol but it's more expensive and comes with software I already have. First review I read of the Behringer peadal the person mentioned using it with Guitar Rig, so there you go. Anecdotal evidence. Anyway, the Rig Kontrol pedal has fewer buttons on it and only one expression pedal.

As I acquire these pieces of my equipment setup I'll start to be able see what else I need and I'll simultaneously be able to start figuring out how I'm going to use this stuff to realize all of my songs. I've decided that there should be a healthy mix of old and new on this first album as well. Not having to wait until I acquire everything will help me to get started writing the new ones with a mind to how I'll be performing them. And something about not needing so much equipment will help me to simplify things as well.

Being able to work in this fashion is more important to me than worrying about getting the best equipment and fronting money for a lot of it. Maybe when I'm more established, Rocket Hub might be feasible for some small things like a music video or a more professional EP. Right now, I'm focused on making this a reality, however that happens.

I've also decided that I'm going to be submitting some stuff this year and that it's time to start working on the choral piece for the Brooklyn Unitarian Church...but more on all that later. Gotta go for now!

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