October 26, 2016 - 11:19am
... it crept up again... running a business is "spinning plates" most of the time... and when your schedule is steady... and then full... some things get put off... week after week.
... believe me, I've written a ton of blogs in my head the last few weeks!
... or I guess... months now.
... in short, things are good! :-)
I've been finishing up another children's album with Charlie Hope and keeping steady with several mix projects. The new Parabelle album came out yesterday as well... but while trying to keep on top of all of these... I started another business... using any nook and cranny of time I could find lately.
I produced a few songs for Reid Henry and Brendan McMillan (My Darkest Days) back in January that we've been sitting on the better part of the year now. Reid came out with Age Of Days (Disturbed tour) in February and we got along pretty well (you learn a lot about people on tour). We discussed doing some more tracks but didn't get a chance to "finish the EP" until June/July.
"Do you think we have time to do a full album?"
Reid's tone was half joking... which is fine... since I was thinking the same thing.
We launched the band 3 weeks ago... and I've also taken on the responsibility to manage the project for the time being.
It's been a real eye opener.
It's one thing to suggest bands/artists do things (from the sidelines), but it's (so far) been a lot of fun getting into the game to see what it's like!
Of course, touring gives me that sense as well... but on the business side of being a band/artist... the promotion end... I think back to the days of MySpace and ICQ... and the landscape these days... the ability for bands to reach out to potential fans directly... IT'S AMAZING!!!
Perhaps the initial luster will wear off after a few weeks or months... or years... but as of right now, it's energizing.
I still love the studio side, but I really, really, really miss touring too. I miss waking up in different cities, I miss the 24 hour workday (cycle), I miss meeting the locals, and I miss the adrenaline rush of hearing the intro hit the venue mains. I miss it.
I'm excited about getting back to the tour blog, but also to share some of the discoveries, successes, failures, results, and advice in general from playing in, managing, and producing a band.
The landscape has changed a lot the last few years... and it's not about wearing all the hats, all the time. I look forward to building the team but it's reassuring knowing the group currently in place have similar work ethic, experience, and goals.
...we have big plans for 2017... fingers and toes crossed at least 10% of the plans work out. If you're curious, I'll leave a link to the first single below.
If all goes well... I might need a bigger blog.
- Mike :-)
July 31, 2016 - 9:09pm
... I don't usually finish these travel blogs until well after I'm home... but not today! Today I'm doin' it! I'm finishing this travel blog today!!!
... mainly because I'm home now and anxious to get cleaned up, cook something, and (probably) get back to Game Of Thrones... I "don't have to work tomorrow" so I'm free to be irresponsible with the rest of my evening.
... so today... I had trouble getting out of bed again... I think it was 9:30am by the time I actually hit the shower... the studio is super close to the hotel so I figured I'd be maybe 10 minutes late.
... skipped Tim Horton's on the way... I still had some food from yesterday... it's weird that I've had pretty much no appetite this entire trip... I think it's from Wendy's... that Wendy's was supposed to be good.. but it screwed me up... it let me down!
I got to the studio just after 10am and chatted with Justin (GCR Staff) for a bit... if you've run a studio, big or small, you know what it's like to run a studio... and you've got some stories for people on your side of the glass..
I got a text from the band about a Tim's run... bagel it is... iced cap it is...
... I am weak.
Today went smoothly... my goal was to be done by 7pm... that way I'd be home by 10-11pm. The band's plan (7hr drive) was to drive a bit then stop the night somewhere.
... bass, background vocals, guitar leads, and a guitar solo left to do.
... it's not much... but sometimes recording there are hiccups... and studios have their gremlins.
We went through bass pretty quickly... then dug into vocals for a few hours... I think it was 3:30pm by the time we finished them... I think we'll make that 7pm goal!
I'd arranged the day in order of priority... and in a 1 guitar band... I wasn't sure how many overdubs we'd be doing.
... not much.
... even at a leisurely pace, we were done by 5pm.
(... the band might make it home tonight... I might make it home by sundown... not that it was a priority but it'd be nice!)
We tidied up the studio, put the 6 guitar amp heads (Marshall JCM 800, Marshall MKII, Mesa Roadster, Bogner Ecstasy, Soldano SLO, Peavy 5150) away, wrapped up some cables, settled up with the studio, and hung out in the parking lot for a few minutes...
... it was a pretty awesome weekend... doing the math, 26 hours in the studio and another 9 at the hotel... so 35 hrs between Friday 10am and Sunday 6pm... for our first time working together and in new studio for me... listening back to the 2 songs... we did some good work... good jaorb team!
... I was on the fence about finding dinner before the drive home but the only thing close that wasn't Wendy's (ya did me wrong Wendy!!!) was McDonalds... and while I'm sure it'd be tasty... I wasn't absolutely sure it'd be "2hr drive home" worth it.
... anyway... I had water and chewed gum as a snack and was on my way.
The border is super close... easy crossing back into Canada... easy drive back overall... didn't even need my GPS... just over 2hrs door-to-door again.
The goal is to have these tunes done (mixed / mastered) in a couple weeks, then Scarlet White plans to release one in September before tour.
If we're friends on Facebook, I'm sure you'll see me sharing it... pretty happy with how it turned out.
... for now... it's back to Game Of Thrones.
... I hope Ned wins.
- Mike :-)
"Have you ever been to a Tim Horton's in Canada? Have you had an éclair before? They have éclairs there but we don't have them here... they're so good... so light and fluffy... so good early in the morning!"
July 31, 2016 - 1:45am
It was a rough start this morning... alarm went off at 8:30am but I wasn't out of bed til after 9am... I love (most) hotel beds... super comfy and quiet here... reminds me of the days off on tour where you just want to lay in bed... it's been a busy past few months... and as much as I'm here to work, I was hoping at least a hint of this trip would feel like a bit of a break.
... it has it's moments... between 1am - 9am.
I decided to walk "the other way" to the studio this morning... seemed to be a couple breakfast restaurants (not that I had time) but I wanted to scope out the area.
... and then I saw it... a Tim Horton's.
... and now my feet are taking instructions from my tastebuds... someone wanted an ice cap and I was trying to convince myself it was logical choice for breakfast.
... I really needed to flush out that Wendy's disaster from last night too.
I stood in line.
"Have you ever been to a Tim Horton's in Canada..."
I told the woman I have... and that I'm from Canada. She seemed pretty disappointed US Tim Horton's was holdin' out on her.
I asked if there were other places to get them... she said yes... but more a bakery type of thing. I said maybe it's a good thing... it's more of a special occasion type donut... a fancy donut... a real "pinky-out" treat... she didn't think so though... Tim Horton's was her stop and her stop was letting her down.
Ice cap, raisin bagel w/ cream cheese, apple cranberry muffin.
On my way out I took a second to put my sunglasses on by the door and another woman walked in... then looked at me... then went back out the door to hold the door open for me.
"I'm sorry, I hate when people do that", she said with a smile.
(... I don't know where that comma goes.)
"It's all good! Thank you!"
... felt just like home... thank you Tim Horton's.
I should keep this short... it was a productive day but we still have a fair amount to do tomorrow and I probably won't get to sleep until after 2am.
Tracked guitars, lead vocals, and set up for bass today... went til 8pm... I keep telling myself not to do more than 8-10hr days... realizing today would've been 15hrs (10am - 1am).
... I'm loving the tones we're getting... sometimes I feel like you get lucky with mic placement... sometimes I feel like you solve a bunch of problems without thinking about it too hard... aka experience... and killer gear.
Decided to take a lunch break today with the band... tried to take some pictures but my phone (16GB, never again!!) was telling me I was out of space... after I deleted about 100 pics and 6 videos to free up space... so I only got one pic today... hopefully the band took some.
... stopped at Tim Horton's again for dinner... Ham and Swiss sandwich... and another ice cap... there was so much mayo on the dham sandwich... it took 3 napkins to deal with it.
How much mayo belongs between two pieces of bread??? Seriously... as soon as I picked it up, it started oozing out the sides... and just forget about taking a bite out of it... it was everywhere... sorta disappointing since I wasn't really hungry, but felt I should eat something... I didn't sign up for 1/2 cup of mayo.
... I should get to sleep... big day tomorrow... need to track bass, finishing guitar leads, vocals, and then the drive home.
We'll get it done... good times.
P.S. Forgot about our first world problem during lunch today... had to stop on the sidewalk to wait for a sprinkler to rotate out of our way... if the record falls behind schedule I'll remember you sprinkler... I know where you work!
July 30, 2016 - 12:05am
... so I'm in Buffalo.
I didn't mention this trip to many people... just a few who needed to know... hopefully the other projects I'm in the middle of right now don't hate me for ducking out for a weekend.
... I also didn't mention it because of how my brain works.
... when you work in music long enough (or probably any entertainment industry) you get used to plans not working out... so I tend to not mention things that could or should be happening... I'd rather wait until it's happening... so I'm in Buffalo... producing a couple songs with Scarlet White.
I've been awake since 5:30am... I did my best to be responsible and not binge watch Game Of Thrones last night... trying hard to catch up... I might as well of though... had trouble sleeping last night. I'll admit I was anxious to get going with Scarlet White tunes but also to cross "drive across border solo" off my list.
The drive itself was pretty easy... I got butterflies when I saw the final signage... "last exit to USA crossing" or whatever it is... no turning back now!
It was somewhat backed up at the border... definitely the busiest I've seen it in a while... sorta car chaos at the Fort Erie crossing into Buffalo.
Despite having nothing to worry about (really), I don't know why the border freaks me out so much... I understand they're doing their job but I just feel like I'm always on the verge of answering a question (humorously) the wrong way.
(... act cool... like you've done this 100 times before.)
I somehow ended up in a fairly short, fast moving line.
... I joked to myself that I probably have "that guy" as my border officer... that's why the line is shorter than the rest.
I started preparing myself mentally for having him (I just know it's "that guy"... spidey sense was tingling) ask me to pull aside to have the car searched... even though it's basically empty aside from a suitcase, backpack, and a cymbal bag.
... again, not that I have anything to really worry about.
After he's done motioning the car ahead of me to pull off to the side for inspection, he motions me to pull forward.
... then he waves his hand aggressively to stop and then go back.
... he's waving to the car behind me. I wanted to turn around and yell at them too... partly to show the officer I'm on his side, but also to tell them I don't need their shenanigans right now. I honestly still feel like a kid around "real adults" so in situations like this... in my mind, I'm two kids stacked wearing a trench coat, bucket hat, sunglasses, and fake moustache, trying to pull a fast one at parent / teacher interviews.
... again, not that I have anything to worry about... really... seriously.
... let's call him Officer Silver.
Officer Silver asks me for my passport and to roll down the back windows.
... I realize at this point either my arm is short (which I know isn't true) or I'm awkwardly far from his booth.
"Where are you going?"
Officer Silver is digging through my passport now... I said the magic word.
"On your P2 or O1 visa?"
"You know you're supposed to surrender your P2 visa when you leave right? ... or else we don't know you've left the country."
... now this is that moment in the conversation where I see 179 responses that lead off a cliff...
(... go with "ok, sorry")
"Oh ok... sorry aboot that."
(... good job... everything is cool... you're cool... done this 1,000 times.)
I watched him tear the old P2 from February out of my passport before handing it back to me.
"... we're good?"
(... what are you doing???)
... Officer Silver gave me a weird look and an awkward nod before looking at the car behind me and motioning them forward.
I half smiled... not in a mischievous way, but in an "I'm not sure if I'm allowed to smile again yet" way.
I drove away from the booth at a snails pace... partly trying to figure out where to go, partly observing my surroundings. Officers, guns, dogs... people just doing their job but I was sorta overwhelmed... I'd evolved from the teetering tower of stacked kids in a trench coat, bucket hat, sunglasses, and fake moustache to the cat inspecting new surrounding... low to the ground... slow calculated moves... with no couch or bed to hide under.
I followed my GPS to GCR Audio... it was barely 15 minutes on the other side of the border. The drive was beautiful, lots of tree lined streets and older buildings... very quiet... the area reminded me of a small town outside my home town.
Found the studio... parked... success.
... another milestone reached... age 32.
I should get to bed soon... but in short, GCR is a fantastic facility... beautifully built, lots of gear, smart work flow, and awesome staff. I'm pretty hands on when it comes to tracking but I felt it was a good balance of assistance and letting me do my thing.
... really happy with the drum sounds and Dango (drummer) was solid... makes my job easy when drummers can lay 80% of a song down in 2 takes, and take direction on the details bits... and knows how to tune a kit!
Finished up around 7pm and walked over to my hotel... where I watched Conan (movie) and did some drum editing.
... Conan was not what I was expecting... but I feel like it's where Arnold really found is "HULALALLALALUHHLALAL" voice.
P.S. Internet is really slow at the hotel so I'll post pics tomorrow.
P.P.S. I woke up at 7:15am... I had no idea where I was for a minute.
April 29, 2016 - 12:19am
I'm watching Age Of Ice... it is awful... and long... and I have no idea wtf is going on.
Maybe I should've watched it with the sound up and been paying attention (doing emails... and playing Hearthstone)... but usually I can follow along.
This is just like... a bunch of stuff happens... and it's like the main character wrote and directed the movie... one of those "heroes".
... and he can't grow a beard.
I think they're supposed to be stranded for weeks or months... but if you're going to make a movie about survival... and you're going to cast a male lead... you gotta cast someone who can grow a beard... beards = survival. + time.
... just sayin'.
Today was what I'd consider the day of truth. This week as been dubbed "Hell Week", but I've told the guys several times, let's just keep our heads down, work as much as we can, then have a sit down early Thursday to figure out where we are, what big pieces still need to go in the bucket, what's urgent, and what can wait.
Kev has most of his lead vocals in, but we're still missing a lot of guitar leads which we wanted to try and do together in the room.
... and there was still an entire song we needed to do.
... it's not as bad as it seems though... it's pretty common for a tune to get put off to the side for one reason or another... this was mainly because we weren't hearing the typical drum kit set up on it.
We dug in finishing the guitars from the day before, then started working on "Aaron's Song". I'm calling it that because that's what it was originally tilted in the demos.
... side note:
I've said it before but just a reminder. There's no excuse for everyone to not be submitting song ideas for their band these days.
Aaron joked about the rig he was using to record the original demo. No matter how crap you think it is... it's still a way to get an idea down and the internet allows you to send it anywhere in the world... well... anywhere they have internet... and/or it isn't banned.
Aaron had an idea how how he wanted it to sound so I thought it was important to make sure he had a large part in steering the ship from port.
... no typical drums.
... got it.
We referenced a few songs and Alex had some great ideas in getting those drum sounds... one of which was setting up 3 "tom" stations in the live room and bangin' it out.
... too many jokes.
... it was fun though... very Blue Man Group-ish.
... I should probably add, while most of Aaron's Song is coming together, I'm off to the side trying to dig out synth and string parts from the original demo.
We'd made some arrangement changes, so, in PrO tOoLs it's a bit of a headache editing MIDI. It should be simple... but it isn't... and then add on top of that, the... "organizational habits" of the typical band demo.
You're lucky if half the tracks are labeled, any markers are in place for the arrangement.. and it's properly on a grid... without haphazard edits/punches.
There's always plug-ins all over the place though. I love seeing compressor plug-ins on band demos... with setting that are either a) presets that aren't doing anything or b) settings that are doing more harm than good.
Compressors are not EQ's (although can arguably used as EQ's...)... you can't just run in there twistin' knobs!
If you want to use a compressor "like and EQ", just use a limiter. Smash it until it stops moving, then adjust the fader. Done!
Anyway... I spent a around 2.5 hrs digging what was basically 3 tracks. Editing them to fit the new arrangement... and then adjusting the MIDI... so it made sense... even when I was done, I'd probably still finesse the sounds and performances a bit once it's in the actual master session.
... fun times.
... one more thing on that topic... just a reminder that bands sometimes don't see how long that kinda production work can take. Whether a producer is doing it or someone else in the band... it can be a thankless job.
Easy math, if it was a full record's worth... 2.5 X 10 songs... that can be a couple days of exporting stuff... again... fun times.
... tacos for lunch... no time today for NBA JAM.
... oh yeah... the one man camera crew showed up today!
I was curious how Mike (Hough - filmed the last Parabelle DVD at Pawnshop, 2013 I think) would affect the vibe... sometimes (*cough*often*cough*) people change when the camera is on... it was pretty normal though. Some jokes were pulled from the script, but we got most of that out of our system before hand.
I stayed off to the side (again, editing the MIDI) but it was kinda interesting being a fly on the wall for some discussions, mean while there's another fly on the wall filming it.
(... double fly on the wall!)
... I'm curious how Hough will portray me in the DVD. He won't have a ton of footage so my guess is he'll just kill me off... or make me the hero! ... or both... or neither... probably neither. I'm a season 2 character and we're on season 6 I think.
... maybe he'll blow me up in After Effects....
We ended the day trying some guitar leads.
... I'm sure Alex loves to hear the.... experimentation of ideas (possibly mistaken for unpreparedness), but it's how some of our (I can say that now) best work gets done.
We're filling gaps at this point on the tunes and Parabelle isn't the kinda band that gets in a rehearsal space and writes the songs, plays them for 4-6 months, then goes into the studio. A lot is refined (and possibly written) in the studio... and it's nice to throw ideas around in an environment we can actually hear it. When it's good, it fits... when it's not good, it doesn't.
We ended up trying to put a part over a bridge... tried some ideas, Kev suggested a slide guitar part... first try wasn't great but it already sounded like it was going to fit... sounded "right".
... had another meeting around 8:30pm and put a plan together for tomorrow. Last day of Hell Week.
Vocals and guitars... guitars and vocals.
We'll get done what we need... rollin' stop is what I aim for.
Went to Chicken Express for dinner. I'm going to miss the food around here but I miss my kitchen more.
I just started watching "AE: Apocalypse Earth"... it's awful.
What's the deal with CGI looking like a high school project??? There are aliens.
I'm sure they tried hard... but I wish I could've been a fly on the wall the first time people saw the CGI
... do the best with what you have to work with sometimes... most of the time... that's not necessarily a bad thing.
- Mike :-)
.. P.S. I totally forgot about mberry. If you don't know what it is... look it up.
... to be continued.
P.P.S Too tired to re-read all this again... probably more mistakes than usual... way she goes! lol.
P.P.P.S. I just noticed the day/date is wrong on the link... but I need to sleep... and it's a pain to change that. Weebly is Weebly... so I'll learn to live with it.
April 28, 2016 - 12:59am
I'm watching Airplane Vs Volcano... it's awful.
I'm pretty sure I missed something major... but this movie makes no sense. First off... you can't fight a volcano... it has no arms... second... why would a volcano need fighting? Especially a fight with planes... planes are expensive!
Today was very productive. I laid down a quick drum track as soon as we arrived (11am) and then went to edit while Kyle dug in on guitars.
... drum wise I'm super out of shape.
Since tour, I went straight into The Sole Pursuit album and we set up an acoustic guitar station where my kit would normally be. I think I got home February 26 (?) and I don't think I've played drums more than 5 minutes since then. I'm not proud of that but it happens.
Even when I was at my old studio, sometimes I'd have other drummers kits in for a week or two and I wouldn't get a chance to play.
I don't like playing other peoples set ups... it's really uncomfortable. Even this aft... I tried playing it like "normal" but things are just not where they should be... looks cool though!
... it's fine though... sounds like drums... and it was fun.
Kevin got through a ton of vocals today. That's always a huge piece of the puzzle so I'm glad we're in good shape there.
I know I'm zipping through the day here... I'll be honest... I'm tired... but it went by fast.
The evening ended with Kyle and I doing a few more guitar tracks.
On a slightly funny / studio humour tip... Alex left the room and I was running PrO tOoLs while he was gone... 2 minutes later I get a message his iLok authorization is missing..
For those of you don't know understand this... iLok keys (physical USB key) hold your licenses for the program. Without it, no authorization. No authorization, no running PrO tOoLs.
This is a big deal if you're working in PrO tOoLs 7 days a week... and it could take a week or two to get your licenses back.
Turns out, my plugging my trackball in probably caused a hiccup on the USB buss... but still... Kyle made a joke about it before it was confirmed "ok" but it was potentially NOT GOOD before we knew for sure.
The day ended with Kyle and I playing a game of NBA jam, head-to-head.
... Phoenix Vs Orlando.
I sent it into OT with a 3-point buzzer beater.
... short story shorter, we screwed up the buttons to confirm OT (arcade version) and it ended the game... 51-51... so we'll never know that I won.
I had momentum.
Steak 'n Shake is crossed off my list of places to try. It was good... the chocolate shake I got was the business though... I was half done it before we got our food.
Ok... I should get to bed... maybe the pics from today will reminded me of other stuff that happened but for the most part... I'm really noticing how I still haven't really seen anything, "tourist" wise.
It's sorta like being on tour... a bit of driving, but it's really just back and forth from the gig.
... not complaining... just hard for some people to understand I can be gone for 2 weeks and not have really seen anything. Empire Sound Studio is pretty awesome though... I'd sleep there if I could... they have video games.
... lots of'em.
Mike Hough arrives tomorrow. He filmed / produced the "making of" DVD for the Starry Eyes album I did with Parabelle. I look forward to hangin' with him a few days... I'll be honest, he's missed a lot of gold the last 2 weeks... but I'm sure there'll be enough the next few days to justify the trip.
Ok... I really need sleep!
... 2 days left.
- Mike :-)
P.S. Too tired to edit/re-read this tonight. Hopefully fine in the morning. lol.
April 26, 2016 - 11:37pm
Currently watching Zombie Hunter on Crackle.
Today went by fast... I'm glad I didn't end up editing that 2nd song last night... or else I would've been up til 4-5am... then back out the door by 10am.
... one night like that and you're playing catch up... not to mention possibly useless for the day.
... I'm not a coffee drinker.
The plan for today, guitars, vocals, then another drum track.
I set up my laptop in the kitchen to edit those drums... not a bad setup actually.
I could faintly hear the guitars through the wall. I sorta wish I could've been in the control room while Kyle was tracking since the tune was one of my favs on the record (riffs!!!) but way she goes. I'm here to work... "work".
... I really rarely feel like I'm at "work"... I do work a lot though.
We had awesome Chinese food for lunch. I'm trying hard to not eat "fast food" fast food... so I'm open to other options. It was super tasty... spicy chicken. Where was this stuff last week???
Kyle and I played NBA Jam after lunch... epic 61-60 win for the Where There Is No Jazz over... I don't even remember who we played. Came down to Johnny Stockton shooting a 3 at the buzzer to win the game.
We played a 2nd game vs Washington but the computer cheated and they ran away with it in OT. We'll get our revenge tomorrow... Where There Is No Jazz will rise again!
... 3-1 record thus far.
Kev's vocals are sounding great. I'm always impressed with the layers / interweaving vocal lines he thinks of. Sometimes what's in the demos isn't all that'll be there so I think it's best to leave space... as much as you can. Once the vocals are in, you know how much room you have to work with for guitar leads, keyboards / synths, and other "wiz bang" stuff.
So the weather took a turn for the worse around 5pm... Alex showed me on his phone the incoming weather pattern.
... I've learned "don't worry unless the locals worry"... and perhaps "worry" is too strong a word, but the giant red band of weather approaching the studio seemed to be cause for concern. He figured we'd have a few more hours until we should head out... "or we'll just work until we lose power."
... sounds good to me.
The staff and interns disappeared... apparently their families were making sure they were heading home asap.
... ok... maybe this is serious. Kyle has mentioned I might get to see a tornado... sorta want to... sorta good to not. They rip off roofs... throw cars... level subdivisions and stuff. I'm good.
We left around 8:30pm and it was getting pretty dark... you could feel the electricity in the air. It's definitely going to rain... but who knows how bad.
... stopped off at Chick-Fil-a on the way home... chicken sandwich basically... it's good... my mind wasn't blown... much like the Deadpool movie... but it was good.
It started raining here around 10pm. The thunder was loud... loud enough to shake the house.
... Kyle stopped by my room to ask if I wanted a candle or something incase the power cut out.
... I guess we're expecting it to cut out.
... I'm good... I was planning on heading to bed as early as I can tonight... before 1am at least.
... "oh by the way... safest place is the bathroom in case there's a tornado."
... really... that's an "oh by the way"...???
I guess this could be a thing. Again... locals don't seem too worried... I told Kyle to just yell over if it's time for me to go to the bathroom.
Seems to be just a heavy thunderstorm tonight... busy day tomorrow but we're making progress. Yesterday was the important day to set the tone for the rest of the week... it's going by fast though. We finish up Friday then I fly out Saturday afternoon... rest Sunday... then back to work Monday.
P.S. Alex asked if the guys have been posting / linking the studio. Kyle mentioned my blog but really bands need to be on top of taking pics and posting these days... keeping things current and alive on their social media.
I'll admit I've been slacking, but I've been trying... mainly because my 16GB iPhone is terrible... I'm constantly getting messages I'm out of space... and I hate deleting things... I have a lot of pics from tour.
Do not get a low storage smartphone!
That being said, if you're a studio or in a studio and you have staff, interns, assistants available, encourage them to take pics and post/tag. This is a win/win for everyone.
Again, it's great if someone is more apt to taking pics, but it sucks when one person is taking all the pics... since they're ironically in no pics.
I don't know if I'm using the word ironically correctly here, but I'm allowed to... because I'm Canadian.
... thanks Alanis.
April 26, 2016 - 2:19am
... so it turns out the spiders were aliens... and some research/weapons corporation wanted to use their web makin' stuff to develop battle armour or something. What an awful movie. I just spoiled it but I'm sure you could guess after a while... and I'm sure my spoiling it wouldn't stop someone from watching it who wanted to watch it.
Anyway... busy but productive day!
We got back to Kyle's around 11:45pm and I just finished editing some drums for tomorrow. For some reason the 2nd song I wanted to edit didn't copy over properly so for the time being, I'm done for the night. I'm not complaining... I'm super tired... and I probably would've been up til 4:30am finishing it too... then later with this/the blog post.
Started at 11am today... I think Alex was surprised we were on time... not just on time for musicians.
Guitars, then vocals, then finished up with drums in the evening.
Howard went into tracking drums a little blind again... but considering we finished up the prepro demos around 9pm last night... all good though... there was time for him to run them solo in the live room for a bit... which made time for Kyle and Kevin to play Blades Of Steel... and Kyle and I to play NBA Jam... Utah Where There Is No Jazz remains undefeated at 2-0, W 60-58 vs Dallas. It was a pretty epic OT finish.
Dinner was awesome... Mexican... can't remember what it was called or where it was from... and I thought about halfway through destroying it I should've got a pic of it... but I'll push to order it again. It reminded me of my burrito place in Kensington... tasted homemade. *tear*
I'm actually really glad that 2nd song didn't load. I can edit it tomorrow... much rather get some sleep now. It's been a long day but we're in good shape... good start for a Monday!
I'm currently Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark... it's as bad as it sounds.
- Mike :-)
April 25, 2016 - 12:17am
... I don't remember how Cowboys Vs Dinosaurs ended... I passed out pretty quick after posting yesterday.
I just finished watching Earthquake 10.0 and have moved onto Spiders.
I love "bad movies"... although they aren't horrible... but there's some self aware bad writing in them... or maybe the writers realize they've kinda screwed themselves with the story or plot so they need to just brush over a few things... and just have the audience go along with them for a minute.
... for example in the last movie, they need to "remove" 2 of the side characters from the story... so the writers decided to have them "do it" in a cave... and then one the aftershocks of the earthquake caused the ceiling to collapse on them.
... like... seriously.
... or lesson learned.
... or maybe both.
... Spiders is about giant spiders living under New York City... I love the amount of stock footage they use in big city movies like this too... the city is always bumpin' until they go back to the scenes they shot for the movie... then the crowds, bystanders, traffic, etc... all disappear.
People = Money
Anyway... I don't know what these spiders are planning... but I'll probably be asleep before I find out.
So I woke up around 9am and was back working on demos soon after.
In short... we got a lot done today... as much as we could actually. Kyle, Kevin, and I finished up around 8pm and then went out for dinner to also have a quick prepro meeting... where we discussed nothing really about the album.
... I was kinda good to not think about the album for a bit... it's been non-stop... but then again, that's why I'm here.
I'm really liking the tunes we wrote/worked on this weekend... you know you're in good shape when a chorus is stuck in your head.
I had a chat with them about cool vs good songs. Everyone wants their songs to be cool... but good songs have a longer shelf life... and good falls on melody and lyrics... cool rests simply on "something cool happening", but not lyric or melody related.
There's a balance...
Make it good, then make it cool.
... if that makes sense.
Side note... I was going over some PrO tOoLs files tonight... from a large, pro studio, with a decent reputation... or at least a decent reputation for a long time.
... it's a friggin' mess.
I'm just going to assume it was jr engineers or worse... interns/new staff who did it... but it's a by-product of shrinking budgets and studios pulling back on staff.
You have all sorts of people thinking they can work in studios, or record in general, but they have no idea about even the basics... and when you ask them if they need a hand (or call them out on their lack of knowledge) they say they're fine... and then you're going back and forth 5 times trying to get basic things accomplished... and if you complain, then they see you as fussy or a pain in the butt.
Dude... there's 146 audio files missing!
... that's not a complaint! That's a $#&%ing problem!!
There isn't a ton you can do either if you're waiting on them to send files properly.
#DearBands - If you're working in a large studio (or any studio for that matter), at the end of your time there, bring your own hard drive, save a copy of the session to it, and make sure your copy opens. This way if it doesn't, someone screwed up and you're still there to make sure it works.
It's not rocket science.
Anyway... I have no idea what's going on in this Spiders movie...I think it's bed time for me. Last week was busy but next week is going to be a test for everybody.
If you're reading this, please send good vibes there are no studio gremlins that pop up and make life miserable. We need momentum tomorrow to carry us through the end of the week.
I'm here til Saturday... this needs to be done by then.
That's why I'm here.
- Mike :-)
P.S. Lunch was amazing today... went to a place called Penera Bread. It was healthy and tasty. I had a ham and swiss sandwich w/ chicken asian apple salad. The salad was exactly what I needed to combat all the fried foods last week. You might not make friends with salad, but sometimes you just wanna be alone... with salad.
P.P.S. This is one huge spider. :-/
April 24, 2016 - 1:03am
I woke up at 11am today... to my face burning... the sun is strong here... I'm glad I brought sunscreen.
Kevin arrived today. It was good to see him... I don't think we've actually seen each other since tracking the "Air" album a few years ago. He seems to be in good spirits... hopefully he keeps that energy since there's a boatload of work to do this week! lol.
There's so much to do... I started making a production checklist and... there's just a lot that needs to get done. We've been doing 8 hour days (which I prefer) but we'll probably need to go 10-12hr days... and be prepared.
The goal is to have the rest of the album tracking done by the end of the week... so that's my mindset on scheduling... "no backup plan".
We've been working on prepro all day... and threw another song Kyle and I wrote last weekend into the mix. Kev reworked it quite a bit and it's different but cool. I was thinking the album could use another uptempo tune so that's what we were aiming for.
Busy day tomorrow... need to finish these prepro demos so everyone can learn them (for Monday)... I really wanted to have them done tonight so tomorrow is a bit more laid back but way she goes. I'll get up as early as I can and get back to it.
... I'm watching Cowboys VS Dinosaurs on Crackle... I don't know why I like awful movies. Some CGI is just unacceptable... and some cowboys just aren't believable.
P.S. Went to Chicken Express for lunch... pretty awesome.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!