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Topics - jkn

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161
I've got a couple nephews (13 and 11) that are thrilled to have discovered classic rock songs through games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band...   I have to admit it cracks me up.   We were good aunts and uncles on Wednesday and watched them for the evening and half the night was them playing little mp3 clips on their cell phones trying to stump us on what song was what - bands like ac/dc, scorpions, foghat, and blue oyster cult...    So one of them throws on Don't Fear the Reaper and I roll into the "needs more cowbell" quotes from the Saturday Night Live sketch (which they haven't seen).  Heidi starts laughing.   

Later that evening we end up at Best Buy and they "force" us to completely embarrass ourselves playing rock band in the store playing, of course, the Don't Fear the Reaper song - which starts off with a quote from the SNL skit. It's hilarious... so when we get home I pull out our SNL dvd and play the skit. 

Anyway - my point for the topic was having kids discover classic rock tunes through the video games. It's actually kind of neat - and it'll be fun where they head next in music (they both are learning guitar) - I think the older one has a decent open mind towards types of music which I think is cool....

Anyway - got to get rolling so I can get to work!

162
Everything and Nothing / Humor: Reserve a Spot In Heaven
« on: December 12, 2007, 09:06:57 AM »

http://reserveaspotinheaven.com/index.htm

This might be an old one floating around, but a coworker just pointed it out today.  It's hilarious.

Of course, I've probably just bought a one way ticket to hell by posting this...

John


163
Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / jkn's archives...
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:35:48 PM »
I thought I'd post some of my old unreleased stuff for your amusement and/or enjoyment.

Marie - 3:01 - 1996 - piano recorded on a boom box - file size: 5.6 mb

http://relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/03 jkn_log_03_marie.mp3

This is a short piano song - recorded on a boom box so don't expect even close to good sound quality!   However, I really like this track so thought I'd share it.  I recorded it in 1996 while my wife was away for three weeks with work.   It was written for her.  You can hear our two dogs eating and making tinkly noises with their tags as they walk around - and they bark at the end as I was finishing. 



Evolutionary Dawn - 18:57 - 1989 - 4 track - file size: 34.8 mb

http://relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/01 jkn_log_01_evolutionary_dawn.mp3

Recorded sometime in 1989 on a 4-track recorder.   There are only 3 tracks used.   First track recorded was the drums using a Roland R8 drum machine and Korg SDD-1200 dual delay.  Second track is the pads coming from a Korg DSS-1 at times run through a Rat Distortion pedal.   Third is the bass/lead line, played on DSS-1, run through a crybaby wah pedal.    

The drums are only three patterns, however, I'm playing live over top of them all the way through.   I ran it out of voices every so often which had a nifty effect of removing some of the other drums - making it sound a bit more active and changing.   The tracks were recorded basically in three straight passes - it's almost entirely improv.  No overdubs or punching in, etc...

This was one of my first big long "epics" (as a friend called them... ha).   There are two others from this same year that I'll post in a while.



A Hole In Time - 14:03 - 1989 - 4 Track - file size:  25.8 mb

http://www.relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/02 jkn_log_02_a_hole_in_time.mp3

Added 12/14/2007

This is a 4 track recording which uses a few tape tricks - one track is running backwards the entire way through.  The beginning is made up of several tracks recorded at double speed and then played back at normal speed - some forward some backwards - a lot of punching in on this.    The drums... ha - I didn't have a borrowed drum machine handy at the time so I had to use a sample I pulled from a Psychedelic Furs track (called Wedding Song I think) - I'm running it through a borrowed Art reverb unit (I think it was John's (that Vir Unis guy) or his brothers...).   

During the mixdown from 4-track to stereo - I'm playing drums "live" on the keys of my DSS-1 - so you'll hear lots of other drum stuff going on besides just the drum loop... 

I mentioned earlier that one track is running backwarks throughout the track - that's a Juno 106.   The "flute" playing is me on my DSS-1 - I do like the little flute solos. 

As you get closer to the end of the track you get into more and more feedback and dense noise - coming from everything and the kitchen sink (DSS-1, Prophet 600, Juno 106, feedback from my dual delay SDD-1200, etc...) - the strings and everything else are DSS-1.   

There's one thing I utterly hate about this track - and wish I could remove it, but I've lost the original 4-track and only have the mixdown - and frankly if I went back to the original I'd lose the drum track recorded during mixdown...  Anyway - I hate the vocal sample when it breaks from the intro section into the main groove.    WHAT was I thinking???   Oh well... it was almost 20 years ago... ha!



A Terrible Dream - 15:55 - 1989 - 4-track - file size:  29.2 mb

http://www.relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/06 jkn_log_06_a_terrible_dream.mp3

The last of my three "epics" from 1989...  this one I haven't shown very many people at all due to the heavy (over) use of samples.   I've never been a huge fan of samples in my own music - though listened to tons of music that used samples frequently.   This truck uses drums fairly heavily - although it's a very laid back slower beat.   Many, many punch ins on this - since I only had a 4-track recorder borrowed from work - there were very limited tracks to work with (aren't computer DAW's freaking amazing?).  There's some ping ponging down of multiple tracks to one track to make room for another track.  Also - many different instruments are recorded on the same track - so at the beginning it's one instrument, in the middle something else, etc...

The drum machine is a Korg DD5 if I remember right.   I always thought of the DD5 and it's big brother the DD1 as kind of "sluggish" sounding - the drum samples were lower bit rate - it felt sluggish to play - it lended itself to slower beats for me.

Most of instruments are Korg DSS-1 - note, there's no sequencing - I think I've only used a sequencer on one, maybe two tracks - and none of these were.    Heck - you can hear me go out of time from time to time - so the lack of sequencing and quantizing should be obvious... ha... :)   Of course - I like it that way.  :)

Samples samples samples...  the train is from the movie Top Secret.   "You're safe now" is Sting from The Bride.   "I've had a terrible dream" is from the 1960 version of the movie The Haunting.   The screechy door slam whoooom noise is from the movie The Abyss.    Oh!  Almost forgot - there's a big orchestra stab stolen from Depeche Mode... eek.  I like how I used it though - especially underneath the trumpet solo.

The "trumpet" solo is a Yamaha SY22 keyboard - Yes - I threw the chord into the solo near the end as a sort - yep, it's a keyboard not a trumpet moment.    As far as the trumpet playing -I think I got the breathing right for the different phrasings and I like several moments in the solo.   Total improv - one take - as is the entire track actually... (even all the punch ins for different instruments were one takes...)

The last few minutes starts breaking into my more atonal playing - and the feedback really starts to take the forefront in a musical way - I think this is my first song to really push feedback so far forward and yet not be grinding industrial noise, but more of a musical ambient type of journey.




Still - 1:22 - ~1992 - Yamaha SY77 sequence to cassette - file size:  2.6 mb

http://www.relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/04 jkn_log_04_still.mp3

Back around 1992 I was still teaching piano at the music store that I'd worked at for 6 years - and one of my students called in sick so I toyed around with a Yamaha SY77 synth for a half hour.   I recorded this little sort of light jazzy sort of thing which I liked and dumped to cassette.   It's a sequence - but I didn't have quantizing turned on (or at least it was at 1/96 or something ridiculous).   The drums are just played on the keys live through the track (which is somewhat painfully obvious in spots... ha.).   

Anyway - I like this short little track - it's not ambient or fantastic or anything - but it was fun to throw together.



Thrown - ~1993 - 4:13 - Yamaha RX-8 pattern sequence straight to cassette - file size:  7.8 mb

http://www.relaxedmachinery.com/music/log/07 jkn_log_07_thrown.mp3

This is totally different from anything posted above.   A little closer to industrial than ambient... although calling this industrial is completely laughable...  Lets just say it's instrumental that leans a tad more towards Skinny Puppy.

Another "waiting for piano students" moment at the music store - I think there was a bad snowstorm so a bunch cancelled.   I took a Yamaha RX-8 drum machine and midi'd it up to 6 or 7 different synths at the store - SY's, DX's, the monstrous Roland RD-something or other ( I guess I could go look it up - the one with all the sliders that failed to sell well - but was a cool mix of digital with analogue like controls...).   Anyway - this was a fun experiment.   

The track is completely live -there are no overdubs.  I'm changing volume and patches on the synths - and playing the Roland RD-____ throughout the track.   The geeetar solo is the RD...



164
Everything and Nothing / TV: Lost
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:15:15 PM »
We had a nice Lost thread before...

Despite a good friend's prompting that I need to put the TV away and start recording again (smile!)... Lost season 3 comes out tomorrow!   We haven't seen any episodes of season 3...  we can't wait!   

165
Everything and Nothing / Photo Thread
« on: December 10, 2007, 12:58:03 PM »
A thread for your favorite, interesting, odd, whatever you saw through your camera, etc... photos.  :)

I'll post one my wife took - it's of a large clock in our living room shot in negative.


166
Computers, Internet and Technology / Now Playing - the video game edition
« on: December 07, 2007, 01:29:24 PM »
Picked up two new DS games this week.   

Orcs & Elves

http://www.orcsandelves.com/

“classic” dungeon crawl first person RPG.   Darn fun to play (if you like this sort of thing) – a bit on the short side – I’m half way through already since Saturday (which is really fast for me since I don’t play for hours on end…), but amazingly fun.    I’ve gotten overwhelmed a couple of times so even the ‘normal’ mode isn’t a walk in the park.   I think I’ll like ‘hard’ mode a bit better though.

Luminous Arc

http://www.atlus.com/luminousarc/

A tactical/strategy RPG… somewhat similar to the Fire Emblem series (which I love and wish they’d release more titles in the states…) or games like Advance Wars.    Fight a series of battles with up to 15 characters against an army of monsters – move, attack in various ways, cast spells, etc…   This one takes terrain height and attacking from behind or the side into account which is a very nice enhancement.   

The downside of this one is the background story and dialogue is utterly horrible.   Ouch - you'll groan.   So far the battles have made it worthwhile, though.   I'm still happy I bought it.    It's also very much in the anime tradition of 13 year old children saving the world...  ha.

 

167
Everything and Nothing / Creating: inspiration, roadblocks, resources
« on: December 07, 2007, 12:36:25 PM »
Please add your thoughts on the creation process (writing music, writing books, painting, etc...)

What inspires you?
What happens when you get writers block?
etc...

168
Some of my favorite threads were the "how we record" threads.   Starting this thread for the gear side of things...

What do you record in? 
What're your main instruments?
Secret studio weapon?

(I'll post later... got to run...)

169
Everything and Nothing / a poll
« on: December 06, 2007, 01:04:05 PM »
a humble poll.

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