Poison ft Chriss Yell

This is a Tune my close friend and Musical partner and I recorded last summer. I played the drums, bass and guitars, he sang and played some acoustic guitars as well as penned the tune. For contractual reasons I wasn’t allowed to play it publicly until Today. He has this fantastic sounding U87 Microphone clone from JJ audio that sounds so sweet and full, I love using that microphone! Enjoy!


Spock’s Beard New CD Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep


Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep has proved to be the Spock’s Beard Record s a fan I’ve always wanted to hear. My love and admiration of Progressive music is no secret to those closest to me. I’m a prog fool as much as I’m a blues fan, rocker and smooth jazz lover. As a long time fan of Spock’s Beard I’ve always felt a little robbed in the guitar department when it comes to Alan Morse in a light beer kind of way. Alan is such an amazing player but he’s always really laid back in the pocket on Spock’s Beard recordings, not so on Brief Nocturnes. Alan Morse is all over this record and it’s really put a smile on my face and a joyful step in my heart.

As a fan Brief Nocturnes is the album I’ve always craved from Spock’s Beard in the guitar department, I’m so enthralled. Alan doesn’t shred all over the CD, that would not be Spock’s Beard, but the spots he does are epic! His note choices and melodies are sublime on the record and he shows that as a guitarist he’s a force to be adored and reckoned with. I’ve always known what a true virtuoso Alan Morse is by default demographically. Living two towns over from Alan in California for over 20 years I’ve had the opportunity to see him play live and he’s something else boy!

With the departure of Nick D’Virgilio one of Musics most talented drummers / vocalists touring drummer Jimmy Keegan has really stepped up and filled his shoes well as has vocalist Ted Lenard. So many times when bands go through line up changes they lose the magick, I would have to say, at least for myself, this is not the case for this SB fan. If you’re a fan of progressive music go out and listen to Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep on the interwebs, you just may find something worth paying for. I certainly have.

spocks beard

Slate Pro Audio RAVEN MTX

Today Steven Slate released a new video of his new Raven Touch Studio Console. The Raven MTX is now available at gcpro.com in the US and MEDIAPROS.co.uk in the EU. No word on availability of the smaller Raven MTi shown at NAMM. I also might add the Price point is 16.5k US Stereo and $17.5k surround, a lot higher than SS marketing people have said in the past pre release. Also a note of interest it is “Macintosh only” at this time however a windows capable unit is in the works. I think it’s an amazing Desk and, if it works properly, a huge game changer for DAW.

Control Room Mic placements for guitar amps

As I’ve said in the past I prefer to mic my guitar amp in the control room of my home studio. It’s problematic at times for the obvious reason of monitor bleed into the microphones but, with some spiffy mic placement and padding I’ve found I can make it work pretty easily. This is not to say this technique is right or wrong, this is simply the technique that works for me.

When my Friend and song writing M8 returned from IPR in Minnesota he had some interesting concepts on microphone placement. If you had asked me if I thought mic’n up an amplifier in a control room would be useful before this I would have answered probably not. What my friend had suggested was moving the placement behind the monitors or on an opposite wall that’s well treated against reflection. Using a cardioid or hypercardioid microphone is necessary with this placement, some padding and shielding has also prove helpful. This technique is not useful with a second room mic for blending.


In front of my amp in a rotation counter to the monitors I’ve placed an Audix i5 (My go to Mic for guitar and snare drums live and studio) utilizing an sE reflection filter. I’ve also padded the wall “down wind” against any reflection from the monitors. With the 22 Watt amps channel volume at 7, the drive at 7 and the master volume at 5. The result is a complete gated effect with no substantial bleed from the monitors.


When recording clearly you must mute the track that recording is engaged, but I thought it worth mentioning. I’ve used this technique on multiple projects in the last year with great success. Give it a try and let me know your results!

Gibson Guitar USA Make Strategic Investment purchasing 51% of TEAC

Gibson Guitar Corp. announced early this morning an agreement to make a strategic investment into Japan’s TEAC CORPORATION.

TEAC is one of the world’s top names in audio and visual equipment, and a leading producer of data storage equipment and related products. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

Gibson has entered into an agreement, signed today, with Phoenix Capital in which two investment funds operated by Phoenix Capital have agreed to sell to Gibson all the shares they own in TEAC Corporation, or 157,447,000 shares, (54.4% of the issued and outstanding shares), at a price agreed between the parties of 31 JPY per share. As this will result in Gibson acquiring over one third of TEAC, Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Law requires Gibson to undertake a tender offer process.

Thus, Gibson, through a special purpose vehicle, will make an all-cash tender offer to purchase 157,447,000 shares of TEAC common stock for 31 Japanese Yen per share in cash. Gibson will purchase a maximum of 157,500,000 shares. The tender offer period is scheduled to commence on April 1, 2013 and will remain open for 21 Japanese business days.

Today, TEAC’s Board of Directors issued a press release supporting the tender offer.

Video streaming by Ustream

SoundToys Little MicroShift free until the 29th of March!

SoundToys is one of the Platinum premiere Pro Tools Plugin companies in the industry. I think the software they author is some of the best sounding available. Until March 29th SoundToys is giving away the Little MicroShift Plugin free. I  downloaded mine this evening and I can’t stop mixing tracks with this little Gem. It sounds amazing in the mix! A must have for guitar players and vocalist, don’t lose out on this.

You must have an iLok and use this code: 406-2024-803 and register your Little Microshift Here: https://www.soundtoys.com/sxsw2013/&rc=406-2024-803

SoundToys Still creates world-class TDM and RTAS plugins for Pro Tools but now all SoundToys plugins are AU and VST compatible. That’s a big deal to Logic and Cubase users and full of win for us that use more than Pro Tools exclusively for DAW.  Go grab yours now!

SXSW 2013 Keynote By Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl SXSW Ketnote

Dave Grohl’s SXSW 2013 Keynote Speech this morning was amazing. He’s always an inspiration to me and without fail he hit a home run with this keynote. What really hit home for me was the portion of his speech where he “figured out how to be a one man band” when he was 13 years old by using two cassette decks hooked together. This is precisely what I did when I was a Teen / Tween, I wrote about it here. It’s cool to find out I wasn’t the only one obsessed with sound as a kid, that someone as talented as Dave Grohl was doing the same. This specific Part of the keynote starts at 20:11 if you want to fast forward to it.

In true Dave Grohl style he’s completely hilarious, dropping the “F” bomb about 15 times with other colorful metaphor’s that he’s known for. He’s just being Dave which is why I think his music transcends to the masses, no pretentiousness or overblown ego, no BS. I also noted he’s a complete geek and a nerd, who else would illustrate live Multi-tracking music with two cassette desks but a Music geek? See, Rock starts are just music geeks more or less, but I’ve always know this.

Sorry I only have a link, it’s not available to share as of yet. If it comes out on Vimeo or Youtube later today I’ll embed it. Click below to watch it on NPR, it’s worth your time. <3 Dave Grohl!

EDIT: Someone posted it on YouTube :D

My Alter Ego “I am Dead!”

I’m sitting in my studio with absolutely no voice whatsoever but I’m gleefully smiling :D I’ll explain in a minute. I’ve been working on segment music for a Broadcast Radio client of mine that’s been with me since 1995. The music was for a new gaming segment they’re adding to their “Computer Talk” radio program, of course it has to be the metal! (By Request). They want and I quote “a tune that sounds like a hot wheels commercial.” I’m not much of a Metal fan unless it’s Tool or Dream Theater, it seems to me and my taste Metal has all been done before. I don’t play metal at gigs and I wouldn’t audition for a metal gig unless someone tried to pass it off as something else (been there done that). It’s just not my cup of tea as a player.

The timing on this project couldn’t have been better.  I just finished watching “What we do is Secret” the story of the Germs. I was a little to young for the punk scene but I lived in the middle of it being in Los Angeles during Middle School. I remember kids wearing Germs shirts and hearing stories from my brother and his friends about Darby Crash (and his epic Heroin habit) and Pat Smear (Nirvana – Foo Fighters). I already had it in my mind to do some heavy Punk Riffing for fun in the studio because I’m a huge Germs fan and the film inspired me. I’m a huge fan of Punk Rock, I listen to the Dead Kennedy’s all the time still as I never seem to tire of them. Plus I resonate artistically toward the minimalism in Punk and good old 3 chord Rock. Angus RULZ!

In the same day (I know a lot of Netflix but I’ve been really Sick) I watched another film called Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains. I’d never heard of this film but it reminded me of working with scummy A & R people back when I was a young Lad trying to work my way up in the music business in LA 20 years ago. There’s a line from the Movie “Don’t Put Out” that was perfect for this tune so I threw it in there. I liked the film, but I usually like any film that has to do with musicians. Coal miners daughter, Walk the Line and the Pick of Destiny are among my favorites.

This is one of those projects where almost everything went perfect, almost, which is rare. I had some trouble with the drum production but I’m not a good drummer so I have to “fix it”to make it sound righteous in the mix. Outside of that I composed and recorded the music in less than 2 hours. I only did one take for the guitar solo and kept it as hinckey as it is in a few spots. The vocals aren’t going to the client just the arrangement, plus I can’t sing lead (my voice is nasally). So what is it that one must do when your voice is great for harmony but a Vick’s commercial a capella? Why bring out the Cookie Monster voice!

Cookie Monster Metal!

Cookie Monster Metal!

For many moons I’ve used a character  as a catalyst to write with before, the Staten Worshiping, Heroin addicted, on a Murder spree Loki Hendrix Mac Nicol. His mother let the neighbors rape him as a child while his drunk father beat him and his siblings which formed him into a psychopath. Loki is an alter ego kind of character bloody and violent to the core! Loki comes straight out of a Quentin Tarantino nightmare, he gets his kicks by stabbing people in the eye with his needles after he shoots up as a type of murderous mayhem and torture.

Loki Hendrix Mac Nicol

Loki Hendrix Mac Nicol was here!

As I’m doing the vocals on this project my voice is just getting tore up but I saved one last blast for the blood curdling scream Loki lets out in the intro. Oh my freaking Lord it hurt! The end of the story, I had so much fun doing this arrangement, more fun then I’ve had in quite some time solo cholo. FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN!!!! It wasn’t work, it was an enjoyable process especially when everything goes as easy as this one did. My Egnater Tourmaster sounds just brutal on this track, I cranked it up so loud I had to run cables all the way to the bathroom on the other side of the house to stop the bleed over. Check out my *cough* Loki’s blood curdling scream in the intro, I don’t think I will be answering the phone anytime today :D


Oh, and remember to play this FUCKING LOUD!

Gratitude: Searching for Sugar Man #inspired

I had the most amazing experience at the The David Minor Theater tonight that was so powerful and surreal, I would have to classify it as spiritual. I saw this amazing film titled “Searching for Sugar Man” about a folk rock / pop star from the early 70’s who’s career bombed after his second album release. Unbeknownst to the films protagonist Sixto Rodriguez he had become a huge Platinum selling icon in South Africa with Anglo protestors of apartheid subsequently starting a musical protest movement commonly known as the “afrikaans music revolution.” Soon after his popularity came into focus the sick twisted apartheid government planted a false propagandist story country-wide that “Rodriguez” has committed suicide on stage to squash the love of his music. As all history teaches us humans over and over it vaulted him to martyr status amongst South African youth. When will these d-bags ever learn?

Rodriguez so inspired music executives at the time of his budding recording Career no expense was spared in the production of his compositions for vinyl release. His first album “Cold Fact” was produced by Dennis Coffee of the infamous Funk Brothers responsible for hundreds of hits for Motown. Dennis Coffey is so iconic he introduced the world to the Wah Wah pedal on the Temptations Psychedelic Soul hit Cloud Nine forever changing the landscape of popular music and electric guitar. This amazing record was also co-produced by industry heavyweight Mike Theodore (NelsonWu-Tang Clan) who’s musical pedigree is near untouchable in the artist realm. Lastly, Bob Babbit the iconic amazing Elvis of funk played Bass and arranged this record. Names such as these are unheard of working on a sophomore release let alone a debut album, however record executives know the goods when they hear it. This was something they clearly believed in simply assesed by the talent they brought forth into the sessions.

Although Cold Facts failed to break into the main stream his label Sussex Music appointed Steve Rowland to produce Rodriguez’s next album. Who is Steve Rowland you ask? He signed Peter Frampton, The Cure and the Thompson Twins and was involved in production and management of these amazing artists, that’s who Steve Rowland is. Clearly the powers at be in the executive branch of record company-ville saw dollar signs in their eyes. In listening to this album you can see why this is and what it is in an artistic sense. I’ve listened to few singer song writers in my estimation that can compose on the level of Dylan, Woody and Jimi but Rodriguez does it for me. I’m hair on the back of my neck standing up straight inspired by this amazing singer songwriter.

As for myself I retired from this film to absorb the knowledge of the entire interwebz for simple reason. The film’s soundtrack was brilliant but… OH MY FUCKING GODS this man is amazing. One listen is all it will take most humans IMHO.

Anything I could share beyond this can be found @ Sixto Rodriguez website: http://sugarman.org

Keywords: Gratitude, inspired, talent