Friday, July 13, 2018

Expensive Cables: Are They Worth It?

Yes and No?!

The short answer is yes.... and no?! Why? Well, the main things that we are all looking for when we buy a new cable.
  1. Low noise floor (hiss, 60hz hum shielding, clear translation of audio)
  2. Durability
  3. Affordability
The last thing anyone wants is to pay a hefty price for a cable only to find that it lets us down at our most critical moments. So, what is the solution? Get a better made cable.

You get what you pay for?

In some cases this is definitely true, however for some reason (especially in audio) there is a fine line between what is worth the money and what is "snake oil". Therefore, one must rely on the general consensus of the collective. After many failed cables and bad experiences I have narrowed it down to a viable solution that takes care of every aspect of the purchasing mindset.

Cable insurance!

Insurance can be tricky and the monthly bills add up to thousands of dollars in a lifetime that, for the most part, the payee never sees. However, my solution is to pay a little more up front for cable insurance and skip the worry of monthly premiums. How so? Glad you asked!

Most cable manufactures take into account the fact that cables are needed, but rarely ever do they backup the quality of their cables with Lifetime Replacement Guarantees! So, the few companies that do, earn a shot at my money. That makes me trust them and there is a two fold reason.
  1. If anything happens to my cable I will get a new one (obvious huh?)
  2. Because they don't want to give me a new cable, their level of quality is going to be much higher than others, which in turn will produce a cable that I am looking for (see 3 points above)

Where can I find these cables?

Below is a list of cable manufacturers that offer a warranty on their cables.I've arranged them from lowest price to highest. These links are affiliate links, so if you purchase through these links I will get a small portion of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Cable Matters $10 for a 2-Pack
Monoprice $9.99
Planet Waves  $17.95
KLIQ Cable $17.95
Mogami  $39.46

Monday, July 9, 2018

Through The Fire

     Recently our church was destroyed in a fire that has been declared a total loss. (pics below) The amazing thing is how God has turned a bad situation into a means to unify our community and the church. So many people have banded together to help in various ways and the great people of our church are pouring themselves into fundraisers left and right to help rebuild efforts.

     Yes we had insurance, but insurance will only cover so much, and so in my effort to help in another way I wrote and recorded the song "Through The Fire". It tells our story and offers hope that the best is yet to come! So today I ask you to purchase a copy of it for yourself and be a blessing to our local assembly. All sales generated will be given to the church for rebuild efforts.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Music: That's What It's All About

Music in a home studio can sound pro now days with just a little out of pocket expense. So many internet "guru's" are telling you that in order to get great sounding tracks you have to have a ton of expensive equipment. That is simply not true!

There is more time needed than money and that is where the mix up comes from. People who are looking for just the basic equipment needed for a home studio are being bombarded with so many options that it is intimidating to say the least. However, music is what it is all about! Not the gear, the the foam on the walls, not the desk you're using, it's the music that matters!

If you're looking to break into the world of home recording for private and personal use or for even helping others to get their tunes out there, i have compiled an inexpensive list of the bare necessities that can get you up and running and it'll only cost you under $300!

*Note: These are products I have used and recommend! The price I just gave is taking into consideration you already own a computer and some recording software as well.

Under $250 for this one


                    A little more but the two mics are great for singer songwriters that want to record acoustic guitar. This one comes in at under $275

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This was a custom order for a smaller version of my pedalboard. This one will hold 4 pedals. Still has the same great features that all my boards do with a smaller footprint.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cakewalk Is Saved!

Sonar now free, renamed ‘Cakewalk by BandLab’

Windows DAW free to download with Sonar Platinum feature set 

In November, Gibson publicly killed Cakewalk. Then, three months later, BandLab Technologies announced they would be bringing it back, having acquired the DAW-maker's intellectual property. Today, though, they’ve done something even more unexpected. BandLab Technologies have relaunched Sonar, with the entire Sonar Platinum feature set and made it completely free, under the new title of ‘Cakewalk by BandLab’.
This makes sense of comments by BandLab Technologies CEO Meng Ru Kuok who had previously stated that current Sonar users "will not need to spend any money to cross-over/cross-grade to the future flagship product."
Cakewalk by BandLab includes the core premium features found in the very capable Sonar Platinum (which used to cost $499), including the Skylight user interface, flexible ProChannel modules, ARA integration and an end-to-end 64-bit mix engine.

It’s worth noting that third-party products that used to be bundled with Sonar Platinum, such as Melodyne Essential, Addictive Drums and a few others are not currently included with Cakewalk by BandLab. However, users who previously bought these products as part of a Sonar Platinum bundle will continue to be able to use them in the new DAW, as will those who have independent licences.
BandLab Technologies CEO Meng Ru Kuok describes an “aggressive feature development roadmap ahead” for Cakewalk by BandLab and this new version already sports some previously unreleased features such as integration with BandLab Assistant (which replaces Sonar’s Command Centre) for dragging and dropping loop content to Cakewalk from Assistant. Also, it adds the ability to replace Track Templates and adds a theme-capable Piano Roll View meaning you can choose a darker look for late-night music-making.

As you’d expect from Cakewalk, Windows integration is as strong as ever and the new DAW will support recent Windows advancements including pen, touch and Surface Dial throughout the user interface. BandLab Technologies already develop BandLab, a social music platform featuring a 12-track collaborative DAW that’s freely available for web browser, iOS and Android. The free distribution of Cakewalk by BandLab fits with the company’s mission of bringing professional music production tools to the masses, regardless of their means. And while it remains to be seen whether Cakewalk for BandLab will become to Windows what GarageBand is to Mac, this could be the catalyst for making it an even more popular DAW than it is already.
There's yet to be any public announcement regarding a Mac version, but Windows users can download Cakewalk by BandLab now, for free. All you need to do is sign up for a free BandLab account.

If you're a current Sonar user and want more info on how this will affect you, read the latest Cakewalk forum post from BandLab Technologies CEO, here.

Friday, January 26, 2018

HSS Episode 041-Mentorship

After a long hiatus I'm back. I assure you I did not want to go, but necessity called and I had to answer. It's this little thing called priorities and responsibility. Aside from family responsibilities, church needs, and job/schedule changes there comes a time when one has to realize that their dreams must at time be put on the back burner so that the dreams that are bigger than they are can develop. I have found to, that in order for your dreams to gain momentum, or forward motion of any kind, there must be a yearning within to see the dreams of others come to fruition as well.
No man is an island and we all have areas of expertise that can help the next guy. By doing so, we in turn gain experience and a sense of accomplishment that cannot be felt and internalized by merely climbing the mountain alone. 
Can it be done? Can one really climb to the top all on their own? Yes! But, what if when you reach the top you have no one to share in your victories, or worse yet, to help you to cope with coming back down. 
One famous climber had trained his entire life to be the one to climb Mt. Everest, only to find that when he'd reached the top he was lonely and even contemplated suicide. You would think that after conquering the mountain he'd been on a high, but the famous words he spoke to the reporter who'd interviewed him was this, (paraphrased) "I'd trained my whole life to get to the top of that mountain. It consumed me, it arrested my every waking thought. However, in all my years of preparation to make it to the top I had never made any provisions to come down."
It cannot be said to often or loudly enough, we all need someone else to help us become better at whatever we endeavor to do in life. 
And that's what I want to talk about today. Mentorship.  
Now over the 40 episodes of this podcast I have continually harped on finding someone who resonates with you and instructed you to glean from them. However, today I want to talk about mentorship in an entirely different way than I have previously.
Today, I am speaking to the mentor not the mentored. 
It is a commonly held belief that the trainer will learn just as much by teaching a subject as the student will. I have personally seen this in my own life by teaching guitar on the side. When I signed up the first few for lessons I realized that I needed to go back to the rudiments of guitar and brush up on things I'd forgot or "relearn" things from a beginners perspective again. 
The results were amazing on both ends. It forced me to go over things I really needed to brush up on and it grounded me, by helping me to remember the whole reason why I even started playing. When I saw the progression of young students and the excitement they had in their eyes when they nailed their first chord progression. Priceless!
So, today, my plea to you is this: If you are at a place where you can show someone something that you've learned... do it! If you're a beginner, find someone with less knowledge than you and grow together. If you're an intermediate or expert level mix engineer, guitarist, keyboardist, whatever it may be, reach out to someone that shows an interest and show them what you've learned. I guarantee you will learn something in the process and you might even have a little bit of fun. 
Sometimes just having a fresh set of ideas is enough to inspire creativity!
Which is the best microphone for rap?
Which software is the best for Mastering?
How do you guys process your main vocal with reverb/delay? What settings do you use?
What are some free vst plugins?

Check out this episode!