Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The New Years Reolutions

I hope you had an awesome Christmas! Spending time with family and enjoying the time off work is a gift in itself. Here at the McClellan household we enjoyed some great food and fun with family. Santa must have not got the letter I wrote because I did not get that SM57 in my stocking but that's okay, I will let it slide this time.

So now a new year is soon to begin and with it comes the usual resolutions that all of us fail to keep. Yep, I am a realist. However, my Pastor said something in service the other day that made total sense. He said that the reason most of us fail to keep those resolutions is because we are holding ourselves accountable. Ergo, when we are the only one to let down its easy to break that commitment. So, I propose that this year, when it comes to the resolutions you will make concerning your studio, ,musical progress, (or anything for that matter) get a buddy you can trust to give you honest feedback and keep you on track! Tell him/her that you want them to stop you dead in your tracks and slap you silly if they have to and say something like "Hey! You said you were going to release an album this year! Get to work!" Even better find a group of like minded individuals that share the same goals and let them know your goals openly. This will place you in the hot seat when you don't fulfill those goals, which in turn will spur you on.

Now with anything in life you have to have drive and a passion for your endeavor regardless of what it is or you will not have the want to achieve. This is where the task at hand loses its luster and suddenly becomes a job. Now, that is not to say that at times even our greatest passions become burdensome and frustrating when we don't see the results we are looking for, that is natural. Keep chugging along though and it will pay off in the end.

So, for the new year I have a few resolutions to share with you on my part. These are things that are achievable and needed for me to get to that next level in life. Aside from the first thing on my list these are in no particular order.

1- I am going to get closer to God, closer to my Pastor, and closer to my Family
2- I am going to go to school this year and start earning a degree (Business Administration more than likely)
3- I am going to release my EP before my Birthday (February 1st)
4- I am going to collaborate with another musician to co-write a song
5- I am going to lose 15 pounds
6- I am going to release less content of higher quality rather than a bunch of content with little value
7- I am going to complete a course on using Sonar
8- I am going to step up guitar lessons with my son (he already knows a lot at 8 but I need to spend more time on that with him)

There! I did it! I let it out and now I am accountable at least to those of you lovely people who stop by and read my ramblings every once in awhile. Thank you by the way for those of you who have listened to the podcast, read this blog, commented on or liked my Facebook page, and subscribed to the YouTube Channel. I am just getting my feet wet with all this and am really loving it!

Okay, so now to find a few good friends of mine that will hold me accountable face to face and I am all set! I hope you all have an awesome year 2016, God bless each and every one of you!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! May you all have a Blessed and Happy New Year as well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Physics of Equality-Production Elements

Wow! It's been crazy busy around here lately! Family Christmas before Christmas, shopping, Black Friday, and on top of that the typical Studio work. (Recording, Mixing, Mastering, drinking lots of coffee...)

So, I recently had the privilege of Recording Singer-Songwriter Justin Clark. Justin has been a long time friend from way back in my High School days and at that time he was just starting out on the guitar. In fact, he conveyed to me that I was the first person to show him a chord! Well, fast forward to now and man alive! This guy is good! After we reunited through a concert I was having at a local coffee shop, we got to talking about music and "geeking out" on acoustic guitars. One thing led to another and I was recording him here in my home studio. Needless to say it has been a blast!

We have discussed already that we are going to work through an EP for him to release in early February. (that's my goal) I thought I would document my progress each step of the way and so here is my first installment. In the video below I cover some of the production elements that I added to what was originally intended to be a sparse arrangement. The first thing he wanted was to just get a song recorded. He was expecting a simple acoustic guitar track and a vocal over top of that. However, after discussing different options, and showing him what could be done with the song by adding a few elements to it on the production side of things, he jumped in feet first with a full production.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

BOSS BR-800 Control Surface Set-Up

Setting up the Br-800 to work as a Control Surface is actually quite easy. So, why would anyone want to do such a thing? Well, as I near the end of a mix one of my favorite final embellishments that breaths life as well as energy into a mix is Automation. For those of who you related with that, you probably also know then that using a mouse to perform this task is daunting to say the least. It is less musical, it is less creative, it is less... well cool.

In fact, it has helped my mixes in the present to set up my Br-800 in Control Surface mode and just close my eyes with the faders resting under my fingers. We mix with our ears, not our eyes, and so this takes away that urge to "see" the mix get better. Not to mention, when the wife walks in you look really into it and seem (to the untrained eye) to be working really hard. Unfortunately, my wife knows that I am having fun rather than me fooling her into believing that I am "in the throws" of a complex situation. She usually just chuckles and walks away.

Now, if you are not doing Automation, you need to. If you are waiting on buying a Control Surface first, don't. I used a mouse for years and it works just fine, its just more work. Also as stated previous;y, it's just not as cool. Anywho, I was asked to create a video showing how to set the Br-800 up for this wonderful feature and so without further adieu.