Steam Powered Studio
May 30, 2010


Here's a very special MP3 by Midnight production. I woke up this morning and wrote down these words.

No Democracy.mp3

Happy Memorial day, dead guys! I hope these rich bastards were worth dying for.

May 24, 2010

That was crazy. I spent about 12 hours yesterday moving files around between the various computers and external hard drives in the studio complex. It had been bugging me that work in progress had been vanishing (actually, just being shoved into mysterious directories somewhere). I had been very consistant with recordings done on the AW4416, but anything else, like live recordings and samples and songs being written and MIDI piano improvisations, had been getting lost. And there were no consistant back-ups of anything but "finished" songs.

In the course of running this website I've generated thousands and thousands of graphics, and taken hundreds of pictures and made many short videos of the Stokers at work. None of that was easy to locate either. So yesterday was a full day spent sorting, basically. Sorting and stacking. Bleah!

I want to put some numbers on this here... after I'd stacked up all the music recordings of all kinds (other than the "finished" mp3s and oggs, which are kept seperate), I've got over 100 gigs of that (the "finished" stuff is only about 3.75 gig). After I stacked up all the website graphics and html and text files, I got over 60 gigabytes of that. I had to search around and collect all this stuff from various places on different machines, but now they're sorted into directories that make sense, and backed-up across machines. I still have over 100 gig of non-music related photographs I've taken and around 66 gig of other people's music to back up someplace, but that will be easier to do, I think...

studio swag
May 12

guitar player
Here's Maya recording a guitar part- it's a remarkably colorful photo for the basement studio, all those laundry baskets in there. Tom's Marshall is standing by in the background just in case we need it.

This is in the annex of the studio. Drum room, vocal booth, whatever. I mic'd this sort of diff'rent as you can see, different for me anyway. That's a 4041 over her right shoulder, and a 4033A in front pointing at the body behind the bridge. It worked well, but we didn't use it.

Maya hadn't wanted this version of her song Adelaide to be downloaded, because she's going to be having some other folks come in and play on it, but she will allow it to be streamed. Now, I've been online with music for a few years and I've always found streaming software to be awful to work with, but this morning I actually had a thought. Try clicking on this link. It's a playlist that has just her song in it. If it doesn't play automatically, it will probably prompt you to choose a player for it- and you probably have one on your computer that can play it. It streams fine for me using Winamp.

Adelaide demo stream

May 10, 2010

Tonight I mixed down Sheila Jordan's songs from the Diva's gig. Wow. Sheila is 80 something, and that obviously affects what she can do with her voice, but on the other hand, I'm not sure that what she does with her voice isn't the result of all those years of experience rather than due to any loss of ability.

Let me put it this way- a woman of 30 has certain things to put across. What does a woman of 80 sing about? That's an education.

music catalogue
Kids these days. I hadn't wanted to post anything about working with Maya until it actually happened. Life moves fast when you're 20. I sort of remember that...

We started in on her CD project tonight. Big fun.
May 31, 2010

I have a new rant about our worship of death. Not everything I'd like to say on the subject, but it's a start.

May 28, 2010

bees knees
A scene from the Sporting Hill Ramblers' rehearsal on Wednesday night. We were in tune with all the folks out in Cumberland I think.

Olds Sleeper has a new one out here. I like the sounds and the layers on these. And the panning. Nice use of space. I tend to think of Olds Sleeper songs in terms of paintings.

12 canvases, free to download. Thanks, Olds!

May 21, 2010


Well, it's been a while, but Tom made it over and we did some work tonight. Joe showed up too, and words were written. Things are going well...

About the Studio
May 18, 2010

Erin Cruise
Other than chairs, it has been the month of Maya around here. But I have been mixing more of the Divas of Jazz show, and it sounds very good. This is Erin Cruise and Steve Varner at some point during her set. She sang Midnight At the Oasis and Misty. Best version of Misty I've ever heard, actually.

Looks like we had plenty of microphones up there, doesn't it?
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May 16, 2010

studio chair
Some things are profound- some things are mundane- some things are a little of both. My old chair in the studio made horrible noises when I moved. I mean big creaking noises. I tried tightening bolts, oiling joints, everything I could think of, but it couldn't be fixed.

Well, a creaky chair in a recording studio is not a good thing. I had to sit frozen like a statue when people were recording. Today I replaced the creaky chair. It's a minor thing, but so much nicer!

May 01, 2010

May. It's a whole 'nother month.

I'll be mixing down that Divas of Jazz show for starters. That's going to become a CD for the people who supported the event.

Summer Thieves will be working on their latest four songs- Tom was in here last night directing me on a mix and we're getting some great guitar noises.

And a big "hello!" to all you folks from China. God only knows why you're coming here, but I hope you find something to enjoy.

8 horses
Oh yeah- it's Derby day... I like Super Saver.

Featured Song
May 26, 2010

The Visitors

It's about time for a new featured song, isn't it? Ralph Toro called me the other day and was wondering when his song Heart was going to be on the website. Well Ralph, that happened back in March. You can listen to that one on the Featured Song page as well...

And look to the Studio Blog later today for some thoughts about all of this.

May 20, 2010

I love the Divas Of Jazz. I love Maya di Vitry. But some guys left this stinkin' Marshall in my basement. And I actually own a Les Paul. Sooner or later, it was bound to happen.

Stupid Marshall Riff


This is a stupid, quick recording of what happens when you have this stuff around. It could be rock and roll...

May 06, 2010

I'm up to Diva #3. Out of nine. Each one performed two songs. Then there was a big finale where they all sang together.

I'm not complaining, mind. As I listen back I hear all the good stuff that just flew by during the actual performance. That's why I like recording so much.

Now I'm learning about my de-esser. It's a feature on the Waves Y56K card I got when I bought the second machine. If I'd had my way, I would have planted a decent microphone on the stage and made these gals all sing into it, old school- maybe some clutching at the bosum, an arm flung over the head, but no hand-held microphones!


I'm such a purist...