summer thieves
Current Projects
The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds
Linzi
Linzi
Summer Thieves
Summer Thieves

Willie Marble
Willie Marble
Ruby Hummingbird
Ruby
Jeff Coleman
Jeff Coleman
Studio Blog
September 24, 2012

There's a fun and exciting new Sporting Hill Ramblers page, just packed full of fun and exciting stuff!

September 22, 2012

The Happy Demise of Piece O' Shit

piece o' shit

I was once a young, optimistic lad. I thought I could buy one of those computing devices that would allow me to record on them. This would have been to augment my recording workstation (the Yamaha) and it was partly because Andy had gifted the studio a Protools LE package. It seemed like a good time to learn about this stuff. I did some research and settled on a dual processor Gateway. It had decent specs for the time, and IIRC it cost somewhere above $500, a pretty big investment.

Long story short, the machine soon acquired the handle Piece O' Shit. I never got it to work very well, it was slow and crashed. Turns out that the operating system (XP Media Edition) was exactly wrong for doing what I was doing. I have never hated any computer as much as I have hated this POS.

But I was bearing with it, using it in the studio for web access and file editing. Then last week it began to develop "symptoms". The screen would get all boogetty, then it would freeze up. I had recently installed some new drivers, so I tried to restore the thing to an earlier state- no dice. It went from running for a few minutes at a time to a few seconds. Then, blissful death...

I have never been so happy to have a computer die! So long, you piece of shit!

September 17, 2012

Bass Master

I played a couple of bar gigs recently with electric bands as the keyboard player. I'm starting to get the hang of it. It's important to be loud enough, when you're a keyboard player. Keyboard sounds, especially piano sounds, require a lot from an amplifier- not so much to overpower the rest of the band (although it's always good to be able to do that when necessary) but just to reproduce the complex waveforms involved, without distorting and hurting your ears real bad.

This old Traynor Bass Master does the trick- and it's great to have along on a fishing trip!

September 11, 2012

stoker Dave

Dave Shaeffer wuz in the house this week, playing on a Robert Bobby track using his fabulous F Bass. It's a fretless 6-string, and it sounds great! Bobby's doing a new version of 4 Inches and Dreaming and it's a pleasure to remix this in the new studio. It has that Bill Nork playing dobro too...

Dave plugged straight into the recorder, and he monitored without headphones, using the newly-repaired JBLs. Nice to be able to do that!

September 08, 2012

speaker

In my very first studio I had a pair of Radio Shack bookshelf speakers. They were teh suck. I remember the very day when I managed to get the coin together (and make the committment to spend it) for some JBL speakers. L46 2-way bookshelf speakers

Everyone knows (or at least, they knew back then, in the 1970's) that JBL made some of the best speakers on the market. I was (as usual) fairly ignorant about what was inside the speakers, and about how important it is to have a good amp to drive the speakers, a good listening room, etc. But I knew I needed to step up to something better.

Big disappointment. I never liked the sound of them. The bass seemed over-emphasised, the highs brittle, and it was as if the lows and highs weren't coming from the same place. For mixing I actually preferred the old Radio Shacks.

I moved from a tiny 8 by 8 mixing room into a 12 by 16 basement room, and I thought that maybe the JBLs would shine here. But no dice. They ended up in the "auxillary" room, and I only listened to them to get an idea of how loud the bottom end was in a mix. And only then by standing in another room to listen to the balance. I just didn't like the sound of them.

And then the surround gave out on one of them.

The surround in a speaker is the flexible part that allows the cone to move in and out, pushing air, making sound. When the surround fails, it lets air pass around the edge of the cone, making a buzzing or farting sound. It's not pretty. So when I moved into the new space, I had not listened to these old JBL speakers- until today.

There are repair kits for speaker surrounds. Now, because I'd never really liked these speakers, I wasn't about to spend gobs of money to get them fixed. But the D.I.Y. surround repair kit was $25, so what the heck. I fixed. Today I listened to these speakers in a big space, and guess what- they sound marvelous.

With reservations! Great albums sound really great on them. Wildflowers. The Night Fly. Aja. But oddly, Hazzards of Love still sounds better on the console. I think that the thing these speakers were designed to do was to deliver high volume levels with gusto.

It was the 70's, man. These speakers could be stuck out your porch windows, and powered by your Pioneer receiver, provide a soundtrack for your kegger. Not big on subtlety. So I still won't mix on them- but they will impress the guitar players for playbacks, and they do fill the place with sound.

September 03, 2012

mic

There's a new mic in the house. I got a nice deal on this used AKG Perception 420. It's a large-diaphragm (1") condensor, with selectable pickup patterns. I'll be throwing it at guitars and vocals and such...

Older Stuff
The Stray Birds
Borderland
Jeff Coleman
Save to Serve Her
Jen and Charlie
Jen and Charlie
Woggi Noggi
Woggi Noggi
Stable Jams
The Stable Jams
Summer Thieves
You Can't Lie
Willie Marble
All the Marbles
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
OTLF
Twenty Twelve
Fender Twinns
Fender Twinns
Jeff Coleman
48 eagles
Ezra Shade
Ezra Shade
Craig Wise
Craig Wise
Dr. Mo
Doctor Mo
the Gadjo Playboys
That Ain't Right
Robert Bobby
F*U*B*A*R
Kenny
Kenny Gross
Trance
Trance
Nork
Bill Nork
the Stokers
The Stokers
Blind Joe Death
Blind Joe Death
Olds
Olds Sleeper
Night Wolf
Night Wolf
Big Red
Big Red
Gil Smart
Gil Smart
Speedboys
the Speedboys
Wooden Nickel
Wooden Nickel
the Blame
the Blame
Dark 30
Dark 30
Olds
Death Clowns
Phoebes
Phoebe
Jason Mundok
Jason Mundok
reservoir
reservoir
Robert Bobby
S*N*A*F*U
Jeff Coleman
Keeping Time
Big Red
11 songs
Toro
Ralph Toro
various artists
West of the Dial
Jeff Coleman
Love's Algebra
hello. this is a multi-purpose studio that is trying to operate without charging for work, without ads, and without selling anything. how can that possibly happen?