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summer thieves
the stray birds
joe ellis
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kenny gross
the blame
sporting hill ramblers
robert bobby
doll house
the Bambiverse
eagles n' flags
amazingly life-like
tascam porta-two repair
kurzweil key fix
squire amp buzz fix


It has been years since I've had anything like a "comments section" on this website. There was a time when it was blog-like enough to let you respond to any of the goofy things I would post, but eventually this got too complicated for me to manage. I like to write my own pages, in basic HTML, and comments require scripts and languages that require at least occasional refresher courses, if not actual dollars, to maintain.

But in looking back at my archived webpages, I rediscovered quick topic, which was a free message board that I once tried. I clicked on a 14 year old link, and there was my topic, still live!

I can't tell you how excited this makes me. In a world where everything is commercial, and abandoned as soon as the owner gets their big buy-out, here is a service still chugging along, doing something useful- sort of like Craig's list.

So can you help me out here? I've started a topic, which is just to see if you're reading this. I'm not going to harvest email addresses or anything, and I don't think quick topic will either. Just follow this link and holla back!

Discuss Help me somebody!

Could be a thing...

Also, there is a new/old Steam Powered Studio page to peruse- from July 29th, 2003. Archives, yeah.


so... just in case you were wondering- well, I was wondering if Mo's amp could make that sound that you hear on The Devil's Right Hand. The answer is... probably...


Steam Powered Studio has an archive. I've kept it pretty well up to date since 2008, but there was a gap before that of about 8 years. Looking back, it may be that the design changes during those years were more interesting than the content.

I'll be resurrecting those pages as time permits.

falcon amp

One of Dr. Mo's amps came in for repair. A Gibson Falcon.

on the bench 01

Here's a look at its guts. Sweet point-to-point wiring.
Fortunately, all I had to do to it was replace the power connector and pilot lamp. I'm not really very good at amp repairs.

I've salted away some cash, waiting for the opportunity to grab something to improve the studio. A Grace preamp perhaps? Maybe a Neumann U87 microphone? Today fate played a hand...

basket of stuff

The stuff in this laundry basket represents something I've needed in here for a long time. It's a Furman headphone monitoring system.

monitor stations

These headphone stations allow musicians in the studio to tailor the sound they hear just the way they want it. A drummer can hear more drums, a singer more vocals.

It isn't rocket science, and the technology has been around for years, but it's a first for Steam Powered, and it'll make recording a lot more fun in here.

the vault

This video captures the first time The Vault was used here. Oz, the drummer, is a very loud player. Tom is playing his guitar through a Mesa Boogie .22 which is parked inside The Vault. The isolation was about perfect.

Every since I moved into the new place I've been wanting to reconnect with my electronic drums. I have an Alesis DM Pro head with thousands of 20 bit drum samples from the "00's" controlled by a Macintosh Plus from the '80's with a massive 20 megabyte external hard drive, running the Master Tracks Pro sequencer program.


All of this stuff will fit in your phone these days, but things haven't actually gotten any better, other than at the top end of the you-really-can't-afford-it scale. This a-here stuff can still make good records.

a floppy disk

This is a scan of a 3.5" floppy disk, something only a few of you will be personally acquainted with. Still runs in the old Mac...


The opening screen. Don Williams responded to my e-mail a few years back when I was seeking a version of this program for the PC. He'd probably be even more surprised now to learn I'm still using his program. I'm so cheap!


The program. The main screen is the "piano roll" which scrolls from right to left (unlike real piano rolls). The little black dots on the piano roll represent the notes that will play. Doubley-clickelling on them allows you to edit their volume, duration, and other stuff. You can drag them to other pitches (altering the drum being triggered) or nudge them around in time (affecting the groove). It's simple and effective.


The final piece of the puzzle is this electronic drum kit I got used a couple years back. I had been entering beats by hand or using drum pads I built myself, but it was not a very good way to go. I will be using these to trigger the drum box and record to the program. It's a sweet little e-drum station!


Fitz, a new face in the studio...