This post will be updated weekly through the entirety of the Self Quarantine Stream Episodes.
Installation First Look | Universal Audio LUNA
For starters, the system I’m using is a MacBook Pro with macOS Mojave 10.14.6 installed.
The initial download and installation were pretty straight forward compared to most DAW workspaces. The first night, I was able to get as far as basic installation, but getting iLok cloud working was a bit of a challenge (luckily there is step-by-step documentation). I’m not that excited to have to be dealing with iLok again, but iLok cloud worked after tinkering around with it and a few reboots.
I’m old enough to remember first-generation iLoks, I felt they were undependable and often only a system reboot would get them back in working order. Securing system licenses for a vendor should never impact the use or stability of the system. Their iLok cloud is a vast improvement, I do appreciate the developer focus and seamless integration with such a commonly used licensing system. Moving on.
The first time the license activation kicked in and LUNA launched, it was a beautiful thing. With Universal Audio (UA) plug-ins, I have come to expect high aesthetics on top of powerful, easy to use software that delivers sound consistent with the plug-ins’ analog counterparts. A prompt for an immediate upgrade is available, good we are now in the cloud where all decent software is version-less.
Another nice touch that cannot be overstated is UAs strong documentation and the useful tutorials that load to help provide an overview of the system. I’ve found their support in the past to be robust fast and responsive (reminder, UA is not paying me, I’m, just a happy customer). The Luna Basics videos are a detailed enough walkthrough to get started, with the promise of in-depth tasks and workflows explained in longer videos and tutorials. Remember to RTFM, in this case, the videos.
After watching the videos, I moved on to the remaining tabs (Create, Discover, Manage, Settings) on the left of the LUNA UX. The dashboard is a highly organized front end to plug-ins and extensions. I already own a number of UAD plug-ins, so they are all there active and reference-able when I click on the UAD Plugins tab. I like that there is a search, filtering, with options to show/hide purchased plug-ins. Plug-in lists can be unwieldy. The dashboard has the potential for Universal Audio to deliver tutorials and recording templates as well as the purchase options, thus far I like what I am seeing.
The discover tab is like going into your favorite gear shop, so you’d better watch your tail and buy only essential tools (we all want to get all of them). Plug-ins are valuable investments, they should be looked at as tools which can increase efficiency, reinforce productivity, creative output, and automate the creative workflow. Any time you try to put a dollar sign to the value each tool brings to the table, look at the time spent completing your normal tasks. The time spent manually achieving the sound that the plug-in natively produces with a flip of the switch and a couple adjustments often saves time. The most useful plug-ins pay for themselves (in time saved) in short order.
There is a bundle that looks intriguing. The LUNA Creator Bundle may look like a lot at first glance, but at $549, that’s $149 more than the essential Neve Summing plug-in (a decent value for what it does). I’m going to practice restraint and forgo any purchase until I’ve gotten acclimated to the DAW. I already own the Studer A800 which should get me some mileage on my recording projects this weekend. On day one of installation and use, I have more than enough to work with with my pre owned plugin library.
Moving onto the Manage tab I see the details of all of the items I own installed, along with available demos. Cool, I can try out the Neve Summing be for I buy it. I appreciate the try before you buy option. It’s a good thing to know the size of the items in the install base, should I need to move anything to an external drive in the future. This is made easy by right-clicking on any item which brings up your base hard Drives for reference. There are two tabs, My Products, and Installed Products at the top of the page. They both seem to do the same thing, assuming they will provide value at a future date.
Anyone who has used the UA Meter and Control Panel or their Console UX should feel at home in the settings tab. It’s nice to have the Hardware, I/O Matrix, and Options all in an organized area for quick changes and review. Another feature that I like might not sound like much but it speaks volumes about what type of company Universal Audio is. Feedback is persistent in the upper right-hand corner of the system, allowing their customer base to help developers deliver a better product.
This is very important to me and this point should be to all of you. To someone that develops software (my day gig is software UX/design), direct customer feedback is a sign of true integrity. This tells me Universal Audio is a customer based company focused on continuous improvement. It tells me that I can trust them as a company and that my investments in their products and services are in good standing. I’ve worked in cloud software since 2007. Leaders in cloud-based software (like Fred Luddy from ServiceNow) built themselves a loyal customer base by empowering the customer with innovative tools and listening to the customer’s voice. Feedback is about continuous improvement. It’s really cool to see Universal Audio developers following that tradition as professional recording moves to the cloud. It’s about time, cloud-based software gives customers the opportunity to harness the power of UAs development efforts. If done correctly, its a mutually beneficial partnership of developers and the professional customers they serve.
I’ll work on finishing my first few LUNA projects by the end of April, which gives me about a week. Along with one of the projects, I will write a review of the experience in LUNA compared to Logic Pro X. Judging by what I have seen thus far, this is going to be a fun system to work with and should result in the highest quality output. Quarantine has added some completion obstacles to a current album project, so I’m going to use this as an opportunity to play and compose in the singer-songwriter format. With LUNA, I hope to complete a new set of songs I have written for an album that I just dubbed Canadian Tuxedo. The big challenge is if I need a drum track I may need to import from Logic Pro X’s virtual drummer or another program like Superior Drummer 3.
Canadian Tuxedo Cover
We’ll see how it goes, it’s all about the creative process and if I can stay close to my muse. Here is the album cover, cheers until later. I know, its a shameless nod to Nathanial Rateliff’s album, but I don’t give AF. I love that album and his work as an artist, his latest album is on constant rotation here at the house.
A few Useful Hints…
As Mentioned above, you may want to take a look at some of the tutorials out there. I’ve viewed a considerable amount of them. This one is one of my favorite overviews on editing. This video has a UA developer and designer to describe the backend file system that powers LUNA projects. They go into the flexibility available when importing and exporting projects using mix down commands to move files between your preferred DAWs.
A considerable effort on rethinking complex menu systems for ease of use, search-ability, audio workflow, and visibility into all aspects of the UX. Track editing is intuitive with efficient pitch, gain, fade tools built directly into the clip. The first time I have ever heard of unlimited un-dos in any editing software, especially in auto-saving. The spill feature easily shows all tracks and sub-mix signal flow of each bus for a highly organized view during the mixing process. powerful. The midi editing capabilities are gone through. On first glance they look intuitive.
Luna Office Hours
If you have time, the LUNA Office Hours videos provide a casual discovery forum with some of the early adopter power users of the LUNA system.
Self Quarantine Stream
The reason I manage my own website, media, writing, videos, and the copy is to provide a transparent view into a D.I.Y artist. While achieving professional looking production quality is indeed my end goal, it’s just as important to show the evolution of a project and the learning process involved.
In the first 4 episodes, I learned real-time how to stream. This first one was a bit of a technical disaster, but it’s important to show true documentation of the creative process with the goal of continuous improvement. This means posting everything, warts and all, to communicate what went wrong and how the problems that arose were addressed. This way everyone else can learn from my mistakes. Even with the signal cutting out and pixellated video it never gets as bad as Bill O’Reilly’s “We’ll Do It Live” meltdown, so I’m going to chalk it up as a learning experience.
By the fourth episode, I was comfortable using a mix of live and prerecorded content. Which is an important aside, all sorts of things can go wrong, be prepared with a prerecorded backup plan for live content. For all episodes, I am using restream.io to push to multiple platforms simultaneously. I’m still figuring out how to add Instagram using restream.io and will write a full-featured article on the tools (software & hardware) used.
What I like most about the fourth episode is how naturally I become once I see that I’m playing to my friends who were also on lockdown. Once I see my family and friends are watching, the performance clearly shows. I started to relax a bit, knew my audience, and two hours went by like nothing.
Nothing special about the third episode, it’s a good representation of how I practice in the evenings if the band members are unavailable. I go through my material off the top of my head. Work on clean precise rhythm hem, and use a looper to do a few solo exercises. I’ve used plenty of loopers in the past, but nothing beats the Boomerang 3 Phrase Sampler. It’s easy to use. Loopers can be trick and although I usually miss a beat, as a piece of hardware it never does.
The electric I play is a Reverend Jetstream 390, I love everything they stand for. A real a-class group of individuals. The reason I like that particular guitar is I am a huge fan of Tony Joe White, solo he played a Strat through a Tweed Deluxe. My God what a tone Tony had. RIP brother.
After the catastrophic crashes, disconnections, and failure of my first attempt at streaming, I overcompensated and pre-recorded the entire show. I put everything together in Final cut and streamed using OBS into restream.io. My brother’s footage was just on an iPhone, my footage was through a goPro Hero 7 with the audio adapter plugged into a Bose S1 battery powered PA.
If you want to BUSK and get great footage with great audio this is a killer option. I will write up a full article on the Bose S1 and goPro, for now this playlist uses it, sounds good to me.
Episode 01 part B
While I’m getting the hang of the cut screens and working in OBS, I am unaware till its too late how pixellated the output is.
the part that sucks, is I turn off the audio, and never put it back up halfway through. You live and learn.
Episode 01 part A
Oh my god, the system crashed 2 times and apparently, the webcam on the laptop is not high enough resolution. Audio sounds good though.
Admitting That I Prefer Live Streaming & Have for Some Time
Now let me first say, this is certainly not the best situation humanity has found itself in. Being forced indoors, live music ban, surfing ban (punishable by $1K fines), watching spandex-clad dorks on road bikes able to exercise without police harassment. Jeez. But I digress, this is not about the age-old feud between people with common sense and road bikers (I’m serious guys, unitards will never be cool). This is about a massive shift in our behavioral habits. A recent concert stream that made an impact on me was the Love Rocks NYC concert. There was a public health announcement that restricted the audience to only performers & family, making it stream only viewing. In an instant, there was a new norm for all future public performances until further notice. I was working at my desk and enjoyed being able to see the performances at night, in the comfort of my own home. Luck had it that in a couple of days I was supposed to have an album release party in Oceanside, followed by a live recording session at the home studio featuring some of my favorite local musicians. Postponed until further notice. The following week, The Luck Reunion had a stream that grabbed my attention on social media. It aired in the evening hosted by Ray Benson from Asleep at the Wheel. It floored me. They had some of my favorite artists performing in their homes, nothing was over-produced, and there was a cool hat-making workshop to boot. Streaming live felt way more engaging that night than passively watching a performance. The audience is interacting in real-time, the performer is put at ease in the comfort of their own homes. Because of this, the viewer is automatically placed in the front row with backstage passes the second you join a live stream. Performing live in this setting can be just as rewarding. Streaming provides a way to perform directly to your closest family and friends. Those of whom may not necessarily have the luxury to go out. It also allows the performers to work within a format that better provides an experience catered uniquely to each fan. When an artist performs to those closest to them, magic happens. If it’s the only option, entertaining ourselves has never been better. I come from a big family, one of five kids with cousins as far as the eye could see. Going out was a rare option, so all entertainment was in-house. To this day, some of the best meals I’ve eaten were out of the family kitchen. My best audience will always involve friends and family by a warm fire. I love that streaming is home to some of the best live music and life lessons on the planet. Every day a new song or insight from some of my heroes. Ryan Bingham – Instagram pictured above Lukas Nelson Tom Curren Tom Carroll Jeremy Jones Brandi Carlile When else in our history have we been invited into the living rooms of some of our musical and cultural heroes to take part in such intimate performances and dialogs?
There’s nothing new about streaming, its old hat. What is interesting is how we’re using it as a human tool to connect emotionally. Critics say tech makes us unconnected, this is proving the opposite. Tech and Science by their very nature explore who we are as human beings, how we work, and what makes us tick. The needs that ushered in streaming are way beyond the storage woes of maintaining a music or video library and constant hard drive failures. Those issues became a thing of the past as storage moved to the cloud, phone cameras improved along with networks, making the face to face experience seamless.
Now we’re using the tools we have at our disposal to be there for the ones we love. There’s no phoning in for crucial life events. We need to be there in person. Though only a partial substitute for physically being there in person, streaming and videoconferencing can often act as the next best thing.
Now let me first say, this is certainly not the best situation humanity has found itself in. Being forced indoors, live music ban, surfing ban (punishable by $1K fines), watching spandex-clad dorks on road bikes able to exercise without police harassment. Jeez. But I digress, this is not about the age-old feud between people with common sense and road bikers (I’m serious guys, unitards will never be cool). This is about a massive shift in our behavioral habits.
A recent concert stream that made an impact on me was the Love Rocks NYC concert. There was a public health announcement that restricted the audience to only performers & family, making it stream only viewing. In an instant, there was a new norm for all future public performances until further notice. I was working at my desk and enjoyed being able to see the performances at night, in the comfort of my own home. Luck had it that in a couple of days I was supposed to have an album release party in Oceanside, followed by a live recording session at the home studio featuring some of my favorite local musicians. Postponed until further notice.
The following week, The Luck Reunion had a stream that grabbed my attention on social media. It aired in the evening hosted by Ray Benson from Asleep at the Wheel. It floored me. They had some of my favorite artists performing in their homes, nothing was over-produced, and there was a cool hat-making workshop to boot. Streaming live felt way more engaging that night than passively watching a performance. The audience is interacting in real-time, the performer is put at ease in the comfort of their own homes. Because of this, the viewer is automatically placed in the front row with backstage passes the second you join a live stream.
Performing live in this setting can be just as rewarding. Streaming provides a way to perform directly to your closest family and friends. Those of whom may not necessarily have the luxury to go out. It also allows the performers to work within a format that better provides an experience catered uniquely to each fan. When an artist performs to those closest to them, magic happens.
If it’s the only option, entertaining ourselves has never been better.
I come from a big family, one of five kids with cousins as far as the eye could see. Going out was a rare option, so all entertainment was in-house. To this day, some of the best meals I’ve eaten were out of the family kitchen. My best audience will always involve friends and family by a warm fire.
I love that streaming is home to some of the best live music and life lessons on the planet. Every day a new song or insight from some of my heroes.
Ryan Bingham – Instagram pictured above
When else in our history have we been invited into the living rooms of some of our musical and cultural heroes to take part in such intimate performances and dialogs?
Turning Boredom into Productivity
One of the byproducts of being stuck at home during lockdown is coming face to face with my own restlessness. I always have to keep myself busy. We’re not taking about anxiousness and it’s certainly not A.D.D., so there is no need to go there. A mere observation, not a complaint. My mental wanderlust is a good thing that I depend on every day as i get up to so my work. Restlessness begets motion, motion turns the wheels and starts the synapses. Movement is alert experience of the senses, it my mind working at its best, firing on all cylinders.
I’ve Noticed a Few Things…
Books that have been collecting dust for years have now become daily reference materials. I’m writing as fast as my fingers can type or as fast as the graphite lasts in my mechanical pencils. Different sounding guitars are in a constant cycle, strings are wearing out, not accumulating dust and rust due to inactivity. Music & jazz theory are both part of my daily regimen. Painting, design, art, are all in strong rotation.
It’s somehow like I am hungry again. Once again starved for knowledge, which I must admit is both inspiring and terrifying at once. Have I been dead or checked out for a decade? What’s the cause of this new urgency? In admitting I dont know shit, lies the greatest challenge & advantage.
Just because I’m over a half-century old, it doesn’t mean I can’t continually improve myself. Familiarizing myself with the new productivity tools available is extremely important in this day and age, remaining in the dark, is not, and should not be an option in life. I need to learn more than I ever have in my life, from contemporary tech, from the classics, from history, from literature, and from art. One look with open eyes will see that creatives are living in a Renaissance right now. There is also a dark underbelly. Disinformation is real and the con is on in the age of information. On every corner virtual petty thieves invade our privacy and king makers push their ideologies down our throats, and honestly as for the latter, I want none of it.
It’s nothing short of inspiring. As for the part that sounds difficult and dangerous, it doesn’t need to be as long as we actively educate ourselves. Given the tools we have at our disposal, today, there is no compelling reason to sit back as a quiet observer. Making art and music not only means mastering the instrumentation and the craft of songwriting, it means understanding how to build a brand, a business, a marketing and distribution machine. If one does take on the Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.) mentality, essentially you are entrusting others to do the work for you. That will never work.
I’m Going to Lean Live Streaming, Learn a New DAW, & Release a Solo Album
Enter live streaming, within a few days it can me demystified with the right tools. It’s not rocket science. I, by no means at all, have any business being in front of or behind the camera. I probably should not have ever picked up a guitar now that I mention it. Thats the first thought of anyone in the learning process, and it is the very reason that makes it important to continue in their pursuits. If I don’t, or you don’t, then who will? I think it’s safe to say that at first, everyone feels like a putz when hearing their voice in a recording or seeing themselves in film and photographs. I don’t like having my imperfections right there for view under a microscope. Nobody does. Understanding this is a great equalizer. Anyone can do this. Anyone can write a badass novel (read Keith Richard’s Life immediately), anyone can perform a song that will touch another heart. You just have to work your ass off and refuse to let any obstacle get in your way. I’ve always been a live and let live person. I’ve always respected those who dare to shut up and lead by example. One’s actions speak volumes. One small action can help others immeasurably.
My old man used to tell me, “Skip a few beers, and get that thing down. Nail it down. Then you can go back to business as normal.” He was all about mathematics, calculation, an engineer, a workaholic. God, I miss that sonofabitch and his brother. My heroes, even to this day. When I failed, bloody knees and all, they picked me up. They believed I could do anything. They are the first thing that comes to my mind when facing any challenge.
Getting webcams to work, coding for browsers, and understanding audio and video recording is not rocket science. Realize that to learn, you need to start with a small project, complete it. Learn and repeat until you get it right. That’s it. Start with a smartphone, a single streaming platform, and next thing you know you will be broadcasting like the networks of old. The technology literally is right in front of you.
Looking back at 2019, last spring I shot my first music video.
Yes, it’s bad, but I challenge you now to go back and look at some of the videos from the 80s on MTV. We loved it and it was campy AF. The Keep Warm video was not so bad that I need to burry it. More importantly, it’s me, it’s a real unfiltered snapshot into my life. It tells my story. The beard and bandanna is a look I’ll probably never return to, but you never know with this quarantine. There was a version that I buried, but that is another story.
Forward to the last music video from the album “To Love a Wild Fire”, I think its badass.
My point is that by the end of the year, with a bit of persistence, 7 of the 10 songs from my album had music videos. Each video was completely D.I.Y. and quality and progress can be seen across the collective timeline. Make a commitment, and follow through with it. Streaming is no different. Crashing computers is part of the fun. Having a feed so pixelated that it looks like Super Mario is singing is a hard-earned badge. If the audio is good I am good.
Here is the “Support Local Music & Art” project I kicked off this week to help promote locals in North County San Diego.
Here is my latest “Quarantine Stream Episode”, three weeks in I finally got a handle on the system crashes.
So if you’re trying to stream to share with your loved ones. You can do it. Dont take no for an answer. Dont throw your laptop of phone out the window after the first failed attempt. If I can do it, you can.
Communication is the most important name of the game now, it will keep our hearts in the right place. Take it from me. This old dog can learn new tricks. For now, I’m going to learn to do something that I don’t know how to do. Work on it until it looks like a professional’s work. The old insult, “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” is nothing more than a cop-out if you take the time to think about it. Just stream.
Introducing LUNA, Time to Learn a New DAW
As for the DAW I’m learning, it’s a system called LUNA that was just released this week by a company named Universal Audio. In January, I was able to see some demos around the system at NAMM in Anaheim, CA. I left feeling like I had just seen Steve Jobs unveil the first iPhone. Invoking the spirit of Steve Jobs, may sounds a bit over stated or over-hyped, but what I’ve seen thus far was impressive, and recording interfaces were due for a quantum leap and I think UA is just the company to succeed.
I have a series of articles I am beginning to write so there is no need to linger on this topic, it will be discussed in detail shortly in several articles starting with the installation.
Im going to use this as an opportunity to play and compose in the singer-songwriter format. With LUNA, I hope to complete a new set of songs I have written for an album that I just dubbed Canadian Tuxedo. We’ll see how it goes, it’s all about the creative process. Here is the album cover, cheers until later. I know, its a shameless nod to Nathanial Rateliff’s album, but I dont give AF. I love that album and his work as an artist, his latest album is on constant rotation here at the house.
By Moonlight We Ride Music Video
It’s been a long time coming to put out both this song (first written in 2016) and the footage taken from last year’s surf trip to Indonesia. All my music is surf music, not because of instrumentation or lyrics, but because the ocean represents my greatest inspiriation. Surfing is not a sport, its a way of life. It’s choosing a formidable opponent to challenge & grapple with through life. An opponent that teaches you life lessons, a mentor that eventually becomes a friend and guide. Sometimes you win and are rewarded, other times you are beaten within an inch of your life.
Left shaken to the core, happy to be alive.
Countless times my lungs burst with what little oxygen I had in my lungs, my mind & spirit kicked in to stop the ensuing panic. In this place all things happen. Respect is given, respect is taken. There is an awesome presence of mind when harness a force of nature like a wave. Time stands still and you feel everything around you. Balance fear & exhilaration. For a moment in time, the surfer becomes omnipotent.
There is nothing like it. Fuck Yeah!
The guitar licks and chord progressions were played on a 2012 Gibson SG with a Bigsby setup. The guitar went straight into a Vox AC30 CCH with a Celestion Greenback speaker. The call and response of high register licks on the neck countered by low register licks on the bass strings is a nod to Jerry Garcia, the former frontman of the Grateful Dead. The second I picked up the SG, a few people come to mind.
I had lyrics to the song but decided to let the guitar tone live alone. In the future, I will release a version with Tenor Sax playing in tandem with the guitar, but for now, it’s going to remain a guitar & drum instrumental.
Live From Coomber Craft Wines Oceanside, CA | New YouTube Videos
Last Tuesday, March 3rd, I stopped by my friend’s open mic to show a little love and support to local music. I brought my guitar and a Zoom Q2n video & audio recorder to test out. When it was my time, I put the camera on the bar and played three songs. When I brought the footage into Final Cut for editing, I was not at all impressed with the video or audio. I’m going to chalk that up to user error for now, and revisit the settings next time I record.
Regardless of the quality of the footage, the playing was loose and right where I want it to be. Loose might not sound good to some, but let me explain what open mic is all about. It’s about experimentation and trying different instrumentation, arrangement, and approaches. This site is also a place where I can capture the creative process, step by step.
This site https://www.theram.io/ is a snapshot of the creative process at any given time. The mistakes, the progression, and the evolution of the songs as I write and perform them. Just the mere fact that we had a National Steel alongside a Double Bass, qualified as a worthy post to YouTube. Oh, and the music sounds pretty fine to boot. There is a portion of one of the songs that featured bow playing on the double bass, which added a level of dynamics I had never would have associated with the song.
Fast forward to mixing the video down, I had fun with the animations at the beginning and end of the video as well as the text and labels throughout the video. One look at my channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/blackmountainbigfoot and you’ll see the intro styles are all over the place. One of the decisions I made was to create a consistent style throughout 2020, once I came up with something I liked I did the same for upcoming vinyl releases. The result was a consistent design for my next 3 albums. This is progress. As an artist that approached music in a DIY fashion, I think I have a single aesthetic I can fork with for a bit of time, and move my focus back to the studio and songwriting.
Let me know what you think, and enjoy the performances.
Coomber Craft Wines Oceanside, California
Percussion Tutor is a Powerful Tool for Bandleaders
Performing & recording as a solo musician is an amazing experience, being the only one singing & playing is the very definition of creative freedom. That being said, playing with others takes these efforts to a whole nother level. I was thinking to myself last night if that freedom (playing solo) could be felt when it was translated to a 5 piece band. Yes absolutely, with the right group of musicians and an understanding of rhythm & harmony. Orchestras do this all the time.
I’m a guitarist, harmonica player, and singer. To better reflect efforts in the studio, I will add bass, keys/piano, drums, & a second guitar/mandolin/slide to perform the latest round of recordings live. Knowing that I recording everything solo, the immediate challenge is to have each instrument fit harmonically, tonally, & rhythmically where they should be. Not a problem you say? Try putting 2 guitarists in a room with keys, they’ve never played together and are just learning the songs from the set without written arrangements. A discussion on comping is going to occur. Who does what and at what register.
To anyone who has ever had to comp in jazz, it’s a very straightforward challenge. Play with purpose, complement what’s being said by the others on the bandstand, play with ears, and don’t step on the other musicians or you get kicked to the curb. Luckily Southern California has some legendary players.
Today, I’m going to try to spell out the polyrhythm parts to each song to compliment the chords and demos. I’ve spent a ton of time building out charts, lyrics, & audio/video demos for musicians in anticipation of putting together a band/collective.
Check it out…
I’ve found that this is a great start as a singer-songwriter, across the entire lifecycle of the creative process. In ideation, writing, retaining ideas, through recording and live performance. Band arrangement, intending to take songs to the streets with consistency, as a reproducible thing, is where my love for Percussion tutor comes in.
Check it out…
Before you go any further, download it now. It will help your rhythm immeasurably regardless of the instrument you work with. If you think, hey man, I don’t play African or Latin American music, this is not for me. Listen to what one of the most influential bassists of the 20th century says about her rhythmic influences.
Those of us who have taken the time to research the origins of music, especially rhythm, understand the importance of all things African & Latin American. Percussion Tutor gives you the ability to have a variable BPM metronome that can be configured to just about any polyrhythm imaginable. Not only that, if you are a bandleader who wants to build out polyrhythms that flow and move, then assign each part to the instrumentation, the instrument separation functionality makes illustrating how each part works in the polyrhythm extremely easy.
If 2019 was the year I spent in the studio, 2020 is the year I focus on performing originals with a live band. This tool will make the difference between people staying in their seats and getting up and shaking their asses off.
First In Line – New Music Video Added to My YouTube Channel
Ode to My Sisters & Brothers
By The Ram (Key of D)(Harmonica Key of G)
© 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – THE RAM / OD SOUL, INC.
★ SONG LYRICS ★
= verse A
My guiding light
brothers & sisters tonight
I’ll tell you one thang
play some guitar sweet
baby move your feet
lord we’ll get this whole place swinging
= verse B
kiss of love to my sistaaahhhas
a shout out to my brothers right now
tell you right now
if it all went south
happy to be right here with you BABE
= Chorus 1
This road is heavy
but I’ll find my way
Nothing but Dangerous Highway
★ RELATED TUTORIALS ★
Here is a link to the song page on my site…
Here is a link to the iRealPro backing tracks I just made…
★ FOLLOW ME HERE ★
Instagram – http://bit.ly/theRamInstagram
YouTube – http://bit.ly/theRamYouTube
Twitter – http://bit.ly/theRamTwitter
TeeSpring Merchandise – http://bit.ly/theRamTeeShirts
★ LISTEN TO MY MUSIC ★
New Music 2019 on My Site – http://bit.ly/theRamNewMusic
Tutorials Chords & Lyrics on My Site – http://bit.ly/theRamTutorials
Band Camp Site http://bit.ly/theRamBandCamp
Sond Cloud Site – https://soundcloud.com/therammusic
★ ABOUT & SPECIAL THANKS ★
The Ram is a traveling singer-songwriter based out of North County San Diego, California. Part of traveling means we play with musicians from all walks of life and exposure to all sorts of different genres, styles, and instrumentation. It’s the pure freedom a songwriter needs to pivot, working with a collective of musical talent as opposed to managing a working band in a specific genre or class of music.
This song just started with a lick on my es 335 that was infectious. Rolling bass string riff, add bombastic bass and it didn’t take long till I put down a vocal skat track to hone in a melody. After the skat track, I wrote full lyrics, cut a finished track but it DID NOT resonate like the original stream of consciousness track, so I muted the bitch and mixed in the original take.
As far as the video shoot, well it’s a place I surf so I’m not saying shit. I will say that I had given up on the idea of filming because I woke to a fogbank and just started drinking with my buddy, as the sun came out and I got food in my stomach, we took a bunch of beers up the beach and filmed bu a shipwreck that happened the day before. That coast EATs sailboats, and that my friends is all I am at liberty to say. All music is original, composed by the Ram and registered with ASCAP.
© 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – THE RAM / OD SOUL, INC. Registered with ASCAP. Always be ORIGINAL. Treat yourself and go write yourself some bad-ass groves.
2019 Year in Review
In retrospect, 2019 has been one of the hardest working years of my life. A culmination of 20 years of home recordings, learning as I went, and the buildout of a makeshift home studio. My goals were ambitious, my timelines were unreasonable, and my understanding of just about everything involved was nonexistent. In other words, it was a tremendous learning experience.
I’m in the final stretch before my first independent studio album release, and it feels good AF. It felt like I’ve spent forever paralyzed by the thought of mixing and mastering my recorded demos. Having that obstacle cleared has returned healthy blood flow to the heart of my songwriting. When I began exploring mixing and mastering it was all-consuming, so there was no time for writing if I was going to stick to the schedule and make the deadline.
Music production IS precision-based work, and it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to do this right. The experience has left me with a tremendous appreciation for the value that mixing and mastering engineers bring to the equation because I could not have succeeded alone. Along with appreciation comes a thirst to understand the technical nuances of an ever-expanding universe of audio hardware and software. I feel like I set myself up with a decade of learning ahead.
All of this kind of reminds me of when I began learning how to code to browsers, then later to mobile devices when the iPhone ushered in a new era of technology. The first dot-com boom, the second, and the mobile revolution. Fuck it’s good to be alive in this day and age. It also reminds me of my pops. Buzz ODonnell.
I appreciate my father’s influence and work ethic, his ability to troubleshoot farm machinery to get it running and operational for the start of whatever season we found ourselves in. He was an engineer, he was a student of people and life, a hacker, he spent all of his spare time reading, troubleshooting, and problem-solving. Regardless of my pursuits in higher education, I consider myself self-taught. University only gets you so far. It’s true I have 2 degrees, a Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts, neither of which address the day in and day out tasks I need to take care of in music, or in maintaining my day gig. They do however speak volumes to who I am as a human being and what path I have chosen to pursue.
Art is about finding your own voice and path in the world. It’s about being told you are wrong by critics and having a mindset hell-bent on proving those in doubt of your abilities wrong. As 2019 was about willing an album to existence, 2020 will be about working to breathe life back into all of the songs already written while clearing the way to any new ideas that come down the pike. It’s going to be a fucking good year people, and I’m glad to be sharing this news with you on such a fine Sunday afternoon which commences the close of the year.