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I did both… The deal was too good to pass up on the CNC router. The original owner was younger & simply couldn’t keep it running because the wiring never worked. I went to look at it and realized it simply needed the wiring redone and a few small, inexpensive parts. Still waiting on the parts, but all wiring is done. I can’t wait to get started. I have SO many ideas, like this one. As for the music equipment, the Mrs. agreed that it was for the church (I can’t use the stuff at home) so...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/7/2017 10:05:26 PM | Feedback (9)
As a Dave Ramsey acolyte, I have a rule – If I cannot pay cash for something, I do not buy it. Period. Like all rules there are times when they have to get bent or broken and I’m not so hard core that I’d tell my daughter “Sorry, you can’t have a life saving operation because we don’t have the cash for it”, but I am pretty adamant that I will not go into debt for basic wants. This system has actually increased my cash flow as my wife & I no longer impulse buy, thus we only buy things we...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/28/2017 12:00:22 PM | Feedback (11)
Tonight, I was able to strum along to REM's "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and "Find the River", back to back. It wasn't easy, nor completely painless, but I did it, which is an achievement. The finger is gnarly with rivulets of scar tissue on the pad, and where there's scar tissue, there's very little feeling. Immediately outside the scars it hurts. A lot. It's getting better, and being able to play La Pistola, even if only for a bit, brings me happiness. Hopefully within a few months I'll...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 11/19/2015 8:26:54 PM | Feedback (1)
I was working on a backing track to a guitar piece this weekend and am pretty happy with the sound. It’s just bass guitar, drums, and an organ but I really like the overall sound. My drumming is a bit rough as is some of the bass, but it’s a great start. I was going for a very specific sound with the drums and I think I nailed it. I wanted a garage-like tone, so I compressed the living shit out of the drums and brought them forward into the mix and it worked exactly as I thought it would. I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/11/2015 12:20:19 PM | Feedback (3)
But I really like the progression on this song snippet & the key change for the chorus (neither of which have been mixed together properly, but still). Just thought I’d share.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/24/2014 9:18:34 AM | Feedback (4)
ADSR, who makes tutorials for many popular synths & DAWs ran a contest for people to make the ‘stab’ or ‘intro’ that will be used on their tutorial videos. They provided the animation and asked people to put a 3 second sound clip behind it. The winner gets some pretty impressive prizes, so I tossed my hat into the ring. This is what I came up with Not too shabby. You can hear a bunch of others here. Lots of stiff competition & some pretty pro-sounding stuff out there, but I gotta admit...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 10/20/2014 10:29:25 PM | Feedback (2)
I have a bajillion presets on probably a hundred different synthesizers at my fingertips. I use Native Instruments products routinely because they’re very well put together and have some great tones. One of the reasons I bought the Komplete line was because I wanted both FM8 and Massive, and since I already owned Guitar Rig Pro, the discount for Komplete was about what I’d have paid for both those synths. I got nearly 40 different products and will probably never find my way through all the...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 9/21/2014 8:58:26 PM | Feedback (2)
Wednesday, I got delivered a pair of Presonus Eris 5 studio monitors and a Focusrite 2i4 USB Audio Interface to start building up my studio a bit more. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy at work that I didn’t have any time on Wednesday to really do anything with them. Luckily, yesterday we managed to fix a ton of our issues and last night was the first night in almost 2 weeks that I could just sit down & relax for a bit. It was Georgia’s birthday, but she was busying playing with her new...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 9/12/2014 11:23:59 AM | Feedback (20)
I love my music. I love playing guitar, dabbling on my keyboard, and making lots of cool riffs that never really get turned into anything. It’s a fun hobby. The problem I have is that my music world exists in headphones. I only have a cheap set of computer speakers I bought back in the 90’s. My headphones are a decent set of AKGs albeit the lower end as far as construction goes. They sound phenomenal but aren’t adjustable. My routing is kind of odd for my sound, mostly due to budgetary...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 9/1/2014 4:40:19 PM | Feedback (9)
MusicBloggingTMI
I love you people, really, but a) this house thing is going to be the death of me and b) the new job is awesome, but I’m so flippin’ busy that I haven’t had much time to write anything here. Any my numbers show it. I’m ok with that though. I do this for my own entertainment and if a few of you get some giggles out of it (or those rare occasions that I say something worth thinking about), then all the better. Thanks for hanging in there. Here’s a short song I started a few days ago when I was...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 7/22/2014 8:57:59 AM | Feedback (3)
Georgia was near tears, she was so happy to get her drums Pardon the messy floor. I didn’t have time to clean up the packaging before she hopped on ‘em. Neighbors won’t hear a thing. If you close the office door, it’s just dull thudding. There are 90 kits programmed in (plus 10 user kits) so she should have plenty to keep it interesting for a long time. Eventually we can run the MIDI to my PC, but I’ll have to get something that either converts DIN to USB or just a DIN enabled card or...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/12/2014 9:31:40 PM | Feedback (6)
Looking at some software. If I want the box with the physical CD’s shipped to my house, it’s nearly $30 cheaper than downloading it
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/9/2014 9:53:42 AM | Feedback (14)
The guy who used my audio recordings of my firearms racking finished the song. It’s really, really good, especially if you like dubstep. I love how he managed the timing of the shotgun rack to make the ‘missing’ beat.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/7/2014 5:16:32 PM | Feedback (1)
Someone took some recordings I made with some of my guns, racking the slides & whatnot and used them in a cool little track https://soundcloud.com/markvanrijswijk/dubstep-acid-v1/s-Nn9Dg (I had to listen directly at the link, but the embedded object may work for you) The shotgun racking effect is my shotgun. If you’d like to hear the sounds (quite large as they are uncompressed 96Khz/24bit – you can’t hear the difference, but more date means better ability to edit before output) I’ve zipped...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/5/2014 9:05:25 PM | Feedback (3)
One thing I’ve noticed about humans is that when they get ‘into’ something, they will pretend that every little tiny thing actually matters because they can totally tell the difference between X & Y, even though 99.9% of everyone else can’t. Doesn’t matter what it is, it could be food, wines, beers, or audio. This particular instance, I’m talking about audio. It’s funny to read message boards & comment threads where people can just swear that Old Analogue Synth X sounds SO MUCH WARMER...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/29/2014 10:10:57 AM | Feedback (27)
Ok, this is something I read about and decided to give it a quick try, and it’s a *really* neat thing to do in music. Take a quick listen to this clip. It’s not long, and it’s not mixed or even well thought out, it’s just something I wanted to see if I could pull off. Listen to it first, then continue reading. See if you can figure out the interesting pattern I used. The bass line is in 5/4 time, while everything else is in 4/4. This creates a longer stretch where you can repeat a phrase while...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/15/2014 10:20:19 AM | Feedback (4)
Today I broke down and purchased a Zoom H4N for many reasons. I needed to record my acoustic guitar from time to time, and needed a decent way to do it. I need to record small sounds for use in my songs. For example, I have this one song that has sounds of kids playing on the playground – it’s a sound I found online, thus who knows what kind of rights issues I’d have. Sometimes, I need a really fast way to just ‘jot down’ a musical idea I have in my head. I can’t sing worth a damn, but I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/12/2014 10:44:04 PM | Feedback (8)
MusicViews
The best violinists in the world will tell you that nothing sounds better than a true, million dollar Stradivarius. The proof is incontrovertible & if you hand someone a handmade, Italian Stradivarius and a brand new, just made cheap violin, in a blind test they will choose… The newly made violin When the lights were dimmed and the musicians donned dark glasses, the soloists' top choice out of a dozen old and new violins tested was by far a new one. So was the second choice, according to a...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/9/2014 9:24:25 AM | Feedback (8)
Been working on another song and as usual I have a few compositions in the hopper at the same time, but I like where this one is going, I just need more ideas on where to add interest and am looking for constructive criticism (or effusive praise. I’m not above having my ego stroked) on what I could do to really pump the song up. I’m not clear on how to build tension in songs, which is important for music in general. With Electronic Dance Music, there’s many tricks one can do to indicate to the...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/4/2014 9:41:02 AM | Feedback (8)
Studio Monitors. I’ve found my mixes sound like crap in certain environments. For example, my car, which has a damned nice sound system. Everything else sounds great, my songs sound like thumpin’ mud with screeching nails against the chalkboard thrown in for good measure. The problem is I generally use headphones to do my music since I have other people in the house who probably don’t want to hear the exact same phrase played 10,000 times like I have to when writing. And as nice as my AKGs are,...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/3/2014 9:34:54 AM | Feedback (9)
The answer is Not. After getting this comment from The Oyster regarding my new song I'm working on, I went back to look at the underlying riff that was setting my ‘key’ Ran this past someone else, who took a listen and pointed out that you don't actually have a C-flat in there. Thus it's not in Dorian, it's just a simple Mixolydian. Best of luck! I looked, and yes, I did actually have C♭ hanging around… But it wasn’t necessary. I got rid of it, then reexamined what I had left, and lo &...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/1/2014 4:57:52 PM | Feedback (3)
Last night, I totally, completely, and utterly confused myself. I have been working on a song that so far, is working out to be quite good. It’s got energy, some interesting sounds, and even as an Electronic Dance Music kind of song, has room for some good guitar work (if I could only find a good guitarist to do the work!). Here is the ‘scratchpad’ portion of the song I’ve done so far in mp3. This is just me putting pieces together to see what works, what didn’t, etc. I really like how the...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 2/26/2014 2:20:39 PM | Feedback (6)
Anyone here run a podcast that they would like a better intro / outro bumper? I’m thinking having an actual goal might be a worthy thing to pursue. Creating a full 3:00+ song stretches my abilities right now, possibly focusing on a little 30 second ditty (loopable, of course) might be a fun project. If you have a podcast that could use a good intro tune, drop me a line. If I think I can put something together that would fit the theme of the podcast, I’d do it pro bono as just a way to stretch...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/31/2014 12:47:00 PM | Feedback (4)
Yesterday, the Big Brown Truck of Happiness dropped off my copy of Native Instruments Komplete 9. I had wanted a few of the synthesizers they offered, and it was cheaper to buy the whole set than two of them a la carte. It comes with 120gb of data. On 12 DVDs. Guess whose DVD player in his PC had not been used for so long he didn’t realize it had given up the ghost? *sigh* So, I used my work laptop and my wife’s laptop to copy the data onto the server, then copied it local to my box. Finally...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/24/2014 9:33:58 AM | Feedback (7)
Today I purchased Komplete 9 from Native Instruments. I’ve been learning how to do synthesis, and I’m starting to get a handle on how to do pretty basic sounds, and while I’m never going to be a legendary sound designer, I’ve got the idea on how to take an existing sound and modify it to suit my needs. Or in the case of Komplete, I’ve got something near 12,000 sounds and 120GB of samples to get me through. Anywho, just putzing around with some vocal slicing and I had this short ditty going –...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/20/2014 9:39:37 PM | Feedback (0)
Something want is probably sitting in someone else’s house, just getting in their way and they’ll sell it to you dirt cheap. If any guitarists out there would like a Zoom G3 effects pedal, I’m selling mine.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/10/2014 10:15:01 AM | Feedback (3)
One thing that has completely absorbed my interest over the holiday has been this simple item right here Yes Ladies & Gentlemen, a simple sine wav. Sounds like this & if you’re interested and a great tutorial on the whole concept here. What makes it fascinating is that practically all synthesizers use that very basic waveform to create every imaginable sound under the sun. There are a million ways to approach synthesis, be it FM, Ring modulation, wave table, sample-based, additive...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 1/1/2014 4:34:04 PM | Feedback (18)
The more I get into my music, the more I realize I needed to broaden my ‘sound base’ either via new synthesizer modules for FL Studio or sample libraries for a more ‘ready to use’ kind of thing. Synths allow the most flexibility because they can create practically any sound you want and the sound’s duration doesn’t change based on pitch (well, technically it can). The drawback is… well, learning how to work the damned things. If you’re not willing or able to learn every facet of every knob,...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 6/25/2013 1:23:37 PM | Feedback (2)
I don’t have the time right now to focus on creating my own sounds for my music. Basically, I need a good library to start with and I can tinker with existing sounds to ‘make them mine’ if necessary. The good news is that there are a bajillion Romplers out there. It’s amazing how poorly some companies think of their customers though. First off, the plugin to play your particular flavor of samples should be free. Hello, if you want me to buy your libraries, I’m not going to plop down an extra...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/15/2013 10:36:23 AM | Feedback (2)
So, I’m going Full Retard on the music thing. I’m picking up an APC 40 on Friday to start my foray into a mix of Dance / Electronica and rock guitar. A heavy blues based dubstep might be interesting. What I’m aiming for is a mix of Joe Satriani (without the skill) and electronica. The thing is, I want to make sure I’m doing more than just catchy loops, I want to use my music theory that I’m learning along with my guitar work to really make good music. Might not be some people’s style, but I...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 5/14/2013 10:06:10 AM | Feedback (3)
The Mrs. has taken the youngest to Sea World today for a Girl Scout trip. The eldest is having her best friend over, which means an entire day of them sitting in her room, reading books together. That means I actually will have some free time which (sorry to the people waiting on work to get done) I am going to use to compose some music. Here’s where the magic happens I use FL Studio as my DAW, an Axiom 61 for the keyboard MIDI trigger, a Zoom G3 pedal for my Paul Reed Smith, and it all gets...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/27/2013 8:08:23 AM | Feedback (4)
When you combine 3 months of guitar lessons with FL Studio and a bit of trance? This (For those browsers that cannot see that widget, this is a direct link) It’s not much, just a :45 second little ditty that I managed to put together last night, but one I’m actually quite proud of and plan on working on this as a full song. The backing ‘trance pluck’ is quite complex and I used Cthulhu to assist in the progression and originally I couldn’t ‘hear’ a guitar part for it as the song sounded too...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/10/2013 10:23:58 AM | Feedback (8)
As some of you may or may not know (or care), I’ve been immersing myself in music lately, both in “relearning” guitar as well as digital music creation. Part of the reason I’ve been so caught up in this is because I’ve found it’s a great way for me to relax my mind after the stress of watching this world come apart at the seams gets to me. I’m trying to combine my love of electronica / trance / techno / Goa / dubstep and guitar into something useful. I’m cramming so much music theory into my...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 4/2/2013 8:55:33 AM | Feedback (4)
This is my biggest fear getting into songwriting. Most music has already been written. Nowadays, all you’re doing is changing the sounds used to make the music. Punk revolved around three chords (if they could manage that, otherwise two would suffice) but that became cliché for a while. It’s all cyclic. What is hot now will become passé then you’ll be able to mix the new trend with the old in a funny mashup. So long as I can make my millions, I guess it won’t be that big of a deal to me.
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/5/2013 10:33:17 AM | Feedback (7)
So, part of learning the guitar is recording some background music then soloing over it. The nice thing about my Zoom G3 guitar effects pedal is that it has USB output which my PC can consume like a champ. So I just purchased FL Studio and am picking up a MIDI keyboard tonight after work to assist with the background tracks. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years now. I’ve always wanted to combine rock with techno, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to mix music. So I’m taking the fact...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/4/2013 3:38:50 PM | Feedback (9)
But last night’s lesson showed me that unlearning my habits is going to be the kicker. One, I rest my palm on the bridge when I play rather than using my pinky to support my hand when needed. This limits my motion (and thus has had an impact on my accuracy). When I need to palm mute, that’s an appropriate time to do so, but not when I’m trying to play solos. Two, when picking it was noticed that I would change my up / down cadence every time I switched strings. For example, this pattern...
posted by by Robb Allen @ 3/1/2013 11:19:32 AM | Feedback (4)
I freely admit I like Florence + The Machine. This is one of my favorite songs by (them/her)
posted by by Robb Allen @ 8/31/2012 2:30:01 PM | Feedback (3)

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