The Good Old Days

Does any one remember rotary phones? My biggest challenge with those phones was lack of privacy. There was no solitude when conversing; who ever was in the kitchen or living room became an audience to conversations with girl friends. I hated that.

I remember my first debit card. It felt like The Beast was taking over civilization, creating minions of mindless citizens who no longer had to count out cash. Now there is currency based on algorithms; who knew.

I finally started talking to Siri. My Iphone face plate needs replacing and I discovered I could open apps by commanding Siri. She is the only person I’m comfortable with not thanking, but still catch myself.

The ultimate good old days: using analog and digital drums for decades before going back to acoustic.

If I’m using a loop or sample, I make my own. It’s first generation and hasn’t had its 2nd and 3rd harmonics erased and then manipulated back. The weird thing – my samples actually punch through the mix with out having to depend on much filtering.

Me, author and perfecter, so to speak.

Can we help you in any way?

Excuses

Excuses are like armpits: everyone has two and they both stink. Doesn’t matter the subject or the situation.

Social media, brother, what a rabbit hole. How many times a day do I check my phone? Leave it up to a former smoker to fidget, having an intense need to have something at my finger tips; a great way to waste time.

Delloitte, a multinational professional services network, conducted a study on smart phone usage. They found out of 270 million smart phone users, each looks at their phone 52 times a day. That is a total of over 14 billion times each day. What a waste of time. How did we survive pre-cell phone?

How about getting lost on the internet? When I first discovered online I would be just ‘Gone’ for hours; lost in front of the screen.

The simple reason I’m not getting anything done – I’m not getting anything done. I allow constant distractions. There isn’t actionable motion; progress is only accomplished one step at a time. Spending my life away on a smart phone isn’t helping.

I started writing a blues tune called Flat Screen Zombies but never finished it. My Facebook feed blew up and, well, you know.

Is there anything we can do to help you?

Happy Independence Day

The Reason Times Are Strange

Yep, I’ve figured it out; the ultimate conspiracy theory resolved. I’m staking my reputation on this and those who know me understand the bar isn’t really set that high.

The reason why there is so much confusion and uncertainty in this time Covid 19 is because the aliens have invaded us. Some people will expect me to prove that the aliens are actually here. My response is –

Prove to me they are not!

Can you?

It’s the only logical conclusion.

I’ve been around for a while and have seen some things. I remember when I was little, year after year my Mom would put water in Ball Mason canning jars. I would ask, “Mommy, why are you canning water?” And Mom, in her motherly wisdom would tell me, “Well, Honey, in case the Russians drop the atomic bomb on us we need to have enough water.” Oh, that makes sense. Being five years old, and having watched a war movie or two with Dad, I understood the implications of being blown up. Back then it was the Russians, they were the problem, because I couldn’t prove that the Russians were not going to blow us up.

There is confusion at all levels of society, especially in national, state and local government. As humans, we don’t operate well in shades of grey and unknowing. Well, there is no need to be uncertain.

It has to be the aliens. I hope Will Smith can save us again.

There you go, one less thing to worry about. You’re welcome!

Happy Fourth Of July

Can we help you in any way?

I Want To Sound Like Garth Brooks

The Thunder Rolls

Some vocalists have super powerful abilities; lots of line in their voices, tremendous breath control and two to three octave ranges.

This vocalist has great pitch control but is a super quiet singer. Certainly great in laying down tracks quickly and efficiently, but, he ain’t Garth Brooks.

And I get asked to do this?

It’s kind of like a bald guy asking the barber to make him look like Jason Momoa.

Vocal Sub Mix Compression. I really dig Smack. Squished but not Smacked.

Okay, I’m guessing he wants more depth.

Vocal tracks were cut with a Neumann TLM 102 through an LA 610.

I duplicated the original tracks four times and routed the tracks into a sub mix. I did a high and low shelf Eq on the sub mix, cutting off those frequencies which did not effect the tonality of the vocal track, reduced or flattened nasty ones. Track 1 had no plug in assignment with volume set higher than the others. Track 2, set at lower volume, had no plug in assignment but I put a little sub mix of delay. I used a two millisecond slap delay with a Waves H Delay plug in. On tracks 3 and 4 a I put two more delays of varying time delay, panned hard right and left. When those tracks were auditioned as solo, they sounded like a big gobbilty goop of delay bouncing all over the place. Putting them way down in the mix, almost to the point of inaudibility, thickened the overall vocal landscape.

(Side note, I really suggest watching Funkscribe’s break down video of Stevie Wonders Superstition. What Stevie did with delay is awe inspiring.)

I then added a vocal plate with a low pass filter, cutting off most of the verb frequency at 2 k, boosted the vocal eq sub mix with a bit of 100 hertz, and, surprise, not Garth Brooks, but one happy singer.

Is there anything we can do to help?

Social Capital

What is the price of our relationships? I often joke that I do not have the emotional, intellectual, spiritual and financial capital for another girl friend.

I ask myself: what am I willing to spend to consummate my musical relationships?

The answer is simple yet surprisingly complex.

First: I haven’t got time to work with folks who are unpleasant. A good criteria – is this some one I would break bread with? Do they have a good heart? Is their conversation engaging? Do they like animals? Are they funny?

Second: Is there proficiency in their playing? Is there commitment? Are they able to back up words with action?

Third: Are they worth my friendship? I used to be altruistic in my musical relationships. No more.

Posture

Has any one you have worked with ever committed to a rehearsal and then not shown up? Did they even contact you?

I get that there exist extenuating circumstances.

Did you reschedule with them and have the same result? Those actions are an indication self importance. It is happened to me many times. I no longer give people power over me.

Maybe I appreciate the one trick pony. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

In my network and associations, I have experienced superficiality among many players; they just won’t get back to me. But the moment they want something……

Anymore, I’m not jumping through hoops. Done with that circus.

Can we help you?






Island Time

Have you ever lived on an Island? Is “Laid Back” a term you would use for island life?

This mind set actually exists, having lived on an island and experiencing it myself. For many, regardless of ability, attainment, and professional accolades, this pattern is endemic.

Why? I don’t get it. I can’t be late for my job. Isn’t the pursuit of musical endeavors a commitment to work with others? Aren’t others expecting realiablity from their fellow collaborators?

I used to take it personally. No more. Its not a judgement on me. I am not responsible for my peer’s behavior.

In my experience, this challenge exists on every level of musical success. I just shrug my shoulders. How does anything get done? How do these businesses succeed? Why am I not able to take a person’s word at face value? Perhaps these are rhetorical questions.

What I have learned is to take my fellow musicians with a grain of salt. Creatives can pulled in so many different directions in so many different ways that their mind’s focus on the most important tasks at hand regardless of prior commitments or ideas.

The issue at hand is not my fellow musicians actions, its my relationship to those actions.

My favorite situations are when I have comfirmed place, date and time and no one shows up. Passive Aggressive behavior? In most circumstances, no. I chalk it up to habits of distraction and inattentiveness.

My survival is dependent on planning; always having plan B, C and D in place. Options make the difference. When so and so doesn’t show up or is late, what task is at hand in which I can make some progress in lieu of said players nonappearance?

Besides, my vision of success lies in my mind, not anyone else’s. I am totally dependent upon me.

Anyone along for the ride?

Can we help you with your plan?

Today Was A Good day

I, for one, am happy to be alive. I have my health, my mind is somewhat right ( my friends may differ ), friends, a loving family, I am well fed, have a warm bed to sleep in, income ………the list goes on.

I do suffer from a slough of first world problems. These challenges mean very little in the big scheme of things.

The person in the grocery line holding us up because they forgot an item or have fouled up the payment method. Stuck in rush hour. A fellow coworker who whines incessantly while in the habit of under performing. Prima Dona Players. Politicians, AAAAAAAARG!!!

Hey, another day this side of green; doesn’t sound that bad.

If there is any way we can help, please contact us.

I Have A Dream

I once dreamt I was a chicken. I am not sure what the underlying psychology of chicken dreams means in relationship to reality; but there it is.

Cocking my head and eyeing the gravel, looking for that kernel of corn. Thrusting my beak towards that tidbit of seed, grabbing it and swallowing it down my gullet. Feeling it reside in my crop, my stomach turns to acid. Seems the previous evenings pizza turned my belly, ensuing to chicken perceptions of existence.

What Are Your Dreams?

My dreams are not as all encompassing as those who dream of the betterment of Human kind. My dreams are self centered aspirations for the betterment of Bryan Kind. Call me selfish and self centered. Ain’t no one taking care of me when I’m 95 except the hired help.

I Want To Reach For the stars

All kidding aside, hope and aspiration drive me. After all these years I can honestly say, “When I’m not at the job I am living the dream.”

Interspersed with the dream is a constant reminder of how much further I need to go.

Fat Fingers

Last weekend I had plans to do a three camera live video and audio shoot of a gig I was playing. My audio interface has the possiblility of recording 24 tracks simutaneously. Thursday evening was spent linking ADAT light pipe to the Focusrite and laptop. I get to the gig and spend two hours preparing for the shoot. Ten tracks to audio, two cameras runninng independently and one video cam off the Mac. Plug everything in, and, viola, no audio to Logic Pro. Spending another hour trying to figure out what command I Fat Fingered, I gave up. Better to keep my cool and play well than to end an evening of joy in pure frustration.

The path to success is littered with failure. There’s a lot of litter on my path.

Thanks for reading. Onward and upward.

If there is anything we can do for you please contact us.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Another Night Buried in the Trenches at The Metropolitan Grill

I love to play music, I love to record, and, to the best of my abilities, I love to produce music. But what I also love is a super cool job, health insurance and stability. Call me double minded.

I have been a Sommelier with a restaurant group for the last 29 years, the last 16 spent at The Metropolitan Grill in Seattle. We are one of 91 restaurants in the world which have been recognized by the Wine Spectator as a Grand Award Winning Wine List.

Yes, my friend, I am blessed with a super cool and exciting life and feel so incredibly grateful for the opportunities given me.

One of four wine rooms at my Sommelier gig.

I have always juggled my love of music with my love of food and wine. They seem to be inextricably linked. Both are expressions of my inner most passions. Maybe I have hedonistic tendencies………ok, I have hedonistic tendencies; passion reigns in my interests.

The biggest challenge is juggling a job, requiring working evenings, week ends and holidays, with music, which usually requires gigging evenings, week ends and holidays. The days are pretty free, however, and I am not strapped with a teaching gig. Working around all this is super challenging and frustrating. My heart is in the music; my belly pays the bills.

Thanks for taking the time.

If we can help you in any way, please contact us.

Distractions

A Normal Morning In My House

Get out of bed, wander down to the coffee maker, get some Joe brewing, wander over to the lap top, fire it up, oops, my feet are cold, wander back up stairs, put on some socks. I got to pee, wander in to the bathroom, pick up the tooth brush, oh, coffee is ready, never mind, wander down stairs. Oh, that load of clothes needs to be dried, throw those in the dryer, wander back to the lap top, sit down, pull up my daily habit check list, itemized in degrees of importance, oh, some one’s texting me, return the text, back to the check list, coffee cup drained, wander over to the coffee maker, sit back down …How in the heck do I get anything done? Check my daily habit list.

My friend Pete wrote a poem ( thanks for the contribution, Pete )

Roses are Red ,

Violets are Blue,

Let’s ride bicycles!

Can I mow your lawn?

No, I’m not ADHD; some times I just can’t focus. Wait a minute, I got to check Facebook, maybe some one’s gonna mention me.

Its intersting, despite the slow warm up to the day, oh wait, just got a text, it says, Hey, what do you think about compressing the crap out of that guitar solo? Thats a good idea, maybe it will hang in the mix better.

Got to let the cat in, Master of the realm. Anyway…Yeah, I got the set list…What was I talking about? Oh yeah, focus, yeah, focus. Thats the ticket.

The surest way to focus is to turn off my I Phone and I Pad, oh, the blasted message app went off on the Mac Book, who is that?

Never mind, I’m turning off today’s Blog.

After a while, Crocodile!

If there’s anything we can do to help you, please contact us.

Habits

I have read the books.  I have stood in front of the mirror yelling at myself.  I have gone to the conferences.  I have read the blogs.  I have reaffirmed my affirmations.  Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.

I have found out what habit is – its habit.

The daily routine is what moves me forward.  No matter what my day entails, two hours minimum on the drum kit, period.  I wish I had more time but its the best I can do.  Drums are my passion.  Drums are the foundation of everything; my recording studio, my bands, this blog, performance, recording, production, song writing -everything.

If we can help you in any way, please contact us.

bryan@mackncheezemusic.blog