Archive for the ‘My Tunes’ Category

Yesterday I overheard a conversation
Between your god and mine.
He said, “I’m not sure where you are going with this,
But I like your design”.

She must have thought that was pretty funny
Cause this was her reply:
“Can’t imagine letting them last forever
So they all had to die”.

“Is that why you closed the gates to Paradise,
To test their devotion”?
“Not at all. Just replaced Salvation with
Worthless Magic Potions”.

Magic Potions became the prize
Magic Potions kept by the wise
Magic Potions from broken math
Magic Potions choosing the path

This went on and on for a very long time.
Quizzing one another.
I just couldn’t help thinking, “what do you expect…..
From sister and brother”?

Magic Potions became the prize
Magic Potions Kept by the wise
Magic Potions from broken math
Magic Potions choosing the path

Yesterday I overheard a conversation
Between your god and mine.
SHe said, “I’m not sure where you are going with this
But it’s better than mine”.

The path to Peanut Butter Hill in Lindner Park covered in snow 2021

This is a song I co-wrote with a friend of mine from Xenia, Ohio. I sent him the basic tracks via the Internet and he uploaded to his home studio. Scott Hadley from “The Little Hippies” then sang the vocals and helped with arrangement to make this song click. Then he added keyboard parts and harmony tracks and sent individual tracks back to me……

To help me with this song I asked a friend and The Merchants of Death band-mate Mike Wheeler to play bass guitar. He is in Dayton and got the tracks back to me faster than I could have driven there and back! He has a way of finding grooves within the melody of a song that ties it all together.

I wrote “Peanut Butter Hill” on 1-21-2021 as I was walking through the woods near our home. I take walks in the same park almost daily now that I am retired. We spent a lot of time here when our kids were growing up. Walking past a steep hill in the park next to a creek I thought I should write a song about this park. (Well, what about?) As I walked I started thinking that this song is not about me but about the kids that tried climbing the bare-mud side of the hill. A fence stood at the top where the real path was and at the bottom of the hill was a creek that remained mostly dry. Soon the melody hit me and I knew this was a song about peanut butter hill.

Decades ago I challenged my kids and all the neighborhood friends to climb up the hill – but they could not use their hands! When they failed and said it could not be done, I put my hands in my pockets and climbed to the top. So did my daughter TK. The hill is not what it was back then, but I think we were the only ones to meet the challenge, but everyone had fun trying!

“Peanut Butter Hill”

I am working on writing a new song with some friends over the Internet. Recording final tracks now and will release “Peanut Butter Hill” hopefully later this month. 2021 is off to a good start!

My 6th CD, “The Eye of the Storm” has been released through CD Baby. I am closer to 70 years old than not, so I do not use Spottify, iTunes, Deezer and the rest. If you use these services you will probably know how to search for an artist. Look for the above title or Michael S Kennedy to make the search easier! Looking forward to 2021!

Smiling because 2020 is over!

I just released my newest project on CD Baby. This is my sixth album release over the years.

Very soon the Album/CD titled: “Eye of a Storm” will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Instagram, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, Pandora, and about 150 other streaming services globally. Search for Michael S Kennedy and with a bunch of luck it will appear on the list. The songs and CD are cheaper on CD Baby so you can also save a little cash there.

I think I settled on 18 songs since my last release. I post almost everything on this blog first so if you have been here a few times you may have heard many of these tracks. I really like a lot of these new songs and they include some of the best lyrics I have written. In the year we have had, there were few opportunities for my friends to add vocals or instruments to some of my songs as in the past. As a result, all of these songs were written, performed, recorded and mixed by me. While it is a lot of work and I really wish someone would do it for me, it is also a lot of fun and I am proud to look back at this collection. I hope you try a few out because they are all different in their own right.

Happy new Year!

MIDIMike

Michael S. Kennedy

Holidays are fun with creative people.

I often mention my talented wife and children sprinkled within posts over the years. When the girls were very young we made Christmas and the holidays a creative fest whenever possible. From pumpkin carving parties with over 200 pumpkins, costumes and haunted houses, we put our own flair into everything. We avoided the commercial and traditional.

Each year we would send our many friends a hand-made original Christmas ‘Card’. We would start two months before Christmas to imagine, design and create a unique holiday greeting from our entire family. Many are still hung up or placed on mantels to this day. It is hard to describe so you can get an idea of the projects. One time we made small cloth trees decorated in style with a hook on them so you could hang them as an ornament. Another year we took clear glass ornamental globes and other shaped bobbles and poured paint inside making them sparkle with bright colors and/or glitter on the inside of the glass.

As a musician I built up a small home recording studio over the years. In the lyrics we reference “7 tracks and SMPTE”. I had a digital recorder back then but advanced as it was at the time it only had eight tracks, and one of them you used to record a clock signal so it would sync with the MIDI instruments I had controlled by a hardware sequencer (RECORDING WAS A LOT HARDER IN THOSE DAYS!!!). Every few years I managed to work in a family musical project. Here are two audio recordings we sent as that year’s ‘card’.

This tradition really became a thing and people looked forward to getting their next card, knowing it would be unlike any other they would receive that year, or ever again.

Here is my family recording two Christmas carols for our annual card project. One is a traditional cover of a song you are familiar with. The other is our version of a classic. Even if you aren’t ‘all about Christmas’ and everything, I think you will find this cute and maybe hilarious at the same time.

I wish you all well and hope we can keep lost loved ones close to our hearts and friends and family in our thoughts.

MIDIMIKE

The Kennedy’s carol
The Kennedy’s Original 12 Days

After smoothing out the timing and lyrics to match the mood I was after for this new song, I wrote a melody that seems to fit pretty well.

I squeezed some of the lyrics as I mentioned and cleaned up the instrumental glitches (a technical term for anything that isn’t right) and added a few parts to the instrumental verison I posted earlier.

Minor changes go on for a long time in the final tracking stage. A lot of it will not be used at all and some will be low in volume so as not to hear distinctly. But similar to color splashes added to the face in a painting, it can really bring out the rest of the ‘image’.

What You Want:

I have been working on a new musical piece I call “If When”.

This is a jazzy feeling groove. I am using loops for the drum tracks that I have mashed and cut and edited to give the odd shuffle feel. I use a MIDI controller to trigger tom fills and cymbal crashes to fill out the persussion tracks. Then I add a piano chord progression that plays with the timing of the verses. The piano and bass guitar come from a plug-in in my recording software.

I wrote some lyrics earlier that might fit this so it will eventually have vocals and usually a different name once the lyrics are assigned. I might also add a ‘solo’ instrument like a muted trumpet or other soft horn sound if the next song doesn’t start bubbling up right away. Please enjoy a short groove from my studio.

I have been working with a new suite of audio recording and mixing software for the last two weeks called Presonus. I am using their Studio One 5 bundle. I am starting to get the feel of how it works. A bit of a learning curve and unlearning curve from other programs, but very flexible interface and great sounding plug ins.

Here is my first tune noodling around with the functions and features. A simple groove I call ‘Forward’.

Forward by MSK

The great thing is the new software automatically imported all the instruments, effects and and plug ins I already had. These are all ‘virtual’ instruments from the sound and effect plug ins. I use a MIDI keyboard controller for most of the input for instruments.

I hope you enjoy this one for a few minutes in your busy days.

I posted a poem earlier called “Let You Go” https://midimike.com/2020/07/07/let-you-go/ that I really liked. While I was working on writing the music for these lyrics I got side-tracked. I had recorded a few MIDI drum parts and had a guitar theme I liked playing on my Martin Acoustic/Electric guitar chained together trying to get a feel for the song.

A good friend called me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to have his old MIDI studio gear. No instruments or toys will be orphaned if I can help it so I drove over that day. We chatted for a while and I left with a van full of what most people would call ‘ancient’ gear. This is the stuff hits were made with. Everything you heard growing up using electronic drums or synths used these gems.

I got home and hooked up a few pieces like a kid not knowing which present he wants to open first. DAYS LATER I opened up my recording project again and played with a vocal effect toy I had not gotten to yet. Not wanting to stop an idea I was working on I started recording in another section of the session. As you will hear, I decided not to sing the chorus parts. Instead I used some of the lyrics to do a chant-style intro and outro.

After juggling the original music around I started to work on a melody for the lyrics. I used some of the chant themes so the melody took shape pretty quickly. Not wanting to overdo the vocal effect, I just used reverb on my voice. Then I added some MIDI bass guitar sounds and put the pieces together.

Next, I added a little MIDI piano in the chorus sections and sprinkled through the end of the song. Then I made some stupid editing error and trashed all of the drum tracks!!! Redo the drum tracks and a few days later I have a rough mix for you.

As some of you will know, a rough mix is probably the last one I do! LOL.

Here is “Let You Go” as it stands today. I hope you enjoy this one.

“Let You Go” by MSK