Posts Tagged ‘#American’

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Even though I am very concerned and interested in the political challenges of our time, I do not venture into those topics in this blog.  My opinions are my opinions.  I have my reasons for voting the way I do.  Most of you have your own reasons for your private thoughts.   

 

…….. but today I want to acknowledge the announcement by the Supreme Court.  You may not agree with me – but in my humble opinion that does not make you my enemy – and I am CERTAINLY NOT YOURS!  I am not gay so this does not affect me personally, but it has directly affected one of my daughters.  What we have done in the past to many great and loving people was just wrong.

 

I am so thankful and happy this long battle for something so simple and assumed by so many as basic human rights has been decided.  There is a much longer battle ahead.  Like prejudice and racism, this is not over and is not easy to implement.  We still have so far to go, but let us enjoy this major change and how our country continues to move in the right direction and knows it is in our best interest as a nation and as a people to treat every citizen equally.  

I cannot stop smiling!

As someone who truly loves the outdoors and nature (for a city guy!) I sometimes think there is no end to the way we have devastated the natural resources we were blessed with.  Environmental tragedy after another, corporate greed and individual apathy seem to be everywhere at once.  This is a disturbing and dark look (from my perspective) at what we are doing to our planet.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/retrograde/id962542260

The music is rich with textures and soundscapes.   One of the tricks I used was on the sound of the ‘toms’ as they repeat, the tuning changes and gets lower and lower.  This is a simple MIDI trick.  there are ways of doing this that can take a bit of time and planning, but what I did was very simple.  As in the past, I use the keyboard to trigger the drum sounds when recording drum tracks.  I recorded the simple beat with the tom sound.  Then when I played it back, I started recording on the same track and used the keyboard ‘pitch bend’ stick to slowly lower the pitch as it played.  That took about two seconds and once that was done during playback the drum toms would sound like they were being de-tuned in real time.  Depending on how quickly the stick was moved, you could change the rate of pitch change.

My wife sings the melody and I add some vocal phrases and back up.  To get her vocals to punch through the mix even though her vocals are smooth, I took a direct out (really it was an insert cable and we will get into that later) and fed her vocals into one channel of a stereo compressor/limiter to compress or ‘squash’ the levels, then I took the out put and ran it into the other (stereo side) side and used the limiter function.  This allowed me to get a good signal by lowering the hot portions of the vocal track, and then pump it up to the point that the limiter would stop extreme levels from getting past a threshold point I set.  I got a very clean vocal signal and smoothed out the peaks and valleys of the volume levels, allowing me to turn up the over all volume in the mix without distortion.

Speaking about lyrics that never become songs, etc., sometimes I write and record a demo or rough track of a song and it just never seems to go anywhere.    Some of them do get resurrected, many don’t.  For some it may be as simple as a tempo change or a different arrangement.  Other times for me it is mysterious.  In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I would like to post lyrics to a song in the making.  As this platform gives us access to followers around the globe, I do not want to leave anyone out, so please take this as intended.  If I don’t mention your country, other people’s songs will!

Then in a later post I can bring in the recorded demo tracks.   I like the lyrics for the most part and I love the idea behind the song, but it is not there yet.  Maybe after a pint or two of Guinness and some suggestions from you I can finish this song.  And of course, that could be a topic in and of itself.  We hear phrases like “final mix”.  Some people say there is no such thing.  Others say you just have to stop at some point and let it go.   Much of this may depend on your final goal.  Are you a singer/songwriter trying to get a break and some air-time?  Are you shopping for places your band can perform your unique style?   Do you want to have a clean demo to send to your favorite artist?  Is this a sound-track for video/YouTube?  Do you make sound effects for games?

We can always say make it as good as possible but that is very subjective.  Hire 50 sound engineers and you will get 45 different mixes (there are always people that look over your shoulder!)  Tip for today;  it takes a really long time to fix it in the mix even if you know what you are doing.  It is much easier and preferred to get the great sound first, and then record it properly (using gain staging and other procedures mentioned earlier).  When you record a great sound it will sound great.  As a sound guy for a local band I would get compliments on the sound (House from the audience but almost always monitors from the band).  I thank them and tell them the band sounds great, I just let everyone hear them.

“A Part of Me”                                                                   © 08-2000  MSK

American Indians gave me my soul,

A spiritual guide for all living things.

Each man’s fate is his to control

Peace with Nature, the warrior sings.

A Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Germans strength was my first lesson.

Trial and precision as you master these.

Pride that’s passed down from son to son.

Built in each hand crafted Masterpiece.

Oriental neighbors have shown me the light

Truth, Balance, Eternal harmony.

The beauty of patience and delight

Traditions deep within history.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Irish I inherit my pride

I stand my ground and I will speak my mind.

I will honor the lands and the tide,

And I’ll never leave a neighbor behind.

My English side embraced nobility.

Dry humor in the face of foes

Hardy enough to capture the seas.

Portraits legends and heroes.

African Americans forced to become

A torn people of two nations.

Tribal tales and melodic rhythm

Passed onto the next generation.

The French helped me understand

Style and grace can be nurtured like wine.

To believe there is no better place

Life shared with friends, bread and wine.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

Year after year

They want to raise their children here.

Because sweat blood and tears

Can amount to something here.

There’s a lot of people in my life

A part of Me belongs to all of Them.

Your song may be different and that’s OK.

Sing it with your fellow American.