Showing posts from 2013


Pressed for time this week we got right down to business. First up we reviewed my guitar tracking done in the previous session. Would they have to be retracked due to the buffer latency issue or did I do well enough to keep time and keep them? They were satisfactory and with a little post production will be just fine as they aren't primary to the song.So onto vocals. Ken had gotten comfortable with the environment last session and confident to try some scratch takes.  This week he went for it and with some coaching from Mike and myself nailed almost all the sections. Playing an instrument is one thing. Singing takes a even bigger leap in confidence as its very personal. Not everyone can sing.  Not everyone can sing well.I've always known Ken could sing. I for one have been really happy with kens' vocal progression.  Even during the demos I knew something really good was there. The last 2 weeks with some guidance he has really dialed in his vocal style. What once was a bit …


Cosmic Seam may make mixdown by Christmas after all!

Last night's session was short but uber productive.  We had a plan going in and stuck to it and even got a little extra for our efforts.

Ken got his 2 acoustic tracks down in short order once we determined that just the drum track was all he needed to play against.
I was next to track.  Mike and I a while back stumbled upon a pretty cool mix of choruses and delay last month when we were doing scratch tracks.

We tuned up the Strat, figured on the right pickup selection and started laying tracks.
We hit a snag when I couldn't keep time as the effects chain had a delay in the playback. So we just muted my playback and I relied solely on the sound of the strings.  Me thinks that worked well enough that if it is a smidgen behind that it can be nudged later in post production
Between takes I was noodling and discovered a nice picking pattern that the guys insisted I lay down. I was reluctant as my chops aren't 100% yet but …

Full Steam Ahead

Nailed down first and second songs' form and lyric melodies.  Possibly our most productive session to date. 
We are officially past the demo phase and have 2 sets of drum tracks locked in for full blown recording. We're hoping to have the first song completed by Christmas.  Ambitious since we can only manage one session a week.
This week we plan to have all the guitars tracked. There's 3 in total - 2 acoustics and 1 electric.  Time permitting we may do supplemental percussion tracks. However it will most likely be all Mike as apparently  Ken and I were all kinds of wrong with our chimes and tambourine techniques. Comment below if you can spot the infractions.

Seasonal Patios

There's been some discussion about possibly making Red River Road one way in the Entertainment District to facilitate patio space in front of some of the restaurants.

Thunder Bay is very  seasonal with a bulk of its year being not so patio friendly.  But in the few months of summer we do get  - patios would be awesome.

But does it warrant some significant permanent construction?  Will it work?  And if it doesn't?  Do we undo it at great expense?
My suggestion- go Seasonal.  Cities with similar populations that are in relatively the same climate zone as Thunder Bay have a hybrid temporary or seasonal approach.  
Barrie a Ontario for example have their main strip on Dunlop setup with temporary boardwalks that allow all the restaurants and bars on the street to have seasonal patios.  When the summer is over, the patios fencing, furniture and city's boardwalks are put away and the street returns to normal in time for when the snow flies.

Kenora has also experimented with sea…

Quick Tilapia Taco

I was in a rush for something quick and somewhat healthy to make and eat for supper.
Frozen Tilapia cooked in the microwave.
Chopped celery.
Chopped tomato.
Store bought salsa.
Store bought cucumber dressing. Done and yum.
Not the best thing to eat - but certainly better than fast food!

Bavarian Studio Session

Let's see.  How do I go about describing what was 'Schnauzer Studios'?  A lot of laughs - but also a lot of productivity.  And food,  including home made salsa and 'old fashioned' potato chips.  
If you're familiar with South Park, you will understand why there's a random picture of the chip bag.  Ahem.... Moving forward.
So Mike was able to record drums days before this session so that Ken and I could lay down some tracks last night.  Our first foray into tracking for this project.  Exciting stuff!   

Ken only needed a few takes to get the acoustic guitar parts down.  I needed a few extra to get the electric guitar bits laid down.  

Due to some technical difficulties with an auto-envelope DOD pedal, I resorted to having to manually 'wha' the parts with a very stellar VOX wha.   Up strum string attack instead of the traditional down strum really helped bring out the brightness I was seeking.

Bass was recorded last.  Bizarre as per usual - its normal…

#Tbay lunch walkies

A co-worker and I have made a habit of walking to the Bay St. Area at lunch once a week.  We find it really helps the creative process to disconnect from all the technology we work with every day - we are Systems Administrators. 
We try to vary the walk and get perspectives on the neighborhoods and see what new developments are occurring.  Thunder Bay is in a state of transition - its turning over a new leaf - but only by walking can you really see the subtle changes.  
Eventually it will explode and will be very apparent.

Today's walk took us down Red River by the new Law School.  It is possibly one of the most stunning buildings in the city.  There's a mock up of the interior court house simulation on a billboard.  I'm sure it could double as film set when not in use.

Down Algoma and over to Bay Street we went, eyeing up all the residents that have been spruced up, and sadly many that have not tried.  If only I had some extra money to throw around and develop some of the…

Idea for a Screen Play

So I had this incredible vivid dream the other night and figured I'd jot it down to reference sometime in the future to see if I'm some sort of prophet.

Here goes:

I'm at the strip mall near the beer the store on Red River involved in some sort of Boot Camp exercise training.  From this vantage point I can see the harbor while in the midst of doing some jumping jacks.

A defining explosion occurs and as I gather my senses I look towards the water and a volcano has just emerged from the depths of Lake Superior - spewing an ash cloud that instantly darkens the sky.

Those around me profess this as a doomsday event and the world is about to end.  For an instance I consider this, than in another I'm in my vehicle racing down the free way that hugs the coastline of the lake.

This roadway which is similar to that of Toronto's Gardner Expressway is the 'old Water Street'.  Traffic comes to a halt.  An accident up ahead has frozen traffic.  People are wondering the …

More Studios

A week later after thinking we had everything charted out properly, Mike had done some drum takes over the weekend only to discover that the charts were incorrect.  Sometimes things like this are good.  It gave us the opportunity to re-jig the song.

Drawing on all our influences and experience - we were able to look at the chart and figure out what was wrong and what was missing.  This was indeed a 'happy accident' as we allowed for some real pockets of creativity to be planted into the song, as well as a pretty catch riff to marry to the vocals during the parts of the song that repeat itself.

Of course a little Lighthouse Merlot does help with the creative process - and gouda of course.  We like to keep it classy in the studio - all credit to Michael.

This weekend, Ken and I hope Michael will get the new drum takes done and we hope to start building on top of what should be a very strong foundation of a song.

If we could only just put  our day jobs on hold for 2 weeks to final…

Leafs Epic Collapse

Had the Bruins brought their 'A' game from the start - Leafs would've been lucky to win a single game in this series.  And that still would've been a success for this season.

We got our hopes up because Boston was Jekyll and hide. When the Bruins decided to play, they steam rolled us. Plain and simple - the Leafs weren't good enough. And that's al-right.  We knew that going in.

Had we won last nite - I'm afraid we'd be setting ourselves up for another repeat of 1993.  The Leafs played better than expected and got on a roll.  We suffered for over a decade with mediocrity and the insanity of believing that team was that good.  They weren't. They still need a few key pieces to make them great. But that '93 run made people think otherwise.

I'm glad the Bruins put us in our place. You can't teach what they learned last night.

Now we know officially where we stand and what needs to be changed in the off season.

Mark my words - when the Leafs …

Another Productive Session

After some hilarious chit chat and banter, we got down to work and worked on a song that was close to be finalized in the last session.

We were stuck - the chord progression was catchy as hell, but was missing something.

We decided to change up the drum pattern and make it a bit more loose and not so rigid.  Success.  Altering the drums changed the entire feel of the song and put a real nice groove to it.

We jammed it out quite a bit and decided on the form of the song.  It was simple.  Once the groove of the song was established - it literally wrote itself.  Even the voice melody was pretty much there.

This may be the first song we track.
Tracking I think will be up just around the corner.  Mike's got some tech stuff to finalize with Mics and pre-amps for the drums.  So close to getting all these idea's out of the ether and onto some tangible listening.

Have you ever put the Cart before the Horse when it comes to music?

When was the last time you've seen a musical act without knowing the material they were to preform?  Rarely do I have this experience, but when I do there's something magical about it.

Let me explain.

I'm a big fan of Diana Krall. - have been since her 1999 album "When I look Into Your Eyes".  A concert of hers has always been at the top of my 'bucket list' .  By the time her "Look of Love" album came out she became world renown.

I always thought it near impossible to see her perform. 

But then one night - really late one night, I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline and was gobsmacked to see a concert announcement for Krall at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.  I'm rarely an impulse buyer, but there I was at almost 4am throwing my credit card info at the computer as quickly as possible to get two seats.

Months later, there I was - in the thick of it.  The TBCA was jam packed.  The vibe of the house was buzzing in anticipation to …

Something Ends, Something Begins

The end of winter is finally upon us.  This week was my last game of indoor co-ed soccer with my team Pixie Caribou.  Weather is finally getting sunny and i hope the snow is finally finished..

It was a hard fought campaign, i don't think we won a single game and i think we may have had one draw.  But that's not why we play. Exercise and camaraderie is what indoor co-ed footy is all about.

As always, the end of the season is sad. But it always ushers in the spring.  As something Ends, Something Begins.

Sports will do wonders for burning off pent up frustrations, the endorphin release of intense exercise and the 'team' element always helps social side of things. There's a great sense of belonging. It's finished for this season - i need something to fill the void.

With two close friends, a 9 song writing expedition has commenced.  Four songs from a demo recorded over the last 2 years has now grown into a full album.

There's a different type of synergy.  Its…

Sound City

Just watched the riveting documentary "Sound City" by David Grohl.  It was the story of the Neve console - one of four built by Rupert Neve  - an engineering genius. He took extreme lengths to get things like the DC current flowing through gates to precise levels.   The outcome - a truly unique recorded sound.
Sound City bought one of only a few Neve consoles back in the late 70's in a effort to attract recording artists.  They bet the farm on this venture and came out on top.
The first track ever laid down was an unknown duo by the names of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckhingham.  The story from there just takes off when Mic Fleetwood has a chance encounter with the owner of Sound City at a local shop.  He goes in to check out the studio and asks to hear a sample.  The only thing they have on tape is Nicks and Buckingham.  That chance recording is what leads to Nicks and Buckhingham to become part of FleetWood Mac.
After that the rest is history - as smash hit albums afte…
Here's my theory.  Ownership may have changed - but the greed to make money will always exist.  I wouldn't be surprised that MLSE thinks that if they go all in - they may get 2 or more playoff rounds.  

This would equate to millions in revenue with 4+ home games not to mention the fevered pitch of bandwagon jumpers buying up Kadri and Luopol jerseys.

Adding a veteran goal tender would surely help this cause.  

I think we may be replaying shades of 93 when the Leafs were technically in a rebuild state but surprised everyone by running the gauntlet only to loose out against the infamous Gretzky high stick on Gilmour (. Leafs 93 Playoff Summary )

Yes the Leafs have gotten better and our chances greatly improved - but we are still a few key pieces away from CUP contender status. But this seems eerily similar to 93.

If ownership knows its history - than one could surmise that its a fairly safe bet to try and load up for a playoff run with this team finally starting to gel.  The core of …
I think this will be the year for Google Plus (+).  At least for me. I haven't 'tried' to make it work like have in the past. By that I mean i've taken the approach of not trying to make it Facebook or Twitter.  I just started to use it as it is and I have to say I really enjoy the user experience.

Facebook i've resigned is primarily for family and close friends.  I'll never convince them to change over so I've stop trying.  It is what it is.  I did however purge a ton of contacts and widdled it down to just my close friends and family. Primarily a place to share pics of the kids for relatives that want to keep tabs.  Also - my friends that won't jump ship - its my only form of communication via the internet - who uses email anymore?

Twitter i still use - but i've noticed now - i'm not addicted to it as i was last year.  As Twitter has gotten more acceptable in my neck of the woods - i've found its become more spammy.  Again - I've wipe…