Good morning friends and happy Wednesday.
Or at least a tolerable Wednesday.
Ok look, let's just get through Wednesday in one piece.
So, I'm going to try and do one of these every week. Figure I'll make it equal parts studio/personal blog, news, recommendations of what's good this week, and a little product flogging. So let's get to it, shall we?
Along with tearing down the Black Dragon River Music Bandcamp site (it'll come back in the future but it's not in the budget right now. Thanks COVID.) I've started setting up my individual artist pages on here, starting with this one and my Mike Reynolds page at https://mikereynolds.bandcamp.com, which will be the home for my more out-there and experimental stuff. I'm working on an abstract/drone piece for it, which I haven't decided yet if it will be two tracks or three. Given that these songs clock in at around 15 minutes each, two might be plenty. There's some free stuff over there now, so go check it out.
Also, you'll note the podcast has fallen by the wayside. Again. This is mostly due to time constraints, but also because I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with a podcast, so it may be a bit before it returns.
I've never understood why people flip out over the really old drum machines. I don't mean the ubiquitous Roland ones, I mean like the Linndrum, LM1, Drumulator, those kind of things. You know...the synthpop and disco ones. Synthwave guys seem to LOVE them, but they've never really done anything for me. HOWEVER...I have a ton of sample kits of every drum machine you can think of. After watching Steffi do work with the Pearl Syncussion on Youtube, I decided that maybe I should poke around through my collection and see if I can find something useful. I loaded up a DMX module from Samples From Mars, programmed a nice loop, then auxed out to a delay and a reverb and woooow...you wanna talk about some smooth Deep House vibes. Combined with some nice analog polysynth chords, we had ourselves a mood.
It's funny, but this mirrors my experience with analog hardware monosynths. Dry, they tend to sound terrible. "Ugh. This just sticks out and sounds awful. Why does everyone make such a fuss over these?" The sound is often kind of rough and harsh and, well, OLD sounding. But then you apply the right reverb to it, which adds a nice sheen to the top end and suddenly it's a whole different sound. Harsh and dull becomes smooth and warm. Crazy how that works.
We are in week Four of distance learning/homeschooling here due to COVID. I have two kids, 9 and 5 years old. Jack, the 9 YO, is pretty easy to manage. He can figure things out for himself, is pretty self-motivated, and does what you tell him to. Miles, the 5 YO, requires a constant stream of threats, promises, rewards, and jiujitsu to get him to do anything he's supposed to. This first month of school has aged me nearly as much as their newborn periods did. I'm doing my best to fit the 10,000 things I have to do every day (including music) in to a very limited amount of time, but, well, it's been rough. My sympathy goes out to everyone else doing this job and also to those who were unable to do this job and were forced to send their kids back to school and into harms way.
Did you know I have a Redbubble merch store? That's right! I will add designs to it as I am able, but the cool thing about Redbubble is there is a MASSIVE selection of things you can get printed with the artwork of your choice. The splash page shows people in t-shirts, but you can get everything from cell phone cases and wall art to shower curtains. Go have a look!
**RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK**
Go check out Steffi's studio.
That's all for this week. See you next time.