Tag Archives: audio

Moving my CD’s to a full-out digitial collection. It is time.


I need to step into the 00s.  I know it’s already the 10s, but I’m obviously already behind.  Yesterday I filled 4 giant under-bed storage containers (& one little one) with CD’s.  I need to rip this veritable mountain of plastic to a more easily & instantly accessible medium.

Enrico Caruso with a "Victrola" bran...

Where is the USB port on this thing...?

I also have a pile of vinyl that I believe I’m set up to rip… I just have to plug everything together.  Maybe after that, I’ll do my the last few of my cassette tapes.

For the younger readers:

Any advice?

First one to say iTunes gets a stinkpalm.  I don’t like programs that “take over” and are meant for people who don’t know what they’re doing.  I also dislike anything that asks me to “synch” anything.  NO.  I DO NOT WANT TO SYNCH ANYTHING.

I have a Google Music account that’s awesome, I might use it to store a bunch of the stuff I like to listen to.  Google has a 20,000 song limit.  I’m over that, no doubt.

I’ll most likely keep the CD’s so I have something to listen to when the grid crashes.

Winamp 1

WinAmp (Old School)

I will most likely use CDex and Mp3Tag to get everything in order.  I have experience with them and like them.  They’re free.  I also like WinAmp as a player.  Yes, I still like WinAmp.

I’ll probably need a 1TB (or bigger) external hard drive.  Where can I get an inexpensive yet reliable one?  My usual spots are TigerDirect or NewEgg.  Is there somewhere else I should try?

The compact disc

There are 1s and 0s on here? I don't see any.

It will make accessing the music any time I want much easier.  I’ll be able to control the genres & tags, add artwork, and if I get crazy I can hook up something so I can play all of my stuff from any computer in the house.  I also have an FM transmitter somewhere so I can further destroy the sound quality broadcast to any & all radios in the house.

Re-buying probably isn’t an option for at least a quarter if not half of my collection.  I have a lot of local D.I.Y. stuff and stuff from touring bands that I’ve never heard from again.  Also; I’m cheap.  I bought it once.  I’m not buying it again.  I think I’ve bought Appetite for Destruction at least 6 times.  Two cassettes, 3 CD’s, & a vinyl.  Does Axl really need another dollar out of me?

I’d try a service like Ripshark, but why if I can do it myself?  Also; I’m cheap.

Sadly, my Insignia can’t handle any SDHC cards over 4GB, and it freaks out once you hit over 2000 songs.  Maybe I can put a backup drive in my car & hook it to my stereo, to play my entire music catalog at will?  I’m getting ahead of myself.

Have you done this yourself?  Are you thinking it’s time to do this too?  Do they make a 2TB iPod yet?  Should I go with mp3‘s or rip to something else?  AAC? FLAC?

So many options.  I suppose I’ll finish the entire project some time in 2015.  I’ll still be quicker than PennDOT.  If the world ends before I finish this, I’m going to be really upset.

Cover Album…


“Someday” if I ever get the time, energy, & resources… I’d like to record a CD of some of my favorite songs with whatever kind of band I can pull together, or maybe even a varied assortment of musician friends.  Some of them are by bigger bands, some by locals, some by bands I’ve been in.

I’m sure there are more I’d want to include.  There’s no real reason to this, other than I think they’re all solid songs and it would be all kinds of fun.  Well, add any of the songs from my Ramones/Misfits/related bands list, really.

If anyone has better audio links for any of these… or any link at all for ones that aren’t click-able, I’d really appreciate your sharing of such things.

(I’d actually like to re-record most of the AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion catalogs, just because I think a little more attention to production could really polish some of that stuff. – Reunion gig or 2 anyone?  Ha ha.)

What songs do you dig enough to cover?  Any of these?  Ever hear of any of these?  Ha ha.  What would be on your album were you to do the same thing?

If it’s too loud, you’re too old!


☢ BOOM! ☢

Phallic-Atomic Wall Art

That’s what I used to think, anyway.  Over the years I’ve come to appreciate things like volume & tone… and dialing in a bit of control to the chaos.  Recently the following open letter/plea to local & touring musicians was posted in a semi-private Facebook group for the bands that rock out at the Fallout Shelter.  I asked permission to re-post, as it seems like a cool discussion starter.  As a dude in a band, I’m always up for talking about such things.  Permission was granted, and so we’ve arrived at:

PLEASE READ – An open letter to the bands in our musical community from Rick at the Fallout Shelter -

July 27, 2011:

The Fallout Shelter in Aliquippa is well into its fourth year of providing local bands in Beaver County with a venue where they can hone their skills, develop a following, and join a sincere and optimistic musical community. We are very proud of that. We also are committed to bringing excellent quality sound and professionalism to the music patrons who attend our shows. And we strive to help the bands that perform become more professional and polished as they gain experience in front of the crowds. With all of that in mind, I feel compelled to write this letter to everyone who has contributed so much to our journey.

Rock music is traditionally expected to be performed at loud volumes. Although we welcome all musical genres at the Shelter, we have tended to present rock, punk and metal acts more regularly. As such, volume frequently reaches levels that would severely damage the sensitive ears of small animals. So, the question becomes, can “loud” be too loud? Despite your inner rock god’s rabid denials, the truth is that, yes, it can be too loud. On more than a few occasions, I have witnessed young rock fans leave the Shelter shaking their heads and declaring that “it is too loud down there!” How can loud be too loud?

The Fallout Shelter ☢

The Fallout Shelter ☢

As an old rock musician and former fine arts major who grew up in the 70’s listening to bands such as Zeppelin and the Who, let me offer my view on the matter: When the individual sounds of the instruments become too loud, they tend to meld together into what can essentially be described as a “mush” of sound emanating from the stage. As the on-stage musician, you no longer are providing the sustenance of musical nectar to the fans, but are instead dumping the digested excrement of the combined sounds upon them. Individual sounds are completely lost and thus, so are individual expression and critical accents of each musician which can significantly enhance the musical presentation. Some of you might argue that certain genres are intended to be presented as musical mush – and I cannot disagree because musical taste is indeed individual. But musical mush is not what we desire to showcase. The occasional unusual act that uses noise or volume for musical or artistic effect is welcome, but we do not wish to bombard our patrons with unnecessary volume. By beginning your performance at maximum volume, you lose nuance and dynamics, which eliminates your flexibility in making your performance so much more powerful. Being able to increase volume for that soaring lead, or for that key phrase, and using those skills, will make you better musicians and more polished performers. Dynamics is a natural emotional expression of the music, and its importance cannot be over-emphasized.

As a young bassist, I recall performing many times and falling into the same bad habit of turning up during performances – or leaning over to place my ear near my speaker so I can hear my bass. The sound was essentially blowing past my legs so I could not hear myself well enough. The temptation to turn up in such a case is inescapable. This problem can be solved by either asking the sound man to increase your instrument volume through the monitors, or by raising the speaker to be closer to your ear level. We provide one amp stand that leans back to direct the amp speaker to the performer for this purpose. We also intend to build crates to keep on stage which all amp speakers must be placed on to raise them up. Hopefully, this will solve some of the volume problems. We also provide a drum shield for those drummers who play very loudly. When our sound man asks you to use it, it is because he is trying to make you all, as a band, sound the best that you can. Please do not refuse to use it. Trust our sound man – he is working in a very small venue with a powerful sound system. If you maintain the volume that he requests, he will make you sound spectacular. Doing a sound check to establish an excellent level, and then turning up, just creates a cascade of each musician turning up, one after another, and destroys the effort that went into doing the sound check. When you turn up, he has to fight the instrument and drum volumes to bring vocals up to be heard and the result is often feedback and “mush” coming from the stage.

Please help us present the best local performances to your fans and experiment with volume for maximum effect, not just maximum levels. We will not continue to book bands at the Shelter who cannot realize that learning to use volume properly is as important as learning to master their instruments. Personally, I feel that such bands are either incapable of learning what it takes to perform meaningfully, or are simply fulfilling some narcissistic rock star fantasy.

Once again, thank you to all of the fine musicians and people who make the Shelter such a special venue. Let’s continue to work together to make it, and our bands, the best that they can be.

Rick

Ernie and one of the Berts

Ernie and one of the Berts...

You can pick up on the frustration in Rick’s message.  I get it.  There’s a good discussion already going if you’re part of the group.  Rick, Randy, & everyone at the Fallout Shelter have always been really cool to us.  The sound guys have been great…  I’m absolutely terrible with names or I’d mention them here.

My focus/attention span has been crazy lately, so I think the best way to organize my thoughts on this is a completely random bulleted list.

  • I used to want a wall of Marshall cabinets…  I don’t anymore.  In a stadium?  Sure!  But, the reality is that I play mostly bars…  Bars that are small, and sometimes too small to host bands but do it anyway.  Lately I have been digging using Erin’s little Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp or Dave’s killer Egnater Rebel head with my 4×12 Mesa Boogie cabinet.  (My Crate Power Block is oddly “OK” live, but absolutely terrible when being recorded.)  Not only do we have to provide entertainment, but we have to carry our own crap in & out.  An amp that’s a quarter of the size & has twice the balls of most other amps?  It’s a win every time in my book.  Try it out!  (Especially if you’re playing a place downstairs like the Fallout Shelter or upstairs at the Smiling Moose.)
  • Let the sound guy do his job.  The sound guy at any given venue has been hired to make you sound good.  Don’t piss him (or her) off.  Don’t insist on turning your stage volume up until you hear the mix from the monitors, or go sit in the house yourself to hear the mix.  Want to have the most rock n’ roll attitude in the room?  Just play, and don’t give a crap what it sounds like.
  • Suck it up.  Shit happens.  Monitors screech, cut out, blow up, sound like mud, or are entirely non-exsitant at times.  There are still people sitting there waiting for you to play.  Play!  Don’t ask the sound guy to adjust a different level after every song.  Once one or two songs in?  No problem.  All night long?  Just deal with it.
  • Use the drum shield.  I think I’ve only ever played at one place where the drummer sits behind a shield.  They asked, so we did it.  I even put a sign on it that says something like “don’t tap on glass” that I think is still there.  It gives the sound guy further control over the room… and the monitors.  As long as you have a monitor in there for the drummer, it shouldn’t be a huge issue.  It might feel & look weird, but if Dave Grohl can do it, you can do it.
Please don't feed the drummer.

Please don't feed the drummer.

That’s all that comes to mind right now.  I’m sure there will be more.  For their part, it looks like the Fallout Shelter is open to suggestions in improving their monitoring system & the overall sound for the room.  I’d suggest some kind of acoustic wall tiles to keep already loud noises from reverberating, but that’s just me.

I’d like this to start a discussion about sound at smaller venues all around Pittsburgh, & well… everywhere.  In the comments section below, post your thoughts!

(WordPress recommended) Related articles:

Ernie and the Berts – FREE SHOW! 12/30/2010 @ Howler’s Coyote Cafe!


I’ll update all the information on this show at this thread on PittsburghBeat.com as any new details happen.

There may also be some new links since the last time you checked the Yahoo! group page, like some audio/video goodies, and of course the link to the official “Toybox” video on YouTube, brought to life by our pals Jason & Terry… with recording help from Brendan of Summer Lungs.

On to the show details…

The Bands:

The Place:

The Details:

  • 21+
  • 8:00pm
  • $$$ FREE SHOW! $$$
  • Thursday, Dec. 30th, 2010

Looks like Ag Ag Lady made a flier…

FAAN & Food Allergy Guidelines


Yeah, I know I just blogged about Food Allergies, & I try not to beat that subject to death, but Twitter was blowing up this morning on this subject, so I felt that I needed to say something.

Here are some tweets & re-tweets:

What does all this mean?  As far as I can tell, it’s just a coming-together of the powers that be in the food allergy world to say, “Hey, if we’re gonna get anywhere with awareness & treatment, we’re gonna all need to get on the same page so we can move forward.”

If this is of interest to you… I urge you to check out the following links to read-up on what it means for those afflicted with food allergies:

Hopefully, you’ll find the time (like I hope to) to be able to take that all in and see what it means for you & your friends or family members who may be deathly allergic to something that’s in kitchens, food processing plants, grocery stores, & other food venues all over the place.

 

Podcast?


An interesting exchange/idea from my friend Terry on Twitter…

Passenger6x3 | @AiXeLsyD13 you dont you start a podcast?

AiXeLsyD13 | @Passenger6x3 I doubt I’d have much to say? Ha ha ha. I prefer the written word to audio or video for expressing myself any more…

Passenger6x3 | @AiXeLsyD13 get you and dave on the mic and it would be all good. about 4 hours ago via txt

AiXeLsyD13 | @Passenger6x3 Perhaps. We have discussed a viral video show. Ha ha. about 4 hours ago via web in reply to Passenger6x3

Passenger6x3 | @AiXeLsyD13: @Passenger6x3 Perhaps. We have discussed a viral video show. Ha ha.– do it!

Well, who else would be interested?  (Involvement in either helping/watching/listening…?)

I need a whole new level of participation.


OK, so in a recent McBlog, I made a call out to the readers to be creative and active, and make a chart depicting the levels of snacking as  mentioned in my SPAMvertisement from McDonald’s.

So far, Troy is the only one to reply.  While Troy’s submission is a valiant effort, I’d like to see more.

This is my second request, in which I will simultaneously be more stern in my request, and shamelessly plead for your participation. I know you’re out there reading.  I hear things.  I see traffic.  I get notes/comments on other sites.  I get comments here.  Let’s pull it all together here, shall we?

This is what I need: I’d like a chart, graph, illustration, photos of a diorama, cartoon, audio recording, video, whatever you want to create… depicting the “whole new level” of snacking noted in this letter.  Is it a top level?  A side level?  A hidden level?  A secret level?  A low level?  You can even use some of my past McDonald’s-related posts for inspiration.  Is the McGangBang on the map?  Does snack level have a correlation with restroom cleanliness?  Is the ketchup station a mess?  Does Heinz’s opinion count?

Be Our GuestHere’s what you get: Bragging rights.  Well, that, and one of my “Be Our Guest” Cards that entitles you to a free Mac Snack Wrap.  Why only one?  Well, because I already used one… and really, do you need more than one Mac Snack Wrap?  Plus, the letter suggested that I share one… so I am.  Also, it gives me a twisted sense of satisfaction knowing that McDonald’s is (albeit indirectly) sponsoring their own ridicule.

How do we decide who wins? Well, again, this depends on you… the readers.  I believe that I have the option to put up a poll… so once all submissions are in, the voting will go on for a week or so.

How it will go down: Let’s give it to Friday, Feb. 5th, 2010 to get submissions in to me.  We’ll vote the following week, closing & announcing a winner on Friday, Feb. 12th.  You’ll have your free Mac Snack Wrap just in time for Valentine’s Day… so you can show someone you love how cheap you are.  You can get submissions to me by leaving them in the comments here (if you’re ‘net-savvy) or you can email them to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com.

So, we’re all clear on this, right?

Posterous?


I’m posting to everything via email thanks to Posterous… just checking it out to see what it’s all about.  Apparently, you can throw anything at it via email attachments, and it deals with it on its own… and I’ve set it up to post to Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, YouTube, and Flickr on its own.It’s really easy.  all I’m looking for is some consolidation.  I’d ask for MySpace support if anyone used that any more… but Photobucket support would be cool… as well as importing UrbanSpoon reviews – although, that may be there and I just haven’t found it yet.

Perhaps this out to be the way that Fast Food Fail is handled?

I’m going to attach some totally unrelated stuff, just to see what happens with it.

I wonder if it handles formatted text better than WordPress?

It will apparently even embed video from YouTube if you just provide the URL…


…and all kinds of other crazy stuff.

.seitilibasid gninrael fo nuf ekam ot ynnuf ton yllaer s’tI

Two Of A Kind by Gasoline Dion
Download now or listen on posterous

02 – Two of a Kind.mp3 (3522 KB)

Posted via email from AiXeLsyD13