Violet Ray EP, the pianist, new gear, and WRUW                                                                        


So, I hope that your holidays were good.  Mine were great and kinda sad, as we began the process of saying goodbye to a dear person in the family.  However, the good was very good.  The Violet Ray recording is coming together nicely, although I ended up mixing and mastering 2 songs for their 1st show on December 23 and then finished up on the last 3 after that in a separate mastering session.  Well, they don't really match up, as they were done at different times.  But, that will happen.  However, I don't finish until I am satisfied, so I am going to finish that up this weekend.  The nice thing is that the project went very well and the results are going to be fantastic.

I also got to see both DD Moto and Violet Ray in a concert together and they were both GREAT!  Crazy to see them live playing the songs that I know so well.  I love how they just get down to business and don't mess around.  No fluff...just rock.  It kind of felt like a reunion, of sorts, as I have recorded both of these bands' releases and I got to see some great friends--Jay, Rich, and Josh...and Jay's wife, Paula, too!  Great people and it was long overdue for all of us to hang out.

February is coming, so I am going to be taking the month off to write and record my own music.  If any of you are songwriters or have thought about doing something incredibly creative, I would suggest that you join me (and 3000 other across the globe) for  It is a songwriting challenge where you start on February 1 with nothing and attempt to write, record, and post 14 original songs in the 28 days of February.  Sounds crazy, eh?  Well, it definitely is worthwhile and probably is the most satisfying thing that I do each year musically.  Some people do 1 microphone recordings, EDM, or sample based music.  Others, like me, do full on demos recorded entirely with microphones.  I try to put out the best songs that I can with the best production that I can manage....but, it is basically a new, finished song every 2 days, so some little things have to slide sometimes.

New Gear!

CAD D12 microphone-Kick, bass, floor tom, etc...

ART Head Amp 6--headphone amp that has lots of clarity, volume, and mix options

2 Shure M267 mic preamps with level lock limiters from the 1970s--I have been trying these out on kick, snare, and bass...pretty cool!


2 Tesla/Telefunken EMP124 channel strips from mixing consoles that I am working on setting up in a rack.  SUPER COOL!  Who knows what all will sound good with these, but I just love the idea of old console channels with the input and output transformers, along with a "pultec-esque" eq section on each channel.  

Oh, I forgot to mention....I also got 2 Unidyne 454 mics, which were the predecessor to the Shure SM57.  Those are too cool and really have all of the best qualities of the SM57, but with an added warmth that the 57 lacks at times.  They are great on many things and I am super happy to have a pair.  

Continuing projects:

As far as other projects go, I am working on mixing/editing/mastering the entire works of a pianist in Cleveland who is in steady decline with dementia.  My job is to take his recordings and to mix/edit/master them to be preserved before he has the ability to play them or articulate what he has written and played.  Pretty deep and important project.  I never thought that I would have this role with these stakes....

Another project that I have been working on is editing/converting about a million sound clips of famous and not-so-famous musicians and bands for WRUW 91.1 FM Cleveland.  I love that station (and always have) and was very happy to help.  The project is nearly finished, thank goodness!  The sound clips were all on Minidiscs, jumbled all together, and I am putting them into WAV form to edit and then converting them all into MP3s for them to play on the air.  It was kind of cool to run across Elvis Costello saying "Hello, this is Elvis Costello and you are listening to WRUW 91.1 FM Cleveland".  

I am scheduling for the Spring, so let me know what you are looking to do.  My schedule gets tight pretty quickly, so let me know about the live gig recording plans, especially.

Best wishes to you!  Don't forget--