Week One. (an essay)


Week One:
To Boldy Go Where I Haven’t Before.

Trying to do something musically on a daily basis has been a learning experience. Tiny motivational voices sometimes whisper in my head, keeping me positive about this endeavour. It’s the act of shaking off the fleas of distraction, a form of self-enlightenment that definitely promotes getting more organized in both production skills and time management. For now I just lose a little sleep if I start too late into the evening; the goal is to get a week ahead, for a safety net.

Speaking of time management, last night was the first that I missed a day. I drifted off on the couch during an ol’ episode of Star Trek TOS. (Cue the Star Trek Battle Theme music).

A few proverbs, thoughts, & goddamn advertising slogans have been popping into my head from ether while staring at a blank palette In Logic or Live. Here’s what the voices said, and what the messages probably meant at the time:

  • A Little Dab’ll Do Ya. (Go lighter on the effects this time.)
  • Do everything in moderation. Including moderation. (e.g. it’s okay to have a 6-miunte fade).
  • I should KISS more often than not. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.)
  • Just Do It. (Damn you, whomever created this Nike slogan, for it has permeated my soul.)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (But just ow many times will you re-take that guitar riff?)
  • Music is like clay. (Keep adding tracks. It’s easier to subtract a track during the edit/mixdown process than to go backwards and add another.)
  • “Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Then don’t do that.” (Don’t second guess. If it doesn’t sound good, get rid of it [the track, sound, effect] and move on.)
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Not everything needs retouching/denoising/enhancing/EQ.)
  • No time like the present. (I haven’t made a list of ideas for future posts… yet. I haven’t planned ahead at all, This is by the seat of my pants to date.)
  • TANSTAAFL. (I’ll probably have to pay for webhosting space for all this audio media. How the heck do you put up a “donate via PayPal” button?)
  • There is such a thing as love at first sight. (You CAN nail it on the first take, or come up with something meaningful in 5 minutes.)
  • Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre. (Try something familiar with a different approach. Or: I don’t use filters nearly enough. Or: it’s fast fun to blurt out overexaggerated french when I’m frustrated.)
  • The best thing I’ve read for Creatives lately: I cannot stress the importance of #1 from this list here, which reads “Don’t Create and Evaluate at the Same Time.” Meaning… don’t write a track then sit there polishing it. First write/play/record as much as you can, then edit/master/mix/add effects later.
  • The last “proverb” isn’t so much a clever saying as it is a feeling. Read the poem entitled “The Guest House” by Rumi (click here). In terms of music, for me it says to welcome any shade (dark or light) to show through in the music. Since I’ve got the Kinetic and Dark tones covered, maybe I should do some a little more Reserved and Bright? That’s one applied interpretation. Gotta love how these writings can be interpreted in multiple ways.

There’s been a few referrals to this site from a story on a collaborator’s blog, which is awesome. I’ve also gotten a few supportive emails & comments from strangers so far, simply by changing my default signature on KVRaudio.com to include this site, plus some shameless self-promotion on HandPan.org (the Zen Tambour topic). Which is also awesome.

The biggest hurdle doing this blog so far has absolutely nothing to do with music, but with a stupid browser/OS issue. It turns out that all of the soundcloud-hosted files will not show on the Safari browser on iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones since soundcloud.com is flash-based. Thing is, I knew that (about iOS devices) yet still hadn’t put any thought to it. Duh. Thanks to the person that took the time to send an email/PM on KVR let me know about it. It still does not work, even with the soundcloud.com iApp installed. So I’m glad I didn’t pony up the 29 euros on soundcloud (yet)! I hope to have a solution soon without too much technical kung-fu.
UPDATE: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch audio file playback issue solved. All “Ditty-A-Day” icons now link to a soundcloud’s mobile streaming site for iOS device users; plus pasted a link at the bottom of each post for convenience. 🙂

Finally: If you haven’t noticed, there are links embedded in nearly every paragraph of these posts. In an effort to get a little more swift, I need to cut back in the amount of links created due to the time it takes to embed them. If you’re not sure, say, what a DAW is, or some equipment-software-process seems strange and new, etc etc then Google is best your friend. Or you can just ask me what the heck I’m talking about. Maybe I should make a little chart of my hardware & workflow and post it at a later date.

Thanks for reading.
Back to something musical.

P.S. NAMM 2012 is coming up, and I’ve been reading all the rumours of new musical hardware and software about to be released. Someday I’ll be an attendee instead of just sitting here and reading about it. When that day comes it would be like Charlie going into the Chocolate Factory.

  1. jerde said:

    Ha! I had the same problem with SoundCloud players. Played great in Safari, but not so much on iPod Touch and some browsers. Answer: Publish everything using their HTML5 spec instead. It’s not the default, but it has worked well for me since they released it. I’m also publishing through WordPress PHP (not the .com version), and it has been stable.

  2. As of Jan 2012, soundcloud.com offers a mobile solution: just stick “m.” in front of the soundcloud URL.
    e.g. m.soundcloud.com/dittyaday2012
    We don’t need no stinkin’ HTML5.

  3. i love your blog, i have it in my rss reader and always like new things coming up from it.

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