Your Eventual Ghost

If you have a conscience
Then you have a soul
That holds a place for
Your Eventual Ghost

We may not survive
Or live forever
But we are vessels
Place holding our soul

Our soul is our
Earthly heart
When we pass on
That's when we start

Chorus

When we die
We only start
Our Eventual Ghost
Comes from our heart

I was raised in the Episcopal Church, and have read quite a bit of both the New and Old Testament. While these were written by some old dudes a long time ago – I think a book of morals is a good thing. I also think any religion that is based on The Golden Rule is great. But sadly – I gave up religion years ago due to so much hypocrisy and those who use religion for their political and other money making devious ventures. On top of that – fundamentalists and in your face bible thumpers just plain suck. No wonder churches are closing down right and left.

There is still a part in me that thinks – maybe – just maybe – there is something that is bigger than us ant like humans and that maybe there is at least some Devine or cosmic force in the universe. I say this because I can look at stars and the moon at night or just the beauty of nature during the day – or perhaps witnessing a kind loving gesture by a human being and then some of my erstwhile faith is restored. But man, its getting harder and harder it seems.

Nature makes me feel like there is a God – and humans make me feel like there is a devil. Just kidding (not kidding) – there are some really, really bad humans that have polluted this earth the last 5 or 6 years. Parading as saints no less. Charlatans Jesus threw out of the Temple . . . Throw in gun violence – and what a misery stew.

Any way – none of us live forever – so I have been reflecting on what we are and what a heart and soul is. No definitive answers – but it is an interesting thing to ponder every now and then.

Praise The Lard!

Praise The Lard and Pass The Ammo!
Praise the Lard
Pass the ammo
Russian Roulette
Is your gamble

Load that gun
Pull the trigger
Now you feel
So much bigger

Praise the Lard
Church and state
Christian Soldiers
Nationalist hate

Send your money
To the rich
There's nothing left
You stupid bitch

Take up sides
Against ourselves
Hate your brother
Everyone else

Work for evil
Men of greed
Men in power
The devils seed

Money changers
Profits (prophets) of doom
Take your money
Give you gloom

Its too late
You'll never learn
Smell the smoke
As America Burns

Today’s song came about after I wrote the bass line – I wanted it to be sort of punk-ish – and simple blues progression came out – which is somewhat related – since many garage bands first learn very simple blues progressions and repeat them ad nauseum.

I usually get my lyrics ideas from either “current events”, historical events or inventions, nature, or one of my many Assemblage pieces – and today’s is using an Assemblage as my guide. The vocals also begged to be sung as if I were a Televangelist. Hey – I will use this approach again – it infuses comedy in a way that really works well.

The vocals are influenced by listening to Primus do “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver” – which is hilarious – as most Primus songs are.

Bees

After fixing yesterday’s attempt at a song with vocal melody – I decided to try to write a song in the key of B – and I saved the song in Cubase as “bees” – jokingly. Then I wrote the lyrics – and like the guitar chords – they just flowed out. The vocal melody was easy as could be – its exactly the kind of song I can sing given my limited singing abilities. (I will most likely take voice lessons – but I really need to figure out how I want my voice to sound. I know I don’t want to sing opera, art songs or lounge music. I want edgy sounding singing – and am not interested in “pretty / choir boy”). But I digress . . . . Then the Cello / Bass and Piano just rolled out lickety-split . . . Then I remembered an Assemblage piece and Photo I took years ago that had a bee in it – and Voila!

Funny how this all works . . . its a cool journey for sure!

There was a crooked man
Who lived in a crooked house
He made a mess of everything
He really was a Class A Louse

He shot himself in the foot
He kicked himself in the ass
He kicked himself so hard
That he ran out of gas

There was a decent man
Who lived a life of love
He honored everyone he met
He was sent from heaven above

The people loved him back
They knew he really cared
The strength of love was everything
Everything he had he shared

There was a hive of bees
Where all the honey was made
The bees all worked together
The honey was the finest grade

The sweetest honey wins
The peoples hearts and minds
If you want some honey
You have to be very kind

My Small Recording Studio Success

I started recording with Cubase LE two years ago using a Focusrite 2i2 and I had no idea about mixing and just used headphones. I liked Cubase so much I purchased the Pro edition. Here’s what I finally ended up with – a zero latency home studio with great monitoring and mixes:

  • Cubase Pro
  • SSL2+ interface
  • Yamaha HS-5’s for stereo mixing
  • Avantone Cube for mono mixing
  • Fender Mustang 50 watt amp
  • Royer R10 and Shure SM-57 on the guitar amp
  • SE Electronics VR2 for vocals

That’s it – very simple. I had done shootouts on all of the sub $500 interfaces and tried all of the decent microphones in the $500 ish or less class, and these won hands down.

Mike Seniors Mixing Secrets for Small Studios was the major breakthrough. Once I carefully read his book my home studio went from schmoe to pro.

The SSL2+ is quite a bit better than the UA Volt 276 that I have. While I like the Volt 276 ergonomics better, the SSL2+ preamps are the cleanest out of all of the budget interfaces. The MOTU M2 is pretty nice too, but even though the SSL2+ has a few things I feel they could have done better, nothing came close to it’s clean sound.

Half Bright Scholars

I wrote a vocal melody that was out of my league – so I decided to save this song by using “Sprechgesang” – or “speak-sing”. As it turns out – it fits the song much better since its basically a “two guys walk in a bar” joke.

Some of our illustrious politicians went to Ivy League schools. I’m not at all impressed . . . .
Two Half Bright Scholars
Walked into a bar
One forgot his wallet
The other locked his keys In his car

One Half Bright Scholar
Became President
He really believed
That He was Heaven sent

Chorus
Giant swollen ego
Plus Giant swollen head
Amounts to less than zero
When all is done and said



Garden Variety

In my garden
Lizards scurry
Past the flowers
In a hurry

Then they stop
Doing their pushups
Stick their tongue out
Leave abruptly

Chirping babies
In the birdhouse
Sing for supper
Mother Titmouse

Father Titmouse
Back and forth
Bringing food
From backyard source

Pocket Fisherman

Pockets full
Pocket book
Going fishing
With a hook

Cast a line
In his pocket
What he found
A rusty locket

Rusty locket
Her young face
Left him stranded
Left in haste

No remorse
Out his door
Jaw hung open
And hit the floor

Wallet empty
Wallet bare
Moths flew out
They were scared

Heart a wallet
Nothing left
Now she's gone
He's bereft

What's the use
Gave up living
Pain's a gift
That keeps on giving

Lint and moths
Pocket rust
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust

Its Time to KRY

The sound of pathos
On Radio KRY
Where empathy sheds
A tear stained eye

The sound of care
For those in need
Radio KRY
A dying breed

In old days
When people cared
No need to KRY
No need for fear

It used to be
We got along
On Radio KRY
We play your songs

Hate is in
Love dismissed
On Radio KRY
We Persist

We're holding out
For better times
We still have hope
On Radio KRY

Chorus
Yes we care
We're hear for you
On Radio KRY
Love still rules

in a nutshell

  • Another KRY song. Why not?
  • First real mix I’ve ever done – where I thought about the mix even during the recording session, and even checked the mics

discussion

This song is more about the mix, but with a humorous ongoing drone of Radio KRY.

This is the first song written knowing the new mixing procedure – and using the Avantone Mixcube from the start – instead of going back and fixing stuff. I also did try two different mic sets on guitar and cello – and it seems that all mic combos are fine – its more about the mono mix that ensures the mix will be great.

Shure SM-57 and SE7 in X-Y position
NT1A and SE7 at the cone – paper junction

theme

Radio KRY cares about You the valued listener!

conclusion

The mono mix process using the Avantone Mixcube and then checking the stereo mix using the Yamaha HS-5’s is killer and a serious breakthrough for me

Magic Box

YOWZA! I finally am in control of my mixes. I even figured out why the Cello was so muddy as well as other recording and mixing problems. I hope to share these in another post soon.

I thought the mics used on the guitar cabinet were the SM57 and NT1A, but it was actually the SM57 and SE7 small diaphragm, with the low cut switch on and the mic pointed at the right side of the speaker. Happy accident – this is my best mix yet.

For those who hear
Imagination
Into the ether
Communication

For those who see
Imagination
Through the lens
Communication

For those who say
Imagination
Into the Mic
Communication

Chorus
A slight of hand
A magic box
The golden age
Opportunity knocks

in a nutshell

  • Most major modern inventions between 1822 – 1922
  • Camera, bicycle, radio, automobile, home electricity
  • Small simple boxes that seemed like magic

discussion

My father was born February 12, 1922, so I thought it would be cool to Google the Modern Invention Timeline. Sure enough, I would argue the most important modern day inventions all happened in the 100 years before my father was born. I’m also reading a fascinating book on Photography that has both the cultural as well as technical aspects of photography.

theme

My favorite inventions are the Camera, Bicycle, Radio and Microphone. It took many other inventions leading up to each of these, but all these years later, these inventions still are extremely important. Fun fact – the first mechanical computer was invented the  same year as the camera – 1822. Today, the Smart Phone has a camera, radio, microphone and computer built in!

conclusion

I’m still blown away by inventors and what they invent. The human imagination is such a gift and wonder. It is magic!

Best in Show

I had written lyrics – but then I found this cool Buchla Easel synth patch and just started riffing – do there’s little room left to sing. I’m also starting to concentrate on creating better mixes – I’m going to use my cell phone as the ultimate terrible sounding device – meaning – if it sounds at least clear with good levels in each track – then it should sound better on better systems. Thenn I try it on my Kindle – which has cheapy Panasonic ear buds that are actually quite great for $7.. I’m reading a great book on mixing – so fingers crossed that I can create better sounding MP3 files. Todays remix: