Saturday, May 23, 2009

TOOL: Sober 1993 Live!

Tool in 1993? Footage of the live version of 'Sober'- a strangely illuminating song of the ills of society.. wait, or is it about a personal struggle with addictions? Either way, it's extreme and divisive in it's ability to force self reflection. It seems shortfalls potentially haunt and prey on us morphing into our own worst enemy.

However, this group of talented musicians don't seem to be haunted by anything except maybe an almost cult-like fanbase, sold-out tours, and new albums flying off the racks of retail paradise. Why has this one single band from the 90's survived through the shift in focus of music from the alternative grunge scene to the undefined mess of hiphop, pop, and pre-packaged over-produced media hitting mainstream MTV today? Trust me, there's a ton of awesome new music out in entertainment land- it just rarely hits the radio waves or crosses our plane of awareness due to lack of advertising budgets for new innovative music and art.

Q1: So how has TooL beat this rap at it's own game?
A1: Timing and creativity!

Tool exclusively produces music that moves them as artists and releases it like fine wine only when the time is right. Maynard, Adam, Justin, and Danny toolshed it collectively creating masterpieces one album at a time. This deep connection into the 'here and now' enpowers this harmonic quad to stay rooted in the spirit of original music. The music inspires the masses, unintentionally providing a 'tool' for deeper personal inner evolution. This transparency grinds out a crazy little niche in the music industry touched by few rockers today.

From Opiate to 10,000 Days, Maynard and crew has released exceptional art in the form of music- a reflection of inner beauty and light for the rest of the world to experience in sonic nature. Listening to a Tool record is like lighting a candle in a dark, gothic room, lighting some incense, and transcending everyday life through an experimental journey in a metal landscape of rock and roll. Albeit to label this music in any single genre is the first 'faux pas' a beginning ToolFan could make when enlisting in the ToolArmy.

Knowing that, the best way to follow Tool music is to simply close your eyes and enjoy it's genius. It's extreme and intricate, evoking yet meditating- an experiential tonal gift to the inner mechanics of the earthly aural senses.

And besides- dude those videos are wack.. favorite: ├ćnima!


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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Digital vs. Analog?

Digital vs. Analog? This debate is ongoing in the geeky circles of audio technology and music production. However, one point clearly rules in the project studio- budget!

And advances in gear makes it practical for most indie musicians and engineers to fire up a home-brewed music studio.

And oh! by “project design” we mean targeting the major audio components and jacking the gear from a mom and pop music store or a major pro-audio retailer whether online or brick and mortar.

Now back to earth.. think digi-audio and dream of your own original music on MySpace, iTunes, or a local BestBuy shelf.

analog to digital transformation!

audio101- acoustic soundwave to digital signal
hardware/software schematic in digi-studio
ProTools basics
session set-up
arm/disarm tracks
recording tracks
editing tools
basic mix
bounce to disk
advanced tip: how2 bump tracks to free up processing power!
iZotope-oZone mastering plug-in
professional audio CD burner HHB Burn-It!+
to dither or not to dither!
Red Book CD standard

"digital" bits/bytes.. 10101010101010101!

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Music: Endangered 101

That's right- I said it! 'Music' and the word 'endangered' in the same sentence. Well if you judge it by what's on MTV, you definitely would think there's no music videos worth watching- outside of maybe Britney, Foo Fighters, or the latest HipHop craze.

Don't get me wrong- I like a little hiphop now and then. But come on, there's a ton of good new independent music out there that never sees the light of day- or rather, the light of your flat screen or radio transistors.

What IS endangered is.. fresh interesting music from up and coming artists breaking ground in new scenes across America. Oh the rage's happening- it just gets no coverage from major music television. Maybe the reason is that MTV no longer has a big stake in the indie scene. Their new biz plan is financed by cookie-cutter, over-produced bubble gum popstars with a big fat record deal from one of the majors recycling the same crap that's hit the scene since Nirvana died with Kurt Cobain- rest his wearied soul. One or two exceptions to the rule, but you get the point!

Come on- we want to hear some great new metal band cranking tunes so hard it vibrates the beer cans off your speakers. Enough scripted realityTV FlavaFlave Hills OC richchix nonRealWorld drama garbage.. we want our MTV back! Kill the rehashed FooFighter videos already, drop Britney for a second, and lighten up on the Rap game. Give us some downhome, hardcore born to be wild ROCK 'N frickin ROLL! Something with meat that you can stick your teeth into.

About all you have to do is search MySpace track plays on UNSIGNED bands to find some new music- it's there just open your eyes and stop hiding behind your cappuccino-frantic Santa Monica HQ. Get out of your Malibu beach bungalow comfort zone and into the street team mentality of SmallTown, USA and go grab some new talent. Spotlight new artists across this great country one nightclub at a time, and empower the real independent musician with a shot at the big time. You might be surprised at what you find hiding out in the barrios of EastLA or wooded hangouts of Portland.

Start a new cable channel if you have to, just do it. Find the hidden talent, and give the indie ones their 15 minutes in the lights. To get you started, drive down Sunset and hit any club like the Whisky, Roxy, or Viper room on almost any night to find the real hidden secrets of the LA music scene. Start there- takes some notes, hand out a few biz cards. Then get out on the American roadways to scout the greatest hangouts across this massive country. And find talent under any rock!

Here's a list of Top25 Clubs to get you going.

Peace, AudioK9

indie band/artists:

photo1: Grynch
hometown: Eugene, Oregon USA
niche: metal/experimental/alternative band

photo2: MindDelay
hometown: EastLA, Cali USA
niche: metal/rage/hiphop artist

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