Bethlehem Suite 1. Handmaid Published

Anativity_9924cfter much blood, sweat, tears, consternation, anger, begging, and finally acceptance, I have published the first completed track for Moments of Comfort and Joy. As mentioned in an earlier post, this is the first movement in a three movement piece I’m calling the Bethlehem Suite. Each movement will reflect a different aspect of the Nativity: Mary, Joseph and the atmosphere of that night. Read more »

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HOFA Mix Contest Update: I Lost!

M0374I heard back from HOFA about the mix contest I entered after Christmas. To no surprise they informed me that I was not selected as the winner of the contest. What I didn’t expect, however, was a fairly comprehensive mix analysis from the contest hosts. It turns out one of the businesses HOFA is involved in is an audio school. Apparently they provided this mix analysis to every entrant. Read more »

Production Diary

HOFA Mix Contest

600XMASbandI have long advocated that the best, nay, only way to become a better music mixer is to practice. I have also privately lamented that I don’t myself take the time to practice more – see, I’m always too busy making my own music. A worthy endeavor, indeed, but I work so slowly that there’s just not that much music to mix. Enter HOFA. Read more »

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A New Direction

Angels Screenshot 1Last winter I began a series of posts concerning the writing of my new Christmas project, Moments of Comfort and Joy. It sat on the back burner for most of the year as I’ve concentrated on other interests including more work for Carol Anne (which is now on hiatus), a rather comprehensive progressive rock demo of a previously acoustic song for a good friend, and another personal project I’m not quite ready to divulge. Read more »


My Fortress Recording

KeysSo, several months of preproduction (we work slow) led to the big night – and, as promised, moments of sheer panic and we learn the truth about electric guitar.


It all started a couple of weeks before, not with arrangements or rehearsals (see last entry for all of that) but rather the collection of all the gear I would need to record this audacious group. When I recorded my own live CD 10 years ago I hired a dude who could record 24 separate tracks at once. He used a splitter to split all the inputs to the board and recorded everyone into a dedicated 24-track hard disk recorder. Read more »

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My Fortress Preproduction

CarolAnne-RonnieLeeThe big night has come and gone! This past Saturday was our live recording of My Fortress with a full band in front of a live congregation. It was a cool night, but first, let’s talk about how we got here. Read more »

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What’s New on the Pod

IpodsIn the past I’ve posted two articles about music recording and music business related podcasts. An unfortunate truth is that podcasts tend to be fairly short lived affairs and almost all of the pods I recommended in those previous two articles are no longer being produced. The happy exception to that is one my favorites, the AudioNowcast. Nine years strong they’ve added some new regular panelists – notably Bobby Owsinski the recording and producing author and educator; and Nick Peck, a sound designer/composer for Disney’s mobile apps division. Read more »


Bethlehem Suite 1. Handmaid

Handmaid BeginningWell, I finally stole some time away and forced myself to ignore all the e-mails and blog posts and do a little real writing.

A week or two ago I traveled down to Gates, NC, to meet with Carol Anne and her guitar player, Ronnie Lee, to work out the arrangement for her next song. More on that to follow soon, I hope. On the drive I was inspired with an original piece of music for the Christmas CD. The working title is Bethlehem Suite and it will be in three movements. Read more »

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Manger Medley – the Beginnings

Manger 1With a break between producing my first and second songs for Carol Anne, I’m taking some time to work on my Christmas project. I’ve spent a little more time on the Minor Medley – setting the basic arrangement through the core of O Come O Come Emmanuel and giving further thought to the instrumentation. However, tonight I started with the Manger Medley, which will start with dulcimer.

I wanted to share this with you because I discovered that Finale can handle dulcimer tablature automatically, much like it can do guitar. I thought this was pretty cool and wanted to share a screen shot of the first several bars. I can tell already that this will be a fairly slow process.

So I sit with the dulcimer alternately on my lap or on the floor next to me. The worst part is that my version of Finale doesn’t have decent dulcimer samples, so I’m using a Japanese Shamisen to get kind of close for playback. I’m toying with upgrading to the newest version of Finale, which can play all kinds of vsts and not just the two bundled with it – this would allow me to use a decent dulcimer sample for playback, although the final goal is to play the dulcimer live for the recording.

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I Adore You Part 2 – Mixing and Video

If you are here from yesterday’s post about recording this song, I will warn you that today’s post is going to get a bit technical and geeky. That’s because today I’m going to talk about the mixing process and then creating the music video you see above. Read more »

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