Video #3: Using a guitar amp with Rocksmith

My latest video has been released

This is the last in the series that I did for Rocksmith using an XLR to USB cable.  I had a great time working on it, and hope you like and subscribe.  This episode, I test distortion on a mic’d amp and then clean on a mic’d amp.

You can watch it here.

What will be coming up

The band has recorded some off the floor stuff.  I’m going to be using that for my next series on recording with a Tascam Porta-studio and also releasing some videos of the work we’ve done.

Hope you will all stick around for that!  Thanks for reading!

–> Mike

Video #2, Using a USB XLR Cable with a Bass

After making my first video, I quickly started work on the second and I have to say, I do like the results!

Here is the second video

This time, I run through three different ways to use the XLR cable with a bass set up.  The three ways are:

  • Direct Input box to allow using an amp
  • XLR to 1/4″ adaptor to the bass (no amp)
  • Micing a small practice bass amp.

Hope you enjoy the video!  I am really having fun making them!

— Mike

Starting the Year off by doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a while!

Happy New Year to everyone!

I’ve made two commitments to myself this year and one I’ve already put into motion!

I’m starting my own YouTube channel!  I’ve already posted my first video and I’m very excited!

I have to start off by saying, anyone who is able to do this on a regular basis, my hat goes off to you!  There is nothing harder than trying to recite a script to a camera without messing up.  I didn’t do that well this time, but I’m good with that. I’m sure it’ll get easier with time.

This video is for anyone who’s a Rocksmith fan and has wanted to use a USB cable for playing acoustic guitars.  The link is here.

I hope to have more in the coming weeks.  I’m going to really push myself to get things moving.  I’d like this to become a regular occurrence.  It’ll give me something to write about here too!

Oh yes!  My other commitment, I’m going to use my phone less and get back to other things that matter to me.

Hope you all have a great 2018!

–> Mike

Things getting busy, everything is getting pushed.

Tis the season for not getting anything done.  I’ve joined a barbershop choir and the church choir.  Currently, the barbershop choir is getting ready to do a show on December 5th, so I need to work on those songs.  The church choir is also getting ready for a Christmas show on December 17th.

After listening to something that I’ve been recording forever, I decided to start over, problem is I have no time to start over.  I’m not happy with the project so, I am going to start over.

I’ve decided to start again in the new year.  Once all these other things are done, I should have time to start working again.

Talk to you soon!

Living life based on your status symbols needs to stop

Apple has released the iPhone X for the amazing price of $999, or if you are Canadian, $1300+.  Wow!  Now, you know there will be people who will purchase this item,  mainly because you’ll see all the celebrities touting it.  It’s sad that people will pay more than what they can afford because a celebrity can.  There was a point in time where people knew their spending limits and lived within them.  This is something which I know even I struggle with.  Recording and playing can get expensive and we all know this.

Once I got back into recording, I really saw this attitude come alive.  If you aren’t using the best, you’re recordings weren’t worth a listen.  This is such a false statement.  I’ve done recordings on 4-tracks that people were impressed with and didn’t believe it was a 4-track system that I used.

The recording is what you put into it, not how much money you spend on microphones, etc.

Please remember this the next time you read posts that state what you are doing isn’t good enough.  We are all made of money, and we need to remember that.

— Mike

Music has never paid my bills

Two things that I know and have accepted :

  1.  I won’t make a living off of music
  2. I will never be famous

So why do I keep recording and playing when the end goals will probably never happen?  Because I love to play, create and record.

I  might not have a huge following, but I get to see that people around the world have listened to my songs.  It may be sporadic, but it still happens.  This keeps me wanted to create more so there is more to listen to for these people who like what I’m doing.

Quantity vs Quality

This is a tough one, I could easily dump a tune a month, but I know that the quality wouldn’t be there.  That wouldn’t sit well for me.  My end goal on every recording is give the best that I can.  This starts a new issue, when is it the best that it can be?  That’s a call I make after every take.  Is that one good enough.  A lot of the times, I will walk away after completing and go back and listen later.

Not enough time in the day

Between working full time and other things that I need to do, I don’t have enough time to put in for doing the other stuff needed to become famous.  I promote, but not to the extent that I should.  I should really start a YouTube channel and do things on there, but I don’t really have the time.  I have ideas, but not the time.

I’m not angry about this or wish I could change things.  I’ve had a lot of things happen in my life that if I didn’t follow this path, I would never have had.  Those things are still very important to me.  This is more of an acceptance that I will not be the guy I thought I would become when I was 20.

Thanks for reading,

— Mike

Another summer over

At the beginning of summer, usually around June 1st, I get into my head that this summer, I’m going to get a massive amount of musically things done.  Write songs, record, and simply get things done.  As usually, it is September 5th, and I really didn’t get that much accomplished.

It is a never ending cycle of work, outside chores and music, they never cooperate.  I started off with great intensions, recording drum tracks and starting work on a cover.  I have most of that song completed now, I need to re-do the drum tracks because of changes I did with the guitar work and have a friend who I played the cover with to record their vocal tracks.

My guitar playing has improved immensely this summer, I have been working on Rocksmith with a goal of completing all the lead, rhythm and alternate guitar playing it offers.  Currently I’m finishing up on the alternate tracks, not sure how many are left, it isn’t easy to get a count on that.

The band is still going, we’ve been practicing a little less this year, but are still pushing forward.  Going to try and record the 4 song EP of B-songs that Dean & I wrote, along with one a friend’s band did.

I haven’t been able to practice  my drums as much as I wanted to.  I have been pushing more towards better guitar playing.  I’m going to need to sit down and get back at the drums.  Funny part is, I sat down at the drums the other day after weeks of not playing and I was showing improvement, maybe I needed to step back for a bit and start fresh again.

Hopefully, now that it’s the fall again, I will be able to get back on track and finish some stuff that I’ve put on the hold.

Things that I’m hoping will be released this fall:

  • A cover of a country song that has been changed into a more rock / punk sounding song.
  • A 4 song EP, 3 songs written when I was in Hollow Spirit, we did these ones live, but never did a proper recording.  You can hear them on SoundCloud.  The 4th song, was a song written by a friend in a different band, we are going to do our own take on the song.
  • Going to be working with Dane (For My Dear Friend) and record another version of Picture Window, this one will be more in the style that we did at concerts.

Hope you all had a great summer, I should be able to start posting more again.

Just added photos page!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but I was asked to include it recently.  At the moment, there are only “ArmsLength / For My Dear Friend” pictures.  I’m going to expand on it quickly.

Enjoy!

Click here

Music released and now moving on

This business has become pretty much a record – release world.  Once a project is finish, move on to the next, and so on.

We are still going to create a CD version of the current release, a date hasn’t been discussed.  In the meantime, we are moving forward with some other music.  Currently, we are working on recording a four song EP of some stuff that we wrote that wasn’t part of the original drum tracks.  I’m hoping to see a fall release date for this.  It’ll be a departure from our current song styles.

I’m also working on some side projects over the summer, I might be producing / recording two rock-country artists (a couple of songs) and also working some singles and covers that I have my eye on recording differently.

It looks like it’ll be an interesting summer if I can get everything together.

— Mike

The most hated thing about the music industry: Promotion

So, you’ve released your song / CD / EP / whatever, now what?  Easy, you need to promote it.  How?  That’s the fun part!  There are many options, most will cost you money, but you can do it cheaply as possible.

There are many options that won’t cost you anything but time to get yourself out there.

Promotion is a BAND task

Unless you are spending money on promotion, it is a BAND task.  You all have some type of social media account.  You need all need to take part in promoting the work.  It’s very easy, make a post include a URL, best would be one that has all the links to the different streaming sites, and include the phrases, Please Share and Like This.  Why is this a band effort?  Because everyone has different friends and followers and that’ll give you a broader base.

Not everyone shares or likes

This is one that I struggled with on my last release.  Not everyone is going to share your great news.  Don’t get upset, just keep going and after a while, do the same post again.

The key is to keep doing things and keep going.  That is the biggest and hardest step.

Thanks for reading,

— Mike