Friday, September 27, 2013

Music: "First Thoughts"

So since I'm going to use this blog to highlight my music as well as my writing, how about a music sample?

I've never been a digital guy when it comes to guitar effects, but as part of the process of getting back into it and joining the church band, I needed to upgrade my effects.  I wanted something small and compact that could give me multiple effects; be able to offer headphone, amp, and direct out; not break the bank; and give half-way decent tones.

I looked around, compared several options, and ended up buying a Zoom G3X last month.  I'll talk more about this later, but suffice it to say that for $200 it's a great deal, and it also came with the ability to plug it into a PC via USB, and they even threw in a free copy of Steinbeg's Sequel LE.

Wow -- the ability to do multitrack recording on my PC?  Sounds awesome!  Let's try it out!

Well, this was my first attempt.  I put together a short drum loop, added a backwards fade-in to the beginning, and repeated it 4 times with a 1-bar pause in between. Then I messed around with some MIDI bass (MIDI -- that's a whole new thing for me) using my PC keyboard as, well, a keyboard. Then I threw up a quick rhythm guitar and slapped on some lead parts, including a backwards-delay effect track -- I told you I had a new digital multi-effect, right?

So then I had my first PC-recorded multitrack thing.  Nothing too amazing in terms of playing -- I'm a little rusty -- but still a lot of fun.

This is is.  As a video.  For some strange reason Blogger won't let you upload an MP3 into a post, but you can upload a video.  So I had to experiment with Windows Movie Maker to put this together. The sound quality is compromised a bit from uploading it to Blogger, but you can still basically hear all the parts.

So, to summarize what I've been up to creatively in the last month or so -- a dust-off of the old guitar and playing enough to start building back the calluses, a new guitar multi-effect to play around with, the new ability to record digitally on my PC, new programs to learn (Sequel LE and now Reaper -- MUCH more powerful), the world of MIDI to explore, and now even a new toe-dip in video making.

No wonder I haven't done any writing... :)

Thanks for listening!

A New Blog!

Hi!  Welcome to my new blog!

I'm glad you're here.  But please pardon the dust -- the place is still under heavy construction.

If you are looking for my old, long-neglected writing blog, I'm afraid I have to tell you that it's been retired.  It was a blog that I used only for topics related to my writing, and I have to confess that I haven't done much writing over the last year.  Frankly, it was feeling ridiculous to have an inactive blog focusing on something I wasn't really doing.

So it's gone...

But if you're dying to visit it, you still can. It's just been moved to another URL ( and you can get there either from the list of blogs under my Blogger profile or by clicking HERE. It will stay on Blogger for the foreseeable future, but it will no longer be updated.

Well... not that it was getting updated much, anyway, right?

And so now this will be my new blog!

Which I will use to showcase and discuss my writing.  

No, really. I'm serious.  Any updates, samples, or issues related to my writing that I want to post will be here.  Because I do still write.  A little, and someday more.  I'm not walking away from writing -- I still want to create fiction and get published and all that.  I'm just willing to admit that I not doing nearly enough of it -- especially not enough to warrant a whole blog dedicated to the topic.

Plus, I  have OTHER creative outlets that I'd like to share and discuss in this blog.

Like my guitar -- I've played it for about 40 years, off and on.  I truthfully haven't done a tremendous amount of it for the last four or five years, but I've recently restarted with a vengeance.  I've joined the rotation and am playing with the worship team at church (and it's an amazing group of musicians), and am really wood-shedding hard to get the dust off my chops.

So this blog will have a definite musical bent, as well as a literary one.

And I dabble in photography.  Visit here and I'm sure you'll see some posts related to that.  You might even see a drawing every now and then. Or...  who knows?  I'm keeping it open.  If it's creative, I'm not ruling anything out.

Interpretive dance?  Hmmm...   OK, maybe not that....

But we'll see. ;)

So thanks for stopping by. I look forward to getting this blog set up and running over as soon as possible, and I'm planning on posting at least once or twice a week. I hope you'll come back and visit often!