HIVE Is Alive:
The custom foot controller, HIVE, that I’ve been chatting about in the past couple of months, has finally been completed!
Once the case was in my hands there were three days of soldering the internal wiring and a late night session of a little rewiring of the LED lights.
Add an additional three days of reading manuals and figuring out how to code the brain of the unit to be able to work the software I’ll be using in conjunction with it. And voilà – HIVE is alive!
What Is HIVE:
The plain and simple is that its a midi foot controller. With 11 buttons and two real time controllers. The real genius is the computer monitor that gives real time visual feedback of what the computer is doing. It was inspired by the Chewie Monsta. However this is much more versatile in application.
Pure speculation on my part that is. Ed Sheeran’s pedal only deals with looping as far as I know.
I will be using HIVE for my live performances for solo acoustic and full band events.
In the not so distant future I’ll be posting videos of how it works and how I’ll be using it. Until then… stay musical!
Yesterday I tweeted that I’d take questions from Twitter followers. It’s the first time I went out and asked what burning questions my Twitter followers, I figured I ought to actually make a video for it and answer on camera. That’s exactly what I did.
Took a little time out of my mixing schedule to answer your questions. It was fun! I got some interesting questions that ranged from why our current president is following me to ones that I’ve actually been asked numerous times.
Your Twitter Questions
1. How are you? and what is your opinion of Nickelback? (@IndieAppleTree)
2. How does it feel to be followed by @BarackObama (@CherryDoley)
4. Are you related to Jacob Whitesides? (@abbiemaxreeves)
5. WHERE YOU AT HOUSTON YESTERDAY? (@qtxgrier)
6. Are you related? (@Cashewsass)
7. I need you to tweet the boys from 1D to follow me bc you are verified, will you do that? (@zainbigdick)
Transcript of the video:
Hey! You caught me here in the studio. I’ve been working on a song with a good buddy of mine by the name of Claude J Woods Jr. Amazing singer. This is a song we have co-written together called “Supernova”. And right now I’m gonna take some time out and read questions to you that I have gotten via Twitter.
Question #1 comes from Indie. How are you? And what is your opinion of Nickelback?
Well, I’m doing very well at this point. I had a surgery not to long ago, if you went back through some tweets. And I’m on the tail end of the recovery on it. The doc has given me the thumbs up and says that I’m doing okay. And I believe I have about another week to a week and a half before I can start doing workouts again. Because I like to workout just about every day of the week.
As far as the second half of your question, what my opinion is of Nickelback. Personally, I happen to like several of their songs. I think they’re a very successful band and anybody that thinks otherwise is obviously fooling themselves. They guys do stadium tours and play to huge throngs of crowds. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Personally, I’d like to be playing those kind of stadiums at this point and that should hopefully be happening towards the end of 2015. We’ll see.
The next question is from Cherry, Cherry Doley I believe the name is and asks: how does it feel to be followed by Barack Obama?
You know, its an interesting thing. I’ve no idea how to react to that. Mostly because he followed me out of the blue. I don’t think it was Barack Obama himself that followed me. As far as I know, that Twitter account is the political campaign for Barack Obama. And occasionally he does tweet out of it and when apparently he does tweet out of it is it signed with a little bo. How does it feel? I think its pretty darn cool to be followed by the first President of the U.S. that is of non white descent in America.
This next question comes from Kristin Holly and another by the name of Ribka Sitorus. I hope I’m saying those names right. The question is, do I know Jacob Whitesides?
The answer to the question is: I know of him. I have never actually met Jacob. I’m sure he’s a fantastic guy. I know he does music much like I do. I’ve never actually met the guy, so I can’t say that I know him personally. There’s your answer.
The next question is very similar to the last question, this one comes from Abbie. Hello, was just wondering if you are related to Jacob Whitesides?
This is something that I’ve gotten asked quite a bit on twitter. And the answer is, I don’t know. I know that originally when Jacob and I started following each other on Twitter we had no idea either. So the reality is we don’t know if we’re related. Nobody’s done any research into it, so there’s no way to know it from that aspect of it. That’s really all there is to say about it. We don’t actually know if we’re related. We both have a very unique last name that is not widely popular. It is highly possible, but we just don’t know.
The next question comes from Ruby. The question is: Where you at Houston Yesterday?
And I believe that means, was I in Houston yesterday? And the answer to that question is: No. I was actually here in the studio. I was working on this mix for this song called “Supernova”. Have I been to Houston? Yes, I have. Was I there yesterday? No, I was not.
The next question comes from Kat. Kat asks are you related? Unfortunately Kat I have no idea who you are asking me if I’m related to. If you are asking me if I’m related to my sister, or my mom, or my dad – I’d say yes I am.
If you’re asking me if I’m related to a musician by the name of Danny Whitesides. Who is the drummer for The Used. The answer to that question is: Yes, we are related. We are 2nd cousins.
If you’re asking me if I’m related to someone like say Barack Obama. The answer to that is, I have no idea. Chances are no. If I’m related to somebody, need to get a little more specific please.
The next question comes from someone who goes by the letter H. And that question is: I need you to tweet the boys from 1D to follow me because you are verified. And actually the precursor to that question for her saying that was, would you do something for me via direct message on Twitter.
H. the answer is, I cannot. And the reason for that is, is I have done that a few times in the past and it has never worked out for anybody unfortunately. Just because I’m verified and they’re verified does not mean that we actually know each other. I believe one of the guys from One Direction does follow me, I do follow him back. But we have never exchanged tweets. We’ve never exchanged any kind of information of any sort on Twitter. So unfortunately any I’ve asked somebody to follow another person, it has never worked. And I don’t think having the verified symbol on the account makes me any different. I wish it did. But I don’t think it does.
Thank you everyone who posted questions to me on Twitter. That’s all I’ve got for right now. Pay attention, because I will ask again. For those who wanna ask me questions, you’ll get your answers via video.
Thank you and have a great day.
Enjoy, get your questions ready for the next round!
How do you write a tune about a Supernova?
A little like this. You play basketball with a bunch of guys who all work in the music industry. Guitar players, singers, bassists, drummers, mixers, etc. Jumping around pretending to be NBA type players. There’s a lot of shit talking and then saying hey, we should make some music. Such is the case for myself and Claude J Woods. We met playing basketball.
We started with a tune called Keep The Swagg Up – very Hip Hop. The second one we wrote was Whipped again more hip hop in nature. This time around it’s more of an urban pop R&B type thing called Supernova.
Step inside with me as I play you a clip of the song as I’m working on the mix.
Working on a song called: Supernova. And it
sounds a little something like this.
You’re more than a star
You’re beaming like a Supernova
That just blasted through my heart and took over
Have a great day!
A late night discussion last night with my co-producer led to a statement of more guitars! That is what is being called for in the final stages of American Mayhem production. As a guitar player I don’t really have a problem with recording more guitars. It’s what I do. Earlier today I thought I’d bring you in on part of my little journey of laying down more guitars. Layers baby. Layers.
Watch as I screw up. Ha ha ha.
Ah the life of a professional musician. Sometimes it takes more than one take. Or even more than one guitar. The true awesomeness is when it all comes together and sounds spectacular.
Enjoy the journey, can’t wait for you to hear the final product when it comes time to get it out to your ears.
That’s an understatement.
Stay tuned for more.
Thumping right along… That’s what I’ve been up to with getting these singles done and finished with my co-producing friend George Leger III. We put the final touches on yet another song called “Thump Thump Thump”.
That put’s the count at 3 songs completely finished.
The excitement is building as the impending release of single #1 draws nearer. Amazing and magical is how I describe it. The word that those few who have heard it is: Wow!!!
Pretty cool responses. Most of the time, music doesn’t make people say “Wow!!!” Now it does.
How do I contain the restraint to releasing it? Good question. This is by far the absolute longest I’ve had to sit on a finished product. Main reason is not for building hype. No, it’s more simple than that. I really want to make sure the song gets the best possible launch it can have. That unfortunately takes time. Time, that a lot of people don’t have the patience to control.
Heck, I’ve had moments where I’m like, Fuck It! Lets do this!
Then the moment passes and I remember that there’s a plan. It’s a good plan. A winning plan based on those who have been asking and talking with me about it.
At this point we’re on to single #4, it’s so close to finish I can practically taste it…
What are 5 things that happened during the recording sessions for Thump Thump Thump? Come watch a video clip that showcases 5 things that happened or were observed while we were in the studio recording. Huffington Post, eat your heart out! I only write that because they weren’t privy to the sessions, nor would I give them the exclusive that I’m giving you.
Share it with your friends.
Don’t. Then you can be like – I told you so. When the music, video and book come out.
5 Things That Happened
Where’s my dragon?
So I saw my first episode of Game of Thrones last night.
Oh, your first?
You’ve never seen it before?
No. And it was the latest episode.
What a great. Great show.
What kind of a mic is it again?
612 by Telefunken.
It is a Telefunken 612. Yes.
From the island of St. Croix.
it is funk. Like F, U, N, K. Funk.
C12. Thank you.
It is a low impedance microphone if anyone ever asks you again.
I will keep that tidbit of information locked away in my head.
I was about to give up Logic.
The reason why I was about to give up Logic.
They hadn’t put an update out in years.
And they didn’t seem to really be caring that much.
Well you know as long as Apple is serious about Logic, I love the program. I would never go anywhere else.
Nothing says amateur more than an jazzy guitar licks on a guitar out of tune.
That’s just the worst.
Sorry to all Jazz players.
Just. For all those out there in YouTube land.
If you haven’t seen my silly video with T.C. Electronics…
Examining the PolyTune for the first time…
Search for me, you’ll find it on T.C. Electronic’s website.
And I look like a complete clown.
What goes into the making of a hit song? This is a curious question. If there was one true answer, everyone would be doing it, and nothing would actually end up being a hit. Right? Conspiracy theorists like to believe that the major labels have some sort of computer algorithm that can predict if a song is a hit or not. As the British say: Bullocks. They don’t know any better than any one else, the different is, they’re in a position of power to sell something.
While recording Till We Meet Again, George, Jesse, and I get into a quick discussion about things that can help make a song a hit song. In this case, we’re talking about a little trick that Jesse and I did with a particular transition of a song from one part to another. We changed something about the song structure in such a way that it makes people take notice. Watch the video about making a hit song and find out what we did.
Making A Hit Song
Did you catch what we were talking about? Think you can go write a hit song now?
Not long ago I came across a new form of capos. In galaxy very close by. Actually it was this galaxy. More specifically it was in a town known as Anaheim. The Anaheim that sits in the California region of the planet earth. Capos are a funny business. Lots of musicians use the cheapest products they can find without thinking about how they affect the sound. I always look for the thing that will get the great sound. Oddly enough capos and the kind you use can make a difference. Which is why on such a faithful day where I found out about a company called G7th and their capos, I instantly made the switch. Why? Because they’re awesome. Actually it had a couple of better reasons. First their weight. They have a good solid weight to them. Second, their ease of use. They work on some kind of engineering magic where you can set the tension as simply as closing your fingers. That way it doesn’t clamp down too hard on the strings and push them out of tune. It’s a love thing.
Today I’d taking you into the studio for a little clip about my upcoming song “Till We Meet Again” wherein you see me making use of the G7th’s awesomeness. Click on that video and realize I too use capos to get the proper key and sound for a guitar and my voice.
So if you’re looking for badass capos, especially the one I use – then you need a G7th. You won’t regret it!
Capos And Recording
I think we’re ready. Let me double check my tuning real quick.
technically with the panning you don’t need to pan the microphones in my headphones
as we’re recording. That’s what I’m saying you can turn them back to center.
Alright. Let’s see if we’re
all set to go. That sounds beautiful my
There’s a little drum pattern that starts at what? Bar 3? You can set the record button to
the song position line to start there
‘Cause that’s a two bar count in for me and I start at 5. Do what? A one bar pre-roll? That’s fine. As long as I know it’s two bars.
We were in love…
and it was magic.
We all like to talk shop in the studio, especially if it involves name players. Talking about amazing musicians we’ve had the pleasure or displeasure of working with, playing with, or meeting. Come on inside Utopia Parkway as George Leger III, Jesse Stern and I talk about some people we’ve met. Ok, mostly George talking about some amazing players. But still step inside, walk this way, you and me…
It starts with talking about Barry Manilow’s guitarist knowing about guitar playing from over 100 years ago and then progresses into the more modern instrument of electric bass. It then quickly swings into a little chat about a very famous female bassist (big name players type) that both George and I have met, but Jesse had not.
Big Name Players In The Studio
Because the song was done in the 1800’s.
He wanted to play it, like they played guitar in the 1800’s. He knew enough about the history of music and guitar playing, to know what kind of chords they would have played. How they would have played the part. I was like. I talked to him after. I asked him, you know that stuff?
Yeah, I have to know that stuff.
How do you know.
I mean, do you?!?
Some. Yeah, I studied, I studied guitar for many years.
But I mean like…
And and classical and and history for different parts of the world.
That’s where I started too. So I could technically say the same thing, but I don’t go around spitting that kind of information out.
Well and I also…
He, but he, I mean this guy, I mean I couldn’t believe what he’s played. How complex it was and there’s no little fret “icks” or nothing. I mean the guy is just like a fucking machine, what he was playing was unbelievable.
The history of bass, of electric bass is a lot shorter.
Than history of guitars. So.
But boy is it ever cool.
The first guy that I studied, like that I really studied not just learning the notes, but learning how the notes were played and how the tone came and all that stuff was Roger Waters.
Oh, well there you go.
And so, and then, you know from there I kinda learned, I kinda went back.
Do you know who I met and talked to for about a half hour?
Yeah, at NAMM two or three years ago. She was sitting there all by herself.
Was she nice.
But was she nice?!?
She was awesome.
You know why we both ask that question?
Because she’s not known to be nice. She’s known to be very very mean.
She has a reputation for being very very bitter and having a chip on her shoulder.
Not with me. She was so cool.
I’m glad to hear that.
We talked about making records an’ shit and everything.
She’s a, I mean, obviously a phenomenal.
And I have pictures of her and me, from the NAMM show. She was so… Really?!? She’s like that?
Oh yeah yeah.
That’s what people say. I’ve never met her.
I’ve met her.
She wasn’t like that with me man. She was just like, be just like I’m talking to you. So tell me ya know, I know you played with so and so, can you tell me what was it like when you guys first started playing. I mean you’re a girl, you were playing. You know and she was like, yeah, you know I was there sometimes, just taking care of my family is really what I was doing. You know and I was really grateful to be doing that stuff. But yeah she was just like yeah I’d show up in a dresses and sessions and stuff like that and people would look at me and then I’d play my instrument and then they would look at me totally different.
Well, it could…
She was just such a sweetheart.
Well, it could very well be that maybe she’s mellowing a little bit now. Because when I met her…
It could also be me. Cause I’m pretty respectful of people like that. And I’m also really, respectful of their experience.