When Good Monitor Goes Bad
A couple of nights ago I was working my way thru the re-recording of a song demo. It started with a guitar part that maybe 2 people in this town could play, me being the other one. There I was going knee deep into the studio zone of percussion. I had finished the drum parts when I started to take on adding additional epic cinematic drum hits. Midway thru the 3 track of said epic drums there was a sudden quick drop in volume and low end.
Where Did It Go
I tilt my gaze over to the left side of the studio thinking that maybe a Gremlin, or quite possibly a house elf, had taken the monitor speaker to another dimension. Alas my eyes weren’t being deceiving as the monitor speaker was still there. Dammit.
Nothing like losing half the sound right in the middle of the take.
Next up was an endless series of troubleshooting steps. First thought was, hey, maybe the power went out. Flip the switch on and off, still no sound. Maybe something went out in the monitor volume device. Nope. After switching the cables between speakers it was still showing as working out of both outputs for the remaining speaker.
Call A Friend
Pensive, not quite panicked, phone call to a fellow studio friend. Explain the problem of the monitor speaker. Words come drifting back thru the speakerphone saying “Did you check the fuse in the speaker?”
I take another gander at the speaker’s enclosure. Search high and low. Up. Down. Left. Right. Front. Back. Nada. There is no fuse for the speaker to blow. Dang it.
Knowing that the speaker is no longer manufactured, I grudgingly pull up the website to see if there’s information about getting repairs and to peruse the what-replaced-this-model version of their speaker line.
After drooling over what could replace the model I have in the studio, I make a note to Siri to remind me call the company in the morning to get a repair ticket going.
Here Come The Headphones
The disappointment of a monitor giving up soon abates. How do I proceed with my next recording session? A recording that needs to be recorded, mixed, and mastered before 11 am the following morning. Hmmm. In come the headphones. There is no other choice after a certain time of night when all normal humans have gone off to visions of sugarplums and cherries.
Producing high quality recordings via headphones isn’t the most ideal means. However, when the chips are down and the music must go on, you make do by crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
It All Works Out
I got the session done. Turned it over to the co-writer for the purposes of submission to a distant land for a commercial use. When you get feedback stating “It sounds great.” You thank your stars that you didn’t have to attempt to mix without some form of stereo sound.
The beauty of it is, the speaker company is able to repair the monitor for a price considerably less than the new alternative. The added icing on the cake is that you now have an in to chat about possible endorsement. That’s priceless.
I can’t wait for you to hear the fruits of this labor. Unfortunately you will have to wait until sometime early in the new year of 2017. There’s still more recording and production that needs to be done. Ooh, and mixing it. Finally mastering it. Its a process that will be interrupted by a little thing called Christmas and New Years.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
Been a couple of months since I’ve been able to throw out an update. A whole lot has changed in the world since September, then again, so much has stayed exactly the same.
If you I can get you to recall, back in September I released a single called Thump Thump Thump. I followed it up shortly thereafter with a 2nd release of Thump Thump Thump [remixes]. There’s been some great buzz surrounding those releases and I’m really looking forward to making more cool announcements about that song and its remixes before too long. I’m very thankful that people have been taking to the song. Was definitely hoping to throw out some really cool news regarding Thump Thump Thump, alas I do need to wait until it confirmed.
Then in mid October I released another single titled American Mayhem. If you can’t tell by the title, it very much is a reflection upon the current environment of American politics. While I don’t fancy myself to be a political musician, this song does capture a vibe that resonates with the odd separation that was occurring during the election process. Not written about voting and yet it very much feels like something us 99% can relate to as compared to the 1% and those who are part of the upper 1% of the 1% (wrap your head around that one). This one is also starting to climb the streaming ladder. So I’m thankful people are listening.
New Website Design
If you’ve been a fan longer than the past two months, then you’ll likely notice that there’s a new look to the website. I did a quiet launch of the new website yesterday. This is probably the longest break I’ve had from making updates. Its also the first time where I decided to hire outside help to create a whole new look, feel, and functionality. So I have to say thanks to Dave Bloom of Ginger Soul who spent a lot of hours working on bringing this new design to life. There are still some cool tweaks to be coming, but at long last (because to me 2 months is a long time to spend on a website design) – the new look is here. The really great thing about it, it looks great on all devices. Plus more detailed information will be coming to the music section.
The next season of Nightwatch begins on December 1st. I’m thankful for that as the theme of Nightwatch – Midnight Romp, was crafted by yours truly. Its been awesome to see people react with such a positive vibe to the show and the music that opens it. Plus its allowing me to get some things done more easily. There’s more news to come about Nightwatch in the not so distant future, alas, have to wait on confirmation before I put it into permanent print on the internet and social medias. I will say that I’m excited.
The image to the right is a throwback Thursday image of my sister and I. My parents were avid skiers and this is them (in yellow) teaching my sister and I to ski at Snowbird Utah. Funny how I can recall that I hated it so much initially. Then years later went on to win multiple competitions in racing and freestyle. Now I get to enjoy it for the fun of it. I’m excited to be able to get to do a bit more skiing this year. Decided to purchase a season’s pass, aka an Epic Pass, to vail resorts.
What’s That Really Mean?
It means that while I’m working on booking shows for 2017, creating new music, and producing other artists, I’ll be taking some time out to hit the slopes and rip some pow. Or get out for some fresh air while carving some serious high speed turns. This will result in getting me amped up for new songs.
Lots To Be Thankful For
As we all start to reflect on 2016 and think about where we’re all headed next, there’s a lot to be thankful for. For me, its the amazing new music I’m churning out. The people I met earlier this year while working on a film that will release in 2017. The awesome woman I’m dating. And for the good things that are in the pipeline that I’ve created for you.
Hopefully we can all get beyond the bizarre election and move to a happier, healthier and safer world in the months and years to come. Happy thanksgiving and may it be filled with awesomeness.
New Single Thump Thump Thump
Thump Thump Thump dropped Friday August 19th 2016.
A labor of love that took a long road to fruition. I’m excited to finally have it out free in the world for you to enjoy. Interested in the lyrics and reading the liner notes? Click here.
Here’s the Spotify link:
See you on the road soon!
BTW – It features Jesse Stern on bass, and Erez Ginat on drums.
With the recent developments of BREXIT, the upcoming election that feels like its being brought to us by Parker Brothers ala monopoly, and two police shootings that are at best point blank executions, plus the DOJ putting the nails in the coffin for songwriters, there’s no doubt that it feels like we’re coming apart at the seems. Despite all the nuttiness in the world, I’ve been hard at work creating new music.
New Music To Release
My next single will be released on your favorite streaming service and will be called Thump Thump Thump. Spotify is my go to streaming service. Go follow me on Spotify!
New Music On TV
My Nightwatch Theme is still fronting Nightwatch New Orleans for Season 3 starting this fall. Plus there is more music that I created that shall be heard in episodes of Season 3. Hear Midnight Romp on Spotify!
There’s another new TV show coming this fall with more of my music. Hard Corps is the name of the show and its being backed by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Pretty excited to see Hard Corps air!
New Music On The Web
If you’re a fan of Top Golf, you know, the awesome location not far from you where you can smash golf balls with friends, enjoy a drink and some food. Then you might want to trip by their website: http://topgolf.com Why? Well, to watch the opening video of course. Yours truly along with my good buddy Chris Hellstrom wrote all the music in commercial.
In Other News
Been making some amazing changes in the studio. I’ve picked up some amazing plugins from Universal Audio. Immediately following the new plugins I was recording a song with my co-writer Johnny Elkins. I sent him the mix of the song. He called me back to tell me his wife came to tears with the song and the recording. While the improvements are possibly subtle to most people, its those tiny differences that make all the difference to getting a performance to translate at a deeper level. Thank you Universal Audio!
As per the image that precedes this post you can see that I have new signature picks from Dunlop. There are several new types and the most awesome part about them is that the printing on them lasts much longer. Thank you Jim Dunlop! I especially like the new white ones.
I picked up a couple of new microphones as well. The M-80 and the M-81 from Telefunken. Put them both to good use recording music for the aforementioned TV shows. You’ll also see them on stage with me as they’re going to be my live vocal mics.
I’m creating some fun playlists on Spotify. Every week I’m adding a song to Throwing Back Thursdays and Funky Fridays. <– Follow them and send me your suggestions. Oh, then there’s this playlist dedicated to shredding guitarists Shred Masters of Guitar. Did I leave your favorite shredder out?
I’m knee deep in recreating my entire catalog of released music into my new live guitar rig. My HIVE system is completed, now I’m updating all my guitar sounds and saving them in the HIVE (MacBook Pro, MainStage, Line 6, Studio Devil, RedWirez, Universal Audio, HIVE foot pedal). Its a bit of a process but oh what fun its been to rethink how I’ll play my songs and how you’ll perceive them live. Its like being a kid in a candy store again.
Have a great weekend!
Been a little quiet here on the JW front due to things beyond the music. Hey Jody, where you been? That’s a possible question you could be asking yourself. A valid question it is. Normally I’m posting all kinds of stuff.
Beyond The Music
As it turns out a couple of months ago I was sent a curious email. In it there was a description asking for someone of a certain height and build. I thought to myself, what’s this about? I thought that especially because I fit the description of the type of height and build they were looking for. It was from a friend who got a forwarded email from a casting agent.
I responded to the email.
The casting people wrote back asking for a headshot. I responded with sending a recent pic as I haven’t really taken a professional headshot for a while. I didn’t think much of it and forgot all about it.
A couple of days later I got a call asking if I had been contacted about the email. I said no. They proceeded to tell me – they’d like to meet you in person, can you meet with them today?
I had friends in town that I needed to get to the airport. I asked them if it was cool for us to make a stop on the way to the airport. They were agreeable and thus we left a tad earlier so I could make it to the address I was given.
I found the location. Parked. Went inside and was told to wait.
It was a type of audition for a movie called 6 Below. They were looking for a photo double and a stand in. This is what I was told as I sat down to wait with a few others in a hallway. While sitting there I saw the actor, Josh Hartnett, walk thru the door. First thing that ran thru my head is – I don’t really look like him.
All the guys were chatting a bit about parts they were doing, or recently had. A couple of them looked a whole lot like Josh. Then we were called out to the parking lot to take pictures while standing next to Josh.
I stood in line. Got called over. Took a pic with Josh. Answered a quick question. Then was sent on my merry way.
I went back to my friends who started peppering me with questions. What movie? Who’s in it? What’s it about? Etc…
Didn’t think much of it. Felt, I wouldn’t get called.
Later That Night
I get a call. The voice on the other end of the call asks: Is this Jody?
I say yes.
He asks: Would you be willing to be a stand in for the next 6 weeks. I say yes. He then says he needs to check on what it pays and he’ll get back to me. Now, I had gotten an email from the casting people telling me what I should get offered. Thus when he called back to say what it would be, I had to say – no, it was a different amount that I was told. When I gave them the amount, they agreed. Then told me, you will get an email with the directions and call time.
No longer just a musician. Immediately I had to start making calls to co-writers that I’ve been working with to create a bunch of new music. Had to let them know my schedule was going to be out of whack for 6 weeks. Of course they all wanted to know why. When I explained it, everyone was like – that’s so cool!
New Temporary Job
Thus for the last couple of months, I was rearranging my schedule from normal being up to all hours of the morning, to now going to bed early and waking up before the sun comes up.
The first 3 weeks we were filming in the mountains beyond 9,000 feet. It took a shuttle from the parking lot, to a drop-off point. From there it took another ride up a separate shuttle to another drop-off point where we would get picked up via snowmobile to base camp for the film crew. Roughly a 45 minute affair every morning and at the end of the day wrap. Of course in reverse to get back down the mountain.
I was amazed at the family vibe of the production. On the first day, pretty much everyone knew my name and called me by my first name whenever they saw me, including the director. There I was attempting to learn 40 new names. Took me a week to get everyone’s name’s straight.
The Stand In
What was my temporary job beyond the music? It was being the stand in for Josh Hartnett. What the hell does a stand in do Jody? Well, the stand in is the person used to help the camera & lighting crew set up a shot for the director and actor.
We were out filming in snow storms and snow. So standing in for some shots got to be real tricky. Tricky because we couldn’t mess up fresh untracked snow.
For 3 weeks whenever they needed the stand in, I’d hear “Jody! We need you!” At which point I had to jump up and be ready to do whatever they were asking.
Beyond Week 3
In week 4 of shooting, the location changed and there were now sometimes two or three actors involved with shots. Both Sarah Dumont and Mira Sorvino who also had stand ins. I was briefly introduced to Sarah’s stand in McKenzie as they were setting up a shot. I sat down to wait. Then a shout out came from the assistant director “2nd Unit!”.
I just sat there.
A minute later I hear “Jody, that means you too!”
Beyond the first name basis. Since there were more stand ins involved, we were now called 2nd unit. New territory for me. Mostly because for half of the shooting schedule it was just my name being called. That took a little getting used to. Especially since no one actually told me that the stand in was 2nd unit.
Beyond The Superficial
One thing about being on set is that you get to know people extremely well. How could you not? You’re in close proximity with people for at least 12 hours most days. So as you’re sitting there, you start talking to the people near you. Questions of what you like? What you’re gonna do next? What do you do outside of filming? Etc… It didn’t take long for the crew to know that I was actually a musician and was only doing this for fun. That struck quite a few of the crew as strange, but it didn’t really bother them.
I learned that this particular crew of people were not the norm for film production. What do I mean? Apparently on most film crews there are personality problems, spats, some in-fighting, and generally roughness around the edges. This crew was different in that everyone was extremely friendly and no real fights happened. There was a lot of joking around and things ran very smoothly for the most part.
I also learned that many of them approach what they do with the same attention to detail that I apply to making music. Which I absolutely love.
The incredible thing was how cooperative the weather was for what the director needed. Snow when it was needed and a lot of it.
As the production wound down, I did get a couple of chances to chat with Josh. Who coincidentally also was calling me by name from Day 1. Which was extremely cool of him. Very down to earth dude. Actually everyone I met in conjunction to the movie was very down to earth. Marty McSorley, Mira, Sarah (who sent me video, she shot, of a scene I was in with Mira), as well as the person the movie was about, Eric LeMarque.
Yes, I did have a moment where I was no longer the stand in for Josh. They gave me a bit part. A non speaking part as a ski patrol. Wonder how much of what was shot will be in the movie. I’m excited to find out.
Beyond The Wrap
At the end of filming, I finally got a chance to get a picture with Josh. Odd to be working on a production for so long and not really get a side by side shot with the person you’re so tied into the production for. Though I’m sure there are quite a few official production photos where we’re in the same shot, just not like this:
There was an unofficial wrap party a couple of nights prior to the last day. Then there was a more official wrap party immediately after the martini shot on the final day.
For all the stories you might hear with actors or movie crew saying that it was a pleasure working with great people, or that it was like a family… I always thought it was a bit of lip service to help sell the movie. Now I’m about to type the following words: When it ended it was like seeing your new family just disappear. Its a real journey and these people come to be like family. There is no question about it. What made it even more difficult was having a bunch of the crew come tell me how awesome of a stand in I was. I was told most aren’t very attentive or responsive. Two crew members went so far as to call me the best stand in they’ve ever worked with.
The other night I went to see Captain America: Civil War. I knew that a crew member from 6 Below had worked on it. Sure enough I spotted her name in the credits. What did I do, I sent her a text immediately after seeing it, letting her know I saw her name and the movie. She texted back saying how cool that was and that she was planning on seeing Captain America the following day.
Despite the sense of wanting to go hang with the cast and crew, its now back to the making of more music. Actually, I was making some music during the shooting of the film. I did some music for a commercial during week two of shooting. Getting all my co-writers back on a schedule has been pretty easy. Next up is releasing the single for Thump Thump Thump. There’s been a recent increase streams of Touch on Spotify due some marketing that I’m working on. I plan on applying it to Thump Thump Thump as well.
Plus, I now have a bunch of film crew that I wish to call upon to help film the video for Thump Thump Thump.
I’ve been asked if I’d ever be a stand in again. I can say. Beyond making music, if I’m going to work on a production, I think I’d rather be in front of the camera or on stage. But if it were for a crew like those on 6 Below, I would definitely give it some serious consideration – I love those people.
2016 is off to a crazy start.
It began with a quick set in Sebastopol CA just after the holidays. Immediately after that it was a quick stop home, then off to Los Angeles for the NAMM show. My favorite mass event to attend. Its like a Guitar Center on Steroids. For the 2016 NAMM I was only able to attend for a single day – the first day. In hindsight, it was a good thing. I made sure to zip thru the show and make face time with all my endorsements.
I did spot a couple of new things that caught my eye. One is the StageClix wireless system. The first one to operate on the 5.8GHz band. Plus it rechargeable with 100 meter range. Oh and it’s all digital.
The plugin that caught my eye was the E2 DeEsser. It appears to be a hyper intelligent DeEsser that can tell the EQ curve when to turn on and when to be off so that it is not effecting the rest of the track when it’s not needed.
I’m also going to be picking up the Trim Two by Radial. I’ll be sticking it inline after my Apollo Twin for my live performances going forward in 2016. In case you missed it, I’ve gone digital with my guitar sounds (acoustic and electric). But as I’ve already learned, my computer is often way too loud for PA output. Go figure! Thus the need for a highly transparent but durable direct box!
One other item I picked up was the Oasis Humidifier. Previously I’ve been using two humidifiers in my guitar case but they couldn’t keep up with the needs of the guitar. In steps the Oasis Humidifier and for 2016 my guitar will be keeping properly hydrated. Thanks guys!
I will also be adding the Telefunken M-80 to my vocal lineup in 2016. I need a kickin mic to do some of my looping parts and this mic will fit the bill nicely.
Right after NAMM closed on Thursday I was back on the road and headed to Park City for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
It started with a very cool dinner put on by White Bear PR and SESAC. I got to hang with some amazing composers like John Swihart and Carla Patullo. We enjoyed some amazing food at Cafe Terigo and discussed all kinds of things from music to life.
Over the course of Sundance I did multiple performances at venues like The Spur and Flanagans. Audience reaction was favorable. To the point that I’ve been asked to score a film that is in the final stages of funding. I’ve also been asked to do some co-writing with some peers that I’d really like to write with. That’s an awesome thing!
One last perk is that a manager has decided to start courting me about managing me.
I’m in the midst of working out the next video for the new single Thump Thump Thump coming soon. Thanks to Sundance I’m seeing about the particulars of making it a VR video as well.
If you haven’t seen Nightwatch on A&E yet, what are you waiting for?
Happy New Year to ya. Its already time to say goodbye to 2015. In one way I’m wishing 2015 could keep going as its been a pretty good year. However, I’m already looking at 2016 as the launch pad for several great things to come.
Via Twitter I was asked by Jodsters if I’ll be releasing more singles in 2016. The immediate answer is yes. I have several new singles lined up and in the can. So to speak. Currently working on the video ideas to get them fleshed out and ready to release along side each single.
Along with that will be a better media presence. Gotta start stepping up the streams and plays for the newer music.
There will be one more push with Touch. The next single coming for release is called “Thump Thump Thump”. A juicy rich groove of a song that as some Jodsters have said “Make you want to move your feet in a happy manner.” I’m sticking to that funky audio lap-dance for your ears type of thing.
I got a killer gift for Christmas of a GoPro Hero4. Thus I will do my best to shoot more video and get it up on my YouTube channels and other social media. Should make it a lot easier to shoot, that’s for sure. The bonus is, I’ve recently met a couple of people and reconnected with some friends who do a lot of things behind the scenes with creating film/video. As I team up with them, it should lead to some really cool video output.
Plus, I’ve been asked to put my greatest guitar lesson on video. In case you didn’t know, I used to teach guitar lessons. There’s one super important lesson that no other teacher on earth ever teaches. Though I’ve long wanted to start a guitar lessons website geared around great lessons on playing guitar – I haven’t yet gotten around to it. Thus I will make sure this highly valuable lesson gets shot, edited and put up on my YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy. Lucky you it won’t cost you $100/half-hour to get it.
Already on January 1 I had some fans asking about my dog Dorian. Telling me they’d like to see more pics and video of him. Thus if you’re down to see more of my dog, go follow his twitter account @dorianthedog. The more feedback he gets, the more video and pics he’ll deliver.
There are a few things that are happening with the older catalog. If things go right, it will mean a nice payoff that will help springboard the new singles and more. Unfortunately have to be like Apple on this and not say anything further.
Goodbye 2015. You’ve been really good to me with delivering a network TV theme. Nightwatch on A&E if you have not yet seen the show. Here’s to 2016 bringing me 3 more this year – that’s the goal.
What’s on my mind today? I’ll tell ya, it’s creating a Spotify Playlist.Spotify Playlist
See, I’m working on fully embracing the streaming concept. To that end, I’d like to add what I can to your Spotify playlist profile. What do you mean Jody? I mean this simple 1, 2, 3 for musical bliss for us both:
- You can create public playlists that get shared with other Spotify users and via social media. Thus, if you put one of my songs (Touch, hint hint, either version of it will be ideal) on a public Spotify playlist.
- Tell me about it. Email here at the website, tweet me, Facebook me, Snapchat me…
- Once you tell me that you’ve added me to one or more of your public Spotify playlists, I’ll follow your playlist from my Spotify profile – then I’ll give you and your playlist a shout out on Twitter.
I figure that having a large number of eyes (from my Twitter account and just so you know I’ve got over 70,000 followers there) see your playlist and Spotify profile will help you get followers on your Spotify playlist
While I’m most interested in currently have you add Touch to a playlist, I’ll be happy with any of your favorite choices from my releases. So get adding and lets have fun sharing your playlists!
There is no limit to the number of playlists you can put my songs on. The more playlists you create and put them on, the more shout outs you’ll get – provided I can keep up with them all. Have fun and above all, enjoy the music!
p.s. – bonus shout outs to my other social media accounts will happen if you put me in great company of other huge artists or give your playlists really awesome titles.
Here’s the 3rd installment of videos around getting great guitar tones from a computer using MainStage. This video showcases how to split up guitar sounds into multiple patches to switch between within songs.
MainStage Song Parts For Multiple Guitar Sounds
The reason behind setting them up this way is simple – it’s the best way to control the system for the Tuning function, as well as for making patch changes function via a single button press. Because we all love simplicity when playing live.
Part two in my getting great guitar tones in MainStage talks about creating multi amp setups. Imagine if you could take the amplifier rigs of people like The Edge, Joe Bonamassa, Aerosmith, Joe Satriani, and reduce them down to a single laptop with a midi foot controller. You can. Watch and find out how.
Multi Amp Setup
This is scratching the surface of what this software is capable of doing. See me live and join the revolution in guitar tone by utilizing multi amp setups to achieve big sounds.