NAMM 2010

Made it to NAMM once again. This major music convention, across from Disneyland, is really Dizzyland, madness beyond belief! Miles of musical instruments, music creation software, and studio gear... way more than I can describe or photo. So it didn't take long to get back to basics... sex!

The booth babes are always a fun thrill! As I said to the guys, let's get the sex over first, then we will be relaxed for the rest of the day.

The one piece of gear that was particularly interesting was from Taylor. Long known for their great acoustic instruments, they now produce several lines of electric guitars. Pictured is an interesting slim line hollow body electric with a Bixby, called a T3.

I must admit, the most impressive layout is from Fender... all their current lines (Charvel, Squire, Eddy Van Halen, Gretch) are nicely presented in a huge room with a wonderful "street" theme. While checking out Gretch gear, a real guitar hero showed up... Duane Eddy! responsible for activating my twang gene back when I was a young farm boy in Illinois.

Eddy was scheduled to play at one of the after hours events, which we declined because we were hammered after fighting the madness all day (interestingly, the punks "dress up" for the NAMM event... a formal engagement for that group of folks... makes for some interesting people watching).

Also in the Gretch area was a small stage... one performance we caught was from Paul Pigat, a Canadian rockabilly star... a great player!

We also saw a performance from Magnolia Memoir, a rather excellent jazz-pop group. Willis occasionally plays with them and is on their upcoming CD. MM also has a rather excellent web site, check it out.

As well as high styling punks, the metal gods were present. Interesting display for gear oriented to that genre...

Well, I guess that's an awful sketchy report from NAMM. But the event is soooooo overwhelming! Thankfully we can always come back for sex (the Gretch Girl, signing posters for herself and the gear)...

I'm breathless...


Best 2009

Every year I compile what I think is the best jazz tunes I've recorded during that year. The collection for 2009 is now available for listening or download. Click on the pic above to link to the page.

Some usual suspects like SLAJO and John Henry, some newcomers like Nate O'Brien and Chase Baird, and a real surprise from Josh Payne. Also snuck in something I recorded with Willis on guitar during a trip to LA.



Palm Springs Car Show

Spent another New Years holiday in Palm Springs, which has become a very pleasant ritual. This year we were in time for the monthly car show, featuring hot rods and custom cars, sort of a 50's theme, but not restricted to any sort of era. Lots of great cars from the area, I've pics of only a few. Click on the images to get a higher rez photo.

First up is a beautiful Bucket T, with an unusual V12 engine!

Now a 40 Ford with a huge, blown engine (in the good sense!).

Gotta have flames!

And gotta have a classic Woody, it's SoCal after all...

How about a classic flat head Ford?

A little newer, and more stock, and beautifully restored...

Built for the track...

And for the sports car fans, perhaps the most amazing autos ever built, a couple original Cobras...

The next day, during a walk to get a Sunday paper, I was treated to the old and new simultaneously arriving in front of the supermarket. A classic Rolls, and a new, modern Rolls convertible.

Quite a weekend for a car fan!

Studio 13

We inaugurated Studio 13 over the holidays. Willis drove up from LA and gathered a few friends together for a little jazz jam. Met Jake the bass player for the first time, a hellava player! Dave Chisholm and Steve Lyman were the "usual suspects".

The recording was simple, 6 mikes into my Metric Halo 2882. No effects were used for the raw recording into the MIO console application on my MBP. Everything sounds great at this point, Willis thinks there is too much "room" in the recording. Certainly some acoustic treatment to the basement facility is in my future, but for now, I'm happy with the results.

Now to mix and master the recording. This will be the hard part (everyone has an opinion on how it should be done).

Anyway, my studio project is at last up and running to the point where we can get some good stuff. I can get 8 channels into the 2882, with another 8 digitally connected from a new Focusrite OctoPre MkII. Can't imagine ever going above 16 inputs, it would boggle my mind to handle (and mix) any more than that. But I'll spend years tweaking and perfecting.

Studio 13??? Well, we are just off of 13th Ave...