Fitness Goals – Powered by The Apple Watch

Greetings all….

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted to this section of my blog, but the reason for doing so is to sing (and bring) the praises of the Apple Watch.

Since it’s inception, and as of a month ago (specifically), I was determined NOT to purchase one, strictly because of it’s price point. I come from the world of Pebble, and have been using that watch (still do) for the past two years of so. Interestingly enough, FitBit in December 2016, purchased the intellectually property of Pebble. Many called it the death of Pebble, however that proved not to be so. My concern is after December 2017, FitBit will no longer maintain the Pebble servers. What that means, in actuality, is that the voice-to-text and native weather features will cease to function. The Pebble community has risen the call to keep Pebble alive, via a group of developers called Rebvle.io . They (at the moment) will continue to develop software on the Android platform to sustain the Pebble ecosystem. That is good news except there has been no such movement on the iOS side – which means that as iOS version upgrades evolve, incompatible with Pebble’s ecosystem will occur. There as already been some small incompatibility hiccups since iOS 10, but nothing major (seems iOS 11 beta is even working fine).

That said, being an Apple fanboy since the late 90s, I started actually using the Nike+ Fitness app on an iPod Touch to track my running. Between 2010 (my first real interested in running) through 2013 or so, it worked well enough to allow me to get a good view of progress over the years. Since then, it has evolved both into the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps. As for the Apple Watch, I knew that tight integration between Watch OS and iOS would never be an issue. This, in itself, caused me to make the purchase decision (in addition to having a zero balance on my Best Buy card LOL). I decided on purchasing the 38 mm Series 1 after a great deal of research. It had everything I needed at the price point I wanted (I take my phone with me everywhere and don’t swim to the point where I need to track swim metrics, so I didn’t need onboard GPS or waterpoof capabilities). I knew very little about the fitness features via the Activity app when I purchased it, but seeing that I’ve been more on the fitness bandwagon than off, throughout life, the fitness features immediately began to appeal to me, the more that I learned about them. The motivation to “close those rings” is a very real thing to many, self included, however I’ve learned that this motivation means different things to different people. For me, I’ve learned that this ring closure concept, along with how the Activity app is integrated with the Health app, has given me a new and greater understanding on how regular and consistent fitness is extremely important. The rings themselves has strangely strengthened my desire to make fitness a routine and part of my daily regimen and that is definitely a good thing.

I will say that I’ve learned a great deal about AW’s main competitor, FitBit. Though I’ve never been part of the community, I’ve learned that there are major differences between that of AW and FB. While I won’t get into that comparison here, I will say that for me, AW (and even the community as it currently is), is right for me in all aspects. Anyway, you slice it, the bottom line is what works best for you as an individual, and in the end, it all boils down to keeping fitness as a routine in your daily life.

Thanks for the reading, I know it was a bit longwinded as a introduction. Subsequent posts will be focused on companion apps I use along the Activity app, the community as it grows and changes, feature improvements, and the like – but generally how I find it useful as a fitness tool. I participate a great deal in the Facebook group Apple Watch Fitness Fans, so if you’re an Apple Watch owner interested in fitness, consider checking it out, it’s a great group and very helpful

Get fit, stay fit.

Thanks,
Doug

New EP in progress ::: Day 3 ::: 19 Jun 17

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11:30pm EST

Greetings readers. Yeah, 11:30pm on a Monday night. I should have been zzzz an hour ago. In any event, just a quick post on the movement of this track. Finally got around to laying a guitar track on Day 2 of this officially documented journey. It may be the only guitar track, as I’m a few days behind schedule in getting the entire song mixed. At least I got a good, but minor idea, for the outro, which was also recorded tonight. Provided I don’t come up with any more “11th hour” ideas (LOL), I should be starting on the mix this week, since the arrangement is done. It’s push time. Speaking of which, I recently read a good article on the subject of “deep work” as it pertains to music production. As you may guess, it overall applies to focus in getting any task done. I’m going to post it, here and on FB, in a few days…Stay tuned.

That’s it for now….off to bed…

::: oceans of rhythm :::
Fresh!

New EP in progress ::: Day 1 ::: 16 Jun 17

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Greetings all….
As I customarily do, when I start a new project, I usually blog about for two reasons. First, to sort of document the journey so I can look back on it in the future (it helps when/if it gets down to interview time and I want to cite certain things about the creative/production process and related thoughts). Secondly, I do so for those who have a general interest on the “behind the scenes” stuff that goes along with an entire creative process such as this.

While I won’t drop the name of the project until it’s time to start pre-release marketing near the drop date, I will give you a little background along the way. That said, this project is a collection of tunes (a smaller collection than originally created) that was inspired by a business trip I took long ago, halfway across the world, ten years agi. The tunes (with the exception of one) was inspired by various aspect of daily life that I experienced on this first trip (I actually made two trips, two consecutive summers, to the same place, but the tracks were inspired by the first trip).

All the tracks, with the exception of the title track, are written, recorded and arranged by me. The stage I’m in now is track editing and mix preparation. Over the last three days, I’ve been in the studio doing just that. For example, tonight I demixed the drum track and began preparing to bus them to their respective auxiliary channels. This basic process allows for grouping those bus tracks to allow greater control over track automation and effects processing over essentially what is an entire drum kit. The next step will be adding a guitar track and essentially following that same process with respect to a single guitar track.

As for the overall concept, all the tracks tell a story, cohesively, but individually tell singular stories in and of themselves. For those of you who are on Instagram, you can get a sneak peek, if you will, to the creative journey by following the simple hashtag #bsun2017. Hope you come along for the ride.

It’s Friday….enjoy the weekend. Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers (biologically or not).

Oceans of rhythm….
Fresh!

The Weekend/The List/The Relax Time

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Isn’t that the name of artist, band, etc?

Greetings readers. It’s early Saturday morning and it’s a quiet (rare) non-busy, no rush one. The house is still sleeping, so it’s a favorite time. My blog software, WordPress, just told me this draft was last saved at 7:14: 33, so yea…still early.

I’m in the studio, doing some housekeeping (file maintenance, software installs, organizing), and thinking that it’s about time I get to finishing up this next personal music release for you. It’s going to be a compilation of tracks that reflect a certain period of my life. I’ve already started dropping some teasers on social media (my music production IG account – follow me, should you like – SFTF Productions

A further glimpse into day is gonna show a gym workout, recording some coaching session from my son’s basketball coaching session (which reminds me, I need to be looking in to summer AAU leagues, Nike Basketball Camp is coming up soon), seeding and weed killing my lawn before this next rain, and a short recording session this evening.

Wait, I did say it wasn’t busy, yes?

Ok, well, back to it. What music am I blogging to right now? Bipolar Flows by The Jazzment some smooth instrumental boombap hip hop out of the Netherlands.

Enjoy your *weekend*

Fresh!

Content Creation, Social Media, and the whole 9…

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Greetings all…

I hope your Sunday afternoon (or whenever you’re reading this) is going well. It’s been some time since I last posted a blog, but one reason for today’s entry is a recent discussion I had with DK Wyatt, a long time friend, podcaster, and social media connection. We were talking about the age old topic of being a consumer vs a content provider on social media. There are tons upon tons or topical matter on this, so I won’t delve deep into it at all, put provide my own perspective. For me, I’ve been a “content provider” since I was 15, the year I started playing in guitar and playing in bands. For those who know my age, this was LONGGGG before social media was born (LOL). That said, the advent of social media (pick your site) has made ANY user a content provider, should he/she want to be. With that, I’ve used social media as a content provider in the area of music production and blogging equally. The thing Dk and I were touching on is the amount of consumption vs the amount of content creation. For us, we’ve agreed (and it can make sense depending on the path you’re own) that consumption, while easier, takes up MUCH time. The question to ask is, how does that consumption benefit you?

I’m an early adopter of Twitter. I’ve had my ID since November 2006, and even though it has become a behemoth in the world of social media, it is still a go to spot when I want to consume information that makes me smarter and helps me achieve things I’m trying to achieve. I’m more of a consumer than a content creator on Twitter now only because the information resources that it provides have become so vast. In addition, creating content on social media is often times associated with branding, another huge topic I won’t touch here. Do I brand when creating social media content? Yes, but I am nowhere near the expert many are or claim to be, but I will say it has benefitted me – doing so created one of the biggest opportunities I’ve had – music scoring for a web series (hence the graphic above).

So, the QOTD, should you choose to answer it – Are you more of a provider or consumer of social media content? Feel free to leave a comment here, on my Facebook page if you are a member or my Twitter feed (this post will be linked to both sites).

Be well…
Fresh!

film scoring – the journey – day 10: the final episode

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Greetings all…

Wednesday night , 11:01 PM EST. I’m sitting here in the studio, just finishing up scoring notes for the final episode of the webseries I’ve been scoring, At Risk. This last episode is definitely classic in that it is a CLIFFHANGER for sure. With that, I have to say that the scenes shot probably provide for more musical creativity and interpretation than most of the previous ones (although, or course, that is sujective, yes?). Tomorrow I plan to actually begin scoring them film for a weekend delivery of the music and associated cue sheet info, to the director (who I chatted with earlier tonight).

It’s been quite and experience, one that I’m glad I was given the opportunity. I learned a lot, not just from dealing directly with the director and writer, but by gaining knowledge for other professional and semi-professional film scorers in the industry. While I’ve always had a “love/hate” relationship with FB (to eadh his/her own, eh?), I’ve found a particular film scoring group on here that has been nothing but a great help to me. All and all, in the end, this has been a win-win situation for me. So much so, that I already know the next step I’d like to take in this music for film/TV journey, so stay tuned.

I’ll be posting one more blog to introduce my demo page and music publishing video site where you’ll be able to hear all the original music that did not make the final episodes for the series.

In the mean time, catch all the series from this season at the official site: At Risk Series. and past in studio shots of the scoring process on my SFTF Productions, by searching on the hashtags #arws2016, #skysongsmusicpublishing, and #skysongsmusicworldwide

To all, thanks for coming along for the ride and providing all the encouraging comments. Chat soon…

::: oceans of rhythm :::,

Doug

HNY 2017 – Creativity – a way forward

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Greetings readers and Happy 2017 to you. I hope the new year finds (and will continue to) you well. It was an unseasonable 55 degF today and sunny – a quiet day at that, one I couldn’t ask more of.

Interestingly enough, as 2016 was coming to a close, I had a discussion with two FB friends. Our talk essentially centered around the use of FB and other social media venues with respect to things the three of us were doing more of before social media REALLY became big (Note: we are still doing these things in the midst of social media, but not as much as we once did). The three areas I’m speaking of are: photography (digital), music (production and live), and blogging. Add to that a fourth friend who gave opinion on reading FB content which is believe to be “foolishnes” (for the most part). I don’t necessarily agree TOTALLY with that sentiment, HOWEVER, I can truly understand why that opinion was given (which, incidentally, does not solely align itself with FB alone). Of course, this discussion appears to be common as it relates to the new year, resolutions (which I don’t due), blah, blah, blah.

I’ve been blogging since 2007. The original concept for vibesnscribes was two fold – Vibes: (blogging about music, specifically about reviews of the artists and genres I enjoy) and Scribes: general topics that interest me. The latter always took place but the former quickly became more work than I wanted because it took time to succinctly post reviews of what I was listening to in a way that I found complete and satisfactory. Eventually I became interested in podcasting and produced The Sunday Soundtrack. The podcast then aligned itself with the “Vibes” portion of the concept

In any event, the conversation ended up basically summarizing the fact that we will return to doing these (enjoyable) things while diminishing the distractions of these big social media juggernauts like FB and IG. One of us said he is about to leave FB for good, because it is a massive timesuck abd detrimental to the creative process. Personally, I strongly believe that, in the end, spending whatever time one spends on things (social media, in this case) is a matter of choice. Social media, in and of itself, was not designed to become a major distraction, it’s just inherent to be by nature (human nature, that is). When trying to achieve anything, one statement stands true for sure: Starve your distractions – feed your focus. Do what’s necessary to reach the goal. It’s definitely one good recipe for a successful way forward. Your thoughts?

Be well,
Fresh!

film scoring – the journey – day 10

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Greetings readers…

It’s been about five months since I’ve last posted a blog, so, in our last episode…(just kidding). Time flies and, on top of that, I’ve been pretty busy trying to compose and get the episode music vetted and approved by the writer/producer of the series. For those who are just reading this particular post, the name of the webseries is entitled At Risk, a drama series about the lives of five social workers.

At the moment, I’m down to composing music for the last episode of the series. The whole “staff”, everyone involved is doing the final activities. Excitement is definitely in the air at this point. The premiere events are on 1 December in NYC and 3 Dec, in Newburgh, NY…the home of the series writer and producer, Courtney Allen.

It’s been quite a journey and learning. While it’s not QUITE over yet, I see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s turned out to be stepping stone to, what I hope to be, future scoring opportunities in film and TV, as well as other media formats. You’ll be getting an update on the establishment of my official publishing company as soon as I confirmation from my PRO (BMI).

I can’t give out any spoilers, but the season end with a crazy cliffhanger!!!! Learn more about At Risk at the link above. I’ve posted a great deal of in progress video footage on Instagram….click SFTF Productions via Instagram to check out the posts.

My hope is that all of you had a blessed Thanksgiving> Catch up with you soon.

peace,
Fresh!

Summer, summer, summer time…music on my mind.

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Greetings readers….
Thursday at 8:04 am. Siting in the studio (I should be on my way to work), I’m thinking about where the summer has gone to so fast. I wish it could start over. Seems it was MUCH longer when I was much younger. There’s so much I want to do before it’s over and I’m constantly looking towards the weekend or some better after work time management to do some of these things. Oh well. c’est la vie…it’s not over yet.

Lately, I’ve been blogging on this film music scoring journey I’ve been on. It’s been a good one thus far, learning a lot, connecting with folk who regularly do it on different levels, and looking forward to continuing this ride, making it better along the way. Currently, I’m waiting for the next draft episode to be sent. In the mean time, the excitement of working on my next personal EP is again here. This one is definitely personal because the songs are birthed out of, and influenced by, two trips (same place) to the other side of the world, that occurred almost ten years ago (yes, I’ve been sitting on these songs that long). I’m glad I was afforded the opportunity to spend the amount of time I did there, the memories are still fresh.

I’ll be sharing more about it as the months go by, as I plan to drop this release before Christmas, so stay tuned.

Have a good Thursday,

Peace,
Fresh!

film scoring – the journey – day 9 – Good vibes, next moves…

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Greetings readers…

Yet another Sunday night is upon us. I had a good weekend, despite this mad heat (which will remain in the upper 90’s throughout the week.). That said, it was productive on the scoring front. Episode 2 is done and submitted to the movie producer for review. So far, looks like she likes, so it looks like the title sequence, Episode 1, and Episode 2 are a wrap!

Talked to the film’s director this evening as well. Seeing as though his company is juggling multip;e projects at once, it was good to have a few minutes to chat with him on the process of music submission (at least from a clarification standpoint). The result of the conversation pretty much aligns with the result fo my research, so we’re definitely good to go.

I also got a chance (finally) to interact with two of the actors/actresses in the series, via social media (Instagram) this weekend. It was good exchanging comments with them after watching them so much via video…both had mad talent through and through. Looking forward to interacting with the rest of the cast.

Well, while awaiting the next episode to begin work on, it;ll be time to d a few things:

  • Start work on my next EP
  • Register my publishing entity, Sky Songs Music Publishing, with BMI
  • Continue work on me and partner’s next CD
  • Work on the guitar tracks for a cover of “Fever” by female vocalist in the UK
  • Work on guitar tracks from Todd Kelley’s next EP, Seasoned Veteran
  • Etc, etc…….
  • We’ll see how of THAT goes. 🙂

    ‘Til next time….

    peace,
    Fresh!