Music Production on the MPC

Greetings producers, et.al…

I finally started getting up to speed on the latest addition to The Lab…the Akai MPC 1000. I’ve viewed 100’s of videos on YouTube of artists that produce music on all versions of the MPC. For a history on this legendary music production center, check this out

In any event, I keep a lot of notebooks in my studio library, documenting how I do things, always tryna better my workflow. Here’s a graphic of something I whipped up to keep a hard copy of the projects I work on (in case the software files get corrupted, lost, etc). Just something in the works I’m sharing with the music production community.

Ok, back to work…

peace…
F!

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 28 Jun 09

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Hello Listeners…
Thanks for checking out the Sunday Soundtrack once again, it’s always a pleasure bringing it to you.

Here we are, in the summer solstice once again. Being a four seasons man, I always embrace it (u can keep the humidity though) for it brings long summer nignts…even with the heat, that can be a cool thing.

Speaking of summer, I started with a track that reps summer in last week’s podcast and will continue do so here (see the playlist below) with a regular artist on The Sunday Soundtrack, Chevalier. What’s summer with the beach? Two artists from the Blackfish Productions camp bring us “Bondi Beach” and “blue beach”, as well. Now that we’re in the summer flow, I bring to you, the playlist

1. De Muse – Fragmentorchestra/ragmentorchestra
2. Cham’s Groove – Groove 7/SFTF – Barrigada Sky
3. Soon – ORG Lounge/Has It Come to This
4. Seemless – Buddha Lounge/The Best of Lounge – L.A. Lounge
5. Summer Nights – Chevalier/Balance
6. Drift – Buddha Lounge/The Best of Lounge – L.A. Lounge
7. Interject – Buddha Lounge/The Best of Lounge – L.A. Lounge
8. blue beach – boot cut rockers/moving pattern session 1
9. Bondi Beach – Blackfish/Hidden Shore
10. Cinquo Dias – Espresso Del Lago/Yeki

Even though the heat is here in my neck of the woods, today we have a cool reprieve. I hope this edition of The Sunday Soundtrack matches that reprieve.

My prayers and condolences go out to the Jackson Family regarding the loss of their son, Michael Joseph Jackson, this past Friday. Without getting into a long post about this phenomenal artist, I’ll suffice it to say that it’s my belief that the King of Pop has gone to be with The King of Kings: Remember The Time

For those of you on Twitter, please feel free to follow me there . For those who are on Facebook, please feel free to join the Sunday Soundtrack Facebook Group as well. Shouts to my entire podcasting massive in the blogroll. I hope your week is chilled.

Call me a neo-Luddite (old tech wins this round….)

In my recording studio, I have a very old sampler, a Yamaha TX16W. This sampler has a 3.5″ disk drive that reads Yamaha’s proprietary format sample lilbrary. I have at least three cases of sample disks that I’d like to convert before possibly selling them with the sampler. I really didn’t want to fire up the sampler, connect a MIDI keyboard, play the sample, record the audio into my computer, and save it…but…that would seem the only way to do it….UNTIL…I remembered that I could use an old app called Sound Converter to read the sample disk and do the conversion for me. The problem was these disks are ALL 3.5″ DSDD floppy disks. A-ha…no problem – I can buy USB drive 3.5″ floppy disk reader. Drive purchased, disk inserted…no cigar…the drive only reads HD 3.5″ floppies….bummer. Light bulb goes off…pull out ye olde Power Mac 7100, and hook it up….it has an internal CD-ROM drive *and* internal floppy drive that reads 3.5″ DSDD and HD floppy disks….voila! Fortunately, since I started music production on this computer like 10+ years ago, it’s still running Mac OS 9.1, and has Sound Converter installed as well. Cool!

I set it up, hooked up a spare flatscreen monitor, an iOmega Zip drive and again was in business, like the old days! Fortunately, I was able to find the app PC Exchange on an older Mac OS system update disks that had the DOS Compatibility app software on it which allows me to read DOS formatted floppy disks. I popped the first sample disk in, opened the file with Sound Converter, and did the conversion…good to go. Now to do the other gazillion disks!

Definitely paid to keep the old hardware around. Yeah, for those who know, the samples are 12-bit (as opposed to 24-bit today), but I love samples….the bigger my library, the better…they sound pretty decent for a sampler from the 80’s šŸ˜‰ It’s 3:13am Saturday morning….thankful I can sleep in and late for once! Good night!

peace…

F!

Music – The Global Outreach and Eternal Gift (A contest too!)

A very cool thing occurred this afternoon while at work. A few months ago, I was passing through the usual virtual spots and, as customary, always keeping an eye out for interesting websites that would fit the overall theme of what vibesnscribes.com is about. This one particular site I came across happened to be an indie netlabel called Dusted Wax Kingdom. On that label I found some artists specializing in underground soulful instrumental hip hop, often composed on the all too famous Akai MPC. I took a liking to the tunes by an artist named Skipless, so much so that I decided to feature his tracks on a recent Sunday Soundtrack podcast. He also has myspace page as well.

I took the liberty to reach out to let him know how much I enjoyed his EP and that I featured it on the podcast. He, in turn, mentioned that he would send me a CD and was grateful that I enjoyed his tracks enough to feature them on the podcast. Noticing his locale, I thanked him, but passed it off as a gesture that probably would remain as that, although we decided to follow each other on myspace.

Lo and behold, today, our receptionist came to my desk with this:

skipless1

skipless2

Ha…I’m even diggin’ the CD emulating vinyl…it looks cool! That delivery was a GREAT surprise and showed me, once again, how the gift of music can communicate greatly. In addition, the whole vibe, from the first listen, to the online communication, to the gift was very cool. I often sit in my studio workin on personal tracks, messin’ around with beats, our own CD project, the whole nine, and sometimes wonder how many others are doing the same thing I am doing…in a bright bedroom, dark area, minimal gear, maximum set up, professional studio, etc.

In any event, he not only sent me one CD, but several, and asked me to give them away to friends and continue to spread the word. To that end, here’s a little contest. If u like what you’ve heard on my previous podcast, be the first to send me the country in which he lives, and I will send u one – Hint: Read this post carefully. I’ll determine the winner by the first time stamp of the answer that I receive as a comment to this post.

Ok…about to get some breakfast and get into the day….a busy one is predicted. Thanks for the read.

Flow positivity…

peace,
F!

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 14 Jun 09 (for 21 Jun 09)

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Hello listeners, Twitter followers and Facebook group members…

Thanks again for tuning into another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. I trust your weekend and/or week is going well. It’s been a good one thus far. Work is getting busier and busier, so chillin’ out putting together this podcast is a nice little excursion away from such matters. As the title says, this podcast should have went live LAST weekend, but I had some technical difficulties that didn’t permit to mix it down. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

I did some track hunting this week and came up with same nice new gems from an artist called ORG Lounge. Soma FM is my main source of tracks that I draw from, especially since it’s net radio flowin’ through the studio here, as well as on XM Radio in the car. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. In anticipation of summer, Monte LaRue brings us “Summer Interlude” (I think I feel a summer theme coming up for a future podcast…stay tuned).

Speaking of staying in tune, I think I may try to start including some artist interviews in the near future…would that be of interest? Let me know what you think. The possibility is definitely there since I’ve been in touch with a few indie artists who have expressed thanks regarding their tracks being featured….

Ok, without further adieu, the playlist for the Sunday Soundtrack – 14 Jun 09 is as follows:


1. Spirit -Monet/The Groove Boutique: Volume One
2. Mirror – ORG Lounge/Has It Come to This
3. Summer Interlude – Monte la Rue/Interludia (Disque Deluxe)
4. Soon (Jazzy Jeff Mix) – Jazzanova/Jazzanova Remixed [Disc 2]
5. 97 Ways – Groove Matter/Jazzelcious Presents
6. Shiny Cage – Fresh Moods/Love. Death. Angels
7. Chambre 606 – Alex Cortiz/Mesmerising
8. Drowned – Campa/Obsession Lounge
9. Smooth (featuring Dustlab) – ORG Lounge/ORG Lounge
10. Din Atrium – Soehngenetic/Second Hand

For those of you on Twitter, please feel free to follow me there . For those who are on Facebook, please feel free to join the Sunday Soundtrack Facebook Group as well. Shouts to my entire podcasting massive in the blogroll. I hope your week is chilled.

peace, and thanks for listening….

F!

“Saggin’ “

Saggin Pants

This was passed onto me by an old HS friend. While you have probably heard this story (the backwards spelling of the word), I have seen other than black men sporting what they call this “fad”.

The bottom line is….conduct and present yourself with some dignity…Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Irish…WHATEVER!! Stop the ignorance.

The message is as follows….

Pass this on to Our Youth, Our Parents, Our (not only) Black Men and Women
Letter from a college student

The other day, a friend of mine visited me in the lobby of my dorm just to
chat while her laundry was drying. As we were chatting, two young freshmen came
by. One of the 2 boys wanted to ‘talk’ to my friend (as in date). She
asked him how old they were, and both of the boys replied 18. My friend and I
both laughed hysterically because we are both 22 years old. After my friend left, the young men were still hanging around and one wanted
to know how he could gain her interest.

The first thing I told him to do was to pull up his pants! He asked why, and
then said he liked saggin ‘ his pants. I told him to come over to my
computer and spell the word saggin’. Then I told him to write the word
saggin ‘ backwards.

S-A-G-G-I-N
N-I-G- G-A-S
I told him the origin of that look was from centuries ago. It was the intent
of slave owners to demoralize the field workers by forbidding them to wear a
belt as they worked in the fields or at any other rigorous job. In addition,
men in prison wore their pants low when they were “spoken for”. The
other reason their pants looked like that was they were not allowed to have
belts because prisoners were likely to try to commit suicide. And, saggin’
pants prevents you from running.

We as young Black people have to be the ones to effect change. We are dying.
The media has made a mockery of the Black American. Even our brothers and
sisters from Africa don’t take us seriously. Something as simple as pulling
up your pants and standing with your head held high could make the biggest
difference in the world’s perception of us. It is time to do right by
ourselves. We need to love and embrace each other. No one is going to do that
for us. It all comes down to perception. What people perceive is what reality to
them is. We have to change not only the media’s perception of us, but we
need to change our perception of ourselves.
Remember all eyes are on you Black Man. All eyes are on you Black Woman. All
eyes are on your Black Child. People point the finger at us and expect us to
engage in negative and illegal activities, to manifest loud, boisterous
behavior, to spend our hard earned money in their stores, buying goods we
don’t need, or really want. We have allowed not only the media, but the
government and the world to portray us as a ‘sub-culture. ‘ They have
stripped our culture down to the point where the image of Black people is
perpetuated as rappers, athletes, drug users, and consumers of junk food,
expensive tennis shoes, expensive cars, expensive TVs, cell phones and not
investing in homes for our families.

We are so much more!!!!!!!
To all our Black Men : It’s time to stand up. There are billions of
Black Women who want to do nothing more than worship the ground that you walk
on. We are so in love with your potential. We want to have your back, we want
to love, support20and cherish every ounce of your being. But with that you have
to show that you are willing to be the head of our households. You have to
prove yourselves worthy of our submission. We need you to be hard working…Not
a hustler. We need you to seek higher education, to seek spirituality. We need
you to stand! And trust us; we will have your back. We know that it gets hard.
We know you get weary. Trust and believe that there is nothing that a Black
Man and a Black Woman can’t handle with GOD on their side.

To all our Black Women : It is also time for you to stand up. It is time
for you to stop using our bodies as our primary form of communication. It is
time to be that virtuous woman that Proverbs spoke of. You cannot sit by the
wayside while our men are dying by the masses. You are the epitome of Black
Love. It starts within you. You need to speak with conviction to let not only
our Black Men know, but the world, that you are the Mothers of this world. You
are so powerful. You are so beautiful. You need to love and embrace every
blessing God has given us physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For all our Black Children : We need to love them. We need to teach them.
We need to stand up for them. We need to protect them. We need to show them
that there are no ‘get rich quick’ schemes. We need to tell them that
they WILL die trying if they submit to a life of crime and deceit. We need to
teach our children that no one will love them the way we can. And being a
basketball player, a rapper, or a drug dealer is not reality. It’s not
realistic and only a small percentage of people ever make it as a rapper or
professional athlete. We need to teach our children that we can be more than
rappers and athletes. We can be the owners of these sports teams. We can be
the CEO’s of OUR fortune 500 companies. We need to believe in literacy.

Please Keep This Going & Have a wonderful day

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 07 Jun 09

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Hello Listeners…

Good to be back with another Sunday Soundtrack podcast. It’s my gift to you (as well as me) and I really enjoy every chance I get to do it. I hope your week has been good, or is starting off well and will remain as such throughout.

I was driving somewhere last week and my wife asked me how the podcasts were coming along with regards to featuring music, etc. I told her one of the great things about featuring these genres is the willingness of indie labels and artists to have their music featured on a podcast. The labels and artist that have found out about the Sunday Soundtrack have always been generous and thankful to me for supporting and showcasing their tracks, to the end where they have placed me on their mailing list to receive free downloads of new tracks as they are released. Last week, I contaced Skipless via his myspace page regarding the tracks from his EP, “Rooftops”, that I’ve featured, He was so thankful that, even though both his EPs are available for download, he wanted to send me physical CDs….all the way from Finland….that’s some luv right there! LOL. All in all, it’s always a win-win situation doing this podcast. New tracks for me, exposure for them!

Here we are, into the second half of 2009 and embarking on the summer solstice in a few weeks. We’ve had a lot of rain in the DC metro area, so I’m looking forward to some extended sunshine. I’m sure many in the area would agree. If anything, we are super green over here! Interestingly enough, it’s this second half of the year, leading into the next, where I really look at what needs to be focused on and/or fixed to start a new year off…what about you? Whatever it is, I hope that what you positively set out to achieve becomes manifest.

The hiatus last week allowed me to tune into my favorite sources and bringing 8 brand new tracks this weekend. Returning artists are Blank and Jones, Alex Cortiz, and Skipless. The mood is definitely chilled throughout the playlist, ending with yet another track that I think defines the genre of downtempo and chillout VERY nicely. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

1. Racetracks -Tony Watson/Abstrakt Sampler
2. Solarcell – Fresh Moods/Exhale
3. Smooth – Alex Cortiz/Magnifico
4. Skeptic Manc – Moss/East Coast Chip Shop
5. Loose Tune – Skipless/Jazzamentals EP
6. Livechange – Fresh Moods/Exhale
7. Blue Sun – Moss/Stone Soup
8. Twilight – Blank & Jones/Relax Edition 2 (Sun) – EP
9. Really – Bluemind/Om Chilled, Vol. 2

Another great Chill Out Track on Ibiza Chill Session 2006

Song: Emotional – Laguna Sun (Ibiza chill session mix)

For those of you on Twitter, please feel free to follow me there . For those who are on Facebook, please feel free to join the Sunday Soundtrack Facebook Group as well. Shouts to my entire podcasting massive in the blogroll. I hope your week is as chilled out as that video track.

peace, and thanks for listening….

F!

PodcampDC 2009: The Planning Stages!

Greetings…

I hope this post finds you well. There are a few of us on Twitter who have decided to start planning for PodCamp DC 2009 @digitalfangirl, @koa, @jaywalk1 and I are in the initial stages of planning PodcampDC 2009.

What is a PodCamp? According to Googleā€™s define feature: ā€œPodCamp is an international network of unconferences. According to Wikipedia an unconference is: ā€œA conference where the content of the sessions is created and managed by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by one or more organizers in advance of the event. Enthusiasts get together to discuss and learn about grassroots technology in the area of podcasting, blogging, videography, Web 2.0 advances, and similar topics that are closely lit to the development of social media globally. There is some associated information on last years PodCamp DC here and a nice Quick PodCamp Starter Kit, put together by social media expert Chris Brogan, here.

If there is anyone familiar with venues that are very close to DC metro stops that can house a day long gathering and has very good free wi-fi access for all participants, access to audio-visual gear in all rooms, etc, please let me know. We are currently looking for sponsors as well.

If you’d like to volunteer, pls DM me on Twitter, leave me a message here, or at best, feel free to join the PodcampDC Community, set up by Naomi (digitalfangirl),here. In the meantime, a few pics (with descriptions) from last year’s PodCamp DC are in my Flickr gallery, here.

Thanks for reading….have a great day!

peace,
F!

The Ten P’s of Prosperity – Number 3: Pen and Paper

Greetings readers. Here is the third “P” (or I should say “P”s from motivational speaker Jewel Diamond Taylor from her list of life-guiding principles.

Number 3: Pen and Paper: Thou shalt write down thy goals. Think it, then ink it. Be specific, have a target date, and review them often.

I’d like to add a phrase I often write at the top of my to-do list everyday: “Failing to plan means planning to fail, so plan the work, then work the plan.”

I tend to subscribe to this one regularly, but as you may guess, the key is executing the goals in the best way possible. Writing is only the beginning!

I hope these have been foundationally useful. Stay tuned for Number 4 soon….

peace,
F!