Month: April 2018

This Week - April 22, 2018

Introduction

Welcome to limbo. That special place in which your feet are glued to the floor, but time is still ticking away.

Spoiler alert--our move got delayed. Jessica said she's never seen me so upset, which is such a crazy statement to me because we've been together for over 4 years and I am kind of an emotional roller coaster.

We had a 2-week close planned from start to finish, written up in our offer letter. The seller agreed, and we did everything on time. I scrambled to order appliances and have everything ready to go for yesterday. Then a whopping 3 days before close we're informed that the sellers won't be ready, and they didn't even give us a new date. So at this point we're basically delayed for two weeks. Yes, we could take our offer off the table and go find a new house, but that would just be even more hassle for us. So there's basically nothing we can do. A lot of our stuff is already packed and waiting to go.

Emotionally, I already built up this energy of moving, and saying goodbye to this place. I'm at a loss as to how to gracefully deal with this situation. I threw noodles today. Noodles. (The dog got to eat them.) I sometimes get this bloated stomach feeling when I'm stressed (caused by tension in my back, I'm pretty sure,) and I've had that ever since we found out we're delayed. I'm reminded of some of my lyrics from my song Wasteland: "we'll make it out of this place, and then we'll come alive." That's how I feel about this move. I want that incredible feeling of peace and freedom that comes with laying on my own god damned floor. It's been too long! And who knows how much repressed shit I have that's constantly being mildly triggered by being in the house where I spent the first 18 years of my life. All I know is that I'm a different person than I was when we left Bellevue. And not in a good way. Ugh, okay well enough of that. Unfortunately I don't even know what else I have to say in this whole blog. I didn't do anything musical this week because I was getting ready to move, then crying about how we can't move yet, then basically twiddling my thumbs with a question mark over my head and not being able to take a full breath. We'll just do the photo. Let's do the photo. Please tell me we have a photo.

Photo of the Week

And we have a photo! This week it's a photo of my main set of headphones, Sennheiser HD600. They're a bit new; just got them around Black Friday times last year, custom calibrated with Sonarworks to have the flattest EQ response possible. The photo is eye-like. In any case I think it's rad.


This Week - April 15, 2018

Introduction

Oh boy what a week. I also totally forgot about this blog until the last minute. I also just did taxes so lord help me. (Dealing with taxes and health insurance are sure-fire ways to make me really, really mad.)

We had our home inspection this week and no major issues were found so we're moving forward! The plan is to move on Saturday. So... I may write the next blog from our new home! I've already started packing here and there, and we went appliance shopping today to help us decide what we want to get. I think that this week will go by very quickly. And that things are going to get more stressful before they finally get better. Really looking forward to living in our new house though.

Also, we did the live stream yesterday! I think it went quite well! You can watch the replay here.

Photo of the Week

This one is cool! I had no idea what Jessica was doing because I was so busy, but here's the result! She took a picture of some old guitar strings that I save in a bag to someday recycle as scrap metal. I love how it turned out! It's like a guitar string graveyard.

What I'm Working On

Besides moving stuff and preparing for the live stream, not much. I did practice quite a bit last week, and I think it paid off. I was a bit nervous during the live stream, so I relied a lot on my preparation. The one thing that I didn't really prepare for was where I was going to look while I was playing. That took up too much of my brain at the time, haha. "Should I look at the camera? Am I closing my eyes too much? etc. etc. etc." But yeah overall it was fun! I want to do more live streams in the future. And I am so excited to get to set up a new studio space where I can make lots of new videos!

I'm also continuing to practice on SoundGym each day, (seriously I haven't missed a day!) and reading Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio whenever I get a chance.

What I'm Listening To

I listened to some of those CDs I got from the library this week, including some Gorillaz and Daft Punk. This isn't normally the type of music I listen to, which is precisely why I wanted to listen to it! I found Daft Punk to be very groovy, but too repetitive for my tastes. It actually worked well as something to listen to while I was coding. It sort of gave my body something to do (groove!) while my mind worked away. And Gorillaz is just neat. I love that their "band" is made up of cartoon characters. And I've heard more of their songs than I'd thought.

Next Week

Dude, so much packing and shopping (and worrying about my bank account, lol.) I'll keep you posted. :) Until next time!


This Week - April 8, 2018

Introduction

This week has been CRAZY.

Crazy.

What I had planned on doing this week (besides working) is practicing for the live stream next week. I did do that, but not as much as I would have liked to. And I definitely need to do more.

Things were going pretty swimmingly until we got a flat tire on Tuesday. (The potholes here are insane. I'm legit afraid of them now that we had a tire burst.) So that took a couple of days to get sorted because they had to order the new tires. Then on Thursday morning we went to go look at a house. We really liked it. It's smaller than I originally wanted and has carpet everywhere, but we're willing to settle at this point. What's nice about it is that everything is pretty new, such that when we go to sell it in a few years everything will still be pretty new, and it should hold a lot of it's value and not need too much maintenance from us. It's also in the neighborhood we wanted, and on a dead end street.

So anyway, we put in an offer. And it was a really good offer, because last time we put in an offer on a house there were 4 others and ours was not picked. The market is kind of crazy right now and houses are getting snatched up right away. Maybe we got in first. Whatever the case, our offer was accepted that night, and Friday I had some stuff to deal with regarding that, not to mention dealing with my emotions over having just agreed to give someone all of our money in exchange for a house. Yikes.

Then yesterday I went to Koethe's house to practice for the live stream next week. More on that in a bit. And today I got to catch up on some work from last week because I was so distracted by the house that I didn't get as much done as I wanted to. Well, at some point next week things should slow down. Or maybe after the live stream. But oh my gosh in 2 weeks we basically get to move. That will be.. well I'm hoping it will make all the difference in our enjoyment of life. Because quite frankly we've been treading water for a long time now.

Photo of the Week

I don't know what to say about this one. It's not my favorite. We're very tired. However I did have fun editing this photo in Lightroom. There are so many adjustments to play with! I was feeling a little loopy after a long day.. week. My edit is at the top, and Jessica's is beneath it. It's a sort of chime thing sitting on a hi-hat. There's also green painter's tape around the rim to keep the noise down for practicing purposes. Actually, now that I look at this again, it is pretty neat.

What I'm Working On

So as I mentioned earlier, this week was all about practicing for the live stream. My callouses are back and I'm getting more comfortable with the songs. And practicing with Koethe this weekend was truly illuminating. I guess there were a few big things I took away.

One is that just because I can play a song or a part well on my own, doesn't mean I know it well enough to handle new things being thrown at me. I think that over the course of our practicing together I got more used to it, but at first I was really phased by just having someone else playing along with me. Like my brain did a double-take and stopped paying attention to what I was doing in order to pay attention to what he was doing and I had to find the right balance of listening to both. And the more I can make these parts second-nature, the more attention I'll have to give to other things that come up.

Another thing had to do with being able to hear myself. Sometimes it got rather loud, and I couldn't hear myself very well and as a response I actually got even quieter because I wasn't sure I was playing/singing the right thing at all. So I need to work on these parts more so that I have the confidence to perform loud enough when the time comes to match the energy of the song.

Okay and last but certainly not least. I watched back the live stream test that we did, and I really need to work on my uh, stage presence? Granted it was the last thing we recorded and I was tired and hungry, but still. Jessica watched it back with me and said I looked bored and like I didn't want to be there. It was just me focusing and listening closely, not to mention trying really hard not to mess up, but she's right about how it looked. I think it all comes back to practicing more. So that I can deal with twists, have confidence, and be able to relax and have fun with it when the time comes, so that it's more fun to watch.

It's tough to be confronted with all the ways in which we suck. But it's also exactly how we can learn and grow. I always say that if you want to be good at something, you have to be willing to suck at it. So here I am, and if I fail miserably next week then it's a failure on the road to success!

Definitely a valuable experience. As far as diminishing returns goes, I think we got a huge bang-for-the-buck out of rehearsing once before the live stream.

What I'm Listening To

Hmm... nothing? Did I listen to music at all this week? I don't think that I did. I even have a stack of CDs from the library that I have yet to listen to. Well, here's one. Have you heard of Haim? These chicks are super cool. I love the rhythm in their vocals.

Next Week

Well if it was not abundantly clear from the rest of this post I'll be practicing as much as I can for the live stream. I've got some new things to keep in mind and I will do my best. Other than that... home inspections and general freaking out? Check, check and check. Catch you next week.


This Week - April 1, 2018

Introduction

Phew, I spent a lot of time today judging the entries for the Life is Strange Fans music contest. 70 total! I have some rough scores and notes so that I and the other judges can decide on the top 5 later this week.

In other news, what, I don't know. I forgot about this blog post until right now (Sunday evening,) so I'm already sort of burnt out from the day haha.

Photo of the Week

This week, Jessica took a photo of my Sennheiser HD 598s. These are the headphones I used to use for mixing. They're super comfortable and they sound quite good, so I still use them for things like singing practice. I thought this shot looked a bit like an elclipse or something. Kind of spacey in any case. I love it.

What I'm Working On

This week I continued reading my Mixing Secrets book, but more than that I began to get serious about the upcoming Life is Strange Fans Open Mic Night that I'm doing with Koethe. I started practicing more, and really figuring out the details of what we're going to do. I ordered a new HD webcam so that the video will be decent, and yeah. Just a lot of practicing. I haven't played my acoustic guitar that much in a while, so my fingers are rather sore! Two weeks is plenty though to get back in shape. :)

Also this totally doesn't count, but kind of does, but I bought SoundToys 5. It's a collection of FX plugins. I love FX plugins. It was on sale for $209 and I already kind of wanted it, so yay. In truth I flipped a coin because I couldn't decide. I won't get a chance to use the plugins for a little while, and I definitely did not need them. But it was something just for fun. I can buy things just for fun once in a while.

I guess this kind of counts too, if I'm already resorting to plugin purchases, but I organized a bunch of my gear this weekend. If you remember that "studio photo" I had of my basement from one of my first blog posts, that's what I'm talking about. I took down the vocal booth and cleaned everything up. Moved a bit of stuff upstairs to my office. I just decided that for the next while I'm not going to be doing much recording anyway, (focusing on mixing and production,) so I might as well consolidate. I'm glad I did. It felt like my gear was wasting away down there, so now at least it's put away.

What I'm Listening To

This one is easy this week. I discovered this band PVRIS because I saw a short K.Flay video where she was chatting with 2 of her musical friends, one of which was Lights who I already heard of, and another one was Lynn Gunn from PVRIS. Lynn said something that made me think she was a lesbian, so obviously I looked up her band and next thing I knew I was obsessed with this song.

The whole album is actually really good. I'm a fan!

Next Week

Next week I'll definitely continue to focus on practicing for the live stream. That's my priority. And I'll keep plugging away at mixing as well, by continuing to read Mixing Secrets and using SoundGym every morning to train my ears.

I hope you had a nice April Fools day and got pranked at least once! Oh, and a nice Easter too I guess. :)