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User Journal

Journal Journal: Why do I feel so empty when I'm so full of ....

Axis Of Evil couldn't go on tour because the band we were going with had a hurricane. OTOH It's still going ahead. Why the bizarre feeling? I've got heroes of mine wanting to work with me, (for some reason, they're mad obviously). I'm in a glossy music magazine this month. Why do I feel so empty? Cue a Supertramp song. One I hate. Ditto all Supertramp. Have I become the thing I most hate? "The aristocratic rebel, since he has enough to eat must have other causes for discontent" (sic) (no I didn't google it but I remember from school so there). That's not like me though. I hate thinking stuff. I love reality tv. I love adverts. I love crap songs. I love hollywood bollocks films and their bloody inevitable obvious storylines. I love football and hanging aroung locker rooms and blokes in their underpants. Really I do. I'm normal really. A sure sign I need more Special Brew. At least I'll be in Munchen soon....
User Journal

Journal Journal: Akai OK

Well here I am, now juggling more than my usual brace of balls. I have to finish mixing (read as putting notes in time/tune) a Christmas single, restoring some old archive tape reels, do the same to some old 78's and try to come up with some salsa (yes salsa) stuff. I only say this because:

1: Putting stuff in time/tune takes ages

2: I'm only doing the 78's as a favour to my mum's friend, he was quoted 200 quid an hour (pretty much the going rate) for restoration and it's taken quite a while so far.

3: Ditto old documentary reels. I took a pay cut for a credit. Mug.

4: What the bolox do I know about salsa? I've worked this long without being exposed as a fraud and now salsa? "Buy The Big Issue, mate?"

5: I'm now doing keyboards/sampler-wrestler/synthetic percussion hitter for The Axis Of Evil and we're supposed to be going to Prague in August and with luck we're playing with Rammstein in September and we only have 5 songs so far. Well, at least The Banshees had fewer songs at their first gig, they had to fill up time with The Lord's Prayer. Not much chance of that in a band called The Axis Of Evil. We must be evil, we're Europeans! I've heard that some Europeans are even German or French! How can the world be made safe for Democracy with these Europeans infesting it? Some of them even still have those, you know, "rights" thingies! Despite these unpatriotic horrors, I'm making funny noises for the Akais and trying to work some hardware hacks for SCSI drives to get them into a 19 inch sprung touring rack. My thinking- one hard drive, one SCSI-CDROM-drive mirror. But it'll probably alter as things progress. My sandbag/machine-gun nest live keyboard setup is more of a logistical challenge :-) Back to the plot:

6: There are 2 periods a year when you don't get many sessions in my line of work, January and June-July. Try getting 4-5 musos organised after Christmas or during summer holidays. It can be troublesome. There are many reasons.

"I only go on holiday when the moon's in conjunction with Uranus"

"My girlfriend doesn't want me to record because Mr Snookums is at the vet's"

"The guitarist has an ear infection" (a current one, and all the more irritating since I've never met a guitarist who pays any attention to what anyone else was playing anyway).

"I need to invent an excuse not to record because having a high quality record of my ability as a writer and performer will expose my lack of ability".

(I made that last one up - only good songwriters and players ever seem to say that sort of thing).

7: I remember that freelancing gets you more pay per hour at the expense of job security. Hi diddly dee freelancers work for me. But not in the summer. How lucky you all are.

Anyway, what it boils down to is... doing lots but not getting paid! Hooray!

Have a good holiday, but remember: Industrial Music wasn't built by having time off. Oh yes, and Akai have always made the best samplers. And now for a word from our sponsors...Akai! Now that's wishful thinking. In truth, only paper hanky manufacturers need apply :-)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Mondo Bizarro Muso Wierdo Antagonistico

Day two of session with songwriter asked by publisher to provide "near-release-quality" demos of his stuff.


MUSO: It's not going well, I want to cancel and go home, I've made a bad decision. It doesn't sound the way I hoped it would.

ME: Of course not. It's not finished! But we've recorded drums, bass, guitars, guide keys, guide vocals, and the backing singer is due in an hour. It'd be a waste of time (20hrs) to bail out now with nothing to show for it. At least postpone the next sessions until "you've got your head together" (MAAAAN!).

MUSO: What does your colleague think?

(Gets mate who's working in the office- he's not feeling in top shape, having left hospital the day before)

MATE: Of course it doesn't sound finished, you're only 20% of the way through it. I mean you're fixing anything obviously bad as you do it, but you should wait until it's finished before you pass final judgement. I mean the Eiffel Tower looked pretty unimpressive when it was just a pile of girders.

ME: Thanks, Dick. See? (WOW! He agrees with what I've said all along!).

MUSO: You're right. I want to continue as planned.

We continue.

MUSO: You don't like what I'm doing, do you? You're not smiling at me. You're just lookng at the machinery. I'm going to call the singer and cancel.

ME: I''ve just got a few things on my mind.

MUSO: And I don't? These are MY SONGS, you know! And my publishing contract!

ME: I know, but there are a few things such as the desk automation, the audio workstation, the 19" racks and the multitrack recorder's remote-controller to operate, whilst listening for distortion, over-or-under-compression, harmonic balance or the sounds and the artist/s' performance, as well as keeping an oversight of the overall musical arrangement and whether it's translating well to recording. I don't have much spare CPU for smiling (or other wanking of musos egos).

MUSO: I'm calling the singer to cancel.

Interrupted as BVX Singer shows up... she sings, and very well.

MUSO: (smiling) I think it sounds pretty good, don't you? Don't you? Why aren't you smiling? You don't like it do you? I'm cancelling....

ME: AAAARGH! (goes home and thinks about cancelling tomorrows session himself).

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Big Heat

Temp's gone down to 22.3C (by my nerd-display) and I am able to move around whilst naked (I bet you wanted to know this) Normally I hibernate in temperatures over 14C so this is in itself unusual. Must be the alpine ancestry. All this not-really-very chilling-out is accompanied by tracks on my NEW OGG JUKEBOX COMPUTER! Frankie sits in the corner and selects choice records by Front 242, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, Young Gods, Kraftwerk etc. whilst I wonder where all the beer's gone. Into me, I think. I'll have to put on trousers and get some more. It's a hell of a price to pay for that sweet, sweet beer....
User Journal

Journal Journal: Bign Eeejut

Why did I come on this Win2K/XP sysadmin course? It's torture. The Win2K print server is constantly going down and being nursed back to life. The WinXP clients are incredibly slow, even with all the eyecandy features turned off. God knows why anyone would actually buy this crap.
User Journal

Journal Journal: The customer is always....

I wish people would let me know they want to re-record things with a LITTLE notice. Johnny-boy working hard on the mixing of a track (since 11:30). 18:30 bassist walks back in and says "I think I'd like to re-record the bass on the track..." "How long have you been 'thinking' about this?" Reply- "Since, er... Tuesday morning" (it's Thursday now). "I'm just about to roll the 2-track! Why have you let me waste my time all day on mixing this song if you haven't finished tracking it yet? " AAAARRRRGGGHHH!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Et Maintenence....

Oh well... I've been putting it off for a long time now, it's time to take the soldering iron down to the studio and nail all those shorts in the patchbay. Ho hum. I've been wanting to have a few maintenence days every couple of months at least, but I've been a very bad boy. I hate having to jury-rig a channel on the desk to get round some problem.

Been playing Return to Chaos, George Gilbert's Dungoen Master re-hack. Well done George. - http://www.ragingmole.com/rtc/

Those of us who are looking for spooky choirs for their VST setups MUST look at V-Box2. I've been getting some great monk-like noises for the gothy spookfest tracks.- http://www.ianweb.dial.pipex.com/

In other VST synth news Crazy Diamonds gives you that great analogue string synth wallpaper-job slab-o-sound you only otherwise get from my old ARP Solina - - top stuff.

I'm going to drink a bit of booze (should that be absinthe?) and do some goth ambient stuff. (No- I am not a goth, just doing an album for goths!)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Late Night Whisky Session

Here I am,0325 by my atomic-clock receiver (nerd accessory par excellence) and I am...

Playing Front Line Assembly's Hard Wired CD,

Surfing great Kraftwerk website - http://kraftwerk.technopop.com.br/

Drinking cheap whisky (but not watching Comedy Central)

Taping "Nightbreed"

Going to watch "Robot Wars" tape again.

Getting erotic text messages from, er, someone. Really have to get a phone with a camera amd colour display.

A happy new year to all. Back at the studio Monday at 1700. Funny time for a session to start. I'll probably kip on the sofa-bed in the studio office again.

Night all


User Journal

Journal Journal: Very Happy Christmas

I had a luvverly xmas this year by the simple expedient of not going to see my sister and brother-outlaw. No shrieking kids, either. Just me, a stack of Special Brew, a bottle of bourbon and a 10kilo smoked gammon. MMM-mmm!

Christmas really is the time for avoiding one's family.

PS Merry Christmas and a Happy GNU Year to all the Penguinista and BSD-BaStarDs out there :-)

PPS Comiserations to suX-Pee sufferers and their nancy Fisher-Price crash system.

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