From the Drummer: Scientific Progress Goes “Boink!”

Howdy, folks! Brian here, with this month’s update on the glamorous and exciting life of a musician. There’s certainly a lot going on; we’re prepping for a new album, a live recording session at that. There’s promotion and marketing, plans for physical production, a set list to create, and seemingly endless rehearsals. All this on top of our usual work of playing shows, recording videos, working on new music,  and our long-range secret plan to wage war on Liechtenstein. Right busy, we are. Take this past weekend, for example. We had our Virtual Patreon Hangout on Friday night, spending a couple of hours shooting the breeze and laughing with some of our favorite fans. Saturday we had a show, playing at a venue we’ve never played before. There’s always a little trepidation involved in shows like that; the first show we play at a venue is basically an audition. Our performance, the size of the audience, how the crowd responds to us, all go into determining if/when we get to play that venue again. Thankfully, it was a great night! A bunch of our fans showed up, a bunch of their regulars were there, and the whole house was into it. Even the bar staff was dancing! We’ll be back to the Irish Wolfhound, gladly so, and we’re already talking with them to figure out when. (Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.) Sunday we set aside to record some new videos, 2-3 at least. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you how that went, and about the awesome videos we got. 

I’d LIKE to tell you all about it, but there’s a small problem: it didn’t happen. And we figured that maybe you’d want to know why.

In case you missed it, I’m not JUST a super-sexy drummer with a wicked sense of humor and a voice like an angel. I’m also a recording engineer by trade. My new studio is under construction (and finally nearing completion!) but it’s mostly soundproof now, and air-conditioned, so it’s a decent spot to record videos. We’ve got a couple of cameras for visuals, and we use my microphones and assorted recording gear to capture the audio. After we finish a video session, I go to work on the audio tracks. When I’m done, Paul uses his video editing skills and a bit of elfin magic, and boom, we have a new video that sounds a bit better than a lot of other small bands can put out. It’s a fun process, all in all, a curiously appealing blend of science and art. 

See, music is ephemeral in nature. No two performances are quite the same, even the same song performed by the same people on the same instruments in the same room. Once the last note rings out, that exact iteration of the song is gone for good. The ability to record changes that. We practice a piece of music, until it’s as good as we can get it. We play it as close to perfectly as possible, in front of microphones and computers and various pieces of kit, and we capture those moments, and freeze them, like a dragonfly in amber. Then I go to work, cutting and polishing that amber, making the music sound as good as it possibly can. The whole process seems magical to me.

I acquired the laptop onto which we’ve been recording when I was in school. It was several years old when I first acquired it, and a bit anemic, with only half of the memory my software says it needs to work properly. I just needed it to get me through school, and it did so admirably.  I’ve recorded a dozen or so demos, EP’s, and albums on the old thing. It’s been quirky, to be sure, crashing at odd intervals, but we’ve managed. Until Sunday, that is. I spent a couple of hours straight,  trying to launch my recording software, only to have the whole machine crash on me, every time. When I could literally hear my blood pressure skyrocketing, I threw in the towel and faced facts: The laptop is no longer usable for recording purposes. Does that mean no more videos, no more studio? Of course not. I have a new computer, with a LOT more memory, all ready to take over. All I need to do is transfer my software over from the laptop. Apparently, this just requires a few keystrokes, a couple of mouse clicks, the removal of several physical components from the new machine, and the sacrifice of a chicken. Simple, right? I’ll have it up and running in the next week or two. 

My apologies, folks. My technology failed us, and as a result there’s no new videos at the moment. We’ve already rescheduled our session, so we’ll be back in business soon. And in the mean time…hey, have you heard we’re recording a live album?

Level with me: do you actually watch the videos we post on YouTube and on our Patreon?  If so, which is your favorite? If not…why not?

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