Category Archives: geek

The NAMM Rules

I know many of you are making the trip down to NAMM this weekend, and for many of you APU students, it will be your first trip. You should know that NAMM is a vapid, soulless wretch of a trade show, carefully designed to make you feel alone in the world and bereft of value, not unlike the Amsterdam redlight district. It’s also the biggest music nerd field trip of the year, so enjoy!

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of the trade show, here are a few guidelines.

Don’t wear swag. Just don’t do it. Unless you’re getting paid to be there, and the company you’re repp-ing insists, don’t drag out that awesome Pearl Drums shirt to shown everyone that you’re a drummer. Everyone there is a drummer.

The only exceptions to this rule are faded Fender swag (Fender has reached a level of awesome that transcends all rules) and vintage swag (if you have an emagic logo cap from the late 1980’s, do it!).

Everyone else, there are three NAMM outfits.

1) Black t-shirt, jeans, TOMS shoes. This is the standard outfit for anyone under 30 who has no reason to be there, but bribed their local music store for extra passes.

2) Rockstar casual, dark sunglasses. This outfit will be worn by people you recognize from their one hit 10 years ago, who are there to play on small stages in front of banners promoting the instruments they are shilling, while they try desperately to figure out what catastrophic career decisions led them to this point.

3) Polo, khakis, dirty tennis shoes. These are the people who actually make the gear and write the software.

Nobody there cares who you are or what you do. Don’t let that stop you from passing out your demo and card to everyone wearing outfit #2 or #3. If you’re looking for an endorsement deal, by all means, bring your Grammy with you.

If it’s on a table in a bowl, it’s swag.
If it’s on a table and bolted down, it’s gear.
If it’s being handed to you, it’s swag.
If it’s being handed to you and it’s plugged in, it’s gear.
If it’s edible, it’s swag.
If it’s wearable, it’s swag.
If it’s stickable, it’s swag.
If it’s edible, wearable, and stickable, it’s probably some new bread-based modeling guitar from Line 6. It’s gear.
If it’s swag, take it.
If it’s gear … take it. Just don’t get caught. If you do get caught, see the section below titled “EYE CONTACT”.

If you are handed an instrument to play at any point during the show, please show taste and musical discretion. Ask yourself this question, “Is there perhaps some way I can test the expressive tone of this new guitar string polish without resorting to an Yngwie Malmsteen solo?”

Everything interesting at NAMM happens in back rooms that you are not allowed to enter, and that you probably can’t even find. This thought will haunt you throughout the entire show.

If you are wandering through the exhibit halls and you happen to see someone who looks like your music tech prof, wait patiently for him to make eye contact, and then respond with a subtle head nod of recognition. Then, do not go over and interrupt him because, dude, we’re not gonna hang out.

When the shows shuts down for the night, the sickest players on earth pack into the clubs and theaters surrounding the convention, and music gets made. This is where you want to be. Do anything, anything you can to get into these shows. Bribe the Yamaha drum guys to find out where the superband session is happening, sneak in to the club through the kitchen, stand against the back wall the whole time if you have to. You will hear things that you didn’t think humans could do. It will be staggering. Thank me later.

These are the rules. Enjoy NAMM.

Collective Nouns

Ever wonder what to call a group of zombies? Are you writing Twilight Fan Fiction and need to know what to call a whole bunch of revenants? Do you get crossed up between “a legion of demons” and “a storm of ifrits”? Have no fear! The worlds best web comic, Wondermark, has put together a handy reference guide for the collective nouns of things supernatural. It … is … AWESOME.

linky link.

iphone tethering hack

So, let’s say that hypothetically you installed the iphone tethering hack, and let’s say that hypothetically after the 3.1 software update, you no longer receive visual voicemail on your iphone, and that you’re somehow not OK with losing one of the basic functions of your phone. Go here, follow instructions, receive all 38 unheard messages.


Underneath the Satellites

Ran across this the other day. It’s a track I completely finished writing the music and producing, but never finished a song to go with it. It was an experiment in tweaking with different keyboards – a rhodes, jupe 8, a few delays, and I think an old EMU sampler makes an appearance.

Anyway, enjoy!

Underneath the Satellites

Blogging Software

I’m building an awesome new blog for our very own June Steckler, and I’m looking around for a design program that won’t cost me $500. When I do my own stuff, I usually just hand-code stuff with CSS and HTML, but that won’t work for what she wants. I need some actually pretty pretty.

I realize that the right thing to do at this point is sub-contract to an actual designer, but I’m working in trade for original awesome artwork, and I’m not sure I can really offer somebody 1/3 of a painting.

Anybody use anything on a mac that they really like for web design, that is either cheap or free?

Wanted: Tech Director who will do what I’m thinking but forget to tell them.

Hey, so, our church is hiring a sound guy .. I mean, a tech director. We had one candidate that was very close, but at that last minute withdrew himself from consideration. So, I’m kicking this out to you all. Do you know anyone who might be a good fit? Here’s the job description I posted on Craigslist:

Christ Community Church in Buena Park is searching for a qualified technical director. The primary responsibilities are running sound for two contemporary Sunday Morning worship services, setting up slides (sermon powerpoint and song lyrics) in Media Shout software for the service, some website content updating, and managing a team of technical volunteers in supporting roles.

This position requires about 10 hours of work per week, most of which occurs on Sunday morning. Compensation is fixed at $150 per week. Candidate must be a practicing Christian of any denomination, with experience in mixing live sound for contemporary bands.

A full job description is available at the following link:

Interested candidates should send a brief email describing how your experience fits the job description.

If you know anyone who might be right for this, have them drop me an email, michael [at] addisonrd [dot] com. We have an interim helping us out, but he leaves in about 3 weeks, so time is short. Any and all help is appreciated.


Yes friends, the time has finally come. Addison Road is wearing her new clothes. All it took was back-to-back recording sessions where I sat around for 12 hours making sure students didn’t set anything on fire. I spent the time splicing together this here bit o’ awesome for ya’ll.

The biggest change is that only the two latest posts show up on the front page, with text excerpts. Comments are more prominent, with the latest comment showing up at the top of the page, almost like a post.

There is also a new category, called “Featured.” It’s designed for significant posts that belong on the front page for multiple days. If you’re an author, feel free to use it, but do so advisedly. I’ll reserve the right to manage that category, adding and removing posts at whim, like a petty dictator.

On the todo list, I’ll get gravatars back in place in the comments. If you find anything else wonky, let me know and I’ll try to squeeze it back into place. Apart from that, enjoy!

Server Down

The server will be down tonight for several hours. It’s going to Zack’s party, and will likely drink way too much. Hopefully, it will be back up and on the job early in the morning, and won’t be forced to take a personal day.


Wedding Cinematography

I’ve been producing wedding videos for about 5 years now. Five years. Whoa. I didn’t even realize just how long I’ve been doing this, until I decided to put together a “Best-Of” Cinematography reel – specifically for wedding work, without the other fluff.

Anyway. Here it is. It’s not often I get to shamelessly promote myself, so I’m jumping in whole-hog. (Pardon the crap-tastic quality of Google Video. A higher-quality Quicktime version is available for viewing on my site)

Things That Are Flammable, In Order of How Awesome My Discovery of Said Flammability Was At Age 12

  1. Gasoline (my experiments were nothing if not exhaustive)
  2. Dry spaghetti noodles (used in a pinch to light a gas stove)
  3. Cotton Candy (why do more people not know about this one?)
  4. WD40 (in aerosol form only)
  5. Lighter fluid (can be mixed with sand and spread out to form incredibly awesome “flaming desert” campaign with toy soldier)
  6. Paraffin (note: melted down in sauce pan, spilled some over side onto open flame, whole pan caught on fire. Awesome results could not be duplicated, even after multiple iterations of test conditions)
  7. Scotch tape (part 2 of the experiment, wherein fumes of said burning are collected and inhaled, or “huffed”, was inconclusive)
  8. Dried rose petals (experiment was conducted in the hollowed-out bottom of a broom handle, with fume aperture drilled into the side and connected to a venting tube. Crushed and dried petals did not ignite but smoldered successfully)
  9. Tennis ball slit open and filled kerosene (media reports of this experiment greatly exaggerate the danger of the test conditions. First, if a certain neighborhood collaborator known as M. Baum hadn’t been so afraid of a flaming ball of fire being kicked through the air toward him, he might have successfully blocked it from hitting the pine tree. Secondly, with a little circumspection and foresight, said M. Baum might have realized that the best way to extinguish a tennis ball filled up with flammable liquid is NOT with vigorous stomping. I believe this experiment can, and should, be conducted again with more carefully selected personnel in assisting roles.)
  10. Epichlorohydrin, one of the two compounds used in making epoxy, when cooked together with nitrate fertilizer over low heat and set in a paper cup suspended over a flaming mason jar full of windshield washer fluid. For best results, conduct experiment underneath a trampoline while 8-year-old sister is jumping above you.

Remember kids, if your home flammability experiments don’t result in being placed on the Homeland Security Terrorist Watch List, you’re not doing it right.

Ubuntu, Baby

This is my daughter, showing me how the drawing program works on her new linux computer. I set it up for her, and 30 seconds later she told me to go away, because she didn’t need my help anymore.

My work here is done.

Mr. Stick Goes To University

So, our very own Mr. Stick has accepted a teaching gig. Once a week, he trucks down from his mountain retreat to mold the young minds of the flailing music students at William Jessup University. Apparently, they’re so desperate for teachers that they overlooked his obvious character flaws and total lack of competence, and let him loose on the topic of “Audio Recording.” Pfffft. Like Stick has any experience to bring to that class. He’ll probably just lecture straight from the book, with no practical application at all. Probably.

So, anyway, congratulations Stick. I believe classes start this week. I thought we could use this post to give the new professor some really, really bad advice to get him started off right! I’ll start:

Most students mistake weird for smart. If you can’t inspire through overwhelming mastery of the subject, inspire through eccentricity. The end result is the same. Mostly.

Best of luck, Stick. Advise on, my fearless roadsters.