Tag Archives: audio

Graphicly Explained

I’ve been on a slow quest to make my lecture slides fit my presentation style better. Moving from content and text heavy slides, where every important definition is typed out, to a style where the slides serve almost as a visual soundtrack to the lecture, emphasizing important ideas with single words, or just a picture.

So, I’m pretty pleased with this slide I built last night, for today’s lecture on transducers. Transducers are a class of objects that convert energy from one format to another. Microphones and speakers are both transducers. To illustrate the idea, I hacked together different images to get this:

My dream is to sometime have a full-on budget where I can hire Corey to build all of my lecture presentations for me (and, of course, dress me), but until then, I’ll muddle through with only my own unerring sense of design and a hefty amount of copyright violation.

handbell samples

This is for all my homeboys who are gearing up for another year of Christmas miracles.

Know what the hardest instrument sample to find is? Handbells. Well, here ya go. FMJ has a very decent set, for the low price of free (for the lo-fi version, fine for arranging) or $5 (for the hi-fi version). Check out the linky link, and go get yourself some piercing ringy dingy xmas tingly in a can.

Charlie Peacock on the Future of CCM

Charlie Peacock wrote a piece for the final print issue of CCM Magazine, on the future of Christian Music. Well worth a read:

In the future, young musicians will think that all Christian music is dated and boring, and they will create something they think is current, relative and exciting. They will say things like: “We just wanna show people that you can be a Christian and have fun, too.” Or, “We’re not gonna hit people over the head with the Bible. We’re not Christian musicians; we’re musicians who are Christians.” Or, “We are totally sold out to Jesus. We don’t write vague, sugar-coated lyrics.”

It will be nothing but retread hubris though. I will roll my eyes and grumble that history is hell-bent on repeating itself.

Read the whole thing here.

(ht: The Black Nail)

Servant of Grace

I wrote a song about 3 years ago that we’re pulling back out and dusting off for the next 3 weeks at church. Doug’s starting a series about actually doing things, serving the community in which we’ve been placed, you know, that whole Kingdom thing.

This song seemed to fit. You can download the chart and the demo, and use it freely if you’d like. Or, mock it intensely in the comments, either way.


Downloads: Demo / Chart

Special Guest

So, guess who is coming to talk to my Production Techniques class about how to write and record a song? Charlie Peacock.

You know, the guy who produced albums for Switchfoot, Isaac Slade (The Fray), Nichole Nordeman, Leigh Nash, Amy Grant, David Crowder Band, Audio Adrenaline, Sara Groves, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Al Green, CeCe Winans, Brent Bourgeois, Twila Paris, Sarah Masen, Susan Ashton, Avalon, Philip Bailey, Margaret Becker, Michael Card, Bob Carlisle, Eric Champion, Steven Curtis Chapman, The Choir, Michael English, Béla Fleck, Steve Green, Cheri Keaggy, Phil Keaggy, Scott Krippayne, Kevin Max, Cindy Morgan, Out of the Grey, Ginny Owens, Chris Rice, the 77s, Sixpence None The Richer, Michael Tait, Steve Taylor, and about 2 dozen more.

I think we might need to erect police barricades to keep kids from stuffing his pocket full of demos.

The Dailies House Band

How hot is that guy on the B3, eh?

A few thoughts:

  1. The camera guy doesn’t know the difference between a bass and an electric guitar.
  2. Over the past few years, Rosy’s left hand has become the thunderstick of justice on the snare drum.
  3. Nothing beats a real B3. Nothing else even comes close.
  4. That dress is 3 inches away from being NC-17.
  5. This is video evidence of Katharine McPhee asking us to be her house band. This was probably more exciting last week than this week.

When Your Kingdom Comes

So, I mentioned in a previous comment a song that Chad and I wrote about 4 years ago. I’ve been trying to dig it up to rearrange for small groups, and finally tracked down the demo. I’m posting it here because, well, this seems to be the only place I can put things where I won’t lose them! We originally did this as a demo for Avalon, based on a request from Jody McBrayer. It made it to the final table cut, but then they pulled it. They told us that they were already committed to a song that sounded similar. Then, the album came out and it turns out they were big stinking liars. And that’s why Chad and I do not drive a matching pair of Lexuses (Lexi? Lexium? Beemers.).

Share and Enjoy!


When Your Kingdom Comes
by Michael A. Lee and Chad C. Reisser

Bonus points if you can name the guys who played (1) drums, (2) bass, and (3) guitars. Chad, you don’t get to play.

Audio Christmas Card ’07 — Hark This

Well, I told you I’d post it, and here I am a whole week early. In between all the gift giving and receiving and hustle and bustle, we threw this little ditty together to complete our three song homemade gift for family and friends (ya’ll :)

Perhaps you’ve heard about the so-called “War on Christmas.” I, myself, think it’s all a bunch of Christian baiting hype, and I have only one pet peeve, and it’s been going for years and years and years. It’s the fact that when people talk about Christmas Carols, they mean.. Rudolph. Frosty. Sleigh Ride.

Bah Humbug.

What follows, my friends, is a Christmas Carol. This is where theology and poetry intersect with timeless results. It was my hope to draw attention to the staggeringly beautiful lyric while at the same time catapulting the arrangement into another time zone. I’m hoping to clobber you with joy. If you’re hoping for sublime and articulate, I suggest you look elsewhere. :)

Merry Post-Christmas, friends.


Authors note: After many unsuccessful attempts to embed the cool audio thingie in the post without help of the webmaster (who apparantly thinks that it’s alright not to answer his cell phone on Christmas day – BTW, Mike… yeah… that 2nd message, the one where I said I had it figured out… premature) I just did a workaround.

When you read this, Mike… feel free to fix it, delete this, and mock me.

(ed: fixed, snarky comments left intact for posterity)

Oh, and then tell me our track is great.

That Night, They Dreamed

Things move quick around here, kids. Gotta stay on your toes. Remember that poem from yesterday, “That Night” by an unknown author? I had a few hours at the piano today, and got to write a new tune for it.

Chad, I’m sure I’ve borrowed some from your original setting, but I’m not worried about being sued by you, because to do that you would have to find the original, and you swore up and down yesterday that you had no idea where it is. I’m gonna go ahead and call that legal immunity.

Here it is. Since the author is unknown, I felt free to take a few minor liberties with the words, and the title.

“That Night, They Dreamed”

The arrangement for Sunday is piano, vocals, and a string quartet. The interludes you hear are meant to be played by the quartet, and the cadenza solo section will be done by the violinist (Alex, you did get me good players, right?)

Audio Christmas Card ’07

Greetings, Christmas participants worldwide.

Mercifully, this blessed season of joy, peace, and early bird specials is drawing to a climax, with the big day just around the corner. This being our first year of Christmas in the post-church-employment era, and consequently also being the first Christmas of the post-regular-paycheck era, Erica and I have decided to augment our gift giving with a couple of homemade goodies.

First, we present Ella. Ella is 4 and a half years old, and we decided that she was old enough to participate. I do not believe I am just speaking from a perspective of proud papa when I say that if you can get through the next 3 minutes without a big, stupid grin on your face, then bah humbug indeed.


Next, the grownups would like to serenade you about the children.


I have some commentary for the tracks if anyone’s interested. I’ll post in the comments section in time. Tracking a vocal session with a 4 year old? Yes, it was entertaining, thanks for asking.

I’ve actually got a 3rd one cooking and if I can get it done before New Years, I’ll post it for ya’ll. If not, We wish you a very Merry, peaceful Christmas to you and yours in the days to come. I know that I’m trying to reconnect with Jesus in 2008, and I hope the same for you.

Student Projects (Fall 2007)

It’s that time of year again – another semester finished, and time to grade the final projects. This used to be a bittersweet thing, knowing that just as these students were getting to really understand how to use technology in musical ways, I had to pass them off to the rest of the faculty, and never get to teach them again. Now, though, I get to see them again their final year, when they take the Studio Production course. Instead of being wistful, I start to get excited about what these freshman are going to be capable of in 4 years.

So, here’s this year’s round of “Best Of”. I’m grading all day today, so I’ll keep adding to this post as I go along. Enjoy!

(As a reminder, I’m posting these here just as a “Hey, check out this cool stuff my students are doing,” not as a “Hey, all of my highly talented professional musician friends, please harshly critique these earnest attempts at doing what you do.”)

Intro to Music Tech

“100 Years”, programmed and recorded by Mason Schroder. Mason doesn’t play keyboards so, being stubborn, he inserted every single note in the piano part using the mouse and the matrix grid. Yup. That’s like rebuilding the bay bridge using legos.


“Drowning in Shallow Love”, by Kenton Fukuda. This is an arrangement of a song performed by his band Twentyfour64. Check the vocals; that kid has pipes.

Production Techniques

This is the class where the students do absolutely everything – songwriting, arranging, contracting musicians, engineering the session, mixdown, the whole kit. Usually, it involves quite a bit of innovation on their part to get the whole thing done with limited studio resources and no money. This semester was the best to day, in terms of overall quality of the final product. Here are the standouts:

“Tiny Soldiers” by the production team RiCE/BeANS, written by Scott Ryan.


“Aunque Gigantes” by the team RiCE/BeANS, arranged and produced by Alejandro Martinez, who might be one of the best students I’ve ever had. Smart, humble, eager, and talented. May his tribe increase.


“Mud In My Eyes” by Production Team 2 (they didn’t come up with a fancy name). This is almost entirely the work of Robbie DeLong (who also sings on it). He spent this last summer interning with Chris Steffen out at Eldorado.


Post Arranging Stress Disorder

Remember this? Well, it’s finished, and here’s the final version. Some fun stuff, and no, I didn’t have time to mix it, so get off my case Stick. Sheesh. Here’s the show opener:

download the score: Wyatt Show Opener

And here’s the show closer:
download the score: Wyatt Show Closer

I love it when a plan comes together! And by comes together, I mean “the check clears”.