I am supposed to be writing a piece of chamber music, which has to be finished, like, yesterday. I am, therefore, of course, doing anything and everything but that. Here’s today’s little time waster. By the way, singing through a hymn 20 times is a great act of meditation and contemplation. Those words start to take on serious meaning.O For A Thousand Tongues
I am a Logic guy. On Logic, I can fly. I can bend it and tweak it and make it do anything and everything I need, and I can do it with my eyes closed. But, this project was tracked in Pro Tools, and I need to really understand that software better, so I’m forcing myself to finish the whole project in Pro Tools.
Yesterday, I spent 90 minutes figuring out how to remove the basic volume automation that the tracking engineer had used to make a rough mix. I just about put a fist through the monitor.
I own a house now. Last week, I needed to fix a few small gaps in the brick around out pool. 90 minutes later, I was covered in mortar glue (which does not wash off), unable to touch anything without coating it with thick sludgy stainy cement glue gunk, the bricks were permanently stained with huge swaths of the crap, and the initial problem was still not solved.
I hate, HATE, feeling incompetent. I just want to scream “I am an intelligent, skilled, and valuable person … I just SUUUUUUUUCK at THIS!” I have to fight so hard not to give up, to force myself through to the other side. I know that someday, I will be able to set mix groups for Pro Tools in my sleep. I know that someday, I will be able to repair masonry without permanently damaging myself or our home.
It’s just that today, that someday seems eternally far away.
One of my favorite things is that moment where a student of mine figures out, usually a few seconds before the line “Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds, boy”, that the song “Desperado” by The Eagles is waaaaay too high for them to sing. But, being the troopers that they are, they insist on doing it in the original key for their final project.
So, this was kind of fun. I started classes on Thursday, and I opened up my first lecture for “Intro to Music Tech” by playing this video. Picture 20 kids in a room, with the speakers turned on full blast, and this rolling. It was very fun.
I apologize for the compression of the video – it looks awful on the upload.
Also, for any of you interested in following along with the class lectures (nerd!), the whole semester is being podcast.
I sacrificed 8 hours for Lady Justice today. I got up at 5:45, rode the metro to downtown LA, went through metal detectors and a body cavity search in order to sit in a cattle-car room with 200 other people, waiting to see if we got asked to serve on a jury.
There was a tense moment when the superviser announced that they were calling names for a 30 day, sequestered trial, and we all held our breathe praying that we didn’t get called. Beyond that, the day was pretty dull. I sat around until 3:30, at which point they sent us home, our duty served.
So, here’s why I love LA. I was sitting in a room with 200 randomly selected people, including
Also, I sat next to this guy:
Brian Joseph, and we argued about MIDI integration in Protools 7 vs. Logic 7. I love that you can plop down next to some random guy in LA, and there’s a pretty good chance that he will have a deeply passionate and well-reasoned opinion on which production software environment works best for a given project.
So, today is the end of the Spring semester at APU, and I’m in the midst of grading final projects for my students. Today is one of those days where I realize that I could do this for the rest of my life.
I teach Music Technology, which is ostensibly about teaching students how to be mini-geeks, but in reality, it’s a clever ruse for me to get to teach them about composition, orchestration, physics, philosophy, production, collaboration, asthetics, and how to use their brain in sticky ways.
Here’s why I love today. I get to see how they take everything I’ve taught them, and put it all together in one project. They write original music (or do take-downs of existing pop songs), and create full demos of them, with audio tracking, editing, mixdown, the whole deal. I was blown away by the maturity that these 19-year-old students are already showing in their creative work, and so, like a proud teacher, I’m going to brag on them a bit.
You should head on over to this post on my course site, and listen to the Hall of Fame, the best projects from each class as voted on by the students. Remember that, for most of them, the first time they touched Logic Pro was 4 months ago.
I think they would be thrilled if some of you wanted to stop by and listen, and maybe leave some feedback in the comments section.