The Power Of She pt. 2

Here is part 2 of a four part series of women in music in the Northeast Ohio area. As most new things I wanted to start out acknowledging the people in my own front/back yards first. There are so many amazing music makers here that need to be heard. I hope you all tak a moment to check em out and let em know that their music matters.

In part 2 we interviewed Mariama Whyte. She was so gracious in letting us in to her world for a few moments. We got a chance to hear her story behind the music. Be sure to check out Mariama Whyte and let her know that her music matters.

We also feature music from Stacey Richardson-Crawford aka Sarah’s GirlJ.PennelopeNeo Souljah, and Gwen Maul. Be sure to check the music of these amazing artists.

String Theory – House Of Yarn

So for those who haven’t heard, I released an instrumental project called String Theory. This is, as my wife calls it, music for creatives. 

This project is the musical interpretation of my wife’s fiber art collections. House Of Yarn was inspired by works that will amazingly accessorize any outfit. 

(Photograph courtesy of Jef Janis of Double Vision Photographic)

The production concept for this track is cinematic and orchestral in texture with a house feel. I created the whole peice on my iPad in my dining room with stock orchestral samples provided in the Garage Band app. There were some filler textures needed so I played those myself and programmed the drums to make it “jack”. (Jack is a terminology used to describe house music as funky and danceable). 

Ideally I envisioned the Akron Symphony Orchestra along with a DJ doing this song for a “haute couture” fashion show for my wife. We can dream right? 

You can purchase or stream the song by clicking on the link ——->House Of Yarn. It’s Orchestra meets 808. Take a listen. ENJOY!!! 

Time to make some noise!!! (The Journey To Building The Perfect Home Studio)

So you’re building your home studio. You’re ready to start cranking out hits, making beats and making musical history, right? Let me guess. You want that big impressive studio sound. Right? One problem.. WHERE IN THE HECK DO YOU START!? There are a gojillion of articles and blogs written about this subject.

Two Facebook friends, Karen Marie Mason and Christopher Allen (shout outs to https://karenmariemason.com) shared an article to help newbies get started on building their own labs. I thought the article was missing a few important components. So they (along with my wife) thought I should write a blog about what I know and how I built mine. Now this blog..

I’ll try and make this painless.

Let’s start with the REAL music and where it comes from. It comes from inside of YOU. Your lab is an extension of you. Your voice. Your personality your sensibilities. Your musical imagination. Your home studio is PERSONAL. So the first question is Who are you? What do you want your musical footprint to sound like. This question won’t be answered until you start experimenting right? You can start experimenting with other peoples’ stuff first to get an idea of what it is YOU like. Go to the music store. Ask questions. Go to studios in your area. Ask to sit in on sessions. Volunteer your services for the information of what they use and how they use it. Mics, instruments, cables, headphones, room set-up, EVERYTHING! This is how you learn. This is how I learned. And I after saw the tools and learned a few tricks of the trade, it was time to have my own.

For me, I wanted to make my small itty bitty lab have the quality of the Hit Factory. I researched (and continue to research) all the stuff and tricks I need to accomplish my goal. The experimenting never stops. What is YOUR goal for your home studio? Do you want the Hit Factory sound from your bedroom/basement/attic/living room? Do you want to make simple beats and samples? Do you want to record your friends and the public to make money? It’s really all up to YOU. What is your purpose? Who are YOU!!!???

The Brains of the operation… Your Computer

You can spend anywhere from $500-$3000 for a computer. There are a lot of choices (and articles/blogs/links) out there but here are some basic things you wanna look for when searching for a computer.

1. Processors – This is a tough one because a 3.0 Ghz processor is a huge difference if it’s let’s say dual core or quad-core. Processing is extremely important (besides RAM below), because it allows us to work in a quicker, more fluid manner. The faster you can work, the more ideas you can get out of your head and into your music canvas. I would go with at least a 3.0 processor that is at least a dual core.
2. There must be at least 6-8 GB of RAM.
3. At least 500 MB of memory – This is up to you, as some say 1TB at least; however, 500 MB is pretty hefty if you aren’t downloading sounds and storing them on the computer or using the device for anything else (such as work, school, images and videos). External hard-drives are strongly recommended.
4. A big enough screen to work with (12″ and up).
5. Video cards don’t matter at all unless you’re editing videos.

Laptops or Desktops? MAC or PC? Totally up to you and your lifestyle and your personal sensibilities. The idea is to create your creative space and to make it personal for YOU.

There is a level of engineering involved too. Don’t get scared. Remember hanging out with the friends with their own labs or hanging in the big studios? Well did you pay attention to the mics and the other equipment? Did you hear what the finished product sound like? Remember… Music production is the process of making a recording. This process is about a perspective. YOUR perspective and the tools needed to manifest your musical ideas.

DAW (Reasons, Pro-Tools, Studio-1, Logic, Ableton etc)

Your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is just as personal. Find out which one is easiest for you to work on. BUY your software from a reputable firm or directly from the developer!!!! What you’re buying is the tech support. When I had a problem with my software, I emailed them with a very detailed problem. 24hrs later, one of the actual programmers hit me back with details on how to fix my problem. IT WAS SO COOL!!! Registering your software is great because it gives you access to the neat tricks and workflow ideas from producers all around the world who use the same program as YOU. Letting your buddy loading it up on your computer can sometimes prove fatal to your computer. If you want to experiment with software there are some demo or trial versions you can get directly from the software developer that are safe and free!!!!

USB Mixer / Audio Interface / Microphones

Again. This depends on what you’re trying to do. Big vocal arrangements, instrumental arrangements, or just using midi instruments/controllers and making beats and samples. Research is key to find out what equipment and prices are for you. Same thing for all other equipment.

A lot of the mistakes people make (or the guys I know around here in Ohio) is that they get equipment made for big studios and not the home. In your search for your equipment, you may want to look for stuff made for home recording. The home is a “sonically unstable environment”. If you buy a $600 dynamic mic it may pick up the guy next door burping. Those things pick up EVERYTHING! So I started on an SM57 by Shure which usually run about $99 but I got it on sale for $78.

Monitor/speakers

In my research on the worlds most influential producers, the man at that top of the list is Quincy Jones. He mixed the world’s highest selling album on small speakers. “If you can make it sound good in little crap speakers, when you put the music on big speakers, it will sound amazing”. I was like wow!!! Well if Quincy Jones said it, than it must be true, right? I looked for speakers in my price range which was $150. Then I read an interesting article from SoundOnSound.com about “Flat Monitors” (monitors for “desktop recording” that has no bass or highs unless you put the frequency in the mix). I bought AV40 by M-Audio that doesn’t vibrate bass off the walls. Here is a link for you engineering types to define “Flat Frequency”. http://www.centerpointaudio.com/HowToUnderstandFlatFrequencyResponseGraph.aspx

http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-are-there-any-studio-monitors-available-fit-my-budget (the link that got my attention)

In a home situation you may want to keep smaller less powerful speaker/monitors for two reasons. One…. to get the truthful sound as possible and two…. Your neighbors may not share you love for music like you do (TURN THAT S**T DOWN!!!) Again you want sound quality which should bring you to research on how to get a great mix. There are are so many mixing tutorials on YouTube that show you how to mix regarding your software and equipment (or comparable equipment). The one thing that stands out for me in all of these experiments was when I was in a mixing session in Hollywood Hills, California in a studio that faces Universal Studios building… “At the end of the day, mixing is a preference. There is YOUR preference and then there is the labels’ preference.” Find out what what YOUR preference is first. Get good at your sound. Train your ears how to listen for frequencies. This helps when buying mics and headphones. You’ll find that every song you make is going to sound sonically different. It suppose to! Be sure to rest your ears to be able to tell the difference.

One Thing At A Time

I failed to mention that I didn’t go out buying everything at once. I bought one thing at a time. What I did was (in order):

*Saved and purchased my computer(desktop.. no plans to be moving around)

*Downloaded my demo software(I tried a few before I found my favorite which was recommended by another producer friend of mine) 

*Purchased my USB MIXER INTERFACE & M-AUDIO USB MIDI CABLE WITH DRIVER (I wanted to record my guitars and voice – I purchased and still use the Xenyx 1204 mixer with phantom power for my mic. I had a Casio midi Keyboard that I used as a controller at the time. It works well with the software I purchased)

*Purchased headphones (at the same time I purchased my USB Mixer Interface I was using regular headphones out of the headphone jack before I bought my headphone monitors)

*Purchased FULL REGISTERED VERSION DAW (purchased with 3 installments from http://sweetwater.com

*Purchased my Microphone/extra cables.

*Purchased M-Audio AV40 powered speaker/monitors

And of course other little accessories came later like an extra screen and controllers and beat pads and keyboard stands for the new piano I ended up getting.. that happens. LOL.. In all it took me a year and a half in building the basics for ME to get started. It may be longer or shorter depending on what you want to create out of your home studio and your budget. Don’t forget to do your homework. I started with soundonsound.com. This sight got me started on my way and from time to time they have really good engineers who are willing to talk with you and give you other ideas to help you on your journey.

For a consultation contact me at eriq@eriqtroi.com

#ProtestMusic – Badge #666

Badge #666 is my audio interpretation of police brutality and the unjust laws that it comes from. Police brutality is also deeply rooted in the white supremacist mindset that goes back over 300 years. The recent events in the murdering of unarmed people of color is the result of centuries of the fear of change. As history has it, when ever there is change in the face of this mindset, it is opposed with violence with unjust laws to insure that this chaos prevails.

 

HOWEVER!!! 

The good thing about chaos is, as history also tells us, it’s nature is to implode on itself… and those who cause it!

In any event, I look forward to a healthy conversation about the music, this post, and pursuit to coming up with idealogical solutions to this mental DIS ease in this country…

It starts with me… you … WE…

January Mix.. Let’s Dance.. Let’s Shout..

Hey Everybody

I wanted to start the new year with music!!! Obviously right?? LOL.. anyway I wanted to start out by being thankful for the previous year with all of it’s ups and downs. I am thankful that I am here doing what I love to do.. which is music and entertaining people.

Every month I will be posting a new mix of house music to inspire, move and uplift… My goal is to help the world dance. House music has always allowed people to unite under ONE song and love. I hope these tunes will help the world do just that.. UNITE!

This new mix is my housemix of The Jacksons “Shake Your Body Down”. Of course I added some of my own musicianship as well as show off my production skills.. I hope you all enjoy this!!!

Enough of the talk! Now DANCE and SHOUT!! OH.. by the way.. A new original single is coming soon.. Stay tuned!!!! PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS!!! I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!

#EDM … Gone Crazy!!!

I am always trying to push the limits in musical expression.. I love experimenting with sounds and ideas.. well.. here is my idea of EDM gone Crazy.. By all means please leave a comment.. Oh yeah.. some of these are FREE to download!!!

This experience is what I call Synthetic Soul (The White Lable Chronicles)… I combined variations of house, funk(of couse), dub-step, rock/metal, and trap on top of samples, and beats… Of course there is the HUMAN element to the music.. didn’t wanna have it all the way mechanical so I played all the instruments too.

My philosophy is “humanity should dictate the technology not the other way around” hence the blending of the sounds with instruments..

LIKE SHARE ENJOY!!!!!!

Fur Elise.. EHG Groove

I was going through my catalog of stuff (that has yet to be heard) to revisited my old joint Fur Elise off the first EHG project “From The Basement To The Heart.. Life’s Soundtrack Vol. 1” and I thought wow!!! This joint is really good.. Ok I’m sounding like a narcissist.. but for real though.. no seriously.. check it out! (on iTunes too)
I went back to the thought and time when this tune first came to me… In Germany. I originally did this with a jazz quartet while I was living outside of Heidelberg, Germany. I’ve always love this joint and thought Hmm.. wouldn’t it be cool to honor the cat that made this tune.
The concept came from the thought of Beethoven being funky. LOL. Yeah I know… right.. but the fellas in the band that it would be cool to tackle it and make it a 4/4 count to give a groove. Add some bottom(bass that is) and make the piano swing a little.. We performed it in this little joint by the hauptbaunhoft (main train station) in the middle of Mannheim and the natives seemed to really dig the rendition of Ludwig’s funky new old classic.. LOL.. The crazy thing is that we never got around to recording it.
Welp… 2009 comes around and finally the time came to record it. Back in the States.. different cats of course. It took on a whole different interpretation from my original concept. It was more laid back but still just as powerful.. maybe in more. I love experimenting with all types of musical concepts and styles. This version took on a more jazz fusion flava with a dramatic climax towards the end instead of the swing. However it still have the element of GROOVE. Check it out.. Like Share Enjoy!

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