My Own Studio

Keifer Sutherland, the star of the hit series 24, is an avid guitar collector and he also has a small recording studio. You know, one of those tiny bedroom studios with an SSL G series console and roughly 15,000 square feet of recording space.

Jeff Cooper was the architect for this high-end facility.

A Canadian, a guitar player and a recording studio owner. Just like me!


Keifer, Guitars

Ironworks Studios

Are You A Nerd?

May not be scientific but then you never know. Take the test here. It is pretty quick. Sad to say, I am way too nerdy. I am shocked by this finding.

I am nerdier than 97% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Blogging Is Just A Fad

I came across this data point:

Microsoft poised to take blogosphere lead: 7 million blogs, 100,000 new blogs being created per day

Microsoft is poised to become the blogosphere’s leading provider of blogs according to figures reported today in the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft is quoted as saying there are now over 7 million blogs on MSN Spaces and that the service is currently growing at the extraordinary rate of 100,000 blogs per day, at which rate the service would pass Google’s Blogger and SixApart LiveJournal to become the largest blogging service on the planet at some stage during the next fortnight.

The service was launched in beta form in December and claimed 1 million members at the beginning of January. The service came out of beta in early April, when the number of users was said to be 4.5 million. The full launch also included the ability of MSN Messenger users to post directly to the service, credited by many as the driving force behind the recent growth.

Microsoft will likely break the 10 million mark in May of 2005. That is a lot of blogs. Clearly, blogging is just a fad. 😉


Jack In The Box

I am not particularly happy with the current political environment in Canada. I found this excerpt from Warren Kinsella to be right on the money. As it were.

The Right Honourable Jack Layton, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada

Prime Minister Layton has been an impassioned social advocate for more than 30 years. As the national voice for municipalities as president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, a city councilor or a student leader, Mr. Layton has brought energy and leadership to achieve change. He is also well-known to every Torontonian as a skilled, utterly-ruthless negotiator.

Mr. Layton is a long-time New Democrat who, less than two years after winning the NDP leadership, became Prime Minister of Canada in a bloodless coup on the evening of April 26, 2005. As his first act in office, Prime Minister Layton announced sweeping changes to a number of economic and social policies associated with his immediate predecessor, whose name we now forget. He also plans to abolish the military and the banks later today, then have lunch with a homeless person.

Born in Hudson, Quebec in 1950, Mr. Layton grew up in Montreal and attended both McGill and York Universities. He holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, and an MA and PhD from York University, his PhD thesis titled ‘How To Run Entire Countries With A Caucus Of Less Than 20 MPs.’ In 1974, Mr. Layton became a tenured professor at Ryerson Polytechnic University, and has taught at both York and the University of Toronto. Most recently, he has taught quite a few Liberals about how to seize and wield power.

Prime Minister Layton entered politics in 1982 when he was elected to Toronto City Council. During his career, he has served on the boards of electrical utilities, arts organizations and boards of health. He has never met a payroll, and is not about to start now, thank you very much.

Canada’s newest Prime Minister is married to Olivia Chow, a former Toronto city councilor. He has two children, Sarah, 26, and Mike, 23. The family will be moving into 24 Sussex as soon as the present occupants can be made to understand that they do not run the country any more- and, in fact, never did.


I Love My Job

Quite an interesting and passionate post. A person who truly seems to love his job.

What a fortunate soul.


At church on Sunday, the senior pastor said that if someone was not in a small group, then that person was not part of the church community.

I am not in a small group.

I’ll have to think about this. I have not been in a small group for a while largely due to this crazy schedule of mine. The license plate below says it all.

Out of time

Fix It In The Mix

I was busy in the studio for most of the week-end. Saturday’s tracking was an interesting experience.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the session on Saturday. I was tracking two electric guitars. The players had little in the way of recording experience.

One player did a fantastic job and the other struggled. And, trying to track both at the same time was very ineffective. No surprise there. Unless you work with first call session players, you have a random chance of being productive in a studio session when doubling up on overdubs. The producer was wanting to get as much done in the time available. It did not happen. We went behind schedule.

For example, we spent almost an hour tracking 20 bars of one single arpeggiated guitar track. Very frustrating. And, I don’t think that guitar track will make it. There were timing issues and issues with tone.

So, overall, a negative impact on our productivity for the day. Between 9:00am and 3:00pm, we had only worked through two songs. The second player was simply not ready to record.

A remarkable contrast all the same. One player was highly talented, prepared and had obviously worked on getting the best sound out of his instrument. The second player was an intermediate talent. He was not prepared and his instrument and amplifier setup delivered poor tone. In my view, part of the issue was also in his hands. He did not seem capable of making the instrument sing.

I bet you can guess which takes sounded better. Capturing a great sound always starts with the player.

I did the best I could with the tracks from the second player and I prepared a dub yesterday. It will be a tough call for this group. I have seen this happen many, many times over. A player might seem okay in a live setting. A recording session quickly uncovers a lot of fundamental issues around tone and technique. And, quite frankly, tone and technique are vital to the overall calibre of musicianship.

I have been asked about how I compensate for sloppy technique when recording guitar. And, for a commercial quality release, the answer is obvious: I don’t. The appropriate counsel is to find someone who can play the part. I have threaded the needle with developing players before and I wind up taking several hours to hobble something together that a good player could lay down in a few minutes. The hobbled part never really sounds good. True, you can process the heck out of a track and try to bury it in the mix. But, like any well crafted work of art, quality is found in the details.

Home At Last

My daughter returned home from university. And, she will be home all summer. I remember how difficult it was for me to leave her at university last fall. I had so many concerns and a sense that somehow I was abandoning her.

She has done so well. Her faith is strong. She has developed a wide network of friends. She has matured as a person.

I am really proud of her.