Another week in the books… so they say. How is it the middle of June already? This year is going by so quickly and yet also at a snails pace. The shortest longest year I’ve lived.
It’s 1:21 in the morning and I should probably be in bed, but instead I’m sitting at the computer and combing through the internet as if I’m searching for the edge. Drawn to the screen like a moth to a porch light; or in this case June Bugs… Those crunchy little shits are quite abundant in the midwest this time of year. God forbid you stand near a light after dark… it’s like being shot by a shitty paintball gun.
Anyway… I digress. Let’s recap the day. All-in-all it’s been a pretty pleasant Saturday. I woke up a bit later than I had planned. I had two beers the night before and I hardly ever drink these days. Felt kinda nasty. You people that imbibe this shit on a regular basis are gluttons for punishment. That, or perhaps you’re past the initiation hump and feel no pain. Or you just don’t give a shit and do it anyway. Either way, I felt kinda nasty and it was compounded by some muscle soreness from doing resistance band exercises on Thursday because now that I’m old, you have to do shit like that just to exist. I’m trying to get in shape. This whole quarantine situation has really taken a shit on my normal routine. In some ways it hasn’t been all that bad; but I’ve definitely been eating more and moving less which is a bit of a problem. So I’m trying to fix it.
Lauren and I went to the coffee shop for a bit to check up on all the construction progress. We’re having quite a lot done as we prepare to bring the shop into this new COVID-19 world. It’s going to be weird, but we’re definitely not the type of people that shy away from weird. We’re just adapting and figuring it out. The break has been good. It’s given us time to think things over and re-assess what’s important to us. Our priorities are different now. Once all the hustle and bustle came to a stop and all the noise had gone quiet, it was easier to think. Moving forward we are going to prioritize happiness over the seemingly never-ending chase for more. This will result in fewer days open, and less hours worked. It’s the best possible solution. Mainly because the more you give, the more that will be taken… Until there’s nothing left. Understanding your limits can be extremely liberating; although it sounds really funny to say that limits are liberating.
After we spent some time at the shop, we went to Menards and picked up a bunch of used railroad ties to create a border for our backyard fire pit. We’d been meaning to do this for a while, but today the weather was perfect and it happened. I don’t know if the demographic of my blog knows much about railroad ties, but they’re ridiculously heavy and a huge pain in the ass to move; especially with just two people. I mean, we got it done… but it wasn’t easy. Tomorrow we’ll take some measurements and then get some gravel and finish it up. If I don’t get caught up in just living my life, I’ll try and take some pictures.
On the bright side of things… I had the foresight to double dip our time working in the yard to fire up the BBQ. I smoked a pork shoulder tonight on the Traeger. I’ve finally got my pork shoulder situation dialed in on this machine. I found the right temperature, the perfect pre-wrap smoke time, and the perfect post-wrap time. It turned out great. We’ll definitely be snacking on this for the next couple of days. It will definitely make it into some tacos tomorrow.
This post goes out to all you moms out there. Doing the mom things that you do. Oh, and it also goes out to my mother-in-law who did a fairly good job on my wife. I don’t really have a relationship with my own mother (long story), so it’s nice that Lauren and I were able to invite her mom over and treat her to dinner. We opted to fire up the grill and make some classic americana in the form of hamburgers because it’s one of her not-so-guilty pleasures. We also opted for some grilled asparagus. It’s nice that she’s able to just come over and relax. She’s always putting the needs of everyone else first, so it’s nice for her to just take a moment and relax while we take care of the details.
So yeah, that wraps up our Mothers Day celebration. I hope you all made an effort to show the mom(s) in your lives some love and respect. After all, without mom’s, we wouldn’t exist. That would be the worst.
Being a co-owner of The Caffeinery means that there’s always work to be done. More often than not, it’s administrative details… Because… Let’s be real, the shop isn’t going to run itself. Someone has to be there to put out the fires and make sure that things are running as smoothly as possible. Employees need to be trained and maintained. Emails aren’t going to reply to themselves. It’s a never-ending list of tasks that Lauren and I happily tackle. That being said, it’s always a welcome break to have the opportunity to get behind the espresso machine and knock out beautiful hand-crafted drinks for our patrons. Here are a few of my pours from today. It’s an absolute joy to be able to serve such wonderful creations to people and watch how they positively transform a person’s day.
I apologize for the lackluster photos, I had to snap them real quick before serving them. Ha
Over the years I have recorded music using a variety of equipment ranging from mini cassette recorders to large mixing consoles. My first legit recording devices was a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder that was given to me when my guitar player’s brother upgraded his own recording setup. I didn’t care that it was a hand-me-down recorder. I was too busy being psyched about recording 4 tracks at once. At the time it was the best piece of recording equipment that I had used. It had its quirks. The RCA line outs no longer worked unless you folded up a piece of paper and wedged it under the jacks. Despite it being pretty well worn, I managed to squeeze a shitload of life out of the recorder. In fact, it’s still in my studio today. I use it whenever I want to mix something down to cassette.
I have always subscribed to the mantra that good gear does not always guarantee a good recording. Although there are times when high-end gadgetry makes a task easier, a lofty price tag does not always ensure that the final product will sound great. Much as ice skates would be useless to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, decent recording equipment won’t mean a thing if the operator has no idea what they’re doing. Understanding of the physics of sound and how it behaves in different environments will help you to better utilize both your space as well as your equipment.
Whether you’re an aspiring recording engineer or a musician looking to save some money by recording yourself rather than going into a studio, you all are chasing the same thing. You are both trying to capture the best representation of the music because you know that if the audio quality is shitty, people aren’t going to listen. So if you’re serious about recording and want to separate your work from the sea of amateurs that are flooding the internet with shoddy demo recordings, you need to do some homework. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of books that I’ve come across over the years and have been recommending to to up-and-coming engineers. Now before you recoil in horror at the thought of having to fork over some of your precious earnings for this ancient book technology, keep in mind that these books contain everything you need to know to be a competent engineer. Some of these books are used to teach audio production at the college level, and you’re not even required to pay thousands of dollars in tuition. It’s not like sound is a new concept. Once you master the subject you’re pretty much set unless something crazy happens that alters the mass of the Earth… Even if that were to happen, you’d have bigger things to worry about. So quit your griping and let’s talk books.
Audio in Media – http://preview.tinyurl.com/ksds3cx This book is a solid introductory book. When I was teaching as an assistant at Ball State University, this was our go to book. It teaches everything from basic physics to microphone placement. A great resource for anyone interested in audio whether it be for music, radio, or for video applications.
The Recording Engineer’s Handbook – http://preview.tinyurl.com/pqr268a This is the book that I recommend to anyone interested in recording music. This is a great book that includes information on microphones and interviews with top engineers expressing their philosophies on recording.
Mastering Audio – http://preview.tinyurl.com/m9kfovf
I have seen this book in every studio I have had the pleasure of visiting or working in. That being said, this isn’t the first book that I would recommend to someone just starting out. There are a number of heady topics discussed in this book. Pick this one up after you’ve been at it for a while.
On-Location Recording Techniques – http://preview.tinyurl.com/m9kfovf The title is pretty self explanatory. If you plan on running/recording live sound, this book will be incredibly useful to you.
So there you have it, this concludes my list of recommended reads for beginners. Stock your bookshelves and absorb as much of this knowledge as possible. As with most things, books are no substitute for real-life experience but they do make it possible for you to minimize the learning curve. So don’t read the books and start acting like you know everything because it’s annoying and won’t earn you any respect.
Up until this point I have solely been using this website to promote my recording and mixing services to the public. To be completely honest, the blog was just an afterthought. It was something that I would update so that I could promote a new blog and draw attention to the website. That pretty much sums up the reason that any business would put in the effort to maintain a blog, right? Going into a blog with this mentality is limiting and short sighted. A blog can be so much more than an advertising tool. A blog has the potential to deliver a tremendous amount of information so long as the audience has enough interest and discipline to read it. So this epiphany (or whatever you want to call it) that I’ve had made me realize that I’ve been doing the public a disservice by maintaining such a mediocre blog up to this point. I’m going to change that. I’m going to make it a point to utilize text, audio, and video mediums to share my opinions, experience, and knowledge of recording topics with the masses.
That being said, I hope that you’re a bit forgiving as I start this out. I’m not a professional writer, actor, or videographer… You’re going to have to bear with me as I figure all of this stuff out as I go. I mean, I’m not technologically challenged or anything to that extent but it’s still pretty difficult to handle any production as a one-person show. The plan is to stick with it and improve with every blog, podcast, and youtube video. As long as you’re able to take something away from each post, I will feel that it’s worthwhile.