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Angled SM-57 - pretty cool idea

Angled SM-57 picture I'd seen a "mod" of a SM-57 that involved unscrewing the capsule, and angling the mic using duct or gaffers tape (was that in Tape Op?), but this company has taken that idea and made it a little more stable/ rugged than using tape.

"The G5790 is a real SM57 modified to turn 90 degrees.
Granelli Audio Labs uses brand new Shure® SM57s and inserts a custom-made aluminum part with an acoustically-engineered internal sound path. The result is a microphone that maintains the SM57's renowned durability and familiar tone while increasing functionality."

Check out the Granelli Audio Labs website for more info.

Wii: Midi Drum Controller

Pretty cool...this is:

"A quick demo of DrumChuk, a customizable Ruby-based MIDI drum controller for the Wii remote and nunchuk on OS X."

Hand coded and pretty awesome.  You have to check this out...

Source Code is here:  http://github.com/jmileham/drumchuk/tree/master

But you'll probably want to watch the video first to get an idea of what this is all about.  

Leno and Voltaire (via Ronald Harwood)

I recently saw some quotes and felt compelled to write them down, first off are a few from Jay Leno that I read in the online version of the Boston Herald.

"I"m a great believer in low self esteem. The only people I find that have
high self esteem are criminals and actors. And if you have low self
esteem and you always assume you’re the dumbest person in the room,
you’ll work harder," Leno jokes.

"The real trick to show business is try not to get too excited. Try
not to get too depressed," Leno says in a telephone interview to
discuss his final week as host of "The Tonight Show."

Jay leno with my family I really like these quotes and feel that they're true and good advice for anyone aspiring for a career in entertainment. Having met Jay on a number of occasions (Sixpence played on Leno at 3 different times when I was with the band), these quotes seem as practical and as down to earth as he is (or at least seemed).  Of all the Late Night/ Talk Show hosts I met, I always felt Jay was the most approachable, and "normal" of them all. 

(photo info -  L to R:  Jerry Dale McFadden, my brother Doug, me, my sister Linda, Jay, my Mom and Dad - the fact that Jay took the time to pose with us, was pretty cool I thought.)

My next quote I found in the May 23rd 2009 issue of The Economist.  It's from Voltaire, but was quoted by Ronald Harwood.  Here is the opening paragraph from that review:

"RONALD HARWOOD has been a late developer. After the initial success in 1980 of his autobiographical play, “The Dresser”, his work was regularly savaged by London critics. He was hurt, but he stubbornly refused to retire. Then in 2003 his script for “The Pianist” won an Oscar. “People notice when you win something, and I’ve had a lovely time since I was 68.” He is now 74 and points out that Henrik Ibsen was still writing hard in his 80s."

Did you catch that?  It was 23 years before this guy had another success!  And in those 23 years he was met with more criticism than encouragement!  Talk about depressing...could you endure 23 years of that?

I found the entire article an interesting read, yet it was the last line of the article that really resonated with me: 

"He quotes Voltaire: “Doubt is not a pleasant position, but certainty is absurd.”

Looking at the quote now, it makes me think of what Leno said above about low self esteem.  But originally it resonated with me because of how uncertain my life has seemed in the past few years. 

I've always craved a life of security, of certainty even in the midst of feeling "called" or "led" to pursue drumming as a career - I struggle with letting go and allowing life "to happen."  To "be in the moment." 

But as I read this quote, it gave me a sense of hope and encouragement within this "uncertain" life that I lead.  It let me know that doubt is okay - of course it's not pleasant but to have certainty, really?  Is that really what I want?  It reminds me that I crave adventure, and the road less traveled, and that this "uncertain" life I've found myself in is really where I want to be. 

Yes, it's a struggle some days, and I wish I had more of the success (and "certainty") that puts money in my pocket and in my bank, but for the most part I'm continuing to learn how to make a life for myself and my family and it feels good and right (for the most part).

Still, though, a little certainty would be nice :-)

Turning off the Sudden Motion Sensor on your Mac

Has your Mac ever quit unexpectedly during a set?  It may have happened because of the Sudden Motion Sensor getting activated and shutting down your computer.

My friend Paul (who works at Apple) sent me this link:  Apple Portables: Advanced tips for Sudden Motion Sensor and described a problem he had encountered while running Logic Pro during a recent gig:

"Thought you might want to consider this information.  I have had a few issues recently where my MacBook Pro has stalled during a worship service (while we are playing).  If using Logic (with Midi) this can cause the playback to stop (and give an error message).  (I think that the vibrations from the bass guitar or the kit (when heavy hitting) have caused the sudden motion sensor to trip.)."

And then:

"I was able to re-create the issue last night by deliberately triggering the sudden motion sensor (you can do this by rotating the computer...and then you will hear a "click sound").  When this sensor activates the HD shuts down for a split second.  This can cause issues sometimes during playback."

Sudden motion sensor Personally, I've never experienced this problem, though my computer did freeze one time before a set began.  I had to get the MC to stall for a bit while I rebooted my computer. 

I'm not sure I want to turn off the Sudden Motion Sensor in my Mac as, I think the sensor helps protect the computer from damage, should I drop it or it fall off as stage as Nathan's computer did during a recent show I played with him.  His laptop fell about 7 feet, flipping over in the process, losing a cable and landing upright.  Nothing broke, and he was able to continue using his computer almost immediately.  I'm thinking the Sudden Motion sensor saved his hard drive...but still...it'd be nice not to have to worry that my computer might shut down in the middle of the set. 

Do you have any suggestions for keeping your Laptop safe during a peformance?  Any special stands or trays that you use?  If so, leave a comment...I'd love to hear your solutions for keeping your computer stable during a show.

Monolake: Article on Live Performance with Computers

I found this after visiting a site my friend Martin Baird recommended.

Monolake on performing live with laptops http://maxoepen.com/spacebar.html

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My Drumming On CD

  • Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess

    Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess
    The second CD Sixpence recorded was my first with the band. We tracked the rhythm tracks in 4 days at Omni Sound studios in Nashville. Armand John Petri produced and many fans say that this is their favorite Sixpence album.

  • Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer

    Sixpence None The Richer: Sixpence None The Richer
    The Grammy nominated, RIAA Certified Platinum selling album that featured the breakout hit, "Kiss Me." Produced by Steve Taylor and wonderfully engineered and mixed by Russ Long, with additional mixing by Bob Clearmountain. The follow-up hit, "There She Goes" was also later added to this album.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Best of Sixpence None the Richer
    Includes the hits "Kiss Me," "There She Goes," and "Breathe Your Name" and many other of the songs I played on and helped promote during my 7+ years with the band.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel

    Sixpence None the Richer: Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
    Out-takes and B-Sides from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" CD. There were some extended jams, a live track, some moody percussion and even a re-mix done by friend and former roommate, Sal Salvador. Not only does this CD feature my drumming, and vocals(!), but I make my producing debut on this album with an angst-filled vibey take on an old Patsy Cline song.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection

    Sixpence None the Richer: Mega 3 Collection
    Includes Sixpence's first 3 CD's. Of these 3 CD's my drumming only appears on the 2nd and 3rd disc. The first CD featured the drumming of Chris Dodds, one of my favorite people and drummers.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes

    Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes
    CD single of the 11th hour addition to Sixpence's self-titled album which helped solidify Sixpence as a legitmate "Breakthrough Artist" according to R&R magazine. The song went on to become a Top 10 Single with an appealing video (featuring "Saving Private Ryan" star, Adam Goldberg), by director and good friend of the band, Brandon Dickerson.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights

    Sixpence None the Richer: Breathe Your Name / Northern Lights
    CD single of the Top 20 hit, Breathe Your Name w/ non-album track Northern Lights, from Sixpence's Divine Discontent record. Both songs feature my drumming.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best

    Sixpence None the Richer: Collage: A Portrait of Their Best
    A compilation of the best tracks from the band's REX years. And yes, that's me in the corner with the beard and glasses.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me

    Sixpence None the Richer: Kiss Me
    Imported Single of the most played song from the year 2000. This song features my drumming and went to the top of the charts in over 10 countries (US, UK, Canada, Israel, Japan, etc...). I also appeared in all the videos and TV appearances that helped promote this song. Interesting side note: this song was chosen by Britain's Royal Family to be played for over 200 Million viewers during Prince Edward's 1999 wedding.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You

    Sixpence None the Richer: I Can't Catch You
    Import Single of a song from the band's self-titled album. This was one of the songs Bob Clearmountain mixed and it was honor to have him work his magic on my drum tracks!

  • ...The Basics: Grow
    I was really happy how this record turned out. An honest, well produced CD by a couple of North Carolina's (and Northern California's) best songwriters. I also took the photos that appear in the CD booklet.
  • [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection

    [Various Artists]: City on a Hill: Collection
    I played on the first City on a Hill CD as well as a track or two on the second CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons

    [Various Artists]: Return Of The Grievous Angel: Tribute To Gram Parsons
    I played drums with the Rolling Creek Dippers, aka: Buddy and Julie Miller, Victoria Williams, Mark Olsen, Jim Lauderdale.

  • [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs

    [Various Artists]: Roaring Lambs
    I played drums with Sixpence None the Richer, Emmylou Harris, Steve Taylor and percussion with Burlap to Cashmere on this CD.

  • [Various Artists]: Exodus

    [Various Artists]: Exodus
    I played with Sixpence None the Richer, Michael W. Smith, and Kenny Meeks on this CD.

  • Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright

    Kim Taylor: So Black, So Bright
    I played drums on this CD that was produced by Jack Henderson. This is one of my favorite projects to have played on. Some of the tracks feature Linford and Karin from Over the Rhine as well.

  • Frankly Scarlet: Stories I've Heard
    I played and recorded with this band back when I lived in Dallas. We even shot a video...with the Dallas skyline as our backdrop.
  • [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson

    [Various Artists]: Making God Smile: An Artists' Tribute to the Songs of Beach Boy Brian Wilson
    I played drums and percussion (timpani, chimes, beat box) on Jason Harrod's version of "In My Room" for this Brian Wilson tribute album.

  • Rebecca St. James: Transform

    Rebecca St. James: Transform
    I played on a track produced by Matt Bronlewee, that featured the London Symphony Orchestra and some very "Bjork" sounding vocals by Rebecca. I think we did about 40 tracks of various percussion overdubs for this track too.

  • [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur

    [Various Artists]: Never Say Dinosaur
    My first time to work with producer Brent Bourgeois and one of my first times in the studio with Sixpence. I borrowed a whole bunch of percussion from Steve Hindalong and had a great time overdubbing frame drums, rattan shakers and the like. The track ended up sounding very Daniel Lanois-ish with some Peter Gabriel-esq type layers thrown in for good measure.

  • Phantasmic: Fluffy Vs. Phantasmic
    "Rainy Day Assembly" appears on this record. This out-take from Sixpence's "This Beautiful Mess" session was used by Tess Wiley (aka, Phantasmic) and features shaker performed by percussion wiz Lalo Davila.
  • Honey: Lost on You
    I played on two tracks from this record produced by Dan and Steve from Jars of Clay.
  • [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)

    [various artists]: Here On Earth (2000 Film)
    This Soundtrack album features two songs I did with Sixpence, one a cover of a Sam Phillips/ T-Bone Burnett song: "I Need Love" and the other, the opening track ("We Have Forgotten") from Sixpence's self-titled record.

  • [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture

    [various artists]: Snow Day: Music From The Motion Picture
    Sixpence's version of The La's tune, "There She Goes" is on this soundtrack album. And yes, I'm playing drums on that song...

  • [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)

    [various artists]: Bounce: Music from and Inspired by the Miramax Motion Picture (2000 film)
    Another song ("Love") I did with Sixpence from their self-titled album, appears on this soundtrack. Mark Nash and I played a drum duet of sorts to get the primal heavy-handed approach needed for this wonderful song.

  • [various artists]: Dick

    [various artists]: Dick
    One of my favorite tracks. Everytime I hear this song ("Dancing Queen"), I can't help but think of Alan Partridge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent

    Sixpence None the Richer: Divine Discontent
    Even though I quit playing with the band in 2001, the bulk of this record was recorded in 2000, and so my playing is featured on more than half the tracks on this record. Produced by Paul Fox, beautifully engineered by Mark Chevalier and mixed by Tom Lord-Alge.

  • Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years

    Sixpence None the Richer: The Early Years
    New Sixpence compilation from the REX years. Includes songs and b-sides from the early work I recorded with Sixpence - pre "Kiss Me" era.

  • Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)

    Steve Hindalong, et.al: City on a Hill: Reflections on Our Spiritual Journey (Ccm Book)
    Okay, this is a book. But I wrote the first essay that appears in the book and took all the photos that appear as well. You can actually read my essay by clicking this link and "looking inside the book." Fun, huh?

  • Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0

    Various Artists: Pointfolio 1.0
    A radio station compilation featuring in-studio and concert live cuts. Includes, Sixpence doing "Kiss Me"(with me on drums), and Fleming and John's "Ugly Girl", Dido, BareNaked Ladies, etc.

  • : Plumb

    Plumb
    Loops, fragments of songs and lots of percussion is what I remember from this session. Producer Dan Haseltine and Matt Bronlewee made this a fun and creative time in the studio. It was great to be a part of the debut album of such a phenomenal artist (am I gushing to much here?).

  • [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)

    [various Artists] : Felicity: Senior Year (tv soundtrack)
    Features "Melody of You" a beautiful song by Sixpence None the Richer that I played drums on and was featured on the series final episode (I think).