Remix 

“Hey Bro’, I’ve got these tracks laid down. The song is finished, just need to pull it all together and do post-production. Can you help me?”

I cough up the usual excuses; not interested in working on someone else’s recording, not enough time for myself, too many irons in the fire…

“It’s all done, shouldn’t take much time at all.”

Alright, send me the tracks. I’ll take a listen. God, I cave easily.

The Master mix is dull, lifeless, spread with too much reverb. The individual…

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Picking Low Fruit 

Some days I find it hard to be inspired. When I reach a point of nothing, which can be alcohol induced, I usually plop down in front of the TV and enter a state of, “Since it’s TV time I should be eating.”

This condition usually shows up about midnight.

My basic understanding of Circadian Rhythm is quite limited. But the part I get the most is when mindlessness enters in to my brain. Which, frankly, is about midnight. If I’ve played a gig, mindlessness occurs about three in the morning.

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Get A Clue 

As a drummer, my most important function is to keep time. In the 80’s I learned how to play live with sequences, time delay, arpeggiators and click tracks.

In another band, we were recording an album, with out click, and I could not get past the fourth song. I was second guessing every beat and drum stroke and psyched myself into failure. Red Light Fever, I call it; a fear of failure so intense that I was paralyzed. A Ringer had to be hired to play my parts. To overcome Red Light Fever, I…

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The Third Place 

There’s your family, there’s your job. In your life, where is the Third place you derive your sense of community?

It used to be church, or civic clubs, some sort of lodge, maybe the library. Nowadays, Starbucks has laid claim to being a place of gathering. All I see there are people with coffee and laptop, getting some work done; social interaction is minimal.

Social media may have some claim, but I see it as being a superficial outlet. I do not consider the internet as a sane or rational…

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Getting The Mix 

Getting a great mix can be very tough. Recording well requires quality inputs, correct performance, and extreme listening skills. The adage, “It’s not the gear, it’s in the ear” holds some truth. Better listening begets qualitative judgement, which enhances desire for equipment that that can satisfy ever expanding qualitative judgement, which creates gear sluts, people who always need some better gear. That’s me.

Of course subjectivity is involved, but its more satisfying to be objectively…

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Steve Smith and The Seattle Drum School: Part Three 

Artist Focus

Steve is an intellectual heavy weight; a modern renaissance individual.

Look for Steve’s upcoming book, Keys To The City.

https://seattledrumschool.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4Y7yBRB8EiwADV1hacJP6X-VNbOAh-Xd08qO269OQv8IqjU_gPWFF3ApOSXSiFRL-NntORoCyr4QAvD_BwE

Part 3 of 3

Mackncheeze: What inspired you to become an audio engineer?

Steve: I love listening to music, that’s what got it started. When I was going to Central I didn’t have a lot of money, I always had to…

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Steve Smith and The Seattle Drum School: Part Two 

Artist Focus

Steve is an intellectual heavy weight; a modern renaissance individual.

Look for Steve’s upcoming book, Keys To The City.

https://seattledrumschool.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4Y7yBRB8EiwADV1hacJP6X-VNbOAh-Xd08qO269OQv8IqjU_gPWFF3ApOSXSiFRL-NntORoCyr4QAvD_BwE

Part 2 of 3

Mackncheeze: With all that background, how did you come up with your Physics Analogies applied to your teaching methods?

Steve: It’s more of an intuitive understanding that I represent through music…

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Steve Smith and The Seattle Drum School: Part One 

Artist Focus

Steve is an intellectual heavy weight; a modern renaissance individual.

Look for Steve’s upcoming book, Keys To The City.

https://seattledrumschool.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiA4Y7yBRB8EiwADV1hacJP6X-VNbOAh-Xd08qO269OQv8IqjU_gPWFF3ApOSXSiFRL-NntORoCyr4QAvD_BwE

Part 1 of 3

Mackncheeze: Who are you?

Steve: I’m Steve Smith. My lot in life is that 34 years ago I started the Seattle Drum School. Most people know me by that achievement and I have had a lot of help building…

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Absurdity 

The times are changing. It seems so much moves so quickly that is getting harder to keep up. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my look of perceptive skills, probably, it’s the alcohol.

Looking for my sunglasses while I’m wearing them.

Another pointless meeting at the job.

One more cancelled studio date because people don’t block out their schedule.

Fellow band members not prioritizing – anything!!!!!

The endless revision in editing.

How many times you gonna edit this track?

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Happy Valentine's Day 

My girl friend and I had broken up at the beginning of February. As The 14 th. approached, I grew ever more nostalgic of our relationship. I suppose I missed close proximity with a woman I had spent a couple of years with. Having Einstein like qualities in my thought process, I decided I would begin the reconciliation of our love on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolates, flowers and a Teddy Bear; a perfect way to convey my true sentiments.

On my way over to her house, my cell phone notifies me of a…

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Driving By Braille 

Why not drive without head lights? Isn’t that what curbs and side walks were made for? Just kind of feel your way down the street risking flat tires. For a time it seemed to partially work.

Example Number One: I spent a year traveling with a band that disregarded our booking agents parameters. The only reason we weren’t fired sooner was because the rooms we played liked us. I had a nagging concern that we were not fitting to the standards adhered to by the other acts they managed. Too much…

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Life Is Precious 

Back in the day, when gigs were booked by the week, we played a one month stint in small coastal town. Four live music venues, tons of bars, and some pretty good restaurants. The local industry survived on fishing. Quite a prosperous place.

In a town such as this, it was quite natural to develop close friendships with said citizens. I, and others in the band, would be invited to people’s homes, met families, shared meals; amazing hospitality.

One February night, gale force winds were…

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Hula Hoops 

I can control only one area in my life. It’s diameter is that of a Hula Hoop. When Life is annoying, which is about every hour, I remind myself of the simple fact, MY LIFE CIRCLE IS A HULA HOOP!

Don’t forget it, Meat.

Hey! Back off! You’re in my Hula Hoop! No, No, No! You see that circumference? That’s my Hula Hoop; Back off, Jack. Thats my space. Stay out of it. It’s my Promised Land. It conveniently goes where I go. I can always depend on it. A comfort to my peace of mind…

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Terry Jones 

Guest Blog By Todd Ainsworth

I’m not dead yet!

Unfortunately, that’s not quite true anymore for Terry Jones of Monty Python fame.

We, who “got” the Monty Python humor ( and I remember many of my friends when I was younger didn’t ) were saddened on January 21st. by the news of his passing. Now, with Graham Chapman, two of the six geniuses who were Monty Python’s Flying Circus, are gone.

One of the final scenes in “The Meaning Of Life” has Burt Bacharach singing, “It’s Christmas In…

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Cognitive Dissonance 

I’m stressed out. I believe I am the Cat’s Meow of players but the best of the best are not flocking to play with me. I don’t want to believe I am an average player but perhaps the proof lies in the pudding. Evidently I have an area of my brain that wants to avoid adversive outcomes.

Sounds like I’m taking an easy way out of my circumstances and rationalizing information that does not agree with my perceptions.

The fact of the matter is, if the work is not put in the outcome desired…

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With The Sea On The Horizon 

And The Future In My Hands….

I’m not sure about you, but for me, I love looking out upon the ocean shores, looking at the expanse of the sea, peering into the horizon. My God, regardless of the weather, its so beautiful. And peaceful.

I could just sit and watch and write and let it pull me in, inspiring me.

The pounding of the waves, the smell of salt in my nostrils, the cawing of the gulls.

An escape from the city, the pressures, the BS, the people, the expectations.

Memories of…

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Bad Gig 

Outdoor venue, great PA, big stage, no covering on stage; open to the elements.

One of the great analog synths, still a player.

Its the 80’s. Our keyboard players are running Roland and Oberheim gear.

I’m running a hybrid: acoustic snare, Paiste cymbals, Pearl DRX 1 Analog Drum Kit with an Emulator sample package for the kick drum, and Roland 707 Drum Machine.

We carried our own monitor system because most venues at that time were not set up for all the electronics and our stage…

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Artist Focus – Jonny Durango 

Audio Engineer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Arranger The Crew at the MOB: Josh, Zech, Jonny and Dean

Mackncheeze: Who are you?

Jonny: Oh, Man. I’m a human man. I’m a person who has always just loved music, it’s one of the things in this world that has made sense to me. As I grow older, I’m starting to see other things that are contributing to my existence.

I was more cynical as a kid; it was about the money and the system and the Man, man. As I grew up I realized it’s…

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Toxic People 

We all know them. We all run in to them. They are everywhere. I say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”

The socio-political landscape is full of them.

My neighborhood is full of them.

The grocery store is full of them.

The streets are full of them.

Then there is your job.

The best solution: distant yourself as much and as far away as possible. If the toxic person is a good friend then perhaps a later time to re-associate yourself with them will work out…

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Rhythmic Harmony Part 2 

Guest Blog by Finn Music Geek Stuff

Today we will look at one of my favorite tools. The Baiou’ rhythm and its modes. Baiou’ is pronounced Bayonne (The spelling? Someone kept yelling ” I’ld like a vowel, Vanna”).

You’ll need paper and pencil for this one. This is Linear Harmony as opposed to Vertical Harmony.

Draw a square and divide it into 64 symmetrical parts. Number them down the left side 1 thru 8. Number the top this way: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, because we will be working with…

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