Drumsticks

Although I talk a lot about “synthesizers”, I’m really a “Drummer”. (However, I also like doing Sound Design.)
About a week ago, I was doing some research on the different ways Drummers keep their drumsticks from slipping in their hands when their hands begin to sweat.
I looked through ideas on:

  • drumstick tape,
  • spray-on rubber coating,
  • roughly-sanded drumsticks,
  • and the various tacky liquids that companies make for this purpose.

At one point, while in the middle of all this confusion, Sylvia mentioned: “Why not use that extra tube of “lip balm” that’s on your desk?” So I put some on my hands and then coated the drumsticks with it. It’s a bit too tacky but it does work.
Today, when I started to practice my drums, I noticed that the lip balm coating had worn off. Since that tube had been finished, I used another tube from a different manufacturer. However, this brand didn’t work at all. It almost made the drumsticks slippery. I even tested a 3rd brand that we had and it didn’t work either. So here’s the score:

  • Badger (brand) lip balm is what I used first and worked the best.
  • Biggs & Featherbelle (brand) almost made the drumsticks slippery.
  • Alaffia (brand) also didn’t work.

So the next time Sylvia and I are shopping, we’ll pick-up another tube of Badger brand and I’ll do a little more testing with it.
Just thought I’d pass this along, in case it helps others in the same situation.

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Novation Ultranova

Although Sylvia and I have owned a Novation “Ultranova” synthesizer for several months, I was having a difficult time wrapping my head around its various sections and how they interconnect with each other. My synthesizer background has been with the:

  • Mini Moog (purchased “new” back in the 70s and later sold),
  • the Vako Polyphonic Orchestron (purchased “new” back in the 70s and later sold. Not really a “synthesizer” but a “reproducer” of recorded sound),
  • the ARP 2600 (purchased “used” back in the 70s and later sold. In the mid-80s, Sylvia and I purchased a “new” one when we heard ARP had just announced they were going out of business)

Thinking I needed to create a type of “overflow chart”, showing “what” connects to “what”, I printed out several pages of the Owner’s Manual and brought it to work. For the last few weeks, I looked through it during lunch.
After reading through it more closely, I discovered that one aspect of my confusion was from the cryptic titles printed on the screen, indicating the different functions. For example: “01WTInt” stands for “Oscillator 1, Wave Table Interpolation”. Then, reading its details helped me understand that this feature adjusts the movement between certain Wave Tables from “Stepped” to “Smooth” when activated.
I also more-clearly understood that certain functions are not as complicated as I thought they were. They’re simply “routed” or “accessed” in a way that’s different from what I’m used to with other synths. For example: the Ultranova does offer “Ring Modulation” but there is no dedicated “button” or “knob” for this. Instead, it’s selected in the “Mixer” — because it’s a mixture between Oscillators 1 and 3 or Oscillators 2 and 3. Your choice.
At first glance, the Ultranova seems to have a lot of “menu diving” but after my recent working with it, I now see that most sections only have one or two “screens” worth of adjustments.
At a retail price of just $600, this synthesizer is well-worth the money.

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“Lifeforms Foundation Evo” made by Pittsburgh Modular

modular
For March, Sylvia and I have selected a very powerful Modular Synthesizer, for this month’s “Review” and “Drawing”, on our crowd-funding page.

For details on this very capable, musical tool, visit its product page:
pittsburghmodular.com/news/2017/1/11/introducing-the-lifeforms-foundation-4-and-lifeforms-foundation-evo

For more information on this crowd-funding project, please visit our Patreon page:
www.patreon.com/infinity_band

To hear our album, “Perfectionately Yours” for free, visit our BandCamp page:
infinity4.bandcamp.com/releases

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Korg Volca FM: in-depth

A few days ago, we watched a video-review of the “Korg Volca FM” synthesizer by someone we didn’t know much about. He goes by the name of: “Cuckoo” and the review we watched was very good.

  • Sylvia and I have owned a Volca FM for a few months now. We purchased it because I told Sylvia it would provide us with a good source of (create-from-scratch) “bell” and “metallic” sounds. The Retail Price, at $160, is very reasonable for what this small box offers.

We’ve always enjoyed the thorough reviews by “SonicState” but “Cuckoo” brings a slightly more hands-on, and exploring, approach.

Here’s the link to the SonicState review of the Volca FM:
www.sonicstate.com/news/2016/04/22/sonic-lab-korg-volca-fm-dx-in-a-box/

Here’s the link to the review by Cuckoo:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFfdOq9rvLc

Here are 2 more Cuckoo reviews on the Volca FM. This first one explains “FM Synthesis” in general:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJrTk4cgFiQ

In this video, he lets us hear the Volca FM “Patches” that he created:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6D9jafo5_I

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The “ARP 2500”

Ever since Korg introduced their version of the 1970s “ARP Odyssey” synthesizer, many Musicians (Sylvia and I included) have been wondering when Korg would reveal their version of the “ARP 2600” synthesizer. They had former ARP Engineer, David Friend, give a Talk during the Odyssey’s unveiling and, I guess, Korg obtained special permission to manufacturer this new instrument. So I assumed they would move to the next plateau in the ARP lineup and build the “2600”.

Now that it’s been at least 24-months since the Odyssey’s release, we still have no “ARP 2600”.

The other day, I was thinking about this and then I thought:

  • Maybe Korg hasn’t released the “2600” because they don’t have any plans to release it. Instead, what if they knew from the beginning that they would re-introduce the world to one of ARP’s “popular” synths (the “Odyssey”) and then re-make the ARP “2500”? Because more and more Musicians and more and more manufacturers are embracing the world of “Modular” synths, it makes more sense for Korg to skip the 2600 and go right for the pot-of-gold… and the reason the “2500” hasn’t been released yet (if any of this is true) is because the ARP 2500 is a large, Modular synth, powerhouse and would probably take much longer to not only recreate all of its components but to also have each facet of that synthesizer faithfully reproduce the sonic textures of the original “2500”.

Just some thoughts.

Here’s the link to the “Korg ARP Odyssey”:
www.korg.com/us/products/synthesizers/arpodyssey/

Here’s the link to an “ARP 2600”:
www.vintagesynth.com/arp/arp.php

Here’s the link to an “ARP 2500” page:
www.vintagesynth.com/arp/2500.php

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Music-Gear Drawings

Ok. We did it. We just finished tearing down our “Patreon”, crowd-funding page, for our album, and created our new “Monthly Music-Gear Drawing”, crowd-funding page.

  • We’re asking for $5 contributions, in order to reach that month’s Goal. When it’s reached, we’ll purchase that piece of Music Gear, examine it, review it and then hold a Drawing of those who contributed and give it away.

For March, we’ve selected the “Korg Volca FM” synthesizer. Although we already own this $159 product, we thought we’d start off small and with something we’re already a bit familiar with.

Keep in mind that Sylvia and I, and our Band (“Infinity”), are currently unknown. This means “getting the word” out is an uphill job for us. So if you or someone you know is interested in Music Gear, and would like a chance to win one, please give them the following link.

More details can be found at the link below.

Here’s the link to our Music-Gear Drawing page:
https://www.patreon.com/infinity_band

Here’s the link to the Korg Volca FM page:
http://www.korg.com/us/products/dj/volca_fm/

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New Music Gear

Since Sylvia and I had to work today, but only for a half-day, we went to the local “Guitar Center” store when we left.

Almost 2-weeks ago, we came up with a new idea on:

  • how to do something we love — play music, create interesting electronic music sounds and teach,
  • “possibly” raise enough money to quit our job and work on the many projects we have on our list,
  • help those who “would like to have” or “need” some new Music Gear (but can’t afford it) to get it for almost nothing,
  • and more.

So far, the very few people we’ve described this to, including the Music Store Manager, have expressed positive Comments about it.

I don’t want to release any more information than that, until we’re closer to Launching this idea.

  • I’m a little hesitant to do this. Mostly because it involves a “change” and I have to rely on my “Reasoning” braincells, in order to be sure I do everything correctly. Sylvia does help me a lot, throughout the day but if I’m stressed, I don’t receive her communications correctly. Plus, any final decision Sylvia and I make on THIS side of the “Veil” have to come from “me”. Just as… any final decisions we make, regarding the OTHER side of the “Veil” have to come from “Sylvia”. We’ve talked about this, months ago, and both of us understand how this has to be this way right now.
  • I’m also walking carefully into this new project because it means putting Sylvia and my “Band”, as well as our personal image, on the line. Another idea behind doing this is to call attention to our album. We still need crowd-funding, in order to get some CDs manufactured and Distributed. If this new project doesn’t unfold properly, we may damage our image and any possible funding for that album.
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Bonus Track!

When Sylvia sent me the pieces for “Night Of A Thousand Years” (through the “Veil”), the largest section was its Orchestral foundation. She later guided me as to how this “Streamed” piece should be edited and used under the full version of this Song.

When Sylvia and I were assembling this album, we talked about including this “foundation” Track but decided against it. Because this is a “Concept” album, with an interwoven series of Songs and a flowing base of emotions, adding this particular Track, even at the end, would take-away from that experience. Instead, we decided to include it as a “Bonus” Track.

So we now have that “unedited”, “just as I received it from Sylvia” Track on our BandCamp page. Anyone who purchases our “Perfectionately Yours” album from BandCamp, will now recieve the album’s downloadable Poster and this Bonus Track as a “Thank You” for supporting our work.

Here’s the link:
infinity4.bandcamp.com/releases

 

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Album Update

Although Sylvia and I are doing our best to get “crowd-funding” started, this aspect of our music business seems to be stuck. We don’t like doing “Social Media” and with possibly “hundreds” or “thousands” of new songs being made available every day, it’s no wonder our band’s tiny island is still unknown.

On our Patreon page, there’s also a video of me explaining why we need this money.

Here’s the link to our Patreon, crowd-funding page:
www.patreon.com/infinity_band

While we’re waiting for funding, for CD manufacturing, Sylvia and I decided to make this album available through “BandCamp”. So “Perfectionately Yours” can now be purchased… AND anyone can listen to all the Songs for free from that same site. These are the full songs. Just as Sylvia wrote them.

When this album is purchased, a Bonus file will be instantly available. It’s the “PDF” version of the “Perfectionately Yours” Poster. This 18 x 24-inch creation contains all the Lyrics for all the Songs. It also contains some background information on some of the Songs as well as a list of the Music Gear we used.

Be sure to scroll down, below the Song List, in order to read the background of how this album was created. Remember, this is a “Concept” album. All of the songs, together, tell a complete story. It’s “our” story… the story of how Sylvia and I are now working “across the Veil”. The songs take the Listener from the beginning of Sylvia and my “physical” (and temporary) separation. The energy and style of each song re-creates those emotions I felt just after our 3-weeks in hospice was over and brings you through to the present day. So the beginning of this album is very “chaotic”… very “stressful” and “confusing”. The songs then move through “anger” and on to “hopefullness”.

Here’s the link to our BandCamp page:
https://infinity4.bandcamp.com/releases

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Album Update & Crowd Funding

On July 1, 2016, Sylvia and I finally finished our album: “Perfectionately Yours”. It took us over 24-monhts to do this, while Sylvia and I worked “through the Veil”. It’s almost 70-minutes in length. It’s a “Concept Album”. It’s our story, our Life, in a general sense from Sylvia’s point of “crossing-over” to now. Most of the Songs can apply to anyone’s loss of their Loved One.

This album is raw, rough and, at times, a bit “out there”. It takes the Listener from the Chaos I found myself in… through Disorientation… Anger, Sadness, re-finding myself… to re-connecting again to Sylvia.

Right now, we need funding, in order to get the CDs manufactured, the Posters printed, basically, to get this album Distributed.

On September 25, 2016, we Launched our crowd-funding campaign. It’s on crowd-funding site: “Patreon”. Here’s the link:
www.patreon.com/infinity_band

If you’d like to receive this album for a very low price, or would like to own 1 of our very specially-made, layered, logo-bearing, Lavender Candles, or would like to have our logo on a Drumhead, to hang on your wall, then please visit our Patreon page above for more details on this next phase.

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