Site update

New pages online:

  • Logos — A sampling of my design work over the years.
  • Apps — I have a tasty music composition tool in the works. I'm hoping that posting this online helps me stick to my 2018 release schedule.
  • Expect more blog posts in 2017. If I don't post something interesting within the next month I'm going to be angry at myself :). My collaborators and I have some cool jams on the way:

Quick Tip: Make your snare fatter via "doubling"

Everyone wants a fat snare and kick sound in this rock or metal mix. This is because having small wimpy drums personally reflections on you. If you do not have a meaty, buff, and confident kick or snare, you are not the hip studio owner and recording engineer everyone thought you to be. The kick and snare are the most importing part of your song. The entire song revolves around the snare. Without a good snare, your guitars will become acoustic and your vocalist will become Britney Spears. This is a well known fact in physics.

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Alexander James Guitars Ursa Review

Ever since I was a young child, I’ve wanted a custom-made left-handed guitar. Being a lefty, very few of the guitars I saw in my local music shops were playable, and some flat out didn’t sell lefty instruments. Walking into a musician shop is still, to this day, like walking into a candy shop where every piece of candy is a delicious jawbreaker that won’t fit into your mouth. I was on the search for a custom lefty guitar for a few years before I found Alexander James Guitars and his small team, owned by Alexander James Colarassi. Despite wanting a custom, I didn’t put aside money for the occasion since I assumed it was out of my budget and couldn’t give me much more value than my current collection of low-end Ibanez and ESPs. I found Alexander James Guitars on LeftFretz.com’s blog, a website dedicated to left-handed guitars and basses, and within moments of seeing his Macassar Ebony Ursa, I fell in love with his guitars and was writing him an email to enquire about prices, details, and endorsements. It’s been a few weeks and a year since I’ve owned my Ursa and about two years since I placed the order, and I want to share why I think anyone who loves exotic wood guitars should consider buying one of his instruments.

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Details On My New Custom Ursa Guitar

As many of you know, I’m getting a new hand-built custom guitar forged by Alexander James Colarossi, exotic wood luthier. Being left handed, I’ve always been stuck with sub-$500 black or grey guitars. After 12 years of playing, I felt I finally deserved a nice guitar that would get me through the next decade of adventures.

Ursa Gallery

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Achieving Decent Recordings

Every decade seems to have its own definition of a “good” mix. The 80s was famous for its overuse of reverb. The 90s, especially 90s rock, had its own sound too. I’m guessing the 2000s will be known for its over-compressed music. From rap to metal, no one has escaped this loudness war. I don’t think the 2010 decade will have a defined sound since home studios are becoming standard. The more audio engineers, the more diverse mixes there will be.

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ExoNova, My First Electronic Album is Officially for Sale!

I've finally released my first electronic/rock album. Yay! This album is available for free on SoundCloud and for very cheap on BandCampYou can also download it in nice little ZIP file. The album is for sale on several stores for those who want to support my musical endeavors. I truly enjoy writing and producing music, so any support I can get for this album will help me dedicate more time to doing what I love.

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Reflection On Time in Italy

A little over a year ago, my girlfriend and I attended a study-abroad program in Italy. What an experience. It was adventurous, fun, tough, exotic, and delicious. Here are 21 pictures (out of thousands) of our journey. Enjoy!

Cinque Terre. Absolutely beautiful. Took this picture on a hike.

Cinque Terre. Absolutely beautiful. Took this picture on a hike.

Staying warm in the winter, staying cool in the summer. 

Staying warm in the winter, staying cool in the summer. 

Composing. I wrote Syzygy in Italy.

Composing. I wrote Syzygy in Italy.

Lunch in Cinque Terre. Had some Angler fish.

Lunch in Cinque Terre. Had some Angler fish.

On the top of the Duomo, the largest church in Florence.

On the top of the Duomo, the largest church in Florence.

Celebration in front of the Duomo, Florence.

Celebration in front of the Duomo, Florence.

Beer from the tap at an American resturaunt in Italy.

Beer from the tap at an American resturaunt in Italy.

At the London Train Station. Also, a tasty Cappuccino.

At the London Train Station. Also, a tasty Cappuccino.

Just look at this. I probably don't even need to say that it was tasty.

Just look at this. I probably don't even need to say that it was tasty.

More dessert. Fluffy Tiramisu. Gained 15 pounds in Italy.

More dessert. Fluffy Tiramisu. Gained 15 pounds in Italy.

Gelato stores stacked their ice cream high. The giant mounds of it made it irresistible.

Gelato stores stacked their ice cream high. The giant mounds of it made it irresistible.

Mini chocolate cappuccinos that we bought at a chocolate fair.

Mini chocolate cappuccinos that we bought at a chocolate fair.

Top = Fiesole, neighbor of Florence. Bottom = Capri, famous Italian island.

Top = Fiesole, neighbor of Florence. Bottom = Capri, famous Italian island.

Looking over a vineyard in San Gimignano.

Looking over a vineyard in San Gimignano.

Ellyn in front of the Tower of London. We just started watching The Tutors.

Ellyn in front of the Tower of London. We just started watching The Tutors.

Walking around the city above Florence. Fiesole was one of my favorite destinations..

Walking around the city above Florence. Fiesole was one of my favorite destinations..

On a boat in Venice.

On a boat in Venice.

Rumor has it there is a leaning tower in Piza.

Rumor has it there is a leaning tower in Piza.

Sistine-Vatican.png

Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Expensive Microphones: Who Needs Them?

Can you hear the difference between the $3,200 and the $400 microphones above? I sure can, but I don’t think either one sounds patently superior than the other. For this individual’s voiceover, I preferred the much cheaper Shure microphone over the golden standard Neumann microphone

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Remix My Song: Thermogenesis (Metal)

This technical death metal song will consume, then destroy you. It's fast, brutal, and has more notes than there are molecules in the ocean. Warning: trying to mix this song might cause you to give up on your recording hobby. I dare you to mix this mind-blowing song.

Thermogenesis Files

Thermogenesis Tempo + Time Signature Info

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Review: M-Audio ProFire 2626

For the average home studio owner, the M-Audio ProFire 2626 comes with all the accessories you would expect a consumer-grade recording interface to have. It includes the power cable, the FireWire 400 cable, the driver CD, a breakout cable for some more input options, and the unit itself. The ProFire series recording interfaces do not come with XLR cables (for plugging in microphones), ¼ plugs for guitars, nor a ¼ to 1/8 headphone adapter (although most high quality headphones should come with an adapter). You must purchase all of these separately. You won’t have to spend more than $50 on quality cables.

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Logic Preset: Twelve String Monster

(Logic 9 Only) This mysterious preset uses the EXS24’s Dual 12-string guitar preset along with many modulating effects, including a flanger and tremolo. It’s an eerie sounding effect. I imagine it would be great for a quite part of a rock song when few instruments are playing. It would add a unique flavor to a suspenseful part of a song. You could also loop the playback of this sample for your first date. Once she hears this bittersweet effect, she’ll be coming back for more.

Download Preset