Ibrahim, Oum, and why our music has 12 shades of grey

Here’s Christian McBride for Jazz Night in America about Ibrahim Maalouf:

It’s much more than the idea of “quarter tones” between our normal half ones. Here is composer David Bruce explaining it better than I could:

So there’s a world way beyond anything we’re used to – and it’s beautiful, and full of colours.

Thanks for viewing.

Lucy & Snarky

What a powerful combination – Lucy goes all Jessica Rabbit, and Justin just kills it on the organ:

Enjoy…

About a mixing legend, and kisses on the bottom

I’m currently watching an interview of Al Schmitt through Warren Huart on Youtube, which is so nice.

Al is a legend of a recording engineer, and he recorded and mixed them all, his story is totally worth the time even if you’re not a technical person or interested in how music is produced – the list of artists alone, and what he says about them is so remarkable.

He mentioned that he recorded Sir Paul McCartney’s “Kisses on the bottom” album which is in my opinion a super classy jazz album through and through – the title track alone leaves no doubt as soon as you hear that double bass on it.

But I wanted to show you another example of Paul (and this is also for my brother who likes Mrs. Krall) and orchestra, recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt, and later put into an official video with two others. First, Sir Paul:

Sir Paul McCartney – My Valentine (Live Kisses) ~ 1080p HD

Then, the awesome official video:

Paul McCartney’s ‘My Valentine’ Featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp

So nice. I love seeing and hearing pros at work 🙂 And Al Schmitt’s book is on my Amazon wishlist, even if I won’t ever sit in front of a 72 track SSL console or put 200+ tracks into ProTools…

Thanks for reading & viewing.

Must dash (with daddy’s cash)

Found an awesome track with percussion, drums, and vocals – and even a nice story, and who could resist that? So I added some simple low notes to it:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Left the door wide open for additional musicians, and played it simple in G major. Oh, and I added a BassFX track with that nice TAP EQ and Flanger/Chorus (all of which come included for free with Linux music stuff). List of musicians, so far:

Thanks for listening.

white by jjdf

I’m happy and proud to be included into another album, this time from João. He called it “white”:

white by jjdf

I’m on the first track of it, with this one:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Obrigado João, both for your nice album, and also for including me. 🙂

A short comparison of studio monitors

Today I have a day off, and since I’m thinking about getting new loudspeakers for my PC, I went to our local music store to compare some studio monitors.

My original purpose was to compare one I was really interested in – but which is kind of expensive – with cheaper alternatives. But that didn’t work out, since the space around my computer monitor is restricted, to put it politely, and so I had to look for the smallest available ones. Which were just two, the smallest you can see on the photo I took:

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Studio Monitor Comparison

The smallest one you see here is the Genelec 8010A, against which I wanted to compare cheaper alternatives. Instead, I went to compare it with the Focal Shape 40 just next to it. And in the end I also connected and listened to a Mackie XR624 which is the one under the Genelec. But that one’s definitely way too big for my desk, and entirely out of the equation. I just wanted to check against something bigger (with a 6.5″ speaker against the 4″ of the Focal and the 3″ of the Genelec).

So how did they sound? Well, that’s hard to describe – which shows that these are good products, since studio monitors should be as neutral as possible.

And that is exactly how I would describe the Genelec. Unobtrusive, utilitarian, it does its job without trying to shine or to shout: “Hey look at me – ain’t I cute?”. It is a wonderful speaker, and from some Youtube videos I knew that already.

Switching to the Focal made the sun shine brighter, life more enjoyable, and gave some kind of sparkling to everything you offered to it. Hard to describe again, because it also didn’t do too much, it wasn’t like it tried to be a “HiFi” speaker, not even “High End”, but it had this little extra which instantly makes one smile. Half of the time I preferred the Focal, the other half the Genelec – which isn’t even a fair comparison, because against a 4″ Focal you should compare a 4″ Genelec – but the store didn’t have one available. It speaks volumes that even the 3″ Genelec compared so nicely, and that for some things I even preferred it.

That Mackie? Not really that interesting for me because I wouldn’t know where to put it – but as you’d expect it had loads more bass than the other two, and it was also quite a bit louder – I had to reduce its level all the way down and crank up the others on the Mackie Big Knob switch to get them to more or less the same level. The Focal needed more boosting than the Genelec by the way, and both of these two also shine when listening not too loud.

Bass response? Quite good, even on the 3″ Genelec which sometimes managed to sound even fuller than the slightly bigger Focal. That Focal on the other hand had quite a wonderful bass, maybe because it has these passive radiators on each of its sides, while most monitors have bass reflex ports. In that lower register, the term “unobtrusive” fits the Focal quite well – but the bass is there, and even wonderfully defined.

Which music was used to listen to these monitors? In the beginning it was the music which was available from the store’s content databases, since the music player – a Tascam SS-CDR200 – didn’t really want to play something off of my own USB stick. But then I went and got some CDs out of the car, and so I could listen to music I knew pretty well – since I both played *and* mixed it. Like this one for instance:

7e3_1250303-wikiloops-music-monitors
Listening to Wikiloops music on nice monitors

It was really wonderful to listen to my friends singing and playing, and I was even reminded of Mark, who is in a hospital right now, while listening to his nice saxophone on “Present for You”:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

So after this comparison, all of a sudden that small and lovely Genelec was the bargain in the group. And that Focal? Wow, a piece of art which even looks as nice as it sounds. For what I need tho, with having these monitors more or less at arm’s length, the Genelecs would be perfect (I tried exactly that distance in the store). For a bigger desk or even the top of a mixing console I’d probably opt for the Focals (or some bigger Genelecs, Focals, or Neumanns). And in our living room, we have some 8″ speakers next to the TV set already.

So in case you’re interested in some studio monitors, go and have a listen. I didn’t really want to stop listening 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

A baby’s voice / Find my way

Oliv’s new “baby” was a Guitalele, and he played it so nicely. And with Shi singing on it, who could resist the temptation to also add something? So I did just that:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

And the list of musicians, so far, is:

As always, thanks for listening. And to my friends: thanks for another wonderful jam! 🙂

Edit, one day later:

Oliv just remixed my bass into the track – and it sounds like this:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Merci beaucoup Olivier! C’est magnifique! 🙂

Cuttin Thru Da Haze

Cool Reggae/Ska feel on this; couldn’t resist to play around with it a bit:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

List of musicians (so far):

As always, thanks for listening. And as always to other musicians: come and jam with us – it’s fun 🙂

My trip to the Wikiloops member meeting in Steinfeld, 2017 by navota Krull

Wikiloops member and fellow musician sister navota Krull has made a nice video documentation about her 2017 trip to the Wikiloops members’ meeting in Steinfeld.

I’ve met her and some of the musicians you’ll see here in 2018, and I sure hope to see her and lots of other Wikiloops friends again there this year – so much looking forward to this.

My trip to the Wikiloops member meeting in Steinfeld bynavota Krull

Thanks for that nice documentation to our NAF (Native American Flute) playing sister!