Welcome ! Whatz on your Mind?

July 11th, 2011

This blog is mainly about music and it’s many aspects!  There also will be some articles on Joliet Illinois where I live. I hope to be posting new articles about weekly. I try to check in about twice a week and approve the comments and new postings!  Realize we will not post any ads , links to Porn sites or profanity at this site! So post COOL and don’t be a FOOL or we will BAN YOU from ever posting.

Don’t forget to visit Jolietjeff.com our home website!

Garage Band a good entry level music program

August 22nd, 2012

I am doing a little work with Apple’s Garage Band program and found it has many fairly easy to use ways to create loops and songs. This program allows you to individually adjust the volume in area area of each track and move the sound to the left or right speaker. It also allows for the user to add some effects such as reverb to each track. The biggest drawback is the limited amount of instruments you can use with your midi or USB midi keyboard. If you are thinking of buying an apple computer then definitely sign up to the $99 dollar program for One on One instruction. The people I have worked with are pretty knowledgeable at the Apple store and can give you a good start on this and other programs such as the Final Cut video program.  If you are looking for a great portable keyboard to use with this program on a laptop I suggest the Akai MPK mini. This keyboard with some controls is small yet the pads which could be used for drums worked great in fact much better than an M-audio unit costing 3x as much!

for further information on garage band .. click here

for more on the Mpk  mini … click here

Roland Handsonic drums

June 22nd, 2011

Bought a Roland Handsonic 10 a few months ago and it was worth every penny! The unit is like a sectioned drum practice pad and each section makes a different drum sound. The unit has many drums and many kits from djembe and conga to 808 kits and tabula. To buy the many ethnic drums included in this kit in acoustic format would cost way more than the $700 I paid out the door at Guitar Center. The unit has midi hookups and each tone and kit can be altered to create a slightly different sound. My friend Earley played the unit for a few times and he enjoyed it so much he purchased one of his own. The unit takes a little time to get used to where each sound is located and hitting it in the proper sequence similar to the SIMON game. Earley recently put down a nice rhythm on the unit and after a couple hours of sweat perfecting the beats and myself adding some synth/keys we got a song Oriental Breeze. Although not as easy as sequencing drum patterns or loops from your computer this unit gives the real feel to your beats and with all the ethnic drums included is great for meditation or relaxing tracks…. hope you enjoy the tracks!

Studio One music recording software from PreSonus

March 28th, 2011

Studio One is Music recording and editing software from PreSonus who manufacture many interfaces for recording Music from your instruments to computer. My Friend Earley and I both bought different interfaces but both came with Studio One Artist software. My Firestudio Mobile adapter and his Firestudio Project adapters work well. Probably the biggest problem is that most laptops and many desktop computers no longer have firewire ports. Blame the computer manufacturers for not having at least one on every computer especially when they only cost $50 or less for them to add!! They instead are moving to USB3 which cannot daisy chain and really doesn’t have the abilities of firewire and although it may be faster than firewire 400 is NOT faster than firewire 800!! But the adapters work well. Studio One software also works well once you get it installed and THAT is the BIG PROBLEM … registering and installing the software is almost a 3 hour process .. and although they have online instructions they often DO NOT WORK … Their support group did help me through an upgrade to Studio One Pro but that took 45 minutes and even he had trouble walking me through the steps since some of his ideas did not work either. If you are buying the interfaces which come with the free artist version then going through the process is worthwhile since it does work to record your instruments very well.. The interfaces work better that all but the most expensive Pro tool ones from Avid or digidesign who really do not even support any older models .. I have an M-box and they have not even put downloads of drivers for this so you can use it with vista, windows 7 or snow leopard. But to buy this for use with other interfaces or upgrade to the Pro version is too time consuming …. Unfortunately most music recording software  is like this with 25 character keys to enter … numerous downloads of the software (most really have almost none of it on the disks you buy instead expect you to download it) and upgrade fixes! I do recommend the interfaces with the free software which works well but time consuming installation should be fixed if PreSonus really wants to support their products properly.

Gibson CO Classical Guitar

March 6th, 2011

I have a Gibson CO Classical Guitar which I paid $400 for. This is a really nice smaller and less expensive Gibson guitar. I like to practice scales, slides and blues runs on it since the nylon strings don’t wear my fingers down as fast as steel strings. These guitars were produced in Kalamazoo Michigan from 1961 to 1971. Most classical guitar experts do not consider this a classical guitar but a Folk guitar especially since it was produced during the folk music revolution period. If you would like to see and hear this guitar in action just click here!
These guitars have a spruce top with mahogany back and sides.

Chord progressions and breaks

October 23rd, 2010

Had a wonderful Jam session with Friends Jimmy J., Kathy and Earley last night. Jimmy J. came up with some nice 60′s style chord changes of G to E minor and when we played up to the break in the chord progression all was well but the break that was originally done with just 4 beats on the A chord really did not let the music flow out and then back into the chord progression. By adding another chord to make it A to D and the A to D again (could add Em here too) and doing this over 5 bars the flow became smoother and it also made it easier for all four of us to make the chord transitions together. So if you are having trouble keeping your songs flowing add a couple more beats and maybe another chord or 2 to the break … this may be your solution too!

Backbeat Lover

April 12th, 2010

the latest song I put together with Friends Matt playing drums and Jimmy playing guitar. It started with a grooving Bass beat I put down to which Matt started a beat that blended with mine and jimmy came in with a guitar rhythm some spots sounded great during the jam but others went out of sync when one of us tried to get too tricky and was too far off beat. To fix this on the track I cut out the beginning and end of the jam session which synced. But parts were still off between Matt’s drums and my Bass so I played back only Matt’s drums and re-recorded the Bass part at times speeding up or slowing a little to stay in groove with the drums. For the most part this worked. I then added re-enforcing music on my keyboards which complimented the beat so this made the few off rhythms less obvious. This is why I suggest doing the Bass and Drums first so the rhythm is easier to follow.

Reverbnation – great place for music and musicians

March 30th, 2010

You should check out reverbnation where thousands of artists have songs you can listen too for free! Musicians can join and post your songs at your own site too!!

New Lenox concert series!! Kansas BOC and more $60!!

March 26th, 2010

New Lenox Illinois is continuing their summer concerts again this year! This is a great deal with 3 different dates and two main bands per date. Bands that will be playing are Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult, Soul Asylum, Smithereens, and Survivor! Tickets are on sale to New Lenox residents now and soon to everyone! Check out the village of New Lenox website for Details!!

Coffee no donuts

March 21st, 2010

worked on a new song with my good friend Jimmy J who does the guitar licks. Started with Jimmy doing the guitar and the drum track on his fender amp with me playing the bass. I then added some synth sounds on my Juno DI and korg R3 and also used the vocorder on the R3. Having the guitar rhythmn and Bass/drums down first is a huge asset since then the song has a direction to follow. Hope you enjoy the track!!