Musical Furnishings

This gives me the idea of having an invisible recording studio in the living room… Should be possible!

Introducing the Musical Rumba Series! Musical Furnishings is very excited to introduce the Musical Rumba Series. Design your own personal drum table with durable, interchangeable and rearrangeable percussion inserts. Choose from four different sized tables to suit your musical and space needs. The smallest table accepts four of the smaller instruments and the largest accepts sixteen. Make sure to watch the videos below and carefully consider which inserts you desire. The tables are easily shipped UPS and only require the legs to be attached (very easy requiring no tools) All orders are hand built by NW Artist Tor Clausen in his Studio in Olympia WA.

Unless otherwise noted, these are single modules (8?x 8?x varying depth). Note that the large 4×4 table has all of the 12 modules and the snare and cajun drum are larger thereby explaining why 12 modules can fill a 16 module table.

1 ) Tamborine
2 ) Snare Drum (takes the space of two modules, 8?x16?)
3 ) Medium Bongo
4 ) Low Bongo
5 ) High Bongo
6 ) Shaker
7 ) Chimes
8 ) Bell
9 ) Cow Bell
10) High Hat (adjustable)
11) Cajon Bass Drum (takes the space of 4 modules, 16?x16?)
12) Cymbal Crash

Musical Furnishings

Turn Me Up!
Bringing Dynamics Back To Music

Wow! A website dedicated to bringing back dynamics into modern recordings. I applied there with Tiki Traveling. Hopefully they accept that recording. I will do my best to support the project. I recorded TTWKK in the consciousness of making an anti-loudness record. Being mainly for soundtrack use, I could more easily fight the temptation of being competitive with music recorded for radio, music-tv or a teenager’s music collection, but aimed for the late fifties/early sixties hifi stereo sound instead. Think Command LPs with Bauhaus covers (Enoch Light’s label). I mixed and mastered for a good, enduring listening experience.

command lp klein

These records say: Turn me up! Your stereo deserves being turned up as much as your guitar amp or vehicle. Simply sounds better. Dials are more precise up the scale, too.

I wrote about the so called loudness wars earlier on this blog.

Quote from Turn Me Up!

Turn Me Up!™ is a non-profit music industry organization
campaigning to give artists back the choice to release more dynamic records. To be clear, it’s not our goal to discourage loud records; they are, of course, a valid choice for many artists. We simply want to make the choice for a more dynamic record an option for artists. …

Turn Me Up! | Bringing Dynamics Back To Music

Here’s another link to an article on over-compression of music.

Consumer EQ

EQ stands for equalization.
I want to write about the two knobs that old school consumer electronics had. The treble and bass controls on radios and amplifiers. Do you know somebody who always turns them up? Changing all the sound coming out of his stereo to his or her preferences. But what are these preferences based on?

He or she
… has paid for these knobs and just has to use them.

This habit is actually lowering the mids. The poor mids don’t have a knob of their own, and by boosting their neighbors they get behind in the frequency balance of the undoubtedly preference based volume adjustment.

… claims to compensate lacking gear or room acoustics.
What about the car stereo – same problem? The old radio – same problem? Incidentally the same problem in all audio gear within reach of this person. Try speaker (re-)placement.

… got used to the sound long ago.
This is probably true, but turning the knobs up is covering the symptoms, it’s not the cure.

… finds it sounds more hi-fi
This comes from a youth spend with very old or very cheap radios, receivers, cassette-players or compact record-players. The veils went up when the first proper hi-fi entered the living room. Like blankets were removed from the speakers. It’s a nice metaphor. Unfortunately I can’t provide one about dwarved mids.

The mids. They are the core of music. Many musical pieces were written for solo instruments or small ensembles exploring the beautiful kindom of mids. There’s considerably less music written for glockenspiel, triangel or cymbals. Strange, considering how hi-fi that would sound. Simply put, these treble instruments are the icing on the cake of music, but not the cake itself. Also few solo pieces for double-bass or tympany are being performed regularly. They just don’t deliver the goods, the mids.

Melodies
live in the kingdom of mids. And you also find the most beautiful and complex harmonies there. You don’t hear a jazz chord with a root above 10khz. Or below 60hz. So by boosting these cake-icing frequencies you get less cake. Which you paid for too! Not only in your stereo gear, but the music itself as well. A professionally mastered recording is sounding good on neutral speakers. A serious test in the life of a piece of recorded music. Consumer speakers are much more music friendly, in the sense that they make even mediocre masters or mislead eq-adjustments sound acceptable. Find out the truth about the music you hear! If you don’t like it with the neutral eq-setting, try different music.

One exception!
If you are desperately un-musical, lowering the key musical frequencies by boosting highs and lows (and pushing the important loudness knob!) will help you move the irritating differences in musical compositions to the background.

Wrecking Crew Movie

via Moritz ®

A film by Denny Tedesco
What is the Wrecking Crew?

The Wrecking Crew were a group of Studio Musicians in Los Angeles in the 60s who played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. The amount of work that they were involved in was tremendous. …

here’s the trailer

Song List (the links go straight to iTunes):

5th Dimension
Let the Sunshine in/Aquarius
Stone Soul Picnic
Up Up and Away
One Less Bell to Answer

Association
Windy
Never My Love

Beach Boys
California Girls
Don’t Worry Baby
Fun Fun Fun
God Only Knows
Good Vibrations
I Get Around
Sloop John B

Byrds
Mr. Tamborine Man
Turn Turn Turn

Glen Campbell
By The Time I Get to Phoenix
Gentle on My Mind
Wichita Lineman

Captain and Tennille
Love Will Keep Us Together

Carpenters

Close to You
We’ve Only Just Begun

Cher
Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Half Breed

Chipmunks
Chipmunks Theme

Nat King Cole
Ramblin Rose

Sam Cooke
Twisting the Night Away
You Send Me

Crystals
And He Kissed Me
Da Doo Ron Ron
He’s A Rebel

Bobby Day
Rockin’ Robin

Defenders
Taco Wagon

Shelley Fabares
Johnny Angel

Richard Harris
MacArthur Park

Jan & Dean
Dead Man’s Curve
Surf City
Little Old Lady From Pasadena
Balboa Blue

Gary Lewis and the Playboys
Everybody Loves a Clown
Sure Gonna Miss Her
This Diamond Ring

Barry McGuire
Eve of Destruction

Mamas & Papas
California Dreaming
Creque Alley
Dedicated to the One I Love
Monday Monday

Henry Mancini
Pink Panther

Marketts
Out of Limits
Surfer Stomp

Dean Martin
Every Body Loves Somebody

Scott McKenzie

Are You Gonig to San Francisco

Monkees
Mary Mary
Valerie

Chris Montez
Let’s Dance

Ricky Nelson
Fools Rush In

Wayne Newton
Danke Schoen

Jack Nitzsche
Lonely Surfer

Harry Nilsson
Everybody’s Talking At Me (Echoes)

Partridge Family
Come on Get Happy

Elvis Presley
A Little Less Conversation
Viva Las Vegas

Paul Revere & the Raiders
Indian Reservation

Righteous Brothers
Unchained Melody
You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

Rip Chords
Hey Little Cobra

Johnny Rivers
Poor Side of Town

Tommy Roe
Dizzy

Ronettes
Be My Baby
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Routers
Let’s Go

Sandpipers
Guantanamera

Lalo Schifren
Mission Impossible

Simon and Garfunkel
Mrs. Robinson

Frank Sinatra
Strangers in the Night
That’s Life

Nancy Sinatra
These Boots Were Made for Walking
Drummer Man

Sonny and Cher
The Beat Goes On
I Got You Babe

T-Bones
No Matter What Shape Your Stomach Is In

Nino Tempo & April Stevens
Deep Purple

Tijuana Brass
Lonely Bull
Spanish Flea
Taste of Honey
Whipped Cream
Zorba the Greek

Ike and Tina Turner
River Deep Mountain High

Ritchie Valens
Donna

Bobby Vee
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

Ventures
Hawaii 5-O

Mason Williams
Classical Gas

Roger Williams

Born Free

Loudness Wars Explained

What a great find! Somebody on a audio recording board posted this link.

It’s an animated movie explaining “loudness”. It’s a high average volume level. Meaning there’s less softer parts in the music. If you read this you probably have a chance of enjoying old music. You probably think about the old recordings as being played by real musicians, on real instruments, projecting real emotions and so forth. All fine an dandy with me. But that’s not all there is to it. They recorded it differently! The guys at the record companies enjoyed loud parts coming after quieter parts. A scary movie is most scary when nothing is really happening, but your senses tell you that something could and probably will happen. Then when all the screams come on, its not scary anymore. You are scared in the fracture of a second actually, the transition from quiet to loud.

With modern music it’s like horror screams all of the time. No wonder most people eventually turn away from it. At first (your early teens) you think “cool – it’s really loud”. But as an adult you will find that the dimensions offered in music are richer for your enjoyment.

Many professionals in the recording industry think that this loudness war is one thing that is hurting the music business of today. Also consider the fact that an artist will sound wimpy on stage by comparison to his recordings. You didn’t read about booed off the stage superstars in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Or even the 80s. It’s fans robbed off another illusion. And they start realizing they have one voice.

Hamburg Recording Studio

Folke Jensen engineered The Looney Tunes band’s second album Modern Sounds of… at his Ultraschall Studio in Hamburg, back in 1995.

Many consider this to be my former surf-band’s best album, and a key factor is the great sound Folke managed to capture on tape.

His project Ledernacken is here on MySpace.

That is a pioneering electronic thing, but trust me when I say he knows what great vintage sound is about.

Got Myself One of Those Old Magicstomps

For a very long time I was contend with my Boss DD3 echo pedal. Of course it’s generic and cold sounding compared to old tube-tape or disc delays like the Dynacord I once owned. But trying to get spare parts for those was impossible in pre-internet days, at least for my amptech back then. And the old echos require collectors money – when I just wanted a tool, not a museum piece. The earlier delay modelers like the Line6 tried to do too much I don’t want and too less of what I want, the variations of multihead delay patterns. I always found them a little too expensive! Now the Magicstomp recreates tape and multihead delays very well. And timebased effects like echo and reverb escape the detached feeling latency encountered with other digitally generated effects, like amp-modeling and distortion. I got mine used and it’s of the first variety, later versions include a headphone jack.

What really convinced me beside the current low prices for them, was finding this page, where a dutch guy programmed a large number of sixties tape echo patches for the Magicstomp, mostly Meazzi and Vox. There’s also a Roland, and the patch really resembles the sonic signature. You can download patches from Yamaha’s site or dedicated www-groups (2 on Yahoo!) and install them with your pc or mac with OS9 and built in usb. Just connect an usb cable and start the Magicstomp editor. You can deep edit a lot of effect parameters and store them to 99 user presets.

Integrating the effectbox into a live-set-up brings some problems. Read this message from one of the Yahoo! Magicstomp boards:

I’ve finally got round to attaching my magicstomp to my board only to
find a considerable drop in volume when patches are engaged. Tried
reducing the input level but no change.
Is this yet another defect (along with the half second pause between
patches) that has lead to this product being discontinued?
Here’s another point. I’ve decided to use my stomp to replace certain
effects that I only use occasionaly – phaser,flanger, uni-vibe and for
delays etc…problem is that I thought I could navigate up and down
and then just use the on/off footswitch to activate the chosen effect.
Turns out that even though the display reads “reverb” for example, I
still have a bloody harmoniser. Have to go back to the patch that the
sound corresponds to and then move up or down. Useless. I never
noticed this before when I used it as a stand alone effect. Anyone had
similar problems ar know something I don’t?????
Cheers.

New Documentary about California Garage Studio PAL, which Produced Surf Music Classics

The very studio where Paul Buff and Frank Zappa recorded one of my all time favorite LPs is The Hollywood Persuaders, featuring tracks like Drums a-Go-Go and Thunderbird.

freakoutincucamonga writes over at Surf Guitar 101:

Check out our web page for our documentary, “Freak Out in Cucamonga.”

www.freakoutincucamonga.com

For anyone interested in the Cucamonga studios in the early 60’s that brought you ‘Wipeout’ and ‘Pipeline’, as well as recording sessions from Johnny Fortune, The Tornadoes, Conrad and the Hurricane Strings, Johnny Barakat, and let’s not forget, Frank Zappa.

YouTube link to Cucamonga PAL Studio documentary video trailer

Official Hal Blaine Site

One of the great Los Angeles session men, he played drums on countless hit records, as well as some of the best instrumental studio productions of the sixties. Here’s the Official Hal Blaine Website

here’s his drumming on iTunes
The Gene Norman Group featuring Glen Campbell, Jim Horn, Al Delory, Lyle Ritz, and Hal Blaine - Dylan Jazz
Nancy Sinatra & Hal Blaine - The Essential Nancy Sinatra
Glen Campbell - Classic Campbell