Category: blog

 

Evolution of a Studio

I have a few photos here of my studio transformation/evolution from 2007 to 2019.

The 2007 studio rocked out with 2 stanton st8-150s, a stanton m.270 mixer and Mixvibes DVS with laptop. I had my setup in a closet in my 1 bedroom condo for 10 years.

My current studio (2019) includes Pioneer DDJ-sx3, 2 stanton st8-150s, a stanton m.270 mixer, 2 laptops, HD tv, 32in monitor and hacked Ikea built booth. I also have a bomb ass office space. I have moved down from upstairs in our unfinished bonus room above the garage to our finished basement.

The evolution of myself as an artist has grown along with my tech. I don’t know what is around the corner, but I am pretty damn happy right now.

100th Episode

This week, the Breakbeat Asylum Podcast reached the century mark. I just want to thank those people who supported me in this long milestone.

(I had to remove a lot of episodes due to server space, but I have cleared that up)

Here’s to the next 100.

Emerging From Darkness

I have been depressed for about 2 – 3 months now. I am working with my doctor to get a med change in order. It is a bitch because I am weening off of one medication and onto another. The one good thing – a side thing – is that it provides me with an opportunity to re-evaluate my to do lists and really get into a good mindset.

Exercising more and doing more creative things as well longer more distant goals which I list in my to do list for those things. I am adding in some reading as well as trying to get myself back to the level of drawing I was at before my life turned to shit. Now I am back and need to get my art skills back up to par – perhaps even getting better.

I have an art store online that I am selling my paintings on and creating art has become more and more a part of my life. I am feeling that creative juice starting to build up. Mind you – this could all be because my new medication is making me manic, but I have not felt the downside of mania yet.

Here’s to hoping.

Winterizing

I live in New England and it gets pretty fucking cold up here. It is not yet half way though October and it is starting to get cold. I have to work indoors or my paints will freeze. Also, my wife’s car has to be pulled into the garage when we get snow and we get tons.

Last year was a mild winter, but we still had a couple of blizzards with snow accumulation of 6 or more inches. We have a snow blower that stays in the garage in between our 2 cars. The blower is fierce on our driveway. Other people on our block redo their driveway to keep them prisitine not to mention getting their lawns maticulously manicured and tended to by professionals. I do our yard.

So I need to move my art inside. The good thing is that I no longer do acrylic pours that run over the edge of the canvans and create huge pools of paint. My new technique is much cleaner – the should be no run off ever. I was thinking about a place to dry my paintings, but realized that I could just leave it where I painted. In the garage, the cardboard I was using got all bogged down and warped that I could not keep the painting there before it bleed and ruined the whole thing.

I am now preping my canvas with gesso. I did not do that before. It is good for the flow of the paint as the paint does not soak into the canvas. The main reason I decided to add that step is there are about 6 – 8 paintings that have just bled to death. I cannot sell those – they are terrible. I need to gesso over them to cover up the old paint.

So today I relocate my art studio inside into my basement. It will be good. I hated going into the garage regardless of the temperature. I am not even going to get into the 2 years I spent in our unfinished bonus room over our garage add the mercy of the elements. I do not know how I did it now that I am all nice and cozy in our finished basement with much more than a man cave – it is my studio for both art and music and is completely furnished and decorated. I even have an original DAIM print.

Here’s a nod to mother nature and she affects us here in New England.

Mixing Downtempo

I am going to be branching out into a new genre/type of music. I am preparing to put up a downtempo podcast. It is something I have always wanted to do and now have the opportunity to do so.

I have dropped a 4 hour live online radio show leaving a free day in my week. I am using that time for production, but now also for downtempo mixing/experimenting. I am looking forward to actually getting around to start this new musical journey.

Pay To Play

I just had to cancel my 4 hour weekly set on Sparks FM online Radio. The owner is instituting a pay for play requirement for 2 bucks for every time you played on the station.

I am morally and philosophically opposed to this idea. The stations should be grateful to the DJs, not the DJs thankful for the station. Without DJs – there is no station. Without that station, there will still be DJs.

I am a bit pissed off for this turn of events, but I am just going without a fight. The station is going to turn into new DJs who are not as skilled as some of the other DJs that would play on the station for free, and as such the station’s quality is going to be shit.

It is naturally going to turn into a newbie breeding ground for attempting to mix live on air. I glimpsed at one comment in a thread or fb post or the chat room somewhere for Sparks FM were the “DJs” were asking if the records had to be the same “speed” as the other record in order to beatmatch. Followed by a deceleration that Serato would mix for you.

Seriously. Pay to Play with auto mix? It is laughable. The only reason I was on that station was because I got the opportunity to play a 4 hour set. I can live stream a show whenever I want and play for more time.

The thing is, this is probably a good move for me as these circumstances as I need to spend more time producing and getting my tracks out there. I can make more of a connection with the world that way then playing on some radio station that wants me to pay. I would rather try to make money on my own music than to pay to mix other people’s records.

Fucking obvious sign of the kids trying to get into being a DJ. The bar has seriously been lowered these days and I guess this is my first time getting a mouthful of the actual bullshit of the people who want to DJ. I know – I am an old man who grew up with 2 turntables a mixer and vinyl. I do now use a controller because I am of the mindset that I want to embrace technology that allows me to be more creative.

But the foundation is there. The knowledge of manually beatmatching and learning records and finding mix points and keep track of phrases. The love for music that would cost about 10 bucks or more for a vinyl record. I love my vinyl and I am in the process of ripping them because you just cant buy most of the stuff I have.

So I guess this pay for play post has turned into a rant on new DJs and the ridiculousness of paying to have serato auto mix – no doubt with beatports top 100 – for you and an online radio show. But Fuck It – its the truth.

Video for Mixes

I have returned to the world of OBS and recording my mixes in video. I used to post live shows on Chew.tv, but they are out of business now. I really like being able to share what I am seeing with the listener.

I have begun to just record my mix that works for my podcast “Breakbeat Asylum”, my mix of the week for my site and also the mix I upload to Hearthis.at.

I started with new video editing software which has a pretty steep learning curve. I am posting this week’s mix under digital as well as video so check those out for the video mixes.

Getting Shit Done

I am always aware that I waste a lot of time during the day so I looked into software to help me with this issue. After searching for a long while I realized that I had 90% of my GSD process in effect.

This is what I do:
I write in my journal every morning to clear my head, center myself and prepare for the day mentally. As I write, ideas pop into my head. Instead of relying on myself to remember all those things I jot them down into a moleskine. After I finish writing, I head over to my computer and fire up Trello and add the items to my list. I have several lists, some are short term goals, others much further out and my daily tasks.

Now I have added the ability to time everything I work on during the day with TIme Camp Desktop. I can see where I spent my time. I also use Rescue Time for a much broader view of the time on my computer. So now I have my GTD process in full effect.