Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011: Still Grinding...

Still staying extremely busy in 2011, which is good.  More importantly, I am having some fun.  While a lot of engineering and producing can be stressful, it also can be a ton of fun when everything is going well, and right now (knock on wood) everything just seems to be going smoothly.

So here's an update on the projects I'm working on:

-The Touche Ole "House Party" Mixtape I had been working on is finally released, and is now available.  I am very happy with how it came out, and would love to have some of y'all download it and tell me what you think!  Touche Ole is an extremely gifted artist and one of the best female rappers I've heard in a while!

-Getting deep into mixing this Blackwood Royalty album.  They are a rock band, so a change of pace for me.  This project will take a lot of time and effort over the next couple months, and I'm glad that I feel up to the challenge!

-I've finally got the hang of the "Maschine", which is an awesome cross between a drum machine and a music sequencing program...  I've made tons of new beats with this thing, so expect to see a lot of new beats available soon!!!  If you are an artist in need of fresh tracks now is a great time to hit me up!

-This winter will also see the release of the long awaited "Hush Money" album from No Mercy Records.  I am basically their "staff engineer" so I will be working on all the final details for this.  Still some details need to be worked out, but for rap fans this album will be a must have for 2012!

-I keep putting it off, but now that my Christmas vacation is coming up, I think it would be a great time to try and pull off this EP completely recorded on an "iPad" that I've had on my mind for years now...  stay tuned for this!!!

Besides this, just trying to hang in there, as this holiday season has turned into a crazy grind for me...  but I am thankful and excited to have all these opportunities!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


All I can say is wow...  it has been crazy busy since I posted last.  My doctor would definitely not approve of my busy-ness these days, but you are supposed to follow your passion right?  At least that's what I keep telling my girlfriend...

I've just continued trying to take on freelance engineering work, while still moving forward on my personal art projects, and trying to maintain at my 9-5 (actually 10:30-6:30).  My studio is still in a state of upheaval since I moved, and probably will be for a couple more months, until I am able to set everything up in one room again.  For now I get by, it's a little inconvenient, but I am not sacrificing quality, which is what matters.  But when new clients see my shitty temporary setup I have that little insecure feeling I haven't had since starting out engineering over a decade ago....  oh well.

So on to what I'm doing, here's a quick summary in particular order:

-Finally dropped that personal album I've been working on, called Backwoods.  This is a strange instrumental hip hop project that started when I was living in the deep woods of Santa Cruz, and from there has transformed into something truly unique.  It's a free download, so and makes great driving or "background" music, so please get a copy!

-Working with BlacDaRippa, Marcus Weezy, and Mic Locc, I engineered and mixed the Cali Hit Patrol street album, and I would really appreciate any feedback on this, since it was one of the most "magical" rap sessions I've ever done (working with Dutchee Van Doe always does it too, it's just a feeling that shit is going down.).  It's a $5 download y'all!  Really proud of this!

-Putting the finishing touches on this Touche Ole mixtape.  She is a young artist from Chicago that is KILLING the mic.  Stay tuned.

-I always say I work on any type of music, but to be honest while I've worked on everything as an amateur just learning the game, for the last 5 years I haven't worked on much except for rap commercially.  But now I have a rock project to mix, courtesy of Blackwood Royalty.  Looking forward to getting started on this!  I've already listened to the tracks, recorded by the infamous Joe Clements at the Compound, and am excited by what I have to work with!

-As always, staying busy as ever at Universal Audio, helping to test and develop some of the coolest audio tools ever.  It sometimes feels like a grind, being the 9-5 portion of my life, but at the end of the day it is really exciting to be working on the next generation of music production gear.  I am hoping to be able to get to the NAMM show this year, I got stuck at work last year...

At the end of the day I am still trying to find a balance, as I love working on commercial music projects, but the work isn't steady enough in this economy and new paradigm to pay the bills.  If my 9-5 was more boring I would just quit, but honestly, working at UA, I can't wait to see what's next!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Journey of 1000 Miles

Begins with a single footstep, or something like that, so I'm finally going to start posting to my blog.  Basically I'll be posting updates about my work as a a music engineer, or my day job as a QA engineer for Universal Audio, working on new and exciting projects, or I might have an update about one of my own personal musical projects... it all starts to blend together really, but the basic common denominator is that I love producing music and tools to make music, and here is my story.

So a quick back story is that I've done a little of everything in the music industry (except make a lot of money LOL), I've been in bands, done live sound for all kinds of music, worked at a guitar store, ran recording projects, mixed, mastered, worked in the gear industry, etc.  Currently I've been finding a niche working on rap music, and I've been lucky enough to work with some great artists and some amazing music projects in this genre.

So here's an update on my most recent projects:

-This summer put out a collaboration project with BlacDaRippa called Blacmatik, which has some really cool tracks, including the San Jose Anthem, which got into some rap blogs and is beloved by many San Jose residents and artists...  we are working on a remix of this which will feature even more SJ rappers...  also this album features the single So Smooth, which features a verse from Mistah F.A.B., and the bass line is played by me ;-P

-I just got done mastering a mixtape from my #1 favorite rap group when I was growing up:  Totally Insane - Execution Style.  Just being able to work on this project was a dream come true, there were some sonic limitations which made my job hard, but just working on such great material was worth it.

-I got hit up for an interview from this online iPad music magazine, regarding my iMatik album, a personal project of mine which was an instrumental mixtape made with just an iPhone, and got a ton of press attention.  Turns out they need some extra content, and also turns out I'm working on an iPad album, so I'll be a regular contributor to this publication, and will be sure to post some links to articles on this blog.

-Also, I am about to finish up a personal project called "Backwoods", which is a collection of crazy instrumentals I started while I was living in what was basically a cabin in Santa Cruz.  It's a weird combination of electronic beats, acoustic and electric instruments, percussion, DJ scratches.... then everything is mangled to oblivion...  It just needs to be mastered and then I'll drop it at!

-Oh yeah and I'm going to start vocal tracking for the iPad project soon!  I'll post more about this in my next blog update!

-Also on the mixing front, I'm about to do a whole mixtape for Chicago artist Touche Ole'....  looking forward to this project!!!

So as you can see I'll be staying busy for quite a while!  No wonder time seems to be moving so fast recently (or maybe it's those "funny" cookies I've been eating (LOL).  OK that was a lot for a first post, I'll try to keep the next post more reasonable...