7 Days To Go

Well, I feel bad I haven’t been updating the blog as much as I’d like, but there’s been two pretty major events in my life happening almost concurrently.  So, I figured it was time to give a quick update while I had a free moment.

The thing I’ve been working on my new live set for the Photosynthesis 4.0 Festival starting a week from today.  I’m REALLY excited for this, the line-up is killer (I mean Tipper? How cool is that?) and it’s in one of the most beautiful locations in my favorite part of the United States.  Not to mention I have a really prime time-slot for when I’ll be performing, this is no early evening warm up slot (somewhat typical for downtempo musicians like myself).

So I really have been putting a lot of time into fine-tuning my normal live set, and trying to come up with something special.  In this case I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to see how (or if) I can combine my hardware Elektron-based live set, with my normal Ableton Live set.  Further made interesting by the fact that I sold my Elektron Monomachine earlier this week.  I know, WTF right?

It was a great synth which I really enjoyed using, but due to the second reason I’ve been busy lately, I needed some spare cash sooner than expected, so it had to go (for now).  Before I sold it however, I did take the time to separately record all of the parts of my new Wired Roots live set into Live, so that I could sync the Machinedrum to Live and still perform that set if need be.  Well, that was the plan anyway, I ran into two issues that will probably make this a no go at this time.

The first was that my Elektron stuff sounds so different (more minimal, techy) from my normal Ableton live set, that it was hard to mix and match the two the way I intended.  Not really possible to intersperse them among each other, and playing the Elektron stuff before or after the Ableton stuff just didn’t flow right.  I’m playing for an hour and half at the festival, which is 30 minutes longer than I usually play my live sets.  So I thought, maybe I could just work in one or two of the Elektron songs into the set as segues, or maybe for the intro.

And then I ran into issue number, I just can’t get the Machinedrum to follow Live’s tempo accurately enough.  Or rather I should say most of the time it syncs fine, everyone in awhile for reasons I can’t figure out, it just goes wonky and that’s that.  The new beta of Live 8 syncs to the Machinedrum as master ok, but I don’t want to be messing with the Machinedrum all night to change tempos.  Something my downtempo sets do a lot of.

So in the end I decided it was probably best to make this performance almost entirely Live based, with the Machinedrum standing by with a self-contained live set in case I need to extend my set somewhat.  After a trial run last night though, I’m confident that i have enough Live-prepped material to more than cover the time slot, so I doubt I’ll need to turn to the Machinedrum at this point.

Ah yes, last night’s trial run.  First time I’ve played some of my newer songs in a live context, and for the most part I’m SUPER excited at how it’s all going to sound.  Only had one real issue, where I ran into a weird Live bug where some of my clip loops were extended by tiny fraction of a bar.  Just enough to sort of barely throw the groove off when the clips looped each time.  Not sure most people would have heard the issue, but when it’s your songs, every little thing stands out if it’s not right.  I don’t remember ever having this issue in the past, but at least it was easy enough to correct.  Another reason you should ALWAYS do trial runs at home!

So at this point, I think everything is set and ready to go.  I’ve got my laptop prepped and backup, all my important data and the set are burned to DVD just in case.  I’ve got a diagram drawn showing all the connections to the Fireface400 I need to make, just to  make sure I remember everything.  All my cables are checked, packed, and I have extras of everything.  I even make some nice labels for the APC40 to make it easier to remember which channel is which at 2:00 AM!

Just to be safe I’ll probably do a trial run again tonight or tomorrow, really making sure all the kinks are worked out before everything gets packed up for good.  Practice makes perfect, so it’s not time wasted.  And honestly, I love performing my music live, even if it’s just at home. 🙂

So, Photosynthesis festival 4.0, July 22nd-25th, Hobuck Resort in Neah Bay, Washington State.  Tarekith performing live from 12:30-2:00 Saturday night (Sunday morning) in the h’Art tent.  I doubt many people reading the blog will be able to make it out to the show, but if you do please stop by before or afterwards and say hi.

And that’s the news on the first thing on my plate lately.

The second thing I’ve been spending a lot of time on, is sort of relaunch of mastering and mixdown business I run, InnerPortalStudio.com.  Things have been steadily ramping up since I started doing this full-time, and there’s a few other things in the works that I know are going to be driving a lot of traffic to my site in the next two to three months.  So as a result, I’ve decided to revamp the website, upgrade the studio acoustics (custom fabricated courtesy of GIK Acoustics USA out of Atlanta), and re-look at the services I offer.

After almost two years of doing this full-time, it’s apparent that I can make a living doing it, and that there’s a demand for what it is I offer.  I’ll admit, I’m a musician and engineer more than a business man, so it’s been a long process of trying to figure out exactly where I fit in, in this time of change in the music industry.  But I think I’ve got some exciting new ideas that people will find appealing, so it seemed like a good time to re-look at what it is I offer people.

The new acoustic treatment should arrive in 2-3 weeks, with the new website to launch shortly after that.  Currently streamlining some other aspects of the business as well, so pretty exciting times for me, if crazy busy too!

More news to come as I get closer to launch of Inner Portal Studio v2.

Well, that’s the update on what’s bee going on, and why I haven’t been posting to my blog as much as I’d like.  On a side note, despite getting the most traffic to my site ever, and a lot of positive feedback, the Production Q&A series seems to be dead in the water after only one episode.  Everyone liked the idea, and web hits were through the roof that month, but I didn’t get many questions for the follow up (and those were strangely almost word for word the questions I asked in the first Q&A).  I’d love to keep helping people out, but I’m only going to spend the time on it if people actually have questions they want answered 🙂  So, last call for production, mastering, or mixdown questions you’d like to see me tackle.

Finally, for those Facebook users in the USA, I’ve been spending a little bit of time each night on the new Turntable.fm service.  It’s a fun way to chat to other DJs and share tunes, in this case in a room dedicated mainly to downtempo (we stay sometimes).  If you’re bored and want to share some similar tunes, or just want something to listening to while chilling at night, check out:

http://turntable.fm/el_jefes_downtempo_saloon

I mainly tend to visit in the evenings, around 6:00-7:00 PM Pacific Time.

4 Replies to “7 Days To Go”

  1. Dude those labels are hot. 😀

    Glad you plugged the room, even more glad you’ve decided on a regular time to be there so I can show up too. Come join us everyone!

  2. nice update and break a beat (Music’s version of break a leg) at the festival. I’m excited to see what Innerportal V2 looks like as i finish some more tracks before sending off to you for mastering.

    Looks like 2nd half of 2011 is gonna be a busy one for ya!!

  3. Good luck T. It’s good to read this sort of description before catching anyone’s live act – good reminder of how much prep work goes into making a gig come off without hitches.

    Wish we could get this in front of anyone who’s ever said, “Aww man, all these guys do is go up on stage and push a button.” 😉

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