Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back to the studio

After three long days of my day (and often night) job, I am looking forward to getting back into the studio tomorrow and Friday.  I have one song nearly finished (working title Falling) that rounds out at over 10 minutes.  I avoided writing an ending for it for a long time and then suddenly decided to start playing with time signatures and came up with an ending that my 12 and 10 year old sons say "Rocks".  The time goes from 11/8 to 6/8, to 7/8, 11/8, 9/8, and ending again with 11/8.  It was a lot of fun to write.  I hope to record the guide gocal for this track and begin them for a second track that is about half finished (working title Anthem).  Anthem looks to be at least 13 minutes long and could be significantly longer.  I should probably call it Soup, because I am incorporating at least 5 different song ideas into this one song.  So after I record some basic guide vocals, I plan on spending time writing transitions between the various parts.  I'm really finding the process of writing a true Prog Rock Anthem very challenging, but fun.

By the way, I found a great blog entry by Jem Godfrey  of Frost*, and many other musical endeavors, about rules for the DIY musician.  When I read it, I was surprised how much his style of writing and recording matched mine.  The main difference is that he is light years ahead of me in the process.  Check it out when you get a chance.  

Take care,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Dramatic Turn of Events - to Mike Portnoy

I have to say, being that Mike Portnoy is one of my favorite musicians of all time, I was more than just a little bit skeptical when I downloaded Dream Theater's new album A Dramatic Turn of Events. I wanted so much to dislike this album, possibly due to the seemingly genuine sadness Mike Portnoy displayed upon his parting with the group. I hurt for him, and secretly hoped that the new endeavor would fail for his ex-band mates. However, I was disappointed (but also excited) in that after three listens through the album I have to say this is one of my favorite. Sorry Mike, but it seems that Dream Theater is surviving without you. I guess one way of looking at it is that it frees you up to be involved in even better musical endeavors in the future. I hope this is the case and look forward to them. However, I have to say that A Dramatic Turn of Events will be a major influence on the music I write in the future.

Craig Kerley

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Check out Judgment!

Check out NOS's debut album Judgment.  

More to come soon!

Take care,

Progress on "Happy Accidents"

I am at that wonderful stage of writing where I really don't care too much about how it sounds!  Just trying to be as creative as possible and get as many ideas on tape as I can.  Currently have three songs that appear to be taking shape, tentatively titled "Falling"  (dark and at times heavy with hints of Dream Theater), "Anthem" (Epic - 13+ minutes so far, with some tasty bits of Frost* and Transatlantic), and "12-string" (more of a  mellow jazzy proggy song, with a Todd Rundgren feel).  I am certain the titles will change, but I am feeling really happy about where these new songs are heading.  Also, I hope to be collaborating with Jay Rowland of God Size Hate on a few of the ideas I have.  Jay is a long-time friend and past band-mate and is arguably one of the best guitarists I have known.  I am really looking forward to collaborating after 2+ years of working in a dark room alone (only on music, the rest of my life is significantly less dismal :-) ).

Take care,

Equipment used during recording of "Judgment" and "Happy Accidents"

Fender American VG Stratocaster
Ibanez SZR520 Electric Guitar
LTD MH-400 Electric Guitar
Ibanez AEG10NETNG Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Fender American Standard Jazz Bass
Ibanez GSR 4-string Bass Guitar

Line 6 HD500 Guitar Effects Processor
dbx 266XL Compressor/Gate
Izotope Ozone 4
Waves Gold Bundle

MXL MXL V67G Condenser Microphone
MXL 992 Condenser Microphone
Shure SM58 Microphone

Yamaha DTXplorer Electronic Drum Set
XLN Audio Addictive Drums

Yamaha SY-85 Music Workstation/Keyboard
Akai MK88 Midi Controller

M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface
Monster Power Pro 900
ART Tube MP USB Microphone Preamp

HP Six-Core Computer with 8GB RAM running:
Ableton Live 8.0 Recording Software
Spectrasonics Omnisphere
GForce M-Tron Mellotron Emulator
Native Instruments Absynth
Native Instruments Hammond B4
Big Fish Audio VI.ONE Virtual Instrument Software

Based on the amount of junk laying around my studio, I am sure I forgot a few things.  Will add them as I trip over them.


Books for the DIY Musician

The following are books that I have read recently which have helped in the writing, recording, and marketing of my music.  I hope they are helpful!

Basic Mixing Techniques by Paul White

Mixing Audio:  Concepts, Practices, and Tools by Roey Izhaki

Basic Effects & Processors by Paul White

Vocal RESET by Jaime Vendera

Recording and Producing in the Home Studio:  A Complete Guide by David Franz

Music 3.0: A Survival Guide for Making Music in the Internet Age by Bobby Owsinski

I will keep adding as I read more.  Always looking for suggestions from those with actual experience in the field!