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BigBubbaBrown last won the day on May 7 2013

BigBubbaBrown had the most liked content!

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About BigBubbaBrown

  • Rank
    Active Member
  • Birthday 02/14/1981

Profile Information

  • Gender

Music Background

  • Band / Artist Name
    The Monkeysphere
  • Musical Influences
    Genesis, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Jim Steinman, Ok Go, Damon Albarn, Ray Stevens


  • Songwriting Collaboration

Critique Preferences

  • Getting Critique
    Give It To Me Both Barrels
  1. I've been reading about a bunch of setups in these forums and most of them include external hardware such as patch bays, EQ, compressors, reverb units, etc. in addition to studio monitors. Now I've been thinking. Pretty much anyone who hears my music will be listening through PC speakers or on a mobile device. Currently all I have for my system is PC speakers. They were top of the line when they were new, but the fact that I got them because one of my brother's clients was getting rid of them should tell you something about how they've aged. Since the setup I have is essentially the upper end of what my target audience will be listening on (barring high end headphones for mobiles or some audiophile with a home theater setup stumbling across my videos) would it be possible to achieve decent results with just Cakewalk Music Creator, VSTs, and a MIDI controller? Or should I start investing in some hardware? I don't do vocals and I don't have the space to set up my acoustic drums so I haven't even needed a mic by this point.
  2. My DX7 is one of the originals. It's been modded. There's a knob on it next to the volume slider with settings labeled A - H, but I have no idea what it does (changing the settings did nothing) and apparently the guy who modded and sold it to the music store that sold it to me doesn't use Craig's List so I couldn't find a way to contact him. Despite the mod it still works, minus the dead battery (which isn't an issue because I don't like presets anyway). It's a bit noisy but truthfully I kind of like the lo-fi sound. It has a nostalgia value to me and I'm sure it won't be noticeable in a full mix with effects added. So basically I would be better off going with an interface than trying to find a digital recorder, right? Do you have any recommendations? I have some unavoidable expenses coming up (and I won't know how much I'll have to pay until it's all over) so I can't really afford anything higher than $250. I have a MIDI to USB adapter but latency keeps me from recording with it. Even recording with no VSTs hooked up there's still too much lag. I have to spend so much time editing the results that I might as well do it all with a mouse from the beginning.
  3. I've always had trouble recording live, both with MIDI and line in. There's too much latency with the default settings and if I adjust the settings to get the latency down to an acceptable level in my DAW it glitches out. A new sound card would probably fix that but it's not an option with my current computer (all in one thing, basically a giant tablet). I was watching a guy use old "toy" keyboards to recreate classic 8 bit songs (mostly from Commodore 64 games) and I noticed he had his keyboards plugged into a device that was plugged into his computer. I doubt that would help me with my latency issues, but it did get me to thinking. Is there an affordable (i.e. $200 or less) device where I can just plug in the line out of my keyboard, record some tracks, plug it into the USB port of my computer, and export it? If it could handle MIDI as well that would be great, but not vital because I can still do that with my mouse, but multitrack recording (which will likely require a line out on the device itself to monitor it) would be a pretty important feature. Right now I have my Yamaha DX7 sitting idle because I can't record with it, neither using the native sound (which I'd like to use because the VST plug-ins I tried just didn't have the same sound) nor using it as a MIDI controller. Clicking in each note is too slow for everything but the drums plus I never thought I'd see a DX7 in person, let alone own one so I'd like to use it.
  4. The difference is those songs had actual lyrics. The only thing that was ever said throughout the entire song was "naminanu." No other words.
  5. I forgot about this thread until I was email notificated about a new reply. I've been digging around on YouTube looking for Genesis songs I haven't heard before and I came across the one line I am kicking myself for not thinking up. It goes: "Naminanu naminanu naminu naminanu. Naminanu naminanu naminanu naminanu." I can't remember the title of the song. I think it's called "Naminanu" but I could be wrong. And yes, this is a real song by Genesis. Fortunately it was only ever released as a B side to the best of my knowledge. In all seriousness, after going on a Meat Loaf bender I'm wishing I could have beaten Jim Steinman to the lines "Baby you're the only thing in this whole world that's pure and good and right/And wherever you are and wherever you go there's always gonna be some light" Unfortunately that album was written and released a good 4 or 5 years before I was born.
  6. How does the copyright notice deal on the site work if you don't use your real name? When registering obviously I'd use the name on my birth certificate but online I never use my real name. Even my facebook name was "borrowed" from one of Victor Hugo's works. I'm increasingly paranoid of identity theft so I take great pains to make sure that there's nothing on my PC that can identify me if a key logger or other type of trojan makes its way through, all forms are filled out in pen and mailed in, and I never even type my real name on any web site so how would I handle the copyright information when posting a song here?
  7. Unsolicited contact regarding services is almost always an indication of a scam. It's true of door to door home repair outfits (many of which demand up front payment "for materials" then you never see them again), people who claim they can make you a fortune through youtube if you pay them $500 to get started, and this licensing racket you were contacted about. Unless you explicitly put it into the public domain your song is already licensed. If people want to use it for their own purposes they either have to contact you or you will, assuming you can prove that you're the author of the song (as an aside, before you upload any more you might want to download software like MuseScore, transcribe each part, print it out, then mail it to yourself. It's not as air tight as registering with the copyright office but the postmark will still give you more evidence than just uploading it and relying on the "date modified" field of the original file) or didn't put it under one of the Creative Commons variants, have grounds for legal action against them. Legitimate companies who deal with things like this will generally wait for you to contact them. I've been wanting to get into the soundtrack game for a while and my dad offered to put me in touch with his agent to find out how to go about it. If it's something you're interested in it I can pass along any information I get. I can almost guarantee that any firms he tells me about won't demand up front payment. They'll just act as a mediator and take a cut of any revenue they help generate.
  8. Don't worry about image at this point. It means nothing on the local scene. If someone hires you at that stage it will be because they like your music. If you reach a point where you want to branch out beyond your region (and your income allows for it) you may need to hire someone with connections, namely a manager. Not only would a competent manager have connections, they would handle the band's image. In other words, worrying about your image now will get in the way of your music, which is what will get you those local and regional gigs. By the time you're ready to go multi-regional or even national you'll likely have someone to help with your image.
  9. I think I'll have to drop that part, anyway. I have half of my dad's joke books here (which he used to write scripts as a ventriloquist) and read the other half when I go to my parents' house. I simply can't come up with anything to use for that. Even running it in my head using what I'm familiar with as a placeholder (Roy and Buck's rendition of Cripple Creek) I can't find any way to make the format work. I should be in the clear on everything else. Hee Haw wasn't exactly all that original. It was just Laugh-In in a rural setting with musical guests and somewhat cleaner jokes. Saturday Night Live is basically Hee Haw with no defined setting, jokes that would make a lady of the night blush, more acting (as opposed to Hee Haw's format of people standing, sitting, or laying around telling jokes), and musical guests from genres other than country. Mine will basically be Laugh-In/Hee Haw/Saturday Night Live in a small town setting (and the outskirts), animated (it's easier to get people to record their voices onto a computer than it is to find locations for filming and get everyone together), and I don't know about musical guests. I'd like to have them but I don't know of many musicians who would be willing to work pro bono. As for the title and everything, I don't think that's an issue. "The Untitled Internet Variety Show" (originally a placeholder, if it does well enough to make more of them it will be the official title as sort of a joke, like regardless of the actual quality there wasn't even any effort made to give it a proper name) is about as far from "Hee Haw" as you can get. Shouldn't be a problem unless, unbeknownst to me, someone already used it (and a google search doesn't turn up anything on it). I'm not sure it will even have a title sequence. Works for TV shows but most people complain when internet videos use them.
  10. Posting this here is kind of a grey area since it has more to do with television than music, but I don't know of any other forums (other than the monthly subscription fee based sites) where anyone even remotely knows about copyright law and once this idea is fleshed out it will be music related. I've been watching a lot of Hee Haw reruns and after a few days of posting cornball jokes to my facebook page and various online forums I've been considering doing a spritual successor of sorts on youtube. Legally there shouldn't be any issue as long as I don't mention the show in any way or directly rip off their sketches, but there's one area that's kind of confusing me. I'd like to do something similar to Pickin' and Grinnin,' where they'd play part of Cripple Creek (I'd be using a different one, as I'm pretty sure Cripple Creek is public domain by now but it's so heavily associated with Hee Haw that I'd rather not risk getting into trouble with it), tell a joke, play another part, tell another joke, etc. My question is, can that very format be protected under copyright? In other words, could whoever currently owns the rights to Hee Haw order youtube to take down the videos (or order them to have me take it down, having never had a disputed video I don't know how it works)?
  11. People are immune to hype these days. You go all over the place and see "the fastest way to lose weight," which you immediately ignore since you know there are faster and safer ways to lose weight, if you even need to lose any at all. "Get rich selling our snake oil and cheap trinkets." This one does draw in quite a few people but the vast majority see that the ones involved aren't even earning enough to go to a movie so they don't buy into it. "Check out the sickest new beats of the year." Self hype is the least effective, as it makes you sound arrogant and is more of a turn off for people than anything. If you want hype you need to get other people to build it up, not try to do it yourself. But when it comes to videos there are two reasons people watch them. Either they're really good or they're horrendously bad. Harmonic Voltage on Animusic's official channel has over 800,000 views, which I consider a high number. That's because a lot of effort went into making the video and it shows. The music itself is pretty good, too. A bit repetitive at times, but I've certainly heard far worse from better known names. Rebeca Black's "Friday," on the other hand, has had over 52,000,000 views. Now I don't want to get a debate started about if she's actually good or not. The song was quickly written (and we all know the quality of songs written in a hurry) for a 14, possibly at the time 13 year old girl. It's not going to have the depth of Mumford and Sons' writing, but I will say she's come a long way from the ear splittingly nasal "Friday." Outside of the video's intended demographic, which would be pre-teens and possibly early high school kids, the video is famous for being bad. It's been parodied countless times, when it's mentioned in a vlog it's always the subject of ridicule (at least among adults. I don't know what the kids were saying because I think it would be creepy for a man of 32 to go through youtube watching vlogs by 13 year old girls, unless that girl is his daughter, niece, or little sister), basically people only watch the video to make fun of it or to see if it's as bad as they've been told. People won't buy an appliance that they've heard is bad, pay to see a show they hear is bad, or use a mechanic with a bad reputation. But since it doesn't cost a dime to watch a video on youtube, Vimeo, or Dailymotion they will let curiosity or the desire to have something to mock lead them to a video they know isn't any good. Then it hit me. Why not a negative hype campaign when you're starting? I don't mean intentionally writing bad songs and making bad videos. Just get people to talk down your video when you're trying to promote it. Peoples' curiosity will draw them in or they'll go to "laugh at the train wreck." If they don't like it they got what they came for. If they like it, well, I've never heard anyone complain about a video or song being better than what they expected. I tried an experiment. I keep a Xanga blog where I post my experiments, which I then link to facebook to get some feedback from my relatives and a few friends. The other night when I posted a song I had my best friend downplay it. The night I started writing it she said she was getting a headache and I joked "that's how bad my music is. People don't even have to hear it. They just have to chat with me online while I'm writing it to get a headache from it." She got onto me for "cutting myself down," but I had her post a reply to the effect "I should have known it would be a mistake when I got a pounding headache just knowing you were working on this, but I listened to it anyway." One of my nieces got curious about it after that. She replied saying that she liked it, but after I sent her a message she deleted her reply and replaced it with "Wow! My dog is trying to chew his ears off now. When he's done I'm going to have him start on mine." Now normally when I link to a song on facebook the only person on my friends list who views it is my best friend. The rest ignore it (I'm not going by replies. I'm going by referral information on my Xanga blog). But the negative press started a chain reaction. Soon my brother posted how much he hated it. He either knew what I was up to or he was just teasing me, but yesterday at my parents' house he was trying to pick it out on piano and he doesn't do that with songs he hates. Then his fiancé joined in. I had to send her a message to get her to keep the negative hype going, so she changed her reply. One of my former band teachers commented (though she genuinely disliked it, expressing disappointment that I got away from "real" instruments like drums and went with MIDI synthesizers). By getting people to "bash" my work I went from the one solitary listen I normally get to just about everyone on my friends list listening to it. I have 32 friends on my list (not including an alternate account one of my friends has), received 23 comments, and the entry got 28 views, all referred to from facebook. When my friend comments on how good my work is the rest ignore it. When she insults it the curiosity factor brings them in. Now I'm not that active on my youtube account yet since I still have a lot I need to get together, meaning I haven't tested this out on a larger scale, but if this weekend's experiment is any indication then until you get a following negative hype may be a viable way to bring in initial viewers.
  12. I have my DX7 controlling my Optimus (basically a Casio branded for Radio Shack if you've never heard of them, not sure they sell them anymore) and both of them running to a guitar amp. Since I have my keyboards set up next to my computer I had to put my amp pretty close to it, which was causing interference so I turned the amp off, unplugged it, and plugged my headphones into the front of the DX7. Then I noticed that the audio from my Optimus was going through the DX7. I eventually figured out that even though the amp was turned off and unplugged that it was still looping the audio output from the Optimus into the DX7. It would make sense if the amp was on but it wasn't even plugged in so I'm not sure what's going on there. Then I routed the output from the Optimus to the output of the DX7 with the same results. I remember when I was younger that my brother use to play a joke on me where he'd take a portable black and white TV, turn the brightness all the way down so it looked like it was off, then run the headphone output into the headphone output of a portable radio to try to convince me that they turned The Price Is Right into a radio program so I was already aware of the effect. I was just wondering if it would cause any damage to the equipment, though. It seems like a very handy feature since I wouldn't have to worry about digging up old cables to run both keyboards into my sound card but if it can short out my system I need to know so I can avoid it. And if it is harmful how do I prevent it when I run both keyboards to the amp or sound card?
  13. Roland for quality (which is why it got my vote), Yamaha for nostalgia. My first two "keyboards" (toys at best) were Yamaha. Tonight I bought a DX7 that I'm happy with (though it's been modified with a knob next to the volume slider and I have yet to figure out what, if anything, it does) and it will probably become my main keyboard but if I could have gotten a Roland for the same price I would have.
  14. Stick with what you know. If you know classical piano then you already know more about music theory than a lot of songwriters. I can't tell you how many songs have been inspired by classical music. You can hear hints of Beethoven in quite a few songs and some rap even has a heavy baroque influence. Play some of your favorites and then break away from the sheet music. Start off making slight changes to what you know. Then make changes to those changes. Before you know it you'll have a completely different song than what you set out playing. There's a lot that can be done with Vivaldi's Four Seasons suite and Bach is a virtual gold mine. The same can be done trying to learn to play contemporary music. The first song I ever wrote, which wasn't much of anything but had potential if I wouldn't have abandoned it, actually stemmed from an attempt to play the music from the first level of the arcade game Quartet. Started out with the chorus, which was the part I liked (it's odd for game music of that era but it seemed to adhere to the intro/verse/chorus/repeat shortened intro as bridge structure) and by the time I was done it sounded nothing like Quartet. Easiest way to write a song, actually. Just fiddle around with what you know and let it mutate.
  15. Thank you for the advice but I didn't go with DX7 because of the reputation. In fact, I've read very little positive about it but most peoples' complaints are about things that don't bother me at all, such as programming. I actually have an easier time programming it than I do most VSTs. It does everything I need it to (modulation, aftertouch, the ability to create your own patches instead of being limited to factory presets, MIDI capabilities (I'll be recording via line out but getting MIDI note data will help immensely with timing animations without losing the human feel), etc.) and when I heard it on videos I fell in love with the sound. I don't care if most people just shelved it after buying it, I've wanted one ever since I saw the demo videos and I don't regret my purchase one bit. It's actually better than I thought it would be.