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BlackhawkFan last won the day on September 5 2011

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Music Background

  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested
  • Musical Influences
    Tchaikovsky, Handel, Wagner, Vivaldi, Rogers and Hammerstein, Henry Mancini, George Winston, Bob Fitts, John Denver, Willie Nelson, Queen, Moody Blues, Zepplin, Journey, SuperTramp, Chuck Wagon and the Wheels, Jethro Tull, Crowded House....

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    Firearms, brewing, writing (music, novels, poetry), old and new technologies.
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BlackhawkFan's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. I'm back. Decided that talking about it isn't the same as doing it, so I backed off and crawled back inside myself and started to write again. Found a snippet of verse I wrote back in '92 (or thereabouts) and began to build a work around it. Every time I picked up the guitar or sat at the keyboard, the same old crud came out. So I wrote a second version of the same tune. Still not happy. But I kept at it, even though I felt that everything that came from my pen, flowed from my fingers, or poured out of my mouth was rehashed diatonic slime. I moved my studio from the dining room to the living room. I spent thousands in equipment and software. I even picked up a bass guitar so I could fiddle with bass lines. Regardless, I was still stuck in the same rut. Went back to the original version of the work. It had two changes I liked. It was everything else that sounded like drivel. Then one day I found myself humming a bass line as I drove home from work. As I worked it out in my imagination, I found my excitement growing. Got home and fired up the electronics. Next thing I knew, it was way past my bed time. I'd neglected the dogs. I forgot to eat. I was tired, but strangely energized. I'M BACK! In spite of the whisperings in the back of my mind that I no longer have the gift, I kept going. That was three days ago. I just finished uploading the work to my soundcloud account and will start a thread in the appropriate forum. The take away is, I don't need no stinkin' muse to write. ----- Edited to add linky to my new tune. http://forums.songstuff.com/topic/21028-wings/
  2. Update. Everything is working. Here's what I did.... Replaced the soundcard with ASUS Xonar Essence ST. EZD still didn't work. So, one day I'm going through my box o' cables and saw a roll of CAT5 and thought, "Why not go CAT5 instead of the WiFi for Internet?" Hooked it up and immediately realized almost 100% increase in bandwidth. So then I thought, "What if the WiFi USB device is causing a hardware conflict that Win7 isn't reporting?" Went back into Cubase and selected ASIO Full Duplex and woohoo, EZD works correctly. Also, I can now record within my DAW instead of going Zoom. Replaced my Zoom with my old 12-Channel mixer and the world is bright and shiny again. Just thought I'd throw this out here in case someone else has a similar problem with their system. Cho
  3. Zon, My opinion, so get some salt.... G F G could be an arpeggiation (Fsus2?). The (G Ab) and (B C) stuff are probably roots. If runs, maybe consider parts of a inverted triad like (Abmaj7 or Emaj) and (Cmaj7 or Abm) respectively. Some of the bass line shows quick vertical movement which could mean the notes are passing. I didn't hear any syncopation, so the chord supporting would appear typically ON the starting beat of the bass run, preferably at the first or third beat of the measure. The only diminished part I can imagine is in the described bass in your post. IF Ab is the centerpoint and F and B (substituted for C) are the "ends." If this is true, this is an Fdim. But honestly, I don't hear it. Oh, I totally miss the point about this piece being evil or eastern. It does, however, sound like good mood music...something to listen to while you're unwinding at the end of the day, snuggled up to a martini. Cho
  4. Been Googling for several days. Spent some time on Steinberg's forum site. Still don't have a definitive answer. Here's my problem: ESD plays stand alone just fine IF I select a non-ASIO driver for my card from the Toontracks Solo app. ESD is silent if I'm trying to play via instrument track on Cubase. Yes, I downloaded ASIO4ALL. No change. Sound card is SB X-Fi Xtreme Gamer SB073. Yes I know it's a gaming card, but the link says it's ASIO 2.0. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=SB073-FB-R&cpc=RESX While I prefer to write my own percussion tracks, I'd really like to get EZD working so I can buy the plugin that has brushes. Any thoughts?
  5. Pretty good. Your outro was interesting, but there was only a few seconds before it faded out. I agree with Cheryl. Sounds like you're overdriving the mic slightly. There are other techniques to making the vocals stand out in a mix.... Keep up the good work. Cho
  6. If I'm tight and I need to run vocal tracks, I'll make myself some (chai) tea with honey and wait for it to cool a bit before sipping. Seems to relax me. And letting the cup cool gives me time to adjust my mental attitude. You probably already know to stay away from milk when singing.... Cho
  7. No offense taken. None at all. The rolling tape is parallel to the notepad or sketchpad, depending on what you're trying to paint. I spent all last night with my own sketch pad (engineering pad, guitar, mics), woke up this morning and before I had my first cup of coffee, I was back in the cockpit of my studio, working. I almost feel normal again. Put EZD aside for a while. I ordered a soundcard (a Soundblaster product, but forgot the model) that's supposed to work with Win7/32 and Win7/64. I'll give EZD another try when it gets here. Should be tomorrow. Also thinking of moving away from the stand alone recorder (Zoom) and going back to HD recording. Probably fewer moves that way. Cho
  8. John, Mahesh, I'm in. Popular western music is mostly as you described. I'm more interested in themes and movements. Anything to (gently) break modern rules/fads/trends. Cho
  9. Added to my favorites. Looks like you can import MIDI. Thanks for the tip. I'm currently exploring Cubase and EZDrummer, but having problems getting EZD to output audio. The real issue is probably with Win7/32.... Doesn't support my Soundblaster cards and haven't found (not that I've looked) a sound card that actually runs in that environment. This "futzing around" is exercising my subconcious, which is probably my primary writing tool. Participating on this forum, especially listening and critiquing some very good music is beneficial and a muse of sorts. I'm starting to have ideas again, and at times I'll stop what I'm doing and grab the guitar or fire up a keyboard. I'm also finding that I'm working late in the evening on this stuff. Didn't get to bed last night until 10:30pm, which is really late for me, as I get up at 3:20am pretty much every day. Cho
  10. Listened to the example you gave in your post. Sounds like you were singing in your throat a bit. Just my opinion, of course, but I suspect if you open your throat and sing deeper in your chest, your voice would become fuller. Listened to your original on your youtube site. Good song. Your singing was much better as well (IMO). Maybe because you recorded keyboard and vocals seperately (reduced performance stress)? Listened to the third tune, a "gaga" cover I believe. Sounded like the singing was a bit strained as in the first example. So maybe it's a concentration issue? In any case, you show talent with your vocals. Welcome to the forum. Cho
  11. Tenor sax is concert pitch Bb, which is a full step down from C. Could explain some confusion. As for pitch memory, I'm not real good at it, but when I write, I cross sences in an attempt to "describe" the overall feel of a key in order to choose appropriately for what I want to convey to the listener. For instance, a piece written in Cmaj would be described as "<fat> blue (the actual color, not the emotion/mood)." A piece written in Dmaj would be described as "royal, triumphant." Bb is "dark, sad." These are some of my associations given as possible help. One thing I would warn against is, as you continue in your singing career, DO NOT use memory of muscle tension or lip/mouth formation as pitch association, as you can be sharp or flat depending on mood, time of day, etc. True pitch association/recall for me, at least, is an actual form in my memory. Can't describe it, but it's real nonetheless. My buddy Mahesh is giving good advice as well. Most guitar tuners have built in microphones. You could tune your sax (remember to compensate for concert pitch) as well as use it for voice. Otherwise, practice, and if you can afford it, some good professional instruction will go far. Cho
  12. Yeah, this is different from writing for guitar, bass, drums and choir. Like your earmuff comment. Never noticed (thankfully). Currently working on the last stages of rebuilding my studio, getting everything to play nicely together. I have tools I can fall back on, but this is opportunity to not fall behind technologically. Appreciate your input and insight, Mike. Cho
  13. Good pointers, Mike. I can see where this is an exercise in exploring the depths of what I already know, only putting it into different forms. In a sence, it's quite similar (and parallel) to J's suggestions. Break up the familiar and explore from different settings/perspectives. Thanks. Cho
  14. The sung lyrics sound almost Appachian. The rest of the work sounds like a clever melding of several styles. That's about the extent of the help/impediment that I can offer. The tune kept me interested with the poetry, orchestration, and lots of twists and turns superimposed over a seemingly stodgy 4/4 beat. I can see why you're curious about this piece. I am as well. Cho
  15. J, Great suggestions. I especially like the hat trick. Good exercise. The color stuff, however, may well be beyond me. Not that I'm color blind, but I can't draw worth spit. Caused some problems for me when I was studying Calculus. I can visualize, just can't get much of it on paper. I pretty much gave up on color by association. As for the political examples...well, let's just say that I try to avoid that while in my studio. I don't like the direction my country seems to be heading, and I don't like to slander or write angry words. Anyway, thanks again for your input. Cho
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