“She’s Not That Good” Goes Cruising…

I just returned from 7 nights on the Carnival Panorama still in her inaugural year that was cut short due to, well, you all know. She’s a beautiful ship, the cruise fare was a bargain, and no flights were required. Besides all that, I was hoping that freshly back from a cruise experience, I’d be overflowing with ideas on how to finish She’s Not That Good. I think I’ll have to wait. Why? Too much reality interferes with my imagination – lol!

What I will say is that my favorite part about cruising, besides being at sea, is being able to casually drop in and listen to a live band. Our favorite this cruise? The House Rock Band that played in the Ocean Plaza Bar, the best kept secret onboard the Panorama. We grabbed a couple glasses of wine and sat outside where we could take off our masks and still enjoy the music. I listened to the beats and my muse can’t wait to get back into the studio to write some new music.

But first we kicked off the cruise by indulging in the tasty “Orangesicle” (think “Pina Colada”) at the Tides Bar in the aft pool area.

The other favorite spot was actually the Atrium, a redesigned space on the Panorama that I wasn’t too fond of at first. Until I had a Tequila Sunrise, an old favorite cocktail from my youth, at the base of the Atrium. The atmosphere was much better, to me, lower rather than higher.

And I think that’s another favorite thing I like about cruising, Carnival cruising, in particular. I feel young again. And now I may be inspired to get back to writing.


Aft Pool, Carnival Panorama

Orangesicle, Tides Bar

Prosecco and White Wine, Ocean Plaza Bar


Tequila Sunrise, Bahama Mama, Panorama Atrium Bar

Drummer Dottie Dodgion Leads Me To Ableton Live/Push2

So I’m thinking I need to know more about drumming since the drums seem to be my favorite instrument in electronic music. I searched online for “female drummer,” thinking I’d be able to relate even more since the music industry is so heavily male. And who do I find but Dottie Dodgion who drummed with all the greats in her time until she was 91. We’re talking the 50s/60s when a female drummer was unheard of. I also discovered she died just this last September.

And then I discovered her autobiography The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer. So, naturally, I snapped that up, and I am completely enthralled with her story. And completely humbled. Her father was a drummer so she internalized all that he knew and did, besides having inherited those genes, and a lifetime of learning and practicing and loving her instrument.

My father said, after I met him later in life, “All my kids play the drums.” In fact, his grandson, my nephew, earned a degree in Jazz Performance at Fresno State. You guessed it – he played drums.

And then my life started to make a lot of sense. My uncle said “Now that you know you’re a Holmes, you’re going to want to pay attention to music.” I’ve always loved music, sang and played the keys, guitar, violin when I was young, but didn’t really do much with it as an adult beyond turning the radio up loud, windows rolled down, racing my black Pontiac down Cornell Road in Portland, Oregon.

Although most of the music I create usually falls into the “House” category of EDM, I love all genres, including Jazz. Naturally (I keep using that word), I desired to know more about it and downloaded the Peter Magadini Jazz Drums tutorial from Groove3.

I’m totally intimidated, realizing that being a traditional drummer is beyond me (or, at least, my interest), but I can learn a lot by knowing as much as I can about the drums by studying different genres.

I also realized that this is where Ableton Live shines over Logic Pro, at least to me, when it comes to programming drums using the drum rack and Push2. I am finally motivated to spend more time learning Ableton and Push.

What Disco, Metal, Rock, and House Music Have in Common

Major influences on today’s music. House Music Godfather Marshall Jefferson said (in Electronic Musician) his early influences were Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. But he moved on to club music because he thought only big, sweaty men went to Zeppelin and Deep Purple and he wanted to meet some women. Ha! Not entirely true, though – lol!

Those were also my influences and my friends and I went to plenty of concerts. And if you read the comments on YouTube, you’ll see that other women were/are fans, too.

Wired for Story But Not The Kind You Might Think (#Music vs #Writing)

These days I enjoy reading about writing more than I do actual writing. My brain seems to have been rewired for music – not story. At least, not the kind of story you think of when NaNoWriMo hits the stage every November (for me, November is the worst month with Thanksgiving and travel).

Still, I keep trying to gear myself up for NaNoWriMo, even though I did it once and hated it. So why do I keep trying to do it? I was hoping to finally finish “She’s Not That Good,” but I’m thinking it’s time to put that one away for good. It’s “not that good” – lol! (And I don’t want to spend the time trying to make it that good.)

Or maybe because there’s been a bit of a letdown after 50/90 ended. I miss the music community. So when I peek into the NaNo forums looking for community, I notice there’s definitely a leaning toward younger and it all feels so corporate. I now remember how good it felt to leave Silicon Valley behind. Why would I want to step foot in it again? I don’t.

And so it’s back to Logic Pro 10.7, but this time using one of my 50/90 songs to try out some of those Dolby Atmos features. Oh, yeah, I’m much more excited about that. Here’s the song I’m going to be working on:

Now that’s my kind of story – a whole lot more fun than character sheets and outlines.

 

 

Wired for Story (#OctoberPrep #NaNoWriMo #WritingCommunity)

We’ve been locked down for so long, mentally, if not physically, that I’ve forgotten how to go out and do things. I’ve been hunkered down in my music studio totally loving it but I can’t stay there 24/7.

So climbing the walls, wracking my brain for ideas of where to go to get out of the house other than casinos and rock climbing, I went to our one Barnes & Noble, rediscovering my love of being surrounded by books and people who love them.

While on that outing, I discovered “Wired for Story,” and it got me to thinking which is the purpose of the book – lol! And I realized that what I said in Writing for Today’s Reader, that “She’s Not That Good” won’t be welcome by today’s Millennials, was somewhat true but also somewhat not true.

Yes, Millennials are overwhelmed by all they are pressured to do and want to feel good enough by doing much less, so the story of the protagonist in “She’s Not That Good” also feels that pressure and only by figuring out what’s most important to her will she feel good enough. It’s not that Millennials should just give up and settle for less. It’s that they should find that one thing they’re meant to do. That reminds me of a scene in “City Slickers.”

I was thinking that since I’m not a Millennial, I couldn’t tell a story for them. Wrong. That in spite of our generational differences, we are alike, too. Besides, I’ve often thought that Boomers and Millennials are quite similar in many ways.

I’d really like to finish “She’s Not That Good” for NaNoWriMo, so here’s hoping this will give me the push. Besides, after finishing that LogicPro 10.7 intense class (and 50/90), I need a break from music. 🙂

Show Me the Way EDM Logic Pro 10.7 Remix

This is me playing with the Dolby Atmos features of Logic Pro 10.7. I tell you, I get different outcomes each time I start playing around with these new features. I created 2 alternatives: 1 with surround and 1 without, but I still can’t seem to export the surround version (had to upload to Apple Music).

It all started when I opened up Youtube and for some reason, Peter Frampton’s “Show Me the Way” started playing and I thought, how perfect! it brings up so many awesome memories. Such feels! I’ll use it to play around with Logic Pro’s 10.7 surround features. Of course, I had to throw in some EDM drums and effects (and my vocals to the chorus). Which makes it even better in my opinion – lol!

(Still experimenting with the features and best listened to with earphones on a computer, although I’m not really getting a stereo effect. So much more to learn!) Any suggestions, tips, etc?

Logic Pro 10.7: Getting in the Groove (#LogicPro #Music #Production)

This week has been quite confusing for me. My first attempt at using Logic Pro 10.7 left me feeling quite frustrated, so much so, I’ve been rethinking my DAW of choice. Switching back and forth to Ableton Live and GarageBand (with its recent updates), I haven’t been able to call it quits with Logic. But I have figured out a few things.

I think all the Dolby Atmos hype has distorted this update. YouTubers, etc. have been so focused on the new cool Dolby Atmos features, that they’ve ignored a very vital point: how to use Logic Pro without Dolby Atmos. Not everybody has a use for Dolby Atmos. And 10.7 has other new updated features, like to the Sequencer, which is one of my favorite tools. And the loops and the dropdown menus making it much easier to find a particular pack.

So, now that I’m getting into it, figuring things out, I’m getting quite hooked on Dolby Atmos. OMG! Using my own files and not the ones provided by Groove 3’s “Logic Pro 10.7 Explained” tutorial (I think his customized key commands messed me up at first), I’ve had quite a breakthrough. (I do find the tutorial quite helpful, following along, but with my track.)

I’m still working on my 32-bar track, but once I get to a point that it can demonstrate the with and without Dolby Atmos, I’ll be sure to post it here.

How are you doing with your first steps with Logic Pro 10.7? What’s your favorite part of the update?

GarageBand 10.4.4 Update is Here, Too!

My blog is blowing up with all of these updates. And your head probably isn’t the only one spinning.

GarageBand for the Mac OS has also released an update, incorporating some of the fab features from the iOS version. I often use the iOS version to start a project, and then finish it in LogicPro. And now I can use the new features also on the desktop version. You never know when I may prefer to use it.

Check out the update from the GarageBandGuide on YouTube.

And, while a much shorter list than LogicPro, you can read the update features available on Apple’s web page or in my GarageBand for macOS release notes pdf.

Also, the GarageBand User Guide is here.

Update: Logic Pro 10.7 Is Not For the Faint of Heart

I suppose I should say “Dolby Atmos in Logic Pro 10.7” is not for the faint of heart. As it turns out, if you don’t use that feature, Logic should work pretty much as it always had. But I went down a difficult path before I discovered that.

I began with the Logic Pro 10.7 Explained exercise videos with enthusiasm and determination. I didn’t take long to realize I was in way over my head. This version of Logic Pro seems to be only for the Logic experts.

I started following along with the lesson using the exercise file and when I used my usual method of creating a duplicate instrument track, Logic started in with all sorts of setting updates, converting my track to a master track complete with dialog box I could not kill – on repeat! I mean, really? Is this normal? It was so bizarre. I couldn’t imagine using Logic Pro in its current state, taking so long to do something that should take a second and then giving you unexpected results.

You can see here the dialog box that kept repeating and then creating a Dolby Master Track to infinity and beyond. I finally had to force quit Logic Pro to get out of this cycle. And this was just the first follow-along exercise file. Is it something about Eli’s exercise file (he does use customized shortcuts quite a bit) or is this standard Logic Pro 10.7 behavior?

I’m no expert, although pretty technical and determined, but I may close Logic Pro and never open it again if it keeps this up.

I did go back in to test the shortcut theory, and if I didn’t use a shortcut, all was well. I’ve never had this problem following Eli’s videos but his customized shortcuts are creating all sorts of problems for me. At least, that’s what I’m assuming the problem is. I will avoid key commands while using his vids. Or maybe it’s all of this Dolby stuff that’s interfering with Logic’s normal behavior. That I don’t know and nobody says.

The other piece of good news is that when I opened an older file without any of the Dolby stuff activated, Logic behaved the way it always has, including bouncing files to an mp3. YouTubers and trainers, etc, who are posting stuff about the 10.7 upgrade are so focused on the new features (Actually, the Dolby Atmos stuff), that they’re leaving out this very important information. Maybe I just missed it, but I have a feeling I’m not alone.

But, thankfully, the new non-related Dolby features seem to work just fine. And there are some cool new features, such as recording in the Sequencer and being able to organize loops/instruments by their pack name. And really cool producer packs that came from GarageBand iOS.

Logic Pro 10.7 Project Tutorial: Starting with a Stereo Mix (#Groove3 #Music #Production #LP10.7)

At the end of yesterday, I felt satisfied that I was, at least, able to hear the sample track I’d mixed using Dolby Atmos in LP 10.7. And I may have solved the plug-in floating beyond reach issue. I still have questions about how to upload a file to services such as SoundCloud and Reverbnation or to email an mp3. After searching YouTube and the internet, I still have no answer.

Not one to give up easily, I’m back to my Logic Pro 10.7 Explained tutorial produced by Groove 3. I’ve worked up to the beginning of Chapter 4: Mixing in Dolby Atmos, hoping that somewhere along the way, I’ll find the answers to my questions. Perhaps I’m missing something basic and that proverbial light bulb will go off.

Exercise Files are provided and Eli strongly recommends following along at the computer with headphones to really hear what’s going on.

Okay, so I’m going in. Will let you know what I discover.

PS – It didn’t take long to realize I need to back up and do the exercise files from the first exercise file (which is the second video) until this point. Just watching the previous videos is not enough for me to get what’s happening now. That so sounds like me – working ahead – lol! And sometimes getting lost. 🙂

It doesn’t help when the instructor uses plug-ins I don’t have…