Cheap Trick are Amazing and Looked Like No Other Band

Cheap are such an awesome band. They’ve made some timeless rock songs that are some of the best ever made like Surrender, and Dream Police, but another thing about them was their look back in their early days. They were a really mismatched assortment or originality. This really makes their stage presence utterly unique and quite memorable.

As one commentor of this amazing cover of “Ain’t That a Shame” on YouTube put it: “I loved this band not just for their sound but how they looked like no other band. They had the two pretty boys on bass and vocals and Charlie Brown on guitar all grown up and your high school chemistry teacher on drums. LOL” Which pretty much sums it up perfectly!


Dear Developers Of Notation Programs: Drums Are NOT An Afterthought!

 

Over the past month I have been trying various notation programs to help with my lessons online as well as in person, and one thing I have found in common with all of these programs, is they all seem to treat drums as an afterthought, and many don’t even work at all.¬†This has been incredibly frustrating and causing me much headache.

Programs I’ve tried:

  1. Musescore – Works to some extent but note entry is horrible, correcting mistakes is nearly impossible without screwing up every other note you entered.
  2. Crescendo – Interface is actually better than average, however drum score flat out is not possible. It does not display correctly at all.
  3. Musnik – Absolutely terrible UI. Basically unusable.
  4. Finale Notepad – Another god awful UI, hard to use, but basic drum notation is at least possible, though you’ll be ripping your hair out by the time you get something readable.
  5. Rosegarden – Does not even provide a drum/percussion staff.

I will keep investigating this HUGE problem but at the time being there’s really not a single program I can recommend for drummers. I’ve heard Sibelius works, but haven’t tried it personally. The program as a whole has a reputation of having one of the worst UIs of all time.

At the time being Musescore seems to be the only one that actually works, but it’s literally 100x easier to just write the lessons out by hand than wrestle with this clunky and unintuitive interface.

This $30 Kick Drum Mic Is Actually An Amazing Tom Mic!


My story with this particular microphone dates back to 2016. I picked it up on Amazon because I was like, wow look, a kick drum mic for $30! Well so I ordered it back then and it got delivered. Then I forgot about it. I actually forgot about it for 3 years and never even plugged it in, since I was quite happy with my CAD Kick Drum Mic, I really didn’t feel the need to even try it.

Then one day I was recording and the mic I had on my floor tom just suddenly stopped working. It was giving me no signal at all and I wanted to finish what I was doing so I saw the Heimu mic sitting there and was like, hmmmm. So I hooked it up to my floor tom, hit record and was quite blown away at the result! Toms were not the intended purpose for this mic, but it sounded so much better than the SM57 I was using before, I just went ahead and ordered a second one to use on my other tom. It has a nice low mid that lends itself perfectly to toms.

I will be doing a video on this at some point, but just wanted to share my findings here first!

Math Noise Rock Rejuvenated and Reinvented with The Band Black MIDI

Having cut my teeth in the mathrock, noise, experimental, post hardcore scenes of the 1990s, when I first saw Black MIDI on KEXP, I felt like I was travelling back in time to the better days of live music.

This band is definitely calling back to the ages of bands like, Bastro, Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, Polvo, Slint, and even a touch of Wire, and the Contortionists, but are doing it in their own unique way, and are very, very young. Live shows by this band is absolutely amazing. Not only on this KEXP performance, but all other videos I’ve seen of the band so far, they are just playing their asses off.

They come out of the UK somewhere, but the info online about them is extremely vague, and this seems to have been adding to their mystique in general. European shows by the band have been selling out left and right, yet they have not even released a single studio recording. Thankfully somebody has made this flac version of the full show that you can download.

I’m really happy to see a band like this existing in 2019, it really gives me hope of the younger generation. I can’t wait for an official release by this amazing band!

Top 5 Casio Synths Of All Time

Casio is one of those musical instrument companies that has made more models than it is even possible to know, so this list is mostly for fun. But here are 5 Casio synths made by Casio that have reached near legendary status!

5. CT-401 is a preset analog synth that was released in the early 1980s. It was the first Casio synth to feature “auto accompaniment”

CT-401

4. HT-700 was a digital/analog hybrid fully programmable synth that was marketed as a children’s toy! It has fully programmable 8 bit drums, and an analog filter!

HT-700

3. SK-1 brought audio sampling to the masses at the lowest price ever seen in the mid 80s! My parents bought me one of these as a kid, and I drove everyone absolutely INSANE with this thing. They have been circuit bent and used as is on countless albums at this point!

Casio SK1

2. FZ-1 is a fully imagined digital synth and sampler from the mid 80s. It had 16 bit sampling, which at the time was never seen before it this price point.

FZ-1

1.¬† CZ-101 is like all the other CZ series, which means it’s a Phase Distortion Synthesizer. This was Casio’s unique innovation in digital synthesis. It has a cleaner character than Yamaha’s FM synthesis, but is capable of producing some similar sounds, as well as more analog sounding sounds. What made the 101 superior to it’s bigger brothers in my opinion is the compact size!

CZ-101

Be sure to check out the plugins section of this website for plenty of Casio samples and VSTis!