Finally, I am delighted to announce the release of my 3rd eBook; although number 4 actually beat this one! Mixing Techniques has taken me quite a while and is a thorough investigation of the workflows and techniques of the mixing process with a focus upon AVID’s Protools. Head on over to the ToKshop.
Harmony for Engineers. A simplified approach to the concepts and structures governing Diatonic Harmony. Vsn 1.1 now published with an extra chapter on Minor Scales structures and Harmony.
Special introductory price. Any purchaser receives a life-long free update to future versions and revisions. Head on over to the ToKshop
Yes, eBook #3 (Mixing Techniques) is still ongoing… as is the discipline of Mixing. But in the meantime :)
Short video showing my recent test of the Sonuus G2M Pitch to MIDI converter. For a little over $100 AU it’s a no-brainer. Already utilised on an upcoming release. This is not a paid endorsement, just me testing my new gear.
In the early 80s I had the honour of working with Peter Vogel’s FAIRLIGHT company in advising and testing the world’s first Pitch to MIDI converter; the VoiceTracker (VT). The unit is quite large (approx. 30com wide) and works best with a display screen. Latency for monophonic conversion was dependent upon the internal settings, which determined how many “iterations” of the wave-cycle was analysed before deciding on the pitch, then spitting that out to 8bit MIDI. The fastest I got the unit to track with accuracy was having it set to 3 iterations, with the latency for A440 being approx. 9ms. This was very laggy by today’s standards but in 1983 it was a sensation. I’d open the show with a solo trumpet, but the audience would also hear my Yamaha DX7 synth “playing along with me.” Saxophonist Brandford Marsalis also bought one when he was in AU after I introduced the VoiceTracker to him. Unsure about his unit, but I still have mine and I’ll never get rid of it; it’s an Australian Legend in audio design and technology.
Today I bought a Sonuus G2M unit and thought readers would appreciate the differences over nearly 40 years. Oh, the price? The VT was over $3000 back then (although Fairlight did give me a good deal). The G2M was a little over $100.
1000 recorded Masters or Mixes for ToKwerX. Today we clocked up the one thousand file number on the KORG DSD Recorder, which is responsible for capturing all the analogue mixes and masters. Quite a milestone really. WooHoo-ness!
Drove to central Victoria over the weekend for what was to be a wonderful performance with Kutcha Edwards & Friends at the FRL Festival. Awesome vibe and a fantastic setup. Thanx to Bill Skermer and all the amazing staff for looking after us - see you again no doubt.
2019 will see the launch, inaugural performances and recordings of my newly formed quartet, the Beatnik Preachers. A twist on Jazz and Beat Poetry combining my love for improvisation and the spoken word. The project is not an attempt to re-invent ‘the wheel’ but it is indeed fitting some White-Wall Tyres to the Jazz-mobile.
The project will be launched at a private event (invitation only) in late February 2019. The quartet features: Tony King (double bass), Robbie Mercer (drums), Joel Smithard (piano) and yours truly on Trumpet and Spoken Pictures (poetry).
the Beatnik Preachers - musically evocative, lyrically provocative… Stay tuned…
In my fourteen (!) years teaching and lecturing at RMIT University’s Sound Production program in Audio Engineering I have had the pleasure to meet many wonderful people. But the time comes when creative choices begin to outweigh the financial decisions made prior to meet the needs of parenting and raising two children. In 2020 there will be a Changing of the Guard so to speak as I reduce my teaching tenure to a few days per week allowing more time for making records and playing jazz. Academic life has regrettably supported a focus on narrower and narrower aspects that underly our creativity, so I now yearn to address this imbalance. Over the next year my graduate from many years ago and now colleague, Mark Kelson will be gradually prepared to take over the duties I shall step away from. This gives me great pleasure to know the program I have developed with a wonderful team of others will remain in hands that are inspired and engaged in the art of engineering… whilst I again focus upon actual creativity. I need to acknowledge and pay utmost respect to my fellow team members at RMIT who have been absolute stalwarts in the success of this program: Michael “Smasha” Pollard, Timothy Johnston, John Phillips and Paul Thomas. Previous program managers Jen Anderson and Bruce Jacques were also instrumental in both developing this program but importantly assembling this particular team of awarded engineers and creators; all of whom are still fully engaged outside of their teaching roles. Thank you x
We live in a time of information overload. There’s never a lack of “news” available should we ever get bored, but not all information is correct or reliable.
If we are to move through our current state of uncertainty in the world with conflicting opinions on climate, immigration, politics and more, then our decision to follow a particular viewpoint needs to be thoroughly investigated.
Dont be lazy when it comes to informing yourself. Don’t believe the most seemingly supported news but rather be prepared to dig deeper and avail yourself with accurate information so our viewpoints can be both educated and considered.
As humans we have evolved to require stories, which provide us with meaning to our existence. These stories give each of us a role to play upon the stage of life but in order to believe these stories they have to extend beyond our current horizons. I’m all for storytelling but perhaps your imagination of being capable of mastering after reading a post on the Book of Faces is not all that informed - nor correct?
Confirm your sources...
I grew up through my 20’s idolising the great jazz trumpeters. None more so than Clifford Brown. He died in a car accident at only 25 yet left an incredible legacy of recordings, through which I am still working. Revisiting some transcriptions of his solos today and the humility is once again profound; 1953 until his death a few years later he was on fire! If I get to play even a portion of the voice leading, rhythmic interest and harmonic outlines that Clifford did then I’ll be very grateful. Until then, the humility continues… Thank you Clifford x
A request to study our human history; properly. Any religion, educational guru or nation who considers itself the omnipotent source of knowledge is an imagined construct. All morals, art, spirituality and creativity are embedded in our species’ DNA and began in Africa 100,000 years ago
I am asking everyone who reads my Blog to adjust their attitudes to others who may share a different belief, imagined construct or cultural perspective.
Humility is grossly undervalued.
One day in the studio to track six (6) songs of Horn Section parts. Setup at 11:00am and finally walked out with files in hand at 5:00pm. A huge and frankly exhausting day but extremely happy with the results. A reality-check of just how much energy it takes to complete such a production task. All parts were double-tracked and in some cases tripled with alternative parts. EP has been mixed and upon several listens appears to be “I.T.C”… IN THE CAN!!
A massive day in Studio 1 NEVE yesterday tracking Horns for the Rebellious Bird debut release. Editing and mixing these today before dropping the Horns into the main mix sessions for final tweaks tomorrow; mastering Thursday… Friday onwards… REST!
My absolute gratitude to engineer Mark Kelson for driving whilst I was performing alongside Ellie Lamb on Trombone and Jeff Mead on Tenor Sax. Beautiful section.
Such a pleasure and an honour to be a member of this quintessential… Congrats to my dear friend of many years, Julia Messenger on a most beautiful performance. X
Absolutely delighted to support the release of this sonic tapestry by dear friend and colleague Padma Newsome. The album is a collective of works featuring the wonderful artistry of this beautiful man. I am thrilled to have been involved in bringing this to life. Best wishes and congratulations Padma x. https://padmanewsome.bandcamp.com/album/the-vanity-of-trees
This week and next I am completing the debut release for Erin Downie and Rebellious Bird.
This EP has been over two years in the making during which we have endured: Moving homes (twice), Full Time Study, Floods, Single Parenting and Broken Hearts.
But we persevered.
I am incredibly proud of this upcoming release and consider it some of my best work. Erin sings beautifully on these tracks and the band is wonderful. Horn section will be dropped in next week.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and at times sacrificed part of themselves to complete this project.
This EP is testament to the gift of love and the privilege of sharing music. Not an opportunity to be taken for granted.
I will deliver the masters to Erin before the end of September and sincerely hope something is done with this recording, for a debut release of this quality is a very rare gift indeed.
2020 is the year, which happens to coincide with the test result that shows ‘normal’ vision. I have commenced planning the implementation of a DOLBY ATMOS 5.1.4 speaker configuration to allow for mixing music in the ATMOS format. I sincerely believe this will introduce my clients and their audience to an inspiring and physically immersive sound for their releases. With both YouTube and Facebook using ‘Ambisonics’ for their audio playback engines the ATMOS mixes will be translatable to these platforms, heralding in a new era in music listening.
No longer just a song - with ToKwerX and ATMOS these will become a sonic experience!
Such a beautiful Quintet... Yes, I am the 5th!
I'll be very proudly performing trumpet with the wonderful Julia Messenger later this month at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sept' 22nd. The band behind Julia is seriously awesome: David Jones (Drums), Mark Fitzgibbon (Piano) and Craig Newman (bass). Event is apparently SOLD OUT but rumours of a few still at the door on the night. SO looking forward to this one...