Music Sumo On Strava

Posted: April 3, 2021 in News
Tags: , , ,

StravaAre you on Strava to keep track of your runs, walks, hikes, bike trails, etc? If so, come follow me on there to challenge each other, find new trails, and more. Hope to see you outside sometime!

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SoundtoysWhile recently setting up the new studio in my place I started reading articles about current music production and what people are using these days as far as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), plug-ins, mics, etc.; and one company kept coming up – Soundtoys. I had heard several people talk about Soundtoys plug-ins like the Decapitator and the Little AlterBoy including Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Finneas, Zedd, and more. So, I really wanted to check out their full line of products and give them a try. After hearing what a few of them could do I wanted to purchase the whole bundle and really play around. However, I knew I wanted to get a bunch of Universal Audio plug-ins too so I didn’t have a lot of money to play around with.

Then, while getting ready for online classes at Berklee College of Music, I noticed that Soundtoys has a deal with Berklee to provide students with their whole line of plug-ins for only $249! Berklee Production students – if you haven’t done so already – take advantage of this deal!! If you were to purchase all of the plug-ins individually it would cost you $2,630 so this is a steal. Here is all that you get with the Soundtoys 5 Academic Bundle:

DecapitatorAnalog Saturation Modeler
Subtle to extreme hardware-modeled saturation. The secret weapon of top mix engineers.
This thing is great. I use it like a channel preamp to boost my signal and get some warm but crunchy analog saturation. A must use when I’m doing something a little more industrial or heavy and my Neve 1073, UA 610-B, and Radiator plug-ins just won’t cut it. Use the “Punish” button to get crazy and push it over the top!

Little AlterBoyMonophonic Voice Manipulator
Vocal formant and pitch shifting. Hard Tune FX. Robot/Vocoder Mode. Tube Drive.
Little AlterBoy is Soundtoys’ exciting new tool for dramatic voice alteration. Get a huge range of vocal transformations from one simple plug-in. Change the pitch of a voice, or change the singer’s gender with formant shifting. Lock onto a single pitch for robotic sounds. You can even control the vocal’s melody using MIDI for creative vocoder-like effects. You may have heard Little Alterboy on Fenneas‘s work with Bille Eilish:

EchoBoyThe Ultimate Echo Plug-In
Decades of echo devices in a single plug-in.
Get instant access to a whole range of classic echo box tones, including EchoPlex, Space Echo, Memory Man, DM-2, and the TelRay oil can delay. EchoBoy’s chorus even emulates the CE-1 chorus, considered a holy-grail of guitar chorus pedals. If you want warm, smooth saturation, try the “Studio Tape” style, inspired by the Ampex ATR-102 half-inch two-track machine. It wraps decades of echo device history and new forward-thinking features into one versatile effect that will find its way into every corner of your mixes.
“Calling EchoBoy a delay plug-in is doing it a disservice.  It has become the first thing I turn to for treating a wide variety of sources.  An EXCELLENT sound / space shaping tool and the most flexible and musical delay out there.”Trent Reznor

PanMan – Rhythmic Auto Panner
Rhythmic auto-panning with cool classic features, new tricks, and analog color.
Panning. You wouldn’t be alone if you thought of it as nothing more than the simple act of moving sounds from left to right and back again. But it can be so much more. PanMan opens up a Pandora’s Box of panoramic possibilities. Recreate the sounds of classic hardware panning boxes. Trigger panning with the dynamics of a track. Create complex rhythmic patterns and dizzying sweeps. With the full range of Soundtoys modulation tricks at your disposal, PanMan turns the simple act of panning into something incredibly creative and powerful.
This thing came along at just the right time to do just the right job for me. I started putting together a track to play around with and there was one instrument that I thought would sound cool ping ponging around the listener. After playing with the pan control on the mixing board for a while I decided that it was not going to do what I really wanted to do. I even got desperate and tried that with a combo of a Leslie speaker to try and accomplish the sound I was searching for. Once I used this plug-in though I had the sound I wanted in about two minutes. So easy to use as it syncs right up with the rhythm of your track. Love it.

PhaseMistress – Analog Phase Shifter
Rich phase sweeps, deep analog vibe, and tempo-locked modulation.
From funk-laced guitars, to swooshing disco drums, to jazz-fusion keys and bombastic rock vocals, phase shifting is a wildly diverse effect that’s at the heart of countless records from the 60s to today. PhaseMistress captures the sounds of legendary phasers like the Bi-Phase, Boss Super Phaser, Phase 90, Moogerfooger 12 stage, Small Stone, Trine and many more and packs them into one plug-in that takes this creative effect to the next level.

Little Plate – Electromechanical Reverb
The lush sound of plate reverb – with a modern twist.
Inspired by the original EMT 140 plate reverb, this modern version can do things that the original can only dream of, like infinite decay time.
Take a listen, here (This sample was manually faded out because the preset goes on forever).

Crystallizer – Granular Echo Synthesizer
Pitch shifting granular reverse echo. A mind-warping sound design trip.
Crystallizer is an otherworldly creative effect that transforms instruments using a combination of pitch shifting and reversed echo. Based on the Eventide H3000’s innovative “Reverse Shift” algorithm, Crystallizer brings granular echo slicing, old-school pitch shifting and powerful new features together into one inspiring tool. If you listened to the radio in the late 80s, you’ve heard the Crystal Echoes effect from the Eventide H3000 effects processor. The sound is absolutely unmistakable, and has been used on countless records to transform simple chords into epic soundscapes. Once musicians and engineers got their hands on this unique technique, and realized how it instantly turned minimal guitar lines into shimmering symphonic textures, there was no going back. You can hear it on hundreds of records—from 80s anthems, to ambient compositions, to modern indie rock and chillwave. And now you can have it, too.

FilterFreak – Resonant Analog Filter
Fat analog sweeps, pounding filter rhythms, big hardware sound – with a dual version for double the analog attitude.
Are you searching for smooth, silky, analog filter sweeps? Or are grimy, resonant squelches more your style? Nothing adds character to a track faster than a great filter, and FilterFreak can do it all. From funky envelope follower sounds reminiscent of the classic Mutron, to wide resonant LFO sweeps like the Sherman Filterbank. From timeless wah-wah tones to campy sci-fi sample-and-hold effects.

Radiator – Tube Warmth For Your Mix
A dual drive tube input channel and EQ, based on the classic Altec 1567A tube mixer from the 1960s. Vintage vibe, drive, and the magic tone of the 1567A. A beast on bass and drums.

MicroShift – Make It Wide
The classic studio trick for super wide vocals – with a powerful new twist.
Need some width for your background vocals? Want to make a lead guitar or synth sound larger than life? MicroShift gives you three different flavors of a classic stereo widening trick at the push of a button. It uses a special recipe of pitch shifting, and delay that varies over time, to create rich stereo width. It’s incredibly simple to use and perfect for spicing up important instruments, or for blending background vocals subtly into a mix.

Devil-Loc Deluxe – Audio Level Destroyer
A crushing, pounding, aggressive compressor for massive drums. A spin on an old classic.
Based on the original Shure Level-Loc from the 1960s, which was a brick wall limiter designed to be used in public address systems. Its extreme compression and gritty sound eventually became a secret weapon of some well-known and very creative engineers and producers. It’s an extreme effect, and can create huge sounds with drums and room mics, and in small amounts can add sizzle to things like vocals or acoustic guitar.

PrimalTap – Retro Delay With Freeze
Modeled retro dual delay with “freeze” for lo-fi pitch warped loops and delays.
PrimalTap is an emulation and re-imagining of the unique sound and features of the Prime Time delay, a classic digital delay with some powerful performance and sound design capabilities. Like the original hardware, PrimalTap is a hybrid of digital and analog sound—it packs a surprising amount of grit, vibe, and character for a digital delay. In true Soundtoys fashion, they’ve also evolved and enhanced some of the unique features of the original hardware to give you even more control and creative possibilities.

Tremolator – Tremelo & Auto-Gate
Analog guitar tremolo effects and beyond with beat-synced rhythmic chopping.
Tremolator emulates the tremolo effect of classic hardware like the old Fender Vibrolux guitar amp, and even the great tremolo sound of the Wurlitzer electric piano.

Sie-Q – A Very Boutique EQ
Achieve spacious highs, smooth lows, and great tones fast. This model of German engineering brings a whole new color to your EQ palette.
The Sie-Q faithfully captures the Siemens W295b smooth curves, airy highs and ease of use, allowing you to get the tone you want fast, without a lot of hassle.

EchoBoy Jr. – Analog Echo Modelor
Seven iconic analog echo emulations in one easy-to-use plug-in:
Studio Tape – Modeled after the Ampex ATR-102.
Plex – Modeled after the classic EP-3 tape echo.
Space – Based on the RE-201 tape echo.
Cheap Tape – The sound of worn out tape.
Memory – Modeled after the classic bucket brigade echo pedal.
Ambient – Warm, diffuse, chorused echoes.
Transmitter – Resonant CB radio style.
It’s what people love about EchoBoy – but junior. 

Devil-Loc – Audio Level Destroyer
Two knobs, one big drum sound. Audio level destroyer with vintage vibe.
Simple, devious and often unpredictable, Devil-Loc is a little plug-in that makes drums sound big. Drop it on a drum kit or loop and listen to Devil-Loc inflate the room ambience, pumping excitement into an otherwise drab rhythm track. Push it to its limits to create extreme gating effects where loud hits crush the signal to silence and the output blooms into a fuzzy mess. Now back off the controls. You’ll find some amazing sweet spots where Devil-Loc shows its angelic side, adding a vintage halo to loops and drums. You can even try it on your mix bus—if you dare!

Little PrimalTap – Twisted Little Delay
Unique retro delay lets you echo, loop, warp, distort and mangle.
Inspired by the classic Prime Time from 1978, Little PrimalTap captures the highly distinctive sonic imprint of this quirky, and well-loved (by those in the know) vintage digital delay. Don’t be fooled by its simple interface, Little PrimalTap lets you unleash your creative urges to echo, loop, warp, distort, mangle, or create cacophonous cascades of otherworldly sounds.

Little Radiator – Modeled Classic Tube Mic Pre-Amp
A little tube heat for your tracks.
If you want a touch of 60s warmth on your tracks, reach for Little Radiator. It’s great for fattening up bass, guitar, drums, or vocals. And it’s fantastic on electric piano. This modeled tube pre-amp from Soundtoys is based on the Altec 1566A, a simple little preamp straight out of the Motown Era.  Little Radiator drives and breaks up in very interesting ways, creating rich harmonic distortion, exactly like the 1566A.
Looking for something a little dirtier? Flip the Bias switch and dial in a slightly choppy, misaligned sound that’s perfect for lo-fi drums or adding grit to vocals. You can even choose to recreate the noise of the original preamp. Little Radiator has boatloads of color and character. It’s just what you need to shake the “clean” off of your computer recordings.

Little MicroShift – Big Wide Vocals
Massive Vocal Stereo Width. Classic studio trick with classic studio sound.
Soundtoys designed Little MicroShift to nail the vibe of sought-after hardware pitch shifters like the Eventide H3000 (which featured algorithms originally designed by Soundtoys’ founders) and the AMS DMX 15-80s. MicroShift captures the quirks of the originals including saturation and even the different de-glitching algorithms used by these units. So now you can have the big, wide sound of the original hardware with a simple and refined interface that makes getting those tried-and-true sounds faster and easier than ever.

Effect Rack – Creative Multi-Effects System
Rack up 14 essential Soundtoys effects in one powerful plug-in.
The Soundtoys Effect Rack turns our tried-and-true collection of powerful effects into a creative multi-effects system. It’s a single, self-contained plug-in that comes preloaded with 14 Soundtoys effects including Crystallizer, Decapitator, Devil-Loc Deluxe, EchoBoy, EchoBoy Jr., FilterFreak, FilterFreak 2, MicroShift, PanMan, PhaseMistress, PrimalTap, Radiator, Sie-Q, and Tremolator.
Get inspired with hundreds of carefully-crafted presets that let you quickly try out new ideas. Dive into Effect Rack’s conveniently categorized presets to find the perfect combination of Soundtoys effects for your track. Choose from effect chains tailored to instruments like guitar, vocals and drums. Or explore the Sound Design, Spaces, and Modulation categories to try out some left-field sonic ideas that will take you in a completely new direction.
Outer Limits is also a FREE collection of 67 presets designed to turn any audio into strange and frightening sounds, spacey sci-fi soundscapes, and mutated audio oddities.

Global controls let you treat your custom rack as a single powerful effect. Lock rhythmic effects to a single tempo, or let them run free. Fine tune the input and output levels, and use the global mix control to blend your effect with the dry signal. Then experiment with the powerful global Recycle control. By mixing the output of the rack back into the input, you can build your own modulated reverbs, over-the-top delays and other unique ambience effects.

As you can see, you get A LOT for only $249 if you are currently a student. So, head on over to Soundtoys and take advantage of their Academic Bundle today! You will not be disappointed. This bundle is amazing. A+!

Backstage @ Jones Beach 2017This 8×12 metal wall hanging is now on sale over on my Etsy store!

I shot this photo while backstage at Jones Beach in 2017. The swooping/cascading arrangement of all the guitar cases with a mix of vibrant color made me stop for a second. Now, I think it makes for a pretty nice accent hanging for a music studio, man cave, or whatever room might need a little more color.

This 8″x12″ metal wall hanging is an ultra-vibrant, HD Gloss, ChromaLuxe print that uses dye sublimation. Instead of printing the image directly onto the metal surface, which may scratch easily, the image is infused into the specially coated piece of metal to provide permanent protection and durability. Not only do ChromaLuxe photo panels pop with vibrant color and crisp detail, but they have an extremely durable scratch resistant surface that is waterproof and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

I work with Lakeside Photoworks to deliver a quality product since I want my photos to last as long as they possibly can. According to Lakeside, two independent, highly respected research and testing laboratories conducted environmental life tests on ChromaLuxe Photo Panels and clearly concluded that ChromaLuxe HD Metal Prints are the longest lasting photo medium in the current market. The first laboratory’s testing replicated the effects of incandescent lighting along with indirect natural sunlight against the likelihood of noticeable fading over time. The laboratory compared ChromaLuxe with the top three long-lasting (archival) photo papers. Test results showed that ChromaLuxe lasts twice as long as the highest-quality photo paper and four times longer than the third best photo paper. The second independent laboratory replicated the effects of fluorescent lighting in a windowless office environment, in an effort to measure the likelihood of noticeable fading. ChromaLuxe outlasted its next closest competitor in quality by a factor of 1.7 times the life of their photo paper. It is the high definition, vibrant colors coupled with superior fade, moisture, stain, & scratch resistant properties which make ChromaLuxe an excellent choice for my photos and for your home decor applications.

Check out my Etsy store today!

SoundCloud LogoDid you know that I had one of the first podcasts available in Apple’s iTunes Music Store with about 80,000 listeners in 15 countries? The show ran from 2005 to 2008 promoting independent artists who were featured in the Music Sumo webstore. It was a lot of fun but became a little too taxing as I was running a record company called Recast Records, running the Music Sumo webstore, and trying to produce a regular podcast. The podcast alone would take days to put out as I was the Executive Producer, Writer, Host, Sound Engineer, Editor, and Publicist. Eventually, I had to stop the podcast, but they were so much fun that I am currently making them relivable via SoundCloud.

I am now on SoundCloud with a Pro Unlimited account where I am archiving all the old Music Sumo Podcasts as well as making new music available in the future. Come on by and listen to some old shows and keep coming back for more, new music as I start releasing it pretty soon. Hope to see you over there!

Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold from the VIP seats at Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mt. View, CA 07/28/17

I have begun to sell things on Etsy starting with an Avenged Sevenfold metal print wall hanging. This 8″x12″ metal wall hanging is an ultra-vibrant, HD Gloss, ChromaLuxe print that uses dye sublimation. Instead of printing the image directly onto the metal surface, which may scratch easily, the image is infused into the specially coated piece of metal to provide permanent protection and durability. Not only do ChromaLuxe photo panels pop with vibrant color and crisp detail, but they have an extremely durable scratch resistant surface that is waterproof and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

I work with Lakeside Photoworks to deliver a quality product since I want my photos to last as long as they possibly can. According to Lakeside, two independent, highly respected research and testing laboratories conducted environmental life tests on ChromaLuxe Photo Panels and clearly concluded that ChromaLuxe HD Metal Prints are the longest lasting photo medium in the current market. The first laboratory’s testing replicated the effects of incandescent lighting along with indirect natural sunlight against the likelihood of noticeable fading over time. The laboratory compared ChromaLuxe with the top three long-lasting (archival) photo papers. Test results showed that ChromaLuxe lasts twice as long as the highest-quality photo paper and four times longer than the third best photo paper. The second independent laboratory replicated the effects of fluorescent lighting in a windowless office environment, in an effort to measure the likelihood of noticeable fading. ChromaLuxe outlasted its next closest competitor in quality by a factor of 1.7 times the life of their photo paper. It is the high definition, vibrant colors coupled with superior fade, moisture, stain, & scratch resistant properties which make ChromaLuxe an excellent choice for my photos and for your home decor applications.

Head on over to Etsy and check out my first photo print today with more to come soon!

Depop @MusicSumo

Posted: February 19, 2021 in News
Tags: , ,

Depop LogoIn an effort to downsize and declutter I have begun to clean out my closet a bit. Be on the lookout for me at Depop as I unload some music memorabilia and personal clothing. Who knows what I might dig up and put on there so check back often!

Find Me On Depop

Find Me On Depop

Etsy Logo

Music Sumo is now on Etsy!

As some of you already know, I have been toying with the idea of selling some of my photos. Well, I have teamed up with Lakeside Photoworks in Metairie, LA to provide you with high quality metal wall hangings that are produced with ultra-vibrant, HD Gloss, Chromaluxe prints using dye sublimation. Instead of printing the image directly onto the metal surface, which may scratch easily, the image is infused into the specially coated piece of metal to provide permanent protection and durability. Not only do Chromeluxe photo panels pop with vibrant color and crisp detail, but they have an extremely durable scratch resistant surface that is waterproof and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth.

I will be starting with a few music prints and adding more in a bit, including other photos that might not be so music related like landscapes, architecture, still life, and more. I am also toying with ideas of music related home decor made from old instruments, music media, and more. Be on the lookout over at Etsy, and I hope you eventually find something that you like.

Music Sumo Hoodie

Get your own Music Sumo hoodie today!

It was brought to my attention a few months ago that the link to the Music Sumo Goods was not working anymore. Checking with the producer of my merch I was informed that they had switched business models, shut down all clients’ stores, tossed out all of the artwork, and basically started over without informing anyone. Since it was around 2005 that I created all my old merch I had lost my artwork several hard drive crashes ago. After scrounging for what old artwork I could find, I created some new merch and opened a new store. So, enjoy the new line of Music Sumo Goods from Spreadshirt. I plan on putting together more designs, etc. in the future, but I hope that this will get the Sumo out on people’s backs for the time being. If a hoodie isn’t for you right now there is a lot more offered. I even have Music Sumo masks. Double up if you need to.

Music Sumo Mask

We now have Music Sumo masks!

The Loft Studio

The Loft Studio – The Beginning

It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally started updating the website once again since I have several things in the works these days. In 2017 I moved down to Los Angeles to start working full-time for John Mayer, and since then I have taken a little step back from things on here since I needed some time to relax the mind and do something different for a bit. Plus, we had been touring pretty nonstop for the past few years. I have always had some projects in the back of my mind though. I took 2020 as a pretty lazy year of forced chill since we were not touring due to the Covid pandemic, but with things continuing a bit I thought it might be nice to finally take on some of the ideas and projects that have been lingering in my head.

I have always wanted to build out a nice little home recording studio and start getting ideas down for some songs since that is what initially led me into music. I had tried setting up a studio many years ago; but the cost of gear, the hassle of analog to digital conversion at the time, and the never ending obsoleteness of gear made it very difficult and too expensive. With the growth of digital music interfaces and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) in the past decade it has made things quite a bit easier to create a small, quality home studio. So, I recently put together the following:

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple 27″ LED Cinema Display
Logic Pro
Universal Audio Apollo X4
Yamaha HS5 Monitors
Yamaha HS8 Subwoofer
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Cans
Audio-Technica AT2020
Shure Beta 58A
(2) Shure SM57s
Roland XP-60
’67 Gibson SG
• Multitude of percussion instruments and noisemakers

This is only the beginning with more to come for sure. Stay tuned for more gear and music ideas.

I have also decided to go back to school and start work on a Masters in Music Business from Berklee College of Music. I will be taking limited courses to fit into my work schedule and will initially be working towards a Graduate Certificate in Music Business Law & Policy. Oooo…. Exciting stuff. For fun, I am planning on taking some undergraduate courses in Songwriting and Production starting with courses to earn a Professional Certification in Logic. Time to get off the couch after 2020 and learn some new things!

For many years I have also toyed with the idea of starting an online store where I can sell some of my photos and any other arts and crafts that I create. It’s definitely time to start creating more and sharing it with others. I believe that I will be starting with metal wall hangings of my photos soon on Etsy. I also have some ideas for furniture and home decor made from recycled musical instruments and physical music media. Be on the lookout.

Find Me On Depop

Find Me On Depop @MusicSumo

Finally, for now, I am starting to clean out my closet and sell some things on Depop. Come on over and take a look at what I got. It will be updated pretty regularly as I have a bit to unload. It is mainly old clothes and items that I’ve aquired over the years that I simply do no need any longer. I hope that some of it can find a good home where it is appreciated more often than hiding in a closet or drawer of mine. Come give a look at what I got, here.

That’s about it for now, but there is more to come. I plan on getting pretty busy again in the coming years. Hope to see you along the way!

Estrin_Header

Axis 3 Music is getting the weekend of the big game started right with music, booze, and food with Rick Estrin & The Nightcats at FAME Venue in San Francisco, CA on Thursday, February 4!

Rick Estrin was born in San Francisco, California in 1949, and fell in love with blues after his sister presented him with Ray CharlesThe Genius Sings The Blues when he was 12. He began playing harmonica at age 15, and by age 18 was beginning to work professionally. Early in his career he played with Lowell Fulson, Z.Z. Hill, Travis Phillips, and Fillmore Slim. Estrin has gone on to win the 2013 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist–Harmonica in 2013. He won the 1994 Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year for his composition “My Next Ex-Wife.” Three of his songs appear on Grammy-nominated albums: “Don’t Put Your Hands On Me” (on Koko Taylor’s Force Of Nature), “I’m Just Lucky That Way” (on Robert Cray’s Shame + A Sin), and “Homely Girl” (on John Hammond’s Trouble No More). The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “He’s one of the great characters in blues – a sharp-dressing, smooth talking harmonica-playing hep-cat. He’s also a deceptively subtle writer who can cloak pointed or sobering messages within the band’s good-time vibe.”

RickEstrinJoin Rick Estrin & The Nightcats with three free drink tickets for $317.49 via Eventbrite, making this one of the most affordable shows during the week of the big game. Even better, VIP tickets include open bar and a food spread for $782.45. Get your tickets today at http://bit.ly/Axis3RickEstrin

Hope to see you there!