Saturday, 5 January 2013

New Bass Samples on SoundCloud

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I have been having lots of fun playing around with my new Focusrite Saffire audio interface recording improvised bass lines. Windows 8 has been behaving fine, along with Saffire MixControl and Ableton Live. Currently, I’m experimenting with recording improvised bass lines, overdubbing each track to add more bass voices, sometimes even changing between my Warwick Corvette Fretless and my Kubicki Factor 5.

The outcome has been interesting and fun, and I have created short loops samples for sharing with all of you. I’m currently using SoundCloud service to post and share the loops. You can check them out here.

I invite you to leave your comments and contact me if you are interested in taking this further on any cool projects you have.

Cheers!

Music & Technology – The Beauty of Intersections

Intersections between different disciplines have been always part of my life. I can say I have performed at the intersections between technology, music, dramatic arts, writing, business, culture, painting and design.

Working at the intersection of disciplines gives you not only a different perspective, but also an advantage compared to people that are focused only on one thing. You could see it as a true think-out-of-the-box practice. You can take a step back, change and merge different context, ideas and meaning moving through the intersection. Furthermore, intersections are the areas where true innovation comes up, and I’m not only talking about tech innovation, I mean innovation in all areas, all disciplines.

Technology and computing is becoming ubiquitous. Technology is becoming an intrinsic part of almost everything we do. Music, filming, photography, design, writing and so many other disciplines can use technology to have wider distribution, have a more efficient production, and overall be better thanks to the tools, techniques and channels technology provides. At the same time, technology can become better by integrating art and other discipline’s techniques into it. The outcome? innovation. New ways of thinking, new ways of creating, new ways of reaching, new ways of building…you get the idea.

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Starting this new year, one of my goals is to work a lot more on my music and my bass playing. I want to explore more paths to music and bass line creation. Thinking about it, I realized that I started playing bass at the same time I started studying computer sciences at the University of Costa Rica, more than a decade ago.

Music and Technology are one of the intersections I have been performing for quite a few years. However, over the years I did kept both a bit separated. Lately, I have been working to bring all disciplines (tech, music, writing, painting, design, business) a lot closer, so I can work on the intersections and produce more creative and innovative content.

I have been producing more content for my art blogs (art hobbies and writing), and trying to mix them up to facilitate the intersections I want to work on a lot more. A good example of this, is how my knowledge about technology, computers and in particular Windows 8, helped me to quickly put together a semi professional home recording studio to record and produce my bass lines. Actually, the intersection between technology and music allowed me to help my former band, Tercer Mono, to prepare for recording our first studio album. Another example was when I performed as an actor and narrator for a short documentary showcasing Costa Rica’s technology industry, which was produced by PROCOMER and showcased at Intel’s Innovation Centre.

The most recent example of work I have been creating on an intersection, is a series of bass samples featuring a multi-track bass line. I have been using Windows 8, Ableton and Saffire software/hardware to record and produce improvised samples, and then use the cloud to host and share the content. Here, technology has helped me to increase the productivity and reach of my music work. If you want to check out the outcome, listen to the samples in SoundCloud here.

I invite you to try it yourself. Just try to bring your profession and hobbies together. Maybe you have some old hobby or a side interest that might be a good fit with your current profession. Try to find ways to bring them together and create work out of it. I bet you will be surprise of what comes out of it!

Feel free to share your thoughts and experience here or leave your comments if you feel like it.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Dwarves of Tir-Nâ-Bor: Uren’s Son

the first strike is the only one that really hurts

Another one of my painted miniature figures from Rackham's original Confrontation collection. This is one of the fearless heroes of the mighty dwarves of Tir-Nâ-Bor.

This paint work is from a few years ago (my eyes are not what they used to be before, and I need to get a magnifying glass to continue painting), but I have quite a few shots of the painting process, which I hope you will find interesting to follow.

First step was to give the main body part the black base coating, and then start to paint the base colors of the figure. In this case, a good dwarf skin color with some leather strips on arms and legs, plus a greenish tint for the loincloth. 

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Then I took it on finishing the body details. Painting the bones on the hero’s belly, and the troll skull on the front. Cleaning up the feet and all the other torso details.

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Now is the turn of the mighty hero’s mechanical hand. I really like painting parts supposed to be metallic. It allows me to play around with different shades and combine several colors. It is difficult to appreciate on the pictures, but the color mix reflects light in different ways, so when you see it from different angles, it appears to change colors. 

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Some more details of the body with the mechanic hand now attached.

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Now is time to work on the head. Uren’s Son has a complex head. The beard is moving, and the expression is fiery and scary. I like to keep the eyes completely white since I think it gives the figures a bit of a mighty trance-like expression.

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On its back, Uren’s Son figure has like a fuel barrel with some mechanical parts to power the mighty metal hand. Again, some more fun with metallic shades.

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Hope you like the paint work. It is in fact an impressive miniature figure. The expression and the movement is remarkable, and I hope the paint does its job helping the mighty presence of one of the most powerful dwarf in the clan. I’ll leave you with a couple of shots of the completed work.

As usual, I invite you to leave your comments and get in touch if you like miniature painting and my work.

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Recording Bass: 3-Bass Sample

I have been setting up my home recording studio here in the UK, and as I continue to improve and learn about recording bass and producing music, I would like to share the outcome.

This is a quick demo of a sample loop with three different bass lines and a drum pattern, playing at the same time. Check it out, and please let me know your thoughts.

For the recording I used both my Kubicki Factor 5 and my Warwick Corvette Fretless. Both produce really different sounds. I used the Factor for two of the tracks, differentiating them by tweaking the sound settings and for the third one, I used the Warwick, which produces a round, mellow and characteristic crying-like sound of the fretless. I’m currently using a Windows 8 Alienware laptop, a Focusrite Saffire PRO 24 DSP, Saffire MixControl 3.1 and Ableton Live 8.

Cheers!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Never Stop Travelling - 2012

Now that my 2011 travel list is published, I can go ahead and publish 2012 list. If you are asking, why is this guy posting about his travels? Why do we care? Well, let me tell you: you are absolutely right to do so. You don’t need to care or find my travels interesting. However, if this post gets you excited about travelling, or reminds you of your travel memories, I can say that then, at least for me, it is worth it. That, and also, because I want the chance to post some photos of my travels and keep a handy, online record of the places I have visited (that doesn’t belong to Facebook!).

So, without anything left to be said, here is this year’s list.

My 2012 Trips

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England (Brighton, Bournemouth, Croyde Beach, Devon, Reading) 

 

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Holland (Amsterdam)

 
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USA (New York)

 

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Sweden (Stockholm)

 

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Germany (Berlin)

 

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Greece (Crete – Chersonisos, Agios Nikolaos, Plaka, Elounda, Haraklion)

 

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USA (New York, second time this year!)

 

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USA (Seattle and Bellevue)

 

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France (Paris)