The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 8 – Caves Branch

I was able to borrow a GoPro camera for my trip to Belize, so I actually have a lot of video footage. Eventually I hope to use that footage to make videos for at least a few of the songs. This song is actually more based on video footage than field recordings, and it spent a lot of time in limbo before I figured out a direction for it. Once I did settle on a direction it was actually completed quite quickly (by my standards). It was one of the last songs finished on the album along with Stowaway, which I talked about in the last making of post. Continue reading “The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 8 – Caves Branch”

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The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 6 & 7 – Hideaway & Stowaway

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I’m grouping Hideaway and Stowaway together in this post because in a way, they are two sides of the same coin. By that I mean that they both use the same processed cricket recordings as their source.

Hideaway Caye is a tiny peaceful mangrove island and is home solely to the family that runs a guesthouse and boat access restaurant, their two dogs, along with many crabs, seabirds, iguanas, and lots of crickets. The island is so small that rather than taking their big Rottweiler out for walks, they go out in a kayak and he paddles along behind them. Our host Dustin explained to me that before they built the houses there were no crickets or iguanas. While bringing over the thatch for the roofs these little stowaways hitched a ride and then decided to call the island home. Continue reading “The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 6 & 7 – Hideaway & Stowaway”

The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 1 – Ella’s Garden

Continue reading “The Making of Belizean Heat: Part 1 – Ella’s Garden”

Belizean Heat Live at the Maker Faire (and Octatrack Nerdery)

I was asked to play the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire again this year and I felt like playing something new. The last two years in a row I had played Sonidos de Cuba, although each performance was quite different as one used Ableton and the other used the Octatrack. Since returning from Belize I had started using those fresh recordings to create new music and I was excited to play it out and get some feedback. Continue reading “Belizean Heat Live at the Maker Faire (and Octatrack Nerdery)”

Just in: Case!

Case MontageFor the first time in October, I had to take my gear on a plane. The logistics of transporting my equipment proved more difficult to solve than I anticipated. My eclectic collection of gear was pretty awkward to accommodate. Any bags or cases large enough to accommodate all of my equipment were too big to be guaranteed approval as carry on luggage. If I had to risk checking in my luggage, I wanted to make sure I had a case that would protect my synths and samplers. I looked at a number of cases from a range of companies but couldn’t find anything really appropriate. Finally I decided to give Dinosaur Cases a call. Doug listened to my requirements and gave me a rough quote, as well as a couple other recommendations to try. The more I looked around, the more I realized how reasonable his quote was. Many of the available products were just as expensive or even more. Having a custom case made specifically for my gear had some pretty attractive advantages too.

Case InsideEarlier in the year I had been visualizing a stand for my Kraftzwerg so that it would sit closer to the MicroBrute and angled upwards for better ergonomics and access to the knobs. If I was paying to have a custom case made, maybe I could have my studio workflow improved too. I ran this by Doug, and while it would increase the cost it would certainly be possible, so I decided to go ahead with the case.

Case FinishedI’m quite happy with the results! The Dinos were able to make a tray with a hinged shelf that sits inside the lid of the case. When I get to the gig I just put the case on a stand or a table, open it up, plug in a few cables and I’m ready to go. If it sits too low I can use the case as a platform and save myself a lot of back ache from hunching over my equipment. In the studio it sits nicely on my desk and the raised back items are more accessible. Plus it looks really professional and dare I say sexy.