A Musical Trip to Brunei

Standard

It’s been awhile since I was here but I took an opportunity to record something musical with an old friend of mine when I was on a trip to visit her in Brunei. It’s great to be able to play friends who can keep up with you.

A wonderful four-hand jazz piano piece, Over the Rainbow that was arranged by yours truly. I had arranged this piece a few years back to perform with a student for a Piano Duet Festival in Penang.

Since it’s been quite sometime that we did something fun, we had to do a fun and simple piece to remember by.

 

With more time, I hope to update on something interesting later on.

That’s all for now.

How I assemble my recording equipment into a mini luggage bag

Standard

I think the caption of this instagram sums it all what I want to say in this post.

I couldn’t have found a good solution for now. I can carry it anywhere: workplace, home, potential client’s place? Who knows?

What ever it is, I am a happy amateur recording producer now. Hahaha… I wonder whether that is the right term.

My Love Affair with Sound Recording

Standard

I’m not sure since when but I’m pretty sure I started very, very young on this. I remember having my very first mini compo radio which you can record just about any sound and also radio songs onto a cassette. I used to shut the doors, windows, lights down low to create the ambience for recording my piano playing. My upright piano is positioned at the corner of the living room where it reverb very well off the walls.

Technology improved over time and there was my very first camera phone. I had a 66-key Casio keyboard around secondary school days. I was starting to transcribe song and finding chords. I still have not discovered music notation software yet at that time. Everything was hand written.

Eventually I took up a minor course on Music Technology at university. I was introduced to sound recording on the iPad. It’s hard to deny the convenience of it. I really had great ambitions to record many things to the point where I got an audio interface just for the iPad 2. Unfortunately, I feel dubbed into buying  it and probably a very impulsive buy because 7 years on, I didn’t got much use out of it. I had one too many  demands and many things I wanted to do didn’t work out. At that point of time, I just graduated and was chasing my first career. So little time but many, many ambitions.

With the iPad, I really exhausted a lot of use out of it apart from recording. I used it to do homework, work, entertain and even played gigs with it. Recently, I had to depart with it due to the fact I had a great opportunity to upgrade. With that done, I also upgrade the gear I would need. I got myself an original camera connection kit. It’s crazy I know! It costs a bomb but I think in a long run, it’s a good investment.

For the past 6 months, I up my ante by learning quite a few new instruments: ukulele, cello, recently the bass guitar. The accumulation of basic skills to play quite a range of instruments has upped my desire to get a better and more compatible audio interface. It was risky but I really took my time to do my research this round. In the end, I got myself a Steinberg UR12. I got to use it for my recent Fiverr gig and I’m happy to say the quality is quite good. It surprises me and I surprise myself. I started to record samples of different other things like the ukulele and the cello. Prior to buying the interface, I got myself a Cherub pickup on Aliexpress. It’s really dirt cheap but really worth a try on what I can get from it. It’s not fantastic but it’s not too disappointing.

Ukulele and vocal_Steinberg sample – I never proclaim myself to be a good singer but recording my own voice brings a chill to me somewhat.

Steinberg_cello sample – This recording is giving me more reasons to push myself on playing the cello better.

Due to these recent recording experiences, I’m feeling more enthusiastic on improving my instrument playing.

Sound is really a mysterious thing.

Making resolutions as I breathe and live 

Standard

It’s now post CNY holidays. My goblin fever is slowly simmering but hasn’t died down completely. I’m still bead over heels for gong yoo, wondering whether I will ever meet such a handsome and mature men. In my dreams maybe. Maybe my one, true God will grant that wish one day when I’m ready or will I be ever ready? 
Anyway, this goblin fever also struck a sudden return to my enthusiast days of being a k popper. I’m currently very hooked on Rain’s dedication song to his newlywedded wife, Kim tae hee. It’s called The Best Present. Very aptly named for the occasion and very very catchy for listeners. Though I still understand very little Korean, but music emotes feeling through sound. You can just feel the love and romance oozing out from the sound of the music. I love the song so much so I learned to play the bass guitar today. It took me this long to try this instrument. The song is in C, so it was pretty easy to catch on the noted on the fret. I love the fact that my first bass guitar cover has a wide range of notes to play with and I think I will get more creative as I play it more often. 

My bass playing  https://youtu.be/XTmow1KNDHY

The bass strings are way thicker than my cellos such that I sometimes use two fingers to press on one note. The tip of my middle finger feels rather raw now but I guess it will only help thicken my fingers faster for my cello playing. Another concern I had was confusing the open strings of cello and bass guitar. I realize it wasn’t too bad. It has only increased my understanding and appreciation of string instruments. Seems like the human brain is quite capable of many things. I will only know get to know myself more as I delve more into these new things.

 I have to admit that the reason we see so few female bassist is because the bass is really, really heavy! I couldn’t last more than 10 minutes in it by standing. Now I understand why quite many bassist do sit while playing. It does make your shoulder ache and since it was my first time, squeezing my right arm over the bass to play the notes was quite tiring after a while. Perhaps it’s a posture issue that I will have to resolve. Soon, I will know. I guess this could also be the reason why I don’t see many bassist with good posture? Perhaps I’m wrong but these are my observation and thoughts. 

While I was showering earlier, I realize I really have a lot of things I want to do. Hmmm…. Time will tell how much I am capable of accomplishing my ambitions. It’s still early in the year and I can’t stress how incapable I am of making resolutions but one thing is for sure, I’m making them as every second, minute, hour, days and months goes by as much as I do and still can breathe. 

Who said late bloomers won’t shine?