News from today and the past summer (2014)

The most recent news as of today is that I have a new teaching/composing/production studio in Midland MI. I’m pretty excited to call the office at incuba8 LABS my second studio home.

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(Class offerings and the beginnings of a studio.)

IMG_2509IMG_2505(New studio gear and working with long time friend, Suzanna McGraw on an audio track for the children’s Christmas book, “Too Fat to Fly.”)

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To catch everyone up to speed on the summer events, I was involved in various teaching and performing duties at the very cool Detroit School of Rock and Pop. I also worked on more film scoring projects with Superhouse Pictures. I scored for one short movie called, “Chinook” and then a promo Detroit/New Amsterdam Vodka clip.

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(A collection of behind-the-scenes pictures from the movie, Chinook and a short video for New Amsterdam Vodka.)

Other new performances included a couple gigs with “Allen as Tim,” a Tim McGraw tribute band. That was a great deal of fun. I also performed in an old swing band called “The Big Band Express.”


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I was honored to be part of Detroit Bass day where I was able to see and hear some of the best talent Detroit has to offer. I was also able to lend some playing support for Bruce Egnater at his 102 level amp building class which was held at the Detroit School of Rock and Pop.

Detroit Bass Day     Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 6.47.14 PM(I’m in this pic…can you find me?)                    (Bruce Egnater level 102 amp build class.)

I also started up a workshop presentation idea called, DIY Music Production. The first of hopefully many presentations was given at Creative 360 in Midland earlier this summer.

DIY music production at Creative 360

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That is my summer in a nut shell and I’m looking forward to working on some tv, movie and video game projects as I start to work on new class and private lesson material.

A few old and new things…

Well, I did Grease at Gabriel Richard High School. That was fun.


A little overkill for 50’s music but I did use quite a bit of what’s here.



DIY Music Production is still in the works. I’m getting to meet more people and feel out the area of Midland. It’ll be fun to try it out there and then research some other smaller towns.


I have a gig with some pals up in Evart for the Memorial Day weekend. I look forward to that. I should start hitting the material hard now.

I’m looking forward to working more as the President of the IGDA in Detroit. I’m hoping some of the video game crowd will join me at the Comic Con this coming weekend. That will be fun.

Oh, I’m slowly editing my behind-the-scenes of Dracula, the show I played last year. It’s getting there. Just wish I had more time.

I took and amp building class with Bruce Egnater which was fantastic. I have so much to learn. Not sure there is enough time in life to pick up that skill to a proper degree so I’ll probably just stick with a good understanding and continue buying what sounds good. Hats off to those folks who can do all of that.



Well, that is the latest for now.

Getting up to speed…

So, I’m quite behind on posts but here is the latest.

I have been making an EP and documenting the process. The EP has slowed into what is now two tracks. I have others but most of the focus has been on these two tracks. I have about 12+ videos so far documenting the process. You can see them here:

I hope to pick up where I left off as I ran into some video editing snags combined with playing “Grease” at Gabriel Richard Catholic High School. The show was fun but it’s good to start getting back to audio production.

I have also taken a leadership role as the President of the International Game Development Association for Detroit (IGDA). I’m very excited to work closer with the community of developers and helping out the best I can.

I just found out I get to partake in an amp building class with Bruce Egnator at the Detroit School of Rock and Pop. This will be quite fun and a great learning experience.

Oh, with the help of Detroit composer extraordinaire, Matt Raetzel, we started the group, the Michigan Composers Network. We have had one meeting so far and I SO wish we had done this earlier. It has been great to communicate all the issues that happen on a day-to-day basis and try to help each other. These are some great folks for sure, just like the gaming community.

The tv show pilot of Rafael (A Bird’s Tale) is being pitched and I need to do some more work on regional music so I hope to hit that soon…and I still need a ukulele.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out but that’s the most recent news. Oh, I’m also recording new and dicing up some existing tracks to start placing them in music libraries. I hope to work with some pals, Steve Kendzorski and Brent Nagy from the DSRP. The discussions we haver had so far have been quite fun.

Ok, so that’s it. More to come shortly,


p.s. I’m also putting together a music production seminar with hope of giving my first presentation in May. Marketing is the issue with this but it is coming along.


End of the year (yeah, kind of late) and new projects.

So, a quick update since I’m so far behind.

I sang a bit and played guitar as Alex…somethingoranother. I somehow forget the last name of my character but I was performing at the Eagle Tavern for Holiday Nights at the Greenfield Village for Christmas. It was a great deal of fun. Here’s a pic of a typical day for me up north at home and what I had to dress up as for the gig. (Alex Henry, I think that was my name).

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I’m composing for my second video game called, Zombies Don’t Pay Taxes. Hopefully the developer likes what I come up with. It’s been fun so far.

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Now onto a new project. One that makes me actually finish writing a series of songs because, there is a deadline. I am hoping to provide some behind-the-scenes footage and info into the process. So far it’s been fun and frustrating and creative and frustrating so be writing for the first month but, I still have some time. February is recording month so I do need to get going. I’ll hopefully give some details, as much as I can to how this all works for me. I know I need to write down some settings when I’m recording ideas. I’ve already made that mistake (my note to myself). Ok, back at it…

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Audio presentation, movie challenge and video game.

The past week, weekend and early part of this week has included a good deal of activity. I co-presented on audio production with sound designer, Dominic Chiudioni from Pixo Factor. We spoke to a group of IGDA folks at Eastern Michigan University. Many thanks to Eric Jean Cordier for inviting us. I also composed music for the 10th year with Superhouse Pictures. This was for the 2013 National Film Challenge. Also, the android version of video game, Geometry Mobsters just came out. I’m pretty excited to see and hear how it came out.

So, I’m just about recovered from the weekend of movie production. I learned more things are also realized there are many more things to learn. Oh, also, one of my students, Chris Strobbe came out to help in audio production. He was a great asset as I getting more prone to issues based on lack of sleep. It’s nice to have a second set of ears when making tone and arrangement decisions.

Below is a hodge podge of pics from the last week.

Screen shots from the movie, Selfies Choice.
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She is starting to turn into a zombie.
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The gang editing and what not…

Chris trying his hand at some Pro Tools work.

Geometry Mobsters video game main screen.
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EMU/IGDA presentation with Dominic Chiudioni of Pixo Factor.

Blue Tree and more composing…

So, this was a real treat to play for a band called, Blue Tree. They are out of Ireland. Fantastic guys and the church folk were great also. The services and sunday night concert was held at The Tabernacle in Buckley, MI.

Blue Tree at the Tabernacle in Buckley MI

Here is a pic of “Burt” (Peter Burton), Matt Weir, me and Aaron Boyd.

The laddies, Burt and Matt setting up. Peter talked me through most of the music through a talk mic while we played. It was really helpful. Pretty amazing for a guy to play so well and call out chord changes at the same time. Matt did some of the same for me giving rhythm cues to match his bass drum pattern. That sure was fun! These guys are solid players!

Just before we played sunday night.

I don’t get to play out on bass as much as I’d like. It was fun to dig into the instrument with a band as opposed to writing/recording. I always learn something when playing bass…well, guitar also but I just realize that it is such a fantastic instrument. Parts of this bass are from my original bass when I was 15. Jim Rawlings down in Detroit added a neck (that wasn’t bowed like the original) and some much higher quality circuitry. I used a Sans Amp and Keely Compressor into the Gallien Krueger that the church had. I thought it sounded pretty good.
tabernacle church with Bluetree

On top of playing with the lads, I’m back to work on the video game, Geo Mobsters. Here is a clip of a track called, Buckley Juke Joint. I really enjoy writing sometimes. This particular piece was fun. I hope it gets used. Oh, also, I am up north so it’s bee nice to get some feedback from mom and dad on my compositions. Dad gave me some pointers on this and quite often, I get some feedback form my friend Suzanna. She was happy with it also. Nice to get a piece right early on. I’ve have worked on many movie or tv cues for days, maybe weeks and that is just in the writing stage. Production is yet another story altogether.
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Dracula and what not…

Well, the shows of Dracula:The Musical in Midland went well. It certainly was one of the more difficult musicals I have ever played. I used my Les Paul for all the electric parts and it served me pretty well most of the time. I wound up riding my volume pedal quite a bit in an attempt to blend in with the orchestra. Each track seemed to have a life of its own so I believe I gained a new skill…that of trying to control my volume like a horn player. This came out of necessity a bit since I had broken my pinky and it was really hard to adjust my volume on the guitar during the initial rehearsals.

In the middle of all of this, I spoke on composing for video games, tv, movies and animations at the 2013 Moving Media tech fair at Wayne State University. That went well and I had a great audience. The support staff was great. I hope to post some pics from that at some point.

Back to Dracula…

So, here are some pics and a few technical details on the gear I used in the show.

I used the Strymon Timeline sparingly in the show, set to 330ms (I think) and it was the digital delay setting. I would’ve used it more but the tempo changes were all over the map so I used the Mission Control expression pedal to blend delay in and out. I used the gold looking actone pedal for my gain…more of an AC 30 tone. It was probably set mostly for 3/4 gain and has a nice low end boost. It is a very dynamic pedal. I bet the Ernie Ball Pedal was used about as much as anything. I only used the POG when I could think enough to use two feet at one time, on the track, “Life after Life” which was the final song of the first act. I used the TC Electronics Chorus pedal a bit for mostly clean sounds. This is where I missed my strat. I think single coils would’ve sounded a little crisper on the chorus sounds. It was fun to try and make the LP do what it could clean-wise.

Only a Gibson (or two) is good enough. Fender Pro Junior, my little trusty amp served as a head this time for my boogie 2 X 12 cabinet.


My view from the show.

Jan Sutherland and Jim Hohmeyer, both fantastic musicians. This is from the first rehearsal of Dracula.

A collection of activity.

Once again, it’s been a while since my last post. I’ll back up a bit and try to go in order.

Teaching at the Detroit School of Rock and Pop has been FANTASTIC. I LOVE teaching. I have some great students and get to work with the most talented and cool musicians/educators in Detroit. I can’t say enough about my students and pals.

I had an audition for Pro Ship Entertainment. It’s just an idea I kick around to play guitar on a cruise line. January might be the best time although I know I’d miss the snow. I’m sure some people think that’s weird but home is such a beautiful place in the winter.

I’m playing guitar for the musical, Dracula up in Midland at Midland Center for the Arts. This has been hard work so far and pretty fun. Shows start September 27 and go into October.

Work still continues on a current video game and I am working on theme music for a website, The music will also be included on the pilot tv show to be completed in December. Here is the clip. Hopefully this turns into a series. Great fun for all involved.

I played in church yesterday and it went well even though a week before, I broke my right pinky finger. It’s coming along ok. I pulled out my tenor sax just to goof around and my finger still seems to work but I’m going to take it easy. I know I still can’t play drums.

I am presenting at the Moving Media tech fair at Wayne State University on September 28. I will be talking about production for movies, tv, games and animations. I need to start preparing for that soon. I look forward to sharing what knowledge I have and hope to help others in some way.

Well, back to shedding for Dracula.

oh, some links…!2013-techfair (Dracula at MCFTA)

no link for broken fingers…no one wants to see that.

Moving Media Tech Fair. WSU

Dracula, The Musical - MCFTA

Recent days…since May.

It’s been a while since my last post.

I’ve been pretty busy working on a video game. I wish I could show some of it. It’s really cool but I know there is some work left to do. I still have a bit of music left to write but I’m feeling pretty good about how some of the tracks came out.

Let me see, I finished the Jingle for Krustyzz Pizza. That was really fun.

Below are some pics from the most recent 48 hour film challenge. It was a great deal of fun and once again, another process of learning gear. Some software cooperated well, to my surprise and then, others really took up some memory. It was only a matter of time for things to bog down when I had stacked up so many midi tracks. The initial concept was 80’s-ish so, many synths and chorused 4th position strat sounds. Yet, another piece of music that I would not normally write on my own.

In the next few days, I will be playing acoustic and mandolin for, The Sound of Music. It will be fun and the music is a nice challenge. The first show is tomorrow.

(A shot of me writing the ending credits)
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