A special show for The Chromatics!
Sunday, November 15th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
This is a short concert, folks so get there on time!
No tickets are necessary – free will offering.
Northridge United Methodist Church
9650 Reseda Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91324
The Chromatics are:
Spike Morelli – vocals and percussion
Michael Kleid – vocals, saxophone and keyboards
Larry Flaharty – vocals and guitar
Doug Hodges – bass
Tony Hartt – drums
Visit the website:
When I was a kid, music was magical to me. How did they capture all those marvelous sounds? I found out about the wonders of multi-track recording early on and in the 70s, finally bought my first 4-track reel to reel. It was a Dokorder 7140, the small reel model that only did the lower speeds. I’ve read some mostly negative reviews of the Dokorder products, but mine worked great for many years.
And over those many years, I recorded the different bands I went through. Some recordings were for fun, some to try and create demos for the band to get work, and some for songwriting. And although the Dokorder is now long gone, I still have boxes of reel to reel legacy in the garage.
I was able to acquire from a buddy a Teac 3340 in serviceable condition recently and my goal has been to go through and digitize the old four-track tapes. The Teac needed some servicing to get it up to snuff, but it now works well with the exception of one recalcitrant VU meter.
(Side note) I’ve been given alot of advice from people who know these things, that old reel to reel tape can suffer from the ravages of time. There are certain things that can be done to restore or revitalize old tape. I will not be covering this here. I’m lucky enough that my old tape seems to be working fine.
The methods described here will also work well for converting a box of old cassettes to digital as well.
What you’ll need:
Your analog deck
Connectors from Radio Shack
Your PC or Mac
Audacity available here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
The connection from the Teac to the PC is a simple stereo cord RCA jack to stereo mini plug.
Plug the cord into its respective devices:
Fire up Audacity, set the preferences to stereo input and check to make sure you have signal coming through.
Rewind (doesn’t that sound so retro) to the start of the tape.
Start record on Audacity.
Hit play on the tape deck.
Watch the waveform!
A technical problem for me was that, in this particular case, the tape was recorded at 3 3/4 inches per second. The Teac’s slowest speed is 7 1/2 inches per second. So I was getting a “chipmunk” recording. But no problem! After the file was finished, I selected the whole waveform and reset the “speed” from the Effect menu.
After you’ve played the entire tape into Audacity you should have a rather large file. Save as an Audacity project, which is a proprietary Audacity thing. Then add a label track to your audio file.
Set the cursor in the audio track at the start of each song and add a label on the label track.
When you’ve gone through the entire file and labelled all of the tunes, you can export the audio into separate files.
You can choose mp3, wav or ogg to export to and Audacity will slice up your file and export it.
It’s a little bit of work, but you can save old cassettes, reel to reels and vinyl this way for your computer listening pleasure!
I’ve been able to save numerous 4-track tapes of various recording sessions from over the years this way. I’ve been able to put them into Garageband and clean them up a bit, add vocals and more guitars, etc. It’s a blast to be able to work with these again…
Here’s some ultra cool photos of some classic bands in their prime. You’ve got Van Halen in the pre-record deal days with photos from the Whiskey and Starwood clubs in Hollywood. The Who, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Eagles, Robin Trower, Tommy Bolin, and Chicago. Most pics are shot in the 1970s when these bands were totally in their prime.
Check out the pics of Eddie with his Explorer and pre-striped Stratocaster! Pete Townshend in his Gibson SG Special glory! Rare pics of Tommy Bolin with Deep Purple. Great action shots of Zeppelin and the Stones.
The photographer is legendary Sunset Strip photographer Marvin Rinnig. Marvin says, “Photography has always been good to me. It’s always interesting and it’s never work. The role of a photographer is to capture a moment in history. I’ve met the coolest characters and I’ve been thrown into the craziest situations. Imagine when I shot The Mentors with strippers in front of Hollywood High School on Sunset Blvd. Car horns honking, people yelling at us, it was crazy…”
“So I think these photos should bring us back to a different era. When all these old guitar wankers were young and relevant. Long live Keith Richards.”
Check them all out here: http://www.marvinrinnig.com/
Yes, it has been a long time since I added anything to the blog. But then, I received a comment from Arnold Mitchem the other night…
Lil’ Elmo fans will remember Arnold as the Cosmos’ bass player through a large chunk of the Vegas years and he appears on the Definitive Video.
Arnold shared his new band, the Bourgeois Gypsies with me and now I’m sharing them with you! Cool stuff here….
Produced by original member Michael Bayouth, this was the definitive video that showed all of what the band could do…
Arranged by Steve Feller – Keyboards and vocals
Jay Kessler – vocals
Spike Morelli – vocals
Michael Kleid – saxophone
Arnold Mitchem – bass
Jack Turchin – drums
Larry Spatz – guitar
Here’s some more legacy video from 1995 when FM Station was rocking North Hollywood. I participated in this project while I was still playing for Lil’ Elmo and the Cosmos. Steve is on the left, with Lou Ozonko on bass, Jay Roewe on keyboards, Mickey Walker on drums, and yours truly.
Steve has a CD available on CDBaby
Just discovered video! Never released! Never viewed!
Live from the Railhead in Boulder Station, Las Vegas!
On any other night this would have been another sterling rendition of Harlem Nocturne by Michael Kleid. As we are in the midst of it, here comes Spike out of the wings in an apron, cigarette dangling, with a feather duster. It’s hard to see because of the quality of the video, but hang with it. When he turns around, he’s got nothing but boxers on…
I received an email from Michael Bayouth asking if I could contribute some guitar tracks to a song for his upcoming movie release, Sam Hell, and of course I said “absolutely!”
Brian Blake was producing, and provided me with a Marshall half stack to plug into for the session. I did a few tracks in the room with the amp and headphones, but it seemed like things really got going when I stretched the cord into the control room to let Brian direct me.
It’s easy to fall into habits as a guitarist. You build a safe vocabulary and kinda stay there. So it’s a different type of experience when you let someone direct you into areas or feels that you otherwise might not explore.
Brian has a great head for producing and had me do a boatload of tracks. Mike sat in the booth and had his input as well. It’s going to be fun to hear the final mix – to see what made the cut so to speak.
The tune is called Another Day and will play over the closing credits.
[kml_flashembed movie="wp-content/uploads/2008/01/anotherday.swf" height="54" width="320" /]
Here are some links to the film’s websites:
In keeping with the holiday festivities, Michael Kleid hosted a Karaoke party at his personal lounge for his friends and neighbors the day after Thanksgiving. We had a blast jamming, playing music, coaching sing alongs, and hanging out together. Thank you Mike and Tracy!!
Michael and I spent many years onstage together in Lil Elmo and it is always a treat to spend time with him! We dusted off some of the old routines and shared a few memories.
Kevin made numerous trips to the microphone – nice voice!
If you happen to be in Las Vegas anytime soon, make sure you swing by Kahunaville in Treasure Island to catch Michael’s show. He’s always a fun time!