Just my stuff

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4FUN HITS – Who Are You by The Who


Going through the charts for 1998 I’m having a tough time finding a song for Reelin’ in the Years. I do not think any of the songs are all that great.

I’m considering posting one as my most respected for that year but it never was a fav. More like something you’d hear while shopping in the dollar store. Nothing wrong with that… just sayin’.

So I’m going to have to dig deeper, look thru through my collection and see what I was listening to that year. Something tells me I was drifting toward jazz and sacred music. But there must be a pop tune that stirred my soul in ’98.

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a parallel series called 4FUN HITS to fill in the gaps for some of the great songs overlooked in Reelin’ in the Years.

“Who Are You” was released in 1978. My girlfriend back then Jill (not her real name) had given me that album for my 16th birthday. The dear soul bought a special red vinyl edition that was just soooo cool. As I’ve said before, Jill was the ultimate teenage girlfriend. Sometimes I’ve regretted that we broke up but life is about movin’ on.

The Very Best of Steely Dan: Reelin' In the Years

The Very Best of Steely Dan: Reelin’ In the Years (just in case you didn’t get where I got the title of Reelin’ in the Years from) – Wikipedia

Anyhow, I’d just purchased my first stereo amp. A Yamaha with 60 watts of power. Back then that was respectable. The real serious audiophiles had 100 watts but 60 was good for me (and my bankbook)!

Our family had a pair of Genesis loudspeakers, bought off a friend who was indeed an audiophile. Add my Technics turntable and I was ready to rock.

And rock I did. When my parents were away I had small house parties where I’d blast those 60 watts and Genesis speakers to their extreme capacity without distorting. I’d been warned by our audiophile friend that loudness didn’t kill speakers. Distortion did.

I remember dancing with my pals, pretending we were performing this song, and generally having a gay ol’ time.

The Who were quite progressive for a rock band. Their use of analog synthesizers was advanced back in the day. I think they are one of the great classic bands. And Roger Daltry is probably my all-time favorite straight out rock and roll singer.

For me, he’s better than Robert Plant or Burton Cummings, who have similar styles when they roar.

Oh tell me who are you, you, you, ah you?

The Who were the very first band I saw live at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. I didn’t do a lot of rock concerts as a kid. But those I did go to are burned in memory.

In the 70s the audience held up cigarette lighters instead of cellphones. It was pretty magical. I can still see the calm bassist John Entwistle looking like a wise old Druid up there on stage. Even then, I could tell that music had a mystical component.

I came home and found myself hoarse the next day. I was a quiet kid but The Who got me screaming! 🙂

Image top right: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:4Fun_Hits.jpg

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 The Economics of Spotify – Local Band Version(ask.metafilter.com)

 Many popular young Nigerian musicians have sold their souls to Satan – Skid Ikemefuna(vanguardngr.com)

 Best Buy To Pull CDs From Its Stores, According To Report(gpbnews.org)


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Dual – My old turntable… still works!

I’m revising an article about parallel universes, now more commonly called the multiverse. This ol’ turntable figures in my story. Should be out at earthpages.ca in a day or so.

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u wanna know – supakleen remaster

So the first version of this song (below) was mastered with a combination of some Reaper plugins, then that file was imported into FL Studio >> Maximus >> Slam Amp Master.

program screenshot

Sytrus in FL Studio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This version uses ReaEQ, and then AAMS with a custom reference file. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry. It’s bedroom music producer talk.

The main thing that these two different versions illustrates is how essential mastering is to a song. I never realized this before getting into home music production. But now when I hear a song, say, in the supermarket, I’m not only reminiscing over the melody, but also listening to how it was mastered. Mastering needs a good tune for a hit. But a hit needs a good mastering job too!

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Poor boy’s or girl’s 5-way surround sound

My bedroom is like an electronic cave. It’s unbelievable how much stuff I’ve packed in here. Most of it is a remix of old gear than I’ve had kicking around for ages. This weekend, I guess partly to help getting over the loss of our pastor, I immersed myself in a new remix. The outcome was my “poor boy’s or girl’s 5-way surround sound.” It’s not really surround sound. Because I think that has different info in each channel. But it’s still pretty good.

So how do you do it? (um, yeah… substitute your stuff for mine…)

Take your Mom’s old HK amp that’s been gathering dust for the past few years. Add your Dad’s old Zoltri Sound System (amplified subwoofer and white speakers) that came with his Win 98 PC. Run that from the “tape out” jack in the back of the HK. Add two spanking new Yamaha speakers that you got from your AirMiles card (a shoppers points/rewards system)… and voila, you have the poor boy’s or girl’s 5-way surround sound!

And how does it sound? Well, apart from the slightly audible buzz that comes thru the Zoltri system (still trying to fix that), it’s great! I have tons of control over the levels because it’s sort of two stereos joined at the hip, each with different volume and tone controls.

I love recycling old stuff. So many people – even supposed “Green” people – enjoy running out and buying all the latest gear. But I tend to hold on to and reuse old stuff. Heck, we still have our CRT TVs and monitor! It’s actually very psychological and spiritual. Each piece of equipment means something different to me. Each was important at a certain time in my life. So now I’m remixing in a whole new way.

As the depth psychologist Carl Jung put it, the inside and the outside should mirror one another. And if not, something bad usually happens to restore or recreate a new balance.