Word is blog
Today is the day. I have officially been sober for seven years today.
One of the coolest things about being sober is probably the fact that once you get sober your sober date kind of becomes your second birthday. That part is pretty awesome to me.
Throughout my entire creative career, I’ve been a man of few tools. While many of my peers were going crazy about and purchasing the latest and greatest music production gear, I was holding still, using the same old reliable gear that got me where I was.
As a former Information Systems guy, I was always curious about new gear and advances in technology of beat-making, but something didn’t seem right about constantly upgrading my gear before I had truly mastered it. So for the first seven or eight years of my music career I used the same gear; an MPC-2000 sampling drum machine, Pro Tools, a $99 mic, and my records.
If there’s one constant lesson I’ve seen during the process of making this King No Crown movie, it’s that there are always trade-offs. As simple as a decision may seem on the surface, it never really is simple. That’s because every decision has it’s benefits and it’s consequences.
Like most kids, I was huge fan of comic books growing up. In fact, I have to credit comic books as being the first thing I was ever excited about reading. Regular books were just boring to me, at least until I was fifteen or sixteen years old. But even as a teenager, I wasn’t very much into reading. Back then, we were too busy running around and playing sports to sit down and dedicate significant time reading anything that was beyond our school assignments.
Things really changed for me when I stopped drinking. All the sudden my mind started clearing up and I had a burning desire to read and learn more. So, for the first time in my adult life, I got a library card. Ever since then my reading habits have been strong and steady. I look up books online, then check them out from my local library if they’re available. I do buy many books that I think I would like to keep as reference but, overall, the Columbus Public Library is my go to spot.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been knee deep in revising my first film King No Crown. Obviously I’ve been gradually revising it throughout the entire process but, as I get closer to the end, the revisions start to get a little more involved and intensive.
People often ask me how I get so much done.
From music, to books, to podcasts it’s clear that I do a lot, but my work habits are very different than what people assume them to be.
For those who listen to my podcast, you heard me announce this week that I am in the final stages of finishing my first movie, a documentary called King No Crown.
While it is completely possible to get a decent sound out of a microphone without using a preamp to boost the signal, most people who are serious about their sound prefer to use one. In fact, I would say mic preamps are more prevalent now than ever, even if they’re less obvious as they use to be. Preamps, which were usually once only available as a external pieces of gear, have started to become built internally into other recording gear that people already buy. As a result, some people may never really feel that they need a preamp for their particular studio setup. Those that do need a proper mic preamp are always on the search for something effective.
This brings me to the second piece of gear that I’d like to talk about in the Tools of the Trade blog series, the Fethead Mic Preamp.
Anybody who’s a fan of sports is familiar with the term “strength of schedule.” Strength of schedule refers to how good or bad the opponents of a particular team were at the time that they played them. So, for example, if my team was 1-1 and played against one team that was 2-0 and another that was 1-1, my strength of schedule would be considered stronger than another 1-1 team who played against teams that were both 0-2. The teams I played against had better records, so my team had a better strength of schedule.
One of the most frequent questions I get when I meet other artists is about the gear I use to make music with. It might even be the most frequent question I ask other artists as well. I think the reason we are fascinated with this is because it gives us an inside look into another person’s process. It also allows us to learn about new gear without using or purchasing it.
By no means do I consider myself an expert on gear, but I would like to start blogging more about specific gear I use frequently. I will call this series of short blogs Tools of the Trade.
The first piece of gear I would like to review is the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone.
The first time I ever messed with real estate was in 2006. After saving up some money, I decided to buy a distressed property. My plan was to take a few months while I wasn’t touring to have it rehabbed, then rent it out for some future passive income.
The plan seemed simple enough but there was one major flaw: I had never rehabbed a property before in my life. I had completed several smaller remodeling jobs in my own house, but nothing on the level of what would be necessary to finish this project alone. Thankfully a friend of mine, who had mentored me through the purchasing process to that point, had a contractor that he worked with and recommended me. This contractor had helped him with his previous property and was said to have been a good guy.
Unfortunately, the experience I had with that contractor was nothing like his.
I started blogging around 2008 or 2009, first on the Blogger platform before getting more serious and moving over to WordPress. Since that time, blogging has become a great tool for me. Although there are periods where I am too busy with other projects or touring to do it with regularity, it’s still had a strong presence in my career.
Over the years, I’ve met many people who have told me they appreciate my blogging. I’ve also met many other people who have been thinking about getting into blogging, but haven’t made the dive yet. These people, not totally sold on it, often ask me what the benefits of blogging are. So I want to take a quick second to talk about the benefits of blogging. While everybody may do it for different reasons, I will list the ten benefits of Blogging in hopes that it helps others understand how it might become helpful to them.
So, here are ten benefits of blogging:
There’s a Kroger grocery store I go to all the time that’s about five miles from my house. The store itself isn’t located in a great area. In fact, it’s in an area that most might consider sketchy. For those who have listened to my podcast Super Duty Tough Work, this is the same Kroger that I mentioned has prostitutes near it and where I almost had to pull a knife on a guy for messing with me.
At any rate, I go to this store all the time. Aside from a mild argument between hood-rats and panhandlers, I have never had any real problems there. No fights, not much (if any) police presence there. The people haven’t necessarily been mean to me, but they’ve also never been nice. If I had to describe the people working there and the customers it would as indifferent; they really don’t speak to each other and don’t care about interacting one way or another. It’s just a grocery story in the hood where people buy their groceries and keep it moving.
Although I hadn’t been a heavy reader until I stopped drinking, my reading habits have picked up every year since. Over the past few years I’ve gone from reading a book a month, to two books a month, and I just set my own personal record by finishing seven books already this month.
As I was knocking out the last two books, it started to really hit me that there was something different about what I was doing that allowed me to read so many more books than usual. So for everyone out there that is looking to increase their reading output, I want to share a five simple tricks that will allow you to read faster and finish more books.
I recently had a conversation with a good friend about sobriety. I’ve been sober for six years now, but my friend has had some struggles staying sober for longer than a year or so at a time. It seems like every time they start getting some momentum towards a life without alcohol, something really stressful would happen that would push them into drinking again.
This led us into a great discussion about what we both considered the main catalyst in our problems with alcohol–anxiety.