Grad School, Baritone Guitars and the Sierra EP

It has been quite a while since my last post.  I intentionally took the Summer off, but I never expected to be so busy. I wanted to give an update on what I have been working on.

I am still teaching in the Audio Production Department at the New England Institute of Art on Fridays. I have some great students this Fall and the class size is pretty small, so I think that we will make more progress than usual.  The problems of our current economic depression have prevented many students from obtaining financing for school and as a result I am teaching half the classes that I normally would. This has opened up some opportunities with my time that are pretty exciting.

I started a master’s program in Sound Recording Technology at U. Mass Lowell. As far as I know, this program is the first of its kind.  There are two concentration options: production and research.  I will probably concentrate of doing research. I want to learn to develop products for the audio and music industry. It is very strange to be a student again, but I am enjoying spending time learning new technologies and techniques.

I have also been prototyping a specialty baritone guitar.  I had spent quite some time trying to find a production instrument that met my requirements, but I wasn’t able to find (at a reasonable price!) a comfortable instrument that sounded the way I wanted it to sound.  With all of the instruments I played, the string tension was too loose and felt floppy and imprecise.  The tuning machine holes were too small to allow a larger gauge string, so simply increasing the gauge of the strings was impossible without modification.  The other problem was finding an amp/cabinet combination that both produced adequate low end and cut well.  All in all, my search was really disappointing. So I decided to start designing and building my prototype.  I will include some new posts about that guitar soon, but time is short now.

The next bit of news is that I have completed producing Sierra‘s EP “Rocks.” The record has just been mastered by Matt Azevedo at M-Works and it sounds wonderful. I think that Sierra is going to be a rock star and that her performances and songwriting are really inspiring. The songs are filled with hope and honesty. I will send out new information as we get closer to releasing the record.

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