Friday, August 30, 2002

Link of the Day

...of an accidental choir director

Doubtful he (Aristotle Esguerra) and I will ever agree on much, but he does have the good sense to post a pic of:

One interesting note - he gripes about Joncas' "The Love of the Lord", aka "Come See the Softer Side of God", but I noticed he dips his musical jug often at the Alstott well - I wonder if he ever noticed how much one of Alstott's lenten psalms (I forget which) sounds like "We Sang in the Sunshine"? BTW, the reason that we never used Joncas' "Nuptial Blessing" was that the verse sounded way too much like "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce...".

He also has the good taste to swipe some of our old "Trash the Hymn" work from THE CLUB, though it was our pal Brian's stuff, not mine. And I know, it's not a CLUB anymore, but it was when we wrote these.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Commenting by Enetation:

I was going to change comment servers today, as Enetation has been horribly unreliable the last week or two. It seems to be playing nicer today, though, so I'll give them another chance.
An Open Letter to Keyboard Mag

From: Jay Ricketts
To: Greg Rule
Date: 8/28/02 1:01PM
Subject: Cubase SX, Pro Tools

I'm a Cubase 5.1 user, who hasn't made the jump to SX yet. Based on your review, it sounded like a really good thing to do, except that I'd have to upgrade to XP, which would force me to upgrade my version of Encore...

...but the point is, why was this NOT a Key Buy®? Further, how the heck did ProTools HD get to be a Key Buy®, and Cubase SX got passed up? SX is one tenth the price of PTHD, has a comparable feature list, is cross-platform (the only major player who is, anymore)... but none of that's good enough to be a Key Buy®?

The only thing I can think of is that PTHD is the "sequencer to the stars" and the acknowledged industry leader, so you couldn't NOT give them the award. The analogy, back in the day, would be that the mighty Yamaha DX-1, a DX-7 with some extra bells and whistles, would be the Key Buy® rather than the DX-7, 'cos it did a little more, and was used by "the stars", notably Michael Jackson. It was also 5-6 times the price.

That line of reasoning only works when you ignore bang for the buck. Ultimately, the presence or absence of a Key Buy® banner isn't a dealmaker/breaker for me, but credit needs to go where it's due, and Cubase SX got unduly shorted. IMO.

Jay Ricketts
Emmett, MI
Back to School!

Start next week at Madonna U. Courses: Music History, Organ performance, Chorale. Only had one college class since 1984, we'll see if I can still hack it. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 23, 2002

Quote of the Day:

Courtesy of those wacky folx at lowbrow (no, I'm not posting a link),

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Link of the Day:
The Hymn Society

Very cool org, with a not-so-great website, but their mag is dynamite. I've belonged for only a few months, but lots of great info. As a hymnal collector (only collecting in earnest for the last year or two), their historical info is top-notch, and well-documented.

Lest you thought no one was writing hymns anymore...

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Quote of the Day:

"With no Osama bin Laden and no Saddam Hussein, the war on terrorism becomes a metaphorical abstraction, like the war on poverty. Clearly we ought to be rebuilding Afghanistan and securing its future. But we as a people have a short attention span and it's hard to keep a focus on nondramatic things that cost money and don't provide the immediate satisfaction you get from blowing things up."

Keith Shimko, Purdue University

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Assembling the studio:

In anticipation of my daughter and her daughter someday moving out (insert Rosary intention here), I've been pulling together stuff for my recording studio room. Here's a list:

Recording hardware:
Roland VS-840 recorder,
Compaq P-III 833mhz 256mb PC,
MidiSport 2x2 USB,
M-Audio Quattro sound card.

Acoustic / Electro-mechanical Instruments:
Acoustic piano, spinet,
Hammond D-152 organ with solo pedal unit,
Hammond M-3 (but probably gone soon),
Fender Rhodes 73 Stage piano,
Hohner Clavinet D6;
Arp String Ensemble (needs repair),
Epiphone 335 Dot electric guitar.

Oktava MK-319,
Shure SM-57,
Shure SM-58,
Shure Green Bullet.

Alesis QS-8.1,
Novation K-Station,
Kurzweil SP-88,
Roland XP-10,
Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 (Rev 3.3, no midi),
Yamaha KX-88 (needs repair),
MidiMan Oxygen 8,
MidiTech 49-key knobby,
Yamaha P-50,
Roland P-55,
Yamaha TQ-5,
Yamaha RX-11,
Yamaha TX-7 (2 of 'em).

Key Software:
Cubase 5.1,
Acid Pro 3.0,
Reason 2.0,
Sound Forge 6.0,
Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction,
Encore 4.2,
Band-In-A-Box 8.0,
NI B-4,
NI Pro-52,
Steinberg Model E,
GigaSampler LE,
Emagic EVP-73,
plus boatloads of sample disks.

Alesis M-1s,
Samson P-60,
M-Audio SP-5Bs.

I'm sure there's a lot more I need, but right now, I just gotta learn these tools better, especially Cubase and Reason. Watch this space!
Finally, a minute to breathe...

Work has been wild - big project comes in in two weeks, resulting in tons of overtime and tons of pressure. No fun at all.

BTW, Hammond's not going over well at home - I lugged it across the state in the back of my pickup truck, loaded it in the house with the help of four buddies. Mostly good shape, but it's absolutely huge compared to my old M-3, whicxh has now been demoted to the garage.

And the hugeness is the issue. I'll have to make it up to her somehow. Ideas, anyone?

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I did! I did!


Hammond D-152, AGO-type pedalboard, built-in speakers.
It will replace my M-3, which I like well enough, but only an octave-minus-one pedalboard. Part of the church music degree I'm going for requires organ performance classes, so I needed the 32-note (AGO spec) pedalboard.
Kinda glad I didn't use e-bay's "Buy-it-now" feature - it was $1500! Picked it up for $1075.

Here's the link.
Last five minutes! I Might win this one!

Monday, August 05, 2002

Link of the day:

National Association of Pastoral Musicians, aka NPM. I've belonged since 1999. An amazing bunch of folks, predominantly Catholic, NPM has largely overcome its folk-mass origins, and is now all over the map, liturgically and theologically. Can you say "diversity"? Anyhow, they've got a great (and lively!!!) mail list too, about 250 strong, 30-60 messages per day most of the time. not for everyone, but it's been a must-read for me for the last 3 1/2 years.

Friday, August 02, 2002

More about St. Cecilia:

Posted by one of my rare visitors, but commenting the wrong entry, so I thought I'd repost for him.

My wife and I just finished reading her biography by the Abbe Gueranger.

As a matter of fact we know a great deal about her *with certainty." Cecelia did not refuse marriage, but on her wedding day after being escorted to the nuptial chamber she confided to her husband Valerian that she had vowed her virginity of Jesus. There follows the story of the conversion of Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, their trial, the conversion of the prefect's notary Maximus, the beheading of the two brothers, the thrashing to death with leaded whips of Maximus, Cecelia's trial, attempted suffocation in the steam bath of her palace, her attempted beheading.

This story was confirmed by the discovery of her incorrupt body in the catacombs of S. Callisto by Pope Paschal in 800, details of which confirm the substance of the Acts of St. Cecelia. Her body was translated to her palace- now basilica- and once more was discovered incorrupt underneath the altar by Cdl Sfondrato 800 years later. Nearby were the bones of two men of similar build who had been beheaded, and that a third not beheaded by whose skull had been fractured, presumably by the leaded whips. She was discovered in the same attitude that pascal had her in, as described in the Acts, on her side, knees slightly drawn up, head turned down... This was captured by the famous sculpture of Stephen Maderno who Sfondrato had summoned to witness the disinterment. Her garments were as described in the Acts. There are many other points of confirmation of her Acts, too numerous to mention here. It all happened. St. Cecelia, pray for us.

Vote on Aug. 6th!

I already said this somewhere else, but worth repeating:

I'll be voting for Dave Bonior in the Michigan Democratic gubernatorial primary next week. He's not the only anti-abortion candidate running, nor the "best" on the abortion issue - he picked a pro-abortion running mate - but he's the closest thing to being "truly pro-life" I've seen. Should Bonior win the primary (he's running third right now), he'll come up against a fiercely anti-abortion Republican, Dale Posthumus, in November. Anti-abortion voters will vote for Posthumus. Pro-life voters will vote for Bonior.

But I didn't mention this part:

Dave seems to be very quiet on the anti-abortion issue. It's at odds with his party's platform, and he is a party man - he'd never have been Minority Whip if he wasn't. I think he's missing a golden opportunity - not just to score an anti-abortion victory, but to carve a niche for the Dems, and give primary voters a clear alternative - since "pro-choice" (and a hell of a choice it is) voters will be split among Granholm and Blanchard, he could pull a lot of votes just by announcing his anti-abortion stand. It won't happen, though...
Link of the Day:

Chicago Trib has a real nice article on Catholic Blogs - I won't link it here, but will link the site they reference:

St. Blog's Parish

Typically, they had to quote someone who objected to these sites (and clearly "just didn't get it"), but generally a real nice article. The "parish" is a loose-knit community of bloggers who share a common interest in all things Catholic, but quite diverse points of view and areas of focus. THIS link is to the webring of the same name. Check us all out!


"livelywriter" is the owner of St. Blog's - maybe "facilitator" would be a better word, but her site is just one on the list. Webrings usually offer a list site, but apparently this one doesn't - so visit A Random St. Blog Site instead. Each click will take you somewhere new.