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December 23, 2008

I'm Bored. Are you Bored? Want to not be Bored with me?

Ahhh the holidays.

I'm without my bass in the arctic wonderland known as Upstate NY. Which pretty much looks like this in every direction.

myarctictomb.jpg

I do however have my fancy computing device which affords me the ability to mangle and mix sound. That's where YOU come in my fearless bass pioneers!

YOUR MISSION:

I want you to send me a bar or 2 of your bass playing OR other any other instrument you play.

I'll collect all the riffs I get and produce them with my laptop toys over the next week.

I'll post the results (for better or worse) on this blog and throughout the interwebs with full credits to everyone who participates.

Or - if you prefer - I'll leave your good reputable name off this auditory abortion leaving your participation totally anonymous. Your call.

For the sake of simplicity / interoperability there's only 2 rules.

Play to a click/metronome with a tempo of 110. (don't record the click track if you can help it)

Play in the key of E maj.

You can play in ANY mode of E Maj - but please confine your riffs to the key of E Maj.

Play in any time sig you want - just label what it is

Play with any effect(s) you want.

As simple or complex as you want. Doesn't matter. Don't overthink. Just hit record, play, save the file - and

SEND YOUR RIFFAGE TO ME

beautifulbass@gmail.com

mp3 is fine.

Let'r loose kids!

December 22, 2008

What Does this headline mean/say to you?

STUDY: 85% OF ALL TRACKS RELEASED IN 2008 DID NOT SELL EVEN ONE COPY...

Here are a few random thoughts that popped into my cavernous mind on reading that.

A.) Duh . . . Most music just blows.

B.) Duh . . . of course it didn't sell cuz it was stolen/pirated

C.) Duh . . . People are only interested in buying Kanye records

D.) Duh . . . what do you expect when you let amature and hobbyist musicians put their music in online stores next great artists like Kanye.

E.) Duh . . . music continues to have the worst effort to payoff ratio of anything you can do with your time. Besides listening to Kanye.

F.) Duh . . . this obviously doesn't include indie artists. Or does it? Who knows - the article isn't clear. WTF?

G.) Duh . . . now I can't wait to begin working on my next internet music release!

H.) Duh . . . you say Duh too much.

Original article HERE

What thoughts bounce into YOUR cavernous mind?

COMMENTS ALSO HAPPENING ON MYSPACE

December 17, 2008

Guess The Bass contest!

Was messing around with normal bass tones and came up with this ridiculousness.

There's a simple 1 bar bass pattern repeated over a drum loop in the player below.

I play the pattern twice with 4 different basses. So, bass 1 gets two passes, then Bass 2 gets 2 passes etc...

Your job - guess which bass is playing which pattern.




DETAILS:

The basses are all running thru the EXACT same processing chain which contains amp mod, distortion, eq & compression.

The settings were not changed from bass to bass.

The basses I used - 2 Fenders and 2 MTDs.

The Fenders:
American Fender Standard P Bass (2008)
Made In Mexico Fender Jazz w/ Nordstrand J pickups (passive)

The MTDs
MTD American 535 (active)
MTD Kingston w/Nordstrand MM style pickup (passive)

4basses.jpg

I also played the pattern 1 extra time at the end with one of these basses using a bit crushy type distortion effect. There's nothing in the sound that really gives it away so take a stab with a guess for bonus points!

Enter your guess by email - outre @ beautiful-bass dot com

You can also register your guess in the comments.

NEW: If you use Twitter - you may register your answer there as well. Just @jeffschmidt me your answer or send me a direct message.

I'll pick a winner by random drawing from all the correct entries I get by 11:59PM (PST) Dec 31st 2008.

Winner gets a free copy of my CD Outre, a free copy of the ultra rare physical CD version of Ruiner Severhead - The Jesus Fist Tapes which was only sold at 1 live show - and a free copy of my next release (whatever that may be and whenever I might make it).

Happy Holiday & Good luck!

--jeff

COMMENTS ALSO HAPPENING ON MYSPACE


December 15, 2008

This moment in Twitter

tweetofday121508.jpg

follow my twitness

December 12, 2008

Still Silhouette Reverb Effect explained

Next to "what tuning is_____ tune in" another really popular question I get is about the reverb processing on my solo tune Still Silhouette from my CD Outre.

If you're not familiar with the tune you can grab a free listen on the Last FM OUTRE player.

Its fretless piccolo bass with increasingly strange reverb effects building in the background throughout the piece. When I asked for this kind of effect I had David Torn in my mind.

The effect was created old school style by my producer Cookie Marenco from OTR Studios in Belmont CA.

I was just smart enough to capture a bit of video of Cookie explaining how she creates the effect while we were in the studio.

Today, I got a few e-mails and myspace messages about this track (I think there's a post on a bass forum about it) so I found a bit of the video and uploaded it to the interwebs.


Still Silhouette Reverb Effect explained from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

Obviously this is the old school way - with vintage Lexicon PCM and Super Prime Time verbs, delays, Eventide Harmonizers and real time parameter manipulation (performance)

Not exactly something I can bring out on shows without dropping about 20K in gear and as much IQ to be stupid enough to bring it all out to venues.

Thankfully, there's a reasonable alternative.

I created an effect chain in Ableton Live on my laptop with plug-ins.

It's not exactly the same thing - but it's very, very close to the effect created for the CD.

The main key to the alternative sound is the use of an effect called "Crystalizer".

It's a cascading pitch-shifted reverb/delay process.

You can find it in plugs like SoundToys and Guitar Rig. While the SoundToys version is waaaay better (I think it's based on the Eventide algorithms) the Guitar Rig version is what I have on the laptop and it works just fine.

You can hear that effect in performance on the 2 "ruiner severhead" videos I posted "SEVERED" AND "BOUND".

The combination of these processes is something I've come to call SMOKE because I can't fit "cascading pitch-shifted reverbs & delays" on the return label.

UPDATE:

ok - I realized it's totally easy to just show this Ableton Live chain on video. I don't have a screencast app so I just pointed the camera at the computer screen - ghetto style!


Using Ableton Live to create the Still Silhouette Reverb FX from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.
As you may have already been thinking - this is very secret info that most artists would never, ever share.

With this info you will, without question, be able to duplicate everything I do and render me completely useless in the global marketplace.

Use it wisely.

;)

December 07, 2008

Nice thought but . . .

In my last post I talked about starting a work in progress blog or entry category here at beautiful-bass.com

This seemed like a really great idea to me and would hopefully serve me in getting at least a few of my many idea fragments finished. I was going to post some stuff this weekend.

Then I realized that this is my main website.

If someone searches for me, most of the time they're going to end up here.

Having this site loaded with entry after entry of half-baked demo audio might be fun for me and a few of you. But, it's not helpful at all to the person who came here to find out if I'm worth hiring or booking on a gig.

So I'll need to find another solution to create a work in progress, unfinished audio type blog. Any ideas?

One thought I had was to have a password protected area of the site to post idiot audio to. The password would be delivered by e-mail for free.

It's only purpose would be to keep those page(s) from being indexed and linked by search engines. That would at least make sure my latest :30 episode of improv scrotum smasher screech solo stayed off the top of search engine page when someone searches for Jeff Schmidt.

I'll play around with some potential solutions - feel free to drop me any idea of your own.


December 01, 2008

NOIZEBLOG: gonna try this.



One of the things I enjoy most about other artist type blogs (photographers, painters, sculptors, cartoonists, graphic artists) is the way they can use the blog to show works in progress. I personally find that really inspiring. The internet is a great graphic medium.

I don't know any musicians doing works in progress type sound blogs. Maybe they exist and I haven't looked hard enough.

There are a few artist video blogs that give a small look inside process that I enjoy. Imogen Heap is the most consistent. Video blogging is something I played with earlier this year and stopped when I realized how much I hated all the music I was writing. ;)

So I've decided to just do what feels natural and post small samples of stuff as they come up. Sounds from Studio Schmidt.

The point is not to create something specifically to post online - but to take an audio picture of something I'm already working on and post it as a WIP; a sample.

Typically the The audio I post will be very raw, unfinished/mixed, under 1 min and highlight just 1 idea.

It could be about tone, or meter or melody or mix. It could be solo bass - but more likely will be other ideas I'm toying with. It could be just be a loop or some piece of sound design or processing "process" I'm messing around with. I'll include a few notes and where appropriate photos/screen shots.

These probably won't be things you'll pop into your ipod. But for the curious, the creative & artistic among you - you may just find some insight into 1 wacky bassist/producer's methods of madness.

I had started to do this on another blog (a secret one) but decided that was a waste. I should just do it on here.


I'll start putting some things up this week.

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