| Jeff Schmidt, Bassist
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September 20, 2009

Melodyne beta test on my tune - FURY

Melodyne software by Celemony promises auto-tune control for polyphonic material (like solo guitar, piano, bass etc..)

I got my Beta version today - and tried it out on my solo tune - FURY.

I was blown away.


This will totally change music. In fact- someone else posted that it will create a whole new genre of music - and I agree. Simply amazing.

I'm sorry comments are totally screwed here - but feel free to shoot a comment to me on my Twitter or Facebook.

Oh - if you know someone who can help me port this totally jacked-up blog from Moveable Type to Wordpress - lemme know.

Oh yeah - I can't access the back end anymore so - it's a bit of a challenge. It might help you've got some hacking skillz. :0

Lemme know.

January 26, 2009

New Video Blog - Demo ideas to Reel Reel Tape

Goin old school bitches!

Like I mentioned in my Sporadic Gig Syndrome post - I opted to flesh out some new ideas for my house concert on friday night (with Steve Lawson, Lobelia & Gustaf Fjelstrom) rather than boning up on my Outre material.

As I don't have any gigs lined up right now - I don't feel any incentive to keep working on these tunes. Just how I roll.

So I figured I'd record them as they stand now for posterity. And also to remember what the hell I played 5 months from now when I want to finish these things.

Then - it hit me. I should record them to the Fostex G16 tape machine I picked up over the summer. I had yet to use it. It would be a great test.

This vid blog documents the effort. Well - about 9 minutes of it. It actually took several hours.

Jeff Schmidt Video Blog 7 Jan 09 (Demo ideas on Reel to Reel Tape) from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

The video only includes samples of tracking 2 tunes - but I got video on all of the complete tunes. I'll put those up in another post when I get some time to knock it out.


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.


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.


June 05, 2008

video blog 6-4-08 (Don't Tase Me, Bro!)

the most studio wankery piece of the Ruiner Severhead project is a tune called "Don't Tase Me, Bro!"

Massive studio trickery, heavy use of samples and all kinds of brutal processing. I think the session easily topped 30 tracks, and had GIGS of raw material - mostly noise made from horrible bass abuse. ;)

I finally figured out how to play it live - by myself. Just as noisy.

Check it out.

grab the original track - for free - to kids - no forms to fill out.

Direct Download the mp3 HERE.

or - just listen to it.

Easily, the most exciting thing for me right now is knowing that no matter how far I push my studio & production vision - I can still find a way to bring it to a live environment in a way that goes beyond mere "backing tracks".

May 21, 2008

Video Blog #4 - may 20 2008 [updated]

I've been working on building a live rig I can use to perform the ruiner material live.

But it also must allow me to manipulate and loop sound in real time combined with pre-recorded elements & samples.

This video is an overview of the very beginning stages of my experiments.

runtime - 8:41

feedback always welcome!

[UPDATE -5.22.08]

Based on a few comments and emails from you guys on this most recent video about the "direction" my music is taking, I want to address a few things.

It's interesting to know (flattering actually) that some people are concerned I might be giving up on solo bass. I'm not. My taste in music runs pretty wide.

Some time ago, in another post, I mentioned that in addition to solo bass, I wanted to do a hard rock/industrial type project (done: ruiner severhead) a "jeff schmidt band" kind of project, a downtempo electronic project, and some avant garde experimental stuff. Plus remain open to whatever other ideas pop up along the way.

Currently, I'm trying to figure out the technology that will enable me to perform this kind of music in a compelling way as a soloist. That's what you see in the video. This process requires time. Just as getting into altered tunings took a great deal of time to get comfortable with - working with new tools - controllers, software etc... will too.

Because there is a limited amount of time available to me, I have to set priorities.

So, I decided to pause work on another "proper" solo bass CD to make time available to getting some of these other skills "under my hands" - as the jazz cats like to say.

There are other reasons too. Creatively, I want to make sure my solo works evolve and grow. I don't want to make re-statements of things I've already said. Or have my concept remain beholden to old ideas and expectations. I feel the same way with any new ruiner severhead material.

It's just part of who I am. The artists I admire & respect most are the one's who push past what becomes easy for them to find new approaches and ideas.


Because I get into moods and shift my focus fairly regularly - I'm thinking of adapting an approach that matches my personality. Instead of looking at any of these projects as "ALBUMS" that require 11-13 tunes thus months of time each, I'll write and release the material as its completed. Tune by tune. Or maybe I'll release demos. Just have to figure out the best way to do that. Maybe through the podcast? Any way - all brain fart thoughts right now.

February 23, 2008

VIDEO BLOG #4 - sketch #45

very rough outline of a new tune I'm trying to flesh out. no speaking - just playing.

this was done down & dirty using youtube's "quick capture" thing right from my laptop web cam & microphone. not hi-fi but it gives you an idea what i'm working on.

February 12, 2008

reasons I'm video blogging

• improve my video chops. the more I do it - the better I get

• improve ability to explain my process. even when I'm not entirely sure what the hell I'm doing

• to confront & overcome the fear of being exposed - of not being perfect

• perhaps make some of this weird music a bit more accessible by showing "how the sausage is made"

• to open up a space around my musical effort where conversations can happen, views are exchanged and ideas can be shared.

• it's simultaneously an ego boost & an ego check

most importantly.

• when all this music is done and recorded and available to the world as a complete artistic statement - I want there to be a bread crumb trail of how it all came about.

February 07, 2008

video blog VB #2

lack of motivation to play

ever been there?

also posted on the myspace blog

there's more conversation about the vid blogs over there.

video blog VB#1

Since mid Dec I've been playing around with new musical ideas that seem to be heading towards similar territory as Outre. Maybe.

One of the advantages of having been through this whole music creation, practice, perform, record, release thing is that I have more confidence that my ideas will actually see the light of day. So this time around I'm going to do a regular video blog about it.

Rather than create in private, and only let it loose into the world once "it's done", I'm going to do regular video blogs about the process I'm going through to figure out all these ideas.

See - even though I have ideas - I have no clue what form they'll take.

So I'm doing this video blog as a way to document the process of figuring that out. And instead of just keeping it for myself - I'm posting it on youtube and embedding the videos here.

The first vid blog just lays out the concept - and shows a very basic over-view of how I'm working. I'll get into nitty gritty stuff along the way.

Creation is painful for me. I go through terrible bouts of doubt and self judgement. But I also experience those wonderful moments when things click. I want to make sure I have some video rolling for all those moments. Hopefully you guys will find it entertaining & inspiring.

First video blog is embedded below.

My video blog YouTube page is Please subscribe if you're interested.

September 02, 2006

Vid Blog Sept 2 2006

August 30, 2006

Late Night Questions . . .second thoughts

August 07, 2006

Vid Blog 1

cuz I hate typing