Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What Will Happen to Music?

What will Happen to Music?

The record business has been with us for just over 100 years. It has entertained for six generations.  Music goes through basically three phases. First, it is contemporary to a generation, secondly  as that generation ages, it goes through a phase of nostalgia. Then, hopefully some of it stands the test of time and is listened to by future generations. Those future generations use this music as fodder for their own creativity. Most music doesn't make it to the future.  This may be the natural filter that will determine whether music copyrighted, published and recorded will need to be placed into the coming protective blanket of blockchain or any other technology that may come down the road that will regenerate the music business.

The strategy of placing music into a safe blockchain environment is to start with new music. Young artists and as not yet published artists, can provide the priming of the pump that the blockchain developers, can use use to test drive the system and make corrections that will need to be made as the infrastructure develops.

Once the infrastructure has been proven, gradually older music can be sorted out as to who the holder of rights are and this can be included in the protective blockchain. This will certainly require attorneys, publishers, copywriters, research assistants, a veritable plethora of people to sort through that mess. Once this is accomplished, this older music can be placed into the blockchain infrastructure. A neutral third party or board can determine the final say on who owns what.

Any music that has lapsed into public domain would be the last to be entered into the blockchain and would have a free use open source smart contract attached to this music. Perhaps music in the public domain could also be included at the front end of the process to use as fodder for the development phase of the blockchain infrastructure. The metadata that would be included would be more for historical record than for actually determining who has the rights to any royalties that would come from them. For history, though, making the metadata as accurate as possible and would provide the actual music in all its formats, sheet music, recordings, et. al. More convenient for future researchers and historians. This would also make for better archiving of older tape, vinyl, piano roll, and shellac (78 rpm) as they deteriorate over time. Thus we would have a record for future generations of all recorded music that could be easily accessed from any computer. Imagine pulling up your grandmother’s favorite gamelan, zither, or uilleann pipe recording from the 1930's and giving it a listen. Very cool.

Hey Adrian, What the Heck is Blockchain?

The best description of blockchain that I have found is a video from the Corbett Report. Here is a link.

I invite you to kick it around with me. You can contact me at my email address. Or at my contact info at .

-Adrian Vincent Yañez

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Martin Project

The Martin Project for The Multiple Sclerosis Society

            We were in the Acoustic Ranch Recording Studio last evening to kick off the MS Foundation, The Martin Project. Artists from all over will be coming here over the next two or three months, to contribute a song played on a Martin D-35 owned by Mark Cummings. Mark is former music director who played guitar prior to contracting Multiple Sclerosis. Mark and his wife Brenda came up with the great idea of having well known guitarists and songwriters record, on the Martin D-35, an album that will be used as a fund raiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and to raise awareness of MS. 

            Cary Morin, the first artist to record favored us with an original song, “Watery End”. Cary plays guitar with an ease that is a thing to behold. His vocal has a soulful spirit and he sings with a vulnerable character that I find very appealing. Cary describes his sound as “ Native Americana Fingerstyle Guitar”.

            Sarah Megyesy is the videographer on this project so we will be seeing some great footage of the event. We hope to see a documentary of the recording sessions when the project is completed.

Lisa Wilson, Sara Durnil, and Cary's manager, Celeste Di Iorio, were also in attendance and contributed to the relaxed atmosphere of the session. Larry Lewis was the recording engineer of record and captured 3 great performances of Carey's song “Watery End” with Take 1 probably ending up on the album.  All of the performances were very musical, so it wasn't an easy choice. Larry used a Mid/Side microphone setup for recording the guitar because it is being featured on this album. The Avantone Pro CV-12 was used for the vocal mic. The guitar recorded very well and Cary also delivered a great vocal track.

The session was concluded with good conversation, and a toast, with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. A great start to a deserving project.

Check out Cary Morin at
For video services contact Sara Megyesy at
Phone: 412-913-0945

-Adrian Yañez

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lois & The Lantern Session - Consider Different Recording Options

Lois and the Lantern Session
Consider Different Recording Options 

I am listening to the final mixes of Lois and the Lantern EP project, and they turned out to be amazing. Great work ladies and kudos to Larry Lewis our amazing mixing engineer. The release party is February at The Blind Pig so get your tickets and be there. Lois and the Lantern is a well rehearsed band that plays original Americana music and and are definitely a group of seasoned professionals. They have a consistent rehearsal schedule that shows in their  playing. The proof is in the pudding.

One of the things that came out of the great experience of recording this first EP for Lois and the Lantern is that it has given me time to reflect on the different ways to accomplish a recording project. There is more than one way to skin a cat. The first three approaches that come to mind are, do a live multi track recording that can be mixed later to optimize the quality of the recording, do a live to stereo recording, or do a multi track recording with overdubs.

The first and most efficient way is to do a live recording mixed straight to a stereo master. The recording can be done in a recording studio or at a live venue. Doing it at a recording studio will maximize the noise isolation and lower the noise floor that comes with recording in a live venue. Live venue recording can give your recording an energy that comes with performing before an audience. This can also minimize your actual recording expense. This approach means that you will have to be well rehearsed to maximize the quality of the performance and hence that quality of the recording. This is the easiest way to have a recording for playing on local community radio, like KRFC 88.9 in Fort Collins. A number of years ago I recorded Colorado Symphony Orchestra using this method.

Another way to record is to do a multi-track recording in a live venue and then take the tracks back to a studio for final production, mixing and mastering. One of the best examples of this is the Peter Frampton's “Frampton Comes Alive” In the 1970's this recording set the standard for live Concert Recording. This method has the added cost of post production, but you can substantially improve the quality. This method requires that you be well rehearsed and playing at a high level of musical skill within your genre. I was a recording engineer for Opera Colorado, and because of all the movement on stage this became our go to method for these recordings. They were broadcast on KVOD 88.1 in Denver.

The method that Lois and the Lantern chose to record was live in our studio at Acoustic Ranch to multi track. As I said earlier, these ladies were so well rehearsed that this approach was a breeze for them. They recorded 5 songs in 4 hours.  The performances were so spectacular that they accomplished them with ease. The recording was 3 instrument mics and 3 vocal mics for 3 performers. We also had 2 overhead room mics and a centralized ambient mic. The performers were Saja (banjo and vocals), Mary on Mandolin and Vocals, and T on Guitar and Vocals. Tara came in the next day to lay down her bass ukulele parts. She was not able to schedule herself at the same time as the other ladies. By recording this way it gave us the flexibility to add the bass overdubs on the next day. The set up gave us the ability to mix it in 5:1 surround sound at some point in the future but for the EP project we chose to mix to stereo. This approach can be a cost effective way to get a great recording. This method requires that the musicians be incredibly practiced to insure a great recording.

The last way to record is to do multi track recording with lots of overdubs. This approach gives the freedom to sculpt the sound and make decisions during the recording sessions. Albums like Michael Jackson's “Thriller”, The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper's”, among many others were recorded in this fashion. In this scenario, the recording studio becomes a palatte with many sonic color choices to paint on your sonic canvas. It is good to have a clear plan laid out before you hit the studio, so as not to waste time and money.  With this method it is a good idea to do plenty of pre-production so you can make the most of your time and budget in the studio.

All in all, these options can fit your skill set and your budget.  Contact us to continue this conversation about how we can serve you. 

-Adrian Yañez


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A New Tool For The Drawer

A New Tool for the Drawer.

October 6th, 2017

Today we took delivery of a great Baldwin upright piano. Glenn Nielson, our local piano tuner checked it out before we purchased the piano, and he gave it a clean bill of health.  The piano was purchased from a private party in Loveland, Colorado. It is has a very robust sound and is very balanced. The piano is a full 88 keys and is regarded by many as a great studio piano. It has a deep rich sound with clarity and balance across the keys. There are 2 key mechanisms that need repair but other than that the piano is in working order.

October 7, 2017

 Glenn has come in for the second tuning, because the piano sat for a long time without being properly tuned. When a stringed instrument gets used to being at a certain tuning it naturally wants to return to what to the original detuned state. That is why it may take a number of tunings before it settles down to proper tuning.

October 11, 2017

I just finished playing the Baldwin around the circle of 5ths and it has an incredibly big tone. It is very focused no matter at what volume I play it. Great dynamic response. Remember that Legato is the default. Sing the scales if you have to, using La La La. This will translate into Legato playing in your fingers. Practice playing in all dynamics from Piano to Forte. Hear what you want it to sound like before you play the note.

Today, Larry is working on a mastering project for Matt Goeple. He is putting the final touches on Matt's  solo guitar project. My task for the day is to work up piano parts for Yvette Dominee's vocal and guitar music. She has turned out some great songs and it is a delight to work with her.  We had a great laugh or two Saturday, working on a hilarious song that I am not at liberty to give too many details on, at this time. I did a voice characterization, and background vocals for the track.

If you need piano tuning or tech work on your piano give Glenn a call.  970-413-2814

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Breakthrough to the Music

          Breakthrough to the Music

Over the years of working with clients many old lessons come to mind and are put to use in getting better performances out of musicians. When we are young we work on the fundamentals of our instruments. I think that in many ways the musician who succeeds is the one who takes up the cross of these fundamentals and works them until they overcome the physical obstacles that stand in between the music, that is in them, and the outside world. Hopefully, you have the good fortune of a teacher who is willing to tell you when you suck in a way that motivates you to keep plowing through those fundamentals.

We live in an age where self-esteem reigns as king over all and unfortunately, good self-esteem is what stands in the way of accomplishing what you want to accomplish. Unearned self-esteem is useless. Feeling good about yourself, without doing something is meaningless. I strive to have no self-esteem and when I achieved no self-esteem all that was left was the work and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something. Making music is not easy. Anything of beauty requires great effort. Communicating deeper truths requires great effort.  Effortless comes with great effort.

Music speaks to the whole person, body, mind, emotion, and soul. In order to get to communicate with the emotion and soul, we must first master the body and the mind. The playing of scales, arpeggios, and chord progressions lead to the physical and mental mastery of our instruments. As I have recommended in earlier blogs, sing what you play so that you can learn to play what you sing. This leads to a better integration of your instrument with your body and mind.  Do you hear it first and then play it or do you play it first and then hear it. This is what gives you a more complete integration of body and mind. When you develop solos, sing them before you bring them to your instrument. If it sounds good when it is sung it will sound good when you play it on your instrument. This will also break your solos out of the grip of the scale that you are basing your solo on.

-Adrian Yañez

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How Do I Pay For It? Strategies to finance your album.

How do I pay for it? Strategies for recording an album.

As the music business continues to figure out what it is, new fresh ideas are coming from unexpected places that can breath new life into this career called performing musician. Some better minds than mine are showing us new ways to finance our recording project.

A little history. In the past a performing artist or band would pitch themselves to record label through an agent or manager for the much coveted album deal. For the most part, those days are gone. What has developed through the efforts of many resourceful minds is the idea of funding your album through your fan base. This will demonstrate to why developing your fan base is so critical to achieving your goal of being a performing musician.

So, how do you develop a fan base? Well this list of things is not exhaustive. The point here is to start the brainstorming Hopefully this will get you started and perhaps you will come up with better ideas. At every concert it is good to have someone to collect email addresses. Make sure that you get the persons okay to add them to your contact list. As you the list builds invite them to join your fan club. I have seen artists who create a separate web page as a fan site. This happens after you have set up your website. Create a blog that you can use to drive traffic to your web page. Decide on a price to join the fan page. Try $50 a year and $75 for 2 years. This is how you can finance your recording sessions and post production. As an incentive to join, you promise a limited edition copy of your album or EP. Your fans want to be a part of the creative process so it is a natural fit. You might also schedule a live streaming opportunity for your fans while you are in the studio. They can see you in the creative process first hand. You can do the math. Your fans can give you a very substantial budget for your recording.

Another strategy would be for your fans to fund your project after they have signed up after they have paid to be members of the fan club. Using something like “Go Fund Me” to generate the funds needed to pay for your recording.

Fans love the idea of getting content that is exclusive to them. Brian Epstein, the manager for The Beatles, published a monthly magazine and a special Christmas greeting every year. What you get for your effort is a core fan base who will, by word of mouth, increase attendance at your concerts. These are your super fans. Offer them free tickets to your show. They tell their friends about your concerts when you come to town. This will also grow your fan base.

I think this is enough to start a conversation on ways to generate the funds needed to record. Any other ideas that you have found, that have worked for you would be greatly appreciated. These idea exchanges will help all of us to make Northern Colorado a music mecca.

-Adrian Yañez

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

When Does the Note End? Simple Performance Practices

Many tout the virtue of good timing, learning to count a meter with the proper pulse. But one thing that is often overlooked in this discussion is when does a note begin and end. Many of us have heard, or been taught that it is good for the members of a group to come in at the same time. What I have also observed is that many don't know when a note ends. Mastering this can greatly improve your performance by showing that you make the choices of what the music is.

So, when does a note end? Let's use a whole note as an example. Most of you know that a whole note gets four beats in a 4/4 measure. The note begins at the beginning of the 1st beat of the measure. Here is the part that many performers don't connect with until it is pointed out to them. The 4th beat ends with the beginning of the 1st beat of the next measure. Following this simple practice will greatly improve and polish your performance. 

Don't be vague about where notes begin and end in your performance.  When all of the members play this way it leads to great ensemble playing. You begin to listen and hear what each of the other members of the band are doing and you listen to yourself with the same keen ear that you have for the other members of your band.

If you are interested performance lessons, please, let me know.

-Adrian Yañez

What Will Happen to Music?

What will Happen to Music? The record business has been with us for just over 100 years. It has entertained for six generations.  M...