Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'm in the band

I had my first real rehearsal with Outlaw Engine tonight. We played 4 originals and 1 cover of Metallica's The Four Horsemen. It was definitely a good practice and it seems I'm instantly building up my double bass chops. Nothing like a little metal band practice at the end of a long work day.

Well the practice went so well that the bass player was adamant about booking us a gig in the March time frame, about 6 weeks out. So I guess that makes it official. "I'm in the band!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ace Frehley

I just bought presale tickets to Ace Frehley in March. He is playing an all ages show in Anaheim on March 22nd, and an 18+ show in Hollywood on March 25th. I'll be going to both but will take the family down to the show in Anaheim.

And on the KISS front they are talking about tours on their website for 2008. This could be a good year for KISS related concerts.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My team gets an award from Red Hat and Jboss

I wanted to highlight a project my team at Helio was responsible for that received some industry recognition today. Red Hat and Jboss awarded Helio for innovative use of Red Hat and Jboss technologies.

We started the project in early 2007 and launched our new systems in September 2007. SK Telecom, one of our parent companies, was very pleased with the project and championed the intiative for the Innovation award within Red Hat and Jboss. Helio will formally receive the award at Jboss World in February.

Business Process Automation

SK Telecom (, Koreas leading wireless telecommunications services provider, and Helio (, an advanced U.S. mobile service provider, were selected for their use of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and JBoss jBPM to build and streamline its wireless data portal (WDP). After deploying Red Hat solutions, Helio quickly experienced cost reductions. Operational savings amounted to 50 percent monthly and the company experienced a 90 percent reduction in commercial software and licensing costs.

Click here for full press release.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Goodbye Virgin Megastore

This weekend saw the closing of another mainstay record store on the Sunset Strip. Last year it was Tower Records, this year it is Virgin Megastore. On Thursday I received an email from Virgin announcing the closing of this location this weekend and they included a 10% coupon. Over the weekend Jacki, Darian and I went down to the store and bought quite a few things ranging between 50%-75% off. No telling what they will put in its place.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In The Studio with Eric Levai - Days 1 and 2

It has been nearly 3 years since I actively worked in a studio. I began working with Dean, helping him get his Pro Tools set up back in order. Now that I had the itch to work in the studio I asked Dean if he would be willing to help out a singer/songwriter I've been working with named Eric Levai. Thanks to Dean's generosity we were able to use his studio and gear. Here is a recap of our first couple of days in the studio.

December 31, 2007
Day 1 - 5:30pm - 8:30pm
For our first session we tracked Eric's song "One". We laid down some guitar, vocals and even some Fender Rhodes. Dean played the Fender Rhodes which was both a nice surprise and fitting for the song.

The session couldn't have been any smoother. There were no technical difficulties and it only took a few takes to get performances down for this demo.

I was running the Pro Tools system and just wore my engineer hat for this session. After three hours flew by we decided we had accomplished enough for the first day. Afterwards the three of us went out for dinner to El Compadre.

January 12, 2008
Day 2 - 5:50pm - 10:30pm
For the second session we met again at Dean's studio. Tad Ro, a friend of mine from Helio, came by to help out on bass. After the previous session I decided we could use a few supplies for the studio. I picked up some XLR mic cables, a straight mic stand and a headphone extender. Just a few basics that helped with tracking vocals. Dean has an amazing Neumann mic that magically takes the hard work out of recording vocals.

We didn't have much of a plan for this session so we listened to "One" and Tad ended up working up a bass part. We tracked the bass directly and used the virtual amp modeler plug in Sans Amp to get a sound for Tad. Its becoming clear to me how little I know about guitar and bass sounds. With the Superlatives I knew the sounds I didn't like, but I never knew what sound I was looking for. For me this still seems to be an art of trial and error.

Tad had some good ideas for some background vocals on "One" that Eric was open too. We tracked a few more vocals, some ideas Tad had and then a falsetto from Eric. Eric warned that the falsetto would make us laugh and was he right. I couldn't face him while he recorded because I kept cracking up. However when it was all said and done the part blended nicely with the other vocals.

Tad left after tracking bass and vocals and then I worked with Eric to record a second song of his called "Enough". We tracked the guitar and vocals very quickly and the rough mix of the song sounds much better than I thought it would.

The next day I listened to the rough mixes of both songs and was pleasantly surprised. The mix can still use some tweaking but things are coming together easier than I remember with the Superlatives.

The next steps are to track some drums for "One", and additional guitars and possibly vocals for both songs. I think once we have 3-4 songs that will be enough for Eric to use to as his demo.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

KISS Bus Bench

Normally I'd put something like this on my mobile blog, but this was too good to not share here. The other day Darian and I grabbed lunch at Fatburger and outside the restaurant was this bus bench promoting the new KISS DVD release KISSology Volume 3.

Oh, how I love LA!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

First post of 2008. Happy New Year!

Last night I took Darian and Jacki to The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills for our 8th wedding anniversary. A restaurant that specializes in dishes cooked with garlic, and lots of it! We had a great dinner and dessert. Jacki had the garlic ice cream dessert which she loved but Darian and I decided garlic does not belong with dessert.

If you like garlic and are ever in LA then you should check this place out.

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