Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy 2017! NEWS, POLYBIUS and TWWTSG

Today is the last day of 2016 and I know a lot of you had a pretty rough year, but aside from the seemingly large amount of celebrity passings, and one of the most ugly elections in history, there’s still many many things to be thankful for. Personally I want to say thank you to all of you, and to the “Good Big” up there for taking care of me for another year. I am incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful life, to be able to live in New York City, have people that care about me, and that I care about in my life, also to be able to make music and stay creative and productive. I’m incredibly thankful to all of you that supported my LP, Manasota, and to all of you who support this website and my YouTube page and keep up with all of the stuff I do.

Here’s to another great year (God willing)!

Some things coming up this year:

Polybius: My new album which is almost done. I’m just putting the finishing touches on the last song. I’m really excited about this one. I think it’s going to be the best Demonic Sweaters to date. I’ve played a lot of drums on this one, mixed live and electronic instruments, worked heavily in Linux, and saved about half of the album from public ears to be exclusively heard on the album’s release!

The Wrong Way The Stripe Goes: Formerly the Demonic Sweaters Podcast, has finally returned. Now with co-host Chad Sine! We’re just wrapping up our latest episode on time travel. If you want to check out the podcast, go to http://ift.tt/2iiDVO6.

Happy New Year!



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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Buliding a Soundfont in Linux with Swami

I used these tutorials for learning how to create a soundfount in Linux enabling my MPD 24 to work great with Linux and Jack! Thanks so much to Linux Music for making these!

If you’re looking for a great ableton drum rack replacement that is open source, this will do the trick!



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Check out this amazing Wired documentary on Shenzhen, China: The Silicone Valley Of Hardware

I just stumbled across this fantastic documentary by Wired about China city, Shenshen. It’s definitely worth the watch!

Future Cities, a full-length documentary strand from WIRED Video, takes us inside the bustling Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Subscribe to WIRED►► http://ift.tt/2928jJc

We examine the unique manufacturing ecosystem that has emerged, gaining access to the world’s leading hardware-prototyping culture whilst challenging misconceptions from the west. The film looks at how the evolution of “Shanzhai” – or copycat manufacturing – has transformed traditional models of business, distribution and innovation, and asks what the rest of the world can learn from this so-called “Silicon Valley of hardware”.

Future Cities is part of a new flagship documentary strand from WIRED Video that explores the technologies, trends and ideas that are changing our world. Subscribe to the WIRED YouTube channel to ensure you never miss an episode.



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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Soundfont with Akai MPD and Live Drums

This is a type of track I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’ve had the idea of making a song on the Akai MPD24 and playing drums to it, but was stuck with how to use the MPD with Linux. I finally figured out how to create a soundfont from samples I cut up myself and using fluid synth as a means to play them. Using a soundfont gives me nearly as much control, and in some ways more than Ableton’s drum rack. I don’t have anything against Ableton, it’s great software. I just wanted to produce this whole track within Linux. I mixed it all in Mixbus, but still edited the video in Windows, Vegas Movie Studio. My cameras record in MTS which kdenlive in Linux has some problems with. I worked around this on the last few vids, but forgot this time, so rather than go convert everything again then re-edit in Kdenlive, I thought it would just be quicker and easier to do it in Vegas.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation. thanks for watching and commenting 🙂

Drum setup:
Custom Tama Imperialstar Hairline Blue finish 18×20 kick, 8×12 rack, 14×14 floor, 5×14 snare
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand (main hats)
Vintage Olympic hi hat stand (trash hats)
Ludwig flat base straight stands (crashes)
PDP boom stand (ride)
Vintage Nuvader Nickel Silver 15″ Hi Hats
Meinl HCS 8″ Bell
Kasza 17″ Dirty Bell crash cymbal
Vintage NuVader 22″ ride cymbal (Nickel Silver)
Meinl HCS 16″ Trash Crash / Generic 16″ brass crash bottom (trash hats)
Vintage Camber 18″ Crash Cymbal (Brass)
Aquarian Studio X on tom batters
Tama single ply clear tom resonants
Aquarian Studio X Dot on snare batter
Tama thin clear snare resonant
Aquarian Response 2 Coated kick batter
Remo Vintage Emperor w/ Kickport 2 on kick resonant
DW 6000 kick pedal (sucks, I want a new pedal)
Vintage flat base Slingerland snare stand
Vintage MIJ canister throne

Mics on this one I did something new. I used only a kick and overhead, then blended that with the camcorder mic from my Sony HDR-CX240. It made it a very raw and cool sound. There is also some slight decimator (bit crusher) effect on the kick and overhead mics.



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Mini Autotune Documentary with Weird Al

Pretty cool little video about autotune



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Akai MPD 24 with Live Drums


This is a type of track I've wanted to do for a while. I've had the idea of making a song on the Akai MPD24 and playing drums to it, but was stuck with how to use the MPD with Linux. I finally figured out how to create a soundfont from samples I cut up myself and using fluid synth as a means to play them. Using a soundfont gives me nearly as much control, and in some ways more than Ableton's drum rack. I don't have anything against Ableton, it's great software. I just wanted to produce this whole track within Linux. I mixed it all in Mixbus, but still edited the video in Windows, Vegas Movie Studio. My cameras record in MTS which kdenlive in Linux has some problems with. I worked around this on the last few vids, but forgot this time, so rather than go convert everything again then re-edit in Kdenlive, I thought it would just be quicker and easier to do it in Vegas.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation. thanks for watching and commenting :)

Drum setup:
Custom Tama Imperialstar Hairline Blue finish 18x20 kick, 8x12 rack, 14x14 floor, 5x14 snare
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand (main hats)
Vintage Olympic hi hat stand (trash hats)
Ludwig flat base straight stands (crashes)
PDP boom stand (ride)
Vintage Nuvader Nickel Silver 15" Hi Hats
Meinl HCS 8" Bell
Kasza 17" Dirty Bell crash cymbal
Vintage NuVader 22" ride cymbal (Nickel Silver)
Meinl HCS 16" Trash Crash / Generic 16" brass crash bottom (trash hats)
Vintage Camber 18" Crash Cymbal (Brass)
Aquarian Studio X on tom batters
Tama single ply clear tom resonants
Aquarian Studio X Dot on snare batter
Tama thin clear snare resonant
Aquarian Response 2 Coated kick batter
Remo Vintage Emperor w/ Kickport 2 on kick resonant
DW 6000 kick pedal (sucks, I want a new pedal)
Vintage flat base Slingerland snare stand
Vintage MIJ canister throne

Mics on this one I did something new. I used only a kick and overhead, then blended that with the camcorder mic from my Sony HDR-CX240. It made it a very raw and cool sound. There is also some slight decimator (bit crusher) effect on the kick and overhead mics.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Album made with all Kawai K1 presets!

spirals013_thumb

While searching for some Kawai K1 soundfonts (since I no longer own my K1) I stumbled across this super-cool album on Archive.org of spacey synth jams made entirely with K1 sounds. I still haven’t located a free K1 soundfont, but this album gives me something fun to listen to in the meantime.



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Friday, November 11, 2016

Podcast to return soon, new name and co-host!

Hey all,

I have some exciting news! The Demonic Sweaters Podcast is really going to return. I know I have been saying that pretty much this entire year, but this time it’s for real. Watch for a new episode before this Christmas that will be talking about a new format, schedule, name, and the announcement of my new co-host!!

If you want to get caught up on the old episodes, you can subscribe though your favorite podcast app, or click here for the RSS feed

cohost

 



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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fornax Void – Infinity

If you’re not familiar with Fornax Void, you really should be. This Swiss artist masterfully combines vivid 90s computer imagery with skillfully crafted ambient work to create visually stunning and soothing contemplative sound that is equal parts pleasing and strange.

If you’re interested in his work, definitely check out his page fornaxvoid.com as well as my podcast interview with him from last year. 

Speaking of my podcast, I know I’ve made many promises to get back to it throughout 2016, but still have not. This will change in 2017, really this time. 🙂



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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Demonic Sweaters - Helicopter Cop (Cyberpunk) (Drum Playthrough)



Sorry it's been so long since I updated this site. But I've got a pretty good one for you this time :)



A high energy track in 7/4. I started this one with no real idea of where it would go, but then it really took on a life of it's own! Cyberpunk Math Chiptune? I have no idea, but I think it came out pretty nifty.
The entire song and video were produced, recorded and edited in Ubuntu Linux 16.04. I made the main sequences in LMMS, then exported the stems to Mixbus 3.6. I recorded the drums into Mixbus using my Alesis IO4 along with the built-in audio interface on my core2 duo macbook using the jack audio connection kit giving me a total of 6 inputs! Though I only used 5 because my micro mixer has a mono output. So I just put both toms on one channel then panned them in post. I edited the video in Kdenlive.

Drums used:

2015 Tama Imperialstar Bob Kit Hairline Blue finish
Gibraltar floating tom mount system
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand (main hats)
Vintage Olympic hi hat stand (trash hats)
Ludwig flat base straight stands (crashes)
PDP boom stand (ride)
Vintage Nuvader Nickel Silver 15" Hi Hats
Meinl HCS 8" Bell
Kasza 17" Dirty Bell crash cymbal
Vintage NuVader 22" ride cymbal (Nickel Silver)
Meinl HCS 16" Trash Crash / Generic 16" brass crash bottom (trash hats)
Vintage Camber 18" Crash Cymbal (Brass)
Aquarian Studio X on tom batters
Tama single ply clear tom resonants
Aquarian Studio X Dot on snare batter
Tama thin clear snare resonant
Aquarian Response 2 Coated kick batter
Remo Vintage Emperor w/ Kickport 2 on kick resonant
DW 6000 kick pedal
Vintage flat base Slingerland snare stand
Vintage MIJ canister throne

Friday, June 10, 2016

Demonic Sweaters - Jettison





Demonic Sweaters - Jettison (see below for lyrics). I composed the song 100% in Ableton Live Into even the vocals. For the vocal effect I used the TAL free vocoder and played the midi parts along to when I was singing. The backing vocals are the Alter Ego free singing synthesis plugin from Plogue. I mastered the audio with Audacity.



For the video I wanted something that represented alien landscapes but also something in 3D. Digging through archive.org, I came across this incredible footage by Don Whitaker, Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). I took a few of Don's videos and created some footage of my own using the media generators in Sony Movie Studio Platimun, then edited them  together to sync to the music.



If you like this song, you can download it here https://demonicsweaters.bandcamp.com/track/jettison



Lyrics:



lightning

so pretty

the green glow

of the sky

is how

I see

the world

right now



transport

the time-line

or maybe

the space-time

I've gone

somewhere

other

than here



jettison jettison jettison



strange birds

flying

mountains

as far as I can see

the sun

is two

the moon

is two



the water

is glistening

and sparkling

like champagne

and slow

the time

so slow

the time

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Demonic Sweaters - Atlantis Falls





Here's a brand new song of mine that I made in Ableton Live Intro and Vocoloid with Cyber Diva and Hasuni Miku. The drums and bass were heavily influenced by the song "Key" by Yellow Magic Orchestra. The lyrics were inspired by the comic book, The Atlantis Chronicles by Peter David and Esteban Maroto published by DC Comics 1990.



The basic concept was simple, make a YMO inspired track with Vocaloid singing. The Atlantis concept came afterwards. I'm always obsessed with the legend of Atlantis anyway, and I recently read The Atlantis Chronicles (highly recommended). So when I was trying to think of things to write lyrics about, that's what I came up with.



For the video I used about 15 or 20 stills I took at various oceans, aquariums, beaches, and watery places I've been to over the years, and a couple of my drawings, then used footage from the PC game Atlantis: The Lost Tales - 1997, played by youtuber PeteRoy. I first took all the stills and animated the TV simulator plugin in Sony Movie Studo Platinum, then chroma-keyed the footage from Atlantis:The Lost Tales, over it in what I thought was interesting ways.



The music was composed and mixed entirely in Ableton using Ableton's synths, samples, and plugins, then I mixed the vocals right in the Vocaloid editor. I mastered it in Audacity.



I hope you enjoy it, if you want to download the track, you can here https://demonicsweaters.bandcamp.com/track/atlantis-falls





Lyrics:



A dome above the sky

A million reasons why

We'll take another way to the ocean



And if you want me to

Go to the cave with you

I've got a magic spell for the ocean



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



Our science is so strong

Become amphibian

We can breath underwater like the fishes



The best scientists

And the strongest wariors

Atlantis is the home of technology



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



A dome above the sky

A million reasons why

We'll take another way to the ocean



And if you want me to

Go to the cave with you

I've got a magic spell for the ocean



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now



Atlantis falls into the depths of the sea now

Thursday, June 2, 2016

MilkyTracker and a Drummer 2





I made another song in MilkyTracker, then recorded some drums to it. I created most of the samples in this one directly in MilkyTracker. I'm really happy with this one, especially the drum sound.



I only had 4 inputs for drums so I miked up the kick, snare, a single overhead, then used a behringer line mixer to run two dynamic mics to one channel for toms. In the mix I painstakingly cut every single rack tom and floor tom hit and put them into their own channel so I could pan them separately. With the single overhead, I duplicated it, changed the eq on the copy and offset it slightly with the original, then panned them LR to give it a pseudo stereo image.



This is actually the second version of this video I made, the first one had some lag in the transitions, so I redid the whole vid in Sony Vegas and it came out much smoother.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

MilkyTracker Drummer 1





Similar to my Protracker and a Drummer series, but now I'm doing this with MilkyTracker on Elementary OS Linux. Samples are a mixture of Fairlight CMI, Commodore SID, and Casio PT60. I set MilkyTracker to 22050hz sample rate with Amiga 1200 resampling (to give a more authentic chippy sound)





Drums used : Tama Imperialstar bop kit

Cymbals used : Paiste 402 14" Hi Hats, Paiste PST7 20" Light Ride (as crash), Paiste Alpha 20" Power Ride

Heads: Remo Vintage A batters on snare and toms with Tama clear single ply bottoms, Aquarian two ply coated batter, Remo Vintage Emperor w/ felt strip resonant

Sticks: Aquarian X-10 5A combo

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Amiga Protracker and a Drummer 5 (Full Motion Video)





Here’s part 5 of my Amiga ProTracker and a Drummer series. I made this one using all samples of objects laying around me at the time in while I was visiting my mom’s in Florida. Samples used were my Casio wristwatch beep, a kalimba (thumb piano) snapping my fingers and tapping on a plastic lid. I then dropped dropped the bounced wav file into Pro Tools 7.4 and added bass, then went into the studio and recorded the drums and this video. The video in this one I was going for a 90s Full Motion Video Game look. I used a green screen and drew the background in GraFX2, then assembled it all in FCP 5.1. To get the pixilated look I rendered using the Cinepak codec with a 256 color palate.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Manasota Project - Episode 8





For Episode 8 of The Manasota Project I headed down to Florida to visit my mom as well as stop by the actual Manasota Key, which is where the name Manasota comes from! I had a great visit that went by too fast! I also hung out with some old friends Will and Gonzalo. If you have 20 minutes to relax, sit back and enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Why I Will No Longer Play Dive Bars

Why I Will No Longer Play Dive Bars

Last night was the last of something for me, it was the last time I’m ever going to play live music at a dive bar. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and already quit performing my own music at them for over a year now, but last night I was playing drums for a friend of mine’s solo music. I reluctantly agreed to play the show about a month ago, but after last night respectfully declined playing any more. I do plan on recording and making videos with him, but no more shows unless it is something that really seems worth it to me. This decision has nothing to do with my friend's music, which I really love. I just honestly think both of us are too good for these kinds of places.

He is still relatively new to the live music scene, as where I have literally been playing live since I was a 12 year old child. He was pretty excited about the show, but I couldn’t share his enthusiasm in the days leading up to last night. I could already envision what it was going to be in the weeks before the show took place, and sadly, my entire prophesy was fulfilled in a completely unrewarding shitshow that pretty much went exactly as I thought it would.

Let's first talk bout the so called “Venue”. NYC is a much safer place than it used to be in the 90s, but there’s still some places you wouldn’t want to really hang out too long after dark. The venue, which I will spare calling by name, is in one of those neighborhoods. The house equipment is garbage, so I was naturally required to bring my own drum set. I already let my friend know about my requirement of playing my own drums, so thankfully he took care of the transportation for me, otherwise I’d been looking at about $60 to $80 in car service transportation fees for my drums. The venue (like all of them these days) does absolutely no promotion and relies 100% on the bands to bring people to their crappy bar to drink and stand around silently gawking at bands.

They put zero thought into the acoustics of the room. It’s a large open cement floored and walled space, with no acoustic support whatsoever so even if they had a good sound system (which they don’t) the room would still sound like a mushy mess of low end frequencies and reverberated highs bouncing all over the place. The “Sound Guy” was completely clueless as to what he was doing and spent 5 minutes arguing with me that guitar was coming from a monitor (which wasn’t even on at the time) during our sound check. After he realized he made the mistake, he spent another 5 minutes trying to make it work, finally switching out a cable, to make it provide a faint signal, though I could still hear the front stage monitor louder than the one next to me when it was said and done. After making my kickdrum mic feedback for another 5 minutes we finally started checking a song to hear our levels. We were about 1 minute into the song when he cranks up house music on the PA louder than we were playing and walks away from the board to the back of the building!!

In my heyday of playing live with original acts (the mid 90s), it was a very different landscape. I rarely played bars. Most of the time I would play house shows, festivals, VFWs, or any other place that would allow kids to put on All Ages Shows. The crowds were lively, enthusiastic and really there to see some music. Fans were passionate, kinda crazy and LOUD! Millennials are a far different type of music viewer than the GenXer. They are generally quiet, reserved, timid, and quite frankly awkward. They seem to fear being too close to the stage, clapping too loudly, or showing any type of emotion whatsoever, so it’s really hard to gauge how much they are actually enjoying what they are hearing/seeing.  Maybe it’s the fear of something embarrassing showing up on social media looming in the back of their minds since high school has left them in a total state of paralysis? I don’t know what it is, but generally they suck as an audience. Even if there’s a lot of them there, it can still be completely silent in between songs after a short stint of clapping, which is just bizarre to me.

Believe it or not, bands in NYC actually WANT to get shows at this shithole I played last night. It has a reputation of being a hip spot. I find this incredibly hard to believe since this was my 3rd time playing there, and every time was a similar experience. As I mentioned before, clubs rely 100% on the band to bring the people, they even go so far as to make the door guy ask everyone who enters who they are there to see. Then they base how much they pay all the bands (if anything) on that information. This is a completely ass-backwards way of doing things. Places should be booking bands based on skill, not draw. Then everyone who walks through the door would be coming to see everyone, because they’d know the shows at said venue would be of high quality. The place would naturally start drawing more people based on reputation. This is better from a business standpoint as well since people would be coming to ALL SHOWS, not just ones their friends are playing. I know none of this is going to happen, and I also know a lot of it is just the circumstances most club owners are put in with a pre-existing system of overly high rents, inflating costs and an overabundance of shitty bands.

You may be reading this and thinking it sounds like the rants of a bitter old man, maybe that’s half true, but I really don’t think so. This is just reality. I get immense pleasure from creating live performance videos on my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/musicajuro, which is where my focus lies these days. The people that subscribe to my channel, watch, and comment on the videos, and buy or download my music as a result are far better supporters of music than the silent permanently bored hipsters that frequent trendy dive bars.

Anyway, that’s it.... I’m done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Drumming on Ronan Conroy's New Album - Not A Part Of Anything

I'm lucky enough to have played drums on this new and really incredibly good Album from Ronan Conroy, Not A Part Of Anything.

This is some of his best work to date and has some seriously rocking tunes on it. There's a consistent flow and vibe thoughout the album. I'm not just saying that because I'm on it either. I've been listening to this non-stop since it came out.

Get it digitally or on CD.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Manasota Project - Episode 7 - Two Songs

Amiga Protracker and a Drummer 4





Here’s the 4th installment of my Amiga ProTracker and a Drummer video series. This one I was referring to as “Castle” when I was working on the .mod file because I felt it had a dungeon / castle feel to it. I’m really getting into these now! I added one more synth track to this one in addition to drums, but got too lazy to film myself playing synth, haha. Next time!

I used my 2004 PowerBook G4 once again to make this one from start to finish. Edited in Final Cut Pro 5, audio recorded in Cubase SE 1.0.7, song composed in Amiga ProTracker clone. Thanks for watching and check out the other Amiga/Drummer vids on my channel.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

ProTracker and a Drummer 2 | made on a 12" Apple Powerbook G4







I wanted to make a part 2 to my Amiga ProTracker and a Drummer video, then I thought it would be fun to do the entire thing on my recently acquired, 12 year old Apple PowerBook G4. Everything from start to finish, including uploading this video to youtube was made on this 12" 1.33ghz Powerbook G4! The backing tracks were made in ProTracker Clone, and drums were by me.



Monday, February 15, 2016

Amiga Protracker And A Drummer

I programmed a song in Protracker then recorded myself playing drums to it. You can download the .mod file (without drums) here https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By_2... For more videos like this, subscribe to my channel. Thank you so much to 8BitBubsy for making an amazing Protracker clone!! Download it here https://sourceforge.net/projects/protracker/

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Manasota Project - Episide 5





The Manasota Project gets hit by a blizzard in this one. I show off the vinyl test pressing from Rainbo Records, then the first full band comes together for a rehearsal!



Last summer I recorded some songs all by myself then started a kickstarter campaign to release the songs on 180g vinyl. Much to my surprise the kickstarter completed successfully! The album is being pressed and is set to be completed in April of 2016. Now is when the real challenge begins. How does a largely unknown artist sell 500 vinyl LPs in 2016? Good question.



I’m a 40-year-old guy who’s played in bands since I was 10, so the idea of putting together a band to play unrewarding shows at bars for no money to try to sell an album really didn’t sound like fun nor like a good idea.



So instead I’ve decided to get some musicians together to perform on YouTube to help promote the album. The Manasota project documents this process and is a window into the life of a musician who never gives up.



by Justin Wierbonski

http://manasota.us

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Justin Robert - Bleeding (a train ride in Japan by JG)





A friend of mine made this very cool video for an old song of mine from the 2007 album, Manasota by Justin Robert. (not to be confused with Manasota by Manasota to be released this April)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Manasota Project Episode 4



In this episode my sister Chealsea starts learning some synth parts, Cara is sounding awesome on bass, and I record some drums for Satoshi using the "mid side miking technique"

I also drop by my haunted storage unit and make some Chinese steamed buns for breakfast.

Last summer I recorded some songs all by myself then started a kickstarter campaign to release the songs on 180g vinyl. Much to my surprise the kickstarter completed successfully! The album is being pressed and is set to be completed in April of 2016. Now is when the real challenge begins. How does a largely unknown artist sell 500 vinyl LPs in 2016? Good question.

I’m a 40-year-old guy who’s played in bands since I was 10, so the idea of putting together a band to play unrewarding shows at bars for no money to try to sell an album really didn’t sound like fun nor like a good idea.

So instead I’ve decided to get some musicians together to perform on YouTube to help promote the album. The Manasota project documents this process and is a window into the life of a musician who never gives up.

by Justin Wierbonski
http://manasota.us

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nintendo 3DS and a Drummer 2 - Geeky Gigs #2


Making music with the Nintendo 3DS! Here's my second song of me playing drums to the Nintendo 3DS. I used the Korg M01d synthesizer and workstation. All the music was composed on the 3DS, I only added drums. My laptop is to the left of me because it's recording the whole thing live. I had two mics on the drums, one close and one far. Thanks for checking it out, hope you like it. Please subscribe and share! Buy this song here https://demonicsweaters.bandcamp.com/track/3ds-and-a-drummer-2-korg-m01d