My music isn't a charity case or "I refuse to be a starving artist"

I love making music, and I make a meager living doing so. But what I do is not a charity case. I don’t believe in asking for money just because I’m a nice guy or because I deserve it. No I believe in earning it. If you give me money, I should give you something in return. You’ve worked hard for your money, you deserve something for it. This is why you will never see me put up a GoFundMe campaign for my music.

No I believe in something like Crowdfunding where I’ve built up trust with you, and you contribute money for me to build a product, like a CD, and in return you get the product when its done. And hopefully you will feel it was worth every cent. This is what “starving artists” should do rather than simply beg people for money just because they think they deserve it and are poor. C’mon make some art people!

Now I do need your support as an independent artist in order to keep doing what I’m doing as an artist. I don’t have a major record label paying for everything, no I pay for it all and need your support. Your support is best done by purchasing something from my Saint Luminus shop. And if you really like it, share it with someone so they can possibly get something in the future from my shop. This how true art can grow and continue.

And why not take a look at the Saint Luminus shop and purchase something wonderful for yourself or a friend. Its not just CDs, but how about a comfy Saint Luminus Pillow or Coffee Mug? I think you’ll love it. Tap/click below:

>>>> Saint Luminus Shop <<<<

Guitar Players need a synthesizer, yeah you really do....

Unless you are that type who just plugs your guitar straight into the amp and don’t give a fuck about effects. Hey that’s cool if that’s your thing, and hey….I love Angus Young and the sound of a raw guitar pushing a loud amp is still auditory heaven. :) But if have no desire for using effects, then ignore what I’m about to say.

I remember getting my first real fx processor in 2000. A Lexicon MPX-1. There were definitely some cool sounds, but there were all of these crazy terms like “modulation” “patching” “ADSR” “Filters” “LFO” “Phase” etc etc etc. I knew these were synth terms but it was too much for my brain to handle at the time. I just wanted awesome sound.

Here’s the deal, old rack gear uses synthesizer terms like LFO and Filter. But guess what, more and more pedals are using this terminology as well. This means that in order to get the most out of your gear, you’re going to have to understand how these things work. Reading about it just won’t do. Here is the real deal:

YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY! And use a simple synthesizer to create sounds and figure out how an ASDR envelope works. How does a modulator work exactly. What does modulator depth actually mean? What is an LFO?

The reason is because these things effect the direct sound of the synthesizer so you can truly hear what’s happening. In pedals and rack fx processorts, you’ll pretty hear your direct guitar sound no matter what you do so its hard to tell what exactly is happening with your effects. All of these terms will suddenly make sense and you can craft your own wonderful tone. You can turn your knobs and know exactly what you are doing. The worst is to constantly turn knobs in hopes you will find some “sweet spot”. You probably won’t.

I prefer a hands on approach like a physical synthesizer, but you can also try a software synth and there are tons of free ones out there. Do you like experimenting with FX? Do yourself a favor and learn a simple subtractive synthesizer and how the modulation and filters work. I promise it will pay off and you will create some awesome tones for guitar.

#killyourtv because your happiness depends on it!

I can tell you that I grew up with a lot of TV, it was just what people did. But back in the 90’s I was so preoccupied with my school work, I stopped regularly watching TV. Its not to say that I never watched here and there, but I stopped watching regularly.

And I noticed my life changed because I didn’t miss television. In fact most people around me, who still watched television regularly complained and discussed about so many things, and I was like……what the Hell are you talking about? I’m going through life noticing wonderful things amongst some of the bad.

Let’s be honest, TV is all about the short term. And bad things win and work real well in the short term. Whether its news or TV shows, they all have a narrative for you on how things work and how the world works. Seriously, #killyourtv and provide your own narrative on how things work. Provide your own vision of what’s really happening out there. I’d rather experience my world on my terms than have giant corporation curate it for me. I hope you feel the same way.

Dump regular TV, and even better……get rid of the one you have. You’d be surprised at how much more you enjoy the life you have right now.

Even a powernap by the fireplace is better than watching TV. Do it comfort with the Saint Luminus comfy pillow. Tap/click below to at least take a look. I promise if you get one, you’ll take the best nap in years.

Evoking memories & emotions with Sound Design

Last night I spent some time creating a pad sound for one my songs. In designing something unique is important because there are billions of pad presets one can choose from billions of sound libraries. This means one has to have creativity as well as tech know-how in order to manipulate things your way. Tech combines with art??? I LOVE IT!

Ok. But as I was in the middle of creating the pad I wanted, many other sounds emerged and were tweaked. And all along pictures were rolling through my mind as I listened. And when I’m listening I’m not really looking at anything except my mind and my emotion. No really….I’m sure an observer would be looking at me like I’m staring at nothing. :) Anyway all sorts of pictures and emotions came about. I felt sad, then melancholy, then scared, then surprised, or it felt like I was being lifted up through clouds in peaceful serenity.

I spent an hour like this before it was time to finally hit the hay. Yet I was satisfied and excited by all of these emotions and pictures in my mind happening. The point here is that choosing a preset and sticking with that didn’t give me satisfaction. It was going through the process of actually creating which did this to me. Yes its sound design for my music, and music is there to manipulate our emotions. (Yes I mean this in a good way).

Its interesting isn’t it? Choosing a preset doesn’t engage your emotions and the mental pictures in the same way as going through the process. I feel life is very much the same way. The easy win won’t do it for you, the process will work for you every time. Even when you lose.

Hear some of my emotional sound designs on my latest EP. Tap/Click below, listen, and get a copy for yourself!