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About Notes_Norton

  • Rank
    Hall of Fame


  • Biography
    Pro musician and style writer for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith.


  • Location
    Fort Pierce, Florida USA (almost paradise)


  • Interests
    Music, travel, music, photography, music, reading non-fiction, music, science, --- did I mention mus


  • Occupation
    Professional , career musician with a sideline of writing aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and M

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  1. we should. We've been a duo since 1985 and have a lot of steady clients. Many are condominium associations that have parties every year. Leilani and I do what no government I know of does, we live below our means. We have an emergency fund, it looks like the gov't is gong to give us unemployment and other than my car payments, we have zero debt. We live in Florida, don't use Air Conditioning so the utilities are minimal, the mortgage is paid off, no Cable TV subscription, no streaming subscription, and so to live, requires minimal draw from our savings. When this is over, we will volunteer to play for free for a few weeks at the restaurants that have been hiring us for 12 years now, and help them build the clientele back up. We'll know when to ask for our pay again. I just think helping the people who have fed us for 12 years is the right thing to do. Notes
  2. Leilani and I are spending a lot of our time creating new style 'disks' and fake 'disks' for Band-in-a-Box. What spare time we have we spend goofing off and having fun. Next week the gear gets set up so we can keep our chops up. I'll probably sequence some new backing tracks so we will have new songs to learn. All in all, I think social distancing is a better choice than herd immunity, though neither one is a picnic. This too shall pass. Notes
  3. My apologies, Phil. There is some frustration around here. I'm starting to book gigs for the spring of 2021. I gave the cancelled clients a choice, either I would return their deposit since it was the governor who cancelled, or let them apply it to a future gig. Most of them have taken the second option. Hopefully this will be over and done by then. Notes
  4. I've never played a Godin guitar but they have a great reputation. So I haven't and still haven't read all the posts in this thread. But I wanted to acknowledge I just got the God In Heaven pun. Sometimes if the joke takes a long time to click, it's better. This is one of those cases. Thanks. 😁 Now .......... back to your regularly scheduled discussion. Notes
  5. All my gigs have been cancelled. I probably won't work until Halloween. Gigging is my primary source of income. March is usually the biggest money month of the year and it has been nearly zip thanks to COVID. So we are practicing "Economic Self-Isolation" and staying home as much as possible. Leilani and I have a 'moonlighting' job writing aftermarket plug-ins for the auto accompaniment app, Band-in-a-Box. So as we go on self-quarantine we are working 10-12 hours a day keeping ourselves busy creating new product. Two problems with that (1) no money comes in until the zillions of hours of writing and testing are complete and (2) we sell to musicians, many of whom are out of work. But we enjoy each other's company, 24/7 together is not enough time to spend with each other, so it's pleasant work. When we aren't being productive, we're goofing off together. Like any self-employed person, we have a reserve savings for work stoppages. I hate to draw on it, because then there is no reserve, so we are living close to the bone, only spending for necessities. We're keeping our health up so that if we do get COVID, most likely it will be a mild case. We both catch colds every 15 years or so, and colds are corona caused. What else can you do? Just hunker down, try to make best decisions, and persevere because "this too will pass." Insights and incites by Notes
  6. Yes, a good MIDI module will have tone about 95-99% as good as the "real" instrument and being thousands of times more editable it can in the long run produce much more expressive and individualized music. I can put the background vocals on a synth patch and don't sound like I'm a Karaoke band. I can extend solos, put songs in the best key for the vocalist exaggerate the groove, and do a mix for live performance instead of that karoke mix that is more for recorded performance. I can extend the length of songs that I know the dancers will want to dance to, I can change the sound of the instruments used for more punch in a live situation, and do a thousand other things that can't be done with pre-recorded tracks. But that's my way. There is more than one right way to make music. Notes
  7. They banned live music, saying it draws crowds (we do that). They closed bars and restaurants are take-out only. They closed museums, community centers, parks, rec centers, and the entire tourist industry in South Florida. The Canadians and other tourists are gone, malls and downtowns are like ghost towns, the only place to see people are grocery stores, scrambling for what's left. It's like a bad movie. I'm unemployed until at least August. August through mid October are comatose times for gigs here, so I'm probably unemployed until at least mid October. And the NSC Pandemic Team was fired before the epidemic. Sad days are ahead.
  8. I go with "tried and true" and "keep it simple" - the cutting edge can be the bleeding edge ;)
  9. We use OnStage stands that use a crank to raise. A drill would work too, but the crank is easy. Link My EV speakers are 38lbs each. Leilani and I lift them to the 'down' level (about 4 feet) and she cranks them up the rest of the way. They are rated for 100 lbs I think. Notes
  10. One of the worst gigs ever. I was a kid in a rock band. We got hired to play at a retirement village. At that time retirement crowd was still in the Big Band / Frank Sinatra era. It was for a New Year's Eve party, and they were desperate for a band at the last minute. I cautioned the leader about taking it, to no avail. They absolutely hated us. They actually yelled and screamed at us. The band leader learned a lesson. Notes
  11. HNGD!!! That blue is blue-ti-ful.
  12. Bernard Purdy did a lot of drumming for Steely Dan and I consider him one of the best. Nice grooves, tasty fills, always supports the song, never overpowers it, and always makes it better. The Royal Scam album is a good testament to his talent and taste. The reason I shifted from drums to sax was I wanted to play melodies. Then keyboard and guitars because I wanted to play chords. Then the hardest instrument for me of them all, vocals, because it was so hard to find a singer for the bands I was in. I could still play drums, but I'd have to woodshed to get my chops and stamina back up. Notes
  13. Getting schooled drummers is sometimes difficult, but rewarding. I was in a band with a guy who went to the U of Miami (great jazz school). Not only could he play softly or loud (carried a variety of stick sizes) but also was great with brushes. If that wasn't enough, he could play vibes but rarely took them to the gig (too heavy and bulky). My first instrument was drums, and I used to sit behind the kit in a band where the drummer was a very good singer. It was nice to put him up front and I enjoyed a song or two on the drums (but I wouldn't want to do it all night). Notes
  14. I guess I'm a traditionalist. Everybody's job in the band is to support whatever voice or other instrument is singing/playing the melody. Rhythm section should be rhythm. That doesn't mean bland, but to listen to the lead and make sure what you play supports the lead. Anybody playing fill-ins or counter-melody should strive to make sure whatever they play makes the melody voice sound better and never-ever try to compete with the melody or overpower it. But there is more than one right way to make music. Notes
  15. Indeed. My weakness is vocals. I'm adequate and she is fantastic--world-class. Plus she plays rhythm guitar and synth. And even better than that we get along fantastically. 24/7 wouldn't be too much time together. Notes
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