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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Vinyl Vaudeville – Feb 10-18th 2012, Dinner Cabaret in Vancouver BC Canada

February 7th, 2012
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Straight from Press Release:

Flyin’ Cirque Acrobats, Comedic Foolery, & Swingin’ Soiree

What happens when a vintage dinner cabaret hits Vancouver a century too late? 

Well, it features not only the glitz of traditional trapeze artists, but also the excitement of world-record-breaking acrobats doing back flips on pogo sticks. Vinyl Vaudeville attempts to replicate the century-old tradition of combining a sassy cabaret, dinner theatre, and after-show swingin’ dance soiree together with a twist.

In the style of the early 1900’s, the production features cirque performers, dancers, and comedic actors all backed by an acoustic swing band. The show’s highlight is a duo from Los Angeles who performs acrobatic stunts on pogo sticks. Collectively they hold eight Guinness World Records, and have a long list of prestigious appearances including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, America’s Got Talent, and Ellen.

Get ready to be whisked away by the host of quirky characters into the magic of a bygone era. Dressing spiffy for the occasion in your vintage attire is always encouraged. Vinyl Vaudeville takes over Performance Works on Granville Island from February 10th till the 18th. It’s a romantic place to take your sweetie for Valentine’s Day, but is also appropriate for the whole family.

February 10-18, 2012 Performance Works, Granville Island

1218 Cartwright St, Vancouver
Showtimes
2PM Matinees Feb 12 & 18th
8PM Shows Feb 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18

Box Office 604 817 1315,    www.vinylvaudeville.com

Watch their Youtube video promo.

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Advice on Home Recording of an Acoustic Piano

November 10th, 2010
4,484 views 1 comment

Here’s a question and answer about home piano recording from a friend on Youtube, which I thought might be useful to others.

Question:

Hey Geoff

How are you doing? Hope all is well in your part of the world. Things here are good! I am writing to ask your advice on something – if you have the time, please could you help me out with this? Would really appreciate it.

Basically I am doing some recordings at home, – for my YouTube, but also for myself. I have made an album of original music which I put up on iTunes etc. It’s okay, but the sound quality is just not very professional, and this is because I have a Mac, and a digital piano (some rubbish Yamaha DGX thing) and basically I record via audio cable, using Garageband. Up until now it’s been fine. But I wanted to take my recordings to the next level!

I have been listening to your efforts quite a lot, because I love your playing. And all of your recordings are super super quality. So, I was wondering, might you have any advice for me as to what I might do to improve my set-up?

I have sort of guessed that I really ought to go the home recording route, i.e. get a couple of microphones, and do it that way, rather than via audio cable. Am I right?

Thing is, I am on something of a budget so that is a consideration. I want to do an album of covers next, and my friend suggested to me that I just go to a recording studio. But they are very expensive in London, and it seems it would make more sense for me to buy the stuff for home use, since I am going to make a lot of use of it.

Sorry for all the waffle, and no worries if you do not have time to reply. But if you had any ideas for me I’d be very grateful. What I wanted to know centrally was, I guess:

a) do I need microphones, and if so, are there any you’d recommend? Is one enough, or must it be two, etc.?

b) do I need a proper piano, or can I get a good quality sound with just a digital/electronic machine, like what I use now?

c) any other info you could share!

Thanks so much for reading this, and best wishes to you
W.

Home recording of an acoustic piano using two SM-57 mics.

Home recording of an acoustic piano using two SM-57 mics.

Answer:

Hi W.,
no problem… here’s some free advice 🙂

I find acoustic pianos always sound better than electric pianos, especially if they are well tuned. There will be no benefit to using external microphones unless you get an acoustic piano… the current way you are doing it is the best that you can do for an electric piano.

For micing my acoustic piano, I open the top and place two mics close to the sound board, to the left and right of center. It’s important to be equal distance from the sound board or else you will get strange stereo phase problems. Pan the left mic all the way to the left and the right mic all the way to the right. I find that the SM-57 mic (made by Shure) is really worth the money you will spend – they are quite affordable considering that they are also used in professional studios. You can always buy a cheaper mic but you’ll likely get a poorer quality recording.

You can also just buy one mic and record in mono, but I find stereo adds another dimension to the sound and is better for making into CD’s.

Regarding mic position, the best way to find a good place to put the mic is to use headphones and try playing keys at various volumes throughout the range. Keep making little adjustments to the positions until you hit the “sweet spot”. Also make sure that the gain isn’t set too high when you play loud or else you will get annoying pops due to clipping.

Check out some tutorials on home recording, I’m sure you can pick up some more tips too.

For an audio interface, you will need some way to plug in the mics into your mac. There are various kinds (I have a MOTU 8-Pre which has fabulous sound and 8 inputs, but this might be overkill for what you need). I’ve also used smaller units made by M-Audio that have only two inputs but excellent sound.

I usually like to apply some sort of Dynamics Compression to the audio. This partly flattens out the dynamic range, and makes the sound clearer and more vibrant. In Logic Pro there are some compressor tools that I play around with, but I am still figuring out how to do this. A good book on mastering audio is called “Mastering Audio” by Bob Katz.

Ok there’s some ideas…. good luck!
Geoff

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Report: Music Listening Night #2 at Geoff’s

July 18th, 2010
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On July 7th 2010 I invited music lovers of Vancouver to my place for the second bi-annual “music listening night”. A good time was had by all.

Here’s the official report, with links to the songs that were played and how to listen to these songs if available. Hope you enjoy the music!

First name Song Artist
Geoff C. Happy Toast – Breaking and Entering Gabriel Yared
Angela Say To That Sarah Noni Metzner
Gustavo (optimizelife.com) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds The Beatles
Marcus (knobb.ca) Journey to the Sun Adham Shaikh
Alex Sabotage Beastie Boys
Geoff P. The Pretty Road (iTunes,
Live version on Youtube: Part
1
Part 2)
Maria Schneider
Kim As Rosas / Promessa Katia Guerreiro
Tony In the Leaves (iTunes) The British Columbians
Marcus (knobb.ca) Not Your Ordinary – Rhythm Revolution Polyrhythm Addicts
Geoff P. Coracao Selvagem (from Wolf’s Rain) Joyce / Yoko Kanno
Geoff P. Montre Echo (music video) Kerophone / Geoffrey Keezer
Geoff P. Fragile Kenny Barron / Regina Carter

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The power of “repeat”

June 2nd, 2010
3,114 views 1 comment

One thing I really love about digital media, and media in general, is the power to repeat.

Jazz musicians learn the language of jazz by repeated listening and transcribing of recordings. Writers learn from closely re-reading books, poems, or articles. Video editors and filmmakers learn from closely analyzing and re-watching TV commercials, short films, or movie scenes.

With basic TV, you can’t repeat – you have to blindly accept all the images that are being force-fed into your mind. Digital TV has given control to “Pause” live TV, and to some degree repeat.

Youtube is awesome because there is no limit to how many times you can repeat a video – just click the play button again.

Streaming radio annoys me because I find I really only enjoy a song once I have heard it 5 times.

Live concerts sometimes frustrate me – I find I don’t have the brainpower to remember or perceive all the complexities of a live concert, but if I had a video recording or even an audio recording I could absorb everything the artist is trying to convey.

Of course I love live music for the spontaneity and feeling the presence of the performers.

Without the ability to repeat I feel helpless. With it, I can master my role as an audience member in perceiving art and media, and truly improve my own ability to create.

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Ear Training Lesson – key of C Major and the Diatonic System

May 24th, 2010
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My friend Marcus Emmanuel Barnes and I created a new musical ear training video as part of the series of lessons we’re making on EarPractice.com.

This week’s video is about the “Diatonic System” in music, which is where you can play a lot of different types of chords and melodies, all within one key. To keep things simple we stick to the key of C Major.

Hope you enjoy it and find the lesson useful.

Additional links:

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Jam session recording: Geoff Peters and Gustavo Lacerda

April 3rd, 2010
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I had a music jam today with my friend Gustavo. He is multi-talented and plays many instruments. Today he brought along his violin.

You can grab the Mp3’s we made here, or use the players below!


Minor Swing
(folk music style swing tune with violin and piano)

Upbeat Evil Castle
(violin, synth (i)pad, synth bass, Latin drum samples)

Please note that Upbeat Evil Castle has been agreed on by the composers Gustavo and Geoff to allow Geoff to use the song in his videos on Geoffmobile.com and Youtube.com/geoffmobile.

Tetris Theme played on Violin with piano, and some Gypsy songs improvized.


2,102 views

Giant Steps (Coltrane) piano solo by Geoff Peters

April 3rd, 2010
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Last night I recorded myself performing the jazz standard Giant Steps on the piano. In this video I give a 1 minute introduction to the song and then perform it. If you’re interested in the audio only, you can grab the MP3 from here or use the audio player above.


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Geoff Peters Trio performing at Mexx Boutique (video recordings)

March 26th, 2010
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My band, the Geoff Peters Trio, performed at the Mexx Boutique in Pacific Centre during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

We made a video recording of one of our sets. To listen, please visit the Playlist on Youtube, or use the player below.

Here is a list of the songs we performed, (mostly jazz standards) with links to the videos:

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Heartbeet – Live improvised synth & acoustic piano with drum samples

December 6th, 2009
1,884 views No comments

My friend Marcus dropped by today for a visit, and we recorded an improvised performance of synthesizer and piano. It’s called Heartbeet. We named it this maybe because we both really like to eat beets, (yum!) and so therefore “heart” them, as well as because we were wanting to play on the concept of the pulsating bass drum that sometimes goes out of time from the piano, much like a heart beat will continue its own rhythm oblivious to the other rhythms around it.


The video is also available on Blip.tv and the Mp3 file for the song is available here.

Visit Marcus’s Knobb.ca music blog for more interesting ideas and videos. Also produced in cooperation with Birds in the House Productions.

1,884 views

Owl City’s Playlist: Music To Eat Pizza To

October 22nd, 2009
30,195 views No comments
Pizza

Pizza

I saw a post on the imeem home page about an electronic pop band called Owl City (which, incidentally, is really popular: their Myspace page has over 12 million views).

Adam Young from Owl City has put together a music playlist on imeem entitled “Music To Eat Pizza To”, and I think this is a fantastic idea!

Click here to visit imeem to listen to full playlist (with full length songs, free account required), or you can preview the songs using the player below.

Look out for my next original composition having to do with pizza, or maybe even sushi (coming soon, Geoff Peters: “Song to Eat Sushi To”).

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