Tuesday, January 19, 2016

As amateur musicians we could all use opportunities, no matter how big or small...

We have been very poor bloggers over the last couple of years, but it's never too late to make a change, as Michael once sang.  So it's a new year, 2016, and like the beginning of most calendars, we try to put on our optimistic hats and try to display our better selves going forward.  I have no aversion to this, but it does get tiring year after year.  Since the new year has been the symbol of change and improvement for years I have stopped fighting and have learned to embrace the change.
The change in the air for me is to be more active online get back to what I truly enjoy, creating in the studio with great artists.  Having lost my long time muse has been a setback and a truly devastating.   And it's times like these, difficult times, that we tend to dig deeper to achieve what needs to be done.  I hope to be more active with my students in preparing them for their chosen professions, outside of the class.  To do this i will need to be more hands on and have opened myself to work with students who have graduated from our program and want to keep moving forward.  I say all that to say that blogging will be a part of that and I will be requiring my students to contribute as well.   Though most of our readers are students and alumni, we hope that whomever stumbles upon our humble online real estate finds some useful info or are inspired in some way or fashion.
So the first post of the year is for the EmCees in the crowd that want that validation or just love friendly competition. On Twitter one of the accounts I follow posted an online open competition that sounded perfect for some of my current students.  The site, TeamBackPack, is offering up a contest for EmCees that just about anyone can join.  Below will be a link to the information for those interested.  I encourage all, students and non-students, to submit their verse and to be active in the culture online and offline.  Welcome to 2016 and lets be our best selves possible!

TeamBackPack Online Auditions

Tori 'RPGEEZ' Gandy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New technology on the way....

As music technologist we don't always think of all the ways our field is used or could be used in the world.  Many students found out, just as I did that there are a bevy of venues to showcase our talents in terms of careers, and it isn't always directly related to music.  For the most part music is viewed as entertainment and most music technologist contribute to the entertainment field but there are certainly alternate roads that utilize music in a theraputic fashion.
This blog was created  for students at Bloomfield College to contribute articles and content that they felt were relevant to the Creative Arts and Technology Music program and their experience.  To my great joy one of my freshman students sent me this interesting article that opened my eyes to yet another venue I had not thought  of...read more

Sunday, February 15, 2015

NYC Event Alert

NYC event alert premier studios session seminar with Anthony Daniel

On February 21st from 12pm to 4pm this will be a session seminar for you aspiring recording engineers. The event will be hosted by Anthony Daniel a recording engineer who has worked with Trey songz , Fabolous, Lloyd Banks and many more. He will give tips on his technique and creative process.

An assistant engineers guide to assisting engineers and producers

An assistant engineers guide to assisting engineers and producers

Here's a guide on some this fresh interns and college students should know as an aspiring audio engineer . These tips will help you be successful at work and may even help you work you way up to the next level.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BB4 Studios Launches: World-Class Mixing & Mastering Facility Brings Innovative New Audio Resource to New York City | Mixonline

This beautiful room will be open for business in this new year of 2015 and I will be one of the mix engineers available using the room.  I am excited about this grand step of using a room that was designed with excellence in mind.   The facilities are gorgeous and the acoustics amazing and there is a nice blend of analog gear that will make any engineer or producer giddy! Read more here : BB4 Studios Launches: World-Class Mixing & Mastering Facility Brings Innovative New Audio Resource to New York City | Mixonline

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Far West Outfit: "May Veins"

We are happy to support our alumni and current student artists with their projects.  After a riveting

performance at Capstone 2013, The Far West Outfit is releasing their debut CD and would love for all

to come out and experience this huge step in their young burgeoning career!

Northern NJ based folk/rock band The Far West Outfit

is supporting the release of their debut EP entitled "May Veins" at Mexicali Live in 

Teaneck NJ on July 12th, 2013. They will be joined by friends/opening acts AJ 

Smith and Adam Lazor to kick off the evening.  

8:00 P.M.
Friday, July 12th 2013
Mexicali Live
1409 Queen Anne Road 
Teaneck NJ, 07666

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Time...the greatest time of the year

Its break time from school, holiday time with family, which means to me time to do something new! New, as in a project to add to my repertoire and continue my experience of making music and continued self-education!  So I challenge my fellow artists in this global community to do something out of their comfort-zone as we go into the new year.  And for those of you who may be thinking, like what? I have the perfect solution, a re-working of happy birthday, the song.  There is a contest being held by The Free Music Archive, and I urge all of you who may have an interest to check out their site and see how to submit your song version and what the outcome could be!  Enjoy your holiday and the best of luck to you all! Click here for more info...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Its the holiday season and this usually means there is an abundance of seasonal work!  So while the semester is out why not take advantage of the free time!
I was at Guitar Center in Union Square, NYC...who in our department wouldn't want this job???

Thursday, November 29, 2012


There is a contest by DreamGig  where you could win a about 6k worth of gear for your home studio.  This is more of a raffle but like they say you have to be in it to win it! Click here for more info and good luck!

Monday, November 26, 2012

RJD2 Talks about Production Techniques

I found this great conversation with producer RJD2 on 
I really enjoyed the discourse and thought there was some useful insight into his production techniques and wanted to share!


Since this has been requested on another thread, i'm gonna kick it off.

first off,
i'd like to know everything about the production and recording process of DEADRINGER.

-how long did it take you to finish this album? ... from the first sketches to the final mix and mastering.

-what equipment did you use?

and since this was asked on another thread:

-how did you get your drums to bang so hard?


haha, ok! here we go folks, im gonna do my best to answer 'em all....

re: deadringer. ok, the SPECS. get ready to laugh.

the album was entirely produced, arranged, and composed using one mpc2000, one
1200 turntable, and one numark bullshit dj mixer with a fader that kept falling into the mixer, and an ADAT.

it was mixed using a
behringer eurorack 20-something channel board, one lexicon outboard unit i'd use for reverb, one ADAT. that's it. scratches on ADAT, synced to mpc. sounds dumped from mpc-ADAT to mixdown to DAT.

98% of the processing happened either going into the mpc, or within it. to go into this more would require specific examples. but i'll go into the drum thing a little:

I'd generally hit the mpc inputs kinda hard. not distort hard, but not like 30% peak, more like 85% peak. I 've built up alot of tricks over the years for internally processing drums. one is to double up drum hits-same hit on two pads, assign to trigger both, then pitch one down AND filter it. More important on this is finding the PITCH of it, not just the filter cutoff of it. use your ears doing this, not the numbers. Big trick here-you can double up bigger portions of drums, not just single hits, if you dont pitch them, but just use the filtering and resonance controls. Again, use your ears, dont look at the numbers.

A big thing to mention if we are gonna talk drums is that i have a personal aesthetic about drums. i like drum loop type sounds. I like to hear long portions of drums sampled. So I spend a lot of time trying to make programmed drums sound "real". again, lots of tricks to do this, but main thing for me is to think about the whole song, and try to put as much variation as I can throughout the WHOLE song. There's individual things I have learned, like sampling the decay portion of a drum hit, not the big transient part. Then, assign the attack and decay so it has no transient at all. It just whooshes. Now, think of this like spackle. After you chop a break, and reassemble it, you paste these little pieces into any places where there's silence. You can smooth things out like this. Even if its not a silence portion. It can make an awkward decay sound more natural.

There's alot of "thinking like a guy directing a drummer" in the composing part.

Also, don't discount the simple act of finding ALOT of drum breaks, and prioritizing them. I always have lots of breaks that are chopped up and ready to go, saved as a program, with no song.This gives me the option to go thru lots of drum programs and see what drums work on a loop/groove/song. LOTS of a/b/c/d comparisons to see what drums really WANT to be on a track. lots of revisiting songs and trying other drums. then deciding the original, or the new, are better.

Another thing: I dont need the feel of the drummer. I want the tone of the engineer who cut the record. I'm gonna take it apart and put it back together anyway. So drums in 4/4, 5/4, 7/8, it doesnt matter. In fact, lots of my drum breaks arent even drum breaks. here, lets play a fun one, ill rat myself out:

YouTube - Billy Thorpe - Children of the Sun

Please, do me a favor - I don't EVER rat myself out, so lets just leave it here ok? who can guess where i used these drums? It's a good example of what im talking about. I just want the tones. I don't need anything resembling a groove sometimes.


Hey RJD2,

Thanks again for doing this and I hope you had a good Xmas day.

I wondered if you'd care to talk about sampling records versus playing "real" instruments in terms of the creative and sonic advantages and disadvantages.....
Could you also cover the average speed of your workflow involved with each approach?

Also, do you mainly prefer studio work or touring?

Paul G


I see the big sonic advantage being in samples, cause you acquire tonalities that you will never-ever-be able to recreate, they last for one song, and then they are over.

w/ playing, I like the freedom it allows in the writing aspect. I would always get frustrated w/ samples, cause if you wanted a bridge, you;d have to use a totally different sound most of the time.

My compromise is usually to play the verses of songs - if I am playing-super repetitive. No wanking. It gives it more of a groove/sample type of feel, then, you add the spice by writing different parts, or turnarounds, etc.

If im on the sampler, a beat gets done usually in about 25-20 minutes for rough draft, mind you, that doesnt include all the hours/days i spent looking thru records. Then, another few days to do the song steps, touch it up, dump it in PT, for a BEAT, for an all sample song, like "iced lightning", that usually takes about 4-5 days of work, but not 8 hour days, couple hour days.

Touring vs. studio? Studio, mostly because the downtime isnt so painful. the 90 minutes im on stage, I love touring, but the 12 hours of travel/prep time makes it much harder. but i've never taken a year off since I started touring, so I might feel differently after that happens-someday....

Posted by Josh Groessbrink