Category Archives: Brain Droppings

My spot for useless ramblings and stuff like that. Just stuff that I can go on and on about without any filters.

And now for this this commercial message – brought to you by my Q10

Yup, time for some more ramblings from my Q10. This time, it really is just that: rambling. To be honest, Joelle wonders how I can type so much on this phone. She can’t believe that I am spinning off blogs from this phone. Perhaps I should tell her how some people are writing books on their BlackBerry. Honestly, I am starting to get it. I’m starting to find that I am more inspired to write, not because I have a Q10, but because I have a device that allows me to just flow with ideas. Everything just flows.

I never was able to be this productive on my Z10. Not that the phone was bad or anything. I just found that I was not able to type properly on an all-touch device. It always felt like I was struggling with the phone, with the phone winning. Aside from feeling slow, I felt like I was typing like a two year old. I was not only making a ton of spelling mistakes, but I was also grabbing the wrong words to flick up to the screen. It sometimes made for the most interesting sentences. If anything, I got to the point where I would only type on it as necessary. I didn’t use it to write songs as much, and I certainly didn’t use it to do blog pages like I am doing here.

Don’t get me wrong. I know where the value of an all-touch device comes in. If I didn’t do as much typing as I do, I can see myself using an all-touch, because they are good for clicking buttons and sliding objects around. However, keyboards on all-touch devices are not keyboards to me. They have no boundaries to indicate where one key ends and another begins. Not to mention that it doesn’t feel like I am hitting a key. Not every phone is for everyone, but I know what is working for me.

I won’t even discuss my Z10’s predecessor at length. I couldn’t get anything done on my old iPhone, and I tried. To me, that thing was counterproductive. Okay enough of that.

I can see why my youngest daughter, Dina, gets so much done with her BlackBerry. To me, she is a real BlackBerry master. I don’t know many people that are able to type with their BlackBerry by their side. I want to be like that. But, for now, I am glad to be able to type with confidence and a lot more speed than I was able to do on any other smartphone. I am grateful for being able to get all of my ideas down. I never imagined that such a handheld device would inspire me to write as much as I have been doing.

There we go. I have gushed long enough about a phone. Time to ramble about other things, such as…

When God Speaks

The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

— 1 Samuel 3:3 – 9

Whoever actually coined the phrase, “When we talk to God, it’s prayer, but when God speaks to us, it’s schizophrenia”, must have been an atheist and probably a psychiatrist attempting to snuff out what believers may be tuned in to.

Yup, it’s time for some more ramblings from my Q10. I’m sure that Joelle is going to soon regret letting me have this BlackBerry. I really have to admire her talent for being able to read my blog posts with her eyes rolling the way they do whenever I do these things. That’s probably why I love her so much.

But I digress…

Let me start by saying that throughout Joelle’s entire cancer ordeal, I really don’t believe that we have been walking alone in this. I truly believe that God has been walking with us. You can call me insane all you want, but unless you are walking in my shoes and have been witnessing everything I have been feeling and hearing, then you really wouldn’t know anything about it.

One indicator that I don’t believe that I am alone is that I have often woken up in the middle of the night crying and somewhere in between the all of the praying and crying, I could swear that I have felt someone touching me. It’s as if I could feel a hand touching my back or my side and then rolling over to find that there is no one there. I have no reason to doubt that there could be an angel sent by God to comfort me in these times. And if it is crazy, then I would rather go with the crazy and feel like I am not alone than with the normal and lonely, especially at this time.

There are also times where I am asleep, or at least I am falling asleep, and I will hear my name being called. Usually, my first reaction is to wake up and turn around to see who is calling me. Of course, there is no one there, and I know it is not Joelle because not only is she sleeping, but I know her voice, and have known so for over thirty years.

It reminds me of the scripture that I posted regarding Samuel. Every time he heard God’s voice calling him, he kept going to Eli and asking what he wanted. Of course, Eli responded with, “it wasn’t me.” Eli also told Samuel that the next time God is calling him, he should answer God and tell him that His servant is listening.

Interesting. I have had many times when I felt that I was hearing my name being called. Every time I have heard it, I felt like it was one of those moments where I could feel it right down to my soul. It was more than simply hearing my name. It was more like feeling my name. And yet, every time I heard it, I never really answered. I just simply turned around to see who was there.

I have always begged for God to talk to me and now it seems like I am getting my wish. So instead of trying to see who is there and not even try to answer back, I should be more like Samuel and have the courage to ask God to speak some more because I am now listening. Of course you are thinking that it sounds like insanity, but look at it this way: if there is no one there, then all I am really doing is talking to the air. However, if God is there and I don’t try to speak up when I am being spoken to, then I am really missing the chance of a lifetime. As well, I will also be proving my lack of faith because I had prayed and God was answering my prayers.

“Self-help” and the Paradox of Faith

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
— Romans 7:15

There was once a rabbi in a small village who was very much loved and respected. One day, the nearby dam broke loose and water was flooding the village. While everyone was preparing to evacuate, the rabbi just climbed up to the rooftop of his house and prayed.

As the waters reached the rooftop, a boat pulled aside. They yelled from the boat, “c’mon, get in the boat!” The rabbi responded, “God will save me.” The rabbi continued to pray as waters went passed the rooftop and was now waist deep on the rabbi. Another boat came by and everyone was yelling for the rabbi to get in the boat. Again, the rabbi responded with, “God will save me.” He continued to pray and the waters rose to his neck. A helicopter flew up to the rabbi and lowered a rope ladder. The pilot spoke through the loudspeaker, “climb up the ladder and get in the helicopter!” The rabbi responded, “it’s okay. God will save me.” Moments later, the rabbi drowned.

When the rabbi got to heaven, he demanded to see God. So, God came up to the rabbi. The rabbi angrily asked, “How could you let me die? I prayed and prayed for you to save me and you didn’t answer my prayers…”

God immediately interrupted the rabbi and said, “What are talking about? I sent you two boats and a helicopter! What more did you expect?”

So, what is the point of this little joke? I’m hoping to elaborate on this in the proceeding paragraphs.

Having seen the video “Wide is the Gate” once or twice, it got me thinking at one time about some of my usage of certain material classified as self-help. In fact, it directly targets Anthony Robbins in particular, which got my attention. Main reason is because I have used his material, such as Personal Power, since 1992. I tried it because at the time, I was in the deepest depression to the point of being suicidal. In fact, I will never forget the fact that Joelle sold her piano in order to get me the set. And you know what? It worked. It helped me to break out of my destructive pattern and helped me to move forward.

However, after seeing the video, it sort of had me wondering if I was doing anything that was not according to scripture. This sort of led me to stop using what I knew for a few years, and I can say that I started to watch my life slide to the point of depression again. Something that I have not felt for a long time. I found that I was starting to act like a combination of Grumpy Cat and Walter (you have to watch Jeff Dunham in order to get this) at the same time. I can’t say that it was all of a sudden. It was more like a frog in a pot situation. By the time I noticed that I was in hot water over this, it was too late. If you are wondering to yourself, “did he pray about it?” The answer is constantly. Well then you are probably thinking, “he must not be praying hard enough.” Are you kidding me? Just how many times do I have to wake up in the middle of the night crying to the point where my pillow is drenched, begging for Godly intervention to hold up the walls from crumbling all around, or at the very least some wisdom and understanding as to why the walls are crumbling all around, before it is considered praying hard enough?

Well, after serious consideration, I really can’t see why I, with my belief in Christ, should discontinue my usage and practices of everything that I have learned from Tony Robbins. In fact, I pulled out my Personal Power CDs and have been listening to them on my BlackBerry and have been doing the assignments that are on the CDs. I can imagine the pixels that are getting sucked off the screen by all of the sphincters closing on many of the pastors and legalistic church goers that I know. That’s okay. I’m used to this. I got people trying to talk me out of taking karate 16 years ago. You know the type. However, if you read this far, you’re probably going to hear me out, which means that all of this typing on my Q10 won’t be in vain.

Let’s take this whole notion of self-help to start. If you are thinking that by listening to the CDs and practicing what you are listening, you are not having faith in God, I will tell you to think about this for a second.

When you are not feeling well, what do you reach for? Do you reach for a pill, or are you pulling out bible scripture believing that is sufficient? Be honest with yourself. You have probably reached for a Tylenol, Rolaid, or Gravol without a second thought. Have you been unfaithful to God for doing so? Certainly not!

When I ripped my quadricep muscle clean off of my knee, should I have gone to church first? You’re probably chuckling, thinking, “Now you’re being foolish! Of course you should be going to the hospital!” Even Joelle’s first reaction when I could not stand up because of it was, “You’re not going to work. You’re going to the hospital.” Let me tell you that there is no one I know that is more faithful to God than Joelle, and yet she knew what had to be done. I never lost faith in the hospital. I spent most of my waiting time reading from the book of Psalms while I was in pain and shock. I truly believe that God was at work through the doctors there as not only did they fix up my injury, but I am walking far better than I was before the injury. Only God could do that kind of stuff.

If working out on an exercise machine, or riding a bicycle being unfaithful to God. I think we know the answer. We can pray and pray all we want for physical fitness, and God will meet us halfway. He’ll either provide the equipment or a gym membership. However, it is up to us to get up off of our butts and get working out. We must not be like Saul. When it is time to pray, we pray. But, when it is time to act, we act.

So, if none of the above are a lack of faith, how would using Personal Power to help me break my cycle of depression be considered a lack of faith? The main premise of those CDs is that we are already doing all of these things unconsciously, and he is demonstrating how to take control of this in a scientific way. In other words, he scientifically shows us how to create and break habits. After all, we create habits all the time. Some good, many bad. Even Paul was aware of this. So where is the lack of faith? If anything, I’ve seen books in Christian bookstores on leadership that use similar principles. Things like setting goals and taking action are very common. The only real difference that I have noticed are the use of scripture. So then, why couldn’t I do something similar and let scripture dictate the kind of actions that I need to take? I prayed about the goals that I had set both before and after. If anything, God is a very big part of this.

Not to mention that I have been depressed all summer, and not for the lack of faith. I could have gone to the doctor and he probably would have prescribed me some sort of happy pill. Instead, I’m using this to break the cycle. It’s not some voodoo spiritual magic. It’s simple science of knowing how we function and using it to break a cycle. It’s how God designed us. It’s no different than learning how our heart and lungs work. In case, it’s more like how our nervous system work.

Just as I am using Personal Power from the aspect of faith, I think that it is just as easy to misuse any of the books found in the Christian bookstores. There are enough pastors out there that are twisting the gospel to suit their own desires and doing far worse damage than me listening to a self-help CD. In fact we can use and misuse almost anything. It is up to us to discern whether our actions are in faith or not. And if we are not able to discern the difference, then we need to stop and pray. God is faithful to us in that he will point out the direction that we need to take.

I also remember a line that Morgan Freeman said in the movie, “Evan Almighty”. He said, “when you pray to God asking for courage, God doesn’t just give you courage. He puts you in a situation that will give you the courage.” The same for being happy and breaking the cycle of depression, God doesn’t just snap His fingers and your are happy. He will provide the situation, and tools when required, for you to break the depression cycle. He did so 20+ years ago when I first got Personal Power. He is doing so again, reminding me that He gave me to tools to break the cycle and it is up to me to act.

Just as I had faith in God in the surgery that made me walk better than ever, I have every bit of faith in God that this is helping me break the cycle of my depression and make me more fit to act in His service. Prayers have never ceased. However, when it is time to act, we act. Otherwise, just how faithful am I really being?

God is in control – the most overused statement

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
–2 Peter 1:3-7 ESV

Everyone always tells me to relax and that God is in control. It always seems to get me thinking, and what better place to express my thoughts than here? Even better, at least to me, is that I have switched from my BlackBerry Z10 to a Q10 because I wanted a keyboard that I can type things like this a little more often. So let’s get to it.

How many times have I heard this statement? Many times. In fact, perhaps one too many times. Am I trying to say that God is not in control? Not at all. All things beyond us are certainly not in our control, despite how much we try to wrestle that control out of God’s hands. For example, in the natural course of time, we don’t control things like how long we actually live. We’re not sure when and where God will take us from this planet. It is also safe to say that there are plenty of situations that we were not in control of. For example, Joelle didn’t have any control over whether she would get cancer. In fact, I can say that none of us are in control of this life changing situation. These are just a couple of examples of the many things that we are not in control of, no matter how much we try to wrestle for it.

So what am I really trying to say? I’m trying to say that I believe that despite our best intentions, we cough up that statement almost as an excuse not to make certain decisions and take certain actions. We use this one little phrase to sit down and do nothing while life is passing by without pulling over to pick up hitchhikers. Sorry, but I am starting to think that this is pathetic of us. Yes, we have no control over certain situations. However, that is no reason to sit on our asses while life plays out. I’m sure that this is not God’s will.

Am I saying that we need to stand up and wrestle for control? Certainly not! We must still have the faith to believe that God is taking care of situations and we should not interfere with whatever He is doing. After all, look at the mess we have today all because Abraham and Sarah tried to take control over God’s promise. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do certain things that are definitely within our realm of control.

Take our own bodies for instance. We have the ability to break out a smile at any time. Saying that God is in control for that makes us sound like we are marionettes and that God is some cosmic puppet master. God doesn’t move His fingers to make us dance. Otherwise, that would destroy the notion of free will. Therefore, God will not pull any strings on the sides of our face and we’ll be smiling. We can smile. We can also do things like exercise to get our emotions in check. There are many things that we can do to get ourselves going. I like to write music. I believe that David did the same while God was at work.

Is God in control? Definitely! Does that mean that we have no control? Not at all. In fact 2 Peter 1:5-6 mentions having self-control. Without it, we fall into sin. So, there’s no excuse for me not to handle our current situation. I can’t change the fact that Joelle has cancer. What I can change is my attitude and quit living like the walking dead. Joelle and I still have a bunch of good years ahead of us. It is time to live them. This is definitely something that God has given me control over.

For Better Or For Worse

I remember those words 33 years ago (at the time of this writing). Standing there beside Joelle, I promised her that I would be there no matter what. She promised the same to me as well. Sure enough, our promises would be put to the test.

We’ve definitely had our share of great times, such as our kids being born, getting our first house and even our second, finding a great church. We’ve even spent the last 12 years working together on weekends as wedding photographers and we had a blast doing it. We got to see other couples exchange the same vows, celebrate with them, take lots of pictures, and eat lots of great food in various places. To Joelle and myself, it was almost like date night and it never felt like work. Of course, there are plenty more great times that I couldn’t name them all. And no matter what, we stuck together. I stood beside her and she stood beside me.

And we had bad times. When I suffered depression, she sold her piano to get me the Anthony Robbins Personal Power CDs. I would go crazy worrying about her when she got seriously ill, after Joshua was born. I can’t say that I had things figured out. In fact, I probably had nothing figured out. All I knew is that Joelle means almost everything to me and I would go crazy without her.

33 years after these vows were exchanged, nothing changed. When I fell and ripped the muscle off my knee, Joelle would get up in the middle of the night caring for me. I felt like a real burden to her because for those 8 weeks, I could not take care of myself in the simplest of ways. I was in tears because I felt like I was such a burden. Joelle would look at me and tell me “for better or for worse…”. Joelle also laughed and said “you owe me”. What we didn’t count on was what was to happen six weeks after I was finally back on my feet.

Joelle has been diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Admittedly, I have been a mess for the past two weeks, knowing my best friend is in pain and has the battle of her life and all I can think is that she doesn’t deserve this. And in all that, all I can think of is for better or for worse. I will not leave her side. I want to be there to help her fight through all of this. It’s funny that she wondered if I should even be there for her chemotherapy. I wouldn’t even think of being anywhere else but right beside her. I’m not going to leave her side. I love her way too much.

To all of the brides and grooms that Joelle and I had the pleasure of serving for the past 25 years, Remember the vows you shared together. Nothing will ever show how much you love each other more than keeping those vows, not only when times are better, but when times are worse. Your marriage will be stronger because of it.

Making this Blind Man See

Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;

– Isaiah 38:4 – 6 via www.bible.com

It has been almost a month since my knee injury on the winter ice. That one heartbeat of a moment that robbed me of my independence, to which I now I have been fighting to get back. No, it’s not a battle against anyone and it certainly is not a lashing out towards God. I don’t have to ask why this happened to me because I know that everything always happens for a good reason. It isn’t like God said, “Take that and suffer with it…” or anything like that. It’s more like, “I have something to share with you and I need your attention”. I know that God is helping me clean up some of the sins in my life and sometimes the cure feels worse than the disease.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking, “How the heck can ripping the muscle off your knee be a cure for sin?”. Well, let’s start with the sin itself. It definitely goes deeper than this in levels one God could explain, but let’s just say that I haven’t been totally appreciative of the people that surround me in my everyday life. People like Joelle and Joshua, who are with me day in and day out. One could say that I have been taking their presence for granted and perhaps have not been treating them as a loving husband and father should be. In short, I was blind.

Enter the injury…

It’s amazing how one little… okay, not so little… muscle could leave me in a state of immobility and dependency. That muscle has disrupted the body. That muscle has interrupted a way of life. In fact, it not only interrupted a way of life for me, but it has also interrupted a way of life for Joelle and for Joshua. All of a sudden, their lives have been burdened with my injury. Heck, even Margot put her life on hold to fly out to help take care of me for the first couple of weeks of my injury. For our marriage, the “For Better and For Worse” wound up invoked.

So, where’s the cure?

It’s simple, really. Just as most things God does for us humans, He’s laid this one out right before my eyes as plain to see. God has made me realize just how strong Joelle’s and my marriage to each other is. When everyone else in life has left me wounded for dead, Joelle is the only person standing right by my side. She is taking care of me. She is feeding me. She’s helping me fight to regain my independence. She’s doing things for me that she never bargained for. She’s there for me throughout all of this. If that’s not love, then what is? Joshua has also been there and I know that it is hardest for him. He’s been helping to care of me and assist me with my physio exercises. Maybe God is preparing him as well.

Sometimes, it takes something like this to make your heart realize what love really is. Someone once told me that love is not a feeling, but an action. Love makes us do many things, and in many cases things we never wanted to do. And when things feel like they are at their worse, love brings out the best in those around them. And when you take your eyes off your injury, and affliction, you notice it and you really begin to appreciate it from that moment onward.

When you think about it, this injury is helping this blind man to see once again.

Things we take advantage of

How many of you ever think about:

  • being able to just roll out of bed
  • being able to climb into bed
  • sitting down
  • standing up
  • walking to the fridge to grab a snack
  • walking to the fridge to prepare a meal
  • doing your laundry
  • driving to work
  • getting into a car
  • walking around in a mall
  • walking anywhere
  • running anywhere
  • climbing up stairs
  • walking down stairs
  • just being able to get up and go anywhere

These days, I think about it constantly because all these things I took advantage of were taken away on Wednesday morning in one heartbeat.

Yes, I will heal in time. However, in all this, time doesn’t feel like my friend. I know that I will need to be patient and be persistent and have faith. Especially, faith. I know that I will be blessed with a greater appreciation for all of these things and more. And I know that God has not left my side. He never will.

No Greater Love

As someone who is considered fortunate enough to live in the western world, I take a lot of things for granted. I have to freedom to decide many things for myself, go to church and pray to God for saving me, as a Jew, through the blood of Jesus Christ, and I get to write and post songs about it, among everything else I try to write about.

Being Rememberance Day, I started to thing how many soldiers bravely fought and gave their lives for the ability for people like me to do what I am able to do. These soldiers laid their lives down not only for friends, but for people they will never know. People like me. Christian or not, to me they fulfilled the scripture:

John 15:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

This has become huge to me this day. I will never know these people, but they would be willing to put their life on the line so that I could write about it. Perhaps, even sing about it. It takes me to right back to how Jesus died on the cross so that I could write about how He set me free from sin. Did Jesus know me then? I don’t know. I do know that God did know me two thousand years ago, and that I would be put on this earth to receive His love through Jesus Christ. I wasn’t there when Jesus died on the cross, but he laid down his life for me. Who could love me greater?

I’ve been set free in almost every which way possible. That freedom wasn’t free. The price for my freedom had to be paid with blood. You are reading this because I am free. Not only was I freed from the bondage of sin. I was freed from the threat of various forms of tyranny on this earth so that I could write about it. More importantly, I could sing about my freedom and share my songs with everyone who wants to listen.

For this, there is indeed no greater love for me than those who laid their life down for me.

Most Important Music Tools: Our Ears

I find it rather sad that many musicians and engineers will spend more time focusing more on the care of their instuments and gear than anything else. They’ll rewind their guitars in a timely manner with precision and care not to cross the windings for fear of making things look messing. I’ve known many engineers to spend considerable time aligning the heads of their tape decks and setting the bias almost every time they change reels of tape. I don’t disagree with this. In fact, I have done both guitar maintenance and I used to spend great care aligning and de-magnetizing the tape heads of all of my decks.

However, until a few months ago, I often forgot about or neglected the one musical tool that makes all things musical not only possible, but enjoyable: my ears. You see, a few months ago, while feeling something suspicious around my right jaw, and while trying to clean it out with a Q-Tip, I made things much worse by impacting the wax that was built up in my ear. As a result, I wound up losing the hearing in that ear. it was the one of the scariest moments in my life, because I discovered what it felt like to lose the ability to hear music. It was awful. We tried almost everything to get it out, and nothing was working. I had to wait a few days until the doctor’s office would take me in and have a look at what i had done. That was the worst three days of my life. I could hardly hear anything and I was praying that my hearing be restored. I was really down, not being able to hear music. I felt that I robbed myself of the gift that God gave me.

Fortunatly, I didn’t do any real damage to my ears. However, flushing my ears out showed just how much junk was in my ears. It also showed another issue: having had a problem with dry skin all of my life, I discovered that my ear canals were no exception. Worse than the wax buildup in my ears, I would have a buildup of a dry skin inside and the flakes would the plug-up my ears.

From that moment on, I decided that i would do a regular maintenance on my ears. Part of the regiment is a daily regiment of olive or peanut oil drops. At the onset of any perceived issue, I will flush my ears out, provided I’ve not developed any ear infection. Alhough I take great care in flushing my ears, I used part of my aspie “super powers” to memorize everything that I could about the flushing from the teamperature of water to the pressure of the flush. I don’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t attuned to their bodies in this manner as one misjudged step could result in permanent damage. Even more so, I don’t profess to be a doctor. Everyhing i do works for me, because I know me. And if you’re reading this and decide to try the things I am doing, then you do so at your own risk as I do so at mine. Remember that having a doctor do something like this is usually a better thing.

However you do this, ear maintainance on a regular basis will help keep your hearing in check. If your hearing is in check, your music will be that musch more enjoyable and in check. Also remember to be aware of the volumes that you are listening to music. It doesn’t take much to cause permanent damage to your ears. Don’t wait until it is too late. For me, not having music is like not having oxygen.  The moment you lose the music may be the worst moment in your life. Keep the music going by keeping your ears working.

Getting Dirty

For years, I have been somewhat of a purist when it came to recording. Everything going in to my computer had to be clean and plug-in free so that I could scuplt it within Logic. For some things like acoustic guitars, that was good to a point, and even that had its moments, but for many other things, like electric guitars, it became totally uninspiring to record because what I really wanted was a tone that would excite me, and quite often it was right at my fingertips. But I felt I had to wait to apply them to my sound, and quite often, the wait would often result in not getting the sound that I originally intended. Main reason as far as electric guitar went was because there was no real interaction because the guitar and speakers and whatever interaction there was, it was a more digital response resulting in squeals for feedback, if there was any feedback at all. So, by the time the song was ready for mix, it would already be boring and the it would feel like nothing more than an act of turd polishing.

You can say I’ve had enough of that. If I was going to get a sound that excited me, I had to get dirty with my recording. This meant knowing the sound I wanted to use for the song, which is uaually the case, and stick with it to the end. Of course this means making a commitment. But, heck, I wouldn’t really change things once I record them, so I’m good.

These days, almost any track that is not of a software instrument is recorded with some type of treatment on them. Electric guitars will go through my POD or my Rockman, using one of the amp patches. I will also make sure that I am not using headphones when I record them because I can get some really cool interaction between the guitar and speakers, and it doesn’t sound digital. For my acoustic guitars, I have been taking advantage of some console emulations, such as the Universal Audio 610-A, and I’ll drive it through either an 1176 or LA-2A and Pultec emulations. Even vocals get treated now. I’ll do anything that gets me closer to the sound that I want to hear right away.
The result lately is that my last few mixes have got me even more excited because I am getting the sound I am looking for right from the start. Everything sounds right in place and I have been able to pull mixes together within a matter of hours, instead of days because I was fiddling for that sound and feel after the fact. And, the mix to me is far better than I imagined. Even Joelle has given me the “don’t change a thing” after listening to them.

I’m not saying that this is going to work for everyone. However, it has worked wonders for me. If I know how I want something to sound, I’m going to record it right away, rather than set it all up later. And most of all, I’m not afraid to get dirty.