Category Archives: Random/off topic posts

Learning to play drums virtually and drum programming… so glad I’m getting into that…

Ever since I got Toon Track EZ drummer, I’ve been learning to play virtual drums on it manually… while using drumming lesson books to learn how. If you want to play drums virtually, it takes time and practice just like a real drum set. Drums seems like an easy instrument to learn, though. Not that hard like some would think.

I’m so glad that I’ve started studying and practicing rhythm and timing in music ’cause it’s so important. If you want other musicians and listeners to take your music seriously, gotta learn how to play in time and play in the pocket.

Because of me studying drum programming and virtual drumming, I’ve become a better rhythm guitarist ’cause of it too. I’ve learned to play various rhythm patterns like quarter notes, eighth notes, various sixteenth notes… using dotted rhythms, playing notes with ties and more syncopation (Off beat rhythms).

If you know your timing and good at rhythm, you’ll be able to play any genre of music. You’ll be able to write songs a lot better too.

When I start songwriting again, I plan to make my rhythm playing a lot more complex by playing more syncopation… off beat rhythm… meaning notes that don’t fall on the 1, 2,3,4 counts on the metronome. I would also like to start experimenting rhythms in odd time signatures too ’cause prog rock bands like Rush, Dream Theater and Yes did that a lot. If you want your music to sound even more interesting.

I believe that I’ve improved on my rhythm and metronome and gotten way better at playing along with a click track.

When I start recording again, you’ll probably notice that my recording skills has gotten a little better.

Playing with rhythm is a blast and I’m loving it. When making music, you don’t have to be a perfectionist but have a good sense of rhythm and people will take you seriously.

I just want to make tight and intense music and to do that gotta have a good sense of rhythm and timing. Be good at counting which I’m getting way better at.

Soon I’ll be writing and recording songs with drums backing up my tracks. Just gotta good get at this EZ Drummer software and working on it everyday. EZ Drummer is good stuff, glad I got it finally.

Kev

There will always be assholes on the internet, just ignore them and be you…

So you have a presence on the internet and you just want to express yourself the best you can by writing your thoughts and be honest about your feelings on certain things. You just want to write your honest thoughts and opinions about certain topics like on a blog, social media like FB/twitter/instagram, youtube and internet forums. You write your thoughts about something and just want to tell your truth… there is nothing wrong with your opinion and out of the blue, some asshole attacks you for no reason. This person is writing all kinds of nasty and harsh things about you and you’re just sitting there like all shocked thinking, “What did I say something wrong?”.

No… it’s not that you said something wrong ’cause you didn’t say anything wrong. There will always be some asshole out there that will try to ruin your day… hoping to make you feel bad and destroy you emotionally and that’s what they do. Cyberbullying and trolling is where I’m getting at and it’s a huge problem. Cyberbully and trolling is even more of a problem today. People are just nasty and negative nowadays. I can now see why some avoid social media like FB and twitter ’cause those sites are nothing but a cesspool for assholes and drama queens, ya know?

I know the feeling ’cause each time I want to post my honest thoughts about something and giving my “opinion”, there will always be some asshole trying to attack me and “troll”.

I understand about “disagreeing” and having differences of opinion, I welcome that with other people, I don’t give a shit but we can discuss things with civility and all. We can discuss things without the name calling, bashing, judging and hating, whatever but people don’t do that nowadays. If you write something people don’t like, you immediately become a bad person nowadays. It’s getting unreal.

It’s okay ’cause the way to dealing with internet assholes is just ignore them and just keep being yourself ’cause they hate that even more. Never bow down and never cave ’cause that’s what they want you to do. Their goal is to make you feel upset and make you feel bad. They intentionally want to make you feel like you’re wrong and they want to make you feel like a “loser” ’cause it’s killing them that they see how honest and real you are. They just want to make you feel bad ’cause they get a kick out of it and it’s amusing to them putting you down. That’s why they do what they do.

When I make an opinion and thought on something, I stick to it, ya know, stick to my guns. No matter what anyone says, never back down. I’ve dealt with assholes online for many years and still go through it today but I’ve gotten way better at ignoring negativity, lol.

It’s just that people do what they do ’cause they are crazy and that’s the end of it really. The way to dealing with internet haters and negativity of any kind is just keep being you and that’s it. Most people want you to be the way they want you to be and you don’t have to. Like I said just keep being you, no matter how mad people get.

Not everyone will dislike who you are, you’ll get some fans/supporters out of it ’cause they’ll respect the hell out of you for being real.

People are just being people… assholes everywhere, you can’t avoid them. When people attack me on my social media or blogs, I just block ’em. They don’t like it but tough shit, it’s my right.

Nothing wrong with being yourself. Don’t let people think that there is something wrong with it.

When I post on a forum, blog or social media… I seem to get a stir going and get people fired up, every time. Not sure why. I guess I’m getting at getting people talking. Maybe some find what I say is controversial and that’s fine. I’m just honest and speak from the heart. Talk like that and people will respond and will get ’em going. Just be honest and wait to see what happens.

Kev

Toon Track EZ Drummer really is nice but did it really need to be $160???

Now that I finally have Toon Track EZ Drummer musician’s software plugin for my DAW, I’ve messed with it for a little bit. The software is really nice. Like the name of the software says, “EZ” aka “easy”… it really is easy to use. To play drum tracks, you can either play drums manually on the virtual drum set or you can drag and drop loops. That’s all it is really.

The drums sound realistic enough ’cause they were played by an actual human drummer. Now I’m gonna have to really learn how to play drums virtually and learn how to program my own drum tracks. I have been learning a little bit here and there and now I’m gonna get into it a lot more.

I have a few drumming lesson instructional books so I’m gonna have to get back into them. I’m planning to buy some more drum lesson books. If I’m gonna use this EZ Drummer software, I may as well study drums and I have.

I wanted separate drumming software as a way so I can put drum tracks behind my songs and hopefully start making full band rock n’ roll songs in the future. Either that or I can just use EZ Drummer for something to practice my guitar playing with and have fun jamming.

Toon Track software is real nice but they don’t really need to overpriced, though. I plan to buy one more plugin by Toon Track very soon… I’m also planning to get their new Toon Track EZ bass. Once I get toon track EZ bass, I’ll be all set to start making full band tracks very soon. I’m also planning on buying IK Multimedia AmpliTube for guitar so I can have some different guitar sounds and effects. Once I get all these plugins and software that I need, I’ll soon be able to start making some serious rock music and I can’t wait.

Like I said before, I’m not gonna be making complex rock music like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. My rock n’ roll is gonna be very simplistic inspired by Nirvana, the Pumpkins, AcDc, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, etc. In other words, I’m not worried about technical aspects of guitar playing, I just want to make tight as rock n’ roll, ya know? I want to try to make fun rock n’ roll you can head-bang to and even sing along with if I’m lucky enough.

I really do want to make full band rock and doing everything I can to make that happen. Small baby steps. Just getting all the stuff that I need to make that happen. I got new studio setup, new DAW, new electric guitar and everything so I’m getting there. Small baby steps.

I’m also trying to improve my guitar playing along the way.

Anyhow, Toon Track is real nice software, just wish they weren’t so pricey but so worth it, though. Toon Track is pretty hot in the musician’s world and once you actually buy from them, you’ll see why.

I’ve been looking into getting Toon Track software for a long time anyways and glad I’m finally getting into them. Therefor, I’m proud to be their new customer so far anyway.

Kev

My Lists for Best of Music & Movies of 2020 will be up soon…

As always at the end of every year on my blog, I always do a top ten Best Music Albums and best movies of the year. This year, I can easily come up with a best of Music albums 2020 but for movies will be kind of challenging.

Since the pandemic happened in 2020, I was no longer able to go the movies much this year which sucks. It’s hard to keep up with the new releases now. I may have to shorten the Best Movies to just 5 this year ’cause I won’t be able to come up with a ten. I only saw very few 2020 films this year but I’m trying to catch up with the new releases as best I can. I just got Bill & Ted 3 “Face the Music” and Chris Nolan’s “Tenet” on BluRay so I’ll watch those this week to see where they rank on the list. I’ll try to catch up with more 2020 films but it’s gonna be kind of hard since most new releases are on VOD and Streaming services now. I’ll come up with a plan, though.

I’ve been doing these lists every year for way over a decade. I like doing these lists every year. Show y’all what my thoughts are of the best of 2020.

It’s been a weird year for sure.

Kev

Hope everyone had a great christmas, I sure did…

Christmas yesterday was a good day. Yeah, I know lefties and politicians are trying to destroy Christmas but it will never happen. It’s a sacred holiday, can’t get rid of it and people will be celebrating it anyway. Well, my family celebrates it big every year and here are some of the stuff I got.

For the BluRay movies, I got “Bill & Ted 3: Face the Music” and the new Christopher Nolan directed film, “Tenet”. I’ve been wanting to see those two movies for a while and now I’ll get to finally. Also, I got a Clint Eastwood western “Unforgiven” ’cause it’s one of my favorite westerns of his.

A couple of games for the PS4: “Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath” and “Dreams”.

“Batman: The Three Jokers” graphic novel.

A Freddy Kreuger action figure.

My own vinyl player so I’m planning to start my own vinyl record collection.

And I also got Toon Track EZ Drummer 2 musicians software which I’m also psyched to have. I finally got EZ Drummer as a way to put drums behind my songs or just to have something fun to jam along to with my guitar, ya know? Gonna have to learn how to use EZ Drummer 2, though so it’s gonna be a while to get the hang of it.

It was a real nice Christmas this year especially with 2020 being a difficult year and all, ya know? After dealing with a few things like the pandemic and other stuff.

Hope you all had a nice one too.

Kev

Admittedly, 2020 has been a difficult year… Christmas this friday should make things better, though…

I know I’ve been quiet on this blog lately but I’m gonna try to post a lot more. I want to say, though, that I’ll admit that 2020 has been a difficult year even for me since this stupid pandemic hit since last March and it’s still going.

It’s been difficult year for me for a few reasons… first off, I went with several months without a gym which was terrible and you all know how much I love weightlifting and all. Secondly, I’ve dealt three deaths of important people that passed in my life… two family members and my lifelong best male friend. It’s hard going through all that ’cause when you have loved ones suffering, you can’t see them in the hospital and all that stuff, ya know? And when they pass on, you can’t have much for funerals, either that or not have funerals at all ’cause of pandemic. I don’t want to get into details but it’s been hard going through all those passings of those three important people in my life… especially my best friend who I did pretty much everything with over the years and can’t believe he’s gone and all but anyway, he’s no longer suffering ’cause he’s been battling different illnesses. It’s been tough dealing with these passings under this pandemic and I’ll go through it. Am a bit sad, though but trying to stay strong the best I can and Christmas Day this Friday should make things a little better.

Usually I take a week off of the gym on Christmas week every year but not this year. I figure I’ll keep the gym days going throughout the Holidays this year after dealing with these passings and continuing my gym days will help me stay strong, ya know? It seems to be working too. Helps get the stress off under this pandemic and tough times in life.

I went to my best friends funeral but the burial won’t happen until the Spring ’cause that big snowstorm hit. It sucked going through this but trying to stay strong the best I can and living life the best I can ’cause that’s what my best friend would have wanted. Yeah, it sucked losing a lifelong best friend but ’cause of that, I made a few new friends in my life which is cool.

Friday will be a good day and I hope you all have a good Christmas too and I’m going to keep posting on this blog this weekend.

Thanks for all your support and thanks for reading and following me. Things will get better, I know it will. I predict the country will come back in 2021 ’cause we’re not gonna live like this forever. Can’t happen.

Kev

Studying drum programming for recording…

For the past couple of years or a little more, I’ve been studying drum programming. I’ve been studying drum programming for DAW’s and other software ’cause I want to be able to create my own drum tracks and drum sequences behind my songs. Although, I’m not a drummer by any means, I just learn drums anyways just by buying a few drumming lessons books so it can help ’cause if you want to be a drum programmer, you got to think like a drummer. That’s why I bought a few drumming lessons books so I can see how they do it.

I got tons of rock n’ roll songs spinning in my head and I really want to get them out of me. Nobody wants to hear rock songs with just a voice and a distorted guitar. That’s why I want to start making full band tracks somehow. So I thought it would be easier if I learned how to program drums and I’ve been doing just that.

I’ve learned how drummers hit the kick drum which usually falls on the 1 and 3 beats… and the snare falls on the 2 and 4 beats. The hi-hat cymbals counts throughout the song pretty much to make it more lively… the crash cymbals usually starts or ends a section of a song and the ride cymbals usually ends a fill. The high toms usually used for fills in songs and the floor tom can be used in place of a hi hat if you wish. That’s all you really need to create a simple rock beat really but you don’t always have to make the drum patterns the same, gotta switch ’em up to make ’em sound interesting.

I used to believe that learning drums would be hard to learn but not really. I wish I have a drum set of my own but they’re too loud around here which is why I’m definitely planning on getting EZ drummer real soon ’cause there’s virtual drum set on that and you can play the drums manually on that software which would be cool.

Pretty soon, I could start recording electric guitar rock songs with drum beats behind them. I could record them as demos and ideas and then later in the future I could figure out how to get bass lines on the songs so I can have full band backup. I’m probably gonna get ToonTrack EZ bass for that, sometime in 2021.

I’ve gotten way better with timing in music and the metronome lately. Feels good to do that. Playing in time in music and playing in the pocket is important. Your music can be taken more seriously by people if you play in time. I’ve learned that a long time ago. You can write songs better too.

Kev

Will be getting toontrack EZ Bass and EZ Drummer both real soon, definitely gonna go for ’em…

Very soon, I’m definitely gonna be buying ToonTrack EZ Drummer and Ezbass… not at the same time but I’ll buy one those programs and get the other one another time. First, I’m planning on buying EZ Bass sometime this month. Toon Track Ezbass is a new program that ToonTrack just put out just recently. Toon Track is a bass player MIDI software… if you’re a recording musician and want to be a one man band but you don’t play bass yourself then that software is recommended.

I’m not a bass player at all by any means but for years I’ve always tried to find out ways I can be a one man band by making full band tracks myself. I was gonna buy a MIDI keyboard for my Focusright 2I4 interface that has MIDI connection and play bass lines through that way. For drums, I was thinking of using the Midi drums on Mixcraft or Garageband on my Ipod Touch. Now that I just discovered EZ drummer and EZ bass, it would be much easier for me to be a one man band.

I’ve researched both of those softwares pretty heavily so I know both are really good. On ToonTrack EZ bass, the bass sounds so realistic and you can play any genre of music with this including rock & metal.

As for EZ drummer, that software is very popular for musicians and they all recommend it. There are other drummer softwares out there but most recording musicians recommend EZ drummer than everything else. So I’m gonna go for that.

If I get both Ez bass and Ez drummer, I’ll be able to sound like an actual band with my music and that’s the goal I want to achieve. Someday, I want to make my own full band rock album. Start writing full band rock n’ roll is what I always dreamed of. Small baby steps, I guess.

I’m doing everything I can to get there. I’m going to buy Ez Bass first and then Ez drummer sometime in the near future. When I get these two softwares on my computer, I’ll be making full band tracks in no time. Can’t wait to get ’em, though and I’ve been looking into ToonTrack for a long time anyways.

People don’t think I’m capable of playing full band rock n’ roll, well, just you wait. You’ll be surprised to see that I do know my shit.

Will I be making metal songs? Yes, of course… but I’ll be planning on making prog rock metal so the songs I could be making could end up being pretty long. I could be making a concept album or whatever. I’ll be making some instrumentals too. Just whatever I come up with and make music whatever makes me happy. Hopefully it makes other people happy too.

Kev

Still doing a lot of online shopping while us is still on lockdown, nothing else better to do, ya know???

Well, we are still under lockdown but the US is slowly starting to open back up. I’m still stuck at home like most people are still. People are starting to get back to work full time which is good but there’s a lot of us stuck at home.

I’ve been still doing a lot of online shopping for myself throughout the summer just so I can defeat boredom. I know I’ve been treating myself a bit too much but what are you gonna do when there’s really nothing to do out there still, ya know???

I bought a bunch of music albums for myself from Itunes and picked up some physical CD’s at a record shop in Cape Cod. I bought a little over 20 albums but I didn’t get over 20 albums all at once, of course. I’ll list those albums in another post later but one album I got out of all those are Metallica’s new live album “S & M 2” which I’m excited to hear. I also bought the Metallica studio albums “And Justice For All” and “St. Anger”. I used to have those albums on CD so I rebought them last night and now I own every Metallica studio album they ever did in my Itunes library which I’m thrilled to have. I’ve been a Metallica superfan for a long time and still love that band today.

I also rented several movies through Google Play: “You Can’t Kill David Arquette” documentary, “Gotti” w/ John Travolta”, “Knives Out”, a few Clint Eastood flicks “Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Tight Rope”, “You Should Have Left” a thriller w/ Kevin Bacon and a war film “1917”. Gonna watch some of these this weekend.

I wanted to rent the new Bill & Ted movie “Face the Music” but it was 19.99 to rent so I didn’t bother and rented a bunch of other stuff instead.

I also have piles of books to read still and bought a few games for the PS4 w/ the newest “Call of Duty: Modernwarfare” that came with “Warzone” being one of them. Haven’t started that game yet.

I know I’m treating myself a bit too much but I’m freakin’ bored. Can’t help it. I’ll calm down with the shopping for a long while ’cause I got plenty that will keep me busy.

Anyhow, I’m sure some will look at me and call me “loser” with no life but hey, to make myself feel not lazy, I go for long walks and long bike rides throughout the summer so I won’t feel lazy and still be active. I exercise and stretch at home and have done some house work so I won’t feel lazy during the day.

So gyms are finally back and I’m going to get my gym account back and I’ll have something to do again. Gonna start going back to the gym next week probably ’cause I gotta get a a gym membership back.

Still playing guitar and working on my singing throughout this pandemic too. Other than that, life is great.

Kev

Going on vacation during the Covid-19 pandemic is interesting…

I haven’t posted on the blog for a whole week ’cause i went on vacation in Cape Cod, Mass. for a whole week. I love Cape Cod. I’ve been there so many times. I’ve been to vacation at different places in the United States but I think the Cape would have to be my favorite.

Going on vacation during the Covid-19 pandemic is interesting, though. You can’t really do much fun stuff since a lot of places will be closed due to pandemic. About all you can do is go to the beaches, do some fishing, swimming, go to shops and eat at restaurants. That’s it pretty much.

Yes, I went to the beach a lot but I didn’t swim this time ’cause I’m not much of a swimmer anymore. I like swimming, just not a good swimmer anymore, ya know? I don’t swim much so I guess I forgot how to swim. I’m not afraid of water or anything. I just walked along the beach for some exercise and adventure ’cause I like doing that.

I also did a bit of shopping for myself and spent the afternoon in Hyannis by myself last Friday afternoon. Downtown Hyannis where President Kennedy used to live has a pretty cool town with all the cool shops. I only go there ’cause they have an actual record store that I like… yes a record store, remember those? The name of the record store is called “Spinnaker Records” and I always go to the store each time I go to Cape Cod. I walked out with 4 cd’s this year. Two albums by David Bowie that I don’t have yet… “Lodger” and “Pinups”. I also picked up the Who “Tommy” and The Beatles “Let It Be”, all on CD. I also picked up 4 books from Cape Cod: “The Dirt” by Motley Crue, a biography of Billy the Kid, a biography of Al Capone and a book by Billy Gibbons (the guy from ZZ Top). I also bought a t-shirt with the American Flag “Blue Line” shirt so I can show my support for the police and bought an Iphone/Ipod holder for my bicycle that way I can film video while riding the bike.

Going on vacation during a “mask wearing” pandemic is interesting, though. If you ever want to feel stupid, I’m seeing a lot of people out there wearing masks every where they go. People wear masks even outside when walking, riding their bikes and even while they’re running. It’s like seriously? I don’t like wearing masks but I only wear them when going into a store if they have a sign that says “masks are required”.

This mask wearing thing is silly and so fucking stupid. I hate wearing them myself and I want this mask shit to end already.

Other than that, it was a great vacation. Spend some time with family and also for me to get away from everyone and everything and all the crazy bullshit in the world. It was nice to get away from it all.

I’ll try to post on the blog a lot more this week.

Kev