Blog Posts

David Glasser shares Grammy-winning experiences

Earlier this month Grammy award winning audio engineer David Glasser spoke to a standing room only crowd at Boulder Digital Arts in Boulder, Colorado. Dave shared the history of his professional audio company, Airshow, and his experiences mastering music recordings. A mastering engineer for 30 years, Dave’s album credits read like a history of modern music. Dave is widely known for his mastering restoration of the Grateful Dead’s European Tour of 1972, and he spoke of that experience.
David Glasser, Airshow
It took 7 months to master the 73 CD boxed set, ‘Europe ’72‘ complete recordings. Luckily the original 16-track tapes had been archived and properly preserved. When mastering the Europe ’72 restoration, David had some raw, live recordings to work with. As Deadheads know, the set list, instrumentation and overall performance would change each night. That translated to every recording presenting a new experience. Luckily, the Dead worked with a pretty straightforward equipment setup. The band sang into Electo-Voice microphones, the kind that bands nowadays wouldn’t even consider using. Dave describes Jerry Garcia using a “hotrod strat plugged into a twin tube Fender amp.”

To demonstrate the affect of re-mastering the originals, he played samples of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions of the recordings – and the difference was staggering. Dave attributes much of the quality of the restoration to the Plangent Process, which virtually eliminates wow and flutter caused by tape speed fluctuation. Transferring and using Plangent processing of all of the data took a year.

Dave doesn’t use many plug-ins; he uses compression to “glue stuff together.” When asked how much he relies on visual monitoring of a recording, Dave replied that he doesn’t look at or touch anything but the space bar (start and stop). Anything visual is a distraction. Along that line, Dave recommended the book “Thinking Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman.

What does Dave see in the future of recorded music? “96k/24 bit” will be the standard, and he’s seeing an increase in the attention given to surround sound for video soundtracks. Thanks, Dave, for sharing your knowledge and experience. And thanks to Boulder Digital Arts, for hosting this informative and inspiring evening .

Boulder New Tech Meetup Tonight

We’re super stoked to be presenting at tonight’s New Tech Meetup in Boulder. The local community has been so supportive of what we’re up to – making new, original music available for licensing. Time to scale up and go to the next level. We’re hoping that musicians and music-seeks will let us know who they are. With the participation of these folks, we can scale up and start building an online music community. See you tonight, Boulder!

Music for Training Videos?

Question: Where can I legally get original music for my training video?

That’s a question we can answer.  Training and instructional videos have become the standard way of training new employees in a number of professions.  If you need music for your video, but hesitate at the legalities of music licensing and royalties, BumperTunes can help.  For example, listen to one of our newest tunes, “Sidewalk Cafe“, which was composed specifically with narration and voiceovers in mind.  $29.97 buys you the rights to use Sidewalk Cafe for one year.  It’s that easy.

If you need any help choosing the right tune, or need some specific music for your project, please write to us at kit@bumpertunes.com or cal@bumpertunes.com.

Mailbag! Ask the Musicians – May 7, 2010

Greetings from the music-making lair deep within the BumperCave!  You know, I talk to a lot of people about what I do at BumperTunes, and I am frequently asked what recording software I use.

Let’s start with my DAW (digital audio workshop) of choice:  Although I got my start with Cakewalk, I am currently running Apple’s Logic Pro 9.  Over on the hardware side, all of the percussion mics go through an M-Audio ProFire 2626.  For direct input (for guitars, basses, etc.), I am using an Apogee Duet.  I am really pleased with what I’ve been able to get out of this gear, and I’d like to know what folks are using as far as DAW gear.  Let me know!

Calvin Lotz

Creative Director, BumperTunes.com

BumperTunes Makes the Cut!

We’re very grateful to all the BumperTunes supporters who nominated us for Mashable’s Open Web Award. Now we’re asking for your vote as the Number One Online Music Label. You can VOTE once per day.

This is an international online voting competition that covers major innovations in web technology and achievements in Social Media. It’s a kind of “People’s Choice” award. Our customers and fans know that we are real musicians recording and licensing real music. We’re authentic about our craft and we support and compensate our artists. And we’re a bootstrapped startup, which certainly helps us keep it real!

Thank you in advance!

Be sure to take a listen to our most recent additions:
Drop Step, Ascension, and Rodeo Drive

Recap: Blog World Expo 2009

Mat Luschek at Blubrry Party - Blog World Expo

Mat Luschek & Friends, Blubrry Party - Blog World Expo

Everyone had a great time in Vegas at BWE09. It was a terrific, jam-packed weekend. The Blubrry folks were on their game with a great booth and a killer Friday night party. But the real story with Blubrry is their feature-rich platform for podcasting. Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin for WordPress allows WP users to easily add a podcast to their existing blog. It supports a myriad of media formats and is compatible with iTunes.

Speaking of podcasts, we were very excited to meet Adam Carolla and his production team, who were podcasting live from the trade show floor. We are big fans of Adam, especially after his exit from “old” media and his venture into online broadcasting via his website.

The Saturday morning panel on “The New Celebrity”, moderated by Brian Solis, really struck a chord with us. Jermaine Dupri (@LTLline) didn’t mince words in describing how he leverages You Tube, My Space, his blog and now Twitter to create his social media system. This system allows him to engage fans, not just talk at them. Open dialogue is what brings the most value to the artist-fan relationship.

Our good friend John Hawkins of John Hawkins Unrated, organized a Las Vegas WordCamp unconference within the larger BWE conference. As you may have noticed, BumperTunes.com is built using WordPress as a content management system. John was a big help in our BumperTunes launch, and speaks at numerous WordCamps around the country.

A big shout out to the folks from MyContent.com. They did a great job of streaming the keynotes and sessions. MyContent is a new company that provides a platform for artists to monetize their content. Some of the BWE video recordings are already archived on the MyContent website.

Lastly, congratulations to BWE09 organizers Jim Turner, Dave Cynkin and Rick Calvert for throwing such a successful event again this year. See you next year, baby!

Remember The Classics

PianoStyle and mood are important considerations when selecting music for your audio or video production. It’s also worth thinking about the time period that your music represents. Many producers want the newest, most current style in their musical accompaniment. This is why we continue to regularly produce tunes such as Vernonia Storm and Solar Plexus. Each of these pieces have the instrumentation and production style that is current right now.

At the other end of the musical spectrum are classics which never grow old. There is an implied maturity and seriousness that classical music brings to any production. This is why we continue to hear the classics at wedding ceremonies, state events, and at venues which want to evoke a sense of stability and timelessness. BumperTunes is pleased to introduce selections from J.S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in G Major, performed by pianist Izumi Kashiwagi.

There may be a segment of your production that needs to suggest these attributes. Please take a moment to listen to these performances recorded exclusively by Ms. Kashiwagi for the BumperTunes collection.

Bumps and Eyecatches

eyecatch2Bumper music and “bumps” help distinguish program content from advertising. TV shows quit using visual commercial bumpers in 1976, but we still hear them as bumpers on radio programs and now in online podcasts. Broadcasters license music to “bumper” the transitions from regular programming to commercials. That’s how the term “bumper music” came about.

In the United Kingdom, a visual “break-bumper” signals the start and finish of commercial breaks. The image may be the station’s logo, or the logo of the program’s sponsor.

In Japan, an animation that plays between show content and the one commercial break is called an “eyecatch” or aikyatchi. This is most commonly used in anime and tokusatsu shows. Unlike American shows, where the “bump” is created by the TV station, eyecatches are created as part of the program itself, and often only last 2 to 5 seconds.

2009 Music Festivals Rock the House

music festival

There has been an upsurge in live performances and music festivals this year.  The regular venues, such as SXSW and Coachella will always be around.  But what about those festivals off the beaten track?   Artists can now find venue opportunities all over the world. And music fans, especially of up and coming bands, have an early opportunity to hear performers on their way up.

Take a look at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan July 2-5.    Performers from Bob Dylan to Van Ghost will taking the stage during this four-day event.   If you’re on the West Coast, Portland Oregon’s Riverfront Blues Festival is always a good time.   Down South in Atlanta, the Straight Cash Beat Battle will take place July 9.   Performers will have a chance to win cash prizes for their performances. In Colorado, the Monolith and Mile High Music Festivals put some our of favorites on the stage.

In Europe, the same increase in live performances can be seen on the European Festivals Calendar.

Festival tickets too pricey? Many festivals, such as Mile High, trade volunteer time for a pass to the show.  Look carefully at their websites to find a volunteer application. Wherever you are, there is bound to be live music close by.  Check it out, and support live music!

Professional Training Not Required

You don’t need to be a trained musician to select music for your broadcast.   In fact, professional musicians use terms like “sweet”, “hot”,  “dark” and so on to describe a tune.  You can too!    These descriptive words describe a sensation or emotion, which is just what a piece of music will evoke.

thumb_sxsw_cogaoke11If a tune is “too busy”, that means there is too much going on.   It may evoke the sensation of chaos or confusion, there are possibly too many instruments playing or the melody jumps all over the place with no clear direction.

A tune that is described as “light” or “relaxing” will most likely have a melody or harmony that transitions smoothly.  It moves seamlessly from one music thought to the next.
Use descriptive terms like the ones above to search for just the right tune.  Experiment by searching on a few terms to see how the musicians have described each piece.