Archive for: March, 2011

Introducing Geron Hoy

On April 26th 2011, prepare to meet Geron Hoy. On that day the album “Soldier” will drop from Jamity Records. I haven’t heard it all, but it would seem that whatever Jamity Records is doing, they are doing it right. Somehow they managed to capture the essence of what Geron has been trying to do for over 10 years, and it’s worth a listen or 12. I can easily see the track “Lady Crow” used in an episode of Sons of Anarchy, and you can get a copy of right now on iTunes.

I first met Geron Hoy in Mary Lyon Hall at Plymouth State College. It was 1999, grunge rock was long dead, and terrible dance music was heard all over campus. I would often play my electric guitar in my room, hoping to meet like minded heads. Geron showed up within a couple of hours. He had his guitar and it was about 2 minutes before we started playing.

He started playing “Wild Horses.” I hung a few notes over what he was doing and I don’t know if we sang it or not, but we had clicked. Imagine my surprise when he told me he had only been playing for 6 weeks. I was shocked. His timing and rhythm was spot on. He didn’t play too loud or too quiet. He just had “it”, and meeting someone who had “it” was refreshing.

Geron HoyWe soon started playing around campus and the music was surprisingly well received. He did most of the singing, but had no problem if I wanted to sing a song here and there. He was quickly growing as a musician and I was able to watch the transformation as he shaped his natural ability into a musical personality that was creative force to be reckoned with.

It was much to my chagrin when Geron left Plymouth to study graphics at the Central Connecticut.  We still would visit each other and jam whenever we could, and it was always fun, but soon school was over. Geron moved to New York City to pursue music and I moved to Portland, Maine. I visited him a total of three times in New York – July and September of 2005, and once again in October of 2006. The first two trips we were able to jam and record some on a computer, which blew my mind at the time. I was even able to sit in with him at one of his gigs. Somewhere there’s a DVD of that kicking around. It wasn’t long after that Geron moved to Austin, where he was able to meet up with some more musicians who also realized that Geron had a charisma on and off stage that makes him something of an enigma.

What sets Geron apart from other musicians that I’ve played with, is that he does not do it for money, fame or fortune. He does it because he has to. That’s all there is too it. He doesn’t have an ego about it, there’s no pretentiousness. He just knows that playing his songs is something he has to do. His passion for music bleeds through his guitar and you hear it in his voice.

I’m glad I met Geron when I did. Watching him grow has a truly prolific life experience, like watching a glacier move. You may not see the changes daily, but one morning you look up and it’s moved on to devour another mountain. I am honored and truly fortunate to call him my friend. Nice job, Geron. You’ve made something amazing and I could not be more proud of you man. Put that in your book.
-Erich

Check out his Facebook page or Geron Hoy dot com

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Hangover Part 2

Please record our Jingle!So like most people, we really liked the movie the Hangover. We liked it so much we decided to attempt an homage to it with one of our practice tracks. Don’t get the wrong idea, we usually produce a higher caliber of music, but something felt right leaving this one a little rough around the edges. A little dirty. Yeah. Anyway, we hope someone hears it and decides to have Velvet Revolver or STP record it, cause it’s pretty clear that Scott Weiland should be singing this through a megaphone.
Feeling Lucky (Hangover Part 2).

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Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP Review



An audio interface is used to connect your instruments and mics to the computer, so as you can imagine, it’s pretty important in the production of radio jingles and the other custom music produced by Old Port Jingles. I recently decided to search for a new one to use that would provide me with some portability, without sacrificing quality. After looking at several options, I opted for the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. Here’s a little review of my thoughts after owning the interface for about a month.

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP Overview

The interface connects with a firewire cable, that is included, along with the wall outlet (with three adapters), and two software of CD’s. The fact it comes with all these adapters is nice forethought on their part. The box itself is made of metal, with the exception of the inputs on the back. I do not know why they did not elect to make these metal, but they are plastic and feel a little weak. The front knobs are pretty standard, although they stick out a little farther than they need to. I would prefer short and fat to this long and skinny design, because when you twist it by the top, it feels somewhat unstable. I can imagine after a couple cups of coffee, an overzealous engineer would snap these off. I do hope that’s not the case. The box it’s in itself is otherwise pretty solid.

Lets take a look at the ins and outs. On the front of the box you have your two TRS XLR inputs. These can also be used as 1/4″ connectors. There are two headphone jacks with separate volume control knobs, a nice feature. The back of the unit has 2 TRS 1/4″ inputs, 6 TRS line outputs, Midi input/output, an optical input connector which can be used as either ADAT or SPDIF, and the RCA SPDIF in/out.

Saffire Pro 24 DSP Software

All of these inputs and outputs are able to be controlled with the software that Focusrite provides. You can also add effects and compression to individual tracks coming in with the DSP chip inside the interface. This is a cool feature if you’re trying to save the CPU processing power, however I would probably only use the compression with a direct line in bass. The reverb has already come in handy. The focusrite also comes with several AU plugins for your DAW, as well as a light version of Ableton Live Light.

Another piece of the software that I must mention is the VRM. It stands for virtual reference monitoring. The idea behind this is that if you mixing in headphones and you want to hear what it would sound like through a flat panel television, the VRM can replicate that sound by using a series of presets that come with the software. The problem with this software, is that it doesn’t have any way of knowing what headphones you are listening with, thus being really only to give you a rough idea what your sound would be like in the pre loaded conditions. It’s too bad, because Focusrite clearly put a lot of effort into making this a new feature. You can choose different kinds of rooms, and many different kinds of speakers. When it really comes down to it, I don’t see it as being all that useful in a studio setting.

Other features include the phantom power button, a mute button which will mute all the outputs, and a clip button that will allow you to cut the volume by about 60%. There are also LED monitoring on the front for the frost 4 channels.

Focusrite Pro 24 DSP front/back

click for larger image

After recording on this for a couple of sessions I like the sound quality, however when you hook up your XLR phantom powered condenser mic, the gain needs to be about 8/10 in order to get a good level if you’re recording lyrics. On previous interfaces that I’ve used, I never had to put this gain past 5, giving you more boost for non phantom powered mics. I like having more of a range to work with when getting the levels right for a vocal, and for all intents and purposes, this might as well be an on/off switch. This isn’t a major issue for many people, and were this my first interface, I wouldn’t know the difference. It’s a matter of preference, that’s all there is to it. The VRM is also a good effort, but it’s not that practical. Other than that it’s got a nice natural sound, lots of features and feels like a quality box. I can safely say I would recommend the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. 4 out of 5

On another note Focusrite just released the USB version of this model. I would imagine that the features are similar. Hopefully we will get to check it out in the future!

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Make Your Business Go Viral

When you’re ready to think outside the box as far as marketing is concerned, a great way to promote your business is through viral advertising. Of course our favorite form of viral advertising comes in the form of catchy music. In order for your material to spread around the internet, one of the best things you can do is make humorous content that still gets your message across.

Take for example this video:

It’s a hilarious song about one man’s struggle with United Airlines, after they broke his guitar. The result? Ten million views, countless promotion on all kinds of media outlets, and of course it cost United $180 million dollars.

Next time you want to invest in a commercial that sounds like every other commercial on the radio and television, consider taking a chance on a viral marketing experiment. The rates are affordable for custom songs, and you can use them online to promote your business and get your content shared all over the web.

Request a quote for a for a viral song from Old Port Jingles. Click here to go viral.

The Pig Kahuna - Theme Song

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