Tag Archives: music

Audacity

Why, the Audacity!

Opinion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Long-time readers might remember that I have over 58,000 digital music files. They include just about every genre of music that you can imagine. Rock ‘n’ roll and classical music represent about 75% of my collection, while rap and hip-hop represent maybe ten files. In fact, the only rap and hip-hop I have are when rap or hip-hop artists get together with a musical favorite of mine to record together. The Fat Boys come immediately to mind when they recorded “Wipe Out” with the Beach Boys in 1987. Not a fan of the Fat Boys; huge fan of the Beach Boys.

My music library also covers several generations. My earliest recording is “Lover” by Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers & Hammerstein fame but before that fame), from August 1932. My most recent addition is the CD “Delta Machine” by Depeche Mode, released in March 2013 (although do we call a collection of digital music a CD?).

Many of my earliest recordings are mono. However, when one gets into the late ’50s and early ’60s, many of the recordings are “fake stereo” meaning that the voices are on one channel and the music on the other channel. Turn the voice channel down and you have karaoke!

I listen to all of my music in chronological order, and a couple of days ago I finished the year 2013 and started over again back in 1932. I’m currently in 1963, and that’s when I noticed a problem that has always irritated me with digital music that was created from original analog recordings.

In some cases, such as with “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” by Peter, Paul & Mary, the voice channel on the digital recording is very low, causing the music, especially the bass, to overpower the voices.

I went looking for a solution. My original goal was simply to convert fake stereo recordings to mono. In looking for some good audio software, I found several that are free. However, free software often comes with caveats, such as you have to buy someone else’s crap (NCH software does that), or you have to download lots of crapware which takes over your computer (avs4you is good at that).

After many attempts at finding something good (even if I had to pay for it) and uninstalling crapware, restoring my computer to a previous day to get rid of crapware, etc., I found an audio editing program that I can recommend:

Audacity

AUDACITY

The best news is that it is free!

The only item to note is that if you want to save your audio work as an MP3 file, you need a small DLL file downloaded from a different site. That different site is an absolute mess, but once you find the file you need, everything’s good to go. If you need help, let me know.

I should also say that most of my music is in the Microsoft WAV format, which means that the file is about ten times larger than the corresponding MP3 file. I will be converting all of my WAV files to MP3 files as time permits. That might save me two or three terabytes of space once I’m finished!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat.
I would approve this post
but I’m too busy singing.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Don't try suicide

Music on Mondays — Junior Seau, Bob Welch, and me

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

At the time I disappeared — that’s the correct word — from College Station, Texas, in April 1993, I owned over 5,000 vinyl records and over 1,000 CDs. About 100 CDs accompanied my disappearance in my highly customized 1989 Ford Mustang GT — Beatles, Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon & Garfunkel, Doobie Brothers, Bread, Queen, Fleetwood Mac — music to which I could sing along as I was driving down the highway.

I didn’t know where my trip would end but I knew how it would end — at least I thought I did — in suicide. I left College Station on April 15, 1993, and drove north with the intent on ending my life in Canada. I was too patriotic to do it in the United States. Weird and sick, I know. Sick, mostly. How I wound up in San Diego — alive! — is a story for another time.

This past month we here in San Diego have had to deal with the suicide of a popular and successful former professional football player, Junior Seau — 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. Suicide? And no friend or family had any clues? Probably not. I wasn’t leaving clues either.

Earlier this month, Bob Welch committed suicide. Welch was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971-1974. Shortly after Welch left Fleetwood Mac, the group rocketed to international supergroup status with the 1975 release of “Fleetwood Mac.”

I want to share two songs in today’s Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray. The first is “Ebony Eyes” from 1977, Welch’s most successful hit after he left Fleetwood Mac. The second is “Sentimental Lady,” a 1972 hit for Fleetwood Mac that was written by Bob Welch. The last is “Don’t Try Suicide,” a song off of Queen’s 1980 album “The Game.” Seems like life is, indeed, a game, but don’t try suicide. If you’re reading this and having thoughts about ending it all, find a way to call me or email me. I’ve been there. I’m not a professional counselor but at least give me a chance to help you first…………

Don't try suicide

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Music on Mondays — #4: I walk the line

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#4
I walk the line

I don’t remember much about my father because he killed himself in 1961 when I was just six years old. One thing I do remember is that he loved Johnny Cash. Cash’s music was always playing around the house.

I remember one time when I was laying on the floorboard in the back seat of the car, dad was driving, and mom was in the other front seat. Not sure where my older brother and younger sister were. As we were going wherever we were going, “I Walk The Line” came on the radio and I started singing along with it. To this day it’s my favorite Johnny Cash song.

“I Walk The Line” was originally released on May 1, 1956. Cash wrote the song in 20 minutes and recorded it in one day, tasks that take much longer in today’s world.

“I Walk The Line” became Cash’s first #1 country hit on the Billboard charts and crossed over to the pop charts to peak at #17 (some sources say #19), selling over two million copies. The song was originally on his album With His Hot and Blue Guitar.

Cash re-recorded the song four times after its initial release: for the I Walk the Line album in 1964, for the At San Quentin album in 1969, for the I Walk the Line soundtrack in 1970, and lastly in 1988 for the Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series album. The original recording is still the best, as original recordings often are. It’s hard to compete with that initial surge of enthusiasm and creative genius.

This post is dedicated to Michele Miller, Executive Assistant and Realtor for Keller Williams in Worcestor, Massachusetts. At the site where I had been hanging out for the past three years, Michele was instrumental in my Music on Mondays series. She also has a Music on Mondays series, but she started hers a good nine months or more before mine. I copied her, a fact which she didn’t mind. If you are needing the services of a Realtor in the Worcestor, Massachusetts, area, I can highly recommend Michele as I have known of her excellent work for the last three years through my interaction with her on the Internet.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Music on Mondays — #3: You’re my best friend

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#3
You’re my best friend

See my initial post about Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray.

One of my favorite groups when I was in college at Texas A&M University was Queen. When their song “Killer Queen” came out in November 1974, I correctly predicted that they would become a killer supergroup. They did. They are still in my Top 3, behind only The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.

Following is their song “You’re My Best Friend” from their greatest charting album (and my favorite) “A Night At The Opera” released in December 1975. The song was released as a single in 1976, spending 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaking at #16. It was their third single and the follow-up to their well-known single “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was featured many years later in the film “Wayne’s World.”

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Music on Mondays — #2: Who knows where the road may lead us, who knows if we’ll meet along the way

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#2
Who knows where the road may lead us,
who knows if we’ll meet along the way

See my initial post about Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray.

I love virtually anything that incorporates history into it, such as books in the historical fiction category — Stephen King’s new novel 11/23/60 comes immediately to mind.

I don’t think there’s a similar category in music, but many songs mention places and events. One that always intrigued me is La Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain. Construction was begun in 1882 and is not yet complete. The renowned architect Antoni Gaudi became involved in 1883 and its architecture is mostly of his doing.

The song is by The Alan Parsons Project, one of my Top 10 groups of all time, from their 1987 album Gaudi. It’s along song at 8:50, so sit back and relax. Hope you enjoy it.

The words:

Who knows where the road may lead us, only the fool would say
Who knows if we’ll meet along the way
Follow the brightest star as far as the brave may dare
What will we find when we get there
La Sagrada Familia we pray the storm will soon be over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb

Who knows where the winds may blow us, only a fool would say
Who knows if we’ll ever reach the shore
Follow a rising sun with eyes that may only stare
What kind of fire will burn us there?
What kind of fire? Only a fool would say

La Sagrada Familia the wind has changed the storm is over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb
La Sagrada Familia we thank the Lord the danger’s over
La Sagrada Familia there’s peace throughout the land

Under clear blue skies our voices rise in songs of glory
And for all those years our eyes and ears were filled with tears
Who knows where the world may turn us, only a fool would say
Who knows what the fate may have in store

Follow the light of truth as far as our eyes can see
How should we knows where that may be? How should we know?
Then the angry skies, the battle cries, the sounds of glory
And for all those years out eyes and ears were filled with tears

Who knows where the road may lead us, only a fool would say
Who knows what’s been lost along the way
Look for the promised land in all of the dreams we share
How will we know when we are there?
How will we know? Only a fool would say

La Sagrada Familia the war is won the battle’s over
La Sagrada Familia for the lion and the lamb
La Sagrada Familia we thank the lord the danger’s over
La Sagrada Familia behold the mighty hand
La Sagrada Familia the night is gone the waiting’s over
La Sagrada Familia there’s peace throughout the land
Until the next time
Until the next time
La Sagrada Familia

Read more about Gaudi.

See pictures of Sagrada Familia.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Music on Mondays — #1: Get back, Jo Jo!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

#1
Get back, Jo Jo!

See my initial post about Music on Mondays from the Music Chronicles of Russel Ray.

Today is the 43rd anniversary of The Beatle’s unannounced rooftop concert in London.

The Beatles have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When my parents put me in an adoption home in Ogden, Utah — the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital — in 1965, I met an 18-year-old woman from Bakersfield, California. She introduced me to The Beatles. The rest is history.

In 1970 one of my favorite songs was Get Back. I was constantly humming or singing it in classes and around the school. People started calling me Jo Jo.

As I look back on life, I could easily change just six words in the song and have it easily be about me:

Russel was a man who knew he was a loner, but he knew it couldn’t last.
Russel left his home in College Station, Texas, for some California grass.

The Beatles have been like that throughout my life. When I cried, they cried — In My Life, Michelle, I’m So Tired…. On my birthday, Birthday. So many more Beatles songs bring back so many memories — Help!, Hey Jude (my first date), Ticket to Ride (dad and granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad), etc.

Their unannounced rooftop concert in London had the neighbors and the people on the streets below all abuzz. It was to be their last live performance together. Of course, many people in surrounding offices complained, and the police eventually shut the concert down, but not before the world got some great music and film — Let It Be.

Although Get Back is not my favorite Beatles song (Let It Be holds that honor), it does get into my Top 10. Here is a YouTube video of Get Back from the London rooftop concert, and the lyrics:

Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner,
But he knew it couldn’t last.
Jo Jo left his home in Tucson, Arizona,
For some California grass.

Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back, Jo Jo. Go home.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back, Jo!

Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman,
But she was another man.
All the girls around her say she’s got it coming,
But she gets it while she can.

Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back, Loretta! You mommy’s waitin’.
In high heel shoes and a low-neck sweater.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.
Get back! Get back! Get back to where you once belonged.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat