the recording club

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Recording Club is back.

Ok, so we had a good first meeting yesterday where we demonstrated Reason to everyone.
For those interested in downloading a demo version of Reason, you can get it here:
Next week we are going to listen to some songs and start with song structure- how to make a song and how to recognize some of the ways they are made.
in the upcoming weeks, you will be learn about song writing from these people:

- Smokey Robinson
- Richard Rogers and Larenz Hart
- Irving Berlin
- Outkast
- Randy Newman
- The Beatles
- Gabe Kahane
- Joni Mitchell
- Leonard Bernstein
- Cole Porter
- John Hartford

And if you don't know who they are yet...
go google them.
Anyways, practice away on your Reason. Learn how to get the basics down. and next week...
we will start learning how to write songs!
If you have any questions or wanna email me- hit me here:
I look forward to seeing you all next week.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mixtape!!!! Itunes!!!! Tiffany gets a publishing contract!

Hey everybody,,, the recording club is baaaaaack!!!!!

K, so for those who know...


We gotta get cracking.

So you know, I want to have the mixtape up and on iTunes in time for Christmas- so it's time to start getting tracks finished.

This year's version of The Recording Club is a step forward. This year, our kids are more on top of it and more determined to finish songs. The past three years has seen the Jack Elliott Music Project give away over $100,000 worth of technology and training.

This year, through a generous grant from The Johnny Mercer Foundation, more kids will be able to expand their repertoire through digital recording and exposure to computers. And this year, from a musical standpoint, the kids are using the technology AND real instruments like never before to create recordings that will shock and amaze.

This is really exciting- it isn't just beats and boasts... this is taking it to another level. Go watch video of last week- think about a young Eddie Hazell on guitar... and soon... the Recording Club will have it's first mix tape up on iTunes... with the benefits going toward buying more computers and getting kids to college.

and here is Alex and his gals... as they start the process of deliberating how to share one set of headphones for four people... while Patrick helps Brit get it right.




Tiffany started out in Recording Club two years ago and graduated from the Music Academy last June and it didn't take our pal Tiffany to get noticed as she signed a publishing contract and is on her wayyyyyyyyyy! (AND... Tiffany is studying composition this semester at Santa Monica College too!).

Seriously, I could not be any more proud. Tiffany is a tremendous talent and she is taking the time to not only practice her craft professionally- she is continuing her education and making herself a better musician so when she gets more opportunites, she will be prepared.

Way to go Tiff.

Monday, April 03, 2006

R-R-R-Rahzel in the club.

Wednesday March 29, 2006...

The day we welcomed the undisputed beatbox champion of the world.... RAH-ZEL!!!!

He came, he saw, he beatboxed.

Rahzel talked and answered questions for nearly an hour (he stayed for the entire three hours) before we broke into recording and beatboxing and freestyling- see video below of members of The Recording Club rapping to the boom bap with Rahzel.

Among the highlights were Rahzel's points to keep your minds and your ears open.

Rahzel talked about the need- if ANYONE has a dream- to work hard so that it can become a reality- making his point that with hard work, there are no limits.

Rahzel told us of working with the Roots, Beck, Bjork, Savion Glover, the soundtrack to "Let's Go to Prison!" that he and I just worked on (his first movie soundtrack)- but his main point was that by keeping himself involved and excited about all forms of music and being open to possibilities, all sorts of different opportunites can happen.

Rahzel is a really inspiration- even Mr. Miller stood up and took notice!

Our thanks to him for becoming a member of our club.

A.D. goes for his:

Freddie rocks the mic right:

Lionel Represents:

Tiffany tells everybody what's what:

And just so you can FEEL the energy! Go here:

See you on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ch-ch-check it out!

yesterday's version of "the recording club" was, without doubt, the most exciting class we have had.
(click on the next two links to watch video!)

the fellas came to freestyle...

the ladies came to freestyle... (well, ashley came- and she was the queen of our day)...

anyways, go ch-ch-ch-check it out!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mic Position, Labelling tracks...

If you are going to be recording singers/rappers:
ideal thought is to have a hand between the microphone and the performer so that the pinkie is touching the mic and thumb is touching the performer's mouth.
This is just a basic premise to try to keep in mind.
We always want a level to stay OUT OF THE RED- and above, say halfway.
So if it is a 1-10- we want it to be between around 6-9.
If someone is quiet, turn up the level.
If they are too loud, either:
a) turn down the level, or:
b) back up off the mic
Yesterday, I showed everybody that whenever you hit "New Tracks"- you should try to always label them by double clicking on the track.
I am as guilty of being lazy as anybody- but if you simply label something "lead vocal" or "guitar"- you will save yourself time down the line when you are mixing and looking at a bunch of wave forms and wondering...
what track is that that just say "Track 3?"
Sooner or later you will learn:
the pros are the ones that label...
the rest are the guys trying to figure out if that wave form on track 3 is a guitar or a lead vocal.

Pro Tools and Reason: March 2, 2006...

Hey all-
We had a second straight week of live recording yesterday as we had Logan singing, Jai and Jonny engineering and a class full of producers helping them get going.
For those in attendance, I think you are all starting to see the importance of getting the fundamentals of recording down and how helpful these things are down the road in the recording process and so I am going to put together this little recap of our last two recording session at “the recording club.”
Here are the fundamentals of what we have gone over to set up Reason working inside Pro Tools. Ask questions ( if you got em!
1) Open up your reason track.
2) Check your tempo in reason track (is it 90 bpm? 120 bpm?- this is a very important step to note).
3) Quit Reason (don’t just close your sessions- quit the program all together)
4) Open a new pro tools session, name it… and get going
5) Click on “New Tracks” from the “File” menu (second from left on top menu)
6) Create “Stereo” “Aux Input”
7) On the new track, go to “Inserts” and choose “Multi-channel plug-in”- look under instruments and “Reason Stereo” should appear- click it and Reason will start up
8) When the plug in “rewire” shows up- as it will when you follow #7 above- it should read “Mix L – Mix R”- if it does, we are getting going.
9) Now go into the Reason program and open the file you were just working on
10) Switch back to Pro Tools and go to the “Windows” section (second from right on top menu) and select “Show Transport” and the counter (or “transport” will show up.
11) Click on the blue conductor button in “Transport” til he is no longer blue- then SET YOUR TEMPO TO THE TEMPO IT WAS FROM STEP #2!!!!
12) Click on the right side of the green top number bar and make sure it reads “Bars: Beats.” (I like to make the secondary green number bar “Min:Secs” so I know how much time is going by.
13) In the top left part of the screen, just below the Apple sign in the absolute left hand corner, select “Grid” (it will turn blue)
14) Go to the “Grid” below in the next bar down below the “Grid” you just selected (actually- to the green numbers just to the right of “Grid”) and hold it down (it is just to the right in the middle of the black area near the top of the Pro Tools screen)- and select, for now, “1 Bar.”
15) Done.
Now we have a perfect working world.
Next Wednesday, we are gonna be recording Tiffany.
Be on time- 3:30!
See you then.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

JEMP scholarships!

The Recording Club is offering scholarships to participants.

Our goal is to have every member of The Recording Club have his or her own laptop computer, portable keyboard and software.

Some of you can afford this or all ready are scholarship recipients from last year.

Some of you may not be in a postition financially to afford this and for those people, the Jack Elliott Music Project is here to help. You don't have to be an electronic music major- heck, you don't even have to be in the music program but...

you do have to be in The Recording Club- and it is not too late to qualify for this year's scholarships.

For those of you who would like to find out more about the scholarship program and how to qualify- email me at or track me or Mr. B down at school and ask us how.

This year's version of The Recording Club

This year's version of our Wednesday after school program The Recording Club is slightly different.

This year The Recording Club has expanded so that Mr. Bruning's seventh period advanced electronic music class is also The Recording Club- except that those in the class get a grade.

Mr. B and I have been putting together a curriculum that incorporates elements of the afterschool program. Now this just means students have more options- students can take the class... or be in the afterschool program... or both... or neither.

Mr. B worked hard this summer to totally redo the electronic music lab- and with some donations for Apple Computer and M-Audio, we have outfitted 40 stations (which are networked) with the ability to use Logic 7 Pro, Reason, Live! and Sonar.


Here is a picture of Tom Rothrock and Lionel Brown alternately pose and ignore the camera.


Notes from Sep. 28- Oct. 4

Last week's (September 28, 2005) meeting of The Recording Club featured songwriter/Fox music president Robert Kraft. Robert is known to many for his many successes as an executive- where he has overseen about four trillion movies (I think the number he gave was actually 400+), but he is also a very respected writer of songs= and someone who knows what he is talking about.

Robert's assignment as teacher for this past Wednesday was to give his thoughts on song structure and he sat down at the piano and ran through a song he wrote on the spot- as well as demonsrating a Coldplay song he admires (click here to watch some of the video of Robert).

Along with Robert, and The Recording Club's usual friendly face Tom Rothrock, we also welcomed Donray Von. Donray is a music manager and has worked with Outkast, Cody Chesnutt and he has promised to be a regular around these here parts.

This week, The Recording Club is asking participants to start their own blog by going to

It is easy and it takes very little time and is the first step toward having all students able to have their own web presence.

So if you haven't all ready gone yet- go now- and we look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

the night before the recording club...

ok everybody.

it is time to start your own web site.

it is really easy.

go here:

sign up and get going.

here is my page:

now go.

make web sites.