My Alt-Rock Band.

To all my family and friends, you may (or may not yet) have received an invite to like my new page, and if you feel like supporting, please do smile emoticon

However, I also want to be responsible in letting you know what it’s about and not just some spammy call for likes.

After years of holding back, much to my regret in delaying, I finally decided to let everyone in what I’ve been up to behind the scenes. If you knew me before 2000s, you won’t be surprised about me being in a band. But if you only know me as the electronic act, then it might come as a surprise to some that I am also a songwriter. This project is a product of that.

As an outlet for it, without straying too far from my identity, I created The Silverfilter. The “The” I guess is a giveaway haha but I figured it would be the least intrusive way to distinguish the band from the solo electronic thing that I do.

I’ve always been writing songs as long as I can remember and even when I started dabbling into electronic music, a part of me always stayed a songwriter with a passion in performing in a band. I decided that 2016 would be the year I take it out and share those with everyone. I honestly don’t want to wait any longer hehe

I’ve written 2 full album’s worth of material already and are about done. I’ll be releasing them by song on a regular basis just to keep the releases coming until the total number of songs are out for those specific albums.

The plan now is to send out the first single to radio and online stations willing to take it and let’s see from there where this goes. So please also expect I may post a call for votes if I do ever get into the playlist wink emoticon

There’s a sample song on my page at the moment that you can check out to have an idea where this leads. It’s not the so-called first single I’m releasing but it’s there to just give you an idea because I know it would be weird to be liking a page for no reason. So if you haven’t yet, feel free to visit (and like) the page as support. It would really mean a lot to me.

A million thanks! I am pretty excited for this and I hope you can join me in this journey.

God bless!

Cy

https://www.facebook.com/thesilverfilter/

Grain Audio IEHP.01 Comparo 

  
Full disclosure: I was provided with a pair of Grain Audio’s new IEHP.01 for review 🙂

Having received my new Grain Audio earbuds, I had to compare them with my current pairs of in-ear buds namely my Urbanears Bagis MK1 and my Sol Republic Amps. Unfortunately, the Amps has been discontinued as it is gone from their website already, and the Bagis that I have is their earlier model. 
Some may say it’s quite an apples to oranges comparison price-wise, but let’s see if it’s worth springing for the extra cost.

LOOKS
UE – I got the Bagis primarily cuz it was orange. The rope-like feel of the cable somehow makes it a bit tangle free. If you’re particular about the personality of your gear like being able to choose a color, then Urbanears would be your bet. The connector on the mk1 is straight while the new ones are angled already. 

SR – if you’re into a sleek and modern design, the Amps are pretty nice with the shiny chrome-like controls and screaming earpiece establishing the branding. The connector on this is angled, which I prefer.  

GA – the buds from Grain are more refined and doesn’t look “loud” but the money shot here is really the wood shell of the ear buds. The flat grey accentuates the wood nicely. The cables seemed a bit thinner than I’m used to so I get that feeling that I have to be more careful with it. The connector on this is a straight plug. 

FEATURES

Aside from the obvious feature for listening, all of them can be used to answer calls and control your music. All of them have that one-button control for your player. The only difference would be that the Bagis didn’t include the volume buttons on its controller so you’re limited by the controls on your main device.

FIT 

Having had both the Bagis and Amps first, I’ve been used to the angled in-ear snug fit from them since angled ones feel a bit more secure. The IEHP fits nice and tight as well but since it’s not angled, you’d have to be more careful while listening to avoid getting pulled out easily. 

PRICE

Now this is usually one of the main factors people consider. At retail these are the prices. 

UE $35

SR $50 

GA $99 

Given the differences, it’s now up to you to consider how much value you think they are to you considering the features and the sound. 

SOUND 

Since this is an audio product, this is where it all boils down to. I’d like to say however that ignorance is bliss. Usually you really wouldn’t be able to tell how good or bad your buds are until you really sit down to A/B them against other brands or models. 
UE – unfortunately, this one loses. To be honest, on its own, it’s “fine.” When I compared it already, that’s when everything fell apart. The sound is muddy and at times too crowded. There isn’t much definition on the frequencies so you’ll really miss out on your music. It’s like there’s a thin piece of cloth covering your speaker which makes the sound quite muffled. 

SR – I have to admit, that it took me a few times switching from the IEHP to this to make sure that the differences I was hearing were really there. The Amps’ main con even from reviews is that it’s too bass heavy especially if you’re listening to electronic or dance music. But if you’re listening to rock or non-bass-heavy tunes, this can work to somewhat an advantage to make it sound fuller for some listeners. However, if you judge it against other brands, you’ll hear that it has that somewhat dreaded V-shaped EQ feel. The highs are crisp and the bass is full but it lacks mids. Yes, that might seem the most pleasant for a lot of casual listeners but it’s not as balanced if you want a more direct and equally pleasant sound. BUT if you’re a bass-lover, you’ll love this.

GA – I was actually surprised with this. Well, I kinda said to myself this better sound good considering the price since we all know that for $99 you can already buy a decent on ear pair of cans. This one sounded the most balanced. There was enough definition in the frequencies that you feel that all of the instruments are “alive” and upfront. I listened thru some rock tunes and it felt like I was watching the band live (no joke). While A/Bing it against the Amps, I sometimes felt like I was looking for more bass in the IEHP but I realized once you hear the rest of the frequencies from the mids to the highs in the IEHP and how each band seemed to breathe more, you realize that the bass was there all along in one leveled listening experience. 

CONCLUSION 

The obvious winner without any bias is the IEHP.01 with its well-balance sound in the whole width of the audio spectrum. Its open sound gives you the feeling that the sound is alive and breathing and that you’re actually there experiencing the performance. The only negative thing I’d say, as I mentioned, would be the thinner than usual cables, which makes me feel more protective of it. 

If you feel like you don’t need to spend much on a pair of in-ears, the Bagis is fine. What about the Amps? Well, like I said, I had to A/B the Amps and the IEHP quite a number of times, which shows that the differences are there but it’s something you have to pay attention to more than feeling that there is. If budget is of concern, i would definitely pick the Amps. But for a full-range of experience in sound, which is why we buy earphones anyway, the IEHP is the one to get. 

silverfilter 

The Lord is My Peace and Joy

The past weeks have been quite a challenge for me with the studio…

About 3-4 weeks ago, 3 cabinets had some termite problems. One cabinet had all my treasured CD cases complete with the inlays. Unfortunately, they got through about maybe 40 cases most my favorites that I ended up throwing 😦

A week after that, the rains started. When the studio was built, I put in place a covered drain in front my studio just in case the waters come in the pathway to the door, the drain would be able to take in the water. Funny thing is, it worked in reverse. The water in the drain overflowed. For the 2nd time in 5 years, my studio got flooded. The worse thing about this second incident is I didn’t know it until the next day. So now part of my floor laminates got warped and it’ll take some time to dry everything.

This week, I noticed in the lounge area of the studio that one of the walls had some water seeping in. Seems like the waterproofing needs some redoing. Even the ceiling started to bring in some water streaks.

The great thing however about this is that I had peace. Knowing myself and how I would react, I would usually be so pissed and angry at what’s happening. I wouldn’t throw a fit but I’d be in a bad mood. This time, it was different.

I knew that the Spirit was working in me in all of those three weeks. I felt sad about the CDs but I wasn’t mad. Once I threw them out, that was it. I simply brushed myself off and got on with my life. When I discovered the flood in the studio, I simply got the rags to wipe off the water and just sorted out. I spent the afternoon cleaning the clogs in the drain and that was it. This week when I found that my lounge area had bubbles in the paint and water streaks, I just had that peace to accept it because I know it can be fixed. the thing that resounded inside my spirit was that these are just material things and it’s no use being overly attached to them. Of course there are certain more important items that I know I would feel strongly for. But this past month, I’m glad that God was my comfort, peace and joy. He blessed me with all of these, I know he can bless me with what’s needed to fix those and better.

For now, I praise God for who He is in my life and how he brings life into it.

Cy

Reviving Old Tunes

Back in around 2001-2002, I made a whole album of lounge and organic downtempo tunes on Fruity Loops on my old ASUS laptop that was given to me by my parents for graduation. 

Anyway, I finished the tunes but I never got to finalize them for release that all of the tracks just got demo rendered and converted to 128kbps mp3s never to be salvaged….

Fast forward to tonight around 14 years later.

I found the folder of the elements used and the .flp files of the tunes. Problem is, I’m on a Mac now and I dont use FL anymore. Upon searching, The creators of FL made a wrapped beta of a Mac version so I downloaded it and tried one of my tracks. Due to the limitations of the beta version, the task for all the songs now is to re-render them into midi in my older mac because my new one can’t run the beta, reload/recreate/reassemble the whole song in the newer mac together with its elements corresponding to the midi channels and loops, down to mixing it again then mastering for proper release. Unfortunately I might and will have to change some of the sounds because some of the old files got corrupted 😦 however, I’ve never been this happy to FINALLY know that my first ever album of lounge tracks is finally gonna see the light of day. 

The reason I feel so connected with this is because i initially lost a double album of my early works due to a crash. This lounge album is then THE definitive first ever album of mine that just didn’t get released and I’m so excited to finish this project and release it to the world. I won’t rework or add on it because I want it to be how I made it back then. All that’s gonna be different are the sound replacements needed for the corrupt samples. But the rest would be as they were produced back in those years. That was me then and I wouldn’t want to change that. 

IM SO HAPPY. 

AKAI, Novation, Focusrite, etc for sale

Selling some equipment guys. Feel free to send me a message or post a comment if you have some questions. 🙂 

   

AKAI MPK49 Keyboard Controller 10k – minor issues (mod wheel doesn’t go back fully to 0. One knob needs cleaning cuz it’s kinda erratic. All these can be filtered or disabled so that it won’t be a problem). Comes with box.

  

AKAI APC40 Controller 10k Full working condition with everything intact. Well cared for. Comes with box. 

  

Novation X Station Virtual Analog synth controller 20k Full working condition. Well cared for. Rarely used. 

  

Focusrite VRM box new unused 3.5k comes with box. – this is a virtual reference monitoring system useful for those mixing with headphones since it emulates various listening environments. 

 

Home Brew Electronics Dos Mos dual MOSFET guitar Pre-amp. – multi function as buffer, booster, Dual stage gain, dual out. You can use one channel to drive the other for some nice subtle saturation. – 5k

Breaks Time

I’ve never been this excited and nervous all mixed up for a DJ set. 
I’ll be playing for a music festival tonight organized by our church in an open field in Southville International School. 

What makes me have mixed feelings is cuz I prepared a set that I’ve been meaning to do all my life. Yes, I said ALL my life. 
I’ve always loved breaks. Unfortunately, it’s not as big in Manila as it is in Europe or USA. Thinking about what to play for the event had me going back and forth until it hit me. Since the event is pretty open format having bands and solo singers performing, I felt it was time I did and played something close to my heart and because I also wanted to offer my talents to God playing something that I love. I’m nervous because I don’t know how it will do for the crowd. But I’m bringing some bangin tunes that I’m hoping people will vibe to and have a good time with. At the end of the day, I’m doing this for His glory and I’m pretty sure He knows how to rock a party 🙂 

Cheapskate DJing

Now before anyone gets the idea of piracy and such. This post isn’t about that. In fact, this is to counter that because there are a lot of DJs out there who don’t bother supporting the artists creating the tunes and simply decide to download everything while charging for their services. Please buy your tunes and support the families of people who create them.

Now onto my post…

We are all aware about the marketplace how some stores may carry the same item but are more expensive or cheaper in other stores. This is what I’m talking about.

As much as a lot of DJs like certain digital stores like Beatport, we can also admit that some of the higher end stores do have higher end prices. Unfortunately, the cheaper ones have crap storefronts or navigation systems, which stores like Beatport excel at. So I’d like to use BP (Beatport) as an example for this entry.

What I’d do is I’d search thru BP. What’s nice today is since they’ve changed their whole system and revamped their Beatport Pro app for desktop, they made it way easier to shop and discover new tunes. I especially like their whole filtering system as it’s very specific. If you haven’t checked it out, download that and you’ll enjoy the features for sure.

Once you’ve searched, create some shopping crates for styles that you want and once you’re done choosing, open iTunes store.

Yes, iTunes store. Since the passing of the affordable Audiojelly, iTunes can be your go-to DJ store. Just search for the tracks that you have in your BP crate and buy from iTunes. Why? I’m sure you’ll discover why. With price differences that can save you 50 cents to more than a dollar per track, I’m sure it’s the more practical option out there especially if you’re buying in bulk. Best of all, you’re not stealing 😉

Remember what I said about how efficient the BP store is? This is where iTunes can give you (a little) headache. The reason I mentioned to create all your crates in BP is because you have to purchase by crate in iTunes so you don’t mix up everything because iTunes doesn’t have a crate system at all so you can end up with everything mixed up in just one folder, which can be a pain if you play a bunch of styles. Let’s say I have a breaks and tech house crate in BP. I’ll search and shop first for all my breaks tunes in iTunes one by one. The trick here is because in iTunes, you only have one so-called crate, which is the wishlist folder*, you have to do it by your BP crate guide. Just search each song then wishlist it first. Don’t buy it at this stage. Once you’ve completed getting all the tracks into the wishlist, open your wishlist in iTunes then buy all the tracks. Unfortunately, another pain in iTunes is that you can’t buy in one click so you have to buy each track one by one unlike in Beatport where you can just do it in one swift checkout. Once you’re done with the first crate, open your iTunes folder on your computer and transfer the files to your DJing folder accordingly to the desired genre. After the transfer, you now have a free iTunes folder once more. Repeat the whole process now for the Tech House crate.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t buy from BP at all. I equally do because a lot of their catalog are also somewhat exclusive to them, so you might not find some of the tunes in your BP crate on iTunes.

At the end of the day, it’s saving VS convenience. You can shop quickly on Beatport but you have to pay for the premium. If you have time though, you can sacrifice some time and effort but save in the process. It’s up to you. Bottomline is you’re doing the right thing in supporting the artists and that’s the important thing.

This is just one way and I’m sure a lot of you guys have other ideas as well on how to help our fellow DJs save a little. Feel free to post them on the comments below 🙂

Cy

 

*I’ve read that you could create multiple wishlists before but it’s not seen in the current version of iTunes anymore. Such a shame cuz that could’ve been a nice alternative to your crates.

FREE Ambient Reason Refill Spotted

Reason_Refill_Icon

Just saw this on my feed and I’m currently downloading it for work projects since I need some minimal ambient stuff done.

Perhaps some of you Reason users can find use for this too!

Enjoy!

http://www.reasonexperts.com/refills-and-patches/reason-refills/Space-Ambient-2015-Reason-Refill.html

Shortcuts = Efficient Workflow

If you’re in the creative industry like graphics, arts, music, we all somehow work with some kind of application and what better way to speed things up while working is to know the keyboard shortcuts. As much as we can get them in manuals and such, here’s a nice little site that makes things easier with a real time interactive guide on your keyboard.

It’s for Mac though but I’m sure if you’re familiar with shortcuts, you know the PC equivalent of the key shown. Just choose your application and get up to speed!

http://www.keycommands.info/index.php

Hope this helps!

Cy

Hello There, Studio One!

presonus-studioone-logo

 

I recently jumped into Presonus’ DAW called Studio One….

Some of you may be asking, “Studio what?” I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. A lot of the users call it their little secret. You’d also be forgiven for not knowing it because it’s only in it’s early versions (currently 2) and most producers would probably have Protools, Logic, Live, Cubase in their priority list before they even bother looking further. As a Reason user, I know that even Reason isn’t in their priority list and I’m used to that 🙂

Somehow, therein lies the excitement in all of this. Here’s a relative newcomer that’s gently shaking the industry with their new DAW that even loyal and dedicated users of other DAWs seem to have either jumped ship or are slowly learning it to shift. In my case, I’m diving into it because I’ve expanded our studio services and I needed the convenience of having NI plugins available for me in a DAW.

Some may ask why not the usual big players? Well, I’ve tried and grasped some of them to an extent. My top used DAWs are Reason and Live. I also have Maschine (semi DAW) and have used Logic before, but it is only now that I’m planning to learn a new DAW in and out after 12 years.

I know I don’t have any convincing power just yet to make anyone bother to shift since I’m also in the process of learning it more. But for those looking for something fresh just to get inspired, try to check it out. It comes in 4 flavours and I’m sure you’ll like it because there’s a FREE version. There’s also the Artist, Producer, and Professional version. I’m using both the FREE version and the Professional version. The Pro version is on my main computer and the FREE one runs on the recording booth computer of our other studio because the FREE version is a fully functioning DAW with unlimited audio and midi tracks. For booth work, that’s all I need to record really.

I’ll be documenting my little journey with Studio One so expect the following posts to be more of that and how it integrates into my setup and my workflow.

If you want to get the FREE version, check it out at www.presonus.com