TGP – Ronald and my Metallica story

DISCLAIMER: This Gratefulness Project of mine will come in random posts and in no sequence as to what part in my life, but more on just who I remember at the time and would want to extend the thanks to 🙂

 

When I got into music, I was a little 12 year old boy who just learned guitar and drums and played in a Metallica cover band. As I recall, there never were grade school bands before us and the few of us then who put bands together, started that trend in getting younger kids into forming bands.

I remember it like it was yesterday. There were 3 main bands then… a Metallica band (us), a Guns n Roses band, and a Nirvana band.

Funny thing was we were so young and didn’t know any better that our Metallica band didn’t have a bass player HAHAHA we couldn’t find out but we wanted to rock so we managed without one while joining the first grade school battle of the bands.

This leads me now to thanking my friend, Ronald Tabora. I could honestly say that I wouldn’t be the guitar player that I am today if not for his influence on me as well as his friendship.

A year before I started playing instruments, I was already into Metallica. When I started playing guitar and drums, that’s when Ronald and I synced up since he was also a huge, not just Metallica, but a huge music fan. His family was pretty well off so he had MTV in his house and a subscription to Guitar World. That was huge for me then since I didn’t have both, and I learned a lot going thru those magazines. Ronald, who was more known by his last name and was called “Tabora” by most of the guys, taught me 2 important things that I still carry in my playing to this day… downpicking and and the index-pinky power chord. I remember we were really studying Metallica and observing their playing and he taught me those two things. Even today, our lead guitar player, who isn’t a metalhead, is surprised at my downpicking. Metallica trained me well 😉 I had to adjust to the index-pinky power chord playing, but because Ronald said, he read that it makes the movement quicker and easier going thru the fretboard, I followed 🙂 NOTE: During all of these, I was really a drummer (to our band) and just played guitar on the side.

Ronald also didn’t just influence my style but also the ones I listened to. Among the many bands we were into, we were huge Helmet fans. As a drummer, I was grateful to find out about Helmet since I loved drumming together with their songs so we really had a crazy good time covering Helmet tracks. (looks up and remembers… good times). We jammed in his room which was big enough for our gear and the band. I also used to bring my drum kit there too. Man, we were noisy.

We became good friends with lots of good memories to recall. One that I won’t forget was when I used to sleep over at his place a lot and in one of those sleepovers, he woke up earlier than me and later on went into the room where I was still half asleep and told me that he just saw on MTV that Kurt Cobain died. I was in the perfect place when I found that out because I was with one of my good friends in music… we were sad together hahaha

Many memories but I just wanted to mention those key things I am grateful for. The friendship, the learning in guitar, and the experience of playing in a band at an early age getting together to make music together, that no one then thought would become my profession when I grew up.

Maraming salamat, bro. Even if I had played tons of gigs over two decades, Playing Master of Puppets as a 12 year old, to a bunch of 12 year olds and younger, is still one of my life’s highlights 🙂

 

Cy

 

I would also like to make a quick shoutout to complete this memory of mine to the ff:

– Mark Rivera who belonged to the GNR band. who at an early age could freakin’ play guitar better than a lot of us on his red Aria guitar (a la Slash) and of course is also a good friend of mine.

-Mark Galang who was our vocalist in our Metallica band who showed me that 12 year olds could rock with stage presence complete with raising the mic stand, and as a relatively smaller boy among all of us then, he did show us how he could rock tall and sing like Hetfield.

The Gratefulness Project

No. I’m not dying. In fact, it’s the complete opposite why I’m doing this. It is this feeling of life and simply being alive, that I am reminded of where I am now and how I got here. Our successes in life, even if it may appear little to some, are still worthwhile in those things we would look back on one day, and all of these wouldn’t be possible if not for the everyday people God put across our path to bring or add something into our lives. 

With that said, I wanted to finally do this little project of mine. I’m simply calling it, the gratefulness project. It is simply posts of thanks to the people God added to my life, add a little story or some memories of mine on how that person, knowingly or not, influenced or inspired me to be the person who I am today. These may be life changing moments or it may be some small thing but to me, meant a lot. 

I hope this can also help others, that even if not through writing, they could reach out and let those people know how grateful they are for what was done for them. 

To those I thank, I shall be tagging you. This is not to embarrass or put you in a spot, but simply to honor you by letting people know your importance in my life. 

Saying this in advance already… Thank you!

Cy 

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

Embed from Getty Images

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