Wednesday Apr 15, 2009

New Song - That's Just the way that it goes

Finished recording this about 2 hours ago. It's now available on Myspace and The Sixty One as a download. I've just made the 128k mp3 available under the following license:

Creative Commons License
That's Just The Way That it Goes by Alan Hargreaves is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

Which basically means as long as you don't want to modify it, as long as you don't want to make money out of it, and as long as you attribute it; you can download and pass it around as much as you like.

You can also listen to a copy from here.

The technical side of things.

I learned some things while recording this.

The drums I created with Rhythm Rascal (and I will register this shareware when I have some spare cash). I found this application incredibly easy to use and it produced a really nice wav file that I could import into reaper. I could have saved as midi, but I found I liked the samples that it used for the drums better than anything else I had.

The Bass line I did up in the midi editor in reaper using a bass sample from the Kore midi set (free download).

Now the guitar, ... big lesson number 1. Put new strings on the guitar. I could not get a decent recording of the guitar with month old strings on.I also couldn'd get the exact sound I wanted inside reaper, so I ended up recording the guitar (and actually the vocals too) through my Digitech RP-150 with some hall reverb, bright EQ and slight compression.

The other really big lesson I learned is just how absolutely essential it is to use compression given the huge dynamic range of an acoustic guitar. That made an enormous difference.

In order to keep a decent strum going through the whole song, I recorded some incidental stuff for the guitar as well.After all that was done it was time to lay down the vocal. I set up the Behringer C-1 at head level and put a pop filter in front of it and kicked offf the recorder. Wow what a difference it makes to sing along against a full backing. It really helped to get into the feel of the song and I was bopping along while singing. Same thing adding the harmonies to the chorus.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with how this turned out and I hope you enjoy it too.


Friday Jan 09, 2009

Catching up

OK, I've been on holidays so I kind of have an excuse for not blogging this time.

Before I go on I have to acknowledge a man who quickly became a good friend in Second Life, who sadly passed on December 30. Chester Capalini was the monarch in the Tiny Empires kingdom (See Dana's blog for more on Tiny Empires) that I was playing in. On the 29th (I think) he was admitted to hospital, very ill. I performed a song and dedicated it to him while performing in Second Life (Running on Faith) and 8 hours later he was gone. Chester had a great heart and lots of people miss him dearly.

I spent New Years Eve in Rockdale with some other Second Life friends who also happen to be musicians. Shan plays bass and Byron is a drummer. We had a great jam for New Years Eve. Had a message from Shan the other day that she managed to seriously jam her fingers in a door, requiring surgery. Fortunately the nerves are still there and the doctors expect her to be able to play again in about three months.

There has to be some lighter news here somewhere :) Oh yes, while this is the last work day that constitutes my holidays, it also happens to be my 44th birthday. Jake and Lucy prepared me some breakfast (A crumpet with promite, a nectarine and a chocolate milkshake) and brought it up to me along with their present. Mum and dad will be down later in the day to take us out to lunch, so there is something else to look forward to. If I can get my act together today, I might try to head out to Brackets and Jam South tonight, and if Dexter is playing at Iguana's tomorrow that might also get a look in.

Monday Dec 22, 2008

Christmas All Year Through

Merry Christmas!

During the last month I've participated in an amazing collaboration. The result of which is the release of a song involving 22 Second Life Artists from all over the world.

Below is a URL where you can download a free MP3. The MP3 is a collaborative recording featuring 22 SL musicians all performing an original song entitled "Christmas All Year Through", having recorded their contributions remotely from all over the world. The song was written by Djai Skjellerup and the final mix was painstaking put together by Toby Lancaster. The rest of the collaborators to whom we are hugely grateful for their excellent contributions are listed beneath the song name. I'll try to get a copy uploaded to my tracks shortly.

URL for downloading Christmas All Year Through:

Information Website:

Project Log:

Collaborators: BabbleGrabble Swindlehurst, Carah Nitely, Franziskus Paine, Jean Munro, Kaklick Martin, Kiarranne Flanagan, Krell Karu, Lonnie Nightfire, Lyn Carlberg, Mambo Welles, Mimi Carpenter, OhMy Kidd, The Professor, Rich Desoto, Saraine Sands, Slim Warrior, Tommy Cult, Tpenta Vanalten, Vicki Nilsson, Zak Claxton, Toby Lancaster and Djai Skjellerup

And as an extra bonus for you here is the last collaborative recording we did also free for you to download entitled Get It Together....

URL for downloading Get It Together:

Information Website:

Project Log:

Collaborators: Norris Shepherd, Zak Claxton, BabbleGrabble Swindlehurst, Rich Desoto, Jambalaya Fonck, Lyn Carlberg, Kim Seifert, Jean Munro, The Professor, Freestar Tammas, Mimi Carpenter, Toby Lancaster and Djai Skjellerup

Please keep coming back to: as well. It is only in it's embryonic stage at the moment but will soon be updated with biographies of all the collaborators and other information.

Thanks for your time. We'd also like to send our best wishes to those who do not observe Christmas. We hope you enjoy our efforts all the same and have a happy time over the holiday period. My thanks to all the Get It Together collaborators for your efforts with a special mention to Toby Lancaster, Bree Birke and Cher Harrington for your invaluable contributions.

Saturday Aug 16, 2008

Second Life Blues Artist signed to recording contract

I have to say that this is incredibly cool. I've been listening to Von Johin for some time in Second Life and have the utmost respect for this awesome bluesman. I just heard yesterday that as a result of his following in Second Life and his performances therein that he has just been signed to a global recording contract. He just was written up in Rolling Stone for this deal.

Go Von, it couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Sunday Aug 03, 2008

Jamm for Genes in Second life - how we went - WOW

The event ended up running for about 27 hours instead of the original 24 and I am humbled to have been a part of this.

At the time of writing this blog entry we have raised a bit over 600,000 Linden dollars, when this is with drawn it will come to over US$2000, and a bit more than that in Australian Dollars.

A huge thank you not only to the artists who donated their time and brought their fan bases with them, but to everyone who helped out and especially those who showed up, listened and contributed.

I've put some photos up on Flickr if anyone wants to have a look.

What can you say, but "Wow, well done everyone".

This money will be going to Jamm for Genes in support of The Childrens Medical Research Institute, an independent organisation committed to unlocking the mysteries of disease whose scientists investigate conditions such as birth defects, cancer, and epilepsy.

Saturday Aug 02, 2008

Jammin for Genes

At 4pm US/Pacific (now), we are kicking off a Jammin for Genes event in support of Jeans for Genes, and I am honoured to be a part of it.

From the Jammin website, ...

Jamm for Genes is a live music event that takes place on the weekend of Jeans for Genes Day (the first weekend in August). In 2004 Jamm for Genes launched a very successful maiden voyage that saw bands Thirsty Merc, Machine Gun Fellatio, Taxiride, Gus & Frank and Dave McCormack donating their time and skills to perform at two separate locations. It was fun, it was loud and it was raising funds for the Jeans for Genes campaign. Cut to 2006 it was no wonder that over 70 live music venues and 160 bands put their hands up to get involved when the event was run for the second time nationwide. 2007 saw beyond the support of the previous years with ambassadors Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Jade McCrae, Jon Stevens, The McClymonts, Glenn Shorrock and Courtney Act all jumping on board and doing there best to help out.

How to hear it

Got Second Life? Go to Sailors Cove Theatre

To get Second Life go to

Just wanna listen and donate? Go to to donate and listen to the stream on one of the following URLs (depending on your preferred player)

So who is playing

Note that these times are US/Pacific, which is what Second Life time is based on. It's 10am Saturday morning here on the east coast of Australia.

Aug 1
4PM warmup  By Jonas Lunasea
5PM Tpenta Vanalten
6PM Wread Writer
7PM Dexter Ihnen
8PM Artel Brando
9PM Ande Foggerty
10PM Pato Milo
11PM Army of Ignorance
Aug 2
12AM Jaggpro Mcann
1AM OhmyKidd
2AM Lacey Lohner
3AM Jackdog Snook
4AM Paisley Beebe/Freddy Halderman
5AM Phoe Nix
6AM Midnight in Canberra
7AM Jonas Lunasea
8AM Winston Akland
9AM Robie Bloch
10AM Luigi DiPrima
11AM Mason Thorne
12PM Raspbury Rearwin
1PM Noma Falta
2PM Freetar Tammas
3PM Cylindrian Rutabaga
4PM Ohmy  Kidd / fireworks spectacular

Come along, enjoy the music and if you can, give for a worthy charity.

Saturday Jun 07, 2008

Second Life Special Event - Live Music

A Special night at The Pocket! From 8 to 10 PM US/Pacific (1 to 3 pm Saturday Australia/NSW) we will have Luigi DiPrima and Ande Foggerty Rocking us then at 10 PM (3pm local) it's the Sydney Jam Session Including OhMy Kidd, Sarain Sands, Lacey and Lugg Lohner and Tpenta Vanalten and guests Live From Sydney, Austrailia!

If you can't get to The Pocket in Second life, you can listen to the stream at

We'll be sending out teleport links to a number of live music groups inside Second Life, and we should have the event listed in the events search.

See you there.

Tuesday Nov 20, 2007

Making a Stomp Box

I posted this over on my myspace blog, but I'm sufficiently please with myself that I thought I'd post it here too.

Well I've just finished the main work in making a new stomp box.

I did a google search and came up with the following instructions:

2 x 350mm x 70mm (x20mm) hardwood
2 x 310mm x 70mm (x20mm) hardwood } Gives you a total of 350mm x 3500mm square, 70mm high.

For the top: 350mm x 350mm 3ply (make sure all ply sheets are same thickness, first one they gave me was actually thinner because the top and bottom sheets of ply where as thin as a card).

Then i just used a round file to make a small circular groove for the mic lead to sit because if the stompbox isnt flush with the ground all the way around...ahh... block your ears! FEEDBACK.

Well the best I could do for the sides was 66mmx19mm marante. I had Bunnings cut up the pieces to the above dimensions for me, picked up some nails and glue. Unfortunately with Bunnings, you pay for the whole bit of wood they cut up. The marante was 1.8m long (so not really a lot left over there), but the 3-ply was actually a 450x900mm cut. All up, cost me about AUS$20.

I only screwed up on one thing with it, I put the 350mmx350mm piece on upside down, so now I have a nice hole to fill before I stain and varnish it. I also still have to make the cable hole for the mike, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday Aug 27, 2007

Something Different

I haven't mentioned it much here, but I was a musician many years ago and I kind of kept my hand in.

I've been helping out at Brackets and Jam North on a monthly basis with the sound desk and I've also been doing the occasional walk-up performance.

I took the next step over last weekend and recorded something I wrote a couple of weeks ago and registered myself as an artist on MySpace. Anyone who is interested can check my page and music at

There is also a blog entry there that discusses some more of the interesting bits of how I got that song recorded.

I also found it heartening of the local artists that I have contacted who have linked to me.


* - Solaris and Network Domain, Technical Support Centre

Alan is a kernel and performance engineer based in Australia who tends to have the nasty calls gravitate towards him


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