Logic Pro 9

Apple Logic Studio - Logic 9I recently upgraded our studio’s audio recording software to Apple’s Logic Pro 9 (part of the new Logic Studio) and have been putting it through the paces.   New to Logic Pro is the ability to add and embed written notes to each track and project.  This is very handy for writing down microphone settings, pre-amp settings,  and mic placement, etc.   A new feature called ‘Flex Editing’ allows you to adjust the timing of various sections of a take without having to splice and cut up the track.  For instance if a few chords or drums hits were a little late or early these areas can be moved easily now with the Flex Editing tool. Flex editing also now works even when  compositing various areas of multiple takes in a take folder into one cohesive track.   There is now more granular control for setting the entire volume fader of each track.  There are new guitar Amps, pedal boards, and variable speed recording.

Performing live musicians may be interested in the upgrade to Mainstage 2.  Mainstage now has the ability to play audio files as backing tracks via a ‘Playback’ plugin.   There is also now the ability to record your live  performances to either a .wav, .aiff, or .caf file.     The ability to customize a template including set lists, images, mapped volume knobs, notes is really great.  There is also a ‘Looping’ plugin and also support for rewire software instruments.

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Snake Yoga DVD

Le’ema Kathleen Graham just released her Snake Yoga DVD. The DVD features unique snake-like yoga poses and postures, an animated visual chakra meditation section and a printed booklet.  The DVD provides the option of subtitles for the deaf and/or hearing impaired.  There is an option to play the DVD with ‘music only’ – useful when you are familiar with the poses and yoga routine.

Cosmic Circuit Studio assisted with some of the video editing, DVD menu design, DVD authoring and subtitles.

To purchase the DVD or for more information check:  www.snakeyoga.com

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Brain Injury Dialogues released on DVD


bid_dvd_coverLyell Davies and Rick Franklin just released their Brain Injury Dialogues documentary film on DVD. The film provides interesting insights into the often misunderstood or misdiagnosed lives of brain injured people.  The footage was shot in the San Francisco Bay area.  The DVD contains extra bonus features, extra scenes, has the option of displaying English subtitles.  Cosmic Circuit Studio assisted with the DVD authoring and subtitles.

For more information, to view sample video clips or to purchase the DVD check: braininjurydialogues.org

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Andy Warhol Factory Party by Amoeba Music


silk_screeningAmoeba Music held an Andy Warhol Factory party at a warehouse space in Emeryville on Friday March 6th. Velvet Underground cover bands performed and local artists displayed works in 9 different rooms.  The warehouse space was set up similar to Andy Warhol’s original Factory in New York city.  Various local artists were silk screening in the style of Warhol.

crowd_at_factory_party Amoeba Music has a wide selection of new and used music and often host musical performances in their retail stores.  Amoeba has locations on    Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, on Haight Street in San Francisco and in Hollywood, California.  More info at: http://www.amoeba.com/content/factory_party_wrap_up.html

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Marianne Barlow records Magic Words CD


Marianne Barlow, a local singer song-writer, just finished recording her full length 12 song ‘Magic Words’ CD at Cosmic Circuit Studio.   The tracks feature Marianne’s vocals and acoustic guitar with some cello, sax, and flute. A rowdy chorus of women added backing vocals to the track ‘My Right Breast.’


backing vocalists on 'My Right Breast' track

Listen to an audio sample. 

For more information on shows or obtaining a CD, check  the web at: mariannebarlow.com

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Internet Radio Comes of Age

For years I have wanted to listen to the multitude of eclectic Internet radio stations on a place other than my computer.  Today, this is now possible. Wunder Radio, Pandora, Wolfgang’s Vault, AOL Radio and other applications provide direct Internet streaming of great and often hard to find music direct to your  iPod Touch, iPhone or other media device.   Attach the device to your home stereo or speaker dock and you can tune in and listen to great mostly commercial free music from around the globe without head phones.  Remember that radio station you loved at college, or that radio station you discovered on vacation in Italy or England?  Look it up with Wunder Radio, bookmark it and you can listen anytime.

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iPod Touch 2nd Generation Review

ipod_touch_frontI recently acquired an iPod Touch (2nd Generation model) and have been putting it through the paces.  I am very impressed by the functionality of the iPod Touch compared to the original iPods (now called the iPod Classic).  The unit has Wi-Fi internet access, a built in Safari web browser, email capability, contact list, calendar, iTunes, wi-fi syncing capability, YouTube videos, ability to install applications (via the Apple app store).  Internet access will work if you are on a Wi-Fi wireless network, for instance having a wireless router in your home or on Wi-Fi hot spots such as Starbucks, Tully’s, and Peet’s coffee, etc.   I was able to configure the email application to check 3 different email accounts.

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WordPress Powered

wordpress-logo-cristalminiaturaWe recently installed the latest version of the popular open source WordPress software to our site.  You can now easily search for entries by typing in a keyword in the Search field on the top left and clicking Search. You can also now view entries by clicking on a particular category and/or by month. 

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Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival

The three day Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival held on August 23rd, 24th and 25th in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park was the first festival to have musical artists perform in the park at night (past the typical 6 p.m. noise curfew). Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined at the ‘Lands End’ main stage on Saturday night with Steve Winwood sitting in and performing a few Traffic songs.

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Freight and Salvage Moving

Freight and Salvage Coffee House

The Freight & Salvage is moving from 1111 Addison St. to the downtown area at 2020 Addison St (between Shattuck and Milvia Streets). The Freight & Salvage is Berkeley’s nonprofit community coffee house that features acoustic traditional music. Construction on the new 11 million dollar facility is underway and it is scheduled to open April 1st, 2009. The new location will put the venue right in the middle of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District across from the Jazz School. The new venue is will serve alcohol (the current facility does not).  The Freight has been around for over 40 years (founded in 1968). We are hoping that the venue will continue it’s history of serving and supporting local bay area musicians including it’s long running  weekly open mic.  More information at www.freightandsalvage.org

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Vintage Jazz Recording


Katrina Huber, a local 18 year old singer, recently recorded a 13 song CD of Vintage Jazz tunes at Cosmic Circuit Studio. Sara Klotz de Aquilar played piano on the tracks with Richard Saunders on stand-up bass, Van Hughes on trombone, Lee Charlton on drums and Harvey Robb on clarinet and saxophone. Listen to one of her sample clips.

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Apple Logic Pro 8 Certified

logic-screenI just recently became officially certified in Apple’s newest cutting edge high end audio recording application Logic Pro 8 (part of Logic Studio).  I have been using Apple Logic since version 6 (before that I used Digital Performer).   Occasionally people ask me why I use Logic over Pro Tools.  There are numerous reasons – flexibility, power, a plethora of high quality software instruments (pianos, organs, etc), a large quantity of plug-ins, etc.   Also, I have been a fan of the way Apple makes things work for the creative individual minimizing the technical issues and letting you focus on the creative aspects of recording and musicianship.

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Matte or Glossy Color CDs and DVDs

printed-cds-and-dvdsWe are now offering direct color printing on either a matte or glossyfinish CD or DVD.  The newer glossy finish is also water resistant (won’t smear) & is scratch resistant.  CD’s and DVD’s come in a slim-line clear jewel case.  These are great for demo’s and promotion of your recording or video projects and provide a professional impression for club owners and your prospective clients.

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Love Doll Screening at Dolby Labs

love-dolls1Jennifer Juelich & D. Sputnick Juelich of Neon Sky Films present their first feature length film ‘Love Doll’ at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco Thursday January 31st, 2008 at 6:30 PM.  Cosmic Circuit Studio assisted with some video editing and DVD authoring.  View the trailer.

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EconoCorner Podcast

econocornerJared Bernstein, author and economist for the Economic Policy Institute, just finished up his debut EconoCorner podcast.  Episodes of EconoCorner are available free from iTunes.

We assisted with the production and engineering.  Jared’s new book ‘Crunch’ recently was released on the San Francisco based Berrett-Koehler Publishing label.

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Macworld Expo & the Geek Squad

Macworld is a week long event where hi-tech enthusiasts converge in San Francisco at the Moscone Center to see the latest and greatest gadgets released from Apple.   People wait in long lines over night to see the hi-tech guru Steve Jobs deliver his keynote speech and catch of first glimpse of the newest Apple related digital gadgets.  

The main releases from Apple this year were the Macbook Air – an incredibly small and thin full functioned laptop that Jobs pulled out of a thin envelope.  Apple TV was revamped and provides movie rentals direct to your Apple TV box – (this was a software upgrade only). 

Microsoft officially unveiled Microsoft Office 2008.  A few Geek Squad employees from around the country were on hand and performing interviews and product reviews. Robert McIntosh filmed the interviews and I edited a large number of the Geek Squad videos (see clip above).

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Logic Pro 8

logic8I recently upgraded our studio recording software to Apple’s Logic Studio from Logic Pro 7.  Logic Studio now includes the premier recording application Logic 8 as well as a slew of additional applications and a large quantity of media loops.  New to Logic 8 Pro is an improved arrange window interface and greatly improved take management using cycle recording.  Compositing various areas of takes into one cohesive track has also been greatly simplified.   There are a new plug-ins including delay designer, echo and microphaser.   There is more support for surround sound recording.  Perhaps not as important to studio musicians but a big improvement for live musicians (especially keyboard players) is the included Mainstage application.  Gone are the days of having to manually program and layer software instruments in the arrange window for a live performance. Templates for keyboard players and guitar player set ups are included and can be customized.    Soundtrack Pro and Compressor applications are also included.   

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Sample Recordings Now Available

guitarQuite a few people have asked to hear some audio samples of musicians that have recorded at Cosmic Circuit Studio.  A page of sample recordings from various artists at Cosmic Circuit Studio is now available.  Please check: http://cosmiccircuit.com/audio/samples

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Spice of Life Festival


Berkeley’s 5th Annual Spice of Life festival was held this Sunday on Shattuck Avenue between Cedar and Rose.  Local musicians, including the Burning Embers, performed.  Funky Bus and the U-Turns, which consisted of members of the Berkeley High School Jazz band, opened at the Cedar Street stage.  Other attractions included  a petting zoo with Llamas.
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Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park

strictly-bluegrassCaught a few good performances at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate park.  Legendary finger picker Doc Watson performed to a packed audience. Also memorable was David Grisman, Earl Scruggs, the Hacienda Brothers,  the Hot Buttered Rum band and Bill Kirchen & the Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods.   

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