Friday, October 31, 2014

I Am Currently Developing Some Ideas Within the Steampunk Theme

I am currently developing some ideas within the Steampunk theme. I have not really named any of the characters yet or developed any kind of story line but I plan to do that eventually.

Some of you may not be familiar with the Steampunk genre of science fiction. It is an interesting sub-genre of science fiction that mixes elements like Victorian era clothing, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells type of science fiction and features technology powered by steam.

The guy depicted on the left, with the goggles, is sort of the lead character and the guy on the right is his faithful sidekick. I still want to develop other characters with one of them being the villain. I mean, you have to have a villain, right?

I thought it would be fun to try my hand at creating some art within that theme and I just might do some animation in the future in that theme as well. These are some of the latest ideas I am tinkering with. If you want to know more about the Steampunk genre, you can read more about it on Wikipedia:

Photo Credits: Images Created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau.

I created these images in DAZ Studio, in case you may have been wondering:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How Much Music Theory Should a Guitarist Know?

I personally believe that one should know the rules before they break them. Obviously it is not good to be overly analytical but it wouldn't be an entirely bad thing to look at music from an analytical perspective. In order to look at things from an analytical perspective, you need information to analyze. That's where music theory comes into play. So what I am about to present is not only a case for learning music theory but also what basic components of music theory you should, at a minimum, possess knowledge of.

It is important when you are playing along with a band that you have some idea as to what key you are playing in; especially if you are working on original material. You may be able to learn cover material from listening to a CD but it is also easier to pick up any song whether cover or original if you know music theory. Even more so if you know your way around the different keys.

There really isn't much of an excuse for not taking the time to obtain some knowledge in music theory. There are free sources of information all over the Internet. Probably the most basic, yet essential, information would be knowledge of the keys, chords and scales.

You should be familiar with the 12 major keys and their relative minors. Having an adequate understanding of the different keys will allow you to be able to transpose a song from one key into another. There are a number of times where I've transposed a song from one key to another simply because it was a better key for me to sing in. You may find that to be the case with a number of singers.

You should have an adequate chord vocabulary. There are also a few scales that every guitarist should be familiar with, like the major or diatonic scale as well as the harmonic minor scale and the pentatonic scale in both the major and minor modes.

If you don't want to spend the money on lessons or books, you should run an internet search for the information you want to obtain. I would first suggest you run a search for guitar chords listed by key. Check out a few sites to see which one offers the easiest approach for learning.

After you begin to learn the guitar chords by key, you should start learning scales. You should also run an internet search for guitar scales listed by key. You may be even more specific than that. For example: you can enter D harmonic minor and you will get a great number of results.

So, in conclusion, I hope that I have not only convinced you that learning music theory would be a valuable asset to your musicianship but that I have also set you off in the right direction towards doing so.

Guitarists can learn some music theory on one of my websites:

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau.

You Never Know the Difference You Really Make

As a musician, you wonder if what you're doing has an impact on anything in the world. Sure, it's easy to say that you have if you've sold millions of CD's like the Beatles or Led Zeppelin. But what about your average musician who plays in front of small audiences and doesn't have that hit CD?

I've played places that have only had a crowd consisting of a handful of people and some of those places didn't provide the nicest atmosphere. I've played a place that had a dirt floor which was sloped downwards towards the area where the band would set up. When it rained, the water would run down towards where I was playing and there was a sump pump there to pump it out. Now I don't know what the actual definition is for a dive, but I'm pretty sure that place met all of the qualifications needed to classify it as one.
In the summer, I would quite often go outside my house to practice the music I played out at gigs. I'd be out there enjoying the weather as I would practice. Well, there was a girl that lived in the house across the street. She was around 12 years old. She was starting to have symptoms that indicated that there may have been something wrong with her heart. She went into the hospital for some testing and had died while they were running the tests.

Later, I had learned that she liked to listen to me as I would practice. Whenever she saw me out playing my guitar she would open up her bedroom window to hear me. I never knew. I was told that she enjoyed what I was playing and would even be teased by her sister, who would say: "Bob is playing. You better hurry up and go listen!" Most of you probably know how siblings like to tease.

So here I was just practicing for gigs where there were only a handful of people and I was thinking to myself that I wasn't really making any kind of impact anywhere. Yet, someone was listening every time I practiced. It apparently must have meant something to her. I never knew until her mother had mentioned it, after her passing. To think that what I was doing brought that much enjoyment into such a short life brings considerable satisfaction to me.

So when I get discouraged about certain things, I quite often think about that. Sure it is sad that a life could be cut so short. But what guarantees do we have in this life? We never really know when our last day will be. So the only thing we can do is enjoy it while it lasts and try to bring some happiness into the lives of others. That's all that really matters. Sometimes you bring happiness to others without even trying. As I have come to find out.

To me, this means more to me than any applause I could ever have received. It also causes me to wonder where else I may have brought some form of happiness to someone else. I could wonder about this forever but, unfortunately, I am a busy man. So you'll have to excuse me now. I need to go practice for my next gig. You never know who might be listening.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau.

Sometimes They Really Are Listening

As a musician who does solo acoustic performances, I have noticed that I may not always be the center of attention. Let's face it; some places hire a solo acoustic performer just to be "background music." Some owners/proprietors think that their customers are just there to enjoy their dinner and that the entertainment should be there just as a component of the overall "atmosphere." As somewhat of a person capable of being reasoned with, I can appreciate that fact.

However, there are times when a performer would like to receive some feedback, just to know if people are really listening. When you play those places where the music is used for atmosphere, you sometimes feel as if you are more or less serving the same functionality as the wallpaper. In fact, you sometimes feel as if you might as well have worn a shirt that matched the wallpaper for the ultimate blending in effect.

I personally had difficulty dealing with this. In fact, it is more distracting to me than if there are people paying a great deal of attention to my performance. Thoughts start to enter into my mind like: "What am I doing here?" and "What am I doing this for? These people couldn't care any less." It sometimes gets to the point where I almost forget the song's lyrics or the chords.

Prior to going solo, I used to play out as half of a musical duo with a keyboardist/singer. It wasn't much different from when I went solo other than the fact that the money was split down the middle. Sometimes, though, we would do things to test if the audience was paying attention. We had certain songs where we would change the lyrics and sometimes they were quite funny. So we would throw a funny line in just to see if someone would notice. When they didn't', we would look at each other and smile. So we sort of made a game of it.

That was one of the things we did to deal with the problem. Sometimes, though, we would go to take a break between our sets and someone would question us about the lyrics. It seems we were busted and didn't realize it. So in fact, someone was at least paying attention.

Now, as a solo act, you can do the same sort of thing, even if it's not as fun as sharing in the joke with a band mate. Although, when the members of the audience do catch you, they often smile and you actually manage to keep their attention afterwards. You also feel better knowing that they are listening and you feel more comfortable while you're performing.

There were even times when I was performing and didn't use that little trick, where I was still able to find out that people were listening when I thought they weren't. I would finish my set, take my break and go to the bar to get a drink. Sometimes someone would approach me and tell me that they liked the song by so and so and thought that I did it well. They mentioned the song and, in some cases, would mention the differences in the arrangement I had made to the song.

So here I would be thinking that nobody was listening or paying any attention but, in fact, they really were. They say that the greatest fear most people have is the fear of public speaking. I would assume that public performance may be a great fear as well. As a public performer, feeling as if nobody is listening may be discouraging to you. The point of this article is for people to remember that even if they think others are not listening, they may want to look at things from a new perspective. That is: Sometimes they really are listening. Just keep that in mind and do not despair.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau.

Every Song is an Exercise

Most people just learn a song for the sake of learning a song or just simply because they like it. Well what if I was to tell you another reason for learning a song? How about learning a song for the purpose of learning a specific technique?

I remember when I was first learning how to play guitar. I would see a guitarist from some famous group do a certain technique. I would sit up and say: "wow! I have got to learn how to do that!" So I'd pick up one of the band's albums and the sheet music for it, just so I could learn some of their music. I would learn a few of my favorite picks of their songs, usually the ones that had the techniques I wanted to incorporate into my own playing. Then of course something else would come along and I'd do the same.

I learned how to fingerpick fairly early on in my learning years. I started out with a song that used only a couple of fingers (thumb and index) and then I would learn a song that utilized three fingers, and so on. Then I saw Jimmy Page play with a pick and his fingers. Then I obviously had to learn how to do that. I've learned bits and pieces of numerous songs and it was usually for the purpose of learning how to do a specific technique. A lot of the songs I never ended up doing with any of the bands I was in. But the techniques were applied to some of our originals and even applied to some of the covers we did by other artists.

Most people think that the process of learning a piece of music for the sake of learning a technique is just a learning process that is usually applied by beginners. But even experienced guitarists can benefit from this approach, especially since there is always some innovation popping up in the guitar world. Like when Eddie Van Halen came out and did "Eruption." All of a sudden everyone wanted to do hammer-ons. When Randy Rhoads came out, everybody wanted to blend Classical guitar with hard rock. When Yngwie Malmsteen came out, everybody wanted to do lightning fast arpeggios. I'm not saying that someone should learn the trick of the day just to keep up with the trends but they should at least be willing to continue to improve themselves as musicians. To be a well-rounded player, one should learn multiple techniques. And this could be done one song at a time. So every song could potentially be an exercise.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau. More music related information can be found on

Being a Musician in the Computer Age

Remember all those stories you heard as a kid? Like how grandpa had to walk two miles to school in three feet of snow because they didn't have school buses? Well the same could be said of the computer age. After all, I didn't have a computer when I was a kid. Now before you start playing the violin, I am not saying this for sympathy. There is actually a point to this article. The point is: Make the most of it.

In the old days, if we wanted to learn song lyrics, we had to listen to a tape over and over and write them down manually. Quite often, the guys who were doing the singing didn't enunciate like we wished they had. Now, all you have to do is run a search on the Internet for the lyrics to a particular song and, sho' nuff, it's on somebody's Website somewhere.

In the old days, if you wanted to make quality recordings of your original music, you had to pay for expensive studio time. Now you can actually create quality recordings on your PC, using a variety of affordable software.

In the old days, if you wanted to reach large numbers of people with your original music, you basically had to get some sort of a record deal. Now you can create your own website and upload your songs in MP3 format and make them available for download. Also, on the Internet, you have the potential of reaching people all over the world.

In the old days, if you wanted to distribute large quantities of your album, you had to fork out a lot of cash to have your records and tapes produced. Now you can burn them on a record-able CD ROM drive. You can even create your own CD inserts and labels.

In the old days, if you wanted to learn guitar chords and scales, you actually had to buy a book from your local music store. Now you can learn guitar chords and scales online for free.

In the old days, if you wanted to hag up fliers or posters to promote your shows you either had to do some sort of unsightly hand-written one or pay to have a professional quality one printed up at your local print shop. You can now do a decent quality one in a word processor program on your PC. then you can go to Staples to run up a bunch of copies.

In the old days, we had to buy music magazines to keep up on the latest gear. Now you can read reviews and articles online about various equipment, CD's and everything imaginable that's related to music or pursuing a career in music. You can even order music equipment and supplies online.

So to sum it up: The computer age has done a lot to make things easier for musicians. Make the most of it. I know that a lot of people only know enough to surf the Web and do very little else. If you are not very computer literate, then do something about it. There are night courses available everywhere. Learn to do your own website, make your own fliers, record and distribute your own music and whatever else you need to learn in order to maximize your potential for success. You know you won't be able to tell your grandchildren that you didn't have computers when you tried to make it in the music biz. Even if you did have to walk two miles through three feet of snow to get to your nearest Staples.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L.Crepeau. More music related information can be found on

Is it a Practice Or is it a Party?

Guitarist: “What time is band practice on Saturday?”

Singer: “One O'clock”

Guitarist: “Is it my turn to bring the beer?”

Singer: “Yeah, I'll bring the girls.”

Bass Player: “I'll bring the hot dogs and burgers.”

Drummer: “Great! Sounds like we got ourselves a party, I mean, a practice!

If the above fictional conversation is similar to the preparations your band usually makes for a practice, then I'm here to tell you that you may be taking the wrong approach to preparing for a rehearsal. To explain as to why that is, we must first understand what the actual purpose of a rehearsal is. These are my thoughts on what you should attempt to achieve through a band practice and how making a social event out of a practice interferes with that:

First of all, you are trying to rehearse the songs you intend to play out. When you invite other people to a rehearsal, they quite often will ask you to play a song your band has not yet rehearsed. In attempting to play it, you waste time because, in most cases, not everyone in the band already knows the song.

You may have to play some of the songs a number of times to actually get it down. Sometimes you may just need to work on a section of the song you are having problems with. When other people are there, you may not do that because you don't want to bore them with playing the same songs over and over or repeatedly going over the various problem spots within a song.

Quite often you may take more breaks or longer breaks than you should and this obviously reduces the effectiveness of the time you are spending. This problem is aggravated if you really have very few opportunities to get together as a band. Obviously, the larger the size of the band, the harder it is to coordinate rehearsals, since not everyone has the same work schedule or personal obligations.

If you are drinking alcoholic beverages while practicing, let's face it, you're playing is probably going to be affected. The more you engage in consumption, the worse it is affected. Your playing gets sloppy and so you may have to go over songs more than necessary, thereby wasting even more time. You may also lose focus and not have the ability to prioritize as what you should be working on most.

Just having more people there than necessary serves as a distraction. The bass player should be paying more attention to the song he's playing and less on the cute little blond that's making goo goo eyes at him. It's even more of a distraction if you are practicing in a place with a limited amount of space. When you're practically tripping over each other. Like when that cute little blond that's been making goo goo eyes at the bass player has to get up and go to the bathroom and you have to move out of the way to give her access to the bathroom door.

If you really want your band to get out there playing in the bars, night clubs or other venues, then you really need to focus. You need to focus on learning new material. You have to systematically learn and rehearse enough material to make a full night of music. That requires learning a lot of songs. It's kind of hard to focus on the business aspects of your music or learning those songs when you make a party or social event of a rehearsal.

So, to sum it all up, there are ways of having fun and still getting done what you need to get done in a band practice. If you are going to have a social event or party on the day of the band practice, then let the festivities begin after the rehearsal is over. Just get done what you need to get done first. Then let the party begin. Just remember that your first priority should be to work on the music. If your first priority is the social event, then maybe you are in the wrong business. Maybe you should be in the events planning or catering businesses. So what will it be then? Will it be a practice or will it be a party?

Photo Credit: "Evil Clown Banquet, created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau. Art Prints available for online purchases.

The Advantages of Accumulating Website Content

Often we hear webmasters of popular sites tell us that content is king and how it’s important in generating traffic. But rarely will they explain in detail as to why and how that is. Hey, it's not like it is magic or anything.

I will cover that subject in this article but as to how it relates to the concept of what I like to call “accumulating content.” What I mean by accumulating content is content that accumulates on your site over an extended period of time. Now I realize that I wouldn’t be able to fully discuss all of the advantages of accumulating content in one single article but I have 7 points I hope to drive home. So without further ado, I’ll get right to the 7 points:

Point 1: You need content anyway
An old retailer’s trick is to take existing merchandise that is on a half empty shelf and move it to the front to make the shelf look fuller. Why do they do this? Because empty shelves create the impression that the retailer does not have much of a selection of merchandise. Empty shelves obviously create a negative impression. So why shouldn't a website be any different in that respect? Think of how many websites you’ve been on that looked aesthetically pleasing but had practically nothing for content. Empty shelves people, just empty shelves.

Point 2: Time and effort
If I set out to build a brick house, would it make sense to smash every other one with a hammer immediately after it was laid? You would probably say no and think that it’s a ridiculous question to ask. Obviously the house would take forever to build. Well, a site would take forever to build too if the content is dated and has to be replaced with content that is more up to date. This obviously would mean that you’re doing a lot of work to create content that will not be there for an extended period of time. What you need to do is concentrate more on content that will still be relevant over an extended period of time in order to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.

Point 3: More reasons for a visitor to return to your site
If I go to a website and I am able to read all of its content in a single visit, what is my incentive to return? Return traffic is much more important than having visitors who only visit once; especially since return visitors are much more likely to make a purchase. So the ideal situation would be to have so much content that not all of it could be viewed in a single visit. They would be more likely to bookmark the site and return at a later time to view more. Also, the advertising done within your site would be more effective since it will have been seen on more than one occasion. Any ad executive will tell you that advertising works best with repetition.

Point 4: More potential search strings to pull in traffic
With every sentence that you add to your site’s content, the more potential search strings you will have that will generate hits to your site. Let’s say that you had an article about brown shoes. Somebody types brown shoes on Google and your site comes up in the results. However, if that’s your only topic or article, search engine hits will be few and far between. But what if we talked about black shoes, tennis shoes or running shoes? We should then increase our potential for hits. We also hear a lot about link popularity and how that increases your hit potential. Well, I hate to have to tell you this but the positive effects of link popularity will be minimized by a lack of content and potential search strings for which your site will come up.

Another point to remember is that some search strings are more popular than others. You may stumble on to something that will create a search string for which there is very little competition and you may be higher in the search results than you usually are. This is important since most people won’t go to page 10 on their search results. Think about it, how often do you go to page 10?

Point 5: Your site will be more likely to be recommended
Perhaps you’ve seen those free JavaScript tools that make it easier for a visitor to recommend your site to a friend by sending them a link to it. Having more content makes it more likely that they will use that neat little tool. After all, you might have content on your site that might be of very little interest to the visitor himself but he may know some people who would have more of an interest in it and decide to send them the link. It’s obvious too that they won’t be sending a link to a site with no content. What would be the point?

Point 6: You will be more likely to have other sites linking to you
I have a number of sites of various types and cover a variety of subjects. Occasionally I check my stats to see who my top referrers are and check out what page they are linking to. I find a musician’s site linking to the site where I have guitar chords and scales. That makes perfect sense right? So obviously the information he chose to link to was of some use to him and by linking to it he increased my link popularity. This is something only content will do since I never even asked the guy to link to my site. He somehow stumbled onto it and thought that the content was worth linking to. The page he was linking to was not the main page, so it was the content within the site not the site itself that he was really linking to.

Point 7: Uniqueness
The content you choose to accumulate may add to the sites uniqueness. After all, every person in this world is unique in a number of ways, so the choices that you make regarding the content you accumulate may be enough to allow your site to stand out above your competitor’s site. It also helps if you create a lot of your own content, rather than just modeling it after everyone else’s.

To see how much I believe in this concept, you can visit my site: to view over 3,000 pages of content.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau. the character is called the Sorcerer Troll.

A Musician Working the Dreaded Day Job

I have endured so many different undesirable day jobs it's ridiculous. As a person who considers himself a good musician, I know how difficult it is to have to work those kinds of jobs while knowing I had other talents that were not being used. Talents that I felt had exceeded the requirements of the jobs I had been working.

Although I believe that a truly wise man as well as a good manager or supervisor sees the potential of an individual, In our society, people often base their opinions of someone else upon what they are currently doing for a living. Not what their potential is. I don't think people realize how common it is that people with exceptional abilities are often forced to work a job that is, quite frankly, beneath their talents, experience and abilities.

I will give you some examples of the types of jobs I have had to work to pay my bills. So without any further stalling, let's get to it:

I have worked at a slaughterhouse that cut up dead cows and horses that were dragged off of fields and the meat was used for dog food. Sometimes a cow might be lying in a field for a day or two before they called our company to have it removed. So they would sometimes be bloated and would make a hissing sound when you would go to skin it. I'll spare you the more grisly details.

I worked for a disaster restoration company that would deal with water, mold, fire and smoke damage. The worst would be sewer or septic backups. Sometimes an entire basement would be filled with sewage that had backed up through a toilet in the basement. We would have to drain out the septic sludge and cut out the sludge drenched carpeting and bag it up to haul outside and load into the truck. I'll spare you the more disgusting details.

I worked at a powder coatings factory. They made the powder coatings that is sprayed on metal and baked on. It is much more durable than paint, by the way. The factory workers would usually take on the color of the powder coatings that were being made each day. If we were making blue, we'd all be blue and smurf-like in appearance. If it was yellow, then we would all look jaundiced.

I worked at a factory that manufactured vinyl wall covering. There was always the strong overpowering stench of the inks and various solvents that permeated the place. God only knows how many years that cut off my life. But don't worry; it just cuts the years off of the end of your life. Those are usually the worst years anyway.

I have worked a number of other rotten jobs but I won't bother to list them due to the fact that this article might go on for ever. I just wanted to present the case that I understand what it is like to work a lousy job while you aspire to do something better with your life.

It can be difficult sometimes when you know for sure that you are capable of doing more. Yet the real opportunities for you to show what you are capable of seem to never arise. Quite often, for most people, they don't. You see, the real opportunities don't come to you. The real opportunities are the ones that you pursue.

So maybe you've also had to work that horrible day job to pay the bills while waiting for opportunity to come knocking on your door. Let's face it though; opportunity doesn't even know where you live. You have to find his address and knock on his door.

The year I released my first music CD was a busy one. I worked a full time job that often consisted of 60 or more hours a week, every week. While working that job, I was also working on my many websites. I currently have over 3,000 pages on the Net. While doing those things, I was also working on my CD.

For years I had made the mistake of thinking that I'll get around to this or that when "I have the time." The sad unfortunate fact was that I never seemed to have the time. Not until I made the time. Let's face it; I had no personal life that year, really, to speak of. I finished the CD though. I also did a lot of updates to my websites and, oh, I paid my bills with my meager day job salary

I knew I was capable of doing more than what I was doing for a living. You know that you are capable of doing more. So go out and do it! Find the time. Make the time. Just go out and do it! Show the world what you're made of. Show them all how wrong they are about you. You might even surprise yourself.

Photo Credit: Image created by Bob Craypoe, also known as R. L. Crepeau. Promo image for

Internet Branding

When people become familiar with a brand name or logo they feel much more comfortable about making a purchase. No matter how many products you have, it becomes easier to sell any one of them if they are all of the same brand.

Let’s use McDonalds restaurants as an example. Their branding consists of the golden arches, Ronald McDonald and the names they give their food. You have the Chicken McNugget, the Egg McMuffin and the Big Mac. Obviously the theme is the Mc before the name. This makes them easier to remember. If it’s easier to remember, then it’s easier for you to become familiar with the product.

Look at the Dummies books as another example. They have a color scheme. Every one of their books has a yellow cover. Just as the Rich Dad series of books use a specific color scheme. That’s called branding. However, even though it is called branding, it is really a form of brainwashing. When you see or hear something over and over again, you can’t help but to remember it.

Now that we've given examples of branding/brainwashing in action, let’s discuss how you can utilize the internet in the branding/brainwashing process. I will demonstrate my point by telling you how I do it.

I have a number of websites. I have one website dedicated to humor, arts and entertainment. I also have a website that is an online magazine, a website that covers the Local New Jersey scene and one that is geared towards people who fly R/C planes. Those are just a few of the different types of sites that I have. They all have one thing in common though. They all belong to the network of websites.

You may be thinking “So? I never heard of before.” That may be true; however, it would have just been a matter of time before you stumbled upon one of the pages on some site affiliated with I am confident in that because I have over 4,000 pages on the Internet as of right now and a number of my pages have high search engine rankings.

On the bottom of every page on any one of my websites is a little thing that says: “This Site Is Brought To You By” It includes a link to On the website, there are links to every website affiliated with it. That is my form of branding. You see, they say that branding works best with multiple products. I consider each website to be its own product of sorts.

No matter what I do on the internet, I stamp the name on it. If used enough and seen enough, a certain familiarity with it will be attained by the masses. I am currently doing that with thousands of visitors each month. I aspire for that to one day be millions of visitors each month. We should always strive for better. That’s how we make progress.

One thing I do a lot of in the area of branding is use the character displayed with this blog. I use him as an avatar or profile photo for many of my online accounts. That is another way I can do my own branding.

So are you creating multiple products? You are? Maybe you should have a name that you can stamp on all of them. Start brainwashing the masses today!

Oh, by the way, to see some of my branding in action, you can visit my websites from here:

Frequency Slotting: Giving Each Instrument Its Own Special Place in the Mix

cowboys playing guitars
In the recording process there is probably one thing that has a tendency to be very monotonous. That is the mastering of a song. You will have to listen to the same song over and over again until you finally are satisfied with the mix. Then you listen to a copy of it on your car stereo as you are driving down the road and hear an imperfection or undesirable quality you failed to catch when listening to it on the other 150 occasions you listened to it.

It always seems that just as you think that you are finally finished with the mix down of a certain song; you discover some other fault with the mix and feel the necessity to go back to the drawing board or, more accurately in this case, the mixing board. So it then becomes somewhat apparent that mixing down a song may be a longer process than the actual recording of the song. However, there is something you can do to not only speed up the mix down process but also help you to finish with a better product. That would be the use of frequency slotting.

Frequency slotting is when you assign a specific frequency range to each instrument. You do so to make it easier for one instrument to be distinguished from another. If all of the instruments are on the same frequency range, or slot, the mix will sound somewhat muddy or cluttered. Some tracks may even be completely indistinguishable from others.

So let's say that you have 5 instrument tracks. You have a bass guitar, drums, rhythm guitar, lead guitar and a keyboard track. This is how you can assign a frequency range to each instrument:

The bass guitar can have the bass boosted or use a low pass filter. Makes perfect sense to assign the bass guitar the bass frequencies, doesn't it? That was simple enough. So let's move on to the rhythm guitar. Let's assign the rhythm guitar the mid-range frequencies. Then we can assign the keyboard track the high frequencies. Now we have 3 of the five instruments covered with a minimal potential for them to cut into each others' frequency range. We only have two instruments left; the lead guitar and the drums.

Obviously, the more instruments you have, the harder it is to keep them from cutting into each others' frequencies. But it is still possible to minimize that. We can do that with the lead guitar track by giving it a range somewhere between the rhythm guitar and the keyboard. So it will basically occupy some of the mid-range frequencies and some of the high-end frequencies.

Now we have the drums. The drums can be a bit tricky because you have a number of pieces that are spread across the spectrum. For starters, your bass drum (or bass drums if it's a double-bass) is going to have more bass tone than the other pieces. You may have a number of toms as well that are spread throughout the spectrum. Your floor tom will obviously have more bass than the smaller toms. You also have the snare and the cymbals, with the cymbals being on the high end of the spectrum.

I like to assign the cymbals the obvious high frequencies and add a touch of reverb to add to its sustain. The snare is usually done to taste. It may be mid-range or somewhere between mid and high. The toms are treated individually to spread them out along the spectrum. The bass drum is self-explanatory.

Now you may not have enough available tracks to give each piece of the drum set its own track for the mix down. If that is the case, you should at least divide it into two tracks, whenever possible. I do that a lot of times myself. I will take the drums and give them the mid range slot and the cymbals will be on the high end. It's rather simplistic but it does work well most of the time.

If possible, or if you have enough available tracks, you can assign each piece of the drum set a different area from left to right. That would simulate having an actual drum set being played right in front of you. The bass drum could be in the center, as well as the snare, the floor tom slightly to the left and the crash cymbal slightly to the right while the ride is slightly to the left. You can even try a number of variations of it.

These are some ideas you can kick around. You don't have to use the same exact format I just suggested. I don't even do that myself. The format may be determined by the song itself. It is better to treat each song individually. That will make it easier for one song to be distinguished from another. Also, not every song uses the same instruments or the same number of instruments.

So, in closing: take all of these things into consideration and give frequency slotting a try. You might even impress yourself with the final product. Of course, after you give each track its own special place in the spectrum, you have your overall EQ to tinker with. But that is usually reserved for the fine tuning. Give it a try and good luck.

Photo Credit: "Dudes Rocking Out", created by Bob Craypoe

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Welcome to Bob Craypoe's World! Who is Bob Craypoe, Anyway?

Welcome, this is the very first installment of the Bob Craypoe's World Blog. Let me just tell what you can expect in future installments:

I have a number of areas where I at least kid myself into thinking that I have some level of knowledge, experience and expertise. Those areas include such things as web development, 3D art and animation, Internet marketing, business, entrepreneurship, music, writing, computers and technology.

So, at any time, you can expect a blog post about any one of those subject areas and then maybe a few that I neglected to mention.

As a web developer, I have created a number of websites. I have received millions of page views and have personally created and uploaded over 4,000 web pages onto the Internet. My most popular website is but all of my websites can be accessed from one location:

As a musician, I play a number of instruments and compose my own music. I have released a CD called To Infinity
that is available on You can visit my music web page on As a 3D artist, you can view my online gallery on

As a writer, I have written a few e-books. One is available on in Kindle format called All About the Numbers: The Truth About Making Money on the Internet. I also have some other e-books available for download in PDF format.

As far as my computer knowledge goes,: I have held positions as a systems analyst, computer technician, modem technician and have worked in a technical support capacity onsite as well as on the phones. I also use a variety of software for music, audio, 3D animation and artwork and video editing.

I have also worked in managerial and supervisory positions in a number of different industries. I have owned my own business and worked as an entrepreneur in a number of capacities. I have done disaster restoration, worked in the manufacturing, retail, insurance, communications and other industries.

This article is not about bragging about what I have done or what I can do. It is about introducing you to me and giving you some idea as to what you can expect in my future blogs. Like I said, i can cover a lot of different subjects. Hopefully some of them will be of interest to you.

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