See “Something He Already Knows” video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nRiN2JP2ngw
LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD FREE HERE…STAY HEALTHY
In these dangerous times all are encouraged to stay home when possible. I created the CD “Voice Memo: Songs From Hawai’i” from voice memos I had recorded on my iPhone in various cabins I lived in Hawai’i prior to the CD release year 2016. Writing and recording these tunes and songs, along with a couple of loud rainforest storms on tin roofs is very much a reflection of prior inside times for me. So I thought I could share this inside music with anyone interested in playing it at no cost.
It can be streamed directly from my website link here: STAY HEALTHY
From the same link you can download the MP3-320 version of the album tracks (all 30) as a single Zip file.
Overall I am home more, listening to music more, reading more, writing more, communicating online with others and praying for those who need it most on the planet.
Take Care to All, Sending Aloha…
VOICE MEMO: Songs From Hawai’i – Album/CD Notes
These songs were all recorded as memos to myself on my iPhone while I was writing them. They are me writing music for myself. Voice memos to myself for myself.
People tell me my songs connect to them, usually they are complete strangers. But my songs are written by me, for me, but not about me. They have no objective or mission or point to make. They come out as music, words or both the way they come out. This album “Voice Memos” tries to show you that songwriting process for me.
Recorded directly to the iPhone using the standard iPhone mic (mono).
~~~~About My Songwriting~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Listening to this album is a way to listen to the way my songs get created. I get asked this often enough. Dave, do you write the words first, or the music, or do you look up random things on Google and get ideas… … … ??
I can tell you there is no research in my songwriting. No Google, no references. Not even an idea of what I am going to write about 99.99% of the time. I am a tune player and creator on guitar. That’s usually what I do when I pick up the guitar, play something new whatever comes out. It comes through me sitting there and I don’t think about it much except trying to hear what it’s saying. 99% of the time I play and play and play for awhile then forget it all.
But sometimes the tune is catchy to me and I work on it and keep trying to get it right and eventually it sounds like it has the right shape and notes and well, tune.
So I might start singing along with it at some point during that sitting and see if there’s a singing part to go with the guitar part. No real words but then usually there are real words coming out of me, I didn’t plan them.
So there’s the idea for the song and I just write down the words as I come upon them and turn them into the melody and the song. That’s how I remember the song – that and then I often turn on Voice Memo on the iPhone to record it at that point. Like I just discovered something I don’t want to forget. Which is what I did.
Sometimes the tunes on guitar don’t have any words. They are enough they way they are. Or words could come later. Or words I’d written down (poetry ok) another time can be randomly matched to a tune. That happens too.
So tune first, words next, song maybe. Or tune first, no words, song maybe. Or tune not quite there, no song, maybe later. Or words sitting on a page to tune just written or written and remembered, song maybe. See what I mean? No plan :)
Just trying to get it right…
Voice memos can help. Decided to try to share some of those in the honest fashion they were created sitting at home just playing for me.
~~~~~ The iPhone part and tech mumbo jumbo ~~~~~
Every song in this collection was recorded on my iPhone using a 3GS, 4, and 5S. All used the phone’s mic (no external plugged in). I recorded the using the Voice Memo app that comes with the phone from iTunes.
These songs are then recorded in very low bit quality AAC by our friends at Apple who have a penchant for incredibly poor sound quality. They invented its use for retail in 2004 when iTunes came out. Before that MP3 downloads were free worldwide among millions of musicians and music lovers on forums and music sharing sites.
I’m all for putting music out there and Apple/iTunes has certainly done that in a digital way. But in the 21st century when technology spins over every 6 months and Apple themselves often at the head of that turnstile, don’t you think they might owe the public a little better sound?
Having said all that, I have found over and over again that the little AM-radio sounding like speakers that Steve Jobs put in the iPhone have a remarkably natural kind of old transistor radio sound I’ve liked since I bought my first iPhone in 2007 when they came out and people lined up on the sidewalk in Silicon Valley to buy one (I waited 2 weeks and walked right in the store).
That iPhone AM-radio sound is how I started recording my Voice Memos. Just ideas often. A handy memo tool so I wouldn’t forget some things I played for myself in a cabin here in Hawaii or maybe by the water or wherever. I learned how to sing and play “carefully” into the phone at good levels and good proximity for my ears. In the higher eschelons of audophiledom they call this approach to recording carefully for the highest sound quality “provenance” now. Ok Provenance. Just an iPhone though, nothing else.
I converted the AAC (m4a) files that are about 48kHz lossy in mono (like MP3’s lowest ranking) to a CD quality level (16/44.1 lossless FLAC) and “master them” as such. I don’t mess with them otherwise (i.e., adding compression, reverb, other effects or edits).
Then these voice memos were encoded with MQA by MQA Ltd., UK along with lots of other CD, HD and DXD quality masters I have as PCM. They sound better this way, even if you don’t have an MQA decoder DAC. Lots of MQA DAC models are for sale from various manufacturers at all price ranges up from there.
My song/voice memos are just that. Songs for myself to myself when I am writing them. I don’t always know how they go when I am recording the memo. I can’t always read the words I just wrote down perfectly or get the timing just right. They are rough and raw and new songs I just wrote. Before I even come to know them myself. I often want to record them and capture the original song for myself.
Now I want to share some of those with you. They are not the “best” ones per se. In fact they are just more of snapshots in time, where I was and what I was doing in Hawaii where I’ve lived since the beginning of 2008. But they are honest and they are all new songs for anyone who has listened to me recording since 1995. And I like how they sound.
Independent Acoustic has meaning to this end as it has for me since I started playing guitar at the ripe young age of 11.
Here’s to all the independent artists all over. Fer Fock’s Sake…
[Full Album/CD Lossless/MQA download is available at Bandcamp Catalog]
PS — A BRAND NEW SONG (and a digital audio digression) – released March 2020, “The Data Tech Blues” written at the suggestion of my Hilo auto repair shop owner guitar buddy Jeff when I said I’d come help him sort out his credit card processing problems that were holding up his payment settlements (he wasn’t getting paid!). Jeff said maybe a song would come out of it all. And it did….
While I recorded the original track on my iPhone, I moved that crappy iPhone AAC (m4a) audio file to PC and messed with it using the free Audacity editor/mastering tool on Windows. You will hear my synthesized version of what is called pre-echo ringing in the digital audio world. I added the effect more and more as the song progresses. A data tech nightmare for an audio engineer normally. What better place to put it than in a data tech blues song?
The pre-echo ringing means you are hearing my voice singing before it starts singing … What The…? Yes pre-echo ringing is a reality since the earliest days of commercial digital audio which was the CD about 1981 or so. One or more echoes of the impulse (fancy word for a loud sound) arrives to the listener’s ears (that’s you) before impulse itself. Other echoes trail the impulse and are called post-echo ringing. This happens over and over again when you listen to typical CDs or even hi-res PCM (24/96, 24/192). It throws your ear-brain sync off. Our ears are very (VERY) sensitive to timing and location of sounds we hear.
Sony and Philips who invented the CD standard didn’t care about that. They thought frequency was more important (20 kHz limits for human ear). So they whacked sounds above 22.05 kHz) using what’s called a Brickwall filter. The mathematical result of using that radical filter is the creation of the echoes that ring and ring and ring when you listen to the music. Ouch.
That’s why digital audio typically comes off to many people’s ears as edgy, fatiguing, and even irritating, or it sounds cold, mechanical and without natural feeling. Things that correct this problem are MQA (for CD and higher res masters) and DSD which has very little to no noticeable ringing to begin with.
I like DSD for lots of things. I like MQA for lots of things. To me they don’t compete at all with each other. I wish the rest of the audio world was as forgiving that way. The absence of pre-echo ringing is something both technologies have in common. I like that!
(….. If you want to hear what the original song sounds like without the ringing and other effects send me a message and I’ll send you a copy…..)