MAM Blog

Figured this was as good a time as any to start one of those blog thingies... things will probably be a little disjointed while I make the initial entries, but should move along nicely once I hit my stride...

Another Visit to Claremont NH

So I was back up in New England doing some outdoors stuff in the White Mountains with Jeannie. On the way back I contacted Larry Welker and said we'd be passing by on our way back down Route 91. 

Stopped in to the shop to see what was happening.

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Here is an Ampex MX-35 tube mixer that was up on eBay recently but did not sell. I believe it is still up for grabs...

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This might be just the ticket for a Guitar Nut…

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Necks on the rack…

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Now for something completely different… this is a custom guitar amp built in the shop. Curly Maple was used for the construction of the housing. The speaker(a 10" Jensen) is in the top round section, electronics in the base. Apologies for the picture quality…

 More below:

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The controls…

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I am beginning my campaign now to get Larry to the 2013 Brookdale Guitar Show even if I have to drive up to Claremont and bring him down myself…

Six Degrees Of Separation

Recently I had a "six degrees of separation" realization. I was finishing up the second show for WBJB featuring the Jim Keller Band. Jim of course is a founding member of the band Tommy Tutone and the cowriter of 867-5309/Jenny. On this session playing bass is Byron Isaacs, who also plays in Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble band(and Olabelle among others). This band's "Ramble at the Ryman" album won a Grammy for Best Americana Album at the 2012 award show. It gets better. In 2010 the late Daniel Petraitis of Soul Purpose, and a founding member of the Twilight Concerts, won an Emmy award for producing the PBS special program of "Ramble at the Ryman" while at High Five Entertainment in Nashville. Of course my beloved late cousin Delores Holmes was connected with Danny through Soul Purpose as well as the Twilight Concerts, among other musical ventures that I've had the honor of having a role in. Funny how things like this come about, I'm glad to be a part of the fabric.

And to add another connection, Sea Bright NJ musician Linda Chorney was in the same Grammy category as Levon Helm(as well as Emmylou Harris, Ry Cooder and Lucinda Williams).

131st AES 2011... one of my best ever

Well the 131st AES convention held at Javits in NYC is history.

It never fails to amaze me how energized that I get after an AES show. Must be something about spending three days in a simmering pot with a bunch of other people who are just as geeked about audio as I am!

This is version 1 of my entry as things have been nuts since AES was over, and I'd rather get some of it out and add on as I remember things instead of trying to write everything then post it, as  that would make it take even longer to post!

My journey started on Friday the 21st. I was using the AES 2011 forum on Gearslutz as a guide to what I was going to check out first. I became a correspondent of sorts taking photos of some of the gear mentioned in the threads(gotta do my part!).

It was quite disorienting when I first got to Javits because the show was not being held in the usual area, it was on the right side of the center while the demo rooms were all the way on the other side. A lot of other attendees looked similarly confused at first. But once the badge was secured, off I went into audio wonderland!

Made My Day

I was recently going through some old files while integrating a first-gen Mac Pro into my production studio. I found a project that I had done with my first mentorship students from the High Tech High School, Sarah Fire and Jared Sousa, back in 1999. They were quite talented musicians, so I did a little searching to see what they might be up to now.

Turns out that after Sarah went on to Columbia University and beyond, she started a music school in Tucson, Arizona called Sarah Fire's Schoolhouse Of Rock. Needless to say, this made me feel quite proud of her and I emailed her saying so. She replied that it meant a lot to her that I looked for her and am proud of what she is doing with her life and school. It's very gratifying to know that you've made a positive impact on somebody's life.

I continue to do the occasional mentorship project hoping to provide the same opportunities to explore this field that I once was given.

127th AES '09... a little late, but here goes...

Just found a text file documenting my visit to the 127th AES NY convention in Oct0ber 2009 that I never got around to posting on the AES-New York Thread on Gearslutz.

Spent Saturday and Sunday roaming the aisles at Javits. The show was smaller this time around but that was a plus in my book. Reminded me of the AES show a month after 9/11... much more intimate which allowed more time to savor the experience.

Saw a LOT of stuff that I liked! In no particular order:

Mark VIII from Pete's Place. I originally saw this unit on GS and it was cool to see the unit in person as well as have the concept fully explained by Tony Shepperd at the Pete's Place/A-Designs booth. The sound of the Electrodyne 511 EQ 500-series module brought back memories of my early days learning on a '70s-vintage Electrodyne 2000 with 711 and 712 input modules. Another cool 500-series module was the Brad Avenson-designed BAC-500 compressor, another great-sounding device.

This booth was the crossroads for a number of regular Gearslutz posters. Besides Tony, I met Armando Avila and his Cosmos crew, and Ronan Chris Murphy who hipped me to the LittleLabs VOG and with whom I checked out the "Laser Mic"... he interviewed the(very young!) guy about the concepts behind it. He shot a very cool video showing a lot of the highlights of the show. It filled in some gaps in my experience looking at all that was available. I didn't really have a chance to talk to Peter Montessi but I must mention that his wife is a wonderful person, very warm and friendly, a sweetheart. A lucky man he is.

The 2010 Brookdale Guitar Show

Well the show is over and everybody has packed up and gone home.

It was an interesting day. This morning I was running a bit late because I was editing some video from a DVD that Larry had sent me featuring an interview he'd done for local access TV up in New England... a show called "Far And Wide" with host Dave Davis. I was glad that I had spent the time because it ended up being a very helpful tool during the day to show people more about the "leather guitar" and how it and it's other family members came to be.

After hurriedly setting up my table with the Rue Du Royale on a stand, Atelier Du EL Welker literature, my business cards, my MacBook Pro with the QuickTime video I'd prepared, and a pair of powered speakers(which turned out to be necessary equipment due to the oftentimes high noise level on the show floor), I was ready to go.


First person to stop by was Chris Buono, who I'd met a couple months previously at a local Ableton Live user group gathering at the Downtown in Red Bank. At that time I'd mentioned I'd be attending the show with the Rue and now he had a chance to see and play it for a bit. He was slated to do a couple of clinics today, so he headed off after trying out the guitar and chatting a bit.

A bit of history with ELWelker...

I am an audio engineer and producer, not a player per se(even though I consider the recording studio an instrument in it's own right), and I've always liked things that combined the aural and mechanical worlds. Maybe one day I'll get off my butt and get more into learning more about one of my favorite instruments, the electric bass.

Back some time ago, before the Internet existed in the form it does today, I became a member of the PAN Network. PAN was created with the goal of being a self-help organization for self-managed performers, but quickly expanded its charter to include all professionals throughout the music industry.

One of the individuals I met "online" back then was Larry Welker from Cornish, New Hampshire, an area which has a famed tradition as an artist colony including artists such as  Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Maxfield Parrish. Larry is a lifelong musician, wood/metal/leather designer and worker, master luthier, and a member of the American Guild of Luthiers. I was able to visit he and his wife Kathleen at their home for the first time in the summer of 2000.

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