Archive for December, 2007

New Post on Astronomy Online

by on Dec.31, 2007, under Website Related

It seems strange to post on a blog a new entry on another blog. My Astronomy Online blog is not a “true” blog in that its not powered by any blog software – its integrated into the main site. It’s a way to keep things updated without major changes to the site itself.

Astro-Drummer is my only real blog.

I completed a new post on my Astronomy Online blog, major astronomy topics for the year 2007. This was a phenomenal year for astronomers. Give it a read and you will agree.

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Working on a Few Things

by on Dec.26, 2007, under Website Related

It takes me awhile to work on entries for Astronomy Online and this site as well. I am currently working on a blog entry for some of the top astronomy related stories for 2007.

2007 was a great year for astronomy: the Gravity B Probe proves Einstein’s “frame dragging” predicted by his Theory of Relativity; the Cassini Probe has given us views of an alien ocean on Titan; the Large Hadron Collider is complete and will soon hunt for the elusive Higg’s particle; Voyager 2 is still sending back data on our Solar System; we now have our first 3D map of Dark Matter and there was even a naked eye comet – Comet McNaught. You can read more when the article is complete.

On the drum side, I am working on two Neil Peart covers – Test for Echo and Far Cry. These two songs are excellent in both composition and improvisation and are probably my favorite Rush tunes with regard to drum parts. And they are both difficult to learn.

I will end this short post with a photo. This is an image of Mars taken by my good friend Tim Hunter. 

Mars - Tim Hunter 

The oblong shape is due to “poor seeing,” a phenomenon to describe atmospheric turbulence that affects clarity. Regardless of conditions, this is an excellent photo. 

Take care and Happy Holidays.

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The ToolBox is Open – and a Rush Clip

by on Dec.13, 2007, under Drums

The ToolBox page has been updated with 29 clips. These clips are designed to inspire – add some fills to your playing as well as some great exercises for double-bass.

I have also added a song to the sounds page – my first recording of a Rush song. I chose Prime Mover from the Hold Your Fire album.

Comments are welcome. 

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V Expressions Releases Professor’s Pack

by on Dec.11, 2007, under Drums

V Expressions Ltd, a company that produces custom modeled sounds for the Roland V-Drums, has released the Professor’s Pack. 

This pack features drum sounds from the Professor himself – Neil Peart. There are 20 kit sounds that span his career from 1974 to 2007, from Working Man to Far Cry (of course, Neil did not join the band until Fly By Night). The expansion kit works on the TD-20 and TD-12 modules. Some kit sounds are extended to include addition tom or percussion sounds.

The complete list: Working Man, Fly By Night, 2112, 2112 EXT, Closer to the Heart, Closer to the Heart EXT, The Trees, The Trees EXT, Jacob’s Ladder, Jacob’s Ladder EXT, Freewill, Tom Sawyer, Tom Sawyer EXT, New World Man, Kid Gloves, Manhattan Project, Time Stands Still, Show Don’t Tell, Roll the Bones, Roll the Bones EXT, Double Agent, Limbo, Limbo EXT, Ghost Rider, Spirit of Radio (Live), Spirit of Radio EXT (Live), Far Cry, Limelight (Live), Limelight EXT (Live).

The pack also includes some bonus kits from John Bonham, Jeff Pocarro, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tim Alexander and Mike Portnoy. 

The kit sounds are fantastic and well worth the price. The sounds are rich and vibrant and appear to have been a labour of love.

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One More Reason to Hate Sony

by on Dec.09, 2007, under Music

“When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Sony BMG Head of Litigation Jennifer Parker

This is a quote that was read to me from the January 2008 issue of Macworld.

I have never been a big Sony fan. I spent good money on a Sony VCR ages ago that lasted only a year and a half. The only worthy product by Sony is the first generation Play Station. Sony has always been the type of company that released products they think consumers need – like Blu-Ray.

I think we all remember the infamous Root Kit from  2005. This was a bit of spy software that would install itself from certain Sony labeled music CD’s. It’s design was to track how the CD was used. I heard they even struck secret deals with the major anti-virus and anti-spyware companies to ignore the Root Kit when scanned. It was a Blogger that broke the story.

The above quote  is outrageous. While I am against illegal acquisition of songs, we all have the right to make a backup copy of our music – or make copies so we can enjoy the music on our iPods or on CD’s for the automobile. I will even go as far as to make a copy of a great song to share with a friend. I can’t tell you how many times I have done this with the result being my friends actually buying the album the song came from. Did I receive the cost for marketing the song for the major labels? I think not. Of course when I did this, CD’s just came out. Now I don’t have many friends. 

I have been on a Sony boycott since news of the root kit broke. I have even sacrificed buying music from Sony labels as well as movies by Sony Pictures. Consumers can fight back with their money. I only hope more people actually realize this. 

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Sound Clips Uploaded

by on Dec.03, 2007, under Drums

As promised, sound clips are ready to listen to. Visit the ‘Sounds’ page to listen. There are a total of 15 clips for now. I will work on some more, including interpretations of favorite Rush tunes. 

I hope you enjoy them. 

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