York, and a new beginning

I returned to York this past weekend . It’s a beautiful place and it was as hard as ever to leave my son behind for his final degree year. More so because it’s become very obvious that he’ll almost certainly settle there permanently.


Unusually, I made the journey back alone. I’d taken quite a few of the CDs that inspired my love of World music and played them at a suitable volume for the 5 hour trip (a lot of traffic problem en route). I hadn’t played the music for some 10 – 15 years but can see where a lot of the early Earth Balm tracks and general sound originated. If I haven’t already done so, I’ll create a page listing some of these CD albums and, if they are still available, create links to Amazon etc. “Sacred Ceremonies” and “Hemisphere No More” were the two stand-out CDs.

One of the significant things for me, was that I had time to think about a new name for my music to replace Earth Balm.

I’ve also managed to load up the Mac Pro with the software I need and already use.


Mac Pro

I have to admit that I’ve invested in an aged Mac Pro (early 2008) but it’s equipped with 8 cores of Xeon at 3ghz and 32gb of ram. Boy does it fly! It handles Logic Pro X and Daz Studio / LuxRender really well. It’s an investment for a year’s time when I begin my musical work. It arrived badly damaged by the courier but the (Ebay) vendor gave me a 30% discount and I’m a happy bunny indeed. Below, you can see that it looks like the tower of Pisa!

mac pro



Steve Vai

I’ve been watching some Steve Vai videos on Youtube. Here’s one:

Not only is he a phenomenal guitar player but he also comes across as a nice guy. Best of all, he doesn’t need to curse.

Addendum: After posting this, the next Steve Vai video I watched (an MIT one) has him potty-mouthing but on the whole he doesn’t seem to need to use expletives often. It’s also good to hear him talk about monogamy and not taking drugs!

Below: I thought it great that the pictured number of hits to the blog (ending in 777) should appear during a post about Steve Vai!

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Air Xpand!2

I’ve just bought Air technology’s Xpand!2 au and vst synth. It sounds great at first dabble. Did I need another soft synth for Logic? No! So why did I buy it? Plugin Boutique.com have it for just £1.00 – can’t go wrong for that!

Find it here: http://www.pluginboutique.com/product/1-Instruments/64-Virtual-Instrument/1560-Xpand-2 – you’ll need an iLok account (I got mine with a free version of Pro Tools).



I’ve almost completed the first week of activities for the Future Learn course https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/vfx-for-filmmakers. I need to complete a composite shot using corner pinning and then I can begin week two’s activities / studies (I began a week after the course started). It’s good to be ‘learning’ again although I find it a lot harder than I did when I was younger. I’m also looking forward to a live session on August 18th. Again, all work towards marketing the Earth Balm music when it finally sees the light of day.

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