Website and podcast update…

Unfortunately, there has been no progress made on the new website. I am still working with the developers to correct issues with the “contact” form, translation, and the e-mail subscription so those of you who are subscribed have probably noticed you’re not receiving e-mails when I post. I hope to have all these issues resolved soon.

Secondly, I’ve been hard at work the past year on the new Soundwave album, and it’s crunch time. We’ve committed release the album by early January at the latest which means I need to have all the songs ready for mastering by early to mid-October. Soundwave is a ministry near and dear to my heart, and the commitment I’ve made to the group is taking priority over the podcast at this moment in time. I will post updates on the website, album, and podcast as they come. Thank you in advance for your understanding and prayers.

UPDATE: The contact form, translation, subscription, and some other issues have been resolved but there are still a few things outstanding. Hopefully they’ll be resolved within the next few days. I plan to send out an official announcement as soon is everything’s 100%.

Pardon the stuff that’s broken…

My apologies to everyone as I migrate to the new website. There are a number of things that are broken right now. I’m working with the web developers to get them fixed. I should hopefully have everything working in a few days, at which time I’ll shoot out an official announcement about the new website. In the meantime, the podcast should be working now, and if you happen to browse here before the announcement goes out, feel free to comment and let me know what you think. More details to come on how all this came about.

Podcast Sixty-two

I used quite a few worship songs during this podcast – “Give Me Faith”, “Our God”, “I Lift My Hands”, and “Mighty To Save”. In a way, a lot of this podcast sounds repetitive to me compared to previous podcasts. It’s becoming a little challenging to keep things unique considering there is already over 30 hours of podcasts. 🙂 If this podcast inspires you to pray, mission accomplished.

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Podcast Sixty-one

Still searching for the best mic placement and mix, but I think its getting there. Most all the tunes are repeat or new originals. You may recognize one or two of them. I pray that every note played will encourage you to seek God’s Kingdom first. Peace.

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Grand piano mic technique and hardware used to record the podcast

For those who are curious, here’s an update on the grand piano mic placement along with the types of microphones and hardware used to record the Music To Pray By podcast.

This has changed quite a bit since the R09HR days. At the low end of the piano, an EV RE320 mic is angled in parallel with the strings. At the high end, an AudioTechnica AT4033a is aimed almost perpendicular to the strings. Completing the 3 foot triangle is an XY pair of Neuman KM184’s. These mics run into a Focusrite ISA428 pre amp, which has an ADAT connection into a Motu 896HD firewire audio interface. Logic Studio 9 running on a MacBook Pro completes the DAW solution. Here’s a quick video of it as well:

Moments of Joy and The Ark Family Church

I distinctly remember the times Joy Clayton spoke briefly during Sunday service at The Ark Family Church. The messages have always been inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting. Earlier this year, Kyle Kutter called me and asked if I would put together a piano intro and outro for “Moments of Joy“, a short podcast of these messages, and I considered it an honor. I thought to check this evening, and quite a few have accumulated over the past few months. They can be found here. What a blessing it is to be a blessing.

Pastor Alan and The Ark Family Church are largely responsible for the early beginnings of Music To Pray By. The church would have men’s prayer on Friday mornings, and the first few times I went, John Fernandez was at the grand piano playing music similar to what you hear in this podcast. Eventually, John asked me to sit in for him. I was nervous at the thought of playing live during prayer at first, but those were times I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. That eventually led to the original album, which led to this podcast. Pastor Alan has sent me encouraging e-mails in the past regarding his use of this ministry, which have truly inspired me to continue doing this even when I’ve felt like quitting. If you’re reading this pastor, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am living proof of Isaiah 55:10-11. Though I see dimly what God has done through this ministry (1Corinthians 13:12), I am truly excited about what He has planned (Jeremiah 29:11). To God be the glory.

Cisco Live! 2011 experience video summary

I left out all the boring technical stuff for the most part. The event was an unbelievably amazing experience! Hope you enjoy the video – all of it was taken from my iPhone except for the last bit. I chose the song “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train mostly because they performed a concert at the Cisco Customer Appreciation Party towards the end. It was outstanding!

I’m finally going to…

Every year since 2008, Cisco has spammed me constantly the months leading up to the event, and every year I have asked to go and have been denied the privilege. I was certain the same would happen this year. In fact, my manager told me last Wednesday he was unable to make it happen, which was no surprise, but the following day, a reservation within our company became available! God is good!

For those of you who don’t know, Cisco Live! is one of the largest technical conferences out there, and is by far the largest in regards to the technologies I work with on a daily basis as a Network Engineer for AT&T WiFi Services. Not only will I have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the industry, I will get to see and possibly play with some of the latest and greatest network technologies out there. The conference will be held at one of the hottest tourist destinations in the U.S. – Las Vegas, NV. With that in mind, I think of Psalm 119:11 – “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee…” might I add, “…while in the heart of Sin City for the first time” 😕

Please keep me and the family in your prayers this week – it breaks my heart to leave them for 5 days straight. It also breaks my heart to miss Sunday Morning service at TCC – especially with Jeremy, lead singer of Soundwave, leading worship.

For the techies, here are some of the seminars I’ll have the opportunity to attend:

– Enterprise Network Virtualization using IP and MPLS Technologies
– Advanced Enterprise Campus Design: VSS, Routed Access, and Resilient Campus  Networks
– Advanced Scaling for Core and Edge Networks
– CCIE Service Provider Operations
– Data Center Town Hall: Enabling Cloud Adoption
– Cisco NX-OS Software Architecture

For the non-techies – I also get to hear William Shatner give the closing keynote, and Train will be performing one evening as well. Another huge bonus is I’ll have the opportunity to attend an AT&T VIP event as well as a CCIE-only VIP party.

* On a side note, as the audience for Music to Pray By grows, I have considered moving these personal posts to a different blog. If any of you subscribers are annoyed by them, please send me a message using the contact form and I’ll make this a priority.

 God bless, and stay tuned for Podcast 61 coming early August. It was recorded over a month ago, but I remember it being special with a new original starting it off.

Podcast Sixty

This podcast does have familiar melodies from others, but I believe it has some uniqueness. One melody from the chorus of “Pour My Love on You” was used at the end. A couple technical notes – I used a new mic and mic positions, and there was definitely more dynamics than usual, but this was my heart of worship at the time – I hope it’s not too distracting. Happy 4th of July – thank God for the freedom we have. An estimate of 129 billion people have lived throughout the history of the world. Only 5 billion have experienced the freedom we enjoy, and 3 billion are alive today. How rare freedom is.

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New Music To Pray By Album Art!

About 5 days ago, Alex Anze, a podcast subscriber and graphics designer contacted me and said that he felt led by LORD to help the MTPB ministry by designing new album art for the podcasts “…in hopes that a better album cover might be more inviting to more people and so increase the number of praying people.” Today, I received the following image from him and all I can say is, …wow!

When I asked if it was okay to mention him in a blog post, he asked that it be made clear that he did this for the glory of God and not for self publicity – that this was a way of advancing the Kingdom of God and he’s glad and proud to have achieved something that may just do that. There may be some improvements to the website as well thanks to Alex’s generosity. GOD IS GOOD! Thank you LORD for Alex and for the work You’ve accomplished through him, and I pray you bless him in a very huge way!

Podcast Fifty-nine

This podcast, I used the songs, “Came to My Rescue” and “I Will Exalt”. Since I actually recorded this podcast over a month ago, I had to refer to planning center for the song names.

It is nice to be up on the new hosting provider. I was finally able to update quite a bit on the podcast so things look much better in the iTunes Music Store. If you have iTunes installed, feel free to check it out.

Interesting fact: this podcast contains 16,782 notes, and I probably touched 80-90% of them during the editing process. 🙂 I either need to learn how to play better or be less picky about timing issues.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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Sorry for the downtime…

I worked tirelessly last night well into this morning in efforts to move the website to a different hosting provider, and when I woke up today, discovered a pretty bad DNS issue which has basically taken the website down over the past 12 hours. Everything should be good to go now – it’s just a matter of DNS proprogation across the Internet which can take up to 48 hours. The good news is it should be completely fixed in time for podcast 59. I’m a little behind in the editing – still have about 23 minutes to go, but have no other plans with the exception of church stuff tomorrow and Sunday. Stay tuned!

Podcast Fifty-eight

It’s finally finished! The songs used are mostly original. I did play a familiar melody at the tail end. Most of it is a little more fast-paced than the norm. May you continue to be inspired to pray through my offering of worship to our wonderful Creator. To Him be the glory!

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Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all of you mothers! I have somewhat failed at showing my true appreciation to Yoko today for all she does as a mother – likely the most difficult job in the world. I spent most of yesterday and today editing the podcast – a total of about 15 hours so far, and I’m at around 19 minutes. Still have about 12-13 minutes to go, but I really need to spend the rest of the evening with Yoko. My plan is to work on it after Yoko goes to bed and hopefully finish before the sun rises. Regardless, I will get Podcast 58 posted within the next 24 hours – my apologies for the delay. When I committed to May 8th, it completely slipped my mind that was Mother’s Day. I pray Yoko finds it in her heart to forgive me, and I had hoped the Mother’s Day gift pictured below would have helped in that area. Turns out my time with her is more valuable so here I go!

Change in podcast frequency to monthly…

With the commitments I have to family, church, Soundwave, and work, I have come to the conclusion that the amount of time required to edit, record, mix, and post bi-weekly podcasts is throwing my life out of balance. I’ve thought and prayed about this for a while now and I know this is the right decision. I pray someday I will be able to do music ministry for a living, but just as Paul temporarily built tents to provide for his needs, I temporarily build internetworks to provide for my family. I still intend to sit down at the piano on a bi-weekly basis and record podcasts with hopes that in the future I will be able to catch up or employ help for the editing and mixing. At any rate, expect the next podcast to be posted on the 8th of May. I hope you had a blessed Easter.

Podcast Fifty-seven

This week we had Wednesday Night worship at The Connection Church so I used quite a few songs from that service – “Mighty To Save”, “Came To My Rescue”, and “Awakening”, a new worship song by Chris Tomlin that is pretty awesome. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t heard it yet. A couple originals are included as well. One was from a previous podcast. I’m still on a quest for the perfect piano mix. Mic placement and EQ has been changing every podcast. I really need to swap out my NT1000 with something else. It isn’t very balanced across the frequency spectrum. Maybe I’ll be able to afford the mic I’d like to replace it with in a couple months. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and the rest will be added. I pray this podcast assists you in seeking!

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Podcast Fifty-six

I used only one song this podcast. It’s by Robbie Seay, and it’s called “Crazy Love”. The rest is original. This podcast is actually a second take since the first didn’t record properly. I always thought recording to MIDI would eliminate having to re-record podcasts, but not true. I did learn that the Disklavier does not like any kind of MIDI signal coming into it when recording so hopefully this will be the last time this happens. I do believe the second take turned out better than the first – thank you Holy Spirit. Draw near to Him and He WILL draw near to you. Not only is that in the Bible, but I have witnessed it first-hand.

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Podcast Fifty-five

I used two songs from last week’s service for today’s podcast – “Forever Reign”, and “God You Reign”. The rest is original. I used a different acoustic piano sample for editing the MIDI this week, and it actually disguised a lot of the small timing issues which is good and bad. The good is it took me half the time to edit (~4 hours instead of ~8). The bad is I notice them when playing back on the DC3, but I’m pretty sure most people won’t notice. For those who do, you’ll have the CD to look forward to. My plan is to make it as perfect as possible. Stay tuned! As you pray, please remember to pray for Japan.

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Podcast Fifty-four

We did a new song called “Our God” by Chris Tomlin in church last week, and it’s a beautiful song so that’s what I started this podcast with. The rest is somewhat original. A familiar melody came to mind towards the end, but I couldn’t pinpoint where it came from. Feel free to leave a comment if you recognize it.

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Podcast Fifty-three

This week I used a new song we played at church called “Came to My Rescue”. It is a wonderful worship song and it would be worthwhile to check out the lyrics if you haven’t heard them before. I also played “Amazing Love” and “You are My King”. The rest is original. Even though I didn’t spend as much time fixing timing issues as the last podcast, I did spend most of the weekend editing. I hope and pray one day this will be my full time job. God bless all of yall out there who are listening and may He continue to draw near to you as you draw near to Him!

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