The story behind the $100 song – Terms of Endearment

Growing up, I didn’t have a choice when it came to taking piano lessons and practicing the piano. I remember like it was yesterday how my mom would sit me down at the piano and tell me I had to practice an hour or get a whipping. She would then set the stove timer for an hour and I would have to sit there and run through my practice routine before I could do anything else. She doesn’t know this, but I used to sneak over to the kitchen stove and knock 5-10 minutes off the timer every now and then when I could get away with it. I started taking lessons at the age of 7 and by the time high school came around, I had gotten pretty proficient at learning and playing classical music. I can just picture in my mind’s eye my dad thinking to himself, “this kid’s gettin’ pretty good” so one day, he offered to pay me $100 if I could learn and perform the piano solo, “Theme from Terms of Endearment”. The $100 was all the motivation I needed so I started practicing it every chance I got. I even remember my piano teacher, Mrs. Lum giving me pointers. I actually combined the standard and advanced arrangement into my own custom version. About a month or two later, I had it memorized and as I was running through it at home, my dad came over and gave me a $100 bill. That was the first money I had ever earned playing the piano and it was truly motivating. So, here we are two decades later and my dad asks me, “where’s my $100 song?”. Well, obviously, I had forgotten it long ago, but I found the sheet music for the standard arrangement online, and my mom actually found the advanced arrangement I used back in high school. It even has Mrs. Lum’s notes throughout so I spent the past month practicing almost every night and got it recorded for him. Here I am 20 years later still earning that $100! 🙂 Enjoy!


DCYC 2011 – Limitless

Once again, Soundwave was blessed with the honor of participating in the largest Austin DCYC event in it’s 53 year history! It was an awesome experience to say the least, and wanted to post some media from the event. Here is a Youtube video of something the Youth Animators put together. This looked much more amazing live. Unfortunately, my iPhone is limited in it’s video capabilities:


Here’s a picture I took of these motivated young people Sunday morning:

…and last but not least, Limitless – the Soundwave Original written specifically for this event and recorded in my studio. It’ll be available for download on iTunes soon:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Many thanks to all who attended, and I pray you’ll stay on fire for God!

Podcast Fifty-two

I used new mics and new mic placements for this podcast, and have to say, this may be the best podcast yet in my opinion. God is so good! It is such a huge blessing an honor to be serving Him in this way. Everything but the beginning of the last song is original. Pray without ceasing!


Podcast Fifty-one

It seems like ages ago that the last podcast was posted even though it’s only been 4 weeks. The piano was recently tuned and is sounding wonderful. I’ve had this podcast ready for a while now. There were some issues with the sustain pedal after we got the technical problems resolved so I had to fine-tune the sustain MIDI data in a number of locations, which may be noticeable in some places. You’ll hear the melodies of “This Church”, and “God of this City” as well as an original. I pray this podcast is a blessing to all who listens – a great deal of time went into this one.


Technical problems with the piano…

Podcast 51 is recorded, edited, and ready to go. Unfortunately, the new piano isn’t cooperating. There’s some kind of technical issue with the sustain pedal – it stops listening to MIDI signals 5-6 minutes into playback. There were signs of this last week, but Yamaha Support was unavailable so I’ll be calling them first thing in the morning and hope to have it resolved as soon as possible. Once it’s fixed, I’ll be able to get podcast 51 dumped to audio and posted. Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later. I’ll be sure to post updates as they come. God bless, and happy new year!

Podcast Fifty

Merry Christmas! Well, this is the place to come when you’re burnt out on all the Christmas music being played everywhere. I had planned on adding a Christmas song or two, but that didn’t work out. Everything this week is original. I may have hit a few familiar melodies once or twice throughout. Thanks again to all who continue to listen and pray. Monthly download counts continue to grow with over 16,000 this past November.


The HUGE Improvements are here!

Some of you may remember when I posted this about a year and a half ago. Recently, someone living in a part of the world where you can be killed for preaching Jesus reached out to me. They shared with me how they duplicate and hand out CD copies of the podcast in hopes the Truth would be revealed by the Holy Spirit through the music since they’re forbidden to share God’s Word. This really brought home to me the importance of this ministry. I firmly believe this is a big reason God put me here.

I didn’t go all out with a DC7M4, which would have been too big for the studio anyway. Instead, I went with the DC3M4 which is only about 5 inches bigger than the C2, but it does have the Disklavier system and allows for me to edit MIDI rather than audio. It is taking time to get used to playing in a manner that makes it easier to edit, but I’m getting there, and I think the results are pretty noticeable. Last week, I spent over 16 hours working on podcast 49, and though the difference may not be huge, there are certainly no more sour notes. A stroke of the “delete” key now takes care of those. I’ve also been able to improve timing issues through the editing process, which was impossible most of the time when I was editing audio. This is going to make a huge difference in the quality of each podcast. No more distractions from what this is all about – drawing near to God. If you’ve been blessed by this ministry, and if the Holy Spirit leads you, please:

The first donation was given today – thank you! Every bit of money donated will go directly into the cost of this huge investment. I will also be moving forward with producing a CD of all the best original melodies God has given me over the years. It’s going to be awesome! I hope to finish this before 2012. Pre-order will be available a month or two prior to the release. Thanks again to all you faithful listeners – I pray for you almost daily. Here’s a sample of the piano in action playing back last week’s edited podcast:


Podcast Forty-nine

This week is all original since the church set list is pretty much all Christmas music. There were a couple that weren’t Christmas songs, but they weren’t really appropriate. Well, maybe one was. I guess I might do it for the next podcast since the set lists for the rest of the month are going to be full of Christmas songs, unless a MTPB Christmas Podcast is a good idea – is it? Anyway, I have a big surprise for those who listen so stay tuned. I’ll be blogging about it next week sometime. Hopefully there will be some noticeable improvements in the podcasts from here out.


Podcast Forty-eight

A podcast subscriber suggested recording without the usual increase in dynamics so I gave it a shot. My wife has actually suggested this as well a while back. I hope you enjoy it. I used the following songs: “Real”, “I Will Rise”, “Healer”, “None but Jesus”, and one melody I don’t recall the song it came from. It wasn’t really planned. I hope you have a wonderful Thanks Giving!


Podcast Forty-seven

I apologize for being a little late for this podcast, but had the mic / audio interface problem again, and I didn’t discover it till it was too late so no second-take this time. I tried to compensate by automating the pan, but it’s still not like I’d like it. Because of this, it took quite a bit more time editing. This issue also caused me to use a bit more compression than I’d normally use. Hope it’s not too much of a distraction. I’m may just use my keyboard next podcast if I can’t figure out why this is happening. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. I used “Jesus Saves”, “All I Need is You”, and “Give Me Faith” this week.


Podcast Forty-six

I used the following songs: “Your Grace is Enough”, “King of Glory”, and sort of used the chord progressions of  ”Own Little World”. Once again, there ended up being a lot of timing issues in this podcast. Can’t wait to get the Disklavier. That will make timing much less of an issue. This podcast is actually a second take. My first take got botched for some strange reason. The left channel kept fading in and out. I tried to use automation to correct it, but it was so random it was easier to just record again. It could be the pre-amps in the audio interface, or an issue with phantom power. Hopefully it’s isolated to inputs 7 and 8. I moved the mics to 3 and 4, played a sine wave for about 10 minutes, and there was no variation in amplitude. The Motu 896HD is almost 7 years old so I guess it may be time to look into upgrading.


Podcast Forty-Five

Happy 10-10-10! Did you know that in some areas, the number of people getting married today is 10 times the norm! I happen to be at one of those weddings today. My best bud since the 7th grade is getting married! It was really hard to leave my wonderful wife with our 4-day-old son, Jacob, and our 2-year-old Sanban, but thankfully my mom is there to help out while I’m gone. At any rate, this podcast, I used the following songs: “Revelation Song”, “The Motions”, and “All I Need Is You”. Since my time was limited with the new baby and all, I wasn’t able to do any flex-time editing, but hopefully my lack of timing won’t be too distracting. God bless!


Over 100,000 downloads in 89 countries

It could actually be more than 89 countries since the site was just recently moved to a new podcasting service that allows to see this detail, but it is truly motivating to see people all over the world downloading the podcast. Here are some screenshots of the tracking:

Podcast Download World Map

The podcast has also been downloaded in all 50 states:

US Map of Podcast Downloads

Thanks again to all of you who are subscribed to the podcast! I pray it continues to inspire you to spend more time in prayer.

Podcast Forty-four

There are quite a few familiar melodies from previous podcasts in this one. The only song I sort of used was “Your Love is Amazing”. I didn’t spend as much time editing this week since I kind of ran out of time. Yoko and I just hit our eleventh anniversary, which is really exciting. We went out to eat at our favorite restaurant and sort of took it easy this weekend. I hope this week’s podcast is a blessing to you!


Podcast Forty-three

I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked editing this podcast, but I think it still turned out okay. I’ll be out all day on Sunday for a Soundwave gig in Waco so I had to get everything done on Saturday. I only used the song “Jesus Saves” at the end. The rest is original – some melodies may even sound a little familiar from previous podcasts. I pray it inspires you to draw near to God!


Podcast Forty-One

The following songs were used in this podcast – “Tear Down The Walls”, “Your Name High”, and the Soundwave original that we just recorded in the studio, “Confidence”. There are some original melodies as well. I feel like this podcast turned out really well. I hope you enjoy it. The new template helped this time – no issues with the balance thankfully.

I’ve been meaning to give an update on how Soundwave recording went – it has been a very full week and I still have a great deal of tracking to do with the keys now that everyone else has their parts down. I hope to make some progress this upcoming week, but a lot of that depends on how work goes since I’ve been out since the Friday before last. I will do my best to make it a point to post about the upcoming Soundwave show we have in Lockhart. It should be a lot of fun since we’ll be doing a good number of songs off the new album coming out next year. Stay tuned, and if you’re in the area, be sure to check us out!


Podcast Forty

There may be a few melodies in this podcast that you might recognize. One is from the original Music To Pray By album. I believe a couple of contemporary worship songs are in this as well, but listening back, I couldn’t recognize which ones I used. I started with a fresh Logic Pro template this week since there seemed to be some automation or something in the last podcast that was affecting the balance between left and right. Thankfully, the new template fixed this.


Podcast Thirty-nine

The only familiar song used was “Glory to God”, and I mixed in some original stuff. There are some pieces of some new Soundwave songs that’ll be on the next album we’re working on currently. The rest is original – there might be a familiar melody or two.