Podcast Thirty-six

I Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We certainly did hanging out with the family. I just realized that we didn’t take any pictures. We really need to designate someone to do that next time we get together because there are so many memories to be captured. This is the last podcast of 2009, and it is all original. I hope you enjoy it.


Over a month and no podcast? Here’s why:

The past few weekends have been non-stop family and Soundwave. We had the “Night of Worship” on the 21st of November which encompassed a day of practice, Thanksgiving with the family the following weekend, two entire weekends of Soundwave recording, mixing, and mastering here in the studio after that, and I’ll be out in Sonora, TX hunting at the deer lease with dad and all my brothers this weekend. My goal is to take down the buck I passed on last season. (see last year’s blog and Youtube video) I’ll try and send out some tweets about the hunting experience if I can get online. The best part of it is going to be chillin’ with all my bros, David, Adam, and Josh for the first time in a very long time.

Here’s the song we recorded. Jeremy wrote it for the DCYC event we’ll be serving an entire weekend at in late January. It is going to be awesome!

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

New way of recording the podcast

I mentioned in the last podcast that I would blog about the new method of recording used in the last podcast. Instead of the Roland R-09HR, I used a balanced pair of Rode NT5’s with the Apogee Duet as an audio interface. The results were pretty surprising. Normally the EQ I use will have massive peaks and valleys throughout, but with the NT5’s, very little EQ or anything else for that matter was needed.

This is a good shot from the front. You can see the XY pattern used.


This shows the XY pattern from the back, and the placement inside the piano. I actually used Westone in-ear monitors, which completely block out any sound and listened to what the mics picked up using various positions over the piano strings and soundboard. This is what I came up with.


Here’s the MacBook Pro running Logic Studio 9 with the Apogee Duet ready to go. This thing is so quiet!


A shot of the whole setup.


Because of Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll be taking this week off from the podcast to spend some time with the family. Next Saturday, Soundwave is going to record one of our new songs here at the Maestro Music studio, but I’ll try to get another podcast recorded next Sunday after church. Happy Thanksgiving!

Podcast Thirty-five

This podcast, I used a completely different setup to record. I’ll blog more about it later. I used a number of familiar tunes. It was basically our set list for church this Sunday, and I think it turned out okay. There are some sounds in the background that got picked up by my new setup in the beginning, but they shouldn’t be too distracting. I hope this podcast inspires you to spend more time in prayer. LORD knows we all should be when you consider these crazy times we live in.


Podcast Thirty-four

I decided to change the naming from “week” to “podcast” since these will no longer be weekly. However, I will attempt to record one every other week. This podcast was actually recorded last Monday, but I wasn’t able to finish editing and mastering till this evening. The only recognizable song used is “Revelation Song” which I think I’ve done a few times. I also had issues with the R-09HR so I’m about to move to a traditional recording platform, which I will blog about sometime this week. This podcast is probably not as inspiring as previous podcasts partly due to the sound issues. If it’s used during prayer, it probably won’t be that noticeable, but I apologize for this. Just know that the best is yet to come.


Week Thirty-three

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but it has been a very busy weekend. I thought that after the exam, I’d have a lot more time to do stuff, but that certainly is not the case. At any rate, it was certainly a change in pace to sit down at the freshly tuned grand piano and worship for 30 minutes. I played a number of familiar melodies, but they’re all kind of mixed together so I won’t try to mention them all. It sure is great to be back to living life! Have a great week!


Some huge improvements to the podcast coming…

For the past 2 weeks, study time was cut in half, but I’ve started picking up speed again for the 2 month stretch I have left. During this time off, I spent a bit of time researching the new Yamaha Disklavier Mark 4 System. I even went to the local dealer and played one of the grand pianos that was built with the system. 5 word summary: It completely blew me away! They recorded about a minute of my music, and the playback was exactly what I played – sustain pedal and every meticulous keystroke made. There’s a lot more it will do. The benefits would be huge for my family, the Music To Pray By ministry, and me:

  1. The chance to playback the MIDI from the old Music To Pray By Album on an unbelievably sounding Yamaha 7′ 6″ Acoustic Grand, record it, and make it available to you.
  2. The ability to record MIDI first, not having to worry about the bird, the dogs, or anything, edit out the mistakes, play it back and record the flawless audio.
  3. Huge built-in teaching tools for SanBan. I plan to start teaching him as early as 3.

Needless to say, this is something very exciting to me. Upon further research, I discovered these things aint cheap. They are basically the cost of a new Mercedes ML500. During my research, an opportunity to buy a used one grabbed my attention. It was an S series which are crafted with much finer wood, it was only 2 years old, it was the pro version, which normally costs substantially more, and it was practically half off due to the seller’s circumstance. I came very close to making a very bad decision by going into debt, but thanks to some very wise counsel from my father, I turned down the offer and decided to start saving up for it. In the meantime, I’ve thought about doing the podcast with a keyboard instead of the Yamaha C2 Grand. This way, I could go back and record those podcasts with the Yamaha DC7M4 when I get it. What do you think?

Here’s a picture of it:

Yamaha DC7M4 Accoustic Grand Piano

Week Thirty-two

This day last year was my first post to the Music To Pray By Blog and now, a year later, there have been close to 30,000 downloads of 16 hours of recorded piano music to pray by. This is truly a God thing. This week was kind of a half-way point between when I started really studying for the CCIE and the dredded date of October 2nd so I took a break. Since mid-May, I’ve put in right at 300 hours of study, and I’ve made a great deal of progress. It may not be the 40 hours a week I was shooting for, but it’s the quality of study that has helped. This podcast, I used the following songs: “Audience of One”, “God With Us”, “Mighty to Save”, and a small piece of “The Motions” at the tail end. It’s been so long, I’m starting to feel a little rusty. Gloves will be off after the exam. Jeremy has already booked some Soundwave gigs right after so I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal life. 2 more months to go!


Week Thirty-one

During this podcast, I used the songs: “Hosanna”, “Mighty to Save”, and a new song called “Forever”. We’re doing it for the first time at church tomorrow. It’s a great song and it’s not the one yall might be familiar with – it just happens to have the same title. Some of the songs are repeats, but we’ve done them recently at church and it just seemed right. It was truly a joy to sit down at the grand and worship our Savior today. I hope and pray this podcast inspires you to spend some time in His presence. God bless.


Week Twenty-nine

The bi-weekly podcast is here. I decided to get it done today so that I can focus on studying for the CCIE tomorrow after church and group. I missed the “record” button again. I ended up playing for over an hour today so that I’d have something to post. The first 30 minutes may have been a little better than the later 30 due to a little bit of frustration after realizing the first 30 minutes didn’t get recorded, but hopefully it doesn’t show in the podcast. I used “Mighty to Save” and “Lead me to the Cross”, with some original stuff. I’ve been meaning to blog about all the home improvement that’s been happening here at the Johns residence, but haven’t had the chance. I should get to it either tomorrow or Monday. God bless!


Week Twenty-eight

I’ve gotta make this quick – Don is out there working hard without me and has been for the past couple of hours while I finish up this week’s podcast. I used a few songs from Sunday morning service – “You Said”, and “There will be a day”. I also used a Soundwave song since we had practice on Friday. Live free! Pray hard!


Week Twenty-seven

Sunday morning worship was awesome this morning! We had a new guitar player who rocked the house! What a great sermon by Cole too! This week, I did some familiar songs: “Revelation Song”, “Love Story”, “Abba Father”, and “Here I am to Worship”, and all I can say is what a wonderful way to end a great weekend. I had loads of fun chillin’ with the ‘lil one while Yoko took a much needed break with her friends Saturday, and we went out to eat at the greatest Tex Mex restaurant in Texas after church and spent most of the day looking at new houses. Good times…. Hope you enjoy the podcast!


Week Twenty-five

Sorry about getting this posted a little late. I recorded it this afternoon after church, but had to head over to the Petreas for our small group Super Bowl Bash. It was a blast, but left a little early so I could mix and post the MTPB blog. This week I used the songs “Audience of One”, “Your Name”, and “None but Jesus” all of which we played during this Sunday morning worship service which turned out to be completely awesome! In closing, I’d just like to say how disappointed I am that the Cardinals couldn’t hold off the Steelers offence the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. Ah well. Either way, this year’s Super Bowl was historic. The Steelers are the first to win 6 Super Bowls, and this is the first Super Bowl the Cardinals have ever made it to. I was kind of hoping that the Dallas Cowboys would be the first to take 6, but they sure did blow it this season. I can see my collegues at work laughing while they read this post because they really know how ignorant I am when it comes to football. Anyway, probably should have made all the football talk a seperate post, but I pray this podcast blesses you, and hope you have a great week!


Week Twenty-four

24I just couldn’t resist! There will never be another podcast that is Week “24”. For those of you who are 24 fans, you know why I’m so hyped up about it! Don’t worry, the theme song or the clock ticking effects are NOT included in this podcast. 🙂

I don’t know where to begin. This week was almost a no go because of work, but I just couldn’t miss another week of Music to Pray By even though I missed Soundwave practice yesterday and church today because of the network outages and hardware failures we’ve been having all weekend… At any rate, this week was all original, and runs a little more than 30 minutes – I hope it inspires you to spend some time in prayer. For Jesus!


Week Twenty-three

This week I used the chord progressions of some of the songs we played today for worship. I used a different position for the R-09HR, which caused it to pick up more from the sound board rather than the strings. I’m going to go watch 24 now. :mrgreen: God bless!


Week Twenty-two

Happy new year! I was going to do a seperate “happy new year” post, but never got around to it. For the first podcast of the new year, I used the songs “Your Name”, and a little bit of “Thy Word”. I know I’ve played “Your Name” in a previous podcast, but we did it for church this morning, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The rest is original. “…Pray without ceasing!” 1 Thessalonians 5:17


Week Twenty-one

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. The songs I used this week are, “All Over the World”, “One Life to Love”, and “How He Loves”. They may not be very recognizable, and I kept wanting to go from 4/4 to 6/8. In fact, most if it ended up being in 6/8. This is the last podcast of 2008! Until next year…


Week Nineteen

Even though I only missed 1 week, it feels like a lifetime. It really felt great to sit down at the piano and worship today. I kept the podcast original this week with the exception of a different variation of the song “Love Inside” that Jeremy introduced to me yesterday. I’m just blown away at how great God is and by how He can love us the way He does!