FAQ

What sort of content can I expect to find on this blog?

Just about anything to do with music, including:

  • Cygnus music and video productions, and other media.
  • Reviews of various artists, albums, songs, and equipment.
  • Instructional videos and documents.
  • The Cygnus Podcast.
  • Custom images, such as famous “Rock Icon” wallpapers created by digital artist Doctör Ivan.
  • Other artist and studio web sites I’ve had the pleasure of associating with over the years.
    See “Associates” pull-down in main menu.

In addition, this blog has convenient accessibility features (see sidebar):

  • Global blog search
  • Category selection
  • Translation (100+ languages)

Note: All content hosted here is absolutely free.

Click here for a quick overview of Cygnus Studios, including an introductory video.

How can I “follow” this blog?

  • Select the “CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL” button in the sidebar and fill in your email address, which you can rest assured will remain strictly confidential. You’ll then receive notifications of new blog content in your inbox, including a direct link here to the complete post. You’re free to unsubscribe at any time via a link at the bottom of each email.
  • Alternately, if you have a WordPress account, that can obviously be used to follow this blog in the normal manner.

How can I contact Cygnus Studios?

Email correspondence:
Please use the Contact form in the top menu.

Sorry, but our phone number is private.

Cygnus Studios is physically located in North Port, Florida, USA.

Do you offer studio engineering services for bands?

Sorry, not at this time… However, I am willing to consider song collaborations, either remotely or locally. I’m most often looking for lead and back-up vocalists, usually of the female persuasion. If you’re an instrumentalist, you must bring your own gear for local collaborations.

What are your musical influences?

Progressive Rock is my favorite genre, but my tastes in music run far and wide. I listen to everything from Amadeus to ZZ Top, as should you. Don’t limit your musical horizons, you may well be missing out on some awesome stuff that you’ll love. As our motto reads, “Explore Music!”

What is your band/artist history?

  • Aftermath (drums): 1974-1978
  • Krome (live sound engineer): 1978-1979
  • Niwot Nitwits (drums, guitar, bass, vocals): 1979-2011
  • The Joe Cool Band (occasional guest drummer)
  • Countless other “starter” bands, in my younger days.

What instruments do you play?

Primary:

  • Drums/Percussion (since 1969)

Others:

  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Analog and digital synthesizers
  • Sequencers
  • Mandolin
  • Ukulele

(All self-taught)

What types of drum gear do you use?

  • Drum Workshop (DW) shells and stands
  • Miscellaneous Pearl and Gibralter hardware
  • Evans, Remo, DW drum heads
  • Zildjian, Paiste, Wuhan cymbals
  • Tama Iron Cobra kick pedals
  • Rhythm Tech, LP, Treeworks, Kmise, East Rock, Meinl, Sanewave, Kalimba, AKLOT, Edaick, Gecko percussion
  • AHEAD drummer accessories
  • Pro-Mark Neil Peart signature 747 signature drum sticks

What types of guitar gear do you use?

  • Fender electrics (Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazz bass)
  • Gibson electrics (Les Paul, ES-335)
  • Ovation, Godin, Peavey acoustics (Custom Balladeer, Seagull, DW-3)
  • JaneRock mandolin (A-Style)
  • Caramel ukuleles (Tenor, Concert)
  • Ernie Ball, D’Addario strings

Amplification:

  • Marshall
  • Carvin
  • PreSonus

Effects:

  • AZOR
  • Carvin
  • CUVAVE
  • Dunlop
  • EX
  • GOKKO
  • Horse
  • MIMIDI
  • MOOER
  • Pigtone
  • SharkChili
  • SWIFF
  • TC-Helicon
  • Vangoa

Maintenance:

  • Music Nomad workstations and guitar maintenance products
  • SIREN gauges
  • D’Addario Planet Waves tools
  • Dunlop 65 polish and fretboard oil

What types of keyboard gear do you use?

  • KORG analog synthesizers/sequencers
  • Yamaha digital synthesizers

Who are some of the past guest artists performing on your songs?

  • Elmo Karjalainen: Lead guitar (Finland)
  • Christer Karjalainen: Percussion (KC Sound, Finland)
  • Nicole Guerrieri: Lead vocalist
  • Izsabella and Gabriella Mendez: Lead/background vocalists
  • Rhea Pitcher: Background vocalist
  • Celine Dion: Acapella vocal tracks for “reverse karaoke”.

Do you currently perform live?

Although I certainly miss it, I’m now retired and don’t play live gigs anymore.

This has a lot to do with it…

A favorite memory that immediately comes to mind is finishing a nightclub set with a cover of “Tush” by ZZ Top. Several people liked my performance so much that they felt the need to buy me shots of Jack Daniel’s. Actually, a lot of shots of Jack Daniel’s. Good thing it was the last set.

What are your studio engineering skills?

  • Audio recording, mixing, and mastering
  • Video production

What equipment is involved in your audio and video productions?

To avoid writing the Magna Carta, an abbreviated list…

Hardware:

  • Behringer A/D audio interfaces
  • Carvin mixers
  • R0DE, Sennheiser, Shure, Carvin, and CAD microphones
  • Ultimate Support, Atlas, On-Stage, Hercules, and Frameworks equipment stands
  • Hosa and Carvin cabling
  • Mackie studio monitors
  • Marantz studio headphones
  • PreSonus headphone amplification
  • Dell XPS-SE-8920 PC (Windows 10) with dual U2417H Displays
  • Asus C523 Chromebook (Chrome OS)
  • Onn Tablet Pro (Android 11)
  • HP and Canon printers
  • Velcro One-Wrap tape cable ties, by the mile!

Software:

  • REAPER (primary DAW)
  • SONAR Cakewalk (secondary DAW)
  • Audacity (utility DAW)
  • Mixbus (piece of shit DAW, don’t know why I haven’t uninstalled it)
  • About eleventy-seven DAW plugins
  • Guitar Pro tab editor
  • Pinnacle Studio Plus video editing suite

What is your formal education?

  • Computer Science (BS, 1992)
    Regis University, Denver, Colorado
    IBM Systems/Application Programmer (1984-2011, retired)
  • Electronics Technology (AA, 1979)
    DeVry University, Woodbridge, New Jersey
    IBM Electronics Technician (1979-1984)

Have additional questions?
Please feel free to write me at any time via the Contact form in the top menu.
I’m always very responsive to messages.