1) What sort of content can I expect to find on this blog?
Just about anything to do with music, including:
- My personal music productions, live concert videos, and other media.
- Reviews of various artists, albums, songs, and equipment.
- Instructional videos and documents.
- Custom images, such as famous “Rock Icon” wallpapers, studio photos, music-related MEMEs, and more.
- Links to other artist and studio web sites I’ve had the pleasure of associating with over the years.
In addition, the blog has strong support utilities: Post search, category lists, monthly archives, and the ability to translate any page into over 100 different languages.
Note that 99% of the content here is absolutely free.
Click here for a quick overview of Cygnus Studios, including an introductory video.
2) How can I “follow” this blog?
Simply click “FOLLOW CYGNUS STUDIOS VIA EMAIL” 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. Of course, you’re free to unsubscribe at any time via a link at the bottom of each email.
Alternately, if you have a WordPress account, you can find that “follow” button at the bottom of the panel at right.
3) Where can I find contact information for Cygnus Studios?
Please use the Contact tab in the top menu.
Sorry, but we do not publish our phone number.
Cygnus Studios is physically located in North Port, Florida, USA.
4) Do you offer studio recording services for complete bands?
Sorry, not at this time.
However, I am willing to consider song collaborations, either remotely or locally. I’m most often looking for back-up vocalists, usually of the female persuasion. With the exception of vocalists, you must bring your own gear for local collaborations.
5) Who 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!”
Here goes nothing, and in no particular order:
Rush; Yes; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin; Electric Light Orchestra; Genesis; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; John Bonham; Buddy Rich; Neil Peart; Jethro Tull; Queen; Blue Öyster Cult; Frank Zappa; Eric Clapton; Black Sabbath; Triumph; Deep Purple; The Rolling Stones; The Beatles; The Who; Jimi Hendrix; Aerosmith; Michael Jackson; George Thorogood; Paul Rodgers; Stevie Ray Vaughan; David Bowie; Journey; Randy Rhoads; Roy Orbison; Robin Trower; Grand Funk Railroad; Lou Reed; Chuck Berry; Ted Nugent; Steve Miller; Ted Neeley; The Doors; Sammy Hagar; Bread; Brian Wilson; Michael Sweet; Styx; Buddy Holly; The Four Seasons; Céline Dion; Dream Theater; Prince; AC/DC; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Boston; Johnny Cash; Patsy Cline; Ozzy Osbourne; Uriah Heep; Def Leppard; Foreigner; Jeff Beck; Andrea Bocelli; Charlie Daniels; The Allman Brothers Band; Leslie West; The Sex Pistols; Marc Bolan; Darius Rucker; Iron Butterfly; Blues Traveler; Ronnie James Dio; Motörhead; Creedence Clearwater Revival; Judas Priest; The Scorpions; Rob Zombie; Meat Loaf; B.B. King; Todd Rundgren; Twisted Sister; The Outlaws; Stryper; Robin Trower; Steppenwolf; Thin Lizzy; The Ramones; Van Halen; Bruce Springsteen; The Monkees; and many, many more.
6) What is your band/artist history?
- Aftermath (drums): 1974-1978
- Krome (live sound engineer): 1978-1979
- Niwot Nitwits (drums, guitar, bass, vocals): 1979-2011
- Joe Cool Band (occasional guest drummer)
- Many other “starter” bands, in my very young days.
7) What instruments do you play?
- Drums/Percussion (since 1969)
- Bass guitar
- Analog and digital synthesizers
8) 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 pedals
- Rhythm Tech, LP, Treeworks, Meinl percussion
- Pro-Mark Neil Peart signature drum sticks
9) What types of guitar gear do you use?
- Fender electrics (Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazz bass)
- Gibson electrics (Les Paul)
- Ovation (Custom Balladeer), Godin (Seagull), Peavey (DW-3) acoustics
- Ernie Ball, D’Addario strings
- Line 6
- Music Nomad workstations, fret maintenance
- SIREN gauges
- D’Addario Planet Waves tools
- Dunlop 65 polish and fretboard oil
10) What types of keyboard gear do you use?
- KORG analog synthesizers/sequencers
- Yamaha digital synthesizers
11) Who are some of the past guest artists performing on your songs?
- Elmo Karjalainen: Lead guitar (Finland)
- Christer Karjalainen: Percussion (Finland)
- Nicole Guerrieri: Lead vocalist
- Izsabella and Gabriella Mendez: Lead/background vocalists
- Rhea Pitcher: Background vocalist
12) Have you performed in front of an audience?
Countless times! One 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.
I could go on with anecdotes like this forever, but you get the idea. Groupie stuff has been left out, so I don’t piss off the wife.
I’m now retired, and don’t play live gigs anymore. Although I certainly miss it, I’m not as enthusiastic about loading $10,000+ worth of equipment into a $2,000 car, and driving 150 miles to make $100 as I used to be.
13) What are your studio skills?
- Audio recording, mixing, and mastering
- Video production
14) What equipment is involved in your audio and video productions?
To avoid writing the Magna Carta, an abbreviated list…
- Behringer USB and ADAT audio interfaces
- Carvin mixers
- R0DE, Sennheiser, Carvin, and CAD microphones
- TC-Helicon effects pedals
- Ultimate Support, Atlas, On-Stage, Hercules, and Frameworks equipment stands
- Hosa and Carvin cabling
- Mackie studio monitors
- Marantz studio headphones
- PreSonus headphone amplification
- Dell computers and displays
- Asus Chromebook
- Acer tablet (remote REAPER DAW control)
- Canon printers
- Velcro One-Wrap tape cable ties, by the mile!
- REAPER (primary DAW)
- SONAR Cakewalk (secondary DAW)
- Audacity (utility DAW)
- About eleventy-seven DAW plugins
- Guitar Pro tab/score editor
- Pinnacle Studio Plus video editing suite
15) 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 tab in the top menu. I’m always very reponsive to messages.