One of my six-month goals was to begin to give voice and share with the world this side of my life of composing and playing music. 

To anyone who doesn't know, I've been playing music since I was 11.  I started with guitar, then I picked up piano, vocals, and various instruments from various bands.  Ever since music has been a huge source of joy in my life, and there was even a point where I thought about making a career of it.  Over the years I've recorded a few videos and put them on YouTube, but in terms of published and shared content, I haven't ever made that a priority.

My goal since the last newsletter was to begin creating and sharing that musical content.  For deadlines, I committed to 1 video by October 1, and 3 videos by January 1, 2018.  I had envisioned starting by making videos like these - non-cinematic music videos where the audio quality is high and the video element essentially serves as filler while you listen.  So in order to get the ball rolling, I recently sat down to dinner with a close friend launching his own rap career.  We talked audio and video equipment, he shared the story of his own journey, and by the end I had a vision of the next four things needed to bring this to life:

  1. Audio-editing software
  2. Video-editing software
  3. Microphone 
  4. Video Camera


Audio-Editing Software

The consensus here is that every software is expensive and powerful, it just comes down to which interface do you like.  They all have a free trial period, which I'll use to my advantage as I try out a handful.  My top three that I've researched are:

  • ProTools - I used this in my first band to record and produce our album.  Regarded as the industry standard for quality.
  • Ableton - recommended by Justin Boreta from the Glitch Mob as well as Ira Glass from This American Life as the best balance of horsepower and ease of use.
  • FL-Studio - I used this to produce several albums electronic music, and it's the interface I'm most familiar with.

Video-Editing Software

This is a lower priority as I don't intend to do much editing other than adjusting coloration or fading in/out videos.  There are very expensive programs, but Lightworks is recommended as one of the best free programs out there.


There is a ton of variability in this segment, but I wanted to approach this thoughtfully as it will be the most expensive part of this venture.  I'll be deciding between two types of USB-input  microphones.  The first says "This is a good microphone but I'm on a budget since this might not ever go anywhere." (Samson CO1U).  The second says "I'm spending more because this might go somewhere." (Blue Yeti).  

Video Camera

Frankly, we're gonna give it a go with my phone camera.  After comparing lots of different kinds of video recording devices, my Galaxy S7 has a stellar camera at 1080p that rivals a lot of $100-200 cameras. A nicer camera could be an investment in the future, especially if video editing becomes its own passion project.  But for the time being, a tripod for my phone only costs $10 on Amazon.

Wrap up

I'll be hard at work on this passion project, so look for a video in the next four weeks.  In the meantime, you can always pop into my Facebook or Instagram for the latest paintings.  

Quinacridone Dream,  8.29.17  Find the inspiration at  , site by artist Judd Mercer.

Quinacridone Dream, 8.29.17

Find the inspiration at , site by artist Judd Mercer.