As you probably know, I am always searching for opportunities to license my music to film and TV productions as well major artists. In response to a call for an old-style R&B tune, I searched my archives for Only In The Dark, a classic, Barry White-style love song. I recorded it 17 years ago in my original studio in Massachusetts before I moved to California. I was a novice audio engineer at that time yet managed to write and record this tune with the help of a lyricist, Lila Rose, and a great singer, Leon Beal.
However, there was a fatal flaw in the lead vocal performance, three very prominent off-pitch notes that I was not able to correct at the time because I didn't notice them. When I eventually realized the problem, I no longer had the original session files or access to the singer, so couldn't fix it. Last week, I discovered that with the technology available in my studio today, I was able to surgically and seamlessly bring the errant notes into proper pitch. Now, the tune sounds just about perfect. Check it out here and let me know what you think.
Locked Up, my amusing song about coping with the pandemic is getting better all the time. I added some horns to this rocking song and it sounds great. I hired some well-know brass players from New Orleans to perform those parts and they are busy doing that right now. I can't wait to hear what they come up with. As usual with session musicians, I have them play the parts I wrote as well as create and record their own version. No surprise, but their versions are usually better than mine. I play a lot of instruments, but I can't know the intricacies of all of them, especially brass. The only time I tried to play brass was when I took a few saxophone lessons in sixth grade. The only think I got out the sax was gobs of spit that I poured into it. LOL!
Well, that's it for now. Stay tune for more cool stuff!
Welcome to my web site! I am so happy to share it with you.
This is the place where you can experience the expression of my music, my world, my life. Thank you for being here!
Please check out my music, videos, upcoming events and all the other great features on this site.
I am looking forward to providing you with music that means something, music that inspires and entertains, music that is alive.
Peace and blessings to you and yours!
Feeling great about the possibility of no masking and gigging again! Some venues are reopening and more will be soon. I can't wait to perform again for a live audience; it is so different than doing virtual concerts. I tried doing those for awhile but it was unnatural for me and the technical aspects were distracting. I finally gave up. I might try it again if I can figure out a way to make it work better for me and for those who may be watching.
I have been working hard in the studio, producing some great new music. Some of my recent releases include two hard-hitting rock instrumentals:
I am also close to finishing Locked Up, an amusing look at surviving the pandemic, truthful and real yet a bit tongue in cheek. Other songs that will be coming out soon include Upside Down and Snow Moon. I am excited about these songs and I think you will be too.
I am excited about a major upgrade to my studio - new computer! I ordered a state-of-the-art Apple iMac M1, the latest technology. It is supposed to be way faster and more powerful than any iMac because it uses a new ARM M1 chip that Apple developed. Producing music puts a tremendous strain on computer resources and demands a powerful computer to work properly and efficiently. My old iMac is great too and was state-of-the-art in late 2012, but it is having a hard time running the latest software. It will be awesome to have no resource constraints anymore.
On the publishing front, one of my most popular instrumentals, Surf's Up, was used in an episode of Reelz' Cult of Personality about Charles Manson and his gang. Surf's Up is a retro 60's beach rock tune reflecting Manson's connection with the Beach Boys back in the day. This is the third time Surf's Up has been used in a Film or TV production.
Well, that is about it for now. I hope you like hearing from me and learning more about me and music. I hope you sign up for my email list and let me know what think about my music. Your feedback is important to me.
Lots going on right now. Several new songs and instrumentals in process and I am looking forward to wrapping them up over the next two weeks. One of my songs is a tongue and cheek interpretation of the pandemic experience. It is humorous but also very real. I can't wait to get it done. Going to add a great sax track to the song as soon as I find the right player to record it.
Night Came Down was pre-released on streaming to services this week and will be universally released on April 23. This song is about living through the 2017 Thomas Fire, the largest in California history at the time. After begging to get through the fire lines to save our pets, we arrived at our house with ash and flaming embers flying in our faces driven by 80 mph winds. Smoke filled our house and our lungs as we rushed through the rooms gathering a few essentials and our frightened pets. For the next several days, we ran from the fire. First to friends and then to a hotel 60 miles away. The fire seemed to chase us; within days, smoke was surrounding the hotel. We headed back south, passing again through the smoke as the fire lined the highway. Nothing was ever the same again, the fire changed everything. We were virtually homeless for weeks. Eventually we found refuge and a new home in the desert. Night Came Down is about all of that and more.
Local venues here in the S. California desert are beginning to show signs of life. Within the next few months, things might be "normal" enough for me to return to the Joshua Tree Saloon where I was a regular before the pandemic struck. I have been vaccinated, so at least I have done my part. Hope others do the same. Although FB Live performances work for some, I find it frustrating and not the level of quality I want to provide my fans. However, I did revive my Patreon membership so there is still hope. I have been working on expanding my social media presence on LinkedIn and Twitter as well as using music promotion and distribution platforms like DISCO, Distrokid, Bandcamp and YouTube. Hopefully, providing more points of interaction will help potential clients and fans find and enjoy my music more.
Thanks for your interest in me and my music. I appreciate it!
Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my web site. Glad you are here.
My latest production - Cloudless Sky - was just released on all major streaming and download platforms. I am so excited to have this song out there. I wrote it during a trip to Massachusetts in 2019, during that fondly remembered lead up to the pandemic. I was so blessed to be able to make that trip before the lock down began.
I visited many of the places that were significant in life. I drove by the schools I attended, the houses where I had lived and some of the places I worked. It was a trip down memory lane but also a time introspection inspired by those places that had held so much significance in my earlier years.
Lately, I have been experimenting with the various ways of marketing and distributing my music. As always, all of my music is available for listening and download on this web site. I also post videos regularly on my Face Book page about my work in the studio and my plans for new music. There are so many ways to get music out there these days, but also thousands of artists trying to do the same thing. I have tried some Live performances on Face Book but I find the experience lacking in so many ways, both for me and for fans. Yes, it may be better than nothing, but without a live audience, it is very hard for me to get into it.
Since live performance venues are still shut down here, licensing my music to film and TV productions has been my main avenue for earning money. But that is a tough egg to crack too. I have had a few small licensing successes but would really like a lot more. To do that, I am researching which productions need music and what kind they need. When I find a match possibility, I submit my music to the appropriate person if I can find an email address for them. I also submit music to music libraries which serve the film and TV business. I have had some success there too.
As the vaccinations ramp up, I am hopeful that we will see an end to the pandemic and all the suffering and isolation it has caused. Aside from feeling trapped at times, I have been fortunate to weather the virus well. I have had one vaccination so far and will be getting a second booster shot in a few weeks. I must say, it feels great to have a least some real defense against the virus.
My plan is to release a series of singles over the next few months and then a six-song EP. My fans will get early access to those songs here on my web site. Of course, I am working on new songs as well as producing new instrumentals. Lately, I seem to want to add vocals to my creations, so what would have been instrumentals are becoming songs. On the burner right now is a song about the pandemic lock down, a classic delta blues tune and a totally re-imagined version of the classic Over The Rainbow. I don't know why but that song has always made me feel like I could totally escape my life and go to a better place. Escapism has been a life theme for me since childhood.
Well, that's about it for now. Take care and be safe!
Links To Cloudless Sky:
I couldn't let any more time pass without at least checking in here and saying hello. I have been focusing on recording my music in the studio and am producing music that meets my professional standards. I have also found a great mastering engineer that I am working with and I think you will hear the difference in quality that his mastering makes.
I promote my music on my Face Book page because I have a good sized, 400+ fan base there. I released "Night Came Down" a couple of weeks ago and will be releasing three more new songs over the next few weeks. I add all of my new music to this web site as soon as it is released. My songs are uploaded and distributed on all major streaming and download services like Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.
In addition to my songs, I write a lot of instrumental music. Tonight, I uploaded an awesome and very unusual instrumental, "Midnight Ride," It is written in 7/4 time and took me awhile to figure that out. I didn't start off to create music in an odd time signature, but after I worked with it, I realized that is where it fit. And it works! I pitch this music to the film and TV industry folks in hopes of getting it licensed in a production. I'm still getting royalties from a couple of placements I made years ago, so I must be doing something right.
Since all live music venues have been closed for quite some time here in my area of S. California, I haven't had a chance to perform live. Nothing else is like performing for a live audience and I miss doing it greatly. However, I have been doing some Facebook Live broadcasts and plan to do more. These are broadcast from my Bob Ballard Music page on Facebook. If you are interested, there are several video performances posted there as well as some from my past gigs.
Like many, I have feeling blessed that this very hard year of 2020 is coming to an end. I have been hunkered down for months now and so far have avoided getting the virus. I hope that you all stay safe too. Let's hope and pray for a better year, a year filled with love and respect for each other.
Peace & Love to All.
It has been a long time coming for sure. I wrote "Night Came Down" almost two years ago but have been working on getting it recorded and produced at a professional level of quality. I am finally there! At least that is what people have said who helped me vet this track, etc.
One reason why it took so long is that I am still learning. Yes. Even after twenty years in the studio, there was a lot I didn't know. In addition, the audio technology keeps changing and improving, so it can be hard to keep up with it. Also, as the technology changes, the recording and producing techniques I learned become obsolete. So it has been a struggle. It is tough to record and produce a song while simultaneously learning new software and production techniques. But what else is new, seems like I have always been learning that way, LOL!.
In any event, I hope you like "Night Came Down" and will listen to it and download the track. I'd love to hear what you think of it as well. Starting now, I am going to be communicating with you much more. I want to get to know you and hope you feel the same.
Back to the studio!
Sorry I have been neglecting to post here. I have been so busy in the studio creating music, I hardly emerge at all. LOL!
I have been honing my music production skills for the last 18 months, working with a great instructor from South Africa. Reaching commercial production quality has been my challenge for a quite a few years now. I finally got tired of hearing how great my music is, but sorry, can't use it in production. I am determined to eliminate that criticism and I have finally succeeded. Doesn't mean everything I do is great, but at least it of sufficient quality to be considered commercial quality.
I know this because of the feedback I have been getting from real Hollywood music supervisors and other professionals. I have been learning how to prepare and pitch my music to real people in the business and am now in a position to really get my music out to people who make music buying decisions for TV shows, major films and other outlets. Hoping to get a placement soon.
So between the production quality upgrade and my new connections in the business, I have been really busy producing music in the studio. Part of the production quality upgrade has been my equipment. I recently upgraded my audio interface, monitors, software, computer and microphones. I have a final software glitch to resolve, then I will be recording vocals and acoustic guitar via high end microphones and pre-amps. I am sure everyone will notice the difference.
I just posted a new instrumental, "Blast Off", which you can hear on my Instrumental page of this web site. If you compare it to the production quality of my older stuff (at the bottom of the page), you will see what I mean. Soon, you won't be able to do that comparison because the old, not-quite-there material will retired.
I am also performing live at local venues like the Joshua Tree Saloon, so rehearsals are an important part of my studio time too. Keep an eye on my event postings to see where I will be performing next. I am also planning to launch some live mini-concerts direct from my studio via Facebook Live. Stay tuned for updates on these.
Anyway, back to work for me. Thanks for hanging out here with me.
Wow! I just received a wonderful acknowledgement letter from Campus Movie Fest thanking me for the all the music I donated to student filmmakers. My music has appeared in hundreds of student films over the years. I am very happy to have helped so many budding filmmakers find their groove. I continue to provide new music to filmmakers and other industry folk and look forward to supporting some great new projects. Check out my Songs and Instrumentals on this site for more.
Happy New Year!
So far, the new year is off to a great start. The latest...
Just before Christmas, I performed at my favorite venue ever, the Joshua Tree Saloon. This is a one of a kind place and I treated it as such. From what I heard, I delivered a great performance. The crowd was awesome and so was the food. I love playing at places that feed me. I work up quite an appetite when I am on stage. I can't eat anything before I perform, but I make up for it afterward. They want me back, so I expect to be performing there again soon. Watch my Shows page for upcoming gigs. I'd love to see you there. Check out the videos on my Video page!
I am working hard to improve the quality of my recordings. Although I have been working at audio engineering for almost two decades now, it is apparent that I either missed or forgot a lot of stuff along the way. I have been studying with David Campos, an award-winning producer and engineer, for several months now, and I have really learned a lot. David has an amazing online presence with tons of videos that covers every aspect of music production from composition, to studio builds to mixing, master and lots more. He has been a godsend to me. If you listen to some of the music I have redone, like Retrospective or Silence, you will hear the difference compared to other music on my site. I am excited about taking my music to the next level!
I have been working for years to get my music placed in TV and film but have had limited success. Even when film folk like my music, they don't use it because they say the recordings are not high enough quality to drop into a production as is. To deal with that, I am working hard on my musical production chops as I mentioned above. I am also working with a music industry consultant from LA who is teaching me and my fellow students how to properly prepare and submit music to film and TV music supervisors and others who are responsible for finding music for the projects they are working on.. I am learning a lot about the film/TV music industry and getting an insider's view on how to get music licensed. This is a real hands on course and I am excited about all the opportunities it presents. It is a year long program, so I have a ways to go, but already I am learning to better focus my music and improve its marketability.
Well, that is about it for now. Just working hard trying to make it happen. Thanks for being here. I hope you enjoy the music!
Wow, it has been over a year since I posted on this blog. I hope no one has been waiting on me. LOL! So much has happened musically and otherwise in my life, that it is hard to write about it all. Actually, I do write about it a lot on Facebook and but not here. I guess I think of this page as my official music site, so I only post gigs and my music.
The Thomas Fire last December brought about some major changes in my life. I moved back to the Coachella Valley after the fire as we weren't able to live in our old place anymore. But we landed in a fabulous spot here in the desert and I am loving it here. I wrote a song about my experience of the fire and will releasing it this Fall.
I have been slowly building my home project studio over the last few years. Lately, I have made some important additions to the studio including a set of Yamaha reference monitors, a Fender Super Sonic amp, a Zoom effects pedal and a new gig chair. Last week, I found my dream production computer, a MacBook Pro loaded with tons of audio production software. I am very excited about finally having the ability to raise the production quality of my music. It wasn't bad before but music buyers, production companies and others have told me that my music wasn't quite at the commercial quality level they need. They really liked the music just couldn't use most of it as is. With the new computer and incredible software, you will be hearing a new level of production quality soon (once I figure out how to use all this stuff).
I am excited about the opportunity to perform again in the Coachella Valley. There are some great venues here. My first performance here is coming up Sept. 28 at the End of Summer Bash '18. There will be wide variety of music and other performances, including Reggae, Rock, Hip Hop, Acoustic, Spoken Word, and more. I hope this will serve as a spring board to more gigs in the area.
One of my instrumentals, "Surf's Up," is under consideration for use in a major ad campaign. This piece is one of my most successful; it has been used in a Kardashian show, a film and a cable TV show. With the new production capabilities I now have in the studio, I am expecting a lot more licensing success in the future.