So if you’ve read my previous Year In Review articles you’ll roll your eyes as I say; Well I can’t believe where the time has gone but another year has past.  Once again it’s been a great year for Lower West Side Studio and for me musically.  It was a year for learning, implementation and most importantly, for making music.  Here’s a summary;

Drums / Percussion

With two practically complete kits there wasn’t too much percussion I needed.  This year I completed the cymbal setups of both kits giving them each the same number and sizes of cymbals.  They are all A Zildjian but one set is a lighter weight than the other.  The sounds are great and they’re fun to mix and match.

I also picked up a Carl Palmer Signature Series Venus Snare Drum by Ludwig.  This drum is great and fun to experiment with.  Plus I love that it’s green : )

2013 also marked the year that I got back into double-bass setups.  I purchased a DW-3000 double bass pedal for the Gretsch kit, dug my second Pearl bass drum out of storage and used my two DW-5000s on them.  THUNDER!!  I have to admit though;  I hate the double bass pedal.  As good as it it, as good as any of them are, the unbalanced feeling drives me nuts.  Also the second batter mutes the head before it’s done resonating from the first hit.  Don’t argue; it’s physics.


I added some neat toys to the studio this year to enhance some of the instruments.  First, I added the rack-mount version of  TC-Helicon‘s Voiceworks.  This is a great enhancement for vocals featuring EQ, compression and harmonization all in an affordable little box.

For guitars and basses I added each an MXR Custom Badas ’78 distortion pedal and an Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff PI.  A bassist brought this latter by to jam and I fell in love with it’s power and flexibility.

It’s amazing what kind of expanded range a few effects can add to your sound!


This year was more about learning how to use the software I have rather than acquiring new things.  That didn’t stop me from picking up a few VST add-ins.

These mostly included reproductions of vintage instruments like the Minimoog and other old analog monsters.

I also purchased a couple of great programs for transcribing and tabbing music.  These are Transcribe! by Seventh String Software and TablEdit by Matthieu Leschmelle.


Huge year for keyboards at Lower West Side Studio.  This year we replaced our Yamaha DGX-500 keyboard with a Yamaha Motif XF6 music workstation.  This machine is absolutely incredible and we’re still in the process of figuring it out.

I personally love Yamaha synthesizers.  My first hands-on experience was my bass player’s Yamaha C-5.  Now I have their flagship.  Wow am I feeling old.


So what’s happening musically with all this stuff?  Ok… here’s the scoop;

Highway 26 – Following our outdoor Canada Day performance I left the band.   I’m not a Blues guy and they’re a Blues band so it wasn’t a good fit in the long run.  They’ve got a new drummer and are doing well!  Rock On Guys (and Gal)!

Silvertone Rock Camp – Still without a name but with a huge playlist this band is a great weekly getaway for its members.  We should play more live gigs though.

The Drop Bys – My old friends are dropping by once again and bringing along some interesting guests!  We totally kick ass.  I think we should formally acquire the band name High School Jeans because we all still wear the same size jeans we did when we were in high school.  That’s right – we’re sexy : )

Fizzbin – The largest project I’m involved in is the synth band consisting of myself and my friend John.  We are two drummers who play a lot of other instruments besides drums (although some of our drumming is recorded).  We cover ’70s and early ’80s New Wave, Synth and Industrial Rock tunes.  We are in the process of preparing a live version of our set for early 2014.

So that’s the 2013 news from the Lower West Side Studio.  Please keep visiting the blog for more info and fun tales.  Thanks for dropping by!