How I Got With The Band…

Today Up On Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server :

People have been asking me how I was able to start working with touring bands early on. Well it was a combination of a few things. The first was that I had my foot in the door, 900x900px-LL-2e572183_tumblr_kvhmx8kT6h1qzci65o1_500because as I’ve told you I started at the bottom at the clubs in my local city. This allowed me to wander freely between all the clubs that were connected by the same management. I was able to get all types of passes because I would often do one off shows with an endless number of bands. Second, I was told by a friend that you have to have solid confidence in yourself, to act as if you were truly meant to be there. I thought this was crazy but I remember the first time I did it and as everyone was being checked for passes, I just walked right by. The third reason was as I had official looking passes on my lanyards for crew, I was never questioned. I would just go hang around back stage with the bands eating food and drink and striking up conversations.

Again there were things to keep in mind, the internet was new so there was little  way for people to check if you really belonged there. The next thing I would do is after working with a band for a night, I would see the real crew passes, then I would go home that night and 900x900px-LL-8cc10b09_thumbbig-5883make up fake passes that were so close to what the road crew were wearing…no one would look at the pass up real close and compare. As Ive said I also had a set of balls and no one was going to tell me I was not supposed to be there. I bought a laminating machine and got to know the correct gauges of laminating plastic used to make it look real. My most effective tool was an X-acto knife so I could do some real photo remixing…no Photoshop needed, just some basic graphic design knowledge of fonts and colors and I could manipulate anything I wanted.

The last and most major step was that I went on tour with the band and they did not even know it. I had figured out that If the band thought you were supposed to be there as their 900x900px-LL-64c0ba6b_headphonegirlsecurity they thought I worked for the club, and if the club thought you were there working for the band as their personal security, they thought I worked for the band. I figured out that they did not have great communication with the bands. Ten times out of ten no one ever made the connection, I found the band itself did not really care if you seemed like you were meant to be there. I would have security from the club or venue putting me on a security detail and I did not work for anyone. My specialty was personal security and I made that known to the venues and the bands, and I would be put in charge of security for  particular band member for the night. Now you might say this is crazy, but think about it…it really was my job at the home clubs.

So when the band would play in my home clubs, with my foot in the door I would get to know everyone I could in the band’s crew as well as the band members making sure that my work stood out as very professional. I would make sure to bust my ass during band 900x900px-LL-79c1c853_img-af78-c4load in…bands really appreciated my hard work as well as the lengths I would go to make them happy. Also I knew how to set up equipment so I would make sure I had everything exactly the way the artist wanted it. This was setting the first stage of my being in with the band. I had an extensive knowledge of music and would never find myself with a lack of good conversation with the road crew. Then the band would load out and I would do the same and tell the crew I would see them at the next venue, usually in the next state. So I would go home and make a crew pass that was quite indistinguishable from the real thing. I even had blank pass printing material, where I would have official backing tape on all the passes, and I would just use a glue stick to attach it and then laminate.

So I would do this for three or four shows in different states…I was used to touring anyway so I just made it work and would sleep in my car. Then there I would be again for load in 900x900px-LL-79a15a9f_pissedoffskullcandyownerand everyone thought I was working for the other party. Nailed it! I basically enjoyed the thrill of doing it and no one noticing, so if it did not lead to a temporary crew position, then I would just drive home knowing I had just enjoyed the band several times live, with endless stories of things I saw on the road to write about here. During the show I was always put on stage security, so I was one of the guys who made sure no one attacked the band while they were playing. I also was responsible for watching the band’s gear on stage such as peddles and microphones, because people would often try to steal them. So there were four international bands I ended up doing partial tours with. Twice I actually jumped ship and went on tour with another band after working with one for several gigs. It was then at some point I would be asked to join them and would get paid. I was able to eat with the crew, and got to know some of the road dogs and they had as much respect for me as I had for them. We would watch each others backs. It was an absolute thrill.

Some might say that I was not up front with them and thus could have been a liability. My response to this would be to say, how many times have you heard the notion that you have to be willing to go to any lengths to get to your goal that is attainable with hard work. Well that’s the way I look at it because I was trained to do what I was doing, even though it fell 900x900px-LL-86f155e9_tumblr_l9rijbAlWJ1qawf3uo1_500_largeinto a wide gray area. I never hurt any one and I was confident in my ability to actually add to the artists safety, some of the breaches I saw in security were eye opening and I would often plug that hole to make sure that it was not overlooked. I had the uncanny ability to see several steps into the future and I thwarted a number of serious problems that would have happened if I had not been there. I can say that with pride…it was what I was good at. If there was danger I would always sniff it out and if there was a problem with one of the lines in the snake between the soundboard and the stage I could fix that in minutes, saving huge embarrassment. I made myself an indispensable member of the crew.

With all that said I stress that anyone reading that if you try this today, it’s very unlikely that you would get away with it. There are procedures, technology, and protocols put in place to weed out people that would try to do what I did. Today it is called “impersonation” and you could be prosecuted for doing it. I just say that because when I did it times were different, and to save you a whole lot of legal problems take heed of my warning. Again my process, my review.

 

Thanks for reading.

Cheers and Bless Bless!

 

CM ☕

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

What’s Your Digital Legacy? Make Them Smile In Your Virtual Life….[Updated~Edit]

I have already described what the Christmachine Audio Reference Music Server is, BJPq2MhCYAAP6grboth in general and In-Depth in other pieces here. The third important dimension is that of a digital legacy.

Not to bum anyone out, but this should be important to us all, and that is what we leave for a “Digital legacy” when the time comes. Again this is not meant to be depressing…I face these kinds of things head on and like to think that I would leave some record that would put a smile on my loved ones faces when my time has come.

If you think for a minute, especially if something should happen to us unexpectedly, we hopefully leave others with good memories. The other side of this thinking process is that we leave a footprint online as well as a computer, externals, and a cloud that would have a lot of our private information. Be that as it may, as I think about this what would people learn about me that they might not fully know. Well the main thing for LkhkLme would be my passion for music and cinema ….not just a little passion but everything archived that would take someone 10 years to sift through. That is exciting to me because my Digital Legacy both here and in storage, I imagine would be quite a gas. I know what you’re thinking, ‘what makes you think others would find all my junk interesting’. I can’t say for sure but as you will see in due time that I have a lot of “war stories” which could not possibly be made up.

The website here at christmachine.com is my way of sorting out that “junk” for others to get a better understanding of my life. I like to say that I’ve lived three lives in the half I already have in this one. Further I also like to say that I have a few books worth of stories that would blow people’s mind and I’m not even famous, nor would I want to be. Traveling the world, tours, 900x900px-LL-ec46007a_3786601324_e96b6a3bf7_oexperiences, we all have them but here I can do that uncensored and to the best of my memory…I may forget a few small details but when did a person let truth get in the way of a good story.

Another thing is that I’ve always been good at writing when I keep it up…in the last several years after University I have let that stagnate and wither a bit. That is the reason some of my articles here meander and lose their way a bit. The more that I write, the better my writing will be, for many of us that is the case. Organizing my time to keep this blog filled with good content is also a good type of stress, I feel myself getting better at it every day as 900x900px-LL-d350f49b_180805d1359746819-den-store-hodetelefontra-den-321452_495117173872042_1278125087_nwebsite maintenance becomes more and more less time consuming. It’s starting to become second nature every day that I do it.

So I’ve read some articles on Digital Legacy and one of the most important ways of securing that legacy is giving someone you trust a list of all your login information at the most important places that you roam. One of the examples they give is, say you have a great memory and you feel secure because all your passwords are memorized in your head. What if you should bang that head in an accident and your still able to heal up fine except for one part…the memory becomes dodgy, then what would you do. I know a lot of people have software that secures all your passwords in one place with one login key to access them all. So I guess this writeup does not apply to you.

I don’t mean to get all psychological on your ass but even more than login access is that 900x900px-LL-d474f278_Devil-1024x805over time we all begin to sort out our digital information in such a way that our machines can be like a virtual book on our lives. I’ve been working on this for sometime, since I’m probably never going to write a book on my life, I think it would be pretty cool if my younger relatives would have a whole history of my life in digital form. They could watch all the best movies and listen to all the best music that I have compiled for myself. I know that’s pretentious to say that my music is “Good” music but let’s face it  the music the youth listen to today can be lacking in substance. Please do not confuse that comment with my saying that there is no good music out there, that could not be further from the truth. There is lot’s of good, really so much freaking music out there (Good and bad), but if you have ADHD like me sorting out the good from the bad can make me at times want to stick a pencil through my eye socket straight into my skull /sarcasm.

I know when I was young I would listen to only one type of music and then I would hear 900x900px-LL-cd32f308_1headphonesZeppelin, Pink Floyd, Metallica, John Coltrane, Paul Oakenfold, and Danny Howells….a whole new world would open up to me, for music and cinema,  I did not like at the start. At some point the “oh yeah, I get it now” factor would kick in. Now I’ll just as soon listen to Cinderella as I would Django Reinhardt. I give anything a try now and my musical knowledge is all the better for it…I hope that they will experience these type of “enlightening moments” that I had even if it’s not with my music.

So do what you will with my odd ramblings…It’s something that I think about, maybe at some point it will happen for you as well, maybe not. Anyway I still have to round up 900x900px-LL-d3e145c5_2dfd588d-2e10-44b8-adf8-0d41dfc2424f_largethousands of information logins so that someone can make some damn sense of my mess. I guess that will be such a task that maybe it will never happen and all they’ll have is some food porn and a million crazy .gif’s from tumblr. Oh well at least I can say I tried.

Thanks for reading and again for all your support!

Bless Bless!

Braindamage Inc.

 

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

My Audio Reference Music Server … In Depth…

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The fair light, favorite time of the day

In the first post for this website I explained what we would be doing here, and having read some of the posts you know that. Some of it will be free form and miscellaneous but the enjoyment for all of us over time will be heightened with a large archive of data and information about music as it continues to evolve.  Right now we are in the first building infrastructure phase, and the reason I say that  is because if you click on some of the categories on the right side of the pages…some of them will have very few links to pieces or may at this point have only been mentioned in an article. These are the types of Bands and artists that I will do future reviews of their catalogs, however this list will continue to grow in many unexpected directions. As the lists get longer, in due time all of the categories, especially the artists and terminology will have plenty of content, reviews & videos etc.

Some of the reviews that will be done will be mega-posts on one particular landmark album where I review say 20 or more versions in every format imaginable. Some bands that have small catalogs to this point, all of it may be covered in one single post but I will update the post as information and releases change. It all depends as you can see, and I  am constantly gathering ideas, excited for a lot of things to cover over time.

 

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“The Audio Reference Music Server”

 

What do I mean when I say “Audio Reference Music Server…In Depth“? Well it has to do a lot with my portable Hi-Rez DAP (See Here: http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/show-off-the-portable-rig-and-driveline-specs/ ) as well as my collection of sources. Obviously like a lot of you I keep a lot of my music not on my computer but in a safe place because, well there’s so much of it. Plus I keep every version of an album that I like for future comparison, testing, and listening. As I’ve said if before if I want to try a different sound signature such as “clinical” over “warm” or “Bright” over “Flat”. I also keep different versions such as mono, stereo, quad, as well as many other categories for “Mood Listening“. Ultimately though what happens when these albums are listened side by side (ABX’d) I have an initial judgement. If it is something I want to listen to or get to know more I put it on my DAP.

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Click for some low end thump!

Over time as I get used to the different releases…I often find a better source and it replaces the one that is on my player. Usually I will have them both on there for a little while so I can be sure and then I delete one. I’m pretty intense about it, for example there are days where I will only listen to one particular album (All Versions) for a full day. That means no other music to get in the way of judgement, track by track on every release with a trained ear for the full day. For example “Sgt. Peppers”  or “Dark Side of the Moon” each for one or more days. I hear new detail every time I listen…some may call this obsessive but I am fascinated and driven by it. This is not all the time though, I usually mix it up but I look forward to those “extreme days of dedication” when I can.

With all that comparing and dedicated listening I am constantly weeding out the fluff between different formats, resolutions, and pressings and focusing in on the best. As the contenders list gets shorter and their merit as to why I consider them to stand out from the pack makes itself known, I watch the cream rise to the top. So I have been doing this for a few years and I now look at my portable DAP as “The Reference” for me / where I set the bar as the best until I am proven wrong with my own ears. It’s science, as we know a theory is constantly tested until shown to be inaccurate and while it continues to stand up to rigorous testing It becomes law. My DAP is no different, so after many years of doing  this on different devices…I have finally come up with a large portable library that is the best, my subjective opinion of course as you have your best, and this is what makes up “The Audio Reference Music Server.” (in depth).

Thanks for reading and again for all your support.

Bless Bless

Braindamage Inc.

 

CM ☕

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

 

Show off the Portable Rig and Driveline Specs & other DAP’s [Pono, Ibasso, Fiio, HiFiMan]…Updated 04/17/14 today with text, scroll down or w/ direct link…

IMG_5579crpShow off the Portable Rig and Driveline Specs & other DAP’s [Pono, Ibasso, Fiio, HiFiMan]…[Direct Link]

http://www.christmachine.com/christmachine/show-off-the-portable-rig-and-driveline-specs/

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This is an Open Source Friendly Site

Enjoy and thanks for your support!

CM

 

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine

Show off the Portable Rig and Driveline Specs…

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Astel And Kern AK100 -Self Mod., ALO Audio International HP Amp, ALO Audio Green line cable.

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Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G [Balanced XLR] Headphones

VinylTransfer(Needledrop) / Reel To Reel Transfer/ HD TRAcks/ CD to FLAC/ALAC/ WAV/.mp3(320kbps) -> AK100 Self Mod 24/192 Capable Audio Reference Server (Stock WM8740 DAC) w/ 22Ohm Output Stage Bypass, hard-wired from output stage FET’sdirect to pins of HP output jack via Cardas copper litz solid core wire @ > 1-ohm of impedance (32GB Onboard FLASH + 2 x 128GB San Disk Micro SDXC-10 Cards) -> ALO Audio SXC 22 mini to mini 3 Wire Silver Plated Copper -> ALO Audio International Headphone Amp w/ 24bit96kHz DAC w/ Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC Chip  -> ALO Audio Green Line (balanced universal mini XLR) w/classic copper sends and silver-plated copper returns -> ALO Audio Green Line RSA 4 pin Balanced XLR -> Audeze LCD2 Bamboo rev. 2G w/mini XLR Metal Reinforced Male Input Connects.

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This is an Open Source Friendly Site

I’ve had this rig for more than a year now and I have not even had to use a “hard reset” even once…not one hiccup, just drag and drop files (Hi-rez or 16Bit/44.1kHz) on to the SD cards either directly via USB to player or put the Sandisk SDXC cards into the included adapter for computer card readers and dump many GB of data  very quickly. For a few months I even used manipulated code firmware for the AK100, which was hacked by this kind developer from Russia on one of the forums because it added a gapless feature, better GUI (General User Interface), and more volume via the internal amp (it even sounded clearer)…this guy did it months sooner than Astel & Kern.

Now the official AK100 firmware has all of these features. Again another glaring example where the “underground” / “open source” movement forces a large company to get there act together and put out the options for the player that they want. That is not a dig at Astel and Kern as it sounds, I think they were releasing updates slowly to make sure there were not major problems on a large scale with their code. Astel & Kern is a great DAP maker, expensive but great. With all that said I would not advise anyone to instal unofficial firmware if they do not know what they are doing because you could brick your unit. This actually happened to some AK100 users on Head-fi and they could have had their warranties voided by Astel and Kern but A & K were nice enough to fix the units for free…now that’s customer service.

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The Famous Wolfson WM8740 DAC Chip.

One last thing these and other DAP units are known to not be noobie user friendly in the sense that you have to have a little technical know how to get everything up and running (for ex. different formatting of the memory cards and “Hard and Soft Resets”) and if you hit a snag go social to fix a hangup. This is what the “Pono Ecosystem” is trying to eliminate a more seamless user experience and a tight GUI. Further if your a coming from the Apple Ecosystem these units are not as playlist friendly as the Ipod / Iphone / android/ Windows and Itunes and this is a deal-breaker for many…just like “gapless” is essential to me if you listen to albums like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” or any album with no breaks between songs. Some of the other players that one can consider in this category that work well but all have their ups and downs are models like the X3/X5 from Fiio, the Ibasso DX series, and the HiFiMan HM-901. Finally be aware that if you have power hungry or high impedance “cans”  you may need to strap a small headphone amp to your portable player in order to fully power the headphones correctly. Happy listening!tagdits

Respect!

CM

 

Please do not reproduce this article either all or in part without the expressed written permission of the author who can be reached via the “Contact” section in the header menu. You may link to the article if you wish, all that we ask is that you give credit to the respective author…”Christmachine” wherever you post a link. Thank you.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Christmachine. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 – 2020 Christmachine