Music Tool
People have been asking lately what equipment we use to produce the songs. Here goes.

My keyboard of choice is the Ensoniq SQ-2, which was manufactured in 1990. I have owned four or five over the years. It makes use of sampled waveforms, and thus performs somewhat like a sampler, with many realistic acoustic sounds. It also has an on-board sequencer, which takes some getting use to, but when learned, provides all the functions necessary to edit performances, right down to individual notes. The quantizing (correcting performances to conform to rhythm) is excellent and versatile. The keyboard itself, while not weighted like a real piano, has a good firm touch and is quite easy to play.

Once I have recorded basic tracks such as bass and drums (which the SQ-2 does very nicely) I can add a few accompanying parts and then begin copying the basic sequence, so I can edit each copy to provide for variety, and then place all the copies in an order that makes sense. This becomes the basis for the song, which I then record into Steinberg's Cubasis program on a computer. This is where I begin to overdub any acoustic parts, such as saxophone and hand-held percussion. Cubasis is an excellent program for this purpose and also allows for automated mix-downs, meaning you can mix each track separately and the program will remember these mixes and combine them all when you export the song. You can export the final mix-down into a variety of file formats, including MP3.

As far as the inspiration for the songs goes, if it's going to be an original I simply sit down to the keyboard and start playing. Soon I'll have come up with something I can use. At this point, whether it is original or cover, I begin to use my experience to give the song a sense of style or purpose. Sometimes I succeed.