"In Service of the King!"
Michael Blue is an independent solo artist and producer specializing in an eclectic blend of '80s Electronica, Soundtrack, and Alternative Christian genres of music.
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Welcome to www.Michael-Blue.com!
4/2015 - The last two years (wow, has it been that long?!) have been a bit dry. Other than a handful of tracks here and there and some Omnisphere demos, there hasn't been much new to say. It turns out, the Korg OASYS 76 was the centerpiece of my setup and inspiration and workflow went with it when I sold it. Recently it has really been weighing heavy on my heart, to the point where on more than one occasion I said I missed it "like I would miss breathing". Well, God has a plan, and the funds I had been setting aside for another project (it's a car thing, lol) were just enough to purchase a used KronosX 73 that came up on eBay!
For those who don't know, the Kronos is the successor to the OASYS, with a slightly scaled-down control surface but much more going on under the hood. VERY excited and can't wait to see what happens when the studio gets cleaned up and reorganized with the new centerpiece. In other news, I am also selling the NI Maschine for lack of use (it may be just more complicated than I need) and several other older pieces of gear. To fill in the place of the Maschine, I picked up an Arturia Spark LE hybrid drum controller/software. It should make a nice stablemate to my Arturia Analog Laboratory 49 controller. I am also in the process of setting up a new studio PC, with all that entails. Getting all my software setup and reestablishing a workflow may take a couple months, but I'm looking forward to finally having everything all tied back together and working as intended.
3/2013 - Hey there! It's been a while, but it's time to post some more NEWS. It's been a long year or so working with the new gear posted previously, and working on some new projects for clients. In the meantime I've really fallen in love with a new instrument and after lots of research an order was placed this week and my new Stick Enterprises Chapman NS/Stick is on its way right now!
Her serial number is EHC 121221, which someone else brought to my attention was the date of the end of the Mayan calendar (euro format), so I thought the name "Maya" would be appropriate. One day I may even have the Mayan-inspired Aztec sun disc (calendar) laser engraved on her, like a tattoo.
What is an NS/Stick? It's a multi-mode instrument that can be played by "tapping" (touchstyle) or by traditional guitar or bass techniques. 8 strings tuned in straight 4ths from a low B to a high Bb are divided into 2 pairs of 4 strings which can be sent out as independent signals (stereo), or summed into a single mono signal over a stereo cable. These are capable of a variety of tones and offer a wide range of techniques to really challenge and reward the musician willing to take the time to become comfortable with them. If you look for Don Schiff's incredible videos on YouTube, you'll find some of the best examples of NS/Stick playing on the planet today. While it will be some time before I could even begin to comapare with someone like Don, I plan on learning my way around this instrument as quickly as possible, then begin to experiment with songwriting with it, possibly with effects help from something like a Line 6 POD 500HD or some Strymon pedals. The ability to lay down ambient pads, bass, rhythm and lead from a single instrument really amazes and inspires me, so the research into new effects has begun. Hopefully you'll be seeing news for a new NS/Stick-based CD project within a year or so. I also traded my DigiTech MV-5 MIDI Vocalist Vocal Harmony Processor for a DigiTech JamMan Stereo Looper/Phrase Sampler, so that should be some fun with the new Stick.
11/2011 - First things first, the OASYS 76, Triton 76
Pro and Groovesynth have sold. New additions to the Studio include a
new studio desk and sidecar rack, Arturia Analog Experience - The Laboratory
(61), Native Instruments Komplete 8, Native Instruments Maschine, TC
Helicon VoiceLive Rack, Blue Microphones Bluebird, M-Audio Keystation
88es and Tascam US-2000. The Studio page has
been updated and now includes a full "For Sale" section. A
new updated photo for that page will be up as soon as the room is reorganized
9/2011 - It's been a semi-quiet summer here, just editing and mastering audio from some training sessions and taking building progress photos for a local church, working on some personal projects, integrating the new iPad functionality and instruments. Meanwhile, I've added a profile to "about.me". Feeling like this quiet may be the "quiet before the storm", as I have a lot of new plans in the works for the Spring. Meanwhile, if you need anything, I've got a fairly open schedule right now. It's a good time to get some serious recording done.
3/2011 - Changes continue, more
Also, now that Omnisphere is here and Trillian and Cinematic Guitars coming in a day or two, work will begin on a whole new CD Project. This one will NOT be "demos" but will be a finished Indie-release and will be available both as a physical CD and for electronic download from places like iTunes, Amazon/Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, etc. More information will follow, but look for a late summer/early fall release of my first official Project!
12/2010 - HOUSECLEANING!
Well, as short-term goals come into clearer focus, some housecleaning
needs to be done to facilitate forward progress. As a result, a LOT
of gear is FOR SALE,
making way for equipment which is more focused to where I'm going as
an artist and producer.
...Are the first up for sale. If most of those sell, the Korg OASYS 76 will go up for sale as well, to be upgraded to an 88-key version. "Best offer". Click the "contact me" button at the bottom for more info. || As the holidays come and go once again, let me take a moment to THANK YOU for your support and interest in my projects over this last year. 2010 was the first year I offered any of my music for sale to the public, the first year I was paid for my work and has been a great year of growing, learning new things and developing a stronger sense of focus for where I'm heading as an artist and as a producer. It also marks the ONLY time "demo" material will be available from any of the individual ministries within Serenity Ministries, in itself marking a turn towards moving into a more "professional" arena with all the work that is done here. As 2011 fast approaches, I will be obtaining hardware and software instruments and tools that will aid in many of my short and long-term goals, including professional Soundtrack scoring for television, film and the gaming community. Once those internal changes are made, all the outlets I offer music at (SoundCloud, SoundClick, Facebook, etc) will be revised to reflect those changes and only samples of the NEW music will be offered, with the final products to be available for purchase and download. As stated last month, multiple projects covering a few specific genres (including Soundtrack, Electronica, Alternative CCM, etc.) will then be in the works, hopefully to be released throughout the year, in addition to the 3rd party projects already underway.
It is my prayer that everyone who finds themselves at this page has a very Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Be safe and happy and take the time to really cherish those you spend the season with.
Finally, as always, if you are a simple songwriter with just an idea for a song, or a band or worship team wanting to produce a professional CD, or an artist wanting to make a professional demo to send to record companies, I can help. "The Blue Room" is equipped to provide better than average "Indie" quality productions, offers 25 years of experience in all aspects of songwriting and production, and NEVER charges by the hour.
11/2010 - Wow, time keeps marching on, and things just keep progressing here at Serenity Ministries! "Serenity Records" has had several international inquiries, "The Blue Room" grows ever closer to the currently planned short-term goals, "Serenity Design" has some new Web design and hosting clients and I am working on 2 separate book projects for "Serenity Publishing", due out late next year. God is SO good! || Meanwhile, have you checked out the current goings on via My Blog and the "Chrysalis" CD? Since the format used didn't allow for more detailed info within the packaging, I have decided to make an "insert page" for the CD giving more background on each song, detailing some of the equipment used, and full lyrics! You can find it here. || Work continues on the 11-song project first announced in July, currently projected to be released early 2011. This will be a full retail release, available online at Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody and more, as well as being available in downloadable form. || Finally, I am working on my own full "Indie" releases as well...A few of them, in fact. Projects are being heavily focused into specific genres including Electronica/alternative, Sountrack and Worship, and will be available throughout 2011. A product not of reaching for a wider audience, but focusing more intently on each of the styles I am drawn to individually, there should be something for everyone.
10/2010 - It's been an exciting and busy couple of months
here! Work continues on the 11-song CD project announced in July, "The
Blue Room" is undergoing some changes and rearranging (as mentioned
previously), and my very first CD offering has been decided and is ready
to announce! As I move into my first "Indie" project for release,
I decided now would be the perfect time to release many of the "demos"
I've done over the years. This will be the only time "demo"
quality work will be available for purchase from "The Blue Room"
or "Serenity Records", and marks my move to more up-market
quality in everything I do here.
07/2010 - Humbled, honored and very excited to have been hand-picked to collaborate on and produce a new 11-song CD project with an international, award-winning songwriter and producer! Work has already begun, and it will be a very different project for me encompassing a massive variety of genre's and musical styles. Details in the coming months. || In other news, the ESX-1 and DX100 have been sold and those funds (along with 3rd-party project funds) are going back into the studio in other forms (see 6/2010 note). || Also, more music is going up on SoundCloud instead of SoundClick as I prepare to make a permanent move to one of SoundCloud's more professional paid accounts. I won't be doing this too often, but this month I've written 2 instrumental Soundtrack pieces that just need to be shared here. Click the titles to listen to "Uilleann Pipes" and "Wedding Day" (written and recorded 7/17/10 for Ryan and Kristy Jones on their wedding day) on SoundCloud.
06/2010 - "MUSE" (EP) Announced! Yeah, that's right. A 5-song EP featuring yours truly will be my first-ever "official release" and likely the first CD released under my "Serenity Records" label. Tracks include; "MUSE", "Nothing", "On Your Side", "Valley" and "Aliens". Demos of these songs are available to stream on my SoundClick and Facebook pages, but all tracks will be completely re-worked for the EP. || In other news; work continues on "The Blue Room" recording studio and plans are being made for a new process, including a new PreSonus Audio interface, MOTU MIDI interface, Arturia "Analog Factory - Laboratory" (49-key MIDI controller and Analog Synth-modeling software) and Native Instruments Maschine (drum machine), all built around a new workstation desk. This should significantly streamline the processes of developing new ideas and overall recording, resulting in both a higher volume of work as well as higher quality work here in the studio. The puchases will be spread out and won't be completed for 6 months or more, but I'm excited.
05/2010 - I've very recently switched from Cubase LE4 to Presonus StudioOne Pro, and this is proving to be a quite large move, but one in the right direction! Included in the Pro version were also several 3rd-party VST plug-ins from Native Instruments, whom I was aware of, but had never dealt with. This has led me to research them more fully, consequently I am planning many more NI purchases in the very near future. At this rate; nearly my entire studio will be made of Presonus, Korg and Native Instruments gear and software! Stay tuned for new projects utilizing the new software.
2009 - The new Project Studio is really coming along! I've moved into the new room (moving a piano is HARD!) and have already rearranged the room a couple of times! Between planning, setup, cabling selling off unused gear (Roland SH-201, etc.), buying new gear (OASYS 76! ESX-1, Warp Factory, etc.), planning new gear and changing my process a few times, it is going to be some time before the studio really begins to take on anything resembling what will become its final form. I have already begun Producing projects for other artists and this is really helping streamline what my final recording process is going to be, and is also helping me get some hours in with the new gear, etc..
2009 - "Serenity Ministries" announced! For some time now, it has been my desire (and I feel, my calling) to offer several services to local artists and ministries as a buffer between the extremes often experienced by those who aren't sure how to provide these services for themselves, and who cannot afford the extremely high and hourly fees often associated with these services. These services fall into 5 basic areas, and each will be somewhat independent from the others. The 5 individual service centers fall under one heading; "Serenity Ministries", and are "The Blue Room" - my audio recording studio, "Serenity Records" - my Indie record label, "Serenity Productions" - audio/visual project studio, "Serenity Design" - graphic design, illustration, web development, photography, etc., and "Serenity Publishing" - my Indie publishing company. Check out the "Serenity Ministries" page for the latest on these ministries.