Eric Heisman and the Formation
  :: Eric Heisman and the Formation is a member since 11/28/2007 --- this profile has been viewed 36,262 times
Eric Heisman and the Formation's SoundClick blog - students walk out and some pray together.
I support the students walk out today. They will learn along the way just what sort of world they share with the rest of us here in this country. They may even learn what others around the world think of their efforts. Some local schools chose the moment to bring the students together for prayer.

I've seen some telling them to not walk out but instead, to be kind to the outcasts among them and to not walk out because it won't do anything for them in their world, but i disagree with that one. I agree bullying has been condoned for too long and i agree that kids can be mean and can diminish each other to the point of violence and or suicide. So I agree that they can learn from and can create the change they seek by being more kind to each other, one and all. I also know they will learn from their walk out, and as a member of the society they seek to make more peaceful and more kind, i hope we teach them right. That being that expression is good and peaceful demonstrations do enact change in many cases. I wish them well in their efforts to make the world we all share a safer and a more understanding space.
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Wed Mar 14, 2018 @ 05:24 PM     post a comment
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I played out of doors yesterday since the temps were over 70 degrees. The night before, Dave and I ran another mixdown of the latest song. I also played some songs at home, just howlin' them in the living room monday. The rehearsals have begun, i reckon. I have a show this July where i play for 5 hours, so again, adding new covers and still working on originals to introduce along the way. I also hope to be playing a few festivals where those originals are more often requested. So that means i get to work on the ones i know well enough to try in public when i am at the park or on a street.

I also decided how, for now, i will be dressing the cds up. I bought photo copier paper but that messes with the copier some, so i've used those pages to stamp and Sharpie stuff on the paper sleeve and stamping on the cds - i decided to use a fast-drying solvent stamp by Stazon. i most-often wipe the stamp pad on the printable cd surface and then use letter stamps to write on the discs, too. They're coming out unique and pretty, so double-win smile :) - As Dave and i complete these songs, i am making cds to try on the stereos of others, and i have even gifted a few. One got great reviews, another was received not as well as i might have liked, two unreported as yet, but i have given them to people that mean a bunch to me, so not really seeking out psychedelic music fans yet. I think they hear the older ones here and on the EHF youtube page for now, so i needs to bring the new stuff soon - and i am deciding now which ones to share here - i'd guess it has been maybe 7 years since i uploaded a collaboration tune. Hey, happy creatin'! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Wed Feb 21, 2018 @ 07:47 PM     post a comment
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With spring-like weather comes the memories, reasons i have become attached to playing music in parks and on street benches and - not busking, which is illegal in my town, but to share art. The memory that sparks me the most, inspires me to pick gear, batteries in an amp or acoustic or banjo -and - where to play today. It is art, afterall, i get to choose the day's composition and i count on my surroundings.

I have played in a tree-filled park in shelters on picnic tables, on a dock patio on a canal, at a canal lock and river park, on steel benches. I have also ventured sowntown. i started in front of an old post office and bank - cement and marble structures - where the sound bounces off huge buildings providing me a wonderful audio for those half a block away or further even. one day i played on a bench facing Main Street, honestly, i am hooked on that spot most. I'll tell you why.

I was playing a song and when i opened my eyes, cars cruising by at 20 mph or so, the bustle of a library and three restaurants, and it's 10:30am, and a young man, maybe 14 years old? is standing next to me doing what seemed to be a blend of air guitar and dancing sort of like a deadhead, all flailing and like no one is watching. It was a wonderful moment. It lasted a few songs. He thanked me, and i thanked him. I had him come back and shake his body while i played several times the past two years.

I hope he stops by this year. I mean, i have some great folk stop by and ask about what i am doing. they often want to tip - even approach me dutifully, but i ward them off saying no, no tipping, city ordinance and i am just sharing art. they love hearing that, some bring instruments, some sing and dance, some sit and cuddle, not that my setlist is so cuddly, but i have some nice songs, too. i play original songs, and covers and mostly i work on songs i plan to play for my 5 hour gig mid summer. Trying them on folk, knowing i can't just be lame on Main Street, i mean, it is like dress rehearsal, not just practicing. I also stopped by the police station a couple years back and made sure i was allowed. they asked i not block any business areas, basically. i recommend it, too, for the amazing kindnesses and the not so much that helps us all keep straight. love yas, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Wed Feb 14, 2018 @ 09:29 PM     post a comment
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So we were listening to the new tracks of our new song, tentatively titled "Crispies in A. Dave on Bass and me on a drumkit. as we're listening, we're editing for future tracks and Dave keeps singing along "It's cryptical" and again, "It's cryptical". and then he says, "man, this song needs some skat. can you do that? you know, skat some 'biddly-bop' sort of thing? i am like, "sure, no problem."
so we go to the next tracks, Dave firing up some crazy synth, ambience, stuff. and i was scribbling lyrics. as we started recording, i added in Dave's "It's cryptical" a couple times then into the lyrics. each verse started with those words and the song ends, after some improvised and some penned skat, with more of the "It's cryptical" lines. I penned a new "skat" word - "Poor-to-duomo" and then some more common skat stuff like scoob-ee-pop and such. It was a joy, and the mixdown is almost perfect. we need to EQ the vocal because my bassy voice muddies up things, and we need to adjust the start and ending parameters, too.
Oh and also, Dave kept referring to us as freaks, which we are, i reckon. so in the beginning, i searched out an audio clip - via youtube - of the classic film Freaks and played that in the introduction of the piece, with some spoken interjections to make it most applicable to the piece. The song is a fun one. Makes me smile even though i know the next session will entail a bit of editing and a new mixdown. we added two new tracks with Dave on his S-2 and me performing backing vocals.
Ok, been a few weeks, this writing moment needed to come out. Too much fun to leave it all untold, you know? peace and love, eternal, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Tue Feb 13, 2018 @ 03:04 PM     post a comment
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first lesson, if i may share something with you, is those pictures that go along with your blog. if you aren't sure what format an image is in in your computer, be so very careful clicking the search for an image - because i have had many written go unseen as i clicked that and the image i had chosen was in the wrong format. test test test if necessary. also, use the mouse to select your entire written blog post before clickiing for an image, if the screen tells you it is in the wrong format, it is gone, your words, lost. so yes, select and copy them before adding that image, which as you can see, i have just stopped including a picture to avoid that loss. Tell us all about you and your art and as always, have fun, you deserve it, you lovely people, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Tue Jan 9, 2018 @ 08:19 PM     post a comment
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last night i wrote a song on my own again. I started out with a drum track knowing i wanted soloing guitar to bring the melody and i had recently built a new kit on my Yamaha D522 kit. After a few takes, i had something solid so i moved to the guitar. after several takes, i had something i liked, just creating a sketch, not a song for radio play. i only had two hours anyway, not going to produce Boston's first record in two hours. smile :) so i had that much and needed some lyrics - and maybe something to write about. so i googled shakespeare sonnets and started with his sonnet 116. before much time had passed, i had lyrics that would fill in the music between soloes writing about myself and my quest to becoming a better sort. frankly, i didn't get past the second line of 116 and my words were flowing. so i had the lyrics and after a few takes, i had them set into the song well. however, i had some moments where something could be added to bring some additional meaning and beauty to this sketch. i plugged in the theremin and grabbed the antennae a few times and let it go and did some wavering stuff around the lyrics and guitar. The song is good to my ears, not even intended for radio, just a second go at the new studio with drums and such, to dabble in what i can do with this new arrangement of gear. Bigger and better things are forthcoming when i am not collaborating with Dave, and even bigger and better whan we are on it together. when one of these solo tunes warrants a share, i will drop it here or i'll write here where to find it all.

Tonight i made a roast with some stuffing, it came out moist and tender and sliced well and the stuffing is delicious, too. Going backward a bit, the cake i wrote about got rave reviews from some family-members, too. i guess that covers most of the fun here. feel free to share your fun in comments or write a blog and tell me to come-a-lookin'! you may notice quickly that writing blogs on soundclick gets page views and even plays. ...and besides, i love hearing about others making music and art and how they get through it all and how they started and such - anything, gobbly-gooky stuff even. share and let me know so i can help get your numbers up! peace and hugs, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Tue Jan 9, 2018 @ 08:13 PM     post a comment
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round two coming up today. we have a new song building up, so far, it has drums and bass and guitar and an ArpOddysey synth track. what will we add? Dave suggested we use some of our knowledge of Bard's tale and advanced dungeons and dragons to pen some lyrics. so, probably that. and i haven't heard the last thing we did to it but i suspect some editing and slicing and dicing may help get some of those synth sounds into ideal spots smile :)

i also made a cake last night. it is an orange cake with orange-colored vanilla icing and to make it more amazing, i put a thin layer of Marmalade with the frosting in the middle. it turned out amazing, which is how i describe any decent cake smile :)

have a lovely week, soundclickers! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Sun Jan 7, 2018 @ 03:00 PM     post a comment
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after a few more tweaks on the mastering of the last tune i wrote about, we moved to another new one - this time with both Dave and I on drums and guitars and this song is about fronting and weather fronts and in particular, the fronts some folk use to intimidate others. mean fronts, intolerant fronts and how it doesn't fit many folk. I did something new this time, and after three sweet verses, i needed a fourth, so i searched poems and poets' use of sunshine and daylight. It seemed that many have used light to illuminate, to scare off shadows and such. I found quotes i could use for the first three lines, by Maya Angelou, Charles Bukowski and Dylan Thomas and then, from the research, wrote a fourth line to cap off the tune.

I will use quote marks to hopefully send listeners reading the lyrics into fun poem searches. We mastered it already and are moving on to a yet undefined but quite inspirational few tracks featuring, so far, drums and bass and guitar and a synth Dave recently bought. I am quite sure this particular synth is one Eno used when he was with Roxy Music as i stumbled on a sound like the one that he uses in the last few seconds of their tune Remake Remodel.. More about this soon, and i will be uploading one soon, as well. Have a great day, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Thu Jan 4, 2018 @ 09:44 AM     post a comment
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Today was about giving for me, as so many have helped me through this past year. My mother gave me breath and continues to shower me and each of my brothers and sisters with the best prayers and best thoughts and hopes and dreams. Thanks to each of you blog readers as you again topped last year for me with more page views and another huge amount of listening to the songs Dave and i have uploaded here at Soundclick. Some of you are dealing with more sorrow and difficulty than ever before and my best thoughts and wishes for a better year ahead are with you. Some just plain struggle this time of year, my love and empathy are with you as i wish everyone Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas. Love and best wishes eternal, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Mon Dec 25, 2017 @ 09:56 AM     post a comment
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So we went back at the song to finish it up - adding guitar tracks and backing vocals - then we did some quick mastering and i copied the exported file to my thumb drive in mp3 to check it out on the ride home - it was messed up, badly. The vocals were way hot, which, i sing, i hate that sh*** more than anything. i would err to the side of too low in the mix if i had to choose imperfection, lol. Sometimes i do, not on this song, though, thankfully.

so as i examined the mix throughout, i recognized some other mastering we got a bit off. The intro, we had an amazing first few seconds, like so freaking lovely it brought to my mind a perfect Eagles-sort of intro. The guitar noodled in and the acoustic came in on the one and it was soft and building and a magical moment - and i had trimmed some quiet bits out while mastering and had diminished that acoustic strum so it was no longer interesting, let alone magical. who cares resounded in my head as i tried to figure out what i had gotten wrong with it. So we fixed that - we fixed the vocals, too. we put a mastering affect on the whole thing and chose one that didn't boost the vocals back into yuck-land.

Then we examined the guitar tracks, snipping and boosting and cutting more,... and i felt the main guitar track needed a boost, did that, and then, having done so much with the vocals, the drums started peaking out as too loud. so we ducked that stuff and listened like forty times at varying volumes and in and out of headphones. What we had was gorgeous, but we switched to another whole-song-mastering affect which added vinyl pops and some other analog stuff, and this was now an amazing tune.

on the way home, i listened several times, and on the morning ride to work, more critical listening with fresher ears. Before, it was a song with more potential than most of ours, as the performances were more solid and the structure more defined. so we spent hours, a rare thing for us, mastering, and it has paid off. The song was called, My Dog Brother, after the lyrics, which are about Diogenes, the Greek Cynic philosopher. Dave asked if we shouldn't change the title to "The Mockingbird" and since i get to make so many calls, we have changed the name to The Mockingbird, a superb composition and a solid demo. smile :) peace and love and as always, best wishes to you forever. j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Sat Dec 23, 2017 @ 05:25 PM     post a comment
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building a new song from scratch, to mix metaphors, was fun last night. We cooked up a fine drumbeat and guitar section - and i suspect it is a bit difficult to nail down a drum track when the guitar drops out for 16 and plays for 16 and drops for 16 again and again - but our last take shows Dave capturing that oddity. sometimes, when doing duet tracks, we stop when one of us stops - you know, so we can start another take, as that silence probably signals one of us lost it and are waiting for the next attempt. So after we managed to capture a glorious guitar and drum track, i went to the bass and Dave went to a synth. Gorgeousness!

Our ears were tired by then, but i think we have some wonderful stuff to build further upon. No lyrics yet, but i am feeling that first Roxy Music record now so maybe some inspiration will came from there. I really would love some more guitar, since the rhythm is ducking half the song away smile :) We'll see, maybe we'll hate it, maybe it'll fire some brain waves that push it another way than Roxy. Maybe anything, because we go where our inspiration and muse takes us. I'll tell yous all about it soon enough! Have a super day and thanks for reading! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Tue Dec 12, 2017 @ 03:12 PM     1 comment    post a comment
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How do we show our support to local music?

I was at a show last night to show support for a band that three close friends and another good friend perform in and so i went to the club, bought a pizza i wasn't hungry for and gave slices to friends as they visited the table. typically i don't sit, but the place was somewhat busy and so i needed a table to order and when one opened up, i grabbed it and ordered. See i stopped drinking mass quantities years ago so spending money to move the cash register - that is how the owner recognizes a band did well playing his or her club - is not so easy, i try to be creative. I used to by a soda and tip $5 maybe twice the night, but that does not move the register total. so i spent 28 with a tip and had one cup of coffee.

I see folk slide in, pay $5 at the door and dance and cheer and socialize all night long without spending another penny - that is not getting the attention of the club owner. and they often scan the floors for folk with drinks in hand - simply, they notice. i played at clubs that required register movement on the top floor where the band played so i told friends when they came there to be sure to show the owner their band support by waiting until they got upstairs before they bought a drink so their purchase would be there for the owner to see and so the owner would ask us back.

This stuff matters. Please, if you have the door cover but nothing else, maybe stay home, you aren't supporting the owner that risks all to book a band on a weekend night. you're taking. if you go, don't drink a soda and tip $5 even, it is not showing the owner that you support financially his booking that band you love.

Please, when you can do it right, do not hesitate to support local music smile :) with love and understanding, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Sun Dec 10, 2017 @ 11:11 AM     post a comment
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a local band that is drawing a good and kind crowd is playing this evening in Dayton. I plan to make the trek even with our first measurable snowfall piling up in the driveway. It's been a couple months since i have been able to catch them. Arrows of Neon, a line from The Grateful Dead song Truckin' is the band and some of the members i love to support in whatever musical thing they're making happen.

So it is, at best, very likely i'll get to be shakin' my bones in a Dayton club. It is a good one, called Ladder 11 - as it was once a firehouse. the pole is still there, and some excellent furniture - i recall one night taking about a hundred pictures of feet of fancy tables and amazing chair-backs. These cats really tear the roof off the sucka with their covers of classic songs by The Grateful Dead. Wish me safe travels, please, and have a super night yo'-bad-self! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Sat Dec 9, 2017 @ 06:30 PM     post a comment
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I am craving orange cake. i found a box of orange supreme cake and started looking for orange frosting, none to be found. so i bought the orange vanilla confetti type and plan to add some orange flavoring.

I am not sure i need an orange flavor frosting, but i am planning to go for it. Dave contacted me and asked about collaborating, i can't tonight, so hopefully we'll be back at it soon! I want to run my bass guitar purchase ideas by him, he is a wealth of knowledge that has never steered me wrong. Well, i have to go before i am really done, but more again, soon! Love yas! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Fri Dec 8, 2017 @ 04:34 PM     post a comment
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I was pouring over the music instrument websites looking for a bass guitar last night. I want a bass but am not in the market for anything more than a few hundred dollars. I am wondering if a $250 four string is a better grab than a $350 five string.

I've never owned a five string but when bass was my main instrument, i had gone the distance to play the Music Man i bought in 1996. now, decades later, i am thinking i need a bass for recording these new original songs i am putting together. Any thoughts on my dilemma? do i keep it cheap and grab a four or do i splurge for a five even still shopping with under $400?

anyway, have a lovely eveing and if you are posting new music, please let me know in the comments so i can visit your page and help you get those numbers up smile :) j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Thu Dec 7, 2017 @ 05:17 PM     2 comments    post a comment
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while i ate a delicious bowl of chili, bombs fell, IEDs exploded, women and children were killed in the name of oil, heroin, and colonialism, and the distaste of being told how a people should live created more hatred of future generations of my neighbors. I mean to say, that chili was awesome, and it was yet void of any comfort or satisfaction.

I am so tired of my warrior, hawkish leaders and their colonial quests. Without question, because history has shown without exception, colonialism will raise up billions of people hating the country where i live. No protesting, no calling of lawmakers, no vote is stopping this. I am so sorry to all the people the interests of the USA is displacing, killing, injuring and trying to force into an ideal. It is not what i want, nor is it what anyone i know closely wants. Billions will hate the USA for centuries for the past our leaders have created and continue to create. Maybe it is not my place as a citizen of this country, but as a citizen of this world, it is more important for me to distance myself from the interests of the leaders of this nation and to say these are not shared interests at all and the powerful folk in this country have crushed the spirit of so many here. Not all! but the idea of utilizing the rights our nation affords is coming up short in stopping this hateful, violent aggression. To anyone who will hear, i am sorry i cannot bring about meaningful change in our leadership and their agendas.
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Wed Dec 6, 2017 @ 03:32 PM     post a comment
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We had everything but the guitar and vocal track, as mentioned in the previous post. The song would not see too much fuzz or too dirty of a distortion, but the guitar is rockin' and leaves room for the listener to ride along with the melody brought in by the keys and by the bass. The lyrics were scribbled again quickly and other than some pronoun switcheroo and a few article changes, they came out very good, and fun. The song's lyrics came from some research i was doing about the passage between Antarctica and South America - The Tierra del Fuego, dragons, which became eventually ice dragons and the folk that lived along the southeast coast of South America.
I couldn't find much about folk living there, but i did find a children's book called The Ice Dragon by George R. R. Martin, and illustrated, first, by Alicia Austin. So i started writing about an image Ms. Austin created for the book that had critters standing around watching an ice dragon decorate a Christmas tree. a little girl in the book had befriended the dragon, so she is in the song, and i mention some of the critters. i wrote some about the sea, which is rough, so rough to traverse that the seaways used are between the islands on the south coast of South America. The Straits of Magellen, for example, is not around the continent, as i might have guessed, but through a bit of sea that provides calmer seas, between the islands.
Well, the song is almost mastered completely now, some minor tweaks would make the song ready for prime time. We have a shakers track that, while it fades out in the end, it doesn't fade in, and it is too dominant for the intro to be as gorgeous as it can be. We edited some drum tracks to unclutter the sound and some volume adjustments on those tracks can also make the composition shine. I also would like some of my bass tracks to get the unclutter treatment, but these are minor, easily done adjustments.
Ok, this tune got the name Alicia Austin, who is the first of three illustrators that have created art for Mr. Martin's story. The song, after all, is more about her artwork than it is about the story. after some tweaks, we will get to another tune. something with fuzz or distortion, maybe, lol.
Peace, friends, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Mon Dec 4, 2017 @ 09:52 PM     post a comment
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yesterday was another great day in the studio! this tune started out being two guys talking about fuzz and distortion plans for their next song. well, the muse takes over. what we have is some nice rhythm tracks, a couple drum/metronome tracks Dave created led us through a round of Dave on drums and me on bass. the tracks are very good, but i was trying to make a melodic bass track, which it wasn't. so yesterday, i told Dave i wanted to create a melodic bass track off the bass track we had. i guessed it would suffice in providing me parameters for someth8ing melodic. he was cool with it and set up his synths and my bass, using his J bass. we managed to add two cool tracks and with maybe fifteen minutes left, we through together tracks with me on a synth and Dave on a sitar. no time for editing, so we'll get back to it soon, i hope. We need some distorted or fuzzy guitar, if it has surf-level reverb, i am ok with that, too. and lyrics. ok, that is today's update. not all of these blogs are updates, but this one is. have a super day full of music and love, peace, j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Tue Nov 28, 2017 @ 10:36 AM     post a comment
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inspiration hits, the seed of a new creation!
so i am standing outside waiting to give someone a lift home and i cannot stop, i am counting 8 and then 5 and then starting over - as in 13/8 time signature. it is burned into my psyche now and it is all i am focused upon.

ok, i made Thanksgiving dinner - deboning the breast before cooking, following all the directions to great pie, taters, broccoli, stuffing and gravy. but now, as i type, i am tapping out thirteen time. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,1,...

man, i am on fire with inspiration! this song is going to be cool - and i will admit, i listened to Nongon Infinity yesterday and their song Mr. Beat is resounding sometimes,... with lines of a song i wrote ten years ago and the line, "Nobody was here - inked on my skin - the faces i see shooting blanks at me."

I reckon the drumset will be getting some company soon after i reset my recorder with the mixing board.

Have a super and very much a Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Thu Nov 23, 2017 @ 02:23 PM     1 comment    post a comment
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The attempts that failed: an adapter from the audio cd player to the phone, did not do anything. the phone may have a setting to transmit data from the headphone jack to a blue tooth device, but my ignorance is holding that option back - also, the thumb drive failed - because i loaded WAV files and the car doesn't see them, unless they are MP3, then, that did work, eventually - also, the cord i could not locate, a headphone tip to a USB tip, so can't just run the headphone out of the cd player and into the USB port.

However, i heard i can load a song i just made onto my phone, then transmit it via blue tooth and then download it to the computer to burn it then rip it to MP# then onto a thumb drive, but i haven't tried that yet - so far, just decided to export the song as a WAv and as aan Mp3 so i have the lossless version and a version that the ride home can use for enjoying.

i am learning that reluctance to get with technology has pitfalls. don't be like me, keep up, have fun and keep writing! j
posted by Eric Heisman and the Formation on Mon Nov 13, 2017 @ 05:44 PM     1 comment    post a comment
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