Sunday, October 14, 2012

A lot of my sessions are from my home studio. It is convenient and cost effective to record at home then send your tracks off. It will be nice to go out to another studio and record for Lexi. We'll have a great engineer and producer so all I'll have to do is just play, like the 'ol days.

Last week I had a wonderful surprise session enter my studio and if the producer/writer didn't tell me about the tracks I was to play on and who was on harmonica I would have know within the first few notes it was Stevie Wonder. That fabulous tone and style was like having his picture in front of me. Great day... I took the first couple minutes just 'To take the moment in' --That I was gonna get to play on these tracks. I don't know what will become of the project but I got to play NS/Stickbassguitar and did some cello string arrangements.. Then sent them off. A banner day for me!

Got a wonderful session call yesterday. Remember "Lexi". I met her up in Lake Arrowhead when I was performing there. Very nice young artist (15 at that time). Well she now has management and I got a call from the producer for the recording sessions first week of October. Great band Gregg Bissonette on drums and Tim Pierce on Guitar... check there websites, they are the whose who of session players. So it will be a wonderful session, complete with donuts I'm thinkin'! and hopin'./Don

I'm gonna have to do a 'Day in the Life" video, my days are funny. Today I ended up at the restaurant "French Bulldog Bistro and Lounge", to help Lance hang our sign he made for the restaurant. It looks like it was made in the 1400's with wrought iron decorative rods to hang the planks of wood that are framed in iron with ceramic letters. It weighs about 75 pounds. Their are two and each will hang from either side of the front building entrance. Yes, I'll take a picture once hung, ya gotta see it.

However the morning was spent in the studio, I finished most of my live show, selecting sounds and parts to load into the various peddles I use. Heck the French Bulldog may be the first place I try this set and tunes out in.

Picked up our "Tully and my" hardrive from the previous studio we recorded at that holds our sessions for a few commercials we are seeking to land and songs written to present to various artists. We will give that to our representative to make the contact and deliver the music for us.

In the middle of the day I ended up on the construction site of the house I showed on an earlier post that we (Muggs Construction) are building. We ( I love to say we, though I think word got out I don't do tools well. Or it could of been when I was helping one of the crew measure a 180 foot trench, I fell in the trench, but the odd part was.... I was already in the trench when I fell!!! LOL.

Then I headed home Ohhhh but not before the French Bulldog gourmet chef asked if any one was hungry. The Restaurant is closed on Mondays (today) however he was there being part owner as well, and so "YES" popped out of my mouth. (Secretly knowing I was gonna end up there and hoped he would be too and ask). He whipped up an incredible Lasagna with spinach, mushrooms and such. Even had the 'ends' of the Lasagna slightly crisp. Nice touch. LOVED IT. Ate mine, and when Lance went to check on something, I ate the rest of his!! 'naturally assumed' he was done.... That'll learn em. Ohhh it was good. (Put Bailys Irish Creme in my coffee will ya!lll_ (see August 19 post -starts with 'Long day').

Nice day tomorrow, I good mix a stuff like today.
talk soon/Don

Long day, I was told if I got to the studio by nine, Lance would have breakfast waiting... ohhhh he was right, eggs, sausage and coffee. (the Good stuff, he always adds "Baily's Irish Cream" in my coffee. Funny guy. And it does taste good.
Then into the studio. Got all the music done, now my task is to arrange around, the melodies and cues we laid today. So, tomorrow I'll take my Bowed Guitar, upright bass and cello over to the main studio. SURE I said (why just the other day) how much easier it was to do it in my studio then transfer the tracks over. Well when there were only 5 tracks to deal with it was... now it's much easier to shlep my instruments over than to transport more tracks that can fit on a screen back and forth... A pleasurable problem, at least the instruments are light and hollow.

My day ended with a type of gig I haven't done since a teenager. A Musical Director friend ask me to play a gig with him for some function. I didn't ask what, if its a friend I just say 'yes' first, then how much LOL. Since I knew it wasn't a session or show, I mentioned that I don't know any tunes (Back in the 'ol days, everyone knew standard tunes by heart.....except me). He said he'd bring a book. So after the mornings session I drive to Redondo Beach, and it ended up being at someones extremely nice house to play a little party just bass and piano. It was a nice change, we both stared at a 'fake book' (musicians hand book of hip changes to standard tunes) and just turned pages, played music and enjoyed each others company. Plus ate of course... deluxe food. Got done, got paid, said thank you and got home about 9pm. Nice day of music! Another early day tomorrow, no mention of breakfast however... there is that deluxe coffee machine with all kinds of types to choose from. I like the French Vanilla, Sometime I (of course) add the hot chocolate with the French Vanilla, ... I call it " Le Don Schiff"
Good nite/Don


Ya know I got the notice in my email today for the Streamy Awards. That is the Oscars of the Web Tv shows. Our music is in the show "The Guild" which won the award a few years back. Giving me the moniker of writing music for an award winning show... Which believe me I will mention eveytime I can work it into a conversation..... (like now).lol

So since we are in our fifth season of rhe show, we have yet another chamce to win . I will keep us posted. Why whats better than writing music in a award winnig show!?!?!... Being a writer of music for a two rime award winning show! /Don
I was looking up the "writers" (Randy Vampotic & Mike Sorrentino) who wrote the film Lance and I are scoring (Land of Enchantment (working title) . Fun to find out their credited with the 2002 film "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause". I didn't see that film but looks cute. Saturday we have a meeting to show what we have scored to picture so far. Gonna be fun and long day full of coffee and donuts.

I moved my tracks that I recorded in my home studio over to our main production studio. (easier to track my upgright bass, cello, bowed guitar from home) as I write parts. It was fun for me, a lot of trial and error as to 'what parts' fit where.
Then I hike the ball over to Lance to add more of his magic.

My tracks loaded easily and flawlessly into the new Pro Tools System (that finally is running smoothly and solidly) for Saturdays recording and preview of music written so far.

Slow process and as my friend Pat Duncan (very successful screenwriter) says, "It's amazing movies get made to begin with" ( as there is so much going on to even get started).

"Alright then, let the day begin!"/Don

Had a fun gig so I took a quick video, have a look.

Just came back from a wonderful meeting with our new representation for Winfield/Schiff music. A side from the representation being well connected and able to get to anybody as he proved with our last couple requests with "Breaking Dawn", a cool guy to have breakfast meetings with. Tully and I met him at "Du Par's" in studio city. A wonderful old original coffee shop (yes I picked of course, I am the diner king). Had an egg over easy on top a pancake and washed it all down with a plan for our catalogue of tunes.
So that was my Tully Winfield morning and what a lovely time. We also will have a photo shoot of us together in the studio and bio kit put together per request of our Rep Robert. Here is an older picture of us "two Kids" Winfield/Schiff team back in the day. Tully looks the same, I on the other hand .... well we will be able to compare after I post our studio photo shoot up. Lol

We got up today to find a Duck swimming in our pool. The dogs (3) loved it as they watched him swim. Looks like he's spending the night. Gettin' a good rest for an early flight tomorrow I guess!

Thoughs of us that live in the Southern California area, their is the Ventural County Fair. I'll be there playing for Frankie Avalon Aug. 7th at 1pm if you'd like to come by and say hello. It's a 6,000 seat arena so wave wildly so I can find you...

I had a discovery in life. I would admire the family photos on the walls of each family members homes Pictures of one generation to another interacting and leaving a timeline for the next generation to abserve. I have fallen in the wall... Once an observer now a part of family history. I have become a part of the timeline wall.

Had fun playin' with "Those crazy Mixed up kids of today"!!! LOL
Back east visit was fun and will do it a lot more often. Now... back to much more music.

Flew into Kennedy Airport today. Very nice airport... to me much like the one in Paris (Charles de Gaulle airport). Nicely laid out with darn fine shops. AND added bonus, Balducci's Food Lover's Market was right next to the Starbucks! I had never heard of Balduccie's and had one of the best sandwiches, I had the bagette with prosciutto ham, fresh mozzarella, pesto (and I'm guessin' at these ingredients as I never had such a sandwich!!) Excellent, then to go right next store and have my Vanlla Soy Latte! Whew what a .... well it was 5:30 am, either a very late late dinner or pre breakfast, either way.... "Go JFK Airport". I'll be back.

So a couple times lately I've been asked for a business card. I haven't had them in a long time as mostly I'm known for what I do, those that call me have the number already BUT... apparently some don't have the number... Hence "Business Cards" are back. Ya now, now days you even get a scanner on the back so phones can scan and go to your website! I was so taken with that I felt like George Jetson of the "Here's my Card" world. Have a look, I didn't know which to pick so I took 500 of each. (I don't know that I know 1,000 people and I guess that's the point). Now there's a number to call!

Beautiful day here in Los Angeles, slightly cool but welcoming. Got the new studio up and running fantastic. Love the plug ins "First Rate" sounding. Lance plugged his guitar in and  flipped over the amplifier settings and emulations. Best to date. We will begin scoring the film "Land Of Enchantment". Most of the music is writen and sketched out, now to record it. The problems we had in setting the studio up put us 2 weeks behind. For those, thinking or getting Pro Tools 10 and a new Mac  tower, here briefly is what we ran into.

The Omni hardware internal system will only recognize the new Avid card if the Omni version is 2.10. Some ship with version 2.6 and won't recognize the card, so you end up (as we did) spending two weeks on the phone with Tech Support, replacing the Digi cable, Avid card and being sent 3 replacement Onmi's. ). Good news!! I learned a lot about Pro Tools while trouble shooting.

Ah feels good to be up and running.
Have a great day./Don

Got the new Pro Tools HDX studio up and running, we let the second Engineer in training do a few final adjustments. LOL. We have a film to finish with the new system and an album project in the que. It promises to be a fantastic system to work in. Can't wait to get up to speed on it./Don


Happy Father's Day to you all. This is my dad, God Bless his soul. Great dad, educator and human being. I miss you and love you so.


Well if lightning didn't strike twice for our friends. Luc Robitaille (pictured here with wife Stacia and son) got another Stanley Cup win. First as a Red Wing and now as an LA King. How fun. They will have one heck of a party again. I got to drink from the Stanley Cup from the Red Wing last win with Luc. I'll see if I can find my story post of it from back then and repost on my website. Yeah Luc and team. Congratulations.

Stanley Cup Party for Red Wings win.

The party was a blast and was held at Luc Robitaille's house. Well there was a bunch of us there and they LOADED the 109 year old Stanley Cup up with all kinds of booze. Luc stood on top of a table and would hoist (Ohhh it's big) the trophy cup up and then pour the booze into your mouth. Sounds simple, so when it was my turn (I had a nice suit on...) I figured to steady the cup I'd clamp my teeth on it. Soooo now my view is from my head halfway in the cup... teeth holdin' on.... and now all I see is the "Tsunami wave" of beer, vodka, whiskey mixed together headin' toward me. Before I could think 'bad idea with the teeth clamp' - the WAVE crashed over my mouth, nose, past my ears and on over my head and beyond. And the nice suit... picture Tsunami wave... Oh it got wet. What Fun!

Great evening and cool moment to 'drink in' and touch the history of this cup!


Saw a little bit of the film Lance and I are scoring. The color is gorgeous, (film just came back from color correction phase). The Computer Generated Effects excellent! I am excited to get the music to picture (within the next two weeks). Lance is going to bump our studio up to Pro Tools HD (same as the big production studios have). So I'll go out this week and shop for it and have an Engineer come over and set it up for us. Very exciting as the other studio I go to for full production is Pro Tools HD so I will be well versed in that format and be able to just take the sessions over. (Tech speak for 'now it will be easier). From here the film will make the Film Festival Circuit. Fun Doin's.

A little clip I saw has a 'space ship' hovering over a lonely road. Cool and deluxe looking, real eye candy that makes ya think , 'Ohhh I wanna see this film". Lookin' forward to seein' more of it myself! Lol.

I am scheduling playing live at "The French Bulldog Bistro and Lounge" (Restaurant Lance and I are involved in, located in Camorillo, Ca). I 'll let you know what Sunday I'm going in. It will be fun, C'mon down have the Champagne Sunday Brunch and watch me work. Lol.


    I was performing some concerts in Vancouver and teaching a Stick seminar. Taking a break I ran into a Wizard. Who new Wizards live on Granville island. Good donuts too!

Happy Mother's Day!
There is a space in which no words lay, the emotions are still raw, the love so binding. It is here where my heart is the heaviest,
my resolve the strongest. The love - the resurrection of our moms existence in our life... From out of the darkness, do we deliver our finest hour.


Came across a fun picture I'll call: "Once upon a "Tour Bus". A particularly nice one too, I slept well, everyone had there own bed area with a 'TV!". We were filming for a 'reality show' and and the producers stopped the bus a couple times, once to have a snowball fight!!! I figured 'Stacia" blonde on the right, couldn't throw so I stood still to let her try and hit me... Lol . She got me square in the face. Later we pulled the bus over and all got Snow Mobiles and went crazy. The filming was fun, would of made a hysterical show however.... Time goes on and now I look back at the pictures and smile and think "What's everyone doing now!?"

That's my pal "Lance" on the far right, I'll see him tomorrow, (we write and play music - Also I help (very little lol) with having the construction business and restaurant involvement with him.

Next to me is a fabulous drummer "Bob Do". Also Lances nephew, "God rest and bless his soul" he passed away some years back.

The person in the middle, I don' remember "yikes, I'm sorry".

And of course that's me, far left, probably thinking, "whose that in the middle? She seems like such a nice person"

Watch the previous vidoe first "Friends like these", This is a follow up to the joke Pat played on my car. He dared me to drive it to a gig... And so I did! Tag alone with "Manny, Moe and Jack" and myself as we stop for lunch and find the gig!:



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