Category Archives: Reflections

=772= Word: Result ≠ Greatness

Haha I am so stoked that the cancel equal sign works. HAHA.

I think that there needs to be a clear distinction between greatness and results. I was thinking about how the best product needs to have the best materials. A good mix requires good musicians. A story requires good characters. However, what if you are given bad materials in the first place?

What if, instead of great stuff given to you to mix, you are only given mediocre stuff to mix?

It is like a drink that you are supposed to mix but you are only given water. How is one supposed to mix a drink that rivals expensive drinks?

Is marketing really everything?

What if I gave the best drink mixer only water to mix, will he be able to make the best drink? Of course not.

What if I gave the best musician only one rock to make music with. No software, no other instruments, just a rock, will he or she be able to make the best sounding music? I doubt so.

How does one become great?

Who can make someone great without your permission Lord?

Truly, you are the one that gave us all we need.

Help me Lord.

-Kelvin-

=771= Word: Singapore Sound

Meeting Mike Johnson yesterday was such a great opportunity. Honestly inspired by how humble and fun he is as a person. Learned so much.

He said something that has been on my mind for the longest time. He said that Singapore is a relatively new country. In terms of music and culture, we have such an opportunity to create something for ourselves. He told us to stop copying other people and start to do what we think is cool.

He said that a few years ago they said that they don’t know any drummer from Germany and now they are dominating the American market. People like Anika Niles and Benny Greb, they are following what they do.

I want to carve Singapore’s music. Not Asian music, not Japanese sound, not Korean sound, I want to carve Singapore’s sound.

Why are we always copying what Bethel or Hillsong is doing? “It sounds like the Bethel instrument!” Why can’t we try stuff on our own? Why can’t we play what we like? Why aren’t we trying to come up with stuff that are our own? Why are the tracks we create just Bethel and Hillsong songs rewritten?

We really should strive for the Singaporean’s sound.

-Kelvin-

=770= Word: Makings of A Man

I often wondered, what makes a man a man?

Surely it isn’t just a physical feature. It isn’t the abs, it isn’t the beard, it isn’t the muscles.

A man is someone that is gentle and sensitive. A man is someone that is sure. A man is someone that loves. A man is a man after your heart Lord.

How can young man be a man? To follow after your heart Lord.

-Kelvin-

=769= Word: Proximity Effect

I think that there is some misconception on the proximity effect.

For those that are not familiar, proximity effect refers to an effect of a directional microphone. The closer you are to the sound source, more of the lows you will pick up.

However, this proximity effect has been misused and misunderstood by so many. I have seen people mic-ing drums VERY differently because that is what they used to do for a long time. Then when I mic differently, they point out that the mic will be further away from the drum, so wouldn’t that be less body?

Well yes and no.

Question, is more low end always a good thing?

Question, is where the direction that mic is pointing to more important? Or the the distance from the source more important?

Of course if you know your stuff, you would know that no, more low end is not always the best thing and that where your mic is pointing at is more important.

Simplest example I can give you. Between putting the mic at the throat or mic at the mouth. Which will sound better?

If based on your logic of not enough low end, throat is probably what would give you the most low end. So why does it make sense to point it at the mouth instead of the throat?

Making use of proximity effect to give more low end only works if you don’t change the way you mic your sound source. So if you point the mic at 30degrees. When you push it in to get more low end, it should still be at 30degrees. If you change the angle of the mic, you will be changing the tone of the sound produced.

So yes. Hope this clears things up.

It is really difficult to please everyone.

-Kelvin-

=768= Thanksgiving: Met Them

It is indeed hard to find people that that you can talk about your struggles and passions with. There aren’t many people that has gone through ministry with the same intensity and passion for it. There aren’t many people that understands your heart for music. There aren’t many people that are willing to talk about struggles of being single. There aren’t many people that are willing to talk about struggles with school and reconciling it with faith. There aren’t many people that are the same kind. Oh how blessed I am to have met them.

Lord, please bless them. For I am indeed blessed to have them

-Kelvin-

=767= Word: Difference

It is so interesting to see how different people perceive things differently. I am a sound engineer, I perceive things by their tone and timbre. However the drummer side of me also perceive sound by time. Other musician will perceive sound by pitch and chords.

There was once a singer was trying to describe what resonance is. I couldn’t understand what it was until I realised that I refer to resonance as sparkle in sound.

Everyone’s work process is slightly different too. I don’t care so much about mixing at the sound writing stage, but people care about it more.

Classically trained musicians tend to imagine everything in their head, I on the other hand, just take things one step at a time and think what I want after I record something.

We are so used to Western music conventions, but there are so many other different kinds of tribal music and music that is totally different from what we are used to. I hope that I will be able to learn more of such music.

There was once I reasoned with a friend that it is quite sad that we don’t have our own songs to sing. She told me that she found no difference for songs that are written by us and songs written by Hillsong or Bethel. I was honestly quite sad to hear that. I mean can you imagine a country with no national anthem? Sure a country can function without one. However, hearing your national anthem brings a certain pride. Can you imagine one day if we were in a war overseas and cannot return home? Oh how touching it would be to hear your national anthem and sing along? A nation or a congregation needs to sing their own song because it is their country, their home. I am sure that though Hillsong and Bethel writes music that touches the heart, the words aren’t ours. The story isn’t ours. I mean look at Paul’s letters to the different churches. Are all the church messages the same? Of course not, every church needs different messages. Surely if your country is doing well, you won’t sing songs of sorrow. Why aren’t we writing more songs that are our stories?

Music is such an interesting thing. A piece that touches the heart, words that resonates in your soul. Groove that keeps you moving. Memories that let you picture a scene. How incredible it is to be able to create music.

Dear God, thank you for music. For it is an avenue that I can dive into and express my thoughts and keep me sane.

-Kelvin-

=766= Word: Passion

It sometimes is very clear what you prefer to do. Sometimes passions shows. In my weeks in uni, I found myself spending quite a significant amount of time to be a better musician and producing music.

Honestly, if you ask me what I want to be doing in life, I rather be producing music than to have a high paying job.

I want to teach and strive for original content with budding musicians.

Sure it isn’t something profitable of course, but really money isn’t everything.

Still very far from my dream. I wonder if it will ever come true?

~

On another note, teaching as a job now really helped me to learn new skills.

Being a music teacher the hardest part most of time isn’t teaching music, the hart part is handling parents and getting kids to be excited and love the instrument.

Learning to express myself more clearly every time a parent shows concern. Learning how to communicate well with parents so that they won’t lose confidence with me. Learning to be patient and not snap at others.

Not only that, being in a community that loves the instrument, I am challenged and inspired every time I attended a company meeting. I met famous drummers that practiced everyday. I have seen impressive performances by people that I used to learn from.

There is so much to learn, I want to continue and be a better musician.

-Kelvin-