All site contents ©2017 Casey Connor unless otherwise noted.

Akai/Roberts Preamp Mod - Roberts 720A and Akai M7 (and others)

Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Many people have modified tube-based reel to reel tape recorders from the 50's and 60's into microphone preamps and guitar amps. (You can see a cameo by one of these Akai/Roberts decks in Apocalypse Now -- not sure which model that is.) Rod Childers at Beyond Sanity Productions provided exceptional instructions (his website appears to be dead now -- this site now hosts most/all of the info/files that were on the Beyond Sanity site). I did this for a Roberts 720A and an Akai M7. I made this page for anyone trying the mods on the same models, and to provide information on the subject in general, since the M7 is commonly modded, and the 720A is basically identical to the other commonly-modded models.

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Music and Audio

Last Updated: Monday, 12 January 2015

I offer a range of audio services, including recording, editing, restoration, mixing, mastering, production, composition, accompaniment, and session work; I'm available for hire for music production, theater, web, or other arenas. Below are some examples of music I have created. Feel free to contact me for more information. You can also visit my sing-songer page.

General Examples

Demo Reel 2:09This is a quick montage of seven different clips demonstrating a range of styles: some atmospheric, some bouncy, some strange. The assortment includes mostly all-acoustic instrumentations. For more computery/dancey stuff, see Move to the City Mix and the Theater section.

Riddled Road 3:16A tune from a recent album of instrumental originals called Frost Flowers. The album features a lot of short tunes that could be used in a variety of contexts.

Lament 2:37Another tune from the recent album of instrumental originals called Frost Flowers. This one is a dreamy, cinematic, sad song.

Noble 2:51Noble Chiropractic contracted me to create a song that fit a specific set of precisely-timed cues in an associated video. A good example of something that stock music from the internet won't do for you. This rock flavored song starts slow and crescendos significantly.

In the Brambles 3:53Brambleberry Soap needed a new piece of background music for their extensive offering of soap-making tutorials on YouTube. This piece was designed to be catchy without being too obtrusive. Every minute or two there is a gently change of feel that helps extend the piece without being too repetitive.

Intro 1:00A piece created as a demo for a TV show theme. Short and sweet. Mandolin, guitar, flutes, keyboard, bass, and cajón. The intention was to get to the point quickly, to maintain a relatively high energy, and to be catchy. I've used this piece for a lot of things... never hurts to have a 1:00 piece of music handy.

Give You a Word 1:38This frenetic jam starts off with the moan of a distant circular saw and launches into a tussle between guitar and whistle. No one has used this underneath anything yet, but I'd sure like to see it when they do.

Move to the City Mix 0:36This is a remix of a song by The Trucks. Besides the original Trucks vocal track, it adds a bass line, beat, and a set of custom samples recorded by hitting everything in the kitchen with chopsticks. Despite the use of chopsticks, it did not win the remix contest. There's always next time.

Sleep 17:10The idea here was to make a track as absolutely boring as possible with the goal of putting someone to sleep. No sharp edges, no interesting changes. Just smoothed-out, unabashed muzak. Sorry to say it didn't work for me, but maybe your experience will be different. Fades in slow, naturally.

Theater Pieces

Space Montage 1:44A comedy duo needed a few pieces of music for one of their shows. For the first two pieces in this montage, imagine a repetitive, soul-draining journey back and forth through space. The last one is the music that a burnt-out space-crane-stealing squatter rocks out to. Maybe you had to be there.

Wembly 0:41Another piece for the same performance. This was the background after-show music. These kinds of tracks are easy to mix down to 20-minute long loops, to fill in that dead air when some technical glitch means a far longer transition than planned.

Dancey Pants 1:38This piece was used as a demo for the pilot episode of a TV show. They didn't have the budget to use the original pop song that they choreographed a dance to (and used when filming), so they needed a custom-made song that matched the tempo and basic changes in feel without using any of the original music.

Transition Time 0:38This was the transition music at the end of the space-crane sketch. There were actually three versions of one of the Space themes, each getting progressively faster, more urgent, and sinister.

Live Sound

I am available for work as a live mixing engineer or for on-site live recordings.

Master Craft 5:43Written and performed by Leslie Helpert, with Cochran (McMillan?) on percussion, this was recorded live in a living room. Mic placement was done with sensitivity to aesthetic and psychic impact. Despite the more distant spacing, the result is clear, intimate, and balanced.

Virginia May 3:50Written and performed by Gregory Alan Isakov, with Ramaya Soskin. This was recorded live at a house show. The audio underneath this unassuming YouTube video is mixed and mastered. I also did the live sound for this show. (Video by someone else.) Keep in mind that YouTube thrashes audio when videos are uploaded.

Alabama Chicken 5:51Written and performed by Sean Hayes, with James Riotto and Ezra Lipp. This was also recorded live at a house show that I also ran live sound for. Equipment was very limited for this recording (e.g. one mic for the drums), but it turned out well. I like the grainy quality of the super cheap video camera.

Phantastic - DIY Phantom Power Checker

Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Phantastic is a DIY device that checks for the presence of voltages (expected and unexpected) when connecting to a phantom power source.

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