The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie on SNL via HuluPLUS

One of my musical influences was Nirvana and back in my college band days, I remember performing a cover of their cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World".

I've been watching Saturday Night Live from the very first season and I enjoy seeing my favorite actors, actresses, comedians and musicians win their younger days.

What a delight to watch David Bowie on Season 5, Episode 7 performing "The Man Who Sold The World". I thought I'd post the excerpt on my blog so I can easily go back to it whenever I want to.

I hope you enjoy it too.


Why I'm Doing This Course

It's so cool to discover Coursera and particularly this Introduction to Music Production course by Loudon Stearns from the Berklee College of Music. By taking this course, it is my hope that the knowledge I've gained through trial and error and lots of reading will be reinforced by learning the basics from a "master".

This post is my submission for the Week 1 Assignment.

For the benefit of my "classmates"

My name's Mario Gozum, based in Maryland, USA. I've been doing home recording, on and off, since 2005. For the week 1 assignment I will share what I've learned about microphone polar patterns by using my own condenser microphone as the "test subject".


After completing the levels-only mix I went through the POD Farm vocal presets and found one that had a clean reverb effect. I stuck with my plan to record wet so that I didn't have to fiddle with the dry track during mixing.

I recorded one track for the main vocal first. Then another performance track doubling the chorus parts only.  I did one rough pass to include the main vocals to the levels-only mix. When I was happy with it, I proceeded to do the back up vocals. I used the same POD Farm vocal preset but adjusted the reverb module to increase the depth and make the back up vocals sound farther from the main vocal. I duplicated the back up vocals and panned them left and right.

Here's a clip.

Levels-and-Panning-Only Rough Mix including Vocals

So far so good :)

I'll let it stew for a bit to give my ear a rest and listen to it a few more times. Then I'll make a final decision whether to proceed with the mixing segment.


After recording the basic parts, Guitar, Bass and Drums, I did an initial "levels and panning only" mix to get a rough idea of the final product and also to make it sound somewhat pleasing when I start laying down vocals. I think it improves my performance when the music sounds good, at least in my ears.

The tracks I ended up with are:


I think the easiest part to play on this song is the bass guitar. I tried to do it as close to how our original bass player did it. Just simple but melodic.

I used the Eighties bass module in POD Farm but left the Brite Room reverb module in place. My thinking is that since I used it on the guitar and the drums also had some room reverb within BFD Eco, the bass should be in the same "room" to make the sound cohesive.

Here's how it sounds...

Plastic Flowers Bass Clip

On the next post, I will share the rough instrumental mix. Stay tuned.

Next: NHR - #010, Plastic Flowers Bass Guitar

See the Plastic Flowers NHR String


Back in December (2012) I finally managed to record the main guitar and bass parts of Plastic Flowers.

First thing was selecting the effect. When we played it live back in the 90s, I used a chorus pedal that fed into an amp with reverb that gave me a shimmery, watery effect. On POD Farm, I got close using a vocal preset called Verb Vocal which comprised of the Console preamp and Brite Room reverb modules. I then swapped the Console Preamp with the Class A-30 Top Boost amp.

 I then tweaked some of the amp and reverb unit to taste.

Here's what it sounds like.

Main Chorus Guitar

Silvertone SS10 Update Part 2: Fixing Problems DIY Style

As you've seen or read in my first post on the guitar, chord playing was doable but that was also its limitation.

There were some issues with the SS10 out-of the-box. The biggest problem I found was that most of the frets had several shallow notches where the strings scrape over making string bending undesirable. So I made a decision to tinker with it at some point... and that was when it was time to replace the strings.

I do not own any luthier tools. Fixing it on my own with whatever tools I had was a conscious decision on my part, since it was a way cheap guitar, I wasn't worried if I turned it into firewood. It's more about the experience... of possibly ruining a low budget musical instrument.