Monthly Archives: May 2013

Breaking On Through To The Other Side: Ray Manzarek of The Doors (1939-2013)

You know you’re getting older when those that you’ve idolized for more than a 1/4 century (and more importantly, those that have made a huge impact/influence on you) start passing away…

Ray Manzarek in the 70s; Photo ©James Fortune
Ray Manzarek in the 70s; Photo ©James Fortune

I was in Johannesburg earlier this week on the Creative Days tour when I heard about Ray’s passing, and all I can say is…I hope he’s hanging with Jim Morrison right now, sharing a laugh, a smoke, and making some great music…and I’m quite sure he is.
Ray & Jim, circa 1968. Courtesy of Boing.
Ray & Jim, circa 1968. Courtesy of Boing.

To say that Ray was a *huge* influence on my musical development (and most directly, my piano/organ playing) is really an understatement. Considering that I’ve been playing for more than, ahem, 30 years, there are still several Doors songs that are not only in my daily rotation (as piano exercises, among other things) but even now, as I’m writing this blog, I’m simultaneously mastering a few recent live takes of my ‘Just Play Music’ series, in which I play a classic Doors number (and a Manzarek masterpiece, in terms of left hand/right hand counterpoint) entitled, You’re Lost Little Girl.

Download the Live Rough Mix of You’re Lost Little Girl (from Just Play Music, Season 1)
Download *another* (and totally different) live take from the ‘Just Play Music: Just Piano & Vocal – Tempo’ Episode (also unreleased)
(legal note: I have secured mechanical and streaming licenses to cover this song via The Doors Music/Wixen Music Publishing & Limelight; seeing as this is ‘unfinished’, not being ‘sold’ and not yet officially released, this current distribution is limited to 250 ‘streamed’ copies; should I exceed that, I will acquire new licensing with Limelight and adjust accordingly)

I was fortunate to have seen Ray twice in person, live on stage. Once, back in 1999 at Alice Cooper’stown in Phoenix with his own band; and then about 5 years later with the re-formed “Doors of the 21st Century” alongside fellow Doorsman Robby Krieger and former Cult singer, (and Jim Morrison doppelgänger) Ian Astbury. In both appearances, Ray’s playing (not surprisingly) was as fresh and articulate as it ever was. Masterful, really…with the perfect (and consistent) blend of blues-R&B-infused jazz and classical with a side of psychedelia. The man CREATED this style; my ‘left-handed piano bass’ chops are a direct result of listening (and mimicking) countless Doors songs when I was young; and my continued use of this style today has subsequently turned everything I’ve done into a semi ‘tribute to Ray’ in some small way. I’m not overstating either…it’s true.

Ray in NYC, 2004 with The Doors of the 21st Century. Photo ©Matthew Peyton
Ray in NYC, 2004 with The Doors of the 21st Century. Photo ©Matthew Peyton

If you ever heard Ray speak, his voice and his word choices were equally as unique as his playing style. While I’ve heard some some say that his vernacular was often ‘stuck in a kind of 60s idealism’, this was the man. Spiritual, hopeful, realistic, mystical, magical and chock-full of the wisdom of his years. To hear him tell a story (he even did a few spoken word CDs in the mid-90s, recounting tales of The Doors, Jim, and their lives) he was truly an orator–one whose vocal eloquence and diction not only captivated the listener, but kept one on the edge of his every word.
An original LP scan of mine from one of Ray's *other* projects: Nite City, 1977
An original LP scan of mine from one of Ray’s *other* projects: Nite City, 1977

In one of his final video appearances (for The Doors’ ‘Making Of LA Woman’ 40th Anniversary documentary) Ray quotes a line of Jim’s from Roadhouse Blues (found on ‘Morrison Hotel’, the previous album)…”The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.” Ray had apparently only told his current bandmates about his illness (a very rare form of bile duct cancer) several months ago before seeking special treatment in Germany, where he ultimately passed away. But the man was STILL playing, still gigging and still doing it all until the end; because after all, the future *is* uncertain and the end *was* always near. He had 74 glorious years before he met his end—but his words, his wisdom and his musical legacy live on, in me and in countless others.
Ray at SSMF, 2012. Photo ©Jim Donnelly.
Ray at SSMF, 2012. Photo ©Jim Donnelly.

Rest in Peace, Raymond Daniel Manzarek. Here’s to breaking-on-thru to the other side…

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More of My Adobe MAX 2013 Session Videos

As promised, here are the rest of my MAX classes (from the live on-site captures)…

Audio is Half The Picture: Getting the Best Mix with Adobe Audition:

Best Practices: Encoding for the Web & Tablets:

and the OUTLINE for this class as well.

How To Edit Just What You Want: Ingest and Rough Cut with Adobe Prelude CC:

Using Photoshop with Adobe Premiere Pro: Putting It All Together:

Still some more outlines coming. Stay tuned…

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My Adobe MAX 2013 Session Outlines and Some Videos Too

Greetings all! I’ve been home less than 24-hours from MAX2013, and what can I say? It was an incredible event this year. And while I have a separate “MAX Wrap-Up” post planned, I wanted to first post a few things that I promised during my sessions.

Here’s a link to download the session outline from my class entitled, “Advanced Audio Techniques for Voice-Over Recording

This includes the images of the microphones mentioned during the class, as well as snaps of many sample external soundcard options, pre-amps, etc.

And the video itself (it’s about 1hr03minutes long):

Additionally, you can also grab the outline for my DSLR Editing for Photographers and Designers Class.

And the video too:

As mentioned during MAX, AdobeTV just published a three-part series I recently shot on DSLR Editing, which includes not only Premiere Pro, but Adobe Prelude CC and a section of DSLR Multicamera Editing, featuring the AMAZING new ‘audio sync’ feature, an exciting new addition to Premiere Pro CC. Those episodes are posted below (Parts 1-3)

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the additional classes, “Edit What You Want: Ingest and Selection with Adobe Prelude”, “Advanced Mixing Techniques” and “Encoding For Web and Tablets”.

Till then…

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Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema4D: Welcome to the Family

As many of you have heard and seen, we revealed the next version of After Effects at NAB2013 (and have officially been showing After Effects CC at AdobeMAX this week), and the ‘big’ news was that we now offer a true, live 3D Pipeline directly into Maxon Cinema4D. Build your models, bring them into After Effects, go back to C4D and make changes, and they update inside AE’s composition panel. No rendering, no re-importing or messing about, just working the way you’d (hoped) you could work…and we finally made it happen.

I was fortunate to not only meet a bunch of the guys from Maxon (and present alongside one of their finest, Mathias Omotola) but the more I’ve played with this feature (pre-NAB/MAX, and since then) I can honestly say that it sincerely makes 3D ‘accessible’ to the AE compositor who simply thought the 3D/2D worlds were too far apart; or in most cases, simply fearing that 3D was too difficult.

Me and Mathias on the last day of NAB2013
Me and Mathias on the last day of NAB2013

Nick Campbell (from Greyscalegorilla) and Dave Kiss (from the Maxon team) put together this great video highlighting the workflow, the capabilities, giving you a taste of ‘the buzz’ from the show floor (including clips from the my After Effects/Maxon presentation with Mathias.

NAB 2013 With Maxon, Adobe, And Greyscalegorilla from Nick Campbell on Vimeo.

Not long after we finished our last demo of the day, we caught up with none other than Mr. ScruffyTV himself, Kanen Flowers. Though I’ve known of Kanen for years, we only officially met at the San Francisco Supermeet back in January. In one of those rare, “I met you five minutes ago and I feel like I’ve known you my whole life,” kinda moments, we re-connected at NAB, shared a few laughs, did a quick interview, and then snapped a few post-tradeshow pics in the spirit of fun and total exhaustion. 🙂

We were getting a little loopy by the end of the show...
We were getting a little loopy by the end of the show…
'Put Your Head On My Shoulder...'
‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder…’
At this point, we just couldn't stop laughing. Good times.
At this point, we just couldn’t stop laughing. Good times.

The weeks that followed were filled with lots of comments from attendees of the show to those who experienced my demos ‘live from the stage’ on AdobeTV; but the nicest thing about all of it? Everyone seemed genuinely excited about this new direction for AE and this much-needed partnership in the 3D modeling world.

At the end of each presentation, Mathias concluded with the line, “Welcome to the family.” Perfect words for a perfect (and long-awaited) coming-together of technologies.

Welcome to After Effects CC and Cinema 4D as they were meant to be: working together.

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Where I’ll Be in May & June – Creative Days Tour Hits EMEA

Creative Days
It’s that time of year, and another Creative Tour is on the horizon. With AdobeMAX only a few days away, and NAB already weeks behind, it’s clear that the excitement (and travel) will continue–and we couldn’t be happier to be bringing the ‘next’ versions of the Adobe Creative Applications to you.

This year, we have a unified site where you can find all the information you need for each city. I’ve added individual links here so that you can register and come spend some quality time with us, learning about all the new goodies we have to offer in a city near you…


  • Tuesday, May 21 – Johannesburg (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Thursday, May 23 – Milan (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Friday, May 24 – Istanbul (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Tuesday, May 28 – Warsaw (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Thursday, May 30 – Moscow (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Friday, May 31 – St. Petersburg (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Tuesday, June 4 – London (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Friday, June 7 – Barcelona (with Rufus and Paul)
  • Saturday, June 8 – Barcelona (with Rufus)
  • Tuesday, June 11 – Paris (Rufus and Michael Chaize)
  • Tuesday, June 11 – Nordics (me & Paul)
  • Wednesday, June 12 – Berlin (with Rufus and Michael)
  • Thursday, June 13 – Amsterdam (with Rufus and Michael)
  • Friday, June 14 – Zurich (with Rufus and Michael)
  • Tuesday, June 18 – Cologne (with Rufus and Piotr Walczyszyn)
  • Thursday, June 20 – Munich (with Rufus and Piotr)

So, are you ready? I can tell you I’ll be stocking-up on extra Berocca for this trip!

See you soon…

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What I’m Teaching at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference Next Week


I’m really looking forward to seeing many of you next week at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference in Los Angeles. The show kicks off Monday for me and my colleague Terry White with the Day 1 Keynote and sessions.

Here’s my schedule, Monday to Wednesday:

  • Monday, May 6th – 9:30am-11:30am – A Creative Evolution – Keynote (Register to Watch the Keynote Online Here)
  • Monday, May 6th – 2:00pm-3:00pm Best Practices: Encoding for the Web and Tablets (Rm 503)
  • Monday, May 6th – 5:00pm-6:00pm Audio Is Half the Picture: Getting the Best Mix with Adobe Audition (Rm 505)
  • Monday, May 6th – 7:00pm-8:00pm Meet The Team (Video/Team Adobe)
  • Tuesday, May 7th – 2:30pm-3:30pm DSLR Editing for Photographers and Designers (Rm 518)
  • Tuesday, May 7th – 4:00pm-5:00pm How to Edit Just What You Want: Ingest and Rough Cut with Adobe Prelude (Rm 511A)
  • Wednesday, May 8th – 11:00am-12:00pm Advanced Audio Techniques for Voice-over Recording (Rm 503)
  • Wednesday, May 8th – 5:00pm-6:00pm DSLR Editing for Photographers and Designers (Rm 505)

There’s still time to register for Adobe MAX 2013, and you can even save $300 by using this promo code: MXSM13

See you there!
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