About Jim Fusco

Jim Fusco is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and all-around musician. Learn all about him and his creative works at http://jimfusco.com!

“Christmas Morning” by Jim Fusco – FREE mp3 Download! – Day 14 of 14

By Jim Fusco:

And here it is- the end of the line.  I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration!  Remind me to never do this again. 🙂

Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school!  I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them.  And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!

I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”.  At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track.  I had basic microphones, too.  Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer.  But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference.  I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!

My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too.  I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it.  Next time, though!

I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them.  It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise.  I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process.  Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!

“Halfway There” (Original song by Jim Fusco) – The Open Mic Sessions

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome again to the Open Mic Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I bring you the title track to my 2009 album, “Halfway There”.  This is a very special video for me, as this original song live video was selected as one of the top three Instagram videos in the Sam Ash music store open mic video contest!  From there, it went on to win the national Open Mic video contest title!  I was given a $100 gift card to Sam Ash and I’m so glad an original song of mine got that kind of recognition.  It was even featured on Sam Ash’s homepage once it won!

“Halfway There” was a concept I had for an album.  Basically, I was growing up and had to come to terms with getting a job, getting married, and potentially giving up some of the lofty goals I had for myself in previous years.  So, a lot of that album has to do with that sentiment.

But, you know something?  I realized along the way that I’m pretty happy where things ended up.  I realized that I didn’t really want to spend all of my days and nights trying to get gigs, living in perpetual poverty, and holding down some menial job until I hit it big.  Now that I have a normal “day job”, it’s given me the flexibility to  have a nice home and to get some of the guitars that I’ve always wanted.  And, from everything I’ve heard and read, fame isn’t really all it’s cracked-up to be.  I hope to make a name for myself with these Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music videos online (and maybe get recognized for it someday), but that’s something I can do in my free time.  Problem is, like everyone else that’s married and has a house, I don’t have much free time!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy what I’ve been able to do on my little free time lately.  Going to these open mic nights has brought me out of my comfort zone, but its also ignited my love for playing music again.  I’ve met some interesting people, too.  Stay tuned for more, as I continue to dig into my catalog of original songs and play at open mics around the state.



Ask The Musician: “How To Record All Instruments of a Multi-track Song Separately (and still have it come out right in the end)”

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to another edition of “Ask the Musician” with me, Jim Fusco!

In lieu of recording another video tonight (I’m anxiously awaiting to record my first HD video, hopefully next week), I decided to finally respond to an inquiry I got on YouTube about how to record a multi-track song separately and still have it come out right in the end.  The YouTube user writes:

I have one big problem.  When we record, we obviously record them in different parts (by that, I mean we record the instruments separately).  But, we can’t record them at the same time and we have problems recording them apart.  When we try to mix them, something gets messed-up and we have to record over again and again.  Have any tips?

Why yes, I do!

People like Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) had many musicians at their fingertips.  So, it was easy to get all these professional musicians in the same room to record a track.  And these studio musicians never mess up.  They are the cream of the crop, so it was easy to say, “Play this,” and watch it get done.

For us that record alone, sometimes it’s hard to keep a beat constant through an entire song.  Actually George Harrison was known for having a great built-in timeclock when recording.  He could play a song in-time with no percussion behind him.  That’s one of the reasons why it was easy to finish his last album, “Brainwashed’ posthumously.

And that brings me to my first tip: the most important thing about a recording is to stay on-time and on-beat.  So, if you’re by yourself, make sure you lay down the drums first!  Of course, you have to have a drummer that won’t speed up or slow down on you, so that’s an important step, too.

Now, knowing that everyone’s human, you should also consider keeping even your drummer in-time by using a metronome.  Just lay down a track of a metronome in the right tempo first (you can always delete it or silence it later) and then have your drummer go to work.  Actually, at that point, you can lay down any instrument you want.  The only time this gets tricky is when the song changes tempo.  One thing you can do is program a very simple beat as a MIDI track (I used to use a program called Noteworthy Composer way back in the day- wonder if it’s still around?).  Then, you can map the song out, put in your tempo changes, and then just play it into your recorder as a track.

Another thing to keep in mind is software and hardware latency.  If you’re recording on a computer, you’ll run into this.  Even the fastest computers fall victim to it.  Have you ever recorded a video on a webcam and seen the audio/video sync go off?  Well, your computer is having trouble recording everything at the same time and it’s not making up for the latency (time lag) in either the software or the hardware you’re using.  And, like I said, even on the best computers, you can run into this.  I have a top of the line Mac Pro here and I get hiccups in my videos sometimes because my backup machine will kick in or a popup box will interrupt.  It’s that little blip in the continuous stream of processing power that can really screw things up.

Now, you may have good luck for one or two tracks, but consider this- each time you record another track on the computer, you’re playing back each additional track.  So, you can be playing back 24 tracks and recording another one at the same time- a recipe for audio latency.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m still recording on a DAW (digital audio workstation).  I never run into those problems because recording 24 tracks is the machine’s sole purpose.  There’s no internet, no downloads, no popups- just pure recording power.  I’ve never had a problem with it, unless it’s my own bad timing that screwed it up.

So, I hope that gives you something to think about.  It’s so difficult to record a whole song alone- only the best can really be great at it (Paul McCartney comes to mind).  If anyone else has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them- leave a comment below!  I’ll see you all next week- hopefully in full high definition- for another Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video.

Ranking every Beach Boys album and song: “Surfin’ USA” LP (by Songwriter Jim Fusco)

By Jim Fusco:

ALBUM – SURFIN’ USA

Farmer’s Daughter – 6 (early promising song)
Surfin’ USA – 6 (catchy, but also a stolen melody, so it loses some points)
Lana – 5
Lonely Sea – 7
Shut Down – 7
(this is a great bluesy song)
Finders Keepers – 6 (endearing)
Let’s Go Trippin’ – 4 (filler)
Stoked – 3 (see last song)
Misirlou – 2 (because at this point in the album, I am sick of instrumentals!)
Noble Surfer – 6
Honky Tonk – 1 (why all the instrumentals!!)
*The Baker Man – 1 (probably the most ridiculous song they did next to Ding Dang)
Surf Jam – 1 (we get the idea)

** Here’s another album I like, but I think it’s a step back from their first. I know they were trying to make music people could dance to at parties, but the instrumentals don’t stand up now. They come across as a lack of effort. They have so much vocal talent- it’s a shame there’s not more songs with vocals! **