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Holiday Greetings and Salutations

December 20, 2009

Guess what? The Christmas E.P. is back— remixed, remastered, and with one new track.

In case you missed it, I produced “Holiday Greetings and Salutations” with my friend Joe Brim last year and released it just a few days before Christmas. The thing is, I was really in a hurry when I produced those tracks, and I’ve learned a lot about mixing since then. So over the past few days, I worked on the tracks we already had, and I recorded a new one.  Everything sounds better now, so you should download it even if you have last year’s version. Here’s the updated track list:

Santa Claus is Comin to Town

All The Right Reasons

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Heat Miser vs. Snow Miser

I’ll Be Home For Christmas (NEW… cool Imogen Heap-esque a cappella)

Auld Lang Syne

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

(ZIP archive containing MP3s, album art, and leaflet PDF)

…and enjoy.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Shane Stever dot com

December 11, 2009

Lots to cover, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

First of all, I made a website to put all the media I produce in one place. I’m new to website design, but this serves my purposes for now.

—> www.shanestever.com <—

I’m also very excited to announce that I have secured an internship for my HOD degree next semester. In case you don’t know, my major at Vanderbilt, Human & Organizational Development, culminates with a full-time semester-long internship. HOD students can choose to intern at virtually any organization in a number of cities around the world, but since I already spent a semester in New Zealand, I wanted to stay in Nashville. I had been seriously considering CMT for most of this semester, but through a series of random events, my direction changed last minute. I say all that to say this:

I’ll be interning at Dark Horse recording studios next semester, and I’m super pumped.

In other news, the Melodores had their first ever semester concert this week. We had a two-night concert Sunday and Monday in the beautiful, historic Wyatt Rotunda on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus. The show went really well both nights, and we had a great turnout. We captured the whole concert on video. Here’s a sample from our YouTube channel:

More recently, the Melodores have secured a spot to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in February 2010. We’ll be working hard to prepare for that. Hopefully, we’ll be able to advance to the semifinals and prove our worth on a national level… again. We’re also raising funds to record an album in the Spring. If you want a Melodores CD as bad as we do, and you have money burning a hole in your pocket, we are accepting donations.

And what about my personal projects? Well, for one, I’ve been volunteering with the “Charge” youth group at Cross Point church here in Nashville. That has been lots of fun. I particularly enjoyed serving as a counselor for their Fall Getaway Retreat a few weeks ago. I produced a promo video for them using footage and photos I shot that weekend. I’m not sure where the church has posted the video, but you can see some of the photos from that weekend on my Flickr.

As far as music goes, I’ve been working on a genre-mashing recording of John Mayer’s “Say” in the electro-pop style of Owl City. It’s been a lot of fun, but I’m waiting to finish it until I can afford to purchase Celemony’s Melodyne Studio, a sweet new pitch correction plugin. Not only will Melodyne give me greater control over the T-Pain-esque vocal effect I’m trying to create, but it also features groundbreaking polyphonic pitch correction capabilites. I’m really psyched about that. I’m also going to re-release my Christmas E.P. that I recorded last year with Joe Brim, except I’m going to spend more time mixing and mastering it this time. Get excited.

I’ve got just a couple finals, and then I’m done with regular classes at Vanderbilt. For good. Now that I’ve got an amazing internship lined up, I’m not quite as anxious about walking the stage in May. I don’t know what I’m doing after graduation. No idea. But I’m excited to start making connections in the music industry, and I have faith that something will work out.

Thanks for reading!

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I make music

October 23, 2009

Or at least, I’ve been making a lot of music recently.

First, an update on the Melodores.  Long story short, we made it to the final round of auditions with NBC for their upcoming show, “The Sing-Off“. They told us that we were one of about 30 remaining groups being considered for the 8 spots on the show. Hundreds of groups auditioned from New York, L.A., Chicago, and Atlanta, so I think Top 30 is pretty good.  From what I hear, only one college group made it onto the show. I’m looking forward to watching it.

A month or two ago, I collaborated with my buddy Joe Brim on another acoustic cover.  This time, we covered “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. Check it out below, but if you actually watch the video on YouTube’s site, you can download the MP3 for free from the video info.

More recently, I remixed a medley in honor of the Kanye West/Taylor Swift scandal of the MTV Video Music Awards this year. It took me about eight hours. I arranged it for an upcoming dance competition at Vanderbilt in which my fraternity is participating. Also, this is my first HD YouTube upload!

I’m currently writing plenty of original stuff for my songwriting class. Just tonight, I posted a video of one of those to Facebook, so if you’re my Facebook friend, go check that out.

As for what’s going on in my non-musical life, I’m applying for Spring internships in the music/TV media industry here in Nashville. As you might expect, I’d like to produce music or movies one day. Terrifyingly enough, I graduate from Vanderbilt in May. If you’d like to hire me, please let me know. Please.  Hire me please.

Thanks for reading. Catch you later.

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Melodores

September 13, 2009

Hey friends. It’s about time I updated you on the most exciting recent addition to my life: The Melodores, Vanderbilt’s newest all-male a cappella group. I started the Melodores as a brand new student organization this past spring, but now things are really picking up.  We started with nine core guys and had auditions, which went really well. Almost thirty guys showed up – lots of talent. Now we’re complete with 15 awesome members.

The original nine members. From left to right: Shane Stever, Tyler Verdell, Trevor Fortenberry, Matt Sen, Jordan Holland, John Baunach, Bradford Threlkeld, Shaun Kahler, Jeff Cutts

The original nine members. From left to right: Shane Stever, Tyler Verdell, Trevor Fortenberry, Matt Sen, Jordan Holland, John Baunach, Bradford Threlkeld, Shaun Kahler, Jeff Cutts

Here’s the interesting part:

This coming Wednesday, the 16th, we’ll be driving to Atlanta to audition for NBC’s “The Sing-Off“, a brand new primetime TV singing competition. It’s basically like America’s Best Dance Crew, except it’s for a cappella groups. Our first rehearsal as a group was last Wednesday. Our audition is this Wednesday. Yep, you’re doing the math correctly… that gave us exactly one week to learn and perfect two killer songs for the audition. It’s quite a challenge, but we’re working really hard to make it a reality. Do I expect to make it onto the show? Not really. But anything could happen, and at the very least, the audition alone will bring us together as a group and serve as good publicity around Vanderbilt. In fact, there’s already a great article about the Melodores on InsideVandy and in the Vanderbilt Hustler, the university’s biggest news media. The article also includes some sound clips of us singing, so be sure to check that out.

Needless to say, it’s a very exciting time for me and the Melodores. I’m looking forward to our continued growth as an ensemble and an organization.

Thanks for reading!

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Six National Parks in One Summer

July 27, 2009

And they were Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. In two months. Here’s how it happened.

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, my best friend Colby Stevens and I are working together at Camp Living Water out here in Wyoming. Instead of flying to Jackson Hole at the end of May, we took a massive road trip out west. During the course of that trip, we hit up the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Arches and Zion National Parks in Utah. I won’t go into detail about that trip because it’s really too much to recall (and I failed to keep a journal), but I posted photos on Facebook. It was an awesome trip.

Grand Teton National Park is here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I’m living right now. At least, it’s where I live on the weekends when camp is not in session. The actual camp is on a ranch in Merna, WY… a name you probably don’t recognize. Just north of Grand Teton National Park is the world famous Yellowstone National Park. I’ve been there a few times this summer. Saw Old Faithful again. Good times.

Most recently, I went on a “man trip” with my fellow camp counselors Colby, Ryan, Max, and Will to Glacier National Park in Montana, or as we like to call it, MANtana. That was an incredible trip involving plenty of hiking, back country camping, and jumping off of stuff into water. I’ll be posting photos from that trip soon.

Basically, I’ve been having the most incredible summer ever. I think it’s been the best summer of my life, no exaggeration. I have a dream job: They pay me to hang out with really cool kids at the sweetest camp in Wyoming. I’ve witnessed some inspiring life-change among the campers this summer. Also, the counselor staff this year is the most impressive, talented group of people I’ve ever worked with. It’s an honor to be a part of it.

High school camp starts tomorrow, followed by 5th and 6th grade camp. I’m pumped. After that, in just two weeks, I’ll say goodbye to my beloved Jackson Hole once again and catch a flight back to Atlanta. My older brother Kyle is graduating from Marine boot camp, and my parents are making a family trip out of it. I’m excited about that.

I’m also stoked about school this coming semester. I’ve got two semesters left at Vanderbilt, and from what I can tell, they’re going to be awesome. My schedule for this fall includes no classes on Mondays and Fridays, and only one class on Wednesdays. It’s fourteen hours, including a songwriting class (fun fun!) and a computer recording class with Academy Award-Nominated producer Matthew Wilder. You might recognize his 80s Top 5 hit Break My Stride. I’m so excited to learn more about production with that guy. But enough name dropping for now…

My apologies might be getting repetitive to the six of you who read this blog, but I’ll throw one more out there anyway: Sorry I haven’t been blogging much. I stay pretty busy. Thanks for reading though!

Glacier photos coming soon!

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Mother’s Day Update

May 10, 2009

Hello all and Happy Mother’s Day to my maternal readers!

I’ve been behind on blogging, so I’ll try to catch everyone up on things. I need to hit several unrelated topics, so bear with me.

Hackintosh. The computer is done, and it’s beautiful. We encountered several more hurdles before we got it completely up and running, and I’ll try to summarize them here. Newegg shipped a bad hard drive, so we had to run an operating system off of a USB jump drive for a while, which was weird and slow. They also shipped a bad monitor, so we had to use my roommate’s monitor while we were waiting on that. Installing the OS went relatively smoothly following Wolfienuke’s instructions written specifically for my motherboard. Whenever I had specific issues, I’d post on the forum, and surprisingly, I got answers. I have found the OS X 86 community very supportive so far. That’s especially nice since I can’t exactly call up Apple if anything goes wrong with my machine. It’s risky. It’s fun.

For a while there, we couldn’t get the OS to recognize the full size of the hard drive. It was stuck at 128 GB, even though it was a 600 GB drive. We solved that by switching the drive type to AHCI in the bios. Eventually, we had everything running except the Quartz Extreme wasn’t working for the video card. I finally solved that by substituting one of Aquamac’s graphics strings for the NVinject kext I was using. Now the computer is pretty much completely up and running OS X 10.5.6… it’s incredible. I’ve been installing software like crazy. Current highlights include Adobe CS4 Master Collection, Final Cut Studio 2, Logic Express 8, Reason 4, and some others.

Transition paragraph: The computer now sits in my room at home because my sixth semester at Vanderbilt is over. I never installed a wireless card in the machine, so it currently has no access to the internet. It makes me feel kind of hard core to have a powerful machine completely dedicated to production. I look forward to using it a lot in the coming weeks. My summer has begun.

Vanderbilt. As for this past semester at Vanderbilt, it was a crazy one. My busiest semester yet. It was also a lazy semester for me. I’m not sure if it was my time in New Zealand or the two months of dead time I had after I returned, but I had difficulty doing my work this semester. I should take a lesson or two from my powerlifting buddy Brooks Conway, one of the most disciplined people I know. So yeah, I didn’t exactly make Dean’s List this semester, but I didn’t fail anything. I’ll try to correct that next semester… when I’m a senior in college?!?! WHAT?!?!

On that note, seeing all the preparations on campus for commencement was especially frightening for me this year. Right now, I am not looking forward to graduation at all. I don’t have a clue what I’ll be doing after Vandy, and to be honest, those question marks scare me a little bit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a good job… and by “good job”, I mean a job that pays me a reasonable amount of money to do something interesting (probably in media production, to be vague). Who knows. Lots of uncertainty there.

Memphis. After finals ended this semester, I stuck around for a while to hang out with friends. One of the main things I did was spend a few days in Memphis for the Memphis in May music festival last weekend. Lots of Vandy people were in town, so I had a great time hanging out. I only went to the actual festival on Friday night because the weather was pretty crappy all weekend. Still, that was awesome… I saw Matt Nathanson, Jack’s Mannequin, Ben Harper, some Steve Miller Band, and All American Rejects. A few other guys and I stayed with Robbie, my little brother in BYX. Robbie was great about showing us around Memphis (we ate barbecue like three times), and of course, the Zettler family treated us like kings. My final night in Memphis, I went with my new friend Amanda Ayerst (she’s awesome) and my pledge brother Craig to see Craig’s older sister perform in her junior cello recital at University of Memphis. She is a gifted musician. It’s always a joy to be around the endlessly entertaining Bullington family.

I had SO MUCH FUN in Memphis.

Recording. As it turns out, Craig is also a gifted musician. He plays the violin. I spent two days in Nashville before I went home, so we decided to record something. We could have covered a number of songs, but we randomly decided on Somewhere Over The Rainbow. In accordance with my secret goal of one day developing a fanbase and becoming a YouTube celebrity*, I shot video of the recording process and edited it together… on my new Hackintosh! (see how I brought that full circle? oh yeah…) I have two weeks in Atlanta before I leave to begin my summer adventures, so I hope to finish a few projects and complete a few more new ones like this during that time.

Check it out:

*Not really.

Summer. I am pleased to announce that I have finalized my summer plans. I will be working in beautiful Jackson Hole, WY as a counselor at Camp Living Water, a Christian ranch camp that I helped start in 2007. This summer, I’ll be a part of a team that plans and runs seven weeks of camp for mostly middle schoolers and high schoolers. I’m excited to return to Jackson with my good friend Colby, who also worked there in 2007. We’re going to make it a road trip, and we plan on visiting the Grand Canyon and a few other national parks out west on our way. Yeah, go ahead and get jealous. I’m pumped about the photography. If you check out the Camp Living Water link above, you’ll see some of the shots I got in 2007; they’re all over the site. In fact, Jackson Hole is the reason I bought my DSLR. But even more than taking photos, I’m looking forward to seeing friends, coworkers, and campers from two years ago as well as meeting plenty of new ones.

Sure, a more responsible summer plan for me would have involved an unpaid media internship of some kind, but nothing worked out. I don’t mind. This summer is going to be awesome.

Mother’s Day. By the way, I have the best mom in the world. I’ll be planting flowers in the yard with her this afternoon because that’s all she really wanted for Mother’s Day. The woman just wants to plant flowers with her children. How sweet is that?

Thanks for reading everyone. I’ll try to be more diligent with my blogging as the summer goes on.

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Hackintosh: Roadblock the First

April 16, 2009

Hey friends.

Quick warning: this is another nerdy post. Read at your own risk.

As you know from my previous post, I’m in the midst of building a computer. I had the parts delivered to my house in Atlanta, and I picked them up when I went home for Easter last weekend. Drew and I have started assembling the machine. We would be completely done by now, but we hit a roadblock or two. This is alright; we expected to encounter setbacks with this new adventure, but it is a test of our patience.

First of all, we stupidly bought a 500 watt power supply for this beast. We didn’t realize that the video card alone sucks up 400 watts. Fail! I’ve sent it back for a refund, and its 800 watt replacement should arrive tomorrow. Also, Newegg shipped me a defective monitor. It’s got something sliding around loose inside of it, as if an assembly worker accidently left a tool inside. It sounded really broken. So the monitor is also on its way back to Newegg for a replacement.

We will be able to finish the build when the new power supply arrives tomorrow. The assembly process has been inspiring so far. We had a number of close calls fitting things into the case, especially the fan assembly. I bought a really powerful cooling fan, and it clears the enclosure lid by about a centimeter. Phew! I also had to modify the viewing window on the lid so that the little fan built onto there could fit inside the case. Building the hackintosh is really exciting. Also, it’s beautiful, inside and out. Check out the photos to see what I mean.

The adventure has just begun. Once we’ve got the machine built, the next challenge begins: installing the operating system(s). More to come!