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Left to Swing (w/ The Composer)



 Genre: Rock

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Left To Swing started out over 1.5 years ago as tracks Mason sent to me with lots of samples from various media outlets. Verses and choruses were written, squeezing out all but one of the samples, but leaving us with a gaping breakdown. Much of the time between writing and mixing was spent trying to figure out what to do with that breakdown, as it seemed too spare on its own, but definitely needed a change up from the pace of the verses and chorus.

Mason envisioned a female vocal in the breakdown, so after some fits and starts, we had A. Gair read from Neruda's "I'm Explaining A Few Things", as translated by Nathaniel Tarn, to take us through the breakdown.

Several things happened that made this mix a mess: we recorded three different times using different equipment, Mason was still perfecting the use of said equipment, various parts were re-recorded, and the levels were all over the place. In between the first recording and the mix, we completed another song with an altogether different feel (Why We Travel).

Vocals were recorded in the basement of my apartment, except for my breakdown vocals, recorded in Mason's house. We used the following equipment for recording vox:

1) Microphones: AT2020, Joe Meek JM37
2) Pre-amps: Joe Meek SixQ
3) One tape-together pop screen on a busted mic stand

As far as themes go, we didn't go much farther than the anger and disappointment that often comes with reading the daily news or listening to it. Methods used to sell us the news are discussed as verbs in the chorus.

Huy Dao

Performance Credits:

Huy Dao: lyrics, vocals, arrangement
Bryan Anderson: percussion, mastering, initial editing of song structure
Mason Wolak: guitars, bass, engineering, mixing
A. Gair: spoken word in middle breakdown section

Production Notes: The shear variety of equipment used to produce the guitar and bass sounds in this song warrant mention. All of the overdriven rhythm guitars in the song were recorded with a Gibson Les Paul fed into my homebuilt TMI Cyclotron, a 2 W Push-Pull guitar amp. The amp was driving a Marshall 1936 2X12 cabinet that was mic'd with a JoeMeek JM37 condenser mic fed into a Mackie Onyx 400F preamp.

TMI Cyclotron Guitar Amp used to record "Left to Swing"

The guitars are presented in the mix "as is" (no EQ or Compression) with the exception of the use of the Blockfish VST plug-in to emulate tape "saturation" to warm up the sound and make it seem a bit less "digital".

The tapping intro and outro portions of the song were recorded with a Gibson SG using the Line 6 Gearbox plug-in set to the Bogner and Diezel amp models. The phasing was added after the fact with Nomad Factory's excellent (and free) Phaser VST plug-in.

The clean-ish guitar solo that comes after the second chorus was recorded with a Vox Tonelab (on loan from friend Mike Schuette). The tonelab was also used to record the flanged lead line that precedes the heavy part of the breakdown.

The clean 5/4 rhythm lines in the middle section of the song were recorded D.I. into the Onyx 400F and were modified with the Amplitube 2 VST plug-in using the THD bivalve amp model.

Bass guitars were recorded D.I. using a combination of the the Amplitube 2 bass amp model and the AmpegSVT Uno plug-in.

Drums were recorded with Bardl dynamic drum mics and Behringer C-1 Condenser mics on a Yamaha 16 track mixer. The kick drum was replaced with samples as we were unable to get a "tight" enough kick sound, and snare drum samples layered with original snare drum track.

The song was tracked and mixed in Mackie Tracktion The majority of dynamics and EQ processing was done with the Waves Musicians II set of plug-ins or the included T3 plug-ins. Waves Trueverb and DestroyFX Ambience were used for reverb processing. The song was mastered in Digital Performer with the included plug-in set and PSP Vintage Warmer.
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Song Stats
Hits: 11300
Comments: 58
Fans: 32
Plays: 885
Downloads: 281
Votes: 8
Uploaded: Jan 07, 2008 - 07:20:16 AM
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2008 - 01:53:08 PM Last Played: Jul 24, 2019 - 11:26:09 AM
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damiengh said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Wake Up Call
Need this with my coffee in the morning. Energy brings one up to speed quickly here, you got me there man and I'm out of the gate. Loved your change of tempos and mix.
There is a lot here to listen to here and it is going to take more than one listen.

Your amp has definitely done it's job. I want one.
Check out my latest song called Tea and Scones
said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Monday eye opener
heh... what a rockin' way to start my day - thanks

Love the timing, amp sounds great. got the ground noise out?

. - Harold
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
thanks harold
glad you like the tune. The grounding issue is actually in one of the other amp's I've built. I think I've traced it to a fried capacitor, so hopefully I'll have that sorted out soon. The amp I used for this song is pretty much dead quiet until you really crank it.
Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
thoddi said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Impressive stuff! The fast guitar playing, the bass and the heavy drums sounds fab! The vocals are very cool.

Surely a touch of madness around here:)
Check out my latest song called How can I make it up to you
datafunk said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
definitly a sound of its own, loved it from the very first words to the final note, totally cool piece of massive rock
Check out my latest song called DFF#03
freefalleffect said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
holy hell man
this sounds great....clean and punchy like a swift kick to the ole nuggets....everything sounds great....Mason that amp sounds wicked brother!!!! I have nothing bad to say about this.....a very cool assembly of ideas and sounds....the spoken word was a nice element that sits well in the chaos.....performances are top notch....slamming....just slamming.....top freakin kudos here people.....I think this may be my fav TMI cut....

thanks for pimping this out Mason......

Check out my latest song called Redemption
Feter said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Left to Swing
this rock the guitars sound cool ..I m impressed
to see your amp very tight sound for the band
everyboyd just cool here ...welldone !!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
8piscean8 said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Epic Rock
Every time I hear some TMI music I want to run out and buy a Joe Meek SixQ.

The arrangement on this song is wicked. It would be great if you posted the lyrics.

Your homemade amp sounds sweet and I envy your electronic skills.

My only gripe is that sometimes the drums don't sound like a cohesive unit. As you have pointed out the kick was replaced by samples. The toms just sort of ring a little too much and don't match the sound of the rest of the kit.

Other than that this is a fine piece of production, songwriting, performance, and electronic ingenuity!
Check out my latest song called The End
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like the arrangement, Bryan is just a wizard at putting a song together. I sent him like 11 minutes worth of material that was basically a crazy mis-match of stuff and he came back with a suggested song structure that felt coherent, punchy, and fresh.

With regards to the SixQ - it's a pretty good unit, but I gotta say I'll be moving away from it for future productions, since I've just completed building a new mic preamp that sounds killer and I have a SSL-clone compressor on the way... Though I will say that the SixQ really shines on vox.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
8piscean8 said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
I've read that the SixQ is a rather "musical" channel strip. If you don't mind, what is the SSL-clone compressor you have in mind?

Can't wait to hear something from your new mic preamp!
Check out my latest song called The End
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
SSL clone
One of the most famous compressors used on pop and rock music over the last 15 years or so is the Solid State Logic mix bus compressor, which until recently you could only get your hands on if you had an SSL mixing desk (a.k.a $1 million dollar investment). An enterprising engineer apparently pulled one of out of his console and reverse engineered it, so there are some schematics for it floating around on the web. SSL has started selling their own rack version, but it is prohibitively expensive (> $3K). You can put one together for a fraction of the price. I've read up a lot on the SSL clone and everyone seems to LOVE it, so I can't wait to finish it up.

My dual tube preamp is done and sounds killer, but I think I'm going to put in a high and low shelving EQ to make it a little more "on the fly tweakable". I did some test runs with an acoustic the other day and was really happy with the sound. I also recorded some bass into the D.I. and wow did it sound heavy and detailed.

Getting back to the SixQ, I like that it can do its job without "taking over" the sound. The EQ is very good if you are mic'ing up your guitar and you have a designated spot to fit it into a mix. The compression works great on vocals, it really evens things out. I like to run Huy's lead vox through the compressor to give a nice "up front" and even sound, then run an uncompressed backing vocal buried underneath it.

Honestly though, my favorite thing about buying the SixQ was that I got a JM37 mic for free with the purchase. I absolutely LOVE this mic. I bought a dedicated guitar mic (Sennheiser e609) that is supposed to be great for cabinets, but I always find that I like the JM37 on my amps much, much better. It's weird because the reviews I've read for the JM37 aren't all the impressive, but I find that I like it over many other more highly regarded mics. Guess it just shows that personal preference is so important when it comes to making music.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
8piscean8 said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Thanks for your reply on the SSL-Clone. If your version turns out well (which I am sure it will judging from your past endeavors) you could probably sell some out of your car trunk (or on the internet) and make some money. It kind of sucks though when a hobby becomes like a job, so maybe you wouldn't want to make more (takes too much time away from writing, recording, and mixing).

Also thanks for a more detailed glimpse into the SixQ. I noticed in your detailed gear listings for your songs that you used the JM37 quite a bit. It's sweet you got that for free. I might have to look into that mic.

Your right about personal preference, everybody has one and that's what makes us unique.

Check out my latest song called The End
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
good ears
I was thinking about your comments on the drum track and I know exactly what you're talking about.

This is the first time I ever had a full individually tracked drum kit to mix and I really struggled with getting it to sound tight and coherent. I feel a little bad because I know that Bryan would have done a better job with his drums, but he is busy getting ready for Sweden, so the mix fell on me. Simply put, Bryan is a better producer than I am (check out his work on Rubicon, it's incredible), but he did help guide me through this track.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
The Composer said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
don't worry
Don't worry about it Mason. There were some things about my original recordings that I was never happy with, such as the snare wasn't as tight as it could've been and it was the first time I had tried using my own toms in a TMI recording rather than just samples. Unfortunately, the amount of time I've had this year meant that I never really had a decent chance to try and re-record the things I wasn't happy with. Ideally, if I had a 4+ channel audio interface I could've done things a lot better... but with stereo mixing, it means that there's always somethings I don't have as much control over as I wanted.

You still did a good job mate.
Check out my latest song called Blood Is Boiling (By Faeble)
said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Zepplin 2.0?
Well done gentlemen. Well done...

More please!

Take care!
said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
I even hear a bit of latter-day King Crimson in the change-up (and that's a GOOD thing).

Rock on!
craft said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
It's clear
Zack de La Rocha on the mic.. Great song guys.. You really rock.. This soundz more like BodyCount... Well performed and produced... Pro job
Check out my latest song called Valarty & AJ Craft - Burn (Alternative version)
DWL said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
Neat stuff !
Splendid playing all round :-)

I liked this, a lot.

Not unlike Discipline era King Crimson.



Check out my latest song called Revelation
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
thanks Mr. Langford!
you know, it's funny... a lot of people bring up King Crimson when they hear the music I write, but I've never really listened to them. I do listen to a lot of bands that site King Crimson as an influence, so I guess in a way they are an indirect influence on me through other bands.

Every time I play something new I've written for my dad, he mentions King Crimson...

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
I knew it!
Monkaton said 4261 days ago (February 22nd, 2008)
I thought of that too, especially the vocal ("This is dangerous place"),
Check out my latest song called Blue Tie
Monkaton said 4162 days ago (May 31st, 2008)
this is a dangeous place
i love that KC album.
Check out my latest song called Blue Tie
aclarke said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
This is very, very cool... unique, killer tone from that amp! Top notch performances from everyone and a near perfect mix.

Thanks for the detail on how this was all put together. Sometimes the story of the song is as interesting as the tune itself.
Check out my latest song called Right on Time 2014- feat. David McNair
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
Glad you liked the tune. I'm very happy with the sound of the new amp... I've been looking for something that felt "signature" to my playing for a long, long time. I feel like I'm pretty near getting that sound now.

Funny thing is that I must have tracked the rhythm guitars about 15 times for this tune using a wide variety of different plug-ins and amps before settling on the right sound. It was really a nightmare. I even have a few mixes that featured my Marshall 6100 30th anniversary head. I didn't like any of the takes until I got to my own homebuilt amp - it just had a different presence and edge to it than any of the other ways I tried to record the guitar.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
ktb said 4307 days ago (January 7th, 2008)
what Damien said
there is so much cool stuff going on here. complex, jammin and a very cool ride. The 'interlude' was my fav part/ the sound of that guitar is outrageously good..
Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
Comment from the KVR forum
consolidating comments -- here is a comment from Mauvehead at the KVR forum:

That was pretty sweet as far as the song goes. I'd like to hear it on my studio monitors here in the next day or two to better hear how the drums and bass were EQ'd (I just listened to it on a pair of crappy PC monitors). Excellent vibe! The guitar tones brought me back to the days of early Rage mixed with the cool retro heaviness of Cake's "Going the Distance" (only faster). The playing is very tight indeed. Nice and original. And thanks for not doing the cliche' screaming crap that everybody seems to have a talent for these days. Also, I loved the chick's voice in the song. Good job!
Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
like the guitar tone!
i think in parts IMO it's a bit far back in the mix, but only in like 2 parts.
nice sounds, though. it's an impressive thing to build and design your own amps. my hat's off!

as to the song. i think it points a "fair and balanced" middle finger right where it needs to go :-)
it's a very cool tune, guys! very tight rhythms! nice work!
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
thanks Jason
Jason, I know you have built your own guitar in the past, so I'm pretty sure that you'd enjoy building amps too. If you ever decide to give it a go, let me know because I'm more than willing to help you along with the process and lend whatever (minimal) expertise I have. Glad you enjoyed the tune.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
echoroom said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
Man, this is mental - freakin excellent production, this kicks like three legged nun on mescaline. Excellent!
Check out my latest song called Light Sleeper
Fourth Window said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
not bad
this has so much rage against the machine sound alike but still a good song good job
Check out my latest song called Picture Screen
Mcboy said 4306 days ago (January 8th, 2008)
definition and sound out of that amp..... nice tones from the tonelab(probably the best hardware out there)....great guitar recording over all.....2 thumbs up!!!!!!!!....
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
Einarus said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Rage Against the Machine-ish
And that's a good thing.

I really dig the unusual time signatures - and you play around with them very well. Nice driving power and very good performances.

The only thing I can mention that annoyed me is the sound of the kick drum. It just sounds too thin - to my ears, anyway.

But otherwise this is kick-ass.

-Einar S.
Check out my latest song called "I Hate Goodbyes"
perceptualvortex said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Yes, there's definitely a RATM sound in this, which is cool as I think Rage are great. Specifically, some of the vox make me think of "Testify". The guitar sound is fantastic, and I love the odd timings in here... 5/4 in triplets--you don't hear enough of that!
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
Ibstrat said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Very cool
Guitar sounds are amazing.This sounds great LOUD.I like the breakdown in the middle.Fantastic production.
Check out my latest song called What the
wonderpus said 4305 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Pretty cool stuff
Mike Patton would be into this - I hear a little Mr. Bungle and some Zappa too. Neat.
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ElPeruano said 4304 days ago (January 9th, 2008)
Hey, awesome track. great energy. really clean production. everything about this is quality. love the breakdown and buildup about 3 minutes in. If I'm old school Del, then you are new-born RATM. and i mean that in the best sense. Keep on rockin man.
Check out my latest song called you must be crazy
guitapick said 4304 days ago (January 10th, 2008)
...don't know what else to say...very serious stuff...and then the description of equipment...I love to talk shop and you gave me my money's worth, here.

All in all: an excellent auditory and intellectually stimulating experience...

Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
guitapick said 4304 days ago (January 10th, 2008)
The Cyclotron rocks...you thinking of marketing it?

Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
Tiny_Man_Inside said 4304 days ago (January 10th, 2008)
well... not yet, but I will say that I've received a lot of very positive responses from many in the DIY amp building community. Definitely had a lot of requests to share my schematics, so that's encouraging.

Personally I think I'm a long ways from being able to market, I've only got 3 amps under my belt and I still have a lot to learn, although I am pleased with the progress I've been making.

Thanks for listening and providing comments and kind words.

Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
Alannah said 4301 days ago (January 12th, 2008)
Ah Yes ....
...I knew that if I let Beer Friday to run into Beer Saturday I would find a tune like this ... fabulous!
Check out my latest song called Sleep (w JScott and Alannah)
said 4297 days ago (January 17th, 2008)
I like the protest feel this gives off. Very energetic and powerful. Your amps sound great. They have detail and warmth. Overall this tune ROCKS! You could even put this in the "Heavy Metal" genre. The story behind the production notes were both detailed and interesting.
I enjoyed this piece very much. Keep em coming!

TMI is now a fav of mine.
davisamerica said 4291 days ago (January 23rd, 2008)
love it... the break works like crazy... guitars smash on.... great tune!!
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
said 4275 days ago (February 8th, 2008)
Left to Swing (w/ The Composer)

Yeah this I like. Although I am no way a music expert and still learning the ropes so to speak.

Loads of energy and love went into this I can imagine.

The way you bring it down a tone or two lower,
love the Guitar, voice over is good.
lyrics as well, interesting concept. Great mix
Sounds are great.



Bob6stringer said 4262 days ago (February 21st, 2008)
Tight, dynamic, hi-powered creepy!
Like freefalleffect said, holy hell, man! Chops, killer vox and everything's precise and powerful. The overall composition has great punch. and it does NOT sound over-compressed, it's a treat for the ears... even with all that blood in the streets. I got a chuckle out of those panning guitar notes at around 2:40.
Check out my latest song called Happy Birthday (Na Na Na Na)
guygrooves said 4121 days ago (July 11th, 2008)
All I can say.......
is this is the best sonic candy I have heard in a very long time. I am fan of your extraordinary music and the pearls of wisdom you share so readily. Thank you, I know just visiting you regularly will teach me more than I ever imagined possible.
Check out my latest song called Last Day Here 1998
Lightman- said 4114 days ago (July 18th, 2008)
This is a really great rock song.... The sound on this is cool.... I like it a lot... Great
Check out my latest song called You Are
DOCTORBIZARRE said 4104 days ago (July 28th, 2008)
The guitar sound is sick! Nice job! That amp really sounds killer! Noice job my man and cool song! Wasn't diggin the chicks voice! Sounded wimpy in such a stellar rocker!
Check out my latest song called STORM
Boris the Bull said 4076 days ago (August 25th, 2008)
thoughts from the bull...
wow! this is really terrific stuff!

with the large-scale production sound you have, it's a wonder that this wasn't performed in a studio?

glad I stopped in for this!
Check out my latest song called What You'd Be Like
Kicbal said 4031 days ago (October 9th, 2008)
Spoken Word Metal
I love it! Very cool and unique. Reminds me a bit of Steve Vai (the non-cheesy parts), and a bit of Rage Against the Machine. Way tight playing and the crazy experimenting with sound and structure is awsome. This is a case where the garage reverby vocals actually fit the song perfectly. Thanks for going out on a limb with this, it totally works.


ps. Thanks for the props on the "LoveSeat Daredevil" band name. We had a fun run with it. Loud/over the top Chili Pepper influenced hard rock. We had one helluva time coming up with the name . . . it was a melding of 2 bands (Sofa) and (Porno Carpet) so the name LoveSeat Daredevil obviously makes perfect sense.
Check out my latest song called Close Call
tokai said 4016 days ago (October 24th, 2008)
ah i see what you mean
just read your thread on the forum about amp sims so i thought i would check out what you mean....perfectly obvious now. Love this kind of music and your guitar styling. Brilliant song, a real work of art.
Check out my latest song called sleeper
PrototypeEightyOne said 3933 days ago (January 15th, 2009)
damn... not sure why i didnt check you out before. i love metal and fast riffs but hate the screaming involved in most metal type music. This works. i love metal with less screaming and more singing, like Tool.

your break at 2:0o was dope...and funny cuz it reminds me of tool lol...good shit man. its like tool made love with rage who cheated on tool with incubus' science album got pregnant and popped this baby out. nice.
Check out my latest song called Sin Trifical
Char said 3813 days ago (May 15th, 2009)
I saw your forum post.
There's a lot going on here. Certainly high production and loads of talent. A very wild ride.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
Relic67 said 3812 days ago (May 16th, 2009)
Impressive heavy sounds...
your electronics wizardry is unbelievable!
Everything sounds great here, drums included.
glad I found this through the forum!
Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
Calchas said 3722 days ago (August 14th, 2009)
The Grim Reaper's so-called "universal" health care plan will leave the elderly to swing. After all, the fewer of those who remember that there are left (and can pass their knowledge on to young) the better.

Whether you intended it or not, this is sooooo timely!

Well done!

Check out my latest song called LOWLANDS OF HOLLAND/THE FOGGY DEW
fasteddie said 3448 days ago (May 15th, 2010)
Totally badass rockin
Kickin hard rockin goodness. Nicely done!

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Relic67 said 3246 days ago (December 2nd, 2010)
returning for another listen....
amazing metallic sound.
pretty amazing, really love the guitars/drums/vox... I guess that's everything. really there's nothing here not to like.
I have a weakness for prog-metal and this is the real s%$t!

Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
Tiny_Man_Inside said 3234 days ago (December 15th, 2010)
Thanks a lot
wow - back for more, huh? thanks for the kind words. We're actually finally working on some new material, probably won't be posted until say February-ish, but one of the songs is actually an 'answer' to this song / sort of a continuation/study on this with several new and different themes added. 8+ minutes long and more than 40 time signature changes...
Check out my latest song called Zucchini: TMI Amp Giveaway Soundbed #2
sammydix said 2839 days ago (January 14th, 2012)
Left to Swing
fanfukintastic! totally wasn't expecting this!
some serious rockin/rappin. all over it.
Check out my latest song called Things must change
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Name: Tiny_Man_Inside
Location: DC/NYC USA
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Mason Wolak - guitars, bass, backing vocals Bryan Anderson - drums, percussion, production Huy Dao - vocals, lyrics, saltiness Mason Wolak is the first member of Tiny Man Inside to join MacJams. In addition to writing/playing/recording... [see more]

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