Back-up Vocal~ One of my fondest memories from my days as a student at dear, sweet Pittsburgh Technical Institute, was taking music from my ridiculous collection and applying it to my class projects. The option came courtesy of Sound Forge, which was the audio editing software the school bought for students to use. I had some previous experience with CoolEdit and Sound Forge moved exactly the same way. Thus, I dove in head first and felt right at home, quickly discovering that I had a genuine proficiency and ease with software. At the risk of bragging, I might have been the Sound Forge “Mac Daddy” of PTI. In truth, that’s not really saying too much. Anyone could get a grasp of the program with a minimal amount of effort and elbow grease. Still, I always felt much more of a kinship with it than most of my classmates. In large part, they really only seemed to use Sound Forge when their projects demanded music and they otherwise really had no particular use for it or interest in it. Not me. CDs still ruled the roost in the early 2000’s. So, each day, I had a portable case loaded with my “essentials” on hand. Between Instrumental Guitar albums, film soundtracks and the odd smattering of Classical in my personal vault, I was well equipped with any sort of music that might be needed to give a video project or animation the right mood. Classmates would regularly ask to look through my library to find audio that would help them crystallize their work. They would also ask me to walk them through how to use Sound Forge. Because, it was treated as an option, but the faculty never provided any real official instruction on how it worked. I discovered that I had a natural talent in selecting just the right music, then slaughtering it to fit into school projects. Imagine my devastation after I graduated and learned that such “wonder boy” skills with butchering legally protected tunes in school, could get me SUED from here to creation and back in the real world. Once I got my degree and departed campus for the last time, the security blanket of being a student with “creative room to move” was gone, baby, GONE!!! It was quite the wake-up call. 

In the last few years, I bought a record player model that can be connected to a computer, to transfer LP records to digital format. The gizmo included Sound Forge as the program to capture and preserve the audio in the MP4 world. The device was an important investment, as it let me cataloge a few old records never released on CD and save them. In particular, my Granddad played banjo in a Big Band called “Pittsburgh Pops”. They recorded an album at one of the city’s fancier social clubs back in the 1960’s. Through the record player and Sound Forge I was able to save this wonderful piece of family history for posterity.  Crafting this Comic, let me create my interpretation of a Sound Forge-esque work screen on Bo’s laptop, jagged, pointy waves and all. Thus, I was able to offer a several-times-removed, yet loving Shout-Out to a program that has made a difference to me on numerous occasions in my life. 

As we’ve seen way back in Comic Strip #119, Manny harbors extraordinarily well defined views on Tambourine players. Still, he felt the instrument itself held enough potential to compile original recordings of himself and Soxx throwing down with that jangly bounce. It was only fitting that they take the time to make their performance available for public consumption. I can’t speak to how much demand there may have been for the results. Especially since they were only devoted to Floppy Discs. That said, I think we should all take a moment and commend Bo, for remaining open-minded enough to listen and consider this unorthodox resource as an option. Whether or not it might provide additional flavor to even one song on his solo album. Let this newest exhibit serve as proof positive of a crucial fact that should help us ALL sleep better tonight: though Manny and Soxx currently gallivant through their own adventures across the sea (more on that to come), in spirit they are ever present.