In the world of computer maintenance there are few constants. Devices that operated perfectly fine the day before, can have drastic melt downs today, that can make being a technician a very challenging position. At my day job as the Technical Director for the Sonic Arts Center, I am responsible for maintaining over 40 Apple Macintosh computers. This can be a daunting and stressful task. One company that has helped relieve the pent-up steam in my head during my 14-year tenure at the college is OWC.
When I need a replacement drive, I need it quick, and the response time from OWC is usually within minutes. If I make a mistake and order the wrong part? No problem they are quick to help remedy my error and guide me through getting what I need.
I will be shooting HD video during Popp Over America. The data sizes I will be dealing with every day will be huge. OWC has sponsored me by providing four OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini 3.0TB 5400RPM portable drives. They are small, rugged, and reliable. I will have two with me at all times, while the other two will be in transit to my home base in NYC where a friend will be handling the transfers to a OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 4-bay drive array – also provided by OWC. After the transfers, the Elite Pro drives will be shipped back to me on the road wherever I am.
I am extremely excited to have OWC as a partner on this project. When I began Popp Over America, I knew I was going to need OWC sponsored or not. Having them on board is like getting a great gift from an old reliable friend.
So, if you need a new drive, ram, enclosure or an upgrade to your Mac computer, be sure to visit Other World Computing. I guarantee they will not disappoint!
Radial Engineering is sponsoring Popp Over America by providing a pair of JS2™ Passive Microphone Splitters. I knew about Radial Engineering for a long time, but I never really looked into their products until my coworker at the time, John Patitucci, told me about the over-the-top quality of their gear. Yes, you read it right, I worked with Patitucci while he was a professor at the CCNY Music Department. He is known as one of the world’s greatest bass players and I’ll add that he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. John’s ears are so finely developed that when he recommends something to me, I check it out.
As the Technical Director for the Sonic Arts Center, I need to buy products that sound good, are easily serviced, and are durable to survive the abuse of 60 students. I auditioned a few of their direct boxes and we ended up buying a bunch of them for the Center based on their sound quality and rugged construction. They have performed flawlessly and are all perfectly consistent. I can’t speak of the service department at Radial, because in the 10 plus years we’ve owned their products, nothing has ever broken or needed repair! Their D.I.s and Splitters have a 14-gauge steel I-beam skeleton which provides a ridiculously tough shell for the components inside. Just what the Technical Director ordered.
I looked into several other of their products, and we also ended up purchasing many of their other devices. We ordered the Gold Digger to compare microphones, and the Cherry Picker to compare mic preamplifiers. These two devices in conjunction are an audio teacher’s dream. No plugging and unplugging to quickly compare the same signal though multiple mics and preamps. Genius! Radial’s SGI Studio Guitar Interface System is also a lifesaver as we often send guitar signals through tie-lines to different floors. If you have a audio quandary, Radial seems be be there waiting with the solution.
I am extremely proud to be sponsored by Radial. I was going to purchase the JS2s regardless of their support because I wanted the best, and with all of the Radial products I’ve tested – that’s exactly what you get.
Many of you know me through my day gig as the Technical Director of the Sonic Arts Center at The City College of New York. I have been at this position for over 14 years and it is truly a dream job. Yet with every dream job comes a series of headaches. I have 7 recording studios, 3 live rooms, and more Mac computers than I can count, that I have to keep running. Keeping all of this equipment alive can be like painting a battleship.
One my best remedies and migraine prevention resources is Alto Music. I started working with these guys over 10 years ago with the owner Jon Haber. Jon provided not only the best prices, but unparalleled customer service. A few years later as the company grew, I was given a new representative, Bobby Montemurro. I thought, “Ok, here we go. They are making real money now and I’m getting handed off to some lackey who isn’t going to help me keep my precarious ship afloat.” Nothing could have been farther from the truth. Bobby has been the greatest source of support since I have been at CCNY. He provides a deep knowledge of equipment, the greatest prices, fast shipping, and a level of customer service that is unbelievable. Sometimes I think he was hired by Alto to wait for my incoming emails. Be it a new mixing console or a guitar pick, he is always fast to respond and get my problem solved or item shipped. Bobby even personally donated to Popp Over America when I was trying to raise money for the pilot.
I am happy to announce that Alto Music is sponsoring Popp Over America in the form of store credit for recording and camera gear that I will be needing for the 48 state tour. The stress they have relieved for me at the day job is more than enough reward, so this sponsorship is more icing on the cake.
So if you need a new guitar, sound gear, or even a GoPro, hit up Alto Music – I am sure they will make you very happy!
I am proud to announce that Michelin will be providing Pilot Road 4 tires for the Popp Over America48 state tour. I started using Michelin tires when I got back into motorcycling in 2009 after many years away, and fitted their Pilot Road 2 tires on my 1994 Ducati 900SS SP that I was restoring. After the first test ride, I was stunned. I could not believe how far tire technology had advanced since my last time on a motorcycle.
When I bought my VFR800 to start this journey, the tires on the bike had good tread but were old. Many people do not take aging into consideration when inspecting a tire. You can ask my brother John who slung a tread on his Triumph TR6 (car) while on the highway after neglecting to change out his aging Redlines. He spun out with his daughter in Liz the car. They both escaped injury, but the event taught me (and John!) an important lesson. Even a high quality tire that looks brand new can be dangerous if it is past the tire’s age limit. Don’t mess around with tire safety. When in doubt – change ’em out!
Before I even took ownership of my 2002 VFR800, Roger from Rat Cycles called and warned me that the tires on the bike were past their expiration date (5 years past date of manufacture on the safe side). Without hesitation, I told him to fit the bike with the latest Michelin Pilot Road 4s. When I picked up the bike, I was again knocked out by the performance of the Michelins. They have a dual compound which means the side of the tire is softer (better grip) than the center (longer wear). They have a shorter stopping distance than the previous version, as well as longer wear. They also inspire confidence when riding in wet weather as seen in the Popp Over America pilot episode.
I only accept sponsorship from products I use and believe are the ultimate best. Michelin is the sole tire provider for MotoGP, and I figure if they are good enough for champion Marc Marquez and the rest of the field, they are the brand for me. But the main reason I use Michelin is because of my positive experience with their products. There is nothing else I ever want on my motorcycle. Please support my sponsors by following Michelin on Facebook @MichelinMotorcycle/US and Instagram @MichelinMotorcycle.
Arai Americas has signed on as a sponsor of Popp Over America by providing me with a brand new Arai Vector-2 helmet in Frost Black. This is huge news because Arai is the only helmet I will wear. Why? Superstition and experience. In 1993 I had a crash when a car pulled out in front of my Yamaha RZ350 and stopped dead. I grabbed too much front brake and lost the front end. Before I could react, my head hit the road face-first with a loud thud. I was wearing an Arai Signet helmet at the time. I believe that lid saved my life and from that day forward I have worn nothing else while on a motorcycle. Please click here to check out all the Arai products and tell them Joe Popp sent you. Thanks Arai!
Dear Popp Over America fans and supporters:
I realize it has been a long time since my last update. Many of you think I may have given up, but NOOOOO! I’m still here! My life took a few turns and twists. I’ve had to move several times do to noise and dangerous conditions. I am now living with Jenny out in the Kensington section of Brooklyn. I also continue to battle depression that rears it’s ugly head at the least convenient times. This has been an ongoing fight, but I am feeling productive and positive as of late.
I am still editing the pilot episode and things are going great. I have so much footage that I am having a tough time finding what to cut. I can’t have a four-hour pilot episode!
I have been recording a new LOST AXIS album with Shaugn O’Donnell, and I am currently trying to talk him into buying a motorcycle and joining me on the 48-state tour. Work at the Sonic Arts Center at CCNY keeps me going too, but I start my one-year sabbatical on August 1st. Things will calm down at the job by they end of the semester, and I am aiming for July 1 to release the pilot episode. Stay tuned!
I plan on leaving for the 48-state tour on March 1, 2017. If you have a place for me to stay or know a club where I can play, please let me know!
Supporter news: Fire-Eye has given a generous rebate to Popp Over Americaon their Red-Eye Instrument Preamplifier. This pre sounds amazing and incorporates adjustable treble and boost controls. The Red-Eye is well known as the de facto standard for passive pickups in acoustic instruments. Please check out their products and tell them Popp Over America sent you.
When I first started Popp Over America, I was certain I was going to be doing the TV show and the tour as a solo act. But in the words of the greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My friend of many years Shaugn O’Donnell joined me for my birthday show back in May at Shrine and we had such a good time we decided to become an acoustic duo. We have played more than a few gigs under the moniker Popp Over America, but after our last show out in Stony Brook at the Velvet Lounge, that name didn’t feel right. We are a unit now so we needed a new name.
After a volley of emails between Tylor Durand (graphic artist and former bandmate), Shaugn, and myself, we settled on the name Lost Axis. Tylor whipped up seemingly infinite renditions of graphic ideas and after a bucket of us whining and Tylor refining, we arrived at the above logo. Some will say it’s too metal. Some will say it’s too punk. We say good.
Pilot Editing Progress:
I am still working diligently on logging the footage for the pilot episode. Uladzimir Taukachou, the cinematographer for the pilot shoot, has been helping me greatly by syncing all the cameras and sound. At this point I don’t think I can fit all of what I want to keep into just one episode. I will know more as I move along in the process but this is an epic task. There is a story to tell and I don’t want to leave out any important detail. I hope to have some clips up soon. Stay tuned!