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INFO - 2007-2020
SECOND LIFE - WHAT IS IT
Second Life is a free 3D virtual world where users can create, connect, and chat with others from around the world using voice and text. This is the simplest description but let me say it is so much more than just that! It's rather hard to explain and the best way to understand what it is, is to just go there and see for yourself.
You can start an account for free by going to the second life website link above. You will also need a viewer and the best one is from the Firestorm link above. Go to second life first and start a free account, pick your avatar and your name and login info. Then go to firestorm and install and run the firestorm viewer. Type in your login info into the bottom of the viewer and logon and explore.
After the demise of Miacomet and doing Joan's website I started to play music again and wanted to play online. I found second life while I was searching for places to play. When I first joined there were only about 5-10 musicians who played there. Streaming was still new and not a lot of people had discovered SL yet. There were Casinos in SL at that time and a lot of money was floating around so musicians got paid quite well to play at peoples places that were trying to increase traffic. But a year later the US stopped internet gambling and because SL is a California based company they shut down all the casinos and SL went into a kind of virtual recession.
It was during this time when I came up with the idea to build a listening booth so people could come to my island and hear my music. This idea expanded into a full featured booth that could not only play my music but also promote and sell my work as well as give links to my website, calendars and contacts. All this eventually led to the development of my sim which I called TRAX Live Music Resource Center. I met up with a very talented woman who was also a scripter in SL and she had also wanted to do something to help promote live music in SL. Together we built an Educational Resource Center that taught people how to stream live music, what they needed as far as equipment, and how to perform in SL. Eventually the sim grew to full capacity as more and more real life musicians were coming in world to play their music everyday. At one point TRAX had 160 musicians listening booths with a long waiting list and about 500 shoutcast streams.
This is my avatar and my secondlife name.
MY SIM TRAX
So I purchased a virtual island that represents about 16 acres of real life land and I built my new business in secondlife called Trax. It was an idea I had about helping musicians use the internet and the second life website to help promote and market their real life music careers. By having a presence in SL and playing their music in a Listening Booth they could market and promote their music when they were not online. But it also could promote their SL shows , music, and websites, and help them with booking calendars and let users contact them and their agents as well. It also could be used to sell their RL music with a thing I created called the SLCD. The Trax SLCD was the first product in SL to use a server to deliver MP3's of artists music to the listener in SL. They not only played the artists music but they were designed as 3d Objects that added a creative individuality to the musicians work. SLCD's also gave out pictures, video links, website links and gifts to the buyer and could be sold in the TRAX Listening Booth.
Trax quickly became very successful and turned into a fulltime business for me. I had over 160 Musicians not only renting streams to carry their live performances into SL but booth rentals as well. I had waiting lists for artists to get booths for more than 2 years. It became a great service to the venue owners as well. They could pop into TRAX at their own convivence to listen and then book an entire weeks worth of musicians for their venues. I added the SLCD business a couple years after I started TRAX and that took off as well. It was a great way to get a product to a musician in Secondlife that they then could sell at their live shows. I finally closed TRAX after 10 years of amazing business as the music scene in SL has changed over the years. Look further below at what I'm doing now in SL.
This is an article written by The Best of SL Magazine in 2010
THE TRAX SLCD
Second Life only allows us to upload 10 second wave files for sound. They avoid all royalty issues by not allowing longer length mp3's to be used. So I started to use my server to stream mp3's inworld into a CD Object. I made CD Disks with scripting and allowed the user to click on a cd and bring up a menu that would play the mp3 intro second life from my server. Eventually after making hundreds of them for artists to sell at their shows I got bored with making square boxes and round disks and started to make 3D objects that did the same thing musically but were much more interesting for the user to buy. They did more and were more personalized products. All the SLCD's I made allowed you to play mp3 songs but also gave the artists bio , their booking contact, gifts, and a host of other objects that made the SLCD a fun thing to own. Below are a couple of samples.
One thing I get to do in SL is donate my time to play for charities. There are tons of them for every known ailment in the world. So I picked ones that I could really trust in that the sponsors actually do what they say they will do with the money they raise from the event. Feed a Smile is one such event that does great things with the money. They buy meals for children who are hungry in Africa! Can't beat that!! Above is a picture to me from a group of children from Nakuyu Africa.
The American Cancer society is also in SL. They have people who do a lot of events here and I'm always getting asked to play shows to help out. A couple years ago I used my SLCD's to make them a compilation of artists on CD that they could sell to raise money.
And to the left is a picture of my Alex's Lemonade stand that raises money for children to fight cancer. This is a wonderful organization that does lemonade stands in real life but it was a perfect thing for me to build and distribute throughout SL to help raise money to fight cancer. And most importantly it was for kids. The stands have raised over $5000 in SL through the years.
LIVE SHOWS - TRAX STAGES & CLUBS
I have built thousands of things in SL but one of the more enjoyable things to build has been clubs and live venues to perform live shows in second life. Trax has run many venues through the years and had hundreds of live shows of most of the musicians in Second life. Here are a few that were special.
THE BAKED WITH PMANN SANDS
So for the last 10 years I have been playing live shows in Second life from my studio in Nantucket. SL has over 14 million members from every country in the world. For many of these years I have done hundreds of shows all over the grid but always solo shows. Several years ago I met this guy from Canada named Pmann Sands. It turned out that we both had similar taste in furniture as out of the 1000's of sofas that have been built in SL we both managed to buy the same one! But we became good friends over the years and really enjoyed being in SL and playing live music. Pmann use to play in a great Canadian Band called Saint Eves. When we first met he introduced me into the Centurians, a motorcycle club in SL. A great group of people who have all become good friends.
After much angst and frustration with always playing alone we both had this deep desire to play music together but being 3000 miles apart presented a great problem in doing that. So I embarked on a mission to get us as close as we possibly could to being able to play live together in SL in real-time.
Together we spent months playing around with different configurations until I finally put together the system with the least amount of delay that actually allowed us to play in real-time in sl and we could both hear each other in real time. It was definitely a breakthrough and we started to do live shows together as the Band called THE BAKED.
We did hundreds of shows over the years. This has been some of my favorite times playing music as we just jammed for hours together and just laughed and had fun every time we played. Was a Blast. And hopefully we'll get to do this again in the near future.
Ghost of You - The Baked
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TRAX BROADCAST STUDIOS
Trax Broadcast Studios was the newest build of my island. It houses several sound stages including a western set a NYC street scene set and a pirate set. All used to make machinima sl movies. There is also a main sound stage that will host several game shows to be announced soon. Machinima is a way we make movies in SL by recording the computer screen with a capture software and then dumping it all into a video editor.
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