Christmas Medley 2020

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental at 8:15 pm by Martin

Length: 05:53Size: 13.4 MB

It’s 2020 and this is the 20th xmas medley I recorded. What a crazy year 2020 has been. Hope this little medley provides a tiny bit of joy in trying times. Clocking in at just under 6 minutes this is also the longest medley I’ve ever recorded. My two boys, Kai (6 years old) and Kieran (2 years old), also have a little chat with their comments about their papa’s medley at the end if you stick around long enough 😛

This year’s medley features “O Little Town of Bethlehem” followed by “We Three Kings”. In honor of tapping master Eddie Van Halen’s passing just a few weeks ago, the ‘widdly widdly’ guitar solo in “We Three Kings” has 8 bars of tapping-only frenzy at around the 4:51 mark in the song. I only occasionally use tapping, and rarely ever for a longer section of a solo like this. So this is dedicated to Eddie’s impact on electric rock guitar, both on the gear and the way we play today.

Also new this year is my extended e-drum kit. I added two toms, upgraded the snare from 10″ to 12″, upgraded the base drum to a proper mesh-head pad, got a nice Roland VH-10 hi-hat, and added several cymbals. I also swapped out the brains of the operation, the drum trigger module, for the Audiofront eDRUMin10 (see https://www.audiofront.net/eDRUMin.php), which is quite excellent and has an easy-to-use but very powerful control software that allows for configuring the trigger response extremely well.
It was a lot of fun coming up with and recording the drum parts this year. Here’s a picture of the new setup:

My e-drum kit at the end of 2020


Christmas Medley 2019

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 8:19 pm by Martin

Length: 04:19Size: 9.87 MB

Because we’re on our way to visit family in Austria for several weeks tomorrow this year’s xmas medley is out a bit early. It starts out with a somewhat jazzy version of “The Christmas Song” (aka “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”) and ends with my hefty version of “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”.

This year all guitars were recorded with my recently purchased headless 7-string Kiesel LM7X (see pic below) that I got from a San Diego county-local custom guitar shop. It’s equipped with a really great Hipshot trem that stays in tune even when you really abuse it.
I recorded all tracks (drums, bass, guitars, and some piano and synths) in about seven evenings after my kids went to bed. Such is the life of a parent 😛

Also of note is that I started making these xmas medleys 20 years ago (in 1999). I skipped a couple of years in the beginning so there’s only a total of 19 medleys available. Still a nice milestone. Looking forward to medley number 20 next year 🙂

Enjoy and happy holidays!

Kiesel LM7X


Christmas Medley 2018

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 9:53 am by Martin

Length: 03:49, Size: 8.75 MB

The newest addition to our family, 5-month old Kieran, starts out this year’s xmas medley before it kicks into “The Holly and The Ivy”. After a good minute and a half the pace picks up and the medley ends with my rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time”.

As always I recorded everything in this medley myself at home, starting with the drums to lay down a foundation, which took about a day. Then I recorded all the rhythm guitar tracks one evening, the bass tracks the next evening, and finally the solo guitars in two evenings maybe a week later. I spent about two evenings mixing and mastering and it was done! Pretty quick this year.

Happy holidays!


Christmas Medley 2017

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental at 4:25 pm by Martin

Length: 04:06, Size: 9.39 MB

This year’s Christmas medley arrives right on time a day before Christmas Eve. It’s a medley of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “O Holy Night” with a little bit of “Carol of the Bells” thrown in a couple times. My 3-year-old son is also prominently featured on vocals this year 🙂

Unlike other years, where it takes me several weeks to complete, the medley this year came together very quickly. I had the arrangement in the head before I even fired up a sequencer or laid down the first guitar or drum tracks. I didn’t start arranging and recording the first few tracks until December 10, but it all came together really nicely.

Please enjoy! Happy holidays!


Christmas Medley 2016

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental at 7:33 pm by Martin

Length: 04:08, Size: 9.46 MB

Only a day late I’ve completed this year’s Christmas medley. It’s hard to find enough time to record when there’s a toddler in the house always wanting “to play choo choos” 🙂
This year the medley starts out with the Charlie Brown classic “Christmas Time Is Here” and then takes off with a rock version of Wham’s “Last Christmas”. I recorded the “Last Christmas” solo guitars on Christmas day itself, which coincidentally was the day George Michael died. So this kind of turned into a tribute to him.

Hope you enjoy!


Christmas Medley 2015

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Metal at 5:43 pm by Martin

Length: 03:18, Size: 7.56 MB

A bit delayed this year (it’s hard to find enough time to record with a toddler running around the house :P), but it’s finally here. Please enjoy my yearly Christmas medley!
This time around I’ve mashed up “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Let It Snow” in a progressive metal extravaganza. Somewhat deviating from my usual medley style, this year already starts out pretty heavy and somber instead of the much quieter and softer beginnings of previous years.

Anyway, download it and listen to it. I hope you like it!

For the nerds, this year’s medley was recorded exclusively with my brand new Strandberg Boden OS 8, an 8-string guitar, my old Ibanez ATK-305 bass, and using my Roland TD-9 electronic drum kit. Software-wise, the DAW used was Cubase 8.5 Pro with a good sprinkle of various plugins. The guitars all either go through Peavey Revalver or Overloud TH-2 as amp plugin. The drum sounds are from Toontrack’s excellent Superior Drummer plugin.


Christmas Medley 2014

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 11:40 am by Martin

Length: 04:37, Size: 10.5 MB

Another year, another Christmas Medley 🙂 This year it’s a medley of “Away in a Manger” and “Deck The Halls” (mostly influenced by Debby Ryan’s excellent version).

The newest addition to our family, Kai Sebastian Ecker, also had a role in this medley. He’s the one doing the intro announcement 😛

Hope you enjoy it!


Christmas Medley 2013

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 11:12 pm by Martin

Length: 04:08, Size: 7.6 MB

It’s that time of the year again where I go into my cave for a few days to arrange and record my yearly Christmas medley. This year it’s a medley of “Do You Hear What I Hear” – first slow, then fast – and the great 80s song “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses. Hope you enjoy it!

It took me about five days worth of work to arrange, record, mix and master this year’s medley. I pretty much arranged and recorded all the drum tracks in the first two days, then recorded the rhythm guitars on day three, the bass and solo guitars on day four, and did the mixing and mastering on the final day, which was spread over several evenings. Quite atypically I recorded the bass after the rhythm guitars. Usually I do it the other way around, but this year it just worked out that way 😛


Christmas Medley 2012

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 12:24 pm by Martin

Length: 04:45, Size: 9.1 MB

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year! This year’s medley contains two different versions of the German traditional Christmas carol “Alle Jahre Wieder”, which roughly translates to “Every Year Again”, and “Sleigh Ride”. Enjoy!

Just like last year, all the guitars in this medley were recorded clean and straight into the computer without microphones. Various guitar amp software plugins took care of making the guitars sound as they do. It’s pretty impressive technology, and a lot less hassle when it comes to recording guitar tracks, because there’s no need for microphones (and with that the hard-to-get silence required everywhere else in the house while recording).

Also, a first this year is that I pretty much worked out and recorded all the drum tracks live, going straight from my electronic Roland TD-9 drum kit into the computer. The drum sounds come from the Superior Drummer 2.0 drum plugin, which conveniently has a MIDI mapping set up for the TD-9 out of the box. In previous years, my drum skills weren’t good enough to do all the fills on the drums, and so I would still set them on the computer. This year, however, I didn’t manually set any fills on the computer, but rather just played them in via MIDI straight from the drum kit, along with the rest of the drum track 🙂


Christmas Medley 2011

Posted in Christmas Medley, Instrumental, Rock at 11:06 am by Martin

Length: 03:20, Size: 7.66 MB

This is the first Christmas medley that my girlfriend actively participated in. She plays the clarinet in the slow part in the beginning :) This year’s medley is a mashup of “Silver Bells” and “Jingle Bell Rock”. Hope you enjoy it!

For the techies among you it might be interesting to know that all guitars were recorded clean and going straight into the computer (i.e. no amp or microphone). All the guitar sounds come from plugins. That’s a first for me, as I’ve always recorded amps with microphones in the past. But I have to say that guitar plugins have evolved quite a lot and they sound really good, so I’ll probably keep doing this for future recordings because it’s a lot less of a hassle.

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