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Live Life Loud: The Decibolic Podcast

Live Life Loud: The Decibolic Podcast

By David Belknap
Featuring guests throughout the music industry. We dive into life, adversities, and the refusal to let go of their dreams. There's more; every 30-minute episode has multiple segments, but not always the same, that may include- Deep Shower Thoughts. Travel Time: Journey through the US & Ontario, Canada. Sharing insight from first-hand experiences at hotels, eateries and places to visit, and tips to make the most of your time. Gear in Here: A look at equipment used making the podcast & music for the show. Find out more, and get a look inside the show, at
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The Winding Road
It's day two of our road trip. From Iowa City to join our discovery of antique cars, a community center filled with nostalgic miniatures, the ear of corn water tower, and 105 degree weather as we make our way to Bloomington, MN and the Mall of America. Also in this Episode: Deep Shower Thought: maybe this is why turkeys drown in the rain... Gear in Here: Speak to Me. When mixing a song what you hear is critical. I share my opinion on why two sets of monitors are better than one, and tips on how to check your mix, saving some potential embarrassment (that likely only you would notice).
September 21, 2021
Life Is A Highway (with Serena)
The Main Event for this episode is also Travel Time, as Serena helps unpack day one of our 1,500 mile trip to Mall of America and back. During the day we found a couple great stops, a fun photo op, and stayed at what is arguably the best hotel of our 6 days traveling. Opening Slots: Episode 20 starts with a "state of the podcast" address, with some info about future epiodes, and an opportunity to get in on a giveaway sponsored by Ampeg. This episode contains no "Deep Shower Thoughts" or lessons from "When Insults Had Class". But I think you will find the replacement worthwhile, and may even want to listen to it a couple times. The Gear In Here: In the Grotto with the SCC. Thankfully it's not as bad as it sounds. The SCC, or Studio Control Center, is my current device of choice for managing all the I/O sets running from various gear into my two sets of studio monitors. I set out to find and active switcher that met my criteria; compact, shelf-friendly, transparent, easy to use, and stays cool to the touch. It also doesn't hurt that you can find the SCC for well under $200 USD. Thanks to oNline Web Fonts for the new font
August 24, 2021
The Island featuring Serena
On this Episode... Travel Time: The Island It's back! This time with special co-host; The one. The only. Serena. In this episode we talk about our recent family trip to Mackinac Island and one of its mainland counterparts, Mackinaw City. If you really need to know the difference click here. To see pictures relating to our time in the city and on the island visit this page on the podcast website. Gear In Here: 10-month checkup When the show began, much of the gear was new as it replaced what I had been using (a story not worth the time). Two main pieces have been in use since the pilot episode: MOTU's M4 Audio Interface and Shure's MV7. In revisiting both products, I hope to give helpful insight for those of you looking to get into personal recording, be it a podcast, voiceover, or recording and sharing your own music with the world. When Insults Had Class In a distant time, long before insult was synonymous with four-letter-words, the art of a quick wit and sharp tongue prevailed. Today's lesson will be the perfect end for the grouchiest of events that could have been a picture.
August 03, 2021
Freewill with Don Zbinden
Returning from mid season break we are excited to have Don Zbinden as our guest. Shortly after learning to crawl, Don's natural talent for playing the drums came into focus and has been part of his lifelong music journey. Don serves as the master of time keeping the beat in line with Minnesota's favorite Rush tribute band, Spindrift. In the conclusion of our conversation Don talks about what he learned while with Muzz & Remus, making the choice to move, and stay, in Minnesota, and working in both a power trio and his church. Also in this Episode: Deep Shower Thoughts: This one gets spooky... (c) 2021 Decibolic LLC.
July 20, 2021
What a Rush Tribute with Don Zbinden
Returning from mid season break we are excited to have Don Zbinden as our guest. Shortly after learning to crawl, Don's natural talent for playing the drums came into focus and has been part of his lifelong music journey. Don serves as the master of time keeping the beat in line with Minnesota's favorite Rush tribute band, Spindrift. In this episode we sit down and get to know this keeper of Neal Peart's legacy, something which Don does not take lightly. Also in this Episode: Deep Shower Thoughts: How deep will this one go? Gear In Here: The Little Things. Some of the best tools for content creation are the least visible. Enter Coda Music Technologies MB-1. Here our hot take on this cost effective microphone booster.  (c) 2021 Decibolic LLC. Photograph of Don (c) Tyler Habrecht. All Rights Reserved.
July 06, 2021
Sweet 16: Quick Riffs
The original version was released to those who signed up for the Louder Life News (by visiting For Sweet 16, it has been overhauled, re-edited, expanded, and recorded before a canned studio audience. Ranging from quick & witty to profound, each guest took part in the unrehearsed Q&A format of Quick Riffs. Featuring: Dylan Bowman of iPrevail You can catch Dylan on his Twitch gaming channel playing games and jamming. Dino Monoxelos, the Ampeg Guy When he's not running clinics and working with touring talent you can find Dino and his motorcycle on the open roads around New England. Justin Babcock of Black Soul Swamp Singer, songwriter, and painter. When Justin isn't performing in the greater Detroit area, or recording new material, he is creating art like what you find here at Paintings By Justin. Also In This Episode: The Return of Deep Shower Thoughts. Don't let it spoil you. - - - - - - - - - - Thank you for taking time to be an active listener to this podcast. It is the easiest way to help support the show. Other ways include make a supporting contribution on, and purchasing the gear you need through the affiliate links to zZounds. - - - - - - - - - - Live Life Loud: The Decibolic podcast will return.
March 30, 2021
Mid Season Break
Honoring Women's History Month, this episode has a unique interview and insight into one of the classiest insult makers of all time. A Conversation with Serena This conversation is a rare look into the thoughts of my almost 10-year-old daughter. Her aspirations, favorite hobbies, activities, and cat. Hear froma life whose future is wide open. When Insults Had Class: Lady Astor Lady Astor herself was quite capable of making original comments which were a hybrid between a surly retort and an epigram. She is nearly as famous for her scathing wit as she is for her political career, including head-to-head clashes with a master of the putdown, Winston Churchill. NEXT WEEK: Episode Sweet Sixteen  As a thank you to all who listen to the show, a previously subscribers-only Q&A bonus will be our sweet 16. Featuring unrehearsed answers from Dylan Bowman (iPrevail), Dino Monoxelos (Ampeg), and Justin Babcock (Black Soul Swamp).
March 23, 2021
Trio of Pods
Sitting down with Marv & Gill, hosts of Pods Like Us and The Mind Buzz, the group talks about the power of music. From Power Trios, The Doors, The Beatles, and a brief look into how technology shaped, and could have altered, the albums and artists we know and love. Also in this episode on When Insults Had Class we learn the true origin of one attributed to famed writer Mark Twain. Support for this podcast comes from listeners like you. Monthly contributions can be made at or by using this link to buy your  pro audio and music instrument needs at  There is more to explore at, where you can Dive Deeper into podcast segments, hear original music, find links to social media, and even learn a little more about me, your host.
March 16, 2021
Technical Difficulties (Redux)
Lucky 13. Thank you Dock & Mawty for traveling back in time to fix the intro.  In this series of very meta episode, we dive into some of the woes when it comes to podcasting, recording, and workarounds to make it all happen. When Insults Had Class: a little history lesson, and inspiration to #StayClassy when admonishing your others with rebuttals that take it up a step. The Gear in Here: Mac Daddy. The 2011 MacBook Pro has been amazing. I discuss a few updgrades that kept it rocking longer than the average expected life of a notebook, but I am reaching the limits of it's capabilities. But the newest does not mean the best when it comes time to replace it.  We go into the pros and cons of all things MacBook Pro - focusing on 15.4" model; the ups and downs, and key changes over the past 10 years. To wrap it up I present five (5) resellers with excellent ratings, variety, and support. If you recently purchased, or are considering purchase of, a reconditioned Mac chances are high it will be pre-loaded with Big Sur. Many using Macs for audio or video editing find favorite programs either aren't ready, or will never work, with the new OS. If you are interested in rolling back to a previous edition I have outlined steps to do so. Instructions will be made available for doing so, using Catalina as the example, at > Gear In Here > Deep Dive.  Overcoming Technical Difficulties: A candid look at the lives of some famous people who refused to stay down when their backs were against the wall, or if they could even afford a wall. From all ages, and walks of life, these profiles will encourage you to Live Life Loud.  
March 09, 2021
Pods Like Us
Get ready to meet a man on a mission: Martin Quibell aka Marv Smooth. Since beginning Pods Like Us, Marv has been bringing together a community unlike any other in the podcast world. Marv is also a bass player, and former tape op for a recording studio. In this candid interview, we hop across the pond to learn more. ADDITIONAL EPISODE CONTENT: New Segement: When Insults Had Class. Not only will you get to hear a world-class insult in action but learn a little about the life behind this expertly crafted critique. Gear In Here: Revisiting the Shure M7. Over the past few months we've encountered a small but potentially bothersome quirk with this device. Thanks to Joe Crescenzi, a workaround has been discovered and . . . (drum roll) it really works! Thank you for your listening to Live Life Loud: The Decibolic Podcast. You can help support the show and our mission to bring inspiration from the world of art & music, starting at less than $1 USD/month by going here and choosing your support level (click on support). Or contact us at  
March 02, 2021
Motor City Music
The final chapter in a trilogy featuring the conversation with Justin Babcock, he shares the inner turmoil of rising success and following his heart that lead to Fate's disbanding. Justin takes us through relocation to the Detroit area, his time in Abandon, and what lead to founding and the longevity of Black Soul Swamp. We also get an glimpse inside the writing and recording process, and Justin shares thoughts from the heart. Deep Shower Thought: How deep can it get? Travel Time: O, Canada the 3rd - Canadian Baking (West Side). This installment will bring to close the first trilogy of Travel Time in the Greater Toronto Are. Recounting the most memorable places for Breakfast and Dinner from London to Brampton, and a few worth avoiding as well. I found some amazing places, from hometown appeal at The Spare Parts Diner, to my favorite location for Chinese buffet-style eating at Mandarin. Beyond the Episode Justin Babcock is more than a pretty voice. For over a decade Justin has been pouring his life talent and soul out through paintings.  Head over to to view his artwork currently available for sale.  DISCLAIMER: Decibolic, LLC,, and Life Life Loud: The Decibolic Podcast have no responsibility in any transactions conducted. All transactions are handled through PayPal for the security of both the artist and the buyer.
February 23, 2021
Critical Choices with Justin Babcock
In this first hand account Justin recounts his full-steam-ahead focus chasing success in the music business. After attracting attention from A-list group Critical Mass he finds himself at a point where the achievements are outweighed with rock and roll excess. Accounting the departure along with like-minded Pat Sullivan, they join up with Mike Lumbert and take their shot at the major label record market in a bold move into uncharted territory for all involved. Also in this episode TRAVEL TIME: O, Canada Part II: West End Stays. Often when visiting major cities it's best to stay anywhere other than right downtown. The majority of my time in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Brampton was the place to be and this is reflected in my top five hotel picks. For good measure I also throw in an honorable mention for a brand new hotel I had booked to be at when the pandemic closed the border.
February 16, 2021
Justin Babcock: The Show Must Go On
The pandemic has made life and the love of creating music difficult for many. It hasn't been any easier on vocalist and songwriter Justin Babcock. Even so, he pushes forward to share his passion and talent with the world. Justin recounts early high school days, getting the attention of the local police, and getting to D.A.R.E. kids in the local schools all in the name of rock and roll. Travel Time: "O, Canada." Traveling internationally, even to the country bordering the United States, can be intimidating, and stressful for the average sightseer. In this part, we look at recommendations for entering the country, airlines, airports, and car rental companies.  If you plan on traveling to any part of Canada more than once in the next 5 years do yourself a favor and apply for NEXUS.
February 09, 2021
Dino & the Gig of Life
For the conclusion of our conversation, Dino Monoxelos (Ampeg) waxes philosophical on the road taken. From his encounter with a street gang, balancing music talent with relationships, choosing family over fame, and returning to where he grew up. In doing Dino shares about disappointment but not allowing it to let him lose sight, or resent, his childhood dream. Dino also shares his definitive answers on Star Wars vs Star Trek, Fruit, Gene Simmons, Useless Talents, and a parting gift of sage advise. Segments in this episode: Deep Shower Thought: You have spoken, and I didn't have to think to hard to keep the thoughts flowing. Gear in Here: Jeff Beck Signature Stratocaster.  Acquired in 2005, this guitar quickly, and oddly, became a favorite. While briefly exploring the history of this model in the Fender lineup, and how I came to own mine. Jeff Beck may not be as well-known as his contemporaries; Hendrix, Page, Gilmour and Clapton (to name a few), but his influence may be even more undeniable. Also, the 2-track music bed for this portion were each performed in one take. Both times I am using this guitar direct into my MOTU M4, with plug-ins included for their Performer Lite DAW (recording software).
February 02, 2021
All About the Bass (with Dino Monoxelos)
THIS EPISODE IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF Shawn Scruggs & Tim Bogert Shawn Scruggs was a friend to many, and also father of two young boys. He was taken tragically in an auto accident October 2020. Should you want to show financial support funds can be sent to Monica Lewellen using Venmo @monica-lewellen or PayPal Click here to view the now-expired fundraiser page. Tim Bogert revolutionized playing Rock Bass as we know it today. He was also a personal mentor, and life-long friend of Dino Menoxelos (guest on this episode) sharing both the love of playing bass and riding motorcycles. Vanilla Fudge and Cactus, to the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice are just a few examples of how Tim left his mark on the shape of music today. DINO MONOXELOS: ALL ABOUT THE BASS Passion for music began at an early age, and Dino's love of it stood out in a family of truckers and sports lovers. Dino recalls how his brothers and sisters encouraged it, and taking it to the Musician's Institute in Hollywood. Here Dino moved forward from being a blue-collar bassist to a musician ready to answer any call. Well, except maybe for Reggae. And what do Miles Davis and Eddie Van Halen have in common? ALSO IN THIS EPISODE Deep Shower Thought: if it was any deeper it would be off the deep end. Gear In Here: The world of entry audio interfaces is dominated by a sea of red and blue, but with Mark Of The Unicorn (MOTU) Dave sheds light on their latest offerings, The M-Class. Go beyond the specs and hear more about a critical part of the signal chain the M4 model plays at Guitar Grotto.
January 26, 2021
The Daily Dino
For the feature segment Dave sits down with Dino Monoxelos, and the conversation continues with Dino balancing life and work. Dino also talks about Ampeg's transition to become part of the Yamaha Guitar Group, and auditioning to keep the gig. Also in this episode: Deep Shower Thoughts: Where would we be without consideration of this timely musing? Travel Time: Good Cheese.  Dave's Favorite Five (Budget-friendly) Hotels in Wisconsin His favorite Mexican restaurant & Wisconsin-local chain for lunch & dinner Two locally owned breakfast eateries Must-see music (guitar) stores A Castle for the entire family to enjoy
January 19, 2021
That Ampeg Guy: Dino Monoxelos
The name might not be familiar, but his influence and importance to the community of bass guitar players around the world could not speak louder. As Brand Marketing Manager for AMPEG, Dino has kept the soul of grit, growl and grind of the iconic line alive for over 15 years. This and his proficiency of all things bass has made him the one-to-know for the likes of Rudy Sarzo, Eva Gardner, Nathan East, Darryl Jones, Liam Wilson,  Marco Mendoza, and many, many more (check out the current roster of artists for Ampeg!) In each episode we will get to unpack a little more info, from Dino's early days playing, to his time studying and teaching at Bass Insitute of Technology (Musician's Institute in California). You can read his official Ampeg bio here. Dino has faced down many challenges throughout life, and in all of them he triumphed. In our conversation on thing is clear: Dino knows how to live life loud. Segments in this episode: Deep Shower Thought you never know what brainstorms might have nearly circled the drain until you here this episode's edition. Travel Time. What do a Dodge Challenger, a very small airport, a broken statute of Captain Morgan, and a map of Wisconsin covering a stretch of road over 6 hours long have in common? In this edition I recall the Good, Bad, and Ugly of my first time traveling to and through Wisconsin.
January 12, 2021
Dylan Bowman: Rock Life
We bring the episodes of our first interview, and an excellent discussion, with iPrevail's Dylan Bowman to a close. In this chapter Dylan tells about his early band involvements, some awkward tension, and meeting a producer on the other side of Michigan ultimately  bridging the gap to his acceptance to iPrevail. We also find out what the band didn't know about Dylan when they brought him on board. But the conversation doesn't have to be over. Visit the Decibolic Website and signup for the Louder Life Email. Once it is ready you will gain access to a Special Q&A episode with Dylan. We discuss which foods he likes better, his favorite gear, and practices used to keep his vocals rocking clean every gig, all gig long. Thanks for listening, tell you friends, family, co-workers (and even an enemy or two) about this podcast.
January 05, 2021
Dy1an Bowman: Twitching Time
Episode 3 returns to our featured conversation with Dylan Bowman of iPrevail. In this part of our conversation, we talk about Dylan's Twitch channel Dy1anBowman, favorite games, game characters, and life growing up. Dylan talks about the many inspirations for him to chose music, music that drove his desire to play guitar, and getting to meet a real-life music legend. Also in this episode: Deep Shower Thought - another inspired one-liner to give your day some levity The Gear in Here - we'll take a closer look at the new Shure MV7. In addition to an overview I included samples of different settings. I also take a short look at the PreSonus PD-70 For the drummers, of all skill levels and ages, are welcome to check out drumbeatsonline. Not only is it a great resource, but a community for drummers, complete with live hangouts, practice journals, and jam tracks.
December 29, 2020
iPrevail's Dylan Bowman talks Trauma
In This Episode: Deep Shower Thought Travel Time: Some Fly By Day. Comparing and contrasting my favorite airlines to travel. Dylan Talks Trauma: During the first installment of our conversation Dylan gives us insight to the creative process of iPrevail, the making of their live album Post Traumatic, and real life trauma they went through, and conquered, while on tour.    I welcome your thoughts on this and future episodes of the podcast. Send me an email: Visit the Decibolic Website for links to listening platforms, social media accounts, newsletter signup, and for ways to support this effort.
December 22, 2020
Pilot: It All Starts Here
First, thank you for giving this a listen!  After months in the making I am excited to make this weekly podcast available for your enjoyment! In This Episode: Introduction to your host (Me!) and the show. Deep Shower Thought: Welcome to the inward workings & random ideas, frequently popping up during my creative process. Travel Time: To Drive or to Fly? Some insight from my years working on the road on how I chose which was the better way to travel. What It Takes: Creating The Space. Peek into the method of my madness for making the podcast as I envisioned. Interview Space Intro: A brief talk about how I will be sharing some great conversations in episodes to come. Bonus content: Rumble in the Grotto. A dramatized battle where the contestants vie for position as my podcasting mic of choice. I welcome your thoughts on this and future episodes of the podcast. Send me an email: Visit the Decibolic Website for links to listening platforms, social media accounts, newsletter signup, and for ways to support this effort. All The Best- Dave
December 15, 2020
Join me as I cross the US and Canada (Toronto Area), giving you travel insights on places to see, hotels to stay, and places to dine. This podcast will chronicle my journey into it's creation, motivation stories from the world of music and other arts. From time to time I will be joined by others who range from rocking their backyard to stages around the world, talking about what it took to get where they are today. Be Inspired to Live Life Loud Find out more, and sign up for emails by visiting All Music, Scripting, and Artwork created, recorded & mixed by David "Dave" Belknap Fellow podcasters on audio and video platforms are free to play this episode. (c) 2020 Decibolic Studios
October 26, 2020