The Art of Specifying Stone

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Cathie Schneider delivers an insightful and informative talk on the subject of specifying natural stone at this month’s CSC-GV luncheon on October 18th, 2017**Shout out to our venue hosts at the Grand Valley Construction Association who never complain about us leaving a trail of sandwich crumbs on the carpet. You’re the best!

Cathie Schneider, CTR, the VP of Stonequest Inc. is an accredited speaker with the Marble Institute of America and has been in the stone business for 25 years. She is a member of IDC Canada and the current Chair of the Grand Valley Chapter of Construction Specifications Canada.  Architects, Interior Designers, Specifiers, Distributors, Landscape Architects, Contractors, Construction Managers, LEED Evangelists and ESPECIALLY Building Owners should listen carefully to the podcast recorded at this event, or better yet… reach out to Cathie before planning your next project with natural stone!

Who is Joe?

Joe Ippolito, CTR and VP of Quarry Sales at Arriscraft makes a brief “guest appearance” on the podcast.  We will be sending him a courtesy copy.  Same with Stefanie Hargest of Boehmer’s Block who knows a thing or two about building to LEED Standards.  She gives great hugs too (go to the 1:11 mark on the video).

How do I listen to the podcast?  

Test your Stone IQ here

Fill out the form below for a password to unlock the podcast


we MIGHT even send you the test answers

Cathie Schneider takes us on a stone quest to Rivendell where all the Consultants of Elrond (Design & Construction Team) are thriving under the transformative leadership of the building Frodowner…

she will share the magic word with you if you ask nice (or you could try Stefanie)

**Like the Soundtrack? Special thanks to Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends (recorded at a live performance in 2016 at the End of Summer Festival in Uptown Waterloo)


Interior Designers of Canada

Terrazzo, Tile and Marble Association of Canada

Natural Stone Council

MIA + BSi (Marble Institute of America)

National Building Granite Quarries Association

National Tile Contractors’ Association



*** The Walker Living Campus***

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at Woodend Conservation N-O-T-L
from the perspective of the Prime Mechanical

Shout out to Ken Willms


DSBN Regional SHSM Construction Technology Students!

Thanks to Brendan J Stephens of the Vaudevillian, JoJo Worthington & Davey James
whose music “narrate” the story of this amazing Project

built with the help of student labour


funded entirely by community donations

Soundtrack recorded live at

the Kitchener Studio Project & Cafe Pyrus


The Jackets Live at Maxwell’s

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good sound and a fun bunch at Maxwell’s Music House

Paul, was that you wiping the tables?

Nice place!

Ode to Recreants and Dastards

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Inspiration from waaaay up Fish Street:

King Henry VI Part II, Scene VIII

Madeira 2009
Wine Festival Tour…Skita

Random Gorilla Recordings:


Jo Jo Worthington

*You Belong To Me* go to the live recording here 

*Amadeus********* go to the live recording here 






cut/cut and more cuts…random recordings #5

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my first “interview” proved to be a valuable learning experience

you can't make me sing
you can’t make me sing
an amusing illustration of Dave’s frequent comments in class about
the  importance of warming up and drawing out your talent

Roger that, for sure

i was so convinced that this interview was going to be a breeze…but soon discovered that even a witty four-year-old will clam up behind a microphone
salvaged a bit of the interview with cuts and effects in Audacity but quickly moved on to stealth recording using the Zoom H6 (XY mic at 90 degrees about 4ft away) in the background while engaging the interviewee in a variety of board games
ended up with a looooong recording and listened for snippets of usable dialogue that could be cut and indexed for future:
1.  Interview with a secret friend:
2.  The Audition:
3.  so… that’s how the game works:
4.  a sic game for sic people:
5.  my cheatin’ valentine:

Lovin’ this Zoom H6…Class #4 Random Recordings

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Tyler jamming in class #4 randomly captured with minor cuts/effects in post:

Comparing various field recorders. This was recorded using the Zoom H6 with the XY mic at 120 degrees:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/recording-challenge-with-tyler

Recorded using the Zoom H6 with the XY mic at 90 degrees.  Cut a short intro and used the “pluck” feature on Audacity on this clip:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/starting-raining-outside-tyler

Field Recordings using the Zoom H6 and the XY mic using the 90 degree option (width of the recording field) recommended (by owner’s manual) for recording close and medium sound sources to capture a three-dimensional sound with natural depth and width.  Sounded good to me, except this set up records in stereo (oops):

Sounds recorded while on a winter walk-about in the neighbourhood.   Monitoring the input signal levels was a bit tricky while attempting to record the snow sounds 🙂

a mental traffic breakdown:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/a-mental-traffic-breakdown

approaching a traffic light…hitting the panic button:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/approaching-a-traffic-light

sound of snow crunching while dressed in snowmobile gear:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/snow-crunching-walk-to-run

Recording #3 (x3) (+1 to pick up the slack from last week)

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Ok so i wanted to understand why nailing the vocal track is so problematic, so i chose to “learn” some songs from a CD Album received a month ago as a Christmas gift, and record the “sing-along” in the kitchen.  Songs are newish to me so as to not rely on long-term memory.

Alot tougher than i thought!  Gave up trying for perfect lyrics (& on key ) Ended up with a mixed bag of recordings from one song i could live with:

Artist:  Shane & Shane/ Song Title:  Your Love

Recorded songs as they were playing on CD through a home stereo in the kitchen using a Zoom H6 Recorder with the MS mic recording the room sound in stereo and a second dynamic microphone recording the sing-along vocals on a separate mono track.  Imported files into Audacity and experimented with basic editing & a few effects:

Recording #3 Take 1:   tried to hide the nastiness of the mono vocal track with effects

#3 Take 1 link to Soundcloud here:     https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/zoom0004-kitchen-blend       

Recording #3 Take 2:  used the “Paulstretch” effect on a section of the recording to create a haunting sound

#3 Take 2 link to Soundcloud here:    https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/the-haunting


Lets try something else:

An oldie:   The Allman Brothers  “Soulshine”

Recording #3 Take 3:  Just singing along with the Allman Brothers in my kitchen

#3 Take 3 link to Soundcloud here:    https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/zoom0013-allman-bros

Note:  Soundcloud was not happy with the “copyright infringement” of this gorilla recording.  Re-uploaded using “private” settings:  https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/zoom0013-soulshine-singalong but still NFG so y’all will have to miss out on my rendition of “Soulshine”

– probably for the best that it stays in the kitchen lol (but so much for picking-up-the-slack)

How about recording sound at the floor level?

Recording #3 Take 4:  Flamenco Shoes (warm-up): 

#3 Take 4 link to Soundcloud here:    https://soundcloud.com/sue-cunha/zoom0025-flamenco-warmup

I have no idea who the Artist is (to my shame)…Recording was part of a summer party playlist assembled by others

Made the recording as the song was playing on CD through a home stereo in the kitchen using a Zoom H6 Recorder.  The MS mic was recording the room sound in stereo and a second dynamic microphone was set up on a stand contorted so that the mic was recording the foot action on a separate mono track at about two feet above floor level



– using a handheld dynamic microphone for vocals allows for physical movement and artistic vocal expression – but takes practice for the artist to achieve the desired sound
– feels like your performance is improved when you are singing along with the sound of prerecorded music pumping-it-up in the room, BUT end result is closer to laziness (off key/poor tone/timing issues/and vocals often “not connected”)  if artist is relying on the recorded lyric track to carry the song
– editing & effects may cover a multitude of sins