Archive, OK?

Have been asked to run off and master some instrumentals for some sync publisher of some stuff I mixed a while ago now.

At the time I mixed it, I was trying some demo versions of software out. The band never asked me to archive. I did anyway… and thank the lord I exported all as audio: If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t of been able to do these mixes without trying to replace the non-purchased AU’s.

Just a simple lesson to all you bands out there: make sure whoever you mix your stuff with, always make sure you get exported WAVs of your mixed files… just in case.


In other news….well, as and when, I’ve been painting the studio: the inside’s all done except the door. I started on the outside brick work today. Slowly getting close to completion.

Cheating on me?

Started mixing the 8 piece close harmony group I recorded a few weeks back. Really enjoying it… after the Free Control stuff with super massive everything, it’s nice to go back to acoustic sounds and 8 mics. I think the plan next time is a pair of mics and a Church in January… even better really as I’ve spend quite a lot of time automating volumes and subtle tunings to compensate for the guys’ (self confessed) lack of preparation. This type of group rely on practice and self balancing via good arrangements.. a stereo recording in a nice space will show up any flaws, but will be a much more honest and better recording…..anyway, that’s a while off.

On one of the takes there was a nasty mic lead crackle I didn’t notice on the session…. we set up and recorded lots but didn’t listen back much: a poor excuse I know, and was pretty annoyed I missed it. Well, thank the lord for Soundtrack Pro’s Noise Print function. For those of you who don’t know, Logic ships with Soundtrack Pro.… not many producers use it as a default audio editor, but it’s super powerful, and in this case the go-to tool to help me clean up the file.

In a nut shell, you find a bit of the file with the flaw on it, but no other signal, make a print of it, then apply the print to the whole file. It’s normally used on hums and hissy stuff, but it made a good enough job of this variable crackle for it to be unnoticeable in context.

Hurrah for Soundtrack Pro.. cheating? nah.. just another lovely thing about computers.

Logic users, give it a go….

..ignore the fact it refers to Final Cut…….once you’re in Soundtrack Pro and save the file , it’ll update your Logic audio file at source.


Digital Musician’s Toolbox

Today was the Digital Musicians Toolbox event I helped organise with Mark Towers as part of the Leicester College Critical Mass project to share practice with others.

Loads of really excellent stuff with MAX MSP, Ableton, Mastering (with Robin Junga) workshops, Martyn Ware, Music Business talk 2.0 with Lee Pellington and lots of other things.

I did a Logic class, which was great: first time I’ve taught Logic for ages, and was really pleased with how it went: newbies to seasoned pros were there and I hope they all got something from it.

Hope to repeat and build upon it next year, but one thing which always annoys is the lack of attendance. don’t get me wrong, it was healthy attendance all day, but why the hell wasn’t it to bursting point all day? The city’s full of producers….where were they all? It was free for god’s sake.

Rob from Cpulse was there.. he has been running a project and trying to put some CDs out.. I say ‘trying’ as he was saying how few artists could get their arse in gear to submit material…..unbelievable.

So.. maybe next year something which aims to help more people… maybe an Unconvention?

Free workshops

I’ve been helping organise some free workshops on saturday at the old Phoenix in Leicester. To say we’ve done it within a month, the line up is pretty amazing….. please do spread the word. My Logic class is full, but some others aren’t. Bands out there really should look at the Guerilla Guide at 2, the Soundcloud one at 3 and the Martyn Ware one at 4.

Click here for details


Jan 10th 2011 Organisation

So, one working week in, little in the way of creative endeavours, but have started the WAA album push: slowly, but surely John and I are getting stuff ready.. really hoping for a Feb release, but realistically, March. If we want to give this the best chance of reaching as many people as possible, we need to send to enough press with enough time to get the word out. There’ll be some remixes and maybe instrumental rearrangements of tracks John did, too. Wondering if we should write some essay type things of how the tracks were written and recorded or just what the lyrics mean.. dunno……..

So I’ve banned myself from making any music til the album’s out, but fell off the wagon this morning……. you see, my Vespa’s dead at the mo, so I’ve been bussing around. I used the 2 journeys today to start a remix for a James Blake track on the forthcoming (ace) album. I figure if I limit myself to bus remixes, it’s time I wouldn’t normally of had, so that’s fair enough (your honour). Sure enough I’m banking some ideas for the media music, too, so at least that sticks with my new year resolution (or whatever I called it… ‘plan’)

I covered a couple of lessons last week and delivered some synthesis content. Was amazed at the criteria the students used to judge synths it’s looks and complexities, so I took them through the ESM, ESP and ES1 in Logic.. three of the simplest synths ever, but still powerful, and a clear signal chain. Hopefully changed a few minds in the process. I limited myself to the ESP for drums for this remix, just because……. and nice and glitchy it sounds too.

The Local Natives remix should be on the Infectious site soon, as well as an interview on the site. How exciting!

..meanwhile, in the day job, the Ofsted visit looms, and with it, an immense amount of pressure. So that pretty much swallows my evenings at the mo……



The new year ahead and toodelloo 2010

Happy New Year all.

2010 felt like the busiest yet. Mixed and mastered a few dozen tracks/albums/remixes, recorded some nice people, went to Munich, helped write an Iphone App for Apple, cobbled some music videos together, finally completed the We Are Altered album (out soon!), did some remixes (one of em won a prize!) and my TV music was used internationally on Masterchef, Gadget Show, Fifth Gear, Greys Anatomy and loads of mid afternoon shows I’d love to watch if I were on the dole. The day job became a little less stressful, but it signalled the end of something and the start of something new. I technically have 6 months left in that position before I go back to being a lecturer solely, so for the last few months (actually the last few years) I’ve been looking at other plans. More of which later in 2011.

So.. what now? The We Are Altered album is very much central to January/february. We have to chose card, make up flipping loads of sleeves, chose a release date and mail to press. There’s some remixes to put out as a teaser, a single. It’ll trickle out to the world looking lovely, but no live dates to boost the profile traditionally, so we’ll have to see how the bloggers and press can help us.

I’ll still be doing remixes, but I need to promise myself that any stuff  I do for free needs to generate material for TV music: all the remixes I do have ideas that don’t fit.. I need to organise them into fully formed compositions for media music. Maybe I could use the RPM challenge to force myself into some structured writing… as ever, it depends on the day job, though.

So, Music and family at the heart of a new year.

Can’t wait.