14th – 15th Oct . Lost in Munich

.. excuse the pun, but when I arrived in Munich, I was…lost! Took a bus, but got off at the wrong stop. Following what I thought was common sense, I was convinced I was going the right way. I wasn’t, but the up side was I saw lots of Munich. I was blown away by the buildings.


… eventually getting to the hotel, Munich Park Hilton, right by the beautiful English Garden I had an hour to kill before the first Apple training event. So..I went for a bite to eat, and, like Paris last year was amazed at the lack of veggie options. My god they love meat.

I don’t.

I knew I should have packed Pringles.

The first couple of workshops were amazing: they were very Final Cut Pro orientated but dead interesting. A guy from Apple called Alex talked through the use of Macs at the World cup: all coverage was edited on a Mac using FCP. And the fact that FCP, like it’s audio counterpart, Logic is affordable to all, you get an idea of the power in all of our hands.

Next up was a session on Soundtrack Pro: nice to feel relatively smug compared to the video guys here.. ! Still, as ever at these things, I learned lots.

The evening… a trip to a Sea Food restaurant which turned out to be a meat and fish place. Truly disgusting food unless you eat meat or fish. I literally ended up having two pieces of bread: those were foul, too, and I had to brush sat from them.

Still, the free booze made up for it……….. a lot of red wine.A lot of those massive glasses of beer. Champagne. White wine. Spirits. Ouch. Importantly, nice conversation. Met a FCP freelancer whose son works for Warp records. Lots of other nice people too.

Day 2. Hungover, trudged through the day with workshops which were useful… again, the best part was chatting to others and seeing how they  tackle education.

Nice to get a name check for the App I co wrote with a couple of others for Logic revision.

Yawning, the flight home was delayed… co pilot was in Geneva. ! Still, got home at 2.15.

Just what the doctor ordered for two days.

Now, back to work….

Shortwave fade track.. at the mo called ‘Piano Song’ : I spent a couple of hours mixing until I realised how tired my ears were, so stopped. Requested some of the synths as MIDI files for more control, and the audio synth tracks have loads of effects on some, so have asked for those raw. Emailed the track as it stands to the band, but did a second mix with 909 drums.. just because… well at the moment the band are drummerless so it felt right to prod a little in that direction, just to see.

 

12th Oct 2010 Mixing

After doing lots of mastering, it’s nice to get back to some mixing. Started a new Shortwave Fade mix. Unusual for a couple of reasons. First, since recording it, their drummer left. This is a shame.. he was pretty great.. especially to play to a click to solidly. So am approaching mixing the live drums with more freedom…maybe doesn’t matter if they end up replaced by 808s as the band are now rehearsing as a three pice (4 with Mr Drum Machine).

At the risk of sounding old, the ability to replace and manipulate drum recordings is amazing. Logic caught up a little with Pro Tools to offer drum replacement in version 9: it’s by no means perfect, and requires tweaking.. but thats fine: a set and forget app would remove the skills needed for a really well balanced drum replacement mix. When it works, it can cure some sins like limited acoustics, badly tuned drums. In this case, the drums are well recorded in controlled acoustics, and, importantly, well played. In that case, it just opens a whole other world of possibilities. So, if the band decide to permanently go down the electronic drum route, I can mix to suite. As I’ve left it tonight, they’re pretty live sounding, but, you never know.

Oh, the other reason it’s an unusual mix is there’s still no vocals… no lyrics even. So nothing to give me an idea of the space I need to leave. Intrigued to see where this mix takes me for that reason. I love mixing.

 

10th oct 2010. 2 albums put to bed and pastures new

Both Kafkadiva and Jamie Says albums are finished (bar the checking of the CDs by bands themselves) so it seemed like a good time start the next stage of plate spinning and something I’ve wanted to do for years. Last night I sent a handful of emails out to people along the years I’ve worked with who I’d like to contribute to my new and very long term project: a music for media company. Meaning to do it for a very long time. I’ve been doing some background reading on it for a while but nothing more. Unless I started getting people involved and relying on me handling their music , I could see it being another 5 years of silence. So, although theres a way to go, my intentions are focussed. Phew.

Other news: the We Are Altered album is waiting to be duplicated, but til we get know whether a track (called “we’re at our height”) is going to be used for  publisher we can’t finalise the tracks. Ironically one of the reasons for doing the WAA project with John R was to use the material for media, too.. but Lift (our publisher) didn’t want to use stuff that was being commercially released, so that was that planned fucked! Still, it doesn’t matter as the album sounds great and there was so much more to it than just the media aspect…. a real learning curve, and on it goes.

This week: Got Uber tech pioneers Roland coming in to show off at the day job tomorrow, a Jamie Says remix to start, WAA remix to master, and another Shortwave Fade track to mix. Not all of this will happen as I’ve got a short week.

One of the perks (the only?)of the day job is that I get to go to the Apple Training conference in a city in europe. Last two years I’ve been to Barcelona and Paris. This year it’s Munich. Never been. Very excited, and a real treat to end the first and one of the most stressful times of the year for me. So that’s thursday and friday this week…..

10th Sept Mastering Peter Wyeth, Shortwave Fade and remix packs

Did a couple of masters for the Peter Wyeth track ‘Hello Cow’ he recorded on his Zoom portable recorder. Sounds lovely.

Then onto indie gods Shortwave Fade.. I mastered ‘Levitate’ around news of their drummer jumping ship.. if you know of any good drummers who love click track……..

And finally, prepared some teaser remix packs.. snippets of this and that for people to not hear the WAA tracks to then toddle off and  remix.

31st Aug Tweaks of Love/ Timing: the art of good comedy / Tom Robinson

…Flex time failed in Logic.. weird…. so I had to import a file to a new Logic Project, then tweak the timing, then reimport. Anyhows, that was the Shortwave Fade tweak to end all tweaks.

Then another mix for One Cure For Man….. the word Tweak should be banned, but it’s so, well…. appropriate!

Tom Robinson on 6 Music played the WAA remix of Troels Abrahamsen’s End Scene we did last nite. Listen here. (1hr 51ish in)

21st Aug. Tweaks and reapproached. Shortwave Fade/Jamie Says/One Cure for Man/ WAA album release date

Had a tweak for a Jamie Says master, two tweaks for ‘Levitate’ by Shortwave Fade mix… done nice and quick. The No Cure For Man mix, I re-approached after hearing a live version from last night’s Sumo gig. I stripped away the ‘ear candy’ and based it around the live version. Lots of guitar.. a little Suede-y (in my head, anyway). Mailed to James for comments.

In other news, John and I have finally settled on a release date for the We Are Altered album: 22nd Oct (yes, this year!). I can’t believe it’s taken this long… 3 years and then some. But if you boiled the time down to the nuts and bolts, it’s 6 months work… just spread over 40 months!

So, now the date’s set, we need to get our fingers out with the physical release.. the cassette. John R likes the idea of a clear cassette. I think I’m with him. Or maybe white.

any cassette’s a bonus!