Up to what?

… had a couple of weeks off and went camping, but took my old Macbook with me to start some pre production and programming for Hannah Brine… .. it’s going a bit French Pop so far.

Other stuff.. nearly done the One Cure For Man EP and am on track 3 of the Shortwave Fade stuff…. mixing stuff recorded by Jamie Ward (excellent engineer) to slot into the tracks I recorded with them.

About to start on the Free Control mixes: I popped in to see them record the stuff at Seamus Wong this week. Sounds lovely .. looking forwards to getting started.

Mastered some other bits and bobs including a school play and an EP for Peter Wyeth, which sounds dead nice.

Garage to Studio conversion : Council accepted plans as accurate.. just waiting objections from neighbours.

John R and I had a track we wrote for the WAA album but didn’t include picked up by a publisher for TV/Library music, too.

Busy as a bee.

Ooh, I came across some nice free AU’s via this blog. Trying them out on current mixes. Some nice ones. Will blog about them when time.

New WAA video

I did this video a couple of months back. I found the footage and it seemed to fit like a glove with the song. The track’s from the WAA album out in a couple of weeks and I really love this song.

Everything’s live and ‘real’ (though separately recorded): the piano was recorded on a Macbook internal mic only at a school and it sounds ace. I did my best Emerson Lake and Palmer on wobbly synth and my best Mark King (with no fingers) on bass. JR did some really nice guitar,too. I really loved doing the ‘aah vocals’ There’s some mellotron (a sample but played live) and an old Casio keyboard I got for 50 p. When I mixed it, it felt like it needed to sound like it was done to tape: squishy and warm and ’70’s dull’.

No idea what JR’s verse and chorus is about, and I’m sure he feels the same about mine. Doesn’t matter, though, coz the end result’s pretty special.

This is Hopeless

A sneaky peek at the WAA single we’re plugging pre album launch.

The track holds a special place in my heart. It was the first track we wrote together, and actually the only one John and I wrote in the same room. The main parts of this started around 7 years ago. John came round to my studio and we, ahem, ‘jammed’ to a beat with glockenspiel, twinkly piano, bass and Mattel drum machine.

Initially we mixed it as an instrumental, but when we started the WAA project we dusted it off and John wrote some words. It’s perhaps the strongest song in the traditional sense we’ve written, and I love the warmth it emits.

I’m not entirely sure what John’s singing about, but I like the general feeling it gives me. I’m proud as anything to have been involved in it.

John did the video for this, too.

We are officially start pushing this next monday, I think, but for now, enjoy.

There’s a remix, too, which I knocked a video up for. The remix is super sexy. John did this as his sprlnr alter-ego. I did a little mixing and mastering on it as well as some BVs. This will be the second track of the free download version of ‘Hopeless’. Really hope you like them both.

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.

1 11 10 Mastering Jamie Says, some remix action and One Cure for Man demos

Lots of marking tonight and before the ears went to sleep I mastered the Jamie Says remix. Mailed to Kyle.

Worked a little on the Local Natives remix. Got a structure and enough basic ideas really…next comes the moulding.

As I type this am listening to some One Cure For Man demos James sent me… really ace. There’s a slow build track called ‘Not a Word’ which is really really great.

John R has sorted the stickers out for the WAA album…. we trickle on!

Oct 28th 2010 Driving in my car. Art attack. Ken.

First time in a long time I drove to the day job. I burnt the WAA album to CD and tagged the Jamie Says remix on the end too. Was lovely to listen…..cars are great ways to get a good idea of your mix…no parallel sides for a start. I remember mixing a punk album years ago: every time we thought we’d have a mix done we’d record it to cassette then run to the car park and pop it on the car stereo.

Anyhow, pleased to say (as its too late) that the album sounds great. The Jamie Says remix is pretty much there.. a couple of tweaks (that I’m about to do) which sounded obvious when you listen in a different context, but that’s the point of listening on other systems.

I did some video editing on the WAA track I started last week. Always wondered what the Ken Burns effect was. So I rinsed it to death. Wish I had the energy to learn more editing as I have access to Final Cut Studio, but I’ll stick with I-Movie for now: it’s a needs be needs must thing. The vid’s looking OK. Just used some nice imagery I found on Youtube and squished it about a bit. “better than nothing” the reviewers will all say!

Spent some time on the WAA album sleeve, too. Again, I wish I had more skills, but I enjoy poking round with the limited tools I have. I mailed what I had to John R for his ideas, too

25th Oct 2010 Kafka Backing tracks, WAA album and Shortwave MIDI files

Spent some time tweaking the Kafkadiva backing tracks they use for live shows. Got another three to do.

The Shortwave Fade track Im mixing was supplied with loads of effects on the synths.. Ben emailed me dry versions plus I’d asked for  a MIDI file of the main piano so I could try different samples and also so I could manipulate the part. They arrived today, so I dropped those in.

FInally the WAA album’s uploaded to CD Baby. Release date TBC.. around the physical release: that went to the duplicators on saturday, so should be there today. SOme card samples arrived today too… not sue about it.. may be too clean. Despite it being white, I think it needs to be more textured. Some more should arrive any day now. John R is testing out the stickers we’re going to use, too. All in all, bust behind the scenes.

Had a coupe of hours marking, too. Whilst in Munich my level 3 students did a presentation of their business plans: usually I could’ve marked them as they were doing it, and saved lots of time.. as such, it’s eaten lots of time. Enjoyable, tho. Some clever ones.

21st Oct 2010 More remixing and WAA album stuff

Burned the master CD for duplication of the cassettes. Very nice moment.. long time coming, but there’s much left to do, still.

Looked for card for the wrap around sleeve, but the usual supplier has run out of textured white… they’re sending us some samples of packing card, which, she says, is textured. FIngers crossed. Nice card that fits through a domestic printer is hard to find….. on we go.

Had another hour on the Jamie Says remix. Done all I can til I get the single tracked vocal from Kyle. Sounding nice tho. Hope he likes it.

 

Tomorrow, I’m doing the sound at the Old Phoenix (now called Upper Brown Street). Been a while since I did live sound, so am excited.