Posts Tagged ‘recording’
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Okay, so I’ve been pretty slack in keeping things updated on here lately – so first off apologies for that!
The main reason is because I’ve been very busy recording. I’ve been doing some stuff in my home studio but I’ve also had the opportunity to record at a couple of other local studios – the funny thing is I had no plans to record so soon after the last album, but I’ve had the fortune of being offered studio time at other studios, and I’ve been writing a lot – so yeah…why not!
Truth be told there’s been a lot happening in my personal life, both good and bad that has proven to be a great source of inspiration – I have a total of 22 songs recorded so far and I’m still not slowing down. Creatively this is proving to be a very fruitful time in my life. When it comes to the point that I’m looking at releasing another album there’s either going to be a lot of b-sides, or I might have to look at doing something other than a traditional album release. There’s lots of ideas swirling round in my head in regards to that – but a release is a long way off yet anyway – I’m still touring the 2nd album!
Which brings me to my other update – shows! I’ve been busy playing in London, and some famous venues in Nottingham, including the main stage at Rescue Rooms and a lovely acoustic gig alongside The Golden Troubadours, Jonathan Millett, Boy Child and Alexa Hawksworth at The Glee Club (thanks to Alexa for inviting me to play.) As well as that I’ve been playing in Sheffield a fair bit, which has some nice venues. I’ve also been playing guitar for another local singer songwriter – Daniel Dobbs. He released his EP this week and me and some other musician friends joined him as his official backing band. We played another show together yesterday and are looking at doing some touring too.
I’ve also been looking at traveling around Europe for a while – maybe bringing a guitar with me and seeing where I can play. I went on a little 2-day break in Leeds the other week and it made me realise how much I enjoy traveling – and how much I’d like to see the world. I’ve not really been out of the UK before and even within the UK there’s still a lot for me to see. Traveling around for gigs has really shown me how fun seeing new places can be!
Oh and lastly I’m also in talks to get one of my songs from my album ‘Remember Me‘ onto the soundtrack for a major independent film – more on that soon hopefully…
Hope you’re all well and having a great weekend!
Well, actually it’s been like a weeks’ work. Last week I went into Confetti studios in Nottingham, for what I saw as an opportunity to get some acoustic guitar tracks down for my next album.
Basically, as well as operating as a commercial recording studio, Confetti is also an educational institute for creative technologies. The whole recording thing came about by me being asked by one of the tutors there if I would mind being the guinea pig for some students there for 3 days. The idea was that they needed a singer songwriter to record for an assessment, and in return I would get some free studio time & also be paid for my work.
It was a win-win situation really, even though I understood that these were 1st year students, and so essentially the recordings might not turn out too great. But hey, I don’t usually record outside of my home studio, so it was an opportunity to potentially do some of the album tracking in a new environment with some creative input, and if not, well, I was getting paid
Yeah, did I mention I was getting paid? I like money
So in the end I did come up with, for the most part, some very useable acoustic guitar tracks, ones that I’m sure will make it onto the next album. Vocals? Not so much – although that was mainly due to me being very fussy over vocals – I have to be in an environment I feel totally comfortable in (which I did start to be nearer the end of the three days) and I have to not feel rushed or like people are waiting on me. That’s why I prefer doing vocals at home, so those will probably be re-recorded. See, each day I worked with up to four different groups, and each time we only had an hour – 2 hours to get something down, so it usually ended up being a case of enough time being spent on guitar, then vocals rushed in the last 20 minutes of the session.
I’m just really happy that I got some great sounding acoustic guitar tracks down though – being able to do those in a new environment was refreshing. I also did some tracks with my new baritone ukulele, which again were very well recorded. Overall I was very impressed with the standard of the students work – generally the recordings were of a high standard – but most impressive was the passion & enthusiasm for what they were doing – they obviously really wanted to be there, and wanted to learn, which was great to see.
During that week I also did two gigs – both out of town, one in Long Eaton, & one in Mansfield. The one in Mansfield was my second gig at the Intake Club – and once again I was impressed by the great crowd, good stage, friendly staff & the passion of the event organisers.
In other news, here’s a video of me performing a cover of ‘Teenager in Love’ on my new Kala KA-B baritone ukulele:
And here’s a video review of my new MXL R144 ribbon microphone, which I have found is excellent for recording electric guitars:
Oh and if you haven’t already, you can grab a copy of my new single, a cover of Katy Perry’s ‘Hot n Cold’, for just 70p from my online shop.
Farewell for now my friends!
The Kala Sessions. A result of frustration and the need to unwind.
So from Friday 19th March – Sat 20th I was holed up in my bedroom making music. It feels like I haven’t done that in a while. I mean after making my album Perfectly Fine I was pretty tired of recording and mixing. I’ve still been doing it as I’ve been writing a lot of new music lately, and I’m slowly working on another album – but these two days were different. I sat down and wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered two songs in two days. The album has just been bits here and there so far. This time however I was in a total creative zone where for those 48 hours the music just totally took over. I haven’t enjoyed that feeling in a while – just being impulsive and making some music, without really any purpose or taking into account the outcome. I just did it for the there and then, and it really helped take my mind off things.
You see, long story short, I’d had a bad week. For those of you who don’t know, I’m doing a degree in music technology. Last week I got my marks back from a big sound to picture (creating sound effects and a score for film trailers) module and they were a major shock. Apparently I had handed in the video files in the wrong format (ie the audio and video files were sepearate, but that was because there were two different audio mixes.)
Yes, the educational system does not like it when things aren’t submitted correctly. Even when you’ve quite clearly done the work, spent countless hours on it, & the evidence of that is plain to see. Nevertheless, the wrong-formatting led to me being passed on the whole module because it was technically ‘late’ (if you don’t hand things in on time in uni land, you can only get a pass.) Even though in reality it wasn’t late at all.
What good is an educational system that treats people who work extremely hard in this way? Deadlines are there to ensure work is done on time – and if it is but there’s a technical hitch then surely leniency should be allowed? I mean really, does everyone just have to blindly follow the rules even when it’s obvious my kind of mistake was clearly not why they were put there in the first place?
I don’t know, I’ve worked so hard on this course, and this mark could potentially change my whole grade for the year as it’s worth like 15% of our overall mark. Gutted would be an understatement
Aaaaaaaaaanyway, the point is my frustration led me saying to myself fuck it, I’m gonna spend a bit of time enjoying myself being creative, and forget about my uni work while I can.
So after finishing these tracks I wondered what to do with them. Do I hold them back for the next album? I mean these songs were just a bit of spontaneous fun, do I really want to take them further in that respect?
Well the answer was no, so I’ve just decided to put them out as a free download.
Just a little background info on these recordings for those interested. Waiting for You was recorded totally live with just me and my Kala KA-B Baritone Ukulele. I Want Out was recorded by recording my ukulele first, and then overdubbing my vocals. The organ was also overdubbed as unfortunately i’m lacking in the the ability to play guitar and organ simulatenously Oh and the bass again for the same reason.
For you tech-heads it was recorded with an Audio Technica AT2020 LDC microphone and a Takstar & Red 5 Audio SDC mics, through a Echo Layla 3G audio interface into Pro Tools 9. All the mixing & mastering was done in Pro Tools also.