Nov 6

What a sound engineer really does – Stanton Warriors

You can’t help thinking that regardless of how funny this is, it has elements of truth. From the extreme of a poor singer expecting the engineer to turn him or her into a polished artist, to the sole singer songwriter in his or own studio using technology to make the performance sound so much better than it really is. Whilst you can not polish a turd, you can create something very pleasing with pitch correction software, good EQ, compression and reverb.

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Oct 31

I love these You Tube clips that Brett Domino does. As well as being very funny, you have to agree that they are recorded extremely well. I wonder who does the mastering?
This one from Brett is specific to Halloween and how you can make a hit ready for the 31st October.

Brett demonstrates his abilities on Korg’s new RK100S Keytar Synthesizer. Have a watch and listen – great fun

Oct 31

The new Kurzweil Forte premium stage piano is now available in the UK and it sounds awesome. Have a listen in clip above.

It has a brand new sound engine from Kurzweil’s patented FlashPlay technology, giving you very fast access to its large 16GB sample memory. So as you would guess it powers up really quickly and what all keyboard players want is no loading time when you are changing between sounds. With this technology you really get a great level of detail in the sound that has not been achieved before on a hardware keyboard. The Forte’s new piano sounds are modelled on German and Japanese grand pianos as you would expect. The dynamics are awesome and the sound is very realistic. It is also very rugged and ideal for a life on the road

Jul 1

Songwriting has certainly changed over the years. I remember a time when to some extent there was a lot more freedom to allow artist creativity.

To make a hit today it seems it has to conform to certain limitations such as that it must be between 3 and 4 minutes long, needs to have a hook as well as a vocal hook, in many cases it needs to follow a set procedure for example:- intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, bridge, chorus, outro.

I wonder how many years we will continue to follow this. Maybe one day we will get totally fed up with the same format. With the introduction of the iPad opening up even more portable ways to make music and by a greater population of musicians and non-musicians alike, perhaps change may happen.

I cannot argue with some of these requirements as you certainly and instantly need to capture the attention of your listener. There is one person who in my opinion has nailed this and at the same time appears to take the mickey out of it. It is the songwriter, musician and comedian Brett Domino. This man is a genius and certainly has one of those faces that is just right for comedy. You want to laugh before he has even said a word. He is extremely talented and has a manner of putting things across in a very entertaining way.

Have a look at his thoughts and ideas on how to make a hit pop song. Not only was I laughing all the way to work today, I also couldn’t get his crazy hook out of my head. Not only is it funny, but what he says is absolutely right. I would like to know what DAW and plugins he uses to make his songs especially the vocals – does anyone know?

Jun 23

Hi,

I am sorry I haven’t been around for a while now, I have been busy on another project which I will tell you about hopefully by November if I complete it by then. In my brief spare time, I came accross this excellent version of “Moves Like Jagger” interstingly performed by an assortment of very tallented people.

First up is the beautiful drummer Meytal Cohen. I am sure you have seen her on many other You Tube clips. She has a very smooth and relaxed way of playing and always looks like she loves what she is doing – great stuff.

Then there is the famous keyboard and iPad wizzard himself – Jordan Rudess who actually dances on this clip. Vocals are performed by the angelic sexy voice of Tammy Scheffer who provides some jazzy tones to this great song.The arrangement and additional iPad playing by a young Gentle Giant Fan called Eyal Amir.

Anyway have a listen, I am sure you will find this entertaining stuff as I did. If you dont like the song enjoy the dancing:-

Feb 13

Have you heard Black Lab? – Have you heard of Black Lab?

Black Lab are an American alternative rock band that have released four main albums and will be very soon releasing their fifth album. The multi- talented Paul Durham who is the lead vocalist is extremely excited about this and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

I have followed Black Lab’s strange career since their success of having one of their tracks as part of the Spider-Man soundtrack. As soon as I heard this powerful song Learn to Crawl, I was hooked and wanted to hear more and discovered they had a fantastic album to go with this track, the album called Your Body Above Me not only had the power and distortion elements, dirty drums and awesome vocals but had such a melodic element to them that set them aside from many other rock bands. For me, I loved everything about this album. The lyrics were great, the hooks very catchy but combine a grungy sound with melodic and superb vocals and you have something very special.

Have a listen to one of my favourites tracks from 1997 with a beautiful smooth sounding guitar track:-

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Jan 28

FROU FROU – MUST BE DREAMING

imogen-heap-frou-frou

 

It has been a while since we had some music on the site and I forgot about this great track from Frou Frou called Must be dreaming. Great track and great album, performed by the incredibly talented and very beautiful Imogen Heap and she looks stunning in this clip.

The trouble is I don’t know what I love most – Imogen Heap or the sound of the Synth at the end of this song – such a difficult choice.

Jan 2

Well its that all important month for new products and here is one for the start of the month – the new Voicelive 3 from TC Helicon explained excellently by Tom Lang.

Vocals are the main ingrediant here and VoiceLive 3 has an arsenal of powerful vocal effects with 11 independent effects blocks and over 180 different styles. Preset, yes we love presets and the VoiceLive 3 provides you with over 250 and over 1000+ more can be downloaded for free.

It is packed with improvements and additions from its previous model the VoiceLive 2 with new Harmony modes – Pedal, Fixed, and Mixed-Mode – for expanded voicing and musical possibilities. There is also a new Authentic Vocoder with voice-controlled polyphonic synth and robot modes which allow you to play your voice like an instrument.

TC Helicon have also made improvements to its vocal effects with harmonies and doubling tones that sound better than before with use of new delay filters and hardTune styles.

Designed for vocal / guitarist it is also packed with guitar effects and amp simulations that will compete with the best guitar pedal boards out there.

Add to this an awesome looper with 45 minutes of loop time, you can get so creative with this. Have a look at the clip and try the VoiceLive 3 out at your nearest stockist.

Lets hope the rest of January brings more great new products. Bookmark me for further updates.
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Dec 1

steinberg_cubase_75

With all the new versions of Cakewalk Sonar, Steinberg have been slightly falling behind. Rather than a full new version 8, Steinberg has announced an inbetween but nevertheless a very substantial updates to both its music DAW production systems, Cubase and Cubase Artist. This update not only has the usual workflow improvements but provides some great improvements to its instruments and new effects.

So what do you get for your pennies. Well what caught my eye and I am sure everyone elses, are two new feature which Steinberg have called TrackVersions and Visibility Presets.

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Nov 12

Native Instruments New Maschine Studio in Action with Jeremy Ellis with Version 2.0 Software

 

You cannot fault the talents of Jeremy Ellis. His fast finger drumming technique comparable with a concert pianist can make any 16 pad groove machine stand out in the crowd but when you put him with Native Instruments new flagship Maschine called the Maschine Studio you have an explosive match.

As soon as you watch this You Tube clip, it makes you want to go and buy one. A little expensive – yes, but its a killer machine, the Maschine Studio. Its bigger, its brighter, its faster and it is awesome and colourful but above all it is total creative fun and can make musicians out of us all.

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