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From The Boiler Room: Meet The Band

Meet The BandOne of the things that Andrew & I never had to worry about when we were writing our own material was the practicalities of performing the material on stage.  Full string orchestra?  Coming right up.  Horn section on this song?  Not a problem.  Overdub more guitars?  Rewind the tape and let’s go. The only limit on our creativity and arranging options was the number of [outputs on the] synths and ROMplers that we had at our disposal and the number of tracks on tape.  Nowadays, even those limitations are gone, as with the advent of digital recording, VSTs, VSTis and DAWS, the ever-increasing power of the computer means you can keep piling it on.

But do I want to? [Read more…]

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From The Boiler Room: Series Or Parallel Recording

Series-ParallelSo, here I am with good intentions and a bucketful of songs, (well, a “handful” didn’t seem quite enough, does it?).  What next, (or, what is actually on my mind, should that be “which” next)?  In the past, I’ve very much worked on my songs in series rather than in parallel – starting and finishing one song before moving on to the next.  That was fine when I was working with Andrew, as we treated each song very much as an individual creation and tried to record it in the most appropriate style for itself, with little or no regard for how it sat stylistically with the other songs we recorded, (although the former Mrs Edmonds did once comment that no matter what we wrote, it always sounded like us – I’m pretty sure she meant it as a compliment).

[Read more…]

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Video Tutorial – Sidechaining the Waves Vocal Rider

Something a little different this week – a practical demonstration of sidechaining the Waves Vocal Rider on a Group channel.  The idea is to route all of the music to a sub-mix which is fed into the sidechain input of the plugin, enabling the Vocal Rider to respond not only to peaks and troughs in the vocal performance, but also to ensure that the vocal level works with the dynamics of the music.

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New Mix – “Thanks For Breakfast”

This mix is something a little different – no guitars!  “Thanks For Breakfast” is a song by Jessica Ripka and is driven by her piano playing, supported by some very nifty strings – there are only two string players on the song, but they overdubbed themselves repeatedly to create a full string section.

Momentary Max: -11.2 LUFS, Integrated: -16.2 LUFS, Range 7.4 LU, True Peak -1.4dB, no buss limiting

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From The Boiler Room: “Physician, Heal Thyself”

photo credit: jfcherry via photopin ccThis site was set up with the aim of sharing what I’ve learnt, (and am continuing to learn), about making music, so that you, gentle reader, can get your music made, as it says in the strapline above.  Well, that’s fine and dandy, but there comes a point when you gotta practise what you preach and so, starting here, I’ll be posting “from the boiler room” as I set about arranging and recording an album’s worth of music, sharing with you my adventures, (and mis-adventures), along the way.

Now, much as I’d love to say it’s my NEXT album, that wouldn’t be true.  Despite having been writing and recording songs for over 30 years, I’ve never actually gathered together a group of songs with the intention of recording them as a single album.  Loads of demos, but nothing that I could say is a finished product, and lots of songs gathering dust and waiting for me to do something with them.  So it’s high time I took my own advice to finish my songs.

[Read more…]

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Video Tutorial – Cubase Mix Console Hints & Tips

To round out my look at the Racks system within the Mix Console in Cubase 7, this video offers a few hints and tips for making the most of them.  It looks at moving and copying plug-ins between tracks, (both single plug-ins and the all plug-ins on a track), the corresponding way to work with the Channel Strip and a pitfall to catch the unwary when using the presets for the Channel Strip.