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Entries in music (25)
Over the years I have seen a decline in artists creating demo recordings of their songs which they intend to record and produce with me. Demo recordings can be anything from a simple vocal and guitar recording to a 4 to 8 track pre production mix. Demo recordings provide all the parties that will be included in the production process with a blue print to which everybody can work to. I want to share with you 5 reasons why making demos can help artists and producers work faster and more creatively when in the production process of a song.
Demo recordings help confirm the final stages of the songwriting process. The song’s structure, tempo, key, feel, groove, dynamics and mood should be captured in the demo process.
Choice Of Song
When selecting a song to produce it is sometimes good practise to have a few other songs to choose from. Having a selection of demos from the artist helps you to know as a producer that you are about to invest time into the right song and that there’s not a better song from the artist… a hidden gem that may work better in production.
Distance And Evaluation
Creating a demo gives the songwriter a golden opportunity to step back from the song and writing process. If the song still stands up to everyone’s judgement after a week and needs no further rewrites then it is ready for production. Producing a song that still needs lyrics changing or light and shades discovered can harm the song.
Demos can also be treated as a scratch pad for production ideas. It can help when needing to demonstrate creative ideas to other parties of the production. For example, if a drum loop has been used in the demo and it works then this loop can guide the drummer to work a groove around the demo’s feel. If a bass guitar with a distortion plug in works in the demo then a producer or bassist may try to recapture that vibe with a pedal and bass amp. Trying out ideas in a demo can save time in the production phase as trying out millions of ideas that were never going to work for the song are better recorded, heard and declined in the demo format.
Pressure Free Environment
Being able to create with no real sense of pressure is very liberating, the best and most organic musical choices can be made in this frame of mind. I’ve taken some client demos and used stems out of their demo sessions as for what they’ve created in these frames of minds have been outstanding.
Jack Bruce, bass player with iconic rock legends Cream, has died aged 71.
Cream, made up of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Bruce, are considered by many to be one of the most important groups in rock music. Bruce wrote most of the songs, including ‘I Feel Free’ and ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, he also sang vocals.
Bruce’s death was announced on his official website. A statement from the family said: “It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father and granddad and all-round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”
Image: (CC) Christian Sahm.
A few years ago the iPhone and iPad were inheard of and yet in a matter of years it has become a ubiquitous part of modern life. Part of the attraction is of course the huge selection of Apps available, it wasn’t long before Apps were appearing to make music and to record and edit audio.
Avid have made some small steps into the world of iOS with Sibelius support but nothing for Pro Tools users to date, other brands have tried to do more to give their DAW users an iOS experience when working on the move.
So has iOS been the music and audio dream come true for you, or did you dabble and find yourself disappointed?
Please complete our poll - we’ve broken it into professionals (those making a living from music and audio) and enthusiasts to see if there are any trends that emerge. Of course, as ever please leave comments to give more flesh to the poll.
Perhaps the best YouTube channel ever for music lovers, Music Vault offers over 13,000 live gigs with more being added daily.
There’s concerts stretching back decades featuring unseen performances from music legends. Many of the concerts of Music Vault are claimed to be exclusive content.
Head over now and check it out, warning you may lose several weeks of your life.
Prepare to have your mind blown! It seems there’s a big reason why we love to listen to tracks on repeat or with repetitive rhythms and phrases, despite what our parents might have said it is more than ‘just an endless beat.’
Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is director of the music cognition lab at the University of Arkansas and she has written an article for Aeon Magazine on why the brain loves to hear repetition in music.
She writes “Repetition is so powerfully linked with musicality that its application can dramatically transform apparently non-musical materials into song.”
She then goes on to demonstrate using the speech-to-sound illusion, discovered by Diana Deutsch, UC San Diego. Listen to them both one after the other and discover how an ordinary spoken phrase is transformed into an almost sung phrase when parts of the phrase are repeated.
Then listen to the spoken phrase in the second clip and it now seems to have magically been transformed into a sung phrase.
The effect is almost other-worldly and just goes to demonstrate the wonderfully magical world of audio.
Article: Aeon Magazine
Audio Test: Diana Deutsch
One of the questions we asked our panel at NAMM 2014 was how optimistic they were about the future of the industry, that video will be coming soon.
There are both opportunties and threats that have been opened up by new technology that have made making music far more open. At the same time the same technology has created challenges such as online piracy, and even online music streaming services offer a small return for the average music maker.
In a couple of weeks Avid will be unveiling their version of the future with Avid Everywhere, it seems every man and his dog has the a version of the future of how we will make and share our music.
Some commentators paint a dystopian view of the future and others remain optimistic. Is everything broken or are there some real signs of hope for the future of music making - or is it just the same as it has always been?
So let us know how you feel, take our poll and most of all leave your comments.
Rich Tozzoli has worked with such artists as Al DiMeola, Ace Frehley, Hall & Oates and David Bowie. He has composed for the likes of NBC Olympics, NFL, NHL and Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey, and can be heard nightly on History Channel, Discovery Networks, Nickelodeon and all A&E networks. Over to Rich….
Composing for TV is creative, challenging and always fun. But you have to be able to work fast, think on your feet, and have full control over your DAW. I think of Pro Tools as an essential instrument that helps me translate what’s in my mind to what comes out of the speakers during a broadcast.
- In The Box - I happen to write for a variety of different shows, so each day (and sometimes each hour) has its own direction. That’s why it’s so essential to work with a fully automated setup, and for me, that composing, editing and mixing completely in the box. That way, I can recall the entire session, including video, at a moments notice with no worries.
Read part 1 of this article here.
4. Tools of the trade
If you want to work, then you need the gear. Music production equipment is by no means cheap, and we often find ourselves making hard decisions and going without in order to try and build a collection of equipment that makes us useful to as many people as possible. The reality is that a client expects you to have at minimum a simple recording set up and computer to function commercially, so the question comes down to how you go about establishing this? The answer is
The social network
There is a perceived value both musically for the artist and in terms of marketing to everyone else in the inclusion of a music producer in the creation process. Having a producer essentially represents a vested interest in an artist’s work by an external body, and signals a certain added value to the work they have and plan to create. Whether they state it or not, artists nowadays work with producers because they are perceived as a legitimate and effective way of bringing their careers to the next level, which includes a significant step towards getting signed.
So what does this mean for a producer? It means that
Everyday producers, engineers, songwriters and artists all around the world engage with each other in studios, rehearsal rooms and online in the pursuit of the creation of music.
For many people, the performance of music is for the self and not necessarily for the purposes of earning an income. Their music is more of an innocent exploration of the creative arts, and a chance to do something different for a period of time. However, for a smaller number of songwriters, composers and artists the pursuit of a viable career in music is the ultimate career goal and a full time commitment.
Artists that endeavor to succeed in the music industry inevitably come across the figure of a