Monthly Archives: May 2015

Secondary Research: Bibliography

Please find my bibliography below, complete with all of the academic texts that have informed me over this module. Please forgive me if I have left any out but these will no doubt be referenced at the bottom of each individual post when used.

 

Burgess, R. J. (2013) The Art of Music Production – The Theory and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cunningham, M. (1996) Good Vibrations – A History of Record Production. Surrey: Castle Communications.

D’Escrivan, J. (2012) Music Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dubber, A. (2013) Music in the Digital Age: Lean Publishing.

Frith, S and Zagorski–Thomas, S. (2012) The Art of Record Production. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing.

Gronow, P and Saunio, I. (1998) An International History Of The Recording Industry. London: Cassell.

Katz, M. (2004) Capturing Sound – How Technology has changed Music. London: University of California Press Ltd.

Moorefield, V. (2005) The Producer As Composer. Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Senior (2011), Mixing Secrets for the small Studio: London. Taylor and Francis.

Stone, C. (2000) Audio Recording for Profit – The Sound of Money. Oxford: Focal Press.

Theberge, P. (1997) Any Sound You Can Imagine. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.

Wikstrom, P. (2009) The Music Industry. Cambridge: Polity Press.

White, P. (2012). The Producer’s Manual. London: Sample Magic.

Zak, A. J. (2001) The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks Making Records. London: University of California Press.

Interviewing Respected Producers

 

 

 

 

To compliment my secondary research I understood it was also important to obtain primary evidence to justify my decisions throughout this project. This is why I interviewed a wealth of respected industry producers to get an insider perspective and a more personal account of a life in production. I had purposely based my topics on all three modules this semester around the role of producer as it allowed me to specialise and really explore the role in depth. This, along with my willingness to learn and adapt techniques used by these producers for my project is what allowed me to conduct these interviews.

Recordings of the interviews and correspondance are available on request. Please see the images and their captions below for a description of each producer.

 

‘John Williams is a record producer and songwriter. He has managed, A&R’d, mentored, and produced many artist careers including debut albums of The Housemartins, and The Proclaimers, John has also produced and signed Alison Moyet, Simple Minds, The Waterboys, Robert Plant, The Blue Nile, Status Quo, Cathy Dennis, Petula Clark, Ocean Colour Scene, JJ Cale, Blancmange, Shrieback, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Jethro Tull, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Debbie Harry, and Luciana Caporaso… John has most recently produced Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott’s new album for Virgin Records – the first two singles have gone straight onto the Radio Two A list, made Record-of-the-Week and has reached No. 3 in the UK album chart – he also just finished producing their Christmas single.’ (Arlon Music, 2015)

John Williams

 

Howard Young runs the award winning post-production house Engine7 in Hull and produces the vast majority of its output.

Howard Young

 

‘Katia Isakoff is a composer, music producer, mix engineer and studio owner (UNIT20) with album releases through Mute, EMI, BMG, Metamatic and Universal. Her compositions and performances have been featured internationally for TV. She is founding partner of The Altersonic Sound Company and Hairpin Management.’ (James Online, 2013)

Katia Isakoff

 

Lee Gretton founded and lead produces for InProduction Music based in Lincolnshire, which specialises in high quality music and sound for the international music industry.

Lee Gretton

 

Mark Williams runs his own Lincolnshire based production company that provides audio, radio and phone solutions for clients.

Mark Williams

 

 

References:

Arlon Music. (2015). Talent. Available: http://www.arlonmusic.com/fuse/talent/arlon_talent.html. Last accessed 14th May 2015.

James Online. (2013). Katia Isakoff. Available: http://www.jamesonline.org.uk/katiai.html. Last accessed 14/5/15.

Bass and Electric Guitar – Robbie Caswell Jones

Unfortunately as some of my session musicians had pulled out on certain dates I was forced to look for other solutions. After recieving an extension which I was extremely grateful for, I set about new plans to record some of the key parts for my tracks. Robbie Caswell-Jones was able to record bass for me, however there was no free time in the studio so the only other option was to record at my house. However as were recording through DI anyway it didn’t change the situation too much but I felt it was a little bit less professional.

I used my macbook pro to record onto via my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface and monitored through my M-Audio BX5 monitors.

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Robbie had rehearsed the parts sufficiently and we managed to go through the takes very quickly, which was great as I was eating into my mixing time! I listened back carefully to each take to ensure that it was relatively on the beat and in time. I say relatively, as I had been learning of a fantastic tool available in the DAW logic known as flex time. I believe there are similar functions available in pro tools (elastic audio/ beat detective) but I am generally more comfortable mixing in logic so I went with that option. This is where the DAW detects transients in the audio file and references them with markers. These markers can then be adjusted to match the timing of the song. However this does mean stretching the audio somewhat so in a few cases you have to be extremely careful but with a generally monophonic instrument like bass guitar, you are able to get away with more edits. I made small edits to the majority of the bass tracks and adjusted the timings in three separate ways:

  1. Going through the audio file by hand and matching the bass notes to the drum transients to create a ‘groove’.
  2. Automating specific parts of the audio file to match the tempo of the song (only used when songs had ben recorded to a click track).
  3. Using the drum track as a ‘Groove Template’. This involves logic scanning the drum file and then matching the bass notes to the closest drum transients.

‘Flex-Time’ in action.

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These methods were extremely successful and I even managed to apply them to other recordings such as the banjo for Mason-Dixon Line.

We also managed to record the electric guitar for Quicksand via DI as well and emulated a great electric guitar sound via Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig.

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I was disappointed that we weren’t able to record in the studio but also pleased that I had managed to arrange an alternative solution that didn’t have too much of an impact on the final product. This shows my problem solving abilities as a producer. I also wished that I had more time to record extra instrumentation due to some sessions not working out, therefore if I was to go through with this project again I would definitely plan a contingency period, which would give me ample time when things don’t go as planned. This was my final recording session of the project – I’m now looking forward to the designated mixing stage!

Here are the sheets from this session.

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