25 Jun

Recording a Song called Wounds

Recording a song can be a challenging process. As if the songwriting part wasn’t hard enough! Bringing life to a song in a recording studio is both a technical and creative journey. When the end is reached it is the best feeling that I, in my short life, can think of. But recording a song has some challenges and I would like to use a project that I’m working on at the moment as an example. The song is called Wounds. It’s been written for a while, and even recorded once before, but the new version is proving a little tricky. Read on and I’ll explain why!

Recording a Song

James Englund is an Australian Singer-Songwriter Producer.

Recording a Song can lead you down infinite pathways…. but you can only take one!

The main issue that a producer will come to find when they begin recording a song is that there are a million different ways that it can be recorded. You can choose different tempos and keys, choose a traditional acoustic arrangement or a modern sound. All the different choices that the producer makes along the way make a huge difference to how the song will be at the end of the production. And that’s the way people will come to know the tune. The way they hear it. So, you’re asking “what’s the problem?”.

Here’s my first major issue when it comes to recording a song that I’ve written; I usually default to recording it the way that I wrote it on a certain instrument. So, if I wrote the song on an acoustic guitar, it’s so much easier, intellectually and creatively, to just go right ahead and record it on an acoustic guitar and maybe add a rhythm section later. After doing hundreds of tracks like that for many clients over the years I have realised, more than most, how boring that approach really is. It may have worked well in the 1960s but now it just puts me to sleep.

One Approach to think about

The trick, for me, is finding an interesting instrument or effect or melodic device to make the song sound unique. That’s really hard to do because it means I need to think about it for a long time. Often, I look at the lyrics and wonder what I can do to bring out the emotion of the song. I search through my mind, and even other resources like Youtube, to find something that will be really unusual for the listener.

Alternatively, it helps to have a track that is inspirational and similar to where you want to go. For my song, Wounds, I love the sound of John Mayer’s Gravity. I’ve listen to the song a few times. I feel there are similarities in the message and vibe. I’ve analysed John’s song a few times and wondered what it was that made it so emotionally impacting for me.

As I mentioned above, what I really love is that he doesn’t just default to the boring old acoustic guitar (Not that I hate acoustic guitar. I mean I spend my life playing it live and for pleasure). Instead, he has an organ / pad sound that brings the song in and holds down the main chordal harmony. It’s a sound that is somewhat familiar to us all as listeners, but yet it has an element to it which is different. The electric guitar plays the main riff over the top. This brings us to our next idea, the riff!

Recording a song with a unique Riff

Some call it cliché but I’m a real sucker for a riff. I love putting this kind of content into my music and it seems to be a reoccurring theme, pardon the pun, in many popular songs. A melodic stamp, if you will. My song, Wounds, certainly has this element. However, I’ve written the song on an acoustic guitar and I immediately recorded the song on acoustic guitar. Straight away it felt very meat-and-potatos.

I think that this is why I looked for a reference track. To guide me away from creating another boring song that has a stock-standed arrangement. Doing that is a sure way to have your song go completely forgotten and unnoticed. However, over the years, it’s always been the hardest thing for an artist to do. Most new artists can be very afraid to do something with their music that is dangerously original. It scares them and makes them feel like they’re doing something wrong.

Let’s make this first post – part 1!

I have so much more to say about this topic. In the next post I’m going to look at perfectionism and how it is the great white shark that feeds on songs. I’ve learned (after recording many songs for other artists) that keeping the ball rolling, and not getting caught up on details, is the key to success! This has certainly been my problem when I’ve worked on my own songs. It’s as much about psychology as it is about music. Until next time, happy producing!

03 May

Recording Studio: Mick jagger Part 5

Recording Studio Sydney: “We have performed in many special places during our long career, but this show in Havana will be a milestone for us, and, we hope, for all our friends in Cuba, too,” the band said in a statement.

The show at Havana’s Ciudad Deportivo sports arena was the band’s first concert in Cuba and part of its 2016 South American tour.

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Recording Studios: Mick jagger Part 4

Recording Studios: While screen success escaped him, Jagger remained a popular rock star. The Stones had several hit albums in the 1970s and early ’80s, including Sticky Fingers (1971), Exile on Main St. (1972), Some Girls (1978), Emotional Rescue (1980) and Tattoo You (1981). But by the mid-1980s, the relationship between Jagger and Richards had become increasingly strained. Jagger focused much of his energy on a solo career with mixed results. While his first effort, 1985’s She’s the Boss, sold well enough to go platinum, his second album Primitive Cool (1987) failed to interest music buyers.

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Recording Studios Sydney : Mick jagger Part 3

Recording Studios Sydney: By the end of the decade, Jagger and the rest of the band were enjoying huge success. Beggars Banquet was released in 1968 and featured a straightforward rock style. One of its singles, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” hit the No. 1 spot on the U.K. charts and reached the top 5 in the U.S.

In 1969, the Stones went through several big changes. Jones left the group that June after his many drug arrests prevented him from leaving the country for a U.S. tour. He was replaced by 20-year-old guitarist Mick Taylor. Jones was found drowned in his pool less than a month later. The coroner’s report found that Jones was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of his death, and ruled his passing as “death by misadventure.” In response to Jones’s untimely demise, the Stones performed a free concert in Hyde Park on July 5, 1969, two days after their former bandmate’s death. Originally scheduled as an opportunity to present their new guitarist, the group dedicated the concert to Jones.

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02 May

Sydney Recording Studio: Mick jagger Part 2

Sydney Recording Studio: Jagger, Richards and Taylor soon joined up with Jones, who wanted to start his own group. Pianist Ian Stewart was also an early member of what would become the Rolling Stones. By 1963, Charlie Watts had joined the band as its drummer and Taylor departed, replaced by Bill Wyman. Stewart, however, stayed on to serve as road manager, as well as playing and recording with the band. Under the direction of their manager Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones were marketed as a group of wild and rough rockers. The group’s wild style helped them land a deal with Decca Records. Jagger was a key ingredient in the band’s growing success, attracting audiences with his stage antics and sex appeal.

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Sydney Recording Studios: Mick jagger Part 1

Sydney Recording Studios: Born Michael Phillip Jagger on July 26, 1943, in Dartford, England, Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, has become a rock legend, delighting fans for more than four decades. Leaving the London School of Economics to start a band with Keith Richards, Jagger took the Rolling Stones to the top of the music world with major hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Angie” and “Miss You,” propelling the band and himself to a status unknown by most performers.

Sydney Recording Studios: Early Life and Musical Influences

Singer, songwriter, actor and producer Michael Phillip Jagger was born on July 26, 1943, in Dartford, England. As the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger has become a rock legend known for his gritty, blues-influenced songs and charismatic stage presence. He has delighted a legion of fans for more than four decades.

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28 Apr

Video Production Sydney: Stanley Kubrick Part 2

Video Production Sydney: Kubrick made 10 feature films from 1957 to 1999, his early releases from that period including the acclaimed Spartacus (1960); Lolita (1962), based on the novel by Vladimir Nabokov; and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

Denied official cooperation from the U.S. armed services during the filming of Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick went on to construct sets from photographs and other public sources.

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Corporate Video Production Sydney: Stanley Kubrick Part 1

Corporate Video Production Sydney: Born in New York City on July 26, 1928, Stanley Kubrick worked as a photographer for Look magazine before exploring filmmaking in the 1950s. He went on to direct a number of acclaimed films, including Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove (1964), A Clockwork Orange (1971), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Kubrick died in England on March 7, 1999.

Corporate Video Production Sydney: Stanlet Kubrick Younger Years

Famed filmmaker Stanley Kubrick was born in New York City on July 26, 1928, and grew up in the Bronx, New York, where his father, Jacques Kubrick, worked as a doctor and his mother, Sadie (Perveler) Kubrick, was a housewife. He had a younger sister, Barbara.

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Recording Studios: David Bowie Part 5

Recording Studios: Bowie released Blackstar, his final album, on January 8, 2016, his 69th birthday. New York Times critic Jon Pareles noted that it was a “strange, daring and ultimately rewarding” work “with a mood darkened by bitter awareness of mortality.” Only a few days later, the world would learn that the record had been made under difficult circumstances.

Recording Studios: Death and Posthumous Recognition

The music icon died on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday. A post on his Facebook page read: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer.”

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Recording Studio: David Bowie Part 4

 

David Bowie Life in the recording studio: Of course, Bowie’s interests didn’t just reside with music. His love of film helped land him the title role in The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). In 1980, Bowie starred on Broadway in The Elephant Man, and was critically acclaimed for his performance. In 1986, he starred as Jareth, the Goblin King, in the fantasy-adventure film Labyrinth, directed by Jim Henson and produced by George Lucas. Bowie performed opposite teenage Jennifer Connolly and a cast of puppets in the movie, which became a 1980s cult classic.

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