Tag Archives: Recording studios

16 Nov

Recording studio ideas for song writing

Planning an album at home

It’s a common practice these days to record one’s own demo material before taking it to a professional recording studio like Crash Symphony Productions. To save a lot of time and money I highly recommend planning your album and song writing in a flow chart. Know where you are going while at the same time being open and flexible. Consider a few important factors before moving forward. Below are some pointers and ideas about how to be prepared for the ultimate Sydney recording studio experience:

Getting an honest opinion on your song material

There are a few hard and fast rules about song writing. Yes, everyone has their own style and different lyric content. Yet there are things that you can’t do without. One of those things is the opinion of others! We may fear the opinions of others and be hesitant to ask. Don’t let this stop you from collecting as many ideas and opinions as possible. It is true that some people will have a different taste to what you are writing. The reality however is that most people can even hear a hit song in a genre that they are not familiar with. I cannot count how many times I have written 3 or 4 songs only to find out that my least favourite was popular with other people! You could be leaving gems on the shelf and missing obvious recording studio hits. When you walk into a recording studio it is often too late to be chopping and changing the songs you want on your album.

A consistent feel

While every song will not be the same on your album, certainly there should be a consistent “feeling” that comes through. You want variety of course but without sacrificing the general style of the album. Recording studios are the place to refine this sound and hone in on a common thread between different songs. A particular instrument or vocal sound. A recurring emotional theme in the lyrics. A common thread of production ideas. All of these things are ways to “unify” an album. Consider the great artists and albums like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Another great album is the 1976 “Hotel California” by The Eagles. Both of these classic albums have a very clear unification between songs. The guitar sounds, the production and even the lyrics all tend to “gel” and create a feeling. Similarly modern albums like “X” by Ed Sheeran have a very unified feel. Sheeran plans his songs and the feelings long before he ever enters recording studios! He knows what he wants and so should you.

Writing from the heart

Another important factor when walking into a recording studio is to have your heart on yoru sleeve. A good producer and Crash Symphony productions will always look for the heart of your project and try to reflect that in every aspect of the production. To some people this might sound overly emotional but the reality is – music IS emotional! You are aiming to catch peoples attention, not just with their ears, but also with their heart and mind. If they can walk away knowing they have been truly touched and influenced by your music, you can be sure the album will do well.

Who is your audience?

Consider the people who may or may not listen to your songs. When walking into recording studios, young artists often forget their intended audience. Sit back after you have begun a song and try to envision the people you are singing too. Music is a two way art form and the listener is as important as the performer. So many people walk away from recording studios disappointed with sales because they did not have a target. A classic example of this is someone who’s song writing is very old sounding (70’s or 80’s style) and is surprised when they don’t’ get any local modern radio play! There is nothing wrong with writing for a bye-gone era as long as you are aware that you are competing for a place among those genres. It can be harder to break into a scene that has already been flooded with great music. Having said that, you can write in any style you want if you understand the audience. People are always hungry for new music of ANY style. So don’t be discouraged!

Finding lyric material

Are you a detective? Are you an investigative journalist? If not, try and imagine that you are! Be hungry for new ideas and new lyrics. If your eyes are open all the time for new material and ideas, you will be surprised by your song writing. There are emotions, thoughts, behaviours and relationship stories all around you. When you walk into a recording studio you should be full of great lyrics and stories to tell to your prospective listener.

 

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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22 Apr

Recording Studios: Neil Young Part 4

Recording Studios: The second half of the decade would prove to be a more positive one for Young, who teamed up once more with Stephen Stills to record Long May You Run, which reached No. 26 on the charts and went gold. In 1977, he released the more country flavored Stars ’n Bars as well as the triple-LP compilation Decade, which featured a handpicked selection of his work up to that point. Things got even better the next year, when Comes a Time broke into the Top 10, he married Pegi Morton (who was waitress at a restaurant near his ranch and would inspire many of Young’s songs in the future, most notably, “Unknown Legend”) and embarked on a tour with Crazy Horse called “Rust Never Sleeps,” during which they showcased songs from an upcoming album. Released in 1979, Rust Never Sleeps echoed the structure of the concerts, alternating between quiet, acoustic tracks and aggressive electric numbers. Among its highlights is one of Neil Young’s best-known tracks, the anthem “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” A double LP recording from the tour, Live Rust, was released later that year, reaching No. 15 on the charts.

Recording Studios: Neil Young: Hawks and Doves

Young began the 1980s by indulging his experimental urges, not always to the best results. His first album of the new decade, Hawks & Doves, was more or less a collection of acoustic and country-flavored songs recorded several years earlier, and their at times politically right-leaning sentiments alienated some of his audience. He followed with an abrupt about-face in 1981, releasing the hard-edged Re-ac-tor, before mixing it up even more with Trans, incorporating synthesizers and vocoders into his songs and further confusing fans and critics and underwhelming his new label, Geffen.

The year 1983 was a tough one for Young, whose poorly received rockabilly offering Everybody’s Rockin’ was the last straw for his label, who filed a $3 million lawsuit against him for producing what they termed “unrepresentative” music. Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend Carrie Snodgress was also suing him for child support and he was coping with the disabilities of his and Pegi’s two recently born children, Ben (cerebral palsy) and Amber Jean (epilepsy).

Recording Studios Neil Young

24 Mar

Recording Studios: John Lennon Part V

Recording Studios: In 1972, while battling to stay in America, Lennon performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City to benefit mentally handicapped children and continued to promote peace. His immigration battle took a toll on Lennon’s marriage, and in the fall of 1973, he and Ono separated. Lennon went to Los Angeles, California, where he partied and took a mistress, May Pang. He still managed to release hit albums, including Mind Games (1973), Walls and Bridges (1974) and Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975). During this time, Lennon famously collaborated with David Bowie and Elton John.

Lennon and Ono reconciled in 1974, and she gave birth to their only child, a son named Sean, on Lennon’s 35th birthday (October 9, 1975). Shortly thereafter, Lennon decided to leave the music business to focus on being a father and husband.

Recording Studios: Tragic Death

In 1980, John Lennon returned to the music world with the album Double Fantasy, featuring the hit single “(Just Like) Starting Over.” Tragically, just a few weeks after the album’s release, Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan, shot Lennon several times in front of his apartment complex in New York City. Lennon died at New York City’s Roosevelt Hospital on December 8, 1980, at the age of 40.

John Lennon’s assassination had, and continues to have, a profound impact on pop culture. Following the tragic event, millions of fans worldwide mourned as record sales soared. And Lennon’s untimely death still evokes deep sadness around the globe today, as he continues to be admired by new generations of fans. Lennon was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

John Lennon’s effect on music and the world cannot be measured.  The amount of people that were inspired by him would count in the many millions.  To this day “Imagine” is a staple for cover singer and never fails to touch an audience.

Recording Studios

 

13 Mar

Recording Studios: Tom Jones Part IV

Recording Studios: Drawing on his extensive musical experience, in 2012 Jones became a judge on the BBC musical-competition reality show The Voice. In May of that year he released the album Spirit in the Room, which included covers of songs by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon and other notable artists. In 2015, he released his 41st studio album Long Lost Suitcase to generally positive reviews. That same year, he published his memoir, Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography.

Controversy arose over Jones’s affiliation with The Voice when he was fired in 2015 and replaced by fellow Brit artist Boy George. Jones was re-hired by the show when it was bought by ITV for a 2017 run, but then faced pushback from viewers who felt his comments about a winning singer’s weight were inappropriate.

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11 Mar

Recording Studios: Janis Joplin Part IV

Recording Studios:  After hearing Joplin at Monterey, Columbia Records President Clive Davis wanted to sign the band. Albert Grossman, who already managed Bob Dylan, the Band, and Peter, Paul & Mary, later signed on as the band’s manager, and was able to get them out of another record deal they’d signed earlier with Mainstream Records.

 

While their Recording Studios recordings for Mainstream never found much of an audience, Big Brother’s first album for Columbia, Cheap Thrills (1968), was a huge hit. While the album was wildly successful—quickly becoming a certified gold record with songs like “Piece of My Heart” and “Summertime”—creating it had been a challenging process, causing even more problems between Joplin and band’s other members. (The album was produced by John Simon, who’d had the band do take after take in an attempt to create a technically perfect sound.)

Cheap Thrills helped solidify Joplin’s reputation as a unique, dynamic, bluesy rock singer. Despite Big Brother’s continued success, Joplin was becoming frustrated with group, feeling that she was being held back professionally.

Recording Studios: Solo Career

Joplin struggled with her decision to leave Big Brother, as her bandmates had been like a family to her, but she eventually decided to part ways with the group. She played with Big Brother for the last time in December 1968.

Following a historic performance at Woodstock (August 1969), Joplin released her first solo effort, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, in September 1969, with Kozmic Blues Band. Some of the project’s most memorable songs were “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” and “To Love Somebody,” a cover of a Bee Gees tune. But Kozmic Blues received mixed reviews, with some media outlets criticizing Joplin personally. Feeling uniquely pressured to prove herself as a female solo artist in a male-dominated industry, the criticism caused distress for Joplin.

Recording Studios Woodstock

 

02 Mar

Recording Studios: Leonard Cohen Part IV

Recording Studios: In 1974, Cohen returned to studio recordings with New Skin for the Old Ceremony, which while maintaining Cohen’s characteristically downbeat mood also featured fuller arrangements than his previous albums. Among the standout tracks from this offering are “Who by Fire,” “Take This Longing” and “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” about a romantic encounter that Cohen once had with singer Janis Joplin. Cohen toured in support of New Skin before releasing a 1975 best-of album and hitting the road once again, enjoying the adoration of a devoted core of fans, if not the commercial success that his label might have hoped for.

Recording Studios: Failures

But if Columbia was expecting different results with his next album, they were to be disappointed, as would be his fans and, indeed, Cohen himself. Working with legendary and notoriously troubled producer Phil Spector, Cohen’s Death of a Ladies’ Man was problematic from the start, with Spector’s erratic behavior culminating in him holding a gun to Cohen’s head. Spector also mixed the recording without Cohen’s input, resulting in the overblown end product that Cohen himself has described as “grotesque” and identified as his least favorite album. Perhaps hoping to right his ship, the following year Cohen released the similarly titled collection of poetry and prose Death of a Lady’s Man, followed by 1979’s Recent Songs, which, although it saw Cohen return to the sparser arrangements of his earlier work, failed to perform well commercially.

Recording Studios: Hiatus

After a five-year hiatus, during which Cohen released no new material, he made up for lost time in 1984 with the publication of the poetry collection Book of Mercy and the album Various Positions, both of which focus more specifically on themes of spirituality, most notably on the song “Hallelujah.” Counted among Cohen’s best-known, best-loved and most-often-performed songs of all time, “Hallelujah” has been covered by hundreds of artists since, including Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright. The album, however, failed to gain much recognition, and it would be another five years before Cohen would release anything new.

Recording Studios Leonard Cohen

 

21 Feb

Recording Studios: Tom Petty Part V

Recording Studios: Part V of our series on rock legend Tom Petty

In 1986, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers embarked on a tour with Bob Dylan—performing both their own material and serving as Dylan’s backup band—before returning to the studio to record Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough). Though the album reached No. 20 on the charts and produced the single “Jammin’ Me,” which reached No. 1 in the U.K., it was only moderately successful when compared to their earlier accomplishments. However, Petty’s friendship with Dylan would lead to another more successful collaboration when they joined George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne to form the Traveling Wilburys, whose 1988 self-titled album reached No. 3 on the charts, went triple-platinum and won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance.

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15 Feb

Recording Studios: History of Soul IV

Recording Studios: Booker T. & the M.G.’s also played on the records of Otis Redding, Stax’s biggest star. Otis had a strong voice that was perfect for up-tempo soul, but he could also use a softer voice in romantic soul ballads. His dynamic performances on the Stax European tour and at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 made him a huge star worldwide with hits like I’ve Been Loving You Too Long and Respect. His greatest song was his last recording (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay. Like Sam Cooke three years earlier, Otis never saw the release of his greatest song. He died in a plane crash in December 1967, just three weeks before its release. His death shocked the world, but Stax survived and artists like Isaac Hayes and The Staple Sisters continued to release classic soul records.

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