Savilian Blinded Remixed

Feels Like Now – the ep I produced for Hip-Hop artist, Savilian. Was released in May of this year with Blinded lifted as the first promotional cut.
The choruses consisted of a sax solo that; although skillfully performed (I thought) didn’t really make the track Pop! I queried Matt at the time and he seemed quite content. But over time with more distance from the sessions, my reservations only increased. The pieces were there, it had just taken a while for them to fall into place.
So I embarked on a remix. First of all I put together the vocal takes as I heard them in my head. And then I created a lot of  fresh elements to support the new chorus vocal hook. I then revisited most of the sounds re-balancing and restructuring the arrangement to get even more dynamics from the song.  I think I’ve been quite successful and for me at least it achieves a more gratifying climax to the verses.
It then occurred to me the video would also need re-editing to reflect the changes. Also on the original I’d had some issues with the color grading and how the color correction had turned out. The low lighting on the set had introduced a lot of video noise and I hadn’t hit it quite hard enough. So I bit the bullet and slowly worked my way through the footage again.

Sometimes you need the distance to be able to step back and look at the project as a whole. Self imposed deadlines .. who needs em.
Savilian | Blinded

Studio Upgrade

The Cloud Formation
The Studio Clouds
The studio has been getting a bit of a make-over with new Bamboo flooring covering the entire space and sound clouds above our heads to minimize ceiling reflections. The whole thing has focused the sound more and tightened the bass end. The aspect of the studio has also taken a 180 degree rotation.

The overdub room
studio ODub room
Pro Tools 10 has been getting a serious workout. So far the workflow issues of such a change have been minimal. We’ve also acquired a Neumann TLM-107. I’m really looking forward to putting all these new toys into play soon.

Feels Like Now! … Savilian

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After six months and more of intense songwriting, recording and production. Feels like Now the new EP from Aussie MC Savilian has finally been released and can be downloaded on iTunes

By no means a generic style of Hip Hop production it took quite a while to find a sound/style that matched the energy levels and broad eclecticism that is the Savilian vibe. We covered a lot of ground incuding Electro, Nile Rogers Chic and the big bounce house sound. The first single from the EP, Blinded. Is more of an art piece that heavily features the tenor saxaphone of NY jazz player, JD Allen. It’s available as a FREE download from TripleJ Unearthed. You can watch the video clip on Youtube. We had a ball making this and I think it shows in the freshness and immediacy of the music.

The single has already risen swiftly up the Triple J Unearthed Hip-Hop charts. So let’s just hope this bodes well for the future of Savilian’.

Savilian drops Mixtape

savilian_cd-cover
Savilian aka Matthew Savelberg. Has landed his first mixtape Kid Or Koncept. A 9 track compilation of well known hit songs reworked to feature Savilian’s unique rap style and abilities.

We had previously recorded an EP under his old moniker Sureel but due to a name collision he had to drop it and re-launch. This all coincided with some serious life changes for Savilian. This adversity only served to galvanise his re-commitment and dedication to his craft.

Work has already begun on an all original follow-up EP.

Download your free copy

Explosive Heart EP – Light Doubles

In October 2011 I started a project with Luke Costelloe, main-man for the Dali’s Angels.  A band I had produced an album for the previous year. On that project we had co-written a few songs and  it had been such an enjoyable process that we decided to continue the collaboration we’ve  called it…
Explosive Heart.

Luke and I have maintained a dialogue over the past few years. Fuelled by a mix of amateur philosophy and science-fiction; sometimes autobiographical, sometimes journalistic, we take the temperature of personal experiences and the pulse of  world events to extrapolate the reflections.

The EP Light Doubles contains six songs expressed through the vectors of loss and longing,  humanity, community, youth, life and love. And about the self empowerment and catharsis of embracing the spiritual self.

EP out now on Bandcamp

Kim Cheshire – Dead Man’s Shoes

Kim-cheshire-2My good friend singer/songwriter, Kim Cheshire recently released his second solo album, “Dead Man’s Shoes”. This independently released CD was produced by country guitarist, Glen Hannah and contains 11 tracks recorded and performed in a laid-back rootsy style that drifts effortlessly between the country and city.

I filmed an interview with Kim where he talked about the album, and his life in music. I’ve put together a three part film documentary which you can view here or on YouTube. Kim is an engaging and very entertaining personality with a great storytelling ability that I just find riveting.

Dead Man's ShoesPart One: Kim talks about his latest album, Dead Man’s Shoes.

Part Two: The early influences that awakened his passion for music.

Part Three: The bands, tours and albums.

Baztone Custom – Blue Dog guitars

blue-dog The Baztone Custom Blue Dog

On a recent visit to Port Macquarie (NSW) I spent some time with my old friend Baz and his lovely lady who for the purposes of this article we will just call “Lead Break” Yep! This girl really likes a solo.

Now the last time I saw Baz he had just built himself his first electric guitar. Nowadays he is well down the road with classic designs and custom features sprinkled throughout the now range of guitars he creates

Most of the guitars he pulled out this trip were based around that iconic design classic, the Telecaster. They featured elegant woods, comfortable curves and delicious pick-up combinations. The necks were fast and I really noticed the tonal differences depending on the wood used. Maple and Rosewood fretboards enhanced either the ‘Sweet’ or the ‘Warm’.
Thinking back on it I would have been satisfied with any one of them. They all had great personality and were very lively under the hand, coaxing and guiding me to play the licks and styles their tones evoked from their custom

blue-dog-headstock
Headstock | Baztone Custom – Blue Dog

pickup configurations. There was nothing subtle here, these guitars spoke in bold colors and cut with sharp edges. In the workshop Baz had several bodies in various stages of completion and he emailed me recently to say that work was finally completed on the first of these custom creations.

The Blue Dog
These guitars feature a Brazilian mahogany body and maple neck. The pick up configuration is a Tele’ style lipstick Neovin Noiseless at the neck position. It’s a passive pickup incorporating a mini stack humbucker design that cancels noise, feedback or squealing. A Schaller S6 single coil in the center with the Schaller 220B humbucker (Golden 50) on the bridge. The volume and tone pots are both push/push with a tone push bringing in the S6 center PU on any combination selected via the 4-way switch. A push of the volume pot splits the coil of the 220B giving the Blue Dog a staggering 14 different tonal combinations.

If  past experience is anything to go by the Blue Dog knows how to hunt and I just can’t wait to get one in my hands. If you’re in the market for a working dog check them out.

 

Dali’s Angels Nightswim finally lands

nightswim-cover-bandcamp

Well where did that past year go?

It all started with a simple plan to record the Dali’s Angels in an almost live way, with very little extra production other than what the band would have played at a concert. We recorded the backing tracks at the Grove studio 2 with house engineer Josh Telford helping out. Most things went straight into the vintage Harrison desk there. Josh dug up some great mics and a couple of nice pieces of outboard to control the kick and snare. I decided to capture all facets of the drum sound with plenty of ambient and close mics setups just in-case we’d need them. The guitars also had both valve and dynamic mics on them so that we would have more choices further down the track. As it happened that’s exactly what transpired.

We’d did all the vocal overdubs here at the Point Studio. No solos were redone, it was all as it arrived at the mics in the live performances. The tracks were sounding pretty good although it was at this stage that I first realized certain things that I would liked to have changed or treated differently and the restrictions were becoming more distracting with every listen.

Turtlerocks Rick O’Neal was employed to master the final mixes. We mastered the first five then the final five in two sessions and we thought it was finished.

Now the record didn’t sound that bad, but …
I played the CD to a few people and the reactions were mixed. It’s hard in this day and age to produce demos. And that’s what these were, well recorded live versions of the songs laid bare so that the listener could hear the potential of the “Talent”

Well that would have been all well and good back in 1989 but in 2010 the differences between a demo and the finished product have blurred right out. Tracks are created in bedrooms, rehearsal rooms, anywhere you please! So your best not leaving anything to the imagination. Which by the way is in short supply in the A&R of today’s record business. They weren’t getting it because we hadn’t given it to them.

I did some remixes to give the lads an idea of what could be achieved with a little more attention to the production and arrangements. It was decided I was going to slowly work my way through the tracks. Meanwhile I’d suggested to Luke Costelloe (Singer/Songwriter). We might need more songs. He was feeling pretty much the same way and already had a few ideas on the go. So we bunkered down in the studio to work on demos for the band. Three songs came from those sessions and they all made it onto the record.

New recruit, Taylor Molnar (bass player) had finally played on a couple of tracks which was great for him and stressed the fact this record is about where the band is right now. So much had changed in the past twelve months. The record they were trying to make now was something they really wanted to hear more than something they wanted to feel good doing.
My quest had been to define their sound and thanks to the earlier recordings I had a document to reference throughout my search for their identity.

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Nightswim the record is finally out on the Point Studio independent label. The CD has ten tracks while the online Bandcamp album has an extra track included. The first Single is – Microscopes. Check out the video here or on YouTube.

For a free stream of the entire album for free Visit: www.dalisangels.com

 

On reflextion, a filtered view

I finally finished the video for “Fyreball” –  from Mr Cleansheets and It’s posted up on YouTube for your delectation and delight.

Just as I was rendering the videos final output from Premiere Pro. My computer caught the strongest virus I’ve ever seen, it has smashed the system so bad the rendering had to be output from a backup machine.

Later that week things didn’t get any better … On Wednesday morning I went down to work in the studio and when I switched on the recording system it just sat there silent. I suprised myself at how coolly I took it after finally figuring out that the power Supply was shot.

I’ve added a Reflextion Filter (SE Electronics) to the studio gear.
I only wanted the filter itself, but when they told me the price bundled with the SE X1 mic, I couldn’t resist. I’ve already pressed the filter into service on Luke Costello’s (Dali’s Angels) voice with great results, a much tighter focus with less ambient spill. I haven’t tested the sEX1 mic… Slack!

sE-Project-Studio-RF

At present I’m working towards finishing the Dali’s Angels record. After mixing this final track and a couple of days resting my ears, it’s onto the mastering. The digital release should be online soon but I’ll be back with more details.

Mr Cleansheets

Welcome to what will probably be sporadic, stuttering episodes from my studios day to day.

At present I’m just putting the finishing touches on two tracks for Adrian Deans book Mr Cleansheets. The story is about a 40 year old Aussie soccer goalkeeper who finds himself in England playing in the Worlds most prestigious national cup tournament, The FA Cup. With a lowly London suburban side.

MrCleansheetsOur protagonist, Eric Judd falls in love with Aussie singing sensation, Doreen Bender and the songs Touch My Naked Soul and Fyreball are performed by Doreen and European progressive rock band, Mystic Fyst.

I’ve already written and posted the opening track for the books multimedia launch Here We Go (We’re Making History). Check out the YouTube video on the audio/video page. Fyreball was written by Brett Cooper. I’ve arranged it featuring the high energy voice of Karise Eden in the lead role.

At just seventeen, Karise sights Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Etta James as influences. This diversity gives Doreen Benders voice  a very original characterization which was particularly useful on my song for her, “Touch My Naked Soul”.

Mr Cleansheets is a hilarious, rollicking good read available on Vulgar Press. Visit the books website for excerpts and extras. www.mrcleansheets.com