Have you noticed how some musicians get ahead, whilst other hard working musicians just don't get a 'break'? A lot of musicians, songwriters and bands tend to "chase their tails" and just get frustrated.
As a long time admirer of Quincy Jones, I thought it might be nice to share some of his wisdom. I want to look at his thoughts related to success in the music business in particular. Having said that, not many people know that his musical success represent only a fraction of what he's achieved over the last six decades.
Hey all, Darren here from Apple Beam and I wanted to give you all a heads up about a radio interview I just did for Best of British! Listen to the Apple Beam studios radio interview and find out about recording studios and how you can improve (interview starts at 40 minutes and 40 seconds).
Several of our clients secured recording contracts in 2010 and we try and keep up to date withthem and follow their careers. Recently we started work on De-Ghosty's second album and wanted to remind ourselves of the first single we did with him (video above).
The debut single called "Ni Yayin" was co-written and produced at Apple Beam Studios and we were delighted when he secured a record deal with Shabba Records soon after.
When working on the chorus vocal melody, it can be very tempting to start with the root note of the chord and simply sing an octave higher. But beware, you may be losing out on a far richer harmony!
Why not try making the first note of the chorus something other than the root note of the chord. Try starting the chorus vocal melody on the 7th, that always sounds sweet.
When the listener anticipates the chorus he is expecting something great .. don't disappoint, you have a duty to deliver awesomeness!
At what point (if any) will we be unable to write a new songs without infringing the copyright of another? In short, when does it become impossible to write something original?
Wow, what a scary notion. Imagine that, no more room for originality in music.
But hold on, before we go down this rabbit hole, I want you to watch this awesome video blog by the guys a V Sauce called "Will We Ever Run Out of New Music?"
I have always prided myself on being able to recognise great music. I worked as A&R for a time, have composed a top 10 and am a DJ at heart. But, my tastes are mine, and not yours, so what do I know right!
As a songwriter I am always trying to “map” what makes a great song. A great song must be one that people want to listen to, it's that simple.
I do love intelligent chord progressions and well thought out vocal melodies, but I am not overly precious, to me a Hip Hop song based on a loop can be a great song. Like I said, my definition of a great song is one that I (and others) want to listen to over and over and enjoy.
In 2012 we saw the infamous Tupac hologram performance at Coachella. If you haven't heard about this incredible live performance you should check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbrFmPBV0Y
The technology was driven creatively by Dr. Dre and created by Digital Domain Media Group (who made CG images of Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button").
Many musicians write and record their music in a single process (done in tandem) and there is nothing wrong with this, in fact the process of producing a song can inspire melody ideas.
But having access to audio production tools at the start of the creative song writing process can in many ways “mask” potential issues. The result of which means that either poor song writing or audio production may escape your attention. You don't want this to happen!
I've noticed that successful people (in any field) tend to focus their energy on the task at hand and not the outcome. In other words, it’s better for musicians to say to themselves; “man, I'm lovin’ this track, I can’t wait until my friends hear it”, than “I want to create a top 10 hit”.
For years I focused on the “outcome” instead of the task at hand, but this creates a kind of illusion forcing me to look at my music from a third person point of view, trying to second guess if they would like it instead of being honest about whether I like it.
A session musician typically plays for multiple bands and artists. Many musicians dream of becoming a session musician, sitting in on cool gigs, travelling with different outfits and generally being respected by their peers.
As you can imagine, session musicians need to be able to play many styles of music and need to be proficient in all of them. But what does it take to be a session musician?
We have created an eBook called "The Music Industry Simplified"
which answers the most common questions that musicians have, including;
* Can I sample music?
* What does a music publisher do?
* What is music copyright?
* MCPS, PRS and PPL explained
and more ..
We give away this eBook to ALL of our customers! Simply make a booking and request the book when you've finished.
We started our small studio in 2004 and 8 years on we have worked with more than 2000 clients. You can read more about us here.
I'd like to thank everyone who has recorded with us, you are appreciated very much for entrusting us with the very important role of bringing life to your art.
Apple Beam has been a big part of my life and I continue to enjoy meeting and working with our regular and new clients. I am very proud of what we've achieved, and even more proud of what many of our clients have achieved in the industry.
Here is why I think Apple Beam is one of the best recording studios in the country.
2000 clients is a lot and I see patterns in how those that are successful do things.
We used to have a "platinum package" deal whereby we would develop a client and seek a record deal for them. This was extremely successful and I am now sharing insights in a new one to one music consultation
Paying for a day in the recording studio can sometimes feel like a bit of a gamble. Many musicians are unsure what to expect from an hour, 4 hours or 8 hours in the studio..
One song should take about 5 hours if everything is well rehearsed and there are no hiccups.
But, remember that the more time you have on a song, the better the results will be. Mixing is particularly time consuming (when done right) so 8 hours for one song might be a better option.
If money is tight you certainly could "bash out" 2 songs within an 8 hour session but they may be lacking is "polish".
We're giving away a FREE gift that will enhance and promote your music to the MAX!
It Takes a Few Minutes!
If you have used our recording studio services before, you can evaluate our service (by writing a short article/comment) on the internet and we'll give you a free gift.
1. It Can Be Fixed In The Mix
Some things can be corrected using technology, we call this process “fixing it in the mix”. It can be tempting to ask the producer to use his technological wizardry to fix small issues as it can save time recording more and more takes.
But, there are things that should not be fixed in the mix. Chopping up small audio parts within a guitar solo for example will take a long time and rarely sounds natural. Fiddling with vocal timing issues is another example of a 'fix' that can easy turn into a very time consuming task which rarely sounds natural. Moving syllables and time stretching a human voice rarely sounds authentic.
The simple truth is that you can't fix everything in the mix. Practice until you can nail it in the studio and avoid post recording fixes!!
In 2004 I set up a recording studio business called Apple Beam and it was very well received from day one. I knew other studios were over charging and under-delivering because I had so many people asking me to produce music for them.
I recognised that amateur home studios were becoming more powerful and increasingly popular. A few huge record releases of the time were recorded on laptops and in fact I had recorded the platinum selling artist, Kevin Lyttle in his hotel room using a laptop!
I felt that the large commercial studios would struggle to charge the prices they had been and musicians no longer needed to pay extortionate prices for high quality music production.
We've heard lots of horror stories over the years from singers and bands who have been over charged, ignored or even scammed.
We have decided to expose some of the stories our clients share with us. Hopefully this page will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls many musicians face when recording their material.
Compilation Album ScamIt pains me to say that I myself was a victim of this scam. I remember getting a phone call from a record label saying that they would like to feature one of my bands songs on their next compilation. However, after the contracts came through I realised that they were asking me for payment to cover certain processing costs.
The low quality mp3s found on youtube quite often have a “boxed” sound which oddly make the tracks sound punchy, especially the hip hop beats.
We experimented with this after a few people had asked us how to recreate the effect and we found that putting a stereo expander over the whole mix and making it 100% narrow does the job.
There are several free stereo expanders online if you do a search for “free stereo expander”.
What is a stereo expander?
This Blog post is from Feb 17th, 2009. Moved over from our old Blog.
Look out for the new girl band "The Elody" on ITV's Dancing on Ice this Sunday the 22nd of February.
As we know, Apple Beam producer known only as "GHOST", has been working on a lot of stuff recently! Teaming up with his partners in pop, Edge Avenue, he has been busy developing a girl band called The Elody.
The Elody are appearing on Dancing on Ice and will attempt to sing live while skating - never been done before!!!
Torvill and Dean's search for Britain's next Ice Star begins Feb 22nd so watch out for The Elody.
World famous dancer Deanne Berry (who appeared in ERIC PRYDZ’s Call On Me video) is currently working on her forthcoming single release with Apple Beam's Darren 'GHOST' Monson and Edge Avenue.
It's been great working with Deanne, she's fun and easy to get on with. We've been working on upbeat dance orientated tracks which will suit her image of high energy, high sex appeal with a youthful feel.
Deanne has a very busy and varied life, music is just one element to this career minded lady! As well as recording her own music, she dances for many established acts, hopefully soon she'll have her own backup dancers!
It can be very hard for bands and artists to get their material in the right hands. A&R people (Artist and Repertoire) receive so many demo's a day, and so you must ask yourself, how can you make them remember yours? Of course, services like Audio Rokit can help connect you with industry professionals, but is there more to it?
It's so important to have a demo that shows who you are. People want to hear something they haven't heard before. If you are going to do a demo as a band, get a producer who understands who you are. Don't try and sound like any other band that is in the chart, because by the time your record is released, that sound is not modern any more. You have to "be beyond" what's already out there…
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