Win Some

Out of the November 63 sessions came the first track to be written in 2014, Win Some. It has the feel of something I wanted to do for sometime, building on the instrumental tracks New York and November 63.

A laid back, Jam feel was what I wanted. Okay the ‘Glee-esque’ vocal sounds (well that’s what my son calls them) were a little out of it, but the title sums up the mood of the song – not careless but carefree.

I hope you enjoy, share and comment.

©2014 Artwork and Music Graydon Jones


November 63

Wow – it’s been so long!

Well, it was in November 2013 and I turned a half century. What better way to celebrate, or may be commemorate, this event but to write something. I was waiting to be taken out by my lovely family when inspiration hit and I wrote the first few bars. Over the next few weeks and days this little track took shape.

Having completed the instrumental E.P., Slam, I couldn’t really slipped it into that project but I couldn’t not share it. So onto Soundcloud it went.

I hope you enjoy this – Let me know!

© 2013. Artwork and music Graydon Jones

 


Slam!

Slam!

Slam is a release candidate for my first ‘EP’ in 20 years – Walk. It’s an instrumental work, which is again a retro-pop-instrumental piece. It has a very varied array of instrument sounds; from Rickenbacker bass, howling guitar to staccato brass. It is one of the most enjoyable songs I have ever produced and no musicians were harmed during its making.  I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed producing it.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions

Here is some technical stuff for those interested.

  • Recorded over 23 tracks.
  • Originally recorded on Logic Pro 9.
  • Completed on Logic Pro X.
  • I use Omnisphere, Apple, Scarbee, Korg, Roland and Native Instruments and
  • Roland, KRK, Focusrite and Apple hardware.
  • New instruments on this track was Shreddage 2 and Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass

Walk and more …

Its been a couple of weeks since I wrote something….busy busy busy.

So what can I tell you about?

  • Walk … the new EP
  • Collaboration with ‘Anomalous contiguous’.
  • First ‘Client’ in 20 years.
  • Lounging about in Wild Heart Cafe

Walk – the EP

SoundSource54 Early Morning

One of the late night / early morning sessions…

I want to do ‘something’ with the music I am writing, a Band Camp EP seems a good idea, but I think you need at least 4 songs for this.

After writing ‘New York’, ‘Walk’ and ‘Smash’ the warm lazy weather got to me and the ideas, which are plentiful, didn’t seem to amount to anything. At anyone time I have plenty of snippets pinging around my mind and the Mac but getting a finished piece I was happy with just didn’t happen.

Then along came ‘Slam’.

Slam has a few new sounds on it – Shreddage 2, and DrumLab and Guitar Rig 5 from Native Instruments – and has a slight edge to it, though the overall style matches it’s sister tracks and won’t be out of place on an EP.

I haven’t decided whether or not to share Slam outside the bounds of the EP as yet but in the meantime, here’s a link to Smash!

Notice the artwork is my eldest being “crazy” so music and artwork ©2013 Graydon Jones  :)

Collaboration with ‘Anomalous contiguous’

I have admired the work Jim Newstead does and was really pleased he agreed to a collaboration. Here’s a link to the result. I hope you like it as much as me.

First ‘Client’ in 20 years

It was a sad occasion when I welcomed my first client into the Studio.

IMG_1886

SoundSource54 all nice an tidy :)

The work was to record a piece of music as a tribute to the client’s late mother. The work was challenging, and really tested my capabilities pulling together and editing work that was not my own; something I have not done for around 20-25 years

Lounging about in Wild Heart Cafe

A great place in my local town that combines great home cooked food and a music shop!

I haven’t got there as much as I would have liked and I’ll probably miss some of the weekday live ad hoc mini-music events due to work, but if you’re in Bourne and need a plectrum, drum kit or, like me, a good coffee: go see Simon. Here’s his web  Wild Heart Music Cafe and Music Shop  and Blog

Hope this helps or entertains. Remember to get in touch if you have any questions or want a chat :)

Graydon


New York

So what’s been happening this week?

New York – Collaboration and background

The collaboration with my very good friend and old song-writing buddy, Simon, begins to bear fruit with his take on ‘New York’. Simon has written nice catchy lyrics and I can’t wait to hear what else he has in mind.

But here we have my original version:

New York is an original instrumental piece written March 2013. The first piece I would consider a finished article from my new Project Studio.

I wanted something warm and Funky and New York has, for me, some transatlantic overtones; something that reminds me of my cool American friends I have worked with in the past. I have used the sounds that remind me of my favourite music of the 70s and 80s. The closest thing I could get to a Bernard Edwards (Chic) bass and a Rhodes Mk1. What funky toon would be without a brass section or funky guitar?

A little bit about the sounds

The drums I programmed using Abbey Road 80s Drums – Chrome Kit. Essentially a high quality drum kit recorded using the authentic equipment of the day.

Bass comes from Thomas Scarbee’s mm-Bass. A classic sound based on the bass of Chic’s  Bernard Edwards. One of my all time favourite bass players. There are two versions of this instrument and I bought the un-amped version. The sound on the recording is achieved uses Apple’s Bass Amp plugin tweaked to give a warm yet twangy sound.

The Sound Cloud mix uses compression from from Apple’s on board effects for for both drums and bass though the in later versions – planned for Bandcamp – I have swapped to Focusrite’s Scarlett Compressor for bass. With regard to drums I have learnt how to use the Abbey Road built-in compressor.

The “Ooh Baby” vocal samples are courtesy of Apple. New York started life as an exercise in audio Flexing: the process of adjusting the tempo of a piece of audio to match the that of the rest of the song without changing the pitch. It uncontrollably morphed into this Electro-Soul instrumental.

The electric piano is a Scarbee Rhodes Mk1 sample for both pad and solo with Native Instruments Session Horns and and a Sax sound from a Korg Wave station.

Finally a bit of funky strumming again from Mr Scarbee :)

Thank you for reading.

I hope this piece entertains and/or helps someone, or at least makes some sort of sense.

:)

Graydon


Matthew Records Folk

Not random folk, but Omnishambles who are a local duo who play Harmonic and Guitar (and a little banjo too)

“The Beige Album” consists of a lively group of songs. Matthew got this credit from the groups Facebook page:

Recorded our album yesterday! 10 whole tracks, recorded from a dark, muggy room in the middle of July! We’ll be getting copies this Wednesday and a massive thanks to Matthew Jones for recording us!

Matthew took on a difficult challenge to get the songs recorded, mixed and mastered in a very short time frame.

This work can be heard on Matthew’s Sound Cloud for a short while.


So what’s in the box?

Well, I wanted to satisfy my passion for creating and arranging my own songs and match what I had at ‘The Box’ – my old Project Studio.

This was back in the 80s when synth-bands, MIDI and Sampling technology were really taking-off. If you played keyboards, this was ‘your time’. Producers, too, were spoilt with the audio arsenal that technology provided them. Computer bands had been around for a while – Kraftwerk (I love ‘We are the robots’) – but something different was happening.

Companies like Roland (D-50) and EMU (Proteus) systems produced really good modules that reflected the sounds of the day, sampling real instruments and mixing them with FM, Vector and similar synthesis. Korg (M1) and Yamaha (DX7) were also big players but my attraction was with the emulation of real instruments: Sampling.

I recall that sampling, however, was getting a bad press – people were “stealing other’s work” in the eyes of some – so I was very careful how I explained that the sounds I created were not samples of other artists but samples of real instruments that I ‘played’ and arranged. Was it James brown’s funky drummer that was everywhere?

All that aside, there were still lots of positives. The Box was well used by local musicians who were always very positive about what they came away with.

So the patter of little feet back in 1992 had stopped me recording in The Box, well it had stopped recording music -period. At this point I should point out that I would not have changed anything: I am a proud Dad!

So why has it taken so long to get back?

Well it all has to do with space and the way I work; oh, and money :)

In 1992 The Box consisted of analogue 8 tracks on a Fostex machine which was SMPTE time locked to an Atari computer running C-labs Creator – 96 MIDI channels. Not only could I record acoustic instruments but I could recreate any sound I wanted using the many digital sound modules and keyboards I had at my disposal.

atari-stf

I tried to kick-start this in the late 90s and again six or seven years later but the software and hardware were not up to running what I wanted; certainly the kit that I could afford.

So what’s different now?

Well I was able to save up a little, and now technology – hardware and software – gives me what I have been craving in terms of muscle and content.

So this is, for me, a good starter:

The Project Studio

The Hardware

At the heart of the new Project is a Mac Mini with 2.6G i7 processors, 16G RAM, a Solid State Drive / Hard Disk Drive combination.

Mac Mini

Why this specification?

This has plenty of power to run processor-hungry software and fast disks and memory to provide the quench its thirst.

It took three weeks for the little mule, carefully edging its way through mountain passes, to bring it to me but it was worth it.

A Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 Audio interface gets sound in and a pair of KRK Rokit 8s spits it out again.

foc2i2_3

The Software

After Trying Cubase and Live from Ableton, I finally found in Apple’s Logic Pro 9 which is something as easy and fun to use as my old C-Labs Creator: in my opinion.

LogicProLogo

This also allowed me to run in 64-bit mode so I could actually use over 4G of RAM. Not so important for recording live sound but vital to load, hold and play thousands of samples.

The control

Last and by no means least, the last keyboard from the 90s I still posses: my old faithful, Roland JV-30.

Though not a synthesiser in the true sense, it possessed a modest set of very useable sounds. I used The JV-30 and the E-mu Systems Proteus/1 and the Roland U220 almost exclusively on the Big Man Album.

IMG_1387-Big-Man-Album-Cover

Thank you for reading.

Over the weeks I will try and expand on the my reasons behind the choosing my kit.

I hope this piece entertains and/or helps someone, or at least makes some sort of sense.

:)

Graydon


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.