BT Charity Album

SoundsOfStrangers

Ready for release (and other ramblings)

Well the album is ready to be released. On the 5th May 2015, 34 tracks from 34 different Singers, Song Writers and Bands – collectively known as “The Sounds Of Strangers” – will be available from Band Camp for everyone to download.

Go to Band Camp here

What did I do?

I contributed track 13, Anna, from my own Album “Not All Grey”, which I hope to release on Band Camp later this year.

I also ‘Mastered’ the album which is process of turning finished musical work into a format ready for transcription, distribution and consumption by an audience.

One of the most important parts of this process, especially for a pice of work like this – an album compiled from many different Singers, Song Writers and Bands – is Audio consistency: making all the tracks sound as if they are meant to be together as a single body of work. This could be Tone (or equalisation) Level (in terms of average volume – the perceived ‘loudness’) and general sparkle or punch.

So with 34 tracks from different Singers, Song Writers and Bands and with each track recorded in different studios, live rooms or venues or even back bedrooms the work posed a challenge. In fact, mastering a single piece of music can be very time consuming  and this was considerably bigger than anything I had done before and it had a very challenging delivery date.

I guess I spent somewhere between 40-50 ear-mashing hours in around 5-6 weeks, only in the evenings and at weekends, fitting it around the normal day-job and everyday life.

Sometimes, when my ears felt like cuts of raw steak stuck to the sides of my head, I wondered if I should have contributed to the charity in some other way (see vat of baked beans below). However, supported by an able band of sound and sanity-checking volunteers I think, in the end, it sounds pretty good; I hope you think so too.

Why did I do it?

Simple. Cancer can be devastating, touching many people around the world. When Phil Brunkard suggested this project I thought I had to get involved.

Further, I didn’t have to run a marathon, I just had to do something I loved, and give that to this project.

Why was this harder than having to endure sitting in a vat of baked beans? Well many song writers think of the songs as their children and, rightly so, protect what is their intellectual property vigorously. Here, with 33 of my colleagues from work, we were giving up our children so that they could act as vehicles to bring in more funds for the World Cancer Research Fund.

I also wanted to make the project a success, so this is why I volunteered to take on the challenge of Mastering this work. I had the equipment – including a great set of tools from Fab-Filter – and quite a bit of experience working with bands and music production.

I would never have forgiven myself if I had not done any of this.

Dedication?

Yes, my world has been touched by Cancer too.

For Michael.

 

Omnisphere Automation

…when using Logic Pro X

This was the clearest instruction to automate Omnisphere, picked from Logic Forum, and it worked!

 

“whenever I’ve employed Automation on an Omnisphere track I’ve never used Latch Write or Touch in Logic to get the job done..

I Enable Host Automation on the Omni Parameter I want to automate as described previously.. then in Logic I go to the Omni track.. open up the Automation view (KS =A).. go to the drop down automation menu and scroll to Omnisphere.. and in that selection there will be 255 numbered options to display.. usually somewhere near the top of the list will be the parameter I just enabled for automation.. so I display that and use Read automation.. maybe all this time I’ve been doing it wrong but it seems to work just fine.”

omni_screenshot_019

Source: http://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=196119

Also: https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/omnisphere.php

 

 

Using The Mouth

I was confused about how to route Native Instrument ‘The Mouth’ but found this guide quite handy:

0022f4e1

1. Put some audio on an audio track (let’s assume “Audio 1”).

2. Put some MIDI on an instrument track (let’s assume “Inst 1”).

3. Select the audio track (Audio 1). In the I/O section, click on the output button, and select “No Output” in the menu that pops up. (This prevents the untuned audio from coming to your speakers. Auto-Tune will be your output device, so you don’t want it also coming from here.)

4. Select the instrument track (Inst 1). In the I/O section, click on the input button, and select the sub-menu “AU MIDI-controlled Effects”, then the sub-sub-menu “Antares”, then the sub-menu “Auto-Tune” (mono or stereo). This instantiates the plug-in, giving it the MIDI data that’s on this instrument track as its input.

5. In the plug-in window that pops up, at the top, near the middle, click on the button under the title “Side Chain:”, and select the track number where you’ve assigned the audio. In this example, it is labeled “Audio 1”. (This selects the audio that you put on that audio track as the “side-chain” input for the plug-in.)

Source: Logic Pro Help

http://www.logicprohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=66877

Mix 13

Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 21.38.10

Well, returning to the track that needed a little help I find that the vocals are just too harsh – part of the process is to revisit the track with fresh ears several times. So what went wrong?

I have learned that the original producer felt that the vocals needed to be re-recorded but the Singer didn’t want to do this. So I have been trying to correct something that isn’t great to start with, but after another 6 hours or so of work, I think it is as good as it can be. I had to get many more tools out of the box though – Exciters and even the Multi-band compressor.

So resting the ears before finishing-up.

Only 2 tracks left before the Charity Album is ready for preliminary reviews.

 

Great Fun

Re-mixing a pretty little song called Coming Home.

Logic-Mixing

One of the songs for the Charity Album needed a little help. The mix seemed a little problematic for the artist to get right in the short space of time we have left for entries. I offered to take the original Multi-Track Master and do a remix using my own studio. Spent just 3 hours on it but it sounds good to me. I hope the artist is pleased: fingers crossed.

Mastering

For the Charity Album.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 21.38.10

I was only too pleased to master this charity compilation for my colleagues at work. It’s an eclectic mix of genres, styles and sounds with around 30 tracks that has made this really challenging, and it’s not finished yet.

I’m into about week 4 and I have just 5  songs left to do. Then there will be 3 to 4 weeks of listening and tweaking I’m sure.

My song, Anna, will appear in the Album too.

More information soon.

Anna – coming soon

by Graydon Jones

Music and Art © 2015 Graydon Jones

Graydon_anna2 copy

About the track

Anna is a young orphan girl who has managed to survive on the streets and in the wilderness after the death of her guardian and last living relative. This would be the compilation sound track to Graydon’s novel, if he ever finishes it and if it was ever to be made into a movie. Graydon thinks of it as a theme of the album of the soundtrack of the movie, of the novel!

Anna was written, recorded and produced by Graydon Jones. No other musicians were harmed during the making of this song.

Thank you Nell Fallcard for the wonderful artwork.

Find it in the Instrumental Rock or Soundtrack genres

Available from Bandcamp Saturday 2nd May.