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What’s Going on?

I’m exporting loads of audio at the moment on the other computer, so this gives me a chance to let you have an idea of what exactly goes on here!
We had a last minute job come in last week, which was to write the horn arrangements (trumpets and saxes) for a new track by the “Sugababes“. I was lucky to get 2 of my favourite players to record for me-Scott Garland (Jamiroquai, Barry Manilow, Spice Girls) on saxes and Graham Russell (Shirley Bassey, Jamiroquai, Paul McCartney) on trumpet. They did a superb job-especially as the track was tuned up a quarter tone! The track’s not released for quite a while but I think it’s going to be a definite number 1 in the UK (………….that bit isn’t down to us :-))

We’re finishing off a Christmas Gospel album for Marnell Tanner at the moment so I’m preparing everything to go into the studio for the backing vocals session. I’m rather excited because we have 6 session singers who have all done, TV and film sessions so we should be in a for a good couple of days.
We’re recording at Derek Nash’s “Clown’s Pocket” studios and Marnell has come over from the US to record his vocals and supervise mixing. Derek is a great engineer who worked for the BBC for 20years but he’s also a top session saxophonist so he can hear exactly what’s going on musically and read the score! Coincidentally, I have a jazz gig with him this week – fun!

PS as I’ve got no time to write for the library right now-if you have any superb quality music that you’d like to submit, please do HERE

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Virtual Instrument Techniques for Pro’ Results

virtual instrument tips

If you search through many royalty free music libraries it won’t take long before you come across cheap midi sounds from the past 20 years of computer recording. With the sophisticated virtual instruments available today this need not be the case and with enough care, these instruments can sound impressive, musical and even move you.

Here’s my tips to getting the most from virtual instruments:

Always Think of How The Real Instrument would Play :
You should learn as much as you can about the real instruments that you are emulating. Think of how the musician might physically play a certain phrase as well as the range of the instrument and which register sounds weak or particularly strong? What type of articulations suit the instrument and perhaps where it may be positioned on stage. You should include the inaccuracies that might occur with real instruments. It’s easy to make computer music sound too precise and in real life, this isn’t always the case. The individual instruments of a string section won’t start or end a phrase at exactly the same time-it shouldn’t sound messy, but it should include a human element.

Realistic Strings: (more…)

Posted in: Audio, Music, Royalty free music, Tutorials

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Want to be a Better Musician?

Every musician would love to be better but when we’re learning, it’s difficult to know exactly how to go about improving, aside from simply practising for hours.

These tips come from years of experience as a professional musician and are intended to cut out wasted hours of practise and make the best of your natural ability.

To become a good musician takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication.
Here’s 10 ways you can make yourself a better musician and as well as cut the practise hours!

Here’s my tips to making the most of your natural ability:

1.Transcribe Music: Most musicians groan at the thought of transcribing music and it can be a tedious task but it’s probably the single most important skill you can develop, apart from practising your own instrument- in fact, it might even be more important! Since all your muscular movements are guided by your ears when playing (or should be) it’s vital that your ability to recognise pitch, rhythm and structure are as good as you can make them.

Over time, transcribing music will refine your ears and your ability to understand music. It will make you more confident when you perform, as you’ll know exactly what’s going on just by listening. My advice is to get a simple audio editing program so that you can easily loop a bar (measure) at a time and then listen with headphones and notate each note that you can hear. When you’ve finished you need to go back and fill in any gaps.

2. Know How to Practise: (more…)

Posted in: Music, Piano Technique, Tutorials

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