Sunday, 10 January 2016

Performance Hut Risk Assessment

The performance hut in our college is very safe, but you can make mistakes that can potentially destroy equipment and harm other people.
Things to look out for are:

  • Don't run around (you could run into someone or something)
  • Only bottled water, this is so that no other drink or food gets into the equipment
  • Be wary of trailing cables on the floor, you could very easily trip up on them (I have in my studio)
  • Noise level, you don't want to damage your hearing just because you want to play REALLY LOUD!!!
It is important to stay hydrated during your time in the performance hut, but bottled water really is the way forward. If you spill a bit of water on a piece of equipment that is off, it might be alright because the water will evaporate. However if you were drinking a can of Coca Cola and then spilled it on the mixing desk then that could be a disaster because there will be a sticky residue on all the components.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


In our MIDI lessons over the past few weeks we have been working on soundtracks and development of our musical ideas by creating short phrases for different adverts.

Here is one of the longer projects for the soundtrack part of the course

This piece was called 'Movement in a Scene' it was about two people in bed together that has a macabre feeling to the piece

Monday, 14 December 2015

Recording over the past few weeks

In the recording aspect of the course we have been working on the track 'Supermassive Blackhole' with Matt, Amy, Sophie and Reuben; we started the track from scratch. We started off by recording drums, we used the AKG microphone set for recording drums, this includes:

  • AKG D112
  • AKG C 430
  • AKG D 40
  • Shure Sm57
(Yes we used the Shure mic for a snare, as there wasn't one for the snare in the AKG box). We found this a very good way of recording the drums, we patched these microphones into the stagebox. From the stagebox, the signal went into the Focusrite and TLA pre-amps, where we then recorded the signal into Logic. 

For the vocals we used a Rode NT2a in the booth, again going into the TLA pre-amp. The Rode NT2a is a great sounding condensor microphone, we used it because it is very versatile and worked perfectly for Sophie, Matt and my vocals. 

When we recorded the guitar, Matt and I recorded it in the live room without the studio, so we had to run it all off my laptop. We had Matt's guitar running through a Blackstar amp, then had 2 microphones (a Shure Sm57 and a Sennheiser E606). 

The bass was the easiest part to record because all we had to do was plug the bass into the TLA pre-amp and then patch the pre-amp into the desired channel. 

The MIDI was just recorded on a MIDI keyboard through the MIDI interface. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Music Performances

So far in the past few weeks I have played live in three different situations.

The first was playing on Eastbourne Youth Radio with my friend Reuben playing on the drums, We played two for my composed tracks.

The second was playing at Printers Bar in Eastbourne, this was the first of my live gigs playing my music, you can listen to a very bad recording of some of the gig here:

Finally the third was a performance with some of my friends in my Music Performance class at The Archery Centre in Eastbourne, we only played one song (Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix).

All of these performances have boosted my confidence for performing live dramatically, I can not get up on stage without any worry or butterflies.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Is Live Music Needed in the Technological Age that we Live In?

Music isn’t just an art form, it’s an experience, and it brings people together, evokes emotion and is beautifully time consuming. To live in a world without music would be like living in a world without colour.

Every different culture has it’s own style of music, so to completely take away music from the world then there would be no culture in the world. Music fuels the mind and thus fuels our creativity. A Creative mind has the ability to make discoveries and create innovations. The greatest minds and thinkers like Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Frank Lloyd Wright all had something in common in that they were constantly exploring their imagination and creativity.
Music is universal in that there are no boundaries to understanding music. Even animals like Birds, Dogs, and Whales can understand music to a certain degree. It transcends all boundaries of communication because you can speak and tell stories to someone on the other side of the planet, even though you both don’t speak the same language. But I believe it’s important for one to have an open mind in order to be in touch with that sense of understanding. Many people immediately push away certain styles of music without having explored what it has to offer. Not all styles will appeal or resonate with a person, but one may discover a new part of ones self when you are open to all the possibilities.
Music can whisk you away on an extended journey. Music can make time feel frozen. Music also has the power to suggest movement. All these things deal with the human senses. I’m sure anyone can remember a moment where a song has made them particularly sad or very excited and happy. But how does organised tones create such an effect on our senses? No one really knows why or where it comes from but there are many studies that have been done to show that there is an agreement of which emotions pertain to certain scales, chords, and harmonies.
What is amazing about music is that it is imbedded within all of us. Everyone can understand it and feel something if they open themselves up. Playing music with other musicians is an incredible feeling. Some people describe it as rowing down a river together. There is a certain type of connection that comes when you make music in a group. The same is true for those who are listening to music in a group and interacting with music through Dance. This type of behaviour is rooted in our history and our discoveries as human beings. I’ve had many experiences where a random person would ask to play with me and within an instant we were having a conversation through the piano or guitar or voice. It’s a level of playing around, communicating, and copying each other that creates the connection.

Home Recording / My Music

I have a small home recording studio in my room in which I use to record and create ideas with MIDI. My setup at home includes a pair of KRK Rokit 6 G3s and an Alto 1604 analog mixer. I also have a Danelectro 59', a Rockburn strat model style, and a Ridgewood bass which I have modified with different humbucker pickups and a larger cutaway for the higher notes on the bass. I also have MIDI keyboards and a MicroKorg. I am saving up for a Focusrite i1820 audio interface so that I can record multiple things at a time.

I am in the midst of making an album which is getting a CD release at Pebble Records store in Eastbourne. I am so happy about this and I can't wait to get my music out there. I've also put my music onto the BBC Introducing page online, so I'm hoping that one of my tracks will get played on the radio. This is a link to my Soundcloud where you can listen to my music :) JUST..... DO IT!!!

Studio Power-Up

In the studios at college we have a power-up routine that we go through when we enter the studios so that we either don't break anything, or so that the studio actually works and everything is talking to each other in the right way, the studio power-up process is listed below:

  1. Computer 
  2. Souncard/Audio Interface
  3. MIDI interface
  4. Mixer
  5. Outboard (reverb, gate, pre-amp)
  6. Monitors