Wednesday, 1 October 2008

"Play It On Your Speakerphone"

October is here... which means it's my birthday VERY soon!! Not that I'm trying to throw you all a hint or anything!!!???!!!

Today was another busy one... and *drum roll* - Song 1 is now complete and sounding HOT! I'm very happy - it was just a case of adding some special touches today, a little fine tuning...

I had to leave studio at 4.30pm to go to a band rehearsal on the other side of London for our gig on Sunday for the marathon event. I played Song 1 in my iPhone on the tube journey and then again in my car a few times on way back from rehearsal and it sounded great so we're definitely there!

I'm very happy it's passed BOTH the iPhone and the car test, as Sean will explain in a minute... this is the KEY to greatness!! :)

Plus, Sean has just emailed me the final edit as an MP3, which kick started the following reaction - me dancing like a mad freak around my flat, as my iPhone blasts out Song 1 on its mini speaker system! It works, it really works!!! :)

I Wanna Dance With Somebody!!!

Band rehearsal tonight was great - hadn't seen the lads for a little while so was cool to catch up... at first it felt a tiny bit mad to suddenly be singing all the songs off our first album, as my head is now so into the future and the new album, but it was good as it reminded me where I was and where I am now... the new music is definitely a step forward, and I'm feeling energized by the new developments musically... and I can't wait to get going with Song 2 tomorrow morning!

Mathis on drums.

Mark Ferguson, at tonight's rehearsal.

Luke Juby and his keys.

And my rehearsal mic, tonight.


Sean McGhee writes the blog: "I like tall speakers, I like small speakers". Thus spake Cliff Richard in the inestimably wonderful "Wired For Sound", and how right he was. People listen to music everywhere and on anything nowadays - hi-fi, lo-fi, no-fi - so it's important that to ensure our songs will work well on pretty
much any speaker. Genelec speakers are my monitors of choice and they deliver a good sonic picture overall.

Wow, it's a speaker! An actual speaker!

But mixing on one set of speakers isn't enough. Piling into a car to check out a mix is a well-worn trick, and we did that plenty o
f times on "The Invisible Line" - the trick is to try and get the bass so deep that the car starts spontaneously bouncing up and down like in a hip-hop video. But now we've got to deal with laptops, iPods... even phones. How can we ensure maximum listening pleasure for all?

With all this in mind, visitors to Canonical this morning would have been treated to the sight of me bouncing around the studio whilst listening to a rough mix of Song 1 on my mobile phone. It seems ludicrous that I want my fantastically funky, layered mixes to work just as well on a crappy little phone, but I have to be realistic about how people will listen to the record when it's done.

McGhee's magic mobile!

In the old days (i.e. the 1990s), the speaker of choice for this job was an unassuming square brown box called an Auratone. More commonly referred to as Horrortone, they were designed to emulate a crappy AM radio speaker, so you'd have one to listen to the mix in mono. They were nasty, but if your mix sounded great on one of those, you knew you'd nailed it.

So, the phone is just the modern equivalent. Happily, Song 1 is now sounding rocking on phones, computers, cars and headphones. Now, I wonder what it would sound like on heavy rotation...? :)

Song 2 tomorrow. Very excited!


Gashapon said...

Yea! Congratulations on completing the 1st song!

Shan! said...

I agree with the car test! My music always sounds best in the car played from a cd. It's probably the pimp system - but it's always my gauge of how great a song sounds!