Listen to the episode called “Will Album Covers Ever Be This Good Again?” on the Soundcheck podcast by WYNC. It’s a fantastic interview with Hipgnosis, the surreal design team that created some of the best album covers of all time.
It’s a fascinating interview with stories and insights behind the design team that as a kid seemed to be in some far away world of mystery and surrealism. Great listening:
Mixing music is an art, and there are countless ideas and approaches on how to do it. One thing I’ve found helpful is to record snippets of the work on a phone, or any other device that over-compresses the sound. It helps gauge what an ultra compressed version of the music sounds like, and because a lot of music is listened to on a phone or other inferior devices, it’s good to check.
The other thing that is interesting is that the over-compressed nature of the sound can sometimes draw out harmonic elements of the music in an exaggerated way which can suggest new ideas, harmonies, and melodies.
Since I post snippets of work on Instagram often, I can get immediate feedback on what things are sounding like (in a mega-compressed world).
Here’s the original Instagram post with a work in progress that inspired this post. Check the IG comments for other ideas on checking mixes.
Anyone use a mobile phone’s over compressed audio recording feature to help gauge mixes, timbre blends, and balances? Like, the bass drum is dominating here lol.
I’m a regular listener to the Composer on Fire podcast, and was absolutely thrilled to be interviewed on the show. We had a great chat and discussed a variety of music business concerns that should be of interest to composers wanting to get into the world of music licensing. Some of the topics discussed are:
Solving music supervisors problems
Losing your Ego
Having a studio
Mixing & Engineering
Finding a licensing company
Registering a publishing company with a PRO
Listen to the podcast here, or search for the Composer On Fire podcast on your regular podcast apps.
Behind The Kit is great podcast talking with professional drummers about their journeys in music. I was thrilled to be a guest, and we discussed lots of topics related to drumming, composing, recording, technology, and the business of music.
Roswell Pro Audio has released a superb mini condenser microphone, the Mini K47, that sounds stellar and is surprisingly affordable. I was able to get a set of them in my recording studio and put together this percussion piece to test out the mics. I recorded only with the Mini K47s with no eq, compression, or processing.
The 5 parts (drum set, orchestral bass drum, frame drum, rebar sticks, and a frond) were all performed live and the the video was edited by the Roswell Pro Audio team.
I had the good fortune to play orchestral and tribal percussion on the score of Krampus which is out in theaters now. Wonderfully scary and intense music by composer Douglas Pipes. To my vinyl head friends, the soundtrack is available on vinyl.
Music alert! The new tv show Odd Mom Out has been featuring my music in its episodes. It’s a well written, funny, and irreverent show and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Here’s one of the songs that has been heard a few times from the album “Let’s Get Moving”.
Translated from the video with a few bits of editing:
We’re talking about using Snapper for auditioning sounds while working in Pro Tools, and why you may want to do that. Traditionally the way you would import a sample into your Pro Tools session is to go to this little dialog box. Click on samples, and you can hear them:
In this particular case, I’ve got some whoosh samples which many of them don’t actually make any sound for a couple of seconds. If you happen do be doing work like this and auditioning samples that don’t have any sound at the beginning of the sound file, it’s a painfully long process.
If you go to the actual finder window, we’re kind of stuck in the same boat. With long samples, which we can audition, it can take three seconds to get to the sound. Three seconds may not sound like a lot of time, but if you’ve got a whole bank of these sorts of things, and you’re trying to find exactly the right sample, this can take a long time.
So enter Snapper (applause). When you instantiate it, nothing really happens because it’s not a GUI based app. It basically works in conjunction with your Finder window. Now, when you click on an audio file in your Finder window, Snapper pops up. The great thing is, you can visually see what’s going on in the sample. And you can start playback from anywhere too:
So as you are going through these whoosh samples, you don’t have to wait through all the space in the beginning of the sample. Just get right to the good stuff, and find out which ones may work.
The other great thing about Snapper, for Pro Tools users, is if you have a spot in your session where you want your sample to go, you can spot directly to Pro Tools from the Snapper window which is a great feature. Very helpful!
From the forthcoming album of instrumentals, “Come See The View” is a pulsating piece of melodic ambient music. The music animation is inspired by the great Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, and is, in a word, abstract. Stream it in 4K for full resolution, and mind bending effects.
The song is simple in form, but the production is layered with complex musical textures and treatments. The visuals are pulsating along with the music, and are in fact are being modulated by the music itself. Everything is centered around a relentless quarter note pulse which is driving both the music and animation.
The animation was created with ArtMatic, an inspiring graphics synthesizer created by the fine people at U&I Software. Here are a couple screenshots from the video: