Friday 10 March 2017

30+ songs mixed in two days at Chem19 studios with Paul Savage 🙂

ANOTHER early start to get to Chem19 studios for the second day of mixing the live tracks recorded last Saturday.

We go more than halfway yesterday, so the pressure’s off a bit – but there are some alternative takes and technical issues on a few tracks we need to resolve.

Both Margaret and I really like working with Paul – not only is his knowledge, technical ability and empathy with what we’re doing second to none, he’s such good company too 🙂

With a break for lunch – steak in pepper sauce from the catering can along the road – we’re done by 8pm. It’s been a long, but not laborious day, and everything is sounding promising. We take home 30-odd mixes which we need to sort out over the weekend…we’re going back on Monday to have the mastering done.

Normally we wouldn’t have the same person (or even studio) doing the mastering, but Paul now has a solid understanding of the project and the needs of the various formats we’re planning. He and the studio are also available, so we can keep the project moving and it makes sense at every level.

It means we need not only to listen through and check all the mixes, we need to decide formats (CD, vinyl etc) and what tracks will be on each – that’s gonna be a lot of discussion and juggling…and there may be technical considerations to take onto account too.

We stop for some shopping and get home sometime after 10pm, by which time we;re ready for a drink!

After we eat we decide to watch Lost in France, a movie about the Chemikal Underground label and some of it’s bands – which co-incidentally includes Paul and his wife Emma (Delgados) – re-visiting a trip from the mid-1990s to play a show in Brittany. We love it – available on Curzon Home Cinema – the app is available on smart TVs, Amazon Firestick etc…

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Thursday 2 March 2017

Ivan Hall Barrientos’ session is one of many highlights at Glasgow University’s introduction to the music industry event

INTO Glasgow early. Again. I drop Margaret off then take the car to the garage to have the underbody cladding fixed and two new tyres.

Margaret will pick the car up later, meantime, I’m off to a music industry day at Glasgow University which kicks off at 9.15am. As I walk from Maryhill, hunger makes me forget the carb-free stuff today and I pick up a roll and sausage with black pudding at the Kelvinbridge Cafe.

There’s a good turnout for the event which kicks off with welcomes from UK Music’s Jo Dipple, Fiona Hyslop (Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs)  and event organiser Martin Cloonan.

A panel session gets things underway, then Martin is ‘in conversation’ with our pal Paul Savage of Chem19 studios and the Chemikal Underground record label – he’s worked on my last four albums and is about, I hope, to tame the recordings that come from Saturday’s live album recording show.

A keynote from DF Concerts’ Geoff Ellis is followed by lunch where I talk over my recording set up for Saturday with Paul. I’m keen he gets the best possible raw audio files. A few other music biz pals join us at lunch then we go back to the main event for three more sessions – Leo O’Brien discussing the role of PPL, a  music production masterclass from Ivan Hall Barrientos then a songwriting workshop with Carla Easton (Teen Canteen/Ette). All really good stuff.

The whole thing is followed by networking/drinks where Margaret joins us and we catch up with lots of pals for a few drinks before saying cheerio to everyone and heading for the Hanoi Bike Shop for dinner. I’ve still got a voucher Catriona and Will gave me at Christmas 🙂

After a fantastic meal we make our way home and crash. Gonna be  busy few days coming up…

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Thursday 24 March 2016

The spinach pasta turns out good...pretty green!

The spinach pasta turns out good…pretty green!

NEED to bite the bullet today and get everything prepared for the Hellbound Train EP release (10 June).

First job is to get everything registered with PRS/MCPS and PPL. I already registered Good Moonshine (aka I Went to America) and Travellin’ Man as these have been part of my live show recently.

Checking them out before I add Hellbound Train and Pearline, though, I see that I Went to America – the ‘otherwise known as’/other title – has a publisher’s name beside it. I assigned a bunch of instrumentals and a few songs to them, but this ain’t one of them! I call my pal Duncan at MCPS for advice and he recommends I amend the share splits and it should sort itself out.

Once done with the PRS/MCPS registrations I move onto PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) which collects and distributes the record company/recording owner’s royalties as well as the performers’ royalties. All yours truly in this case as I am the label,publisher, writer and performer of all parts…other than drums on Hellbound Train which come courtesy of Paul Savage (Delgados).

Once all that’s done I upload the master audio files to my aggregator (the modern equivalent of a distributor) along with all the metadata – basically info on the song, writer, IRSC (International Standard Recording Code) codes and other stuff to make sure the tracks are identifiable in the wider world and royalties etc (hopefully) all go in the right direction.

Time for a break, so I make some pork gyoza for lunch and put together some spinach pasta dough for tonight’s dinner.

While cover art was finished yesterday, I need to pull together a digital booklet to include with iTunes downloads…adds a little value and is an incentive for folks to download the full EP rather than just a few tracks. iTunes has very strict guidelines/criteria for digital booklets.

Sometime after 8pm I’m ready for a beer and finish up for the day. Almost there with the EP prep – just a coupe of pages to finalise in the iTunes booklet which I’ll upload tomorrow. That’ll give me 11 weeks to get a good lead in to iTunes and the other download/streaming services and the PR can start next week. Still need to decide if any physical promo is needed or we can do it all online…

I rustle up a tomato sugo with chicken and the spinach pasta turns out good….

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