Anyone live in the San Diego area?

With a studio / experience?

Hey Guys,

I have been recording for a long time, since I was about 14 or 15, and have been learning more and more as time goes on (I’m 24 right now.) There are however a lot of things about recording, and sound, that I do not understand still, and I’m wondering if anyone lives in the greater San Diego area with a studio or some type of… recording knowledge that they’d want to sit down and share with me. If this is something that is normally charged for I can pay, but if it’s something that you’d like to offer me just… out of the goodness of your heart, I’d love to learn more about the parts of recording I don’t understand.

I’m getting into this at a way bigger level than I have in the past, and I’m trying to get something together in 2007 that I can become famous off of. [PRIDE RANT] I think I’m talented, I have a good voice, I love the music I write, and everyone I show it to is like “Wow. This is amazing!” But… if I REALLY want to get it out to record companies and make them want me, I need to have it produced BETTER than I can do on my own. The last two songs I recorded are my best so far, (quality-wise), and I’m getting closer and closer to “professional” as time goes on, but I am missing some key parts, some key knowledge and understandings that I would love to learn.

So… does anyone wanna help?

Here are my latest two tracks, if you don’t read the music part of the forum, to familiarize yourself with my work and see if I’m… worth investing into.

Neither of these two tracks are DONE yet… they need a little more work on my part, but it will get an idea of what I do.

Just Like Yesterday (demo5)

and

Why Does This Mean Nothing (demo4)

You can also look at my myspace, www.myspace.com/bpisradical, or my webpage, www.brianpowellmusic.com

I want to learn, I just need to find someone who wants to teach.

Brian

Hi LordTerrin:
I downloaded your work and had a listen… You have the ability to put your ideas to music and get whoever listens keep them there to the end of the song.

It takes me a while to download these files as I only have a modem… For me, the download time for your work was worth the wait…

Coming back to what I think IT takes to get a song or a project to the finished product… It takes a team of dedicated industry specialists that knows his (her) part of the business to collectivity collaborate the song/project to the part where money is made-or-lost…

I include the part called “Lost”, cause that could very well happen if some parts of the product runs up a debut everyone could stand to loose… AND… it’s hard to expect people to work for nothing.

Brian… I’m sure that there is enough collective knowledge and time-experience around this Board that a group could be assembled (from them here or has “Connections”) and together could finish your songs/project to the “End Product”… that could make some money…

Anyone of us who gathers around this Board could bring something to the “Table” that could offer-or-add something that could help in the finished product.

In some music circles that would be called the… “Basket to the Casket”…

Bill…

You might want to post the same request over at tapeop - you’ll almost certianly find some folks there who can help. Have you tried visiting some of the local studios? Your stuff is good, and people like to talk to people who make good music. At least they often seem to. :)

Thanks guys - The main reason why I am posting HERE, and not somewhere else, is because I’ve been coming on the N-track forums for… geez… years and years now, through all the dumb forum resets and what not. I read a lot, don’t post as much, but I know the people here are good honest people, many of whom really like recording and making music and have a lot of knowledge. I don’t know that about other communities, but I will definitely give some a shot. Thanks Tom / Wox

Brian Tom and Guys:
I continue to ponder and think about this topic.

It depends on what country you call home as to what government regulations need to be satisfied and what “Hoops” you need to get your organization to jump through in order to get your product to be presented to the Public… Air Play - and - Distribution and All…

Here, the Government Department that sets and controls who makes a living at IT is called the CRTC and other Parts of it’s Organization… In other countries it may be called … Whatever?? but it’s still controlled by the governments… I think… and more…

There’s more to IT than putting your creativity in front of a mic pushing the record button and making music…

Everybody, seems to want a piece of your intellectual property… or… It seems so… :O ??? :(

I’ve Been There … Done That… :O ??? I’ve heard stories that would frighten you…

Bill…

I think you are a great singer but you do sound a lot like the guy in Counting Crows. I think that you should find a producer & have them produce one of your songs. I did that on one of my songs & it helped immensely. It will cost you but it may be worth it.

As for these demo’s, the percussion tracks need to be re-done. Once that is done, I think you have some nice demo’s.

The other thing is that you should perform as much as you can. Put together a trio or quartet and perform your songs along with covers.

Please share with us what gear you used. Your vocals are very nicely recorded.

Really? Bummer… I thought the drum tracks were some of the best produced stuff.

I tracked both songs entirely using FL Studio 6. The piano, drums, synth, and other etc. instruments are all soundfonts for the most part, other than the drums, which are samples. Mr. Soul - give me feedback on the drums? What is it about them that you don’t like? I probably spent more time on drums than anything else, so I must be falling short in some area.

The only thing that was actually “recorded” was the guitar and vocals, in both songs.

I’m using a MXL V67 Condenser Microphone plugged into a ART Tube MP for audio capture.

Hi LordTerrin and Mr Soul:
I believe and think that the percussion tracks contains everything that Brian wants to hear on them… Otherwise he wouldn’t have put so much time on them…

I don’t think they need to be re-tracked again, unless there is something not right about them… It’s my thoughts that if the tracks contain all the “Spaces-and-Hits” then what is necessary is, the Mix Session needs re-addressing…

This is where the Tracking Engineer relinquishes his involvement to the Mix Session Engineer and Producer to Royally screw up all his hard work… This is where the Project Management Team sits down and discusses each song and recommends what tracks on each song gets cut and stays and what tracks are missing-and-all… and what songs fit the project and what songs get cut… Even the studio cleaning people get asked for their input… for what stays-or-goes…

Bill…

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Really? Bummer… I thought the drum tracks were some of the best produced stuff.

Mr. Soul - give me feedback on the drums? What is it about them that you don’t like? I probably spent more time on drums than anything else, so I must be falling short in some area.

The drums tracks always take the longest time, particularly for non-drummers, so don’t feel bad about this.

I stand by my original comments. You asked for critical evaluation. What I don’t like about the drums tracks is that they do not sound “professional”. They are somewhat monotonous, they sound primitive, and they are mixed way in the back. For example, on the first song, you just have a snare-like drum being hit for a real long section.

If your goal is just have to have demo’s, then the drums tracks are probably adequate.

Let’s focus on the positive - I think the rest of the recordings are very good. Having said that, I think you will inevitably have to deal with the comparison to the singer in Counting Crows, and will have to distinquish yourself from him.

However, this is why I said you should contact a producer. It sounds like you have the abilities to do good recordings - you just need production help.

Well, do you want an engineer or a producer? Different things. You may want to look to a producer to help you solidfy your arrangments, approach and overall “sound”. The engineering side is the in the trenches recording/mixing. Of course, there are guys that dabble all over. Just know what it is exactly you want. And sometimes, despite how much fun this might be and how much you might want to DIY… you just need a pro to do the tracking/mixing as you don’t have the 10 years of experience you need and you need the stuff done now.

I don’t think you sound like Counting Crows, more like Peter Gabriel in the early Genesis days before his voice was completely blown out.

Hi Gentlemen:
I like the dialogue going on here on this thread…

You know that the energy required to get these organizations off the ground is incredible…

It’s something like getting a job as a player in the MBL or getting drafted to the NHL or the NFL or something like that… You might have a chance in a thousand of making IT to the TOP…

It’s Sound business practices and decision making policies that get you there… In-the-End… 10% Music …80% Business… and… 10% Luck… and being There at the right time… and then continued Hard Work for as long as you choose to Be There…

Bill…

I wouldn’t equate it to sports. Pro sports is really a closed society. Music USED to be that way. Now you can make your own destiny. Between the internet and indie labels, there are 100 avenues to make a living through. You won’t necessarily be making Michael Jordan money, but you can certainly make a living.

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Between the internet and indie labels, there are 100 avenues to make a living through.

Bubba - you really think this is true? Do you know anyone who’s actually doing it? If so, how?

Guys - thanks for your comments… I really appreciate them.

See - what I was looking for in the first place was an ENGINEER, not so much a producer right now, someone who could sit down with me, personally, and say “okay, this is how I do bass compression. Here is how I make vocals sound more full. Here is where I put the snare a mix.” And just LEARN the stuff they do, to see how it differs from me, so I can become a better sound engineer myself, so I can make better mixes. Once I did this, maybe I would like a producer later on down the road to do something with all my songs. I can’t hear that it’s 10% and 80% business… I can’t. I’ve been working on my music since I was like 15, and I think I have solidified about 11 or 12 tracks that would make an amazing CD. I want to go thru the proper channels and spend what I need to to make this real.

Soul - are you talking about Why Does It Mean Nothing, or Just Like Yesterday? Can you give me any negative feedback about the drum track in WDIMN? I thought that one was amazing! I actually am a drummer myself too. The drum track in JLY is supposed to be… very far in the back, panned to the right a bit, echoy, and dark. That still doesn’t mean I did it CORRECTLY, or that it sounds as good as it could - I don’t want it to sound unprofessional, but there IS a certain sound I"m going for. Let’s see if we can fix it!

I messed around with the lyrics for JLY for about a month before I was finally able to put music to them. I heard this song, Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism come on my playlist and I was like “This is it.” So I modeled the song after it. It fit perfectly because my early demo already had the exact same piano in it, but I added the drums and the “constant” snare drum hit after listening to this song. The song gave me some great ideas as to what to do with the song. Here’s a link to it (in low quality)

Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism


Brian

I know Guys:
Comparing music to sports is like comparing apples and oranges… Not a good comparison at all… Sorry…

I was at the gas bar this afternoon fueling up, and there IT was… A life-sized poster of Sydney Crosby… The offer is to win a trip to see him play… all expenses paid… Geeeezeee, he’s a 19 year old kid that lives down the street from me… Well… he used to… Anyway, there’s a kid who don’t have to worry about where his next loonie is gonna come from… He’s doing what he loves to do… What more could anyone ask for…

Look… I’m a stupid bass player that worked 29 hours a day… 8 days a week for 50 years now… I was well paid for the work I did but I’d have to work at doing that for 5,000 years to make what Sydney Crosby made in the last two years…

My biggest problem is… I am unable to produce a bass track that I can say I’m satisified, with… The harder I try, the worse IT is…

Mutt Lang and Shania Twain worked for ten years and took a shitload of money outta the industry… They’d prefer to not even live in North America anymore… I believe they live in a Villa in Switzerland… now… I know… There’s a bunch of people that I know that would argue that fact with me… But this is what they did… They STOPPED the Nashville Music Wheel for a time, while the Crowd over there watched what they did to their business… Tell me… if that’s true… ?? Tell me if IT ain’t… I don’t think any of that bunch would welcome those two over in that town, any more, by what they did to a number of people their actions did to their industry… Now, that they are not in the business… I heard some of the work they did over in Switzerland… I wouldn’t give them .02 for that work… Well…

We all know that Nashville is a myth… You don’t go there looking for work… You take your work over to Nashville.

This is my opinion… of course…

What the Twain Management did was, IT Changed the way money is made by playing music… Period… I think I can honestly say… There hasn’t been yet another management team assembled to equal that organization… Maybe, Garth Brooks… But I seem to doubt that… I am unable to think of one mistake that Twain Organization made… They created a perfect license to print money…

Who can argue with that?

Bill…

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See - what I was looking for in the first place was an ENGINEER, not so much a producer right now, someone who could sit down with me, personally, and say “okay, this is how I do bass compression. Here is how I make vocals sound more full. Here is where I put the snare a mix.” And just LEARN the stuff they do, to see how it differs from me, so I can become a better sound engineer myself, so I can make better mixes. Once I did this, maybe I would like a producer later on down the road to do something with all my songs. I can’t hear that it’s 10% and 80% business… I can’t. I’ve been working on my music since I was like 15, and I think I have solidified about 11 or 12 tracks that would make an amazing CD. I want to go thru the proper channels and spend what I need to to make this real.

Doing this will for sure make you a better mix engineer, so I can’t recommend not to do this. There are engineers I’ve heard of that will take your raw tracks & mix them & provide you with a detailed explanation of what they did, but they won’t do this for free. If you want a pro, then you’ll need to pay them. I have a friend that had this done and they posted the results on a forum. The results were dramatic. I’ll see if I can dig up that thread again.

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Soul - are you talking about Why Does It Mean Nothing, or Just Like Yesterday? Can you give me any negative feedback about the drum track in WDIMN? I thought that one was amazing! I actually am a drummer myself too.

The drums on WDIMN didn’t do a thing for me either. They are also quite monotonous. Aren’t they just a couple of loops? I have a pretty high standard, now I started using loops by Mick Fleetwood.

If you want to listen to some great production (including drums), listen to John Leventhal’s production of Shawn Colvin or his wife Rosanne Cash. Also, listen to the drums on the Counting Crows CDs.

On WDIMN, I actually thought your vocals were a little dry/harsh for my taste. I also think this song needs alittle more instrumentation here & there.

Having said all this, I still think production is the key to having a good song. The mix is important also but w/o the production, a good mix will help but it won’t transform a song to the next level.

Soul - you are my hero. This is why I post here… All I get from friends is “Wow this sounds amazing!” Becuase… well… I know it’s GOOD, but it’s the fact that it’s someone they KNOW that makes them “overhear” how good they think it is. I don’t know that came out right… but… Yes, I like constructive criticism.

The drums in WDIMN are not loops at all… I mean, they repeat, just like guitar chords in a song, but I like to vary the volume of each individual drum as it progresses throughout the song to make it sound more “real.” You think the sound sounds dry or flat? I have a piano, a guitar, drums, my vocals, and a second piano that is playing notes. I don’t think I can really “crowd” it anymore, but I agree with you, it kind of sounds like it is missing something.

I agree with you - production makes a good song GREAT, but it cannot take a mediocre song and make it anything but mediocre. This is why I have shyed away from good production, because I feel like if people can like my music withOUT the tons of production, then I’ll KNOW it’s good, and producers will pick me up, or something like that. But… I think if I were to really produce a song, really actually SPEND MONEY, it would be on WDIMN - people seem to think that is my best song, other than this other track called Never Change, which I don’t have the original .wav files for anymore, so that’s out of the question.

Do you play drums yourself? Do you want to work with me to collab a better drum track? I’m all ears

b

Don’t get me wrong - I think WDIMN sounds pretty good - I’m just giving you some feedback.

No - I’m not a drummer & I don’t think I could help you much here. I would definitely keep the drum track contemporary sounding.

One thing I like is the little keyboard you bring in at the end of the song. Maybe you could bring that in a little earlier during that long section between vocals.

Another thought - just more interesting percussion at various places may be all the song needs.

I would definitely love to try mixing it for you. I actually live in So. Cal but I may be moving soon. However, you might be able to send me the project & .wav files on a CD (or perhaps over the net depending upon how big they are).

Lord Terrin,
I think Mr Soul has a good ear.I think the drum tracks lack something. Take my opinion like a grain of salt because I am neither a recording engineer nor can I sing a quarter as good as you. Being a guitar player I think some lead in there would make it more interesting but I am partial to guitar anyway. It would be interesting to hear your tunes after a professional got ahold of them.
I am always amazed at the undiscovered talent floating around that sounds as good as people making lots of money.

American Idol proves the fact that fame and fortune can be manufactured. good luck

Rich