... so it's March already... and I have to admit... life has been a blur since xmas... the good kinda blur though.
As always, I've been trying to find time to write... even something short... but no dice... so I'm forcing myself to write something (anything) tonight.
Studio life has been kick ass since December. Usually the holidays are pretty tame... people are busy spending money they don't have and then dealing with their credit cards come January. This is a problem when it comes to budgeting for band related costs and investments... this wouldn't be a problem if more people actually budgeted for things... but that's another rant. A couple mix projects and EP's showed up though which filled up the schedule in a hurry.
They say when it rains, it pours... and it's definitely been pouring the last few months. All the major projects: Jason James, One Fire, The Sole Pursuit, The Divided Line, Blind Race, and now Luke Michielsen who started his new album yesterday, have been/are going awesome... and the mix and oddjob/editing projects have been fun as well. It's nice to have some variety, but really nice having so much positive energy floating around the studio.
A couple highlights...
Tony Roost from One Fire Movement asked me to produce a single called One Day featuring several of the One Fire artists. A sort of urban/soul tune along the line of Bruno Mars/John Mayer... but with several artists trading off verses and all singing the chorus together.
I'm sure you can see how this could get complicated and turn into a jumbled mess. You have to be careful taking on projects like this... recording is far from simply recording most of the time... I'll leave that for imagination and for another rant too. But I signed on pretty quick because I knew the level of talent that'd be involved, and when you've got singers who can sing, and egos checked at the door, the track will sort itself out.
I think the tune will be coming out in the next month or two. Looking forward to sharing it with everyone... it's definitely a departure from the norm around here.
The uber talented Samuel Bisson was in to track cello on the Jason James EP. It's an acoustic guitar/vocal based project Jason asked me to produce and during prepro he tiptoed around the 'c' word. It's easy to name off a wish list in the early stages of a project, but if you need session players, you have to either know the right people, or start looking now.
Not many people know session players for strings (or horns actually) that can just "play". I met Sam on one of the Parabelle albums. Kyle (guitarist for Parabelle) found Sam through Google. Sam showed up and threw down. He's been my 1st call ever since.
I'd like to write a post on what I think makes a good/great session player. The biggest thing I feel they should add to a project though is production value. Exceptional players make the whole recording sound better... strings especially make things sound expensive.
Some people might puke at the idea of paying someone $100/hr (standard around here for session players, and most will get through a song an hour), but after you hear what great players can do, it quickly turns into ear to ear smiles and a "shut up and take my money" situation. One song in and Jason fully understood what I was talking about.
Here's a link to Sam's site: www.samuelbisson.ca. Definitely send him a message if you need the good stuff.
I'm only listing two highlights because I said a couple earlier (a couple means 2... unless we're talking about cookies or ice cream scoops), and because I don't want to play favorites.
I've found myself staying at the studio late and getting up early simply because I'm excited to get back to work. Again, meaningful work... with appreciative people... it's a two way street... there's a lot of extra hours that go unnoticed (and unpaid) on the production side... or probably in the entertainment industry in general.
#DearBands: It's amazing how much further you'll go if you say thanks instead of making (assuming) demands... just because you think someone is working for you. There's more than enough music being made these days... and more than enough good stuff to go around... and the good stuff gets priority, if given the choice.
Heading in for 9am to get some mixing done before we get back to tracking drums on the new Luke Michielsen album. This is album #4 (including the Slowking album) I've worked on with Luke. He told me to "go crazy" sonically during prepro... thanks Luke. :-)
P.S. I put all that stuff in the title because I'm curious if it'll show up in search engines.
P.P.S. Hoping to get some tour dates for Age Of Days soon... I miss playing.
P.P.P.S If you puke at the idea of paying a highly skilled musician $100/hr, quit music now if your goal is to turn it into a career... and hopefully you can go through life without ever needing to call a plumber or electrician.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!