BTTB bonus album official announcement, some Jabun album updates, a mammoth 20 million views for Fun Station 4 Kids + more!
It's been a few weeks since the last blog post as I was ill in bed and out of it for pretty much the whole of last week (Monday to Sunday). Hope you all had a better time than I did! Having said that, the latter half of last week was pretty exciting as it was the annual winter NAMM convention in California, where all the music tech manufacturers were showing off their new gear to be released in this coming quarter. The news feed from that kept me in high spirits while I was recovering and there's certainly some pretty cool new stuff out that I'll be restraining my wallet from! Anyway, the past week has been a productive and busy one catching up on things I've missed and working on the new Jabun album (more on that later), and I imagine the weekend is likely to continue that trend. Lots of cool things to tell this week so lets get to it!
First of all, I'd like to take the time today to officially announce the release of the new Better Than The Book bonus album! In 10 days time it'll be exactly one year since "Two Years On", Better Than The Book's first full length album, was released on Bandcamp and to celebrate I'll be releasing this special bonus album, the contents of which will remain a mystery until the day. It's nothing super fancy, but I can tell you it's 11 tracks long and has a total run time of 29:56. The full album will go live at Midnight on February 6th 2017 on Bandcamp as well as on the Better Than The Book and HurpADervish YouTube Channels, with SoundCloud and Newgrounds following soon afterwards. Over the subsequent weeks the album will be released track by track as well on the Better Than The Book YouTube channel. Everything thing is all sorted, uploaded and ready to go live, and the album has even been approved for worldwide distribution on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and various other online places, though these are due to start appearing from February 10th onwards. Anyway, techno mumbo jumbo aside, thank you all so much for supporting Better Than The Book and making 2016 a fantastic year for the project. I hope you enjoy the bonus album and it keeps your ska punk hunger satisfied while I work on the next one. Make a note on your calendar, and get ready for some more Better Than The Book.
Better Than The Book
- ??? -
Midnight, February 6th 2017
Of course, those aren't the actual artwork and album title, just place markers for this announcement. I'll post it up on the blog properly once the album's out!
Next on the news this week is just a little update on how the Jabun album is going. With the bonus BTTB album coming up I took some time away from Jabun to sort that out and the associated admin stuff, but now that that's (almost) out of the way, I've been back this week working on Jabun again! I'm pleased to report that now 9 out of 10 of the tracks are written and recorded (and roughly mixed) and it's just the final track left to do! This last one's a little longer and is sort of in 3 parts too. Breaking it down like that, the first part is done and it's just the final 2 parts to go, which probably equates to the last 4-5 minutes of the album left to write and record! Progress is going well and I'm hoping to have it all recorded by the end of the month. After that it'll just be polishing up all the tracks with a final mixdown and master, sorting the artwork and getting all the admin stuff sorted and ready to release it! I've still not quite got a release date in mind, and I'm still pondering on the album title, but once this final track is recorded I'd love to share a track-list on the blog to give you some food for thought! I'll be back to working on it as soon as I've posted this up, so hopefully that'll be on the next blog post! Stay tuned to find out and feel free to follow me on twitter for a more immediate news feed. Can't wait to show this to the world!
Next on the big news this week, I'd like to extend a huge congratulations to Fun Station 4 Kids for hitting a mammoth 20 million views on YouTube! Such numbers are ones I've never seen before and it brings me so much joy that so many people are enjoy the content we've worked so hard to create (and when I say we, it's mostly the fantastic Anthony!). Although it's been a little break since the last animation, there is definitely more to come and I can't wait to be working on it again! If you've yet to see any, please go and watch "The Three Little Raptors and the Big Bad T-Rex", for a taste of what Fun Station for Kids has to offer. It also happens to be the first animation I ever worked on audio post-production for so it really holds a special place in my heart! Hope you enjoy it, and feel free to subscribe to FS4Ks for more brilliant animations coming soon!
One last little bit of news: earlier this week I took part in another interview with Live A Little Bit Louder (who now have a Facebook page), this time not really about my own music, but about being a musician in general. This ones a little different as as far as I know, it's a collaborative interview between lots of artists, so it'll take a while to put together, but I'm really pleased with the contributions I've made and I hope you find it fun to read when it finally comes out (especially if you're a musician). I've heard a rough ETA of March, but nothing concrete just yet, and in case you can't wait, here's the last interview I did with Live A Little Bit Louder about "Two Years On" and some other stuff. Hope you enjoy it, and I'll be sure to post up the new one once it goes live!
That's just about everything to report this week. Hoping to have the Jabun album all written and recorded by the next blog post, and we'll just have to see what other stuff happens over the next 7 days (I'm expecting some things). I any case, I hope you all have a wonderful week and are getting psyched up for both of the new albums, and I look forward to sharing more news soon! Thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and all my projects and have a great time! Take care!
Some Jabun album updates + a bonus album coming soon from Better Than The Book (February 6th)!
It's been a busy first full week of the year at JabunAudio, intense on few things rather than many things to do, so there's not a lot to report this week, but for sure, I think the things to share are exciting enough to make up for it! Some cool news ahead so lets get started!
Firstly, the beginning of the week was spent working on and finishing the recording / production on another track for the Jabun album. This one was called "The Grind", and along with the other tracks so far brings the total run-time of the album to around 35 minutes. Just 2 more tracks left to write and record I think, one a short interlude, and one a longer track, on sides A and B of the album respectively. Hoping to start tackling at least one of those next week, and after that it's just final mixing and mastering, artwork and admin left to do (and come up with a concrete name for the album). Still a little while to go yet, but it certainly feels like the album's on the home stretch in terms of writing / recording, and I'm still aiming for a spring release. I'll keep you updated with progress as usual as the weeks go by!
Which brings me onto the next and final piece of news for this week. It's coming up to the one year anniversary of Better Than The Book's debut album "Two Years On" and to celebrate I've been preparing a bonus album which will be released on February 6th 2017 (exactly one year on!). The latter half of this week has been spend preparing the audio and artwork as well as tackling the admin side of things, but I'm happy to announce that the bonus album is finished and ready for distribution! As to the contents of the album, well that'll all be revealed on February 6th, but it's just a little something to celebrate which people requested a while back while I get working on the third full Better Than The Book release (2018). Hope you enjoy it, and as with the Jabun album, I'll keep you updated here on how things are going, and make an official post about the release once everything is ready. Stay tuned!
That's about it for this week! As I said not much to report, but I think it's exciting stuff at least. What's up for next week? Well I'm going to try and finish off the admin side of things for the bonus BTTB album (I honestly forget how much paperwork gets filled for these things) + get started one of the final Jabun tracks too, though we shall see if anything else shall come to the table too (I've been informed that a new Yu-Gi-Oh! episode will be ready for me to work on soon). It's also NAMM next weekend which I'm excited for as usual (catching up on the news that is), and I'll be interested to see what cool new pieces of music tech are announced this year! I've seen that AKAI has released 2 new standalone MPCs which look incredible, and Korg have some limited edition synths too which look very nice! I wonder what else people will have up their sleeves! Anyway, until then I hope you all have great weeks and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and all my projects. I'll be away again next Friday, so the next update'll either be on Thursday or Sunday, or I might have a try at using this new post scheduling system that's been implemented recently. Either way, have fun, thanks again and take care!
Happy New Year! Reflecting on 2016's achievements and some targets for 2017 + some holiday chat, new toys to share and what to expect from JabunAudio in 2017!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a refreshing winter holiday whatever you got up to and are ready to take on 2017 with a full breath of fresh air and energy! I had a wonderful time back in my hometown visiting family and friends, mostly making the most of being back there (lots of cool stuff in Brighton), chilling and playing video games with my brother and catching up with everyone. I also went to see the new Star Wars: Rogue One film which was simply amazing (BRUTAL though) and had a play on a lovely Fender Jaguar guitar, which felt and sounded amazing and is definitley on my wishlist now! My only regrets for the winter break are that I didn't managed to get on my skateboard while I was back (too frosty and/or wet), and that I wasn't able to to play my homemade double-neck guitar (which I am very much missing right now... ) as it was packed away and not possible to get to while my childhood home is being redecorated and having some building works done. I also managed to pick up someone's cough/cold (thanks guys... ), which I'm still suffering from, so hopefully that'll be gone soon and I'll be back to singing again. On the brighter side of things though, I recieved some awesome gifts for Christmas including two new instruments to add to my musical armory!
The first was an amazing and unexpected present from some family friends: a tenor saxaflute (G), essentially a bamboo saxaphone in the key of G with a tone most similar to the lovely tenor saxaphone. and a fundemental range from the G below middle C to the G above (+ higher registers which I've yet to figure out). This is my first instrument with a reed so it'll be a while until I'm practiced enough to use it effectively, but it's sounding lovely so far and I've mapped out the chromatic range of the fundemental register which will no doubt aid in my playing. Hopefully with some more work, you'll be hearing this in the next BTTB album! We'll have to wait and see! The second new instrument was from my brother to aid in the creation of my 8-bit and chiptune inspired work: a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-28. Although this thing may look like a naked calculator, it's cabable of some incredible and inspirational sounds for the genre. The interface took a little while to get used to, but it's not as complicated to learn as I was expecting and you've essentially got yourself a drum machine, synth & sequencer + another live synth as well as a ton of live performance effects to play with. Plenty of stuff to get some great ideas and jams flowing. With the ability to sync it up with my other equipment too, it fits right in my synth rig and I'm looking forward to using it very soon, maybe even in the last couple of track in this JabunAlbum!? Again, we'll have to see where inspiration takes me, but I can tell this is going to be another great little tool for making the music I love to make! Thanks so much guys!
Anyway, enough about the holidays and cool presents and stuff, lets get back to the usual topics! Nothing really to report this week in terms of music as I've only been back for 2 days now and they were mostly spend doing maintenance to the studio, catching up on messages and getting set up to start work on the album again (as well as other things), so this week I thought it'd be nice to reflect on the goals I set this time last year for 2016 and share some new personal goals I have for 2017. Lets get to it:
So first of all lets recap that list from this time last year:
1) Release this new BTTB Album (Maybe make more BTTB, but I'll definitely take a little break)
2) Do some Jabun Music (Electronic/orchestral stuff) Preferably an EP/Abum
3) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments, preferably something with a keyboard (I've stuff in mind)
4) Make some new connections and help make more animations
5) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
Looking at it face on I think we did pretty well!
1) "Two Years On" was released and had some major successes and achievements as I mentioned in the last blog post. I
didn't release any more BTTB in 2016, but the break was great for gathering ideas and the rest of 2016 was a great
one for BTTB nonetheless!
2) "The Ocean Above" and some other tracks were released which was well recieved and I've made great progress on
the new album, although it didn't quite get released before the end of the year. Still, best to take time on these
things rather than rush them and I think you'll all agree the wait will be worth it for when the album finally does
3) I bought my Yamaha Reface CP in March, and it has since been an amazing tool and instrument I've been using on a
regular basis! As well as being a controller to help in my composition work, the instrument itself has been one of the
defining palettes of the new Jabun album and has been an inspiration and joy to play ever since I got it. A great
invesment indeed! The next big investment was the invaluable acoustic treatment for the Bamboo forest which
without, I would be alot less comfortable in my new studio another great investment!
4) With the success of Tales of Zale month and the associated live streams, I made a lot of great new friends in 2016 and
a lot of great animations too! Some summer adventures with Fun Station 4 Kids have been great too, and the recent Yu-Gi-Oh! job has been the icing on the 2016 animation cake! Definitely a success!
5) I think the previous points are evidence enough for this point, but it's an ongoing one so I'll keep working on it!
And with the developments in A P O T H E O S I S music, Cyberdevil's Back 2016, Charlotte's Web Instrumental Commission, and World Beyond's Mindshell album (to name a few more unexpected things), I think I can safely say 2016 was undoubted a succesful year for achievements in JabunAudio! Let's continue that trend in 2017 and make it even better!
Setting myself some personal targets and what to expect from JabunAudio in 2017:
1) Finish and release the debut Jabun album + keep doing more little jabun things on the side as usual
2) The ideas are gathering and overflowing so I'll aim to start work on a new Better Than The Book album as soon as
the Jabun one is finished! Aiming for a beginning of 2018 release. Planning has already started!
3 - 5) Same as last year! I think it's always good to reward hard work so some investment back into the business would
be great. Perhaps that Jaguar? We'll see how money is doing! As always I'd love to continue with the animation and
collaborative work, and I've heard that Tales of Zale Episode 3 will be on my audio plate in the near future, as well as
more Yu-Gi-Oh! and some other cards in discussion. As always, getting better at what I do, developing and improving
as both an engineer, composer, musician and business is an ongoing and constant target, but working on it
everyday will make sure I keep growing!
And I guess that's about it for this week! Hoping 2017 is an even better year than 2016 and I'll be doing my best to try to make that happen! Next week's work is set to be more on the album, and with any luck and hearing back from people, I should be back to animation work in the near future too! Hoping you all have an amazing year to come and I look forward to sharing my journey with you as it goes by week by week! Thank you soo much as always for supporting JabunAudio and all the associated projects and I look forward to seeing what this year has in store! See you all next week with some usual updates and take care!
Nick Standing; Better Than The Book; Jabun!
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