Week 2 out of 8 of the acoustic cover songs: Aliens Exist by Blink-182, ANOTHER extra special LIVE performance video, Better Than The Book featured in a video game, JabunAudio Website finally complete + new webpages, raising the rates + more!
A super busy time this week and a lot to show for it despite spending half of it away! Long story short, after the previous blog post, I traveled back to my hometown for a long weekend to celebrate my older twin brother graduating from Mr to Dr. Eamon D. Standing! Words can't express how proud I am of him and if that wasn't reason enough reason to visit, he moved to Okinawa this week (probably still travelling as I type this). I wish him the best of luck and look forward to seeing him again in April when he's due to visit. Anyways, it was a really nice weekend away and more on that in a second, but let's get onto the regular audio news for this week. It's a little later than usual as I was working hard to finish some things before this post, but I hope you enjoy it! Here we go:
First off, another 7 days go by and another cover song is released! This week we have another acoustic version dedicated to my parents: "Aliens Exist" by Blink-182. Hope you enjoy it and tune in next week for a truly classic and timeless track, "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. Happy listening!
Next this week and back to the topic of my trip home last weekend, I'd like to share with you another special live performance, this time with my twin brother Dr. Eamon Standing:
Next this week, some more exciting news as "Make Your Mark" by Better Than The Book gets featured in a video game on Newgrounds! With the hook-line "Violence is a thing that STILL happens", Brutal Bunnyhop is a Doom-esq first person shooter in a car by Alexander Clay. The game was created for Pixel Day 2018 and is free to is free to play on Newgrounds. Thanks so much to Alex for inviting me to be part of this project, and keep up to date with his projects by visiting his Website and Newgrounds page or following him on Twitter. Click the thumbnail below to be taken to the game and hope you enjoy it (note: this game is not recommended for those who may suffer from epilepsy or similar conditions).
Penultimately this week, I'm super happy to announce that the revamping of the JabunAudio website is finally complete! Since last week I've added JabunAudio's most comprehensive music portfolio yet (as well as a revamped main portfolio page), a fully featured services page showing base prices and descriptions for all services as well as additional pages for my specialty services Digital Mastering and Audio Post-Production, and of course a revamped homepage with an updated "Latest and Greatest Productions" section and a brand new "JabunAudio has assisted" section with logos and links to some of the high profile and notable clients I have worked with over the years (obtained with their permissions of course). It's been one heck of an undertaking and well overdue to finish, but I'm pleased with the way it's turned out. Feel free to explore the site and I'd love to know your thoughts (also please let me know if you spot something that seems off and I'll correct it ASAP)! Some additional thoughts from my end: I'm pondering adding a JabunAudio newsletter sign-up box though currently I'm not sure what I would write about, and I'm also thinking about adding an equipment list specifically for the session playing services so that there's a comprehensive inventory of the gear and instruments I have available for people's productions (and there's a lot of it!). Just thoughts at the moment but we shall see where they lead.
Finally this week, after over 3 years of JabunAudio, contributing to over 20 million views of YouTube videos and almost 200 music tracks, as well as receiving international Radio Play, a number of awards, and even working on a few TV shows and video games, I felt it was finally time for me to raise my service rates a little! It's not by much, but just a bit to let people know that I value my growth and work and that countless people across the world have appreciated my contribution to their projects! Thanks for all your support over these years for helping me to get this far and I look forward to working with you in 2018!
And that about wraps things up for this blog post! It's been busy times lately hasn't it? What's in store for next week? Well with the website finally revamped I aim to get back to composing for the A P O T H E O S I S game starting tomorrow, and boy have I been looking forward to this! The Ernie Ball Sterling has been set up and tweaked for some more drop-C distorted bass madness and this final boss fight should be the grand climax for A P O T H E O S I S's soundtrack! Other than that, expect to see an acoustic cover of "Wish You Were Here" next week, and maybe even another live video if we're lucky! Other than that, I'll see where the wind takes me. Until then, I hope you all have a great week whatever you're up, and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various audio endeavours. See you next time, and take care!
Week 1 out of 8 of the acoustic cover songs: Perfect by Alice Cooper, the future of YouTube, an extra special LIVE performance video, Better Than The Book lyrics finished, new webpages + more!
Hello everyone and hope you've had a great week whatever you've been up to. It's been cold here, with a lots of snow and sleet over the past few days (for England at least...), but I've been keeping super busy since the last post developing the website, working on Better Than The Book, and uploading the next 2 months of cover songs to YouTube (more on all that later). There's a lot to report this week, plus some extra special things that don't come around often to share, so let's get straight to it!
First of all this week, I'm excited to introduce the first of the eight acoustic covers I recorded as Christmas presents for people last year. This one is the first of the tracks for my parents, "Perfect" by Alice Cooper, a song sang back when we were living together. I hope you enjoy it, and tune in next week for some more Blink-182; an acoustic cover of "Aliens Exist". Happy listening!
While we're on the topic of YouTube videos, I'd unfortunately like to share something with you all that I received this week which, to put it lightly, pissed me off a great deal. After uploading videos to YouTube for over 7 years (and that's 159 videos as of recent), YouTube sent me a notice saying it will no longer be monetising my content. Why is this? Well as of their new standards, in order to keep my content monetized I must have over 1000 subscribers and over 4000 hours of viewed videos in the past 12 months, and if I haven't exceeded these standards by this time next month, I will no longer be eligible to make money from YouTube. Now being realistic, I know I'm not going to make megabucks from my videos, but the fact of the matter is, whether I receive my due pennies or not, YouTube will likely still be running ads on my videos and making money off them. Needless to say, I'm not the only person unhappy with these changes, and after last year's Adpocalypse which severely effected many of the people I work with, it really seems like YouTube mastered the art of how to disappoint the people which create content for its communities. I'm not sure what the future holds for YouTube, but I sure as heck hope that they realise soon the effect they're having on content creators, especially new ones. If you're reading, what are your thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with the changes or do you feel the same as me?
Anyways, enough ranting, let's get back to the nicer topics at hand:
Secondly this week, I have an extra special treat to share with you all. A throwback to last summer, and it's a crime this hasn't been put up sooner, here's a video of my good friend Sam Brown and I playing an unrehearsed, spur of the moment "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult during one of Sam's gigs at The Woolpack in Burgess Hill. It'd have been my first public performance in probably over 2 years, and Sam and I's first performance together in about 9 years! For those who don't know, Sam is pretty much a brother to me, a fantastic dude and friend since my early teens. We started our first band "Crow's Wing" together along with my twin brother Eamon, and another great friend Andrew Gelnar, Sam on bass and myself on guitar and vocals, and recorded and played gigs together until about 2008 when we parted ways for University. In 2007 I started a metal band Lupus Atrum as the lead vocalist and guitarist, and after my departure, Sam took the mic and rocked the vocals in my place. Later on in 2012, I took the place of Sam on bass in the pop-punk quartet Lights, Camera, Attraction! until my departure in 2015. Indeed we've had an intertwined musical path throughout the years and I hope it stays that way. Love you, bro, and it's always a pleasure to share the mic with you. We should definitely do this more often! (In case you don't know what I look like, I'm the long haired one playing guitar)
Next this week, some more awesome news from Better Than The Book. As of the weekend just passed, lyrics for all 10 songs on the new album are complete! Horray! Now just a little disclaimer: there is still a chance that some of the lyrics may be altered before the final recording, but it's at the stage where they're all fully fledged songs you could sing and play on the guitar without having to mumble that one verse where you don't know the words. Progress! The project flies have been cleared up too with only material for the new album in the folder and all the unused ideas moved to the ideas collection ready as riff fodder for the next album. Recording is still scheduled start next month, though before that I need to service my guitars, work out some of the parts in more detail and practice them, and generally prepare for what looks to be an exciting and high energy recording session this spring! Hope you're as pumped as I am and I look forward to sharing the journey with you as I go!
Finally for this post, the main thing I've been up to over the past 7 days has been working on the website, and again progress has been made as this week I'm happy to present to you the brand new and updated VIDEOS and GAMES sections of the JabunAudio portfolio! As well as that I've also completed behind the scenes the main Portfolio and Music pages too, though I'm waiting for some permissions on artwork on those before I can make them public. Hopefully I'll be able to share them next week, but we shall see! All that's left to do is the Services and Home pages so with any luck it shouldn't be long before the website is all finished and live. Hope you're liking the new design and please let me know if you spot any broken links or errors on the site in the mean time. Many thanks in advance for your help!
And that about wraps things up for this week! What's in store next week? Well there's the next cover song "Aliens Exist" by Blink-182 to look forward to, and hopefully the website will be complete or at least close to it by the next blog post. I'm away this weekend for my brother Eamon's graduation to Dr Standing though so there may be some delays over the next few days, but I'll do my best. Next on the audio projects list, the A P O T H E O S I S final boss theme is on my plate to compose so I'll be starting on that as soon as the website is done, and as for what else is happening, I'll see where the wind takes me! Hope you have a great week whatever you're up to and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my projects. See you next time, and take care.
Happy New Year! Holiday fun, the rest of the Blink-182 covers (x3), a sneak peek demo at 'Meteor Shower' from the new Better Than The Book album (+ some updates), reflections on 2017 + new goals and what to expect from JabunAudio in 2018!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you've had a great time in the last few weeks since the previous blog post and a very merry Christmas and New Years celebration too whatever you were up to! As usual I was back in my hometown with family and friends, making the most of seeing people, being back, and generally just relaxing for a little bit, and as usual I've managed to pick up someone's flu/cold/cough etc... (thanks again) so hopefully I'll be fighting fit and singing again soon! Star Wars VIII despite its generally mixed reception I really enjoyed, and I finally visited the world famous Andertons music shop where my brother had been working for the last 6 months, playing on some lovely gear I can't possibly afford and generally being amazed at how big the shop is despite the small entrance.
The biggest highlight of the holiday though was a long overdue get-together of the 6 original members of my first ever band "Crow's Wing" (2 only short lived members, but all amazing friends throughout the years). It would've been the first time all of us had been in the same room in likely over 5 years! A great afternoon of merriment, catching up and good times! Some regrets as usual for the holiday season, my favorite burger place in Brighton "Burger Brothers" was closed for the holidays, so I couldn't satisfy my hunger from there, and due to illness, I didn't get to have a jam with my brother before he moves to Okinawa, though I'll see him again in a few weeks for his doctorate graduation (mega congrats to him) before he moves! No skating either, though the weather wasn't good for it, so not really much I could've done.
As with every holiday season, I also received some lovely gifts from family, including Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden)'s autobiography, a Star Wars Encyclopedia (I am a massive child, yes), some comics and many sweets and vouchers. The highlight present this year though was from my parents and brother who pulling some strings at Roland gifted me a TR-08 drum machine! For those of you who don't know, the tr-08 is a miniature and modernized recreation/reissue of the famous 80s drum machine the TR-808, a quintessential sound of Hip-Hop and heard in every genre from rock, soul, electronic, pop, and more! Possibly the most influential drum machine of all time, and with a very distinctive sound palette, I've been using samples and emulations of the 808 since 2012 when I first started writing music as Jabun, and in fact, ALL the electronic drum sounds in the "Daydream" album (apart from one other synthesized kick) were played from an 808 emulator. The Tr-08 was such an amazing and unexpected present and now that I have effectively an 808 on my desk, you can be sure to hear more Jabun soon (right after the new BTTB album). An amazing and inspiring addition to my ever growing musical armoury! Thanks so much guys!
And with that said, enough talk of the holidays and let's get to some of the usual JabunAudio news! First there's a load of new music to share, then let's take a moment to reflect on 2017 and set some new goals for 2018! Let's get started!
First of all, over the last few weeks, the final tracks in the Blink-182 covers series, to celebrate 4 years with my lovely girlfriend Eva, have been released and so I figured I'd take a moment to share them with you here. I really hope you've enjoyed the series and in this final blog post about it, I have "Wasting Time [Instrumental]", "Josie [Instrumental]", and "All The Small Things [Instrumental]" to share with you! In case you've missed anything too or if you simply want to listen again, I've also put together a YouTube Playlist of all 10 tracks from the project for your convenience. Feel free to explore the tracks again, and I hope you enjoy these final installments of the Blink-182 cover songs:
BUT WAIT... THERE'S MORE!!! So following the initial unveiling of the above Blink-182 covers EP, I received a ton of praise not only from Eva, but also from my parents when I was testing a back-up CD on the family Hi-Fi, so in the last few months leading up to Christmas I decided to put together 2 more cover EPs as Christmas presents for my parents and also Eva again! Despite a lot of production delays and headaches, I was really pleased with the way they turned out, but seeing my parents and Eva's reactions upon hearing it really made all the effort worth it, and with their permission, I'm super excited to share these 8 tracks with you over the following 2 months! The first EP is a 6 track (mostly) acoustic covers EP for my parents of songs I used to sing around the house a lot when we were still living together almost 2 years ago now, and the second is a 2 track mostly acoustic RAP covers EP for Eva because apparently I don't rap enough (you can be the judge as to whether I should!). With all that said, the video schedule will follow the same timeline as the Blink-182 covers and will be released at 12pm GMT on Wednesdays as follows!
17th January - Perfect - Alice Cooper
24th January - Aliens Exist - Blink-182
31st January - Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
7th February - For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield
14th February - The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
21st February - Hurt - Nine Inch Nails / Johnny Cash
28th February - Papercut/PPR-KUT - Linkin Park
7th March - The Juggernauts - Zebrahead
I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to sharing these with you all soon!
Next this week, some Better Than The Book updates! So first of all, as of right now, 9/10 songs are lyrically finished, structured and demoed ready to record with just one song left to finish the lyrics for! I'm aiming to have that finished before the end of the month, but whatever happens, BTTB hits the studio again to start recording by the end of February! Next and lastly, as a special Christmas treat this year and marking 5 years since the One Small Step EP was released, I decided to upload a sneak peek instrumental of an upcoming track from the new album! It's a heavy one, I hope you enjoy it, and get your hype train rolling for summer 2018: Here's "Meteor Shower"!
Lastly this week and as it's the start of a new year, I figured it'd be a good time to reflect on the goals I set at the start of 2017 and set some new goals for 2018. Now being honest and open about it for a moment, 2017 was not the best year for me, and if we look at the last 6 months specifically, due to various set-backs and above all else issues in my personal life which I don't feel my place to disclose, I'm just incredibly thankful for the support of my friends and family and that I was able to make it to 2018 and writing this blog post. Having said that and despite the most darkest moments of my life, 2017 had some pretty epic highlights too: the release of my debut album as Jabun - Daydream, following from my first spoken word interview, numerous other interviews and special features for both Jabun and Better Than The Book, breaking a Sonic The Hedgehog world record, and working on the most music I think I've ever worked on in a year: 21 tracks personally released, the recording and release of 18 more cover songs (some to be released this year) and session playing on a further 20+ collaborative songs to be released in 2018 (and that's not even including client work!). While it's not been a great year for money or mental health, it's been a phenomenal year for music making and I aim to continue that inspiration and motivation into 2018!
Now let's check back to last years goals list and see how I did:
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) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments
4) Make some new connections and help make more animations
5) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
Well 1) was clearly completed and well received so no complaints there! I didn't release any more Jabun stuff since the Daydream album, but ideas have still been gathering and planning and certainly started too for more albums and EPs in the future.
2) The 3rd Better Than The Book release is well on target for a slightly delayed mid 2018 release so I'm happy with how that goal is doing, and it was nice to release the bonus Two Years On [Instrumentals] album in February too, so I'm happy with the state of my beloved ska-punk project!
3) The MVP of investments this year goes to my Squier VM Jaguar which has really been a star player, firstly on the Blink-182 covers EP and also on the upcoming World Beyond album too. There's no question that this guitar will be a major player on the 2018 Better Than The Book album too. A fantastic and fun reward and investment! Some other small investments such as more acoustic paneling have also been incredibly valuable for work too, so let's not forget those.
4) Although the beginning of the year had some great animation work such as Fun Station 4 Kids' "3 Little Raptors & The Beanstalk", since about April I've not had any animation work due to various project delays (not necessarily unreasonable), and the now dubbed "YouTube Adpocalypse" which has adversely effected many YouTube creators leading to a knock on effect on my clients and collaborators. The at the time super exciting Yu-Gi-Oh! project you may have also noticed I've not mentioned in a while and this is because of various issues and headaches which have still yet to be resolved regarding my work. In terms of making new connections, this year hasn't been an incredibly great one for that, though I've made a few and have certainly been nurturing old ones. This whole point 4) is something I'd like to do a lot better with in 2018, and with the right attitude and motivation, I'm sure it's something within reach.
5) In terms of music production I'd say things are the best they've ever been and I'm really excited to continue the trend into the new year! No quarrels there, though linking to the last point, I've like to flex those post-production muscles again soon too.
So overall not a bad turnout at all on those goals despite it not being the most financially successful year. Let's take a moment to set some new goals for 2018!
1) Release the 3rd BTTB album in summer + continue gathering ideas for the 4th album
2) Either release a Jabun EP or be well into working on a new album by the end of the year
3) Invest in some new studio equipment and/or instruments (I don't actually have much in mind for this at the moment, but it's always good to reward yourself)
4) Make some new connections and help make more animations
5) Keep doing what I do, and keep getting better at it!
6) Be a better business as well as an audio engineer, music producer and musician. Make 2018 the best financial year for JabunAudio yet!
So a lot of repeat goals as well as some new ones! Let's make 2018 a kickass year!
Phew! That was a long post, and that's about it for this week! What's in store next week? Well my targets for January are to have all these new BTTB lyrics finished as well as the JabunAudio website fully complete and up and running so I'll no doubt be working on that. I'm aiming to get started on more music for the A P O T H E O S I S game too later this month so that's on my to-do list. In terms of the blog, I'll be sharing the first of the Christmas present covers "Perfect" by Alice Cooper, as well as an extra special video which I could've put in this post but figured it was probably long enough already! Whatever else happens, we shall see! I hope you all have a great week until the next blog post and as always thanks for supporting JabunAudio and my other projects. Once again Happy New Year and let's make 2018 an amazing year to remember! See you next time, and take care!
Nick Standing; Better Than The Book; Jabun!
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