Hello again! A fun few weeks away, Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, 5th Anniversary trip, recording for World Beyond, more techno mastering + some Better Than The Book album updates!
Hello again! It's been a fun and very busy few weeks since the last blog post, and I've only been in the studio for about half of that time! Long weekends away on trips and deadlines to meet during the weeks, I've not had time to post the blog over the last couple of Thursdays, so in this blog post, I'll share some of the fun holiday stuff I've been up to as well as the exciting audio work I've been doing during the week. Let's start with highlights of the summer holidays!
So the first trip was back to my home town, visiting friends and all that jazz, and heading up to London for the final date of Iron Maiden's Legacy of the Beast tour with guest support Killswitch Engage. It was the 5th time I'd seen Iron Maiden live, and I'd been wanting to see Killswitch for well over a decade too so I was super excited for this gig which I'd had tickets for since last year! Simply put, it was the best Iron Maiden gig experience yet, both bands completely exceeding my already high expectations for them and everything about the night was stunning!
Starting with Killswitch engage, I think the only songs I didn't know were the first 2 they played (which were from the new album), but the rest of the awesome set-list I was singing and screaming along to. Fantastic performances all around, then for "The End of Heartache" Jesse Leach (the current and original vocalist) invited the former vocalist Howard Jones who brought the band into the mainstream to the stage to sing it in duet with him!!! Apparently it was only for the 2 London dates of the tour, and it was emotional, magic and brutal! Not my camerawork, but here's footage of the moment! Amazing!
Iron Maiden really had to pull out all the stops to follow that performance, and they didn't hold back at all on making an absolutely fantastic show, undoubtedly the best one yet! Everyone was as energetic as ever (including the audience), and Bruce was on top form running around and leaping around the stage, with a whole treasure chest of costumes and props throughout the concert! There was the usual walk on Eddie, the big behind the stage Eddie for "Iron Maiden", TONS of pyrotechnics including Bruce dual wielding 2 flamethrowers for "The Flight of Icarus", and lots of changes of the stage from battlefield to church settings, and more! The set-list was a fantastic mix of old, middle and recent (It was a greatest hits tour), and the opening was as epic as ever, Churchill's WWII speech going into Aces high with a SPITFIRE SUSPENDED ABOVE THE STAGE!!! WHAT A NIGHT! My dad got some great footage of the opening of the gig too (They always play Doctor Doctor over the PA just before they come on stage)! Fantastic!
The following weekend was special in a completely different way as my girlfriend Eva and I celebrated 5 years together with a trip to Buxton in the Peak District. We walked / climbed the various hills near Castleton, the main and steepest one being the "Mother Hill": Mam Tor, explored Buxton's Pavillion Gardens, Pooles Cavern Caves (guided rather than free exploring), climbed the hill above the caverns to Solomon's Temple, explored the town itself where I found and playing on an old foot pumped reed organ in a bookshop, and ate more tasty food than I think we needed! Overall a fantastic trip! Love you, Eva!
Onwards from trips and onto audio news, The week after Iron Maiden was spent busy recording some final guitars for the upcoming World Beyond album, as well as giving feedback on the current mixes, discussing track order and many other things. It's been a while in the making, but I'm positive the wait will be worth it as it is sounding simply fantastic at the moment. Still no ETA just yet, but I'll let you know when I have something to share. Looking forward to it! Onto the week following the Buxton trip, I was busy mastering another techno track for Dutch DJ/Producer Oakwood ready for a gig the following weekend. The track hasn't been officially released just yet, but I'll be sure to share it here when it drops as it's another great and hard hitting banger! More music to look forward to!
Finally for this week, some updates on the Better Than The Book album. Since it's been such a busy few weeks and weekends, I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on finishing these last few tracks and interludes, but I'm happy to say that as it currently stands, 9/10 tracks are now fully recorded and awaiting final editing / mixing! There's still the interludes to sort out too (up to 4 of them), though after a long sample hunt during last weekend, it's proving more difficult than first anticipated to find the right usable and available samples, so I may cut back on these. I'll focus on the last song first though, then have another sample search soon! Looks like next month will be a month of interludes!
And that's about it for this week! I hope you didn't miss the blog too much in my absence but things should be back to the usual schedule now for a little while at least. As September comes around next week, I'll be sending the next JabunAudio music production email out soon (sign up on the home page if you're interested), and next week's blog post will no doubt be the usual beginning of the month reflective post. As for audio work this week, I'm aiming to get the final BTTB song of the album finished recording before the next blog post, though there's lots of beginning of the month admin and other stuff to do too, so we'll see how that goes. Until then, I hope you have a great week and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various projects. Take care!
Hello everyone, and hope you've had a great week whatever you've been up to! There's not a whole lot to report on this post, just a few little updates on the Better Than The Book album + some other small things, but it's been a busy week for me nonetheless arranging horns for these upcoming BTTB tracks. Fun times! Anyways, without further wait, let's get started with those updates!
So firstly, updates on the BTTB album. This week I managed to finish all the recording for another 2 tracks, meaning that as of yesterday 6/10 songs are fully recorded and just awaiting final edits before mixing etc...! 4 more tracks to go, then it'll be onto sorting some interludes. I'll be aiming to have another 1 or 2 tracks done by the next blog post, though I'm away for much of this coming week, so we'll see how it goes. All in all though, progress is going well! I've even started sending out demos to my usual beta testing team and praise for the album is high so far even though I haven't mixed it yet! A great sign to say the least, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in with the engineering side of things soon to really polish these tracks up. Exciting times!
Lastly, and a little bonus thing for the post today, yesterday was 808 Day celebrating one of the most famous drum machines of all time (as well as my personal all time favorite), the Roland TR-808! You can read my post about it on the JabunAudio Facebook page if you so desire and if you're in need of some 808s in your life, why not have a listen again to my debut album as Jabun - Daydream for some punchy 808 drum fun on almost every track! Anyways, a happy belated 808 Day to you all, and here's to 35 years of music history saying that the 808 is here to stay! Have a great day!
And that's about everything for this week! I'll be busy doing the next few horn arrangements today and tomorrow, then it's a long weekend away seeing Iron Maiden for the 5th time as well as this times supporting act, Killswitch Engage! It's been almost a year since I've had the tickets and I cannot tell you how much I've been looking to this! Expect some more metal from me soon! Anyways, I hope you have a great week whatever you get up to and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various projects. Take care until next time and see you in the next blog post!
Lead guitars & keys finished for the Better Than The Book album, onto Horns (+ more updates), JabunAudio sends out another newsletter, sporadic downtime, reflecting on July + setting some new goals for August!
Hello everyone and hope you're having a great week whatever you're up to! It's thankfully a lot cooler than it has been over here, so my brain is frying with work overload rather than heat (is that any better?). I'm not sure whether it'll be staying cool for much longer though... Anyways, it's been a super productive week working on the Better Than The Book album, and as the calendar flips to the next month I have many exciting updates for you in this blog post. Let's start with some Better Than The Book album updates!
So as you can probably tell from the post's title, I'm super happy to announce that lead guitars, guitar solos, and keyboards for the new BTTB album have all been recorded now, which finally puts things back on track with the original schedule I set in March! Next it's time to finish off the recording for each of the 10 songs which means (where necessary) adding horns, synths and other extra samples and things to spice things up before I get deep into edits and mixing, etc... As of yesterday 4/10 tracks have been completely finished recording-wise, with another 6 to go over the course of the next month. Things are certainly shaping up! Just to break up the text, here's a quick photo of some synth sequences being recorded for the heaviest track of the album, "Meteor Shower". Gotta love the Korg Volca Keys!
Since I'm nearing the end of the recording phase for the songs, I've also started to plan out some interludes to really bring the album together. Many of them have been in the back of my mind since I started writing the album, and at the moment, it looks like there'll be a maximum of 4 depending on whether I can find the public domain samples to pull them off effectively. Looks like I'll be watching through lots of black and white movies and footage soon! I remember how difficult it was doing this for Two Years On, but listening back, I love how it brings everything together, rather than just being a collection of songs. Wish me luck!
Onto the next piece of news for this blog post, yesterday I sent out the 2nd JabunAudio music production newsletter, this time discussing different and effective ways to reference and listen to audio when mixing, mastering, and even composing music. It's focused around music production, but I'm sure many music makers in general (whether you're recording or not) will find it useful for coming up with effective arrangements when writing! If that sounds interesting to you, head over to JabunAudio.com's home page, sign up for the free newsletter using the form, and I'll drop the article in your inbox! I hope you find it useful, and if you have any feedback you'd like to share, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy! Thanks to everyone who signed up to read last month's newsletter about effective use of metering in audio production too. I look forward to sharing more articles with you soon!
Next, as it's the start of August, let's take the time to look back at July's goals, and set some new ones for the coming weeks ahead. Here's what was set:
1) Finish recording vocals for the new BTTB album (2 tracks left)
2) Finish lead guitar and solos for the BTTB album (10 tracks)
3) Finish keyboard parts for the BTTB album (5 tracks)
4) Sort out the Patreon Page *
(* indicates low priority)
So overall a successful month of catching up on recording, despite the injured finger! 1), 2) & 3) were fully completed! The Patreon page is still on the back-burner, and may well be for a while, but now that I'm back on track with the album, I can hopefully make some time to look into that again soonish. Next month is looking to be a busy one outside of music work too (more on that in a second), so let's set some goals for August with that in mind:
1) Finish recording the songs for the BTTB album (6 tracks to do)
2) Plan the interlude for the BTTB album (up to 4 tracks) *
3) Sort out the Patreon Page *
(* indicates lower priority)
Goal 1) basically means sorting out all the horns, synths and extra things and assessing whether any additional recording needs to be sorted too. The horns especially will be tricky, but careful planning and referencing should help with this. Originally, August was supposed to be a month dedicated to just horns, with any extras to be done in September, but with almost half the songs finished already, I thought it'd be good to keep up the pace and try for finishing everything in the next 4 weeks. For 2) I'd like to say finish all the interludes, but I'm not sure if that's realistic since I'll be away for a fair bit of this month. We'll have to see how that goes, but even if they aren't finished, it'd be great to have them all planned and confirmed at least (maybe sort out a couple of them). 1) is definitely the priority though. The Patreon page again is on the back-burner but still in mind for completion soon.
Finally in this week's news, just a quick notification of some sporadic downtime throughout the month. Over the next few weeks I'll be travelling a lot and while it's just for a few days at a time, I may not be able to respond to messages as immediately as I usually do. JabunAudio will still be open for business and accepting work though, so don't hesitate to send me a message and I'll aim to get to it as soon as possible. Many thanks for your patience.
And that about wraps things up for this week! I'll be continuing to grind through the album until next time, and hopefully there'll be another couple of tracks completed by the next blog post. Until then, I hope you have a great time whatever you're up to and thanks as always for supporting JabunAudio and my various music projects. Enjoy the summer and take care!
Nick Standing; HurpADervish; Jabun!
Keep up to date with all of Nick's projects on a monthly basis right here!