The Yossarians

DENA

Bombay Bicycle Club

NYPC

Ten Mouth Electron

The Lone Taxidermist

MiSTOA POLTSA

Altar Flowers

English Heretic

Lana Del Rey

Erasure

Goldblade

The Happy Soul

East India Youth

Charlotte OC

Locean

ILL

Mountain Song

Holly Johnson

John Foxx

Saint Etienne

The Heartbreaks

Essential tools for Foley artists

If you’re going to be close mic-ing the sound of eggs being thrown from several feet away into a pan of boiling water, you’re going to need some cling film.

Going Mobile

Just bagged myself one of these (for a whole grand under list price, bargain fans):

Dedicated hard drive recorders seem to be dying out a bit. Which is as you’d expect now computer-based systems are so firmly entrenched. Which is fine for in-the-studio work, but for live and location, I really wanted something utterly solid and bulletproof.

It’s a bit of an ongoing money pit at the moment, this mobile studio project, as I can’t really use any of the mobile gear until I have all of it. But by New Year, I should be up straight with a pretty tasty location recording rig, of which this will be the centre. Already have an old Presonus Firepod that I’m going to re-purpose as 8 pre-amps for this. Couple more pre-amp strips, bag of microphones, and bang, 24-track studio you can put in a rack trolley and take anywhere.

It’s a strange set of considerations, compared to buying gear that’s going to stay in one place. I’ve had to really carefully think through what everything weighs.

New old toys

Just took delivery of a pair of these. Cost £700 each about five years ago, now discontinued and available for 300 quid for a pair while a stocks last.

Is the replacement Voodoo model better? To some degree*. Are these still amazing anyway? Jesus Christ on a Segway, yes they are. Long standing plans to record a gospel choir for a club track are now kicking into gear.

* Ribbon mic with extended high end response. Call me a Luddite, but that’s not what I want a ribbon mic to do. It’s very clever, and I heart SE stuff, but still.

HMV commercial

Blimey, it’s the remix that refuses to die.

Almost a year after it was first out, here’s the Clique Remix of Lana Del Rey’s Video games backing an HMV TV spot.

There’s something almost profound about this lament to doomed romance being used as a backing to an effort to sell off surplus stock of the Playstation 3 Spider-Man game. My early 20s in a nutshell right there. Long story.

Babestation X (TV music)

Am currently doing a bunch of work for the people at Cellcast UK on their interactive TV stuff. Babestation X is one of their new channels; I’m sure you can imagine the kind of thing it is. Or research it, according to taste.

The brief was something with a neon-y, electronic feel, and I had to deliver idents, background music, and various stings and snippets. This is the full ten-minute piece from which all those things were derived.

Had a great time doing some properly old school synth programming; with the exception of the drums, all these sounds were built from scratch, no presets used at all.

Main synth was Native Instruments Massive. The heavily stereo panned riff was constructed in Cakewalk’s z3ta+ 2.

John Foxx – Underpass (Oh The Gilt remix)

Can’t put a stream to this up yet, as it’s not officially out til early 2013 (UPDATE, May 2013 – it’s finally out! More here). But it’s mad, scary, long and has been described by the man himself as “excellent”.

A very great honour to work on such a seminal synth pop track. Here’s the original in the meantime:

The Heartbreaks – Polly (Club Clique Remix)

Fairly dense and complex production this. Obeys the you’re-never-100%-satisfied rule in that I wish I could go back and tweak the mix. Opening riff sound could be much better, and it’s too bass-heavy overall. But the band liked it, and there’s a lot I’m really pleased with, especially the drum programming, which starts off fairly minimal and gets full-on Keith Moon at the end.

A treat to have such a great vocal to work with. The original track is a lot more rawk, but we thought there was a more Pulp-style weird pop song in there trying to get out, so we shamelessly camped it up.

Slightly unusual process, in that Ian wasn’t available for the first couple of sessions, so it was mainly myself and Damien working on it at first. And as is easy to do, we got perhaps overly attached to what we’d done and a bit protective over it when he arrived at the third session and suggested a long list of fairly radical changes. All of which he was right about, somewhat annoyingly.

Saint Etienne – Tonight (Club Clique Remix)

This was a nice one to do. Saint Etienne’s So Tough LP was a youthful obsession through the summer of 1993. I loved the way it was retro and modern at the same time.

Very synthetic-sounding, but if you listen carefully you can just about pick out an acoustic guitar on the verses giving it a bit of Balearic shimmer.

Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Club Clique remix)

This was a concious exercise in making something highly synthetic sounding. There’d been a lot of blather about whether Lana Del Rey was “authentic” or not, which we thought was just about the least interesting question imaginable, so this was a slightly oblique two fingers to all that.

On the technical front, this was the first time I’d dusted off Propellerheads’ Reason in a fair while, which is where the wobbly low synth noise came from. Also lots of fun was had cutting up and messing around with the vocals. Not to create a noticeably chopped effect, but rather to fake a different performance of the song.

There was also quite a lot of timing editing with the vocals. Not because it wasn’t a killer performance, because it was, but again, to add to the artificiality of the thing, in contrast to the impassioned looseness of the original.

Ended up as the lead remix on the European remix package, as seen above.

Ink’d (TV music)

This was for a Cellcast show focussing, on, um, ladies with tattoos. It wasn’t a documentary.

Anyway, the brief was to provide some fairly punky metal high BPM stuff for a short theme, and something longer and more meandering for background music.

Quite rare to get the opportunity to do such straight up guitar / bass / drums music, so I enjoyed working on this a lot.

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