Zed Brookes – O Sweet Cacophony Album Released

I finally released my album in 2016 after changing the name to “O Sweet Cacophony” as it seemed more intriguing and different than “Deus Ex Machina” (which also reminded me too much of a recent film).

Luckily a good friend of mine stepped in and helped me curate the final track listing, and even booked the venue for the release listening party at Brothers Beer in Auckland.

Mixing Metaphors for Music – the Picket Fence and Shrubbery Metaphor

Mixing engineers and producers generally have a bunch of internal metaphors for visualising or handling the various aspects of a song mix, depending on what they’re working on and their own personal preferences. Some stick with the same ones all the time, but most dynamically shift between a selection of metaphors as they go. It can be a way of keeping certain mix “rules”

The Art of Conversation in Song

(Some thoughts on the idea of conversation as a way to visualise the interaction of parts within a song).

Both music and its production involve various transactions, or a dialogue, or a conversation, between interested parties.

This might be between the artist and the audience at a gig, as the audience responds to what the artist is playing,

Over the Top and Back – Avoiding the Uncanny Valley in Music Production

uncanny reverb valleyOne of the dangers of nibbling away at mixing songs – commonly with your mouse rather than a dedicated audio control surface or mixing desk, is that it’s easy to be far too conservative when adding effects and the like.

What typically happens is you slowly push the level of an effect up until it starts to sound like it’s too much –

3 Common Mistakes of Lyric Writing

As a producer, one of the things that is most apparent to me is the difference between an amateur and professional songwriter – even if that amateur is talented and doing well in their career. Many bands and artists come into the studio with what initially seems to be a great song, but in the process of putting down the vocals,

Review – the UAD Apollo Duo

UAD Apollo under laptop with heaps of UAD plug-ins showing

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of UAD since I purchased the little UAD-2 Solo/Laptop card. Since the Solo has only one of the SHARC plug-in processing chips in it, my plug-in demands quickly overloaded it. This was usually accompanied by the fiddly and annoying juggling of said plug-ins and bouncing or freezing of tracks in Logic.

The Lucky 13 Song Mixing Tips

Before I get started I just want to reinforce something I’ve mentioned in earlier posts – sometimes a reduction in parameters actually generates more creativity. Being aware of a set of limitations, or guidelines, can actually allow you much more creative control over your final mix.This could mean limiting the amount of effects that you allow yourself to use,

Relieving Threshold Shift (Temporary Hearing Loss) with Acupressure

This is a handy tip for those moments when you’ve gone to see a loud band and forgotten to take earplugs, and one that I’ve used numerous times to “reset” my ears after a gig. I was shown this trick about 20 years ago by a friend and have been using it since then, but in preparing this blog I’ve also found lots of supporting evidence on the web that reinforces the basic concept.

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