HEISS – LEVIN – KURVES – MUSIC

So this is the first post for months! I have been going through a long period of self doubt. I seem to work hard with music. Create a lot and get bored easily. I never stick at one idea long enough for it to really create an audience. Once I get an audience I get bored. It seems to have been a cycle of my past 20 years in music making!

So my last post was early this year. What have I been doing? In summary… I have been raising my two your daughters, hanging out with my son, designing a new house, working hard with my teaching job and also working on music. There is alot going on… always it seems.

Musically I have been finishing the Levin Album. 99% there. Plus working on video content for the project. I have written 16 new songs for a project I want to work on this september. I have explored making music for kids on Youtube (with one of the videos reaching over 50k plays… not bad!). We have written 3 songs for the HEISS studio project (and shot a video for the first release). Add to this writing some new LEVIN songs… booking some gigs for the summer. Also, working with my music partner Mats on a ‘remix’ of the first Levin album. (its done! just need to upload the songs)… then finally there is the finishing of THE MESSAGES recordings, where right now Vinnie (singer) is in America meeting with some record companies.. with a plan of self releasing a single a month for the months leading up to Christmas… NOW I think you are up to date.

So you can see. My mind is in a million places. Each place is amazing. Learning to manage how I split my mind between this places it the challenge.

I am going to get back to posting on this site. I will aim to post every few days… This site is going to get a new look. So I can upload music and ideas easy. This will be the place where I offload and share (outside of the official release of material produced).

Be back soon. Welcome back. Andy

Creating music for a company was fun! 

Wow, never thought I’d get to the point where I could write a piece of music for an advertising video and it would be creatively painless. In the past I’ve tended to over think the solution… researched loads, thought through my ideas loads… Even before creating anything musically. Then the post production would be a love / hate affair… One minute it’s great, the next I would just want to start again. 

This time I just trusted my instincts and thought “I’ll just write something, if they like it, it’s a bonus”. I worked quickly and never gave myself time to analysis the decisions I was making. It worked. Everyone was happy!!’ Result. 

Playing in America and YouTube adventures

I’ve been using this blog as a way of offloading things in my head and it’s been pretty helpful for me. 

Things are moving really fast right now and it proving hard to keep up with the blog… But I’m going to try and post every now and then. 

Briefly an update: so I have started a YouTube channel, publishing content twice a week. It’s going okay. Each video is getting around 100 views and I’m working on figuring out a system for how to manage creating the content. It’s been taking a lot of time! 

If you want to see the channel just head over to YouTube and search ‘andycargill’. 

I’m also working hard with my guitarist buddy to develop the acoustic set, I have a gig in June, then a festival in August… So it’s really early days in the project, but I think it might have a future. 

I have also been asked to go to America next year to travel around and play… This would be amazing!!! Let’s see how it develops. 

I don’t feel organised, in the way I share what I do, I would love to have the time to update and really share what’s going on. That’s my hope with social networking and YouTube is that I can find a method or system where I can let people into this little world of mine. 

Every day’s a learning curve. That’s great! But I gotta really keep myself in check, as I don’t want to put to much pressure on myself, yet I want to work hard to achieve my goals. Every musicians mind!!! Lol. 

Parallel compressin’

If you are not a studio nerd (like me!) then as soon as technical talk begins about how music is produced yor mind drifts… I’ll try and take this topic easy. 
So, basically when you record a song you end up with all you instruments, vocals and what not recorded as their own audio file, in a bit of software that plays all the audio files in sync. 
Easy. 

You can edit the audio files. Maybe an instrument louder, or with an audio effect that puts it in a big room? Maybe you want more bass on one sound or a distortion on another? It’s endless… You get the idea. 
  
One of the big things you need to do to get your music sounding ‘good’ is to compress the instruments. When you compress you basically squash the audio… You limit the louder parts and generally even out the dynamics of the sound. (There’s around 1000+ ways of compressing. Each effecting the sound in different creative ways). 
  
Let’s take a kick drum. You want it steady in the mix. Constant. Not going up or down in volume as the song plays.
The old school way of doing this would be to put on a compressor on the audio track of the kick drum… Job done. But… You can easily end up with a muddy sounding bass drum! You squash it… And in squashing it you loose the full dynamic range of the kick drum… So it can end up sounding like a ‘mud drum’. 
  
Parallel compression takes another tact. You don’t compress the bass drum… Instead you just make it sound nice. Then you send the bass drum over to a channel (called an auxiliary) where you have a compressor set up! The magic comes when you mix in the compressed bass drum with the original bass drum… It sounds great! Loads of punch, without the mud. 
Of course, this is a very basic overview of the method, but maybe you get the idea? 
I’m currently working with a scaled up version of this… And it sounds so good! Loads of clarity of the instruments in the mix. I’ll try and put up a before and after in a few days. 
Hope this helps someone out there?! Andyc. 

Bored of all this…

Pretty hard to find a way of keeping a balance on all this. Seems you can easily spend half your life keeping up with social networking and I’m not sure what the point is? 

I’ve tried to see it all as a way for me to just document what I do and all that, but then I always look to see ‘is someone looking?’, ‘does anyone care?’….

It seems I need to be loved. Wow, I thought I had this under control. Lol. 

Now I’m working on a YouTube channel that releasing twice a week. I think it’s positive in the way that I produce work, share and then move onto the next the video.

Right now I’m focusing on acoustic music and seeing where it takes me. 

Heavy thoughts… Sure it’s just a phase. 😉 

Taking the acoustic project live! 

Been ill for a few days… Poor me! But last week I hooked up with a drummer and guitarist to start working through the Acoustic songs… Taking them to the next level! (I hope!).

Check out some of my previous posts on here for the making of the ‘levin’ album… You can listen to it on my soundcloud page.

Anyhow, I wrote the album on my old Levin palour guitar… But now I’ve decided to use a standard acoustic to play it live for a couple of reasons. Firstly I can’t afford the microphone for the parlour guitar, it’s going to cost around £2-300… Too much! Plus I think it’s going to be super hard to keep it in tune.

It’s a shame, but I think it’s the right choice as it’s going to be hard enough to get the songs sounding great, without any extra hassles of old guitars.

Laters all. Andyc