1. avatar Rich9
    hey folks
    we've confirmed the date for May's music meetup - May 20th at the Spring and Airbrake

    Music Meetups are designed to allow anyone involved in the NI Music Industry to come along and meet likeminded individuals. You might be a musician looking for others to collaborate with, or a band needing contacts, a manager, a studio person, a promoter or anything else related.

    the Q&A session on Tour Booking was a great success last time, so please let us know if there are other topics that you'd like to see covered!

    join the group on facebook:
    [url]http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48086031612[/url]

    Thanks to David at CDC Leisure for offering the venue and some light snacks!

    cheers
    Rich
  2. avatar pennydistribution
    what about a recording / pre-production Q&A - get a few engineers / producers to give input on how to prepare before going into the studio?

    Something on management would be cool, too...
  3. avatar Stevie Mac
    I am so going to actually make it to this one.
  4. avatar jenniemcc
    NIMIC are doing a management thing on Thursday, so hopefully that will answer a lot of questions on that side.

    We were thinking about a publishing theme for June though? Maybe with some structured networking sessions before the general get together. Any thoughts on that?
  5. avatar pennydistribution
    i'd be up for that - just to be clear - what would a "structured networking session" look like and what would be the goal of it?
  6. avatar Declan
    If you need any help with a recording/pre-production theme...give me a shout.
  7. avatar pennydistribution
    Nothing's written in stone yet but thanks for the offer of help! Anyone else want to offer up a few ideas for the Q&A section of the meetup?

    What's the biggest problem you have as a music business (distribution, marketing, PR?) or some part of being in a band that some people with experience can shed some light on (publishing, promotion etc)?
  8. avatar DavidHill
    Hey Fitzy!

    A Session on Distribution and PR would be awesome...

    You could give us all a lot of insight into distribution

    You could also go into how to write Press releases, How to approach your Press release as regards to Agents, Management Magazines, radio etc

    How about going into Copyrighting your material?
  9. avatar fastfude
    [quote:748a3d9d1c="DavidHill"]How about going into Copyrighting your material?[/quote:748a3d9d1c]
    Frequently covered here:

    [quote:748a3d9d1c="feline1"]In the UK, one does not NEED to "copyright" something: you AUTOMATICALLY own the copyright in something that you write. You do not need to register it with any society or body or person or anything other such thing for the ownership of the copyright to become yours.

    What you MAY need to do at some point, however, is therefore PROVE that you wrote the song in question (and thus prove you own the copyright). [/quote:748a3d9d1c]
    http://fastfude.org/topic.php?id=33353
  10. avatar isis
    yo yo. What time will the meeting be kicking off at? I would like to have been there for the tour booking talk. oh well. Would love to have a Q&A on how to make some feckin money!!
    I write the music for GO so I'll bring along examples of the press releases I get through if its of interest to anyone...
  11. avatar DavidHill
    Thank Fastfude....

    See i didnt know and lots other may not know either, so thats y i suggested it be a discussion topic at a meet up

    Still think its a good topic as its something every artist should know about and something they should hear bout form the ppl in the industry who work in that field
  12. avatar pennydistribution
    Just a quick head’s up that this month’s NI Music Meetup is happening next week, Wednesday May 20th from 6-9pm at The Spring & Airbrake. As usual, the goal is to get people who're working in music, in whatever capacity, into a room to talk with each other.

    Last month’s brief Q&A on touring was a hit, so we’ll be running another. This time on pre-production. Some studio owners / engineers from around the country will chat & take questions on how to maximize your time in the studio, what to avoid and what to prepare for, and ultimately, how to make the best recording possible. The talk will last EXACTLY 30 mins to prevent waffling, after which you’ll be free to waffle among yourselves for a couple of hours :)

    Free nibbles, tea & coffee kindly laid on by the CDC folks to fill the bellies and get the ideas flowing…
  13. avatar Rich9
    just a reminder that this is tomorrow evening, 6pm at the Spring and Airbrake...
  14. avatar Rocky
    I'm going to be at this, talking about pre-production.

    I'm really looking forward to it, as I've been either recording or touring for every other meet up.
  15. avatar Declan
    I'll be talking at this too....as long as my back holds out. Looking forward o seeing everyone again.
  16. avatar mkelly
    As the resident recording nerd in [url=http://www.myspace.com/theacolytesband]the acolytes[/url] I'm really looking forward to this.

    I appreciate people from studios coming to talk to bands, though one thing I'd be interested to hear about is the best way for bands to prepare material at home first - hybrid bedroom/proper studio recordings? How do you guys view home demos - help or hindrance?

    (Using internet anonymity to ask this question rather than speaking up in public tonight ;-) )

    Cheers,

    Mo
  17. avatar Declan
    Mo...Honestly please ask this question tonight...it's a really great question. I'll answer it for you no worries...would take a lot longer than the few lines we have here...but just to say it depends on the material, the timing, the tuning and the quality of the home recording. For example, I have used bits of badly recorded home demo stuff a guitar line or some hook as an effect in a track or two...but there has to be a reason to use it. If it works, it works.
  18. avatar JTM
    What time is go time? I'm itching for an excuse to leave the DayJob® as early as possible.

    And I'm also looking forward to getting the benefit of Rocky's wisdom.
  19. avatar mkelly
    [quote:8d731b1418="Declan"]Mo...Honestly please ask this question tonight...it's a really great question.[/quote:8d731b1418]

    I'll try to muster some courage ;-)
  20. avatar pennydistribution
    numpty here was laid up in bed all evening - best not get into how that happened - so how did it go? positive and negative feedback is appreciated - it's all helpful!
  21. avatar mkelly
    From a personal perspective it was very enlightening. Plus the home recording aspect was discussed at length without me having to pipe up :-)

    Seriously though it was a great meetup. I'll definitely be hitting the next ones.
  22. avatar Beau Sooth
    I couldn't make this one as well due to other commitments. Will hopefully catch the next one though.

    Any cool recording tips?
  23. avatar pennydistribution
    not making this one made me think we need a live blog or twitter stream or sommat - still heard the chat before during and after the q&a was substantive. onwards!
  24. avatar Rocky
    No! I'll recap a little on some of what went down:

    It ended up being more about bands making the right choices in who they choose to work with and being aware of making decisions and knowing the process in order to get the best representations of their songs.

    One big question was "is there a way of bands knowing they are going to a qualified studio and are going to get what they want from a recording?"

    For me, the best albums I've worked on have been very involved and enthusiastic affairs. I (almost) never work with bands or projects that I don't want to work on and turn down as much work as I take on. There needs to be a creative reason to be in a room for days on end with someone, a shared love and goal in mind.

    The amount of money spent on equipment, the choice and range of equipment, the years of practice/training/learning and the standard of rooms are all deadly important,
    but for me don't really need to be talked about - especially never in a preachy manner.
    In a decent studio, it's a given that quality will be there.

    It's a given that using the same amplifiers/mics/pre amps / compressors as your favourite sounding recordings will get you in the ballpark of those sounds, as compared to using
    cheaper gear in worse sounding rooms, but that's not what's really important - and is something I never really emphasise. It's about personal and musical connection between artist and producer / engineer.

    Listening to the output of a producer/studio is the best possible way to get an idea of style, quality and ability.

    For me the other most important thing that gets better quality recordings, especially at earlier stages in bands careers, is someone knowing who is "producing" the recording.
    By that I mean, who is RESPONSIBLE for it.
    Often bands will think the engineer is, while the engineer thinks the band are and no one ever has the discussion - for me, that's when poor recordings come out.

    Pre production for me is thinking about every single note that goes into a song and knowing that it is where it is,
    and why it is. Thinking about structure/dynamic/arrangement
    instrumentation, vocal delivery, sounds all in relation to what the song is and why it needs to be that way.
    It also includes the purchase/hire & servicing of all equipment (and personnel) needed to complete the project.

    Indeed as a self producing artist, it's a blurred line from starting to write a song to pre production to "producing"
    they all roll into one.

    Making sure someone is completely aware of timing & tuning
    is imperative, and making sure someone has a vision and knowledge of what the band are and what a recording should bring is important.

    At the start of projects I discuss this at length and
    my role becomes clear, either I am a producer, 100% responsible and needing to be happy, co-producer - where this is a collaboration with the artist, essentially like joining the band for the recording process. Or engineer.
    Where I have no musical input and less input on sounds/technical abilities, but make the best decisions based on my experience.

    It's very important that when you hire a studio with an "engineer" that everyone knows who is responsible for all the other stuff.

    HOME DEMOS were also discussed.
    They can often capture the essence of exactly what
    and artist is about.
    Practically every album I've worked on have been entirely demo'd before recording. This allows all the issues of songwriting/arrangement to be addressed.

    More often than not it's done by a member of the band to keep costs minimal. Every time it's been of huge benefit to the recording process and it's something I recommend greatly to those who have the ability.
  25. avatar clss_act_00
    Nicely put rocky, all very important aspects and the right emphasis in the right places

    I think with more established acts they have a better idea of what's required, plan ahead better and are willing to spend more time/money whereas newer/younger bands don't tend to appreciate the work that goes into getting things just right

    However in saying all this, there's a place for spending time/money on a great, professional sounding product, and a place for rushing out a demo to get yourself heard. This is another place where i believe loads of people make big mistakes. It's extremely easy to get a solid first demo completed, either at home or in one of the smaller studios, without spending much time or money. BUT... preparation is still a vital ingredient!

    The way i see it...

    - Live demos/practice recordings are great, dirt cheap, next to no time needed, allows you to figure out what needs to change in the general flow of your music.

    - Cheap, quick recordings can be great, if you prepare yourself and get things down to a tee a decent engineer (chose the term engineer on purpose here rather than producer) can make it sound good enough to get your style and sound out to whoever hears the tunes without putting them off by anything being sub-standard. But being well prepared is key

    - "Proper" full scale production is what we all want to get to... where we can take time over things, unfortunately spending a bit more money but in return getting something thats creatively stronger based on the time taken looking at all the musical aspects of every tune and (ideally/possibly/hopefully) by including an outside ear in a producers role

    Maybe others see these differently, I'd love to hear a few more opinions. New bands could learn a lot here
  26. avatar JTM
    Well said Rocky.

    I also plan to type up the notes I made on the discussion, probably tomorrow on some sort of blog.

    It was again a very useful and well run meeting, props to Rich, the Spring, Daryl from Komodo, and everyone else who took part.
  27. avatar Stevie Mac
    Very useful stuff, I think Rocky pretty much covered it.

    Just a quick plug if I may - I teach at [url=http://www.ymsi.biz]Yamaha Music School[/url] in Holywood, and am currently offering a course in home recording basics if anyone's interested in learning more about the process.

    As has been stated, if you're forking out big money to go into a studio, you better have your songs nailed in terms of structure & arrangement or you're going to waste time that could be better spent, and home demos are the best way of doing this.

    The depth of knowledge in audio engineering / producing is broad, but achievable, and you'd be surprised how far you can get today with a PC/Mac, basic audio interface & free software. I've had several songs played on the radio that were recorded & mixed on my own very meager home setup.

    Timing & tuning are definitely key, but if you're in a band & do that little bit more work & learn recording basics & basic music theory, I think you'd find it incredibly useful.
  28. avatar DavidHill
    F**K i Missed this for work!

    Will this continue in June?
  29. avatar Declan
    Not a whole lot to really add to this, Rocky's covered most of what was talked about.
    Just a few gaps to fill in... I remember talking about the fact that sometimes a band or artist doesn't have a definite idea of how they want to sound or even how to explain clearly how they want to sound. In these instances it may be better to seek out someone who will act as a producer rather than an engineer. Someone with objectivity... There are a lot of studios that cover the entire spectrum from 1 guy with a laptop and a couple of mics charging £10 per hour...right through to Abbey Road for example (£15,000,000 per hour I believe.)

    You will generally get what you pay for but for God's sake, visit the studios you are interested in....ask for examples of their work...Check out our last few projects...talk to us...decide if you need a producer or an engineer. E.G. I have photos, bio, experience, thoughts and feelings etc.. on my website and audio on my myspace... Other studios do too..or should.

    Simple things, like make sure your guitars/bass/vocals etc... are in tune (for every song). Drummers...practice to a click...see if it makes your songs better or not...make decisions...

    Have a vision and work towards it.

    The most important and first question you should ask yourself is [b:f83ee58c9b]"what is this recording for"[/b:f83ee58c9b] if it's to capture an idea...who cares what gear you use or where you record it...if it's for self release to try and develop a fan base, maybe it's worth investing in a good studio/engineer/producer....maybe you'll get fans that aren't your best mates or other bands...maybe radio/podcasts will play your songs...maybe you'll get better gigs or support slots.

    It's 2 sides of the same coin...a good song is always more important than the recording but then again, Johnny Cash doing 'Hurt' is still a production, a series of beautifully correct decisions by amazingly talented people. (imho)

    One thing I did come away with, and I know Rocky did too... was a real motivation to keep going...keep being positive...We can all head in the right direction....make music that matters, that touches people. work harder...the rest will follow.

    Oh yeah, for those that think these meetups are a waste of time, come to the next one (even just to listen) then make your decision.

    Declan
    www.bigspacestudios.co.uk
  30. avatar Rich9
    next meetup is planned for Wednesday June 24th at the Stiff Kitten... more details shortly, but please keep the date!