13 June 2018

Rubel's Law

Today this one just felt right ...

Rubel's Law of Production - Mark Rubel, Instructor & Co-Director (2014) The Blackbird Academy
Great music poorly recorded will always be great; crappy music wonderfully recorded will always be crap

12 June 2018

London's first Recording Studio

Possibly the first ever photograph of a ‘recording studio’. It was taken some time in 1898 at 31, Maiden Lane, London, where the Gramophone Co set up their first permanent recording room.

You can see that the piano is raised so that its sound can be captured in the (one and only one!) recording horn which itself would be adjusted to the height of a singer’s mouth.

You can find more details on this nice site

20 April 2018


Such awful news - Way too young to leave us - what the hell is going on
Hide and seek

"Last year I quit performing live, and many of you thought that was it. But the end of live never meant the end of Avicii or my music. Instead, I went back to the place where it all made sense – the studio.
The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new"

Laws for Audio Engineers and Producers

I've just added this page to safeguard these words from famous people. Enjoy.

18 April 2018

Ambient production techniques

I have tried to put together a list of techniques that can be applied when producing Ambient music.
Let me know if I have missed anything important.

  • Timbre
    Tone and timbre are really important in Ambient music. Sounds generally develop over longer time spans so it is important for the sound to remain interesting by use of filter sweeps, LFO, LowFi, and interactions with other pitches. Brian Eno said that Ambient music "is intended to induce calm and a space to think" - it should have enough detail that you can actively listen to it without getting bored, but not so much that you can't ignore it whilst it's playing.
    Play with extreme contrasts in volume, in texture and timbre. Try to create a song where each track uses some form of heavy distortion. Alternatively, compose a track where every sound has a drawn out and soft attack. Then experiment with juxtaposing those two elements within the same song. Experiment with automation of panning, volume, EQ and effects parameters over long periods of time.

29 November 2017

Sample Library organization

Organizing your sample library is always problematic. When you're on a roll and want to find a specific sample quickly but can't remember where it is.
Well, perhaps Coggle can help.

Coggle is a freeware mind-mapping web application. Like other mind-mapping software, Coggle produces hierarchically structured documents, like a branching tree.

What this means is, at the least you will be able to layout your sample folder structure so that you can decide, in a simple visual way, what structure will best suit your style of music.

Here is my complete folder structure, including business and client folders.

Click for a bigger view

And here is a view of part of my Sample Library structure

Click for a bigger view

Give Coggle a try. You can save the structure to PDF and print it out as you want.

21 November 2017


A new Ambient Industrial track to accompany a privately released video commision.

1 September 2017

Using Trello as a Master Project template


Trello is a collaboration tool that lets you organize your projects into boards. In one glance,Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.

Trello lets you lay out information across a Board which can contain many Lists, each of which can hold many cards into which you can add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels and due dates, and more. Best of all, it's free (unlimited Boards, Lists, Cards, Members, Checklists, and attachments).

I have found that using Trello to help me remember and comment on each step of my music production has been very useful.
My Music Project Board hold many Lists, filled with cards, which can be about any aspect of your music production. I have cards covering musical key structure, production notes, sound design tricks, and so on.