My Biggest Regret in Music

There are plenty of things I regret in music. I regret not safely backing up the original stems and early project files for some of the music I’ve released. I also should have taken more notes throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s of those recording sessions and even the guitar tabs and musical notations.

But my biggest regret? The first thing I ever released.

Why would I cringe at the thought of the first major worldwide release? One that charted in Mexico on the iTunes charts? One that had backing from a serious record label and studio?

Because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. 

The music was composed, and the lyrics were written by yours truly, but the overall release was tainted by a small number of people – – friends – – who wanted me to be a success. With silly amounts of pitch correction and oversampling, I had sold out before I’d even attempted to hit the mainstream.

The album failed (thankfully) and although there are still some links out there on the internet, the distribution ceased, and it has been deleted from all publishers.

The worst part was whenever I performed the songs live, I replaced the crappy synthesised instruments with my real playing and I used my real voice. People would compliment me and say they appreciated the fact that I’m not some fantastic singer and that I was not afraid to have flaws during my performances. I certainly don’t think I have a good singing voice, but I refuse to try and disguise it as radio-friendly and as slick as some voices are (or at least portray)

I escaped my solo stage name and began Cursed Legacy. Death of a Hero was everything I had ever wanted to release, and it was 100% independent. It was all me, the way I wanted it. I refused to work with others who would sway my production into their own. Lunar Isolation has been a huge challenge and bringing in a whole new band and producer was worth it as I finally had people in my musical life I could trust with the project, so I could step back and work on my own music elsewhere.

Life is a Terminal Illness is the best thing I’ve ever done by myself and I refuse to sell out. The album doesn’t have fancy studio work or shiny production and that’s because it is real. I wrote, performed and recorded it without the influence of those trying to make me something I’m not. I am very protective of my work. The album was mastered by a well-respected engineer in America. The dynamic range was decent, and the album sounded okay, but I opted not to use the master for the final release as I wanted the album to be represented as exactly how I recorded and mixed it. I broke the number one rule for mastering: don’t master yourself, get an independent set of ears to master it.

Don’t be a musician unless you will ensure it will always be YOUR music the way YOU want it.  

 

NEW SINGLE AND ALBUM REVEAL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVyR6Gb9-Kw

LIFE IS A TERMINAL ILLNESS
OUT AUGUST 1, 2018

PRE-ORDER ON BANDCAMP AND GET SEE WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS TODAY:
https://caskcamp.bandcamp.com/album/life-is-a-terminal-illness

PRE-SAVE ON SPOTIFY:
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/cask/dHSE

Stream the debut album “Play it Over…”
https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/cask/buEn

Some Audio Design and Production Tips

IMG_20180118_104720_651.jpgHere are a few valuable tips I have used over the last few of music production I figured I’d share. Do what suits you and find your own style, but this is what works for me and I’ll be sure to keep posting various things that I think may benefit aspiring amateurs and home-studioers alike.

 

  • Don’t add too much of anything
  • Listen to your mixes on as many systems as possible (use fancy headphones / crap ones / use your car stereo / even use your TV)
  • Mono your bass
  • Expand your mids
  • Leave the faders alone. Mix with Pan and EQ.
  • Never overmix your drums.
  • If within 45 minutes your mix isn’t progressing, remove parts or change the arrangement.
  • The key of the song definitely does matter. Don’t be lazy and decide to do it in E standard tuning just because. Experiment with half-step or full-step tuning.
  • Turn off your computer and leave your mix for a few days, come back with a fresh mind
  • Record vocals in stereo
  • Try a low-pass filter on a delay

Amusing Occurrences in Spain

I’ve been here yearly for the past three years and I think it’s safe to say I’ve adapted to the wonderful Kingdom of Spain, but there are some crazy facts and things I’ve noticed that need to be shared:
 
  • Their is at least one night a week when fireworks will go off in a local town for a few hours.
  • Each little suburb essentially chooses its own rules. It’s a bank holiday in one town and a normal day in the next. It doesn’t matter where you go,  chances are you’re going to get there and all the stores are closed for fiesta.
  • They build airports in no fly zones, causing outrage at its uselessness and melt down over it despite the fact that at least one or two airports exist per area. (Sydney would have like thirty airports by now but we’ve been struggling and pondering over a second major airport for years)
  • (A point I’ve made several times before but is worth covering again) Australian imported alcohol is 75% cheaper than in Aus and yet still considered ‘premium price’
  • If you make an appointment to see the doctor at 8am,  you’re best taking the day off as they’ll see you closer to 1pm.
  • The postman is trained to learn the location and people only to be replaced a month later by a new guy. The cycle never ends.
  • Raising the speed limit in part of Valencia on the motorway from 110km to 130km actually brought the road death toll down. 
  • If you venture through old houses (ruins) from the early 1900s, the lack of evidence to suggest toilets or showers were installed is quite obvious. Don’t ask…[Josè, my grandfather, tells me that in the 60s he gave a gift of flowers to someone who put them in the toilet bowl, oblivious to the idea that toilets are not actually vases connected to the plumbing]
  • Lined paper essentially does not exist: this is something I noticed a few years ago. It’s graphing paper (those maths squares) or nothing. To get lined paper I actually had to visit a British supplies store.
  • There’s a popular brand of cigars called “Tampax” so you can literally go out and smoke a Tampax with your friends.
  • Workers will whip out their private parts and hilariously piss near the construction sites without considering that it might be better to do so with a bit more privacy.
  • Peacocks, for no apparent reason and at any time, will appear in bizarre places such as hanging off the edge of an apartment block.
  • Snakes have no regard for traffic and will cross without paying respect to the laws of the road and the rules that us common pedestrians are forced to follow.
  • Saying you’re from Australia is like admitting you have traveled from outer-space to visit. Most villagers have yet to leave the village let alone leave the country.
  • If you’re as white as I am and you speak Spanish to somebody, they’ll give you a response in English.

    And with that aside, I have been approved for a home loan to purchase property and relocate to Alicante later this year. 

 

 
 

Bucket List: Amusing Budget Flight with Strangers? Check

It was the 14th of April and the Ryanair flight departed at 6am. Edinburgh to Alicante. 
I was sat on the aisle seat beside two middle age Scottish women with their daughters behind on the opposite side.

Within a few drinks (they spent a good £50 in the first go) they laughed and bantered with me until one of the daughters convinced me to draw a beard on her mum’s face as she slept.

As word got around, half the passengers laughed as we all took photos and the other half death stared.

When the plane landed, I shot off to exit the terminal with a smile. The family was en route to Benidorm, their holiday must have begun amusingly.

Ryanair is an extremely cheap airline with a reputation for being terrible and scamming customers but it was pretty good and ahead of schedule. The landing into Alicante was bad though. Really painful.