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Progress report #5

Sat, 12 Nov 2011

Preview Cover Preview Back
Coming (fairly) soon. Yes, three new tracks - People Like You is a different song.

Progress report #4

Sun, 25 Sep 2011

In Our Dreams We're Flying will have three tracks which are entirely new. I've just recorded the final new track so all tracks for the album now exist. Most tracks now have what I think is a fairly good mix. Some haven't changed much from their already-released mixes, while others are fairly different and may have re-recorded parts.

I'm getting near the point of feeling that all the mixes are good. Well, it's rare that I ever decide a mix is truly good. Problem is, everything sounds different on a different set of speakers or even on a different day. A correction one day becomes a error the next, and sometimes having too much time can be a bad thing. Rule is, mix until it's done, then stop. That second part is surprisingly important. I'm getting near the point of feeling that all the mixes are done.

Next step, because I've decided to do my own mastering again, will be combining the tracks together. Working out the order, making them work together. Getting the levels and the EQ right. Then there's some more artwork to sort out. Then it's done.

Progress report #3

Sun, 17 Jul 2011

Some delays currently due to an urgent project at work needing a bunch of overtime. HOWEVER, some progress is still being made. Still hoping for a release by end-of-year.

Progress report #2

Mon, 6 Jun 2011

Tried to re-record Stuck In The Loop in a bit of a different style, but that wasn't working out well. Abandoned that project and cleaned up Three Problems instead.

Made the drums more consistent near the start instead of coming in and dropping out all the time. Cleaned up and added to the other instruments a little. Extended the ending to double the final verse. Tried not to touch things too much as I think the overall sound was fairly good.

My aim when mixing is to keep working on it while it continues to sound better, and then stop. This can be surprisingly difficult.

Also redesigned the website a little but some pages (mainly Music) still need a bit of work at some stage.

Progress report #1

Sun, 22 May 2011

Two new tracks for the album done. Currently cleaning up the horrible strings in Signs of Life.

Putting together an album

Wed, 27 Apr 2011

The time has come (the walrus said) to talk of many things. I've been silent on music here for a while (although I've put a few things up on my YouTube account) , and this silence may continue for some time, but things are being worked on in the background.

Cover draft

I'm attempting to put together an album collection of music with a sort of rough general concept, which will hopefully be ready be the end of the year. The album is called In Our Dreams We're Flying, and will be mostly existing tracks with a little bit of new content. Existing tracks will be fixed up, and remastered to work together in an album content (there is currently a lot of variation in sound and volume between tracks).

The album will be a free release downloadable from this site. It will not be available in physical CD form but will come with the art necessary for a jewel case.

Please don't think that the $0 price tag means it will be of any lower quality than a paid album. I have no affiliation with the commercial music machine and therefore no responsibility to meet unrealistic deadlines or undesirable demands. Mastering will be done in-house as usual and the album will be released when and only when it's done. There will be no hypercompression, no auto-tune; only music.

The Paintbrush DVD uploaded

Sun, 30 Jan 2011

I've finally uploaded the DVD .iso file of The Paintbrush, the short film that was my final-year project at university.

The film is unfinished but I created the soundtrack and all audio for the completed portions of the film. YouTube video and audio has always been available (on the Other Work page), but I wasn't able to upload the DVD originally because the file is so big, and my Internet was so slow, that it would time out before completion.

The ISO is 400MB and can be burnt to DVD using any DVD burner software that supports disc image files. It contains the full video and 5.1 surround sound audio.

New Song

Sun, 24 Oct 2010

This is just a short one, called People Like You. There's also a video of the recording process. The amount of harmony parts is a bit silly (although nothing I haven't done before).

A move to Creative Commons

Sat, 18 Sep 2010

Recently, I investigated the feasibility of putting a few cover songs up for free download. Sometimes I record covers on my YouTube account and it would be nice to offer download links as well, instead of people having to listen to often low-quality encoded audio. Turns out, the music industry is even more ridiculous than I thought.

First, it's illegal to offer a download of a cover of someone else's song unless they have already released the rights, even if you give it away free. Okay, I guess that's fair enough. So what if I wanted to obtain the rights? I couldn't find a great deal of information online, so since I'm in New Zealand, I asked APRA about it.

Looks like there are two main options: Obtain the rights directly from the owner of the track, or get a Digital Download Licence from APRA. Working out who exactly owns the rights to a track, working out a deal and getting their permission is a bit out of scope for a few random covers I might want to do. With a DDL, the basic deal is that you pay APRA 12% of every track sold. The catch for free tracks is that there appears to be a minimum payment per track, so if you gave away tracks for free you'd lose some money on every download.

Another bigger problem is actually handling the purchases and making sure they're legal. Setting up a payment system, if I decided to charge something to cover costs, would be okay because I could do it through an external site like Bandcamp. But the document on how you need to record downloads, what needs to be included in those downloads, and how you need to pay your royalties is a horrific 26-page license agreement/form combination that I'd pretty much need to hire a lawyer to decipher. Music licencing is obviously not aimed at the common musician.

Also, my website is now hosted in the US. Let's say I offer a download of a cover song. Under US law, it looks like I need to buy a US mechanical licence for the song, since the download comes from the US. But do I also need a NZ licence because I'm in NZ? I'm not sure. Do I need to limit the downloads to only be allowed in countries where I have purchased a license? It's quite possible - many other services do this.

In fact, I technically need a separate and different licence again to have a cover on YouTube in the first place, because its a "sync" track with video. Of course, YouTube is absolutely full of unlicensed covers and the worst that happens is that they get removed, or their accounts get disabled. It seems ridiculous to me that if you post a video of your friends singing Happy Birthday, you're breaking the law.

And so it seems the copyright laws achieve what they set out to do. Not protect the music's integrity, but its profits and exclusivity. Music doesn't need to be about making money, and music will survive without money, as it always has. Maybe, in dreams of a perfect world, we can get away from all the money-centric force-fed radio crap and music can be based on the actual quality of the music itself.

Personally I'm moving all my music to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand License, so anyone is free to record covers and give copies to their friends or whatever they want. The only thing I'm still charging is the album, because it's a physical CD that I spent money on getting printed, but it's only half the price of a normal music CD. And you're very welcome to not purchase it.


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