Having built my studio and filled it with weird toys it's time to put it all together and create a new album. It's been three years since 'Mir' and my head is fizzing and bubbling with fresh ideas.
Trouble is, every time I get into something, I manage a couple of weeks of concentration and then I have to pack my bags and jet off to some exotic corner of the planet to play music at a party full of crazies.
I know, I know - it's a great problem to have and I'm not complaining - but it's now high time I got on with creating a set of brand new songs and building on my previous four albums.
I have singers and musicians lined up with whom I want to work, and lots of new instruments and machines that I'm keen to explore, but in order to do that I need to spend six months locked away without distraction, putting the hours in, and taking it as far out as I can.
I'll provide regular updates, photos and reports and, if I can work out the technology, a studio-cam so you can peek in and watch me sitting motionless in front of a computer, working up a monstrous backache and drinking tea.
If time permits I'm also going to work on some video to go with it, which I'll have projected onto a big screen when I'm finally allowed out to play some shows.
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges?
Poor posture, bad diet and a studio tan are all lying in wait for the unprepared studio-hermit, but with my amazing wife forcing me to eat fruit, my Aeron chair and my home in the beautiful rain-kissed haven of Dartmoor, I hope to mitigate these as far as I can.
And with the awesome power of OCD behind me I know I can pursue every trivial detail to an absurd degree.
The only real challenge will be not descending in to total madness during the mixing stage.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
'The Book Of Awesome' is a glossy printed booklet which will come with the initial run of CDs which will contain the names of everyone who backed the album and, for those who pledged to do so, their photograph too.
Names and photos will be collected when it comes time to print the booklets and you can use any name and [almost] any photo you like.
By offering to 'MIX' your track, I'm undertaking to take the individual tracks of your recording of your song and mix them so that they sound good to me. I wouldn't expect to rearrange your song, add any musical parts, or fundamentally change the character of what was there, but I would spend a couple of days taking your song to where i think you intended it to go. I would use all of my know-how [I've been mixing records for about 25 years now] to make your recording sound as good as I possibly can. At the end I would present it to you for tweaks and suggestions, in the event your taste required, for example, louder guitars or a dryer vocal. Mixing will be 'unattended' - meaning you won't be able to come to the studio while I'm doing it. We will be in contact while it is going on though.
By offering to 'REMIX' your track, I'm undertaking to take whatever parts of your song you send me, pull them apart, rearrange and reimagine them into a new shape which excites me at the time I'm doing it. It may take three days it may take three weeks - I can get a bit obsessive about these things. At the end I will hand it to you for you to release as you see fit.
This wouldn't be done to any brief or instruction - you will receive the remix as I think it should be. If you like it you are free to use it as you wish. If you don't I won't be going back and doing it again so make sure you fully acquaint yourself with what I do and what my remixes sound like. I would also offer the remix as a free download on my Bandcamp page if you wished. This is not obligatory.
Yes, if they're available, you got 'em.
Most shows and festivals allow me guests - so if I'm playing and you pledged for the VIP passes you get first choice on them. Some of the larger festivals - Glastonbury, Wakarusa etc - don't offer guest list places so if they're not there I can't offer them.
If I only have limited places then these will go to whoever requests first.
Sorry for any potential disappointment.
It will be down to you to keep an eye on where I'm playing and to email me in good time.
'The Book Of Awesome' will be a thirty to fifty page booklet to go with the CD. It will be the size of a CD case and will contain, amongst other things, the names of everyone who backs my album project through Kickstarter.
It will also contain photos and one of them could be yours. When it comes time to design the book, if you have pledged for one of the applicable rewards, you will be contacted to supply a photo. I am planning to fit around 16 photos on a page so bear that in mind when planning your photo. Too much small detail will be lost so think approximately passport sized.
The photo can be anything: you, your dog, your guitar, your wife and kids.
Close-ups of your genital piercing probably won't be suitable.
It's a pretty cheap deal too. I'm a professional mixer and I only ever strive for the very best I can do. Mixing an album probably represents one or two months of solid work - and that means 18-hour days and no weekends off.
But five grand is a lot of cash so only go for this one if you're absolutely sure your record is worth it.
I can do quite a bit to make your recording sound more cohesive and powerful but I can't perform miracles so if your songs are half-finished or your recordings are poor, don't do it. All you'll get back are good mixes of bad recordings.
As it is quite a serious undertaking I will be flexible with timing and treat the job as I would any other professional mixing job. This means working with you to make sure you get what you want.
The style is not hugely important - I'm as comfortable mixing metal as I am reggae - but bear in mind if you work to conform to the rules of a particular genre, I don't.
I mix what is there, as well as I can. Have a listen to as much of my stuff as possible before you commit.
Mixing will be 'unattended' - meaning you won't be able to come to the studio while I'm doing it. We will be in contact while it is going on though.
I'm hoping somebody with a brilliant recording of ten amazing songs snaps this one up and we go on to create a massive hit record. That's the real reason I'd be doing it.
Feel free to email me if you're considering it and want to find out more.
It can be anything - don't worry if you're not a virtuoso musician or singer.
You can send me a random chunk of guitar or flute, drums or just you reading a poem into your iPhone.
Whatever it is, I will take it, treat it, cut it up and include it in one of my tracks.
I will try to keep it as recognisable as possible but I also reserve the right to mangle it up in any way I see fit.
Don't be surprised if you discover it has been changed in pitch or tempo, reversed or chopped up into a different order, or even fed through the Wobblatron and turned into the sound of a robot having a bad morning.
But it will be there and you will be credited for it on the album sleeve.
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