A large number of artists approach me with a request for an interview but I try to be selective in whom I feature on www.SongwriterAndProducer.com because my intent is to help aspiring songwriters and producers become better at what they do. When Sham Sundra "proposed" I was surprised by the fact that the deeper I researched him and his work, the more impressed I was. The first thing I told Sham when I listened to his album (Box So Tiny) was "whoever mixed this work, understands their craft highly". I was later told that it was Sham who mixed it (among everything else he did). I also praised the consistent flow of the album, its theme. I've always been genre-agnostic but it's a breath of fresh air to listen to a well made rock album by a New York City band in 2017. Iris Pill’s Box So Tiny is a work of raw emotion and refined artistry. In a time when pure rock music is hard to find, this album is an absolute gem — authentic, unapologetically truthful, and brilliantly executed. Then when I saw the gear and knowledge that Sham possessed, I was even more impressed. A songwriter, a guitar player (who started as a wind-instrument-player), who knows their way around the studio as well as anyone. An avid ProTools HD user (no pun) while equally being split between the world of software plugins and hardware inserts. Serious hardware too. From a Neumann U47 to various Lexicons, Neves, APIs and many more. But what is all that gear worth without a great song, a great performance and a great production? As you will read below, Sham's greatest asset is to be able to keep seeing the forest from the trees, while wearing a large number of different hats, which is what it has come to lately in the vast majority of cases within the music industry. Unless you can afford the best team and a large team at that, a great output is achieved only when one person can do a number of vastly different tasks exceptionally well. Rare, because it requires equal amounts of engineering talent, as well as musicianship. Here's what Sham had to say to me about all that and more:
His Former Technical Director for Paisley Park Studios Explains
By David Hampton - A Grammy Award Winner Engineer, Producer, Author and Educator
Today, October 21st 2016 marks the 6-month anniversary from Prince’s death (April 21st 2016). There was so much written, by so many people about Prince on that sad day and even more during the weeks that followed. I am Gabriel ILiadis, founder of www.SongwriterAndProducer.com and I have to admit that, sadness aside, after absorbing the tons of material written about Prince around that time, I felt that I learned very little about how it really felt to work with Prince. How was that like? To be there. Be responsible for part of the output, for the creative work rendered? That’s why I decided to find someone who lived with him, worked closely with him, who would be willing to describe some of those experiences to us. How was it really to work with Prince? How was it to learn from him? Prince trusted few people, one of which was Dave Hampton. Dave worked for Prince as his Technical Director and Chief Engineer of Paisley Park Studios. Prince’s own state of the art complex where all kinds and different types of creativity exploded. Where the magic happened, some may say. Coincidentally tours of the Paisley Park Museum are set to start this month, October 2016. Through social media I started discussing with Dave Hampton the possibility of an interview regarding his experiences with Prince. Dave agreed. I asked Dave ten questions. Here they are with Dave’s answers.
8 Ways To Promote Yourself as a Musician
By Natalie Jean - Multi-Award Winning Singer/Songwriter
Let’s face it, the music industry is one tough industry. However, if music is a part of who you are, you must take every step to make your dreams a reality. The first thing to concentrate on is the need to be seen and heard. It’s not just about performing. Your audience needs to get to know you. Investing in yourself, means investing money and time to make more people aware of your amazing talent.
One of my Favorite Logic Pro Features
Logic Pro X! The first music recording software (a.k.a. digital audio workstation or, DAW) I’ve ever really learned. I am Apple Certified in it, (which means I took a fancy exam on Logic and passed it)!, and I teach it to Los Angeles clientele.
Out of the many features I love about it, my absolute favorite has to be the Drummer track!
What is Mastering?
What is mastering, you say? You’ve heard it time and again. “I can’t wait to get my song mixed and mastered!” “Oh yeah, the person mixing and mastering it can actually do both!”
So what exactly is mastering and what is the difference between mixing and mastering? And should the producer who recorded the track master it as well?
Being able to sing your own songs and getting the sound you’re looking for is a blessing. However most songwriters and/or producers will outsource the vocal performance. Hence, picking a vocalist for your song becomes a task. An important one.
What in the world is a DAW? You might’ve heard producers or other do-it-yourself musicians use the term DAW. Long story short, a DAW stands for a Digital Audio Workstation, a.k.a. a music recording software.
And we’re back, with another favorite feature of Logic Pro X! And this one also focuses on songwriting as well!
Let’s get a little bit into music theory this week! Well, fun music theory! Yes, there is such a thing… In my last article about chords, I mentioned a scale of notes. Each scale contains 8 notes. A scale can also be known as the key of a song, and this concept is where we will start here in this article.
“This song sounds good, but the vocals need a little bit of EQing…”
“Can you boost the lower frequencies of the bass?”
“Cut the lower frequencies of the vocal track to make room for the bass!”
Have you ever heard any of those phrases and thought, “Huh?” Are you reading these questions and thinking, “Huh?” Well, if you are, you’re in the right place! As a fellow amateur audio engineer, I am trying to understand the basics of “mixing” music and making recordings sound “good” to the public ear. A huge part of this is to understand the science of sound, what frequencies are, and what in the world EQing means!