Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


I am a one of the many loyal follower of the Pensado’s Place internet TV Show, I have included the last episode #54 just a few days before writing this post. one of the best episodes to my opinion.

Pensado’s Place #54 one of the best episodes of all.

Not to long ago, on another one of the episodes, a guest said something that made me change my entire approach to mixing, producing and making music. You all know and I have said before I am an amateur in the engineering and production of music, so I can’t stand for my own achievements in this field “YET”. However the concept behind this guest’s words, put a lot of thing’s into a brand new perspective for me. I can’t quote his exact words one by one, what he came to say is “that if his mother where to give him the recipe to her fantastic apple pie, he would not come close to making anything like his mothers pie”. I have spent tens of hundreds of hours listening to video tutorials, I have seen all 55 of the Pensado’s Place episodes and haver read books or anything that came into my hands on any aspect of music making. So what is it I discovered in theses words? well, the way I understood them, it’s not the recipe that is important, it’s the pie. If the pie is good and everybody like’s it, who cares about the recipe. The way in witch you cook the pie is just part of a process, nothing more than path to the product. This concept hit me hard and I have been giving it large amount of thought over the last few days, so here I am to share these thoughts with you.

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Before I go into dissecting the subject, I want to define what to my understanding are some more metaphoric analogies between some elements in this sound cooking fields. The dish or pie is the final results, or I may say the Song or Mix. In any mix or song there are tracks, these would be the ingredients. The way they these ingredients are prepared could be the recording. The way they are used I will say is the massaging of the track, including EQ, compressor, filters, etc. The effects and plugins are the spices and condiments. The mixing is how you blend the ingredients (quantity, when they come in etc.). Mastering the cooking or baking of the dish. The cook can be both producer and the engineer. and last but not least, the presentation is the delivery.

Funny how we can relate to the cooking world so closely to music. ¿NO?

No two cooks will make the same dish when give the same ingredients. They will all treat the dish differently, work the ingredient, spice them, present them and cook them differently. All their results will be different, but I am sure that they will all be interesting and edible. Some will be more of our taste and some won’t but all will be valid dishes. ¿What way is good and witch is wrong? None, they are all legitimate, it will all depend on what we have a crunch for. it is the combination that brings the result’s and produces diversity.

Slice Recording Bass Session 18 STW

To succeed in either one of these crafts, one will need to innovate, experiment, force the boundaries, go to the next level. Making the same pie that your mother made, is not the challenge and brings nothing new to the table, all that it can prove is that you have learnt how to repeat a process. There needs to be a distinctive and innovative signature to the result, something that makes it new and appealing, something that makes it yours.

It is unplayable to learn from the pros, I take very seriously the need to evolve technically, what I have learnt with this is that the important thing is what you learn and how you apply it to your own cooking. one of the fundamental lessons for me is that now I look at what they do in the creative and perceptive aspects of their crafts, rather than the technical. I take in both as a sponge, where the technical is a resource to the creative and creative is the driver to the technical.

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The cook and the ingredients are fundamentals parts that contribute to the final dish, in music there is much more to it vs. cooking, the song it’s self as a product of a creative process and the interpretation make these ingredients unique. the uniqueness of these mark the rest of the process, where they can’t be cooked in the same way as other similar though different while also unique ingredient are handled.

I love cooking and I love making music, I am best at the former. Following the interviews on Dave Pensado’s show I have started to see how they correlate. The fundamental breakthrough for me is that technical skills are great to have but you have to put your secret ingredient into every dish you cook or song you mix or produce. This ingredient is love, passion, the ability to take in what you are working on. labour on it as it matures, find from experience, intuition, feel and taste, the essences of the piece at hand. Following recipes wont do it, you need to interpret the dish, and use your creativity, experience and talent to make the wonders of listeners or tasters. It needs to come in through your ears and gut and speak to you.

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It is amazing how diverse al these engineers and producers are at all the different parts of the process, specially in the technical side of things, but also how much in common they have when it comes to putting feeling as the main driver to creativity even though the process of creativity is different to everyone of them. This is what makes their work sell and win the Grammy’s, I can’t speak for myself, but I have a much better understanding after listening to the experts.

To round it up. This new perspective has given me the chance to relax from my technical shortcoming’s and focus on the musical side, listen to the music and try working on my own creative skills and musical taste, see form my less technical end what I can do for it. understanding that to be innovative taking risks is necessary, if I technically fail I can always start all over again. Holding one thing as the guide light in the tunnel The Result is what matters, not the way there. if something works don’t try to find orthodoxy just feel it if it makes emotional senesce then it is right.

I want to thank al the Music lovers out there that are keen on sharing their knowledge with the world. this post is dedicated to you all.

http://soundcloud.com/ian-alexander-burt/slice-cover-abtw2

Today I haven’t mentioned Slice, I have to include him as a PS please check out his channel on you tube, drop a comment and rate his videos.
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Thanks again and I hope you enjoyed the read.

http://youtube.com/inside71slice

Ian A. Burt © 2012


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In the past weeks, Slice has done great progress with the recording, he has laid down most  the electric guitars and bass tracks for the STW project. The process has not been an easy walk through the woods, we have had to go over and over again with some tracks to get them nailed or as close to perfect as possible, well lets say the best possible performance that we could reach.

In the mean time I have not been idle, my attention has been on mixing all week long, there is a ton of material to put together.

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The way we are doing this, is certainly not the standard procedure, for obvious reason it is not the most efficient way to get it done. In our discharge I must say that we do have some very highly imposed constraints, that force us into this manner of proceeding. Usually in the music business the recording of tracks for a record or a song will be done at the beginning before  mixing, and in a short time frame, well at least the main tracks, usually when this is completed everything is ready and the mixing can start. This is the ideal scenario with no doubt, but we are far from this possibility in the STW Project. Slice is only available to record on weekend mornings (due to school, and other youth duties), so only so much can get done with this time limitation. He does have the entire week ahead for him to get all rehearsing of what he is going to record in the weekend, this normally makes recording very smooth, even so, while getting the perfect take and sound are everyday challenges that consume time, time that can not be spared. This leaves us with between 4 and 8 tracks per day and not much more that 10 per weekend on a good one. Just as a reminder the STW is a project where Slice will be doing over 140 separate tracks.

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All the track’s are parts of individual instrumental pieces from different songs, we don’t record one song top to bottom in a consecutive session, on one week he will lay down the rhythmic guitar to a given song and the solo will be laid down two or three weeks later, the bass maybe another three or four weeks further back, it can take even longer to add piano or acoustic guitar. We have songs that have may have as few as two tracks or as many as five or eight to be recorded, meaning that wont have them complete for another two months yet. Among the different reasons for doing it like this are, first we need to rearrange the room when we change between instruments, the limited room acoustics need to be setup, and that has to be done with some time and planning, Secondly Slice is borrowing some of the instruments form some friends, This means that he need to schedule all parts with that instrument into a fixed agenda, so he plans the rehearsing and recording with this in mind. The consequence being that the tracks I can start working with are a mixture and only a partial part of the material I need to get a finished result.

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Given this situation, ¿how do I work on it? ¿What can I do to to move ahead with the mixing? Well there is one advantage to working on Cover songs with the original recording as a backing track. You can fit in, one part at a time and work on the individual contexts of each instrument and how it merges with the original song. This provides a benefit giving me a chance to, massage each instrument individually and make sure it sits in at the best place with the original while giving it’s best as a cover part. It is like mixing that instrument as the last one, I will eventually pull all the cover tracks up and listen to the full mix, but to start I work on the individual instruments, making space and accommodating them in the picture. When everything is there I star with the full mix I usually do the initial accommodation with all the tracks and the original keeping a fair amount of volume on the original to maintain it’ as a reference for the mix, then when I feel that everything is square, I bring the original volume down to see if the covered instruments sit in well in unison. I trim volumes and all the automations here so that I feel I have as close enough a cover as possible to the original. I usually solo Slice’s tracks to make sure there is no hidden bugs or stuff. If the mix of the covered instruments sounds good It will merge well with the original. and that is my final stage. I pull the original back up and write the automation for the original track I usually bring the original down 3 to 4db while there is a cover part playing but bring it back up to unity if there is no content recorded by Slice, I try to give the mix a uniform volume as much as possible with the limitation that Slice’s covered parts do stick out over the original so that they can be heard and distinguished on the videos.

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As a final thought, we are working from the inside out, putting the main parts that Slice will be covering in first. The first to go in is obviously always the original song,  on top of this we start building our music, using the foundation of the master piece as a guide. It does help but it also means that you have to be extra careful, any mistake or difference gets magnified you are put up against the master and there is little room for fiasco, you need to focus and find the details and breath on them, find the energy and transmit it on the cover, feel the music and reflect it as your own as much as possible without damaging the original.

Slice makes covers of music he like, musicians he admires and artists he respects.

keep up to date with Slice @ http://youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed.

Ian A. Burt ©


Little Wing Intro

I a 47 year old dad of a kid of 16 (Slice), am as good or bad as any other dad, my imperfection as notorious or rare as any other human. But when it comes to my son there is a passion that burns me from the inside and I can’t help myself. This is my statement. 

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What am I trying to say? Well, I honestly believe in Slice and his tremendous talent, of course I am his father, but more than just that, I see his ability with music, it flows naturally and it seems to be effortless for him. He still has a limited technique, something he will have to obtain with hard work, time and perseverance. His talent however resides in the ease with witch he gets the music flowing, it seems to pour out of his hands naturally as if it where always there, he reads a song or a melody with only a few bars. He has a special ear for details and can print the feel and the soul of a song, a solo or a lick up to the most unappreciable detail, squeezing the soul out of every note  he plays or silence he creates. 

“I have a dream”

I know it’s a sentence that has been used before, but I do, I have a dream, and is to see Slice get the chance. Yes a chance only that, I am 1000% committed to helping him get the chance he need, he will have to do the trick and convert it into anything else. but my priority is to work him up to the point where he can get the opportunity.

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I believe in luck, luck as Julius Caesar said is where opportunity and preparation meet, Slice is working on the preparation part and I am focused on the opportunity bit. I am running  al kind of social networking on his behalf, investing every penny I can get my hand on, working my personal relationships to the limit. I am learning any craft that can provide the door to opportunity, building every possible bridge, road, anything that can help me get Slice the one chance.

I have invested money in gear, instruments and training. I have invested time in many other ways. I am perfectly aware how hard the music business is, and the kind of life it is just to survive in this world. But I also know that there is no greater satisfaction than making music and sharing it with the rest of humanity, a concert is an electrifying experience in witch a musician reaches a binding with his audience that exceeds any other experience and makes it all worth while.   

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What father wouldn’t do the same? I want the best for him,  I am also very strict on his studies, he is in Collage now and doing very well, he is already looking ahead to determine what University he will be attending in two years time. He understands that he can not place all the egg’s in one basket. Having options is not an option it is a must. 

I can understand this is to no interest to anyone, but this is my blog and I felt like writing this.

ANY HELP WILL BE APRECIATED..

Really, if you have anything, idea, or any resource that can help this dad make his own dream come true. I will be so very thankful.  contact me at mailto:iaburt@hotmail.com I will answer to every email.

Thanks for your time once again.

follow slice at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice

Ian Burt © 2012


A great cover version.

 

I have just finished seeing a video, that has marked me profoundly. It has been a real eye opener for me. The information has been there all along, but it has all come into context watching this video. The video is in Spanish, thou the main stream of the video is Eduardo Punset (Spanish Presenter) interviewing Ken Robinson. The interview has been dubbed to Spanish but you can make out the interview in the back ground. http://blip.tv/redes/redes-89-los-secretos-de-la-creatividad-4944707. If you can spare the time I recommend you pay a visit and view the video, I also recommend you get Ken’s book:

"The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything"
Ken Robinson; Mass Market Paperback; $10.20
In Stock
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

TheElement

Creativity, ¡wow!, what a word. I have always been a creative person, creativity is in most everything I do in my personal and professional life, But so are you in more than you may realise, I try to be as creative as possible in anything I undertake, posting an article every week or twice a week, requires a fair amount of creativity. But so does everything else we do on our every day lives, when we dress in the morning we use creativity to choose what to wear (some with more taste than others). Creativity is about the science of looking ahead into the future and taking decisions that affect the outcome of it. When you send an SMS, an e-Mail or comment on a social network there is some degree of creativity. From the video, I specially liked Ken’s comment explaining, that creativity is not something we have or we don’t have, like given thing, everyone in their own ways are creative. Creativity is like reading or writing, in the sense that are one is not incapable of writing or reading all they need is to learn how to. Creativity needs to be exercised and learnt but we all have it in us in a different ways. We all have a different approach and different ways of being creative but it is one of the fundamental differentiators of the human race for good and for bad. Bad because creativity is the basic ingredient in a lie, a lie is a product of someone’s imagination created for a purpose. But let me get back to my post.       

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For Slice, creativity is a territory still to be explored, a virgin land where he needs to take his first steps. Sorry, let me take that back. For Slice, creativity is something he is submerged in, however it is musical creativity he needs to focus on and explore. You can use a process or your knowledge and technical skills to create, anything that works for you is good. The thing is I don’t think this on its own would produce music as an art form, it may produce music but if it is limited it will be missing the soul. Slice has the technical skills and the knowhow. He is young so he still need to make the trip down into his inner self, into his own soul and find for himself what he wants to express and how as an artist (only then will we know how good he can get to be).

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There is a moment in all musician’s life (Maybe all artists life but I cant tell for the rest) when they hit the source of inspiration. It is something they will never forget, it all becomes clear as water for him. It is a life changing moment, light is all of a sudden illuminating everything that was already there but not discovered. it all falls in place, he has done the journey and found the source of inspiration, the vehicle to express his personal self. There needs to be a communion between this new discovered world and the skills, where skills are put to the service of this realisation. From that moment on, it is all about working on both in parallel. Work is surely not the right word for it, it is more a vital passion that drives the process and when you give way to passion time seems to bend. Creativity in music is normally a combustive event a spark that captures an idea one instant that ignites a more complex process. The spark comes from inside and the moulding of this spark into a complete finished result is a process. during the process one take the spark or idea and dives into it, exploring it, breathing it, dissecting it, building on it.

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There is not much that can be done to reach the point of inspirational and find this muse or spark. I don’t have the silver bullet and can’t tell anyone how to get there, but I am convinced that dedicating time to experimenting with music and lyrics will smoothen the path. discipline is an effort that always pays back.

Slice has a long way to go and I am betting on him. There is nothing anyone can do to make him find the way, he has to find out by him self, the awareness of needing to find this inner fountain of ideas, won’t bring it up on its own, there needs to be a sincere process of personal meditation and interiorizing.

He is on his own and I hope he succeeds on this life trip.

Keep track of slice at his channel at http://youtube.com/user/inside71slice 

Ian Burt © 2012


Slice has been working on his main guitar for the last couple of week. this is a project to take his main axe form its original look and sound to a complete new level. in this first phase he has removed the original colour

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And repainted it Black.

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The neck has be repaired and smoothened out. A complete fret levelling, re-crowning  and polishing was done. There has been some minor work done on the electronics but majorly to clean the wiring in the back, the nut needed a bit of scarfing, the instrument has been reassembled with the original pickups, neck and tremolo. because of the work done on it it was re setup. the intonation was checked and needed no further twitching.     

DSC01709DSC01778(1) Before and After.

Only on thing still to accomplish, we need a name for her.

Thanks for reading.

Checkout slice’s channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/inside71slice.

© Ian A. Burt 2012