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Author Topic: Good Ole Days  (Read 1255 times)

Matt

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Good Ole Days
« on: December 11, 2014, 01:17:15 AM »
Bluescorp is an Australian blues band based on the Gold Coast. For their second album 'Don't Wanna Be Famous' I was approached to lay down some harp on a few songs. I'd played with the band a few times at jams and forged a solid friendship with guitarist and band leader Andrew Clarke. For the album I put down harp on five tracks. The entire recording session was only two hours and I did two takes for each song. Most of the songs I didn't know (the CD is all originals bar one song) and I basically just jammed along with them for the recording. I wasn't totally happy with what I put down, but it wasn't too crappy either, so I made very few recommendations about how my stuff was used for the final tracks. In hindsight, I would have recorded all the songs again before the CD was mastered, but you live and learn in this game.

We launched 'Don't Wanna Be Famous' at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, brought our own crowd along, and had a good night. Part of the deal with room was that a sound guy was provided and that we would be professionally filmed using three cameras and would receive a professional media package of our work to use for marketing purposes. In the end they used one camera (a DSLR) and the sound guy was a government worker who had to take half hour breaks as part of his employment conditions. The sound recording was not as good as our CD recording and the video footage was.... well, ordinary in my opinion, and we didn't end up getting our media package from the production company. Andrew managed to put together a video clip for the song using the CD audio. The result is a little amateur of course, but together with our other marketing materials it has helped to get some bookings.

I am now a full member of the band and we have had three line up changes in the last eighteen months. finally we seem to have a group of people who are all keen to push the band and our original music forward. The band's sound has improved a lot since we recorded 'Don't Wanna Be Famous', and my own skills and style have matured as well.
We are currently recording our next CD 'It Is What It Is', but this time I have a lot of creative control over my own contributions and am involved at the ground level with putting the songs together. This should provide a better result musically and the harp should be more a part of the song rather than just an addition to an existing track.

'Don't Wanna Be Famous' was selected to represent our state for 'best self-produced CD' in the IBC (International Blues Competition) at Memphis, in 2013, and was also nominated for three Chain Awards (Australian Blues Awards). We didn't win, but it was a valuable learning experience anyway and well worth the effort. As I write this our band is number nine on the ReverbNation charts for Australian Blues. These charts are compiled from song plays, so it's nice to know somebody is listening. I think we were 174 globally (blues) last week, I haven't checked it today.
Considering our best is yet to come, and judging by the stuff we have recorded for the new CD so far, I'm feeling pretty good about the coming year ahead.

Our video feels outdated to me now, but perhaps you will enjoy it? Here it is, warts and all....
*we are currently a four-piece band - there's a few extra guys in the video because they played a role on certain tracks for the album.

http://youtu.be/8UH7Kr-SCdA

« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 01:22:34 AM by Matt »

Ringer

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 09:38:38 AM »
Sweet.  Nicely done!!

Lindy-Harper

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 06:44:14 PM »
Very much enjoyed mate  8)

Beelzebob

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2014, 03:03:41 AM »
Looked and sounded great to me, nice that the harp was easy to hear.  I hate when it gets buried in a live setting.  DSLRs shoot the best video these days, lots of independent film makers have gone that direction.  Way to go, dude!

Matt

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2014, 04:11:59 PM »
Thanks everybody for the kind comments.

DSLRs shoot the best video these days, lots of independent film makers have gone that direction.
Up until recently (12 months or so ago) DSLR's have been poor at focusing on moving subjects in video mode (or simply lacking auto focus at all in this mode), especially when the subject moves towards or away from the camera, or when panning to follow a subject. This means that a lot of video shot using DSLRs is just a static scene (which is what we got with our video) . There's no zooming in to frame the lead guitarist's hands when soloing, or following a player as they move around the stage, for example. I do a lot of bird and wildlife photography, and this has been a major problem using DSLRs in the past. I have shot on-stage video footage of over 100 bands, and found that my old Sony Handycam did a better job than the DSLR even though the image quality in general was poorer. Both Canon and Nikon have released models during the last year which are much better at autofocusing on a moving subject, and so the future looks very promising for DSLR video. But such cameras where not available when our footage was shot and we ended up with static, boring footage of a band on stage. Using software to do the zooming and panning always means a loss of quality, as is evident in our video. I would rather our footage had been shot with a professional video camera (or three) so that we would have had a variety of both static and moving references to compile our clip. If our footage had been shot with several DSLRs, we would have had more to work with, but the production company let us down on the night, a pity since we had to pay for the room.  :-\
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 04:14:34 PM by Matt »

htrain

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2014, 06:40:32 PM »
Solid stuff - tight band, great song and cool harp work!! Congratulations!!

Rick

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Re: Good Ole Days
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2014, 12:57:10 AM »
Exciting music!   Exciting news!