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New Jazzinho

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What I really think of Jazz FM

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e), Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Turn on the radio, tune in Jazz FM and drop out…
In two hours, my plane will land in London Gatwick. Thanks to the very good people at Jazz FM UK, this coming Friday, I will present my new Jazzinho album to the British audience at Rich Mix, in Hackney. Well, when I say British, I mean mainly British. Jazz FM has listeners around the world. Back in the early 90s Jazz FM was “The” station that invented the Soul Jazz format now so widely emulated.

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Back in my London days, as a busy mum as well as side woman to some of Britain’s grooviest acts, I recall being stuck in the traffic and listening to the Robbie Vincent show or Peter Young’s Soul Cellar. The new sound of London with the likes of Don E, Omar and Incognito was bursting on the global scene and Jazz FM was its standard bearer. This FM station was “Talking loud and saying something”. Twenty years later, an adult Jazz FM is still providing its listeners with a groovy soundtrack to their hectic lives. What has changed is that people are not listening to it through the old “wireless” anymore… in 2014 Jazz FM is digital, and people tune in via the web, on their smart phone etc..

In this day and age music is free and nobody wants to pay for it. Musicians never know where their next meal will come from. The sound Jazzinho loves is not computer generated. It is played by real people who have studied many years to master their instrument. It is social music, played and recorded by people with sophisticated skills. It really helps that a radio plays both classic tracks by established artists and new music by lesser known musicians. Not only this but Jazz FM is going the extra mile and organises many gigs, events and the now famous Love Supreme Festival. All this provides an output for musicians to show their work. Without this push, Veludo, my new album would not exist.

What I really want to say, is “Thank You”. Thank you Chris Philips, Alex Lloyd and all the kind people at the station for giving Jazzinho, as well as many other acts, the opportunity to be heard and seen live. We are immensely grateful, you are keeping music live.

Dear reader, if you like Leon Ware, Gil Scott Heron, Bossa Nova, Rare Groove, Classic Soul etc… then you must tune in Jazz FM. Click here to listen.

Guida de Palma

Jazz FM is now 100% digital through DAB and the internet. It is heard by 700 000 unique weekly listeners in the UK, and thousands more around the world. It is free to air and is also available on Apple TV, Deezer and various streaming platforms.

Jazz FM Presents Guida de Palma & Jazzinho Live at Rich Mix London Friday 28 February 2014

Jazzinho live at Rich Mix London 28/02

By | Live, New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 2 Comments

Jazzinho Live, the revenge of the groove.

My album is Nº 9 in the UK Soul Chart and I am, well…. so excited….

A quick bit of sweet news as I write these lines: Veludo is now Nº 9 in the UK’s Soul Charts. Yeah, Top Ten! Never, in my wildest dreams, would have ever thought that one day I will be eagerly waiting the weekly charts. But here I am, mighty proud! And so excited…

Now, I wish you a happy new year and all the best for 2014, which is likely to be a difficult one. But we’re getting used to this, aren’t we? Stiff upper lip etc…


We have a brand new band

With my partner in groove Graham Harvey (The Gentle Groovy Giant), we have put together a brand new band. Thanks to the very very good people at Jazz FM (yes you Chris Phillips, and you Alex Lloyd) we will debut this line up at Rich Mix in London on February 28th at 20:00. 

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[maxbutton id=”11″] Come and see me after the gig, I will personally give you a download card for Veludo, our new album.

Line up

Alongside Graham and his vintage Rhodes, the drummer will be Richard Bailey and the bassist Julian Crampton. For those in the know, you will have of course recognised members of the early Incognito line up. Veteran guitarist Jim Mullen – Brian Auger’s Oblivion, Average White Band, Paul McCartney – is also part of the stellar line up. It is also quite possible that a few guests could pop in.

Please blow our horns, we need your help!

Keeping a band afloat these days is quite an endeavour, and filling a venue is always a challenge. You could really help us if you not only honoured us with your presence but if you made sure your friends came as well.


Let’s spray! Todd Marrone, the angel of Street Art is now tagging the heaven.

Todd Marrone Street Artist

Todd Marrone – The great artist behind Veludo’s artwork.

On a sadder note, the blue one, the one we use when we’re sad, I would like to announce that Todd Marrone, the artist behind the artwork of Veludo and the video for Bicho Papão has passed away on Christmas day. Todd is survived by his lovely and courageous wife Heather Hall (You go Girl!) and their two young children.

Todd was an amazing artist as well as an incredibly generous person spreading his most excellent vibe. He had this unique capacity to turn whatever he touched into great Art. His beautiful soul will always be with us.

 


Esspresso yourself and donta Pizza me off! The comment area below is for you to air your feelings. C’mon, go on….

Incognito-Lounge-Mix-Feat-Bluey

Incognito Lounge Mix feat. Bluey

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 5 Comments

Bluey’s remix of Abraço da Bossa


If you are reading these lines, it is most likely that you already know who is Jean Paul Maunick AKA Bluey, head man and founder of the legendary Incognito. Needless to say that I am in complete awe of this man’s work. In fact Bluey, under his own name, has recently done a fantastic album which I totally recommend. Well, guess what ? He did a remix of one of the tracks on Veludo, my new album. Wow! I had to pinch myself to believe it. Thank you sir.

Abraço da Bossa is a piece I initially penned on my own and then with the help of Cristina Rajão for the lyrics and Christopher Pedley from the Baker Brothers for the music. Bluey, who often works with my producer Graham Harvey, kindly offered to “help the cause” by doing a remix. Of course we accepted immediately. With the help of his partner in groove, sound engineer, programmer, multi instrumentalist and all around studio wizard Richard Bull, they created an entirely new version of our song. Working on the track, there is also Matt Cooper, an amazing pianist with whom I had a band a zillion years ago, as well as Trevor Mires the trombonist and Sid Gauld on trumpet. The result is this almost lascivious 95bpm lounge mix which should get couples in the right mood; if you see what I mean.

I hope you will like it as much as I do.

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Please let me know what you think, and as usual, if you like the music, share it using the Facebook comments below.

Love

Guida

Papão, or how the Bogeyman got down to Boogie !

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 5 Comments

We have made a lovely video of Papão

“O Papão, or how the bogeyman gets down to Boogie”.

Todd Marrone the street artist and Billy Blob the animator, two geniuses from Philly, have created a short Halloween video for Papão, a great track Graham Harvey and I have put together. Papão is Portuguese for Werewolf or Bogeyman – or Boogeyman as you spell it states side. This is the story of a Wolfman who has more than enough of being treated like a second class citizen and finds a way to defuse animosity toward his kind by playing good groove. With the help of his cute Bogeywoman he gets people to see his good side. Read between the lines, and see the social message. I hope you’ll enjoy.

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If you liked what you have seen please help us by pre-ordering the album via our crowd-funding. You can even get the digital album in the next two or three days. Just press the button above to go to our Indiegogo page. Sharing this page and commenting on it below also creates traffic toward this page.

Lotsalove.

Jazzinho

Guida de Palma & Jazzinho

Veludo, Jazzinho’s new album is in the can!

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | No Comments

All good things come to those who wait.

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Phew ! That’s it : finished, done ! A big void in Guida de Palma’s and Graham Harvey’s life; some say they wonder aimlessly not knowing what to do. No more toying around with the bass line or recording new BVs in the middle of the night. Two years of hard work and Richard Bull has put a stop to all that by sending the final digital masters. Done…

Here it is, you can download it now if you want.

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Manufacturing

Now the digital files of the recording have to be turned into plates between which the hot vinyl will be injected and pressed into actual records. To make these matrices, we have opted for a technique that has almost totally disappeared : “Direct Metal Mastering” or DMM. The good people at Pauler Acoustics, one of the very few companies that not only still owns a copper cutting lathe but also knows how to operate it, will be doing their magic soon. This technique was mainly used for classical music as it allowed packing more Beethoven by the Berliner conducted by Herbert Von Karajan on each side without loss of quality. The good Ludwig did not time his symphonies for 12″ LPs.  The normal process uses acetate and the groove is not as well defined as with DMM, hence the loss of dynamics when transferred to lacquer. DMM has its fans and its detractors.

Once this is done, the matrices, go to the Pallas Group, also in Germany, to use them to manufacture an audiophile 180 grams vinyl. Pallas knows its way around with vinyl. They have never stopped making them for the past 70 odd years. Well, Pallas is simply the best vinyl pressing plant in the world. Oh, and BTW, they will also make a CD of the Veludo, but it is less exciting to write about, so please refer to Wikipedia if you really want to know more.

Watch a video on how Pallas manufactures vinyl LPs.

Getting the album into store.

Once the CDs and the LPs will be on the palettes in Germany, they will ship directly to Proper Distribution in London. Proper is one of those sturdy and no nonsense British companies that have survived the music industry crash and are reinventing the music business model for XXIst century. In short, contrary to major record companies being greedy and having very few artists that have to sell loads of hit records, Proper edge their bets by having many medium and smaller acts selling smaller quantities. For those in the know this is called a “long tail” strategy and it is all the rage.

Based in London, these guys have been in the business for a while. They know their stuff. To cut a long story short, their jobs is to put records in specialist shops, bigger stores like HMV as well as all the iTunes and Spotify of this world. Not only Proper takes on the challenge of putting Veludo into a large number of points of sales in the UK, but they will also export it anywhere on the planet. Is that cool or what ? To achieve this they make sure that Amazon is well stocked and also feed a network of importer around the world. For example in the US and across Europe, chain stores and specialist shops say in NY or Paris can also stock a few copies of Veludo. Without companies like Proper, smaller projects like Jazzinho cannot exist. We thank them wholeheartedly for taking the risk. Read an article explaining Proper’s strategy on the BBC’s web site.

More or less at the same time, P-Vine, the legendary Japanese label, will manufacture a local CD version of the album for the Japanese market and it is due to be release on October 2nd. Domo Arigato to our Nihon Tomodachis, we are honoured to be on such a prestigious label… may the force be with you.

If all goes well, and if you are based say in London or Tokyo, by early October you should be able to walk into your local independent record store – we’d love to be available at legendary Honest Jons and the mecca of Soul Jazz, Soul Brother Records – and buy a copy of your favourite band’s album – and a few others a well, like AOR by Ed Motta or Sambadi by the amazing Lucas Arruda . If you are into quality, please buy the vinyl. It is a luxury product, significantly more expensive coming with a download card of the entire album included in the price. If you are broke – believe me, we know the feeling – buy the CD or download from the web. Anyway, we will try to maintain a page with all the local store stocking Veludo.

One favour we would ask you; please do not share music files. This is killing musicians, record shops etc … Instead go to your local record store, bring friends, it a great experience. If you have a turntable laying about gathering dust, put it back in action. Go crate-digging, buy new, buy old records, go to gigs, in pubs, in clubs etc… But please keep musicians busy.

Oh, and on that note, I need to let you know that since we are now officially broke, our next newsletter will be about our crowd-funding campaign. You saw that coming, didn’t you. So start saving  😉

Anyway, stay groovy and keep spreading the Jazzinho vibe. Please leave a comment, share the page… well, you know the drill.

Lotsalove.

Jazzinho

Survey.Please tell us if you use MP3s, Vinyl or CDs.

CDs, Vinyls or Downloads ? Tell us how you listen to music.

By | Getting to know our fans, New Jazzinho | 65 Comments

Help Jazzinho understand how you acquire and listen to music.

Please take 30 seconds to click on the options that fit your behaviour. You are limited to four answers. By doing this you are helping us greatly, we might even get a Nobel prize for this fundamental research 😉
[poll id=”3″] If you feel like it, you can also give us more details in the comments section below. Thank you very much for your time and stay funky.

Jazzinho

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A seed in you duet Leon Ware Guida de Palma & Jazzinho

Duet Leon Ware / Guida de Palma : A seed in you.

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 258 Comments

So, you can’t wait for the new Jazzinho album? I can picture you shaking and sweating; chomping at the bits with anxiety. You haven’t had your fix of Jazzinho and it shows. Poor thing… I really feel for you. Well, I know the feeling and guess what? I too can’t wait to finish it. But rejoice, the good Mamma Guida and her partner in groove Leon Ware are here now to release the tension; to sooth you. Here is a lovely track Leon has written for me, and because he is such a Darling, we sang it as a duet in his trademark style.

Of course, I am beyond honoured.  The Man who wrote some of Motown’s best ever songs ; for exemple the entire “I want you album for Marvin Gaye, “I wanna be where you are” for Michael Jackson, or Body Heat for Quincy Jones just to name a few, yes, this Leon Ware, the one and only, also writing for little me. Wow ! Not in my wildest dreams. Can you believe it ? I can’t.

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Gareth Lockrane Flautist

Gareth Lockrane recording the new Jazzinho

Also, to be fair, one must mention the amazing solo from boy wonder flautist Gareth Lockrane who made us the greatest of honours by working on this album produced by guess who ? No less than the literally gigantic Graham Harvey of Incognito fame. Am I a lucky girl ? So, ready to take off ? Press play now and relax: you’re on Jazzinho Airlines and your flying to Soul Jazz Heaven. Welcome to Cloud 9, enjoy the ride.

To thank you for joining my mailing list you can download the track into your iPod and play it whenever and wherever you want. You can play it in the traffic jams, in the shower, while preparing dinner, with friends etc. I personally recommend playing it while in bed with your soul mate; this track works rather well in a more intimate context, if you see what I mean.

But hurry! We will remove the track from the server after seven days…. As, believe it or not, we’d like to sell our music at some point. I know, it’s terribly old fashioned, but, at the supermarket, I tried to barter my trolley full of food against me singing between the vegetables and the organic cheese aisles and it did not work. These people have no taste, they refused; all they wanted was hard cash… Which leads me to remind you that at some point you will be able to order a lovely vinyl LP of the album, so start saving.

IMPORTANT : You liked our music ? Please let your friends and family know. Below you can both comment and share this page on Facebook. You can also email it, Twitter it, etc… to all your networks. By doing this, you are helping us and you are spreading the good vibe ! Thank you in advance. 

Love & Happiness.

Guida de Palma

 

How to write a Jazinho song

How to write a song in 32 567 frustrating steps

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 3 Comments

My songwriting secrets.

In case you would be interested in writing a Jazzinho album, let me explain how it is done. Well, it is rather simple but nevertheless requires a little bit of patience and a fair amount of money. In this post I explain in detail how to go about it; the recipe, the ingredients and the know how. It is all there so you too can record your own. Simple and easy! Think of me as being in the kitchen, and very much like Jamie Oliver, pretending it is all easy and that anybody can do it. In truth, as you have probably already fathomed, you should be prepared for a fair amount of frustration and the occasional tantrum.

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Step one : Create a decent melody.

Well, here we go. Step one ! I just start humming a few notes, often while in the proverbial  shower. As I was not trained at Julliard or Berkelee, there is a fair amount of trial an error (understatement). Eventually, I start stringing a few coherent notes that make up a rather basic melody. Most often, at this stage, I have no lyrics, perhaps a word or two; and it usually sounds childish and primitive. Which is good, at least, at this stage, I have the pre-teen audience sorted. On the piano I play around with the melody which leads to a few chords. I then sit at my beloved iMac and  move onto Garageband. This is a simple and quick tool to throw a drum loops or two, a basic bass line, a piano melody, a few pads, may be some strings and what have you. Next step, I lock myself in the vocal booth and improvise a few lyrics. That’s usually when the theme comes together. In my songs the sound of the lyrics has as much importance as their meaning. It needs to sound the way I want.

Real musicians : if you can’t beat them, join them.

Guida de Palma and Luis Barrigas

Me and Luis Barrigas listening to our work being recorded.

On rare occasions, I write everything by myself and it comes rather naturally. In most cases, I struggle a wee bit and, out of frustration, I end up calling someone who knows a little, and more often a lot more about music than I do. In this case I have called Luis Barrigas and Graham Harvey.

Leon Ware

Mr.Leon Ware

For this new body of work, I have also asked Leon Ware, of Motown fame – I know, I’m not worthy -, if he had anything in his bag of Soul goodies. To my great surprise he gave me a fantastic Brazilian song that is also somewhat in the style of “I want you”, his seminal work for Marvin Gaye. Am I a lucky girl ? This was quite an interesting experience. I always wanted to experiment with Leon’s style of multiple vocal layers that sounds to be less structured. The truth is totally the opposite, to sound so natural, it took me hours to place my licks in the exact place. I hope you’ll like it,

Download the lovely duet we have done with Leon Ware.

It is also on iTunes, Amazon and hundreds of online stores.

Lyrics : say something interesting and deep.

Er… yeah. Whatever. Once I have a reasonably good melody, I need some decent lyrics. Believe me, that’s the difficult bit. Well, in plain English : writing the lyrics is the excruciating bit. I tend to think melodically, I see myself as a musician, not necessarily as a poet. Besides, being a woman, what comes naturally is, well, surprisingly, a bit “girly”. Not to everyone’s taste, but guess what? I like it : “Alone, again, naturally !” I can see how I am not full blast in the vibe of our times. I do not have too much of an obvious social conscience. You see, my models are more of the Gilbert O’Sullivan, Burt Bacharach and Hal David persuasion and I totally fall for the Carpenters. Do not get me wrong, in no way do I pretend I’m in the same league, but I fancy myself as belonging to the same school of thought. First, it has to be in English – or does it ? The truth is that English is not my mother tongue and I have been known to struggle a bit. As I also speak Portuguese and French, when I am stuck, I blag my way out by mixing in a bit of these languages. Right. Now that we have the lyrics, the melody, the chords and an idea of the rhythm, what do I do next ? Well, I transfer everything onto Logic and start recording the less basic demo with lyrics, BVs etc… you know I love BVs, so I indulge a lot. In the end I usually only keep 1% of all my ideas. OK, that’s it… I now have what starts to sound like a song.

Graham Harvey

Graham Harvey and I in Lisbon.

At this stage it’s still only a blueprint and I now need to send this to my accomplice Graham Harvey, the album producer, so he too can start having fun. He is the one with all the cool musical knowledge. Within a few days he gets back to me with a real demo of the kind you would send to a major company to find a record deal (OK, not anymore, they hardly exist these days). Graham is also an amazing composer, and I wrote the lyrics for two of the songs he wrote for the album. If you are an Incognito fan, you love his work, as some of the band’s best songs were written by Graham.

Pukka! Bob’s your uncle, we have a song !

Now, we are working on what musicians will record in the studio. I know, I forgot to mention, all this computer programming shenanigan is only about providing a guide for when we get in the thick of it, that is recording the actual track, in a real studio, with real musicians, reading scores and playing real instruments (you know, those weird contraptions that take at least 10 years to learn when you can simply assemble loops purchased online). That’s the arrangements bit. We select what instruments will play, what and when they will play it.

This is the time you start spending money you do not have yet… “It would be lovely to have some strings there ?” Er…. You mean a philharmonic orchestra or just samples ? Well, since music has become the fastest way to go bust, let’s not pussyfoot around the issue and go for the Full Monty. Real strings it is then ! And since we have them for one song, let’s use them on ALL of the tracks, so the album sounds coherent.

Now you have a pretty good idea of the initial steps and how easy it is 😉 Soon, in a later post, I will explain recording the rhythm tracks, all together in the studio, in London. Keep listening! I am.

New Jazzinho in the making.

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 5 Comments

Looking in the rear view miror.

Click to download the first Jazzinho album.

The First Jazzinho album

Back in 2003, when major recording companies were multi-billion $ businesses and Napster was still a shiny glimpse in Wall Street’s eye, Guida de Palma and I created Jazzinho, a musical concept that found an audience in many countries around the world. To make sure the albums were up to our expectations, we hired the best musicians : Michele Chiavarini, Chris Franck, Neil Angilley and Ed Motta to name the most prominent. Guida put her great musical talent to create this idiosyncratic style fusing Soul, Jazz, MPB, Electronica with her Portuguese roots.

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Seven year itch.

Of course it was not an entirely smooth and joyful ride. Vast quantities of money were lost : many local CD retailers and wholesalers went bust. Some friendships were destroyed, some others flourished. We had great joy, some pain and a few disillusions. In truth, Jazzinho is the second child we never had… a little brother to our beloved Iris. The last Jazzinho album was recorded seven years ago…. and you you know what they say about the seven years itch…. So two albums, many remixes, numerous live gigs and almost a decade later we have decided to record a brand new Jazzinho album. You have been warned 😉

Jazzinho 12" rmx by Nicola Conte on Freestyle

Nicola Conte remix of a track on Atlas, Jazzinho’s last album, produced by Ed Motta.

About this blog.

This blog is meant to be truthful, but, not to embarrass the various participants, unless they specifically allow us to do so, we will avoid naming them. Most of the time, it is I, Stephan, who will maintain the blog. Nevertheless Guida, as well as the musicians, sound engineers, producers, composers, special guests etc… are invited to contribute as well.

Disclaimer

This blog documents our efforts to create a new album. We should not be arrogant and believe we will succeed for sure. We might very well fail. We are now older than when we started Jazzinho but we are none the wiser. Things have changed lately, there’s a lot less money in music than there used to be, and creating good music requires significant investment. Fortunately, a very good and better off friend of ours, who happens to like good music, has offered to sponsor the next Jazzinho; we owe him to deliver the goods..

And now, over to you in the comments below !
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My lovely studio in the attic

By | New Jazzinho, Non classifié(e) | 139 Comments

Welcome to Guida’s kitchen !

Creating music is very much like cooking (as some might have noticed, I also have fondness for the good food). Over the years I have created a small but perfectly formed vocal booth where I can apply my trade as and when I want. Sometime, even in the middle of the night. It is equipped with the best tools for my voice. This is where I cook my groove. In this case the new Jazzinho album.

My Microphones

Microtech Gefell um92.1s

My Microtech Gefell UM92.1s

Like a chef with his pans and pots, it all starts with good microphones. On the left is my Microtech Gefell UM92.1s, which many consider as the one and only remaining original Georg Neumann  masterpiece, featuring the legendary M7 gold sputtered capsule designed by the Master himself in the late 30s. For those in the know, it is considered by many as the best capsule ever. Still assembled by hand, using the same original materials, process and specifications, in the original factory located in former East Germany, this is the capsule that equipped vintage microphones, like the mythical Telefunken U47 used by the likes of  Julie London, Sinatra and Nat King Cole. It is combined with a valve circuitry for that smooth analogue sound and an almost perfectly flat frequency response. In other words, it is the Excalibur of microphones. Its sound is extremely natural, not too harsh, not too soft and I can use it on almost any instrument.[maxbutton id=”6″]

The Neumann Company was split by the construction of the Wall and, to avoid legal problems with the Western Neumann branch, it was eventually renamed Microtech Gefell, after Gefell, the town where it is located. All the original and legendary technology stayed behind the iron curtain and, in the late 80s, the occidental Neumann company was sold to Sennheiser. It now has been many years that the Neumann microphones, though excellent, have nothing to do with the original brand. When the wall fell, the two companies tried to reunite but Sennheiser put a stop to that by buying both the name and the western factory. The design of my microphone itself is rooted in the 70s, with a weird soviet look to it, but inside, it is Soyouz rocket science.

I also own a few other microphones. I have a Neumann KM86i, Motown’s signature microphone used on most late sixties / early seventies albums. Here we are talking Diana, Marvin, Stevie, Smokey etc. Berry Gordy made a deal with Neumann’s US importer and purchased thirty two of them in one go and got rid of all other mics. It became the microphone the Funk Brothers used on everything from voices, strings, drums etc… It is also the microphone used for the infamous “Je t’aime, moi non plus” steamy duet by Gainsbourg and Birkin. Bardot did an even steamier version that was not released at the time, but this is altogether another story.

Besides these two I also have a classic Shure SM57 and a surprising great sounding and totally cheap AKG Perception.

The vocal booth

Inside the vocal booth

Inside my vocal booth.

This small studio is sufficiently spacious to accommodate two vocalists. It is extremely well isolated but nevertheless well ventilated. I can record myself without a sound engineer, as the keyboards, mouse and monitor allow me operate the main workstation outside. The light is provided by LEDs so it never gets too hot. Anyway, next year well install air conditioning.

 

Outboard gear.

Outboard-gear

Bottom is the Neve Portico II and MOTU 828 MKII at the top.

To make make sure that what is recorded is sufficiently loud and has the aural characteristics I look for, the signal is pumped into a Neve Portico II channel strip combining the absolute best pre-amplification, compression and EQ money can buy. This is the nirvana of sound engineering. With this baby I can polish and remove all asperities from any voice, turn any screech into a soft an creamy whisper.

Once I have the sound I want, using a MOTU 828 MKII sound card, I then convert it into a digital signal compatible with the recording software on my iMac. I usually record my vocals at 24 bits 96Mhz which results in massive AIFF files at a very fine resolution. In plain English, this is more than twice the resolution of a CD : we are talking amazingly accurate reproduction.

Workstation and DAW Software

All this gear is hooked to a fantastic workhorse. Things have evolved significantly since my Atari days at the School of Audio Engineering in London (SAE). Now, I use a simple 16 GB iMac running OSX 10.6 with Logic 9. It has plenty of power and I can download the relevant plugins that I can run native. It is simple, powerful and rather stable.

Monitoring

This is the weak link at the moment. I do not yet have what I want but good things come to those who wait. In due course, I am at getting a pair of Quested S8R. The “crème de la crème” of professional studio monitoring. But, in all fairness, what I use now is rather cool. My good friend Eddy lent me his very own pair of vintage Yamaha NS-10. Those who know will understand: if it sounds good on a pair NS-10, it will sound great on anything else.  I also have a pair of Samson, a legacy of my previous home studio. It does the job though, but I now need something more in line with the rest of the line up.

Hooking up with the rest of the world via ISDN and Skype.

I have set up a separate Mac Mini with a Apogee Duet card solely to to work with Skype. This opens a world of opportunities and means you can both hear what I record and interact with me in real time. I spend hours with musicians all the world to fine tune BVs or lead vocals.

At some point in the nearby future I plan to install an ISDN line. For those who do not know, this is a leased digital line, that you connect if and when you need. It will link my studio to any other ISDN equipped studio in the world. Meaning, if and when I need I can record for projects on the other side of the planet without leaving my home. I can work in real time with people thousands of miles away. I already have the CODEC ( encoder/decoder), it is simply a matter of getting the ISDN line in.

Hey, here it is, this is all I need to get by….

And now, over to you in the comments below !

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