Gideon Blue

Release Diary - Part 2

After getting the final version of STAR to satisfactory level it was about pulling on what contacts and digital media I had collated over the last few years and it was expected that I would need to pay some money to help advertise or promote the EP - it would not sell itself.

A few things I wanted to have in play first:

  • A release date
  • How would the music be sold
  • Investigate the different sources of media.
  • Build up a stock of contacts to be able to promote the music

Give yourself a good timeline for the release date. For when I had finished the song I gave myself 6 weeks of setting up the promotion.

The first area was what package and freebies I wanted to give - so I visited There I could set up my own page and they would handle any sales made. Its all on Digital and gave me options in terms of building in 'bonus' tracks. TPLAN it out in advance. on what your exclusive offer is going to be and be ready to think of a few options before choosing the final one.

Next I used, which is a very good way of paying for credits and those credits ensure your song is integrated into a play list the listener has designed.

Release Diary - Part One the recording

Well its taken a while, but have eventually have completed an EP that will be ready for release. This date has been extended a few times, but wanted to make sure things were in place before the date these were as follows:

Set up the idea of what the record package would be.

  • The Mix
  • Promote on Radio Airplay
  • Promote on Reverbnation
  • Promote on Music XRay
  • Add to Soundcloud
  • Send emails gained over the last few years
  • Facebook / Twitter

First the recording/mix needed to be improved and this commenced with a few things in 2014.

Firstly I decided I wanted to change the layout of the song and add an extra chorus towards the end of the song. I made a big mistake here and tried to cut corners by just cutting and pasting the final master on garageband i.e. the all in song. I should have gone back to the original recording with all the separate tracks of instruments and changed the structure of everything. That way anything I wanted to change further would be in the right format.

The drums originally were clerly computerised so then I bumped into person at businessworking event who was also into music production. Then referred to Oli Whitworth who had his own studio. Sent the MP3/Wav track without drums and then he put together a drum set that sounded so much better - he also offered to Master the track all for £60. There were other options online as well to improve the drums, but by being able to speak to someone it was much easier and I got what I wanted quickly.

I then mixed the new drum track and the MP3 with the rest of the music and I should have been ready to go, however what became apparant after separating the music from the drums that the rhythm guitars were all wrong and sounded wonky. I spent over 6 months trying to fix this by listening and listening again. I admit that what I should have done was just re-record the guitars again and hence the shortcut taken at the start when extending the chorus was being counterproductive I should have bitten the bullet and gone back to the original recording and changed every track.

Eventually I got there by separating the guitars from the main mix and then adding separately on Garageband. I was running three tracks 1/ rest of the music 2/ drum track/ 3 guitar track and eventually this got the mix in a better footing and I had the music mixed and ready to go in the Summer. However I listened to the song structure as opposed to the quality of recording (which I had been focusing on too much) and then felt there was something missing especially towards the end and decided to add more to the final chorus. I then added some extra backing vocals to the mix to add some additional definition and finally was happy. At very least I was happy to cut the mix finally and move on.

So for budding musicians out there - what have I learned?

  • Be ready to change the structure of the song and thus keep on demo format until that is nailed. Spend more time developing this - there is an urge to complete this area too quickly and can end up costing more time in the end.
  • Take better notes of what you have done and recorded.
  • Get the drums sorted from the outset.
  • Where possible record the instruments you need and then spend sometime in recording studio or find someone on-line who you can speak to and then send the music in for mastering adjustments etc.
  • Set a financial and time budget for recording in advance. Home recording is fine but you need help and should be ready for it.
  • Be careful of shortcuts.
  • Once recorded a demo - wait two weeks before going back to it - the imperfections you heard straight after recording may not be that obvious. It makes you hear it as a listener for the first time as opposed to the producer.
  • Oh yes and again take notes.
  • Finally when you feel those obsessive urgesand spend 5 hours fixing a small area you need to take a break from the song as the clarity is disappearing and you will keep finding faults. Hence the 'Time Budget' is imortant too.

The next Blog will talk more around the marketing of the song and how to get prepared for that.

Music Writing

Undertook a little music writing course with As the title suggests it was based in London. Each week we are given a topic or style and we have to write a new song. That's quite tough but with a deadline it makes you do it.

It's been really good and must admit it helped with song structure and use of lyrics and how the audience will hear it - Now have 3-4 Draft Songs which will work on over the Winter for new EP/Album in 2015. Might put a crude demo on Star EP when ready for Summer 2014.

Should add that everyone was brilliant on the course and was great to hear different styles and the way music is written.

STAR - New Demo

Ah - always a bugger when you get mixed feedback on the song particularly when its around the vocals - not strong enough / weak/ strained. 

I had got some feedback from professional critics and it was a mixed bag from good to not so good. However deep down I had not been that totally happy or convinced.

This had also come on the back off some songwriting lessons at where was told to keep trying new things until it worked, son't just try and work around with small fixes when the underlying melody was struggling.

So I have worked on STAR and have a version that I think has really improved, particularly around the Chorus. 

Its time for you to let me know 'old or new'.




Update on Music

Today been remisxing and old song Move On. Needed to be cleaned up as sending an EP to publishing house that wants to consider catalogue of songs.

Also working on two new songs - 1/ History a tribute to a 90's pop star and 2/ Workload which is turning out to be really catchy. Will put demos on Soundcloud soon to get reactions.

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