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Philip G Hunt

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Everything posted by Philip G Hunt

  1. Thanks @Kevin Walsh I've got a very basic setup which I use to its maximum potential, for want of no other means. I mastered everything through headphones so I'm not surprised if some distortion crept in. I'll get onto it when I come back from the mountains and see if I can iron them out. Thanks for heads up.
  2. Thanks @mark skinner I really appreciate that. So pleased you feel I captured the sound. 👍 I've got a love of those old Delta blues artists. I also love the whole story of how Country blues came about.
  3. Back in 2004, I spent a few months travelling around the Coasts of Italy. The soundtrack to my journey was early Country Blues (or Delta Blues) by artists such as Skip James and Lead Belly; plus a heavy dose of Takoma Records (John Fahey, Leo Kottke). At each stop along the way I would get out my Tanglewood and jam in an open tuning, recording what I could on an old MP3 player - such was life pre-smartphones. The tracks on this album are the result of these early recordings. Songs for travelling, written on the road, released 16 years later. https://53mph.bandcamp.com/album/levante-blues
  4. Just a heads up. My phone tells me the links are not safe and won't let me proceed.
  5. I'm trying out lots of different apps. ZenBeats owned by Roland seems like a fun and easy workstation in the style of the old Yamaha portable music makers (I used to have one... Wish I still had it). There is also Fruity Loops for €20. I don't think iOS is the only option anymore, it just had more options. 😉
  6. I wonder if anyone can help. I'm going camping next week in the wilderness, and wanted to take a keyboard to make music on. After browsing all the cool portable keyboards I got to wondering whether I could use my old M-Audio Oxygen 8 midi controller with my phone. After doing some googling, I realised all I'd need was a USB-C to USB adapter to plug straight into to the phone, so I bought one, downloaded an app called Midi piano, and...viola... I've got a working piano triggers by the midi controller. Now, my question: does anyone know of any cool android apps that work with midi controllers for making music. I've downloaded Caustic, but it's quite old. Anything cool and recent? Cheers guys.
  7. @antler of course nothing can be talked about in absolutes. Life doesn't consist of absolutes. The examples you gave don't necessarily contradict what I was saying though. There is a recognized phenomena called 'flow' which could be applied to the creative process. As creative people we lose ourselves in the process, not necessarily making conscious decisions about everything we do - if you've ever played tennis you'll know this feeling of striking the ball without thinking about it - so during the act of creation we don't make these kinds of conscious decisions. In your first example you suggest the streaming service is just a substitute for handing over a CD or tape, but I would think Amy might not see it that way, especially if the streaming service then makes her work public. However, the moment Barry says to Amy, "you should put this out" two paths are open, put it out or don't put it out. Barry has decided it merits being put out (even just for his listening pleasure); he has measured the work against what he believes is 'releasable' material (that is his perspective). Amy can then accept Barry's judgement of her work and decide to release it based on his opinion...or she could say no. Amy could also suddenly thing 'Well, Barry thinks this has some merit, but first I want to put it through a mastering software'. In that moment she has made a judgement that the quality needs to meet some 'acceptable' standard to meet audience expectations. The act of releasing is no longer the creative process. Furthermore, as human being's we react to input. If someone encourages us, we continue to do it. If someone deters us, we might stop. Imagine if Barry had said to Amy, "this is shit and should never see the light of day". That could actually drive her on to prove to the world it is not so. Or it could make her hide the work away. The way we react to input is very personal and emotional. We are emotional beings, after all. But, this does not go against what I originally said. The production and creation of work is one thing (flow); the decision to release the work is another (audience consideration). On a side note - a friend of mine once gave my music to his music industry uncle who told him 'this guy shouldn't be allowed to make music', this really hurt. My friend should probably never have told me. It knocked me back, but eventually I worked through it and decided his opinion was not going to prevent me from doing what I wanted to do. It could have gone either way. That is the risk of putting your work out there. There is a fantastic story of the sculptor Giacometti. He was famous for working and reworking his sculptures in the studio obsessively for years. He never let anyone see the work, thinking it was never ready for public viewing. His gallery was so desperate for work to show that, in the end, they broke into his studio when he wasn't there and took the sculptures away for exhibition. The story may not be true, but it's a nice story and something I think a lot of us can relate to.
  8. I loved BFD when I first got it. If you want realistic drums that you can rework - BFD v1 is still one of the best for me. It's like working with a real kit I remember reading somewhere that BFD v1 had a higher sample rate than later version and was more 'realistic' in sound. Still today, a good 20 years later it holds up. I know a lot of people won't agree because it doesn't sound as good 'straight out the box' but that's because a lot of modern drum programs sound ready mixed. The problem with that is, they sound great in isolation, when there are no other instruments playing, but you lose a certain level of control over the mixing - their first release gave you the 'raw' drum sound which you could work. Worked for me.
  9. I get what you're saying @antler art therapy is a discipline in itself and there are many examples of artists who made work for themselves only to be discovered later... Though many of these are mythologised. For example, Van Gogh had every intention of exhibiting despite only selling one paintings. Kafka had every intention of publishing despite publishing only ones story and asking his friend to destroy the rest. Dylan's basement tapes were never meant to be released...yet they were. A lot of this is mythologising. It's also well documented that playing music is good for the brain and mental health. Playing music is the only time the two hemispheres of our brain synchronise. All this is demonstrated....yet The moment we decide to put something out there into the world, it is no longer art therapy. That is why there is a recognised difference between art therapy as a discipline and fine art practise. A fine art practitioner always need to consider the audience. Without the audience, the work has no function. In the same way 'club music' makes no sense being made without a club in mind, or trance music being made without drugs in mind. Music for places and venues. David Byrne talks excellently about this. Venue, technology, audience: these things shape how we make music. So, before we put our music out into the world to be heard, we have already unconsciously made a decision to conform to some idea of what we consider our audience wants. It's inevitable. Otherwise we'd all sound like The Shags.
  10. No bad blood here - I understood that you don't like Streaming services - I think the misunderstanding is that you thought my first post on the thread was aimed at you. It wasn't, it was in response to the opening post to the thread. You kind of jumped on that post, played the cynic and I just pushed back from there. No hard feelings. Have a good day.
  11. Define total bollocks then...from a quantum physics angle.
  12. So you don't want a serious discussion on the topic - I get that. But I'm currently coming out of months of depression, so I want to rant - nothing personal against you.
  13. ...so why does it need to be heard by an audience? The moment we publish something and it goes from our bedrooms to the outside world we can no longer 'claim' it is just for fun. The making was the fun part - the publishing? Of course we all want people to say - 'that's the great' - or to pay a few bucks for out efforts - that is when we need to accept, the just for fun part is in the making, but if we are making for ourselves and no-one else, quality is not an issue, equipment is not an issue. So why do we up the quality? Because somewhere in the back of our minds, we are really making it to be heard by other people. I started out in the fine art world before moving to music. It's the same deal - you make work for an audience, without an audience, the work might as well not exist.
  14. I totally agree with you - putting something out does not necessarily mean you are looking to profit from it, but if you are putting your music up on a streaming service such as Apple/Spotify/Tidal etc.. it always comes back to why? If profit is not the aim then is it exposure? If exposure is not the aim is it bragging rights? Perhaps it is all of these, but the simple truth is, if it is to get the most number of people to listen to your music as possible...streaming services do not offer you that. The simple truth is that. Streaming services are like 'the right to pursue happiness' - it promises everything and offers nothing. Yes, I have gone the library music route before. I'm in a library (making no money) and I've approached lots of libraries without much luck. I was a member of Taxi for years - not much luck there. When I was starting out, the aim of every musician/singer friend of mine was to get a record deal and release a single. After doing that, you need other aims. Release an album with a label. After that - create a catalog so that you have a passive income in the furture - that's the business plan. Take the UK band Chumbawamber - they probably never set out hoping their songs would still be paying them money from placements in tv shows and ads 20 years later.....but they are. I would love to be making a passive income from my work - but I know I'm past that point now. My current aim is in a different direction. Ad hoc audio scores. I'm already working on stuff. Putting things out. Making traction. A plan....everyone needs a plan
  15. I didn't mean to get snarky, but when someone flips you the finger after you've just spent a good bit of your time writing a message mainly for them.....well!
  16. Of course we're allowed to have fun. That's why we make music. But the moment someone asks about streaming services (the topic of this thread by the way), they need to ask themselves the question - why are you putting it on a streaming service? I remember years ago when I used to send out demos to my favorite labels, there was one in particular that had a disclaimer: "Before you send us a demo, you need to know - you will not make any money with us. " they then supplied a link to an unsigned musician (I don't know if it still exists) saying...'If your aim is to get as many people as possible to hear your music, we are not the way to do that. If your aim is to get as many people as possible to listen to your music without making any money, maybe you should follow his example'. What was it? This was a musician who came to the conclusion that if he charged for his music he would restrict the number of people who could listen to it, and since he had a good job (scientist) and didn't need the money, he gave it away for free. He figured he could reach as many listeners as he was able to burn CDs for. He distributed his music to anyone who showed interest and gave away thousands and thousands of CDs - to put this into context, my first single made it onto a few charts and the label only ever pressed 500 copies. I had a friend who made it to Number 1 on the indie charts in the UK with under 500 sales back in pre streaming days. Chart sales are very subjective. Having your music up on a streaming service does not guarantee someone will listen to it. In many ways the streaming services are designed exactly the same as radio used to be in the old days - those already getting huge numbers of plays, continue to get huge numbers of plays. Those who get none, continue to get none. That is why people pay to get false play numbers, or pay to get into playlists. Once you're in, you might see an increase in plays. But then, that goes against the idea of fun, right? Unless fun for you means shelling out money to get bots to listen to your music? Those who have made it on Spotify (the posterboy and girls) usually do so because they already had a local following. They had some exposure beyond the streaming services. They work on their product. So, if fun was the real aim here, why not do what I often do - give it all away for free. If you have bandcamp, you can give everything away for free - you can even gift your music directly to people yourself from bandcamp (I've done it myself as a way of saying thanks). You don't have to charge - you don't even need to know who got it for free (don't request email)....unless it is (in a little way) about the prestige of making a few bucks off your music....and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. Just admit it to yourself, is all I'm saying. Or go one step beyond this - print up 100 CDs and give them out to friends, family, locals in the street. Spend an afternoon on a street corner near the record stores (if they still exist) or outside a venue and give away your music. Chances are, more people will actually listen to your stuff than will ever listen to it on streaming services this way. You might even direct traffic to your bandcamp page and make some dosh too. I am not criticizing anyone's decision to put stuff up on streaming services....I do it myself. what I am saying is, we shouldn't kid ourselves about our motives. And we shouldn't kid ourselves that it is in any way the route to being heard. As the founder of Audio Cafe once said in an interview 'in the 90s everyone started giving their content away for free and the consumer expect this now - the only ones making money anymore are those who designed the tools to releasing it'
  17. So you know then that streaming services are just vanity projects for non-gigging musicians, right? 🤷‍♂️ What I'm getting at is this - back in the day, radio served a purpose, to get people to hear music which they would then go out and buy or go and see live. The whole idea of radio was to get product to the listeners. That is why I used the example of labels playing the system by buying their own product to get in into the charts. If Spotify etc. are the new radio, what is their purpose? To guide people toward our product? This can be CDs or videos or merchandise or live gigs. If you are not gigging or selling CDs then it's just a vanity project because you are not really selling anything. It's just to massage the artist's ego. This doesn't have to be seen negatively. Many great works of art have been vanity projects. 😉
  18. To give you an idea of what 'playing the system' for plays on Spotify is like...I get these adverts like this in Facebook offering services to do just that:
  19. So you know then that streaming services are just vanity projects for non-gigging musicians, right? 🤷‍♂️
  20. A friend of mine who used to be in my band back in the day and now works in the music biz once said that if you did a gig and sold 10 CDs after the gig, you'd make more money than you'd make from years off streaming services... And do you know what. He's right. When my music was on radio I made hundreds from weeks of airplay. When it was played once on Sky TV I got 400 bucks for one play...and that was back in 2000. It used to be a viable income source. The peanuts that streaming services throw at you it's nothing compared to how much they make.
  21. So you've got your stuff out there.... Now what? Point being, getting stuff on Spotify, bandcamp etc is the easy part, but what is your long term goal? Get exposure so that labels take interest? Sell a shed load of tracks? Give all your money to charity?.... What is the bigger picture? Truth is, you would make more money busking in the street than from streaming services. If you want to make decent bucks, gig and sell merchandise.
  22. I've used Landr for a few years to publish my stuff to streaming services. The subscription to do so it's pretty low, but this year I will not be renewing. Firstly, Landr does not have a great automated system. I often find I cannot freeze releases and have to contact them directly to freeze or unfreeze a release. Secondly, it's purely a vanity project. If you are like me, working full-time and releasing music as a hobby, putting stuff up on streaming services is just for the sake of being able to say you have music on streaming services. It will not make you any money. I suspect that a lot of people 'play the system' by paying agencies to boost their plays and get their stuff on playlists or charts, in the same way record companies used to buy their own records to get their artists in the charts. If you have money to throw away, you can do that too, but you are unlikely to ever recover that money. So, I depends what your aims are.
  23. https://ww.musictech.net/news/why-was-korg-fined-1-5-million/ Korg, Roland and GAK collectively fined a total of £5.75million for enforcing the illegal practice of Resale Price Maintenance (RPM).
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