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Work as Music Producer

Producing: ARK.S

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Producing: ARK.S

Film composer Michael W. Bell with rapper ARK.S

This is a project I'm crazy excited about! Hiphop artist ARK.S and myself have been mates for years and have had many conversations spanning pretty much all of the the arts! We had kind of spoken on and off about doing a music project together in the past, and now were making what I can only describe as "Cinematic Hip Hop" together.


I have currently written two tracks for ARK.S  and am in the process of composing more tracks! This post is going to grow as time goes on but for the meantime, I can tell you that Aurora Eclipse Productions in association with 9E Productions will be looking to release a Single to all major digital stores during the first week of September 2017 with an EP release to follow.

So far, we have been posting production news and stories on our social media accounts only, so keep your eye on the following accounts for more news

ARK.S
Twitter
Instagram

Aurora Eclipse Productions Ltd
Twitter
Instagram

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Producing: Black Noire's "Tales of the Unaffected" EP

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Producing: Black Noire's "Tales of the Unaffected" EP

Black Noire

I was recently given the opportunity to work with Baroque Pop/Rock band Black Noire to produce, mix and master their debut EP, "Tales of the Unaffected" and am pleased to announce that that work is now complete!

Black Noire is made up of Daniel Smith (Guitar/Bass), Emily Jackson (Keys/Piano/Orchestrator) and Darron Connett (Vocals/Lyrics) and from the very beginning I knew it was going to be an interesting project...

I agreed fairly early on that I would work on the post production for the EP, I knew Dan killed it on the bass and what with Emily being my VP over at Aurora Eclipse Productions, I was fully aware that the project would be different and merge genres to create an interesting listen; I had nothing to be worried about, if only just a just little intrigued by what they were cooking up in the writing rooms.

I loved what I heard on the initial play through and quickly began to massage the MIDI data, merge and swapping out samples libraries, add expression and dynamics and generally balance out and arrange the tracks while working with Dan to record guitars in a hope to take the music into different realms.

I'm incredibly proud of what the guys achieved musically and in terms of production, I was able to draw on production techniques both new and old enabling me to get really creative during post production, something I feel has really benefitted to the release. 

Tales of the Unaffected is now available worldwide via iTunes and all major digital stores. In addition to this, you can preview three of the six tracks via the band's Soundcloud embed below and I've even been able to publish some teaser artwork, Enjoy!

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blacknoirebandtalesoftheunaffected

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Producing: In The Studio With Demental Recording "Hatriotism”.

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Producing: In The Studio With Demental Recording "Hatriotism”.

Demental-heavymetal

Had a great few sessions in the studio recording with Brighton based Thrash Metallers Demental for their upcoming single ‘Hatriotism’.

We recorded the single in the larger studio at City College East, Brighton which uses an old Audient console (originally used at Olympic Studios by the likes of U2 and Brian Eno to name a few). While I love the console, we did have some initial problems! The console had been overheating which meant that the studio door had to be left open throughout the day and fans permanently facing the desk, fine for us but maybe not so great for others trying to work with Thrash Metal blasting through the complex ;).

We had planned to track all of the drums and rhythm guitars on day 1, but ran into some issues which pushed our schedule back. We lost one of the drum overheads very early in the session, then followed by one of the room mics which starting to hiss and malfunction. One issue with working in University facilities (besides the apparent lack of respect for equipment) is that unfortunately, all suitable replacement microphones are often being used in other recording sessions meaning we had to work with what we had. Despite these issues, I think we managed to get a pretty good sound; in some ways we captured a more aggressive and tighter delivery from the drum performance through the loss of these microphones as it forced us to be a little more meticulous with the placement of the remaining mics on the kit.

We did managed to complete the drums, but only tracked around 80% of the rhythm guitars resulting some takes spilling into day 2. 

On day 2, Guitar cabs were recorded using the ‘fredman technique’ for microphone placement, One SM57 facing the best speaker cone dead on and another 57 facing the same speaker but on a slight angle, this provided great results during the recording. I rolled off the bottom end of the guitars as much as possible to allow room for the bass during mixing, but still captured a great mid to low-end sound for the rhythm and lead respectfully. The best performances were then compiled in Pro Tools utilising the play list function while recording overdubs.

All rhythm guitar performances were captured 4 times, panning two left and two right to achieve a fuller sound. Lead guitar performances were then captured twice and panned slightly left and slightly right but remaining fairly central.

Bass recordings went well, although we had some problems with one of the preamps on the console, a quick troubleshooting of the signal path and moving of channel preamps solved this without too much time lost. We decided to record three signals for the bass, DI, SM57 and a Beyerdynamic M88. Personally I liked the sound of the 57 and the DI combined but due to the problems we had on the first day when tracking the drums, we ran out of time to complete all of the the bass lines on the final day resulting in these recordings being scrapped.

The final recording were carried out at a home studio through DI and Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 3 Plugin for FX. Overall we got a good sound for the bass, but I would have preferred to capture this in the studio.

Vocal recordings were completed last at the home studio and overdubbed nicely into the track without any problems.

In post-production, I successfully mixed and mastered the release which can be purchased from the band directly (www.demental.co.uk), the track is also available on iTunes.

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