(26 replies, posted in Recording)

Jerome, those tracks are great. Nice music from obviously talented musicians. I have some reasonable mastering software and would be happy to put the files through them for a maybe slight improvement in quality. If you want me to try just let me know you could then judge wether its better or worse and run the copy that sounds best to your ear;.

Cant wait to her more from this collection.

gratz on the recordings


(7 replies, posted in Songwriting)

If people were too paranoid about their songs being 'stolen' no artist could ever release a song as the lyrics can be heard and transcribed and it is a simple matter to break down the chord structure. Chordie website is a great example of this and is a valuable tool for all aspiring artists to begin their magical journey. While peole can take your lyrics and melodies they cannot take ownership of your song. If an artist stumbles across a song of yours and records it, turning into a hit then you should be delighted as the song itself still belongs to you and as such you would be entitled to 50% of the royalties the recording generates. Its a win win situation .



(16 replies, posted in Songwriting)

I am like you in that I always start with the music and the words come later, in some cases a few phrases will appear along with the chord structure. I never try and force anything but find that a phrase or two will pop into my head that seem to fit the meter of the song. If I like the phraes then one or more of them will become the basis of the song. It is most unusual if these phrases dont reflect some part of my experience in life or at least a thought or feeling I hold deep. This way I have a good foundation to start with.

Next I list a lot of words, phrases etc on the chosen song theme and the writting proper begins. I incorporate some of the words if they fit where the story decides to go but am equally at home leaving them out though they help immensly in leading me to other words.

I treat writing a song a little bit like planting a flower. I find the seed and let it grow where it wants to to. Fertilising it with ideas ( my words and phrases, the chord structure, beat, tempo etc..) and weeding it ( chopping out the words and phrases that dont fit, changing the odd chord to provide some tension or whatever you feel the song needs). My last step is normally to work on the start and ending.

We are all different in how we write, but this works for me. If one or two of theses ideas assist you then use them. If sounds like total BS to you then do it your own way, we all have systems and ideas that work best for us. If we all attack things the same way then songs would not be as diverse as they are.

Good luck with the writing.



(17 replies, posted in Recording)

My advice is to always record clean sounds and your effects through the software. This way you can change your effects at any time. If you record with an effect in the chain then you cant take it out later without re-recording. Most software allaows you to imbed an effect when recording so you can hear the sound even though the effect itself is not permanent, you are still only recording the clean sound.


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Sorry about confusion, Its a song I wrote and recorded ( I am Allan ) and my friend Andy played the lead guitar breaks on it for me. Hope that clarifies things.


(4 replies, posted in Songwriting)

Thought I would share this song, a recorded version I made with a friend of mine can be found here



[G] [C] [G] [C] [G] [F#] [G]
[G] [C] [G] [C] [G] [C] [D]

[G]Went on down to collect my pay, [C]
[G]A big fat bonus headed [F#] my way.
[G]Passed the dealer on the way back home,
[D] And there was a car with my name in foam
[C#] [C] well the dealer saw me commin
I shoulda started runnin
[G] He took my cash with his fancy dialogue
[C] [D] He took my stash
[C#] [C] Just like walking the dog [G] [C] [D]

I get on home, in my brand car
pushin it up the drive it didn’t so go far
My lady, well, she none too excited
She say you better get this matter righted
I bought this car for you
And then I ducked her shoe
Her tirade left me deep in the bog
She chewed me up
just like walking the dog

If I ever get this car back on the road
Imma take it back, get the money Im owed
And then Im gunna tell him what I think of him
Maybe use some muscle, he was short and slim
And when I get back on home
And I catch my woman alone
We can have some make up snog
Oh yeah, oh yeah,
just like walking the dog

**  Use the same chord structure from the first verse through the entire song. **


(17 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

If you have a local blues club that hosts jam nights, many do, get yourself involved. Blues is a great vehicle to improve improvisation with as the chord progrssions are more often than not standard progressions so you cant get lost and your pentatonic scale will be imensely valuable here.  G Luck to ya, you are doing great.


(20 replies, posted in Songwriting)

The last song I posted, 'The last ride at Port Arthur' also fits this category. Link to uploaded song can be found in the thread.


(2 replies, posted in Songwriting)

I have now uploaded this song onto
Only three songs can be listed on the main page but if you click on [see all] alongside my song list this song will appear.


(2 replies, posted in Songwriting)

A couple years back I had the opportunity to visit Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia. In its day it was a penal institution where convicts, mainly from Britain, were incarcerated, often for life. Many of their crimes were of petty theft to survive. Remember, this was a few centuries ago when things were dealt with much harsher ( today we are too soft - perhaps somewhere in between would be nice )

This story is about the last person to be hung at Port Arthur and here, alas, the truth ends. They no longer hang people in Port Arthur so I know my basis of the stroy is true however, I have no idea if it happened in August as I protray but there is 1 in 12 chance that I am correct.

This is my first song I have posted for a long time. Once I release  it somewhere on the net I will update this post so you can have a listen.

<<<<  song now uploaded http://www.theindie.biz/artists/bio/44156 click on [show all] alongside my song list to view as only three songs can be featured. >>>>

The Last Ride at Port Authur (c) APPRA 2011

[A] It’s a cold and calous morning
with a [E] gloomy august sky
[A] and the  steady precipitation
helps the [F#m] heavens to run dry
[Bm] as rain attempts wash away
the [F#m] guilt from his skin
[E] but the water can’t fall fast enough 
[F#m] to save him from his sin

[F#m]Oh the hangman hangs the dirty
[Bm] noose around his head
[F#m] such a heavy price to pay
[E] to steal a loaf of bread
[F#m] The hangman checks the tension
[Bm] not too tight and not too loose
[E] the hangman can hardly wait
[F#m] to trip the noose
[E] [A]

[A] And Author is a pretty place
hidden [E] but in full sight
[A] the steady mutilations
and the [F#m] prisoners ghastly plight
[Bm] as he stands upon the gallows
and [F#m] the crows call out goodbye
[E] he doesn’t know that change is nigh 
[F#m] he is the last to die

[F#m]Oh the hangman hangs the dirty
[Bm] noose around his head
[F#m] such a heavy price to pay
[E] to steal a loaf of bread
[F#m] The hangman checks the tension
[Bm] not too tight and not too loose
[E] the hangman can hardly wait
[F#m] to trip the noose
[E] [A]


(6 replies, posted in Recording)

Its possible you are refferring to my post jerome
if not, its still worth a read as it is pertinent to this discussion as well.


(1 replies, posted in Recording)

I know there are some users who are looking at procurring daws and midi software and I have noticed that a lot of companies are offering some very good specials for Black Friday.  Please note: I have no affiliation with any of theses companies and this post is entirely 100% informational and is not an advertisment of any kind.

Mixcraft - http://www.acoustica.com - Is offering their Daw at $52.46 for download ( 30% off )
Native Instruments are offering 50% off a range of products
Sonivox - http://www.sonivoxmi.com/index.asp - 25% off all products if you use the word 'Turkey' as your coupon during checkout over thanksgiving weekend.
Smartloops - http://www.smartloops.com/products/ - offering 30% off their range - coupon word 'Turkeyloops'
Waves - up to 70% off - but they are very expensive top end plugins - best quality around though IMHO

Lots of great offers here for a very wide range of prices and requirements. Once again, I would like to disclose that I am not an agent of any of these companies and only offer this information and associated links to help those that may be on the lookout for a bargain.


(13 replies, posted in Recording)

Good advice Jerome.  You have a couple of drawbacks with your current system.

1. You can only record the total mix from your mixer. ie: one track at a time or all tracks as a single main out.
2. The incoming audio to your mixer is converted four time before you can hear it. Audio to digital ( within the mixer) - digital back to audio( for the rca main out connection) - back to digital to get it recorded by your computer and finally back to audio so you can hear it. Not all convdersion work at 100% so you are best to keep the conversions as low as possible.
3. You are using the sound card within your computer to do a lot of work and they are generally not up to the same spec as the sound card in a dedicated mixer.
4. You will mosty likely experience latency issues when recording and listening at the same time. Latency will appear as a slight dealy in sound from what you are recording to what was previously recorded. This is caused by the speed of the various audio converters coupled with the number of conversions taking place. Latency should be kept as low as possible.

Now, the advantages of a USB connected mixer is tremendous.

1. Only two conversions take place. Audio to digital ( performed by your soundcard in the mixer ) - This signal is then passed to the computer and recorded without any other conversion process. You may use additional software plug ins but in effect they are are still only acting on digital to digital processors so no actual converting. The second conversion takes place after your computer has passed the signal back to the mixer via the usb connection where it is converted back to audio by the same soundcard that converted it in the first instance. Two conversions is the minimum number of processors you can have when recording digitally.

2. The quality of the soundcard in your mixer is most likely better that your computer. Both conversions should be better. More headroom - less noise - faster

3. Latency should be so low as to be irrelevant.

4. You can now record multiple tracks simultaneously by setting the input on your daw to the mixer track you wish to record.Each track will now appear as its own track in your daw and can be acted on independently.

IMPORTANT NOTE :  To keep latency as low as possible the transfer rate from the mixer to the computer must be kept as fast as possible. In order of speed from slowest to fastest they are:

slow: USB1  -  latency issues here , avoid

firewire - Neglible latency butnot as convenient as it is older tecnology and there are are numerous firewire connecters available. Need to check on the cable and computer firewire connectivity before purchase.

Fast USB2 -  marginally faster than firewire but with the total  easy of USB.

Fastest - USB3 - dont know if its out there yet but if not it should be available soon and will be a big step up form USB2. 

Hope this helps
Good luck with what ever you do.


(5 replies, posted in Recording)

A usb condenser microphone will make a big improvement. From what you have described your signal to noise ration is most likely to low. By using a better connection with less noise such as I have described coupled with the extra sensitivity of a condenser microphone and you will have ample signal getting through which will be far louder than any noise which should therefore be all but unoticible. And, as described by beamer, a compressor will also improve things : software comprssors can be found free as plugins if you have a daw capable of running them.

The very best recordings of accoustic guitars are always made by micing the guitar up and not from pluging them in through pickups.


(13 replies, posted in Recording)

Forgot to add, the best place to look for plugins is http://www.kvraudio.com/ - they have virtually ( no pun intended ) every release ever made listed and it is in a searchable and filterable database. I fantastic site - highly recomended.


(13 replies, posted in Recording)

Wow that is a tough question. Money plays a big part here and as always the more you pay the more you get.

Firstly though, Have you tried searching for updated drivers for your old midi interface?  It could just be drivers that are the problem.

Now for some midi programs that I have used:

FL Studio ::  starts from as low as $49 with studio express edition. There is a free trial and they provide free updates for life.  I have the fruity edition and while it is great for midi I no longer use it as I am now more recording focused and use a strong daw with specialised midi plugins to achieve what I am after.

Mixcraft :: $74.95   This is a great recording program with built in midi control and the ability to handle plugins. Comes with a library of wav loops and there are thousands of free vst instruments and effects plugins available on the web.  This is a robust program and can handle most users requirements.

Cubase : $$$  This is now my daw of choice. It is fantastic to use, never crashes and has great midi capabilities. Some of their specialised plugins ie HALion Sonic provide more featurs and sounds that you could ever hope to explore.

Of course you are also going to need a controller or keyboard to connect with and that is probably the best place to start looking as they often come packaged with software. I only use a 49 key keyboard controller and for my needs it gets the job done. Mine is an M-Audio keyrig 49 and it connects via usb and I have never had a problem with it. I was not interested in M-Audio's software, its probably good, but I didnt want to go through another learning curve and it was only bundled with entry level versions anyway. The controller only really acts as a way to get the signal into your program in a tactile way IMHO so I beleive in buying a cheapish controller and concentrating on the software for the real investment in getting top draw sounds and expressions.

Hope that rambling helps a little Phil, if not it may serve as a good introduction to someone who is thinking about midi.


(5 replies, posted in Recording)

I normally nomalise all tracks unless artifacts appear. I normalise to -3db to keep well clear of clipping. The reason I do this is so that if I go back to a master at a later date and want to change part of a track all I need to is normaise it to the same setting and it fits perfectly as far as volume is concerned.


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

Sorry it has taken so long to upload this ( I forgot I had recorded it lol )

Anyway the song can be found at http://songsprouts.com/profile.php?id=1243

You will notice that when I recorded it I made the changes that I had suggested to get the lyrics to fit correctly and I also made a mistake with the vocals by not singing the outro differently to the chorus. If you want the chord structure let me know and I will post them. Also I would like to include your name on the credits and the copyright for the song so please pm me with your name and I will include your name on the copyright with APPRA.  Lovely lryrics I hope you enjoy my interpretation of them.


(58 replies, posted in Recording)

I am with the school of thought of a mixer as there are a lot of advantages down the track. 

1. Its expandable. Yiou can add a pre amp later on and get an amazing increase in your existing mic's performance ( its like upgrading your entire mic wardrobe )
2. You can record multiple tracks simultaneously. IMHO the best accoustic guitar results come from double micing the guitar. Some people even triple mic with a room mic to gain some ambience. You can then adjust the volumes of each track to get the desired effect after you have recorded.
3. The quality will be better than that of the usb, the mixer should by rights have a better pre built into it than the one in the usb path.

If cash outlay is restrictive you could consider a mic to usb cable and that way you can buy a standard condenser mic and hook it up to usb in the meantime and then buy the mixer later on when you have the cash. BTW, many mixers come with free software to start you off in recording and in many cases this software is all you will ever need. Just make sure you get a mixer that uses USB2 or firewire. USB1 will give you too many latency issues.

Whatever you choose, have fun smile)


(50 replies, posted in Recording)

Better than a mixer is to use some cheap software like mixcraft which is excellent. This will then allow you to record guitar into one track and edit any errors and when you are happy with it, record a seperate vocal track. This would be way cheaper than buying the gear for a second mic plus the second mic itself. It would also allow you to add drum loops etc as a backing and you will be well on the way to getting some quality results. Nice job already thought keep it going.


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

I think I finally have my head around the interpretation, and have re-written the final verse for you so that it fits with the same verse structure of the previous 2 verses. See if you like this suggestion:

Its gonna be okay, look into my eyes
I can let him go, I hope you know
that he always made me cry
but in your arms my love will grow
I dont ask you why
I just let the feeling flow


(14 replies, posted in Poems)

I have a had a more indepth look at the lyrics and I am a little puzzled, perhaps I am interpreting them wrong or perhaps they have been written incorrectly. My query is.....

In the first few verses you are talking directly to a person eg: "How can YOU tell me “I love you""

then later in verse 3 you appear to be talking to somebody else about the person you origonally began talking to? 
eg: " I can let HIM go, this I hope you know"

Can you clarify this please as it presents a lyrical problem as I currently interpretet it. I cant recall ever seeing a song where the subject of the lyrics changes as the song progresses, it just feels wrong.



(14 replies, posted in Poems)

Nice lyrics and I have an idea for a tune, but first I notice that the third verse seems to be short a line?

If you can correct that I will try and whack something up for you to use or discard as you see fit. My singing is not the best but I will record what I end up with and post it for you and anyone else who is interested to download. With your permission I will also need to change the gender of the lyrics.

Nice work keep it up.


(7 replies, posted in Acoustic)

For me I usually keep my pinky free when playing Am - that way its available to play an Am7 for a single strum or two which adds a little color into the chord. If I kept my index finger free it would be no good for anything as its tucked away off the fret board. However, if the song included a shift up to to a Bm after the Am, then I would make an exception and finger the Am with a free index. This would enable an easy slide up the fret baord for the next chord by only adding a barre. It all depends on what you need to happen I guess. Same with all chords really. Its good to learn a variety of fingerings so that you can use the one which best suits the song and leaves you in the ideal position for embelishments or as an easy progress to the next chord.

Hope that is of some help.


(4 replies, posted in Recording)

Hmmm ...56 reads so far and no takers - looks like no interest in this ideas so please now consider this thread closed