Tuesday, 21 October 2008

PTM 211008

One great thing about technology and in particular software is the power it gives the artist/producer.

We recorded the vocals for Pleasurely That Machine at the weekend, personally I think will be one of the highlights of the new album, anyway as usual the idea given to Sarah was fairly raw although one of the most completed ideas. The process I take once the vocals are recorded is clean the audio files up and composite the various takes together, I also tend to strip silence into the audio files rather than use a gate to cutout any in between the phrases. On this album we have created a dedicated space for vocals and purchased the SE Electronics reflexion filter which deadens the sound around the mic which really helps. A few weeks ago I purchased a piece of software called Melodyne following a couple of recommendations. Not that Sarah's vocals need a great deal of tuning, the main reason for getting this software was the help me fit together the double tracked vocals. Rather than creating a double tracked effect we always record the verses and choruses twice, we find this creates quite a nice vocal sound. The problem with this however is that the phrases sometimes don't always match up. What Melodyne helps me do is fit these takes together perfectly, you can also pitch correct and change the timing of phrases using this software. It's a great tool and I wished I had bought it at the start of recording this album as it would have saved me hours or re-recording Sarah's vocals.

Next week we will be recording the next Podcast, following some of your questions I will be giving you a quick tour of set-up and showing off the tools we use.


Monday, 20 October 2008

PTM 181008

Down, Down, Down
Round, Round, Round
Take me down
Got to be blown away
I need to want to stay
I'm crazed, unphased to see
What shouldn't ever be
Pleasurely that Machine
Deeper, Deeper now
Pleasurely that Machine
Lost and Found
There's a place
I am found
Take me there
Take me down
Got to be blown away
I need to want to stay
I'm crazed, amazed to see
What's coming over me
LOVE this track - very excited!
1 more song to go!!!!  And watch this space for news on our Christmas track Tears and Tinsel.
(Lyrics copyright Sarah Heeley, Northern Kind Oct 2008)

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Friday, 17 October 2008


Well, I've had nice break in the USofA.  Had some brilliant experiences, met amazing and inspirational people.  Learnt to surf in California (for those of you hooked up to me on Facebook, you may just get to see the video of this soon which I'm sure you'll find suitably hysterical).
The waves were HUGE (honest) and I had to dodge the bloody stingrays as I went.  I had the pleasure of clubbing with Paul Oakenfold at the Palms, Las Vegas.  He ROCKED, quite dark and electro'ey and was set against a backdrop of robots, flame-throwing industrial type equipment and Cirque de Soleil artists dressed as aliens.  I couldn't help but think the wrong half of NK was in attendance.
I also fulfilled a childhood dream of going to San Diego zoo :-)

So now it's head down to the finishing line for the album - tomorrow we are back in the studio recording Pleasurely That Machine and adding the finishing touches to a few other bits and bobs.
I miss gigging!!
The album's taking longer than anticipated.  But I promise, it is worth the wait.
Sarah x

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Well the DM press conference came and went and as usual I can't help but feel a sense of excitement. I trawled the web last night to find the pre conference clips with the new songs. The obvious searches on Youtube bring you to files that DM have sanctioned as copyright infringement, but if you search with less obvious keywords you'll find them. This is still up for don't know how long for http://www.dailymotion.com/YourUselessAdvice/video/x6zlq1_depeche-mode-wrong-peace_music

As mentioned in the conference Martin has been investing in old analogue gear, the clips I heard of "Wrong" & "Peace" certainly are very analogue sounding and "Peace" sounds amazing, I just hope hope they don't go back down the processed to death sounds as they did on PTA.

I was really encouraged after hearing "Precious" but was disappointed with the PTA in general. Depeche Mode in my opinion need another "Violator", it certainly sounds like they have quite a few songs written. The Violator period not only spawned their greatest album but also the b-sides to many of the songs were also some of their best songs so clearly a very productive period.

Like most people I am a little bit disappointed with the one show at the o2, of course I will be going but I did get to see them in Manchester, Birmingham & London on the last tour. I guess it will make this gig more special.


Friday, 3 October 2008


Sarah is away now for two weeks on a road trip from Las Vegas to San Diego, we had a brief meeting before she left to review the tracks so far. We still feel there is a small amount of work to do with a couple of the tracks vocally, I have been working on these for a while but they aren't really happening yet. We have decided to revisit these when she is back and possibly change the vocal melodies and lyrics.

I'd like to write a couple of new ideas to give us options for the final album, currently we are at 11 songs and ideally I'd like to have 12.

A few readers of this blog informed me of some sites that were linking to a download of our album, Lee from http://cantstopthepop.blogspot.com/ kindly removed his link but the other sites didn't bother, fortunately I contacted Rapidshare who were hosting the file and they have now removed our album.

As Dave Gahan apparently once said, if your not being bootlegged, your not happening.
We didn't get a chance to record the Podcast as mentioned, so this is top of the list for when Sarah is back. Lots to talk about.