Production Portfolio Update

I've finally finished updating my production portfolio, following a few fevered QuickTime encoding sessions, showcasing most of the higher-profile work I've completed this year (plus some of my favourite projects from the past few years).

Initially I was a little reticent to combine my recording and production work under the 'Ochre' umbrella, but seeing as though the production side of things now (thankfully) makes up a sizeable portion of my working life (along with my mastering work), it seems to make sense now for my site to reflect this. It's also a good means of keeping my portfolio neatly catalogued, online and in one place, as I had almost forgotten about some the work I'd undertaken in the past (I'd been busier than I thought!).

Additionally, I've created a small library of available production tracks, which will hopefully serve both as a demonstration of my compositional versatility, as well as a catalogue of pieces that are available for licensing.

I'm very keen to expand my portfolio, particularly with some game audio work, so if you're an aspiring game developer in need of some music or sound effects for your game, please get in touch. Although I've licensed my music for use in games in the past, I'm really itching to get stuck in with some game audio production, interactive music and sound design, so I've been poring over various audio APIs, raising my proficiency with FMOD and Wwise.

Finally, I'll be dropping some news about some Ochre related releases over the forthcoming weeks, so stay tuned. Thanks!

Ochre Shirts Refresh etc.

Visit my Spreadshirt store!I figured it was about time I revamped my line up of shirts in an effort to simplify what's on offer and cut down on choice paralysis. The options have been whittled down to logos in black and white (leaving you to select your shirt colour), plus a small selection of hand-picked colourways. Garments are limited to mens' tees, manufactured by those wacky soft pornographers, American Apparel (though I might try some other garments soon). The stores are also a little prettier and more easily navigable these days too, following some thorough settings-delving and customising. No longer do you have to click on an individual garment to change colour.

Although I've still got both shops on the go, the US-centric .com and the Eurocentric .net, there's nothing to stop you ordering from either. Spreadshirt seem to operate on a 1$=£1 basis, which while initially baffling, might not be far from the truth when you factor in customs and VAT if ordering from the US store to the UK, for example.

I'll also be ending the current sale on physical products soon. No set date, but probably some point this week, so if you've been thinking about grabbing a Lemodie CD or Midsummer vinyl, act (moderately) quickly.

Lastly, you've probably noticed the new 'Production' label in the menu. As well as being kept comfortably busy with the mastering, I've also been doing more bespoke production work for various media clients, which I've been thoroughly enjoying. The frenetic work pace, prescriptive briefs and urgent deadlines contrast nicely with my (perhaps overly) leisurely Ochre output of late. I'll add these projects to the site once I receive the completed video files etc., and will no doubt post an update.

Progress, Or the Lack Thereof…

Every now and then I'm reminded of just how frustrating the doggedly persistent notion of 'online empowerment' is for musicians. The insistence of the net as a 'level playing field', is trotted-out on a regular basis; a superficially axiomatic cliché, serving only to stifle further investigation. However, you don't have to try too hard to peel-off the fancy veneer and expose the same old mechanisms.

Read on…

‘Infotain Me’ in LittleBigPlanet 2, on PS3

The sequel to Sony's popular LittleBigPlanet game has finally been released on PS3. Developed once again by the talented folks of Media Molecule), LittleBigPlanet 2 is touted as not merely a platform game, but a platform for games, allowing players to create their own games, levels and music.

My track 'Infotain Me', taken from Lemodie, was licensed for use as part of the in-game soundtrack within LittleBigPlanet 2, and features alongside tracks from the likes of Plaid and Squarepusher. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be involved.

Name Your Price

It's well into 2011, and now that they have officially ceased trading, my album contracts with Benbecula Records have expired. As a result, I've kindly had the rights to 'Lemodie' and 'Like Dust' handed back to me, so I've made them both available for download directly from my Bandcamp page (alongside 'Midsummer').

All three albums are downloadable on a 'name your price' basis, currently with no minimum charge, so if you simply feel like swiping them without paying a penny or sharing your email address, you're free to do so. Better yet, you can set a price you deem fair for my hard work, and sleep easy knowing you're incentivising future Ochre output. Please spread the word; retweet, share, post etc.

Each full-album download contains a bonus track, with 'Lemodie' and 'Midsummer' having their respective CD 'secret' tracks appended to their tracklist, while 'Like Dust' features 'Threnodie', a track previously released as part of the 'Death of an Aura' EP (which I've now retired).

The expiry of my contracts with Benbecula also means that both albums will start to disappear from third-party download stores. Once all down, I'll set about distributing them through my own digital aggregator (probably Emubands, as they currently handle 'Midsummer' distro).

Mix & Master Interview

Oleg Mokhov, co-founder of net radio station BlueRize, was kind enough to host a Skype interview with me recently for his Mix & Master show.

Over the course of the interview we discuss how my burgeoning mastering business, Melograf Mastering, got off the ground, as well as getting into the logistical nuts and bolts of its everyday operation. It’s quite an extensive interview, and as such is split into two parts. The first covers why and how I decided to set up Melograf, with the second part following next week, covering the actual audio processing minutia and associated geekery. You can stream the first part here.

Melograf Mastering is a Year Old!

Goodness me, that was quick. It just recently occurred to me that my sister-venture, Melograf Mastering, has survived its first year formally in business. I can still recall the trepidation I felt when I first set about completing the paperwork. But, thanks to the help of some very kind friends, plus of course the clients who have entrusted me with their music over the course of the year (a good start -- over a hundred projects), it's been a great first year.

The procurement of a set of ADDA convertors last week (to join my lone monitoring DA) was clearly an unconscious celebration of this feat. Time to start thinking about some choice outboard for the new analogue loop.

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Header image: National Ignition cover art, by nkurence.