Bandcamp Discog Updated to 24-bit FLAC

Following tepid on the heels of 'Early Learning', I've recently updated the Bandcamp editions of my remaining three albums with 24-bit masters. Like Dust of the Balance has undergone a straightforward update to 24-bit, re-dithered from the original track montage. Lemodie and A Midsummer Nice Dream, meanwhile, have been remastered to 24-bit from the original mixdowns, and so sound a bit more polished and refined. All albums continue to be offered for a price you deem fair.

Over in the shop, the Ochre Spreadshirt stores have been updated with a new shirt option -- an ultra-soft vintage fit, tri-blend, adjective-laden American Apparel Track tee. I recently discovered this comfy garment after receiving it in Bandcamp-print guise; it's the softest tee I own.

Meanwhile, I'm excited to be working on the soundtrack for the animated documentary, The Centrefold Project, due for release during Spring 2012.

Early Learning Now Available for Download

Download 'Early Learning' on BandcampI'd been planning to re-release these tracks properly for a while now, to give them the conclusive send-off they deserve. Thanks to the help of some friends, plus some professional mastering, I can happily announce that Early Learning is now available for a name-your-price download on Bandcamp! (iTunes etc. will follow over the forthcoming weeks.)

Although all the tracks have been previously released online in one form or another in the past, to collate and properly sequence them, give them a polish and adorn with some great nkurence-penned artwork, has breathed new life into them.

Early Learning constitutes most of my pre-'Midsummer' output from between 2001 and 2003, and in some cases required revisiting the Cubase VST 5 song files, to be remixed and re-rendered for a cohesive release (i.e. tracks 1, 3 & 9). Being a download-only album, it seemed like a good opportunity to encode the FLACs in 24-bit, exceeding the 16-bit sound quality typical of a CD-borne album. (Which reminds me, I can also upgrade the FLAC editions of 'Like Dust', Lemodie and 'Midsummer' with 24-bit FLACs too. Shall arrange this when I get the chance.)

I've also taken full advantage of Bandcamp's bonus-bundling capabilities, uploading a couple of extra tracks (a remastered 'Bipolar Bears', plus my Zelda remix), in addition to Chris Larkee's video for 'Esign'. The Esign video has been updated with the remastered audio, and rendered to a 720p H.264/MPEG-4 video file.


Please remember to hit those like/tweet buttons on Bandcamp and help spread the word. Much appreciated, thanks.

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.

© 2002–2021 Christopher Leary
Header image: Understory cover art, by Guy Warley.