The Making of Soulosophy – Day 3

Soulosophy Concept Art v1 Brown

Greetings all…hope u are enjoying your Saturday. In the last post, I was going on about a roster of 24 musicians (25 including myself) that I thought could participate on this project. After giving it much thought, especially in relationship to the approach and final release of the Halcyon Sky EP, I decided to take the “walk before you can run” approach. Gone is the idea of that many musicians participating for a sophomore project. I’m definitely not ready to book and pay for studio time when the project can very well be done between my studio and my partner’s studio.

That being said, I have one solid tune already given to me to review by a long time friend and smooth jazz keyboardists with four (at least) CDs under his belt. With the roster being significantly smaller and the musician commitments I have thus far, yeah, we can rock this. Next step, song completion assessments. More about that in the next post.

Before I forget, for those of you that have been following my tweets on my personal Twitter account, @mrfresh, regarding my musical endeavors, I’ve decided to consolidate all those under one new Twitter ID, SFTF Productions, you can follow me there. I’d highly appreciate it. Thanks!

Have a great weekend.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

The Making of Soulosophy – Day 2

Soulosophy Concept Art v1 Brown

Greetings…

Over the last few days, I began to take stock of how I *think* I want this project to unfold. In the last post, I mentioned it was to be a 10 track project but it has since grown two more tracks. I plan on stunting any further growth…, LOL.

Right now, I plan on inviting 24 other artists to participate on this project, whether they all do remains too early to be seen, but the invite email is going out this weekend. Of the 24, I have four already committed, so that’s good, so now starts the real groundwork: logistics, determining how much remote collaboration will be needed, musician assignments to each song, etc. This should prove interesting (one drummer I really would like to have on the project will only play an acoustic set – which I don’t have in my studio), but better to nail down this now verses later. Stay tuned.

::: oceans of rhythm:::

Fresh,

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) –The Fans Speak (Day 19)

Halcyon Sky_final_

Greetings All,

Once again, I’m really happy at the results of the Halcyon Sky EP. It was truly created to be a musical gift to all of you, but the responses, the comments I’ve received are nothing short of great and with that said, I’m grateful. I thought I’d share with you some of the commentary:

“You have no idea how much I needed to hear this music today The music is amazing. It’s exactly what I need in my life right now….: – J.M. – Lincoln Park, MI

“Thank you for sharing it is fabulous!” – C.H. – Worcester, MA

“Your EP is fantastic Bruh. Awesome job.” – D.W. – Orlando, FL

“Love it. As cool as the other side of the pillow.” – D.M. – Argyle, Maine

“I love it! Congratulations!” – K.S. – Bradenton, FL

“…and to let you know the title track Halcyon Sky was my first choice…..simplistic beauty…” – J.J – Tulsa, OK

“Very chill. Love it. Thanks for sharing it with us.” – JC- Austin, TX

“Congrats on the release. This has a Beautiful, chill vibe” – Q.S. – Washington, DC

“Nice!” – A.R. – Upper Marlboro, MD

“I have been waiting for this and so far what I hear is worth the wait Great stuff bro Loving it. – D.P. – Clinton, MD

“Halcyon Sky is lovely nice.” – C.B. – NYC

Doug, here’s to you and your efforts with this fabulous production! Sounds great and I’m wishing you all the best of success with Halcyon Sky!” P.C. – NYC

“Anxiety attacks are not my friend. Halcyon Sky helps. Well done, Doug! Well done” – A.T. – Atlanta, GA

“Looking forward to listening to your new EP, Doug! Congrats! (P.S. Aren’t we overdue to work on some music?! LOL)” – J.H. – Greensboro, NC

I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed twice, so far, about the EP. You can read (audio coming soon) Felicia’s interview and listen to Calandra’s interview at their respective locations:

New Music – Halcyon Sky – Felicia Hodges/Tigerlily Communications

Artist Conversation with Mr. Fresh – Halcyon Sky EP

Below is a very short promo video for the project, featuring a little studio footage.

You can stream/download the EP, here.

Once again, thanks!

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 11

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Greetings all. It’s been a very quiet Friday evening so I took advantage of that fact to get some progress time in on the EP. Tonight I continued on one of the more chilled tracks and have finished the entire arrangement. I got a little work in on it last night and afterwards popped in a sample library disk from the lastest issue of Future Music Magazine. On this disk there are some vocal samples from a collection called Terry Grant – Voices From The Edge. While I won’t give the title of the track I’m working on, these vocal samples AUTOMATICALLY and coincidentally fit the theme of the track perfectly. All that was required was for me to chop them up and place them where they fit best in the track. With some added stereo delay, the fit very nicely. All that’s left now is to record the bass synth. Logic has a nice stock bass synth from its ES2 synthesizer that I’ll use for the last track, then it’ll be time to mix. Once you finally hear it, come back and read this post if you remember. It’ll all come together.

9:24 pm…I gotta make a run. Have a good and safe weekend….

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 10

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Day 10. Ok, so each track on the EP is at some level of development. Some are ready to mix and master, some are just snippets that need to be arranged and so on, others are sort of at the midway point. As said in the last post, collaboration track with C3 is arranged and ready for mixdown – after I upgrade to Logic X. As seen from the photo above, this afternoon I’m finally taking time to prioritize the schedule so I can get this out at the desired time.

Now that the Studio A is finally back up and running, the last thing I need to do is install the Maschine 1,8.2 software OS to be able to integrate Maschine Mikro into my Logic workflow. I was thinking of leaking the artwork to your good people, buuuuuut I think I’ll wait. :)

Speaking of schedules, I really should develop a master schedule to include this other music projects I’ve got going. Can’t reach the destination in the best way without a path forward.

Enjoy the evening…

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 9

Logic Studio in The Lab

….and on the ninth day….I’m back. :)

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, but things are moving along. First, good Tuesday morning at 7:24am. In our last episode, I received the drum track from from one of my production partners (of C3) for the collaborative track on the EP. Since then, I’ve received keyboard tracks from my other partner in C3, definitely some great additions to the track (as I expected). For all intents and purposes, all the elements of this track are in place. Next step is the final arrangement, then mixdown. I’m definitely looking forward to how this track will manifest itself.

In other news, I broke the studio down over the last two weeks in order to upgrade to a newer, better, faster computer – a 2.5 GHz Mac mini, i5 Intel processor. What does this mean, other than the performance upgrades? Logic X on the horizon :). The reassemble of the studio also meant integrating two older units into the rack for use with Logic: my Roland JV-1080 and Roland S-760 sampler. Why integrate older units from the 90′s when I could use everything more intuitively “in the box”? It’s where I came from AND I’d like to incorporate/integrate the old with the new instead of having them sit in my studio storage taking up space. Strangely enough, its part of the whole composition process. The units are still very capable in light of the advances in synth and sampling technology over the years. I had a long discussion with Netm8kr on this topic this past Sunday.

So, one track pretty much done. Off to the next one in progress on the list.

Have a great day….

:::oceans of rhythm:::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 8

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Greetings….

I trust this post finds you well. 12:12 am and I’ve taken a few days off from the EP recording to focus on completing a final mix for the long awaited CD project my partner and I have been working on. We had a successful session last week and have one last mix to do before sending the entire project (less two tracks) out to Nashville to get mastered. More on that as the weeks approach.

Yesterday, I got back some drum tracks my man Todd Kelley of C3 recorded and programmed for me. These are, of course, for the track entitled “Deep (f/C3)”. After inserting the stems in to the track and giving it a listen, they fit perfectly. Working with individual stems (as you other recording artists/producers know) allow for maximum flexibility from an editing standpoint, so I can see now this is going to work out perfectly.The addition of the drums alone vibe great with the feel of the track.

In any event, that’s it for now. Bed time for sure….

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (debut EP) – Day 7

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Good Sunday night to you (or whatever day it is). Had some time this weekend to continue pre=production on the tracks for the EP, particularly the title track. I’ve posted that I’ve found the artwork for EP already, as well as the artwork for the title track remix, so that’s cool. I’m liking the current arrangement of the track so far, but know I’ll probably take awhile to make sure that it’s birthed correctly :-)

In addition, I received what is to be the first input on the collaboration track with C3, and I’m LIKING where it’s going already…definitely excited about this. This comes as no surprise though, because every track we’ve collaborated on in the past has been on point.

I’m blessed to have a dedicated project recording studio in my home, a place where my creative flow can go unhindered, it makes music production a joy. That said, I came across some articles in my library this weekend that provide some good reminders to heed as I take this particular creative journey:

1. “Don’t let the technology lead you – it is a tool, be the master, not the servant.” – Garry Cobain.

This obviously applies to employing tech in most creative processes outside of music production.

2. “Remember, no matter how much you like all those colored flashing LEDs (and LCDs) in the studio, they are the means, not the end. At the end of the day, what you make is only any use if it works for the ears and the brain.” – Dr. Alex Patterson

So true. I come from a time of music production and songwriting when it was purely analog. Through the evolution to the present, I’ve got plenty of LCDs and blinking lights up in here. I’m the kind of composer that prefers not to birth tracks from solely “in the box” (computer)…I like my compositions to be yielded from a mix of hardware and software sound generators. Either way, Dr. Patterson’s quote rings true.

That’s it for now. It’s about 10:20p right now and we’re under another winter storm advisory. Gonna do a lil more work here in the studio, we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

PS: Shout out to my whole crew over at ADN. Catch up with you soon!

Halcyon Sky (debut EP) – Day 5

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Friday. The fifth day in the development of this project. I hope this post finds you well. With every song I’ve ever uploaded to the internet or submitted for a podcast (obviously for someone else’s listening pleasure), I’ve strived to include song artwork that conveys a visual feeling for the song. Just like all musical artists that release a collection of music, I try to do the same with artwork that describe the release as a whole.

Yesterday shortly after I woke up, I saw a photo that would be the perfect visual to encompass the entire project. As usual, it only took a matter of seconds (2 at most) for me to decide this was it. I contacted the photographer and with the request, explained why and how I intended to use it. The photographer was very happy and honored that I’d choose the photo for this body of work. The next thing I need to do is see if I can get the title of the work properly placed on the cover as I currently envision it. I’m actually glad this aspect of the project is already completed, because it is something that I can get quite anal over, LOL.

On another note (no pun intended), I continued work on another track from the EP. This one is mellow, all purpose (if you will), chillout track that I think will turn out nicely. I know I’ll be using NI Massive as one of the plugins on this track, but not entirely sure if I’ll record any guitar on this song. If I do, it has to end up being exactly as the little I do hear in my head at the moment – that’s gonna take a little extra homework to achieve the effect I want. I know I will engineer the track out of Studio B and probably on the road at some points. It’s nice to have a capable mobile setup, thanks Apple!!

I hope to hear something regarding two of the collaborative tracks I have out there, by next weekend…we’ll see how they’re coming along. That’s about it for now.

Enjoy the weekend….

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

“Left Coast Flow” (Thai-Roc Instrumental Mix) Pt. 1

Ok.. hope everyone’s well. Some of you may remember seeing some posts about a P5 Audio West Coast Detox beat contest I entered last month. I follow them on Twitter and check out the free samples they always post for their contests. While I’d download some packs along the way, I happened to like this particular one, and thought I’d give it a shot. For those who haven’t heard, my entry is here.

Fast forward. Another Soundcloud member, Thai-Roc is definitely feelin’ it and has asked for a longer version….has some MC that wants to have at…some vocoder stuff, etc. The full mix is done, nothing really special about it, and I’m about to send it. Click the player below. Pt 2 of this post will have his final production on it.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Sample credit: “California Love” – 2Pac/Dr. Dre

Left Coast Flow (Thai Roc Instrumental