Upcoming releases, Nucleus SoundLab, and (gasp!) another video tutorial!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General, Music, Nucleus Soundlab, Patch design, Reason, Tutorials

I was thinking it was about time I posted an update here, and it’s just occurred to me that quite a lot has been going on over the past few months.

So! Starting with the obvious – I am incredibly pleased to announce that I have recently started working with Nucleus SoundLab as a Product Specialist. “What does this mean, exactly?” you may be asking. Well, as you may (or may not) know, I’ve been working on-and-off with NSL for the past six years or so on various Reason ReFills, along with some VST patch design work. Now that I’m working as a product specialist, I’ll be continuing to contribute to said projects, but I’ll also be working a lot more behind-the-scenes with the rest of the talented NSL crew. I’m also producing demo material for said projects, including demo songs, videos, and the like. I’m thrilled to be taking a bigger role with NSL,  and I’m looking forward to what the future may bring! Of course, I’m still working on my own music and other assorted projects around my work with NSL. So that segues quite nicely into…

…my next release! I’m keeping certain details under wraps for now, but I’m happy to disclose a couple of bits of information regarding my next musical release.

  • It’s going to be a full-length release. Not an EP, not a single, but a full-length release.
  • It’s not Album 4. Sorry. That’s still quite a way off… but I am currently working on it.
  • It’s going to be a digital-only release. This is a topic I will probably talk about properly at some point, but this will not be getting a physical release.
  • I’ll be releasing it later this year.

I’ll be releasing more information closer to the release. Having said that, I’ll be giving away two FREE songs from said release once my Facebook page hits 1,000 “likes”, and I’ll properly lift the curtain on the release itself when that happens. At the time of writing, it’s sitting around 900 “likes” so… spread the word! In the meantime, you can check out a small clip from the opening track here.

You may have noticed that I mentioned Album 4 before – as I said, I’m currently working on it. So, you may be pleased to know that not only have I (FINALLY!) put together another video tutorial for one of Reason‘s devices, but it’s also a very, very sneak peek at something I’ve been currently working on. Whether or not it’s an Album 4 track remains to be seen, but if you’d like to see how I’ve been using Reason’s Synchronous device in my work, then this is the video for you.

I hope some of you find this video useful, and – as always – I’d love to know what you make of it!

Post Civil Protection tour shenanigans, album plans, and all that fun stuff

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Civil Protection, General, Music, Patch design, Stolen Fire

It dawned on me recently that I probably should have updated this page when the Civil Protection album was actually released, or after we finished touring it… but I guess I’m just not that smart. In any case, both of those things happened, and you can listen to the Civil Protection album in its entirety using this handy little music player doofer. Hooray! I’m afraid you’ll have to forgive the gaps between tracks, but you can get around those by buying the album.

So. Anyway. The tour. Well, that was an interesting experience – full of fun! Full of laughter! Full of Sylvester Stallone impersonations that totally didn’t get old at all, I don’t care what you say. And full of glorious, glorious noise!

We ended up performing the bulk of our gigs up North, with a couple of gigs a little further south (namely in Nottingham & Islington). Unfortunately, a lot of the planning was a bit of a last-minute affair, so there were a couple of gigs where maybe things didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped. Having said that, those moments were overshadowed by the moments where things went more-or-less exactly as planned, and it’s always fantastic to play to a crowd who really gets what we’re trying to do. We’ve all learned a lot from the experience, and I’d just like to say a huge thanks to everyone who came along to our noise-making sessions!

As an aside: if I ever see a lead vocalist yawn on-stage again during a set (seriously, this actually happened) then I will genuinely lose my shit.

So, right now I’m currently knee-deep in another patch design project which I imagine will keep me occupied for a good chunk of this month. However, that hasn’t stopped me from working on some new material in the past couple of months. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I have a few ideas in place regarding my next album, and what I want to do with it. One thing I am quite keen to do is to release it independently – it’s early days at the moment, but I’ve had a few interesting ideas regarding distribution since my last independent release – which would be 2010’s Lightfields album, which has since been re-released – and I’m not entirely sure whether I’d be able to do what I want to do any other way.

Anyway… I do believe I am getting ahead of myself here, and it’s going to be a very long time before I’m ready to release another album. In the meantime, you can have a sneaky listen to what I’ve been up to lately via this second handy little music player doofer.

(18/03/14: sorry, I’m being all sneaky and hiding my stuff and that)

Propellerhead Reason artist feature

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Distant Activity, Geekery, General, Lightfields, Music, Production music, Reason

As you may or may not know already, I tend to use Reason an awful lot in my own music – whether it’s solo works or production music, Reason pretty much forms the backbone for everything I do these days. In this video I talk a little bit about my background, my Reason use, some of the sounds I use, and I also dissect one of my production tunes, quickly detailing my process when it comes to quickly getting ideas down and fleshed out.

Huge thanks to Ryan and the folks over at Propellerhead Software for putting this together!

There’s a little bit of amusing history behind this video, as well – I’d originally been interviewed by Ryan in late 2010 for an artist feature in 2011 but, unfortunately, this fell through as a result of Record & Reason being merged into one product line. During my original interview I’d made constant references to using Record & Reason together, so my interview was more or less obsolete within a couple of months of me doing it. Whoops! Thankfully, we did a new interview in late 2012, and I made sure to avoid mentioning anything besides Reason… though the temptation to jokingly mention that I’d switched over to Rebirth was pretty tempting.

A new collaborative song and some general updates

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Civil Protection, FiXT, Music, Production music, Reason

It’s been an incredibly busy past few months, which was all rounded off nicely with a week-long holiday in Rhodes last week. I got back on the 10th, and I’ve been a busy bee since getting back. I’ll be working on some patch design projects starting from the beginning of next week, so I figured I’d spend some time working on something I’ve wanted to do for a little while now.

Below is a collaborative song entitled Take My Hand, written & produced by both myself and the ever fantastic Tom Pritchard, featuring the excellent vocal stylings of Holly Nelson (aka A Million Tiny Architects).

The song itself is a free download, with an MP3 link included on the Soundcloud page itself if you’d rather download an MP3 over a more hefty WAV file. I’m thrilled to have been a part of this song, and I can’t thank Tom & Holly enough for bringing me on board with this. I’m hoping that, along with our previous collaboration Contrails, there will be plenty more collaborations like this in the future.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing since I got back from Rhodes. Since my last update around the release of Icarus I have been incredibly busy with a couple of other projects – one of which is currently available.

Following in the footsteps of my FiXT production album Chase The LightI once again had the pleasure of working with FiXT on a follow-up entitled Chase The Light Vol. 2. Volume 2 features a slightly harder sound to it over Volume 1 in my opinion, but here’s what FiXT had to say about the album itself.

UK composer Adam Fielding has been crafting evocative albums of downtempo breaks and ambient soundscapes since 2008, with the well-known UK breaks label Distinctive Records having just released his third full-length, Icarus. While not working on those albums, Fielding produces instrumental soundscapes for Film/TV/Video Games, and FiXT is proud to present this second volume of Fielding’s Chase The Light series. Picking up where Vol. 01 left off, Vol. 02 contains eleven cuts of iridescent Electronic Rock/ Breakbeat that incorporate hints of dubstep, ambient, and more.

On top of that (did I mention that I’d been busy?), I also spent a good chunk of the last two months producing & mixing my band Civil Protection‘s debut album, Stolen Fire. It features a much more organic sound over our debut EP, and is focussed much more on atmosphere & mood (as evidenced by a clearly reduced dependence on vocals) with a much more post-rock feel to it. I’m very excited about this one, and I can’t wait to share it with you later in the year when I’ll also be touring with the Civil Protection chaps. For a taste of the album, there are some demo versions of a few album tracks on the Civil Protection Soundcloud page.

I’ve got a few more musical projects in the pipeline outside of those mentioned, and later on this week I’ll have something very cool to share with all of you. Until then, I hope you enjoy my recent offerings, and I’d like to extend a huge “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for everyone who has supported Icarus following it’s release. So… thank you! See you later in the week :]

Tutorial: Creating tribal/cinematic percussion with Kong

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Geekery, Reason, Tutorials

As you may or may not know, a couple of months ago I did a live on-line stream for Propellerhead Software‘s Music Making Month, detailing how to do some quick percussive sequencing in an unusual time signature. Since then I’ve been meaning to get some more tutorials put together, and I finally decided to put something together detailing how to create tribal/cinematic percussion from scratch using Reason‘s Kong device.

The video guides you through creating a multi-layered Kong section featuring some organic sounding cinematic drums, right from setting up the sequencer lanes through to programming the drums & sequencing a short section in about 15 minutes. I’d love to know what you make of it, and I’d be really interested to hear any music written using the principles showed in this video. I’ve got a couple of ideas for some future videos but I’m totally open to suggestions!

If you’d like to check out the finished Kong sequence in Reason 6.5, you can download it from here.

BFD Core for Reason

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nucleus Soundlab, Patch design, Reason

I’ve been working with Nucleus SoundLab once again on a new Refill for Reason – this time based on FXpansion’s hugely popular BFD soundbanks.

BFD Core is a hugely detailed acoustic drum library for Reason. The Refill itself consists of over 3.6gb of sample content which make up 57 individual kit-pieces featuring multiple mic positions and detailed velocity layers. The Refill itself also includes 75 Combinator drum kits (including 18 of mine), with lite patches also included for low RAM systems. The Refill also includes 2200 MIDI files if you’re in need of some quick percussive inspiration.

I always think that the true test of a sample library such as this is in it’s real world application, and – having used it myself on a recent project – I can safely say that it sounds excellent. The out-of-the-box patches sound great, and the customisability offered by simply diving into the Combinator patches is excellent.

Right now the Refill is priced at a very reasonable introductory price of $69 until 5th December 2012. Check it out!

Hello 2012 (bit late, but I got there eventually)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General, Music, Reason

Figured it was about time I updated this site to something a bit more relevant than a post about the approaching new year… although, I guess, I could have just left it for a year and it would have been vaguely relevant again, all mentions of 2012 aside. Hmm, I can’t help but feel I haven’t thought this one through particularly well.

To be honest, as far as starts-of-years go it hasn’t exactly been the best here. Definitely not going to dwell on it too much, though, and – all things aside – despite not being a particularly productive month in terms of original musical output, it has been a productive month in other regards – which should give me more time in the coming months to actually work on, you know, music. Which is always a good thing!

Speaking of music… although I haven’t been writing a massive amount of music this month (besides Monotribe-heavy acid…), I did take some time out to write this chilled out number. There’s something quite therapeutic about obsessive drum edits that I just can’t quite put my finger on.

[update: sorry, this song has been removed from Soundcloud]

At any rate, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the rest of the year!

Tom Pritchard presents “Vast”

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Patch design, Reason

I was going to spend ages writing my own little pseudo-press-release for this thing, but….  basically, if you own Reason, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Now, I know my way around Reason, but Tom Pritchard takes Thor to a whole other level. I’m honestly struggling to describe this Refill – I’ve worked on three Thor-based Refills and, honestly, this puts me to shame (damn you!). This is a guy who knows how to make fantastic, usable sounds and who knows Thor inside-out. It’s like working with an extra instrument in Reason. Just… listen to it.

If you use Reason and you don’t find anything in there that suits you then you’re doing it wrong.

Pantheon III for Reason out now

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Nucleus Soundlab, Patch design, Reason

Nucleus Soundlab‘s Pantheon III Refill for Reason 5.0 has been released, featuring more than a few patches designed by myself (and a plethora of other incredibly talented sound designers), and an original demo track produced by me is also included with the Refill.

This marks the third Pantheon Refill I’ve worked on with Nucleus Soundlab, and – having seen the final result – I am incredibly pleased with how it’s all turned out. It really is an invaluable tool if you compose music with Reason, and for anyone wanting to inject a bit of warmth or flavour into their work then you can’t really go wrong with it. Detailed documentation is provided along with the Refill itself, so for anyone wanting to take the sounds apart and add their own twist to things then you’ll have an absolute field day with this.

Below is the demo track I produced for Pantheon III, utilising synth sounds exclusively from the Refill itself and drums from the Reason Factory Sound Bank. The track is included with the Refill.