Days in the life of a songwriter 28

I will try and condense the last 4 weeks into a small post here. Can’t promise though. Well, the MXL2001 mic with the Royer type circuit didn’t have it easy with me. Basically, I killed the tube pretty quickly (by unplugging and re-plugging the poor thing) while I did some work on its power supply. Got a new 5840 tube and fixed it again. More about that later. Finished my tax return and got a big shock. As it was my first year without any employment, only self employment, I had to pay the tax plus NI, plus the first installment for the current year. I know, I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t damnit!! But before I start telling you about my new push for higher recording quality, let me tell you that I managed to go skiing after an awful long absence from the slopes. I can’t tell you how long, as I’d have to shoot you, which won’t benefit anyone, so leave it, will you. We went over to Switzerland for 4 days and had the most gorgeous weather, albeit at about 25 degrees below zero. Fresh! My skiing skills hadn’t suffered a tad (they aren’t fantastic) but I can live with them. Maybe because I suffer from the odd bout of Rollerblading!? After 3 full days of going up and down (the slopes) I decided to give my aching body a bit of a rest and got myself a window seat at Cafe Schneider, who are the local coffee house/chocolate/patisserie hotshots. Ordered a cappuccino and watched the world drift by and scribbled some lyric sketches in my pad. Most of the afternoon was spent back on a train to Zurich, to catch a plane back to Blighty. If there is any money left next winter, I might try it again.

I read this paper on what musicians should and shouldn’t do by Derek Sivers and as I have a bit of a habit, telling people what I think about their output, I sent him an email. He founded (and sold) a very successful company called CD baby, where artists can sell their wares to their fans, and fans they didn’t know existed. Anyway, he’s a nice man who likes to communicate and got straight back to me.

I have done a bit of thinking and have decided to submit a few more songs to the licensing company that managed to get me the placement on the American show, Switched at Birth. Apart from that, I will approach a few more companies like them and also keep submitting stuff to various Taxi listings. A consultant I spoke to recently, told me that he liked the songwriting of the new songs, but that he wouldn’t be able to present them to the labels he is in touch with. The labels he knows need the recordings to be more developed. I do suspect that the size of the labels could be relevant here, as the smaller the label, the less likely it is they’ll have money to do any developing themselves. But, he is a pro, so I’d better take him seriously. It made me mull over my recording setup a bit. It’s incredibly simple but also very efficient. With a bit of thinking and care, I reckon I can push the recording and mix quality up by a few notches. I am testing some more professional software and am doing some more mic shootouts. Have also re-connected my old Amek BC2 desk channel strip and it does beat my current preamp. Don’t want to bore you too much, so will talk about this a bit more in the next installment. Had a rehearsal with Imogen on cello last week and one with Nick (piano) today, drums, violin and cello on Thursday … So yes, we are firing up all the different cylinders at the moment….. Okay, more next time.