Days in the life of a songwriter 30

Well well, it’s been some time …. . Sorry!! So the mic shoot-out video that I did with Felix MacIntosh from Tigersonic studios has finally been uploaded. We were comparing a Neumann U87, an Oktava 319 and 219, as well as an AKG C3000 and AKG 414 to a Royer style modded MXL2001 (mod performed by me) and we threw in an SM58 for good measure. Check out the mic shoot out video here. I’ll be doing a little mic mod post pretty soon.

We also went to the 12 Bar Club on June 7th and played a gig where we tried out some more brass on songs and welcomed Sarah Mann on trombone into the fold. Joe Carter on trumpet also showed off his skills and even threw in a muted trumpet solo. We were impressed. Nick added some new keyboard sounds, there was a touch of electric piano (a rhodes type sound) and even some organ in a song called Lilly. The new sounds came from a module by EMU called Proteus 2000. I used my Seagull acoustic on the night for which I have just ordered a new custom made bone saddle. Sounds kinkier than it is. We were sharing the evening with Jordan Reyne who is an industrial folkster from NZ who did impress everyone with her dark songs and nifty use of her loop pedals.

I have discovered a couple more licensing companies (for Film/TV and ads) and am in the process of offering them some more songs to hopefully bring in some dosh sooner, rather than later.

Apart from that, Jordan is actually working hard at creating a new website for Amphibic.co.uk which is supposed to go live fairly soon. Excited!! Yeah!!!

One thing I’m working on at the moment is a song that is close to my heart. It’s a project that is to do with Norway and I am looking forward to some collaborations with some old friends there. I don’t want to say too much at this stage. But will keep you updated here. I am very excited about this and even though I did use the word excited in the last paragraph, I don’t get excited very easily. Honest.

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Amphibic on American television, yeah baby!

Right, where was I? I left for Christmas and the whole family thing ensued. Saw nephews and nieces, ate way too much and managed to get a bit of musician-geek-DIY done. I re-surrected a mic which I had converted to a tube mic (courtesy of Dave Royer who published an article on this way back). In case you’d like to do the same follow the link. I had used a different mic back then and wasn’t that pleased by the result. But with too much time on my hands, and as luck would have it, an MXL2001 which is the mic that Dave had intended the circuit for, I ripped the circuit from the old mic and put it in the MXL. I finally got round and did some early testing of this mic yesterday and I have a feeling I’ll be using it quite a bit now (yes it sounds fantastic). Maybe I should mention that I’m a big fan of dynamic mics (simpler technology), especially the Sennheiser MD421 and the old Shure SM58. I also like lo-fi throwbacks like the Beyerdynamic M55. And I should add that it’s better to record than not to record, as what is happening in front of the mic is what really counts.

Okay, that’s enough geek-age. Just before the year was out, I was joined by someone dear to me and there was a big feast featuring wild boar that night. On the last day of the year we ended up on the roof terrace of my mate’s house which is fairly high up, we had given up the plan of driving to the top of a nearby hill, to see the fireworks mayhem that visits Germany every New Year’s eve. This is due to the fact that everyone can and will buy fireworks. We did hear the fire engines later that night, as there are always a few house fires and someone’s probably lost some part of their body and possibly their eye sight. On to happier news.

There were a few more days where I could chill and I managed to borrow a car to drive up to the Dutch border where Steven (at Haldern Pop) had been storing my old guitar case for my Strat (for about 4 years). Thanks Steven! I also picked up a last batch of CDs from them. Before I got to Haldern I drove past Ollie’s place to pick up my old VOX AC10 amp from about 1958. It’s tan and I bought it in London in 1993 or so, when it was in a terrible state. They are very rare and fetch more than a thousand US. Anyway, it was good to see Ollie, Steffie and their little one, Leo. We had a couple of beers in the evening and shared a coffee in the morning, then back on the road. Ollie gave me a Fender Tex Mex pickup which is now the twinkle in my brunette guitar’s eye.

Just before I came back an email reached me to tell me that the song Hungry Man, from our EP THERE WERE MILLIONS OF THEM, had made it onto American television. It was used in a show called ‘Switched at Birth’. I think the episode is called ‘Starry Night’. I will have to see whether I should offer this publisher a few more songs, or whether I should spread the wares over a couple of publishers? But I would like to keep some new songs back, in order not to run out of ammunition for publishers here. The company in the US specializes in TV and Film.

Anyway, back here now, have done three jobs. Met Atul at his musician’s meet up on Saturday, where I met Felix Macintosh who runs Tigersonic studios. Went to see the film ‘The Artist” on the weekend and that’s it. Will do some recording now…..