The evolution of Western pop music over fifty years – from 1960 to 2010 – has been analysed by scientists. A team from Queen Mary University, London and Imperial College looked at more than 17,000 songs from the major American chart, the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. They found three music revolutions – in 1964, 1983 and 1991 – and traced the loss of blues chords from the charts, as well as the birth of disco. The team also refutes claims that pop music is starting to sound the same. Dr Matthias Mauch is from Queen Mary University of London and co-led the research.
VT Editors, often have to wrestle with a huge amount of sound information. Especially on shows that have discreet microphones all over the place – such as the X Factor.
Editor Janci Kovic recently did this screengrab of his final timeline for a Bootcamp Episode of X Factor. This was bootcamp the episode after auditions.
Having the ability to cut off words, change the order of what judges are saying and soloing the backstage reactions at the same time was very helpful to get the story done.
Audio was recorded and captured on STEINBERG’S Nuendo Live
THE AUDIO TRACKS SHOWN INCLUDE:
Jury 4ch’s, crowd 2ch’s, singers port, mic and his instrument 3ch’s, band 12ch’s, backstage with moderator 3ch’s, stage mix 2ch’s, music 6ch’s, sfx 4ch’s, vo and other ports.
Phil Harding’s track record is incredible. As a recording engineer and producer he has worked with artists as diverse as The Clash, Killing Joke, Dead Or Alive, Kylie Minogue and East 17.
As part of his lecture tour to promote his book PWL: From The Factory Floor he came to the University and gave a very entertaining and informative lecture to a packed audience of Audio Production students.
The main thrust of Phil’s lecture was how different aspects of the music industry service each other and why this is something to bear in mind when fulfilling a particular role. He talked about the importance of group work in gaining these skills and about how having the right attitude is essential for success in an industry that relies so heavily on professional relationships.
He gave us some very useful insight into the deals that the modern record producer must negotiate in order to get paid and an incredible example of the different stages of production a commercial single might go through when a rather well known pop mogul is at the helm. My jaw certainly dropped when we were told how much money was thrown at a particular project only for it to dip in and out of the charts at number 39. A non-hit wonder.
As well as continuing as a producer, mix engineer and artist in his own right, Phil is now the chairman of JAMES – the accreditation body responsible for linking industry and education. As our Audio Production programme is accredited by JAMES, Phil’s final piece of advice was for students to include this information on their CVs as it most definitely helps them stand out when applying for apprenticeships, internships and freelance work.
With such a wealth of experience, Phil and JAMES are valuable assets to our course and students. He’s also a very nice bloke – I could have chatted to him all day. And he signed my copy of the book :).
The increasing use of folk instrumentation and driving bass drum beats has obviously come to the notice of the Ivor Novello winning Gary Barlow.
Recently Barlow has released a new song “Let me go”, and almost as quickly people started to make comparisons with Mumford and Sons, largely due to the instrumentation (banjos and bass drum pounding)
Of course they both share a similarity in musical style to Johnny Cash
I also thought the similarity with Mumford’s “I will wait” was uncanny – thought I’d put it to the test.
It’s true that neither of them are the first to use the 1,4,5 chord sequence (80% of all pop songs use this), but the combination of rhythm, percussion and build to the chorus are uncanny.
They’re both 4/4, with the bass drum on the 1 and 3 beat., around 126 bpm.
Gary’s song is exactly the same tempo as “I will wait”, but it’s in a higher key so it needs pitching down by a tone and a half – other than that its fairly convincing.
“I’ve always liked folky, acoustic music but I’ve never fully explored it. I turned back time and was listening to Johnny Cash and early Elton John before I wrote ‘Let Me Go’,” Barlow told the Sun. “I’m 42, I don’t want to do urban or dance music.”
On claims his new single sounds similar to Mumford & Sons, he added:
“I love Mumford & Sons – it’s good, English music, but let’s be honest, they got it off Johnny Cash too.”
Since I Saw You Last also features a duet with Sir Elton John titled ‘Face to Face’ and is out on November 25, followed by a tour next year.
MUMFORD AND SONS
Other bass drum songs out at the moment might include Aveci’s “Wake me up” in the chorus.. Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”, etc
Can you think of any more?
The Guardian had this to say:
“Disappointingly constructed using the Mumford & Sons’ formula of dusty “woah, woah, woah” backing vocals, plucked banjo and copious amounts of thigh slapping, it’s a far cry from the glorious Back For Good, or Rule The World or even Sing. Perhaps the worst part of it all is imagining the inevitable performance of it on The X Factor, complete with backing dancers dressed as Marcus Mumford.
Here’s my comparison uploaded to YouTube – it will be interesting to see if by pitch changing Gary’s track, and using a live version of Mumfod and Sons’ song, will the automatic copyright checker miss this.
And hopefully Dave McSherry won’t take this post down – ’cause I’m guessing he’s not a big Barlow fan 😉
Win an Abbey Road mix/mastering session and Pro Tools® system
The Beatles. Adele. U2. Lady Gaga. Ready to add your name to that list?
Avid have partnered with Abbey Road—one of the world’s most famous recording studios—to help artists and musicians make music history.
they’re looking for one great song, chosen by a panel of industry heavyweights, to win an online mixing and mastering session at Abbey Road and a Pro Tools|HD Native system.
Enter now for your chance to win the industry’s respect, fan exposure, plus free gear from Avid and a mix/mastering session from Abbey Road, adding up to a value of over $7,000.
Get heard, get discovered, and break through. Judge’s Choice
Three winners, as chosen by the judges, will receive:
Their song/track mixed and mastered by Abbey Road’s online services (worth $1,300)
A Pro Tools|HD Native system with Pro Tools HD 10 software and an HD OMNI interface (worth $5,999) each
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels
People’s Choice The highest voted artist will receive:
An Mbox Pro audio interface with Pro Tools 10 software (worth $999)
Exposure across Avid’s website and social online channels
Get Involved Submit by: March 13, 2013, 10 am PDT
Vote: March 14, 2013, – March 21, 2013,
Winners Announced: April 10, 2013
I came across this today (apologies to Dave McSherry who currently has this song as an ‘earworm’ in his head), but I was amazed at the psychological difference turning this song into a major key makes.
Recently produced by Major Scaled – a version of REM’s ‘Losing my religion’, remixed in Major Scale
This artists work is being removed by major labels so you may not get to hear this for long….
this is from the vimeo post – http://vimeo.com/57685359
“Someone has gone to the trouble (I don’t know how but would suspect using Melodyne DNA or somesuch) of processing REM’s minor-scale downer hit ‘Losing My Religion’ so that all the minor notes are now major. When I followed the link I thought it’d be a cover, but no, it’s the original, processed. It’s uncanny – the song is just as familiar as always but the impact is utterly different. Kind of like finding a colour print of a film you’d only known in black and white, or seeing Garfield minus Garfield for the first time. I like it.”
USEFUL ARTICLE/VIDEO about producing a music radio package from the BBC College of Production
A radio package is pre-recorded audio content cut together to tell a story and delivered for broadcast. There are no set rules as to how a package has to sound or how long it should last as this depends on the type of story you are telling and the radio network it is for. It could be a five minute news report, a lively film review or an in-depth biography of a composer.
Depending on what type of package you are producing it may include voiceover, interviews, ‘wild track’ (sounds from the environments where you are recording), music and effects.
In a nutshell- history of Rap, Hip hop & Break Dancing
This explanation caught my ear. Rapper Ice T was talking about his new documentary Something from nothing, about how when the New York state school system was being cut back, and there were no musical instruments available in schools, kids took the record player and turned it into an instrument, how using the breaks in the tracks became popular with MC’s on the decks, which in turn led to Break Dancing. The MC’s then started working with Rappers and so the story continued.
Listen to this extract of Ice T from BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, where he very succinctly explains the origins of hip-hop.
American musician and performer Ice-T has directed a cinema documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap in which he talks to leading performers including Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Eminem about the culture of hip-hop. Ice-T discusses the origins of the music, and its continuing influence.
The Storyline is as follows
SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Taking us on a deeply personal journey Ice-T uncovers how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets a whole spectrum of Hip-Hop talent, from founders, to new faces, to the global superstars like Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting many of its most famous protagonists, studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal ‘The Art Of Rap’. This extraordinary film features unique performances from the entire cast, without resorting to archive material, to build a fresh and surprising take on the phenomenon that is Rap.
“I’m just going to give a heads up that we’re going to wrap it up, …it’s almost time to go, we’re off. A couple more months of us and then it’s someone else’s turn to have a go.” (Chris Moyles on-air 11-7-12)
Yesterday (11th July) saw a major milestone in BBC Radio Broadcasting, in the form of the ritual that is the changing of the guard at the helm of the most listened to time-slot on UK Radio – The Breakfast Show, more specifically Radio One’s breakfast show. The reason – BBC wishes to bring down the average age of Radio One’s audience to 15-29.
Chris Moyles has been Radio One’s DJ at breakfast for years. Most students attending University will have grown up with him. Moyles has won awards, outraged people, increased ratings, climbed mountains for charity, gained weight, lost weight, spoken his mind and generally enjoyed great freedom as he lived out his dream. I have been struck by the amount of debate for and against Chris Moyles – (so much so that one of my own posts on the subject was deleted by a detractor, such is the strength of feeling held by some) He has been praised as ‘the most successful breakfast show host”, and Gary Barlow even wrote a parody song about Mr Moyles ‘The greatest DJ in the World?” http://youtu.be/1Ewaq9cmhLY
I have only met Chris Moyles once, (more of which later) but like millions of other people I feel that I know him well. Each morning on the way to work it was a ritual for me . Radio 4 until ‘thought for the day’ then switch over to find out what Chris Moyles and his ‘ZOO RADIO’ team, Aled, Tina, Comedy Dave, Dominic Byrne, were up to. Often they would spend ages just chatting and discussing topics of the day – occasionally even playing a record or two! People would ‘turn-up’, like the time a breathless Will.i.am brought round a USB stick with a temp mix of ‘This is love“.
I would argue, that to really understand Moyles, you have to listen over a reasonable length of time.
I don’t necessarily like Chris Moyles, he can be incredibly annoying, but he was also entertaining. He is also very proficient in ‘driving’ a radio desk. (backed up by a very efficient team no doubt) but he is a master at talking up to the vocal line, or matching beats, and reacting rapidly live on air, calling up tracks from the now completely digitised music and jingle library. When he actually played tracks I often liked the music he played. Moyles is a bit like Marmite – I can tolerate it, sometimes I really like it, but sometimes I just don’t want any!
You will certainly be hard pushed to find people sitting on the fence in their opinions of him. Radio One’s Ben Cooper described him as: “Quite simply he’s been the most successful breakfast show host in Radio 1 history.” – others find Moyles “utterly vile”, and “a nasty piece of work”
The breakfast slot is seen as key to audiences and image at Radio Stations. People listen driving to work, on the tube, on their phones and at home whilst burning the toast. It’s the slot that gets the nation going in the morning.
Not that Radio One gets the most listeners at that time in the morning. That award goes to BBC Radio 2, and another Chris, EVANS. In the period January to March 2012, Chris Evans Breakfast show scored weekly ratings of 9.23 million listeners against Radio One’s current incumbant Chris Moyles’s 7.1 Million. The other major player is that stalwart of speech radio the Today programme which averages about 6.1 million.
In an On-Air ‘announcement’ (listen here http://youtu.be/L–bVB8QU7M) Chris Moyles revealed to his listeners that he will be leaving Radio One’s morning slot in October after over 8 years at the helm.
Nick Grimshaw was later announced as the new Breakfast show host – and Chris moyles lost no time in playing a trick on Grimshaw, inviting him into the studio this morning (Thursday 12th July – and then leaving him totally alone in the studio without warning!
During his time in office, Moyles has seen the audience for Radio One in the morning rise from the doldrums, and remain high for several years – though now there are signs that Radio audiences are falling with the rise of streaming music services and other outlets.
Moyles has the record for the longest continuous radio show, he has climbed Kilimanjaro with other celebrities for Comic Relief, he has broadcast from various parts of the globe, as well as Hackney, London !! (The Hackney Weekend – community event ) Over the years hundreds if not thousands of incidents have occurred, which all have contributed to peoples feelings about Moyles. He can seem arrogant, but also has a considerate side and can read the mood of the nation well. Two examples display the paradox:
On Tuesday September 11th 2001, the terrorist attacks in America occurred just before Chris was due to go on the air at 3pm UK time. A decision was made not to do the usual show. Instead, Chris played non stop music, interrupted only by regular Newsbeat updates from Claire Bradley. He was wildly praised for his handling of the situation. The next three shows were much the same – featuring emails from listeners, stories from eye witnesses.
(taken from http://chrismoyles.net/teamchris.shtml )
In February 2002, Chris also got himself into hot water with the Broadcasting Standards Commission, when he offered to take Charlotte Church’s virginity on the day she turned 16. The complaints were upheld and Moyles forced to apologise. Despite this, Charlotte has made several subsequent appearances on the show, with Chris even presenting his Christmas Day show live from her mums pub in 2005.
Moyles’s home town is Leeds, where I spent three years in the mid 1980’s. During his departure speech he commented on how getting to the Radio One breakfast slot was a childhood dream. He certainly has worked his way up through a vast array of local radio stations, and I admire the way a Leeds boy made it to the big time – always good to see the seemingly Southern bias being challenged.
Rod McPhee writing yesterday in the Yorkshire Evening Post :
when he first arrived at Radio 1 in 1997 it marked a definitive end of an era of radio where Smashy and Nicey DJs still lingered. He almost sounded like a bloke who’d wandered in off the street and found himself thrust in front of a microphone. That was his gift though. It took a lot of skill and experience to sound that natural. You only have to listen to some presenters on some local radio shows (and some presenters on other Radio 1 shows) to realise just how smooth Moyles really is.”
( http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/columnists/rod-mcphee-chris-moyles-love-or-hate-him-you-have-to-rate-him-1-4730770 )
He has a reputation for brashness. Nicholas Lezard write in the Independent:
“I listened to his show the day after the broadcast. To my surprise, Moyles was humility itself, and barely referred to his award, preferring instead to play some great music and make some splendid topical jokes. Ha! Just kidding. He talked about almost nothing else for the first 21 minutes and 14 seconds of the show, by which time someone whispered into his ear and reminded him that Radio 1 was a music station, not a speech station. I had my smugometer to hand, to be scientific, but it exploded.”
( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/chris-moyles-radio-1-830193.html )
Rod McPhee again :
“Moyles has always given the impression of being a sensitive soul, a reactive personality who takes things personally. Of course, he only gives a hint of this through occasional outbursts, but it’s there all the same. Which is why he’s not only one of the most successful DJs of the last decade but also one of the most interesting. He certainly seems to have more layers than his replacement, Primmie Hill It-kid Nick Grimshaw. Complete with standard issue bouffant and skinny jeans, he’s just a generic clone of modern youth.”
“…we should celebrate him in Leeds. Sure he’s never allowed his Loiner heart to bleed across the pages of newspapers and magazines, but that’s preferable to other stars who love to use their gritty, northern roots to cynically promote themselves.
Truth is, Leeds is a little better off for boasting Moyles in its alumni, and, laud or loathe him, Radio 1’s certainly a lot worse off for losing him”
Changing the breakfast presenter is generational thing at Radio One.
Samira Ahmed writing in The Guardian in November 2011 wrote:
“Radio 1’s dilemma is encapsulated in the totemic persona of its breakfast show presenter, Chris Moyles. Chris Evans’s spiritual heir, Moyles joined Radio 1 in the late 90s and has recently signed a new contract with the station. Now 37, the enfant terrible’s frequent alleged homophobic comments have seen him censured by Ofcom (in 2009) and “warned” by the Radio 1 controller, but, with his valuable ratings, always protected by management. (The new controller, incidentally, is Moyles’s former producer, Ben Cooper).
Whatever you think of him, and there have been plenty of critics, Moyles could be seen to represent what’s happened to adulthood – the phenomenon of extended middle youth, says Garfield, pointing to the demographic of rock festivals. A thirtysomething today is comparable in what they listen to, how they live and consume and how they regard themselves, to a twentysomething a generation ago.”
love or loathe him, we may be in for a quieter time at breakfast on Radio One for a while – my prediction is that ratings will fall under Grimshaw, then a new replacement will be sought, and that person may well become as infamous as Moyles, but it could take several years.
Oh and that meeting I had with Moyles? Well it was in the stairwell at Broadcasting House. I nodded at him and I think he muttered “eorgh” or similar. I don’t remember I was too busy looking at Mariella Frostrup walking down the stairs. Now there’s a radio personality!
CHRIS HAINSTOCK 2012
there is a sound archive of some of Chris Moyles radio shows here
what are your thought s on Chris Moyles and his legacy? –
It’s been six years since Nelly Furtado’s multi-platinum album Loose, which featured the smash hit single Maneater and collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Chris Martin.
She followed it up with a Spanish language record that missed the UK top 100 altogether. So, as she returns to a commercial pop sound, the Canadian star has everything to prove.
“If you wait this long to put an album out, you’d better be sure you tried your best,” says Nelly Furtado.
In fact, the 33-year-old devoted so much time to her new record that producer Salaam Remi accused her of being “three years pregnant” with it.
These days The Videographer is very important
Every moment of the recording process has been carefully documented on video, with weekly “webisodes” being posted to YouTube.
What the videos illustrate is that, unlike some pop stars, Furtado is directly involved in the creative process.
One clip (above) shows the singer improvising a melody while producer Salaam Remi taps out a beat on a music stand. With the quick addition of some tape-slap reverb, the track gets a name – “popsicle jam” – and is pencilled in as an interlude on the album.
It’s a common part of music marketing these days – alongside free downloads, Facebook pages and endless “teaser” clips previewing forthcoming music videos.
“It’s become a content-hungry universe,” says Furtado. “The most important person on your team nowadays is your videographer because they’re constantly filming you. “But I’m quite private, so I get a little bit nervous about that stuff.”
The pressure to document recording sessions was particularly difficult. “At first, I wasn’t able to write a song with the cameraman in the room,” she says.”
The album has gone through two titles, half-a-dozen producers, and a mountain of songs – both old and new.
“In the final stages I was getting really anal about it,” says Furtado.
Why did she get so obsessed? The singer calls it “devotion to my fans”, but the reality is that she’s been absent from the charts for too long.
Furtado’s Spanish record was largely ignored in English-speaking countries but won a Latin Grammy
After the career-defining urban pop of her 2006 album Loose, Furtado followed her own path – getting married, establishing her own record label, and recording a Spanish-language album.Mi Plan sold well internationally, allowing the Canadian artist to tour South America for the first time, but she has been absent from the US charts for five years.
So it’s no surprise that The Spirit Indestructible revisits the pop hooks and colossal beats of Maneater – a song so incendiary it literally started a fire in the recording studio.
Furtado says the new material has “swagger in spades”. The lead single Big Hoops (Bigger The Better) rumbles like a volcano as the singer recounts her teenage love affair with hip-hop over a warped bassline.
“I’m channelling my 14-year-old self,” Furtado says. “She’s thinking about putting on her big hoop earrings and baggy pants and going to the mall downtown.”
The lyrics quote Salt-N-Pepa, A Tribe Called Quest and Blackstreet – bands the teenage Furtado listened to in the suburbs of Victoria, Canada.
“Hip-hop was super-exotic to us in Canada,” she recalls. “Because we were near the south, we could get some of the radio stations from Seattle.
“I remember attaching a wire clothing hanger to the antenna of my radio in my bedroom, so I could get the frequency and get that station and listen to the top 10 every night.”
“It was very liberating, finding that confidence through the music. And that’s what Big Hoops is about.”
Furtado took “six months off Twitter” to clear her head before writing the album
Nostalgia is a big part of the album. Parking Lot touches on similar themes to Big Hoops (“let’s dance in the rain”), while Waiting For The Night is based on a diary Furtado wrote as a “smitten sixteen-year-old” on holiday in Portugal.
To help recapture the sound of that era, the singer sought out Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, one of the biggest R&B producers in the 1990s.
Jerkins worked with many of the bands Furtado name-checks – playing keyboards for Blackstreet and writing hits for Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Beyonce, TLC and Kanye West.
Making of the video for “Bigger the better”
“One track that he did that I loved was The Boy Is Mine with Brandy and Monica,” Furtado says.
“He was telling me about the ad-libs – how they had to be equal and fair.
“They had to count out the number of lines to make sure everybody had the same amount.”
“I love hearing that kind of stuff.”
The singer’s own fans won’t have to wait so long to hear the secrets behind her songs. Every moment of the recording process has been carefully documented on video, with weekly “webisodes” being posted to YouTube.
It’s a common part of music marketing these days – alongside free downloads, Facebook pages and endless “teaser” clips previewing forthcoming music videos.
“It’s become a content-hungry universe,” says Furtado. “The most important person on your team nowadays is your videographer because they’re constantly filming you.
“But I’m quite private, so I get a little bit nervous about that stuff.”
We’d only work ’til midnight at the latest. Rodney has two little kids – so he doesn’t go to bed very late”