Epileptic Gibbon ‘Best of 2012’

Thanks to Ian at Epileptic Gibbon for using one of our ‘extra limited’ tracks on his podcast recently (no. 106, or stream here). As I have mentioned here quite a few times, we didn’t use much limiting (sometimes referred to as compressing) at the mastering stage of our Honey and Lava album, because we felt that that destroys the dynamics (ie. the contrasts between softer and louder sections, not just in terms of the overall dynamics of the song, but even from moment to moment).

However, this means that our tracks sound much quieter at the same volume level than the usual modern track. In regards to our album this is no problem, as all you just have to do is turn the volume up. But on a smaller radio show or podcast that doesn’t have a built-in limiting or compression function (like commercial radio stations do) it is a problem, because it means that our tracks sound much lower in volume, and hence more feeble, than the tracks around it. So we have made available versions of our first album tracks that have been more heavily limited for use by radio shows and podcasters (just contact us to get them). Ian is the first podcaster to take us up on this, and so we’re very grateful to him for doing so.

Ian’s show is well worth a listen, he has more off-beat tastes than the usual prog show and finds good material that is otherwise overlooked. In fact, it’s something of an honour to have been included in his best of 2012 round-up (well, some of the best of the rest of 2012), seeing as from his perspective we come from the ‘AOR-pop’ side of prog.

Sound on Sound guest column

I had a guest spot in the ‘Sounding Off’ column in Sound on Sound magazine this month (June 2013), venting my spleen about bonus tracks, and the modern idea that CDs have to be long. It looks to be available even to non-subscribers.

And here’s a scan of it. Don’t suppose SoS will mind — anyway, they took out some of my terrible jokes which made it seem more serious than it originally was! It’s good advertising for the mag, which is all like this (only much better and about recording and gear rather than moans. So quite different, really).

Sound on Sound Sounding Off June 2013 Blake McQueen

Sound on Sound cover June 13

Update: I should add that it’s not like I have no interest in the sort of tracks you get as bonus tracks. Sometimes they’re good, and as a musician and “recordist” even poorly-recorded, early versions of tracks can provide a valuable insight into the creative and recording processes of a band you like. I just don’t want them stuck on the end of a great CD. Release them as a separate, inexpensive CD. Or make them available as downloads on your website. Put them on a second CD you include with the album if you must (although I’m not that keen on that either). Whatever you do, just don’t put them on the classic album itself.

Maze gig report

We had great fun at The Maze last week. We went down really well even with a crowd predominantly there to see some very different bands. Fat Goth were terrific, they had a spellbinding drummer. Dick Venom and the Terrortones put on a raucous show, Dick is a great frontman who literally throws himself into it, he has to be seen to be believed. Dick and Wrex are great characters, no wonder they’re psychobilly legends. Nice also to see Apart from the Noise and Blind Thieves too.

My keyboard kept jumping patches for some reason. Might have been the huge bass and kick drum coming through the floorboards — need to get a more solid stand!

Coralspin at The Maze, May 3, 2013.

Coralspin at The Maze, May 3, 2013