September 6, 2018

‘Virtue Signal’ by Steve Stroud

Virtue Signal by Steve Stroud

I finally got around to writing and recording a new original track which is titled ‘Virtue Signal’ by Steve Stroud.  It’s my first new solo song since I finished my solo album ‘Lavalamp‘ in 2017.

I had a piano riff in my head and based it around that. It was also a good opportunity to put to use a couple of new plugins I’d recently purchased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT is a brilliant replica of the Automatic double tracker the Beatles first used in the 60’s. Great for analogue sounding chorus or flange effects.
The Universal Audio Galaxy tape echo is a psychedelic sounding old school tape echo / reverb unit that adds a bit of retro other-worldliness to your delays.

Anyway, I expereimented and wrote and recorded the song in a few hours one morning recently. It’s now on itunes, spotify etc, but I’ve put the link to my Bandcamp page below if you’s like a listen.

Let me know what you think?

You can hear the results here and don’t forget to get in touch here if you want me to work with you on your next project. CONTACT

Written by Steve Stroud ©2018
All vocals and instruments – Steve Stroud
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Steve Stroud
Recorded and Produced at Big Cloud Productions in Liverpool
www.bigcloudproductions.com

 

September 6, 2018

‘Our Whingy Gayle’ by David Barker

Our Whingy Gayle

Had a great time recording the original song ‘Our Whingy Gayle’ by David Barker , the Jack Russell music recording artist this month. He brought the wine and his music all the way from France to come and record here, so he’s a little bit like Dionysus in my book.

Dave wanted a 6o’s vibe on the song and after tracking his vocals and a guide guitar, he left me to my own devices to add the other instruments. I’m pleased to say David is very happy with the results and is planing to release it as a single on vinyl.

Dave also mentioned he wants to come back later on in the year to record a full original album with me, so that’s something to look forward to.

You can hear the results here and don’t forget to get in touch here if you want me to work with you on your next project. CONTACT

Written by David Barker ©2018
Lead Vocals – David Barker
Backing vocals and all instruments – Steve Stroud
Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Steve Stroud
Recorded and Produced at Big Cloud Productions in Liverpool
www.bigcloudproductions.com

July 6, 2018

‘These Blues Now’ Album by Franki Doot

Franki Doot - These Blues Now

On the 9th of May, Franki traveled from Dorset to Big Cloud in Liverpool to start tracking for his third Album project to be produced here.

We’d previously collaborated on his albums ‘Still Runs‘ and ‘Tastes‘ and Franki was so happy with the productions, he wanted to produce another album here in a similar way.

Franki wanted to experiment with a slightly different way of working on this album. In the past, he would come in with the songs written and with concrete ideas about instrumentation, arrangement and the overall sound and feel of each track.

This time, Franki wanted to write the songs as normal, but then hand the raw tracks over to me where I would be free to add whatever instruments I felt would work for each track with no direction or input from Franki. I’d then Mix and let him hear and offer suggestions before the final Mastering.
This was all Franki’s idea and at first I thought it was a) very brave and b) unusual.

Most musicians like to micro manage the production process. I’ve been guilty of this myself when working with other producers. It’s just the way it always is.  Especially when you’re working on songs they’ve written themselves. To hand them over to a producer and basically say “Do whatever you want” is just unheard of.

I was excited by the challenge, but I have to admit I was concerned about the possibility of spending months working on the album only for the artist to ultimately say “Nah..that’s not what I had in mind at all!”
So we developed some ground rules, Franki didn’t want any input, because he wanted it to go in a different direction to what he would normally do, but I was to try and make decisions that I thought he would like going off our previous work together. He would get a final Veto if anything turned up that he hated.

I set to work adding instruments to his basic acoustic demos on May 10th and by June 22nd I was ready to share 8 rough mixes with him via the Dropbox.

Needless to say, I was a bit nervous, but thankfully Franki came back to say he loved them all and was really delighted with the results. (And Breathe…)
Franki imputed a few minor mixing tweaks here and there and a few days later I was ready to master.

By 4th July, the Masters were all done and approved by Franki and the project is (for me) now complete.

You can hear the results here and don’t forget to get in touch if you want me to work on your next project. CONTACT

All Songs written by Franki Doot ©OAM 2018
Lead vocals on all songs and acoustic guitar on ‘Don’t Give Up on Love’ – Frankie Doot
All other instruments and backing vocals – Steve Stroud.
Additional vocals on ‘These Blues’ – Sarah Jeory & Harvey Stroud.

Recorded / Produced / Mixed / Mastered – Steve Stroud at Big Cloud Productions 2018

 

January 15, 2018

‘Peninsula’ by Tim O’Neill

Tim O Neill

I had my good friend Tim back in the Studio over Christmas time. He had a great new song written ‘Peninsula’, but this time wanted to back it with a drum loop rather than a regular acoustic pattern. There was a great Talking Heads track in which he really liked the drum loop. Rather than just sample it, I painstakingly recreated it with BFD3 using an acoustic kit, and a UAD 1176 and a Fatso Jr .

It also gave me an opportunity to try out my brand new VST3 plug in I designed ‘MAJOR CHORDS‘.

The bass guitar, acoustic guitar and electric guitar are all ‘played’ and controlled with the MAJOR CHORDS plugin in HALion Sonic 3 in Cubase.

Tim added his vocals, some electric guitar on my 335 and a pignose feedback experiment for the middle 8 (pictured below).

I also added hammond organ, piano, strings, brass, pads and harmony backing vocals.

We mixed it until Tim was happy and here is the finished track. See what you think? Let us know.

If you would like to work with me at Big Cloud Productions on one of your songs, get in touch TODAY

Really pleased to announce the prototype of my first Halion Instrument is ready for testing. ‘Major Chords’ is a guitar sampler that can be used with Halion Sonic SE, Halion Sonic 3 or Halion 6 in any version of Cubase (or any DAW that will load vst3). You have a multi sampled Gibson Les Paul Standard going into a Kemper, a Gibson EB14 Bass Guitar also going into a Kemper and a Mic’d up Gibson J45 acoustic Guitar to play with. You can play them individually or in unison and you can automate each one to get them to play any chord sample you like. Each instrument has its own designated effects, pan, volume and Eq, so you can customise the sound to your liking. Leave a comment if you’d like to know more.🎸🎼❤️🎚️🎹 #majorchords #bigcloudproductions #vst3 #VSTS #halion #halionsonic3 #halionsonic #halion6 #steinberg #cubase #samples #guitars #gibson #kemper #lespaul #j45 #bass #akg414 #daw #studiolife #vsti #Liverpoolstudio #producersofinstagram

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December 18, 2017

MAJOR CHORDS VST3

MAJOR CHORDS is a new VST3 guitar sampler for Steinberg HALion Sonic developed by Steve Stroud at Big Cloud Productions.
It can be used in HALion Sonic either in the stand alone player or as a VSTi plug in within your DAW session. So now in Cubase, Reaper or any DAW that will load VST3’s,  you can automate real sampled guitars and basses to play any chord or note anywhere in your track.

If you’re new to Halion Sonic, the two tabs you’ll mostly need to concern yourself with are:

LOAD: Just click MAJOR CHORDS and choose a Preset. (This will load MAJOR CHORDS in Halion. Hit a key to test)

EDIT: This takes you to the Main MAJOR CHORDS screen where you can tweak all the knobs and faders. Here you’ll see that that there are 3 tabs to the MAJOR CHORDS program.

MAIN: This is the main landing page where you’ll see 3 faders, some knobs and buttons. Nearly everything in MAJOR CHORDS has a tooltip, so if you’re unsure about what something does, hovering your mouse over it usually clears things up.

The left side of the screen deals with the Electric Guitar samples, the middle the Bass Guitar Samples and the right the Acoustic Guitar samples. This doesn’t change whatever screen you’re on.

Each instrument also has it’s own volume fader, pan, mute and solo button.
The electric and acoustic guitars have a big knob near the bottom of the page which changes the sample chord type that’s played. ie: Major, Minor, Dim etc..
The bass has a similar knob, but instead of chords it just changes the pickup and tone options of the sampled note.

All these switches and knobs can be automated within your DAW, so you can easily get the guitars playing along with your own songs.
In your DAW session, just right click over any control and scroll to ‘Assign to New Automation’. You can then right click again and choose ‘Show Automation Track’. From there you can edit anything you like.

FX: This takes you to the Effects page. The faders and the mute and solo buttons are still available, but now you have access to overdrives, reverbs, amp types, chorus and delays for each individual instrument. The switch lights up yellow when an effect is activated. The knobs and switches to the right of the switch allow you to dial in as much of the effect as you want.

EQ: The third tab is the EQ page. Each instrument has it’s own designated 4 band EQ. The toggle switch at the top (underneath the mute on solo buttons) is the master EQ on/off switch for each instrument. The EQ is only active if the yellow light on this switch is on.
Underneath are 4 knobs for gain (low, low mid, high mid, high), 4 knobs for the frequency that gain applies to and a Q control.
You can bypass each individual band by pressing the smaller switch above the gain knob. Once the yellow light goes out on this smaller switch the EQ band is bypassed.

 

Features:

*Digital download available immediately after checkout.

*Full install and user instructions are included with the digital download.

*You can create your own custom presets by right clicking the Major Chord program in the Halion program tree and ‘Saving as’.

*Electric and Acoustic Guitar Chords available: major, minor, dim, aug, 2, 7, m7, maj7, dim7, m/maj7,  7+5, 7sus2, 7sus4, 6, m6, 9, -9, m9, m-9, maj9, sus2, sus4, add9, 5(powerchord).

*Bass note options available: 2 humbuckers, neck humbucker, bridge humbucker, 2 singlecoils, neck singlecoil, bridge singlecoil, 2 humbuckers (Tone off), neck humbucker (Tone off), bridge humbucker (Tone off), 2 singlecoils (Tone off), neck singlecoil (Tone off), bridge singlecoil (Tone off),

*Effects available (Individual instruments.):  Steinberg VST amp modeller (choice of amps), VST amp Drive, Steinberg Reverence, convolution based Reverb, Reverse Reverb, Steinberg Stereo Chorus, Steinberg Stereo Delay (choice of delays).

*EQ available: (Individual instruments.) Steinberg 4 band Studio EQ (each instrument has its own 4 band EQ with gain, freq and Q controls)

*Controls available:  (Individual instruments.) Volume, Pan, Mute, Solo.

*On your midi keyboard, C3 is where the original note/chord that was sampled for each instrument was played. Playing around the 2nd and 3rd octaves will get you realistic guitar sounds, but I’ve left the keyboard octaves wide open so you can play as high or as low as you like for experimental sounds.

*Electric Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard (2 humbuckers, middle position) into Kemper JN Fender 59 Bassman
*Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14 (2 humbuckers, all positions sampled) into Kemper Amp Pig Cln
*Gibson J45 Standard (AKG 414 through Golden Age PREQ-73)

*To play MAJOR CHORDS you’ll need either Steinberg Halion, Halion Sonic or Halion Sonic SE (free)

*Below is a link to get your FREE Halion Sonic SE 3 player.
https://www.steinberg.net/en/landing_pages/halion_sonic_se_3/halion_sonic_se_free.html

Major Chords created by Steve Stroud ©2017 with Halion 6

Introductory price ONLY £25

VISIT SHOP

 

December 2, 2017

‘Tastes’ Album by Franki Doot

'Tastes' Album by Franki Doot

Early in September 2017, we started work on the ‘Tastes’ Album by Franki Doot when Franki made the long trek from Dorset to Liverpool to begin recording tracks for his latest original album.

We’d previously collaborated on his last album ‘Frankie Doot Still Runs‘ back in 2016.

On  the last album, I’d only collaborated on 7 of the 12 songs he recorded and another studio in Dorset Mixed and Mastered the album.

This time, Franki wanted to do all the work here at Big Cloud Productions, so this time I’d be collaborating on all 12 tracks and also Mixing and Mastering the finished Album.

So in September we had an initial tracking session, where Franki recorded guitar tracks and vocals and we discussed what else was needed for each track.

After Franki had recorded his parts I set to work adding Drums, Bass, Guitars, Piano, Keys, Strings, Brass etc.

I would then send Franki progress mixes via the Dropbox and once he gave me the thumbs up , I’d move on the next track until we had 12 basic mixes done.

Franki came back to Liverpool for an additional Tracking session in October 2017 where he added harmony vocals, extra percussion, some extra guitar, piano, mandolin, bass etc.

Then all that was left to do was edit and mix the whole album. I’d send Franki all the edited, eq’d and mixed tracks and once he was perfectly happy with the Mix I’d done in Steinberg Cubase 9.5  I moved the Mixes over to my Mastering rig in Steinberg Wavelab 9.5 .

My basic Mastering Chain consists of UAD Ampex Mastering Tape, SSL Bus compressor, Liner EQ, UAD Massive Passive Mastering EQ and a final Limiter.

Franki was very pleased with the finished Album, he sent me this message.

“Many, many thanks for helping me to bring my songs alive.  You’re a great musician/producer.  I really appreciate the time you’ve spent on it and I’m proud of the results.”

You can hear the results here and don’t forget to get in touch if you want me to work on your next project. CONTACT

All Songs written by Franki Doot ©OAM 2017

Lead & Backing Vocals / Acoustic Guitars and Percussion / Additional Electric Guitars, Bass and Piano – Frankie Doot
All Other Instruments – Steve Stroud

Recorded / Produced / Mixed / Mastered – Steve Stroud at Big Cloud Productions

June 27, 2017

New Songs by Tim O’Neill 

Tim O Neill

Had the pleasure of welcoming Tim O’Neill back to the studio recently to work on two brand new compositions.

Tim arrived with two new songs he wanted to record and played them to me acoustically before telling me what kind of instrumentation he wanted on the tracks.

This is usually how it works with Tim, he’ll come round and strum a song out and I’ll make a note of the chord structure and what tempo he wants. (There’s usually a bit of metronome action at this point to drill down the bpm).

We’ll then record his acoustic guitar part and a guide vocal and Tim will then tell me what else he wants on the track. He’ll give me examples of drum beats or sounds he likes, examples of guitar sounds he wants me to try and capture and some basic instrumentation ideas. (“Drums, bass, hammond, strings on the chorus etc”).

Then I’ll lay down the extra parts and any ideas I’ve had and do a rough mix for him. He’ll then make some notes about what he likes and doesn’t like then come back in to do a finished vocal, and backing vocal parts and then I’ll add any of his thoughts and do a final mix before Mastering.

A nice touch was Tim brought his daughter Aniela to the session to add some backing vocals on Krokodil.

So, here’s the two new tracks. See what you think? Let us know.

If you would like to work at Big Cloud Productions on one of your songs, get in touch TODAY

 

This was Tim’s 12th song recorded here at Big Cloud Productions. Have a listen to all the others below.

June 26, 2017

‘It Is Almost Complete’ Album by BRN/ rd /YND

BRN/ rd /YND

This was one of the most original and interesting projects I’ve ever been involved with.  BRN/ rd /YND is a brilliant musician who likes to compose his tunes in an unuusal way. He chips away at a composion, layering up korg kaossilators , synths and samples until he’s satisfied.

BRN/ rd /YND had some unorthodox requests, such as “This next verse, can you just stick in a lion roaring?”.”More Echo on the Lion” will be the phrase I take from these sessions!

My job really was to just capture the ideas, act on requests and level, eq, mix and master. It was a fun job!I’ve heard this will be a Vinyl release too, so looking forward to getting a 12″ copy.

If you’ve got a project you’d like me to work on, please get in touch.

 

Written by BRN/ rd /YND ©2017

All Vocals and Synths BRN/ rd /YND
Additional instruments Steve Stroud

Produced, Mixed and Mastered by Steve Stroud at Big Cloud Productions in Liverpool. 2017

June 26, 2017

‘Franki Doot Still Runs’ Album by Franki Doot

Franki Doot

I’ve recently completed work on an original album for Liverpool born, but Dorset based singer songwriter Franki Doot. ‘Franki Doot Still Runs’ is a great collection of original, intelligent and thoughtful tracks.

I’ve worked on seven original songs so far for Franki up here in Liverpool and he’s also working on some other totally seperate tracks with another producer Martin and his studio down in Dorset Active Music .

I’ve just added links to the seven songs I’ve worked on and produced below.

It’s been quite a different way of working for me as rather than do everything in house myself as I usually do, it’s been far more of a collaboration this time.

Franki has been recording his basic tracks (Vocals and guide guitar) in Dorset with Martin, who then sends those tracks to me. Franki then gives me a brief of what’s needed in terms of feel and instrumentation which I then complete for him up here in Liverpool.

For example, for the first song ‘Run Down the Road’ I received a click track, a guide acoustic guitar and a lead vocal.

I then added Drums, Percussion, Bass Guitar, Hammond Organ, Acoustic guitar, Slide Guitar, Lead Guitar, Electric Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals.

Below is the mix and master I’ve done here in Liverpool for Franki. (There may also be other mixes done in Dorset out there, but below is the Big Cloud Productions mix.)

It’s been a really interesting and enjoyable project and I’ve recently heard from Franki that he wants to do another album with me in a similar way. I’m looking forward to it.

That’s the great thing about Big Cloud Productions. Whether you need me to collaborate with another producer or you need me to do everything myself, anything’s possible!

Get in touch today if you want me to work on your next project. CONTACT

All Songs written by Franki Doot 2016 © Oak Apple Music
Lead Vocals / Acoustic Guitar by Franki Doot (Recorded at Active Music in Dorset)
All other Instruments and Vocals by Steve Stroud (Recorded at Big Cloud Productions in Liverpool)
Mixed and Mastered by Steve Stroud / Big Cloud Productions.

June 26, 2017

Cover Versions by Jukebox Duo

Jukebox Duo

Mark and Andy (aka Jukebox Duo), two brothers from Huyton, Liverpool have formed a new wedding duo.

Really nice lads and talented too. They wanted a couple of new cover version tracks for the Jukebox Duo website. https://www.jukeboxduo.com/

They popped round with some backing tracks and I recorded their guitars and vocals for them. I then mixed, mastered and delivered the finished versions via the Dropbox.

If you’re a singer, duo or band who needs new content for your website or page, get in touch as we can do everything from live acoustic sessions, to backing track sessions such as this to full live band records. Whatever you need. We can help.

Please, feel free to get in touch today for a free no obligation quote. Contact