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

A post shared by Big Cloud Productions (@bigcloudproductions) on

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

 

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.

January 18, 2017

Song Production: ‘ I Want To Give You So Much Joy ‘ by Steve Stroud

Lavalamp Album

Another song for my solo album Lavalamp has been recorded and produced in the last few weeks.

This one’s called ‘ I Want To Give you So Much Joy ‘. After this, there is one final song to be completed for the record, which is already written and being recorded right now.

For the Lavalamp record, I’ve been writing and recording a song and then just releasing it instantly on Bandcamp/Soundcloud.

When all eight tracks are done (This is number seven), I’ll probably give them all a spruce and a polish, tweak a few things and release the whole thing on itunes and spotify.

I hope you like it. 🙂

 

Feels festive in here today #cubase #kemper #gap73 #studiolife #liverpoolmusic #liverpoolproducer #liverpoolstudio

A photo posted by Big Cloud Productions (@bigcloudproductions) on

You can hear and buy the album as it stands here https://stevestroud.bandcamp.com/album/lavalamp

I Want To Give You So Much Joy

Acoustic Guitar: Gibson J-45.
Nylon String Guitar: Harveys’ Yamaha Guitaele.
Electric Guitar: Gibson 335 and Fender Strat.
Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14.
Synths: Arturia Mini Moog V and Hammond B3.
Drums and Percussion: Fxpansion BFD3.
Beats: Groove Agent.
Strings and Brass: HALion Symphonic Orchestra.
Vocals: Neumann TLM 103 through PRE 73 MK II.

Written by Steve Stroud © 2016
All instruments and vocals by Steve Stroud.

Engineered, Produced and Mastered by Steve Stroud using Steinberg Cubase Pro 9 & Wavelab 9 at Big Cloud Productions in January 2017.

If you’d like to record your original songs here with me, get in touch today CONTACT

November 27, 2016

Gift Cards

Gift Cards
Looking for an original gift for Family or Friends this year?

Big Cloud Productions Gift Cards are a perfect present for any music lover. The recipient will get to come to our production studio in Liverpool at a convenient date of their choice and record some of their favourite songs. 

Even if they’re not musicians or singers, lots of people have always wanted to experience recording in a professional studio.  We will prepare the professional backing tracks of their choice in advance and then produce their vocal performance.

They will get to use top quality microphones and equipment just like the stars!

They’ll get both a hardcopy CD and an MP3 of their finished track, so they’ll always be able to share their recording with the world.

Suitable and fun for all ages and all abilities.

When you buy your card, we will get in touch and give you a little form to fill out with the details of the recipient and the date you want us to issue the gift card to them,  we can issue immediately, or if it’s a surprise present, we can hold off getting in touch until the date you request. Click the buttons below to Buy your Card.

 

 Gift Card £50 – Single Song
  • Recipient will get to record lead vocals along to a professional backing track of their choice.
  • They will be featured on The Big Cloud Productions Blog (read by many industry professionals)
  • They will get their finished track on CD and Mp3

 

Gift Card £100 – EP, up to 3 Songs
  • Recipient will get to record lead vocals along to 3 professional backing tracks of their choice.
  • They will be featured on The Big Cloud Productions Blog (read by many industry professionals)
  • They will get their finished tracks on CD and Mp3

 

Gift Card £300 – Album, Up to 10 Songs
  • Recipient will get to record lead vocals along to 10 professional backing tracks of their choice
  • They will be featured on The Big Cloud Productions Blog (read by many industry professionals)
  • They will get their finished album on CD and Mp3

 

Sound Good? Just Click one of the Pay Pal links above or get in Contact with us Today!

2016-04-19-17-52-49

Alan recording the Sonny Bono part to ‘I Got You Babe’

2016-04-19-17-20-57

Pat getting the Lyrics right for her Cher part!

The Finished Track. A romantic version of Sonny and Cher’s  ‘I Got You Babe’

November 24, 2016

Song Production: ‘Stage Fright’ & ‘Mynah Baby’ by Steve Stroud

Lavalamp Album

Two songs for my solo album Lavalamp have been recorded and produced here in the last few weeks. Stage Fright and Mynah Baby. You can hear and buy the album here https://stevestroud.bandcamp.com/album/lavalamp

Stage Fright

Acoustic Guitar: Gibson J-45
Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster
Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14
Synth: Steinberg Retrologue 2
Drums and Percussion: Fxpansion BFD3
Brass: HALion Symphonic Orchestra
Vocals: Neumann TLM 103 through PRE 73 MK II

Written by Steve Stroud © 2016
All instruments and vocals by Steve Stroud*
*except “Freak Out” vocal: Harvey Francis Stroud

Engineered, Produced and Mastered by Steve Stroud using Steinberg Cubase 8.5 Pro at Big Cloud Productions in October 2016

Mynah Baby

Electric Guitar: Fender Stratocaster
Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14
Piano: Steinberg The Grand 3
Synth: Steinberg Retrologue 2
Drums and Percussion: Fxpansion BFD3
Flute and Strings: HALion Symphonic Orchestra
Vocals: Neumann TLM 103 through PRE 73 MK II

Written by Steve Stroud © 2016
All instruments and vocals by Steve Stroud

Engineered, Produced and Mastered by Steve Stroud using Steinberg Cubase 8.5 Pro and Wavelab Elements 9 at Big Cloud Productions in November 2016

If you’d like to record your original songs here with me, get in touch today CONTACT

November 16, 2016

Production Sale

Great News! We’re having a fantastic SALE right now at Big Cloud Productions.
£50 off any single song project
£100 off any EP project
£150 off any Album project
So if you’ve got any project, song, ep or album planned, get it touch before Jan 1st 2016 and we’ll get you booked in at your discounted price.
We now offer two main services as Big Cloud Productions.
Our classic singer/songwriter production service. Perfect for artists without a band.
and our new full band production service, for bands with drummers or groups that want to record live in a large studio setting.
I’ve also been making lots of cool gear additions to the studio, like Kemper, Goldenage 73 Preamps and UAD2 gear. so ,  if you’ve recorded here before, I’ll have lots of new equipment to show you and use on your sessions too.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Get in touch TODAY! CONTACT
Steve
ps: For acts with a slightly larger budget, I’ve also entered into an exciting production partnership with Marc Joy (Credits inc: Oasis, Primal Scream) called The Bewlay Brothers. Get in touch if that’s of interest to you or your band.
November 16, 2016

New Service! Full Band Production

Full band production

Exciting news! We’ve added a great new service available immediately to all our customers.

Full Band Production

When Big Cloud Productions started it was just a small, but lovely production studio, perfect for singer songwriters who didn’t have a band of their own. I would record their vocals and guitars and add programmed drums, bass, keys, vocals etc all played by myself to give them a full song production.

While we still offer that great and classic service, I’m pleased to say that we are now able to offer a full band recording service to all our clients. That means that full bands with drummers can now make full use of Big Cloud Productions too.

We can record the live tracks at a local studio, then take the session files back to Big Cloud for any Overdubs, Mixing and Mastering.

  • We will meet at a local recording studio with a great live room to record the basic tracks using top quality mics and pres. We can then complete a full edited mix and master for you back at Big Cloud, all included in one affordable price.
  • The base price for the Standard Packages includes any vocal overdubs. If you would like other instruments overdubbing at a later date, you will need one of the Deluxe Packages.
Big Cloud Productions

Typical drum micing at a live band session at Roc 2 Studios in Wrexham

full band production

Marc Joy engineering a session at Roc 2 Studios in Wrexham

Get in touch today and book your bands session! See our Prices below. (as always, if you need something slightly different, just let us know and we’ll sort something out)
STANDARD LIVE EP  (MAX 3 SONGS) £600
  • All instruments and vocals performed by you.
  • Completed song edited, arranged and mixed to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions. (Up to 3 revisions)
  • Final mix mastered to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions.
  • A personalised feature article on our Big Cloud ‘Songwriter Sessions’ Blog. (Read by many Industry Professionals)
STANDARD LIVE ALBUM  (MAX 10 SONGS) £1500
  • All instruments and vocals performed live by you. (Vocals may be Overdubbed back at Big Cloud)
  • Completed song edited, arranged and mixed to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions. (Up to 3 revisions)
  • Final mix mastered to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions.
  • A personalised feature article on our Big Cloud ‘Songwriter Sessions’ Blog. (Read by many Industry Professionals)

 

If you would rather just capture the basic track at the studio and then overdub additional instruments and all your vocals later, you’ll need the Deluxe Package…

 

DELUXE LIVE EP  (MAX 3 SONGS) £800
  • All instruments and vocals performed live by you. (Any overdubs allowed back at Big Cloud)
  • Completed song edited, arranged and mixed to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions. (Up to 3 revisions)
  • Final mix mastered to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions.
  • A personalised feature article on our Big Cloud ‘Songwriter Sessions’ Blog. (Read by many Industry Professionals)
DELUXE LIVE ALBUM  (MAX 10 SONGS) £1700
  • All instruments and vocals performed live by you. (Any overdubs allowed back at Big Cloud)
  • Completed song edited, arranged and mixed to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions. (Up to 3 revisions)
  • Final mix mastered to industry standards by Big Cloud Productions.
  • A personalised feature article on our Big Cloud ‘Songwriter Sessions’ Blog. (Read by many Industry Professionals)

Sound good? Get in Contact with us today!

Or if you’re a band with a slightly bigger budget, read up on our premium service offered by ‘The Bewley Brothers’, our new production team.