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

 

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

 

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.

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.