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

 

February 9, 2017

Album Production: Lavalamp Album by Steve Stroud

Lavalamp Album

I’ve just completed work on the Steve Stroud (ie: Moi) solo Lavalamp Album .

It’s a really nice feeling to complete an Album as a songwriter.  I’ve released a few over the years that I did not produce, but I think it’s even more involved and rewarding to complete one that you’ve wrote, performed, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered yourself.

For the Lavalamp Album, I’ve been writing and recording a song as a basic demo and then just releasing it instantly on Bandcamp/Soundcloud as soon as it was ready-ish. I started that process with the first Basecamp demo about 12 months ago.

Now, a year later, When all eight tracks were done, I went back to the original Cubase sessions and fixed anything obviously annoying, remixed and eq’d the lot of them from scratch.

Then once mixed, I took all of the eight songs into Steinberg Wavelab 9 to Master the finished files.

Mastering the new Steve Stroud album ‘Lavalamp’ #mastering #wavelab #uad #waves #lavalamp #studiolife #stevestroud #liverpoolmusic

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

Once done, I uploaded to Bandcamp to sell and sent them all off for digital distribution, so the record will also be available on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon etc.

Then I exhaled noisily and had a cup of tea. Have a listen!

You can download and buy the album here if you are so moved.

Thanks to everyone who’s encouraged and supported me in producing this new album. As you can hopefully tell, a fair amount of work has gone into making it.
Please do have a listen, download if you wish, buy it if you must, but most importantly, enjoy it you big, serious meatbag. X

https://stevestroud.bandcamp.com/album/lavalamp

If you’d like to record your original songs here with me in the same way, get in touch! CONTACT

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

September 30, 2016

Album Production: Franki Doot Still Runs

Sorry about the Radio silence the last couple of months. I’ve been so busy it’s been hard to find time to change my guitar strings, nevermind anything else (That reminds me…)

Anyway, over July/Aug /Sept the duo I play in The Deltatones have been crazily busy, playing up to five gigs a week , which is great and brings in much needed funds, but doesn’t leave a lot of time for social media updates.

Also, I’ve been working on an original album for Liverpool born, but Dorset based singer songwriter Franki Doot. We’ve completed seven original songs so far, working with another producer Martin and his studio in Dorset Active Music .

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. I then have a brief of what’s needed in terms of feel and instrumentation which I then complete 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.

Then I’ve sent the individual WAV tracks back to Martin and Franki in Dorset who are then going to mix it together.

It’s been a really interesting and enjoyable project. I’ll share the tracks when everything is complete.

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, it’s all possible!

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

September 30, 2016

Studio Life: Racks, Kempers and Preamps!

So, I had a plan to improve my day to day set up.

I decided I needed an extra rack mount with two more more preamps, a kemper and a power conditioner. I did a little doodle…

2016-09-01-16-15-50

First off I bought two Golden Age Projects 73 microphone preamps. I already owned one, which I loved, but I was sharing it between vocals, acoustics and guitar/bass DI. This involved lots of faffing and changing levels whenever a new instrument was needed that wanted to use the 73.

I already have lots of inputs on my Focurite Pro 40 interface, all with pretty good mic pre’s , but this is a specialised ‘coloured’ preamp, designed to sound just like the legendary Neve 1073.

It ended up being a bit of a nightmare as the pre’s a ordered ended up in Japan by mistake, then turned up damaged, but I eventually worked it all out with the seller and got a replacement for the broken one, so all’s good now.

Now I have one dedicated for Vocals (with a Neumann TM103), one for Acoustic Guitar (with a AKG c414) and one for Bass/Gtr . Much better!

2016-08-26-11-28-06

Then I got a second rack mount and added the Kemper Rack and a Furman power conditioner.

2016-09-02-12-44-30

The kemper is mindblowing to be honest. Maybe the best piece of Studio gear I’ve bought in years.

If you’re a studio user and/or a guitar player who records and you’re not sure what the kemper is or does, please google it. It’ll change your life.

Basically, in the past,if you wanted a decent guitar sound on record, you had to get valve amp, crank it and stick a mic in front of the speaker. Valve amps are incredibly loud things, it’s possible to have them set quiet, but everybody agrees, they only sound really fantastic when you crank them right up. They just don’t sound that great quiet. To capture that great tone, you ideally want them turned right up, almost at the point of feedback.

This lead to lots of producers and studio musicians using guitar modellers and reampers to get around the issue. One one hand it was great, you could usually get a pretty good guitar sound at a manageable volume without upsetting the whole neighbourhood, but it still wasn’t amazing. You still missed the ‘really’ great tones, but it was close enough to make lots of people want to compromise.

Like many others, I was getting a bit frustrated with my recorded guitar sounds. I owned several quality Fender and Marshall Valve amps, but was using reampers in the studio, mainly because it was quieter to record, easier and quicker to set up.

I heard about the Kemper Amp Rack online, and was intrigued. The Kemper isn’t a modeller, it’s a profiler. Basically people all over the world ‘profile’ their real life amps and save the profile to their Kemper. ie: Someone in NYC hooks up their Marshall JCM800 stack to their Kemper and ‘captures’ the profile. The next time they record, they don’t even have to turn their amp on, they just plug into the Kemper and the exact same sound is all there, fully customisable and perfect, even at low volumes.

The best bit is, they can then share their recorded profiles with other Kemper users all over the world. You get to download them all for free. The Kemper comes loaded with hundreds of profiled Fender, Marshall, Orange, Vox, Blackstar..you name it. They’re all there, but if you need more or different profiles, either profile your own amps or just download new ones (for free) from the rig manager.

It’s blown my mind how great it sounds. My Fender Valve amp was on sale on eBay within hours of me hooking it up. It’s that good!

So, if you get me to record any bass or electric guitar for you from now on… it’s more than likely to be played through the Kemper. The best bit is, you can ask me for any amp sound in the world and I’ll probably have it.

2016-09-02-12-44-43

January 24, 2015

We’re moving to a new Studio

Exciting times here at Big Cloud.

We’re shortly going to be moving to a new Studio premises in Woolton, Liverpool.
We’ve just finished up the fantastic original Tim O’Neill song ‘Hunger Games’ and have also just completed some great backing tracks for The Deltatones live music show which means we’ve now we’ve cleared the decks and are ready to pack all our studio gear up and get ready to move.

So, if you’re thinking about hiring us at any point in the next couple of weeks whilst we’re moving to the new Studio, firstly ..PLEASE STILL DO SO! (We’d love to hear from you), but please bear in mind we might not be ready to start tracking straight away, there will probably be a short delay whilst we move studios and get everything set up.

We’ve still got access to email/internet etc, so if you have any questions, please just get in touch 🙂

As soon as the new studio is ready, we’ll update you all again.

Thanks for your understanding guys!

Steve

December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone from Big Cloud

bowie and bing big cloud productions

Before we pack up our XLRs and guitars for a few days over the Christmas holidays to spend time with family, I’d just like to say a big thanks to all of our brilliant clients so far, our friends and anyone that’s supported us in anyway our Journey (“Don’t stop believing…”) so far.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you all get a little break from work and get to spend some quality time with family and friends.

I believe 2015 is going to be amazing. Here’s to making new music together!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone from Big Cloud

December 4, 2014

Steinberg Cubase Pro 8 and Triebwerk

Cubase pro 8

Very pleased to announce some important Studio upgrades.

As we’ve already mentioned on twitter and facebook recently, I’ve secured a great new and improved studio Space in Liverpool for Big Cloud Productions and we’ll be moving into our new home sometime after the New Year.

We’ve also just  upgraded our DAW software to the very latest , top of the range Steinberg Cubase Pro 8 and Triebwerk.

It basically means your sessions with us are now more stable, faster and sound better than ever before.

Here’s the link if you want to know more.

https://www.steinberg.net/en/shop/buy_product/product/cubase-pro-8.html

As well as a brand new Cubase we’ve also bought the Triebwerk Plugin for Cubase’s in house sampler Halion Sonic SE which gives us access to more contemporary pop and dance based sounds, Synths, loops and samples

https://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/triebwerk/what_you_get.html

So we’re all equipped  for 2015 and looking forward to producing all your new songs.

Steve