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

 

March 23, 2017

Let’s Stay Together by Vanilla

Let's Stay Together

Great live session tonight with Vanilla duo.

Julie & Nick are a duo from Liverpool who came to record Let’s Stay together by Al Green. They sounded fantastic and were really lovely to work with.

Nicks an amazing guitarist and instrumentalist and Julie is an actress/singer with a voice to die for. They’re both really nice and funny guys too. Hope to work with them again really soon.

This was just a simple live recording session. Nick used my Gibson J45 acoustic guitar which I mic’d up with an AKG 414 which then went into a Golden age 73 pre.

Julie sang beautifully into my Neumann TLM 103 condensor mic which also went into a Golden age 73 pre.  I used UAD 1176 compressors and Pultec Eq’s on their channels. I also used a UAD EMT 140 plate reverb on the voice and guitar.

As it was such a simple session with no overdubs, I offered them the great rate of £50 a song total ( including mixing and mastering!)

I’d be happy to offer the same price to anyone who wants to do something similar.

If you’d like to record here like Nick and Julie did, get in touch TODAY.

 

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

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.

January 2, 2016

Song Production: ‘Basecamp’ by Steve Stroud

www.bigcloudproductions.com

I’ve been meaning to record the follow up to  my last solo album (2014’s ‘Hot Pink Flamingos‘) for AGES. I’ve just been so busy recording and producing everyone elses great songs I haven’t got round to it until now.
I’ve wrote about 20 new songs and done basic demos for nearly all of them, but just need to produce the finished tracks.

I think the album is going to be called ‘Lavalamp’ and I have a rough sketch of an album cover already done.

I had a couple of free days, so thought I might as well treat myself to some studiotime. I had the intention of going in and recording the title song ‘Lavalamp’ again (I’ve already done a basic demo), but as I sat there drinking my coffee, I started playing the two note riff that starts this new song.

Within 20 minutes the song was written, so I thought I might as well record it instead of Lavalamp. So here you go!

The new Album, (Lavalamp), I think I’m going to just release track by track. So the album is there now in Bandcamp, with just the track in it. When I record the next track (probably the title song) I’ll add that to the album too. Saves waiting 6 months for me to record all the songs.

Let me know if you like it.

Written by Steve Stroud © 2016

Acoustic Guitar: Gibson J-45
Electric Guitar: PRS S2 Semi Hollow Custom 22
Bass Guitar: Gibson EB14
Piano: Steinberg The Grand 3 with Flange
Synths and Arps: Steinberg Retrologue 2
Drums and Percussion: Fxpansion BFD3
Vocals: Neumann TLM 103 through PRE 73 MK II

All instruments and vocals by Steve Stroud

Produced, Arranged and Mastered by Steve Stroud using Steinberg Cubase 8.5 Pro at Big Cloud Productions Jan 2016

Steve Stroud

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

January 24, 2015

Song Production : ‘Hunger Games’ by Tim O’Neill

Big Cloud Productions - Audio Production for Songwriters

Another gem by the ex Magic Bullets frontman Tim O’Neill.

The fourth song of our ongoing collaboration is ‘Hunger Games’, a really strong track, written by Tim with all his usual intelligence overflowing with thoughtful lyrics, artistic chord changes and at least fourty fathoms of depth.

The last session we did together ended up producing the glorious ‘Honey’s Dead’, which we recorded with Lisa Von H. Everyone involved was very pleased with that track so we wanted to make sure we came back strong. The result is ‘Hunger Games’.

What started as a rich, but sparse acoustic guitar driven track was transformed by both Tim’s suggestions and also, (I like to think) our own musical input.
Tim wanted to utilise the world famous Amen drum break somewhere in the song and also had great ideas for backing vocals and bass. So I started working on getting the right drum beat and sound.
I laid down the acoustic rhythm, after studying tim’s initial demo and then the bass was recorded DI with my brand new Gibson EB14 bass, which was lovely to play with btw. I then added wah, wah guitar, backwards guitar lines and started arranging the strings. Tim then had the genius idea of getting us to add some flutes.
After one more brainstorming session with Tim, where we added some more vocal harmonies, guitar and synth parts. We believed we’d cracked it!

It’s always a real pleasure working with a true craftsman and talented songwriter such as Tim. This kind of session is exactly what Big Cloud Productions is all about. And on a personal note, it’s great to end Big Clouds time in the Eslington Street studio on a high. We’re now packing up our gear and moving to a brand new studio set up in leafy Woolton.

Anyway, have a listen to the finished mix. We think it’s boss.

The song credits are as follows.

Song Production : ‘Hunger Games’ by Tim O’Neill

Hunger Games by Tim O’Neill

Written by Tim O’Neill (C)2015

Lead Vocals / Acoustic and Electric Guitars – Tim O’Neill

Acoustic Guitars / Electric Guitars / Lead Guitars / Bass Guitar / Drum Programming / String and Woodwind Arrangements / Hammond Organ / Synths / Backing Vocals / Engineered / Produced / Mastered – Big Cloud Productions

If you’d be interested in working with us here at Big Cloud, get in touch with us TODAY!

January 7, 2015

Gibson EB14 Bass

Hi guys, Happy New Year and Happy New Guitar Day. (To me)

Just picked this new Gibson EB14 Bass up for an absolute steal. The guy selling it had bought it new only a month ago, it’s completely brand new, spotless. Neck, fret, electrics all perfect. Came with Gibson hard case and all the case candy.

Love it. It looks and sounds great. You can coil tap the humbuckers and it has a master tone control, so you can get (within reason) pretty much any bass sound you fancy.

I was using a five string Fender Jazz for recording and never really used the fifth B string all that much so the Fender just felt way too big, so I was on the hunt for a decently priced, good quality 4 string bass anyway.

One of the best things about the EB14 is the fancy locking bridge. I’ve had quite a lot of experience with high end guitars with expensive bridges before, but this is the best bridge I’ve ever used for easy locking set ups. Getting the string action just right is so smooth and so easy. It’s usually trial and error. Sounds great too.

I’m over the moon with this. New Low end for a New Year!

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