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Mike Torr's Blog (17)

Burnin' plastic!

So, the album's finally finished! I said I would announce it here, so consider it announced!

ALBUM PAGE

Added by Mike Torr on March 18, 2010 at 7:37am — 2 Comments

Frozen wastes and expanding waists!

I've recently been working on a project that could become a TV documentary series, covering the exploits of a bunch of admirable chaps who are setting out for Antarctica in December to reclaim a speed record from the Norwegians for reaching the South Pole via Scott's infamous Beardmore Glacier route. These guys will be hoping to do the trip in three weeks, pulling pulks behind them over ice. They are spending this year training for the event. For more information see… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on March 7, 2010 at 4:36pm — 1 Comment

Fiddling and Juggling

Wow. I've just realised that I've been neglecting to post on my blog for almost as long as I've been learning to juggle. And I've become reasonably competent at that, so that says it all. :)



At the moment I'm also juggling my time, between setting up new gear and learning it, continuing my course, networking, doing my pretend job (the one that pays the bills) and being a dad. I'm preparing to get involved (I hope) in a documentary project that may be coming my way. It has an… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on February 1, 2010 at 3:50pm — 4 Comments

Readymix

Well, the latest hot off the presses is that the album is almost ready for mixing! I plan to make a start on Saturday, though a lot of the work is done. But as I'm inexperienced I want to get help from an audio engineer mate of mine.



About half the tracks are now much better than they were, and even the general standard of the others has definitely improved over the 15 months I've been working on it, as I've learned the black art of making waveforms dance (still a sorcerer's… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on October 29, 2008 at 7:59pm — No Comments

Two new tracks

I have added two new tracks to my music player. These are both orchestral, and written as part of an assignment for my course. The brief related to a computer game. "Trogmystique" is an ambient piece that progresses half way through to a slightly more tense and ominous feel. "Night and Fray" is a no-holds-barred battle scene.



It's been fun creating some big orchestral sounds for a change, and I'm quite relieved to discover that my setup is capable of doing this (only just - I had to… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on August 12, 2008 at 6:00am — 3 Comments

The Marvellous, Modular Mouse Organ!

One of the things that many composers are called upon to do at some point is to write music that can be tailored approximately to a certain length. The other day I was asked to write some "beds" to go under voiceover, for example. As visual editing is now largely performed in workstation applications such as Final Cut Pro, the most convenient delivery format for such things is a modular one. In this instance, I sent the client two files: an intro and a loop. This enabled him to construct a bed… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on April 16, 2008 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

At last, a song!

Yes, I'm pretty much happy with this as a final version. It's only one of ten songs on the album, so I've a way to go, but I'm pretty pleased at how this turned out. I still need to do some singing exercises though. Thank goodness for Celemony, ahem!



This is my first use of EastWest Quantum Leap's Ra and Symphonic Choirs - I'm very impressed with the Sarangi sound.



The song is called "Shed". Python fans may assume that my name is Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson, but actually… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on April 12, 2008 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Onward and upward...

Another track added - called, rather facetiously, "Groove Where Indicated". I've been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone recently, so I decided to return to my roots and do a funky blues. It's unfinished, so it lacks structure etc. but I liked the sound, so whilst I don't want it on my main web site yet, I thought I'd put it here in case people want a listen. I hope to get live sax on it soon, courtesy of a mate of mine, and I may also get a guitarist in.



Actually, I'm playing… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on March 25, 2008 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

New samples

Just added some music (and deleted some too).



Added:

Shallow Purple (Library Music but it goes up to 11).



Tut: (various) - cues from a recent assignment scoring five minutes of animation. This was for the Music For The Media course seminars, MFTM Live 2008, which was an awesome experience: I attended all four days, and watching Guy Michelmore score 40 seconds of footage in 30 minutes was quite an experience. Like watching a master chef at work...… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on March 20, 2008 at 9:00pm — No Comments

How did Wagner do it?

I've been listening to some of his overtures recently. The man was a god. Tannhauser, Tristan and Isolde... wow. Nothing else gives me the same kind of emotional rush. What does it take to be able to express so much of your soul so effectively through music? If I could only do it half as well...



Another observation, just while I'm writing: Mahler seems to be the progressive rocker of the orchestral world. His pieces contain a lot of experimental devices and he's very inventive - but… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on October 25, 2007 at 12:40pm — 2 Comments

The Canyon

Just added this new track. I wrote it months ago but was never happy with the mix. Having practised my audio skills a little more, I've tried again and it's no longer terrible (I hope!) See what you think.



When writing this, I imagined a movie scene where someone is lost in a canyon by a stream and gets spooked and starts to run. The twilight is deepening and every now and then they think they see something moving alongside them through the trees. At the end, they emerge into the light… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on September 30, 2007 at 4:37pm — 1 Comment

Collision demo complete

I have finally finished the demo of my album, Collision. This involved recording and mixing vocals for nine songs in the space of a week, working only in the evenings and overnight. After that, I went to Wales and spent a couple of days in the beautiful Gower area relaxing and recovering int he company of friends. And I needed it, too!



I'm fairly happy with how it sounds, though I still have a list as long as my arm of things I want to tweak or re-record. I am going to be… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on September 18, 2007 at 7:44pm — 1 Comment

More uploads

As well as the album demo mix (see comments), I've uploaded a video. It's a short time lapse film I made on Super 8mm at university in 1986, and it's going to be put on a DVD for the students next year. The DVD is being produced by the Students' Union, and they don't want to deal with copyright issues, so I've replaced the previous soundtrack (by Sky) with my own composition.

Added by Mike Torr on August 12, 2007 at 4:45pm — No Comments

Got a bit of a job on tonight!

I have recorded demo versions of six songs for the album, but because I was singing along quietly I've ended up choosing keys that work when I'm singing quietly. Therefore some of them are a bit too low for me to sing properly. I wonder how many other songwriters fall into that trap?



Anyway, what it means is that I need to re-do three of them. They are in various forms on my digital recording workstation (which is currently just a laptop): some of the instrumental parts were recorded… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on August 10, 2007 at 12:08pm — No Comments

Collision

I am now working on "Collision" - a concept album with ten tracks, and I have been rather busy in the last two weeks - I already have demo versions of five tracks. There are lots of different styles in this project. In my song list I've posted the first minute of a song called "Shed", which is about a snakeskin being shed, not about the place where you keeps yer tools! :)



The Piano, Sitar and Tablas are played live by me on the Fantom X8. Not sure how good a job I did, in that it may… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on August 8, 2007 at 6:21pm — 3 Comments

Gear!

Yesterday I bought a pair of main monitors (Mackie HR624s), and a cheap pair of Edirol speakers for reference monitors. No more mixing on headphones. Yay!



Next on the list is probably a workstation or desk of some kind. What I'd really like is an Omnirax Forte, but (1) They are about 1,000 pounds (Edit: actually over 3,000 - and I meant GBP, not weight!) and (2) its size in my lounge would make it slightly hard to get into my kitchen :)



I think for now I'll… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on July 17, 2007 at 2:51am — No Comments

Local air time

Well, "Tiny Lights" was played on my local radio station yesterday. I was very please about this, although I have to say that it sounded "unmixed" to some extent. I'm inclined to think that this is down to my need for more practice on the audio side of things, although I suppose it's conceivable that the station applied some compression or something and killed the dynamics. Who knows?



Anyway, it was good to have some visibility, and the DJ also plugged a forthcoming gig my band is… Continue

Added by Mike Torr on June 25, 2007 at 2:37am — No Comments

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