Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

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Cat
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Cat » August 4th, 2008, 3:29 pm

GREAT to hear! I was worried a bit thanks to memories of my OWN past inattentions to this!

I kinda though we were getting "off subject"...but, in reality...it's a good thing for all too many of us to be aware of!

I know that "taxes" and whatnot are a bane to artists...but it's the reality of today's world. Yes...register as a musician. This will let you deduct those VAT taxes you pay on your purchases that you cannot do right now. In Europe...like here in Oz...you'll get four forms per year to fill out. They are not too difficult to do...BUT...you'll have to turn in all the VAT taxes YOU get from YOUR income...minus the VAT taxes you paid to other people when you bought stuff. Don't lose track of what is "yours" and what is the "EU's" in your bank account! It's EASY to spend it if you don't keep an eye on this!

You're going about things pretty level headed it would seem. (Hey...how level headed could the rest of us possibly be in HOLLAND!!!????) One thing, though...lots of times a "do it yourself studio project" although PERFECT in every detail...runs into obsticles once you cross the pond. This is nuts...but another reality. If the studio is legit...they'll have some sort of certified engineer...like RIAA certification in the USA.

May The Force and strong Middle Eights be with you!

Cat
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Ignar Hillström
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 6th, 2008, 8:44 am

Thanks Cat. I know nothing about taxes (I just learned the government handles all taxforms for me while I'm a student but that won't last forever) so I'll have to start reading. As for being level-headed, being Dutch there ain't too much at stake. I can give you a million reasons why I should be very gratefull if I can get a hundred albums sold in the States and UK so that's completely not on my mind. All costs will be flat-fee so I have a fixed ammount of money I can lose with this, and it's not enough to leave me starving on the streets. The flip-side of the coin is that there is not a whole lot to win, financially speaking, either. I've run the numbers and if I manage to completely offload a batch of 1000 albums (which is incredibly much for a Dutch 'bedroom' production) I'll end up walking away with a profit of around $3000. If everything goes wrong I'll end up paying about double that. (yes, I know that that means it's a pretty risky thing but I'm a musician, not an investor) Neither situation will drastically change my life so don't have to worry too much about it.

So I'll just focus on the music and make sure that at the end I'm having the best possible piece of work I can possibly get. That's what it's all about in the end, isn't it? :D

Roy: We'll do the entire Inside Outsider thing, and we'll start with the first one and end with the last one. 8) Or atleast we'll start with the first one and I hope we'll end with the last one...
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by dogbite » August 6th, 2008, 10:46 am

just want to wish you and your band the best.

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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 6th, 2008, 2:43 pm

Thanks man. 8)

Some news: the first 'temporary mix' is done. It's the second song, Revelation, and it's a bizarre experience. It's like someone took a painting you know well and added detail to it and brightened the colors. It's so strange and weird, really have to get used to that. This song is basically in two halves, the first half being relatively calm the second being stronger with electronic beats. One of the clearest differences is that there seems to be a much wider range of frequencies right from the beginning. The biggest pro of that is he manages to nudge each track of the song in a much better defined space and there's a lot more detail, espescially in the ambient synth tracks. The downsize is that it reveals some sloppy dynamics in my piano performance that I didn't notice before, mostly because that part of the track is completely muffled in my own mix. Another big difference is in my voice. Hands-down the #1 complaint I got from people was that there was too much reverb to the point of making things inaudible. The producer agreed and the new vocal takes I did were treated with a lot less direct reverb making me feel very 'naked'. He also put the vocals pretty upfront which is something I was quite scared to do myself(I've become a lot more shameless about my voice the past few months) and added a dark and pretty menacing secondary reverb on it. In short, the first half of the song sounds brighter, with more depth and clarity. There are things I have to clean up in my own act but he did a good job with the materials given to him.

About the second half of the song: wow :shock: . I thought I knew how to use compressors to make my mixes sound loud. Boy am I wrong. With the first half of the song I was scared that the brightness would undermine the feel of the song but halfway I understood why he did it that way: the electronic beat is changed from 'present' to big, with the kickdrum being so deep it completely fills the empty space at the bottom-end that was kept open initially. The beat then slowly opens up across the spectrum making for a pretty massive, deep but not muddy sound. Very cool. 8) Less cool is that when I listen back to my own mix it suddenly sounds a lot less brilliant, bordering on boring. Being blind to one's own mistakes has it's charms, too...

Anyway, if someone came this far, glad I didn;t type it out for nothing. ;) I'm pretty hyped but there will be a lot to do.
Last edited by Ignar Hillström on August 6th, 2008, 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dogbite
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by dogbite » August 6th, 2008, 3:19 pm

sounds like going from regular TV to High Definition TV. soft edges that we grew up with do flatter.
what a cool experience for you. only good things will come out of this. I can't wait to hear the final mastering.

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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by rparker » August 6th, 2008, 4:14 pm

Did you ever post that one? I looked back quite a few pages on Hear Hear. You don't have to, I was just gonna give it a spin whilest I read your description on the experience you had.
Roy

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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 6th, 2008, 4:19 pm

DB: Thanks. As for the comparison, guess so. HD-TV is something I only know from the commercials. :(

Roy: I think I did, don't really know. I had the habbit of not including titles in the title IIRC so searching it could be tough. All the tracks I'll be re-doing is on my soundclick page. This song is here: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=6263505
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by rparker » August 6th, 2008, 4:45 pm

Kewl! Thanks.

Ok, so based on your description and listening to the Soundclick, it sounds like it's gonna have quite a different vibe to it. Sounds like you are liking it so far, though. That's a good thing. 8)
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Ignar Hillström
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 26th, 2008, 6:59 am

Roy: I think it's impossible to have a piece of music -remixed by a different producer without getting a different vibe. The important thing for me is to have a very clear image in my head of what each song on the album should stand for. For example, the first track deals heavily with psychosis and there are many ways you can re-create something like that sonically. I got the first mixdown of it back yesterday and as expected some parts were way better then what I did but some parts 'missed the point'. That's no problem as long as I don't allow the excitement of hearing my own songs in a better quality cloud my judgement of what the song should express.

update

Right now 13 of the 14 songs have all instruments recorded. Eight of those also have the vocals recorded, and six of those have been mixed. All songs will be re-evaluated after each mix and changed when required so we have a long way to go. Content-wise a few changes have been made. Three songs have been removed (Molder&Deliquesce, Crazy, I Still Think of You) and they're replaced with three other songs. I already showed one (the Architect) months ago, the other two are new and include a heavy electronic soundscape and a 'pop' song of sorts, which is also the longest of all tracks coming in around five minutes. Finally there's a big chance there will be a 20+ minute long bonustrack but more about that later. 8)

And if anyone came this far, thanks for keeping an interest. It's probably a billion times more exciting for me then it is for you all so forgive me if I can't shut up about it. :oops:
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by hueseph » August 26th, 2008, 7:36 am

Just a couple of thoughts. In regards to the tax thing, it's not such a bad idea to have an accountant who deals with musicians regularly. It'll help if you start making the big bucks....or the small bucks for that matter.
iTunes is your friend. Or cdbaby or guitar nine. Online music sales is growing. And since you already have a reasonable fan base on the web, you're likely to get decent sales. Self promotion is key.

Check out this blog from Bob Lefsetz:

http://www.lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php

The man is long winded but he has some great ideas and is probably one of the biggest "champions" of online music sales. Incidentally he is a lawyer. That may put you off as it does many people. The cool thing about his blogs is that you get to read responses from well known artists and music industry icons. Many of whom hate him but there are a good number of people who agree with him as well.

All the best for your project. I'm sure it will sound great.

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Ignar Hillström
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 26th, 2008, 7:52 am

Thanks Hue, much appreciated! I learned a LOT about taxes lately. Apparantly my government handles all my taxes automatically while I'm a student. They pre-calculate what they expect you should pay and take that (from salary). If you want you can fill in a form each year and they'll check if they charged too much or too little. In my case it seems I payed too much for years, and l can still ask for it back with that form. :lol: In any case, getting an accountant isn;t much of a hurry, I was told. All taxes I pay them are frozen for seven years by the government and I can show them any tax deductions past and present during that time. So if it turns out the cost of a producer is deductible and I earn enough for it to be valid I can tell them anytime between now and 2015.

I'll be trying to get them in some national big (online)music stores. The funny thing is that they refuse to buy directly from people like me. The guitarist of Dutch progressive rock band Kramer is giving me some bits of advice and he told me how it went with his band. They recorded it and none of the Dutch music stores wanted to carry them. They work with distributors who buy small packages of their album for about $12/cd and they'll sell them on for more in whichever country the distributor is based. Now those Dutch music stores that before (and still!) refused to buy them directly for $12 from the band have them imported for a lot more from the distributors in the US. :lol: I'm hoping to go that way as well, giving people atleast a chance to buy a real copy instead of just a download. The whole thing should also be availlable as an online stream without requiring registration and some songs will also be made availlable for download. In my personal opinion (and as a non-legally binding statement :lol: ) I won't mind people sharing my music around, I'm not sure if asking money for a download is what I want. People who don't want to pay will find a way regardless and those who do want to pay deserve more then some MP3 files. Ofcourse selling MP3 will be much more acceptable to me if I can't get a proper coverage for the 'real product'. As for self-promotion: you bet. I've looked around at advertizing sites much they either don't seem to do anything or they are just annoying spammers. I'll be sure to send out a truckload of copies out to music sites and magazines, it'll run me a few hundred $$$ but people need to know it exist. 8)

By the way: I'm not really against lawyers by definition, my brother is one for legal insurance company. They get payed a fixed ammount of money each year by their clients (mostly just individuals) who receve unlimited legal assistence in return. So he's working most of his days on cases where companies overcharge people, neighbour disputes and other relatively small things. Since the company gets payed a fixed fee it;s in their best interest to solve things as fast and smoothly as possible, long dragged-out courtcases only hurt the legal teams. But when it comes to the other kind of lawyer... :evil:
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by hueseph » August 26th, 2008, 9:06 am

What is it with you Europeans and responsible governing? I am so jealous. The thing is, I can do my taxes myself but our government will still hire an accountant to check it. So I pay to have my taxes done only to have another accountant check my work. Why can't I just send in my paperwork(which comes from their office in the first place) to them and they can just do it for me? One word: Beaurocracy.

Sounds like you have it all figured out. File sharing is definitely your friend as a "small guy". That's how Metallica made it big(how quickly they forget). Don't forget the little people.

Cat
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Cat » August 26th, 2008, 3:05 pm

hueseph wrote:What is it with you Europeans and responsible governing?
They let Uncle Stupid provide their military defense and bail them out with "blood & treasure" every few decades. :shock:

Cat
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Ignar Hillström
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Ignar Hillström » August 26th, 2008, 3:40 pm

Politics. :roll:
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Re: Sleutelbos soon to hit the studio

Post by Cat » August 26th, 2008, 6:03 pm

Yeah...sorry 'bout that outburst! GN ain't the place for it. Hope no-one's bent outta shape over it...

Will be over there in the not too distant future... :oops:

Cat
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