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Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Making Of 10CC's "I'm Not In Love"

Reader Jonathan Roberts sent me a heads up about the documentary based around the making of 10CC's big 1975 hit "I'm Not In Love." I had posted this about 3 years ago, but when I went back in the archives to check the post out, the YouTube video that I had used had been removed, so here it is again with an even better video version.

"I'm Not In Love" was 10CC's biggest hit and is considered a masterpiece of production. The band was really ahead of their time in the way they used samples as the bed for this track.

For those of you who have never used magnetic tape machines, you'll be both horrified and amazed to see what they had to go through to get what can so commonly be done with any sampler or DAW today.

This video is great in that it breaks down the production techniques and allows you to hear the isolated tracks, then hear how they fit in the track with the other instruments.




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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 Easy Steps To Improve Your Band Right Now


Band in the studio from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
Every band, no matter if they're in the garage to selling out stadiums, wants to get better. young bands don't know the secret and veteran bands sometimes forget how it's done, but if you follow the following 3 steps from How To Make Your Band Sound Great, I promise you'll see instant results.

"When you’re making records, you get to listen to everything under a microscope, and after a while you begin to understand that there are a few universal truths about making your band sound tight and professional. Here’s a brief summary of perhaps the 3 most important steps to improving your band’s performance and taking it to the next level. I promise you that if you spend even a little time on each of these items, you’ll see positive results immediately.

1. Play With Dynamics - Playing with dynamics is the greatest key to making your band sound great. It’s an improvement that both you (the band) and your audience will notice immediately, and will automatically separate you from about 90% of other bands on the planet.

So what are dynamics? Simply, it means playing quietly or with less intensity in certain places in a song, and louder or with more intensity in other places. Most bands are oblivious to dynamics and play at one volume throughout the entire song, song after song, set after set. This gets boring and tedious for the audience very quickly.

There are a few byproducts from playing dynamically too. The vocals can be heard better because there’s more space and fewer loud instruments to fight against (easier on the singer as well). Songs become more fun to play because there’s true interaction with the other players to make it work, and as a result, the band automatically gets tighter. And the audience perceives dynamics in a way that you wouldn’t expect - suddenly they’ll start telling you how tight you sound.

2. Watch The Attacks and Releases. Articulations are one of the most overlooked, yet most important elements in playing together. Attacks and releases usually refer to a phrase that you’re either playing or singing. The attack part is usually easy - everyone starts to play or sing at exactly the same time in the same way. The releases are what’s overlooked. A release is how you end a phrase and it’s as important as how you start it. Once again, everyone has to end it at exactly the same time in exactly the same way. Getting your attacks and releases are one of the essential parts of making a good record (you hardly ever hear one off anymore) and they’re essential to making you sound tight as well. Listen to a song that everyone knows, the Eagles "Hotel California," for a great example of both attacks and releases (and phrasing) of both the guitars and vocals.

3. Be Careful In The Turnarounds - Another often overlooked portion of a song that needs to be tight is the turnaround between sections, like the one or two bars between the verse and chorus, chorus and verse, verse and outro, chorus and bridge, etc. This part requires a lot of focus because it’s usually played a little differently from the rest of the section of the song. For the drummer, it’s usually a tom or snare roll into the next section, but unless it’s a build, most of the other players usually just randomly play something over the roll. If you’re playing a song that you’ve written, chances are that you’ve not thought about the turnaround too much, so now is the time. Make sure that every player has an exact part to play and that all parts work together and sound tight (a good idea for the rest of the song as well)."

For additional excerpts from my other books, go to the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 30 Richest Drummers

Ringo playing image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
"We need the musicians on the stage. Oh, and the drummer too."
"What do you call someone that hangs around a band. A drummer."
"How do you know when a drummer is knocking on the door. The knock always slows down."

That's a few of many, many drummer jokes that float around rehearsal halls all over the world. But for those of you who don't appreciate a good drummer (and I do), just check out this list of the 30 richest drummers from celebritynetworth.com.

Oh, and before you crack any more drummer jokes, remember this all too true quote from drum legend Buddy Rich - "You can't have a great band without a great drummer!"


  • #1: Ringo Starr Net Worth – $300 Million (The Beatles)
  • #2: Phil Collins Net Worth – $250 Million (Solo, Genesis)
  • #3: Dave Grohl Net Worth – $225 Million (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
  • #4: Don Henley Net Worth – $200 Million (The Eagles)
  • #5: Lars Ulrich Net Worth – $175 Million (Metallica)
  • #6: Charlie Watts Net Worth – $160 Million (The Rolling Stones)
  • #7: Larry Mullen Jr Net Worth – $150 Million (U2)
  • #8: Roger Taylor Net Worth – $105 Million (Queen)
  • #9: Joey Kramer Net Worth – $100 Million (Aerosmith)
  • #10: Chad Smith Net Worth – $90 Million (The Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • #11: Travis Barker Net Worth – $85 Million (Blink 182, The Aquabats)
  • #12: Stewart Copeland Net Worth – $80 Million (The Police)
  • #13: Alex Van Halen Net Worth – $75 Million (Van Halen)
  • #14: Nick Mason Net Worth – $75 Million (Pink Floyd)
  • #15: Tommy Lee Net Worth – $70 Million (Motley Crue)
  • #16: Bill Ward Net Worth – $65 Million (Black Sabbath)
  • #17: Jon Fishman Net Worth – $60 Million (Phish)
  • #18: Carter Beauford Net Worth – $55 Million (Dave Matthews Band)
  • #19: Rick Allen Net Worth – $50 Million (Def Leppard)
  • #20: Tre Cool Net Worth – $45 Million (Green Day)
  • #21: Danny Carey Net Worth – $40 Million (Tool)
  • #22: Tico Torres Net Worth – $40 Million (Bon Jovi)
  • #23: Max Weinberg Net Worth – $35 Million (Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Conan O’Brien)
  • #24: Mickey Hart Net Worth – $30 Million (The Grateful Dead)
  • #25: Bill Kreutzmann Net Worth – $25 Million (The Grateful Dead)
  • #26: Neil Peart Net Worth – $22 Million (Rush)
  • #27: Taylor Hawkins Net Worth – $20 Million (Foo Fighters)
  • #28: Questlove Net Worth – $16 Million (The Roots, Jimmy Fallon)
  • #29: Steven Adler Net Worth – $15 Million (Guns N’ Roses)
  • #30: Mick Fleetwood Net Worth – $8.5 Million (Fleetwood Mac)

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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Judge Dismisses Suit Against GC and NAMM

Guitar Center sign from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
Just to show how slow the wheels of justice actually move, a class action suit against NAMM, Guitar Center, Fender, Korg, Martin, Peavey and a dozen more MI vendors started in 2009 has finally been dismissed for lack of evidence.

The suit involved 38 separate plaintiffs from 15 states, and alleged that NAMM, GC and the various manufacturers conspired to raise the minimum advertised price (MAP) policies, thereby bilking musicians out of hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. What the suit basically said is that GC and the various manufacturers unlawfully restrained trade and artificially reduced competition, thereby violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.

After numerous court exchanges, the judge couldn't find any evidence to support the allegation, and threw the case out. The MI industry finally breathed a sigh of relief since the damages could have been north of $200 million, which would have really hurt in this economy.

Okay, so here's the reality as I see it. Guitar Center is definitely guilty of wanting to monopolize the MI retail business, and they've successfully done that, but not by conspiracy. They've achieved their monopoly by bullying the manufacturers. If anyone thinks that the manufacturers want to go along with GC's pricing policies, they're sorely mistaken. GC forces a manufacture to sell to them almost at a price they determine, not the manufacturer, so the only one making out in the deal is GC, not the rest of the industry.

And NAMM? The last thing they want to see is less competition, since the more market share GC gets, the less relevant they become. Bottom line, this was a misguided suit from the beginning.

That said, GC is the big winner, as always. You know you owns them? Bain Capital. Ring a bell, by any chance?
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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Musical Instrument Monday: The JazzMutant Lemur

Here's an interesting musical instrument controller that looks something like a controller program on an iPad called the Lemur by JazzMutant. It's actually a multitouch controller for sequencers, synthesizers, virtual instruments and even lighting. I'm not exactly sure why they call it "The jazz instrument for the 21st century" since I see it more for electronic music, but it's a good marketing phrase.

I could see this as a great mixing tool by assigning EQ and effects parameters to the various control points, but it would probably take some time getting used to if you're used to working in a traditional manner. Regardless, check it out. It's pretty cool.




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You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

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