Custom Cinematic Songwriting

Today marks the launch of my second Music Business – Custom Cinematic Songwriting

Alongside with Recording and Mixing Metal Bands, I now aim to help TV, Film, Series, and Game Directors to connect their viewers with the moving picture.

I first had this idea about a year ago in Melbourne lockdown. I was really really sad to not be able to go to the bush or to the coast. This connection is desperately required for my everyday well-being, and that was taken away.

So I decided to write a composition about nature. I wanted to explore if I could make it more contemporary than your normal metal stuff that I make, yet having all the heavy roots and complex harmonies embedded.

I spent a few days playing with my Prophet composing, and that’s how “Infinite Motion” slowly came out (lots of editing and mixing on that one consequently!).

I then progressed to make 2 more diverse compositions, and accompanied these with videos assembled from stock footage, depicting how these could be used in the movie world. 

I am very excited to open this second direction in my studio, looking to make some killer and memorable compositions to my peers who are working with Movies or Games!

Thanks to all my friends who supported this initial idea and gave valuable feedback, Dan Bucknell, Anna Gradoboeva, Sam Lowe, Nicholas Roberto Di Lorenzo, Chris Graham!

I take pride to call EOL Studios my job. Built through blood, sweat, and tears.

I built this Heavy Metal Production Studio through blood, sweat, and tears – and way too much of each.

Emerging as a naive dream of 25-year old myself, with absolute zero financial foundation behind it. But my desperate desire to make Heavy Records the way I’ve been hearing them in my head throughout my life pushed from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’. And here I had the first basis of my studio, my first clients and my first records done. Still, without a clue on how to grow it and build it from ‘something’ to ‘everything’.

Blood, sweat, and tears. Coming back from my Doctorate studies at 5 PM, to get started in the studio. From 5:30 PM to 9:30-10 PM at night. Every business day, for 3 years.

Jumping into the studio full-time in 2018, with no way to remain in Australia and just desperately hoping that things would work out. Yet another round of 12-hour days, now in the studio and on the studio development side of things, thanks to The Six Figure Home Studio.

Going back to vicious routine, one last time as I promised myself, in 2019. 4 days a week at University lab to finish my immigration, the rest of the week is for the studio, in the name of heavy music, for my clients.

And ending up here, at the tail end of COVID, with ‘something’ turned to absolute ‘everything’ for me, and with future looking solid as I finally live the studio life I’ve been so desperately chasing for so many years.

I’ve paid a very high price for this, and now I take pride to call EOL Studios my job. At least, until I disappear from the face of this world, as a Doctor of Metal. And yes, EOL stands for Echoes Of Life – but that’s for another time and another story.

The mere single path – on the entire Earth.

5 Things I wish I knew when I first started playing Guitar/Music – by Cam Bird, Guitar Instructor from Melbourne Australia.

5 Things I wish I knew when I first started playing Guitar/Music

This is a bit of a tricky article to write because it means getting stuck into some frustrations or regrets in my 20+ year playing journey and looking at some of the mistakes or set backs that have happened along the way. The goal is to try and set you guys up with some knowledge so that you can reach your musical goals FAST and quicker than I could. So lets get stuck into it

 

1 – Don’t suppress your dreams, goals, desires

 

This was a big one for me. I was always kind of scared of music in a weird way. I had a natural talent and ability with it during high school and the music teachers and staff at the school could see that, but me being young couldn’t. 

 

I did well in school in general and thought that I could suppress my love and desire for music and choose a safer and more traditional path. This led me to a few careers I came to hate and burn out in and this constant battle to keep music alive in my life.

 

Now you don’t have to be like me, dedicating your life to music and doing it professionally. But if you genuinely love music, you genuinely want to play guitar and have goals that are creative or musical, you have to listen to it and see them through. Its the only way you will know if its for you or not. Don’t suppress this stuff, the more you suppress, delay, put off, procrastinate, the more it builds up and yearns inside of you to come out, and often it just comes back stronger at some point and can cause damage in doing so because it has to fight you and that internal suppression to be heard.

 

I see this a lot with people wanting to learn the guitar. They go through a battle early on where they try and learn and teach themselves, they hit a big brick wall, emotions kick in and they hit what I call “the dip” in the playing journey where things become challenging and not so easy for a bit. 

 

If you get through the dip, you’ll play for life, if not, you’ll keep bouncing back and forth. throwing the guitar down and back in its case for weeks, months, years in frustration and anger, then come to regret it only to pick it up again realising it was a mistake and then having to work harder (particularly emotionally) to get back to where you were and then try and break through the same barrier that got you last time. 

 

Don’t suppress! It creates twice the work!!!

 

2 – Don’t ever be afraid to invest in your playing

 

This was a big one for me at certain points of my journey. I strongly believe in continually investing in myself. Its what I call a “professional” behaviour and if I ever see a “pro” not doing it, it makes me want to steer clear of them because a true master knows that the more he knows, the less he knows. 

 

Continually investing in yourself, continually challenging yourself keeps you grounded and humble. It keeps you hungry. It keeps the spark, joy, inspiration and innovation in you. 

 

There are many different ways to invest in yourself and your playing. Here are a few examples:

-Environment. Where you play guitar is important. Are you practicing in a messy bedroom with heaps of stuff lying around, or are you investing in the space in which you perform and actually feel comfortable and enjoy spending time in? I know that when I didn’t have a home studio set up properly, I wouldn’t play guitar. This was a problem when I was share housing more. I didn’t actually feel comfortable to practice and be vulnerable and make mistakes. You’re practice environment is extremely important and it needs to be a space in which you can focus.

-Gear. The better you sound, the better you will feel when playing which is important. I often find gear and tone will inspire new ideas and ways of playing in me.

-Education. You always have to be investing in your knowledge and we’ve never had a better time to do that than right now. When I grew up and learned as a beginner I was forced to find just a local teacher, and try and learn through tab books. YouTube didn’t really exist just yet and the access to the information and resources and support we have wasn’t what we have now. We are truly spoiled right now and live in an amazing time. 

-Technique. This is the hardest and where a teacher is important and why I still have teachers I work with. Invest in your technique. It will make you more comfortable on the guitar, it will open up your abilities for new styles, genres, licks, speeds or ways of playing and keep the guitar journey fresh and fun for you.

-Support. Find people who bring out the best in you. I’ve had horrible relationships where I had people very close to me tell me that music was stupid, that my goals with it were a waste of time. Get rid of these people ASAP, they are toxic.

 

3 – Its a marathon not a sprint.

 

This is very important for beginners and even intermediate players because when you first start the perceived progress is HUGE and very fast. It feels like things go at the speed of light. Your first riff feels amazing and comes quick, then your first song, your first solo. Then it feels like things slow down, mind you they don’t really, but the gratification that was there at the start does. 

 

You’re still learning riffs, you’re still learning new things but the same buzz isn’t there. The gratification actually continues to slow down the longer you play, so its very important to understand this and know that it is a marathon and not a sprint. 

 

 

4 – Find balance in your playing and practice.

 

I know some incredibly technical players with no feel and horrible song writing skills. I know some incredibly knowledgeable musicians who can tell you everything about theory but can’t create anything to save themselves. I know some amazing players who don’t understand how to record themselves or promote themselves and then go without an audience. 

 

Balance to your playing and musicianship is everything. I try and find all of these areas and understand that they are part of being a modern musician and always strive to improve them and learn more in them

 

-Technique

-Theory

-Improvisation

-Composition/Writing

-Audio production

-Video production

-Marketing

 

To be a modern musician you can no longer just sit in your room or get out and play shows and expect things to come to you. You have to be more entrepreneurial and multi-disciplined/skilled. Enjoy the learning behind all of these areas 😉 

 

5 – Its ok to be different

 

Own who you are. Own that you’re different. You might be the odd one out in your circle of friends who likes rock music, who dresses different, why? because music changed you as it does all of us who feel called to it. Own it. There is only one version of you, and you only get one shot at this to enjoy it so enjoy it and enjoy the journey. Don’t beat yourself up for not being someone else, or not where you think you should be, this will kill your progress. Own where you are and work at it and enjoy it!

 

——————

 

Cam Bird is a Recording Artist, Producer, Composer and Guitar Instructor from Melbourne Australia.

 

-Lessons: https://www.cambirdmusic.com/lessons 

 

-Socials-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cambirdmusic 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cambirdmusic 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/cambirdmusic 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/cambirdmusic 

 

-Website-

https://www.cambirdmusic.com 

 

-Merch-

Bandcamp: https://www.cambird.bandcamp.com 

Merch Store: https://teespring.com/nl/stores/cam-bird 

 

-Music-

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/cam-bird/1166773583 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0I78MmOy9cG7es6k1MxZrB 

 

How to Prepare for a Successful Studio Release – by Dr. Mike Trubetskov, Producer at EOL Studios

Studio preparation has to be taken as seriously as it possibly can be. You have a really short timeframe to get the best out of your music in the studio. You have to find the right people to develop trust and let them polish your tracks. You have to be prepared to work hard on practicing your parts to absolutely nail them on the day. And you have to plan the budget accordingly, to get the best bang for the buck!

In this article, I will walk you through this process step by step which has proven successful over the years of my experience as a Heavy Rock and Metal producer.

  1. How to find a Studio / Engineer / Producer whom you trust.

Trusting your producer/recording engineer is the foundation of successful record. It all starts with communication and discussion of your initial goals. I recommend outlining what you want to achieve first. It could be as simple as – get my first professional recording done. Or get a major album released and pitched for a label. Or get a track with for a music video to develop relationship with concert agencies and then open to international bands.

Your goals would define the production approach, and how you and your producer allocate the budget. They should come up with a few possible offers based on what drives your record and remains important.

For instance, if you are after a natural and live feel for the record, it makes a lot of sense to invest into studio time for real drums and not save up on programmed drums as this would impact the sound significantly. On the other hand, if you only have screaming vocals that come in occasionally, it makes no sense to hire an expensive studio session for vocal recording with huge microphone brand names – it simply would not impact your final product!

Once your prospective producer has developed a strategy for your recording, you need to understand whether it aligns with your vision for the final sound of the track, and compare this offer to what other professionals are offering.

Another important aspect is producer’s past work and social proof. Whether you like their style of sound, and whether their past clients are raving with satisfaction – can be a major criteria for choosing a professional.

  1. Budgeting and saving for the costs of studio recording.

It’s no surprise that we as heavy musicians make no money in the industry nowadays. And the production process remains fairly expensive. With our desire to spend as little as possible on the studio time, I believe that we still get what we pay for.

Therefore, it is so important to allocate budget effectively around your situation, not just a random offer that you get. You may be a talented and experienced guitarist, and can save up a significant chunk of money by recording guitars at home and sending them off to reamp later, rather than spending unnecessary studio time on it. Sometimes, though, you may need producer’s guidance if unsure on getting that superior tight sound.

Or, on the other hand, you may want to record your band completely live in a major studio – which saves time as opposed to multitrack recording. And then perform your guitar/vocal overdubs later at a project facility, which is less expensive to hire.

  1. Work bloody hard on your music and songwriting.

Heavy music industry is saturated with music of all sorts. If you want to be successful, you need to stand out, be unique. One part of it is your band’s brand and image, and promotion strategies. But it all actually starts with your music, and your actual songwriting. To stand out, you need musical hooks, be it death metal precise blast beats or sweet power metal catchy guitar licks. Such parts require a very precise and intense arrangement and songwriting work.

Therefore, I advise bands to work on their music very hard – but to a point. As our hearing gets blurred easily, and we can no longer tell what’s good and what isn’t in relation to our music. So being open to producer’s musical touch, slight diversification and polishing of your music can be extremely helpful to deliver your message across the board to your listener.

  1. Practice practice practice before studio!

This one is obvious, but is sometimes neglected. Of course you need to know your parts the very best way that you possibly can before the studio to use your time effectively. However, sometimes over-practicing the parts can lead to detrimental results. I suggest slowing your parts down to 50% of the original tempo and practice to the click so that your brain understands their layout really well. Then, you can gradually increase the speed and see a massive increase in the quality and flow of your playing!

  1. Good communication within the band, no bad blood.

A band is a multi-member powerhorse, which moves forward as a well-oiled heavy metal machine. But once there is miscommunication, bad blood arises, and this stops the whole thing from moving forward. This is especially relevant in the studio, where you are so limited in time, and stress levels are high. To not let bad blood happening, just talk! If there are issues, come to the common ground. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice one’s ego to get the mutual progress and success. And these ego issues can be dealt with later.

My rule is – No ego is allowed in the studio. Leave it by the entrance and get to bloody work.

  1. Have your ideas set, but be open to experimentation

Knowing your parts is crucial to successful session, but don’t be too rigid with these. Sometimes a spark of creativity leads to massive improvements for the song. An extra improvised guitar solo over the bridge, or an octave down harmony in the chorus can really lift certain sections. Be open to experiment!

  1. Communicate your perception well.

This one is huge. If things are not sounding as expected straight away, don’t get emotional. Try to be objective, explain ideas professionally. As your music is your heavy metal baby, it’s incredibly hard to stay cool during the birth process. However it’s the crucial part in order to get the sound that you want – just explain it! If you struggle to do so, provide reference tracks. The ones that you like the sound of, and the ones that you don’t like the sound of – to get the full reference spectrum.

  1. Have a backup plan and discuss it transparently (different mix engineer, etc).

In rare cases when things do not work out exactly as expected in the middle of the process, just stay cool and come up with a backup strategy. If you are happy with the recording but not quite digging the final mix, it may be important to collaborate with a different mix engineer for different approach. The only thing that can go wrong is when musician is not satisfied with the final product. So being open and transparent, and working towards everyone’s benefit, producer included, shouldn’t prevent you from changing the course if this what your music calls for.

  1. Have marketing strategy (at least basic one) ready before you finish production!

Huge one! So many bands record outstanding EPs and albums and then have no idea on release strategies! And there are many resources out there that actually provide healthy advice on Facebook / Youtube / Spotify marketing for your heavy Rock and Metal music. Check these out and get a rough outline before you drop your tracks out there. And if you need more help – consult with a professional in the field.

And that is it for my advice on coming into the studio and recording your heavy Rock or Metal release successfully! If there are any questions or comments, feel free to shoot these my way! Until then, happy practicing \m/

 


Dr. Mike Trubetskov is a Rock and Metal Producer, Guitarist, Composer, Arranger and Mix Engineer at EOL Studios from Melbourne, Australia.

Mike walked his Metal path from a Doctorate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to moving to Australia, building his studio and producing albums for sick heavy bands.

Mike is now going to lead you and his clients on this metal path!

YOUR ONLY COMPETITION IS YOURSELF

This happens again. You see a shining post of another band killing it, opening with international acts, releasing a fantastic video, celebrating a sold out gig with their fans.

As you’ve been quiet, working on your new release for quite a few months now and not making that much progress rapidly (isn’t it damn hard to make music promptly hey?), you inevitably start comparing yourself with that band.

These thoughts lead you to an inevitable spiral of self-doubt, negativity, insecurity and sometimes even envy.

The scarcity mindset becomes real. Music business is ruthless to us, creatives. So much pressure and so much stress brings weak thoughts to even the strongest of us. And we sometimes may think that the success of that other band is our own failure.

It is super important to understand that this is the main mistake in this line of thought. Just because someone released a successful EP absolutely doesn’t mean that your won’t be successful! Just because someone has played a huge gig absolutely doesn’t mean that their fans would turn your gig down. Conversely, this only means that the music scene is growing, the demand is increasing, and there actually will be place for your music in the scene!

The healthy way is to stop comparing yourself with the others and start comparing yourself with you in the past. Have you grown in the previous few months? Have you developed a new skill, wrote a new song, improved your performance or made progress on long-standing album in the works?

Your path as a creative is unique and must be different to anyone else – that is the definition of authenticity. Aim to be a better version of yourself every new day, and your progress will never stop coming.