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FAQ

Answers to some frequently asked questions!

 

1. Is there sheet music/tabs for this song?

 

I’m afraid I can’t read or write sheet music or tabs! I am self taught and can only play by ear. Perhaps in the future if I can find the right person to transcribe them, it will be an option.

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Playing by ear!

 

2. Can I use your music in my Youtube video or stream? 

 

Usually, yes! But I have a few conditions, have a read here:

http://miracleofsound.net/2014/09/using-miracle-sound-songs-youtube-videostream/

 

 

3. Will you do an instrumental version of ‘x’ song? Can I do a cover version/parody of it?

 

I don’t make instrumentals because:

1. In the past when I did, people complained it didn’t sound finished – which I actually agree with. My songs are not created to be instrumental works and therefore of course sound unfinished when stripped of their main melodies. But the bigger reason is…

 

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Unfinished symphony…

 

2. There is a culture of theft on the internet. I and my peers have all had people take our instrumentals, sing over them and claim them as their own, sometimes even going as far as to make money from the stolen work. I don’t want that happening any more.

3. There simply isn’t a big enough demand for it to justify the time/money investment in making & releasing instrumental versions.

If you want to cover/parody one of my songs by all means, go ahead! I LOVE hearing fan versions of my songs – but you’ll have to make an actual proper cover version, music and all. You can’t just steal my mix and sing over it – that’s just karaoke  😉

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4. You’re Irish – why do you sometimes sing in an American accent? 

We grow up on American music & media here so it naturally creeps into our own a lot. It’s also a very neutral, easy-to understand accent that lends itself to elongated vowels and just ‘feels’ right for many styles :) 

 

5. Where’d you get the name Miracle Of Sound? Isn’t it a little bit arrogant?

The name is actually not self-referential! It was the title of one of my older songs which was all about how awesome music is in general. I used it as the handle for my forum usernames and it just naturally became my ‘artist’ name as it was what people were referring to me as. So ‘Miracle Of Sound’ is just a reference to music itself as an art form being great, nothing to do with me :)

 

6. Will you do a cover version of (insert song here)

 

No, I’m not a covers guy. There are plenty of other great musicians out there who specialise in doing cover versions but I like to make original songs. I want to be known for my own songs, not someone else’s!

 

There are sometimes songs I’d like to cover or re-interpret, however I don’t do it because it would open the floodgates for thousands of pointless requests of ‘Do this song or that song!’.  I made one cover version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ as a gift for my girlfriend when MOS first started and the amount of times it has been used against me as a counter to my no-covers preference has made me wary of doing any more.

 

7. What ‘program’/’software’/’gear’ etc can I use to get the same sound quality/compositions/mixes as you etc… 

 

This is a tough question because I’m never sure what exactly people mean by it and it could refer to any number of tiny parts in the gargantuan maze of knowledge & equipment that is required for producing music..

 

Let’s get one thing straight first though – there is NO program or software that will make a bad song sound good, or make a shitty mix sound professional. You can have the best gear in the world but without the practice, time and dedication to learning your skills it will only make people cover their ears in disgust.

 

There is no shortcut  or quick fix to making high quality music – you need to put in the work, and I’m talking years of dedication. I was terrible at writing, mixing, recording etc when I first started so don’t be discouraged if your stuff doesn’t immediately sound amazing.

 

By far the most important tools for a composer/mixing engineer/producer are:

 

– Your ears and how you train them to listen

 

– Your motivation & dedication to your craft

 

– Practice, practice, practice

 

I’m not sure where the misconception comes from that you can just buy a program and make great sounding music, but it’s a falsity and sadly one that many seem to believe.

Now, we can talk about programs. My main DAW is Cubase 7.5. I use Kontakt 5 to run most of my orchestral/synth voices which I play through a MIDI keyboard.

I record my guitars & amps with a Shure SM57 ; and my vocals (and everything else) with Neumann TLM 102.

For compressors, FX etc there are hundreds of different plugins out there you can use. I tend to love anything by Fabfilter or Waves (especially the CLA-Classic compressors & SSL Channel bundles, I use these on almost everything). If I were to list all of the various instruments & plugins I use I’d be writing a short novel. You need to try things for yourself, listen to what the different plugins do – do your research!

This is a good beginner’s tutorial for anyone who wants to start out:

http://bandic22.hubpages.com/hub/Beginners-Guide-to-Home-Recording-Equipment

 


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