My name is Jamie Lidell and I'm gonna delve into the heady magic of creating music in a modern studio, probe the depths of production, get tech crazy with mixing tricks, studio skills and equipment. I'll be joined by fellow musicians, engineers and all-round audiophiles who kindly share their tips, stories and ingenious insight from the bizarre world of music production. I shall answer questions and seek knowledge from other music makers on a quest to discover how to make things sound RIGHT. I will also share some studio trickery on each episode as I explore some of my favourite innovations in music tech and my creations... outpourings from the weirdo brain! Welcome to a place for musicians, producers and listeners alike as we "cheers" our love of everything audio.
HOWA EP 106 - DAVID HASKELL
David Haskell is a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and a Guggenheim Fellow.
His 2017 book The Songs of Trees won the John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing. His 2012 book The Forest Unseen was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and won the 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Reed Environmental Writing Award.
His new book, Sounds Wild and Broken is out now and I was thrilled to have a chance to sit down in person with him in my studio here Nashville to discuss it briefly.
Here’s a quick summary of the book from the official press release:
Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, Haskell illuminates and celebrates the emergence of the varied sounds of our world. In mammoth ivory flutes from Paleolithic caves, violins in modern concert halls, and electronic music in earbuds, we learn that human music and language belong within this story of ecology and evolution. Yet we are also destroyers, now silencing or smothering many of the sounds of the living Earth. Haskell takes us to threatened forests, noise-filled oceans, and loud city streets, and shows that sonic crises are not mere losses of sensory ornament. Sound is a generative force, and so the erasure of sonic diversity makes the world less creative, just, and beautiful. The appreciation of the beauty and brokenness of sound is therefore an important guide in today’s convulsions and crises of change and inequity.
Here’s a link to the book in all it’s various formats (the link is slow but it works)
I can highly recommend you give it a read. It's just a wonderful read and full of insights that will stay with you.
There’s a Soundcloud link with sounds pertinent to the chapters which you can check out here
I also wanted to give a shout out to pod listener Simon Taylor and his book
AUDIO MASTERING IN A PROJECT STUDIO: A PRACTICAL APPROACH FOR A PROFESSIONAL SOUND
Some great ideas and knowledge that’s not too overwhelming check these whee links:
US Or UK
As always send music and stuff to
HOWA EP 105 - BIBIO
Merry Chrimble y’all!
Here’s a sonic present for your ears to unwrap.
It’s in the form of a nice fireside ramble with the excellent Stephen James Wilkinson aka Bibio.
He’s a wonderful and thoughtful chap with a very unique touch and a searching soul.
I love his musical range, his tones, his playing. YES
He’s rather good!
Im assuming you all know his stuff? If not you fools!
You must immediately have a listen
As in go here NOW!
It’s super ooper dooper inspiring stuff and I was mighty chuffed when he agreed to come on the pod.
Our paths never crossed as label mates on warp records which is a shame. God knows why.
A couple of shy dudes making waves in different countries might have had something to do with it!
Anyway we are finally in a chat and even talking about working on something together which sounds good to me.
Watch this space.
He’s a wise lad so of course he has a nagra. A stereo nagra in fact.
In fact it was this conversation that really made me want to find one of my own which thankfully I did.
He’s the one guest that actually recorded a backup to the tape machine. Proper legend
Thanks for tuning in folks!
It’s been another bonkers year and having this show has been a huge part of keeping me going.
Cheers to all the wonderful patrons for helping me keep this dream alive
Thanks to distrokid for their continued support as the most epic and long running sponsor of the pod.
If you make music and need it putting out, just use distrokid! It’ll be everywhere like Santa before you know it
Dropping that sonic magic down the chimneys of the world.
Thanks to Bibio
And I’ll catch you in 2023!
Make merry y’all
HOWA EP 104 - RED MEANS RECORDING
Such a treat to chat with Jeremy aka Red Means Recording. Now you must know who he is right? If not well you're in for a treat. He's an amazing creative soul and funky chap that makes excellent music, teaches and creates exceptional YouTube videos that go deep into the synth and electronic musical world. Highly recommended viewing. He's just great.
Link to his YouTube here
Yes, I realize this has been a lonnnnng time coming.
What's been up?
The studio build is now hitting a new level of intensity and my Mum just left after a long visit and things have been a tad upside down so Im off my funk but here we are!
Please go and grab this new release from friend of the pod Marta Salongi and Floating points.
It's a fund raiser for the charity Free Youth Orchestra which focuses on removing financial barriers between children and access to musical equipment and lessons
the music is here to buy and thus support
looking for something to fill the digital stocking?
I can recommend this max for live device from the wonderful friend of the pod Ned Rush. It's called MIDI WAVES and it's ace and not expensive. grab here
Jim Keller has been helping me design the new studio. Great to work with him. So much knowledge! Check his beautiful work here
Thanks for Diana Walsch for pod support. Find her here
HOWA EP 103 - FRED AGAIN
I caught up with this busy Fred on his current US tour.
He’s been busy you ask?
Oh yes. I mean so so busy.
For one thing he’s penned massive pop numbers with Ed Sheeran, Stormy and other huge acts
Did you know that?
I mean BIG BIG songs.
And YET his mentor and good friend is none other than
Wait.. what? Ah yes, all shall be revealed.
See the thing about Fred is he will write a huge song for an act like Clean Bandit in the afternoon, then be on the phone to fourtet for arrangement advice on his solo work by dinner time.
He can write on the road, he can write in the club. He’s prolific as they come this man!
Fred has been doing so well and it was great to get this chance to chat with him
What an exceedingly positive and fun chap he is. So much talent and a very good outlook
Lots of nuggets in this chat. Obv we get into the Eno connection and the come up and
Fred reveals some massive beat making secrets he learned directly from Boi-1da.
I get some advice mid show too which I think might be a first :)
We are here in part to discuss his ace new LP “Actual Life 3” which you can find in the usual streaming zones.
It’s a real pleasure to welcome on to the Show for the first time Fred….. Again
Making music? Want it out in the world?
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HOWA EP 102 - MAX TUNDRA
Max Tundra is Ben Jacobs
A man that was a child that grew up in London.
As pointed out on his bandcamp, he went to the same school as Jude Law and a Chemical Brother, but didn’t know them.
In this disposable content age, there’s an undeniable urge to go for quantity over quality is there not?
The music Ben makes as Max Tundra comes as rarely as a celestial event.
We forget the rising and falling of the sun each day but we don’t forget a total eclipse now do we?
This is how it felt when Mocky and I came across the LP “Mastered by guy at the exchange”.
We were without sun for a while. In an unknown land that felt Most welcoming and yet most peculiar.
It was genuinely new music. Something so rare that still feels fresh all these years later.
Here’s what hyper pop bloke A. G. Cook said of Max Tundra’s legacy:
“‘Mastered by Guy at the Exchange’ is a true cult album - a playful monolith that sounds both nothing and everything like the 2000s. Stumbling across it as a teenager, it reinforced a hunch I had: that music is a place where anything could happen, and total chaos could be held together by the lightest of pop hooks. There’s an oddly British quality to Max Tundra’s work, a soft and polite maximalism - pioneering, eccentric and infinitely remixable.”
Ben Jacobs invented hyper pop
As they say in the UK
It’s a good time to be a Max Tundra fan as domino has reissued his first three studio albums to be found HERE
2000s Some Best Friend You Turned Out to Be,
2002’s Mastered by Guy at the Exchange,
and the 2008 masterwork Parallax Error Beheads You.
We get into a lot of his formative years and thankfully he kept so much of his sonic ramblings from that time and they can be found on his band camp page
It’s a real treasure trove.
Here it is
What a legend. If you’ve never heard of him before, I’m so glad I get to make the intro.
He’s a true original and a very nice man
Please welcome on the show
HOWA EP 100 - NIGEL GODRICH
Nigel is my kind of producer He has a strong sense of quality, a strong sense of who he is and what potentials artists have to be cultivated and captured. He’s my kind of producer because he gets his hands dirty and doesn’t just act as a fan of the band and take on that guru role but he’s in the trenches, setting up the mics for perfect phase alignment, getting all the sonic chains correct but without a limiting rule book. There’s so much inventiveness in the productions alongside the incredible, undeniable tone. Of course there’s that ego and strong sense of self and I ran into his resolute perspective a couple of times by asking questions he deemed sub par or misguided. Let’s put it this way, you know where you stand with Nigel and of course he has a strong perspective. Imagine the courage and strength of conviction it would take to tell Thom Yorke or Paul McCartney that they could better a take or that a lyric felt cheesy or what have you. We might all think we want to be told yes all the time but Nigel, it feels, understands when to say no and let his point be known and I love that about him. I have immense respect for him. He's made some of my favorite records and I think it's fair to say that he's my favorite living producer. So needless to say it's an absolute thrill to have him on the show. It’s even more special to me that he agreed to do episode 100. NIGEL!!!!! Nitty 100 is a BIG one I get my hands on a rare Chamberlin M1 from the excellent Rob Burger and sample it in a most painstaking manner yielding a set of 8 instrument captures that showcase the sounds on the tapes in a way that’s never been heard before. I sent the finished pack to some amazing musicians and they all came back with beautiful music to demo the sounds. You’ll hear tracks from Dave Sitek Hainbach Dana Wachs Andrew Huang RJD2 Money Mark and I also made one that sneaks in at the end of the show 🙂 EP 100 Baby! bringing the heat!!! I only managed to make all this with the expert kontakt and decent sampler scripting help of Owen Bolig and GUI design from Tobias James. In the sample instruments you can blend 3 different layers. The DRY is a direct output from the instrument running into a Telefunken V72 preamp The DIRT is the signal processed though a silvertone amp head into a Roland RE-201 space echo in spring reverb mode 3+4) The DUAL MONO ADT NAGRA recordings are the star of the show and the motivation behind the instrument. The output of the Chamberlin was sent to 2 nagras at the same level. I played with the varispeed of one nagra tape machine and not the other so when the NAGRA channel on the kontakt or decent sampler is set to mono you hear unique ADT style phasing that’s varied per key press using scripting magic (Kontakt only). So there’s 3168 samples that make up the 8 instruments with a total of 4.62Gb of audio. Get ready! The Chamberlin ADT is available to Patreon members on the soul science level! Music for EP100 comes from Lok44 who’s LP 44problems is to found on TRUST. I was bugging out to this. I think he triggered something from my youth and I very much enjoyed the flashback! Thanks to sonible for their kind sponsorship Their plugins are well worth checking out. smart, clear and good sounding. Triple wammy! check them out 🙂 Thanks also to access analog for THEIR kind sponsorship Good news! They have given me a code to share with you all at check out so you can try this wild service for yourself and remotely control a pye compressor from the comfort of your studio or roaming about with a laptop with wifi. True 2022 business. The code you need at check out is....... trial-howa enjoy! Drums from this ad spot are from the That Sound “Hanger” library here shouts to my studio building crew! Jim Keller at Sondhus and Matthew Marinelli at coral sound thanks to Diana Walsh for cleaning up the audio as ever Last my most certainly not least, thank you to my lovely wife! Without her this show never would ha
10/10 amazing music podcast !
Jamie does flawless job of combining interviews with great artists, educational sound-design nerdism, alternative music culture, and hilarious witty banter. Fairly lengthy podcasts feel like they could be twice as long and I would still be engaged . Highly recommend !
This is what podcasts were made for. Jamie Lidell does a stellar job, giving us a bi-weekly peek into the music production process. If you're aspiring to be a music producer, this is a must-listen, but even if you just have a passing interest in music production, you will gain much from this pod. I love his easy style with his guests and the interviews often sail from the jumping off point of music production to the murkier waters of deep life subjects involving creativity, work ethics, the inner muse, etc. I'm always pleased and amazed at the guests he gets and how open the are. And his nitty gritties are good too; each podcast he breaks down a different way to create some music or audio, using cutting edge techniques, always with interesting results. Thanks, Jamie.
In the pocket
Enjoy this a lot, thx for Susan Rogers, what a brilliant mind. Keep em coming Jamie